England Using Gazeteers

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England > England_Using_Gazeteers

Where Your Ancestor Lived

Once you have identified the name of a place where your ancestor lived, you should learn more about it. Knowing details about a place will help you find records about your ancestor. Sources that provide information about places include:

What You Are Looking For

The information you find varies from source to source. In these sources you may find information about:

These steps will help you find information about a place in England.

  • Choose a place where your ancestor lived.

Look at the information you have gathered and choose the name of a town or parish where your ancestor lived. If only the county or country is known, search for it..

Choose a gazetteer to search. The following gazetteers are listed in order of the amount and value of the information they give. These gazetteers are available at the Family History Library at this site in England Gazetteers .

  • Other gazetteers may be available here, at a library or on the internet. You may want to look at more than one gazetteer to gather details about the place you have chosen.

England, How to Find Information About the Place Where Your Ancestor Lived

Obtain a copy of a gazetteer

You can find gazetteers at:

Search the gazetteer for the place-name. Information in gazetteers is arranged alphabetically by the place-name. Copy the information and note the source. Copy the information about the place-name onto family group sheets, a pedigree chart, and in your notes. Some of the information may not seem helpful at this time but may be important in future research. You may want to make a photocopy of the information directly from the source. Be sure to write down the source of the information on a research log, including any library call numbers, links or Websites. Be specific when writing down this information. If you should ever need to look at the source again, your documentation will show where to find it. If anyone else should consult your research, they will also see where to find the source. Your research log will serve as a guide to your research.

Where else can I find information about a place?

Information about places can also be found in:

You may not find a place-name because it is:

  • Misspelled.
  • Known by another name.
  • Obsolete.
  • A farm or other property name.

Sources that may help you identify and locate your place-name

How can I find a map showing the place where my ancestor lived?

Family History Centers have gazetteers for England on microfiche. Some family history centers, located throughout the United States and other areas of the world may have a copy of these microfiches. Call ahead for availability.

Find a Family History Center near you.

The Family History Library has many gazetteers and other place-name sources for England in book form as well as on microfilm or microfiche. There is no fee for using the library's collection in person. You can view many items online at the FamilySearch Catalog and some films can be viewed at your local Family History Center.

Other Archives and Libraries

Addresses for archives and libraries can be found at The UK National Archives.