This page has been supplied by Wendy Boland, and checked by several of the faithful members of the Warwickshire List. It is designed to assist both new and experienced researchers. Items Underlined in Blue are links that you can click on, and your Browser should go to that page on the website (you need to be online !)
HINT On web sites/databases with lots of text to search you can quickly FIND or search for a word on a page by holding down the < Ctrl > and F keys simultaneously. This will allow you to do a rapid search for a surname, even a partial word - so you can cover many spelling variants quickly. To copy text so you can save it to read later, try using < Ctrl > + A (selects everything on the page) (or select the part you require using your mouse and holding down the right button) Copy is < CTRL + C > Paste is < CTRL + V > Save is < CTRL + S > Keep a text document open on the desktop while surfing. You can save lots of information in a matter of seconds and delete later < CTRL + X > if it is no use to you.
Begin by visiting these web sites- bookmarking if necessary, so you can get back to them! Allow several sessions online to explore thoroughly HINT Bookmark (add to Favourites) by clicking on the web page and then using < CTRL + D >
COMMERCIAL LINK ... (One of the rare ones on this website - This site has a LOT of Warwickshire records transcribed ...
Start with GENUKI and look at the general advice pages before finding the pages about Warwickshire . Follow all the links. The information in "Researching Your Ancestors in Warwickshire" that lists all the towns, villages and parishes with dates of parish register records etc., is so useful you might want to print the information most relevant to your area of interest. Read the advice on Frequently Asked Questions FAQs
The Rootsweb Warwick Mailing List is a forum for discussion on Family History in Warwickshire. Search the List Archives (Note this link is currently broken, Rootsweb are undergoing some extensive re-work) Search or browse to see the range of information exchanged and if your surnames or place names have been discussed. You can learn much by browsing through the messages and can often find the answers you need Explore all of Pickard's Pink Pages on http://www.hunimex.com/warwick/index.html The web site is an on-going project where Pickard regularly up-loads additional data. There are census databases, information about the census, an Index of Monumental Inscriptions, donated information and transcriptions; all valuable research aids and ALL FREE.
Search the Warwickshire Surnames List People who are searching for "cousins" or contacts may have information to help you. You might want to check if anyone is working on a One Name Study of your surname at http://www.one-name.org/
Download PARLOC A Parish Locator A brilliant, FREE program that will help you find many of the parishes you are not familiar with - - and particularly helpful for Warwickshire parishes is the diocese for each parishes' records. Consider buying a Road Atlas of Britain and a map of Warwickshire - - biggest scale available - they will be invaluable. Online maps can be found at Genmaps There are links to a pre 1974 British Counties map, an Historical Gazetteer, and other map web sites. This is on Rootsweb, which is being revised, so may not work yet Archer Software - GenMap has a program for sale on CD. and http://www.alangodfreymaps.co.uk/ also has some brilliant maps for sale. Birmingham's boundaries have changed considerably over time and some areas of Warwickshire were enumerated as part of the bordering County in some census years. Birmingham was part of the Lichfield diocese until the late19thC, when it was transferred to Worcester before becoming a diocese in its own right. Warwickshire is known as the "Heart of England" you may need to hunt in Worcestershire, Derbyshire, Oxfordshire, Staffordshire, Gloucestershire, Northamptonshire and Leicestershire for straying ancestors!
Search for your ancestors' civil registration records (post 1837) at FreeBMD Website but note the Index is not yet complete. Try the scans of the pages at FreeBMD Scans This site has a list of all local registration districts with an Index online. For Civil Registration of Births Marriages & Deaths in Warwickshire: http://www.warwickshire.gov.uk Look under "Birth registration" and follow the Links to a searchable online Index of some records (I think this may have been discontinued, due to EU Data Protection Act) Warwickshire County Record Office- The County Records Office Priory Park Cape Road WARWICK CV34 4JS Tel: 01926 412735 Fax: 01926 412509 e-mail: mailto:email@example.com website: http://www.warwickshire.gov.uk/countyrecordoffice The Warwick Record Office (WRO) website has free maps to download plus lists of the census and parish registers that can be searched if you are able to visit. It should give you an idea of the parish records that have been deposited and those which have been filmed. Many old documents and records are stored at WRO- some are being indexed - others have been filmed by the LDS (Search the LDS Catalogue- see below- try searching on "Warwickshire" or " Warwick") There are some online databases that are free to access, such as The Victuallers Database, Tithe Apportionments, and Calenders of Prisoners
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (LDS) The LDS Church members have been "doing" genealogy for a long time and have much helpful information online. If you visit one of their Family History Centers they do not try to "convert" you or discuss their beliefs unless you ask them to. http://www.familysearch.org/ Click on "Search for Ancestors" You will find a good coverage of baptisms and marriages for Warwickshire online. in the International Genealogical Index (IGI) NOTE it is an INDEX- more information may be found in the original records and there may be errors in the records extracted from the parish registers. Always check the original records. The coverage may be patchy if the extractions were from Bishops Transcripts (BTs). Not all years are represented and you may find the years you require were not extracted for the IGI - but they may have been filmed. Be cautious about accepting "pedigrees" and family trees found online without question; some may be a little shaky. It is wiser to use them as a guide for further investigation. The UK 1881 census transcription is now searchable on this website. Read the Research Aids: - lots of basic information to absorb. Save the ones you find most useful to read later. There are some FREE charts and a Family Tree software program (PAF) to download which you can use for your own data. Find the list of LDS Family History Centers throughout the world and check to see if there is a Center near you. For a very small charge you can order in to the Center the films and fiche of the parish registers, census records and lots of other material about Warwickshire. The resource remains at the center and you have full access to it using the LDS equipment. (e.g. $5 for 4 weeks loan of a film in Australia- fiche are even cheaper). Most FH Centers have the GRO Birth, Marriage & Death Index on fiche. Some Centers may circulate the earlier records (1837 to ~1902) that are on film, between several FH Centers, usually on a 2 monthly basis. (It is best to phone before your first visit to see what is available) Some Centers are now providing on-line access to resources and to http://www.ancestry.com/ They do not charge but accept a small donation. Find the Family History Library Catalogue on the web site; - online it is updated daily, but it is also available on CD to purchase. Do a quick search to see what has been filmed for your parish. LDS Family History Centers Libraries have photocopying facilities and they will photocopy the entries from a film of the parish registers for a small sum. Some Centers arrange for copies through another handling center and there can be a short wait for your copies. Thus, for very little outlay, you can obtain a copy of the couple's signatures or marks on a marriage certificate rather than order a copied entry from the Register Office.
Visit the public library catalogues online - many small libraries are able to arrange inter -library loans at a moderate cost so you may be able to borrow a wider range than you thought possible. (Some may be able to access academic libraries) U.K Libraries. Data.Gov.UK Contact details for Libraries in UK Overseas researchers - try a GOOGLE search for a similar service or make enquiries at your branch library.
Search the Federation of Family History Societies' web site at http://www.ffhs.co.uk/ There are links to free data and websites online too (Note: - many published items will be under strict Copyright e.g. The National Burial Index NBI) Start saving to buy resources and copies to help your search! Visit http://www.familyhistoryonline.net/ Register and look at the index for FREE to find clues to your ancestors' whereabouts. If some strayed over the border you will know where else you may need to search.
Family History Societies Most have a research service that is usually not too expensive, and costs less if you are a Society member. It may be cheaper than the cost of traveling to the record repositories yourself. Birmingham and Midlands Society for Genealogy and Heraldry http://www.bmsgh.org/ Nuneaton & North Warwickshire FHS: http://www.nnwfhs.org.uk South Warwickshire FHS: http://www.swfhs.org.uk Coventry FHS: http://www.covfhs.org Rugby Family History Group http://www.rugbyfhg.co.uk/ Warwickshire Family History Society http://www.wfhs.org.ukAccess to Archives www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/a2a A website featuring indexed material from many archives. Try a place name, surname or keyword search. Many documents are old deeds and estate records etc. If you find something of interest note the contact details for the archive and email them. They may be able to give you an estimate of the cost of photocopying the document and mailing the copy to you.
Pictorials Records To get a feel for the places where your ancestors lived and died. Church Photographs Warks Churches on ROOTSWEB (Currently offline) Look at the FHS websites (above) Several have church photos posted For photographs from English Heritage try. http://www.imagesofengland.org.uk/ There are some interesting drawings of places in and around Warwickshire at: http://www.ewgreen.org.uk/ and also try http://www.windowsonwarwickshire.org.uk/,
Warwickshire census information See " Pickard's Pink Pages" for further information on Enumerator's Instructions and the dates each census was taken. Censuses were taken in 1801, 1811, 1821 and 1831 but these have rarely survived and are of very limited value. It was meant to be a count of the population only but a few parishes asked some extra questions. The most you are likely to find will be the name of the head of the household, possibly his occupation and the number of inhabitants of each house. Some of these early records have been transcribed by members of Family History Societies and it is worth tracking them down. 1841 census Transcriptions FREE on Pickard's Pink Pages(1841 Index) and FreeCENS Now complete and being updated with re-validated informtion. Scans of the original documents are available to purchase on commercial CDs. Coventry FHS has a transcription of the Coventry area on fiche and CD. 1851 census A full transcription and index is available on CD through the LDS and it is very inexpensive to purchase. Available in UK from: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Distribution Centre, 399 Garretts Green Lane, Birmingham B33 0UH Coventry FHS has a transcription of the Coventry area on CD to purchase. Some small transcriptions done by various individuals may be found online by diligent searching. 1861 census Not yet available on CD for the whole County- You may find some information on Ancestry The Warks FreeCEN Team has almost finished transcribing this, and data is on PPP(1861 Index) Some fiche and CDs are available for RUGBY and COVENTRY areas from Rugby FHG and Coventry FHS. Archive CD Books has back orders for the County CD set - They may also produce single CDs of parts of Warwickshire. We have been told that http://www.ancestry.com/ will be indexing the 1861 This may be online already. 1871 census Available to purchase on CD or pay to view at http://www.ancestry.com/ No transcription is available for free. Rugby and Coventry areas are on fiche or CD- produced by Rugby FHG and Coventry FHS. 1881 census Transcription online for FREE searching at http://www.familysearch.org/ and to purchase on CDs from the LDS (see above) Images of the original are available on http://www.ancestry.com/. 1891 census Transcription online for FREE searching on Pickards Pink Pages at 1891 census index on PPP and on FreeCens Complete and being re-validated and updated. Pay to view at http://www.ancestry.com/ or purchase the CD set from various companies. (see below) 1901 census online on The National Archives Website http://www.1901censusonline.com/ Free search of the Index or pay to view the scans also online at http://www.ancestry.com/ Census CD Sets A number of companies offer images of the original census enumerators' books on CD. Prices and quality vary and cost does not necessarily reflect the quality. There is usually no surname index and rarely a street index. Searching is done by trawling through the pages deciphering the enumerators' scrawl. Archive CD Books, UK company now closed - see their website for what is available from other branches. http://www.archivecdbooks.org/ Gordon Beavington, 560 Hemlock Road, Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada V1X 5G4 http://www.mycensuses.com/ S&N Genealogy, West Wing, Manor Farm, Chilmark, Salisbury SP3 5AF. http://www.britishdataarchive.com/ This company has a subscription service to view an on-going census indexing project, plus the GRO BMD Index. Stepping Stones, PO Box 295, York, YO32 9WQ. http://www.stepping-stones.co.uk/
Other CDs Available The British Vital Records Index 2nd edition. An addition to the IGI with few Warwickshire parishes but nevertheless a useful resource. Available in UK from: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Distribution Centre, 399 Garretts Green Lane, Birmingham B33 0UH The National Burial Index 2nd Edition- (NBI) many useful Warwickshire burials have been recorded. Note it is an INDEX.
Useful Books -for when you finally drag yourself away from the computer. G. Allen : Warwickshire Towns & Villages, Sigma Leisure 2000, ISBN 1 85058 642 X. A. Poulton-Smith; Warwickshire Place Names, Countryside Books, 1996. ISBN 1 85306 439 4 A comprehensive listing of Parish Registers for England and Wales may be found in C. Humphery-Smith (Ed), The Phillimore Atlas and Index of Parish Registers. (Rev 2004) (Expensive to purchase - try your Library) Many old Trade directories and other old books about Warwickshire are now on CD Rom and available from Archive CD Books, in USA, Australia, Ireland, Canada and The Netherlands. http://www.archivecdbooks.org/ We advise that you should obtain any of the above resources at your discretion. This is a brief list: it is not a recommendation to purchase.
Wendy Boland Co-Administrator Rootsweb Warwick Mailing List and Pickard Trepess compiled this guide with the help of many SKS who have contributed to family history research. We welcome helpful comments and additions to enhance it.
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Revised: 08 March 2018
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