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"This county is situated in the province of Canterbury, in the diocese of Salisbury, and contains 29 hundreds, one city, 15 boroughs, and 10 other market-towns. On the north and west side of it lies Gloucestershire; its western boundary is Somersetshire; Dorsetshire confines its southern extremity; and Hampshire and Berkshire inclose it on the east. Its extreme length is 54 miles, and breadth 34, and its area measures about 878,000 acres. The air of Wiltshire like that of other counties, is various, according to the different parts of it, but on the whole it is agreeable and salubrious. On the downs and higher parts, it is sharp and clear; in the vallies mild, even in winter. Over the extensive wilds, called Salisbury plain, roam immense flocks of sheep, who with their shepherds, are the sole tenants, if the bustard, the wheatear, and a few other solitary birds be excepted, which avoid the haunts of men. The summer stock of sheep on these plains and downs, is computed to be 500,000. The rivers of this county are the Lower Avon; the Thames or Isis; the Cole; the Kennet; the Bourne; the Upper Avon; the Willey; and the Nadder."

[Extract from Pigot & Co's London & Provincal New Commercial Directory, 1822-3]

  1. All Wiltshire pages may be searched using the GENUKI Search engine.

  2. Researchers may find one or more of the Wiltshire Mailing Lists useful in their research.

Archives and Libraries

The record office (now named Wiltshire and Swindon Archives) and Wiltshire Local Studies Library moved from Trowbridge to the Wiltshire and Swindon History Centre at Chippenham, opened on 31st October 2007. It includes Archaeology, Conservation, Museum services and the Wiltshire Buildings Record.

Some of our text may still mention the record office and library at Trowbridge; we will update these in due course.

The address is Wiltshire and Swindon History Centre, Cocklebury Road, Chippenham, Wiltshire SN15 3QN.

For map, phone, email, opening times see their menu for "Visiting the History Centre" .

Below is a list of the major, and some less well known, repositories.





Church History

Church Records

Civil Registration

Civil Registration of Births, Marriages and Deaths in England and Wales began on July 1st 1837. Copies of certificates may be obtained from either the General Register Office (GRO), or from a Superintendent's Registrar's Office of the District at which the event was first registered. If the District no longer exists, this would be the Office to which its registers have been moved.

Correctional Institutions

Description and Travel



Emigration and Immigration



There are active and helpful mailing lists - see the GENUKI Mailing Lists page - section for Wiltshire. Note that for most lists you can view past messages as threaded archives, or search for text within past messages. Here are the main page, search page and threaded message page for relevant lists:

Historical Geography



Medical Records

Military History



Poorhouses, Poor Law, etc

Probate Records


Social Life and Customs



Voting Registers