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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.

Current England County Map
Pre-1974 England County Map
1824 England and Wales County Map

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.)

General resources

Subscription research databases

  • FindMyPast
  • 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

Censuses and census substitutes

Parish Registers

Vital statistics records


England research bibliography

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.

Genealogical societies