Useful Research Web Sites

Introduction

The following sites are useful sources of information. They are grouped by Country, and by Document types.

Some are Pay As You Go, some are by subscription, and some are free, but many offer a combination for different services and documents. Watch out for discount offers associated with historical anniversaries or exhibitions, and via public libraries or family history societies.

Sometimes a cited web page may become 'extinct' but can possibly be retrieved using the Service ~ Internet Archive Wayback Machine and a web browser extension.

World Wide

These sites focus mainly on Great Britain, USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and to a lesser extent the old British Commonwealth, and Europe.

  • Ancestry ~ Extensive world wide collections of Birth, Marriage, Death, Census, Parish, and many other records.
  • Find My Past ~ Extensive world wide collections of Birth, Marriage, Death, Census, Parish, and many other records.
  • Family Search ~ Includes the IGI, and contains a huge number of databases, of variable quality. Some are direct transcriptions of original documents, while others are members research, which may or may not be accurate.
  • Family History Directory ~ A site full of family history and genealogy links to online resources.
  • Family Relatives ~ Online access to world wide collections of Birth, Marriage, Death, Census, Parish, and many other records.
  • German Roots ~ Despite its name, a research site of vital resources for many nationalities.
  • Society of One-Place Studies ~ Lists one-place studies internationally, with resources for those undertaking an OPS.
  • Register of One-Place Studies ~ Lists one-place studies being undertaken across the UK, and internationally.
  • Guild of One-Name Studies ~ GOONS is the world's leading organisation for one-name studies. See also One-Name Study Techniques.
  • Behind the Name ~ Useful site for looking up alternates for Forenames and Surnames.
  • World Family Names Profiler ~ Quick visual display of the distribution of Surnames.
  • Burke’s Peerage ~ Genealogy & heraldry of the Peerage & Gentry of UK, Ireland, the Commonwealth, Europe, and USA.
  • Ordering USA Death Certificates ~ Social Security Death Records by Natalie D. Cottrill.
  • Vision of Britain Through Time ~ Britain & Europe from 1801 with maps, statistics & historical descriptions.
  • McMaster University Library Maps ~ Digital archive with many Rare Maps of North America, Europe & England.
  • Find A Grave ~ Where to look for burial, cemetery, memorial and other final disposition information.

England & Wales

General Sites

Civil Registration

  • BMD Certificate Information ~ Tutorials on all you need to know about GRO BMD Certificates.
  • FreeBMD ~ An ongoing project aiming to transcribe the GRO Civil Registration Index of births, marriages and deaths for England & Wales, and to provide free Internet access to the transcribed records.
  • FreeREG ~ Sister site to FreeBMD & FreeCEN is a free, but minimal index of Parish Registers.
  • UK BMD ~ Registration Districts in England and Wales.
  • UK GRO Online Index Search ~ Birth & Death index free searches.
  • UK GRO Certificate Ordering ~ Cost at least £9.50 per Certificate, or £6.00 per PDF research copy (£11 and £7 respectively after 16th Feb 2019).

Census Records

  • FreeCEN ~ Sister site to FreeBMD & FreeREG is a free, but incomplete, source of UK Census years 1841 to 1891.

Wills & Probate

  • GOV.UK Find a Will ~ Service to find wills and probate records in UK between 1858 and present day, and soldier's who died while serving in the British armed forces between 1850 and 1986.

Scotland

General Sites

  • Scotlands People ~ One of the largest online sources of original genealogical information. Almost 90 million records, including Certificates, Census, and Parish Records.
  • National Library of Scotland ~ A leading centre for the study of Scotland that includes a guide to family history research, thousands of digitised maps, and hundreds of P.O. directories 1773-1911.
  • Glasgow Guide and Information ~ This is not just about its here and now, but also its rich history including historical street names.
  • Ancestry ~ Scotland Census (1841-1901), and some Parish and other records. (Many public libraries subscribe to Ancestry UK making it free for members, and some Census records are free).
  • Find My Past ~ Scotland Census (1841-1901), Scotland GRO Indexes, and some Parish and other records.

Civil Registration

Ireland

General Sites

  • Find My Past Ireland ~ UK & Ireland GRO Indexes, Census, Land, Estate, Parish and other records.
  • GENUKI: UK & Ireland Genealogy ~ Virtual reference library of genealogical information for UK & Ireland.
  • The National Archives of Ireland ~ Hold the records of the modern Irish State.
  • The National Library of Ireland ~ Holds the most comprehensive collection of Irish documentary material in the world and offers an invaluable representation of Ireland’s history and heritage.
  • IrishGenealogy.ie ~ Holds a wide range of record sources of Irish Ancestry including on-line historic Indexes of the Civil Registers (GRO) of Births, Marriages, Civil Partnerships and Deaths, and the Church Records of Baptism, Marriage and Burial from a number of counties. Many documents are free to download.

Civil Registration

Census Records

Australia and New Zealand

Civil Registration

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