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Allen County Public Library Genealogy Center

English & Welsh Guide

How to Begin

The essential tasks for the researcher of English and Welsh ancestors are to identify, from American sources, the immigrant ancestor's name, date of birth or marriage, date of immigration, and precise parish of origin. Because of the abundance of genealogical sources available in the British Isles and at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, many researchers have an excellent chance of extending their genealogies beyond the immigrant. This guide offers a brief overview of some of the Allen County Public Library Genealogy Department's English and Welsh sources which may assist in that search.

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Using the Department Catalogs

There are several ways of identifying books on England and Wales in the library’s online catalog at . For example, look under England or Wales, followed by the name of a record type. One can also search under a subject or record type followed by England, Wales, or a particular shire or parish.

The online catalog allows for flexible keyword searching, and includes most of the book and periodical collection. Dial-up access to the ACPL online catalog is available at (260) 489-7087. Do not overlook important sources available only on microfilm or microfiche. Be sure to check the microtext catalog drawer labeled "International" for a list of holdings. Also check the Family History Library Catalog at for information on the extensive English and Welsh holdings of that library. Researchers with further questions about the collection or catalogs should ask a librarian for assistance.

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Research Guides

Genealogical guidebooks which focus on various aspects of English and Welsh research offer an excellent starting point for the genealogist. Most contain bibliographies for further reference.

Bevan, Amanda. Tracing your ancestors in the Public Record Office. 5th rev. ed. Richmond, Surrey: Public Record Office, 1999. /Gc 942 T673/

Blatchford, Robert. The Genealogical Services Directory 2000: With British Local History. York, England: GR Specialist Information Services, 2000. /Gc 942 B613g/ Lists addresses of

societies, museums, and record offices.

Cheney, C.R., ed. Handbook of Dates for Students of English History. London: Royal Historical Society, 1961. /Gc 942.002 C42h/ Includes information about monarchs' reigns, saints' days and festivals, and legal chronologies.

FitzHugh, Terrick V. H. Dictionary of Genealogy. 4th ed. London: A & C Black, 1994. revised by Susan Lumas on behalf of the Society of Genealogists. /Gc 942 F578d/ A guide to English research arranged in dictionary format.

Gibson, Jeremy S. W. Gibson Guides. A collection of short guidebooks on a variety of subjects, including muster rolls, quarter sessions records, poll books, and probate records. Check the online catalog under the author's name.

Herber, Mark D. Ancestral Trails: The Complete Guide to British Genealogy and Family History. Baltimore, MD: Genealogical Publishing, 2000. /Gc 942 H414aa/

Kitzmiller, John M. In Search of the Forlorn Hope: A Comprehensive Guide to Locating British Regiments and Their Records. Salt Lake City: Manuscript Publishing Foundation, 1988. 2 vols./Gc 941 K65i/

Marshall, George. The Genealogist's Guide. 4th ed. Baltimore, MD: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1980. (1903) reprint. /Gc 016.942 M35gea/ An index to published pedigrees. Continued through 1975 in two supplements by Whitmore and Barrow.

McLaughlin, Eve. McLaughlin Guides. A collection of short guidebooks on a variety of subjects, including wills, parish registers, and censuses. Check the online catalog under the name of the author.

Morgan,T.J. and Prys Morgan. Welsh Surnames. Cardiff: Univ. of Wales Press, 1985. /Gc 929.4 M822w/

Rowlands, John R. and Sheila, ed. Welsh Family History: A Guide to Research. 2nd ed. Baltimore, MD: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1999. /Gc 942.9 W461a/

_______.Second Stages in Researching Welsh Ancestry. Baltimore, MD: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1999. /Gc 942.9 R791s/ The most comprehensive set of guides on the subject.

Thomson, T. R., compo A Catalogue of British Family Histories. 3rd ed. London: Research

Publishing Co., 1976. /Gc 016.92912 T38ca/ Bibliography of published genealogies.

West, John. Town Records. 2nd ed. Chichester, Eng.: Phillimore, 1983. /Gc 941 W52t/

_______.Village Records. London: Macmillan, 1962. /Gc942.007 W52v/ The above two works discuss the use of town and village records with emphasis on the medieval period.

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Passenger Lists & Emigration Records

Passenger lists and emigration records sometimes provide specific information about an immigrant's place of origin in Britain. A large number of English emigration lists have been published; many are found on the resource list titled "Passenger Lists.” Passenger lists from U.S. ports, beginning in 1820, are relatively complete and available on microfilm.

Banks, Charles E. Topographical Dictionary of 2885 English Immigrants to New England, 1620-1650. 2nd ed. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co. (G.P.C.), 1957. /Gc 974 B22t/ Includes townsof origin in England for many of the early settlers to New England.

Coldham, Peter Wilson. Several volumes of emigration records from the 17th and 18th centuries. Check the catalog under the author for a complete list.

Filby, P. William, ed. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index. Detroit: Gale Research Inc., 1981- present. /Gc 929.11 F47p, Gc 929.11 F47pa, Gc 929.11 F47pab/ Indexes published passenger lists, including many 17th and 18th century English lists.

Roberts, Gary Boyd. English Origins of New England Families. Baltimore: G.P.C., 1984-85. 6 vols. in two series. /Gc 974 En3/ Reprinted articles on the origins of early settlers.

Smith, Frank. Immigrants to America Appearing in English Records. Salt Lake City: Everton Publications, 1976. /Gc974 C93eng/

Waters, H. F. Genealogical Gleanings in England. Baltimore: G.P.C., 1969, /Gc 929.12 W31ge/

Withington, L. Virginia Gleanings in England. Baltimore: G.P.C., 1980. /Gc 975.5 W77v/

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Gazetteers & Maps

Maps and gazetteers can help the researcher locate an ancestral town in England and Wales and

determine the relevant record-keeping jurisdictions to which it belongs.

Eckwall, Eilert. Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Place-names. 4th ed. Oxford: Clarendon, 1960. /Gc 942.003 Ek8col/ Alphabetical list of towns with respective counties.

Humphery-Smith, Cecil. Phillimore Atlas and Index of Parish Registers. Chichester, Sussex, England : Phillimore, 1995. /Gc 942.003 P54a/ Excellent maps showing villages (1834) and parish and probate boundaries (pre-1832). Lists of parish registers, dates covered and availability.

Lewis, Samuel. Topographical Dictionary of England. 5th ed. London: Lewis & Co., 1842. /Gc 942.003 L58t/ Descriptions of parishes, towns and villages in 1842.

Ordanance Survey of Great Britain, England and Wales, Indexes to the 1/2500 and 6-Inch Scale Maps. Montgomeryshire, Wales: David Archer, 1991. /Gc 941.003 G79o/

Smith, Frank. A Genealogical Gazetteer of England; an Alphabetical Dictionary of Places, with Their Location, Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction, Population, and the Date of the Earliest Entry in the

Registers of Every Ancient Parish in England. Baltimore, MD: Genealogical Publishing

Company, 1968. /Gc 942.003 Sm5g/

There are also a number of very good Internet sites for locating town and parish names. The UK and Ireland web page is one such site:

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Vital & Parish Records

The Genealogy Department houses numerous published extracts of English church records, the bulk of which date before 1750. Other works offer guidance in finding vital record sources in England and Wales. Check the online catalog under the specific name of a parish or shire. Most of these extracts are included in the International Genealogical Index at

Clifford, D.J.H., comp. My Ancestors Were Congregationalists in England & Wales: With a List of Registers. London: Society of Genealogists, 1992. /Gc 942.004 M99/

International Genealogical Index. Salt Lake City, UT: Genealogical Department of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. /microfiche and CD/ A collection of birth and marriage records dating primarily before 1837. Check the "Parish & Vital Records List" at the beginning of the set to determine which parishes and years have been indexed.

National Index of Parish Registers. London: Society of Genealogists, 1967-, vol. 1-. /Gc 016.942 St3n/ Lists of registers by region as well as volumes with general articles on topics such as nonconformist genealogy.

Rawlins, Bert J. Parish Churches and Non-conformist Chapels of Wales: Their Records and Where to Find Them. Salt Lake City, UT: Celtic Heritage Press, 1987-, vol. 1 -. A comprehensive guidearranged by shire.

Smith, David M. Guide to Bishop's Registers in England and Wales: A Survey from the Middle Ages to the Abolition of the Episcopacy in 1646. London: Royal Historical Society, 1981./Gc 016.942 Sm5g/ Bishop's registers contain vital records and sometimes can substitute formissing parish registers.

Tate, W. E. The Parish Chest: A Study of the Records of Parochial Administration in England. 3rd ed. Cambridge, Eng.: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1969. /Gc 942.004 T18pa/ Introduction to the use of parochial records, including parish registers, accounts, and poor law records.

Williams, C.J. and Williams, J. Watts, Cofresti Plwyf Cymru: Parish Registers of Wales. Aberystwyth,

Wales: National Library, 1986. /Gc 942.9005 W67c/ A list of more than 1,000 parish registers and bishop's transcripts, with inclusive dates.

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Wills & Probate Records

Many of England's earliest wills have been either indexed or abstracted, and published. They can offer an important record of family relationships, especially where parish registers are lacking.

British Record Society. Index Library. Hertfordshire, Eng.: British Record Society, 1888-, 104 volumes. /Gc 942.0004 B77i/ A series of county record indexes, including wills and administrations, for every county in Britain, spanning from the 14th century to 1700.

Camp, Anthony. Wills and Their Whereabouts. London: The Author, 1974. /Gc 942.0004 C18wi/ A useful general guidebook for locating wills in the British Isles.

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Directories & Census Records

With the exception of the 1881 census, the Genealogy Department has very few census records for the British Isles. Directories often serve as valuable census substitutes since they provide names and addresses, usually in cities and towns, for specific years.

Crockford's Clerical Directory. London: Oxford, various editions. /253.058 C87/ A directory of parishes and addresses for the Church of England.

1881 British Census and National Index: England, Scotland, Wales, Channel Islands, Isle of Man, and Royal Navy. Salt Lake City, UT: Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1999. Availableat and for on-site researchers as a link from the library’s E-Resourceswebpage.

1881 Census Transcription Project. Birmingham, England: Federation of Family History Societies, 1993-1995. /microfiche/ An everyname index to the 1881 census, covering England, Wales, the Isle of Man, and the Channel Islands.

English Census Directories Project. 67 vols. Melbourne, Australia: Kingsley & Hall, 1992. /microfiche/ Reprinted county directories for most English shires, covering various years from 1828 to 1900. Because many English censuses are not indexed and persons are listed by street address, directories of names and addresses make useful guides for census research.

London City Directories, 1677-1823. /microfilm/ Useful as a census substitute.

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County Histories

The Victoria History of the Counties of England, begun in 1900, covers many English counties. Highly regarded for their detail and scholarship, the volumes often contain material on local families. Check the online catalog under Victoria History of... In addition, the department houses numerous other local histories for England and Wales. Check the catalog under the name of the place.

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Peerage, Gentry & Heraldry

Many pedigrees of English and Welsh nobility and gentry have appeared in print. Some are more

reliable than others; a sample of notable works is listed below. Records of herald's visitations date from the medieval period and contain numerous pedigrees, although they are sometimes inaccurate. If interested in coats of arms for a particular surname, consult the Heraldry Index, /Gc 929.6 H412/ volumes 1 and 2.

Boyer, Carl. Medieval English Ancestors of Certain Americans: Many of the English Ancestral Lines to 1300 of Those Colonial Americans with Known Royal Ancestry but Fully Developed in All Possible Lines. Santa Clarita, CA: C. Boyer, 2001. /Gc 929.72 B695m/

Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry of Great Britain and Ireland. London: various editions, 1879-1939. /Gc 929.7205 B91g/

Burke's Peerage, Baronetage, and Knightage. London: more than 100 editions. /Gc 929.72 B91/ Contains thousands of pedigrees.

Cokayne, G. E. The New Complete Peerage. London: St. Catherine's Press, 1910-59. 13 vols. /Gc 929.7201 C66c/ The best-documented source on titled families.

Faris, David. Plantagenet Ancestry of Seventeenth-Century Colonists: The Descent from the Later Plantagenet Kings of England, Henry III, Edward I, and Edward III, of Emigrants from

England and Wales to the North American Colonies before 1701. 2nd ed. Boston, Ma: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1999. /Gc 929.7201 F22pa/

Domesday Book. ed. by John Morris. Chichester, Eng.: Phillimore, 1975-. 34 vols. /Gc 942.0001 D66d/ Record of land holdings for noble and gentry families in England, ordered by William the Conqueror in 1086. Includes new indexes.

Harleian Society Publications. (1st ser.) vols. 1-117,1869-1977; (2nd ser.) vols. 1-, 1979- . /Gc 929.72062 .../Series includes most published visitations.

Keats-Rohan, K. S. B. Domesday People: A Prosopography of Persons Occurring in English Documents, 1066-1166. Rochester, NY: Boydell Press, 1999-2002. 2 vols. /Gc 942 K2296d/

Roberts, Gary Boyd. Royal Descents of 500 Immigrants to the American Colonies and the United States. 2nd ed. Baltimore, MD: Genealogical Publishing Company, 2001. /Gc 929.7 R54ra/

Weis, Frederick Lewis. Ancestral Roots of Certain American Colonists. 7th ed. Baltimore: G.P.C.,1992. /Gc 974 W43an/ Documented descents from English and European nobility. Be sure touse the most recent edition.

_______.Magna Charta Sureties, 1215. 5th ed. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1999. /Gc 929.7202 Ad17ma/ Documented descents from the barons who signed the Magna Charta.

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The department houses a large collection of English and Welsh periodicals, including county record society publications, and family history society journals. Check the PERiodical Source Index (PERSl) under the name of the family or locality for citations to relevant articles. For additional references, check:

Federation of Family History Societies. Family History News and Digest. 1975-. /Gc 942 F21114/ Upto- date news, lists of publications and addresses for all member societies.

Mullins, E. L. C. Texts and Calendars: An Analytical Guide to Serial Publications. London: Royal Historical Society, 1958 and 1983. /Gc 016.942 M91t and M91ta/ A descriptive guide to articles appearing in record society publications to 1956; the supplement updates it to 1982.

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Audio Cassettes

Recorded lectures on English and Welsh genealogical topics given at national genealogical

conferences can be checked out at the reference desk by any patron with valid identification. Check with a librarian if you want to learn more about these tapes.

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