How to see a document in the archives

If you are unable to visit in person, the Surrey History Centre offers a research service and can arrange for many of the items in the collections to be copied. See the following pages on the Surrey History Centre website for more information:

Visiting Surrey History Centre in Person:

Re-opening of Surrey History Centre – July 2020, read more here.
Visiting arrangements have been temporarily changed please follow the link above for up-to-date information.

Booking in Advance

It is not essential to book in advance to see documents at the Surrey History Centre but it is recommended, especially if you want to use microfilm or microfiche equipment. Documents booked in advance will be ready on your arrival, this means you can start your research immediately.
Some items in the archive, particularly photographs, are kept in special stores and need to be ordered up to a day in advance. It is always best to check before visiting the Surrey History Centre to avoid a wasted journey.

To book either telephone 01483 518737 or e-mail [email protected].

Original documents or copies

The majority of the documents held by the Surrey History Centre may be consulted without prior notice. However, a significant minority have access restrictions applied to them.

Researchers therefore need to be aware that they may not always be able to see an original document.

If any restrictions are found to apply, please ask a member of staff for advice. Some items are too fragile to touch. These are classed as UFP or Unfit for Production. Others need to be handled with extra care to ensure their preservation. These are classed as AP because they require Assisted Production. Many of these records can be seen on microfilm or microfiche or they have been copied to make them available for research.

Closed Records

Some records are closed for a specific period to protect sensitive information (for example personal medical data). This may vary from 30 years to 100 years. These closure periods are not absolute but requests to gain access to such information need to be monitored and referred to the depositor for guidance. Checking with the Surrey History Centre before visiting will help avoid a wasted journey.

Some records are covered by the Freedom of Information Act; more information on how to see such records is given on the Surrey History Centre website.

More information

Read the Surrey History Centre guide for users: Caring for our collection.

For details about using the facilities and archive at the Surrey History Centre visit their website.

For more general information about the archive and its contents see the Archives page on this web site.

7 thoughts on “How to see a document in the archives”

  1. m. saunter says:

    Dear helper researchers and do happy to greet you!
    You may email me at [email protected]
    I am most delighted to find you!
    My George Haines or Elizabeth Keep or Emily Lane lines may have lived, married, birthed, died at or near Titsey. How is it possible to get help?
    I live in Edmonton, Alberta Canada and would be happy to help should you need my help.

    I amlooking for George Haines, Edmund or Edmond Haines or Haines family connections.

    Names maybe:
    Thank you for assisting and Happy New Year!
    Margaret Saunter

  2. Newman, Campbell says:

    Dear Helper Researchers,
    My grandmother’s mother Elizabeth [maiden name KETTLE] spent much of her childhood at a farm owned by her great-aunt, wealthy spinster ELIZABETH NEWMAN of FARNCOMBE.
    I understand that Elizabeth Kettle’s uncle or grandfather Henry Newman Kettle, collected rents for his aunt, and that these Newman’s were originally yeomen of Churt since arriving there from Hampshire in the 1660’s. The original immigrant to Surrey was one ANN NEWMAN with her three sons Thomas, Richard and John. Ann or her son Thomas bought Farnham Hall, which I believe once stood on the Hyde Farm estates.
    Either Farnham Hall or the distinct and later Farncombe Manor were, according to my grandmother, in some way associated with the Surrey farm Bron-y-de which was the later home of Lloyd George.
    My interest is both elucidation of a family mystery, and to understand the history of my mother’s Newman family from Surrey, who were apparently descended from an older branch of my father’s Newman family from the West Country. In 1664/8, Thomas Newman gentleman of Evercreech, Somerset, died and was interred in a marble tub outside the family vault with the overlaying inscription ‘One swallow doth not make the spring’. This Thomas was, I believe, the ‘gentleman of Evercreech’ mentioned in the Somerset ‘witch trials’ who eluded the authorities, and I think that ANN NEWMAN was probably his [common law?] wife, who lived for a brief time on a cousin’s property [surname NEWMAN-TOLL] in Hampshire before buying a farm or farms in Churt. Eldest son Thomas was wealthy enough to obtain Farnham Hall, but the property was sold to pay family debts a generation later. ELIZABETH NEWMAN of FARNCOMBE was, I understand, his descendant, as was my grandmother, also Annie. My grandmother’s brother’s name was William NEWMAN JENKIN. The family were very proud of but rather hazy about their Newman ancestry, which they regarded as distinct from the Newman’s of Epsom, also Surrey, who were an unrelated family of gardeners and later significant property developers. Between Ann and Elizabeth the family seem to have gone from ‘yeomen’ to ‘gentlemen of independent means’ to ‘victuallers’ to ‘rentiers’, and later to ‘grocers’ [of High Street Godalming] and ‘confectioners’ [of Brecon, Wales]. My mother’s mother settled in the Northern Rivers region of New South Wales, Australia. They originally owned the ‘Ballina Store’ but my grandmother’s brother William Newman Jenkin was a ‘landscape artist’ and ‘theatrical agent’. My grandmother, who d. 1977, had a lifelong interest in the career of Lloyd George, whose mistress and 2nd wife apparently bought the land in or near Hyde Farm, Surrey associated with my mother’s Newman ancestors. It would originally have been a very wild place indeed, pacified, countrified and civilised in great part by the efforts of Lloyd George.
    I would like to get access to the complete set of NEWMAN photocopy documents lodged with you by a Mrs. Carr of Heidelberg, Australia, I believe in 1976.
    How can I get copies of these?

  3. Angela Bates says:

    My name was Angela williams went to stepgates around 63 to 65 any friends on here remember me.I lived in Longcross .my dad was in the army .headmaster was Mr Jones

    1. Corinne Stacey (nee Bunting) says:

      My brother and I were also at Stepgates in 1963/4. We are twins and used to live on the caravan site in Mead Lane Chertsey. Our names are Corinne and Gary Bunting.

  4. Elvis Mendez says:

    Hi Sirs / Madam

    Re: plantation owner – col John Forest Saint Elizebeth , Jamaica circa 1820 – 1920

    My name is Elvis Mendez, I am trying to trace my family tree back to slave relatives

    I would like to see if I can find any records for the above plantations that show possible blood relations on the estate(s) in the parish of St Elizebeth , Jamaica

    So, my family name is “Mendez” going back to my great great great grand Dad “Isaac Mendez” who had a son called Bernard Mendez

    From my brief checks it seems that :
    1- Bernard Mendez was married to Eliza Daley – their son was James Mendez ?

    2- this Son James, appears to be married to Charlotte Elizebeth Lewis?

    Can you help with any info that can help me identify any slave relatives through the sur names ? Mendez , Lewis or Daley

    Many Thanks in advance

    E Mendez

  5. newman says:

    George Newman and Shirley Newman

  6. Dianne Watkins says:

    Dear Madam/Sir

    The 1938 census documents show my great grandmother living at The Rough Tilford.

    I note that you have an illustration of this property on file and would appreciate a digital copy. An further information that you can provide about this property would be greatly appreciated.

    Furthermore if you are able to conduct a search for Helena Edith Fielding and forward anything that pops up I would be forever grateful.

    Kindest regards

    Dianne Watkins

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