Some useful links
This is just a small selection of web sites
that can be useful to the genealogist.
For particular families, places or subjects,
several of the genealogy sites below have classified lists of links to web pages
and specialised search engines.
Most internet users have their favourite search engines.
One of the most comprehensive is
which also includes useful facilities like the ability to search for links to a specified page,
and provides cached copies of web pages it has indexed - useful if a page has recently disappeared or
As well as its main index to the Internet, Google also provides several useful specialist search facilities:
- Google Groups
Covers Internet newsgroups, including
- Google Scholar
A search facility restricted to "scholarly" online sources,
including material available by paid subscription.
- Google Books
An ambitious project to digitise more than 8 million volumes over the next few years. The text of the books is searchable, and out-of-copyright works are fully accessible. There is more limited access to works still in copyright.
A very extensive archive of web pages covering the past few years,
perfect for tracking down copies of web pages that have disappeared, is:
Some other search engines with extensive coverage are:
(Latter Day Saints; search engine for the I.G.I., Ancestral File and web sites)
- GENUKI (Genealogical Information Service
for the United Kingdom and Ireland)
A large amount of reference material, classified by county and subject, but the website can
be rather confusing to navigate
However, the site includes a search facility
- Rootsweb (US-based, but including much British material)
- Cyndi's list (US-based, but including much British material)
(companion web site for the medieval genealogy mailing list/newsgroup)
This is a very useful forum for discussing medieval genealogy, which can be
used either as a newsgroup or as a mailing list. The forum is unmoderated,
so there can be quite a lot of "off-topic" contributions and disruptive behaviour
from time to time
- Mediev-l - The Medieval Mailing List
(companion web site)
A moderated mailing list, with an academic flavour - not much genealogy, but a lot
of useful background material
- EnglandGenWeb Project (projects in progress)
- Association for the Promotion of Scholarship in Genealogy (in preparation)
[formerly at http://www.apsg.org/; not available, 2 November 2003]
- Foundation for Medieval Genealogy
Charitable foundation for research into pre-1500 genealogy; an annual fee is charged for access to its website, where the projects include Foundations, a twice-yearly online journal, and the Medieval Genealogical Registry, a referenced database of medieval genealogy (see below under databases).
- Medieval English Genealogy (Debbie Kennett, Genealogy Wise)
Group for the discussion of medieval English genealogy, on a website describing itself as the "genealogy social network".
Many extensive databases are available on the internet, and they
can provide a quick and convenient means of reference.
However, they should be used with great caution, as they
are often based on older secondary sources, which may have been
poorly researched or superseded by subsequent research.
The reliability of the information can be difficult to check,
as many databases do not cite their sources. The following is just a
- The Henry Project (Stewart Baldwin)
An experimental cooperative online database
with the aim of documenting the ancestors of King Henry II as far as the
tenth generation - unusual among Internet databases in that the emphasis is on providing and discussing
evidence from primary sources
- Medieval Lands (Charles Cawley; Foundation for Medieval Genealogy)
An ambitious project, whose aim is to provide narrative biographical accounts of the royal and noble families of Europe in the medieval period. The aim is eventually to document the accounts from primary source material, but a number of them - including those for England after 1066 - are currently outlines based on secondary sources.
- Community Trees (FamilySearch.org)
A number of genealogical databases compiled from various sources. They include British Isles: Peerage, Gentry and Colonial American Connections, Europe: Royal and Noble Houses (predominantly England and France), Residents of London, Norfolk Visitations, 1563 and Wales: Medieval Records Primarily of Nobility and Gentry.
- Medieval Genealogical Registry
(Foundation for Medieval Genealogy)
A referenced database of medieval genealogy, in progress. The data are being compiled from high-quality sources,
and are searchable by surname, place and date. Note that data for only a few persons have been included so far,
for illustration purposes, but a significant number of sources - such as articles in periodicals -
have been indexed
- Graphical Index to the Ancestry of Charles II
(Foundation for Medieval Genealogy)
A hyperlinked set of chart pedigrees indexing the ongoing series of papers in The Genealogist
entitled "A Medieval Heritage: The Ancestry of Charles II, King of England",
by Neil D. Thompson and Charles M. Hansen
- Leo's Genealogics Website
(Leo van de Pas)
An extensive genealogical database containing more than 400,000 persons.
Much of the emphasis is on medieval ancestry, as well as on modern royalty and nobility.
The data are mostly taken from good-quality secondary sources, which are specified for each entry
- Plantagenet Country:
Ancestors of Elizabeth of York 1465-1503: Genealogies, portraits and brief biographies
(Leo van de Pas/Brigitte Gastel Lloyd)
Listing of the ancestors of Elizabeth of York, with biographies and portraits for some individuals
The Ancestry of Elizabeth FitzAlan (and her sister Joan FitzAlan) to the 9th generation
(Genealogy page of John Blythe Dobson)
- Directory of Royal Genealogical Data (Brian Tompsett, University of Hull)
The information on this site should be treated with caution, as it's known to contain uncorrected errors.
Our Family Museum: A Collection of Family History Notes
(James Nohl Churchyard; online version by Henry Churchyard)
This page also has links to a number of other databases, including
Royal Genealogies (compiled by Denis Reid)
and Lineal Ancestors of King Edward III of England
and Philippa of Hainault (compiled by Randy Wilson)
A data base of the higher nobility in Europe (Herbert Stoyan)
- Stevens/Southworth/Medieval Database (Jim Stevens)
Exciting Danvers Home Page (Philip Richards)
[not available, 19 July 2009; see the Internet Archive's copy of this page, from March 2007]
Database covering just over a thousand individuals,
many of them medieval
Landed Gentry of Berkshire (David Nash Ford's Royal Berkshire History)
Database compiled from various sources, including nearly 10,000 individuals
associated with Berkshire
- RoyaList Online: A Royal Genealogy Database
Database of British royal genealogy, based on secondary sources, originally sold as a PC program.
Unfortunately the sources are not specified, but the information given is
detailed and extensive
Medieval and Ancient lines (Bill Marshall)
Dave's Database (Dave Ross)
The Phillips, Weber, Kirk, & Staggs families of the Pacific Northwest (Jim Weber)
Bradley, Collette, Gillespie & Opp Ancestry (Hal Bradley)
- Janet Ariciu family Bush (Janet Ariciu, Rootsweb)
- WorldCat (Online Computer Library Center)
Offers free access to the basic information in a union catalogue of books held in libraries worldwide, currently including more than 100 million records. There are some links to electronic texts available online.
Copyright libraries in England and Wales:
For the British Library the online catalogue fully covers the main collections of printed books for all periods
(at least in theory); for the others, only more recent accessions are fully represented, and older material
is being gradually added.
- COPAC (combined catalogue for a number of British universities)
Includes the main online catalogue of each library - including those of Oxford, Cambridge and London - though some special collections may not be included.
- Library of Congress
Although obviously not a U.K. copyright library, this is often preferable to the British Library
online catalogue in terms of detail and accuracy.
- Bibliothèque nationale de France
- Family History Library Catalog
(Latter Day Saints)
- SOGCAT [Library Catalogue] (Society of Genealogists, London)
- The London Library
A subscription library founded by the historian Thomas Carlyle in 1841,
without which these pages could not have been written
- If the above do not help, you can search for any number of other OPACs (Online Public Access Catalogues)
with the aid of:
- Access to Archives (A2A)
A large searchable database compiled from the catalogues of around 400 record repositories in England and Wales.
- The National Archives
(incorporating the Public Record Office and the Historical Manuscripts Commission)
This includes an outstanding resource - the online Catalogue,
which is in the process of being compiled from the older paper finding aids.
It already includes a huge number of references to individuals - with particularly good representation
of medieval records - and can be searched by surname.
- Historical Manuscripts Commission
(Royal Commission on Historical Manuscripts,
now part of The National Archives)
The Commission provides a great deal of useful material - two sections worth mentioning in their own right are:
An official listing of record offices and repositories, with links to web pages, is available online:
- ARCHON Directory
(The National Archives)
This list also contains links to the entries for each repository
in the National Register of Archives (see below)
- British Library Manuscripts Catalogue
See also online bibliographical material on the Cotton Manuscripts gathered by Dr Nigel Ramsay (in preparation; Dr Andrew Prescott, Sheffield University)
- Guildhall Library (London), Manuscripts Section
See also Collage, an image database compiled from
the collections of the Guildhall Library and the Guildhall Art Gallery
- Harvard Law School Library
- For listings of other record repositories, see subsection on
General Finding Aids
- Google Maps
- Old Maps (Landmark Information Group Ltd)
19th-century Ordnance Survey maps of Great Britain, together
with modern aerial photographs from get mapping uk
The same maps are also available on the
British History Online website.
- Old Maps Online (The Great Britain Historical GIS Project/Klokan Technologies GmbH)
Search portal for historical maps on the Internet.
A search facility for place-names in the UK, linked to local maps.
Useful but slow and temperamental
- Gazetteer of British Place Names (Association of British Counties)
- A Key to English Place-Names (Institute for Name-Studies, Nottingham University)
Database covering all English parishes, with notes on the origin of each place name, and source references. The data can be searched, or else browsed for each county using either alphabetical indexes or maps.
- Samuel Lewis, ed., A Topographical Dictionary of England (1848) (British History Online)
- Lewis Topographical Dictionaries (Mel Lockie)
Gazetteer based on the Topographical Dictionaries for England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales published by Samuel Lewis in the early 19th century. Scans of the published volumes are available at the Internet Archive.
- A vision of Britain through time (Great Britain Historical GIS Project, University of Portsmouth)
A large, searchable collection of information about places in Great Britain, including extracts from gazetteers and directories.
- Four online listings of Latin place names:
Of course, medieval genealogy outside England is a huge subject. But I thought I'd add a few links
here to useful online resources, as much for my own convenience as anything:
- Medieval Prosopography: The German and Imperial Aristocracy of the Tenth and Eleventh Centuries (Donald Charles Jackman)
Detailed scholarly articles; in progress.
- Rob's Norman Bibliography (Rob Helmerichs)
Extensive online bibliography for Norman history, 10th to mid-12th centuries
- The Crusades:
Bibliography (University of North Florida/Paul Halsall)
[not longer available; see the Internet Archive's
of this page, from October 2002]
An extremely detailed bibliography, including links to both source material and secondary works available
online. (Of course, this includes references to a lot of medieval English people, in a foreign context.)
- Europäische Stammtafeln. This is a compendious - though of course not flawless -
collection of royal and noble European chart pedigrees,
published in German, currently under the editorship of Detlev Schwennicke.
Some associated reference material is available online:
- John P. DuLong, Europäische Stammtafeln: Notes
Including an overview of the different editions of the work, a listing of their contents,
a table of symbols and terms used in the pedigrees,
a discussion of their value and an extensive bibliography
- Stammtafeln: Register
An index to vols 1-19 of the work
The Carolingians: An English-language bibliography (Thomas F. X. Noble, University of Virginia/Julia M.H. Smith,
University of St Andrews)
Very extensive bibliography, including relevant papers in journals
CELT: Corpus of Electronic Texts (University College Cork)
Collection of medieval and later Irish texts, including a number of annals -
there is a search facility covering all the texts
- Monumenta Germaniae Historica digital
(Monumenta Germaniae Historica/Bavarian State Library)
Official website of the extensive series of published documents relating to the history of Germany,
offering free access to images (in JPEG format) of all but the most recently published volumes.
The web pages are in German.
- KinHelp (Gordon Johnson)
A research service for Scottish ancestry, concentrating on the pre-1700 period; the website also includes indexes to a number of volumes of published records and other useful reference material.
- Encyclopædia Britannica
A search facility including almanacs, a dictionary and and encyclopaedia
- OLD ENGLISH Links... (Judith Werner)
An excellent list of links, including many dictionaries and glossaries,
and many other sources of useful reference information for language and genealogy
- Medieval Names Archive
Collection of links, mainly to lists of names collected from primary sources, many medieval
- Given Names c. 1450-1650: A-I
"One-Off" Given names
and Latinized Given Names
(Judith Werner, OLD-ENGLISH)
A very extensive list of given names used in late medieval and early modern England, including
variants, familiar forms, Latin forms and abbreviations, and other notes; with an alphabetical index of Latin forms
- Latin Forms of English Surnames
in Great Britain and Ireland and
A Few Latin Christian Names with
Their English Equivalents (White Trash Scriptorium)
Extensive lists, from Charles T. Martin, The Record Interpreter (1911)
- Names from the British Isles
[temporarily unavailable, 26 October 2003; see the Internet Archive's
of this page, from December 2001]
Collection of links to web pages discussing names, many covering England in medieval times;
there are also sections dealing with Scotland, Wales, Ireland and other regions
- Latin Forms of Some English Surnames (Roy Cox's Genealogical and Historical Research)
A very useful list, taken from C.T. Martin, The Record Interpreter. It includes not only familiar examples such as de Bello Campo (for Beauchamp) and de Vetere Ponte (for Vipont), but unexpected ones such as de Umbrosa Quercu (for Dimock), and exotic ones like de Aureis Testiculis
- The Internet Surname Database
A database containing information on the origins of surnames, with details of early occurrences. Compiled from various sources, including Bardsley's Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames and Reaney's Dictionary of British Surnames.
- Babelfish (AltaVista Translations)
A facility to translate web pages or text between English and 5 other languages. The results are
occasionally hilarious - e.g. 'Université des Bras' for 'College of Arms' - but often useful
- Connected Histories: British History Sources, 1500-1900 (University of Hertfordshire, Institute of Historical Research, University of London, and University of Sheffield)
Combined search engine for a number of online historical resources (including material available only by subscription).
- The Country House Database (Robin Alston)
A listing of country houses from the late medieval period to c.1850, with an index of families. [not available, 13 April 2011; see the Internet Archive's copy of this page, from February 2009]
The DiCamillo Companion to British & Irish Country Houses (Curt Jonathan DiCamillo)
Includes the Database of Houses
- Researching Historic Buildings in the British Isles (Jean Manco)
Extensive collection of bibliography and links, many relevant to genealogy as well as architecture.
- The Gatehouse (Philip Davis)
Gazetteer of medieval castles, palaces and fortifications in England, Wales, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man, including an extensive bibliography, background essays and a list of licences to crenellate.
- National Portrait Gallery
Includes an Advanced Search facility, with many online images.
- Purchasing Power of British Pounds from 1264 to 2006 (MeasuringWorth.com)
A facility to compare sums of money at different dates, based on a retail price index.
- Expert Links: English Family History and Genealogy (Nathan W. Murphy, Price and Associates)
A large collection of links, including many online databases.