Manchester City Council

Libraries Family history

First steps

You can now get copy certificates of births, marriage and death from Central Library for pre 1915 records. Manchester Register Office will be producing certificates of post 1915 certificates. See our website for more information and to order certificates.

Manchester and Lancashire Family History Society volunteers are available at the Central Library Family History Help Desk Monday to Friday from 10.30am to 3.30pm. Help Desk volunteers are able to provide family history advice and assistance, whether your ancestors came from Greater Manchester or from further afield. The Society also hold regular classes for beginners and an extensive programme of talks.

Ancestry.co.uk and Findmypast.co.uk contain digitised versions of the census and much more. Findmypast includes the Manchester Collection - a rich series of records that give details about how Manchester ancestors lived, particularly in the Victorian period. Records of baptisms, marriages and burials for Anglican churches in the Diocese of Manchester, including Manchester Cathedral, are now available online at Ancestry.co.uk.

Ancestry.co.uk and the Manchester Collection can be accessed in any Manchester City Council library.

Visitors are advised to gather as much information as possible from older members of their family before visiting the library, as any clues such as dates, addresses, areas or trades can be helpful in identifying the right family. It is a good idea to read one or two books on the subject of genealogy for beginners (at Central Library we have a number of these available in our lending stock), and joining a family history society such as the Manchester and Lancashire Family History Society is also recommended.

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