Genealogy websites: the Government’s “partner” so the nearest there is to an official website. You can join as a member or you can take their free trial offer or you can see if your local library has free access to it.

Family Search this site is run by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the Mormons). It’s free but you have to register. Make up your own mind, this is an extract from their privacy policy:

We may use the personal information you provide to (a) allow us to contact you, (b) fulfill requests you make, (c) seek your voluntary feedback on website features or content, or (d) help fulfill our mission.

My Heritage based in Israel, this site developed out of the owner’s personal interest in genealogy. It is a commercial site costing £75 (plus VAT) per year: however there is a free 14-day trial.

Find My Past very old-established company offering a free trial, monthly or annual subscriptions (£120) and pay-as-you-go credits. They have got the contract for the 1921 census.

The Borthwick Institute of the University of York has copies of documents – parish records, wills, and much more – which can be ordered direct or through the Find my Past website is where I found the Australian connection. It is – or was – a forum for discussion, questions, sharing information and so on. The format has recently changed but there are still some interesting articles.

Roots Chat is a husband-and-wife venture, based in England. A forum for discussion with other enthusiasts, very well-used (100,000 plus members) and free!!!

Useful tools:

Early Photographers  very easy-to-use calculator for dating old photos. Rosemary and Stan Rodliffe made this website as a result of their interest in genealogy sparked by tracing their own family tree.

Measuring Worth a bit more academic but it does have a calculator so you can see how your ancestors were doing financially, if you are lucky enough to find a record of income or a sum left in a will.

Clergy Database A very full (but not quite complete) record of Church of England clergymen going back to 1540. I have found it useful for identifying locations: if you have church records with a clear signature of a clergyman and a date you can identify the parish where the record originated. And of course if you have an ancestor who was a clergyman you will find his whole education and career history here.

Family tree template This is where I found a spreadsheet template to create a simple direct-line family tree. Lots of other templates at this site!

Find a Grave Does what it says on the tin! Free to use at time of writing (2021). Also includes memorial pages and other interesting features such as “famous people” lists and a “virtual cemetery”.

Grace’s Guide Grace’s Guide to British Industrial History. Useful for understanding our ancestors’ working lives.

Find a Cousin How to work out cousin relationships with easy calculator.


Real-life paper books! Both of my daughters have given me excellent ones:

“The Genealogy Handbook” by Dan Waddell and the “Who Do You Think You Are?” team, published by BBC Books.

“Genealogy – Essential Research Methods” by Helen Osborn, published by Robert Hale