Seeking Surrey's Ancestors

Do you have Surrey Ancestors?

Were they born here? Did they work here, or were they even buried here? If you want to know how and where they lived, Surrey History Centre is the ideal place to begin your ancestral journey. With a wealth of historical sources dating as far back as the 12th century, we are your first call for family and local history research.

Prince or Pauper, Soldier or Servant?

Until we begin our ancestral journey, we may know very little about our family history. Certain key records form the backbone of our family research, all of which can be found in County Record Offices and History Centres – and Surrey is no exception!

Before civil registration (of births, marriages and deaths) began in 1837, the family historian relies heavily on parish records. We have Church of England parish registers dating back to 1538. Guide to parish registers held at Surrey History Centre These form one of the lynchpins of family history research, and provide an invaluable source for marriages, baptisms and burials.

Beyond the census, there are many other valuable sources for the family historian to explore. Surrey has a proud history of military service, with an extensive collection of records relating to the Queen's Royal Surrey Regiment and predecessors dating back to the 17th century. We hold some records for Methodist, Baptist, Society of Friends and many other smaller religious groups, workhouse records, tithe awards, school and orphanage records and even some hospital registers. Many of these have been indexed and can be found at Surrey records online.

Surrey History Centre visitor -  "Thank you so much for your help in tracing these records. I have been sitting in front of the computer having a little cry and can't wait to come back down to Surrey to view the original registers...Seeing where he was born and baptised is so comforting."

Surrey History Centre is conveniently situated in Woking with good road and public transport links. We are open from Tuesday to Saturday and further information can be found on our website at Visiting Surrey History Centre.
Come and see us soon and discover where your ancestral journey takes you!

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