There are certain records, such as birth, marriage and death certificates, that we do not hold. Find out the best place to look for them.
The National Archives does not have the following popular records:
- Birth, marriage and death certificates are kept by the General Register Office
- Army service records after 1923 are kept by the Ministry of Defence
- Wills after 1858 are kept by the Probate Service
- Certificates of naturalisation from 1 October 1986 are kept by the UK Border Agency
- Adoption records are kept by the General Register Office
- Legal proof of divorces since 1858 is available through the Principal Registry of the Family Division
- Parish records are kept in local archives and you can find many online
The National Archives is not the best place to look for certain kinds of records. You should start by looking in local archives for records relating to:
Discovery combines The National Archives catalogue with catalogues from over 2,500 other archives across the UK.
You can search Discovery and then use the filters to look at records from ‘other archives’.
Not all archives have their catalogues in Discovery. It is a good idea to find out what archives are in a local area and to contact them to find out if they have anything useful to you.
You can use the Find an archive tool to do this.
Bear in mind that there are other national archives which might help your research:
- National Records of Scotland
- Public Record Office of Northern Ireland
- The National Library of Wales
- The National Archives of Ireland
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