Enthusiastic Genealogist can seem to speak a language of their own given the number of technical terms often used.

As I have come across terms I have often had to look them up. To assist family history researchers I have listed some of the terms that you will encounter and provided a non technical explanation.


 The Association of Genealogists and Researchers

They are one of the professional body for researchers. If you want to pay someone to do research they will be able top nominate a capable person to carry out your enquiry.


This is the genealogical record system preferred by the Church of the Latter-day Saints who provide the biggest and best free search records.


Census's have been carried out by governments for many years mainly for taxation purposes. Since 1841 the UK government has carried out a census every 10 years and have kept the records as a public document. The Census records the name,age,occupation and relationships of everyone living an each house in the UK on a given night.


Commonwealth War Graves Commission


This relates to a small area covered by a Census


Family History Federation. The FFHS is a national group although every area has its own FHS which is made up of local family history enthusiasts,


Family History Centres are run by the LDS to help trace ancestors.


Family Records Centre in London with indexes of births,marriages and Deaths since modern records began in 1837.


A free record of births,marriage and Death records- Not yet complete.


Family Tree Maker is one of the most popular software programs and provides the format FTM which is used for the majority of data disks.


Gedcom is the standard file format used on the internet to exchange information between different programs and web sites.


The General Record Office. This is sited within the Family records Centre and carries out he official side of the work.


International Genealogical Index is maintained by the LDS  from church registers and information supplied by the public. The database is very large and is held in awe as it was the first large database available to the public.


Church of the Latter Day Saints , often known as the Mormon Church. The church believes that it is import to it's members that they trace their ancestors for religious purposes and offered family history research before the internet became popular. They now have the biggest and best free databases of information


The National Irish Archive maintains records for Ireland


The National Scottish Archive maintains records for Scotland


Society of Genealogists provide training and maintain records many of which are unique


The National Archives is at Kew in London. This contains official national records ranging from the Domesday book to lists of sailors serving at Trafalgar.