London FamilySearch Centre at The National Archives will Close Permanently on Saturday, 23 March 2019

Advances in technology and rising expenses of doing things “the old way” apparently have caught up with FamilySearch, just like it has everywhere else. For the past few years, FamilySearch has maintained the London FamilySearch Centre (including volunteers who helped patrons with the many microfilms and computers in the Centre) at The National Archives in London, England. Now that Centre is being closed.

The following is the announcement from FamilySearch:

Advances in technology mean that FamilySearch can now provide its free services to
visitors at The National Archives more flexibly. Many records can now be accessed at
home, in one of our local Family History Centres, or in a FamilySearch Affiliate Library.

The National Archives has agreed to become a FamilySearch Affiliate Library, meaning
that access to all digitised records on FamilySearch will continue on PCs located in the
reading rooms. Visitors will need a FREE FamilySearch account to access records and
self-help guides will be available. You will notice little difference, other than that our
volunteer workers will no longer be present to provide 1 to 1 assistance.

Available digital records include:

  • British Newspaper Archive, Family Notices & Obituaries
  • England Births and Christenings, Marriages, Deaths and Burials from 1538
  • England and Wales Census Indexes, 1841 to 1911
  • England and Wales, National Index of Wills and Administrations, 1858-1957
  • Parish records for many churches in England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland
  • Workhouse Records, Land Tax assessments
  • War Office Registers, 1772-1935; World War I Service Records, 1914-1920
  • Free access to many records from countries across the world.
  • Plus many more

Ancestry Institution UK and FindMyPast are available on computers at The National

My thanks to the several newsletter readers who wrote to notify me of the closure of the London FamilySearch Centre.


Times move on, but this is a pity. The “staff” at the London facility at Kew, and previously in the church basement at South Kensington were all so helpful and committed, and extremely generous with their time and expertise.


Will it still be possible to download images onto a flash drive?


    The images gathered by FamilySearch are subject to terms imposed by the organization that owns the original records. Some images are not visible from home but must be viewed from a Family History Center or similar. I believe that most images that are viewable are also downloadable.


    To clarify my question – will it be possible to download images [when permissible] on the standard computers at The National Archives Kew? The LDS had its own dedicated computers.


Be sorry to see them go as so friendly and helpful.
Just sad things have to move on.


I am really sad to see this go as there are some items not yet available online. Also what will happen to the handy books which were available will these now reside at kew? Sorry to see the elders will not be available any more 😦


What happens when the computers go down and there are no hard copies to research, I find this frightening as it seems that all Family History Centres are doing the exact same thing. Come on people not everyone can use a computer and not everyone can always get time on the computer when they visit.


The computers at Kew no longer accept USB sticks when I visited last week (June)


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