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Find your history with The Gazette

Make the most of the UK's official public records and explore The Gazette's extensive archive for free.

The UK’s official public record for over 350 years

Dating back to 1665, The Gazette has been an integral part of British public life. Having been in publication for over 350 years, it will come as no surprise that there is an abundance of fascinating archive material waiting to be discovered, particularly UK military records. Better still, this material is completely free for you to explore. Here is how to make the most of this unparalleled collection of public records.

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How to search British history

Whether you’re trying to retrace the steps of a First World War hero or you’re keen to find out more about the Crimean War, The Gazette is a key resource that allows genealogists to sketch out a soldier’s career from promotions and gallantry awards to whether they were mentioned in despatches. As The Gazette has evolved, so has the way in which historians can access it. Start by setting up a free account to save your searches and keep track of your findings. Next, head to the All Notices section of the website and enter the name of the person you are searching for in the ‘Text search’ box.

If you get too many results, you can filter them by choosing a date range in the ‘Publication date’ area. There are other filtering options such as ‘notice type’ and ‘location’, but these will only apply to events that were recorded from 1998 onwards and so are not suitable for most family history research. If you are looking for someone who served in WWI, head to the dedicated WW1 search page. You can also help your search by putting their rank in the text search box or narrowing the dates if you know when your ancestor was likely to have been awarded a medal or mentioned in despatches. To get more from your discoveries, use the free military medal guide to discover the meaning behind the various honours given. The Gazette has put together a handy guide on how to carry out searches.

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Finding what you’re looking for

If you’d like some help to get your search off the ground, The Gazette provides a research service, where a team will carry out a thorough search on your behalf. Whether you want to find out if an ancestor was awarded a medal for gallantry or fell on hard times and became insolvent, The Gazette research service can help. All that is required are a few details, then once the record has been discovered, a comprehensive and personalised results document will be sent straight to you.

If you’ve found an edition of The Gazette that you particularly treasure, it will be available to purchase as a personalised edition. Whether it's to mark the achievement of someone special or simply as a keepsake for yourself, The Gazette’s commemorative editions make a wonderful souvenir. Each pack is beautifully presented and contains a replica edition of The Gazette from the day that it was published.

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