Bath Ancestors Database

Did your ancestors live in Bath? Search our database to see if you can find out more about them.


The database covers the years 1603-1990, and contains information taken from original records held by the Record Office. The records have been indexed and transcribed by volunteers over many years, and we are very pleased that - through the efforts of Simon Caldwell, another volunteer - we are now able to make the results of their hard work available online.


The database includes brief information taken from the original sources, usually enough to enable you to identify individuals, although in some cases the information in the original is itself very limited.  The original document will often contain further information - if you find relevant records on the database, you can order copies for a small charge.


Search the Bath Ancestors database



Latest Addition - Prisoners' Portrait Books!

In the 1890s, Bath City Police, like many other police forces, started to take advantage of the possibilities of photography.  They photographed 'prisoners' - generally individuals charged with crimes - and fixed the photographs into books.  Information on the name, age, and physical appearance of the person was added, along with the history of their crimes and convictions. They now provide us not only with a 'Rogues' Gallery' but with a fascinating insight into crime in late Victorian Bath.  Crimes of deception seem to have been particularly prevalent, as confidence tricksters and plausible fraudsters preyed on the genteel middle-class citizens of Bath.


You can search the database for individual criminals, or see all the 'prisoners' portraits' . On the search page simply click on 'Clear all sources' (at the bottom of the list of sources) and then click on the box next to 'Bath City Police Prisoners' Photograph Books'  (towards the top of the list).  If you want to search for a particular name, put this in the surname search box - if you want to see all the photographs, leave this box empty -  then click on 'Search Now'. 


An article by Graham Davis on 'Crime and Criminal Portraits in Victorian and Edwardian Bath', which discusses the Prisoners' Portrait Books, is published in Bath History, volume XI, 2009.


Part of an apprenticeship indenture viewed through a magnifying glass




A photograph from the Prisoners' Portrait Book