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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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.com Ancestry.com - 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.
  • Origins.net Origins.net - This provides subscription access to British Origins, Irish Origins plus free Scots Origins services. Collections cover the period 1209-1948 and include the England and Wales census (1841, 1861 and 1871), parish registers, wills, passenger lists, militia and apprenticeship records, as well as downloadable images of original maps and plans used in 19th century surveys.
  • 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 and pages from British Newspapers.
  • Ancestors on Board Passenger Lists - Run by Find my Past in partnership with the National archives, Ancesters on Board contains a database of UK outbound passenger lists between 1890 and 1960 for ships sailing to worldwide destinations, including Australia, Canada, India, New Zealand, South Africa and the USA. 
  • 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.