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Post Info TOPIC: Useful genealogy websites

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Useful genealogy websites

As this is my 100th posting to the board, I thought I would make it a special one.  So just in case you haven't got enough to do at the moment, here are links to some useful genealogy websites. I hope you find some new favourites here.  Happy New Year! 



‘£’ indicates that you usually have to pay to see full information (though indexes may be freely visible).

A2A (Access to Archives)

Online catalogues of many record offices and other archive repositories.

Ancestors on Board £

Database of those on ships leaving the British Isles, 1890 to 1960.  Available to Findmypast subscribers; free access at Kew.

Ancestry £

Birth, marriage and death indexes, census returns, criminal records, London parish records, emigration/immigration, First World War service records, and much much more.  Free access in Oxfordshire County Council libraries!

Archives Hub

Catalogues of archives held at universities.

BMD Registers£

Searchable database linked to scanned images of pre-1837 non-conformist records (free access at Kew).

British History Online

Many history books are online here, including much of the Victoria County History of Oxfordshire.

British Library Nineteenth Century Newspapers £

Collection of 19th c. provincial newspapers, including Jackson’s Oxford Journal.  If you have an Oxfordshire County Council library ticket you can access this free via Reference Online (see below).  There’s a tutorial elsewhere on the message board.

Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Commonwealth casualties of the two World Wars.

Cyndi’s List

A huge directory of links to genealogy websites, arranged by subject.


The original FamilySearch site (with International Genealogical Index (IGI), 1881 census for England & Wales etc.) now has a new look and incorporates a wide range of other databases previously on the FamilySearch Beta site.  In the ‘Library Catalog’ part you can see what is held in LDS Family History Centers worldwide (e.g. microfilm copies of parish registers).

Findmypast £

Census returns, some parish records, National Burial Index, military records and much more.  Various types of subscription package or pay-as-you-go; free access at Kew.


Searchable indexes to birth, marriage and death registrations in England and Wales from 1837 onwards.  Why not join the band of volunteers who keep adding to this superb resource?  Don’t forget its sister sites, FreeCEN (for censuses) and FreeREG (for parish registers)

General Register Office

Order birth, marriage and death certificates online.

Genes Reunited £

Build your family tree online and contact long-lost cousins.  Some membership packages give access to online records (now including 1911 census for Platinum members).


Armchair shopping mall for the genealogist.


Lots of interesting old maps.


Fact-packed guide to genealogy in the UK and Ireland, arranged area by area.

Google Book Search

Google News

Searches modern and old newspapers (some results are pay-per-view).  You can narrow down your search to particular historical periods using the left-hand menu.

The Great War Forum

A discussion forum devoted to the First World War; many thousands of active members with some great military experts on hand to answer your questions.

Historical Directories

Searchable trades directories, mostly 19th century.

Hospital Records Database

An aid to locating hospital records.

IGI – see FamilySearch

IGI Batch numbers

Hugh Wallis’s list of batch numbers makes a useful guide to what’s included in the IGI and gives you the key to do parish-specific searches.

Irish 1901 and 1911 censuses

free, from the National Archives of Ireland.

London Gazette

Military promotions and awards, bankruptcies....

London Lives 1690-1800

Thousands of digitised documents, including coroners’ records, court records and poor-law records.

The Long, Long Trail

Encyclopaedic site on the First World War.

The National Archives(Kew):

Guide to the whereabouts of archives: helpful for locating records relating to particular companies, organisations, estates, etc.

Old Bailey Proceedings

Endlessly fascinating trials from the Central Criminal Court 1674-1913

Old Maps

Old Ordnance Survey maps.

Origins £

Not so useful now that the Society of Genealogists’ datasets have been removed, but there is still some material not available elsewhere online, e.g. an increasing number of pre-1858 probate indexes.

Papers Past

New Zealand newspapers online.

Public Record Office of Northern Ireland

Some databases online e.g. street directories, probate records, signatories of 1912 Ulster Covenant.

Scotland’s People

Old parochial registers, civil registration records, census returns and wills.

Society of Genealogists:

Surname mapping

Map the distribution of surnames in Britain in 1881 or 1998.

Times Digital Archive 1785-1985

200 years’ worth of The TimesNB If you have an Oxfordshire County Council library ticket you can access this free via Reference Online (see below).


Digital archive of Australian newspapers


Some local registrars have their own indexes to civil registration records, which can be more accurate than the GRO indexes.

A Vision of Britain Through Time

Travel writing, local histories, maps....


Peter Higginbotham’s magnum opus on these grim institutions.

1901 census £

1911 census £

Credit is needed to see the full transcripts or images of pages, but you can still discover a lot from the free index.


Heritage Search

Combined search of catalogues of the Record Office, Oxfordshire Studies, county photographic archive and more.

Oxfordshire Family History Society

lots of useful info e.g. parish map, guide to dates covered by parish registers, and details of upcoming OFHS talks; also of course opportunities to buy parish register transcripts and other Society publications.

Oxford Journal Illustrated photo index 1912-1928

Oxfordshire-L genealogy mailing list

Oxfordshire Surname Interest List (OxSIL)

Oxfordshire War Memorials

Photographic catalogue of the county’s war memorials, now searchable by person’s name.

Reference Online

County Council site giving free access to various reference websites (e.g. Times Digital Archive) for holders of Oxfordshire County Council library tickets.

Soldiers of Oxfordshire

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