Take the next step

Now you have found out as much as you can by using birth, marriage and death certificates and census records, it’s time to crank your research up a gear.

There are many other sources to help you fill in the gaps and take your research further back in time – we take you through some of the main ones in the following sections.

To view these collections, you may have to visit archives, record offices or local studies centres in person.

A good place to find out more are the research guides produced by the National Archives in Kew, which cover many topics and are available online here.


Archive holdings


If the information you need is not held nationally, you may have to visit a local archive – very often the county record office closest to where the ancestor in question lived.

Most archives have a catalogue of their holdings online and the National Archives' Access to Archives service is an excellent place to start searching these.

For records in Scotland, visit the Scottish Archives Network at www.scan.org.uk. Additionally, the contact details of repositories all over the UK are held on the National Archives' Archon database.

If you are in any doubt, call the archivist at the repository you are hoping to visit to ask for guidance about their collections and how they might be useful to you.

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