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Genealogy, Family History, Ancestry in the UK - Search Tools

Searching for ancestors - courtesy of

You can search over 175 million records from England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales at

Searching for Ancestors in England Using Ancestry

Ancestry provides a growing and exclusive collection of English records as well as a wealth of community and research tools to help you successfully find your ancestors. Below is a brief description of those tools to help you get started.

Step 1 - Search the English databases.
The easiest way to start your English research on Ancestry is to type in the given name and surname of an ancestor in our advanced search box. Then select England for the country option. If you are sure of a specific county in England, you may also select a county to focus your search more narrowly.

You should also try to search an individual database by clicking on the database name. This link will take you to an advanced search box that is built specifically for that database and provides the greatest accuracy when searching.


Ancestral Trails: Complete Guide to British Genealogy and Family History  The best databases for getting started are the English Parish and Probate Records, the Pallot Baptism and Pallot Marriage Indexes, and the England and Wales, Civil Registration Indexes. In addition, the Ancestry World Tree has linked family trees of thousands of English families.

Step 2 – Post a query on the Ancestry Message Boards.
We have created a community of millions of family historians from all over the world that are very willing to help you. With thousands of posts per day, the message boards can be viewed by locality or surname and will help you tap into the family history community for the area of England that you are researching.

One of the most useful places to post your questions is in the Locality section of the messages boards. Here you can focus on the areas where you believe your ancestor lived. If you don’t know which county they lived in, post to the general England message board.

Remember to post all of the information you have about the individual. Instead of saying "I am searching for William Anderson in England," you should list birth, death and marriage information, specific place names, and any known family members.

Step 3 – Record what you find.
Record your information in Ancestry’s Online Family Tree, a free service that allows you to record, preserve, and share your family tree on the Internet without any additional software.

Additional Resources
For information about specific English research strategies and sources,  has many resources to help you in your quest.

You can click on the Sources tab above to get specific information about where to go to find certain record types in England.

The Maps tab will lead you to our map centre for interesting historical maps.

For those who prefer professional tutors to help them through their family history, an Ancestry Online Genealogy Training Class for England may be available. Enrolment schedules and availability of these classes vary based on interest, so be sure and check when the next class starts.

Ancestry has created a wealth of tools, products, and services that are all geared toward making your family history research successful. We wish you the best of luck in your adventure to find your roots.


Quicklinks to Genealogy Pages:

Genealogy and family trees Introduction
Researching your family tree - Tips for getting started
Researching your family tree - Searching
Genealogy and Family Tree software
Useful Genealogy and Family Tree resources
Talkback article - Write it down Mum




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