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Family History

Research into family history has grown more and more popular in recent years and Grimsby Central Library’s Local History Library offers a wide range of resources to help people get started with or further their research.

Census Information

Census enumerators’ returns are the only publicly available source of information on each individual within a community. The census has been conducted every ten years since 1801 (except for 1941). The results of each census are published by The Stationery Office in the form of detailed statistics. After one hundred years the forms themselves are made publicly available. The early census returns contain very basic information but more details were included from 1841 onwards including occupations of the householders, ages and place of birth.

Census information is particularly useful to people involved in family history research or the history of their house or street.

Census surname indexes have been compiled for most of the areas in the Grimsby and Cleethorpes district.

Lincs Inspire Library Service subscribes to You can use this site free of charge at any Lincs Inspire Library in Grimsby, Cleethorpes, Immingham and Waltham to access the 1841 – 1911 census returns for England and Wales. You can also use your own device to access whilst connected to Lincs Inspire Libraries Wi-Fi.


Directories are printed lists of local traders and businesses. They often include private individuals too. In addition to the listings they often include information on the history and economy of local towns and villages. County Directories are generally arranged in alphabetical order by town and village. Not every resident is normally included. They concentrate on employers and self-employed.

The earliest Lincolnshire directory held in Grimsby Local History Library was produced in 1826. The town directories for Grimsby and Cleethorpes were first produced in 1852 and were published on a regular basis until 1975.

  • Grimsby and Cleethorpes 1852-1972
  • Lincolnshire 1826-1937
  • Lincoln Diocesan Directory 1867-Date

Electoral Registers

  • Cleethorpes 1918 – Date
  • Grimsby 1901 – Date

These are arranged by electoral ward and then alphabetically by street name. They are not arranged in surname order. Street indexes are available to identify the ward which contains each street.

Earlier Electoral Registers for Grimsby are available on microfilm 1863 – 1900.

Other Family Resources

Indexes to births, marriages and deaths registered in England and Wales from 1837 – 2004 are held on microfiche.
1754 – 1837. These are arranged within Deaneries, alphabetically by surname and show the date and place of marriage and maiden name.
These are available for most of the churches in North East Lincolnshire and are particularly useful for the larger cemeteries, such as Ainslie Street and Scartho Road, enabling you to identify who is buried there and in some cases the location of the graves.
Parish Registers are available on microfiche and microfilm for a number of Lincolnshire Deaneries including Grimsby and Cleethorpes and Haverstoe. For more information about this collection contact the Local History Library.
Family history and local history research is to be negotiated with the librarian before commencing. Prices are based on first half hour free, then £25 per hour + cost of photocopies at 20p per sheet and postage.

For more information contact the Local History Library on (01472) 323603.

Grimsby Local History Library has helped with my research into my family history and given me so much information on Grimsby, as well as some very useful websites. We met Jennie about 2 years ago, after being several years in touch via the Internet. We visited Waltham and the library and we went for a drink in a small café with my wife and had a wonderful chat.


Jack Thorpe
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