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Family history

The Records Office is the place to start if you have family links with the county of Northamptonshire, in the centre of England.

​You may already have looked at websites such as Ancestry and Find My Past. Here at Northamptonshire Archives, we have many more types of records and documents that can add to your knowledge about your forebears. ​​There are some great resources online for researching your ancestors.

Here are some of the records and documents that we hold:

  • Court records
  • Directories and records from local businesses
  • Electoral rolls
  • Hospital, workhouse and asylum records
  • Military records, including World War One tribunals
  • Parish records
  • Personal letters and accounts from a broad range of people and organisations
  • Records from family estates including Althorp
  • School records
  • Wills left by people in Northamptonshire dating back to 1462

The Northamptonshire Central Library also holds a large collection of local and family history resources.


​Fascinating details about how people lived their lives in the past come to life as you read letters, diaries and official documents.

How much will it cost?

It's free to visit and use the archives service, and with 11 miles of shelves full of documents, maps and photographs, there really isn't anywhere better to find out more about the places and industries of the county.

If you require assistance with your research you can use our research service. There are different charges for this depending on the type of research you require and the amount of time you require help for.


I am researching the history of my family in Northamptonshire and travelled up from Devon where I now live to spend two fascinating days poring over old wills and other documents at the Northamptonshire Record Office. 

Taking advantage of the pre-order service meant I could see lots of documents in a short space of time, and the staff were really helpful in pointing me towards other sources. The documents provided lots of useful information to fill gaps in my family story, but what made my visit really special was coming across a photograph of my great grandparents taken in the 1920s. It was such a thrill to see them for the first time." 

Mrs RG
September 2016

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Photos from Northamptonshire Archives and Heritage Service's post

On this day in 1770 Captain James Cook sighted the eastern coast of what is now Australia. We hold a number of records around the subject of emigrati...

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Exciting delivery at the office today! A copy of The Watford Knight's Fee, the book that Murray Johnston has researched and written over a number of ...

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6 of the 8 volumes of J.L. Carr's "A Northamptonshire Record" - a collection of paintings of the landscapes & building of the county in the 1960s. Ca...

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Photos from Northamptonshire Archives and Heritage Service's post

It's been a few weeks since we showed you a Great Seal - this one is from 1570, and is instantly recognisable as Elizabeth 1st. (Ref J(D)569)

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We are having a busy morning today, and its great seeing so many people enjoying using the archives. One of the documents being viewed in the Searchro...

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