Whistler Family Sketches homepage
Family History Sources
With a focus on the English counties of Berkshire, Hampshire, Oxfordshire, and London.
Births, Marriages, Deaths
In England and Wales, a national system of registration of births,
marriages and deaths began in July 1837.
The free BMD (Births, Marriages and
Deaths) project gives online access to the quarterly indexes of these
Before 1837 parish registers must be consulted.
Searchable indexes compiled from parish registers (with partial coverage only) are:
Websites (pay-for-view) with online access to family history databases:
As a general rule, the original parish records should be checked.
Census returns provide a fascinating view of the members of a
household and their community.
In England, the 1841 census was the first to collect detailed family
information. A census followed every ten years.
Online access to census returns is offered by the
Nostalgia: The "old" method of access to census returns was by searching from microfilm copies at the Family Records Centre in Islington, London. This centre was closed in March 2008 and its services transferred to the National Archives in Kew in West London. A useful reference source was the Hampshire Genealogical Society Record Series name indexes, by census parish, for the 1851 census.
Wills can provide an informative record of family relationships.
For people who died in or after 1858: Search for Wills (England and Wales)
For wills made before the legal reforms of 1858, locating a will is not routine.
Online resources for wills:
An administration (abbreviation admin or admon), issued when no will
had been made, appointed one or more persons, usually next-of-kin, to
administer the deceased's estate.
Spelling: Standard spelling is somewhat recent. Therefore, a variety of spelling variations of names may appear in historical records. That is, spelling variations may have no official meaning.
Dates: Discussion is at the Wikipedia page Old Style and New Style Dates.
Revision Date: 2020.
The background is the Strawberry Thief pattern by the great
Victorian designer William Morris