Family history research

Search the archives to discover your family history.

View images of Hertfordshire’s original early parish registers on findmypast along with school records to c1914.  See census returns from 1841 to 1901 and search 1911 by address

Find my past (free access in your local library)Ancestry.com (free access in your local library)Access to this resource has been temporarily expanded to library cardholders working remotely, courtesy of ProQuest and its partner Ancestry. Access is available through the library app and OPAC with your library membership details.

Search the National ArchivesSearch the Hertfordshire Archives catalogue

How to start your research

Talk to your family first, making notes of everything you find out as you go - names, dates of birth, marriage, death and where they lived and worked. 

Are there any family heirlooms such as photographs, personal letters or official documents which could give you some clues?

Get help with your research

We have re-opened with an appointment-only system and social distancing measures.

Book an appointment for Tuesday - Friday morning at hals.enquiries@hertfordshire.gov.uk at least 5 working days before you plan to visit. If you know what you’d like to see, please prioritise document requests in order of preference.

Archives re-opening - what you need to know

If you are having trouble finding information or don't have the time, you can pay one of our experts to do some research for you.

£18 for 30 minutes

£36 for 1 hour


You can order a document or search from us.  You will get a report of the results and an option to buy copies of any documents that might be relevant to your enquiry. 

You can also view them at the archives for free.


Family history surgeries

Are you stuck with your family history?  Whilst we are closed, book a free session with an expert for some 1 to 1 advice.

 

Find out what's in the archives to help your family history research.

The National Archives has a series of guides about the best way to research family members. It will give you a good idea about where to look online or if you'll need to visit a records office.

You can also buy books about how to research family history, or reserve them for free from your local library.