Bringing your Family History to life every month APRIL 2012
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Our Favourite Websites

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Bare Necessities

  • Ancestry
    http://www.ancestry.co.uk

    Pay-per-view site – first to launch the national censuses (1841–1901) and many other digitised record sets.

  • Find My Past
    http://www.findmypast.com

    Formerly 1837online.com, this site has fully searchable BMD indexes (1837–2006) among other collections.

  • GenesReunited
    http://www.genesreunited.com

    Classic family tree linking website with 500 million names.

  • Family Relatives
    http://www.familyrelatives.com

    This new and improved site is one of the first to combine social networking and millions of records

  • Origins
    http://www.origins.net

    Comprehensive and exclusive British and Irish record collections from 1200s to now.

  • The Genealogist
    http://www.thegenealogist.co.uk

    Various useful online databases and transcripts, including censuses.

  • Family Search
    http://www.familysearch.com

    The LDS Church run site for free access to records, including the 1881 census and the International Genealogical Index

  • Scotlands People
    http://www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk

    The official government source for Scottish genealogical information

  • Family History Online
    http://www.familyhistoryonline.net

    Access the online resources from various family history societies, including the National Burial Index

  • Access to Archives
    http://www.a2a.org.uk

    Searchable indexes to the holdings of over 350 local and national record offices and museums.

     

  • Bedfordshire FHS
    http://www.bfhs.org.uk

    A FHS site with lists of indexes of local resource centres, contacts and links to maps of the country as well as other valuable information

  • Berkshire FHS
    http://www.berksfhs.org.uk

    Includes all relevant information of resource centres, research services as well as an index of over 30,000 birth briefs

  • Berwick-Upon-Tweed Record Office
    http://www.discovertheborders.co.uk/places/150.html

    This website basically provides contact details as well as the location for the Berwick-Upon-Tweed Record Office and a resource centre for Family History Research in North Northumberland and the nearby areas

  • Birmingham & Midland Society for Genealogy and Heraldy
    http://www.bmsgh.org

    This site aims to inform new and existing members along with providing them with useful links to other resources

  • British Genealogy
    http://www.british-genealogy.com/

    An extremely active group of forums with over 17,000 members who will be able to answer your most outlandish query.

  • Encyclopedia of Genealogy
    http://www.eogen.com

    A project started by Dick Eastman to provide a encyclopaedic reference for genealogy, where registered users post articles, screened for quality. There are already over 1,000 articles, which can be accessed free of charge.

  • Roots Web
    http://www.rootsweb.com

    One of the most popular and widely used genealogy websites. it provides a community, forums and mailing lists. it has good search facilities and is completely free.

Archives

  • Tombstones and Monumental Inscriptions
    http://www.framland.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk

    A portal to sites contaiing details, transcriptions and photographs of gravestones and monuments from all over the UK.

  • Burials in India
    http://www.burialsinindia.net

    A useful website which provides access to the records of European burials in colonial India.

  • The National Archives (TNA)
    http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk

    TNA’s homepage – get the latest updates on releases or search their DocumentsOnline.

  • Society of Genealogists
    http://www.sog.org.uk

    Join the society, learn about future events or search the library catalogue

  • The Institute of Heraldic and Genealogical Studies
    http://www.ihgs.ac.uk

    The first centre for family history studies in the UK. With extensive library and taught courses.

  • Federation of Family History Societies
    http://www.ffhs.org.uk

     List of all the member societies that a researcher can consult or join.

  • General Register Office
    http://www.gro.gov.uk

    All you need to know about obtaining birth, marriage and death certificates.

  • London Metropolitan Archives
    http://www.cityoflondon.gov.uk/lma

    For research in the capital.

  • ARCHON
    http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/archon

    The definitive list of major British repositories

  • Public Record Office of Northern Ireland
    http://www.proni.gov.uk

    Northern Ireland’s major archive. Includes names of landholders and Ulster covenant signatories

  • Guild of One-Name Studies (GOONS)
    http://www.one-name.org

    Is your surname being researched? Check here and make contact!

  • Familia
    http://www.familia.org.uk/about.html

    A directory helping you to find what you want and where it’s located in archives around the UK.

  • One Great Family
    http://www.onegreatfamily.com

    The world’s largest tree building site.

  • Pedigree Soft
    http://www.pedigreesoft.com

    Tree building and information sharing website, now owned by FindMyPast.com.

  • England's past for everyone
    http://www.ExploreEnglandsPast.org.uk

    This website provides free access to 1000s of local history resources including images, transcribed wills and documents and town trails. Run by the Victoria County History (VCH), England’s Past for Everyone (EPE) is a Heritage Lottery-funded project. EPE is working with academics and local communities to produce a series of paperback books, resources for schools and an interactive website.

  • AIM25
    http://www.aim25.ac.uk

    A guide to nearly 50 archives in London and within the M25 with searchable access to catalogues of the material

  • American National Archives
    http://www.archives.gov/genealogy

    This site offers a large quantity of resources for the American genealogist

  • Ancestors on Board
    http://www.ancestorsonboard.com

    A great resource for anyone tracing emigrant ancestors with data coming from lists of people leaving Britain from 1890 to 1960.

  • Archives Canada
    http://www.archivescanada.ca

    This site offers an access to Canada's past with a search facility and details of more than 800 record holders across the country

  • Archives Hub
    http://www.archiveshub.ac.uk

    This site offers descriptions of archives in UK universities and colleges

  • Archives Network Wales
    http://www.archivesnetworkwales.info

    An index of all resource collections held by record offices, universities and other bodies across Wales are available through this website  

  • About Genealogy
    http://genealogy.about.com/

    An American-based group of sites and portals dealing with a large variety of topics, some specific to the UK.

  • Access to Archives
    http://www.a2a.org.uk/

    A research catalogue to assist researchers looking for local archive information from the 8th century to today. It consists of over 10 million entries from 400 record offices throughout England and Wales, including business documents, deeds, police and hospital records. 

  • Ancestry.co.uk
    http://www.ancestry.co.uk/

    A key UK records site with a wealth of sources. These include: complete censuses from 1841 to 1901; parish and probate records; searchable birth, marriage and death records from 1837 to 2005; trade directories; military records; British telephone books from 1880 to 1984. It is necessary to subscribe to view the records and this costs from £6.95.

  • Archive CD Books
    http://www.archivecdbooks.org/

    A world-wide project aiming to preserve old documents, books and maps and make them available on CD. British content is available from Archive CD Books Ireland.

  • Australian Institute of Genealogical Studies
    http://www.aigs.org.au

    The AIGS site is a great resource for anyone delving into Australian roots with a searchable library catalogue and useful links to British and Irish genealogy.

  • The Borthwick Institute for Historical Research
    http://www.york.ac.uk/inst/bihr/

    A large archive with a searchable index and details of how to access vital records, including parish registers; births, marriages and deaths; women's, racial and homosexual history.

  • Bradford FHS
    http://www.bradfordfhs.org.uk/

    You can order Census transcriptions from the Bradford FHS site and use a list of research items available at Bradford Central Library.

  • British Library Family History
    http://www.bl.uk/familyhistory.html

    The British Library advises on how the collections can be useful to genealogists.  They can help you find electoral registers, newspapers, and the India Office records can be searched online.

  • British Telecom Archives
    http://www.btplc.com/archives

    The website includes details of how BT customers can use the archive building at Holborn Telephone Exchange, with a user's guide. There is also an interesting chronology of events in telecommunications.

  • Burke's Peerage
    http://www.burkes-peerage.net

    An enormous archive collection on royalty, stately homes, heraldry with searchable records online. There are over a million names across 7,000 genealogies. Full access is subscription-only, but short-term subscriptions are avalable from £7.95.

  • Cemeteries of Australia
    http://www.ozgenonline.com/aust_cemeteries/

    Details of cemeteries across Australia, with addresses as well as some online burial data, photographs of headstones, and links to individual cemetery sites.

  • Cemetary Transcription Library
    http://www.interment.net

    Library containing transcriptions from thousands of cemeteries world-wide. It has records for over 35 counties in the UK, but it is still ongoing and welcomes submissions.

  • Census of Ireland, 1901 and 1911
    http://www.census.nationalarchives.ie

    This site is in the process of setting up complete access to the 1901 and 1911 Irish Censuses. Dublin has been completed and Kerry, Antrim and Down are soon to follow. Detailed searches are available for free, as are short histories of the period.

  • Cornucopia
    http://www.cornucopia.org.uk

    A gateway to UK museums, galleries and archives, with more than 6,000 collections searchable. An excellent means of discovering resources near you.

  • Family Chest
    http://www.familychest.co.uk

    This site has a wealth of documents, such as old title deeds, legal documents, all free to search through and gain information, with a charge for having the original document or a full transcription sent to you.

  • Family History Online
    http://www.familyhistoryonline.net

    Begun by the Federation of Family History Societies, the site has snowballed into a major resource containing over 67 million records of baptisms, marriages, burials, monument inscriptions, censuses and documents recorded by member societies. There is a pay-per-view charge of just a few pence and a free name search.

  • Family Records
    http://www.familyrecords.gov.uk

    To assist genealogists in searching for family history details in government records and other sources. A good starting point for beginners learning how to access records and where they are kept, such as where to find birth certificates and military records.

  • Family Relatives
    http://www.familyrelatives.com

    There are over 600 million records from various categories of family history information on this site. Some are free, others require subscription through a system of credits.

  • Family Search
    http://www.familysearch.org

    A pool of international genealogy databases including the National Genealogical Index, based on parish registers mainly. Enter a surname or whatever information you have into the site and it will give you the information and its source.

  • Origins
    http://www.origins.net

    A major source of Uk and Irish records.

For Free

  • Save Every Step
    http://www.saveeverystep.com

    Create and share the memories and events of your whole life on an interactive timeline brought to life with your photos, documents and words

  • Free BMD
    http://www.freeBMD.org.uk

    Aiming to grant free access to all the GRO’s BMD records, this site still isn't complete but useful nonetheless

  • FreeCen
    http://www.freecen.org.uk

    FreeBMD’s census-related cousin

  • 1901 Census Online
    http://www.1901censusonline.com

    Free access to the latest census, courtesy of GenesReunited and TNA.

  • Cyndi’s List
    http://www.cyndislist.com

    Over ten years of online advice for genealogists and 250,000 links for research – impressive.

  • Curious Fox
    http://www.curiousfox.com

    A wonderful forum, search by place rather than name to find those from the same ancestral village.

  • British Genealogy
    http://www.british-genealogy.com

    A great basic resource. Especially good guide to taking and using monumental inscriptions

  • RootsWeb
    http://www.rootsweb.com

    An excellent forum site with lots to recommend it despite the US bias

  • Family Tree Forum
    http://www.familytreeforum.co.uk

    Well maintained and democratic forum site with lots to offer a new user

  • Online Parish Clerks Project
    http://www.genuki.org.uk/indexes/OPC.html

    OPC’s provide volunteer transcription of historical records at parish level for various counties.

  • Tribal Pages
    http://www.tribalpages.com

    The best tree-hosting and genealogical storage site around, with good privacy controls

     

  • Family tree UK
    http://www.familyhistory.uk.com

    A good forum and tree building site for furthering research or knocking down brick walls

  • Free Christmas events at Museum of London
    http://www.museumindocklands.org.uk

    Christmas themed events for adults, kids and all the family at Museum of London and Museum of London Docklands this December. Choose from walks, craft fairs, and story telling sessions, the Museums have something for everyone this December. Step into the festive season and at the same time explore the history of London and Londoners.

  • Ancestry Aid
    http://www.ancestryaid.co.uk

    This site offers more than a million searchable records for free as well as a tree building facility

  • BMD Share
    http://www.bmdshare.com/

    Share scans of certificates from the General Record Office. So far the site has nearly 1,500 birth, marriage and death certificates and you can search them for free, after registering, which costs just £1.

  • Family Tree Forum
    http://www.familytreeforum.com

    A dedicated genealogy forum with free membership, places to upload your own files, and an encyclopedia.

  • Gencircles
    http://www.gencircles.com

    A US site which specialises in 'SmartMatching' ancestors from different family trees. The site is free and consists of over 60 million ancestors submitted by users.

  • Gendir Genealogy Directory
    http://www.gendir.com

    The website is a free genealogy resource with forums, surname searches across US portals and UK links.

  • Genuki
    http://www.genuki.org

    A non-profit organisation run by volunteers, full of information relating to family history in UK and Ireland. An enormous amount of resources.

  • The Gravestone Project
    http://www.gravestonephotos.com

    A team of volunteers contributes photos from cemetaries across the world and transcribes the information on them. The information is free to access and fully searchable, and photographs can be requested.

Background

Primary Resources

  • Worldgenweb Project
    http://www.worldgenweb.org

    World-wide resources for genealogists to link them to localised information. It has every country's key site resources.

  • Historical Directories
    http://www.historicaldirectories.org

    Almost 700 fully searchable trade and residential directories from 1750–1919.

  • Hidden BMDs
    http://www.BMDregisters.co.uk

    The brand new official service for non-parochial BMDs – find non-conformists here

  • The Wellcome Library
    http://library.wellcome.ac.uk

    Search the catalogue here to find all manner of historical medical records

  • Prerogative Court of Canterbury Wills
    http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/documentsonline/wills.asp

    A vast collection of wills, one of the most useful and underused resources.

  • Guildhall Library
    http://www.history.ac.uk/gh

    Vast archive of documents relating to every aspect of London and national life.

     

  • Gazettes Online
    http://www.gazettes-online.co.uk

    Scans and indexes to the London, Edinburgh and Belfast Gazettes – the self styled ‘newspapers of record’ for the UK.

  • British Library Newspapers
    http://www.bl.uk/collections/newspapers.html

    Check the catalogue for relevant holdings; look out for the launch of online content in 2009

  • Penny Illustrated
    http://www.collectbritain.co.uk/collections/pip

    Search the complete run of this daily newspaper online (1861–1913)

  • Newsplan
    http://www.newsplan.co.uk

    Research into the history and society of Southern England and the West Midlands through local newspapers.

  • Fairfax Archives
    http://www.fairfaxarchives.com

    Search back copies of the Sydney Morning Herald from 1955–present

     

  • 1901 Census Online
    http://www.1901censusonline.com

    Browse birth, marriage and death indexes and search Census records on this site for free, but charges apply to obtain the details or view images.

  • Association of Genealogists and Researchers in Archives
    http://www.agra.org.uk/

    AGRA contains a list of accredited family history researchers, including their specialisms, and their contact details.

  • Curious Fox
    http://www.curiousfox.org.uk

    Noticeboards  and a collection of old maps organised by location in the UK. You can post enquiries on surnames, local or family history and search by town/village for free or pay an optional £5 for subscription.

  • The Genealogist
    http://www.thegenealogist.co.uk

    One of the biggest UK family history resources run by volunteers. The site contains a wealth of information including: census records and image, a BMD index. Unlimited access costs £68.95 annually, but there are a range of deals on offer.

  • Genes Reunited
    http://www.genesreunited.com

    A huge database of shared family tree data. The site has over 9 million members who have added their family trees - more than 250,000 names are added each week.

Military History

Photography

Migration

Old Maps

Occupations

Brick Walls

Black Sheep

Find Living Relatives

Pedigrees and Heraldry

Courses

Genetics

Tourism

  • Visit Britain
    http://www.visitbritain.co.uk

    The official site of the UK tourist board – lots of info for the potential ancestral traveller.

  • Ancestral Roots Travel
    http://www.ancestralrootstravel.com

    Leading tour company specialising in research trips and visits to ancestral homes around the UK.

  • Leger Battlefield Tours
    http://battlefields.leger.co.uk

    FHM-affiliated couch tour company, specialising in tours of WWI and II battle regions.

  • Bartletts Battlefield Journeys
    http://www.battlefields.co.uk

    Bespoke battlefield tour and research company, for those who prefer the personal touch.

  • Ancestral Travel
    http://ancestraltravel.net

    A good place to start when looking to plan a research trip outside the UK.

  • 24 Hour Museum
    http://www.24hourmuseum.org.uk

    Provides a guide to over 3,000 museums and galleries across the country

  • British Empire and Commonwealth Museum
    http://www.empiremuseum.co.uk

    As well as being the largest resource of images and video on the British Empire, the site has information on accessing the museum's archives, exhibitions, a timeline and map.

Shopping

  • Your Old Books and Maps
    http://www.youroldbooksandmaps.co.uk

    This site has lots of old books and maps available to purchase on CD, including Army and Navy lists and general history.

  • Yesteryear
    http://www.yesteryeardirect.co.uk

    Yesteryear create high-quality audio-visual nostalgia products that celebrate Britain's glorious past. Their entire range of scrapbooks, CDs and DVDs is available from the website.

  • Family Tree Folk
    http://www.familytreefolk.co.uk/

    An ideal place to look for Christmas or birthday presents for the genealogist of the family.

  • My Life Story
    http://www.mylifestorybook.co.uk

    If you're looking to see your memories and photographs in print, My Life Story can write, design and publish a hardback book of them for you.

  • Hall of Names
    http://hallofnames.org.uk

    If you are looking for historical or heraldic gifts for the genealogist in your life, this website might be the one for you! They specialise in coats of arms and surname histories. 

  • Buy Certificates
    http://www.gro.gov.uk/gro/content/certificate/index.asp#0

    Buy your certificates online at the General Register Office site.

  • Parish Chest
    http://www.parishchest.com

    Excellent one-stop-shopping site for all your genealogical requirements.

     

  • FFHS Bookshop
    http://www.familyhistorybooks.co.uk

    The Federation of Family History Societies’ online store, with a variety of top titles.

  • eBay
    http://www.ebay.co.uk

    A great place to pick up medals, maps, memorabilia and other second-hand excitements

  • Eneclann
    http://www.eneclann.ie

    Books, CDs and other resources to help with your Irish research.

  • S&N Genealogy supplies
    http://www.genealogysupplies.com

    The first people to stock genealogical software in the UK.

  • Arcare
    http://www.arcare.com

    Help you to care for your documents and certificates with storage solutions.

  • Arrowfile
    http://www.genealogyorganiser.com

    For all your storage needs.

  • My History
    http://www.my-history.co.uk

    Selling an array of goodies, including books, maps and software.

  • Family Traits
    http://www.familytraits.co.uk

    Useful professional research company.

  • History Direct
    http://www.historydirect.co.uk

    This site is one of the leading internet booksellers for history and non fiction titles. Their range includes a fantastic selection of DVDs, maps and audio books.

  • Chrome Audio
    http://www.chromeaudio.com

    Chrome Audio produce autobiographical CDs. Their first project was the CD for Julie Summer's 'Stranger in the House' book, as featured in FHM issue 164.

     

     

     

     

     

  • Francis Frith Collection
    http://www.francisfrith.com

    One of the biggest UK-based collections of old photographs and postcards with a search facility so you can browse by location. Images can be purchased in different formats.

  • Gen Fair
    http://www.genfair.com

    Created by the FFHS, as a place to purchase FFHS publications and many other items from UK-based publishers and small FHS groups.

  • S&N Genealogy Supplies
    http://www.genealogysupplies.com

    One of the biggest suppliers of family history research equipment in the UK. It sells a variety of softare, data CDs, books, and provides details of FH events.

Other Favourites

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Competition

Win British Newspaper Archive Subscriptions

Discover the genealogical goldmine that is the British Newspaper Archive (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk) with an online subscription. This recently launched digitisation project has four million pages of searchable family notices, advertisements, obituaries, letters and illustrations from over 200 historic local and national newspapers.

We have a one-year subscription (worth £79.95) to give away as well as two 30-day subscriptions (worth £29.95 each) and four 2-day subscriptions (worth £6.95 each). To be in with a chance of winning one, simply answer the following question. Send answers to fhm@metropolis.co.uk or write to the usual address on page three, by the 15th March.

Q: Who invented the printing press in the Holy Roman Empire in 1440?