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British Intelligence: Digging Deeper

By Rick Crume Premium

Once you know your ancestors’ county, be sure to join the corresponding family history society. Most of these groups publish journals three or four times a year, carry out indexing projects, transcribe gravestones and maintain lists of the surnames their members are researching. The FFHS and GENUKI <> provide links and information about these societies.

RootsWeb <> maintains dozens of mailing lists dealing with British genealogy. Subscribe to the lists dealing with the places your ancestors lived so you can swap research tips with other genealogists and stay abreast of new resources.

The Family History Library has a terrific collection of British genealogy books and records, but archives and libraries throughout Great Britain have many more useful family history resources. Two huge online catalogs let you identify materials of interest:

? Access to Archives (A2A) <> describes 7.2 million records dating back more than a thousand years and held by 368 record offices in England. Citations provide the name of the record office that has each item.

? Britain’s National Archives Catalogue <>, contains references to more than 9.5 million documents dating back hundreds of years. (This agency formerly was called the Public Record Office.) Click on Search the Catalogue; if you’re researching a surname that’s not too common, type just the name in the first box and click on the search button. Then click on the number of hits in a document category to view the matching references. If you get too many hits, search on a last name, the word AND (in all caps), plus a first name or the name of a parish, town or county. Keep in mind that place names are often misspelled in the catalog. Limit your search further by specifying a date range. For information on how to order copies of records, see <>.

If you can claim British ancestry, consider yourself lucky. So many resources exist for genealogists of English, Scottish and Welsh descent that you should have no problem making a dent in your research. Just get over the hurdle of finding your ancestors’ British origins, and you’ll be in a position to unravel the mystery of your family’s past.


British Isles GenWeb Project <>

Chronicles of the Scotch-IrishSettlement in Virginia <˜chalkley>

Cyndi’s List — United Kingdomand Ireland <>

Gazetteer for Scotland <>

Gazetteer of British Place Names <>

The National Gazetteer of Wales <>

Scottish Place-Name Society: Scottish Parishes <>


Directory of Scottish Settlers in North America, 1625-1825 by David Dobson (Genealogical Publishing Co.)

Gathering the Clans: Tracing Scottish Ancestry on the Internet by Alan Stewart (Phillimore & Co.)

A Genealogist’s Guide to Discovering Your English Ancestors by Paul Milner and Linda Jonas (Betterway Books)

A Genealogist’s Guide to Discovering Your Scottish Ancestors by Linda Jonas and Paul Milner (Betterway Books)

The Phillimore Atlas & Index of Parish Registers by Cecil R. Humphery-Smith (David Brown Book Co.)

Second Stages in Researching Welsh Ancestry edited by John and Sheila Rowlands (Genealogical Publishing Co.)

Welsh Family History: A Guide to Research edited by John and Sheila Rowlands (Genealogical Publishing Co.)


British Isles FamilyHistory Society — USA

2531 Sawtelle Blvd. PMB 134, Los Angeles, CA 90064, <˜bifhsusa>
The British Library
St. Pancras, 96 Euston Road, London NW1 2DB, England, <>
Family Records Centre
1 Myddelton St., London EC1R 1UW, England, <>
The Federation ofFamily History Societies
Box 2425, Coventry CV5 6YX, England, <>
General Register Office (England and Wales)
Box 2, Southport PR8 2JD, England, <>
General Register Office for Scotland
New Register House, 3 W. Register St., Edinburgh EH1 3YT, Scotland, <>
National Archives
Kew, Richmond, Surrey TW9 4DU, England, <>
National Archives of Scotland
Historical Search Room, H.M. General Register House, 2 Princes St., Edinburgh EH1 3YY, Scotland, <>
National Library of Scotland
George IV Bridge, Edinburgh EH1 1EW, Scotland, <>

National Library of Wales

Aberystwyth, Ceredigion, Wales SY23 3BU, <>
Ordnance Survey
Romsey Road, Southampton SO16 4GU, England, <>
Welsh-American Genealogical Society (WAGS)
c/o 60 Norton Ave., Poultney, VT 05764, <˜vtwags>


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