Once you have discovered the information and images that we have at The Mills Archive you may still have gaps in your knowledge and information about specific mills, and mill people can be hard to find. There are many records online and in other archives or libraries that will help you to build your milling history.
Ancestry – The first port of call for family and social history, Ancestry has the largest number of collections of any family history website. Useful collections include:
- Wills & Probates, Estates & Guardian Records
- Census & Electoral Rolls
- Birth, Marriage & Death, including Parish
- Rent and rate books for some counties
- Workhouse records
- Dorset and Ireland tithe records
- Manorial records
- Apprenticeship records
- Legal records including criminal registers, quarter sessions, transportation records
- Taxation records
Find My Past – FMP duplicates many of the records on Ancestry – but is a worthy site for double checking search results due to transcription errors. However it also has additional records such as:
- The British Newspaper Archive
- Trade Directories
- Education and Work records
- Tithe and Landowner records
- Census returns (searchable by occupation, address and family)
Family Search – a free genealogical website that has records covering the
- Parochial records from the UK and Ireland, USA, and further afield.
The National Archives has many collections online, some of which are available on other sites, but their collection of Prerogative Court of Canterbury wills from 1384-1858 may be particularly useful for early ancestors and tracing inheritance of mills. As is their Manorial Documents Register. By searching the TNA’s Discovery Catalogue for mills, results will show you which local or county archive they can be found in.
There are also national sources which can be useful in researching mill histories:
Local History Sources
- Local and regional history groups
- Local libraries and county archives
- Family history websites and forums for specific surnames
- Local mills (when open) and retired millers
- National, local and rural life museums which include the Museum for English Rural Life
- University Libraries and University Special Collections including University of Leicester
Send us a query
Please contact us to tell us about:
- The mill families or a mill histories that you are researching as we may have additional information that could help you in our Library and general Archive collections.
- Find out how you can send us your completed family histories or provide additional information or images about a mill that we have indexed.
- Ask technical questions about mills, as they are complicated engineering structures with unusual terminology.