Tracing your family history has become easier than ever as more and more records are being released online.

From big commercial websites to smaller projects, we've put together a handy guide to help you discover the latest datasets for researching your family tree.

This month, the General Register Office updates its death index, Findmypast adds new Dundee and Angus collections, and Ancestry adds the burial records of one of London’s historic cemeteries.

General Register Office

What's been added?

The General Register Office (GRO) has updated its online index to cover all deaths registered in England and Wales from 1984 to 2019.

What can the records tell you?

The minimum information required for searching the index is the deceased’s surname, gender and year of death within two years. The free indexed entries give their full name, year of birth, registration district and GRO reference number. You can then order a full certificate.

Previously the GRO’s death index only covered the years 1837 to 1957. The new addition will still leave a gap of 27 years in the index, although deaths up to 2007 can be searched on other family history websites.

Since October 2017, it has been possible to order cheaper PDFs of birth and death records (up to 1918 for births and 1957 for deaths), however the post-1984 records will only be available as print certificates at a standard cost of £11.

Where do they come from?

Government registration of births, marriages and deaths was introduced in 1837. The records are filed at local register offices and copies are submitted to the GRO.


What's been added?

Findmypast has published millions of records from the Scottish region of Dundee and Angus.

What can the records tell you?

The new record sets are: indexed images of more than 23,600 obituaries from local Dundee newspapers ranging from 1869 to 2018; two million valuation roll records for the historic county of Dundee and Angus (1823–1938); almost 3.75 million Dundee and Forfarshire (Angus) electoral register records (1857–1939); hundreds of thousands of indexed baptism, marriage and burial records from across Dundee and Angus (1562–1855); portrait photographs of 318 male and female employees of DC Thomson who served during the Second World War; and more than 5,000 comprehensively indexed original photographs of Dundee and Angus (1844–2010).

Where do they come from?

The records were made available thanks to partnerships with Leisure and Culture Dundee, the University of St Andrews Library and publishing company DC Thomson.


What's been added?

Ancestry has added 204,827 burial records from the registers of Brompton Cemetery – one of London’s famous ‘Magnificent Seven’ Victorian cemeteries.

What can the records tell you?

The records list each deceased person’s date of burial, their place of death, their age at death, their home parish and their preferred form of Christianity.

Where do they come from?

The original records are held in The National Archives. Free transcriptions of the records may be searched here.

Other records

MyHeritage has released a new tranche of record sets, including 979,653 records from the England & Wales, Prerogative Court of Canterbury, Index of Will Registers, 1384-1858; sets of United Kingdom Royal Navy records from 1756-1931, 1853-1928, 1908-1958 and 1914-19; Royal Marines records 1842-1925; Merchant Seamen’s campaign medals for the two World Wars; the Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve Index, 1903-1922; and burial indexes from Australia and the USA. Note that many of the UK records sets are also available on The National Archives’ website.

The British Home Children Advocacy and Research Association has completed its free online registry, which now holds records of 82,176 child migrants who were sent from Britain to Canada between 1869 and 1939.

TheGenealogist has added the maps and field books for Hackney in London to its 1910-1915 Lloyd George Domesday Survey collection, and has added a set of Bedfordshire coloured tithe maps, primarily covering 1837 to 1855.

Clare Heritage and Genealogical Centre has published 74,152 records on its RootsIreland database, including Roman Catholic baptisms and marriages, civil births and deaths, gravestone inscriptions and marriage and death entries from the Clare Journal.

FamilySearch has expanded a number of its collections, including adding 29,440 Oxfordshire parish records and 468,063 Cambridge parish records.

The Public Records Office of Northern Ireland has digitised two new collections: Northern Ireland Tithe Applotment Books (1823-1837) and the National Education Commisioners Grant Aid Applications (1832-1899).

Canvey’s Community Archive has relaunched its website, which includes oral history, videos, photos, wills and more from the Essex parish of Canvey Island.

The National Library of Scotland has digitised over 1,200 publications from the archives of the League of Nations (the pre-Second World War forerunner to the United Nations), including documents on health, finance, communications and transit.

Rosemary Collins is the staff writer of Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine