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Recommend some websites please!

(2 Posts)
RagingWoman Sat 13-Jan-18 14:27:26

I am really interested in researching both sides of my family. One half is Welsh and Geordie. The other half is German, Dutch and Swedish

My mum has offered to buy me a subscription to an ancestry site for as long as needed. Are there any sites that would have info from Europe? I have some work that my German uncle did but a lot of it is speculation and unfortunately everyone from that side of the family is dead apart from a couple of cousins who are my age and don't know much about the family history.

Which sites are the best for things like census,marriage, birth and death records? And are there sites where you can potentially contact possible distant relatives? This is very new to me but I'd like to do it this year before my mum gets too old to remember anything. Her brother just died and there's no one else left from that generation. I'd like to be able to give my kids some links to the past in case they're interested one day.

Thanks smile

LittleCandle Sat 13-Jan-18 14:43:55

I use both ancestry and findmypast. I prefer the way ancestry set things out on screen, but that is my personal preference. You will need to get a worldwide membership to search outside of the UK and it is expensive! I have done the ancestry DNA test and it has given me names of people who are related to me who have also done the test. You will also find names cropping up and you can message them privately. I am in contact with a cousin that I did not know about, via that. Another word of warning - don't believe everything you find in family trees. Do your own research to prove it. I found a load of trees declaring that a distant ancestor was the son of an Earl. I couldn't understand why the son would then be living hand-to-mouth on a croft on the estate. I traced the baptismal record and found, not at all to my surprise, that this person was not related to the Earl. It was also easy to google the said Earl and discover he did not have a son with this name!

I use Scotland's People for finding BMD certificates and find the National Archives frustrating, in that you have to know for sure, or spend a lot of money buying certificates to find out if it is your relative. While you still pay on Scotland's People, you can actually view the certificates, before deciding to buy or not. You can also download the digital images to your PC.

It is worth taking a month's free membership of the main websites to see which you prefer. Also look at the family history magazines, which are informative, and family history societies. Be prepared to become totally absorbed! Good luck in your hunt!

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