Many sets of records were kept for England and Wales together, so that
the problems of locating them and using them are very similar in the two
countries. For convenience such records are described here, rather than on the
British Isles pages.
N.B. GENUKI is organised on the basis of historic counties. To find which
GENUKI pages cover more modern counties and county boroughs, please see:
Modern and Administrative Counties and County
- For details of the graves of the rich and
famous, together with biographical information, look at the Find-a-Grave (England) page.
- England - Census - links and information.
Research Guides from The National Archives dealing with court records of
various kinds are:
- English Assizes, 1656-1971: Key to Classes for Civil Trials (Legal Records
- English Assizes: Key to Records of Criminal Trials (Legal Records Information 14),
- Byelaws (Domestic Records Information 84),
- Chancery Proceedings (Equity Suits) (Legal Records Information 22),
- Conveyances, Land: Enrolment of Deeds, and Registration of Title
(Legal Records Information 7),
- Divorce Records before 1858 (Legal Records Information 43),
- Divorce Records after 1858 (Legal Records Information 44),
- Dormant Funds in Court also known as 'Estates in Chancery' or 'Money in
Chancery' (Legal Records Information 21),
- Equity Proceedings in the Court of Exchequer (Legal Records Information 19).
- English Heritage are responsible
for the care and repair of many buildings of historic importance. The National
Monuments Record is English Heritage's public archive and is the home of around 10 million
items covering England's buildings, archaeology and maritime sites. English Heritage's
ambitious Images of England initiative aims
to put a photograph of every listed building in England on the internet.
- The Badger's
Heritage website features many pen and ink drawings of churches,
schools, pubs, hotels, bridges, locks, mills, cottages & villages
in Berkshire, Hampshire, Middlesex, Oxfordshire, Surrey, West Sussex
England from Lonely Planet.
- There are many links on the England's Buildings webring.
- ViewFinder - an online image
resource for England's history provided by English Heritage.
- The England in Particular
website from Common
Ground encourages the study of our own localities.
- There is a terrific selection of local and trade directories spanning the period from 1750 to 1919 on the Historical Directories website.
- Sue O'Neill's searchable
Directory Index covers Pigot's directories of Bedfordshire, Berkshire,
Buckinghamshire, Cambridgeshire, Cheshire, Cornwall, Cumberland, Co Durham,
Huntingdonshire, Northamptonshire, Northumberland, Oxfordshire, Westmoreland,
Wiltshire and Worcestershire for 1830, and Slater's directory of Co Durham for
- Direct Resources
have provided surname indexes to several Trade Directories of around 1848.
- Moving Here, 200 Years of Migration to England,
is a "database of digitised
photographs, maps, objects, documents and audio items from 30 local and national archives,
museums and libraries which record migration experiences of the last 200 years.
- Letters to an Emigrant Minister 1841-1855 -
Letters sent by John Stubbs of Kendal, Westmorland and his daughter and
son-in-law, Mary and Thomas Williams, to his son, Reverend Thomas Stubbs, a
Wesleyan Methodist Minister, in the United States of America.
- There is some very useful background information in the
Research Guides from The National Archives, including:
Immigrants: Documents in the Public Record Office,
Emigrants to North America After 1776,
- Jimella's British
Counties, Parishes, etc. for Genealogists will be of particular
value to overseas researchers who are unfamiliar with our geographic
divisions and naming conventions.
ENG-DESERTED-VILLAGES Mailing List. It has been estimated that there are
over 50,000 villages and hamlets that no longer exist for a variety of reasons,
ie the 14th C plagues to the English Clearances in the eastern Counties, from
mass migrations for economical reasons to villages just falling into the sea!
The purpose of the Mailing List is to try to find out exactly where these
now-deserted places were located, which parish they were in and where any extant
records are kept.
- England - History - links and information.
Research Guides from The National Archives include:
- Common Lands (Domestic Records Information leaflet 74),
- Enclosure Awards (Domestic Records Information leaflet 86),
- Enclosure Maps (Domestic Records Information leaflet 87),
- Crown and Royalist Lands: 1642-1660 (Domestic Records Information leaflet 68).
- The Harvard Law School Library Special Collections:
English Deeds, Manor Rolls, and Chancery Writs.
- Primary Sources: English
"From English Manorial Documents, Translations and Reprints from the
original Sources of European History, E. P. Cheyney, tr., vol. 3, no.
5 (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania, 1907), pp. 3-32".
This includes examples from several parts of the country, including Essex,
Durham and Norfolk.
- England - Maps - links and information.
- Public Health and Epidemics, Domestic Records Information leaflet 73 of the
Research Guides from The National Archives, provides an interesting overview
of early attempts to safeguard the health of our ancestors.
- Vaccination against smallpox was compulsory in England and Wales from
1853 until 1948. A Vaccination Certificate was issued
to the parents of each vaccinated child as proof that the vaccination had taken
- Those with mariners in their families will find the following
Research Guides from The National Archives very helpful:
- Merchant Seamen: Registers Of Service, 1913-1941;
- Merchant Shipping: Crew Lists And Agreements After 1861;
- Merchant Shipping: Passenger Lists.
- The Through Mighty Seas
website from Tim Latham "covers the history of the merchant sailing ships of
the North West of England and the Isle of Man, through the period from the late
1700s until the First World War. There are histories of over 550 ships,
indexed by region, and over 70 historic photographs."
- A very useful guide is: A.J. Camp: My ancestors moved in
England and Wales: how can I trace where they came from?, Society of
Genealogists. (See SoG
- The following pages provide links to newspaper web sites in England:
- The US National Archives has an interesting page on the
- The English Bill of
Rights (1689) was the forerunner of the US Constitution.
Village Labourer 1760-1832: A Study in the Government of England before the
Reform Bill by J.L. and Barbara Hammond (Originally published 1911, New
- Index to Paupers in Workhouses 1861 (a 10% sample)
provided by George Bell.
- Mary Hallett's Poor
Law Union Database gives the Poor Law Union appropriate to parishes and places
around the country, and specfies the Record Office where surviving records would
- The regime in workhouses could be very harsh as these
- The book: E.A. Wrigley and R.S. Schofield, (Eds.). The Population
History of England, Cambridge Univ. Press, 1989, is the standard text on
the historical demography of England, based on many years of work by the
Cambridge Group for the History of Population and Social Structure. A book
which draws very usefully on this research, in order to study family and
community in England after the Middle Ages and before the changes brought about
by the Industrial Revolution, is: P. Laslett. The World We Have Lost:
Further explored, London, Routledge, 1983, 353 p.
- A table from GenDocs showing the
Population of England and
Wales from 1811 to 1931.
- See our section on Archives for various online catalogues
of public records.
- The book: J. West. Village Records, Chichester, Phillimore, 1982,
248 p. provides detailed accounts of the types of document that are likely to
be available, to someone wishing to research the history of a village and its
population. The types of document covered are: Saxon Charters, The Domesday
Survey, Manorial Court Rolls, Lay Subsidy Rolls, Inquisitions Post Mortem,
Manorial Extents, Monumental Brasses, County Maps, Parish Records, Quarter
Sessions Papers, Inventories, Wills, Hearth Tax Returns, Enclosure Awards and
Maps, Land Tax and Tithe Records, Turnpike Trust Records, and Commercial
Research Guides from The National Archives give an excellent overview
of the development of education in this country:
- Education: Elementary and secondary schools (Domestic Records Information leaflet 65),
- Education: Technical and further education (Domestic Records Information leaflet 24),
- Education: Special services (Domestic Records Information leaflet 23),
- Education: Records of Teachers (Domestic Records Information leaflet 63).
- Fashion History Museums & Galleries: Fashion-Era.
- Clothing of the 18th century
Games by Colonel Alex Johnson describes games which Alex remembers from his
childhood in the 1920s and 30s. Although the names of the games are those used
in North-East England, most of these games were played throughout the
- The Children's Society – Hidden Lives – includes anonymised case files
Research Guides from The National Archives include:
- Taxation Records Before 1660 (Domestic Records Information leaflet 10).
- Death Duty Records, From 1796 (Domestic Records Information leaflet 57).
- The book: J.S.W. Gibson, M. Medlycott and D. Mills. Land and Window Tax
Assessments, 1690-1950, Birmingham, FFHS, 1993, 52 p. provides a good
description of how to interpret these early tax records, and where to find the
records for each county.
Return to top of page
help, report problems, or contribute information.
- Malcolm Austen]