No need to cross the pond just yet; start your British and Irish genealogy research with these six websites.
Search the Discovery online catalog for your British ancestors, read up in research guides, explore 60,000 downloadable images, or check out the growing digital collections. The latter range from British army records to death duty registers to naturalization petitions.
A redesigned site, now in beta, adds the 1841-to-1901 England and Wales censuses to this collection of parish registers, probate records, military records, civil-registration data, occupational directories and other databases. Pay per view or subscribe for about $50 a year to explore it all, including records from Scotland, Ireland, Canada, Australia and New Zealand as well as England and Wales.
Not entirely a newcomer to our 101 Best Website list, this site encompasses previous honoree FreeBMD
—a massive volunteer transcription effort of English and Welsh vital records—as well as similar projects for the census (FreeCen
) and parish registers (FreeReg
). The latter has been completely overhauled, so update your bookmarks.
This pot of gold at the end of the genealogical rainbow includes the 1901 and 1911 Irish censuses, tithe applotment books (1823-1837), soldiers’ wills (1914-1918), and calendars of wills and administrations (1858-1922).
Irish researchers will want to bookmark this free site for its online Catholic parish registers
. The impressive project converted 550 microfilm reels, containing more than 3,500 registers, into about 373,000 digital images. Just click on the county map to zoom in to the parish level, then choose a parish to start browsing.
The more than 100 million Scottish historical records at this mostly pay-per-view site include censuses, wills (free), marriages, and birth and death certificates. Latest additions are birth images for 1915, marriages for 1940 and deaths for 1965.