British History Online is a digital library containing some of the core printed primary and secondary sources for the medieval and modern history of the British Isles. Created by the Institute of Historical Research and the History of Parliament Trust. Hundreds of full text regional, county, local, church, and school histories. Searchable and browseable. Most of the content is free to all, however British History Online does have a premium content section, which is only available to subscribers. The revenue from the premium content supports the maintenance and development of the free areas of the site. Individual subscriptions cost £30 a year. http://www.british-history.ac.uk/
The National Archives is also the UK government´s official archive, containing 900 years of history from Domesday Book to the present, with records ranging from parchment and paper scrolls through to recently created digital files and archived websites. Increasingly, these records are being put online, making them universally accessible. This site is free to search, but you are charged for each document you download.
Prerogative Court of Canterbury wills (1384 - 1858) You can now search and download the complete series of PCC wills on DocumentsOnline. This brief overview should help you understand what the PCC wills are about and what they can add to your family or local history research. Use the links below to jump to the topics you are interested in. http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/documentsonline/wills.asp
Death Duty Registers 1796-1811 Death Duty Registers hold details of wills and bequests for estates liable to death duties. The Death Duty Registers on DocumentsOnline cover the 'country court' death duty registers (in other words, from Courts other than the Prerogative Court of Canterbury) for the period 1796 to 1811. So you can search on over 66,000 names.
Registers of Seamen's Services You can now search and download the service registers of more than 500,000 seamen who joined the Royal Navy between 1873 and 1923. You can use this collection to find out details about your ancestor's birth, a description of their physical appearance, their occupation and which ship or ships they served on.
Ancient Petitions, Henry III - James I Search and download over 14,000 images from the series of Ancient Petitions which draws together petitions addressed to the king, to the king and council, to the king and council in parliament, to the chancellor, and to certain other officers of state. The petitions include detailed information about the circumstances of the parties involved, and the conditions of the locality. These documents reveal something of the attitude to public authority in the later Middle Ages and the social conventions and political culture.
Poor Law Correspondence The Poor Law Amendment Act (PLAA) was introduced in 1834, centralising the poor relief administrative system. Previously poor relief had been largely based on the parish. This online collection holds the correspondence between the union and the central authorities. You will find letters, memos, reports and accounts bound from the loose correspondence. You will see details of individual paupers and workhouse staff. Search by name, place, occupation, and other key words.
Manorial Documents Register include court rolls, surveys, maps, terriers, documents and all other documents relating to the boundaries, franchises, wastes, customs or courts of a manor. Title deeds are not included in the Register.http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/mdr/
Old Bailey Online Contains 101,102 trials, from April 1674 to October 1834
The Proceedings contain accounts of trials which took place at the Old Bailey. The crimes tried were mostly felonies (predominantly theft), but also include some of the most serious misdemeanours. The first published collection of trials at the Old Bailey dates from 1674, and from 1678 accounts of the trials at each session (meeting of the Court) at the Old Bailey were regularly published. TheProceedings were produced shortly after the conclusion of each session and were a commercial success. With few exceptions, this periodical was regularly published each time the sessions met (eight times a year) for 160 years. In 1834 it changed its name, but publication continued until 1913.
The Old Bailey Proceedings Online makes available a fully searchable, digitised collection of all surviving editions of the Old Bailey Proceedings from 1674 to 1834. It allows access to 100,000 trials, free of charge for non-commercial use.
In addition to the text, accessible through both keyword and structured searching, this website provides digital images of the 60,000 original pages of the Proceedings, advice on methods of searching this resource, information on the historical and legal background to trials at the Old Bailey, links to descriptions of published and manuscript materials relating to the trials covered in theProceedings, and a special section for schools. Contemporary maps, and images and transcriptions of related manuscript and printed materials for the decade 1746 to 1755, have also been provided. http://www.oldbaileyonline.org/
Produced and owned by the University of Leicester, this is a digital library of local and trade directories for England and Wales, from 1750 to 1919. Within the digital library you'll find high quality reproductions of comparatively rare books, essential tools for research into local and genealogical history.
A joint project of the Universities of Birmingham, Leeds, Manchester, and Oxford, this site provides digitized, searchable collections of important 18th- and 19th-century British periodicals. The core collection includes at least 20 consecutive years of three 19th-century periodicals: Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Notes & Queries, and The Builder. http://www.bodley.ox.ac.uk/ilej/
Hidden resources for the study of the nineteenth century and the Victorian period, seen through the pages of the British Library's extensive holdings of national, regional and local newspapers. The focus is on London national newspapers, English regional newspapers, home country newspapers from Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. http://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/
The Victorian Web Literature, History, and culture in the age of Victoria. Created by George P. Landow, Brown University. Now hosted by University Scholars Programme (USP) at the National University of Singapore.
A Vision of Britain Maps, statistical trends and historical descriptions. Fully searchable database, very useful for located detailed information on specific places.http://www.visionofbritain.org.uk/index.jsp
Includes full text of three 19th century descriptive gazetteers, a total of over 90,000 entries:
- John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales (1872)
- Frances Groome's The Ordnance Gazetteer of Scotland (1885)
- John Bartholomew's Gazetteer of the British Isles (1887)
MAPCO's aim is to provide genealogists, students and historians with free access to high quality scans of rare and beautiful antique maps and views. The site displays a variety of highly collectable 18th and 19th century maps and plans of London and the British Isles, and also 19th century maps and engravings relating to Australia. http://archivemaps.com/mapco/
Genmaps Old maps of England, Wales, and Scotland. These are not as slick and fast loading as the commercial sites above, but there are some maps here not available elsewhere.http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.com/~genmaps/
Greenwood's map of London, 1827 scaled at eight inches to the mile, covers London and surroundings and stretches out to Earls Court in the West, to the River Lea and Greenwich in the East, Highgate to the North and to the South, Camberwell.
Primary Sources in Tudor England - The Tudor dynasty ruled England from 1485 to 1603. This site has eyewitness accounts of people and events: letters, journals, speeches, etc. Arranged in chronological order.http://englishhistory.net/tudor/primary.html
The Cambridgeshire Burial Index 1801-37 97,317 records Searching is free on this database from the Cambridgeshire Family History society. There is a charge to have microfiche copies mailed to you. The search is limited to 300 records and will return Year, Surname, Forenames, Age, Abode, Condition, and Parish. http://www.cfhs.org.uk/BurialIndex/
Cheshire Parish Register Project The aim of the project is to make available, in a reasonable period of time, all the information in each of the parish registers of the ancient county of Cheshire. http://www.csc.liv.ac.uk/~cprdb/Cornwall Online Parish Clerks - database of Parish Register transcriptions for all of Cornwall http://www.cornwall-opc-database.org/
Devon Parish Listings http://genuki.cs.ncl.ac.uk/DEV/OPCproject.html#Listing
Hampshire Online Parish Clerks http://www.knightroots.co.uk/
Lancashire Online Parish Clerks http://www.lan-opc.org
Leicestershire Online Parish Clerks http://www.rootsweb.com/~engleiopc/Berkshire Probate Abstracts This is a collection of about 1000 abstracts of probate documents relating to people residing in the neighbourhood of the towns ofHungerford and Wantage in Berkshire. Since Hungerford is on the County boundary there is some spread into Wiltshire and to a lesser extent into Hampshire andOxfordshire.
The historical period which is covered is from about 1500 up to the establishment of the Probate Registry for England & Wales in 1858.
Names of all persons mentioned in the abstracts have been indexed and amount to over 6000 references. http://www.genuki.org.uk/big/eng/BRKwills/
There are millions of UK websites. They are constantly changing and even disappearing. Often they contain information that is only available online. Responding to the challenge of a potential "digital black hole" the UK Web Archive is there to safeguard as many of these websites as practical. Its purpose is to collect, preserve and give permanent access to key UK websites for future generations.
Essex Archives Onlin Seax is from the Essex Record Office and requires registration to use the site. When you have confirmed your registration you will be able to subscribe to the family history service, Essex Ancestors. But you don't have to subscribe: the entire text of the catalogue, and many images, are still free to view in Seax. .http://seax.essexcc.gov.uk/login.as
Gloucestershire Registration Service Birth, Marriage, and Death Index. All marriage registers held by the (GRS) from 1837 to at least 1948 have been indexed. An appreciable number of the births registered in the county between 1837 and 1900 have been indexed except for those held in the Cinderford Registration Office where indexing work only began in May 2010. The death registers held in the Gloucestershire Register Office in Cheltenham are complete from 1837 to at least 1900. Work on the Stroud and Gloucester Registration Offices started in May 2010. http://ww3.gloucestershire.gov.uk/bmd/Hampshire Wills and Admons to 1858 - Online catalogue contains descriptions of over 94% of catalogued records held at Hampshire Record Office and the Wessex Film and Sound Archive. It includes all wills proved in the courts of Winchester diocese to 1858 and most wills proved in the Winchester Probate District to 1900. http://calm.hants.gov.uk/DServeA/search.htm
Kent (East) Wills Calendar of Probate Records 1396-1558 & Index of Registered Wills after 1558http://www.kentarchaeology.ac/ekwills_a/index.html
Kent (West) Wills to 1650 This index collects over 19,000 entries from six sources into a single index in a standard format that can easily be searched. A version is provided here for locating individuals by surname. A list of aliases is provided which gives leads to alternative spellings and quite often a different name entirely.http://www.eminent.demon.co.uk/kwills.htm
Kent Medieval & Tudor Wills From the Kent Archaeological Society Transcriptions by L. L. Duncan - More than 2,000 entries. http://www.kentarchaeology.org.uk/Research/Libr/Wills/WillsIntro.htm
Lancashire Probate Indexes 1541-1858 (partial) The purpose of this page is to aid one in finding a will of a person who died in Lancashire, England from the time period of the mid sixteenth century to the early nineteenth century. http://www.xmission.com/~nelsonb/lws.htm
Wiltshire 1540-1858 provides access to a detailed catalogue of wills, 1540-1858, held in the Wiltshire and Swindon Archives (also known as Wiltshire and Swindon Record Office). The catalogue also contains (for about 25% of the wills) digital images of probate records. http://history.wiltshire.gov.uk/heritage/index.php
Clergy of the Church of England Database The Clergy of the Church of England Database is a collaborative project, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council and bringing together scholars from King's College London, the University of Kent at Canterbury and the University of Reading. Its objective is to create a relational database documenting the careers of all Church of England clergymen between 1540 and 1835.http://www.theclergydatabase.org.uk/
Methodist Preachers 1740-1791 Travelling Preachers who entered the ministry in Wesley's lifetime - a list of 677 persons prepared by the late Dr. Frank Baker.http://www.gcah.org/WesleyPreachers/WesPreachersIntro.htm
Physicians and Surgeons 1535-1775 This index gives the name and place of activity all physicians and surgeons to whom licences were issued by the Archbishop of Canterbury, both through the vicar general and Faculty Office. The date of licence and issuing office are given.http://www.lambethpalacelibrary.org/holdings/Catalogues/medics/medics_county.html
The correspondence of Charles Darwin (1809-1882) provide us with an invaluable source of information, not only about his own intellectual development and social network, but about Victorian science and society in general. The letters, around 14,500 total, may be searched by correspondent, by date, subject, or even by the occupation of the author. http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/
17th-19th Century British Religious, Political, and Legal Tracts (from the University of Missouri Digital Library)
The EEBO image collection contains around 125,000 images of early English printed books. Researchers are able to do full text and other searches. There are more than 12,000 titles online and, with several hundred being added each month, it is an increasingly valuable resource. The aim of the EEBO project is eventually to make 25,000 books available in this way. http://www.odl.ox.ac.uk/eebo/The National Archives holds the records of the modern Irish state that document its historical evolution and the creation of its national identity. Under its governing legislation the National Archives Act, 1986 the National Archives provides services both to the Government and the public. http://www.nationalarchives.ie/
Public Record Office of Northern Ireland - Searchable. Free. Freeholders records provide a range of information about land ownership and may contain all or some of the following: Name of freeholder, Address of freeholder, Location of freehold, Description of freehold, Name of landlord, Address of landlord, Value of freehold, Names of other lives, Date and place of freeholders registration, Occupation of freeholder, Religion of freeholder. http://www.proni.gov.uk/freeholders/intro.asp
The archive of the Ulster Unionist Council, held by the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI), contains just under half a million original signatures and addresses of the men who, on 28 September 1912, signed the Ulster Covenant, and of the women who signed the parallel Declaration. In total, the Covenant was signed by 237,368 men, and the Declaration by 234,046 women.http://www.proni.gov.uk/ulstercovenant/index.html
National Library of Ireland
The National Library of Ireland is a legal deposit library of all works published in the Republic of Ireland. It has the responsibility of administering the Office of the Chief Herald, formerly the Office of the Ulster King of Arms, which is responsible for heraldic matters in Ireland. The Library offers a page with links to useful sites such as the Irish libraries on the Internet.. http://www.nli.ie/en/homepage.aspx
The Society of Antiquaries of Scotland The project to scan the entire run of the Proceedings, Archaeologia Scotica and the Society's out-of-print monographs. http://ads.ahds.ac.uk/catalogue/library/psas/
A collection of thousands of zoomable maps of Scotland for the period 1560-1928.
Ö The Word on the Street
Early news stories and ballads that informed and entertained Scots between 1650 and 1910 on 1,800 broadsides.
Ö The Murthly Hours
View each page of this book of prayer dated 1280 – one of the most richly illustrated manuscripts in Scotland during the Middle Ages.
Ö Experiences of War
The nurse, the soldier and the general – three stories from the front and at home during the First World War.
Ö Scottish History in Print
Together with details of thousands of works published by historical clubs, two major Jacobite sources are online as keyword searchable files.
Ö First Scottish Books
See online, page by page, 'The Chepman and Myllar Prints' – nine of the earliest books printed in Scotland, in or around 1508.
Ö Churchill: The Evidence
The life and times of Winston Churchill, MP for Dundee before he became a wartime Prime Minister.
Ö Robert Louis Stevenson
Letters, sketches and photographs in this biography of story-teller and poet Robert Louis Stevenson – and view Kidnapped page by page.
Ö The Auchinleck Manuscript
Middle English language and literature as Chaucer would have known it, contained in this rare document, with a full transcription.
Ö Robert Burns
The life, work and legacy of Scotland's Bard, together with fascinating detail about original material in the Library's collections, and short song clips.
Ö Playbills of the Theatre Royal Edinburgh
Find out about this important theatre in the 19th century by searching through a selection of playbills.
Ö Muriel Spark
Using material from her personal archive, the story of the life and career of one of Scotland's greatest novelists, Dame Muriel Spark.
Ö The Write Stuff
Modern Scottish writers – among them J K Rowling, Liz Lochhead and George Mackay Brown – through the lens of photographer Gordon Wright.
Ö Mary Queen of Scots
Read – in English and French – the last letter by Scotland's 16th-century queen, written only hours before her execution in Fotheringay Castle.
Ö Propaganda – A Weapon of War
A selection of images of British Government propaganda which was used at home and in Europe during the Second World War.
Ö Scotland's Pages
Move along the timeline of key events in Scottish history, and discover along the way some of the 'treasures' held by the Library.
Ö Phoebe Anna Traquair
Examine in detail Traquair's exquisite illuminated manuscript of Elizabeth Barrett Browning's 'Sonnets from the Portuguese'.
Ö Scottish Science Hall of Fame
Results of an online public vote to find the 10 top Scottish scientists from the past.
Ö Scottish Bookbinding
Distinctive examples of bookbinding created in Scotland, from our pre-eminent collection of decorative bindings, which spans 500 years.
Ö The photographs of John Thomson
Scottish photographer and traveller who helped pioneer photojournalism on London's Victorian streets.
Ö The Union of the Crowns
A look at the union of the Scottish and English crowns in 1603, and the monarch who wanted to lead a peaceful, united Britain.
Ö Moir Rare Book Collection
John William Moir's collection of rare books on all aspects of bees and beekeeping, including how bees 'sing'.
Ö The Kirk Papers
Out of Africa – the personal papers of Sir John Kirk, a British Consul in Africa who had explored the Zambesi with David Livingstone.
Ö Medical History of British India
Search 44 volumes of rare official documents recording disease prevention and public health in India in the 19th and 20th centuries. http://www.nls.uk/digitallibrary/index.html
The history of mid-Wales from photographs, documents, maps and museum exhibits. http://history.powys.org.uk/
Wales at GENUKI http://www.genuki.org.uk/big/wal/