If you had ancestors emigrating or immigrating look at The Ships List website for information on your ancestors on ships’ passenger lists to the USA, Canada, Australia and even South Africa. There are immigration reports, newspaper records, shipwreck information, ship pictures and descriptions, shipping-line fleet lists and much more, plus links to other resources.
For Australian news try The National Library of Australia’s Trove site which has over than 538 million Australian online resources waiting to be found, including more than 206 million historical gazette pages and newspapers, plus images, letters, maps, diaries, archives and lots more. Digitised publications include Australia’s first newspaper published in 1803, the Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser, as well as overseas newspapers, all available for free.
The 100-year-old Imperial War Museums (IWM) extensive collections offer rich research opportunities for family historians, helping to put the wartime experiences of relatives from all walks of life into context. Although the IWM doesn’t hold service records or official documentation, it has useful guides and excellent sound and image archives that can help you to add colour and fill in the gaps of your knowledge.
The Hearth Tax Online provides data and breakdown of the records of the hearth tax, which was introduced in England and Wales by ‘the Merry Monarch’ Charles II in 1662 and continued until 1689. The tax was levied on householders according to the number of hearths in their abode. The site is run and maintained by the Centre for Hearth Tax Research, at Roehampton University London, and supported by The British Academy and others, you can freely search for the names of people and places in several English counties. You can also undertake a more detailed and targeted search of material for London and Middlesex using the site’s surname and parish search facility.
You can discover the geography and history of your surname or surnames of interest on this website. The website shows the findings of a project based at University College London that is investigating the distribution of family names in Great Britain, both in that 1881 and 1998. Search databases and view maps and statistics.
Here you can explore the Society of Genealogists’ website for a wealth of guides and information about the records, resources, events, and courses available, online and at its family history centre in London. Here you can search the society’s unique library catalogue, discover if it holds any documents or pedigrees for the surnames you are interested in, and search more than 11 million records in SoG Data Online. Searches are free, but you’ll need to be a member to view full record details.
The Guild of One-Name Studies and its members are dedicated to the progression of surname studies worldwide. The Guild of Ond-Name Studies has more than 2,400 surname studies registered—and more than 6,200 variant names—and you don’t have to register a study to join in. Find an A-Z of recorded surnames on the site, discover the latest news, resources, webinars and events and links to members’ one-name study websites.
On this website, you can find the graves of your ancestors among 159 million grave records worldwide, search for cemeteries and surnames, add burial records, create virtual memorials and much more, such as photos, famous graves, fascinating epitaphs and monuments and posthumous reunions.
Search through millions of free out-of-copyright books – covering a mind-blowing variety of topics, from parish registers and village histories to old industries and occupations, maps, architecture – in this extensive non-profit digital library, along with films, audio files and billions of saved web pages. This website is straightforward to use, but alternative digital libraries include Project Gutenberg and Google Books.
ZoomPast is ideal for exploring, building and sharing your tree for free, and is part of a project based at Imperial College London. What makes this stand out from the crowd is its zooming interface and innovative layout processes, which enable vast and complicated family trees to be easily explored – so it’s ideal for more advanced family historians with lots of names on their trees. You can view their trees from the perspective of any person in them, upload and download Gedcom files or build their genealogy from scratch. Several of your genealogies can be stored, with your images, and you can merging connected family trees, and use the built-in social network to share your trees with relatives or make them public for all to see.