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 Family History - Websites.

There are tens of thousands of websites offering information to the family history researcher. Most researchers would use but a few. There are sites that are free, and there are sites that you will pay to view results. I will split up what I have found to be the most useful sites into free and pay per view.

Free Sites.
In my opinion the website that stands out as the kudos of genealogy sites is Genuki. It has such an enormous amount of information it really is impossible to relate it all here. With excellent search facilities, and links to wonderfully helpful people who will do look-ups in all sorts of indexes free of charge, it is THE free site.

From 1837 every birth, marriage, and death (bmd's) has had to be recorded by law. These records were sent off to the civil authorities by each parish every quarter. Copies - known as Bishop's Transcripts - were also sent to the Bishop of the diocese. These records were once held at Somerset House in London, but are now held at the General Register Office (St Catherine's House) in Stockport. They cannot be viewed by the public, but are available on microfiche in most archives. A group known as Freebmd have transcribed (up to now) over 110 million of its records. These are available online free of charge. Please take note that the page results for a marriage search will return more than one couple, and from that information it is impossible to say which of the men married which of the women. So then you have to discover who married who by either purchasing a marriage certificate, or by consulting a census recorded after the date of the marriage.

The oldest and largest free genealogy website is Rootsweb. This is another site that you should explore and make yourself familiar with. There may be others of your family that are already looking for you. Excellent message boards fully searchable.

Genfair is a website that is the shop window for the Federation of Family History Societies. They offer for sale on behalf of the FHS's many transcribed county censuses, MI's (monumental inscriptions), parish records, and much more.

Searches of the I.G.I.'s and the 1881 census may be made on the LDS site.

If you have lost family in either war then a search on the War Graves Commission site will find them for you.

If you have Scottish roots then click on Scotland.

If you have Irish roots then an excellent website is the Genealogical History of Ireland site.

FreeCen is another free to view resource that is aiming to have as many census records online as it is able to. As the name suggests there is no charge for this Click here.

Pay to View Sites.
Undoubtedly the largest and most worthwhile family history resource on the web today is Ancestry. Although you will pay a relatively small subscription, most of the UK's censuses will then be fully searchable. Includes many, many other finding aids too numerous to mention, and not available elsewhere. In my opinion an helpful aid to your research.

The latest released census online is the 1911 census It is complete, run by the authorities and is pay to view. The site, which is an excellent resource, is probably going to be your first port of call census check. The census may be checked via a person, address, or vessel search.

Every birth, marriage, and death (bmd) since 1837 has had to be registered with the civil authorities. A complete list of every one of these events may be searched on the site Find My Past. If you are searching for an uncommon name, then it is quite easy to find an event, but with common names it may take a while. Bear in mind that when searching for a marriage between a man and a woman whose names are known to you, the clue is that they will share an identical reference number e.g. 11c 296 - that being the volume and page number on which the marriage was recorded. It makes sense of course to search Freebmd (website details above) before resorting to paying for the information on this site. The reason we don't use Freebmd all of the time is that the records are not 100% complete, but they are certainly getting there.



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