Knowing where the archives for these counties were found can be really useful as when researching family history we sometimes need to visit an archive to find out some information that cannot be found online. So I thought I’d put together a list of the counties of the UK with the location of their main archives for the county. So I’ve looked at the counties of Wales and I’ve done parts 1, 2 and 3 of England so on to more of England.
Off to the south of East Anglia on the east coast. This is where you will find Essex. The county has an approximate population of 1.8 million and the county town is Chelmsford. This is also where the archives reside and you can visit the website at: https://www.essexarchivesonline.co.uk/
In central south England Bedfordshire has a population of around 660,000. The county town is Bedford and the archives are in the town. The archives website can be found at: http://bedsarchives.bedford.gov.uk/ArchivesAndRecordOffice.aspx
Also in central southern England Buckinghamshire has an approximate population of 800,000. The county town is Aylesbury and the archives are in the town and can be found at: https://www.buckscc.gov.uk/services/culture-and-leisure/centre-for-buckinghamshire-studies/
Located to the south west of London Surrey has an approximate population of 1.2 million. The county town of Surrey is Guildford but the archives for the county are held in the town of Woking. The archives web address is: https://www.surreycc.gov.uk/culture-and-leisure/history-centre
In the east of England Kent has coast to 3 sides of the county. It has a population of around 1.8 million. The county town if Kent is Maidstone and this is where the archives are held. The website for the archives is: https://www.kent.gov.uk/leisure-and-community/history-and-heritage/kent-archives
6. East Sussex
On the south coast of England East Sussex has an approximate population of 840,000. The county town is Lewes. The archives or the Keep as it is known can be found in Brighton. You might find the fictional genealogist Morton Farrier in the reading room reading the latest novel by Nathan Dylan Goodwin. If you want the web address for the Keep it is: https://www.thekeep.info/esro/
7. West Sussex
Next to East Sussex on the south coast West Sussex has an approximate population of 850,000. The county town is Chichester and the archives are in the town. The archive website is: https://www.westsussex.gov.uk/leisure-recreation-and-community/history-and-heritage/west-sussex-record-office/
Back to central southern England Hertfordshire has a population of around 1.18 million. The county town is Hertford and it is here you will find the archive who’s web address is: https://www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/services/libraries-and-archives/hertfordshire-archives-and-local-studies/hertfordshire-archives-and-local-studies.aspx
A tricky place as part of London is in many counties but most of Middlesex is in London. So I’ve lumped them together. Middlesex has a population of around 2.7 million and London is the county town. The population of London is around 8.7 million which I assume includes the population of Middlesex. As for the archives you have several options. Archives for London’s web address is: https://archivesforlondon.org/ The City of London archives address is: https://www.cityoflondon.gov.uk/things-to-do/london-metropolitan-archives/Pages/search.aspx The London Metropolitan Archives site is: https://search.lma.gov.uk/scripts/mwimain.dll?logon&application=UNION_VIEW&language=144&file=[WWW_LMA]home.html and finally there is the National Archives at: https://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/
11. Isle of Wight
This county is an Island off the south coast by Hampshire. At one time the Isle of Wight came under the jurisdiction of Hampshire. The population of the county is around 141,000 and the county town is Newport which is where the archives are located. The web address for the archives is: https://www.iow.gov.uk/Residents/libraries-cultural-and-heritage/Records-Office/
In all of these counties don’t forget the local family history societies as well as the local libraries. These are also excellent sources of information. Also within the counties each town or city may have their own archive or records office. So make sure you do your complete research into where you may find relevant documents for your genealogy. These places are vast repositories for so many different documents or collections. There more than just baptism, marriage and burial records. There are other parish records, town and village information and so much more. The websites will tell you what repositories each archive holds.
So hopefully this will help you in locating where the information you need may be held.
Part 1 can be found at: http://www.familyhistoryresearchengland.co.uk/blog/counties-of-england-part-1
Part 2 can be found at: http://www.familyhistoryresearchengland.co.uk/blog/counties-of-england-part-2
Part 3 can be found at: http://www.familyhistoryresearchengland.co.uk/blog/counties-of-england-part-3
Wales can be found at: http://www.familyhistoryresearchengland.co.uk/blog/counties-of-wales
Hello and thank you for taking the time to read my Family History Ramblings on genealogy and history in general. I hope you find it informative and hopefully funny!