Dorset Family History

If you’re looking for ancestors, local history, genealogy or family history in Dorset, England, these online resources will help you in your research.


  • Dorset History Centre
    The archives service and local studies library for Bournemouth, Christchurch, Dorset and Poole.

Births, Marriages & Deaths

  • Dorset Parish Records
    Baptisms, marriages and burials in Dorset from 1538 onwards.
  • Dorset BMDs
    Search more than 1 million birth, marriage and death records from 1837-2006.
  • FreeBMD
  • Dorset Death Certificate Index
    The Dorset DCI lets you search and view death certificates for free. The certificates have been donated by family historians, and you can also donate a certificate if you wish.

Burials & Cemeteries

Census Records

  • Dorset Census 1841-1921
    Search the census records from 1841-1921, plus the 1939 Register all at once.
  • FreeCen
    Has a good, but not complete, selection of free records to search and view.

Criminals and Convicts

Electoral Registers



Historical Directories

Local History


Medical and Hospital Records

  • Dorset County Hospital Records
    The history of Dorset County Hospital website has a wealth of information and records about the hospital, its staff, and patients. You can see burial registers, admissions, census returns, staff records, directories, newspaper reports, and more. The site contains information from when the hospital first opened in 1841 until it became part of the NHS in 1948.

Military Records

Newspaper Archives


Poor Law Records

Societies and Groups

Wills and Probate