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Family visiting London, 1800  ref p5384991

The origin of cockney. A well-to-do provincial family arrive in London. One of the children notices a cock 'neighing'. 1800

Are you interested in discovering your family history?  If so, we may hold the records to unlock the secrets of your past.

We are an essential destination for anyone researching ancestors from the London area. We hold over 105km of archives so there is a good chance that your ancestor may appear in our records in one form or another. Our holdings include some of the most important family history sources for London, including Parish Registers, Electoral Registers, Land Tax records, Parish Poor Relief and Boards of Guardians registers, which include workhouse records.

Full details of our holdings and how to research your family history with us can be found in our Information Leaflet No. 1 (55kb). Our full suite of information leaflets are a great starting point for researching any aspect of the archive collections.

Birth, marriage and death certificates are available from the General Register Office and you can order certificates via their website. Note: LMA does not hold any indexes or certificates.

Boys by a lock on the Grand Union Canal, c1905

Boys by a lock on the Grand Union Canal, c1905

​Search our online catalogue

The archive collections are listed in our online catalogue. The catalogue provides descriptions of the vast majority of our collections and all of the main sources for family history are included. Keep in mind that these are only descriptions of the records.

If you want to see digitised copies of our records online, see the section below. If you plan to visit us and use original archives, please register for our History Card, which will enable you to use more of our services when you visit. Try searching the catalogue to find out more!

Workhouse children in Eaton Square, June 1906

Workhouse children in Eaton Square, June 1906.

Digitised records on Ancestry

We are working in partnership with Ancestry™ to digitise and index our major genealogical sources and make them available online. So far, we've added approximately 20 million digital images from 80,000 books or documents. It's a huge project and one which we hope will really improve the experience of tracing ancestors in our records.

You can access the records from anywhere in world by taking out an Ancestry subscription package or you can use them for free when you visit us. The following sources are already available to use on the Ancestry website: parish registers, non-conformist registers, workhouse and poor law records, school registers, wills, City of London Freedom records, electoral registers, poll books, marriage bonds and transportation papers. To find out more visit the website.


Catalogues at London Metropolitan Archives

​Unable to Visit LMA?

If you are unable to visit the archives in person you may wish to use our Paid Document Research Service. One of our enquiry team members will search our records on your behalf working to your research brief.  To find out more, please visit our Paid Document Research Service pages.

Contact the Enquiry Team

If you can't find the information you're looking for on these pages, in our information leaflets or in our catalogue, or if you have any other questions, please email us at or phone 020 7332 3820 to talk to one of our enquiry team

26 March 2012
Last Modified:
03 March 2015