Totnes Archives - A Treasure Trove of Information

The Totnes Archive is situated immediately behind the Totnes Museum, which you access via a cobbled alleyway, and is open all year round, Thursdays and Fridays, 10.30-4.00. We welcome visitors, and are happy to assist newcomers to family and local history. 
One of our most popular acquisitions is the local newspaper, the Totnes Times, from 1860 to the present day – be prepared to get diverted with tales of Totnes scandals, murders and mayhem.

House history is another popular area of research- we hold deeds and early rentals to some old properties. With access to the censuses 1841-1911 and local directories from 1830 it is sometimes possible to trace who lived in a particular property over the years.


If you conducting your own 'Who do you think you are' The Totnes Archives are a great place to start!


For Devon family historians we have parish registers on microfiche for much of the South Hams and the eastern side of Dartmoor and also files of family information.


Help can be provided to research in other parts of the country. There is nothing we like better than the challenge of finding your elusive ancestors and solving your puzzles.


In more detail you can find information relating to; Index to Coroners’ Inquests in Totnes Times 1860 onwards, Deeds, Wills and Totnes Land Tax transcriptions as well as a host of research on the First World War relating to Totnes and local area. We also have handwritten records of WWII killed and wounded in Devon, which gives age, address, and the date of event. Added to that we have a CD of the transcript of Broadhempston parish registers 1678-1900, & we are currently compiling the Bastardy records for Totnes and surroundings, 1780-1903, from various sources. 


We have acquired some very dirty and verminous ledgers dating from the early 1900's of Pearl assurance customers.  They were in such a bad condition that they have been deposited at the Devon Heritage Centre in Exeter and have been quarantined.  

We have also been fortunate enough to be loaned 35 deeds and maps of the property in Maudlin Road called Lakemead which we have photocopied.

Next year the Archive Centre is to mount an exhibition in the museum commemorating the end of WW1.  This will include a tribute to Womens War Work  in Totnes and the VAD Hospitals here.

We now have a bundle of letters dated 1808 -1817 the correspondence between the Windeatt and Amery families. We also have two wills one of Stephen Boon the other of Richard Harris Watson.  Sue and Walter King have recently  completed a survey of the town boundary stones and made a short film about their findings.  

All of the above except for the Pearl Assurance ledgers are available to view at the Archives.  


New records added:


Will with codicils of Sally Adams, Ashburton, 1814

Map "Public Rights of Way around Dittisham, 1986"
"The Country Houses of Devon, Vols I & II" by Hugh Meller
Various deeds regarding properties in Totnes at The Plains (Dartmouth Inn), Leechwell Street, High Street, Christina Park, Maudlyn Close; also land at Harberton.



Ongoing Work

Index to Coroners’ Inquests in Totnes Times 1860 onwards

Deeds transcription

Totnes Land Tax assessments transcription

Family history research

Wills transcription

First World War research relating to Totnes and local area








OPENING TIMES     :  10.30 to 4.00 p.m. Thursday and Friday


The cost to use the Totnes Archives is as follows:


Use of resources   : £1.25/hour


Research service   : £7.50/hour.


N.B. Membership of Totnes Museum Society includes free use of the Study Centre for £10/annum



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