Family history resources at the Parliamentary Archives

Protestation Return, Callington, Cornwall

The Parliamentary Archives holds various collections of personal papers of politicians and other prominent people, including David Lloyd George, Andrew Bonar Law and Lord Beaverbrook.

Jodie Kidd, model and TV personality, visited the Parliamentary Archives to trace her ancestors for the BBC's 'Who Do You Think You Are?'

Jodie Kidd visits the Parliamentary Archives

She found her ancestors at the Parliamentary Archives - can you?

Jodie Kidd at the Parliamentary Archives

Jodie Kidd at the Parliamentary Archives

Jodie Kidd's great-grandfather Rowland Hodge is mentioned in two letters in the Lloyd George papers at the Parliamentary Archives.

She found him by searching the Parliamentary Archives' online catalogue, Portcullis.

Find out about how she did it and watch clips of her in the Parliamentary Archives on the BBC's Who Do You Think You Are site.

The whole programme is available to watch on the BBC's iPlayer until Mon 6 October.


You don't have to have famous ancestors to find them in the Parliamentary Archives!

Maybe your ancestor was an MP, or peer, or worked in Parliament.

But even if not, the decisions taken by Parliament affect the lives of everyone. Thousands of ordinary people appear in documents in the Parliamentary Archives, for many different reasons.

Perhaps they :

Acts of Parliament, 1497 - present

The Parliamentary Archives holds 62,000 Acts of Parliament. Those of interest to family historians include Acts to effect:

Divorces - Until 1858, a full divorce allowing re-marriage could only be obtained by Act of Parliament. The Parliamentary Archives holds the original Acts, which were usually never printed, and in some cases there are background papers. Read more about divorce acts, including about the first divorce Act to be granted to a woman.

Changes of name - This was sometimes done by Act of Parliament, although was more usually effected in other ways (Royal Licence and deed poll).

Jodie Kidd at the Parliamentary Archives, in the Act Room

Abensur's Naturalisation Act

I want... information on someone naturalised by Act of Parliament.

The document pictured to the left is a rare naturalisation Act dating from after 1844.

An Act to naturalise Isaac Aaron Abensur and to grant and confer upon him all the rights privileges and capacities of a natural-born subject of Her Majesty the Queen, 1896.

Parliamentary Archives, HL/PO/PB/1/1896/59&60V1n272

Sources for Family History in the Parliamentary Archives (PDF PDF 4.1 MB)

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