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Research service

How to apply

To request this service, download and complete the Research Service Order Form [PDF]

What does the Research Service offer?

Searches can be carried out for family, local and house history for a fee in most sources held at the Archives, including parish registers, census returns, wills and other records.


The research is undertaken by an experienced researcher under the supervision of an archivist. We believe that the Research Service provides a professional and reliable service of a very high quality.

If you want to trace your family history, but do not feel very confident using the wide array of internet resources, the Research Service can help.

Our experienced researcher can make the best use of these resources to find the information you need.

Types of research

The Research Service will carry out research using any of the archives available at Nottinghamshire Archives.

Broadly the holdings of the Archives consist of:

  • local government records such as the county, district and parish councils
  • public records including hospitals, courts and workhouses
  • ecclesiastical records such as Church of England parish records and non-conformist church records
  • records of families, businesses, societies and other organisations and individuals.

Even if your family was not Nottinghamshire based, we are able to undertake internet research for family history nationally. We have access to a wide variety of resources such as the vastly improved General Register Office indexes now offered by the Ancestry website.

In addition to census returns (1841-1901) for anywhere in England and Wales available via Ancestry, we also have access to:

  • London and other county parish records including Dorset, Lancashire, Surrey and Warwickshire; also Liverpool and Manchester
  • British Postal Service appointment books (1737-1969)
  • British Phone Books (1880-1984)
  • London Poor Law records (1839-1940) and Incoming Passenger Lists (1878-1960).

We can also provide access to the International Geneaological Index via the Family Search website.

Using the Research Service

To commission research, you will need to download and complete the Nottinghamshire Archives Research Service order form [PDF]  including signing the copyright declaration. Payment must be received in advance.

If you are unsure whether the Archives holds the records in which you are interested we would advise that you contact us for further information before requesting a search.

Research orders will be carried out in the order in which they are received. If your request will not be processed within one week, a letter or e-mail of acknowledgement will be sent to you, with an indication of how long it may take to receive your research report. We reserve the right not to undertake a search if the information supplied is insufficient or for any other reason, but if this is the case, you will be informed and your payment returned.

For advice on completing the Research Service order form, please see the Research Service guidance page. See the limitations of the Research Service and information that we cannot provide.

Receiving the results of the research

The results of the research will be sent to you in the form of a typed report. Copies will occasionally be provided free of charge if this is the most efficient method of presenting the information but the copyright declaration on the order form must be signed and completed first. Otherwise copies will need to be ordered via our Reprographic Services, and will be invoiced separately. Where possible, our researcher will advise you of any further avenues of research, either at the Archives or elsewhere.


The Research Service costs £25 per hour (incl VAT) or part thereof, payable in advance. Please note that we can only accept payment for full hours; we do not conduct research in half-hourly slots.

We will accept a maximum of three hours research per order. The fee includes all the work involved in planning and carrying out the research including report writing. It is therefore in your interests to be as precise as possible in your request.

Orders for more extensive research can be accepted but will be carried out, and should be paid for, in installments.

Payments should be in pounds Sterling, and made payable to Nottinghamshire County Council. Please note that at present we are unable to accept payment by credit card, or by any other form of electronic payment.

Overseas payments should be made in pounds sterling by a cheque drawn on a London Clearing Bank, or by a banker’s draft made out in sterling and drawn on a London Clearing agent (this can be arranged by local banks).

Cheques are not cashed until the report is completed.

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