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from home


Although there comes a stage in tracing your ancestors when you are compelled to visit the relevant local or national repository to seek out the information you are after, a lot of research can be carried out in the comfort of your own home.

The internet has transformed the ease with which information about ancestors can be obtained. The number and range of online databases, discussion groups and web sites related to genealogy is continually expanding. It is no exaggeration to say that the internet has become a vital tool for the family historian. Key sources of information available over the internet are described in the internet sources section of this guide. Although much information can be accessed for free on the internet, many family historians decide it is worth subscribing to one or more of the growing number of pay-to-use sites - three of the top sites are compared in the section on subscription sites.

Along with the rapid growth in the internet, there has also been a substantial growth in genealogical information provided on CD-ROMs. This ranges from having the complete 1881 Census for England and Wales on CD-ROM to very much more localised and specific collections of genealogical information that have been compiled by local family history societies. Key sources of information available on purchasable CD-ROMs are described in the CD/DVDs section of this guide.

Although now days there is increasingly an internet or CD-ROM alternative, there is still a wealth of genealogical information available on publicly sold microfiche. See the microfiche section of this guide for an introduction to what is available.

Clearly genealogical book are a key source of information. Books we recommend in different areas of genealogical research are covered in the Books section of this guide.

Last but not least, the family historian can now easily order over the internet, by phone or by post, a copy of a specific birth, marriage or death certificate that he or she is interested in. Copy wills can also be readily ordered by post. See the copy documents section of this guide for details

This page last updated: 24 December 2007