Family history resources

The following are available at the local studies library.

National sources

  • Free access to Ancestry Library Edition - the major online resource for family history research.
  • General Register Office Indexes of Births, Marriages and Deaths 1837-1997, England and Wales (Microfiche)
  • International Genealogical Index, British Isles, 1988 and 1992 editions (Microfiche)
  • British Isles Genealogical Register (Microfiche)
  • 1881 census and index, England and Wales (Microfiche)
  • Family Search (British Isles IGI, Ancestral File, Family History Library Catalogue) (CDROM)
  • British Isles Vital Records Index (CDROM)
  • 1851 census index: Devon, Norfolk, Warwickshire (CDROM)
  • 1881 British Census and National Index (CDROM)
  • 1891 Census London (CDROM)
  • National Burial Index (CDROM)
  • Soldiers Died in the Great War (CDROM)

Local Sources

  • Parish registers (Microfilm)
  • Census returns 1841-1881 (Microfilm)
  • Census returns 1891, 1901 (Microfiche)
  • Kent directories (Microfiche)
  • Newspapers (Microfilm)


Bromley covers the ancient parishes of Beckenham, Bromley, Chelsfield, Chislehurst, Cudham, Downe, Farnborough, Hayes, Keston, Orpington, St Mary Cray, St Paul's Cray, and West Wickham, with the hamlets of Mottingham and Penge. Penge was formerly in Surrey, the rest in Kent.


  • more than 20 Anglican churches, including registers from the 16th century
  • Bromley poor law union
  • businesses
  • landed estates
  • schools
  • societies and charities
  • tithe maps and apportionments
The Bromley Archives Online Catalogue is now available but as many of the archives are still to be catalogued  please contact the Local Studies Library to discuss your requirements. In some cases it will be necessary to order documents in advance of your visit.

General Guides

The following published guides cover our area and include some of our holdings. All are available in the Local Studies Library. Check the Bromley Library catalogue for details.
  • Kent Bibliography and Supplement
  • Kent Maps and Plans
  • Bibliography of Printed Sources for the History of London to 1939
  • Sources for the history of London 1939-1945

Family History Guides

  • West Kent Sources (NW Kent Family History Society)
  • Kent: a Genealogist's Bibliography
  • County Sources in the Library of the Society of Genealogists: Kent
  • Gibson Guides (FFHS)
  • Publications of Kent FHS and NWKent FHS
  • List of Family History websites 

We hold registers (original or microfilm) of all the ancient Anglican parishes in the borough except West Wickham. Most of them earlier than 1900 have been microfilmed and can be consulted online at FamilySearch or in person at Latter Day Saints Family History Centres.
Some transcripts have been published on microfiche by Kent Family History Society. These and other transcripts are available in the library of the Society of Genealogists.

Using the Archives

  • Anyone can use the resources, you do not need to be a member of the library.
  • Items are kept in a secure strong room and take time to retrieve so if you are intending visiting the library contact us in advance so we can get items ready for your arrival.
  • If you wish to use Ancestry Library Edition it is advisable to book in advance.
  • To protect fragile resources microfilm if available will be produced in preference to original documents.
  • For security reasons researchers are asked to sign a register. 
    Please bring pencil and paper for note-taking and a £1 coin for a locker for your personal possessions.
  • You are welcome to use laptop computers.