Archives & Libraries

The Lincoln Central Library is situated within the Cultural Quarter located in the city centre on the edge of the main shopping area. The Library is open six days a week most weeks and has ramps for disabled access.

Consider a visit to the Lincoln Museum Of Lincolnshire Life on Burton Road while in the city center.




  • The Lincoln Burial Board was formed in 1854-5 for the nine parishes of St. Benedict, St. Botolph, St. Mark, St. Martin, St. Mary-le-Wigford, St. Michael, St. Paul, St. Peter at Arches and St. Peter at Gowts. They opened the Canwick Road Cemetery in the summer of 1856. Two funeral chapels were built and a portion of the cemetery set aside for Catholic burials. Canwick Road Cemetery is south of Lincoln and is situated off the Washingborough Road. Tele: 01522-873646.
  • St. John and St. Nicholas parishes have a burial ground in Newport. If you walk northwards along the Bail you come to Newport Arch (Roman).
  • The Lincolnshire FHS has a burial index for Newport Cemetery, part 2, covering 1901-1942. Order via the Federation of Family History Societies Bookstore.
  • St. Peter's in Eastgate and St. Margaret's in the Close have one in Eastgate at Langworthgate.
  • St. Mary Magdalen and St. Swithin's parishes have separate burial grounds. The Linconshire FHS has the St. Swithin Burial Register (1890-1999) available on four microfiche from the Federation of Family History Societies Bookstore, which allows purchased by credit card.
  • All other burial grounds within the city were closed for burial in 1856.
  • Details about Lincoln cemeteries are available at Lincoln Council site. Click on Services. [Pam Downes]
  • The microfiche version of the Lincoln City burials appears to contain burials for all the Lincoln City parishes. These in turn will have been transferred to the NBI (Nat'l Burial Index). The only exception would be Lincoln Workhouse burials. [Anne Cole]
  • Canwick Road Cemetery MIs have been recorded. The only printed copy is at Lincolnshire Archives on the open shelves. The Lincolnshire FHS has published the Cemetery Burial Registers on fiche.
  • Shelley CLACK provides a list of burials in "Lincoln Cathedral" in a Portable Document File.


  • For the Census, all the parishes were in the Lincoln Home sub-district of the Lincoln Registration District.
  • Check our Census Resource page for county-wide resources.
  • For the 1901 census, check our Census Surname Extract page for your kin.
  • The table below gives census piece numbers, where known:
Piece No.
1841H.O. 107 / 651
1851H.O. 107 / 2104 - 2106
1861R.G. 9 / 2358 & 2360, 2361
1871R.G. 10 / 3369 - 3374
1881R.G. 11 / 3239 - 3241
1891R.G. 12 / 2587 - 2596
1901R.G. 13 / 3060 - 3064


There are more than 30 churches identified in this place. Please click here for a complete list.

Church History


Church Records

  • The LFHS has published several marriage indexes for the Lincoln Deanery to make your search easier.
  • Check our Church Records page for county-wide resources.
  • We have a handful of entries extracted from the register of St. Andrews Church. Your additions are welcome.
  • Similarly, we have a token extract from the register of St. Martin Church. Your additions are welcome.
  • The registers for St. Faith's Church start in 1899, shortly after it was consecrated.
  • There were at least eleven chapels here prior to 1841 for Baptists, Independents, Wesleyan Methodists, Reformed Methodists and even the Roman Catholics. For information and assistance in researching these chapels, see our non-conformist religions page.

Civil Registration

  • The parishes were in the Lincoln Home sub-district of the Lincoln Registration District.
  • Check our Civil Registration page for sources and background on Civil Registration which started in July, 1837.

Correctional Institutions

  • The old City Gaol and Sessions House was built in 1805-09 at the junction of Lindum and Monks' roads. The prison was rebuilt in 1844 and closed in 1876.
  • H. M. Prison was on Greetwell road. It opened in June 1872 and held up to 400 male prisoners. Females were sent to Nottingham. In 1913 Major Edward R. READE was the prison governor. In 1930 Frederick W. TURNER was the governor.

Description & Travel

Lincoln is an ancient, well-built city, the capital of a county with the same name (Lincolnshire) and contains more than a dozen parishes (the count depends on the year you seek). It lies 132 miles north of London, 36 miles northwest of Boston and 18 miles southeast of Gainsborough. The city itself is bounded on the north by Riseholme and Nettleham parishes, to the west by Skellingthorpe and Boultham and on the south by Bracebridge and Canwick parishes. The city lies along the old Roman Road known as Ermine Street.

The city covers 5,280 acres, approximately. The city is easily accessed by train or motorcar. If you are planning a visit:

  • Lincoln lies where the A15 trunk road is crossed by the A46. It is also the east end of the A57 and the west end of the A158 (another Roman Road).
  • Train service still exists and will drop you at the south end of the city.
  • If you want to keep fit while visiting, check out the Active Nation Yarborough Leisure Centre.
  • Visit our touring page for more sources.
You can see pictures of Lincoln which are provided by:





  • Traces of the early Briton's hilltop fortifications have been found on the northeast part of the hill, just outside Newport Gate.
  • Lincoln became the capital of Mercia under the Saxon Heptarchy in 585 after more than a century of fighting between Britons, Saxons, Picts and others.
  • In 628, Paulinus first preached Christianity in Lincoln. By 690, there is an established Christian church hierarchy throughout England. including the paying of tithes.
  • After the Norman Conquest, many monasteries were founded in or near Lincoln. In 1068, William built Lincoln Castle to consolidate his control in the area.
  • The Romans are thought to have built a narrow, original channel between the River Witham and the River Trent. This was to become the "Foss Dyke Canal."
  • The Foss Dyke Canal was rebuilt during the reign of Henry I, allowing navigation by boat and barge from the River Witham to the River Trent.
  • In 1110, the city was nearly consumed by a fire. Then in 1185 it sustained considerable damage in one of England's rare severe earthquakes.
  • In the early years of the 13th century, Lincoln was a favorite city of King John, who spent many years here. The latter part of that century saw many Jews executed or massacred in Lincoln.
  • Just outside Bargate on Swine Green there was an Eleanor Cross erected by order of Edward I.
  • Gas lighting first came to Lincoln in 1829.
  • In 1832, Lincoln Castle, until then property of the Crown, was sold to the county magistrates.
  • The city's first city-wide sewering system was installed between 1872 and 1881.
  • In April, 1907, the former nineteen civil parishes comprising the city of Lincoln were amalgamated to form one civil parish of Lincoln.


  • See our "Maps" page for additional resources.

You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SK977718 (Lat/Lon: 53.23404, -0.538416), Lincoln which are provided by:


Medical Records

  • The Lawn was opened in 1820 as the Lincoln Asylum, and was the County's first purpose-built hospital for the treatment of the mentally ill. It was founded by Reverend Doctor WILLIS. In the mid 1980's, the hospital became surplus to health authority requirements and was closed. In 1990, The Lawn became a conference centre and site for civil marriages. It now covers about 8 acres. A history display of The Lawn is inside the complex. It is not known what patient records exist, but many patients were supported under the Poor Law Act. Tel: 01522 568-080. In 1912, The Lawn held an average of 80 patients.
  • The City Hospital and Dawber Sanatorium was on the north side of Long Leys road. In 1930 Mohan L. BERY was the residing medical officer and Miss E. O'KANE was the matron.
  • The Bromhead Institution for Nurses, founded in 1866, and the Bromhead Nursing Home were on Nettleham road. In 1930 Miss SOMERSET was the lady superintendent and the Rev. Arthur M. COOK was the chaplain.
  • The County Hospital was erected in 1878 on Sewell road. It could contain 110 patients. From 1913 through 1930 Miss Janet A. SHEPPARD was the matron.
  • The General Dispensary opened in February, 1826, on Cornhill. A new building was built on Silver street in 1879.
  • Alas, hospitals did not have to archive any patient records, but you may be able to find administrative and accounting records in the archives, along with photographs.

Military History

  • The Roman general Agricola founded a "station" or fortification at Lincoln. Later, the Romans established a "colony" here for retired legionnaires. The fort being too small, much of the colony was built south of the River Witham. The Roman army left England in 448, but most of the colonists stayed.
  • The Sabraon Barracks are situated at the 'other end' of Burton Road from the Lincolnshire Life Museum near to the Lincoln boundary, next to the Ermine West estate. The buildings occupied by the Museum of Lincolnshire Life, to give it its proper title, was formerly the Old Barracks built in 1857 for the Loyal North Lincoln Militia. This is situated close to Lincoln Castle and the Lawns Visitor Centre. {David Jassie]
  • Lieutenant Walter WILSON of the Naval Air Service and William TRITTON of William Foster & Co., based in Lincoln, produced the first landship in secrecy. Its codename, given because the shape of the shell resembled water carriers, was 'tank'. The name, assigned in December 1915, stuck.
  • To ensure the secrecy of the tanks they were building, the workers would label them "for Sheffield" or "to London".
  • In 1917 the Royal Flying Corps opened a Storage Depot Park on Longdales Road to supply aircraft spares and airfield equipment to Lincolnshire aerodromes.
  • In 1917 (possibly the year before) the Ministry of Defense opened an Aircraft Acceptance Park in Lincoln West Common. Aircraft from local manufacturers were delivered here and any necessary service modifications were performed before the craft were flown to RFC and RNAS fields. This park closed in 1919 and the function moved to RAF Bracebridge Heath.
  • In 1930 the Lincolnshire and Leicestershire Infantry (138th) Brigade were at the Old Barracks on Burton road. Col. G. H. MARTIN, OBE and DSO commanding.

Military Records

Michael Peck tells us "There are over 300 completed questionnaires at Lincs Archives Office which relate to soldiers killed in WW1." See his list of names from the questionnaires in a pop-up text file.

Corporal James UPTON from Lincoln earned the Victoria Cross in France in May, 1915 and later toured England as a hero on a recruitment drive.


Names, Geographical

  • The name of Lincoln comes from a combination of Celtic and Latin, lindo+colonia or "Roman colony by the pool". The name is ancient, and the Celtic portion, Lincoit, refers to the broad pool made by the River Witham at the edge of the old city. The pool was much larger in ancient times than today. About 150 AD, the name appears as Lindon. In the late 7th century, after the Romans had departed, we see the form of Lindum colonia and in the 1086 Domesday Book as Lincolia.
  • The name also became applied, by the 11th century, to the large area around the city, Lincolnshire, by appending the Old English scir, for "district".
    A. D. Mills, "A Dictionary of English Place-Names," Oxford University Press, 1991.

Politics & Government

  • In the third year of George I, the "Liberty of Lincoln" was established to include the four townships of Bracebridge, Canwick, Branston and Waddington with Lincoln City proper. It was the largest such liberty in England.
  • For governance, all 23 parishes were in the ancient Lincoln Liberty in the Lincoln City district and parts of Lindsey.
  • In April, 1907, the 19 Civil Parishes comprising the city of Lincoln were amalgamated into the one Civil Parish of Lincoln.

Poor Houses, Poor Law

  • Bastardy cases would be heard in the petty session hearings.
  • Thomas SUTTON, who died 11 November 1611, left an estate which produced just over £300 yearly, which was paid out in £8 sums to the poorest inhabitants of the city.
  • There were at least a dozen other charities, some dating back over 500 years, to assist the poor.
  • As a result of the 1834 Poor Law Amendment Act, the parish became the centre of the Lincoln Poor Law Union.
  • Saint Anne's Bede Houses were on Sewell road in 1847 and still functioned in 1930. In 1900 the Rev. Edwin Richard KEMP was the chaplain and warden.
  • In the early 1900s Lincoln was the site for the Lincoln and Lincolnshire Home for Girls in Carline road. In 1900 Miss Annie Elizabeth LYON was the matron. In 1913 Miss Lucy TAYLOR was the matron.
  • The city also housed Saint Hugh's Home for Boys at Newport House, Newport. In 1913, W. D. KEELEY was the master.



Probate Records

Ros DUNNING provides a transcript of the will of Esther ELLISON of Lincoln Close.

Ros DUNNING provides a transcript of the will of Sophia SWAN of Lincoln Close.



  • The first school in Lincoln was the Blue Coat School (Christ's Hospital) established in 1602 by Richard SMITH, MD. The Linconshire FHS has the Christ's Hospital Admission Book (1832-1879) available from the Federation of Family History Societies Bookstore, which allows purchased by credit card. The book is a transcript of the register which gives (in most entries) Surname, forename, parish of origin, date admitted, date of baptism, date apprenticed or left, master's name, occupation and "other information". A4 bound book (made in-house) 54 pages. £2.15.
  • The Grammar School in St. Swithin's Square has occupied the Grey Friary since 1567.
  • For more on researching school records, see our Schools Research page.