Our archive collections
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The Cheshire Archives and Local Studies Service has in its care many thousands of records, some dating from as far back as the 12th century.
You can access our catalogue online and it’s also worth searching Discovery hosted by The National Archives.
These records include:
We provide free access on-site to the subscription websites Ancestry and Find my Past where you will find additional records such as the national census returns 1841 – 1911 and General Register Office indexes to births, marriages and deaths from 1837 onwards.
We also hold collections of local newspapers from the 18th century onwards, photographs and other illustrations. The Local Studies Library is located in Cheshire Record Office and is the major collection of books, pamphlets, printed maps, trade directories and other local studies material relating to Cheshire. Some printed maps and trade directories are available online:
Details of Local Studies material such as books, maps and pamphlets which are available in libraries across the County, are also accessible via our online catalogue.
- Cheshire wills, 1492-1940. Wills of Cheshire residents proved in Chester. You can now search for Cheshire wills and download copies on Find My Past
- Overleigh Cemetery, Chester, 1850-1950
- Freemen of Chester, 1747-1925
- Railway staff database, c1869-c1950. Registers of 4 railways companies, covering parts of Cheshire, Shropshire, Herefordshire and Wales
- Crewe railway works, c1890-1928. Records of employees at Crewe railway works
- John Ramsbottom presentation volume. Includes the names of all employees of the Locomotive Department of the London and North Western Railway in 1871. Please note that there is a charge for downloading images from the volume
- Chester city gaol registers, 1808-1865
- Cheshire military records, 16th-19th centuries. With 21,000 names taken from a range of records relating to military service
- Runcorn Crew Lists. With 30,000 names of owners, masters and crewmen of every ship registered in the Port of Runcorn between 1863 and 1913