A very useful resource!

August 7, 20207:36 amLeave a Comment

Two of the most common questions I get asked as a genealogist are ‘how do I start’ and ‘what websites should I subscribe to?’

BBC logo

It seems to me that there are two types of family history website (rash generalisations here!): ones that offer you the opportunity to search a variety of databases, usually requiring payment but not always, and others are what I call ‘How To’ websites. Of course, there are some like FIBIS (which we’ll look at next week) which offer both but I think it’s a great shame that so many family historians tend to ignore the ‘How To’ sites. I’m not sure why, because either you don’t know anything about family history and therefore would welcome the opportunity to learn, or you know something about family history but want to make sure you haven’t missed anything!

I regard myself as a reasonably experienced family historian but I’m not omnipotent (although don’t tell my colleagues that; I’ve got some of them fooled!) and I will seize any opportunity to visit a site where I can learn something about genealogy. I’m learning every day from sites such as the National Archives, The Irish Genealogical Toolbox and most usefully, the BBC Family History website.*

Image of a man writing in a notepadThis last example really is a bit of a one-stop-shop as it covers the basics, provides links to dozens of other useful sites and even provides free tracker sheets to help you plan your research and record your findings.

As anyone who has read these blogs will know, I’m as tight as a wet knot as far as paying out for something I can get for free. So if there is somewhere which offers free advice and great links to so many sources, like the BBC Family History Website, it seems churlish not to take advantage, doesn’t it?

No, it doesn’t have searchable indexes and no, you can’t upload or search family trees. However what it does have is a wealth of practical information on getting started with research, some great links to useful websites both paid and free, and the above-mentioned research tracker sheets which can be downloaded free of charge.

So why not visit this site and see for yourself – I’m sure you’ll find it useful.

Keep safe and well and Happy Researching!

Jane Lewis's signature

    • * The BBC have archived this site but it’s still packed with useful information and well worth exploring.  I apologise if some of the links don’t work – I’m guessing that this is part of the ‘archiving’ process.

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Written by Jane Lewis - Modified by ESP Admin

2 thoughts on “A very useful resource!”

  1. I had no idea this website even existed… I began researching my family tree over 15 years ago, and it would have been very useful I’m sure! I didn’t know about the Surrey Heritage site either… so thank you for the link! 🙂

    1. Jane Lewis says:

      Hi Elaine – I’m so pleased you like the blog and the site. Please feel free to contact us directly at [email protected] for any help and advice you might need. Good luck with the research! Jane

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