General Family History websites

Listed below are some of the principal websites for genealogical and family history research. It is impossible to maintain a fully comprehensive list of the many thousands of websites, so users are urged to use the directory websites to keep up to date. Many sites also have facilities to e-mail news so it is worthwhile subscribing to these newsletters to keep abreast of the ever-changing world of family history.

Many of the sites below, even the official government sites, will require payment to supply records. Whether this is a one off payment, pay-as-you-go, or via annual subscription, users are strongly urged to check the payment rates before committing to any purchases or subscriptions.

You will find Websites with information about the Isle of Wight under Isle of Wight Websites and Websites created by members of the IW Family History Society of families that have been researched by them under Members' Websites.

The information on any of these sites cannot be guaranteed by the Society and anyone using them is urged to use them as a guide to research only. If you know of any other sites that would be useful for Isle of Wight research please feel free to send them to the Webmaster -

E-mail contact : Click for email address

Official organisations

The National Archives
Also now includes links to Access to Archives, the index of holdings at national archives in the UK

Access to Archives
Now part of The National Archives site

British Library Newspaper Archive Online
The British Library Newspaper Archive is being digitised and made avaialable through this subscription service. Some newspapers may be searched for free. Users who have access via library subscriptions may also enjoy free access, e.g. Open University students can access these pages through the OU Library | Databases services.

HM Passport Office Certificate ordering

HM Passport Office BMD Certificate Ordering
The GRO are now part of HM Passport Office. England and Wales certificates only.

Scotland's People
The official government source for genealogical data in Scotland

The Public Record Office of Northern Ireland
The official government source for genealogical data in Northern Ireland

The National Archives of Ireland

The official government source for genealogical data in the Republic of Ireland. The 1911 Census of Ireland is being digitised and presented for free on this site.

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission
Not just a searchable database of all WW I and WW II casualties, the CWGC website provides a great deal of historical information regarding warfare in the 20th Century.

The CWGC has become associated with The War Graves Photographic Project to provide images of headstones and memorials in their care, throughout the world

Directory websites

Cyndi's List
The ultimate List of Lists - if you can't find a site that interests you on Cyndi's List, it probably doesn't exist!

The Federation of Family History Societies is the umbrella organisation for societies in the UK. Find links to other Societies here.

The Portal to all the important Genealogical sites in the UK and Ireland

Great Aunty Alice is a directory of independent genealogical researchers based across the UK who are able to undertake all types of enquiries. There are many researchers, each with different specialities, local knowledge and expertise. Whether it is for extensive research or just a small look-up at local records offices, Great Aunty Alice has researchers to suit all types of budgets and requirements.

Commercial websites

Genes Reunited
Post your family tree online and hope to match with other family members

Lost Cousins
Post your family members from Census data and hope to match with your distant cousins

Lost Cousins Newsletter
A monthly update on family history news and views (and other useful tips) from the founder of Lost Cousins

Ancestry UK
This takes you to the UK Ancestry site - there is also the US site and other regional sites e.g. Australia.
is a publicly available resource which might help you get started on your family tree.

Findmypast UK
Provides an alternative set of data to Ancestry. Also now links to the 1911 England and Wales Census.

Origins network
Provides alternative sources to the mainstream sites - including arrangements with the Society of Genealogists to digitise their collections. SoG Members enjoy some benefits when subscribing to this organisation.

Other organisations : educational, philanthropic, societies

Automated Genealogy
This site provides free access to transcriptions of the Canadian Census returns. It is a work in progress but provides a simple way of searching for emigrants to the Canadian provinces.

Claim a Convict [Australia]
This site offers researchers a free service that enables those researching the same [Australian] convict ancestors to contact each other.

Convict Records of Australia
This website allows you to search the British Convict transportation register for convicts transported to Australia between 1787-1867.

England's Immigrants 1330-1550
This is a searchable database of resident aliens in the late middle ages, taken from a variety of sources and compiled by a project team which is a collaboration between the University of York, The National Archives and the Humanities Research Institute, University of Sheffield. There are 66 entries for the Isle of Wight.

Find that Memorial Inscription
This website is a Directory of Surveys of Memorial Inscriptions throughout the UK, compiled by Colin Ashworth. Worth a look to see if he has found an entry for your location, or even to let him know if you know of any published or unpublished surveys for churchyards or cemeteries.

Foresters Heritage Trust

Foresters Heritage Trust
A useful start point for anyone with an interest in the Friendly Societies movement; this site concentrates mainly on the Ancient Order of Foresters, but has many other references to other Societies.

FreeBMD is a voluntary project to put all the Birth, Marriage and Death Index entries for England and Wales online. Covered is fairly comprehensive by area, and the transcribers have reached the 1930s as at mid-2009). Now also associated with Ancestry.

FreeCEN is a voluntary project to put all the UK Census entries online for the 1841 to 1891 Census returns. Coverage (as at mid-2009) is patchy at the moment both in terms of counties covered and years covered.

Still in its early stages, FreeREG is a voluntary project to put all the Parish Register entries for England Wales online.

The Guild of One-Name Studies provides an umbrella organisation for individuals and groups undertaking one-name surname studies.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints

The Church has long been associated with the IGI (the International Genealogical Index). The latest search features have now been incorporated on the website

The Institute of Heraldic and Genealogical Studies (IHGS) was founded in 1961 and provides recognised academic qualifications in genealogical and family history studies.

My Methodist History
Telling the story of the people called Methodist - this site can be a good source of personal information, and you are able to contribute to it yourself.

Society of Genealogists
The forerunner of all the family history societies in the UK, the SoG is heavily committed to making its research sources available online both on its own site, and through Origins.
Society for One-Place Studies
The Society welcomes members from around the world with an interest in one particular place, whether it is a street, village, hamlet or town. Registering a study area (or areas) is optional, though recommended if members are active in their research.


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