Discover your British roots online with the help of the original records, genealogical databases, historic newspapers, and other British genealogy resources available from these top British genealogy websites.
1. FindMyPastPay-per-view or subscription
Explore a wide variety of online British genealogical records, including the Civil Registration Index for England & Wales, parish registers dating from 1538, census records (1841-1911), city directories, and the popular database - Passenger Lists of Ships Leaving the UK (1890-1960). A world subscription is also available for access to records from the United States, Australia, and Ireland.
This free site maintained by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) offers a wealth of digitized records and databases of interest to British genealogists. This includes a full set of transcribed census records (may require access to fee-based sites for access to digitized record copies), as well as monumental inscriptions, poor law union records, parish registers, quarter sessions and court files, non-conformist records, marriage bonds and allegations, and much more. Available records vary by county but new records are being added on a regular basis.
This large, subscription-based genealogical website offers digitized British census records from England, Scotland, and Wales, including most of the 1911 census of England and Wales, plus a large collection of parish records. Ancestry.co.uk also has wills, marriage records, probate records, military records, passenger records, and even criminal records in its British genealogy collections.
Launched in November 2011, The British Newspaper Archive by BrightSolid features online, searchable access to over 4 million digitized pages from 19th century British newspapers from the collections of the British Library. Searching is free of charge, but a subscription is required to view the newspaper images.
Explore lineage-linked genealogies, with supporting sources, from specific time periods and geographic localities around the world, including a number of collections focused entirely on families from the British Isles such as the Knowles Collection of British Jewish families, British Isles Families with Peerage, Gentry, and Colonial American Connections, and families extracted from John Comber's 3-volume Sussex Genealogies.
This worldwide map-based genealogy site allows you to record and publish the people, places and events that are important to your family history on a map, as well as see other events added to the map by users sharing their family's history. In addition to modern maps, historical map overlays are available for all of England and Wales from the Ordnance Survey Revised New Series maps circa 1895, as well as Irish Townland maps surveyed between 1829 and 1843.
Online, searchable, free genealogical databases created through the efforts of thousands of volunteers include almost the entire BMD index to marriages, births and deaths in England and Wales (FreeBMD. Additional free databases include over 18 million transcribed baptism, marriage, and burial records, that have been transcribed from parish and non-conformist registers as the FreeREG project, and FreeCEN, an ongoing effort to offer "free-to-view" online searchable database of all 19th century UK census returns.
Indexes and abstracts of wills and other probate documents are available online for most English counties, making the National Wills Index a primary online resource for pre-1858 English probate material. You can currently order hard copies online of indexed documents, and work is ongoing to offer online digitized images of the original probate documents. A subscription to the Origins Network is required to view indexes and records, with short and long-term subscription options available.
9. MyHeritageFree and subscription options
This family-oriented social network service and genealogy website boasts over 3.4 million individuals from the UK among its 60 million global users. Create your family tree online for free, and then make use of their SmartMatch technology which will notify you if another user connects with an individual in your tree. MyHeritage also helps to identify relevant historical records for the individuals in your family tree in its World Vital Records databases.
The official genealogy website of the Scottish government, ScotlandsPeople offers subscription-based access to indexes and images of the Scottish census, for the years from 1841-1871, 1891, and 1901, plus index and transcription (no images) of the 1881 census. They also have Old Parish Registers, Catholic Parish Registers, and statuatory records.