Online Resources

There are masses of family tree resources on the internet. Some will give you valuable information for free while other services are subscription or pay per view.  It can be hard to know where to start so here are a few suggestions

  • for some birth, marriage and death indexes for England and Wales.
  • for the vast international genealogy website run by the Mormons (Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints)
  • for genealogy chat and all kinds of relevant information.

You should ask a few questions. Can you view images of original documents or just transcripts? Transcripts are fine when you are going through documents to assess their relevance but you really need an image of the original. There are often errors in transcriptions due to the difficulty of reading the handwriting in the original. It is worth moving left and right through adjacent images – you may find a relative was married on the same day.

Here are some examples of pay-for sites for basic genealogy. They contain birth, marriage and death indexes and census returns for England and Wales and much more. They also give the facility to build a family tree. Explore the site’s facilities thoroughly before you decide. Before you build a family tree it’s advisable to ensure there is the ability to export it to another site if you need to in the future, it could save you an enormous amount of work.

Birth, death and marriage certificates contain valuable information to aid your search. You can search records and order certificates directly from this government site –  The official Scottish Government site for searching government records and archives. Very useful for finding Scottish ancestry.

Online United States Birth, Marriage & Death Records (from FamilySearch) The situation regarding these records in the US is very complex and varies from state to state.  To determine if birth, marriage, and death records are online check the FamilySearch Research Wiki. Here you will find links to each state.