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.

England & Wales

General Sites

  • Ancestry ~ UK Census (1841-1911), GRO Indexes, 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 ~ UK Census (1841-1911), UK & Ireland GRO Indexes, and some Parish and other records. (Some public libraries subscribe to FindMyPast UK making it free for members).
  • GENUKI: UK & Ireland Genealogy ~ Virtual reference library of genealogical information for UK & Ireland.
  • Great Britain Family Names Profiler ~ Quick visual display of the distribution of Surnames.
  • OnLine Parish Clerks ~ Free online records from various UK counties & parishes.
  • The National Archives (TNA) ~ A vast collection of 1,000 years of UK government, hospital, military, medals, shipping & seamen, and many other records.
  • The National Archives (TNA) ~ Access to Archives (A2A) ~ The A2A database holds catalogues describing archives held locally in England & Wales dating from the eighth century to the present day.
  • UK BMD ~ Library of links to genealogical websites for the UK BMD Index, Parish records, Census records, etc.
  • Old-Maps ~ Britain's most comprehensive historical map archive covering England, Wales and Scotland.
  • ArcGIS Current and Historic Counties of England ~ Compares the new Ceremonial Counties against the old Historic Counties.
  • Historic Place Names of Wales ~ Contains place names collected from historical maps and other sources providing a fascinating insight into the land-use, archaeology and history of Wales.

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.
  • Scotlands Places ~ Searchable transcriptions and images of various tax records and Ordnance Survey Name books.

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

Genealogy Shopping