Table of Contents
- English Resources
- Major Websites
- Church Records
- Census Records
- Civil Registration
- Court Records
- The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Sources
- Finding Information/Records for British Military Service
- Newspapers and Periodicals
- General Search Engines and Genealogy Search Engines
- Passenger Lists
- Wills and Probate
- Maps, Gazetteers, and Place Names
- Cemeteries and Burials
- Repositories in England
When conducting family history research in the United Kingdom, it’s important to have access to reliable and comprehensive databases and websites. These resources can provide valuable information on England and its genealogical records. In this article, we will explore a list of useful databases and websites for UK family history research. These resources are arranged by record type to help you find the information you need more efficiently.
There are several useful websites that provide information and links to research websites for the British Isles. These resources can be a great starting point for your UK family history research. Here are some of the key websites:
- FamilySearch Wiki – This site is continually updated by the genealogical community and offers a wide range of information to assist with genealogical and family research.
- Genuki – Genuki provides various links to research websites for the British Isles, including England. It is a comprehensive resource for genealogical research.
- Cyndi’s List – Cyndi’s List provides links to various English collections, databases, and resources based on record type. It is a valuable resource for finding specific types of records.
- England Genealogy Websites – This website contains a vast collection of England genealogy websites. It is a great resource for finding specific websites dedicated to English genealogy.
- England Online Links – This website lists links to various genealogical websites, databases, and resources based on record type. It is a useful resource for finding specific types of records.
- The National Archives – The National Archives is a wealth of information, including digitised records, help resources, and links to additional sites, archives, and directories. It is a must-visit website for UK family history research.
There are several major genealogy websites that offer a wide range of English records. These websites are subscription-based, but they provide access to a vast collection of records. Here are some of the major websites:
- Ancestry.com – Ancestry.com is the world’s largest genealogy website. Amongst their numerous collections of English records are the 1841-1911 censuses, General Register Office (GRO) indexes to births, marriages, and deaths after 1837, and church records. They also have electoral rolls, probate records, poor law records, directories, and immigration records.
- Findmypast.com – Findmypast.com has the largest collection of English records. Along with the 1841-1911 censuses, they have the 1939 Register. Their collections also include newspapers, the GRO index, church records, military records, electoral rolls, directories, school records, and more.
- Familysearch.org – Familysearch.org has a large collection of English records, including the 1841-1911 censuses, GRO indexes, and church records. Do not overlook the FamilySearch Catalogue, which contains many records not found in the regular FamilySearch database.
- Free UK Genealogy – Free UK Genealogy is a charitable organisation that offers free access to three search databases of high-quality transcriptions of family history data. This includes FreeBMD (Birth, Marriage, and Death index), FreeREG (Parish and Non-conformist Registers), and FreeCEN (19th Century UK Census returns).
- MyHeritage.com – MyHeritage.com has a large collection of English records, including censuses, newspapers, church records, and immigration records.
- Thegenealogist.co.uk – Thegenealogist.co.uk has a large collection of English church records. It is a valuable resource for finding baptism, marriage, and burial records.
Please note that Ancestry, Findmypast, and MyHeritage are all subscription sites. However, these websites are available at the FamilySearch Library and various FamilySearch Centres. TheGenealogist is also a subscription site.
Church records are an essential resource for UK family history research, as they often contain valuable information such as baptism, marriage, and burial records. Here are some websites that provide access to church records:
Church of England (Anglican)
- FamilySearch – Offers indexes of births and baptisms, marriages, and deaths and burials for all of England. Images are available for select counties.
- Ancestry.com – Provides images of church records for London and surrounding areas, Dorset, Lancashire, Warwickshire, and West Yorkshire. Transcripts are available for many other counties.
- Findmypast.com – Provides transcripts of baptisms, marriages, and burials from 1538-2005. Free access is available at FamilySearch Centres. Images are available for select counties.
- FreeREG – Offers high-quality online transcripts of baptisms, marriages, and burials from parish and non-conformist registers. This is an ongoing project and not yet complete.
- UKBMD – Provides links to online church records databases, including parish registers and bishop’s transcripts.
- Thegenealogist.co.uk – Offers transcripts of parish registers.
- Seax – Provides online images of Essex parish registers.
Non-Conformists are individuals who do not belong to the Church of England. Here are some websites that provide access to non-conformist records:
- FamilySearch – Offers indexes to non-conformist births and baptisms, marriages, and deaths and burials.
- FreeREG – Also houses non-conformist records.
- Thegenealogist.co.uk – Provides indexes and images to non-conformist birth, marriage, and death records.
- BMDregisters.co.uk – Offers indexes to non-conformist and non-parochial registers.
- Ancestry.com – Provides multiple collections of non-conformist records.
- Findmypast.com – Offers multiple collections of non-conformist records.
Census records are valuable for locating families and individuals at a specific place and time. Here are some websites that provide access to UK census records:
- FamilySearch – Offers indexes to UK census records from 1841-1911. Images are available via partner websites.
- Ancestry.com – Provides indexes and images to UK census records from 1841-1911.
- Findmypast.com – Offers indexes and images to UK census records from 1841-1911.
- Thegenealogist.co.uk – Provides indexes and images to UK census records from 1841-1901, as well as the 1911 census in beta.
- Census Finder – Provides transcripts of some UK census records.
- FreeCEN – Offers transcripts of numerous UK census records.
Civil registration records, such as birth, marriage, and death certificates, are essential for UK family history research. Here are some resources for accessing civil registration records:
- General Register Office (GRO) – The official website for ordering birth, marriage, and death certificates from England and Wales. It also provides online searchable indexes for birth and death certificates from 1837-1917 and 1837-1957, respectively. A free account is required to search the indexes and order certificates.
- FreeBMD – Offers indexes to birth, marriage, and death certificates from England and Wales from July 1837-1983. Original certificates are located at the GRO in London. To order a certificate, you must use the information found in the index and order online on the GRO website.
- UKBMD – Provides indexes to birth, marriage, and death certificates from England and Wales from July 1837-1983 at the local registrar’s office. Select a county and click on “County” to access the indexes. Please note that not all counties have complete indexes, and some may not have indexes at the local registrar’s office. The website also includes links to other valuable records.
- Ancestry.com – Offers indexes to birth, marriage, and death certificates from England and Wales from July 1837-1915. Certificates must be ordered from the GRO website.
- Findmypast.com – Provides indexes to birth, marriage, and death certificates from England and Wales from 1837-1983. Certificates must be ordered from the GRO website.
Court records can be useful for locating ancestors at a specific location and time. Here are some resources for accessing court records in the UK:
- Genuki – Offers links to English directories, which can be useful for finding information about specific locations.
- Historical Directories – Provides access to various directories throughout England, with images available online for free.
- Thegenealogist.co.uk – Contains various directories throughout England, which can provide valuable information about specific locations.
- Ancestry.com – Contains a few English directories.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Sources
If you are researching the records of 19th-century Latter-day Saint converts, there are several resources that can be helpful. Here are some key websites:
- Pioneer Database – A list of pioneer families and individuals who migrated to Utah across the plains.
- Opsimathy – Contains submitted histories, biographies, articles, pictures, and more of pioneer ancestors.
- Immigrants.byu.edu – Tracks Latter-day Saint converts in ships migrating across the ocean to America.
- Winterquarters.byu.edu – Winter Quarters Project. Includes pioneer biographies, settlements, deaths, map of Winter Quarters, and more.
- Lib.byu.edu/digital/mmd – Latter-day Saint missionary journals kept during their missionary service.
Finding Information/Records for British Military Service
If you are searching for information or records related to an ancestor’s service in the British military, there are several resources available. Here are some websites that can help:
- National Archives – The premier repository for military records in the United Kingdom. While many records are now accessible online, most are still housed at the National Archives. However, they can be ordered online. This site provides information and guides on how to find military records, online military records, and digitised microfilm records.
- Ancestry.com – Includes many British military records, such as the British Army Service Records from 1760-1915.
- Findmypast.com – Offers indexes and images to many military records, including British Army WWI Service and pension records.
Newspapers and Periodicals
Newspapers and periodicals can provide valuable information for UK family history research. Here are some resources for accessing newspaper collections:
- British Newspaper Archive – Contains a large collection of British newspapers, which can be searched for genealogical information.
- Connected Histories – Provides access to a variety of digital British records and papers, including Convict Transportation Registers, House of Commons papers, London Lives (1690-1800), Charles Booth Archive, Old Bailey records, British Newspapers (1600-1900), and more.
- Newspapers.com – Offers a large collection of British newspapers, which can be searched for genealogical information.
- FamilySearch – Provides access to miscellaneous records such as poor law records, tax assessments, probate records, court records, monumental inscriptions, and more for select counties in the United Kingdom.
General Search Engines and Genealogy Search Engines
Search engines can be valuable tools for finding information and records related to your UK family history research. Here are some general search engines and genealogy search engines that can be helpful:
- Google – Use Google to search for your ancestors by entering their name and the name of the parish or county where they lived.
- Bing, Yahoo, Ask, Dogpile – These search engines can also be used to find information and records related to your UK family history research.
- Mocavo – A genealogy search engine that provides results only if they have genealogical value pertaining to your ancestor.
- Genes Reunited – Use this website to find distant relatives who may share a common ancestry with you.
- FreeBMD – A database that provides free access to birth, marriage, and death indexes from England and Wales.
If you are tracing English emigrants or immigrants, passenger lists can be valuable sources of information. Here are some resources for accessing passenger lists:
- Ancestry.com – Provides many passenger lists, including those arriving at US and Canadian ports. They also have a database for those returning or visiting the British Isles from 1878-1960.
- Findmypast.com – Offers passenger lists of individuals leaving the British Isles from 1890-1960. They also have a register of passport applications from 1851-1903.
- The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, Inc. – Provides New York passenger lists from 1892-1956.
- Immigrants.byu.edu – Tracks Latter-day Saint converts in ships migrating to America.
- Immigrant Ships – Provides passenger lists from all over the world, but you will need to search each volume as there is no searchable index.
Wills and Probate
Wills and probate records can provide valuable information about your ancestors, including the names of their spouses, children, and other family members. Here are some resources for accessing wills and probate records:
- FamilySearch Wiki – Provides information on how to find wills pre-1858. You can search for wills by county and access online indexes and microfilm records available at FamilySearch Libraries.
- Ancestry.com – Offers access to the National Probate Calendar for wills post-1858. However, no images are provided. To view microfilm images of wills, you can visit the FamilySearch Library.
- The National Archives – Provides an index to wills proved in the Prerogative Court of Canterbury.
- Thegenealogist.co.uk – Offers an index and images of wills in the Prerogative Court of Canterbury.
- Findmypast.com – Includes transcripts of various probate courts.
Maps, Gazetteers, and Place Names
Maps, gazetteers, and place names can help you understand where your ancestors came from and locate specific locations. Here are some resources for accessing maps, gazetteers, and place names:
- FamilySearch Maps – An excellent resource for finding neighbouring parishes, distances between parishes, jurisdictions of parishes, and viewing old ordinance survey maps of parishes. You can also view your ancestor’s parish in relation to Google Maps and Google Earth.
- National Archives Valuation Office Map Finder – Provides access to the Valuation Office map finder.
- Vision of Britain – Offers the Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales.
- British History Online – Provides access to the Topographical Dictionary of England.
- Genuki – Offers links to maps, gazetteers, and other resources.
- Getamap – Provides access to Ordnance Survey Maps.
- Old Maps – Offers access to historical maps of England for a fee.
Cemeteries and Burials
If you are trying to find where an ancestor is buried, there are several resources that can help. Here are some websites for accessing cemetery and burial information:
- FamilySearch – Use the catalogue to search for cemeteries in a specific county or parish.
- Genuki – Provides links to English cemeteries.
- Findmypast.com – Offers the largest online database of burials in England (National Burial Index).
- Deceased Online – Fast becoming the premier database for cemetery records in the United Kingdom post-1852.
- Find A Grave – Includes England burial grounds.
- Commonwealth War Graves Commission – The Debt of Honour Register database contains records of 1.7 million men and women of the Commonwealth forces who died during the two world wars. The database also includes records of 23,000 cemeteries, memorials, and other locations worldwide where they are commemorated.
Repositories in England
Repositories, such as archives, libraries, and County Record offices, are where original records are kept and housed. Here are some key repositories in England:
- National Archives – The National Archives is the premier repository for historical records in the United Kingdom. It contains a vast collection of military, government, and other records. Many records are now accessible online, but most are still housed at the National Archives and can be ordered online.
- FamilySearch Centers – FamilySearch centres provide access to most records on microform. They can be found nationwide and offer resources for family history research.
- County Record Offices – County Record Offices throughout England hold a vast amount of county records and are essential repositories for family history research.
- Society of Genealogists – The Society of Genealogists is Britain’s premier family history society. It includes many register transcriptions for thousands of parishes and offers research helps, ongoing projects, and the latest information about conferences and fairs.
- Genuki – Provides information on major repositories in London, including archives and libraries.
These databases and websites are valuable resources for conducting UK family history research. Whether you are looking for church records, census records, civil registration records, court records, or other types of records, these resources can help you find the information you need. Make sure to explore each website thoroughly to access the records and information relevant to your research. Happy searching!