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Dorset History Centre has worked with the family history website digitise Dorset records. This means that many of our most important family history sources can now be viewed online. 

Ancestry is an international family history website which allows you to search records of your ancestors, and then view images of the original records. Dorset History Centre have uploaded copies of documents related to family history. The website can be accessed without charge at Dorset History Centre and in libraries across Dorset, Bournemouth and Poole.

Access to use Ancestry

  • Ancestry Institution - free access on-site at Dorset History Centre
  • - pay-per-view or by subscription access from home

  • Ancestry Library Edition - free access through libraries in Dorset, Bournemouth and Poole (if you live outside the county, check with your local library to see if they offer this service)

Dorset collections on Ancestry

Images of these original documents are now available on Ancestry:

  • Alehouse Licence Records, 1754-1821
  • Baptisms 1538-1906 ***
  • Bastardy Records, 1821-1853
  • Births and Baptisms, 1813-1906 ***
  • Burials 1538-2001***
  • Calendars of Prisoners, 1854-1904
  • Confirmations, 1850-1921
  • Convict Transportation Records, 1742-1791
  • Crew Lists, 1863-1914
  • Dorchester Prison Admission and Discharge Registers, 1782-1901
  • Electoral Registers, 1839-1922
  • Jury Lists, 1825-1921
  • Land Tax Returns, 1780-1832
  • Marriages and Banns, 1538-1921 ***
  • Militia Lists, 1757-1860
  • Parish Poor Law Records (including Churchwardens), 1511-1997
  • Tithe maps & Apportionments, 1835-1850
  • Vagrant Passes, 1739-1791
  • Visitation of Dorset, 1623
  • Wills and Probate records, 1565-1858

Please note: There are some gaps within the collections indicated by ***

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