English County Record Offices and Online Resources


There are many excellent resources out there for the genealogists studying their English heritage. We all know about sites such as Ancestry.com, FindMyPast.com and the the like. However, the English county record offices and other county-level governmental bodies are slowly but surely digitizing a great deal of old records. It is interesting that many of these projects are flying below the radar and many genealogists do not know about them.

Take for instance, Medway Council in Kent, which has received a grant in order to digitize many church records as part of the Medway Ancestors project. Also, Essex County Council, through its archives division, has posted a large body of digitized parish registers. Other county record offices are either conducting or co-operating with large-scale indexing of parish registers too. Those with Gloucestershire ancestors may wish to visit The Forest of Dean Parish Records Project, which has been created with the co-operation of Gloucestershire Record Office.

I’ve no doubt that the body of free-to-access genealogical material will continue to grow and so it is always worth checking in with the record office or county council in your area of interest. Some of these enterprises are being funded through the Heritage Lottery Fund and we can expect many more records to be freely accessble in the near future.

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