More great websites
While you should see what ancestry.co.uk and findmypast.co.uk have to offer, myheritage. com is particularly strong for European connections, and each territory may also have specialist websites.
Sweden, for example, has the long-running ArkivDigital ( arkivdigital. net), which boasts millions of colour images of historical records, while the top-notch blog French Genealogy ( french-genealogy.typepad.com) includes a directory of departmental archives and a glossary of French terms.
Europeana ( europeana.eu) is a wonderful place to find out more about historic artefacts, books, documents, newspapers, artworks, videos and oral histories from collections across Europe, and millions more that have been submitted by users.
Genealogy Indexer ( genealogyindexer.org) is a useful tool for anyone searching for ancestors in Central or Eastern Europe, although much of the data was produced using optical character recognition (OCR) software, so remember to try wildcards and spelling variants when you’re searching.
Through Archives Portal Europe ( archivesportaleurope.net) you can search hundreds of millions of records from 6,989 institutions. Its map option will lead you to archival websites from Finland ( arkisto. fi/en) to Belgrade ( arhiv-beograda.org/index.php/en).
Don’t neglect genealogy societies and historical groups, either. Their websites will detail publications, projects and news, and links to useful sites. One well-established and long-running example is the Anglo-German Family History Society ( agfhs. org). Another is the Anglo-Italian Family History Society ( anglo-italianfhs. org.uk); its ‘Links’ page leads to sites with beginners’ advice, church records and civil records, and the cross-archive portal at archivi.beniculturali.it. Other groups can be found via the Foundation for East European Family History Studies ( feefhs.org), and other cross-archival portals include the Spanish site PARES (El Portal de Archivos Españoles; pares.mcu. es) and the vast Archival Resources Online ( szukajwarchiwach.pl – if you’re researching Poland, you should also visit archiwa.gov.pl).
Religious persecution may have caused your ancestors to cross country boundaries. If that’s the case then huguenotsociety.org. uk/family-history could come in handy, as will jewishgen.org and jgsgb.org.uk for anyone who has Jewish roots.
Finally Google Translate is a very useful tool. At translate. google.com you can type in or paste a word, phrase or passage (up to 5,000 characters), then select the language you wish to translate it into. And if you find a site with no obvious English version, you can enter the full web address (including http:// or https://) in the lefthand text field, choose the source language and click ‘Translate’.
Anne Morddel, the blogger behind French Genealogy, is a prolific author
Archives Portal Europe includes contact information for over 2,300 institutions