Please note:

  • The library service is moving to a new Library Management System and there will be some disruptions to services whilst this takes place from 23 April - 1 May. Our online catalogue and renewal service will be unavailable.  Find out more here. 
  • Due to unforeseen circumstances there will be no West Mobile Library Service on Tues 24, Wed 25, Fri 27 and Sat 28 April. We apologise for any inconvenience caused

Find out how to research your family tree using various resources. From tips on where to start to information on what resources libraries have to help you in your search, you are sure to find everything you need here.

Ancestry Library Edition


We subscribe to and provide free access to the Ancestry Library Edition. Our subscription only allows you to use Ancestry Library Edition on library computers.  A huge amount of information is available from Ancestry. For example, census records from 1841 - 1911 for England and Wales, Birth, Marriages and Death Indexes from 1837, military information as well as a huge number of records from America and throughout the world.

Click here to use Ancestry Library Edition.

Find My Past


Bring your past to life and build your family tree with our fantastic new subscription to Find My Past. Search births, deaths and marriages, census records, the 1939 Register and much more. You can create your own account and use the information you find to build a family tree. Please note that you can use your Find My Past account anywhere but you will only get unlimited access from our subscription while on a library computer.

Click here to use Find My Past

British Newspaper Archive


The British Newspaper Archive has over 6 million pages of historical newspapers searchable by keyword, newspaper, location, name date or title. Look for family notices, obituaries, advertisements, letters and news. A snapshot of the past – ideal for family and local historians and for historical research.

You can narrow your search by date, newspaper, region and place. So if you want to read the Morpeth Herald from the 4 November 1854 or the Newcastle Journal from 1711 then this is the ideal resource for you.

Please note the first time you use this resource you will need to set up an account.  To set up an account click on “register” at the top of the webpage and fill in the form.  You will be automatically signed in after registering.  If you already has an account you will need to click on “sign-in”.  When you are signed on the “Sign-In” option is replaced with your name.

The British Newspaper Archive can only be used in the library. Click here to use The British Newspaper Archive.

Family History eMagazines


Library members can now download eMagazines for free.  

Two of the eMagazines available are Who Do You Think You Are and Your Family History.  Full of tips and advice it is sure to help you in your research.  Once you have downloaded the magazine you can keep it for as long as you wish.  

You can use your smartphone, tablet or PC to read the magazine on.  If you use the RBDigital app magazines can also be read offline once they have been downloaded to your device. eMagazines can also be read on the Library PCs.

eMagazines can be used at home or in the library. Click here to find out more about eMagazines.



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We have books to help you start your family history research, these can be borrowed from your local library. All Northumberland Public Libraries lending books can be requested free of charge and delivered to your local Northumberland public library. Our books help you get started with your family history, give tips on Internet searching, and help make your research easier. Our local studies collections can show you what life was like in Northumberland so you can step back in time.

Click here to search the library catalogue to find out what family history books are available.

Getting copies of a Certificate

Certificates issued in Northumberland

Each Register Office within Northumberland keeps the original Births, Deaths and Marriages Registers for its own District from 1837 to the present day.

You can order a copy of a certificate through our register offices if the certificate was issued in Northumberland after 1837 for just £10 per certificate (or £20 priority service). You can even order your certificate online or by telephone

For more information please visit Northumberland County Council Births, Marriages and Deaths.


Certificates issued outside Northumberland

For certificates issued outside Northumberland, contact the General Register Office. Click on the links below for:


Woodhorn Library is located at Woodhorn Museum and it is part of Northumberland Archives Service. It is known as the Local Studies Library. You can use the books by visiting Northumberland Archives at Woodhorn Museum and if you wish to borrow books this can be arranged through your local library. The books can be searched on the Library catalogue and are listed as location ‘WDH’. So please contact your library if you are interested in borrowing one of the books.

Woodhorn library also includes many magazines and journals relating to the history of Northumberland.

Please click here to find out what else is available at Woodhorn.

Information on Microfilm and Microfiche

Some of our libraries have microfilm and microfiche readers enabling you to read local newspapers on microfilm from as early as 1855.

Other collections are available on microfilm and microfiche too.  Readers are available at Alnwick, Berwick, Blyth and Hexham.

Experienced Staff to answer queries

Library staff can offer help and guidance on family history if you need it. Library staff can offer advice on how to get started when researching your family tree.  Please note there may be charges involved with this service. Please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or ask at your local library for more information.