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The term "genealogy" is used here to describe records that contain family information gathered by individuals, societies, or archives. These records may include pedigree charts, compiled family information, correspondence, ancestor lists, research exchange files, record abstracts, and collections of original or copied documents. These excellent sources of information can save you valuable time. However, these types of records may contain inaccuracies, so you should verify the information you find.
England Nobility describes genealogical sources for noble families.
Unique Family History Library Sources
The library has several sources that contain previous research or can lead you to others who are interested in sharing family information. These sources include:
International Genealogical Index (IGI). Millions of deceased individuals born or married in England are listed in the International Genealogical Index. More additional names are added periodically. The index includes names extracted from English parish and civil registers and names submitted by other researchers.
The International Genealogical Index is available on microfiche, on compact disc, and on the Internet through the FamilySearch™ Internet Genealogy Service located at www.familysearch.org. If you are using microfiche, you need to know which county to search. If you are using compact disc, the computer will search the entire country for any name.
Ancestral File. The Family History Library has developed a computer database of family information called Ancestral File, containing millions of names. It is available on compact disc and on the Internet through the FamilySearch™ Internet Genealogy Service located at www.familysearch.org.
Family Group Records Collection. More than eight million microfilmed family group record forms are in the Family Group Records Collection. The collection has two major sections: the Archive Section and the Patron Section. The film numbers are listed in the Author/Title Search of the Family History Library Catalog under:
CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. GENEALOGICAL SOCIETY. FAMILY GROUP RECORDS COLLECTION
Smith’s Inventory of Genealogical Sources: England. (FHL book 942 D23s Four Volumes; fiche 6110526.) This is a subject and surname index to items within selected periodicals, books, and films. (Some of the items are not in the library catalog; others are difficult to find in the catalog.)
Many English families produce histories or newsletters that may contain genealogical information, biographies, photographs, or other valuable information.
To find family histories in the Family History Library, look under the family name in the Surname Search of the Family History Library Catalog.
A good bibliography of family histories is:
Thomson, Theodore Radford. A Catalogue of British Family Histories. London, England: The Research Publishing Company, 1976. (Family History Library book 942 A3t 1976 BYU Family History Library book CS 414 .X1 T56 1980.) This book lists over 2,200 family histories published in England.
Family history societies are created to help educate and share information about their members’ interests. Anyone can join a family history society. Benefits for joining include society journals full of articles and news, and discounts on the purchase of society publications.
Writing and Sharing Your Family History
Sharing your own family history is valuable for several reasons:
- It helps you see gaps in your own research and raises opportunities to find new information.
- It helps other researchers progress in researching ancestors you share in common.
- It draws other researchers to you who already have information about your family that you do not yet possess.
- It draws together researchers with common interests, sparking collaboration opportunities. For instance, researchers in various localities might choose to do lookups for each other in remote repositories. Your readers may also share photos of your ancestors that you have never seen before.
- See also:
England Family History Societies
- Federation of Family History Societies maintains a list of its member societies throughout the British Isles. See their Web site at www.ffhs.org.uk/
- Scottish Association of Family History Societies promotes and encourages the study of Scottish family history, and provides a forum for the exchange, collection, and distribution of information among members. See their Web site at www.safhs.org.uk/
- Association of Family History Societies of Wales promotes the study of family history and genealogy in Wales. See their Web site at www.fhswales.info
- Ireland family history society information can be found on the Internet by doing a Google search and the keywords “[locality] family history.” Some of the Irish family history societies are listed at www.genuki.org.uk/Societies/.
The Family History Library has some genealogical collections for English families, including published and unpublished collections of family histories and lineages, research files of prominent genealogists, and a few surname indexes. The following surname indexes include many major collections:
- Marshall, George W., Editor. The Genealogist’s Guide. Reprint of 1903 Edition. Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1980. (Family History Library book 929.142 M356g; film 496451.) This book, continued in the following books by Whitmore and Barrow, compiles information found in printed sources that contain pedigrees of at least three generations. These three books, arranged by surname, are prime sources to use when looking for pedigrees. 1893 edition: Google Books - free online version.
- Whitmore, John B. A Genealogical Guide: An Index to British Pedigrees in Continuation of Marshall’s Genealogist’s Guide (1903). London, England: Walford Brothers, 1953. (Family History Library book 929.142 M356g supp.; fiche 6054492. BYU Family History Library book CS 414 .X1 W45 1953.) This book, also arranged by surname, continues Marshall’s guide and is continued by Barrow.
- Barrow, Geoffrey B. The Genealogist’s Guide: An Index to Printed British Pedigrees and Family Histories, 1950–1975. London, England: Research Publishing Company, 1977. (Family History Library book 929.142 M356g; fiche 6026284. BYU Family History Library book CS 414 .X1 B37 1977.) This book continues those by Marshall and Whitmore.
National Inventory of Documentary Sources in the United Kingdom and Ireland lists major manuscript collections (see England Archives and Libraries/Inventories, Registers, Catalogs for more information).
The following publications show names and addresses of individuals and the family names they are researching. Using them may help you coordinate your research efforts:
British Isles Genealogical Register [S.l.:]. Federation of Family History Societies Publications, Limited, 1997. (Family History Library fiche 6344978 for the address list and 6344979 for the index.) This is commonly referred to as the "Big R."
Johnson, Keith A., and Malcolm R. Sainty. Genealogical Research Directory. Sydney, Australia: Genealogical Research Directory Editors, 1996. (Family History Library book 929.1025 G286grd.) Search all editions, since it is published yearly and specific family names may appear in only one edition.
The Internet also lists people who are researching certain surnames. Lists arranged by county can be found through the GENUKI Web site at:
From the above address:
Click [County of your choice].
The Guild of One Name Studies. The Guild publishes a list of organizations that study and research the history of specific surnames. This list is:
Register of One-Name Studies. Twelfth Edition. London, England: Guild of One-Name Studies, 1996. (Family History Library book 942 D24re 1996. BYU Family History Library microfiche CS 412 .R44 1997.)
Genealogical collections are listed in the Family History Library Catalog under one of the following:
GREAT BRITAIN - GENEALOGY
ENGLAND - GENEALOGY
ENGLAND, [COUNTY] - GENEALOGY
Since most people with the same surname are not related, you will need to determine whether a name in one of the above sources belongs to your family. You may have to do some research to connect your family to a family listed in one of these sources.