English genealogy resources
From ISOGG Wiki
A selection of genealogy resources for England.
The resources listed on this page are just some of the resources ISOGG members have discovered in their own research. This list is by no means comprehensive. We tried to list resources that are available online. The main resources to start with for your research in England are the civil (birth, marriage and death) registers, census records, parish registers and probate records. Some of these are provided below. Also an understanding of the various types of districts are important. When researching the civil registers and censuses you will need to know where the various Registration Districts are. Other administrative divisions used were Poor Law Unions (which the registration districts were based on since 1837) and Hundreds.
However, research in England may require onsite research as well. Some valuable resources are not available online. For example, if you are researching indentured servants from England to the Americas, you may need to check resources from the various ports where they were shipped from. Some of the ports were Liverpool, Bristol and by far the majority were probably shipped from London. Though we have listed the "London Inhabitants Within The Walls, 1695," many of the poor that became indentured servants actually lived outside the walls. There is a two volume index of London Inhabitants Without Walls (1695) in the Guildhall Library in London.
London requires different research information. For instance, records for London are split between the London Metropolitan Archives and the Westminster City Archives. The outer boroughs like Hammersmith and Fulham also have their own archives. Genuki has an excellent page for doing London research. Check out the Genuki-London site.
Use this page as a basic guide, but realize there are many more resources available.
England Research Articles To Start With
- Pomery, Chris, JOGG, 2009: "The Advantages of a Dual DNA/Documentary Approach when reconstructing the Family Trees of a Surname" (You can download this article.)
- Access to Archives A large collection of catalogue descriptions from archive holdings in the UK
- British History Online British History Online is the digital library containing some of the core printed primary and secondary sources for the medieval and modern history of the British Isles.
- Cyndi's List - England
- Documents Online A large collection of indexed documents from the National Archives at Kew. The original images can be downloaded for a small fee
- Durham Cathedral
- PROCAT An online catalogue of over 11 million items held at the National Archives in Kew
- FamilySearch.org Search for your ancestors using this free website provided by the LDS Church.
- GENUKI: UK & Ireland Genealogy
- Lost Cousins FREE site that connects cousins in US, Canada, Britain
- Rootschat A lively free online messaging forum
- Rootsweb England mailing lists
Subscription research databases
- Originsnetwork A collection of online resources for Britain and Ireland
- Ancestors on Board Search over 24 million passenger lists from the National Archives at Kew
- Ancestry World Deluxe A growing collection of resources for England including all the English censuses from 1841 to 1901, civil registration indexes of births, marriages and deaths from 1837 to 2005, and a partial collection of probate indexes from 1858 onwards. Ancestry are also in the process of digitising the records held by the London Metropolitan Archives (LMA). The entire LMA parish register collection has now been digitised and indexed.
Atlases and Maps
- The FamilySearch map of English jurisdictions in 1851 Multiple layers allow the viewer to see maps of parishes, hundreds, Poor Law Unions, Civil Registration Districts, etc.
- Church of England (Anglican) Diocese Map
- An excellent source of Parish Maps for the counties of England is the The Phillimore Atlas & Index of Parish Registers listed in the England Research Bibliography section below.
Censuses and census substitutes
- 1881 census (transcribed)
- FreeCen An incomplete but free-to-view database of transcriptions from the UK censuses
- London Inhabitants Within the Walls, 1695
- Docklands Ancestors Ltd (This is a growing list covering the London Docklands area and are now back to the 1600s with some parishes)
- FreeReg A free online collection of parish register transcriptions
- Online parish clerks
- Kent (several parishes near Medway)
- Somerset parish register transcriptions online - a list from Roy Sage
- Somerset parish register transcriptions online - an alternative listing from Genealogy.links.net
- Somerset Family History group on Yahoo with indexes and transcriptions of parish registers
- The Parish Register Transcription Society (Must purchase credits to view)
Vital statistics records
- FreeBMD 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.
- Registration Districts
- UK BMD This site is a portal for all the online county birth, marriage and death records available. These indexes are taken from those held at the local register offices and will often contain greater detail than is found in the General Register Office indexes transcribed by FreeBMD and also available online at Ancestry and FindMyPast for a subscription. The online BMD indexes include:
- Documents Online Wills Indexes of all the Prerogative Court of Canterbury wills from 1384 to 1858.
- Oxfordshire Family History Society Transcribed Wills
- Andrew Millard's guide to online will indexes and resources
England research bibliography
- Herber, Mark. Ancestral Trails: The Complete Guide to British Genealogy and Family History, 2nd edition, Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc. Baltimore, MD, 2006.
- Humphrey-Smith, Cecil R. The Phillimore Atlas & Index of Parish Registers, 3rd edition, Phillimore & Co., Sussex, England, 2003. (These can be purchased used from Amazon.com, direct from Phillimore Press http://www.phillimore.co.uk/acatalog/Bookshop_Genealogy_21.html or do a Google Search to see who else may have it for sale.)
- Webb, Cliff. My Ancestors Were Londoners, Society of Genealogists, London, UK, 1997.
- Gibson Guides (These are Location Guides for Family and Local Historians by Jeremy Gibson and others.)
Understanding England in the 1500-1600s
- Ashton, Robert. The City and the Court 1603-1643, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK, 1979.
- Beier, A. L. Masterless Men: The Vagrancy Problem in England 1560-1640, Methuen, New York and London, 1985.
- Picard, Lisa. Elizabeth's London: Everyday life in Elizabethan London. Weidenfeld and Nicholson, London, 2003.