Many record series are useful sources for genealogy, mainly for the researcher who knows where certain ancestors were at a certain date, these additional sources may then help to put flesh on the bare bones of baptism, marriage and burial dates. The following are some of the principal sources held by the Bedfordshire Archives & Records Service
Bedfordshire wills have been indexed by surname from 1484 to 1858
The office holds the National Probate Calendar of Wills for the whole country from 1858 to 1943
The Bedfordshire census material for 1841, 1851, 1861, 1871, 1881 and 1891 is available, of which 1851 and 1881 have been indexed.
International Genealogical Index
The IGI microfiche index of baptisms and marriages for all England is available
Quarter Sessions 1714-1901
Bedfordshire Quarter Sessions records have been available for some years and are very well catalogued, with copious personal names noted. Those for 1714-1830 are best searched on The National Archives Discovery site; those for 1831-1901 A list of the Non-Church of England Parish Registers held by the . can be searched on the Bedfordshire Archives & Records Service's own online catalogue.
Poor Law Union Records 1834-1948
Bedfordshire Poor Law Union records have been available for some years and are very well catalogued, with copious personal names noted. At the moment these names can only be extracted by searching the printed catalogue. However, the National Archives are putting the Bedfordshire Poor Law Union records on the Internet as a pilot project and it will then be easier to search for personal names.
Other records that are useful in adding to the picture of your ancestors' lives and deeds include:
- a FAMILY index of surnames occurring in record series;
- title deeds and manorial records;
- enclosure awards;
- valuation maps and records, particularly the surveys of 1910 and 1925;
- settlement, bastardy and apprenticeship records found in individual parish collections and listed by surname in a separate index;
- Bedford apprentices and pauper apprentices list;
- index of prisoners in Bedford Gaol (1800-1836);
- Bedfordshire Parish Poor Law Papers (1622-1834);
- trade directories such as Kellys;
- School records, particularly admission registers;
- Newspapers, with partial indexes of Bedfordshire Times and Bedfordshire Mercury indexed by parish.