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Devon County Council

Principal Public Libraries with family history resources
Research services
Registrar General's Index
Census records
Electoral registers
Poll books
International Genealogical Index
Unpublished indexes
Parish registers
Published transcripts
Other materials
Guides to collections
Record Office address
Other information

Library Services URL: www.devon.gov.uk/libraries/localstudies.html/
Chapman County Codes (BS 6879): DEV

2. Principal Libraries with Family History resources

Westcountry Studies Library
Castle Street
Tel: 01392 384216
Fax: 01392 384228
[email protected]
Contact: Westcountry Studies Librarian

Opening hours:

Monday: 9.30-18.00
Tuesday: 9.30-19.00
Wednesday: 10.00-17.00
Thursday: 9.30-19.00
Friday: 9.30-18.00
Saturday: 9.30-16.00

Other Libraries:

North Devon Library and Record Office, Tuly Street, Barnstaple, Devon EX31 1EL. Tel: 01271-388607
Exeter Reference Library
Castle Street
Tel: 01392-384206

[email protected]

3. Research Service

Service available? Staff can only give indicative replies to genealogical enquiries received by post, phone, fax or e-mail.


Provided by local Record Office? A fee-based service is available through Devon Record Office, see http://www.devon.gov.uk/research_service-2.htm

4. Births, Deaths and Marriages

Registrar General's Indexes from 1837 (microform), or Registrar General for Scotland's Computerised Index from 1855.

Locations 1837-1982 for England and Wales: microform in North Devon Library and Record Office

5. Census returns

Westcountry Studies, Exeter: 1841-1901: Whole of Devon
North Devon Library and Record Office, Barnstaple: 1841-1901. North Devon area

6. Directories

6(a) County and Regional Directories

For full listing see http://www.devon.gov.uk/library/locstudy/dirlist.html

6(b) City and Town Directories

See above.

6(c) Telephone Directories

Good coverage from 1940s for south west England with some earlier years in Westcountry Studies Library, Exeter.

7. Electoral registers and polls books

7(a) Electoral Registers

Devon: 1832-1915, 1918-39, 1945- (Devon Record Office, Exeter) (1832-1900 on microfiche in Devon Record Office, Exeter and Barnstaple)
Devon (excluding conurbations): 1951, 1959-61, 1963-72 (Westcountry Studies Library)
Exeter: 1945- (Westcountry Studies Library)
East Devon, Mid Devon, Teignbridge, South Hams districts: 1973- (Westcountry Studies Library, some in remote store)
North Devon and Torridge districts 1969-70, 1973- (North Devon Library, Barnstaple)

7(b) Poll Books

Few survive for Devon: those in libraries in Devon:-
Westcountry Studies Library, Exeter:
Devon 1839
Exeter 1776, 1835, 1852, 1864, 1868
Plymouth 1852, 1853
Dorset 1807
North Devon Library, Barnstaple:
Barnstaple 1832, 1847, 1852, 1854, 1857, 1863, 1865, 1868
Devon Record Office holds some additional poll books

8. International Genealogical Index (IGI)

1992 Microfiche: England & Wales: Exeter Reference Library, North Devon Library, Barnstaple
Devon, Cornwall, Somerset, Dorset: Westcountry Studies Library, Exeter
Devon: several larger branch libraries

9. Unpublished Indexes

Burnet Morris Index of Devon information compiled 1915-1940 but covering from the earliest times: Westcountry Studies Library, Exeter
Exeter Flying Post name index 1763-1835: Westcountry Studies Library, Exeter
North Devon Journal Index 1850-1895: North Devon Library, Barnstaple

10. Parish Registers

Westcountry Studies Library, Exeter:
Most published transcripts for Devon, Cornwall, Somerset, Dorset.
Some typescript and manuscript transcripts.
Collection of Devon and Cornwall Record Society's transcripts available to members only - temporary membership can be taken out when visitng the Library.
It is intended to have micofiches of original registers available after the move of the Record Office early in 2005.

Exeter Reference Library:
Main series of national parish register publications.

North Devon Library, Barnstaple:
Most published transcripts of Devon registers plus some manuscripts and typescripts.

Devon Record Office:
Most original parish registers, normally available in microform.
Handlist published and on Internet at

11. Periodicals (excl. newspapers)

Main titles (normally held in Westcountry Studies Library, Exeter, North Devon Library, Barnstaple and larger branches):
Transactions of the Devonshire Association 1862-
Devon and Cornwall Notes and Queries 1900-
Devon Family Historian 1977-
Devon Historian 1970-
For full list of titles see:

12. Published Transcripts of Archival Material

Devon and Cornwall Record Society 1900- (Westcountry Studies Library, Exeter and North Devon Library, Barnstaple)
Exeter Reference Library holds many runs of record publications (e.g. Harleian Society, Huguenot Society)
Somerset Record Society (Westcountry Studies Library, Exeter)
Dorset Record Society (Westcountry Studies Library, Exeter)
Bristol Record Society (Westcountry Studies Library, Exeter)

13. Other material

Westcountry Studies Library holds biographical and family cutting and information files compiled largely during the 1920s and 1930s but not regularly updated since. The local studies library catalogue can be consulted on the library website.

14. Guides to Collections

These are available on the internet at http://www.devon.gov.uk/library/locstudy/

15. Local Record Offices

Devon Record Office, Castle Street, Exeter EX4 3PU with branch offices at the Dean and Chapter Archives, Exeter Cathedral Library, North Devon Record Office, Barnstaple and seven part-time service points across the county.
Tel: 01392-384253
Fax: 01392-384256
Email: [email protected]

Other information