366 Days of Genealogy – September
Once a day on the Blair Archival Research Facebook page a new post is shared. There is a theme for each month and September’s was England. You will get bonus posts relating to the theme but only on the Blair Archival Research Facebook page these will not be posted on the monthly blog review.
September’s topic is England. One of the first books in my genealogy library on English research was by Don Steel called “Discovering your Family History.” It was published by the BBC in 1980 and was based on a program broadcast in 1979.
“English Genealogy” by Anthony Wagner was first published in 1960. I have the 1983 edition that was published by Phillmore. This book is more than just how to research. It covers history, migration, settlers and one section called “The Study and Literature of Genealogy.”
Let’s look at some more modern genealogy books. “Tracing your Ancestors in the National Archives The Website and Beyond” by Amanda Bevan is a great resource for anyone doing research in England.
“Ancestral Trails: The Complete Guide to British Genealogy and Family History” by Mark D. Herber is another good resource.
The “Family and Local History Handbook: The Genealogical Services Directory” edited and compiled by Robert Blatchford has a new edition released every year.
If you are researching Army Records in England then “Army Records for Family Historians” by Simon Fowler and William Spencer is a great resource. It is Public Record Office Reader’s Guide No 2 and is published by the National Archives of England.
A good gazetteer is a must to have in your library. “A Genealogical Gazetteer of England” is a great resource. It was compiled by Frank Smith and published by the Genealogical Publishing Company.
I am never without “Parishes & Registration Districts in England & Wales” by Dr. Penelope Christensen published by Heritage Productions. It helps you locate registration districts in the counties where your ancestors lived so that you can order certificates. It has a list of parishes to be found in that registration district which makes finding records before 1837 a little bit easier.
Blogs are a great resource for information on English records. British GENES (Genealogy News and EventS) by Chris Paton is one I would recommend.
Another blog I recommend is “British and Irish Genealogy” by Mick Southwick.
Audrey Collins has a blog called “The Family Recorder.” Audrey works for TNA.
If you are doing English research then a good place to start is Discovery which is part of the National Archives website. It costs money to access the documents. It is replacing Documents Online and is still under development.
Findmypast is a great resource as well especially if you have ancestors that may have arrived in the last century. The outbound passenger lists are great. They have parish registers dating from 1538. This is a pay per view website.
If you are searching the civil registration indexes for England the first stop is FreeBMD. This is a free volunteer run website. Check the Information section to see what has been transcribed as it is not quite complete yet.
Do you have London ancestors? Then check out the British Library’s London: A Life in Maps.
Looking for information on burials then Deceased Online may be able to help. New records are being added on a regular basis. This is a pay per view website.
If you are ordering certificates from England the General Register Office offers the service of ordering certificates online. You register once and use a credit card. I use this quite often and have had no difficulties. When I didn’t get a certificate when it was expected I emailed them and they sent a new one out immediately.
Looking for information on court proceedings? The Old Bailey is online, fully searchable and free to access. The records date from 1674 to 1913.
If you are looking for information on Newgate then the Newgate Calendar is online to search. It is in digital book form and there is no index. You can view it online or download it.
If you have ancestors from England with a connection to India then the Families in British India Society is worth joining. They have a free database to search online but by joining you help to support the society and their efforts.
The British Newspaper Archive is a good online resource. It is pay per view.
Do you have ancestors who fought in the Battle of Trafalgar? There is a website dedicated to the HMS Victory.
On GENUKI you can find the Trafalgar Roll that lists the names of the 1640 officers and men who served on ships during the Battle of Trafalgar.
Hearth Tax Online has various lists relating to householders in the late 17th century. The project is limited in its scope. It is free to search.
Looking for some sources on British History? Then check out Connectedhistories which lists sources from 1500-1900. It will take you to a list of places you can find the information. Sometimes it is at a site that is pay per view.
The Colonial Film Catalogue has over 6000 films showing life in the British Empire but only 150 are available to view online.
Do you have a Congregational Minister in your family? Charles Surman created a biographical card index and it was given to Dr. William’s Library. You can search and view the card index online for free.
Looking for historical directories? You can search them online for free at the Historical Directories database created by the University of Leicester.
You can search the Gazettes for London, Edinburgh and Belfast online for free.
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