England Record Finder

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This table can help you decide which records to search. It is most helpful for research from 1800 to the present.

  • Step 1. Choose an ancestor you would like to know more about. Decide what information you would like to learn about that person. This new information is your research goal.
  • Step 2. In column 1 of this table, find the goal you selected.
  • Step 3. In column 2 of this table, find the types of records most likely to have the information you need; then read the sections in this outline about those types of records.
  • Step 4. Look in the Family History Library Catalog and choose a specific record to search.
  • Step 5. Look at the record.
  • Step 6. If you do not find the information you need, return to column 3 and search those record types. Note:Records of previous research (Genealogy, Biography, History, Periodicals, and Societies) are useful for most goals, but they are not listed unless they are especially helpful.

1. If You Need 2. Search These Record Types First 3. Search These Record Types Next
Age Census, Civil Registration, Church Records Cemeteries, Obituaries, Military Records
Birth date Civil Registration, Church Records Obituaries, Newspapers, Military Records, Occupations
Birthplace Census, Civil Registration, Church Records Obituaries, Newspapers, Occupations, Military Records
Place of foreign birth (not England) Church Records, Census Emigration and Immigration, Military Records
Parish, district, and county boundaries Gazetteers Maps, History
Death Civil Registration, Church Records, Obituaries, Newspapers, Cemeteries Probate Records, Court Records, Land and Property, Military Records
Historical background History, Genealogy Church History
Immigration date See research outline for country to which ancestor immigrated Emigration and Immigration, Church Records
Living relatives Directories, Civil Registration Societies, Newspapers, Periodicals
Maiden name Civil Registration, Church Records Obituaries, Newspapers, Cemeteries
Marriage Church Records, Civil Registration, Genealogy, Periodicals Newspapers, Biography, Nobility, Cemeteries
Occupation Church Records, Census, Directories, Civil Registration, Occupations, Probate Records Court Records, Obituaries, Officials and Employees, Military Records, Taxation
Parents, children, and other family members Census, Obituaries, Probate Records Church Records, Newspapers, Civil Registration
Physical description Military Records, Court Records Church Records, Newspapers, Civil Registration
Place-finding aids Gazetteers, Directories, Maps History, Taxation, Land and Property, Periodicals
Places of residence Census, Church Records, Directories Land and Property, Probate Records, Taxation
Place of residence when you know only the county Directories, Census, Probate Records, Civil Registration Church Records, Taxation
Previous research (compiled genealogy) Biography, Genealogy, Societies Nobility, Periodicals
Record-finding aids Archives and Libraries, Genealogy Societies, Periodicals
Religion Church Records, Biography, Obituaries, Civil Registration Cemeteries, Genealogy, History, Probate Records