Best free genealogy websites

By Jon Bauckham, 1 August 2013 - 12:00am

1. FamilySearch
www.familysearch.org
Access the International Genealogical Index and thousands of parish registers, plus indexes to workhouse records, land tax assessments, school registers, court books, manorial documents and international records.

2. Access to Archives
www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/a2a
This catalogue describing archives held in hundreds of records offices is great for discovering names attached to deeds, insurance records, bastardy orders and more.

3. The National Archives
www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/records/digital-microfilm.htm
Download a selection of TNA’s online records for free, including Women’s Royal Naval Service officers’ WW1 appointment registers, Coastguard records and Ministry of Health files about workhouse inmates and staff in series MH 12.

4. National Library of Wales
www.llgc.org.uk
Search 7.6 million articles from newspapers printed in English and Welsh between 1804 and 1919, find pre-1858 wills, gaol files for the Court of Great Sessions and applications for marriage licences.

5. National Library of Scotland
http://digital.nls.uk
Browse British military lists and old maps, search Scottish Post Office directories by name and access genealogies of ancient Scottish families from the NLS Digital Gallery.

6. National Archives of Ireland
www.genealogy.nationalarchives.ie
Find surviving Irish censuses, probate calendars up to 1922, First World War soldiers’ wills and the Tithe applotment books of 1823–1837.

7. Public Record Office of Northern Ireland
www.proni.gov.uk
Search Northern Irish will calendars, Valuation Revision Books, street directories, freeholders’ records, war memorials, names on the Ulster Covenant and photographs.

8. CWGC
www.cwgc.org
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission database locates graves and memorials dedicated to service personnel and civilians who died in both world wars.

9. The Gazette
www.thegazette.co.uk
The official journal of record has been scanned from 1665 to the present day, containing published lists of bankrupts, military personnel mentioned in despatches and probate notices.

10. Connected Histories
www.connectedhistories.org
Hunt for ancestors who were clergymen, Londoners, transported convicts, witnesses at the Old Bailey and learn more about where they lived with the Victoria County History, Survey of London and Charles Booth Archive.

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