Resources

Guild Records

Guild Records

Trade guilds or companies to support and control tradesmen in similar professions date back to medieval times, if not before.  The North East has excellent collections for records for these Guilds, particularly those of the cities of Newcastle and Durham. This article provides information on these records

Read more

The Workhouse

The Workhouse

The New Poor Law of 1834 established that most feared institution: The Workhouse. Unfortunately, many of our ancestors were forced to enter these forbidding places at some time in their lives. This article includes information on the New Poor Law, the Workhouse and how to find people

Read more

Trade Directories

Trade Directories

Today, if we are looking for goods and services we might use a website or a local newspaper or magazine.  Those of us who are somewhat older will remember Yellow Pages and the like.  However, such sources of information are nothing new and before the advent of

Read more

World War I

World War I

World War I lasted from 28 July 1914 to 11 November 1918 and impacted the lives of everyone in the UK, whether or not they actually fought in the war.  Often the starting point for researching a WWI ancestor is an item of memorabilia such as a

Read more

Newspapers

Newspapers

In the days before the internet, local newspapers were how information on local happenings was communicated.  As such, many of our ancestors appeared in these publications at some point in their lives.  An appearance could be as simple as a brief announcement of their birth, marriage or

Read more

Wills and Administrations

Wills and Administrations

Wills can be really interesting for family historians.  They give us an insight into the mind of the person who wrote them – not to mention that they can list most of the members of the person’s family!   This article gives information on what you might

Read more

The Parish Chest

The Parish Chest

Parish records include many documents other than parish registers which can also be very useful to the family historian.  These are known as “The Parish Chest”, after the large wooden chests in which all parish documents were once stored – the picture above shows an example of

Read more

Non-Conformist Registers

Non-Conformist Registers

Until the time of Henry VIII and the Reformation, virtually everyone in England and Wales was Catholic.  After then everyone was supposed to be Anglican but in reality there were always people who didn’t conform to the established church, either openly or in secret.  Each group left

Read more

Visiting the Archives

Visiting the Archives

Following the last article, you will hopefully have identified baptisms, marriages and burials of some of your ancestors in the online indexes.  The next step is to check the original records from which those indexes were created.  If you have an online image of the record, then

Read more

Searching Parish Registers

Searching Parish Registers

In order to trace your family tree beyond the 19th Century you will need to use the baptism, marriage and burial registers of the Church of England. even if your ancestors were Roman Catholic or Protestant Non-Conformists. There is no single online source for these records and

Read more