Family history

We are the main service for tracing your family history in the London Borough of Bromley and its predecessor authorities. We hold a number of national and local sources as well as an extensive collection of family history books and journals including guides to carrying out genealogical research.

We hold local parish registers for baptisms, marriages and burials and we can supply certified copies of baptism certificates  for the Church of England parishes located in the London Borough of Bromley.

National sources

Free access to Ancestry Library Edition - the major online resource for family history research. It's simple to use,  but staff are happy to provide help if it is required. Ancestry includes censuses for many countries including England, Wales and Scotland from 1841 to 1911, as well as military, school, immigration/emigration, electoral, court and probate records.

Access is also available through our Public Network computers to a variety of free online genealogical sources.

Local sources

  • Parish registers (Microfilm) 
  • Kent and Bromley street and trade directories (Microfiche and hard copy)
  • Newspapers 1874 to date (Microfilm)
  • Voters lists and electoral registers 1833 to date (Hard copy)
  • Settlement examinations

Parish records

Bromley Historic Collections service is the Diocesan Record Office for Deaneries of Bromley, Beckenham and Orpington.  

These deaneries include the ancient parishes of Beckenham, Bromley, Chelsfield, Chislehurst, Cudham, Downe, Farnborough, Hayes, Keston, Orpington, St Mary Cray, St Paul's Cray and Penge.  Penge was formerly in Surrey, the rest in Kent.

Most of the records earlier than 1900 have been microfilmed and transcripts 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.

The parishes of West Wickham and Mottingham are in the Diocese of Southwark.  We don’t at present have records relating to these parishes.  Please contact the churches for information on their records.

Poor law records

The poor law records can give insight into the lives of individuals who required aid from poor law authorities or who had spent time in the workhouse. You can view indexes to some of the workhouse creed registers.

Other archive collections:

  • businesses 
  • landed estates 
  • schools 
  • societies and charities 
  • tithe maps and apportionments 

Historic collections

Address: Central library, High Street, Bromley, BR1 1EX

Telephone: 020 3931 0907