"Leicestershire, inland, bounded N. by Notts, E. by Lincolnshire and Rutland, SE. by Northamptonshire, SW by Warwickshire, and NW. by Derbyshire; greatest length, about 44 miles; greatest breadth, about 40 miles; area, 511,907 acres, population, 321,258. Low undulating hills cover the surface of the county, the highest elevation being Fardon Hill (902 ft.), in the Charnwood range. Charnwood Forest, in the NW., is now nearly destitute of trees. The principal rivers are tributaries of the Trent, which flows in the NW. of the county; these are the Soar, Wreak, Anker, Devon, and Mease. The Avon and Welland flow in the S. Two canals, the Union and the Grand Union, are connected with the Grand Junction Canal. Much of the soil is loamy, and the richest districts are kept in pasture, upon which are reared the varieties of sheep and cattle for which the county is famous. Dairy farms are numerous, especially in the vicinity of Melton Mowbray, where the well-known Stilton cheese is largely produced. Leicestershire consists mostly of the new red sandstone formation. The coal measures have a total area of ahout 15 square miles, the most productive mines being in the neighbourhood of Ashby de la Zouch. Hosiery is the leading manufacture, the wool employed being that of Leicestershire sheep."
[Bartholomew's Gazetteer of the British Isles, 1887]


Archives and Libraries

Please see our Archives, Libraries and Museums page.



Farrell, Jerome (1987), "Family Forbears. A guide to tracing your family tree in the Leicestershire Record Office." Leicestershire Museums, Art Galleries and Records Service, paperback, ISBN-13: 978-0850222197.



Cemeteries, list of addresses and phone numbers, choose Cemeteries, then England, then Leicestershire

Hinckley and Bosworth District Council also have a page on cemeteries they maintain.

Cemeteries of the City of Leicester, from Leicestershire and Rutland FHS.

You can e-mail the Burial Board of the City of Leicester, but they won't do blanket searches for you. You must be precise. Or you can phone them at: 0116-252-7382



Our census page for England gives general information.

The 1851 Census for Leicestershire has been indexed by the Leicestershire & Rutland Family History Society. The whole index is available on microfiche. The society has also published 24 volumes in printed form.

At last report (2019), portions of the 1861 census may be missing.


Church Records

The Society of Genealogists holds copies of a variety of parish registers from Leicestershire churches which can be studied at their library in London.

Details of Quaker Records are set out on a county by county basis on the Quaker Family History Society website. Parts of North Leicestershire are included under Notts. and Derbys.

Ted Wildy's UK Marriage witness index has entries for Leicestershire.

If you are looking for Methodist ancestors, start with a visit to The Methodist Heritage site.


Civil Registration

Copies of birth, death and marriage certificates can be obtained from the General Register Office who have an online system for ordering, or from local offices as described below.

The article  Local Registry Offices in England and Wales shows the remaining local register offices in the county as;

Leicester - The Register Office, Town Hall, Town Hall Square, Leicester LE1 9BG

Leicestershire - The Register Office, County Hall, Leicester Road, Glenfield, Leicester LE3 8RN

Leicestershire Registration Services have web pages showing how to obtain Copy Certificates required for family history/genealogy.

How and Where do I get a copy certificate.

Mike Foster has provided an online transcript of the GRO marriage index (also known as the St. Catherines House Marriage Index) for Leicestershire for the March quarter, 1849.


Description and Travel

The Leicester Mercury site has local and community information.

The Leicestershire County Council website has a section for Leisure and Community.

Leicestershire Parish Councils have pages for many councils, accessed through interactive maps.



Leicestershire is included in Graham Jaunay's Online English Names Directory cataloguing the research interests of a number of Internet users.

We have a list giving details of the various county-based mailing lists, with several for Leicestershire.

The UK GenWeb Project maintains a number of pages of interest to Leicestershire Researchers on its web site. These include bulletin boards relating to queries, obituaries, and biographies, there are also links to family histories.



The East Midlands Oral History Archive site has over 550 recordings, and also has An on-line guide to the history of Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland.

British History Online provides an extensive history of the Gartree Hundred, around Market Harborough. This is material from the Victoria County History.

In the Anglo-Saxon period the area was originally in the territory of the Middle Angles and later Mercia. After the Danish invasions it was included in the Danelaw, whose boundary ran on the south-western boundary of the shire.



See separate page on Leicestershire Maps.


Military History

The Royal Leicestershire Regiment Museum Collection is within the New Walk Museum and Art Gallery, 53 New Walk, Leicester, LE1 7EA. Tel: 0116 225 4900.


Military Records

Search Leicestershire War Memorials database for men and women who fell in two World Wars.


Names, Geographical

In 1087, the first recorded use of the name was as Laegrecastrescir.



The Record Office for Leicestershire, Leicester & Rutland (See above) holds copies of the following local papers:-

Leicester Journal 1759 - 1920
Leicester Herald 1792 - 1795
1827 - 1833
Leicester Chronicle 1812 - 1979
Leicestershire Mercury 1836 - 1864
Leicester(shire) Advertiser 1842 to date
Leicester Guardian 1857 - 1876
1899 - 1906
Midland Free Press 1858 - 1917
Leicester Daily Post 1872 - 1921
Leicester Mercury 1874 to date
Coalville Times 1893 - 1925


The Wigston Framework Knitters Museum, located in an 18 century knitter's home and workshop, contains a number of original hand frames.


Poor Houses, Poor Law, etc.

The 1834 Poor Law Amendment Act replaced the old system of 'outdoor' relief with a network of workhouses where those requiring support had to reside. Groups of parishes were joined together into unions each of which had its own workhouse. There were eleven poor law unions in Leicestershire. The parishes/places comprising each of the unions ( Ashby-de-la-Zouch, Barrow-upon-Soar, Billesdon, Blaby, Hinckley, Leicester, Loughborough, Lutterworth, Market Bosworth, Market Harborough and Melton Mowbray) are set out on a separate page.

See also a separate advice page re Atherstone PLU which is NOT in Leicestershire (it is in Warwick), but this page is presented to assist those researching their Leicester county roots.

Details of the records of these unions are set out in Gibson & Rogers, "Poor Law Union Records. 2: The Midlands and Northern England" published by the Federation of Family History Societies.

Most records giving details of inmates of the Poor Law Unions in Leicestershire are held at The Record Office for Leicestershire, Leicester & Rutland. Staff lists were held centrally (to prevent discharged employees obtaining a post with another union) and are now held at The National Archives .

Peter Higginbotham's Workhouses Web Site has many pages about the operation of workhouses and the 1834 Poor Law Amendment Act.

Guy Etchells has transcribed an extract from White's History, Gazetteer and Directory of the Counties of Leicester and Rutland. 1863 describing the background to the 1834 Poor Law Amendment Act and the operation of the Act in Leicestershire.



The Leicestershire & Rutland Family History Society has its own web site providing details of its monthly meetings which are held in Leicester, Loughborough, Market Harborough, Melton Mowbray, Hinckley and Oakham, and its publications.

The Leicestershire Archaeological & Historical Society holds its meetings at the Council Room, New Walk Museum, Princess Road West, Leicester. Contents of the society's publications, the "Leicestershire Historian" and its transactions are listed on its web site, which also has useful links to other local organisations.