Talk:England GenealogyEdit This Page

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Revision as of 18:36, 24 August 2010 by Ckwahlquist (Talk | contribs)

Contents

Purpose of Related Countries

I don't like the related countries on the England page.There ought to be a better way to use the real estate to get people into English content and show them some of the cool/hot stuff in the wiki for England.

What is the purpose of the Related Countries. I can only suppose that they used to be, or still are, territories of the English government. Their intent and purpose is confusing to a person. Daudwp 02:28, 7 February 2009 (UTC)

I agree, I can't see any point in this list. I also greatly regret the passing of the ability to browse through a list of the subjects for which there are articles. The list of "Topics" is no substitute for it. Anthony Camp.
I also agree. I will research who put this up and contact them to see if they object to it being removed (proper Wikiquette). Alan 20:05, 13 February 2009 (UTC)
I added the long list of 'related countries', but only to show how ridiculous the concept is! I believe that it is totally unnecessary and pointed this out at an earlier stage of the pages' development. bromaelor 18:31, 15 February 2009 (UTC)
Related Countries now deleted.Alan 17:53, 19 February 2009 (UTC)
Did the 'Related Countries' issue only appear on the England page? I thought Bromaelor came across it elsewhere. If that is the case it seems that the concept should be removed (at least on the country or US state pages) for other pages as well for some wiki wide design consistency. Daudwp 22:24, 19 February 2009 (UTC)
It's also on the Denmark page, but it's not so intrusive there. bromaelor 12:13, 26 February 2009 (UTC)

Raw coding

I've tried to tidy up the raw coding for this page. As most people appear to be using the graphics editor, and relying on tables for everything(!!!), the coding was a complete mess! Avoid the use of tables wherever possible! The "counties" need to be in three columns, as four columns causes an overrun to the right on smaller screens. I've also removed any links to "portals", which I believe are no longer being used on this wiki. Any comments? bromaelor 20:56, 16 February 2009 (UTC)

A recent edit to the page resulted in all formatting being lost! Perhaps relying on divisions is not the best way to proceed??? bromaelor 14:18, 18 February 2009 (UTC)

Place names

The general 'consensus' on other wiki's, such as Wikipedia, appears to be that the original place of that name should get priority when naming pages. So a page on the city of Chester in England would simply be called "Chester" while any other Chesters would need further detail e.g. "Chester, Nova Scotia"; "Chester, Ohio"; etc.. So all English county pages should not have the ", England" extension. bromaelor 13:54, 18 February 2009 (UTC)


I like this standard. Is there a way to share it with all the registered users? Not everyone who needs to see this will find it here! Daudwp 22:30, 19 February 2009 (UTC)
I notice that every English county page has just been moved with the addition of the country name e.g. "Cheshire" is now "Cheshire, England". Who made this decision and where is the discussion page? If this is now FSWiki policy then I expect all pages on the USA to have the country name added also. The rules MUST apply equally to every country!!!! I suggest you read the thread at soc.genealogy.britain to see why so few British researchers are prepared to contribute to FSWiki! Note the phrase "pseudo-folksy American crap exhibiting no cultural sensitivity whatsoever to the rest of the world". I'm beginning to see their point! bromaelor 15:18, 26 February 2009 (UTC)
I don't understand why the pages have been renamed either. What is the purpose for changing from Yorkshire to Yorkshire, England. I've not seen any discussion on this page related to Bromaelor's post on 18 February 2009 above that leads me to believe that the users of this site or these pages have made this decision or been involved in this change. How is this a COMMUNITY effort. The fact that the England map was made available for comment before being posted was great. The fact that Monmouthshire was removed from the map before it was loaded to the England page is an excellent illustration that users can be listened to. Where has the community inclusion and discussion been in relation to the other changes? Suggesting changes to the England page and then making those changes in a few hours sends a message that these discussion pages are notice boards in many ways rather than discussion pages. Daudwp 19:53, 26 February 2009 (UTC)
I don't like it for the simple fact that 'Cheshire, England' says nothing about this page. Wikipedia is not a how to page like wiki.familysearch. The place names need to be adapted for the need of the wiki and the people who use it. I think clarity should be the goal. The name is for the user. The power of the internet and a wiki is not in the names but in the linking together of subject matter. The subject matter of the Cheshire page is Genealogical Research in Cheshire / A place name in Cheshire is Birkenhead. Is Birkenhead called, (Birkenhead, England; Birkenhead, Cheshire, England) I think it should be Birkenhead Genealogical Research or something down those lines. Maybe (My ancestors lived in Birkenhaed) The linking to the County page and to the country page is what gives it validity and focus. (My ancestors lived in Cheshire) That is a clear descriptive name. Don-J
I apologize for not following wikiquette. I can only plead that I am new to wiki and didn't think through the consequences of my action. When the England clickable map was prepared for posting, I saw a need to use a naming convention for county names. I also foresaw future needs for links that could be created to county pages from other applications such as the Family History Library Catalog. What I should have done was post a summary of the issues and ask for suggestions & comments. Being new to wiki concepts, I instead made an arbitrary decision based on incomplete information. Having said that, where does that leave us now? I suggest the solutions are:
  1. The page names should follow established conventions. If the name of a county is the original place of that name, then the name does not require the country name. If the name of a county is the same as the name of a city in that county, then the county name should have "shire" on the end of it (e.g., Lincolnshire, Gloucestershire). Where applicable, disambiguation pages may be added to distinguish from other places of the same name.
  2. use of a redirect. If this community decides the name of a county page should be the name of a county alone wihtout the ", England" then that's what it should be. If another application needs the name to be "Cornwall, England" then we just place a redirect from "Cornwall, England" to "Cornwall"
  3. For a better understanding of redirects, please see Help:Redirects 
  4. Don's point is a good one. Should our page titles contain something identifying the content as relating to genealogical or family history research? This would help people doing a Google search for Birkenhead to distinguish our wiki from the city's official pages or other things about Birkenhead.
    Alan 18:02, 6 March 2009 (UTC)

Piping

Why are some editors piping internal links when it is not necessary?

[[Kent|Kent]]

A pipe is only required when the actual name of an article needs to be 'adjusted' to fit into the context of the text where the link appears, e.g. with long-winded article names:

[[This is the actual page name|This is what I'm going to use here]]

such as:

[[Christ's Hospital, London: A School for Children|Christ's Hospital]]

giving:

... attended Christ's Hospital school ...

I can see no purpose in piping:

[[Kent|Kent]]

where both the link target and link label are the same???

bromaelor 14:15, 18 February 2009 (UTC)

Multi-column lists

I've just discovered that all of the multi-column list I've added to the wiki (e.g. England counties) look perfect when using Mozilla Firefox 3 but appear as one long column when viewed with Internet Explorer 7 and that even the new version of IE8 will not support multiple-column lists. So its back to tables!!! bromaelor 15:11, 19 February 2009 (UTC)

Research guidance and beginner's info

At some point, research guidance will be removed from FamilySearch. It would be best to link to articles within the wiki and not to the content on FamilySearch. Also, the beginner's info takes up way too much space. It should be put into another article and perhaps linked to from the research tools? I'm not an English researcher. Is anyone willing to work on this? Molliewog 17:39, 24 February 2009 (UTC)

Clickable map

I am in the process of creating a clickable map for the main England page. Please look at the following 2 maps and let me know which you like best. Additional suggestions are welcome as well.

Molliewog 20:27, 24 February 2009 (UTC)

The first problem I see is that Monmouth is included on the map. Monmouth is a county in Wales not England. Is it possible to edit one county out of this map? Daudwp 20:36, 24 February 2009 (UTC)
I vote for map 1 with some of the county names spelled out. I like that the map uses the Chapman codes for the abbreviated labels. Daudwp 20:47, 24 February 2009 (UTC)
Yes, I can certainly remove it....but its inclusion was intentional. I was asked to include it with the England map due to some uniqueness of the area. I'm not a British researcher, so I don't know the reasoning behind the request. Thoughts? Molliewog 20:50, 24 February 2009 (UTC)
A number of research tools clearly identify which country Monmouth is and was located in.
1. If we use the series titled National Index of Parish Registers as a guide then Monmouth fits in Wales not England (according to the English and Welsh authors and publishers).
2. The reference book Nonconformist Registers of Wales also includes Monmouth as a Welsh county.
3. The book, Welsh Family History A Guide to Research has a map of the counties in Wales which includes Monmouth.
4. The Family History Library publication, Research Outline Wales 3rd edition August 1999 shows that Monmouth was one of the Pre-1974 counties of Wales.
5. The Chapman County Codes group Monmouthshire with Wales
The uniqueness of the area has nothing to do with which country the county is in. Daudwp 21:17, 24 February 2009 (UTC)
Monmouthshire is most definitely in Wales and always has been! There have been some petty arguments put forward by 'land-grabbers' from across the border in the past but none have serious credibility! England has as much claim to Monmouthshire as it has to Massachusetts! bromaelor 14:19, 25 February 2009 (UTC)
I think it would be better to be consistent and have either every county with its full name, or every county with its Chapman Code? However, I don't believe the first option is possible on this size map. The software allows a "rollover" label, so why not have Chapman Codes on the map and full county names on the rollover? bromaelor 12:20, 26 February 2009 (UTC)

Sounds good. I'll pull Monmouth out. I also need to make Isle of Wight part of Hampshire. Yes, the full name of the county will be available when you hover over the area of the map. If I make the England map small enough to fit on the main England page, some county names will not fit. I have seen some maps that will use full county names even though they do not fit within the county boundaries. To me, these look quite messy. I'll see what I can come up with today. I know that what I may post today may not be the final product, but we really want to get something up in time for the conference tomorrow. Molliewog 15:48, 26 February 2009 (UTC)

Even though this page is not part o Wales I think that area should be shown on the map so one can see if Wales may be relevant to their search.

USA-centric?

The entire text in the "Beginners' Corner" appears to assume that researchers are only interested in ancestors who emigrated from England at some point? Why should this assumption be made when the vast majority of English people remained in England for their entire life? Or is this section just aimed at Americans? bromaelor 15:27, 25 February 2009 (UTC)

I personally think this whole section needs to be completely re-written. It wastes too much space. Maybe the whole section should be removed and a link to a page on beginning England research be added under the research tools heading? Maybe we need 2 beginning articles; one for American based research, and one for those in England, etc.? Molliewog 15:32, 26 February 2009 (UTC)

Revising top of page

It has been suggested to me that the top of the England page would benefit from the following changes:

  • Get rid of the picture of Cambridge.
  • Add the Table of Contents box
  • Below it, add the clickable map and then the county list.
  • Move all the other stuff below that and get to it through the table of contents.
  • get rid of the text that lists the four record types because they are listed in the key topics spot anyway on the left.

Unless anyone has objections, these changes will be implemented today in preparation for the conference. Molliewog 15:59, 26 February 2009 (UTC)

Having a clickable map and a county list to click on seems redundant and a waste of prime real estate on the country page. Since the county names are on the map or appear when hovering over the small portions of the map why don't we delete the county list and move the other content up. Daudwp 19:57, 26 February 2009 (UTC)
Fine by me. Anyone else care? Molliewog 20:06, 26 February 2009 (UTC)
There are still many geographically-challenged individuals from outside England who can't find their county of interest on the map, or don't know the Chapman codes. They are too embarrassed to post, admitting their shortfall, but have emailed me to ask the county list be reinstated. Since the other topics are below the first screen anyway, I don't think it will hurt to put it back. Alan 18:13, 27 February 2009 (UTC)

Beginner's Corner changes

The paragraphs about the types of records to search were good but I think that a person new to genealogy would find them confusing. In keeping with the idea that the section is for beginners, I reduced the text to what you see. Anne 22:57, 27 February 2009 (UTC)

If we want the Wiki to be helpful to beginners, I think 'how to get started' or 'for beginners' types of information should appear prominantly on every page.  I think the Beginners section of this page should go to the top. Please give your opinion.  Bakerbh 18:39, 18 June 2009 (UTC)
Is this wiki intended as a tool for beginners? I would like to know the current thinking/direction on this before making many changes based on what we think may be helpful to beginners. Has a survey been done of the visitors to the England page or the registered users of the wiki? Daudwp 19:19, 18 June 2009 (UTC)
Moving the Research Tools to the top is not what I expected after reading the message with the idea for moving the Beginner's section to the top. Why the major change without allowing for discussion? I prefer the beginner's material at the top rather than the "Research Tools". Does the community have any say in what happens on this wiki or is that just a concept that applies to Wikipedia? Daudwp 19:31, 18 June 2009 (UTC)

If your ancestor lived in England between 1837 and 1901, the following steps
will help you find the records of his or her family. These instructions will show
you which records to search, what to look for, and what tools to use. One piece
of information will lead to another until you have identified each family member
and filled out a family group record.
ENGLAND 1837 to 1901
2 England
The Research Process
Overview
Follow these steps to find all members of the family (parents and children) of your ancestor who lived
in England between 1837 and 1901.
1. Find information about your ancestor’s birth from:
A. His or her birth certificate in civil registration records. (Civil registration records contain
information on births, marriages, and deaths recorded by the government.)
B. His or her christening record in church records.
2. Find your ancestor’s parents, brothers, and sisters in census records.
3. Find birth information for your ancestor's brothers and sisters from:
A. Birth certificates in civil registration records.
B. Christening records in church records.
4. Find the marriage certificate for your ancestor’s parents in civil registration records.
How to use this booklet:
• The Research Process: To see how the process works, review the example on pages 4–12.
• Finding Places: To learn more about place-names in England, see pages 14–16.
• Records: As you follow each step of the research process, go to pages 17–28 to learn about the
record you are searching.
• Additional Helps: For more information about researching English records, see pages 29–31.
When you have found all members of a family, use the process to find another family. Search for the
husband’s or wife’s parents and siblings.
England 3
Before beginning your research, it is important
that you gather all the family information you can
about your ancestor. You may find this information
in your home, in your parents’ home, and
from any other living family members. Also check
the Internet to see if others have researched your
English family. Here are some Web sites to start
with:
• FamilySearch (www.familysearch.org) is the
official family history Internet site of The
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Access to information on this site is free.
• RootsWeb (www.rootsweb.com) is a free site.
Click Family Trees to search for your
ancestor’s name.
• Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com) is the
largest commercial family history site. Access
to the Ancestry World Tree is free, but a fee is
required to access other information on the
site.
• OneGreatFamily (www.onegreatfamily.com)
charges for most of its services.
• Genes Reunited (www.genesreunited.com) is
a family history site in the United Kingdom. A
fee is required to view detailed information.
Record the information you find on family group
records and a pedigree chart or in a family
history software program. For example, you can
download Personal Ancestral File 5.2 without
cost from www.familysearch.org.
From your pedigree chart, choose an ancestor
who lived in England between 1837 and 1901.
You must know at least the approximate date and
place of the birth, christening, marriage, or death
of your ancestor. It is helpful to know the name of
your ancestor’s husband or wife.
The Research Process
How to Begin
4 England
The Research Process
Example
Example: John Thomas Williams, born on Jan. 21, 1862, in Cradley, Hereford, England. The registration
district is Bromyard.
Your ancestor:_____________, born on _________________, in ___________, __________,
England. The registration district is _______________________.
name birth date parish county
district
• If you don’t know your ancestor’s birth, christening,
marriage, or death information, start with a more
recent generation. You will learn how to do
research, and you will probably discover
something you didn’t know about your family.
• From what you already have about your own
family, choose an ancestor who was born in
England between 1837 and 1901.
• It is important to know the registration district of a
place in order to search government records. You
can find the registration district that a parish is in
by going to http://www.ukbmd.org.uk/genuki/
places/index.htm. Once you know the
registration district name, you can better identify
the entry you want in the indexes. Be aware,
however, that people may be registered in a
different district than the one they were living in.
Perhaps they were registered in a neighboring
district.
Tips
The following pages walk you through the
research process, using as an example the steps
Ann takes to find the family of her ancestor John
Thomas Williams. Follow these same steps to
find your ancestor’s family.
Ann's beginning pedigree chart Ann begins a family group record with John Thomas Williams
listed as a child
John Thomas Williams
21 Jan 1862 Cradley, Hereford, England
Ann Williams
John Thomas Williams
George Malin Williams
John Thomas Williams
28 Dec 1916
SLC, UTAH
11 Sep 1891
SLC, UTAH
21 Jan 1862
Cradley, Hereford, England
England 5
1. Find information about your ancestor’s birth.
CIVIL REGISTRATION (See pages 17–19.)
A. On the Internet, Ann goes to www.freebmd.org.uk, a site that indexes births, marriages, and
deaths for England from 1837 up to about 1925. She fills in the search boxes, clicks Find,
reads through the search results, and finds her ancestor, who was born in the Bromyard
District. (Note: Births in January, February, and March are listed under March in this index; see
page 17.)
B. Using the information found in the index, Ann orders the certificate from the General Register
Office online at: http://www.gro.gov.uk/gro/content/certificates/Login.asp. (For more information
on ordering certificates, see “Archives and Libraries” on page 29.)
Index entry from the Index to the Civil Registrations of Birth at www.freebmd.org.uk.
1862 birth certificate for John Thomas Williams, from the General Register Office, England
Where born Name Sex Parents’ names
The Research Process
Example
C. When the certificate arrives, Ann adds the birth information from the certificate for John
Thomas Williams to her records. She also adds the source information so that anyone looking
at her information will know where it came from.
6 England
Address Name Age Occupation Where born
Address Name Age Occupation Where Born
1871 census image from Cradley, Hereford, England, of the Williams family from Ancestry.com
1861 census image from Cradley, Hereford, England, of the Williams family from Ancestry.com
The reSearch Process
Example
Churc h recor ds (See pages 22–23.)
A. If Ann couldn’t find John Thomas Williams’s birth certificate in civil registration records, she
could have searched for his christening record in church records. To learn how to do this, see
step 3 on pages 8–10.
2. Find your ancestor’s parents, brothers, and sisters in census records.
(See “Census” on pages 20–21.)
A. Ann now wants to find John Thomas Williams on the census to find out more information about
his parents, brothers, and sisters. The first available census after John Thomas Williams’s birth
in 1862 is the 1871 census. Ann knows that there are census indexes available on several
sites on the Internet. She chooses to use www.ancestry.com. She finds John T. Williams in the
parish of Cradley, listed with his parents and an older sister, Sarah Ann. The census provides
ages and places of birth for the family members.
B. Ann wants to find other brothers and sisters for John Thomas, so she does another search at
www.ancestry.com, this time in the 1861 census, which was the census just before John
Thomas Williams was born. Since John Thomas will not be in the 1861 census, Ann searches
for his father, John Williams, and again finds the family in Cradley. The 1861 census lists five
more siblings, Eliza, Emma, Elizabeth, James, and Harriet. Because the family immigrated in
1880, Ann does not look at later census’s.
England 7
Address Name Age Occupation Where Born
1851 census image from Cradley, Hereford, England, of the Williams family from Ancestry.com
The reSearch Process
Example
C. Ann searches the 1851 census to find additional family members and again searches in
www.ancestry.com to locate the family. She finds two more siblings for John Thomas Williams:
Elivina and George.
D. Ann records the information she found, including the source information.
E. Ann estimates an approximate birth year for each of the 11 family members by subtracting the
age of the person from the year of the census.
8 England
The Research Process
Example
3. Find birth information for your ancestor’s brothers and sisters.
CIVIL REGISTRATION (See pages 17–19.)
A. On the Internet, Ann goes to www.freebmd.org.uk to search for birth certificates for John
Thomas’s brothers and sisters. To learn how to do this, see step 1 on pages 5–6.
Churc h recor ds (See pages 22–23.)
A. The census provided approximate birth years for each of the children. With an estimated birth
year (1857) and a stated birthplace (Cradley), Ann can go to the parish registers of Cradley
and look for a christening record of Elizabeth, John Thomas Williams’s sister.
B. Ann first searches for an index to the christening records of Cradley. She begins by searching
the International Genealogical Index on the Internet at www.familysearch.org. She finds
Elizabeth Williams, daughter of John Williams and Ann, christened 3 Nov 1857 in Cradley,
Hereford, England. She looks at the source and finds that the entry was extracted from a
microfilm copy of the parish registers of Cradley. She visits a family history center near her
home and orders in the microfilm so that she can see the actual entry to verify that the
information was extracted correctly and to obtain any additional information that might be found
in the entry.
When baptized Name Parents Abode (residence) Occupation By whom
Cradley Parish registers—christening of Elizabeth Williams
England 9
The Research Process
Example
C. If Ann had not found the right entry in the International Genealogical Index, she could have
done one or more of the tasks listed below to find the christening of Elizabeth:
• Visit the family history center near her home and use the CD, Vital Records Index—British
Isles (2nd Edition). Ann does a search for births or christenings by entering the surname
Williams and then the time period and the place Cradley, H ereford using data she found
on the census. She adds John Williams in the father field and Ann in the mother field,
and then clicks the Search button. She finds four children of this family, Emma, Elizabeth,
Sarah Ann, and John Thomas. Ann makes a copy of the results list from the British Vital
Records Index
• Look on the Internet using a search engine. She looks for search terms such as “index
Cradley christenings,” “Herefordshire index parish registers,” “Herefordshire christenings
index,” or “Cradley parish registers.”
• Look in the Family History Library Catalog under the parish and the subject Church
records. Ann does a Place Search in the Family History Library Catalog for Cradley. She
finds that Cradley in Hereford in the Catalog is listed as East or West Cradley. She looks
under East or West Cradley for the topic Church Records. She finds the microfilm number
for the parish registers. She orders the microfilm to her family history center.
British Vital Records Index results for children of John and Ann Williams
10 England
The Research Process
Example
D. If parish registers are not available, Bishops’ Transcripts might be available. Bishops’
Transcripts are copies of parish registers.
E. Ann now wants to find the other children in parish registers. Two of the children are listed on
the census as born in Linton. Ann cannot find a parish named Linton, so she looks in a
gazetteer and finds that Linton is a small place within the parish of Bromyard. One of the
children is listed as being born in Bromyard. Ann looks at a map of Herefordshire parishes and
sees that Bromyard and Cradley border each other. Ann uses the same process to find
children christened in Bromyard as she did to find children christened in Cradley. She finds the
christenings of Eliza, Elvina (which was spelled “Elivina” on the census), and George in
Bromyard Parish.
F. Ann records the information from the christening records for the children found in the church
records and adds the source for the information.
England 11
The Research Process
Example
4. Find the marriage record of your ancestor’s parents in church records (see
“Church Records: Marriage” on pages 24–25) or in civil registration records (see “Civil
Registration: Marriage” on pages 26–28).
A. Ann tries searching the International Genealogical Index (IGI) at www.familysearch.org to find
marriage information for the parents of John Thomas Williams. Ann finds the marriage for John
Williams and Ann Pugh on 20 December 1840 at Bromyard, Hereford.
B. The source microfilm number is listed on the IGI as 992640. Ann looks up the marriage on the
microfilm.
Marriage record of John Williams and Ann Pugh
IGI entry—marriage of John Williams and Ann Pugh
C. Ann records information she obtained from the marriage record, and she records the source
information.
12 England
The Research Process
Example
D. If Ann had not found the marriage in the International Genealogical Index, she could have
searched the marriage records in the parish registers of Bromyard, where the first child was
born, to find the marriage of John Williams and Ann Pugh. If she did not find the marriage in
the parish registers, she could then search the index to the government records of marriages
(see “Civil Registration: Marriage” on pages 26–28.).
E. Ann now has the information she needs for this family.
For information on submitting names for temple ordinances, see A Member’s Guide to Temple and
Family History Work (34697).
REPEAT STEPS 1 THROUGH 4 TO FIND ANOTHER FAMILY.
Look for the families of each of your ancestor’s parents. Start with the birth record of one of the
parents,
and then search for their siblings and parents.
England 13
The Research Process
Summary
Finding an English Family, 1837–1901
1. Find information about your ancestor’s birth in
civil registration records or church christening
(baptism) records.
• This verifies what you know.
• Write down what you find, and record your
source information.
2. Find your ancestor’s parents, brothers, and
sisters in census records.
• Look for the first census following your
ancestor’s birth. Check the census for the
place where your ancestor was born.
• Look in earlier and later censuses to see if
there are other children.
• Write down names, ages, birthplaces, and
so on.
• Estimate birth years from the ages.
• Write down what you find, and record your
source information.
3. Find birth information for your ancestor’s
brothers and sisters in civil registration records
or church christening records.
• Use places and estimated birth years from
the census.
• Write down what you find, and record your
source information.
4. Find the marriage record of your ancestor's
parents in church records or civil registration
records.
• Look for records of marriages in the parish
where the oldest child was born.
• Start with the date of the first child's birth,
and search backward and forward until
you find the marriage.
• Write down what you find, and record your
source information.
Then follow the same steps to find a parent’s
family.
What’s Next
Follow the same steps to look for the families of
each of your ancestor’s parents.
If you cannot find your ancestor using this
research process, contact FamilySearch Support
for research help at:
fhl@familysearch.org
14 England
In order to find records about your family, you
need to know the names of the parish and county
they lived in. It is also helpful to know the registration
district. The following is an explanation of
the jurisdictions you need to know in order to
research your family.
Place Levels (Jurisdictions)
Places are usually listed from smallest to largest
on family group records. Registration districts are
not usually listed.
Ridgeway, Cradley, Herefordshire, England
(Village) (Parish) (County) (Country)
Village
A village is a small settlement within a parish.
Parish
A parish is the geographical area (jurisdiction)
where an Anglican (Church of England) minister
served. The parish is usually named for the place
where the Church of England church was built.
To find the parish for a town or village, look in a
gazetteer. Online gazetteers can be found at:
1. http://www.visionofbritain.org.uk/descriptions/
index.jsp
2. http://content.ancestry.com/iexec/?htx=List&
dbid=7254&offerid=0%3a679%3a0
If you don’t find your ancestor’s records in one
parish, look in nearby or other likely parishes. To
find nearby parishes, use the Parish Locator at
http://web.onetel.net.uk/~gdlawson/parfind.htm.
District
Each county in England is divided into many
districts. A district may have several parishes in
it, or a very large parish may be divided into
several districts. Knowing the registration district
that covers your ancestor’s parish will help you
search the government records of birth, marriage,
and death (known as civil registration).
To determine the name of the registration district
for a parish, go to http://www.genuki.org.uk/big/
eng/civreg/places/.
Finding Places
Map of Cradley Parish
Cradley
Map of Herefordshire with districts; Bromyard District is highlighted
England 15
Finding Places
Map of west midland counties of England with Herefordshire
highlighted
County
England is divided into many counties. (Some
records are found under the county, including
some church records.)
When typing the locality place-name into your family
history software program:
• List the places from smallest to largest: parish,
county, country.
• If you wish to list the village or hamlet, place it
before the parish.
• The district is not usually recorded.
Tips
16 England
Finding Places
Using the Family H istory Library
Catalog
Use the online Family History Library Catalog to
find any record available from the Family History
Library. The Catalog will give you the call numbers
you need to obtain the records. The Catalog
is available at www.familysearch.org.
To use the Catalog, on the home page of
FamilySearch.org:
1. Click Family History Library Catalog.
2. Click Place Search. You will see “Place” and
“Part of (optional).”
3. For the Place, type: the name of the parish
4. For Part of, type: England
5. Click on Search.
6. A list of places will appear. Look for the place
you need, and click on it.
7. From the list of topics that appear, click on
the topic you need, such as Church Records.
8. From the titles that appear, click on the title
you want, such as Parish Registers.
9. This screen will describe the record, including
the book number if the record is a book. If
you need the microfilm or microfiche number,
click View Film Notes near the top of the
page.
10. Locate the film number you need in the list of
numbers.
Use the Place Search to find England civil registration
indexes, censuses, and church records. To find
England civil registration indexes, search by country.
To find England census and church records, search
by parish or by county.
If no matches are found when you type in the place,
do a search for the larger place, such as a county.
After selecting it from the list of results, click View
Related Places. Browse this alphabetical list to see
if you can locate your place.
• Look for spelling variations of the place-name.
• Type the name of the parish, not the village. To
find which parish a smaller place is located in,
visit: http://www.visionofbritain.org.uk/descriptions/
index.jsp.
• Look for variations in the name of the parish.
• The Family History Library may not have records
for the place you need.
Tips
England 17
civil registrat ion: birt h
Indexes
If you cannot locate an entry in the indexes for your
ancestor, consider the following reasons:
• Surnames are often found under unexpected
spellings.
• Events are filed by the date registered, not the
date they occurred, so search a wide range of
years.
• Indexes were prepared by hand and may contain
copying errors or omissions.
• A person may have been registered under a
different name than he or she used at other times
in his or her life.
• Family information is often misleading.
• Persons with common names may be difficult to
identify in the index.
• A child born before the parents’ marriage may be
registered under the mother’s maiden name.
• Some children were registered as “male” or
“female” if a given name had not been selected
before registration, such as Female Buckley.
• Civil registration records are indexed separately
for births, marriages, and deaths. The indexes are
organized by year, then by quarter of the year,
then by name. The first quarter includes January,
February, and March. The second quarter includes
April, May, and June. The third quarter includes
July, August, and September. The fourth quarter
includes October, November, and December.
Quarters are listed by the last month of the
quarter. For example, the record of a birth in May
would appear in the index under June.
• Records are found in the year and quarter when
the event was registered and not necessarily when
it took place.
Use Birth Indexes To: Tips
• Find the reference numbers to order a
birth certificate from England.
• Verify an approximate birth date.
• Verify the district where a birth was
recorded.
Content
• Year and quarter of registration
• Name
• District
• Volume
• Page
• Mother’s maiden name (given in birth
indexes after June 1911)
Online Indexes
To search online indexes of the Civil Registration
records of births, use one of these Web sites:
• www.freebmd.org.uk (no charge)
• www.findmypast.com (fee required)
• www.ancestry.co.uk (fee required)
• www.bmdindex.co.uk (fee required)
• www.ukbmd.co.uk (indexes to local
superintendent records; no charge)
• www.familyrelatives.com (fee required)
http://www.gro.gov.uk/gro/content/
certificates/Login.asp (General Register
Office Web site, where you can register
and pay by credit card to have a five-year
index search conducted to find a birth
entry; if the certificate is found, a copy
can be mailed for a fee)
Name District Volume Page
Index of birth record of John Thomas Williams, March quarter of 1862
18 England
Civil Registrat ion: Birt h
1837 to the Present
Use Civil Registration Birth Records
To:
• Find birth information for most people
who were born in England after
July 1, 1837.
• Verify the birthplace of an ancestor.
• Establish a time and place of a family’s
residence.
• Learn a mother’s maiden name.
Content
• Birth date
• Birthplace
• Child’s name
• Parents’ names, including mother’s
maiden name
• Father’s occupation
• Residence
• Informant (person present at the birth who
reported it to the registrar), possibly the
informant’s relationship to the child, and
the informant’s address
• Date the birth was registered
• Births are recorded in the year and quarter of
registration, not necessarily by date of birth.
• It is helpful to know the district. (See “Finding
Places” on pages 14–16.)
• If you are searching for a common name or do not
find your ancestor’s name in the general index,
you can write to the local Superintendent Registrar
to obtain a certificate. (See “Records Obtained
From” on page 19.)
Tips
England 19
Civil Registrat ion: Birt h
1837 to the Present
Searching Birth Records
(Civil Registration)
Before searching, you must know:
• Your ancestor's name.
• A possible parish and county of birth.
• An approximate birth date.
The reference from the index is also helpful (see page 17).
Records Obtained From:
• General Register Office. (See “Archives and Libraries,” page 29.) Order online at
http://www.gro.gov.uk/gro/content/certificate/index.asp#0.
• The local superintendent registrar. Addresses are available at www.genuki.org.uk. Click on
England, then the county and then the subject Civil Registration.
• www.ukbmd.co.uk. Click on the county.
1862 birth certificate for John Thomas Williams, from the General Register Office, England
Where born Name Sex Parents’ names
20 England
Census Indexes
1841, 1851, 1861, 1871, 1881, 1891, 1901
Use Census Indexes To:
• Quickly find your ancestor in a census.
Online Indexes
Name indexes exist on the Internet for every census
from 1841 to 1901. The following Web sites
have indexes:
• www.ancestry.co.uk (for the 1841, 1851,
1861, 1871, 1881, 1891, and 1901
censuses; fee required)
• www.englishorigins.com (for the 1841 and
1871 censuses; fee required)
• www.findmypast.com (for the 1841, 1861,
1871, and 1891 censuses; fee required)
• www.thegenealogist.co.uk (for the 1841,
1851, 1861, 1871, 1891, and 1901
censuses; fee required)
http://213.161.80.228/ (for the 1901
census; fee required)
• www.familysearch.org (for the 1881
census; no charge)
• www.census-online.com/links/England
(links for many online census records)
• www.freecen.org.uk (free database of
online census transcriptions)
You can also use a search engine such as
Google to look for a census index for a particular
place. (For example: Bishop’s Cleeve 1851
Census Index.)
• Check for variant spellings of the surname.
• If you can’t find your ancestor’s full name in an
index, search using only the given name and other
identifying information, such as age and place. Or
search for only a surname with the other
identifying information.
• Indexes can have errors and omissions, which will
affect what results appear for a search.
• Read the information provided about the index
before searching so that you will better understand
what is indexed and how to search it.
Tips
Searching Census Indexes
Before searching, you must know:
• Your ancestor’s name.
• An approximate age for your ancestor.
It can also be helpful to know:
• Where your ancestor lived at the time of
the census.
• Names of other family members.
England 21
Census
1841, 1851, 1861, 1871, 1881, 1891, 1901
Use Census Records To:
• Find family members and members of the
household.
• Learn the names, ages, and birthplaces
of brothers, sisters, parents,
grandparents, and others living in the
household.
• Establish a time and place of a family’s
residence.
• Identify a person’s occupation.
Content
• Names
• Ages
• Residence
• Occupations
Beginning with 1851, census records also show:
• Exact ages.
• Marital status.
• Relationship of household members to
the head of household.
• Birthplaces.
• Use indexes when available. (See “Census
Indexes” on page 20.)
• Ages in the 1841 census were rounded down to
the next lower 5 years for anyone 16 years of age
or older. For example, a 19-year-old would be
listed as 15 years old.
• The census does not list children who were born
and died between censuses.
• The census does not list family members who
were away from home when the census was
taken.
• Relationships to the head of household usually
apply only to the head of household. You may find
a relationship that is to someone who is not a
head of the household.
Tips
Searching Census Records
Before searching, you must know:
• Your ancestor’s name.
Knowing the parish and county where your ancestor lived and the time he or she lived there is
helpful.
Internet images or transcripts of census records are available at:
• www.ancestry.co.uk (1841, 1851, 1861, 1871, 1881, 1891, and 1901 indexes and images;
fee required)
• www.englishorigins.com (1841, 1861, and 1871 [partial] indexes and images; fee required)
• www.findmypast.com (1841, 1861, 1871, and 1891 indexes and images; fee required)
• www.1901censusonline.com (1901 index and images; fee required)
http://thegenealogist.co.uk (1841, 1851, 1861, 1871, 1891, and 1901 transcription and
images; no charge)
• www.familysearch.org (1881; no charge)
22 England
Church Records: christening
1538 to the Present
Use Christening (Baptism) Records To:
• Find christening information for the
majority of the people who were born in
England.
• Verify your ancestor’s christening date
and place.
• Establish a time and place of a family's
residence.
• Verify parents’ names.
Content
• Child's name
• Parents' names, and in some time
periods, occupation and residence
• Christening date
• Birth date (on some records)
• Residence and father’s occupation (on
some records)
Indexes
International Genealogical Index (IGI)
The International Genealogical Index includes
many christenings extracted from Church of
England (and other) registers. Not all church
records are included in the IGI.
This index is available on the Internet at
www.familysearch.org.
Vital Recor ds Index—Britis h Isles
2nd Edition (50126)
The Vital Records Index—British Isles
includes many christenings extracted from
Church of England (and other) registers that
were not included in the IGI. It is available on
compact disc and can be purchased for use
at home (See “How to Order Family History
Library Publications,” page 29.) It is also
available at the Family History Library and
family history centers.
Internet Searc h engines
Numerous Web sites contain indexes to church
records in England. Online data may be found
by using a search engine such as Google.
• In this publication, the term church records refers
to records of the Church of England. Records for
other churches do exist and can be used. You
should know the denomination your ancestor
belonged to.
• The christening date can be used as an
approximate birth date if the birth took place
before 1837, because children were usually
christened within a few weeks of birth.
• When searching christening (baptism) records,
look a few years before the time you think the
actual birth or christening took place, and continue
for several years after the actual birth. Some
people were not christened as children, but as
adults.
• If you don’t find your ancestor’s birth (christening)
record in one parish, look in nearby parishes. (See
“Finding Places” on pages 14–16.)
• Copies of parish registers (the original record),
known as Bishops’ Transcripts, and in some
counties, Archdeacons’ Transcripts exist from
about 1598 to about 1875. These transcripts can
be searched if the parish registers are not
available or if the parish registers are unreadable.
Be aware that the information given for a particular
entry can vary between parish registers, Bishops’
Transcripts, and Archdeacons’ Transcripts.
• If you don’t find the christening in Church of
England registers, look at the records of other
churches. (See Research Outline: England [34037]
“Nonconformist Church Records.”)
Tips
England 23
Church Records: christening
1538 to the Present
Searching Christening Records
Before searching, you must know:
• Your ancestor’s name.
• The parish and county of birth or
residence.
• An approximate birth date.
You can locate records by using the following:
• The Family History Library and family
history centers
• County record offices or diocesan record
offices
• Parish indexes
To find christening records in the Family History
Library, use the Family History Library Catalog:
Place searc h:
Place [name of parish]
Part of [county]
Topics to choose: Church records or Church
records–Indexes
From the titles of the church records listed,
choose parish registers or Bishops’
Transcripts.
Search the record by:
• Date (day, month, year).
• Child’s name.
When baptized Name Parents Abode (residence) Occupation By whom
Cradley Parish registers—christening of Elizabeth Williams
24 England
Church records: Marriage
1538 to the Present
Use Marriage Records to Find:
• The maiden name of the bride.
• The couple’s marriage date and place.
• The bride’s and groom’s fathers’ names
and occupations.
• Ages of the bride and groom.
Content
• Marriage date.
• Groom's name and sometimes age,
occupation, and residence.
• Bride's name and sometimes age,
occupation, and residence.
• Marital status of the bride and groom (on
some records).
After 1754 you may also find:
• Names of witnesses, who may be family
members.
• Residence of the bride and groom at the
time of marriage.
After 1837 you may also find:
• Names of the fathers of the bride and
groom.
• Occupations of the fathers of the bride
and groom.
• Look for an index of marriages covering the area
where you think the marriage might have taken
place before looking at the actual records.
• Between 1754 and 1837, marriages were required
to be performed in the Church of England, unless
the participants were Jewish or Quakers.
Marriages after 1837 could be performed in the
registrar’s office or in a church other than the
Church of England.
• To find a marriage record, first look in the parish
where the first child was born. Then look in the
parish(es) where the parents were born (starting
with the mother’s parish), and then in nearby
parishes.
• If you don’t find a marriage in the parish registers
after 1837, search the marriage indexes of civil
registration. (See “Civil Registration: Marriage” on
pages 26–28.)
• Marriages recorded in parish records after 1754
are listed in separate books from the christenings
and burials.
Tips
England 25
Church Records: Marriage
1538 to the Present
Searching Church Marriage Records
Before searching, you must know:
• The name of the bride or the name of the
groom.
• The approximate date of marriage or the
birth date of the first child.
• The parish of residence of the bride or
groom or the parish of birth of the first
child.
You can locate records by using the following:
• Family History Library and family history
centers
• County record offices and diocesan record
offices
• Parish indexes
To find records of marriages in the Family History
Library, use the Family History Library Catalog:
Place searc h:
Place [name of parish]
Part of [county]
Topics to choose: Church Records or Church
Records—Indexes
From the list of titles under Church Records,
choose parish registers or Bishops’
Transcripts.
Search the record by:
• Date (day, month, year).
• The couple’s names.
Marriage record of John Williams and Ann Pugh
26 England
civil registrat ion: Marriage
Indexes
Use Marriage Indexes To:
• Find the reference numbers for a
marriage, so that the certificate can be
obtained from England.
• Verify an approximate marriage date.
• Verify a district where a marriage was
recorded.
Content
• Name
• District
• Volume
• Page
• Spouse’s surname (in marriage indexes
after 1911)
If the marriage can’t be found in civil registration,
you can try church records (See “Church
Records: Marriage,” pages 24–25.)
• Civil registration records are indexed separately
for births, marriages, and deaths. The indexes are
organized by year, then by quarter of the year,
then by name. The first quarter includes January,
February, and March. The second quarter includes
April, May, and June. The third quarter includes
July, August, and September. The fourth quarter
includes October, November, and December.
Quarters are listed by the last month of the
quarter. For example, the record of a marriage in
May would appear in the index under June.
• Records are found in the year and quarter when
the event was registered and not necessarily when
it took place.
• It is helpful to know the district (See “Finding
Places” on pages 14–16.)
• If you cannot locate an entry in the indexes for
your ancestor, consider the following reasons:
- Surnames are often found under unexpected
spellings.
- Events are filed by the date registered, not the
date they occurred, so search a wide range of
years.
- Indexes were prepared by hand and may
contain copying errors or omissions.
- A person may have been registered under a
different name than he or she used at other
times in his or her life.
- Family information is often misleading.
- Persons with common names may be difficult to
identify in the index.
• If you find names of both the bride and the groom
in the marriage indexes with the same quarter,
district, volume, and page, you have probably
found the right marriage.
• A bride could be listed on the marriage record with
her maiden name or a previously married name.
Tips
England 27
Civil Registrat ion: Marriage
Indexes
Online Indexes
To search the online indexes to the Civil
Registration records of marriages, use one of these
Web sites:
• www.freebmd.org.uk (no charge)
• www.findmypast.com (fee required)
• www.ancestry.co.uk (fee required)
• www.bmdindex.co.uk (fee required)
http://www.genesreunited.com (fee
required)
• www.familyrelatives.com (fee required)
http://www.gro.gov.uk/gro/content/
certificates/Login.asp (General Register
Office Web site, where you can register and
pay by credit card to have a five-year index
search conducted to find a marriage entry;
if the certificate is found, a copy can be
mailed for a fee)
Civil registration marriage record for John Williams and Ann Pugh
28 England
Civil Registrat ion: Marriage
1837 to the Present
Use Civil Registration Marriage
Records To:
• Find marriage information for virtually
every person who was married in England
after July 1, 1837.
• Verify the marriage place of an ancestor.
• Establish a time and place of a family’s
residence.
• Learn the names of the bride’s father and
the groom’s father.
• Verify the ages of a bride and groom.
• Find out the religious denomination of a
bride and groom, if they married in a
church.
Content
• Names of the bride and groom.
• Residences of the bride and groom.
• Marital status of the bride and groom
(single, widowed, or divorced).
• Occupations of the bride and groom.
• Ages of the bride and groom.
• Names and occupations of the fathers of
the bride and groom.
• Date of marriage.
• Marriage place, including the name of the
church, if the marriage took place in a
church.
• If you know the name of the bride and the groom,
you may be able to find the marriage without
knowing a place.
• When a marriage records says “21” or “of full age”
as the age of the bride and groom, it may mean
that they are 21 or older than 21.
Tips
Searching Marriage Records
(Civil Registration)
Before searching, you must know:
• The name of the bride or groom.
• A possible parish and county of
marriage.
• An approximate marriage date.
Records obtained from:
• General Register Office. (See “Archives and
Libraries,” page 29.) Order online at http://www
.gro.gov.uk/gro/content/certificate/index.asp#0.
• The local Superintendent Registrar. Addresses are
available at www.genuki.org.uk by county and
then by subject under “Civil Registration.”
England 29
Additional Helps
Time Line
1538 Parishes began keeping registers.
1598 Parish ministers were required to make a
copy of their register each year and send
it to the bishop. These records are called
Bishops’ or Archdeacons’ Transcripts.
1752 The calendar changed from beginning the
year on March 25 to beginning the year on
January 1.
1754 A law was passed requiring marriages to
be performed in the Church of England
except for Jews or Quakers. Marriages
from this date were recorded in separate
books.
1801 The first national census was taken in
England. However, it did not contain
names or any other genealogical
information.
1812 Christenings and burials were recorded in
printed registers.
1837 The government began recording births,
marriages, and deaths.
1841 The first national census was taken that
had names and genealogical information.
1851 Parish or place of birth and relationship
to head of household were recorded in
census records from this date on.
1901 The most recent national census that has
been released for public use was taken.
More about English Research
Research Outline: England (34037) describes
other records that can be used in the research
process to find out more about your family.
Herber, Mark. Ancestral Trails: The Complete
Guide to British Genealogy and Family
History. Stroud, England: Sutton Publishing
LTD., in association with the Society of
Genealogists, 1998. (FHL book 942 D27hm).
Rogers, Colin D. Tracing Your English
Ancestors. New York: St. Martin’s Press,
1989. (FHL book 942 D27r 1989).
Saul, Pauline. The Family Historian’s Enquire
Within. Birmingham, England: Federation of
Family History Societies (Publications) Ltd.,
1995. (FHL book 942 D27mf 1995).
Genuki www.genuki.org.uk
Arc hives an d Libraries
Family History Centers
www.familysearch.org
Phone: 1-800-346-6044 (toll free in the United
States and Canada)
Family History Library
35 N. West Temple Street
Salt Lake City, UT 84150-3440
www.familysearch.org
General Register Office
P.O. Box 2
Southport, Merseyside PR8 2JD
England
Phone: From U.S. 011-44-870-243-7788
Fax: From U.S. 011-44-1704-550013
Web site: www.gro.gov.uk
National Archives
Ruskin Avenue, Kew
Richmond, Surrey TW9 4DU
England
Web site: www.nationalarchives.gov.uk
County Archives and Local Superintendent
Registrar
See the Web site www.genuki.org.uk. Look for
the individual county, and then Archives and
Libraries or Civil Registration.
How to Order Family H istory Library
Publications
Go to www.familysearch.org. Under the
heading “Get Started with Family History,”
click guides. When the new page comes up,
click Sorted by Place, click the letter E, and
look for the publications that pertain to
England in the list that appears.
You can view these publications on the screen
or print them. Or you can order a copy of a
publication by clicking the product number on
the right and then clicking the Quick Order
tab at the top of the page.
30 England
Additional Helps
England 31
Additional Helps
32 England
Index
Index
additional helps
Ancestry.com (Web site)
archives
baptism (christening) records . . . . . .
birth indexes .
birth records
Bishops’ Transcripts .
British Isles Vital Records Index
census records .
census indexes
christening records .
church records
christening .
marriage .
civil registration records .
birth certificates .
marriage certificates .
counties
districts
England, maps of .
family group record .
family history centers
Family History Library Catalog . . . .
FamilySearch .
FamilySearch Support .
General Register Office .
Genes Reunited (Web site)
how to begin .
indexes .
International Genealogical Index
maps of England
marriage indexes
marriage records
One Great Family (Web site)
parishes
pedigree chart .
Personal Ancestral File
place search .
publications .
research process
step 1 .
step 2 .
step 3 .
step 4 .
registration district .
RootsWeb (Web site)
search engines .
summary of research process .
time line .
villages .
Vital Records Index
29–31
3
29
22–23
17
18–19
10, 22
9, 22
6–7, 21
20
8, 22–23
22–25
8, 22–23
11, 24–25
17–19, 26–28
5, 17–19
11, 26–28
15
14
14–15
4, 30–31
29
9–10, 16
3
13
29
3
3
17, 20, 22,
26–27
11, 22
14–15
26–27
24–28
3
14
4
3
16, 23, 25
29
2–13
5–6
6–7
8–10
11–12
4, 14
3
9, 22
13
29
14
9, 22
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the USA.
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FINDING RECORDS OF YOUR ANCESTORS
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