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Please use this form to request research to be carried out on your behalf.

Members are entitled to four free lookups in each membership year. Lookups are defined as one name in one record; anything more counts as research and we normally charge for this. We will contact you before we start the work.


A lookup is a search for one event in one record:

  • it should normally include a name, an event, a date, and a location e.g. the Marriage of Thomas PAINE and Mary at All Saints about 1836; or James WILSON on 1881 Census for Durham; or Will of Matthew GAMET of Alnwick 1856-1860
  • please be concise – we do not need your life history
  • but please give sufficient extra information to help us find that particular record
  • we can carry out searches on the records kept in the library at Percy House; and in other databases e.g. the GRO index (England and Wales – 1837 onwards); the National Census (1841 onwards); the National Probate Calendar (1858 onwards)
  • it does NOT include visits to other local repositories
  • it does NOT include certificates (births, deaths, and marriages) from 1837. For these you will need to purchase the certificate from the General Register Office (
  • we can search for records elsewhere i.e. other than Northumberland and Durham, but normally we do not have access to non-local transcripts
  • searches will cover two years either side of the year specified (five consecutive years)
  • large towns such as Newcastle, Gateshead, Sunderland, Durham City, or South Shields had several parishes and churches and in these cases simply stating the name of the town may not suffice
  • ‘blanket’ searches of un-indexed material cannot be undertaken
  • we will normally start with a search in our computer database
  • we may also use our discretion and local knowledge to look at other records

Please be clear and concise with your instructions; and do not forget to include people’s names. ‘Grandfather’ is not usually helpful!



Research request (lookups)
e.g. baptism, marriage, burial, census, GRO index, probate, monumental inscriptions, passenger lists
Try to be as accurate as you can - if it is too vague we are likely to reject it
But do give sufficient extra information to help us search

[Last updated: 14th November 2017]