Research in England and "UK" in General
[Irish and other British Isles folk traveled back and forth a great deal. For that reason
we include here a smattering of helps to get one started tracing in
England. There is no atttempt to be complete... this is just a starting
This page is really for our own use, and we tuck things that we find helpful or intriguing
into it! WORLD GenWeb and GENUKI have the definitive sites, and you'll find links for them below] :)
The India office records at the British Library
General Register Office (England & Wales)
General Register Office,
P.O. Box 2,
Merseyside PR8 2JD
Tel: (0151) 471 4816
Fax: (01704) 55 00 13
The Family Records Centre,
1 Myddelton Street,
London EC1R 1UW
Tel: (0181) 392 5300
Fax: (0181) 392 5307
Certificates are also available in Braille.
A part of the Office for National Statistics, the GRO is
responsible for the recording of births, marriages, and deaths in
the England & Wales since 1837. It is to the GRO one applies to obtain
certified copies of birth, marriage, and death certificates.
Note that Scotland has its own GRO(S)
The Office for National Statistics - ONS
The ONS is responsible for the conduct of the English and Welsh
censuses and, through it's GRO branch, for the registration of all
births, marriages, and deaths since 1837.
Public Record Office,
Surrey TW9 4DU
Tel: (0181) 876 3444
Fax: (0181) 392 5307
The PRO is the national archive of England, Wales and the United Kingdom. The web pages
include links for inquiries about visiting the PRO, its records, and information for genealogists.
GENUKI's Help with the PRO
If you actually plan to travel to PRO to research you will spend a lot
of time figuring out what they have and how to access it - same as PRONI
(Public Records Office of Northern Ireland). Studying these resources
online and/or gleaning information prior to a trip there will facilitate
your valuable research time."
96 Euston Rd, London NW1
phone: +44 171 412 7873
They also have the marriage records for India.
The Irish Genealogical Research Society - London
has a library housed in the basement of the Irish Club,
82 Eaton Square, London SW1W 9AJ,
which is open to visitors on Saturday afternoons from 2pm to 6pm,
for a fee of £5 per visitor per afternoon,
which contributes towards an annual membership of £16 (it may
have gone up).
You can find a complete listing of all the Chapman Codes for the British
Isles on the GENUKI site.
British Isles Family HistorySociety in America A WEALTH of information !!
To find which Registration District a town is located in,
the following site, scroll down to the correct county. There you'll
find the primary cities, sub-districts, GRO Volumes, and small
Counties and changes for genealogists is a big help!
Maps of Counties in England
British Isles Family History Society
- British Military Records
- United Kingdom (UK) Manuscript Archives
BMD - Births, Marriages, & Deaths:
The index of civil registration for the United Kingdom from 1837 to
the present day. This index was formerly called the St.
Catherine's House index due to its former location in London. The
index is available on microfiche from your local Family History
Center, at many major libraries in the UK, and at the Family
Records Centre in London among other locations. The index is used
to locate index information on birth, marriage, and death
registration certificates which can then be ordered directly from
the UK's Office for National Statistics.
- Ordering Birth Registration Certificates from England & Wales
means free birth, marriage, and death records and refers to
making available on the Web transcriptions of the indexes to
such records for England and Wales that are at least 100 years
old. Added to continually, the goal is to make all material available
for free on the Net. Take a look, and keep rechecking it!
- SoG - Society of Genealogists:
This is the premier society for the study of genealogy and family
history in the United Kingdom. Their library in London is
excellent, the have a terrific online shopping bookshop, and their
publications are often must-haves for serious research.
- Society of Genealogists
- Goswell Road
- London EC1M 7BA
- Tel 0171 251 8799
- Cyndi's List of Genealogy Sites on
the Internet: General UK Sites
- Genealogy Resources on the
Internet: UK Resources
- There were many Irishmen and women in London in 1749.
9300 voters went to the polls in the City of Westminster in London in 1749.
Their names and addresses are listed by Parish, online from
The Southern Cross Library.
Plus many more wonderful files!
List Of Executions at Englands Newgate Prison
Victorian London Public Institutions:
Workhouses, Hospitals, Lunatic Asylums, Prisons, Barracks, Orphan Asylums,
Convents, and other Principal Charitable Institutions. Part of the
GenDocs information filled site.
The Royal Mail UK now has a great site for looking up names and address.
www.lookupuk.com An interesting site with message boards
- The London Gazette is a twice-weekly publication (which first appeared in 1665)
of official English, later British and now UK government announcements, service
appointments, decorations, honours and awards and so on. It was published more
frequently in wartime. You will be able to search it at the PRO, Kew and the
Newspaper Library at Colindale. London. Major Libraries may have it available
- There are lots of records for England pre-1600, far more than for
Scotland, and many have been put into print by learned societies in
most of the English counties, but more generally the Camden Society,
Selden Society, Harleian Society, the publications by the Historical
MSS Commission, and there are the government publications - Privy
Council registers, etc.
Ask the History Department of your nearest University, or the
University Library for a list of sources for that period. They tend
to be quite helpful if you ask nicely.
Check The IIGS BDM Exchange
or the UK BDM Exchange
and then go on to the
Family Records Centre
at 1 Myddelton St London EC1R 1UW UK
Tel: 0181 392 5300
Fax: 0181 392 5307
Minicom: 0181 392 5308
Certificate Enquiries: 0171 233 9233
(for international phone calls, remove the leading '0' and replace with
your international dialling prefix plus '44')
The Family Records Centre provides a new home for the research
facilities previously provided at St Catherine's House and the Census
Reading Rooms in Chancery Lane London. The Centre provides a family
history service to visitors, advising them on how to use our wealth of
genealogical records. They can also advise on matters relative to the
registration of births, adoption, marriages and deaths.
The Family Records Centre (FRC) is run jointly by the General Register Office (GRO)
and the Public Record Office (PRO). The FRC brings together some of the most important
sources for family history.
The material held at the FRC includes indexes of births marriages and deaths in England and
Wales since 1837; indexes of legal adoptions in England and Wales since 1927; and the PRO's
most widely consulted documents - population census returns for England and Wales from 1841 to 1891.
THE FAMILY RECORDS CENTRE HOLDS THE FOLLOWING RECORDS:
Indexes of births, marriages & deaths in England & Wales since 1837
Indexes of legal adoptions in England & Wales since 1927
Indexes of births, marriages & deaths of some British citizens abroad
since the late 18th century, including the deaths in the two World wars.
(Certificates can be purchased of any entry in the above indexes)
Microform copies of Census of Population returns (1841-1891)
Microfilms of Estate Duty Office death duty registers from 1796-1858,
with indexes from 1796-1903
Microfilms of registered copies of wills and administrations up to 1858
from the Prerogative Court of Canterbury
Non-parochial registers from 1567-1858
Miscellaneous foreign returns of births, deaths & marriages from
ORDERING CERTIFICATES BY POST:
You can place an order by post, fax or telephone.
Normal fee within the UK is 6 pounds sterling, with delivery in four
Ring 0151 471 4800 for further information and details of fees
PAID SEARCH SERVICE:
Paid research can be undertaken for the census and wills holding at the
Centre - Please ring 0181 392 5300 for further details
Mon, Wed, Fri 9am to 5pm
Tues 10am to 7pm
Thurs 9am to 7pm
Sat 9.30am to 5pm
Some general Comments that apply to censuses for 1841 - 1891 unless otherwise stated.
- The census books we see were NOT carried by the enumerators. Instead
the enumerator copied his sheets into the book later. Not all adhered to
the route they took, and may have copied entires in many different ways.
Apparent neighbours were not always what they seem.
- Many people gave as their place of birth their earliest remembered place of residence.
- Terms such as Brother and Brother-in-Law were used interchangeably and somewhat unreliably.
- A boarder shares the dinner table with the family, a lodger has separate accomodations.
- Many night-workers were missed on all the censuses, although theoretically included from 1851 on.
- The occupation of 'dressmaker' was commonly given by prostitutes.
- The terms lunatic, imbecile and idiot were used in a pretty confused
and confusing manner, but there was, in theory a definition:
Lunatic: A mentally ill person with periods of lucidity.
- Imbecile: "Persons who have fallen in later life into a state of chronic dementia"
- Idiot: "..those who suffer from congenital mental deficiency."
- The term annuitant could describe someone on an annual allowance as
well as someone receiving annual income from an investment. Often however,
it was used also used for institutionalized pensioners.
- In 1841 the term Ag. Lab was used to describe "all farming servants and labourers in husbandry".
- From 1851 - 1851 enumerators were given explicit instructions to exclude women's domestic work in the family from the "Occupation" column.
- From 1861 onwards a child was described as a scholar if he/she was over 5 and receiving daily schooling *OR* regular tuition at home. There was no definition of the latter.
- In 1871 the census officials in London broke the confidentiality
pledge and divulged the names of all children 3-13 and their parents (with
addresses) to the London School Board to help enforce compulsory
- The following are *some* of the missing returns:
1841: Kensington, Paddington, Golden lane and Whitecross
1851: Salford and parts of Manchester badly water-damaged. Also all ships' returns.
1861: Belgravia and Woolwich Arsenal.
Newport/Pledger Index to Registration Districts UK from 1837
This is a little booklet which lists all the Registrations
Districts of England and Wales that have been used since civil registration
began in 1837 and their successor districts as and when changes have
occurred since that date.
The list also includes the date related Volume Numbers under which the
registrations pertaining to a particular district are held at the General
Register Office in London and hence on the microfiche available in Libraries
and repositories world-wide.
The booklet also contains a second listing listing of the Districts sorted
alphabetically by County and a list of the County abbreviations used. It
does NOT, repeat NOT, contain a list of current Registration Offices or
The booklet is approximately 100 pages A5 size and neatly bound and costs
£5.50 which includes postage. Orders and requests for more information
should be sent direct to
P.Pledger. 2 Warner Road, Selsey.
West Sussex. UK. PO 20 9 AL or
perhaps by e-mail to Selsey Regeneration Ltd
"What is the Domesday book?" It is a detailed census
taken at behest of William the Conqueror who invaded England from
Normandy (France) in the year 1066. It may
prove useful to anyone who can trace family back to medieval times as it
lists land and other property held by families in each county. However
there is not much info on the northern regions (Scotland) or Wales and
women are rarely recorded.
It may not be ALL that useful, as it came out about 150 years before the
use of surnames became a growing practice. So don't start there! ;)
Anyone wishing to obtain translated copies of Domesday Book may do so by
contacting the following publisher: Phillimore & Co. Ltd., Shopwyke
Hall, Chichester, West Sussex, PO20 6BQ, England You can purchase each
county separately or the whole set.
The Hampshire page, http://www.hantsgensoc.demon.co.uk/,
has indexes for the 1891
and 1851 census for Hampshire.
The good news is that the 1891 UK census is readily available.
The bad news is that it is not indexed. :(
Except for Nottinghamshire and Lincolnshire,
where the local FHS *has* produced an index :-)
And for sale!
and the 1901 is online!
Rulers of England and Great Britain
|Edmund II Ironside||1016-1016|
|Edward the Confessor||1042-1066|
|William I the Conqueror||1066-1087|
MONARCHS OF ENGLAND AND WHEN THEY REIGNED
| 828 - 839||Egbert|
| 839 - 855||Aethelwulf|
| 855 - 860 ||Aethelbald|
| 860 - 866||Aethelbert|
| 866 - 871||Aethelred|
| 871 - 899||Alfred the Great|
| 899 - 925||Edward the Elder|
| 925 - 939 ||Athelstan|
| 939 - 946||Eadmund I, the Magnificent|
| 946 - 955 ||Eadred|
| 955 - 959||Eadwig, the Fair|
| 959 - 975||Edgar, the Peaceful|
| 975 - 978||Edward, the Martyr|
| 978 - 1013 ||Aethelred II, the Redeless (Unready)|
|1013 - 1014 ||Swegn of Denmark, Forkbeard|
|1014 - 1016 ||Aethelred II again|
|AprNov 1016 ||Eadmund II, Ironside|
|1016 - 1035 ||Canute the Dane|
|1035 - 1040 ||Harold I, Harefoot|
|1040 - 1042 ||Harthacanute|
|1042 - 1066 ||Eadward, the Confessor|
|1066 ||Harold II|
|1066 - 1087 ||William I, the Conqueror, bastard|
|1087 - 1100 ||William II, Rufus|
|1100 - 1135 ||Henry I, Beauclerc|
|1135 - 1154 ||Stephen|
|AprNov 1141 ||Matilda the Empress|
|1154 - 1189||Henry II, Plantagenet, Curtmantle |
|1189 - 1199||Richard, Coeur de Lion|
|1199 - 1216||John, Lackland, Softsword, Dollheart |
|1216 - 1272||Henry III |
|1272 - 1307||Edward I, Longshanks |
|1307 - 1327||Edward II, of Caernarvon|
|1327 - 1377||Edward III|
|1377 - 1399||Richard II|
|1399 - 1413||Henry IV, of Bolingbroke|
|1413 - 1422||Henry V|
|1422 - 1461||Henry VI |
|1461 - 1470||Edward IV |
|1470 - 1471||Henry VI again|
|1471 - 1483 ||Edward IV again|
|AprJun 1483||Edward V |
|1483 - 1485 ||Richard III |
|1485 - 1509 ||Henry VII |
|1509 - 1547 ||Henry VIII |
|1547 - 1553 ||Edward VI, the Boy King |
|1553 - 1558||Mary, Bloody Mary |
|1558 - 1603 ||Elizabeth I |
|1603 - 1625 ||James I |
|1625 - 1649 ||Charles I |
|1649 - 1659 ||The Interegnum (Oliver Cromwell etc.)|
|1660 - 1685 ||Charles II |
|1685 - 1688 ||James II |
|1689 - 1694 ||William III & Mary II|
|1694 - 1702 ||William III (after death of Mary)|
|1702 - 1714||Anne|
|1714 - 1727 ||George I|
|1727 - 1760 ||George II|
|1760 - 1820 ||George III|
|1811 - 1820 ||The Regency of Geo. IV|
|1820 - 1830 ||George IV|
|1830 - 1837 ||William IV|
|1837 - 1901 ||Victoria|
|1901 - 1910 ||Edward VII|
|1910 - 1936 ||George V|
|1936 - ||Edward VIII |
|1936 - 1952 ||George VI |
|1952 - ||Elizabeth II |
KINGS & QUEENS OF ENGLAND, a rhyme for school children
Willy, Willy, Harry, Stee,
Harry, Dick, John, Harry Three,
One, Two, Three Neds, Richard Two
Harry Four, Five, Six, then who?
Edward Four, Five, Dick the Bad,
Harrys Twain and Ned the Lad,
Mary, Bessie, James the Vain,
Charlie, Charlie, James again,
William and Mary, Anna Gloria,
Four Georges, William and Victoria.
Edward Seven, then George Five,
But Edward Eight preferred his wife.
George the Sixth did then arrive
And Lizzie Two is still alive.
ALTERNATIVELY - - -
First William the Norman; then William his son;
Henry, Stephen and Henry, then Richard and John;
Next Henry the Third, Edwards One, Two and Three;
And again, after Richard, three Henries we see;
Two Edwards, third Richard; if rightly I guess,
Two Henries; Sixth Edward; Queen Mary; Queen Bess;
The Jamie, the Scotsman, then Charles who they slew;
Yet received after Cromwell, another Charles too.
Next James the Second ascended the throne;
Then William and Mary together came on
Till Anne, Georges four and Fourth William all past,
God sent Queen Victoria, may she long be the last!
But 60 years later, she too want to Heaven
And next on the throne was her son Edward Seven;
George the Fifth, Edward Eighth (abdication not reckoned);
And at last George the Sixth and Elizabeth Second.
The Peerage in Britain and Ireland can be quite complicated, and
this is merely a very general statement.
The nobility have their titles because at some stage in the past
they rendered a particular service to the monarch, or in return for
something they undertook to serve the King. These services could
range from being the Mistress of the Monarch - a number of English
Dukes, through distinguished action in war or peace, to being a
retired politician turned out to grass.
There is a very, very good book which will lay out for you all
the different ramifications of the British and Irish nobility. It's called
Debretts Correct Form
, and by the time you finish reading it you will know
most of what you need, down to and including the right way to address the
divorced wife of the second son of an Irish chieftan!
Technically there are no less than five different peerages.
In order of Precedence: the Peerage of England, of Scotland, or
Ireland, of Great Britain, and of the United Kingdom.
There are degrees of the peerage.
In descending order of importance they are Dukes, Marquesses (some
of which are spelt Marquis), Earls, Viscounts, Barons. The above are
all hereditary titles, passing on usually from father to son. but
can also pass on from mother to son or mother to daughter or Father
to daughter. There are also Judges who are created Peers and also
people who have been appointed to be peers for life. They are all the
rank of life peers. The title is not passed on to any of their
children. Strictly speaking in Scotland there are no Barons, they are
called Lords of Parliament. To make things even more complicated there
are also Baronets. This is a
hereditary title Sir * * but they are not peers.
To add confusion some people hold more than one title, because they
have inherited them, ie the Earl of A is also the Earl of B and is
called the E of A&B. In many cases families have worked their way up
so that the Earl of A&B is also the Viscount C, and Lord D.
Sometimes the title is the family name, but more often the title
has no connection with the family name.
Given that there are some 1200 peers of one kind or another it is a
very specialist field, and only the really dedicated know very much
about more than one or two.
In some cases they are so complicated that even families which you
know about are of baffling complexity.
Knight: Sir John Smith, addressed as Sir John, the title conferred by the
monarch for the lifetime of the holder only. His wife is addressed as Lady
Smith. never Lady Mary, unless she is the daughter of a Duke or Earl in her
Baronet: Sir John Smith, addressed as Sir John. His title is hereditary, but
passes only to the male heirs. If Sir John has no son, the title passes to his
brother. oldest living male cousin, etc. His wife is addressed as Lady Smith.
Interestingly there are very few of these titles given out nowadays. The last
one created was Sir Denis Thatcher, husband of Margaret Thatcher former Prime
Minister. Just to confuse the issue, she is known as Lady Thatcher, but that
is because she was given that title for life by the Queen. The word is she
asked for her husband to have his title so that her son and grandson could
carry it on.
Viscount: The lowest hereditary title where the holder is called "Lord." This
is where things begin to get confusing. Most members of the British
aristocracy have not only a title, but a family name as well. You may run
across a Viscount known as Lord Inverness, when his family name is actually
Directory of British Peerages by Francis L. Keeson; published Society
of Genealogists; 1984, is also helpful.
The way the United Kingdom is subdivided politically:
- 3 countries
divided into a mixture of cities, burghs, counties, districts
and unitary authorities.
28 councils, 2 islands authorities.
no counties, ?? districts IIRC
- 1 province, Northern Ireland,
- none of the 4 at present have an active national/provincial legislature.
- BUT- 3 legal jurisdictions
- England and Wales
- Northern Ireland
There is one aspect of the parish record for marriages that is often
overrlooked - it shows the actual signature or mark of the bride and
bridegroom and others. So a photocopy rather than a filled in blank form by
some clerical person has additional family history value.
All UK parishes have these for 1837 onwards. Many also have them as far
back as 1790 or earlier.
Guide Page or
Other Country Index
[an error occurred while processing this directive] wonderful Irish genealogist to have visited
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