The Wiltshire and Swindon History Centre is home to over 800 years of history, holding records that tell the story of the county and its people since the 12th century. On its eight miles of shelves are stored diaries, letters, books, maps, photographs, oral histories, and more, that connect Wiltshire with local, national and international events, people and places. These records were produced in the course of everyday personal, legal, business and administrative affairs, and now form a significant source of historical information for all aspects of life in Wiltshire. The Wiltshire and Swindon Archives was established in 1947 to preserve these records and make them available to the public and to academic researchers.
FREE home access to Wiltshire Parish Records and Wills on Ancestry
While tier restrictions remain in place the History Centre and Ancestry continue to provide free home access to Wiltshire Parish Registers (1538-1916) and Wiltshire Wills & Probate (1530-1858). You will be able to search more than 6.8 million names in records of baptisms, marriages and burials, as well as wills and probate, from the comfort of your own home. The collection includes:
- Wiltshire Church of England Marriages and Banns, 1754-1916
- Wiltshire Church of England Births and Baptisms, 1813-1916
- Wiltshire Church of England Baptisms, Marriages and Burials, 1538-1812
- Wiltshire Church of England Deaths and Burials, 1813-1916
- Wiltshire Wills and Probates, 1530-1858
Click on this link to search the Wiltshire records and to see the full results create a free guest account. You only need to provide an email address and password, and accept the terms and conditions of the website. This "lockdown" access is temporary and only applies to the Wiltshire records. Access to the rest of Ancestry remains behind a paywall
Search our online catalogue: Our catalogue is based on weekly extracts from our in-house database. It contains catalogues of most of our holdings, although some significant collections of school records, non-conformist records and other records are still awaiting conversion to database format. Search here.
Our search room security and document production procedures have changed. Read more here.
You can view the books recently added to our Local Studies library collection by downloading our latest Wiltshire List here.
Our History: We have produced a recent history of the Wiltshire and Swindon Archives 1987-2017
Family & House History
We now have a comprehensive guide to first steps for family historians giving tips on how to use online and other resources to establish connections as far back as 1837. For more advanced researchers looking to delve further, a guide to further steps is also now available. Wondering about the history of your property? A comprehensive guide to using our records to undertake research on buildings, land and property is now available online.
Wiltshire Wills project
We hold in our archive 105,000 historic wills dating from 1540 to 1858. This collection has now been digitised by ourselves in partnership with Ancestry and was published online at Ancestry in 2018. This supersedes the in-house Wiltshire Wills website which is not working due to technical problems beyond our control.
Policies: You can view all Wiltshire and Swindon Archives policy documents here.