Researching our Records

There are several ways of researching the records we hold:

  1. You can visit the Record Office to search, free of charge.
  2. You can ask staff by email, phone, contact us form or letter, to check if we hold records that will assist your research and how to access them.
  3. If you need us to check the information on your behalf we can carry out a short search and look up for you at a charge of £8.50.
  4. You can book an appointment with our research consultant for a 1-1 session in our searchroom.  This will cost £11.00 for 30 minutes. Please contact us or phone 01244 972574 for further details or to book a session.
  5. Research Service. If you cannot visit the Record Office in person, our professional researcher can undertake more extensive genealogical and historical research on your behalf. This will cost £34.00 per hour. There is a maximum of 5 hours per request.

How to apply for the Research Service

  • To request a short search (£8.50) please use the order form on our online shop and select 'short search'.
  • To request more extensive research please use the order form on our online shop and select 'Research Service'. 
  • Payment in advance of £34 is required and you can pay online. If you require more than one hour's research, then you can specify the maximum amount you would be willing to pay in the space provided on the form, up to a limit of £170 for five hours' research. You will be asked to pay any outstanding balance when the work has been completed
  • Please specify the object of the search as clearly as possible, eg: "To find the marriage of John Thompson and Ann Byron at Bunbury, 1730 - 1745" "Information on the building and occupancy of Lower Hall Farm at Eccleston in the 17th and 18th centuries"

When requesting work on the history of a building, please supply a grid reference, copy of a map and photograph if possible.

What happens next?

  • We will acknowledge your application within 10 working days and inform you of the current waiting time.
  • We will make every effort to supply the information requested, but cannot guarantee a positive outcome. Even a fairly lengthy search may produce a negative result.
  • We reserve the right either to refuse to undertake a search, or to limit the time that may be spent on it. Payments will be returned if a search is not feasible.
  • Where a search is completed in a shorter time than has been paid for, the outstanding amount can either be held in credit against future work, or refunded.

Your report

Your report will give full details of the sources checked and information found. Advice will be given on the existence and whereabouts of other relevant sources where appropriate.


We may supply copies of relevant documents with the report, depending on the size, format, condition or any access or copyright restrictions. The cost may be taken out of the search fee and the search time reduced accordingly.

Copies can also be ordered separately (see our list of charges).

How to pay

You can pay online using the online application form. Advance payment of £34 is required, and you will be asked to pay any outstanding balance when the work has been completed. The total cost will not exceed the maximum limit you have specified and you will only be charged for the number of hours spent on your enquiry

If you would like to know more, please contact the Record Office