Researching your family history

Major resources are available locally to help you trace your family history, even if your ancestors are not from Solihull.
Library members can have 3 hours' free access on library computers or use the free library wifi on your own devices to get unlimited access.

Ancestry website - available at Solihull libraries

You can access census returns 1841 to 1901 for England, Wales, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man, as well as birth, marriage and death indexes for England and Wales 1837 to 2005. The site also includes parish registers for churches in Warwickshire (including in Solihull).

Our help sheets explain how to search the census records and the births, marriages and deaths indexes.

You will need your library card to access the Ancestry website. Library membership is free.

Find My Past website - available at Solihull libraries

The Find My Past website has now made available the 1921 Census for library customers, from 1 November 2022.

It also includes earlier Censuses, birth, marriage and death indexes 1837-2006 (including GRO Overseas indexes) as well as migration and military records. From January 2022, worldwide access is available, including Irish records.

You will need your library card to access Find My Past. Library membership is free.

General Register Office (GRO) indexes

One of the most useful records for family historians, these are indexes of birth, marriage and death certificates. Indexes 1837 to 2003 are available on microfiche free of charge.

National Probate Calendars

1858 to 1943 on microfiche.

These are indexes to wills proved in England & Wales between 1858 and 1943.

Divorce indexes

1858 to 1958 on microfilm.

Summary details of divorce and matrimonial causes files 1858 to 1945 and 1950 to 1958. No indexes survive for the years 1946 to 1948 but brief details of petitions received are recorded in the Divorce Receipt Books.

Local census returns for Solihull

Census returns for places in the borough 1841 to 1901 are available on microfilm and microfiche (depending on year).

Census records

The 1881 census is available on microfiche and CD for England and Wales.

The 1851 census for the counties of Devon, Norfolk and Warwickshire is also available on CD.

Electoral registers 1832 to the present day

These list people entitled to vote in elections. We have copies of the registers on microfilm from:

  • 1832 to 1915
  • 1920 to 1939
  • 1945 to 1974

As well as bound volumes from 1974 to the present day

Church registers on microfilm

Registers of baptisms, marriages and burials for the parishes of:

  • Balsall
  • Barston
  • Berkswell
  • Bickenhill
  • Castle Bromwich
  • Elmdon
  • Hampton-in-Arden
  • Knowle
  • Meriden
  • Solihull

International Genealogical Index (IGI)/FamilySearch

The IGI acts as an index to church baptism and marriage records and is available for the UK on microfiche at Solihull Central Library. It is most useful if you are searching for the period before 1812 but there are some later entries listed.


Warwickshire Advertiser 1806 to 1960 on microfilm

Solihull News (previously Warwick County News) 1930 to date, on microfilm.

Trade directories for Birmingham and Warwickshire

A range of directories are available for Warwickshire and Birmingham.

Monumental inscriptions

For some local parishes as well as a number further a field elsewhere in Warwickshire, Worcestershire and Staffordshire.

Military records

Was your ancestor in the armed forces? There are records available that can help you to trace them.