for English Research
Send me links for research in
England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland, for posting here.
FROM THE NEWSLETTER:
Researching English Records from America via the Internet for Free
Remember England has hundreds of years of documents, remember also that England was bombed during WWII. What they lost may never be replaced, but don’t just give up. If you don’t look you will never find it.
The very first step is to join a rootsweb.com mailing list for the areas in England your ancestor seems to have immigrated from.
At rootsweb.com there are both mailing lists and message boards. Not all people use both.
1. Rootsweb Mailing Lists - http://lists.rootsweb.ancestry.com/
Use the old method of finding a list at http://lists.rootsweb.ancestry.com/index/index.html
. This way you can see the different listings.
For England, go to the international section and using the country “England” you would go to:
. Here you have to decide which county you want to join. This isn’t always easy as some counties can be referred to by the name as in Devon, but just may be listed as
Devonshire, instead… but it’s the same place. If you have questions after reading the description on the individual list’s page, I suggest writing the list administrator for a better explanation. Their address is on that page. After receiving your welcome letter, and possibly viewing the list’s archives, then write your request for help.
I don’t know that there is an actual set of directions on what an email must contain, but after 11 years of using
rootsweb, I have found that being precise and to the point gets more help then rambling on, so…
a. In the subject line: name of person, place of birth, dates of birth and death.
b. The body can have the reason or what you need and restate the vitals on the person, listing additional information such as parents/ spouse/ children.
2. Rootsweb Message boards - http://boards.rootsweb.com/Default.aspx?o_iid=33216&o_lid=33216
Here I use localities, and United Kingdom and Ireland. The next step is to open the England folder and pick a county. We used Devon before, let’s use Devon here. Under Devon there only seems to be a general category.
Using the same format (subject, body) that you did for the lists will give you a better chance of obtaining a reply.
Some message boards at rootsweb.com are gatewayed to the mailing list. This will show on the board’s page. What does gatewayed mean? It means that a copy is automatically sent from the message board to the mailing list.
3. Genforum - http://www.genforum.com
Don’t forget the Genforum message boards.
The second step is to visit the WorldGENWEB and the GENUKI .
1. WORLDGENWEB - World Genealogy Web
The WorldGENWEB Project is a non-profit, volunteer based organization dedicated to providing genealogical and historical records and resources for worldwide access! Here you have a link to BritishIslesGenweb, then England. Again, pick your county.
2. GENUKI - Genealogy United Kingdom and Ireland
GENUKI is also a non-profit, volunteer based organization dedicated to providing genealogical and historical records and resources for worldwide access! Read the “Guidance for First-Time Users of These Pages”. Now pick your county.
Now let’s look at some additional resources available.
3. FamilySearch - The genealogy website of The Church Of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints – the Mormons.
There are many different ways to use this site. Although primary records (meaning original, official records from courthouses, churches, etc., not contributed genealogical data) are the only sources I’m willing to copy.
This tool allows you to extract only original records, parish by parish, plus a few other goodies as well.
4. English BMD – Birth Marriage and Death records
FreeBMD is an ongoing project, the aim of which is to transcribe the Civil Registration index of births, marriages and deaths for England and Wales, and to provide free Internet access to the transcribed records. It is a part of the FreeUKGEN family, which also includes FreeCEN (Census data) and FreeREG (Parish Registers). To search the records that have been transcribed to date by FreeBMD click on the “Search” button.
The recording of births, marriages and deaths was started in 1837 and is one of the most significant resources for genealogical research. The transcribing of the records is carried out by teams of dedicated volunteers and contains index information for the period 1837-1983. Please Note: The entire index has not yet been transcribed.
5. The Doomsday book
William the Conqueror who invaded England in 1066 commissioned the Doomsday Book in December 1085. The first draft was completed in August 1086 and contained records for 13,418 settlements in the English counties south of the rivers Ribble and Tees (the border with Scotland at the time).
6. GENFORUM.com England genealogy forum
7. Linkpendium - UK and Ireland Genealogy and Family History
With Linkpendium there are many resources available for each category below:
British Empire Colonial Records and History (80)
British Isles (817)
Channel Islands (51)
Commonwealth Nations Records and History (6)
Isle of Man (46)
Northern Ireland (303)
8. Cindi’s Genealogy List at: http://www.cyndislist.com/
9. We have a list for English research right on our own Lost Colony website at
Any website you find that offers genealogical information for England needs to be included on our website, so let us know if you find a new one.
10. Devon GenWeb - http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~engdev/
The aim of Devon Gen Web is to provide links to Genealogy and Family History resources to help researchers find local resources and reference material.
11. GENUKI/Devon - http://genuki.cs.ncl.ac.uk/DEV
Devon Family History Society – (Similar to Genealogical Societies in the USA)
a member of the Federation of Family History Societies Each county has its
own Family History Society.
12. Price and Associates Links
Although Price and Associates sells genealogical services, their list of resources is excellent and free.
13. Search Engines – http://www.google.com
Using a search engine is your next step. There are many different search engines, google.com is probably the most well known, although; there are others just as good. The best way to find other search engines is to “google” the words “search engines”. I got about 151,000,000 hits for “search engines”.
Why would I need a different search engine? Think of how many millions of website are generated just in the USA. Not all search engines, even as powerful as Google, can find everything. So take advantage of different ones.
This link allows you to search both Google and Microsoft’s new Bing search engine at the same time.
Say Please and Thank You
When you are researching for free, you should always express your thanks to who ever helped you. Never expect answers, people helping you are volunteers, and do so only if they want to.
Non-Free English Research
(You will need a credit card so you can pay in Pounds or Euros.)
England doesn’t appear to have a Vital statistics department as we have in the US at County, State, and Federal levels. Here is what England does have:
1. England government offices:
Internet link: http://www.gos.gov.uk/national/
It seems that governmental control is separated into districts:
East Midlands, East of England, London, North East, North West, South East, South West, West Midlands, Yorkshire and The Humber.
2. General Register Office: For genealogical records at a governmental level:
Order certificates online from the General Register Office, including birth, marriage, civil partnership, death, adoption and commemorative certificates.
For recent events registered within the last 18 months, applications for certificates should be made to the Register Office in the district where the birth, death or marriage took place.
Costs: not available with out ordering.
3. England National Archives: http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/
The National Archives, Kew, Richmond, Surrey, TW9 4DU. Tel: +44 (0) 20 8876 3444. Contact us: (An online contact form)
Records available, but not inclusive to:
Births, marriages and deaths, (BMD) Census records, Citizenship and naturalization, Divorce, Passenger lists, Wills
The Catalogue - contains 11 million descriptions of documents from central government, courts of law and other UK national bodies, including records on family history, medieval tax, criminal trials, UFO sightings, the history of many countries and many other subjects.
Can I see and search the text of the records? No, The Catalogue does not contain images of the documents themselves. It is not possible to search the full text of the actual records held by The National Archives (approximately 160 kilometres of storage space).
Access to Archives (a2a) - The A2A database contains catalogues describing archives held locally in England and Wales and dating from the eighth century to the present day.
The ARCHON - Directory includes contact details for record repositories in the United Kingdom and also for institutions elsewhere in the world which have substantial collections of manuscripts noted under the indexes to the National Register of Archives.
Cabinet Papers - a unique collection of conclusions and reference materials that detail the role of Cabinet and its history. This section presents a selection of cabinet papers using thematic and chronological historical overviews, covering three main themes of British Governance in the 20th century.
Census Records - Census records for England and Wales from 1841 to 1911 are available online.
Documents on line – All documents using a different approach to the records
National Register of Archives - The NRA contains information on the nature and location of manuscripts and historical records that relate to British history.
Passenger lists and other migration records - The following resources may help you to trace ancestors who left or came to the United Kingdom.
Your Archives - These pages are for you to contribute your knowledge of archival sources held by The National Archives and by other archives throughout the UK.
The content on these pages has mainly been contributed by users and is designed to offer information additional to that available in the Catalogue, Research Guides, DocumentsOnline and the National Register of Archives
Other search tools
When you've found a reference, you can visit us in person to view the records free of charge or, request copies to be sent to you for a fee.
Costs range from: 3 or 4 pounds upwards… depending on what you order and how many pages.
You will need to add in postage.
4. English Record Offices and Archives on the Web, Arranged Alphabetically by County
Normally you can find the information to a county records office by looking at the county GENUKI website.
There is a separation between a records office and what we think of as a vital statistics office.
This is an example:
Our contact numbers | Fax: 0845 155 1003 | SMS: 0777 3333 231
Devon County Council, TopshamRd., Exeter,EXQ 42D
Devon County Government Offices
Devon County Council - http://www.devon.gov.uk/
This site has a link to local libraries, if you use the search and in put “records office” you get 1000 results – quite interesting. Within that search is Sources for Family History.
The Record Office also holds the original registers for most of the parishes in the north Devon area covered by the Archdeaconry of
Barnstaple. Covering dates and the location of registers in the three Devon record offices are given in Parish, Non-parochial and Civil Registers in the Devon Record Office (price £2.50).
Indexes and transcripts of a number of parish registers are held in the Local Studies
Centre. Marriage bonds and allegations used for licence applications are held in the Devon Record Office, Great Moor House, Bittern Road,
Sowton, Exeter (01392) 384253.
Costs Pounds 2.50 and up wards and can be ordered online at a government sponsored site:
In the United States of America, if you created something original, you own the copyright, although; many things are not copyrightable. Facts are one of the items that you cannot copyright. What you say about facts is copyrightable, because it’s your original work. Yes you could extract facts from a document, but why? If someone in the file is a relative then most likely the person who did the work to put the file together is your relative too. So introduce yourself and ask them.
Copyright laws pertaining to anything generated outside the United States are different. If you are ever in doubt, always err on the side of being conservative.
Here’s what wiki has to say about Copyrights - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copyright
Try Your Hand at English Research
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