Family history services

Starting your family history journey

The first step is to gather all the information you can from relatives such as:

  • names
  • dates
  • addresses.

Look at documents such as:

  • wills
  • family bibles
  • newspaper cuttings
  • any birth, death or marriage certificates already held.

Draw up a basic family tree to give you an idea of the gaps that you will need to fill. Then work backwards using information known already about relatives. Census records are very useful in finding out the names of other family members.

For example, if you know your grandmother’s date and place and birth, apply for her birth certificate. This will give you her parent’s full names including her mother’s maiden surname. Your next step would then be to search for her parent’s marriage certificate. You should be able to find this through searching the family records indexes. These indexes are available to search on various websites, some free of charge.

How we can help

We hold original deposited registers on the Isle of Wight since 1 July 1837 for:

  • births
  • deaths
  • marriages.

This is when civil registration began.

Before July 1837, the Churches recorded baptisms, burials and marriage banns. Some of these are available at the County Records Office, Hillside, Newport, Isle of Wight.

Our library services provide access to the family history collection. This may be of use to you when researching your family tree.

We have cremation registers from 1961 and cemetery records from 1851. Our Burial and Cremation Records may help you find the resting place of your ancestors.  

You could also contact the Isle of Wight Family History Society for help and advice.

Getting an old birth, death or marriage certificate

You need to know:

  • the name of the person
  • year of birth, death or marriage
  • the registration district.

Any other information you may have that may help to identify the person(s) you are looking for.