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Useful genealogy websites - Family Tree magazine, September 2017


Rod Shepherd presents his round-up of the best family history websites, taken from recent issues of Family Tree magazine.


   Author: Colin Waters; ISBN 978 1 84674 156 2

   Publisher: Countryside Books 

1861 Census England and Wales          

1939 Register for England and Wales at FindMyPast

   The register is available online only at this site and is free to search

    but there is a charge to view the records, with different pay-per-view

    packages starting at £6.95 (as at December 2015)

Blacksheep Ancestors                        

Bristol & Avon FHS                                

British History Online                            

Catholic Family History Society             

Census details at Automated Genealogy

Central Database for Burials and Cremations, Deceased Online                                                        

Coal Mining History Resource Centre   

Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Copy of a will at UK Family Records and Justice.gov.uk                     

       Copy Will and Probate (wills 1858 – 1996)

                             to order a copy of a will made in England or Wales within these dates

  1. Use this website address; or 2) by post at

The Postal Searches and Copies Department, Leeds District Probate

Registry, York House, 31, York Place, Leeds, LS1 2BA.

Create Timelines  at Histropedia                   

      An open platform allowing people to work together to create timelines

      using information imported from current Wikipedia data.

Cyndi’s List                                  

Day of Birth (and conception!) and other facts - Paul Sadowski

                                                      as above re religious festivals at SmartNet      

Digital Executor to Digital Legacy     

Electoral Registers                            

     British Library collection of electoral registers, complete for the UK from

     1947 but with many earlier holdings from 1832

Family Name: History and Geography at GB Names

Federation of Family History Societies   

  To find their annual “Really Useful Information” leaflet go to their home page,

  click on “About Us”, highlight “Really Useful Leaflet”, download and save it.

Find a Grave                                        

Find an Archive near you                  

Find Living Relatives                              

France – births by Département 1891 to date

Free online genealogy course with FamilySearch


    Indexes of births, marriages and deaths freely available to view from

    1837 to, largely, the 1970s


     Free access to transcriptions of UK censuses – care! partial coverage


      Transcriptions of baptisms, marriages and burials across the UK

Free records transcriptions  - Ancestry Aid                  

General Searching  - National Archives                              

General Register Office BMD Indexes – to access the improved indexes register at -  www.gro.gov.uk/gro/content/certificates

GENUKI (UK and Ireland Genealogical Information Service)

Image Archive                          

    Free access to archives of images (e.g. street scenes) to enhance family history research. Diamond subscribers to The Genealogist can access the archive to allow the download of images in a high resolution format.

Jersey Records back to 1540 at Ancestry              

  The records are mainly in French. Search at the ancestry web address above. Free access available at Jersey Archive. For more information search the catalogue at Jersey Heritage                     

Look for an Archive at National Archives                 

Looking for people at Cyndis List                                

Looking for people/families at FamilySearch                   

   (Input: both parents’ names – if known – village and date range)

Lost Cousins                                         

Missing beneficiaries                            

National Archives                                 


 (for free online tutorial on deciphering old-style handwriting)

Parish Registers (via BMD Registers

Parish Register Transcriptions              

(Andy Phillips, FreeReg area assistant for Somerset)

Railway Ancestors                               


   Where people researching their families can find others researching the

   same names



Second World War Military Records    

Surname Area Concentration              

Tactic “cousin bait”   use either of these websites to attract others researching the same name(s) to contact you to ask for/share information

       Ancestry or FamilySearch

The Gazette (the London Gazette)*       

     *Access, search and use is free. Register for a “My Gazette” account.

The War Graves Photographic Project   

       To locate a grave or memorial and obtain a photograph – use the

         website’s search facility to see if a photograph is currently available

Time and Date (find day of week for a date)

Trove Website                     

         To search for ancestors in Australia

UKBMD (for links to local sites etc.)       

Vision of Britain (overlay maps from different periods – 1801 to 2001)

 War Graves                                          

        Enter name being researched and follow on-screen instructions

Wills and Probate                                   

       Search for, find and order wills and probates

World War 1 (WW1)                              

   British Legion website trying to get commemoration for every life lost


Back to "Family history tips & advice" Category

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