- What we do
- Ask a local studies and family history librarian
- Local studies resources
- Libraries with local studies collections
- Census returns
- Parish registers
- Illustrations, ephemera and newspaper cuttings
- Trade and commercial directories
- Getting started with family history
- Family History Groups & Surgeries
We collect and make available information about the people and communities, the built and natural environment of the county of Warwickshire.
We can also help with your family history research, providing expert knowledge and resources.
The main countywide collection of books and mapping is held in the Warwickshire Collection located at Nuneaton Library.
Unique collections relating to specific areas are located at larger libraries.
We can help you find your ancestors
Are you involved in local studies or family history research? Would you like to know more about how we can help?
Contact us with your questions or make an appointment with one of our specialist librarians:
- complete a feedback form
- Write, fax or telephone your local library
The Warwickshire Collection, located at Nuneaton Library, covers the administrative County for current Ordnance Survey mapping at 1:1250, 1:2500 and 1:10,000 scales, comprising of:
- Historic Ordnance Survey mapping from the C19th and C20th – held on microform.
- Historic Ordnance Survey mapping from the C19th and C20th.
All main libraries in Warwickshire have extensive collections of current Ordnance Survey mapping at 1:1250, 1:2500 and 1:10,000 scales for their local area. They may also hold geological, land use, Goad, post-code and administrative area maps.
For details of holdings contact a larger library.
Warwickshire County libraries’ local studies collections aim to collect all printed material relating to Warwickshire and its people.
The main county collection is located at Nuneaton Library with books for use in the library and for loan.
Collections held in the eight larger libraries specialise in their own locality.
The George Eliot letter collection
A unique and valuable collection of printed and manuscript material relating to the author is held at Nuneaton Library.
George Eliot Collection – facsimiles and transcripts of the letters.
Working Lives – memories of work & industry in Nuneaton and Bedworth: a 20th century oral history
Larger libraries hold collections of journals and magazines that relate to the County and to aspects of Family History.
- Newspapers online – Infotrac newspaper archive subscription: free with your library card.
- NEWSPLAN West Midlands database – newspapers in West Midlands’ libraries and Record Offices.
- Browse newspapers on microfilm – view available newspapers on library catalogue.
- Atherstone Library
- Bedworth Library
- Coleshill Library
- Kenilworth Library
- Leamington Spa Library
- Nuneaton Library
- Rugby Library
- Stratford upon Avon Library
A national census has been taken every ten years from 1801, however it was only from 1841 that details about individuals and households were recorded.
Census returns for Warwickshire parishes’ towns and villages are available on microform for the years from 1841. Please ask at one of our libraries for holdings.
- Scottish 1901 Census – Internet link to Scottish 1901 Census.
- County Record Office – census returns for the whole of the historic county, with a few exceptions.
- Ancestry.com – search for your ancestors….1.5 billion names, United Kingdom and Ireland census collection; birth, marriage and death records collection; family and local history collection and US Federal census collection.
- Find My Past – 400 million civil registration of births, marriages and deaths records in England & Wales. Vouchers are £5 from Atherstone, Leamington Spa, Nuneaton, Rugby, Stratford upon Avon, and the County Record Office.
- 1901 Census online – vouchers available at all libraries.
What are they?
Parish registers are kept by the Church of England primarily to record baptisms/christenings, marriages and burials. The earliest registers date from 1538, in the time of Henry VIII.
Parish registers for Warwickshire
Main libraries, hold microfilm copies of parish registers relating to their area.
The County Record Office holds parish registers for the whole of Warwickshire.
Registers are indexed in the IGI (International Genealogical Index) at Family search. The IGI includes principally baptism and marriage entries, mostly covering the period before 1875. Burials are not usually included.
Some libraries have illustration collections containing photographs, prints and postcards of their area.
The collections have been gathered over a number of years and contain a wide variety of images. To view the collections please contact the library in advance.
It is possible to obtain copies of photographs, but copyright restrictions and charges apply.
Leamington Spa Library houses the Warwickshire Images database of 10,000 images of Warwickshire, gathered from collections around the county, together with 1st series (1887/9) and current (2000) Ordnance Survey maps of Warwickshire.
Ephemera & newspaper cuttings
A collection of newspaper cuttings, posters, playbills, programmes, timetables, election leaflets and a variety of local leaflets may be found at larger libraries.
A useful source of information about the Victorian and Edwardian periods, they list, often in street order, heads of household by both trade and surname. Used in conjunction with other census returns or electoral registers they can be useful tools in researching your family history. They often contain interesting news items and articles about local towns.
Midlands historical data – An on-line local history library – free to view, from a library or County Record Office computer. You can buy copies of the books on CD-ROM from the Midlands historical data website, and you can view them from home on a pay-per-view basis.
Resources for the beginner
We have a selection of guides and introductions to family history research: Search for family history books
To make the most of our enquiry service please provide as much information as you can – dates, names, places, sources already searched.
Courses and events
We host courses and events for all ages. See the Events Database for future activities.
Family history groups and surgeries are a great opportunity to share knowledge, skills, resources and experiences. Surgeries are held at:
- Search the Warwickshire Service Directory for family history groups in Warwickshire;
- Federation of family history societies.