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Databases - Searchable Collections

Increasingly, many records that were previously only available to researchers by visiting one of the archives, are now available online either as transcriptions or your can view original scanned records. Some are available free, others are available through commercial websites where you can purchase either credits or a subscription to view original documents.

Free Projects and Collections

  • Billion Graves Billion Graves - This website is collecting photographs of headstones with transcriptions and asking researchers to submit photographs of their local cemeteries through their iPhone / Android camera application for mobile (cell) phones which can be downloaded.
  • Find a Grave - This is another site collecting photographs of headstones and memorial transcriptions. Search millions of gravestones and burial records that have been uploaded. There is also a Find a Grave Mobile App which you can use to take photos of headstones and then share online. Help others by responding to photo requests and post your own.
  • Devon Heritage Centre Projects - Details of projects currently being undertaken by Devon Heritage Services, some in partnership with other organisations.
  • Plymouth and West Devon Record Office Projects - Projects currently being undertaken by Plymouth and West Devon Record Office including Headstone and Memorial indexing of burial grounds in the Plymouth area, Plymouth Electoral Roll Indexing (from 1934) and more.
  • Friends of Devon Archives (FoDA) Projects - Current projects being undertaken by Friends of Devon Archives.
  • Friends of Devon Archives (FoDA): Tithe Apportionments Project - Searchable by either surname or parish, you can view the Tithe Apportionments transcribed by FoDA and find out who owned land, lessees and occupiers, along with the names of the holdings and their acreages. Please read the introductory page for further information, as there is no coverage for some highly populated areas.  The parishes of Boyton and Maker (Cornwall) and Chardstock, Hawkchurch and Thorncombe (Dorset) were included in this project.
  • Tithe Maps Online Project - Digitised images of the Tithe Maps and Apportionments are now available on the Devon County Council website and can be viewed in PDF format.
  • The Ships List - This website aims to help find your ancestors on ships passenger lists and contains transcriptions of passenger lists to Australia, Canada, USA and South Africa. It also contains immigration reports, newspaper records, shipwreck information, ship pictures, descriptions and shipping-line fleet lists.
  • Roll of Honour - Searchable military war databases from various conflicts including WWI / WWII, Crimean War, Boer War, Indian Mutiny and many more.
  • Commonwealth War Graves Commission - Searchable database commemorating those that fought in WWI and WWII.

Commercial Pay-to-View Sites

These websites provide access to scans of records for a fee.

Some of these records may be viewable for free where research centres have subscribed to commercial websites. For further information see Public Access Computers: Genealogical Websites.

  • - Ancestry have a huge library of online searchable resources which include the UK Census Collection (1841 - 1911), Birth, Marriage and Death Indexes, Court, Land and Probate Records, Newspaper and Periodicals, BT Telephone Directories and other Directory listings.  Ancestry also hold records for other countries such as the US census and others.  This site also allows you to upload your family trees and interact with others searching the same surnames.
  • Genes Reunited Genes Reunited - Here you can build your family tree for free and get help from other researchers. Historical records include those such as England and Wales census (1841-1911), birth, marriages and death records, military records, passenger lists and newspaper archives.
  • Find my Past Find My Past - Contains database collections of census records, civil registrations of births, marriages and deaths, parish records of baptisms, marriages and burials (from 1538),travel and migration records, criminal records, military records, the 1939 Register and pages from British Newspapers.
  • The Genealogist Logo The Genealogist - This website has records covering the period 1127-2005 and includes the England and Wales censuses (1841-1911), Birth, Marriage and Death indexes, Land Records, Directories, WWI and WWII Military Rolls and Lists, Parish and non-conformist church records to name but a few.