Online local studies and family history

We have a number of different online resources where you can search your family history and discover your past.

Ancestry website

Discover your family history and build a family tree with the world's largest genealogy website. Search birth records, census data, obituaries and more. 

Available on all public access PCs in our libraries, free of charge, to all library members.

Find my Past

Using the computers at your local library you can get full access to England, Wales and Scotland's census records and easy-to-search birth, marriage and death records.

Find my Past has the UK's largest collection of parish records, historical British newspapers and much more. 

Unfortunately we are not able to offer this service to users at home.  You can download records in the library, and then access them at home from your account.

The 1921 Census

The 1921 census is free for library users to access in libraries on the Find my Past website. 

How to use Find my Past

Keep up to date with the latest news from Find My Past through the accompanying blog on the Find My Past website.

Be guided through some vital points in research in the getting started section of the Find my Past website

Cumbria Image Bank 

Cumbria Image Bank is a collection of digital images created using original material from Cumberland and Westmorland and Furness Libraries and Cumbria Archives.

You can view 25,000 images dating back to the mid eighteenth century covering the whole of Cumbria.

Search the Cumbria Image Bank website

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography

The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography contains 50,000 specially written, illustrated biographies of the men and women who shaped all aspects of Britain's past.

Search the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography

Oxford Dictionary of Family Names in Britain and Ireland

The dictionary contains family names of the UK, covering English, Scottish, Welsh, Irish, Cornish and immigrant surnames.

Search the Oxford Dictionary of Family Names in Britain and Ireland

Access to Research

Discover a world of published academic research at your local library.

Student, independent researchers and small businesses can now access many of the world's best academic papers through their local libraries, a result of a unique collaboration between librarians and publishers, who have made their journal content available for free.

Over 1.5 million academic articles are available for research from all Westmorland and Furness libraries.

Search on the Access to Research website

British Newspaper Archive

Available to search on PCs within the Library only. Please create your own account to provide free access from within the Library and be able to download records to look at again at home

The British Newspaper Archive is an online newspaper archive created by the partnership between FindmyPast and the British Library. FindmyPast has spent over ten years working with the British Library to digitise their vast newspaper collection and create an easy-to-use online search experience. Our continued commitment to this epic endeavour means there are now millions of pages of news available online to search and explore.

Search on the British Newspaper Archive website

Resources on the Great War

Resources on the Great War including the list of soldiers compiled from newspapers can be found at Cumbria Archive website.

Cumberland libraries provides access to digital media from a range of providers. Use of these services are subject to the provider's terms and conditions. Cumberland Libraries accepts no responsibility for materials accessed from the provider. Parents or guardians are responsible for guiding young people in their use of these services whether these are accessed on the internet or apps.