Exploring Your UK Ancestry: Episode 126

By Family Tree Editors

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This episode is all about UK ancestry. Lisa and her guests discuss the best UK websites, the genes that make up the British Isles, and much more!

Ep. 126: November 2018

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In this episode:

This Month in Family History

Andrew provides a quick look at a major event that impacted your family history: the end of World War I.


Author Rick Crume explains how researching your family history in England and Wales has never been easier. Rick shares some of the reasons why from his new upcoming article in Family Tree Magazine.

Rick’s website recommendations:

This terrific site provides free access to transcribed baptism, marriage and burial records from parish registers, nonconformist records and other sources. Operated by volunteers and regularly updated, FreeReg has more than 40 million records from across the United Kingdom.

FamilySearch Research Wiki
Made up of articles contributed by the public, the Research Wiki has especially useful guides to family history research in England and Wales.

Provides extensive information on genealogy resources for the United Kingdom and Ireland. The church database can pinpoint a parish on a map or produce a list of nearby parishes. Once you find your ancestors in one parish, you might work outward in the surrounding parishes to find other references to the family. The homepage also has links to family history societies.

DNA Deconstructed

Family Tree University instructor Shannon Combs-Bennett discusses genes that make up the British Isles.

In July 2016 a study reported that there were 26 ethnicities going back 500 years for Great Britain. Considering the global impact, the British people had on the world, is that any surprise? Besides British and Irish traits, for test takers in the UK the other top percentages were Europe West, Scandinavian, and Iberian Peninsula. If we broke the study into smaller areas those numbers did change (reflecting the immigrations in and out of that area) and other ethnicities were counted such as Finland, Italy, Jewish, and Russia.

Living DNA analyzes your segments looking for clues into your past allowing their computer algorithm to determine which of the 21 regions of the UK your family came from. Their program looks at linked DNA, which they refer to as “constellations” to help determine the areas your family most likely descended from. They really take into account migration history of the peoples who came to the islands into account too. That is important if you are trying to figure out why you have such a high Scandinavian percentage.


DNA of the nation revealed…and we’re not as “British” as we think –

The first DNA test to give you a breakdown of your ancestry across the UK – LivingDNA

A Genetic Map of Britain – Oxford University Museum of Natural History Blog

Recent University of Oxford Study Sheds Light on Estimating Great Britain Ethnicity – Ancestry Blog

Best Genealogy Websites

Author David Fryxell covers the top databases for British Genealogy from the 101 Best Websites for Genealogy:

  • British newspaper archive
  • British National Archives
  • Genuki

Check out the entire list!

Stories from the Stacks

When we head to any library it’s important to be prepared so we can make the most of our visit. Allison DePrey Singleton, Genealogy Librarian at the Allen County Public Library Genealogy Center provides tips for genealogists for making the most of their research time at the library:

This Just In

Amanda Epperson joins Lisa on the show to share strategies for researching your Scottish family history from her new book, The Family Tree Scottish Genealogy GuideHow to Trace Your Family Tree in Scotland.

Since completing her Ph.D. in history from the University of Glasgow in 2003, Amanda has taught history at the college level, researched and edited family histories, most recently for, and written articles for a variety of publications including Family Tree Magazine and Your Genealogy Today. She blogs occasionally at the Scottish Emigration Blog.

Your Host: Lisa Louise Cooke

Listen to Lisa Louise Cooke’s Genealogy Gems and Genealogy: Family History Made Easy podcasts in iTunes and visit her website for great research ideas, podcast episodes and videos.

Have fun climbing your family tree!