So I went looking through a box of my ‘stuff’ and came across all my research for when I was absolutely madly into genealogy. I found that genealogy is like an addictive drug, once you get started and have that first little ‘hit’ where you find someone and everything matches, you just want to keep going and going. Trouble is that it can be expensive to do that, especially if you are living on a budget.
With that in mind, I’ve put together a list of some of the websites that you might find useful if you are keen to start your family tree. But remember, the best person to start with is yourself and then work your way back along the tree. Take the time to talk to those family members who are still around because, as we all know, nobody is here forever.
I should point out that my family come from England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales and Cornwall, so I do appologise if you family comes from outside of these areas, the websites I list may or may not be of any use in your research.
www.familysearch.org I have found this site to be helpful when doing a basic search, it looks up census records from all over the world and so is good for those who are not too sure just where a family member was born, married or died.
If you are keen to get in touch or involved in a family history society then it might just be worth looking at the following site www.ffhs.org.uk
Looking for an insite into Irish life and lore? Take a peek at www.irishlifeandlore.com This site has been put together to cover all topics including history, folklore, music, customs, traditions and much more.
Now a lot of you know about www.ancestry.co.uk and are well aware that it is a site that requires payment, this is certainly the case except if you are wanting to put your findings into a family tree online. This I have found to be a great idea as then everyone else who is on that site can view your tree and vice versa. Before I knew it, I had found a couple matches in other trees and got chatting with people who shared family members. Though I wouldn’t just go and make your whole tree from people you find in other people’s trees, there could be mistakes so it is best to confirm these details first before you add these details to your own tree.
The best place to research ancestors I’ve found is through census forms, due to privacy reasons though you cannot access the most recent ones. At the moment you can only access up to 1911, which for those of you who are young and still have much of your family alive and around you, this is plenty. Though it will cost you to look at the transcripts, it is free to search and see if you have your facts right, this saves spending money when it comes to searching on many other sites, best to see what you can view for free first to see if the person is the right one first. www.1911census.co.uk is a good one to look at.
If you are like me and are not sure if the site is a good one or not, then search for an ancestor you already have full details on and see if that ancestor is found and what details are provided. Some sites have details added just via word of mouth, dates are known to be different as with locations also keep in mind too that the original census forms were filled out by one person in that area who went from door to door and wrote in their own handwriting (which can be pretty difficult to read), this was because a lot of the population was illiterate and so if your ancestor had a heavy accent then details could be spelt differently.
Happy hunting, I’ll be sure to add more sites as often as I can