Family history and biographies

Resources for researching your family history and biographies of influential British people.

Reference online is available 24 hours a day, all year round and contains information on a variety of subjects from encyclopaedias to music, biography, news and art. All you need to do is enter your library membership number - the nine-digit number without spaces - after clicking on each title.

If you are not already a member you can join the library online.

See a full list of reference online titles.

Ancestry

Trace your family tree using the UK Census information; birth, marriage and death records; and parish and probate records.

Access in libraries

How to access Ancestry from home

In response to the current situation, library members now have temporary access to this fantastic family history resource. Access will be reviewed periodically by our providers.

Sign in through your library account with your membership number and PIN. If you are not a member, you can apply to join online.

Find My Past

Family history and genealogy resource containing birth, marriage and death records, censuses, military records, and local newspapers.

Access in libraries only.

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography

The nation’s authoritative biographical source of 55,000 biographies of people who shaped the history of the British Isles and beyond, from the earliest times to the year 2012. 

Access at home or in libraries 

Who's Who and Who Was Who

Who’s Who: the essential directory of the noteworthy and influential in all walks of life, in the UK and worldwide, published annually since 1849. 

Access at home or in libraries.