Rugby Research

Are you visiting Rugby to research your Family History?
Or do you live in the town but don’t know where to find information?
Here we will try and point you to the information that is available and where you can find it.

The first stop has to be Rugby Library.
Upstairs you will find the Local Studies Section; where there is a large collection of books on Local and Family History, including a run of local directories (Rugby Almanack) from 1862-1963
In a filing cabinet, there are the following microfilms/fiche:
Parish Registers and Monumental Inscriptions of Rugby and the surrounding villages (Warwickshire only)
Censuses for the area from 1841-1901
Electoral Registers 1885-1915 (1960-present originals are bound – ask at the information desk. Those for 1920-1940 and 1945-1992 are at Warwickshire Record Office)
Local newspapers: The Rugby Advertiser 1846-2005, Rugby Gazette 1859-1906, Rugby Observer 1911-1939 and Rugby & Kineton Advertiser 1914-1943
In the same cabinets is a Local History Card Index

In other cabinets is a large photograph collection – some of which can be seen online at WindowsonWarwickshire

Downstairs there are maps of various scales and dates

You can use the computers in the Library to access Ancestry and other useful sources:
Infotrac Newspaper Archive, Times Digital Archive, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Who’s Who and Who Was Who – all free with your library card. You can also use any of these sources on your home computer with your library card (except for Ancestry)

Little Elborow Street
CV21 3BZ
01788 533250
01788 533267

Opening times:
Monday 09.00 – 17.30
Tuesday 10.00 – 19.00
Wednesday 09.00 – 17.30
Thursday 09.00 – 17.30
Friday 09.00 – 17.30
Saturday 09.00 – 16.00
Sunday 12.00 – 16.00

On the third Thursday of the month, members of Rugby FHG run a helpdesk in the Local Studies Section.

In the same building is Rugby Museum and Art Gallery

The Museum contains a Social History Gallery, where objects and photographs, which have been donated by local people, are used to evoke fascinating memories of Rugby life in displays, which focus on community, domestic and home, personal and working lives.
There is also the Jack Lucas Archaeology Gallery, which displays objects from the Roman town of Tripontium. The Romano-British town of Tripontium, meaning literally ‘the place of three bridges’ was located 5 miles from the centre of modern Rugby.


T:(01788) 533201
F:(01788) 533204

Opening Times:
Tue – Fri 10.00 – 17.00
Saturday 10.00 – 16.00
Sun & Monday Closed
Bank Holidays 12.00 – 16.00

Close to the Library, Museum and Art Gallery is the Webb Ellis Rugby Football Museum
The Webb Ellis Rugby Football Museum houses a large collection of rugby football memorabilia and artefacts which have been gathered over the last 160 years through the building’s direct involvement in the game of rugby football.

Since 1842 this building has been at the centre of rugby ball manufacturing. It was originally the workshop of William and then James Gilbert Rugby Manufacturing Ltd, and this tradition of rugby ball making is continued on the site by Webb Ellis Ltd today. This long-term involvement in rugby football gives the building the prestige of having the longest continuous association with the game of any site in the world.

5-6 St Matthews St
CV21 3BY
Free Entry

Opening Times:
Mon-Sat 9.30-17.00

For further information regarding the museum, contact
Rugby Visitor Centre
Tel: (01788) 533217

Not far away is Rugby School Museum and Shop
which runs tours of the famous school. Tours can be tailor made for specific groups, with timings kept as flexible as possible. Large groups are very welcome and can be booked by prior arrangement, or the ‘drop-in’ tour currently operates at 2pm on Saturdays (and also on Mondays and Fridays at 2pm from January 2012). We would, however, always advise a quick call to the Shop to ensure the tour is going ahead.
Cost: £5.95 for adults and £3.95 concessions.
For all tour enquiries please call the School Shop on 01788 556169.

The School Library isn’t generally open to the public, but does have researchers visiting to work on materials. If anyone has a research request contact:
R MacLean, Temple Reading Room, Barby Road, Rugby, CV22 5DW.
Telephone: (01788) 556227

Civil Registration 
Birth Marriage and Death Certificates can be obtained from Rugby Register Office.
This can be done by visiting the office or can be ordered online
If you are visiting the office personally, search the website first to obtain the reference number. It will make it easier for the staff to find the record for you (The GRO reference number is not used by the local Register Office)

Rugby Registration Office
5 Bloxam Place
CV21 3DS
Telephone: 0300 555 0255

Rugby Borough Council maintains 4 cemeteries:
Clifton Road Cemetery
Croop Hill Cemetery
Watts Lane Cemetery
Whinfield Cemetery

Burial and grave details of persons buried in these cemeteries can be obtained from the Cemeteries Office or by completing the family history form.
Maps can also be provided to help with this search.

Contact: Rugby Borough Council – Parks and Cemeteries – Cemeteries
Address:  Town Hall, Rugby
Telephone: (01788) 533715
Fax: (01788) 533718

Warwickshire County Record Office
The WRO of course has many records for the whole of Warwickshire.
Warwickshire’s Past Unlocked is the online catalogue, which lists many of the original archives held at Warwickshire County Record Office. Use it to find out more about our holdings and to obtain the document references of items you wish to see when you visit us. The catalogue is updated once every three months.
The catalogue can also be searched at A2A

Also online are:
Victuallers database – contains details of licensed victuallers in Warwickshire from 1801-1828.
Tithe Apportionments – database contains information from the Warwickshire tithe apportionments, produced after the Tithe Commutation Act of 1836. (The tithe maps are not available online)
Calendars of Prisoners – database is an index to the ‘Calendars of Prisoners’ or lists of those held in the County Prisons (in Warwick, Birmingham and Coventry) for trial at the Courts of Assize and the Quarter Sessions courts held in Warwick between 1800 and 1900.
Windows on Warwickshire is a searchable database of images of historic photographs and other items held at Warwickshire museums, archives and libraries, as well as Compton Verney Art Gallery and Warwick Castle.

Warwickshire County Record Office
Priory Park
Cape Road
CV34 4JS

Tel: +44 (0) 1926 738959
Fax: +44 (0) 1926 738969


Monday: Closed
Tuesday: 9.00-17.30
Wednesday: 9.00-17.30
Thursday: 9.00-17.30
Friday: 9.00-17.00
Saturday: 9.00-12.30
Sunday: Closed
The Record Office closes to the public for the first complete week in every calendar month.

Local History
Rugby Local History Research Group meets at the Percival Guildhouse in Rugby.
You can find information about the history of Rugby on it’s website
They have also produced the Aspects series of books, which include a variety of articles on the history of Rugby and it’s inhabitants.
RLHRG cannot offer a research service – but if your question is simple, or very interesting – they may be able to help.

For Local History Groups in surrounding villages see the Area section of this website.

Online Sources

Census information for the area can be found on the usual websites.

Warwickshire Parish Registers can be found on Ancestry together with other Parish Records including:
account books, vestry books, marriage licences, letters, rate books, orders of removal, churchwarden’s books, rents, constable records, papist estates etc
Other Warwickshire Records on Ancestry are:
Bastardy Orders, 1816–1839, Land Tax, 1773–1830, Militia, 1776–1825 and Parish Poor Law Documents, 1546-1904 which can include: apprenticeship registers and indentures, lists of parish officers, churchwardens’ accounts, overseers’ accounts, constables’ accounts and pauper lunatics among much else.

The Parish Registers of Rugby and some villages have been transcribed by RFHG and indexes to these can be found on Findmypast

Warwickshire Parish Records from the IGI can be found on Familysearch

See also the website of Warwickshire Parish Clerks