Some useful websites for UK and Ireland research
This is a list of websites that I have found useful in my Family History research. It is not the definitive list for UK research - it is just the ones I use most often! If you think a link is broken or you would like to add some of your own then please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Some of these websites are free, some are pay-as-you go and some need a subscription.
If you are new to researching in the UK then you need to bear in mind a few points:
The United Kindom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland comprises 4 countries: England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Prior to 1922 the whole of the island of Ireland was part of the UK and even now the Republic has a special relationship with the UK regards travel, the right of abode and voting in elections.
Great Britain just means England, Wales and Scotland. In other words - the main island of the British Isles on a map.
Other countries which form part of the British Isles - the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man are not part of the UK but have the Queen as head of state and rely on the UK government for defence. Again they have a special relationship with the rest of the UK.
Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland all have now some form of parliamentary devolution, but are all still united under the Parliament in London. Scotland has always had its own legal and educational system. Legislation has always been enacted in London with differing provisions for each separate country.
Bearing all of the above in mind there is NO official migration between the parts of the UK. If your ancestor came from Dublin to live in London in the 19C it was as if he moved between York and Lancaster. There will likely be no record of entry to England as he was not an 'alien'.
For family history purposes England and Wales can be lumped together for some things with Scotland and Ireland doing their own thing. For example, civil registration arrived in England and Wales in 1837, Scotland introduced it in 1855 and did it slightly differently (arguably better!).
The UK and Ireland
This is THE encyclopedia for Family History research in the UK and Ireland. Is is arranged on a top down basis: Information which applies to all the UK and Ireland, and then at each individual country level, and then by county, and finally by town and village.
It has links to everything and anything to do with family history - government sites for certificates, 'how to' articles, all the archives and libraries, what all the churches were called in a town (whether they exist now or not), gazetteers etc
Best advice is to bookmark your counties of interest as you will need to revisit your bits of this site often.
The National Archives Catalogues and online Records
The National Archives ARCHON Directory Research Guides
The National Archives - The Catalogue Search
British History Online - Historical data on places arranged by county.
A Vision of Britain through Time - A vision of Britain between 1801 and 2001. Including maps, statistical trends and historical descriptions
Certificate Exchange - exchange the unwanted BMD certificates
British Medical Journal Archive of Issues by Date (includes obituaries)
Britain from Above - Aerial Views from the Past
Deceased Online - Cemetery Records for the whole of the UK
British Newspaper Archive The British Library's Newspaper Archive
Internet Archive - Old Books free to read online (Parish Register transcriptions etc)
Sites which offer records for the whole of the UK and Ireland (NOT free)
Ancestry - BMD Indexes(England and Wales), complete census images for 1841-1911(not Scotland), Scottish Census Transcriptions(ex 1911), Medical Registers, Clerical Registers, Parish Registers, National Probate Index 1858-1941 etc etc
FindMyPast - BMD Indexes(England and Wales), complete census images for 1841-1911(not Scotland), Scottish Census Transcriptions(ex 1911), Old Newspapers, Miltary records etc etc
Sites which offer records for the whole of the UK and Ireland (FREE or nearly so)
FreeCEN - Free Census data
FreeREG - Free Church Register data
- Familysearch - the original LDS site (Church of the Latter Day Saints) and includes the legendary IGI (International Genealogical Index)
- Family History Books
- FamilySearch IGI Batch Numbers
- IGI Batch Numbers - British Isles and North America
- IGI Search — FamilySearch.org
Some sites of sites
Parish Records and other goodies
Census Finder - Census data (free and otherwise)
UK Genealogy Archives
UKBMD - Births, Marriages, Deaths Indexes for the UK as well as transcriptions of MI's, Wills and other Family History data
A2A - Access to Archives Home - A2A is part of the UK archives network. The A2A database contains catalogues describing archives held locally in England and Wales and dating from the eighth century to the present day.
Church of England Clergy Database
- searchable list of Clergy with some biographical details
Crockford's clerical directory 1868 - Google Books - directory of 'current' Church of England Clergy
Parish Finder - find the current C of E churches in your places of interest
- some County and Town Directories
Hearth Tax Online - 17th Century Householders in England by County
BMD Registers - Non Conformist Church and Chapel Registers
Lancashire and Cheshire
- Ancestry have some very useful Parish Registers:
- Lancashire, England, Baptisms, Marriages and Burials, 1538-1812
- Lancashire, England, Births and Baptisms, 1813-1911
- Lancashire, England, Confirmations, 1856-1922
- Lancashire, England, Deaths and Burials, 1813-1986
- Lancashire, England, Marriages and Banns, 1754-1936
- Manchester, England, Baptisms, Marriages and Burials, 1541-1812
- Manchester, England, Baptisms, Marriages and Burials, 1573-1812 (Cathedral)
- Manchester, England, Births and Baptisms, 1813-1901 (Cathedral)
- Manchester, England, Births and Baptisms, 1813-1915
- Manchester, England, Deaths and Burials, 1813-1866 (Cathedral)
- Manchester, England, Deaths and Burials, 1813-1985
- Manchester, England, Marriages and Banns, 1754-1930 (Cathedral)
- Manchester, England, Marriages and Banns, 1754-1930
FindMyPast - Also have a collection of Manchester Records - workhouse data, cemeteries etc
LDS Diocese of Manchester parish records - NB: not all are indexed so you may have to browse them to be sure. 1603-1910
Lancashire Births Marriages & Deaths Local Registrar's Indexes
Lancashire County Council Environment Directorate Old Maps
Mario - new and old maps and aerial views new and old
Cheshire Births Marriages & Deaths- Local Registrars Indexes
FindmyPast - Have an extensive range of Cheshire records
- Local Crematorium and Cemetery Indexes:
- Tameside (Ashton-under-lyne area)
- Burials, Cremations and Memorials • Fylde Borough Council (Blackpool and Lytham areas)
- CEMSEARCH-uk Monumental Inscriptions and Gravestones in Lancashire
- Manchester Civic Burials
- Oldham Civic Burial Register Search (should be used with Oldham Cemeteries from the LDS as the images are free)
Cotton Town Your Town, Your History - Blackburn and Darwen area local history
Darwen Area Ancestors - Family Tree
Tameside Family History
The Accrington Pals
Welcome to Rishton
The HAWORTH families of Oswaldtwistle and Church - Census Data and Family Histories
- The Ancestry records are:
- West Yorkshire, England, Baptisms, Marriages and Burials, 1512-1812
- West Yorkshire, England, Births and Baptisms, 1813-1910
- West Yorkshire, England, Deaths and Burials, 1813-1985
- West Yorkshire, England, Marriages and Banns, 1813-1935
Richmond Probate Index - Yorkshire Wills proved at Richmond. Held at Lancashire Records Office.
Northumberland and Co Durham
LDS Familysearch records from the Diocese of Durham Parish Register images to browse
BMD Main Menu - Local Registrars' Indexes
National Library of Scotland - Family History resources including old directories
Scotland's People The Official site for Census images 1841-1911, Old Parish Register images, RC records, Wills and post-1855 statutory certificates.
ScotlandsPlaces More Official records
Fife Family History Society - some downloadable free resources
Dundee and Angus, Fife and Perthshire
Friends of Dundee City Archives Links to some free reources and information
Adysgrifau - Census and Parish Register Transcripts for Trawsfynydd in Merionethshire
Britain at Work
Cradley Links - Cradley in Worcestershire(the one near Staffordshire not the one near Malvern!)
Gazettes Website - details of companies forming, dissolving and bankruptcies
Travel and Migration
Deaths in the Melbourne Hospital - Index.Did your Ancestor die in Australia?
Gazette Website - Lists promotions and medals
Family History Societies
It's a good thing to join the Family History Society for the areas you are interested in as they will give you help and guidance. And even if you are not a member most societies have s 'shop' where Books, CD's and fiche can be bought of local records.
- It's good to talk!". There are many fourums and message boards online for family history from free ones at rootsweb/ancestry to members only ones fun by the family history societies. A few are listed below.
- Family History News and Information - Genealogists' Forum - We have branches everywhere!
- LostCousins Genealogy Forums
- Message Boards - rootsweb.com
- My Ancestry - Ancestry.com
- RootsChat.com - Genealogy, Family History, Local History, Messaging Forum and more
- RootsWeb.com Home Page
- TalkingScot.com • Index page
- UK GENEALOGY FORUMS Index