Research your waterways family history

Do you have an ancestor who lived or worked on the canals? Are you fascinated by stories from the past? Download our exclusive booklet and see waterways history brought to life before your eyes.

Friendship - one of the most famous horse drawn, wooden narrow boats in the country Boat family on board a wooden, horse-drawn narrowboat

Boatmen Wanted!

Discovering your waterways’ history might be easier than you think. The Canal & River Trust Archive holds a wide and fascinating range of documents, plans and images relating to the history of Britain’s inland waterways.

Good Pay! A Floating Home!

Our team at the Waterways Archive have put together a handy booklet as a starting point for your journey of discovery into the past.

Download our booklet

At the Waterways Archive you can research all aspects of navigation history. These include creation, ownership, maintenance and use of the nation’s inland waterways.

Although the Archive is currently closed, our team are happy to answer your queries by email, at

Find out more about the Waterways Archive.

Last date edited: 29 July 2020