England Family Histories

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Family Histories

A family history is a record of a specific family line or of a particular surname. Family histories are considered compiled sources. Use a family history to gain information compiled by other people about your family. 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

A family history which may give information about your ancestors. The information you will find varies from record to record. These records may include:

These 2 steps will help you find a family history

  • Choose a surname.

By looking for information on a specific surname, you can find histories for your family and related families. Family histories are usually listed by the surname of the family in library catalogs, on FamilySearch and other genealogical search sites..

England, How to Find Family Histories

Search for a family history.

You can find family histories through:

Where to Find It

Internet Sources

Many family histories are available on the Internet. You can search for family histories through FamilySearch Internet Genealogy Service. FamilySearch can search online records and other web sites to see if they contain the information you want. To look for family histories through FamilySearch Internet, use family-trees Introduction to the FamilySearch Catalog
- Surname Search or go to Browse Catagories, FamilySearch Catalog Surnames Search.

Other Websites

The following are examples of other websites that can be searched by surname:

Links to Websites

Many websites do not provide names and dates, but link to sites that do. Examples of these are:

Family History Centers
A Family History Center may have some family histories. Family History Centers can also borrow
microfilms and microfiche of family histories from the Family History Library. There is a small fee to have a microfilm or microfiche loaned to a Family History Center. 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 family histories in the world. There is no fee for using the library's collection in person.

=== Sources for Previous Research in the British Isles is a publication that lists and discusses other compiled sources available in the Family History Library. Some of these sources are available in other archives and libraries. If a family history 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 Introduction to 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. See Family History Library Services and Resources for information about contacting or visiting the library.

England Archives and Libraries

Family histories are available in archives and libraries throughout the world. Some major archives and libraries are:


Australia and New Zealand

United States and Canada

Addresses for archives and libraries can be found at The UK National Archives and look for library catalogs online.


Family history and genealogical societies extract and index many records and have collections of research done by their members and others. There are family history societies in each county in England. Many provide marriage indexes and publish journals and periodicals that include compiled research to 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 are:

  • Specialist Indexes for Family Historians.
  • [County:] A Genealogical Bibliography.
  • Marriage and Census Indexes for Family Historians.

Wiki Pages

Other societies you may wish to contact are:

For more information on searching for family histories and other compiled sources, see the Society of Genealogist's Has It Been Done Before?