3 key resources for today's genealogist; what to look for & where to find them


15 August 2019
Screen-Shot-2019-08-15-at-16.54.34-87232.png Find out what to search for and where to look
Are you just starting your family history, or wishing to brush up on your online research know-how? Our 3 key resources will help

Are you just starting your family history, or wishing to brush up on your online research know-how? Then we've got 3 top tools and resources perfect for the genealogist of today.


Our tips provide an ideal introduction to information sources. However, even if you consider yourself an old hand, some of the websites presented here should give some food for thought.


In the October 2019 issue of Family Treeon sale from 27 August, family history researcher Mike Bedford takes you on a tour of essential sites to search to find clues, collect records and grow your family tree.


This is just the proverbial whistle-stop tour. You’d be well advised, therefore, to continue to read up further on some of these topics to expand your genealogy know-how.


Here we've picked out three topics suggested by Mike to help you take the next step on your genealogy journey.


1) Births, marriages and deaths

The mainstay of family history research are the records of births, marriages and deaths (BMDs). Indexes of these three milestones in your relatives’ lives are available online, but only from the mid-19th century, the exact date differing between England and Wales (from 1837), Scotland (from 1855), and Ireland (from 1845 non-Catholic marriages/1864 all Irish BMDs).

The relevant websites for these three parts of the UK are:

•    England and Wales – FreeBMD and GRO (births and deaths)

•    Scotland – ScotlandsPeople

•    Northern Ireland (post-1922) – NI Direct

•    Ancestors before 1922 in all Ireland and pos-1922 in Eire: IrishGenealogy.ie

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2) Parish registers

If you’re looking for details of your ancestors’ key life events, earlier than the dates when they were first collected as civil records (as above), you’ll have to rely on parish records – the church registers of baptisms, marriages and burials.


Some of these have been transcribed by volunteers so they can be accessed online – see, for example, www.freereg.org.uk – and increasingly on the commercial websites.


3) Family tree software

Before the ascendancy of the commercial genealogy websites, software packages were one of the few high tech ways to assist those delving into their family history. However, although the online services now do much of what can be done with software on your own PC, it would be wise not to ignore the still very valuable resource that family history software represents, for storing, sorting and sharing your family history research.

Mike's software suggestions include Family Historian 6, Family Tree Maker 2017, and Tree View 


Read Mike's full advice in the October 2019 issue of Family Tree, on sale from 27 August.


Photo © Edi-libedinsky/Unsplash.