Lincolnshire Archives Search Room.
Above: Lincolnshire Archives Search Room.

Chances are if your family is from Lincolnshire then there might be a bit of your story held within the walls of Lincolnshire Archives. One of the reasons that a lot of people visit from all over the world is to research their family tree.

Genealogy is generally acknowledged to be one of the fastest growing hobbies and anyone who has spent time researching their family tree will tell you that it can become a consuming passion.

Lincolnshire Archives has numerous resources available to help with your research – holding a vast array of Church Registers for Lincolnshire, Lincolnshire Census returns, Wills, Monumental Inscriptions, Probate Inventories and Court Records to name a few.

If you feel the urge to find out who your ancestors were and what they were doing, come along to Lincolnshire Archives for a visit. The free Search Room is open Tuesday to Saturday 10 am until 4 pm, and the friendly and knowledgeable staff are always on hand to help get you started.

Have a look at their website or call for information about visiting. Alternatively, if you don’t want to, or are unable to do the research yourself but are still burning with curiosity Lincolnshire Archives can undertake the research on your behalf for a modest fee.

As well as genealogical research people also come to try to find other things such as the history of their house or local area, as well as specific academic research. Original documents which are held within the archives can generally be retrieved on the same day as your visit from within one of the six repositories – no mean feat when you consider that there are a total of six and a half miles of shelving hidden within the building.

One of the questions staff are always asked is “What is the oldest document at the Archives?” Well, it’s part of a document containing extracts from the Bible dating from the 9th Century which is in surprisingly good condition.

It’s amazing to think how documents like that have survived for over a thousand years and it’s fair to say that some of the more recent ones (and by that I mean 18th Century!) haven’t survived quite as well, falling victim to water damage, fire damage and in some cases being eaten by mice.

Each and every document tucked away within the repositories has played a small part in the lives of the people of Lincolnshire.

Whether it records their arrival into the world, what their job was, or even just what they were doing at a time in their lives, each one provides a snapshot into a single point in someone’s existence, giving us a glimpse of our ancestors and their life stories. Sometimes they even provide a glimpse into a person’s character with little doodles in the margins of books.

Pay a visit to Lincolnshire Archives and start exploring your family history – you never know who or what you might find!