Thanks to Hampshire Archives and Local Studies and Ancestry, 500 years of fascinating historical documents held at Hampshire Record Office have been digitised and made available online and searchable for the first time.
Through this partnership we’re bringing the past to life, with the release of our newly digitised probate records and parish registers. Probate records are made up of wills, administrations, and inventories (documents relating to a deceased person’s estate). They were proved in the church courts of Winchester Diocese until 1857/8. The parish registers are Church of England baptisms, banns, marriages and burials for Hampshire parishes in Winchester Diocese, from the 16th century up to 1921.
You can access this valuable information free onsite at Hampshire Record Office, where our experts are on hand to help you with your search, or pay a visit to any of Hampshire County Council's 40 public libraries and log in using a public computer. This means you can research Hampshire family records without paying, while enjoying a welcoming space to spend some time, connect with others, or to work or study. Or, if you can’t visit your local library, anyone anywhere in the world can learn about their Hampshire roots with an Ancestry membership.
Featured in the records are fascinating tales of Hampshire residents’ lives including:
- Details of Jane Austen’s baptism in 1775 in Steventon
- In 1604, Thomas Hancock wrote his will and handed it to his friends on the end of a pole at Hawley Common. You don’t need to be nine feet away to read this will, as it’s now available online.
Whether you’re interested in exploring your own family tree and genealogy or delving into the lives of Hampshire’s most notable residents, like Florence Nightingale and novelist Charlotte Mary Yonge, there’s so much to discover.