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Discover amazing stories in Bedfordshire family history records online

What’s your connection to Bedfordshire? Explore millions of family history records online at Findmypast to find out. Our essential and exclusive Bedfordshire record collections will help you piece together the puzzle of your past. Your journey of discovery begins with your family tree.

Bedfordshire from the beginning

The use of the name Bedfordshire dates to the early 11th century. The county is home to places such as Bedford, Luton, Leighton Buzzard and Biggleswade.

Over the centuries, Bedfordshire saw its fair share of raids, battles and skirmishes. Consequently, it suffered economically, although the county did eventually prosper. 

From the 16th to the 20th century, Bedfordshire was a centre of the lace industry. The agriculture and wool industries also thrived there. Due to the plentiful availability of straw, Luton was a substantial producer of ladies’ hats for 200 years. 

A Biggleswade man, Dan Albone, invented the first successful farm tractor. Around 1840 the Duchess of Bedford pioneered the ritual of afternoon tea to fill a void in the day caused by mealtimes being stretched apart due to the Industrial Revolution. 

Was it feast, famine or afternoon tea for your Bedfordshire family? 

The red and yellow quadrants on the flag of Bedfordshire represent the Beauchamp family’s coat of arms. The Beauchamps were once the barons of Bedford and built Bedford Castle.

Millions of Bedfordshire family history records at your fingertips

Tales of heartbreak and heroism, scandal and sacrifice. You’ll find them all in our vast and varied record collections.

Bedfordshire 1921 census: Collage of life in the 1920s

What was Bedfordshire like in the 1920s?

Look back a century to the 1921 Census of England and Wales, only available online at Findmypast, for a pivotal snapshot of the country. Find out where your Bedfordshire relatives worked, whether they were married, widowed or divorced, and so much more.

Surprising discoveries at every turn

“I have found Findmypast easy to use and navigate. Access to the 1921 Census, the 1939 Register and the British Library’s newspaper archives is especially useful. You never know what your ancestors have been up to until you search for them.”

Jonathan Thompson

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Go back in time with Bedfordshire newspaper archives

Read old Bedfordshire newspapers online for the news and views of yesteryear. You may glean missing family tree information from the papers’ birth, marriage and death announcements.

Explore records from every county in England

If your lineage lies beyond Bedfordshire, delve into our extensive collection of historical resources covering every county, city, town and village in England. Where will your past take you?

Choose a region from the map or drop-down list to dig deeper into local record collections and learn about the places your ancestors called home.

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