More great websites
One of the most useful free resources for tracking down databases is the trio of sites that were the brainchild of Ian Hartas, this month’s expert (see left). UKBMD.org.uk links to thousands of other websites with online BMD and census data. Next came UKGDL.org.uk ( Genealogical Directories and Lists), which boasts over 2,000 links covering a wide range of categories and finally UKMFH.org.uk ( Military Family History) completes the trio.
A good hunting ground for location-specific databases are the links pages of family history society sites or genealogical forums such as home.rootsweb.ancestry.com. GENUKI ( genuki.org. uk) has hundreds of pages and links to transcribed data – usually towards the end of county pages.
Your county archive may have useful databases and finding aids. If they’re online they may be within the catalogue, on their own dedicated platform, or as downloadable PDFs. Bath Archives, for example, has its own dedicated ancestors website ( bit.ly/ BathAnc), covering 1603-1990 and drawing on all kinds of records, from registers, court material, poor law records, vaccination registers and more.
There is a vast array of military databases. The Diamond War Memorial Project ( diamondwar memorial.com), for example, uncovered around 400 names that were missing from this memorial in the centre of Derry. There’s the Red Cross lists of First World War POWs from both sides of the conflict ( grandeguerre.icrc. org). You can also search for members of the Red Cross Voluntary Aid Detachments via redcross.org.uk/ww1. Or there’s the one-man project bit.ly/Armynos, where you can find information on regimental numbers and the dates on which these were issued to soldiers joining the British Army between 1881 and 1918.
It’s always worth checking two vast crowd-sourcing indexing projects: FamilySearch Indexing ( bit.ly/ FSIndx), which holds data produced by an army of hundreds of thousands of volunteers, and Ancestry’s World Archives Project ( bit.ly/ WldArcPrj), which again has many thousands of citizen contributors.
Researchers with Irish interests have lots of useful free databases to explore, from the National Archives ( bit.ly/ NatArcIE), to PRONI’s Ulster Covenant ( bit.ly/ UlsterCov), Griffith’s Valuation ( bit.ly/GriffVal) and Catholic Parish Registers ( registers.nli.ie). The National Archives homepage currently has the ‘Online Collections’ signpost at the top-right, which leads to some of the digitised collections – some free, some not – plus Discovery ( bit.ly/ NADisco) is the medium through which countless sourcespecific databases can be trawled.
A few others include the family of websites that sit under the Connected Histories banner ( connectedhistories.org), Scottish Indexes ( scottishindexes.com), Memento Mori ( memento-mori. co.uk) and Hearth Tax ( www.hearthtax.org.uk). Finally you may find that large municipal cemeteries have been indexed and turned into databases that are freely available either via the council archive website, through a ‘friends of…’ organisation, or through the local genealogical society website.
Search for your relatives that lived in Bath at the Bath Archives’ website