Your Guide to Researching
Ancestors from England


* General Guides * Subscription Databases * Maps * Statewide Genealogy Websites *
* Societies, Libraries and Archives *
* Finding and Using Records *More Links *

British Isles



General Guides to England Research

Subscription Databases

Atlases, Maps & Gazateers

England/County Genealogy Websites

Next, see what is available for your counties of interest at at one of these whole country sites. For each, use the county selection list to find out what is available for the various counties. All are volunteer driven sites; all data free.

  • the England Gen Web --maintenance of the county pages varies dramatically. Some are goldmines, some barely maintained.
  • British Isle Genealogy: England History & Genealogy (this one does not have separate pages for each county, although it does list parish registers by county)
  • FamilySearch Wiki: England Portal (mostly instructive)

Societies, Libraries and Archives

Finding and Using Records: cemetery, census, church, city directories, county histories, court & legal, immigration & emmigration, military,
land and property, naturalization, newspapers, probate, vital.

Use the catalog at the FHL to find out what has been filmed covering the county or shire England ; Click View Related Places in the upper right to find sources that have been filmed for the county you are researching and once there click View Related Places in the upper right to find sources that have been filmed for the township or city. You will want to check for resources in all three jurisdictions, although most people check the county holdings first, township next and state last.

Consult the Family History Library's Guide to England Statewide Indexes and Collections ; you might also consult the FHL's England Research Guidance, although frankly, I find navigation of that section confusing.

Cemetery (Monumental Inscriptions) :

  • FamilySearch Wiki: England Cemeteries
  • England (not a lot is there)
  • This is interesting... Wikipedia has of Cemeteries in England. It will be about the cemeteries, not the burials, I'm sure.
  • Monumental Inscriptions -- these several pages tell you more than you ever wanted to know about monumental inscriptions, including how to go about finding them, but no inscriptions themselves.
  • Search or post to one of the two message boards on burials in England.



City and County Directories:

County, Family and Local Histories:

Court & Legal;

Immigration and Emigration


Land & Property:




Vital: Civil registration in England began in July 1837, but church registers recorded births, marriages and deaths prior to then.

  • Many births and marriages can be found in the IGI, which "indexes" those church registers that were filmed.
  • You may see reference to the British Isles Vital Record Index -- that is now available and searchable on (see Wiki entry)
  • The National Burial Index complements the IGI by indexing deaths and burials found in church registers. It covers England and Wales. It is a CD that can be used on your home computer. I haven't yet found an owning library in the U.S.
  • British has a very thorough explanation of finding and using birth, marriage and death certificates.
  • Free BMD is transcribing the indexes to civil registration.
  • The family History Library provides these guides to finding and using civil registration of births, marriages and deaths in England and Wales:
    • England and Wales: How to use civil registration birth / marriage / death records
    • England and Wales: How to use the index of civil registration of births/ marriages / deaths
    • England and Wales: Civil registration index on microfiche and microfilm for births / marriages / deaths

More Links




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This page last updated April 26, 2011