Online Resources for Genealogy in England and Wales

For many years, genealogy instructors taught genealogists the importance of doing a survey–what is currently known about the ancestor you chose to research?  And this is still the best approach.  You gain key results with a survey:

  1. You can capture several generations of new, corrected, documented, known, and unknown information.
  2. You prevent unnecessary duplication of research efforts and costs.
  3. You alert relatives of your own research interests and involvement.
  4. Your starting point for original research is identified.

The sheer volume of genealogical information available on the internet at the beginning of 2011 sort of requires you begin your checking online.  Without a survey of everybody else’s stuff.

This research list of resources now available, compiled in categories by me, thrusts you into original indexes and images of records.  And I prepared it with some unresolved questions in my mind–is it a good idea to search the records themselves FIRST?  Before anything else?  And especially, will this kind of research lead you astray?  Grasping inaccurate conclusions?  Or, will you spot the real data to begin with?  Can you begin with real facts and the accompanying thrill discovery gives you?

England (including Wales) Online Genealogy Resources–

Census Records–Indexes and Images

*__   1841-1911 indexes, with images

*__  1841-1891, some counties 1901

__  1881, index with transcript; 1851 Devon, Norfolk, Warwickshire  indexes

__  1891, index and images for Norfolk, 500,000 people


$__  16 million colour images, 36,070,492 people, including entries written by your ancestors themselves!

__  links to free indexes and transcripts 

Civil Registration–Births, Marriages, Deaths




$__  includes Pallot’s Marriage Index, 1538-1837


__  How to Order Certificates by email, telephone, FAX, postal mail

__  volunteers who will do lookups


$__  BMD images, 1837-2003

$__  Boyd’s Marriage Indexes, all series; Marriage Licenses and Allegations, Faculty Office (1701-1850) and Vicar General Office (1637-1911)


Parish Records–Church of England

__  Advanced Search, International Genealogical Index (IGI) 

$__  includes registers for Metro London

__  parishes digitizing registers


__  “Look Up Exchange”  

Check internet search engines like Google, Dogpile, Altavista using parish name, local town, county, “church records and indexes” for transcripts.   And to locate parish names consult these sites:

__   link to “Parish Locator”

__  Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales, 6 vols.

__  Lewis’s Topographical Dictionary of England and Wales, 4 vols. 


__Baptists–1647 earliest

__Calvinistic Methodists (mostly Wales)–1735 earliest

__Congregationalists and Independents–1644 earliest

__Huguenots–1550 earliest, most from 1684

__Jews–1687 earliest

__Methodists–1740 earliest

__Moravians–1741 earliest

__Presbyterians–1644 earliest

__Quakers–1578 earliest, most from 1654

__Roman Catholics–1663 earliest

__Unitarians–1762 earliest

Records of these nonconformist groups were acknowledged by law about 1778.  Their records were ordered to be sent in for preservation to the Registrar General in 1837.  All those deposited in the Public Record Office are on microfilm at the Family History Library; 85 % of all surviving registers have been input into the IGI.  Your favorite genealogist, Arlene Eakle.

Code:  *  Free versions available at the Family History Library and other research libraries and archives;  Fee site.

PS  Watch for the next installment of this England-Wales Basic Sources Online Checklist–posted right here in the near future.

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