Bedfordshire Family History Research

Helping you find out about your family history in Bedfordshire

 

Family history research extends beyond simply finding out where you ancestors were born, married and died, it involves finding out about their life story.  For example, it involves finding out what they did for a living and whether or not they changed professions over time.  It involves finding out about where they lived, and whether they rented or owned the houses they lived in. They may even have fallen on hard-times and in desperation ended up living in the local workhouse. 


Researching a family history also involves finding out about how your ancestors may have integrated with the local community.  For example, were they an upstanding citizen, or did they have to 'visit’ the local gaol?


When it comes to researching your family history in Bedfordshire, we have an excellent knowledge of how to access the relevant records needed to locate your ancestor’s family history in Bedfordshire, particularly those that are not available on the web. 


We have access to our own extensive and unique range of records that we collected over the last 15 years whilst undertaking local research.  As well as accessing the more traditional sources we undertake a local historic newspaper search, as well as an image and map search to see if we can find any pictures of the places they lived or worked.  One of the maps we use is our own very rare copy of the 1807 town plan of Bedford (see above), which we use to cross reference relevant information for that period.


In undertaking our research, we also conduct an extensive search of the records held at Bedfordshire Archives, as our lead researcher was the County Archive Conservator at Bedfordshire Archives, and therefore has a good working knowledge of the collections held there, particularly those that date back until approximately 1550.


In addition to the records we use to trace your genealogy in Bedfordshire we extend research to include records such as:

  • Poor law Union and Workhouse records for Bedfordshire
  • Local Newspapers, that include for example The Bedfordshire Times
  • Local Trade directories
  • Trade and Business archives
  • Local historical publications
  • Local school records
  • Street and phone directories
  • Electoral registers
  • Insurance records
  • Town plan and OS maps (see for example our 1807 map of Bedford Town Centre)
  • Land Valuation Records
  • Land and property ownership records
  • Bedford Gaol Database
  • Bedfordshire Quarter Session records 


Only a few of the above records are available on the web, therefore the majority of the research we undertake is desk research, locating the original documents.


Depending on your research requirements we can simply search one set of records for you.  For example you may only be interested in finding out if your ancestor had cause to visit the local workhouse, or you may want us to research all the available records relating to family history in Bedfordshire, and if you do, we can do this for one person or for a whole family.  We undertake all levels of research, from helping you find out about one the family history of one person - to finding out about the whole family across a number of generations.   


​Our fees are normally £25.00 per hour.  However, if your research requirements are extensive and likely to take more than three days, we can negotiate a lower rate.   Before we undertake any research, we can provide you with  an initial free consultation to evaluate your research request and the costs involved. 


For further information contact us

1807 map of Bedford.

1807 map of Bedford.