Family History

Why research your ancestors?

It is the aim of most family historians to produce a well-documented history of their ancestors, including old certificates, old photographs, and descriptive stories about them. Many find that their ancestors have done something heroic or have had a secret love, that they took part in a historical events, or something as equally fascinating. It is these interesting stories that family historians say makes their research worthwhile.

What records are available?

The main records you need to look at are Birth, Marriage and Death records and census records.

BMD (births, marriages and deaths) records are available from 1837-2005, and these tell you a lot of information about a person - for example a birth certificate would give you the name, parents names, father's occupation, where they were registered, and date they were born. An index to these records are available online at or at

Census records give details of the entire family, and a census was taken every ten years. They are available to buy on CD at or to view online at, and are available for the years 1841-1911 with a census substitute for 1921.

What about research for the 1920's?

For the 1920's, you can turn to the 1921 census substitute, directories, passenger lists, wills and other resources, along with the BMD records.

There is a wide range of directories for many counties in England and Wales available online.

Start building your family tree today

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