England Getting Started
First things first, know the basic history (who, where, when, why) of the relative who left England. The English immigrated everywhere in the world. Some destinations were popular at different time periods, so large groups would migrate to one area before moving on in the search for the suitable place to settle. Remember even if we are starting your search back to England from any place in the world. One thought to count on is genealogy is genealogy and the same basic search methods are true for any English ancester search if your are in New Zealand, Tonga, or the United States.
Who, is this person and are they one generation back or more. Find out which person you need to search for, or they might be the parent of the generation you thought was born in England. If your relative left England it is important to know the records time period; 20th Century, 19th Century, 18th Century, 17th Century, or an earlier time period. This helps you know which records that will be used to research those ancsters between you and the ancestral jumping off point in England. The research done getting from you to the ancestral home will be good training to find your correct family members in England and be prepared to search English records to your advantage. The more recent the time period your relative left England the easier the search should be, and the chance of contacting relatives in England that might have clues on family history is very possible.
Searching for English relatives in each of the Centuries have different possible records and documents that can be helpful in your search. Using vital records first is the best choice, and parish, census, wills and land records. Reading guides to English records, and taking classes about English Research can be helpful.
Where, your relative landed after they left England can point to the ancestral home. Most people migrated to places where they had a connection they could go to like a townsman or relative. Immigration to New Zealand might be easier because it is a smaller county and there seems be a shorter time period to evaluate. If your ancestor went to Finland then recognizing the genealogical phrases in English is helpful. You do not have to be able to be fluent in the language of your ancestors to find the correct surname, but it helps if you just have to look in the right place to have success. So preparation and clues are important.
The records to search that could help are immigration and emmigration records. Ancestral homes clues be listed in childrens birth and christening records, obituaries, cemetery records, or on a marriage license. In the United States parents birth places are listed on Social Security applications so you might get lucky and the place might be named by town or county.
Every relative you have might hold the key to where your relatives hail from in England. Spouses of these relatives who might be more interested in family history may know more about your family history than any relatives.
When, your relative left England is a clue to where your family is from. The industrial revolution left many English people without incomes, so they had no choice but to leave, and they went to area that hard workers were employed. People also left England because of religious views; Puritans, Quakers, Mormons and other groups left at various time periods. Each religous group had known township pockets where their followers lived before they left England. The information can be researched by looking at the history of these religions.
The Latter-day Saints have early mission records that have personal membership information. Very early LDS immigrants were organized into travel groups. Plans had to be made to guide thousands of new members to the United States, so you may need to research the journals of early LDS members and the LDS information web sites and records. The new member records have been very important records to keep track of members of the LDS Church.
Most English Church parish records and township records made note of people leaving the area, because the responsiblity to support poor parish members was removed when the person left the parish in different time periods.
Records in England have been classified and grouped into helpful categories to aid our research. New records are still becoming avalible everyday. English records can answer so many genealogical research questions if you can focus on when the relative lived in England. After 1837 English vital record have been kept in one central location and all records can be ordered so you can see a copy of the orgial record. This process is explained in another section. Before 1837 records are still found in the parish where the English relative comes from.
Why, the relative left England can pin point where your ancestral home is. If your relative was transported for any crime, there are court records you may look at. Crimes that sometimes got people transported could be the crime of being poor and not paying small bills.
Most serious crimes ended with a hanging so don't be afraid of digging up relatives that might have been transported for being convicted of crime.
Trained craftsmen left England to find a better living. Skilled workers in specific industries learned their skills in communities that had the resources to support the industry. Central England is the trade manufacturing center for industry such as; glass, nails, metal fabricated items like tools and fine jewellery. Makers and painters of china came from areas that the natural clays in the ground where found. Coal miners came from Cornwall. Areas like that had the workers that had the training make tunnels and mine the coal. When other countries needed tradesmen they recruited skilled workers by spreading the word that a better living could be found if they would come and work in the competitive factories that also made the cloth, trains, pottery. Skills the English did so well. The English left their homes in England with the hope of earning a better living and establishing their lives, or perhaps to someday start their own foundry, business, life or fortune.