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Children and Young Peoples Services

Services for Adults on the Isle of Wight



The Family History Centre is housed in the Reference Library in Lord Louis Library in Newport. The Centre is open during normal library opening hours.
The General Register Office Index (also known as the St Catherine’s Index) for Births Marriages and Deaths in England and Wales is available on microfiche in the Reference Library.
The GRO Index consists of the quarterly indexes to civil registrations of births, marriages and deaths from 1837 up until almost the present day. The indexes provide the details needed to apply for Birth, Marriage or Death certificates at registry offices in England and Wales.
The separate indexes for births, marriages and deaths are arranged by quarter year - March, June, September and December - according to the date of registration. Each quarter is arranged alphabetically by surname.
From 1984 onwards the indexes are no longer arranged in quarters but run in one continuous annual sequence organised alphabetically by surname.
Fiche readers can be booked in advance either by a personal call to the Reference Library or a telephone call. Booking is recommended as the Centre can be very busy at times.
Please ring (01983) 823800
The Reference Library hold a selection of CD ROMs to help with family history research. These include Soldiers that died in the Great War, Army Roll of Honour World War II and the Vital Records Index (birth, christening and marriage records from selected parishes in the British Isles). Access is available to the Times Digital Archive (The Times newspaper from 1785 to 1985) on the public access computers in the Reference Library.

The 1881 Census is available on CD-ROM in the Reference Library and all the returns, from 1841 to 1901 are available on the Internet. Local Census returns are available on microfilm at the County Record Office in Newport. Advance booking at the Record Office is advisable. Please ring (01983) 823820
Local records such as baptism and burial registers are kept at the County Record Office, along with all other local archives, maps and an illustrations collection. The local Isle of Wight Registrar’s records, from 1837 onwards, are available on the Isle of Wight Family History Society’s website.

Local registers from the 1920s up to the present are available at the County Record Office. The most recent ones are only available subject to the staff’s discretion, owing to a change in electoral law. Before 1872 poll books recorded votes cast at parliamentary elections and some of these are also available at the County Record Office.

Directories covering the Isle of Wight, some including Hampshire, are held at the County Record Office.

Records are held at the County Record Office. Name indexes have been compiled for some towns. See the Isle of Wight Family History website for details.

The County Record Office holds a selection of some of the local papers that were produced in the 19th and 20th centuries. Some are available on microfilm.

Family Tree
Jan 1995 – May 2003
Isle of Wight Family History Society Magazine
Standard reference works including
  • Dictionary of National Biography
  • Who Was Who
  • Phillimore Atlas and Index of Parish Registers
are available in the Reference Library


Isle of Wight County Record Office

Page last updated on: 10/03/2009