We all love finding new family tree research sites, and when we find free family tree sites we love them. Here are a few more of my favourites.
GENUKI is a beautiful, free, extensive online reference library with lots of genealogical information. A charitable trust manages it along with a team of volunteers. It is a massive help for those researching ancestors in England, Ireland, Wales, Scotland and the Isle of Man. It can help you to find places; you can view online maps and also discover GENUKI pages containing information about the location and the genealogical resources available.
You can find an extensive digital library of both local and trade directories of England and Wales 1766-1919. This is a hugely useful resource for locating tradespeople between the 10-yearly census records. This source is part of the University of Leicester’s Special Collections Online.
For those seeking ancestors north of the border, this free site from the National Library of Scotland offers more than 700 digitised directories 1773-1911 covering most of Scotland.
Digital library of significant printed primary and secondary sources for the history of Britain and Ireland, mainly 1300-1800. Founded by the Institute of Historical Research and the History of Parliament Trust in 2003, this continually growing resource currently comprises more than 1,270 volumes, with unexpected riches for family historians. Sources range from assize and subsidy rolls to churchwardens’ accounts, historical gazetteers, more than 150 volumes from the Victoria County History series and the Cromwell Association Online Directory of Parliamentary Army Officers database.
Victoria County Histories was founded in 1899 and dedicated to Queen Victoria. It is an in-depth record of England’s people and places from earliest periods to nowadays. It is written by historians across England and published in a series of ‘big red books’ for the University of London, more than 150 titles are now freely available on the sister British History Online website. In the Explore section, researchers can access reliable local history materials such as photographs, artwork, maps, text, transcribed documents and audio files, and discover collections of related articles. Explore by topographical setting or theme, for example, Agriculture, People and Communities, War and Conflict, Trade and Commerce, and Religious Buildings and Life.
OPC is a fantastically dedicated bunch of volunteers who collect, collate and transcribe records in different parishes for the benefit of genealogical researchers. OPC exist in various counties including Cornwall, Kent, Devon, Dorset, Lancashire, Somerset, Sussex, Warwickshire and Wiltshire, and there are some smaller ones too. Find the links on the UKBMD website.
This is another beauty from the National Library of Scotland. It is a site offering the chance to explore high-resolution zoomable images of historical maps of Scotland, England, Wales and beyond in high-resolution, including county maps, town plans and views, military and trench maps, Ordnance Survey maps, coastal charts and more. You can even view selected historical maps as overlays on their modern equivalents.
Old Maps Online is a digital gateway for historical maps. It is a search engine that connects to more than 400,000 maps, with links to libraries and archives providing online content.
This website helps you explore Britain from 1801 to today on this hugely website from the University of Portsmouth and others, which includes maps, statistical trends, and historical descriptions. You’ll find census reports, the results of every General Election since 1833 and the web’s most extensive collection of British historical travel writing. An interactive map converts historical statistics to modern local authority areas, covering themes such as population, social structures, births and deaths, housing, industry, learning and language, and work and poverty, so you can learn more about the communities where your ancestors lived.
The ‘Old’ and ‘New’ Statistical Accounts of Scotland are vitally important reference sources for the country during the critical half-century spanning the Agricultural and Industrial Revolutions. The records offer invaluable insights into local and national life in Scotland from 1791-1845, and here they can be explored digitally, enabling researchers with Scottish kin to learn more about all areas of life during this period. Discover maps, boundaries, parish histories and much more. The interactive maps allow you to click on different counties to delve into the location’s past.
The National Archives of Ireland’s Genealogy website offers a wealth of free resources for family historians tracing Irish relatives. Here you can access significant collections, including the 1901 and 1911 Census, census survivals for 1821-1851 and search forms for 1841-1851, Tithe Applotment Books 1823-1837 (a vital pre-famine genealogy source), Soldiers’ Wills 1914-1917 plus other wills and wills calendars and registers, marriage licence bonds indexes, 1623-1866, Catholic qualification and convert rolls, Valuation Office records and shipping agreements and crew lists. All the documents are free to access, through searchable databases and linked images of relevant pages.