Emigration was a fact of life for many families in the nineteenth century. I have ancestors on both my mother’s and father’s side who emigrated leaving children behind in England. If you cannot find a family member in the census, or the registration of their death, then emigration should be one of your first thoughts.
Do you have ancestors who were Church of England priests, or do you want to check who was the incumbent at a particular church? If so, a new website about Church of England clergy 1540-1835 at http://eagle.cch.kcl.ac.uk:8080/cce/index.html will be of great use to you.
Reviewing books is much easier than writing about the Internet. A published book is a finished item and is unchangeable. Websites, however, change all the time, and although a major redesign can mean a re-launch with lots of publicity, sometimes the changes are more subtle and incremental. Changes can also mean the addition of new information, a way of making it easier to retrieve or understand information, or a new charging system. Unfortunately, it is sometimes difficult to recognise changes, and to remember what something was like previously, but here are two examples that I found recently.
In a very short space of time, Ancestry.co.uk seems to have become accepted as the principal online source of census information. The big news from Ancestry is that they now have the 1841 census available to complete their collection of census material for England & Wales.
Most family historians know how useful wills can be, as they often detail relationships and confirm useful facts like the surnames of married daughters. A secondary source of probate information are the Death Duty Registers, which were compiled when death duty was payable on an estate.
It is only three years since the first appearance of the 1901 census, and although there were substantial teething problems, it is now established as one of the prime sources for British family history.