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Some helpful links for your genealogy research


Scotlands Family : A portal site that aims to provide links to free on-line data related to Scottish family history. Note: many broken links. Also has links to for-pay services.

The General Register Office for England and Wales : The website has been reorganized and split. This link takes you to the Directgov website which provides information on birth, marriage, civil partnership, death, adoption and stillbirth records and registrations, as well as guidance on researching your family history and the General Register Office Indexes. The original GRO site is now for the online ordering of certificates for birth, death, marriage, civil partnership and adoption events registered in England and Wales and for certain British Nationals who were born, married or died overseas.

The National Records of Scotland : On April 1, 2011, the General Register Office for Scotland was merged with the National Archives of Scotland. The new organization combines the work of the two bodies, including the ScotlandsPeople family history website and center. It oversees the national archives and maintains the National Register of Archives for Scotland, which keeps track of archives in private hands; is responsible for the registration of births, marriages, civil partnerships, deaths, divorces, and adoptions; it runs Scotland's census; and it provides research facilities both in Edinburgh and online for people researching all aspects of Scottish life. Copies of certificates can be ordered for a fee. No online searching available at this time.

The General Register Office of Northern Ireland: The new website for the Northern Ireland General Register Office is called nidirect government services but it still provides access to all the files of the old GRO site and maintains birth, marriage and death registers from 1864, non-Roman Catholic marriages from 1845, to the present, and the 1901 and 1911 census records. Copies of a birth, marriage or death certificate and census records can be ordered for a fee. Some records, including both the 1901 and the 1911 census, can be searched online.

The General Register Office of the Irish Republic : The General Register Office does not engage in genealogical/family history research but is the central civil repository for records relating to births, deaths and marriages in the Republic of Ireland. Civil marriage records date from April 1, 1845 and Roman Catholic marriage records are from Jan. 1, 1864. Copies of such records can be ordered online for a fee, but the records themselves are not searchable online.

Public Records Office of Northern Ireland : PRONI is the official archive for Northern Ireland and aims to identify, preserve and make available Northern Ireland's unique archival heritage and community memory. Many of its files can be searched online, including the signers of the Ulster Covenant of 1912, the pre-1840 Freeholders Registers and Poll Books, an index of wills proved in the District Probate Registries of Armagh, Belfast and Londonderry from 1858 to about 1900, and a selection of 30 street directories covering many of the years feom 1819 to 1900.

Library and Archives Canada : The Canadian Library and Archives contains a wealth of information, much of which can be obtained by online searching. If your family has Canadian links, its well worth checking out.

Irish Census records : The Public Record Office of Ireland in Dublin was destroyed in a fire during civil disturbance in 1922, resulting in the loss of many valuable genealogical records. Most of the census returns from 1821 to 1851 were among the records lost, except for a small number of volumes covering parts of counties Fermanagh and Cavan for 1821; parts of Co. Londonderry and for Killeshandra Parish in Co. Cavan for 1831; and for parts of Co. Antrim for 1851. Census returns covering the whole island of Ireland for the years 1861-1891 were destroyed by government order on grounds of confidentiality. However, the 1901 and 1911 census records for all 32 counties, which includes all the counties of both Northern Ireland the the Irish Republic,still exist and have been digitized and made available online for free. A very robust search capability is included, which allows searches by townland, religion, occupation, relationship to head of family, literacy status, county or country of origin, Irish language proficiency, specified illnesses, and child survival information. The search capability is being developed and additional search items are planned. The site also offers and articles on economic, political, social and cultural life at the time. The articles cover Dublin, Belfast, Kerry, Galway, Cork and Waterford and additional articles covering other areas are planned. Also contemplated for future inclusion is a follow-through exercise on Irish individuals and families who emigrated to Canada, finding them in the Irish census and later in the Canadian census.

The National Archives of the UK : Formerly known as the Public Records Office of the UK (at Kew), the archives contain a wealth of information. Online access and searching has been improving and more and more records are becoming accessible online. Searching can provide summaries of documents and information on where microfilmed copies of some records can be obtained. Many records can be ordered online for a fee. Well worth the visit and the regular revisit.

The Scottish Genealogy Society : The society is a non-profit organization dedicated to serving people with an interest in Scottish genealogy. There is an annual membership fee, which includes a subscription to the quarterly magazine, The Scottish Genealogist. The society also has more than 2000 publications relating to Scottish genealogy available for purchase in its shop.

Scotland's People: Scotlands People is the official government source of genealogical data for Scotland. Online searching is available and most any document held in the General Records Office may be searched for online here for a fee and copies of documents can be downloaded, also for a fee.

The Origins Network: The Origins Network features what it describes as comprehensive and exclusive British and Irish record collections dating back to the 13th century. It is a membership/fee for service site but does include some free searches. It has separate sites for Scotland, England and Wales and Ireland.

UK & Ireland Genealogy : GENUKI has links to a large collection of genealogical information pages for England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, the Channel Islands, and the Isle of Man.

Ulster Ancestry : Mostly fee for service site, but a few free searches available.

The National Library of Scotland : An interesting site with some information useful to genealogists, but not an essential stop.

Scottish occupations : This webpage, part of the Scots Family website, provides a list and description of around 500 unusual occupations, jobs and workĘ found on 17th, 18th, 19th and early 20th century records, Census returns, and gravestone inscriptions in Scotland.



Site created 1 July 1999
Updated 29 December 2014

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All original content in this document is copyright 2005-2011 by Kearney Bothwell. unless otherwise noted. It may be freely copied or distributed to others for research purposes as long as this copyright notice is included. Any other reproduction or republication, including posting on the internet, is prohibited without express written permission of Kearney Bothwell.