Genealogy Resources

This page is for links to, and notes on, useful (British) family tree resources.

UK censuses

The UK census is the bedrock of British family tree research. You need enough information to take you back at least as early as April 1911 before you can start using the censuses for research. With a bit of luck they'll take you back beyond 1841.
  • UK census dates.
  • FreeCEN. Free searches of the 1841–91 censuses. NB that it is not (yet) complete.
  • Ancestry UK. You have to pay, but Ancestry has full coverage of the 1841–1911 censuses.
  • 1911census.co.uk. Alternative source for the 1911 census.

Birth, Marriage, and Death records

Civil registration of births, marriages, and deaths in England and Wales began in 1837; before then records of baptisms, marriages, and burials were a matter for the local church administration. Civil records for England and Wales are held centrally by the General Register Office ('GRO'), and are also held in local register offices (which can generally be visited in person if you want to view and/or obtain a copy of a record).
  • FreeBMD. You can search FreeBMD by name(s), place, and date to find the GRO index reference for England and Wales births, marriages and deaths for England and Wales. The project aims for complete coverage of events in the years 1837 to 1983. As of March 2016, births coverage is essentially complete up to 1962, marriages up to 1963, and deaths up to 1972.
  • FreeReg. Free searches of England and Wales parish registers (particularly useful for pre-1837 events).
  • The GRO certificate ordering service. If you have a GRO index reference, you can order birth, marriage, or death certificates online for £9.25 each.

Grow Your Own Tree

There are several websites which provide free tree creation tools.
  • Ancestry Trees. You can use Ancestry's tree creation tool free of charge (though to benefit from the full functionality of suggested resource links, etc., you'll need a paid-up subscription).