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Coronavirus update

We're pleased to announce that from the 4th August Gloucestershire Archives will re-open to the public.  We've had to make some changes to the way we work, and you can see more details about our new arrangements on our Covid recovery page.

You will need to book your documents in advance.

At the moment Gloucestershire Family History Society remains closed.

If you're not able to make it in, have a look at Gloucestershire Heritage Hub for ideas and links to help you #ExploreYourArchiveAtHome.

Access to Gloucestershire resources on Ancestry for free

While Gloucestershire Libraries and Gloucestershire Family History Society’s research rooms are closed to the public during the Covid-19 pandemic, customers have been unable to access digitised copies of Gloucestershire records free of charge. We’ve been working with Ancestry and can now provide free access to Gloucestershire’s digitised resources until they can welcome you back. Please use this link to access them.

Starting your family history

  • do your homework - collect as much information from relatives, family papers and old photos as you can so that you have a name, place and approximate date to start from. 
  • don't worry if you can't find out much - often we can help you to get started.  You can also spend time with one of our Searchroom Buddies - Contact us to make an appointment.
  • decide what you want to do - do you want to trace the male line or both sides of your family?  It is better to concentrate on one branch of the family at a time.
  • bring details of all the information you have - it can include a clue you hadn't realized.
  • read a book - there are many guides to tracing family history that will give you basic information about sources to help you, and show you how to organize your work.
  • get organized - you can find information in a wide variety of sources so you need to keep careful notes of what you find and where you found it.  It is important to make a note of all the sources you check, even if you don't find any useful information in them.
  • check the Online catalogue - this shows the sources available for your area.  Most of our parish registers (baptisms, marriages and burials) are available on self-service microform so you can use them immediately.  If you find references to original documents you would like to see you can pre-order them so they are ready for you when you arrive.

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