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Trace your family history online – 13 sites and apps for researching your family tree

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Please try again, the name must be unique Only letters and numbers accepted. Most parish records are deposited with county record offices. Though not comprehensive, it contains 80 million baptisms and marriages from parish registers between and see vital addresses, below. On pages 46 to 73 we outline just some of them. If what you're looking for isn't there, search online - there are thousands of genealogy websites the top 50 are listed on page 84; many others appear in the lists of resources throughout the guide , or tap into your local family history society see page Family Records Centre Provides access to the GRO's birth, marriage and death indexes as well as online and microfilm access to many of the most important sources for family history research in England and Wales, including census returns and wills.

The FRC also holds "surgeries" on Tuesdays and Saturdays which are intended to help family historians who have come to a dead end in their research.


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Call to reserve a place. The government's official archive, containing years of history from the Domesday Book to now.


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Offers guidance for family historians, and has an excellent library free to members; non-members pay a search fee. A network of societies, each of which has an interest in a particular geographical area, or in a specific area of research eg a surname. To find your local society:. There is a free surname search which allows you to see how many entries there are for your name on the indexes.

You can then pay to search for births , deaths and marriages Unlike in England and Wales, the actual certificates are available for viewing online. The indexes are also available on microfilm only at the Society of Genealogists. In Ireland, comprehensive BMD registration only dates back to A word of warning: political turmoil in Ireland led to the destruction of many records, leaving gaps that can present a real challenge to family historians. Pre- certificates for both the north and south including non-Catholic marriages from can be obtained from the General Register Office in Dublin groireland.

The GRO Northern Ireland also has a computerised index of births and deaths from and the facility can be booked at the office. The returns for to are available at the office on microfilm, and can also be accessed through scotlandspeople. The site offers links to digitised images for all census years except The indexes to the , , , and censuses are available online at ancestry. None of these indexes has links to digitised images. Unfortunately, few 19th-century Irish census returns have survived.

The returns for the whole of Ireland for and , however, are fairly complete, and can be viewed at the National Archives of Ireland in Dublin. Parish records In Scotland, few parish registers begin before Most surviving registers before and the advent of civil registration in Scotland are with the General Register Office Scotland in Edinburgh. Continue following back using certificates to get more information Death certificates may provide invaluable information: father's name and occupation mother's maiden name and occupation deceased person's birthplace when the person has arrived in Australia from overseas, number of years in the colony and in which Australian colonies.

If attempting overseas research, exhaust all Australian sources first. You need the next set of parents' names and their town or parish of origin to commence an overseas search. If not available on the death certificate, try the shipping records. Use shipping records found in Australia, not overseas.

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These records are organised on a state basis. Maintain records of your sources Use a research log. This is useful for cross-checking information and picking up errors. Samples may be purchased from societies, found in handbooks, or downloaded free from internet sites such as from the BYU Family History Library 8. Again there are plenty of sources from societies, in handbooks and so on. Find out more about the lives of your family From countries of origin to Australia there is an increasing amount of material being collated and indexed on ordinary people This information is available in a variety of formats The internet makes the sources more accessible.