Beginners Notes


THESE NOTES  are made to help you when you begin to research your family history.  We hope you will find
them helpful.

SELF KNOWLEDGE. Personal enquiry of relatives and friends, oral history, family tales and legends, bibles, documents, records, diaries, correspondence, documents relating to property, wills, certificates, memorabilia, ephemera, etc.

CONTACTS
Through relations and friends, people still living in the area. Family History Societies, their Member's Interests and Birth Briefs. Guild of one Name Studies. Genealogical Research, Directories. Society of Genealogists Great Card Index. Mormons 'Family Registry".

FAMILY HISTORY (getting started)
Books on Family Histories (personal) and "how to" books. Family Tree Magazine. Join a Family
History Society or join a class. Join a Family History Society relevant to your area of interest.

PEDIGREES.
Check Burke and Debrett publications. Check Genealogical Guides. Check collections of pedigrees at County Record Offices (C.R.O.s) Reference Libraries or Specialist Libraries e.g. Y.A.S., Society of Genealogy..

BUILDING UP BACKGROUND
Use your local library reference department and the local history department of your own, or your area of interest's library for books on the historical and geographical background of your area. Things to look for are local pedigrees, commercial directories, poll books, memorial inscriptions, cemetery records, local records and newspapers, census records and the I.G.I. Some may have a personal name index. Ask for maps and gazetteers. Specialised libraries for Local, Archaeology, Heritage Societies National Record Societies publications. Local history publications, Family History publications. Museums, Surveys, Solicitor's records, Parish Chest collections. Monuments and Deposited Documents Collections at C.R.O.S Mormon 'Stake' Libraries.

CENSUS 1841-1901.
All England and Wales. Films held at Family History Centre London. For local areas often in local libraries, C.R.O.'s or F.H. Soc.'s headquarters. Many societies have indexed and published census returns. 1881 now on CD .
I.G.I.

International Genealogical Index.(Mormon Index).
A great way to track down ancestors but you must consult the original entry as not is not perfect.

N.B.I
National Burial Index.   Being compiled by the Federation of Family History Societies from
entries sent in by Family History Societies. Parts 1 & 2 available on CD.

CIVIC REGISTRATION
All b.m.d. England & Wales from 1837 available from the G.R.O. The indexes may be inspected and certificates purchased. You can order a standard order form by telephoning 0151-471-4768. Or contact certificate.services.@gsi.gov.uk. The G.R.O. address is PO Box 2. Southport, Merseyside. PR8 2JD. Local Registry Offices hold the Indexes for their area only which may be inspected for a fee. Certificates can be purchased personally or by post. Fee returnable if entry not found. Leeds Central Library, and Lincoln Archives, and Doncaster F.H.S. have copies of the Index. Some Mormon Chapels hold copies of the National Index.

THE INTERNET AND WEBSITES.
More and more information, a great deal of it free, is now available on the Internet. This is a wonderful resource used sensibly. It is essential that you CHECK THE ORIGINAL. You often do not know who has deposited the material or where it has come from. Even so it can save you many hours of research.

THE NATIONAL ARCHIVES.
Has several departments. These are now centrally located at Kew including the Family Records Centre All departments supply leaflets on their functions. Beginners should read Amanda Bevan's Tracing Your Ancestors in the P.R.O.' before visiting. Two books are 'The National Archives' and 'Family Records Centre, a users guide', both by Stella Colwell.

MI's & CEMETERY RECORDS.
Family History Societies, Local History Societies and many libraries hold collections of Monumental Inscriptions and publish indexes. There are many collections of MI.'s searched by individuals i.e. Blackburnfs collections in Bradford Library and Galestifs at the Y.A.S. fClaremontf Clarendon Road Leeds. The easiest way to find cemetery records is to enquire at the Local Council Offices, Cemeteries Dept. Municipal cemeteries are generally post 1853.

WILLS.
After 1858 Wills and Letters of Administration are at First Avenue House, 42-49 High Holborn, London. Before, depending on the Diocese mainly at the Borthwick Institute, York or the P.R.O. though some Peculiars were allowed to process wills. Information can also be gained from Probate Registers and Calendars at C.R.O.fs and the local Probate Registry.

COUNTY RECORDS OFFICES.
Hold many documents. Get to grips with the Indexes. Ring first to book a place and find out if
they have the records you require. Initially take 2 passport photographs. Use pencil only.

PARISH REGISTERS.
Some modern ones are still with the Incumbent. Most are deposited at C.R.O/s. Many are now on film, & have been indexed and printed by organisations like the Y.A.S., F.H.S. Societies and private individuals.  A copy is called a transcript. Always ask if there is a transcript available.

Bishops Transcripts are often found in C.R.O.fs and the Borthwick Institute holds many Northerrn transcripts. Look out for indexes of Marriage Licences in C.RO.'s York has Boyds collection When you have seen the transcript CHECK THE ORIGINALS.

NON-CONFORMIST.
Early ones on film in the Rolls Room of the P.R.O. Chancery Lane. Now probably transferred to the National Archives at Kew. Leeds & Huddersfield library have films of Northern Dissentent registers. Leeds University has a fine collection of Quaker records. Hull University has built up Quaker collection. Dr. Williams Library, London and the Society of Genealogists have collections. Methodist Connexional material is at the John Ryland Library, University of Manchester. I.G.I. and other Mormon material (International Genealogical Index) Available at the mother church (Temple) in Salt Lake City. Hull, Sheffield, London, Loughborough temples have 'stakes' or Genealogical Librariea. Many C.RO.'s Libraries and F.H. Societies have their own copies of the I.G.I. Also available at Mormon Chapels are their Family Registry fiche and patrons files and other films can be ordered. A most useful book is Vol.2. National Index of P.R.'s sources for non-conformist genealogy and F.H. by Don Steel Pub. Published b> Phillimore.

BAPTISTS
P.R.O. Dr. W. Baptist Historical Soc. 4 Southampton Row, London Baptist Church House,
Southampton Row, London

CONGREGATIONALISTS
Congregational Library, Memorial Hall, Farringdon Street, New College Library, Hampstead, N.
London

HUGENOTS
Hugenot Society, University College, London. P.R.O. French Protestant Church of London,
Soho Square, London

JEWS
United Synagogues, Woburn Place, London Mocatta Library, University College, London,

METHODISTS
Wesley Historical Society, The Manse, St. Kilburn, Helston, Cornwall Independent Methodist
Churches Historical Society, Providence Independent Methodist Church, Wesleyan Reform
Record Office, 123 Queens Street, Sheffield John Ryland Library, Manchester University,
Manchester

PRESBYTERIANS
P.R.O. Presbyterian. Historical Society, 86 Tavistock Place, London ,W.C.l.

QUAKERS
Yorkshire, Brotherton Library, Leeds University. Friends House, Euston Road, London. Hull
University. P.R.O.

ROMAN CATHOLICS
Albert Rd. Colne, Lancashire, Catholic Record Society Flat 5, Lennox Gardens, London, P.R.O.
English Catholic Ancestor. (Catholic F.H. Soc.) Hill House West, Crookham Village, Aldershot,
Hampshire.

NEWSPAPERS.
Check your local newspapers. Colindale, N. London is the Newspaper Library and part of the
British Library. Extracts from a particular paper can be ordered through your branch libraries.
Early papers are The Times1 and The London Gazette1. The Gentleman's Magazine runs from
1731 -1910. Epworth Mechanic's Institute has a full range of 'The Epworth Bells.'

NATIONAL RECORD SOCIETIES.
Such as the Harlian have published indexes and calendars for many years. Many C.R.O.'s have
good collections - also libraries.

PARISH RECORDS.
Should be consulted for names and backgrounds. They are found in C.RO.s P.RO.s Parishes
and private hands.

SPECIFIC CLUES.
Should be followed up such as professional records -. Service Records, Land or property records, apprentice records, clerical and church records, estate and rental accounts, University records and school log books.

HAS IT BEEN DONE BEFORE?
Check the various Genealogical Guides. Check the. One Name Society's list for people who are
researching the same name. Check the Genealogical Research Diary 2002. It may save years of work.

Personal sources to look for.
Books (inscriptions inside)
School record, reports, prize certificates
Old Brown envelopes in china cabinets
Recipe books
Caps, buttons, badges
War souvenirs
Family Bibles
Letters
Diaries
Memorial cards
Baptism Certificates
Birth, marriage, death certificates
Professional certificates
Attics
Deeds, wills, apprentice indentures etc.
Birthday books, address books, albums
Samplers
Medals, awards
Newspaper cuttings
Photographs

RULES OF THE GAME.
Write where you can't go. Use good quality paper. Be polite. Ask specific questions.

ALWAYS include a S.E.A. or if abroad 2 International Reply Coupons available at P.O.fs. Offer
to pay photo-copying costs.
Use pencil, only in R.O's. Verify everything. Write everything down. Pursue every lead.
Check the place to which you are going has the record you need BEFORE you go. If the R.O.
does not have the information you require, ask if it can be found at another R. O. If possible
order documents when you book in for a session.

RECORDS YOU WILL BECOME FAMILIAR WITH.
Mormon Church International Genealogical Index Parish Registers
Birth, Marriage, Death Certificates Bishop's Transcripts
Census Records. 1841, 1851, 1861, 1871, 1881, 1891,1901.
Monumental Inscriptions        Non-conformist Records
Commercial Directories        Marriage Indexes
Poll Books        Enclosure Awards
Military or Service Records Land records (Reg. of Deeds). Tithe records
Professional records        Taxes (Land, Hearth, etc.) Court records
Guild & apprentice records        Parish records, Rate books, Surveyors books
Friendly Society records                    Workhouse records. Vestry records.
Overseers of the Poor Records including Removal Orders, Settlement Certificates Settlement Examinations.
Tontines                                     Constables records.
Hospital & Institution records             Licences.
Petty & Quarter Sessions                   Declarations
Emigration records        Wills and Probate inventories

RECORDING YOUR RESEARCH.
There are as many ways of recording your data as fleas on a dog. Whichever one you choose you must be methodical about your recording. Negative results as well as positive results should be noted with R.O. or Library source, reference number and date of research or you will forget where you found it. For beginners a simple card index, colour-coded for each generation will help you record your data.
On each card write,
Surname (capital letters) Christian Name (For a woman put her born surname)
Birth -Baptism -
Death -
Burial -
Marriage -
On the back, Children with birth dates -Profession -other information

GENERAL RULES FOR DRAWING A PEDIGREE
People of the same generation are drawn on the same level. Lines of descent come from under the marriage symbol   First and second wives/husbands should be clearly indicated. Basic information goes under each name. Children are entered left to right in order of birth. Never record an unsubstantiated fact as fact.
A Pedigree shows main-line male descent ONLY.
A drop line or tabular pedigree shows in chart form all that is known about a male line descent
from a common ancestor - this is commonly known as a family tree.
An extended family tree takes in all known descendants from a common ancestor.
A total descent (circular) shows all ancestral lines male and female. Also called a Blood descent
or Birth Brief. Family group sheets are modern ways of showing descent which can easily be
sent through the post, and lists all children of named parents.
Ref Book 'Recording your Family Tree', - Patrick Palgrave Moore.

TO  DETERMINE  RELATIONSHIP.
The chart Illustrates the relationship between YOURSELF and a common ancestor.
It could be extended Indefinitely. -Persons with a common GRANDFATHER are FIRST
cousins.
Persons with a common GREAT-GRANDFATHER are SECOND cousins.
Persons with a common GREAT-GREAT-GRANDFATHER are THIRD cousins, etc.
In order to determine your degree of relationship to any other descendant of a
common ancestor
1.        Determine the common ancestor, e.g. great-grandfather, great-great-grandfather.
2.        Determine how many generations you are from this ancestor (you are three
generations from your great-grandfather).
3.        Determine how many generations the other person 1s from the common ancestor.
If he, too, 1s three generations from the common ancestor, he 1s your second
cousin.    If he is two generations from the common ancestor, he 1s your first
cousin once removed (your father's first cousin).    If he 1s four generations
from the common ancestor he is your second cousin once removed (the child of
your second cousin). .
There is an ambiguity in that "first cousin once removed" may be either your father's first cousin or your first cousin's child.    These may be distinguished by "ascending" or "descending".
This chart may also be used to determine the relationship between ANY TWO DESCENDANTS of a common ancestor.
1.        Determine the common ancestor of the two persons.
2.        Determine the generation number of the person nearest the ancestor, how many
       generation steps he is from the ancestor.
3.        Determine the generation number of the second person in the same way.
4.        SUBTRACT the smaller from the larger number.    This determines the number of
       generations one person is removed from the other, e.g. 4-2=2.   Go to row 2
       in the Table.
5.        Now ADD the two generation numbers. This determines the degree of relationship 2+4=6.           Go to column No. 6.
6.        Find the point where the Row No. and the Column No. meet and read off the
       exact relationship. - 1st cousin 2 removed.
WIFE     =      HUSBAND                =                WIFE             =        HUSBAND
              |                                        |                                    |         .
   |                     |                  |                       |            |                     |
  A                    B                C                     D           E                    F
A & B are HALF brothers  (or sisters) to C & D.
E & F are also HALF brothers (or sisters) to C & D.
A & B are STEP brothers (or sisters) to E & F.

Whilst the Society does not undertake any professional research, we may be able to put you in touch with individual researchers in the City of Lincoln. The Society does not act as an agent for any of these researchers however, and accepts no responsibility for either the costs incurred or the quality of any information supplied.
With our own members acting as volunteers however, we do a limited amount of research as a special favour when requested. We have produced some  Beginners Notes below, that will help you to make a start. If you would rather read it at a later date you can get it from the Downloads page
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