Resources for doing your own research

Information and resources to help you discover your family history, find out about the history of your house, and research the First World War.

In this section


House history

House historyWhether you want to look into the age of your house or find out who lived there, our resources can help. We have:

  • Ordnance Survey maps (from 1866 onwards) - these show individual buildings
  • enclosure maps (1780s to 1830s) - these can be fairly detailed and the accompanying awards (schedules) will also tell you who owned your house
  • building plans - our main collection is the Ingram Loan, which includes many local homes and premises
  • thousands of photographs of local streets and buildings (arranged by place)
  • more than 100 sale catalogues - these are  arranged by place and give detailed descriptions of houses about to go up for auction
  • planning registers and applications - we hold some and our planning department has a more complete collection
  • street directories (from the late 19th century onwards) - these name the heads of many households; earlier directories might not include the actual house number
  • electoral registers - these list each person registered to vote
  • rate books - these are the most accurate way of finding out who owned and occupied a house, though they were not compiled every year.
  • census returns (1841 to 1911) - these list all persons at an address and are available on AncestryLibrary.com
  • title deeds - these are the agreements for the sale or lease of a house and may also describe the house itself

Please note: There may be gaps in the coverage of our collections.

You may also find the following books useful:

  • 'Tracing Your House History: A guide for family historians' by Gill Blanchard
  • 'How To Research Your Local History: Find out all about your house, village or town' by Patricia Brookes
  • 'Tracing The History of Your House' by Nick Barrat
  • 'Tracing Your Home's History' by Anthony Adolph

Family history

Family historyWe hold a wide range of resources to help you discover your family history, including:

  • indexes and transcriptions - these include printed indexes to baptisms, marriages and burials in several Hillingdon parishes, transcriptions of early wills, rate books and monumental inscriptions, which can be accessed via our search room 
  • street directories of local areas (1840 to 1977) - these are held in our search room and can be used to check the householder or business at a specific address
  • telephone directories (from 1954) - earlier ones can be found on Ancestry Library Edition
  • electoral registers (bound volumes: 1838 to 1839, 1890 to 1897, 1899 to 1914; on microfilm: 1920-1993); bound volumes: 1994 to present date) - there are substantial gaps in the Uxbridge registers and we have none between 1931 and 1965 but some of the early electoral registers for Uxbridge have been digitised by Ancestry Library Edition making them considerably easier to search (you will need an address in order to find an individual)
  • local newspapers (dating back to 1854) are available on microfilm at Uxbridge Library. Some are only available as hard copies from which no photocopying is allowed, and 3 days' notice is required for their production.
  • photographs of local places - many of these are digitised and available in our online catalogue (search in the Museum collection for photos by keyword, place or date)
  • maps - including Ordnance Survey maps (dating from 1866 onwards), enclosure and estate maps from earlier periods
  • archives - these contain thousands of original documents relating to the local area which can help with your family history research, including rate books, valuation lists, and the parish church of St John's, Hillingdon (we require 3 working days' notice if you would like to view a document)
  • books and periodicals - these include introductory guides to family history and some can be borrowed; some are reference only

In our local studies room, we hold the following family and local history periodicals, which are available to browse:

  • Hillingdon Family History Society Journal, 1989 to present
  • The Home Counties Magazine, 1899 to 1912
  • LAMAS Transactions, 1860 to present
  • Middlesex and Herts Notes and Queries, c1895 to 1898
  • Records of Bucks, 1854 to Present (gaps)
  • West Middlesex Family History Society Journal, 1978 to present

Search our full range of family history books and periodical

How to begin your family history research

  1. Write down as many dates, places and names of family members as you can - this will help show what you know, what you may have forgotten and what you have yet to find out.
  2. If possible, ask the oldest member(s) of your family about their life stories and try to gather as many names, dates, locations and occupations of as many family members as you can.
  3. Start looking at original documents, such as old family photographs, birth certificates, medals, wills and postcards, which can provide all sorts of insights into their owners' lives and be used to build up a detailed family tree.
  4. Get in touch with our Hillingdon Museum and Archives Service about how we can help take your research to the next level - email archives@hillingdon.gov.uk

Researching the First World War (1914 to 1918)

Researching the First World WarOur First World War resources include:

  • wartime copies of local newspapers
  • Tanya Britton's biographies of the war dead and wartime parish histories
  • a photograph album of serving members of Providence Congregational Church, Uxbridge
  • the wartime scrapbooks of Francis Edwards, a Northwood bookseller
  • the war tribunal books of Hayes and Harlington and Yiewsley Urban District Councils, recording applications for exemption from military service

Free access to service and medal records on AncestryLibrary.com is available in all Hillingdon Libraries (when they fully re-open).

Search our Local Studies Catalogue for other First World War items


Online resources

  • Ancestry Library Edition (Global edition) - includes birth, marriage and death indexes from 1837, census returns from 1841 to 1911 and a large  collection of parish registers dating back as early as 1538. Other useful records include directories, passenger lists, criminal registers and First World War service records.
  • The Telegraph Historical Archive - search digitised newspapers from 1855 to 2000 and find out whether any of your ancestors ever made the headlines!

Please note: These websites are available to use free of charge in all Hillingdon libraries (when they fully re-open).

Page last updated: 24 Mar 2021