When you first begin your research, you need to talk to any living relatives and try to get as much information from them as possible. Make notes and try to draw out a basic tree with your own knowledge and the information provided by them. Then you're ready to start filling in the gaps and work your way back through your tree.
To continue with your research, we recommend using an online research website such as The Genealogist. This offers core sources essential to every family historian, such as the census for England and Wales (1841-1911), civil registration indexes of births, marriages and deaths (BMDs) 1837-2005, Parish & Non Conformist Records, Wills, Directories, Military Records, and much more.
Use a software program such as RootsMagic to start recording your tree. This will allow you to input all the facts you have found so far from relatives and other research, and all the discoveries you will make in the future!
A vast online research site for unlimited searching on BMDs, census 1841-1911, directories, parish records, wills, non-conformist records, military records, and much more.
The complete range of Birth, Marriage and Death records from 1837 onwards as published by the GRO - that's 167 years of data, or an amazing 250 million events!
Access the complete census for England and Wales for 1841-1911, along with BMDs 1837-2005. Birth, marriage and death records are the most important way of tracking down your ancestors - however, these only go back to 1837. At BMDregisters.co.uk, pre-1837 births, baptisms, marriages, deaths and burials are available for you to search from only £5.
Pre-1837 births, baptisms, marriages, deaths and burials are available for you to search from only £5.
Based in London, the National Archives manages the UK's archival collections.
Founded in 1911, the Society of Genealogists (SoG) is Britain's premier family history society, with a genealogical library and education centre in London.
The Federation of Family History Societies (FFHS) is an educational charity who support, inform and advise family history societies and similar bodies across the world.
The name is German for table of ancestors and is one of the standard reports found in many programs.
This shows the ancestors of the selected person, parents grandparents etc. It is normally in the form of an inverted pyramid. They can also take a circular form (See figure 1)
This type of chart is often the way trees are drawn by hand showing all the relations of a person. It is available in Reunion 5 for the Mac and can be constructed in WinGenea. Be aware that these are typically large due to their complex nature.
This starts with a selected person and shows their descendants generation by generation, children, grandchildren and so on. The information given on each person could also include a picture.
The process of converting an image regardless of format (fiche, film, paper) to a digital format such as PDF.
Reduced images of photographed documents provided as rectangular sheets of film containing a number of rows of frames.
This is a census reference number normally stamped at the top right hand corner of every other census book page and is used as a reference in indexes.
It is the name given to a standard file format for genealogical information, such as those used in software programs. It is derived from "Genealogical Data Communication".
This starts at the selected person and goes down through the descendants and up through the ancestors.
International Genealogical Index
The process of creating an index normally by Surname or combined Surname and Forename to material such as the census. Indexes to the census normally give a Piece and Folio Reference.
Latter Day Saints also known as the Mormon church.
Film rolls containing reduced images of documents. The standard storage used for historical documents is 35mm film or fiche.
You can find a more complete glossary at British-Family-History.co.uk.
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