Tracing your relatives has been made much easier with the vast increase in genealogical information available on the Internet in national databases like the census returns or on sites like Essex Family History that provides very localised information.

Even if all of this information is available even experience researchers find that they can spend hours following leads that turn out to be dead ends.

New researchers often find their first problem is where to look given the many services on offer and often conflicting advice from experts. Often specific advances take place so quickly that good advice in one month becomes poor advice a few months later.

To help newcomers I have listed a few of the lessons that I have learned since I became involved in family history research. This advice is specifically aimed at the United Kingdom but most of the tips would apply to many other countries.


Jargon Buster

As in all hobbies jargon is frequently used by enthusiasts. Newcomers may think that GEDCOM is an American Politician and that AGRA is a town in West Africa whereas they both have important meanings in Genealogy Circles.

To help you deal with the jargon Jungle Essex family History has prepared a page containing some or the common items of jargon that you may encounter. Please click the below button to visit the Jargon Buster page.

Top 10 Tips

When the first start Family History Research most people makes lots of mistakes, waste lots of time and find that every lead is a red herring. To assist beginners the site has compiled a top 10 list of tips gather from the bitter experience of researching family history. Given the ever increasing amount of information on the internet most of the tips are internet related.

Your old photos

Photographs are a neglected area of family history. Most families have boxes with old sepia photos of severe looking ancestors that can be treated a valuable source of information or junk. The pages may help you make the most of old photos.

Please click on the links to visit one of the above described sites with infiormation that may help your reasearch

Census Returns

How to make the most of Census Returns

Jargon Busters

Help with some of those Family History Abbreviations

Old Photos

Make the best use of your old family photos

Top 10  Family History Tips

10 tips based on personal experience  to stop you making the same mistakes


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Click the above logo to visit Find Who You Are which is a sister site containing hundreds of free pages of professional advice on finding your family tree


Essex Family History has it's own bookshop offering books about Eastern Essex  as well as  books/ CD's on Family History research. Click the below link to visit the bookshop.



Ancestry co uk

The largest collection of UK family history records online
Most complete UK Census collection available online (1841-1901)
The Scottish 1841-61 Censuses
FREE Birth, Marriage & Death indexes from 1837 to the present day
Over 580+ million records currently online
Parish and probate records dating back to the 1500s

Paid membership allows full search of the all the directories while free membership allows basic searches of most databases and a full search of a few although the free birth, marriage and death alone is well worth a visit. Click any of the below three links to visit

Lifers 120x60

FREE - Birth, Marriage & Death Records

Search the UK Census collection

Burkes Peerage

The definitive historical and genealogical guide to the major British, Irish and American families.

There are more than 1 million names in our 15,000+ records of British, Irish and American royalty, the peerage, presidential and other important families. Each has been meticulously researched by a team of professional genealogists to ensure the information is accurate, reliable and up-to-date.

The site also maintains records of most of the important houses and castles in the UK.

This is the site to visit if you hope to discover an ancestor who lived above stairs.

To visit the site click on the relevant link below.

Burke's Peerage & Gentry                            Castles and Stately Homes resource