Research Links Useful websites for family history purposes

Links are compiled mainly as they crop up in Cutlock & Co researches (with help from Who Do You Think You Are magazine and other sources). Those relevant to particular topics will also appear on appropriate articles.

Other pages of research help

UK data and trees

Paid subscriptions required to do anything much here, but check for 14 day trials, any free access offers etc.

Other less well-known British sites, with their own particular range of databases:

  • The Genealogist is developing significantly, with 1911 census, BMD records from GRO, nonconformist records etc. They have a connected family tree site, TreeView.
  • Deceased Online burial and cremation records for the UK.

Also available:

  • MyHeritage – tree building/genealogical social network. They now also own WorldVitalRecords, with millions of historical records (mainly USA, UK, Ireland, Australia and Canada) and what they claim to be the world’s largest collection of historical newspapers.

General Archives

  • Internet Archive Finding old material online, not just old websites. Out of copyright and copyright-free text (books) could include works of interest.
  • National Archives Directory of archives has web and contact details for the vast range of record repositories in the United Kingdom, listed geographically.
  • National Archives themselves, based at Kew. The centre for official records (if the documents you want aren’t held locally, try here).
  • Historical Directories – a digital library of local and trade directories for England and Wales, from 1750 to 1919.
  • GENUKI (UK and Ireland Genealogy) has helpful info on sources of records across the British Isles, and is worth a browse for other info, such as a map of pre-1974 counties. London Genealogy pages.
  • AIM25 – archives in London and the M25 area. A project “to provide electronic access to collection level descriptions of the archives of over one hundred higher education institutions, learned societies, cultural organisations and livery companies within the greater London area”.
  • FamilySearch – UK records. A mixture of transcriptions, browsable record images and finding records held elsewhere. Also a  newish family tree facility.

Discussion forums

There are plenty of places online where you can post requests for help, raise issues etc. Which ones work for you can depend on the topic and definitely depends on the helpful people who may change in availability as their interests evolve. It also helps to phrase queries clearly with plenty (but not overwhelming) details on names, dates, places, events etc. On most forums anyone can browse/search but you need to register to post queries.

    • Rootschat has helped crack a few problems for me. Make sure you find the right area (board) to place your request/info.
    • Ancestry.co.uk on Facebook Some useful official announcements and chatty help from subscribers.
    • Ancestry message boards (these also appear on rootsweb). Again it pays to find the right place to post.
    • Genes Reunited has a Community discussion area which some people obviously like. Wouldn’t be my first choice as I don’t particularly like how the site works.
    • British Genealogy Forums Supported by Parish Chest, you need to subscribe (free) to use this.

Online help

    • Ancestor Search All sorts of pointers to family history courses, record offices and other local sources, and the national/online stuff too. England/Wales focus.
    • GenGuide Descriptions of and information on genealogical sources (records) – occupations, emigration, census, civil, parish and property registers etc.
    • Expert Genealogy provides a way of accessing paid, professional genealogical research help. Also see Association of Genealogists and Researchers in Archives.
    • FamilySearch has a useful research wiki – not just about its own record collections.
    • Mocavo.com, which started as a genealogy search engine in 2011 with a USA focus, was absorbed by Findmypast in 2016.
    • GenealogyInTime has an “ancestral search engine”.
    • Connected Histories Use to search across a number of digital resources related to early modern and nineteenth century Britain (started 2011). Some sources require subscription, higher education or library access.

Places

There are official archives and history centres in most English (and Welsh?) counties. There are also loads of local projects, transcribing and collating information from parish registers and other sources from their patch. Rootschat is a good place to find more (and to ask for help).

Somerset, Norfolk – see the relevant page on Cutlock & Co. Quite a few of the links below are sourced from Who Do You Think You Are magazine, which features an area each issue.

Multiple places

East Midlands

Home Counties, including Essex

Lancashire and Cheshire

London

  • London Lives 1690-1800, “crime, poverty, social policy” and “A fully searchable edition of 240,000 manuscripts from eight archives and fifteen datasets, giving access to 3.35 million names.”
  • Museum of London collections.
  • Parish Register is making transcriptions of London’s Parish Registers available (for a fee). Also London docks history.

Northumberland and Durham

South East England

South West England

West Midlands

Yorkshire/Humber

Wales

Also see Rhondda, Mid-Wales and South Wales pages on Cutlock and Co.

Scotland

Ireland

Islands

Abroad

Misc

Migration

  • Welsh Mormon History site is mainly about those who converted in Wales and migrated to Utah.
  • TheShipsList Find your ancestors on ships’ passenger lists, also immigration reports, newspaper records, shipwreck information, ship pictures, etc.
  • Convicts to Australia (convictcentral.com) – a guide to researching your convict ancestors.

Specialist Sites

Also see the Cutlock & Co Occupations page.

Living conditions

Poverty, ill-health, consequences

Peoples and faiths

Nationalities

Institutions, including education

  • Barnardo Homes was one of the first providers of children homes and orphanages and at one time had a large number. Goldings website The Goldonian has collated a directory.
  • Children’s Homes website “aims to provide information on all of the many and varied institutions that became home for thousands of children and young people in Britain”.
  • School Records – info on what school records are available online.
  • Education in England – history of the development of England’s school system.

Military

Other

General

Gedcom tools

As I spotted a few, a quick collation.

  • GEDxlate “quickly and easily translates genealogy data from standard GEDCOM format into MS Access dB (*.mdb), MS Excel Worksheet (*.xls), comma delimited (*.csv), and text file (*.txt) formats”.
  • genMerge “Find and merge duplicate records in genealogy files”.

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