Copies of family history records are held at Gateshead Central Library and available without appointment.
An overview of material we hold can be found below.
Church Records & Family History
We hold a number of Church of England parish registers, Roman Catholic registers and Nonconformist registers, though we do not hold all parish records relating to the Gateshead borough. Our registers include baptisms (not births), banns, marriages, deaths and burials.
Most of our registers are held on microfilm – if you would like to view our registers we recommend phoning or emailing ahead to book a film reader and to ensure the item you need is available.
A basic listing of our records is attached at the side of this page.
We also hold some Church of England Parish record transcripts in book format, most of which are from parishes outside Gateshead. These can be found on our Library Catalogue
The easiest way to search the census is online. Gateshead Library members can access the subscription website Ancestry Library (part of Ancestry.co.uk) free of charge in any Gateshead library. The site contains UK census records from 1841 to 1911, but also other family history records from the UK, Europe and beyond.
Microfilm or microfiche
Copies of the census enumerators’ record books from 1841 -1901 are also available on microfilm or microfiche. Indexes to individual streets have been compiled, but this more traditional method of census searching does not have the facility of searching by name.
The library holds records of transcriptions of epitaphs and gravestones for a number of parishes and cemeteries across the North East region.
Marriage Bonds, Wills, Obituaries, Poll Books and Rate Books
We hold a small number of these. Some can be found on our Library Catalogue and others are available on microfilm or microfiche.
"Voters’ lists" is one of the terms used to describe people in a household who had a vote. Other terms you may come across include "Electors’ lists", "Electoral registers" and "Burgess rolls". We hold most registers for Gateshead from 1832 to date. Please note:
- There were no registers compiled between 1914 and 1920
- Prior to 1974 we only hold registers for the historic Gateshead borough which was much smaller than today.*
- Women over 30 were granted the vote in 1918 and almost everyone over the age of 21 could take part in an election by 1928.
*In 1974 the present Metropolitan Borough of Gateshead was created by amalgamating Gateshead County Borough, the Urban Districts of Felling, Whickham, Blaydon and Ryton and half of Chester-le-Street Rural District (the Birtley and Lamesley portion). Records for these areas are held by Durham Libraries/Durham Records Office.
Birth, marriages, deaths / certificates
From 1837 births, marriage and deaths in England and Wales were registered and you should be able to obtain a copy of certificates from your local register office.
The register office for Gateshead is located at Gateshead Civic Centre. Please note libraries do not hold copies of certificates.
You can search the register of births, marriage and deaths at Newcastle City Library or online at websites like Ancestry (available in all Gateshead libraries) or freebmd. Gateshead Libraries do not hold a copy of the register.
All records relating to burials within Gateshead's ten cemeteries and cremation records are held by the Bereavement Services section at Gateshead Civic Centre.