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Postal Research Service

We offer a comprehensive research service: for a fee, payable in advance, we can undertake research in the many sources held at the Records Office, including parish registers, electoral registers, rate books, and trade directories. Many requests for searches are from family historians, but the same service applies to those requesting other types of research.

How to Request Research
Please make your request for research on the application form, and send it to the Records Office with the appropriate research fee. We regret that no search can be undertaken unless we have received payment in advance.

Obtaining an Application Form
You can download a form here: application form. Alternatively, you can request a form by either contacting us on +44 (0)23 9268 8046 or emailing us

Making Your Request
Try to be as specific as possible about which records you would like us to search, the dates to be covered, and the object of the research. We would strongly advise you to check in advance that the Records Office holds the relevant material before you ask us to undertake a search.

We cannot guarantee that the search will yield the information you are hoping to find, or that we will be able to undertake all the work you have asked for in the time provided. However, we will try to discover as much as we can for you.

Searches are carried out in the order in which we receive them. We carry out research up to a maximum of three hours at a time. This allows us to maintain a reasonable turnover of searches and enables the researcher to control the progress and cost of a search.

Our Charges
We charge £12.50 per half hour. Our charges include all work connected with the search - there are no extra charges for postage or administrative costs. (We also include a limited number of photocopies in this fee, if this is the best way to convey the information.)

We can provide certificates of baptism, marriage and burial entries in parish registers for the statutory fee of £7.00 plus £12.50 for a half hour search fee. Certificates are provided for official or legal purposes only. Please note that certificates do not provide additional information to that which would be supplied in the usual search report apart from common form and, where given, the name of the officiating minister.

How to Pay
You can pay for the research by cheque, postal order, or money order made payable to 'Portsmouth City Council'. Overseas payments must be made in pounds sterling.
You can also pay by debit or credit card.

If you have any further questions to ask about the service, please contact us


Portsmouth Records Office
Visit the Records Office site
Visit the Natural History Museum Site
Visit the D-day museum site
Visit the Charles Dickens Birthplace site
Visit the Southsea Castle site
Visit the Portsmouth Museum Portal site


Using the Records Office

Using the Records Office