Discovering Links: Another 25 FREE Links for English Genealogy and History...

It’s been too long since I did a “Discovering Links” post. These posts consist of a collection of links that I have discovered, or found useful, and want to share with others. But rather than simply giving you a whole batch of random links each time, I am grouping them by Australian state, country or topic. You can see my previous Discovering Links posts here. For this one I’ve decided to share my English links, afterall it’s been aaaaaages since I did one that covered England. You can find my earlier post with 25 links here. These aren’t intended to be an exhaustive collection of links (not by a long shot), but they are simply ones that many will find useful, and it may include some that you may not have known about. And while many people think that genealogy costs a lot of money, let me tell you that all of the links below are free. Personally I find that it’s often a matter of knowing where to look beyond the big-name websites, and hopefully this will help with that. === ENGLAND GENERAL === UK WILL TRANSCRIPTIONSAt present this site contains over 7100 transcripts, but anyone who has transcribed a pre-1900 UK will is invited to contribute to this site which is searchable by Testator, Executor or Administrator, or Witness. It is hoped that ultimately there will be a large number of transcripts which may assist family historians in their research and also those who are interested in local history and the families who lived in a particular locality. THE WORKHOUSECreated by Peter Higginbotham, an expert in the field of UK Workhouses, he says ‘this site is dedicated to the workhouse – its buildings, inmates, staff and administrators,...

Family History Through the Alphabet Challenge: A is for … A2A (Access to Archives)...

You might think hang on, what is she doing. Is she starting the Family History Through the Alphabet Challenge again??  In short no, but let me explain. As I never actually did the letter A thanks to a lack of inspiration which lasted until about the letter J or so, and I really would like to complete the whole alphabet, I am doing it now. And I figured it was better to do it at the end, rather than right in the middle. So for my A post … A is for … A2A (Access to Archives) Some of you may have heard of the A2A website, others may not have. But for me it is one of the most amazing sites around. As part of the UK’s National Archives, the A2A database contains indexed listings of items and documents that archives throughout England hold. These records date from the eighth century to the present day. While it contains an impressive 10.3 million records relating to 9.45 million items held in 418 record offices and other repositories, the estimate is that this is still only about 30% of all records that the archive repositories hold. Even with only 10 million records (who am I kidding, 10 million records indexed is 10 million more than I would have known about had it not been for this site) this site is awesome. On the opening search screen, you can type in a keyword such as a name or a place, and see what comes up. However if you click on Advanced Search you can narrow it down to include “all these words”, choose a date range, choose a place, select a repository, or select a region. I nearly always just do...

Family History Through the Alphabet Challenge: O is for … Online Parish Clerks (OPC’s)...

I found that coming up with something for the letter “O” of the Family History Through the Alphabet Challenge was a bit of a toughy, but finally found some inspiration, and would like to tell you about one of the websites that I’ve used a lot with my research. O is for ONLINE PARISH CLERKS (or OPCs as they’re more commonly known) Online Parish Clerks are a group of volunteers who transcribe parish records, and make them available online for free. The main Online Parish Clerks website makes the statement that OPCs “… are volunteers who collect genealogical information about a specific parish and answer email enquiries without charge”. Sound too good to be true? Well, it is 100% true. As genealogists we all know that parish records are fabulous records (and by that I mean MUST-HAVE records). I mean they include baptisms, marriages, marriage banns, and burials … so of course genie’s are gonna love them! But the OPCs go further than just the ‘core’  records. Depending on the county, you’ll also find histories of towns, old maps, monumental inscriptions, indexes of wills, as well as military records. The volunteers involved with the Online Parish Clerks Project are not only passionate about genealogy, but are also wanting to give something back, and do so by transcribing records, and answering queries, rather a variant form of Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness (RAOGK). There are 11 individual OPC websites running at present, each covering a different English county: Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Essex, Hampshire, Kent, Lancashire, Somerset, Sussex, Warwickshire, and Wiltshire. Fortunately Cornwall, Devon and Sussex are where my main research focus lies at present. Remember the ‘transcriptions on the OPC websites are all a ‘work-in-progress’, but between them, they’ve transcribed millions...