England Compiled Sources

From FamilySearch Wiki
Revision as of 09:19, 26 March 2013 by Cathymstevens (talk | contribs)
Jump to navigation Jump to search
The Winthrop Mulberry Tree, Groton, England
Diary of John Winthrop the Younger of Journey from Boston, Massachusetts to Saybrook, Connecticut

England Compiled Sources
[edit | edit source]

When you begin family history research for one of your ancestors, you should always begin by
looking for compiled research. Compiled research sources contain millions of names of
individuals for whom data has been transcribed, indexed, or collected. These sources were
created by individuals, groups, societies, universities, archives, and commercial corporations.
Determining what research has already been done by others, including your own family
members, can:
• Save you valuable research time.
• Help you find information in original records more quickly.
• Help you avoid unnecessary duplication of work.
• Provide clues for further research.
What You Are Looking For
You are looking for compiled sources which may give information on your ancestors. The
information you find varies from record to record. These records may include:
• Names of children, spouse, parents, siblings, and other family members.
• Birth or baptism, marriage, and death or burial information.
• Dates of other important events such as immigration or land purchases.
• Age at the time of dated events.
• Place or street of residence.
• Occupations.
• Schools attended.
• Military service.
• Religious affiliations.
• Countries, counties, or places of origin.
• Other biographical data.
These 8 steps will help you find and use compiled sources.
England, How to Find Compiled Sources
Research Guidance
Version of Data: 08/10/01
Step 1. Find home sources first.
Check for information with family members first. Some sources to look for in your home and in the
homes of extended family members may include:
• Old letters.
• Journals.
• Certificates.
• Diaries.
• Pictures.
• Copies of records, such as baptism, birth, and marriage.
• Military papers.
• Notes from interviews with family members and relatives.
• News items and articles.
Step 2. Identify compiled sources.
Identify as many compiled sources as possible. They can include:
• Published family histories.
• Unpublished manuscript histories.
• Local histories.
• Computer databases and surname listings.
• Compiled pedigrees.
• Biographies.
• Indexes to original records (such as censuses, marriages, and monumental inscriptions).
• Registries for research exchange.
• Surname or one-name lists.
To find examples of compiled sources, see the publications listed in Where To Find It.
Step 3. Decide which compiled sources to search.
Search for compiled sources that:
• Deal with your specific family name.
• Cover your specific place of interest.
• Cover a range of years during your ancestor's lifetime.
Step 4. Locate compiled sources.
You can find compiled sources through:
• Internet Sources.
• Family History Centers.
• Family History Library.
• Archives and Libraries.
• Societies (family history, county, regional, and national).
England, How to Find Compiled Sources
Research Guidance
Version of Data: 08/10/01
Step 5. Search compiled sources.
In addition to the name of your ancestor, search for the names of each family member, relative, or
in-law of your ancestor.
Step 6. Copy and document the information in your research
Copy the information from the record exactly as it was given onto the family group sheets and
pedigree chart for your ancestor. Be sure to record the source of the information onto a research
log. You may want to make a photocopy of the record for future use. To learn how to keep good
notes, see Note taking & keeping for genealogists.
Step 7. Analyze and use the information found in compiled
Compare any information you found in compiled sources with knowledge you already have about
your ancestor. Does it:
• Conflict with what you know? If the information conflicts, use other sources to verify it.
• Support what you know?
• Add to what you know?
Then ask yourself:
• Did the source have the information I wanted?
• Is this information accurate?
• Does this information suggest other sources to search?
Step 8. Verify information from compiled sources with other
When you obtain information from compiled sources, you must verify the information by searching
original records.
Where to Find It
Internet Sources
FamilySearch Internet Genealogy Service
Many compiled sources are available on the Internet.You can search for compiled sources
through FamilySearch Internet Genealogy Service. FamilySearch Internet can search online
records and other web sites to see if they contain the information you want. To look for compiled
sources through FamilySearch Internet, go to Search for Ancestors and use either the All
Resources or Web Sites search options.
England, How to Find Compiled Sources
Research Guidance
Version of Data: 08/10/01
The following are examples of websites that provide compiled sources that are searchable by
• Internet FamilyFinder
• Ancestry.com (Fee required)
• GenSeeker
Links to Websites
Many websites do not provide names and dates but link to sites that do. Examples of these are:
• CyndisList.
• GENUKI (Genealogy in the United Kingdom and Ireland).
• GenDex.
• British Isles GenWeb.
• Genealogy SiteFinder.
Family History Centers
A Family History Center may have some compiled sources for local families. Family History
Centers can also borrow microfilms and microfiche of compiled sources from the Family History
Library. The Library charges a small fee to loan microfilm or microfiche to a Family History
If a compiled source is not available on microfilm, you may request a photocopy from the Family
History Library for a small fee. You will need to fill out a Request for Photocopies form, which is
available at Family History Centers. Complete the form with the library call number for the source.
Send the form and the fee to the Family History Library. Note that many published sources are
copyrighted and cannot be photocopied in their entirety.
Family History Centers are located throughout the United States and other areas of the world. For
the address of the Family History Center nearest you, see Family History Centers.
Family History Library
The Family History Library has one of the largest collections of compiled research sources in the
world. There is no fee for using the library's collection in person.
Sources for Previous Research in the British Isles lists and discusses major compiled sources
available in the Family History Library. Some of these sources are available in other archives and
See Family History Library Services and Resources for information about contacting or visiting
the library.
Archives and Libraries
Most compiled sources are available in archives and libraries throughout the world. Some major
archives and libraries are:
• The British Library, London.
• The Family Records Centre, London.
• County record offices.
• Public Record Office, Kew, Surrey.
England, How to Find Compiled Sources
Research Guidance
Version of Data: 08/10/01
Australia and New Zealand
• National Archives of Australia.
• National Archives of New Zealand.
• National Library of New Zealand (Alexander Turnbull).
United States and Canada
• The Newberry Library, Chicago.
• The Library of Congress, Washington D.C.
• The New England Historic and Genealogical Society Library, Boston.
• The National Archives of Canada, Ottawa.
• The National Archives, regional branches throughout the U.S.
Addresses for archives and libraries can be found at Ready, 'Net, Go then select Master List of
Try to find out what compiled sources are available at archives and libraries before you visit. See
individual library catalogs for information about their holdings. Examples of sources that list the
holdings of some archives and libraries are:
• National Register of Archives.
• National Inventory of Documentary Sources (NIDS).
Family history and genealogical societies extract and index many records and have collections of
research done by their members and others. Family history societies are in each county in
England. Many provide marriage indexes and publish journals and periodicals that include
compiled research that can help you find your ancestor.
The Federation of Family History Societies provides coordination between these county societies
and lists addresses for each. The Federation also provides publications concerning research and
records that are available for purchase and may be found in some libraries. Examples of these
• Specialist Indexes for Family Historians.
• [County:] A Genealogical Bibliography.
• Marriage and Census Indexes for Family Historians.
Other societies you may wish to contact are:
• One-name societies.
• Record societies.
• Society of Genealogists.
For more information on searching compiled sources, see Has It Been Done Before?