Websites

For family history research.

Official Sites

Records Offices and Register Offices

Bristol Register Office

https://www.bristol.gov.uk/births-deaths-marriages

Here are details of location, opening hours, etc, and also a list of the registers destroyed by bomb damage in the Second World War.

Bristol Archives

https://www.bristolmuseums.org.uk/bristol-archives/

The Bristol Archives are located in 'B Bond', at Smeaton Road, Hotwells, Bristol. The telephone number for enquiries is 0117 922 4224.

Gloucestershire Record Office

https://www.gloucestershire.gov.uk/archives

The Record Office is in Clarence Row, Gloucester. The website features a very useful online wills index. A list of locations of parish records for the whole of Gloucestershire (including places such as Clifton and Fishponds which are now within Bristol) can be found on the GENUKI site.

The Somerset Archive and Record Service

https://swheritage.org.uk/somerset-archives/

The Somerset Heritage Centre is at Brunel Way, Langford Mead, Norton Fitzwarren, Taunton, TA2 6SF. A list of locations of parish records for the whole of Somerset (including locations such as Brislington and Bedminster which are now within Bristol) can be found here.

Bristol Central Library

https://www.bristol.gov.uk/libraries-archives/reference-library

The Bristol Central Library holds 1841 - 1891 census records on microform for the whole of our area, and the 1901 census on a less wide coverage. It also holds microfiche copies of the General Records Office records of births, marriages and deaths from 1837, and many other resources of use to the family historians.

General Register Office

https://www.gro.gov.uk/gro/content/certificates/

This is the government body which keeps the records of births, marriages and deaths. It has details on how to order certificates by post or online.

Bath Record Office

https://www.batharchives.co.uk/

The Bath Record Office holds microfiche copies of pre 1900 parish registers for the whole of North East Somerset. Also Bath voters lists, street directories, wills, apprenticeships, and non-conformist church records.

Know Your Place

https://maps.bristol.gov.uk/kyp/

Bristol City Council launched this site in 2011 with maps of Bristol from 1750 to the present day. Designed primarily to identify the location of places of historic interest and sites illustrated in the Braikenridge Collection, the site has many maps from different times including one aerial photograph, all of which can be enlarged and shown at the same scale. It offers hours of pleasure to anyone wanting to know how places have changed over the years. Although the modern maps cover the whole city, the older ones are only of the central area.

Members Websites

Here are some websites owned and produced by members of the Society. Members, please get in touch if you have a website which you think may be of interest to other members.

ancestor-search.info

http://www.ancestor-search.info/

Suzanne and Richard Brown have combined her family history skills with his "like for playing with computers" to produce a website aimed at providing all the basic links for those tracing their English and Welsh ancestors and to describe the sources in clear terms - have they succeeded? Have a look and let them know!

Bitton Families

http://www.bittonfamilies.com/

Marsha and Clare have built this site (Marsha is a BAFHS overseas member) where you can find loads of information including transcriptions and extractions from Bitton and surrounding parishes in Gloucestershire and Somerset.

Bristol Family History

https://www.familyhistorydirectory.co.uk/england/gloucestershire/bristol/

Over the last thirty years, Pat Lindegaard has collected information from miscellaneous records including parish registers, newspapers, criminal records, wills and other sources to create an index of historical inhabitants of the Forest of Kingswood, including the parishes of Bitton, St George, Mangotsfield, Siston, Wick & Abson, St Philip & St Jacob etc. She makes it available (for free) on her website. Pat would welcome any Bristol family history anecdotes to add to the website.

Bristol, W.D. & H.O. Wills and NAPIER family history

http://www.davenapier.co.uk

Dave's site has three themes: Bristol including a list of all the Mayors and Sheriffs of Bristol from 1216AD; W.D.& H.O.Wills, the famous Bristol tobacco company, there are some good photos of production methods in the 1920s; and there is a section on NAPIER family history.

High Littleton and Hallatrow History and Parish Records

https://highlittletonhistory.org.uk/

Michael Browning was an original member of B&AFHS and one of our Vice Presidents. He died in 2006 but this web site continues to be maintained by his family for those interested in High Littleton and Hallatrow - includes parish record and census transcriptions.

John Davies Mereweather

http://www.mereweather.net/

A web site by Ole Pein from Sweden with an international flavour about the life of John Davies MEREWEATHER. Never heard of him? Well, visit the site, learn, and be impressed!

Ridler Family History

https://www.tonyridler.com/

The family history web site of the Ridler Family. Also includes the ANCRUM family.

West Penwith Resources

https://west-penwith.org.uk/home.htm

Rick and Mary Parson site will be very useful to anyone interested in this western extremity of Cornwall. You will also find a base for the one name study of the RENOWDEN family.

Bristol Home Children

http://bristolhomechildren.co.uk/

Shrley Hodgson's website gives loads of useful historical background to the practice of emigrating children to Canada and provides a listing of names.

Victorian Photos

http://www.users.waitrose.com/~victorian/index.htm

Roger Vaughan is a member of the Society. His site includes a useful list of Bristol photographers and their dates.

Local Family History Society Sites

Some of the local societies around us were formed after the Bristol and Avon FHS and boundaries may overlap.

LDS Family History Centres

https://www.familysearch.org/en/

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints has a world-wide interest in family history, and its facilities are open to both church members and the general public.

Gloucestershire FHS

http://gfhs.org.uk/

Covers the area to the north of our Society

Wiltshire FHS

https://www.wiltshirefhs.co.uk/

Covers the area to the east of our Society

Weston-Super-Mare & District FHS

http://www.wsmfhs.org.uk/

Covers the south-west of the old County of Avon, and extends into North Somerset

Cornwall Family History Society

https://www.cornwallfhs.com/

Devon Family History Society

http://www.devonfhs.org.uk/

Dorset Family History Society

https://www.dorsetfhs.org.uk/

Glamorgan Family History Society

https://www.glamfhs.org.uk/

Hampshire Genealogical Society

https://www.hgs-familyhistory.com/

Hereford Family History Society

https://www.herefordshirefhs.org.uk/

Isle of Wight Family History Society

http://www.isle-of-wight-fhs.co.uk/

Other Local Websites

Other websites with local history or family history content.

Avon Local History and Archaeology

http://www.alha.org.uk/

Local organisation for those interested in local history.

Bath BMD

http://www.bathbmd.org.uk/

The Register Office in the district of Bath and North East Somerset, England, holds records of local births, marriages and deaths back to the start of civil registration in 1837. Independent volunteers, are collaborating with the local Registration Service to make the indexes to these records freely searchable via the Internet. Although the indexes are not yet complete for all years and districts, the database will eventually cover Bath and North East Somerset births, marriages and deaths for the years 1837 to 2007.

Bitton Families

http://www.bittonfamilies.com/

Marsha and Clare have built this site (Marsha is a BAFHS overseas member) where you can find loads of information including transcriptions and extractions from Bitton and surrounding parishes in Gloucestershire and Somerset.

Bristol Churches

http://www.churchcrawler.co.uk/

This site by Phil Draper is a historic and architectural study of churches of all denominations in the greater Bristol area.

Bristol Family History

https://www.familyhistorydirectory.co.uk/england/gloucestershire/bristol/

Potentially useful data - particularly for those interested in the Kingswood area

Bristol and Gloucester Archaeological Society

http://www.bgas.org.uk/

Founded in 1876, the Society promotes "the study of the history and antiquities of Bristol and the historic County of Gloucestershire"

Bristol's Lost Pubs

http://bristolslostpubs.eu/

This site by Kevin Brice features information and old photographs of old public houses, in Central Bristol, Clifton Hotwells, St. Paul’s Easton Old Market St. George St. Philip’s Kingsdown Redcliff Bedminster plus other Districts such as North & East Somerset, Bath which have now disappeared. There is a pub name search facility and a potted history of George's Brewery.

Bristol Mayors and Sheriffs

http://www.davenapier.co.uk/mayors/mayorndx.htm

This section of a bigger site lists all the Mayors and sheriffs of Bristol from 1216AD. There are also historical notes about some of them.

Clevedon Civic Society

http://www.clevedon-civic-society.org.uk/

As well as lots of information about this town in North Somerset, about 10 miles south-west of Bristol, parish register and census information is available online.

Fishponds Local History Society

http://fishponds.org.uk/

Fishponds is in north-east Bristol and has its own history society.

High Littleton and Hallatrow History and Parish Records

https://highlittletonhistory.org.uk/

Michael Browning's site for those interested in High Littleton and Hallatrow - includes parish record and census transcriptions.

The KINGSWOOD History Society

http://www.kingswoodhistorysociety.org/

Kingswood local history, events programme and some pictures of visits.

The MALAGO Society

http://malago.org.uk/

The Malago Society is the local history society for south-west Bristol.

The George MULLER Foundation

https://www.mullers.org/

The George Muller Foundation is an evangelical Christian organisation, which has evolved from the Muller Homes, the major orphanage in nineteenth-century Bristol. The Organisation has extensive records of the children who were in its care.

Nailsea and District Local History Society

http://www.ndlhs.org.uk/

Nailsea is about ten miles south-west of Bristol. Although now largely a dormitory area, it had a thriving history in coal mining and glassmaking.

Portbury Hundred

http://www.portbury-hundred.co.uk/

The Portbury Hundred included villages and towns in North Somerset such as Nailsea, Clevedon, Long Ashton and the Gordano Valley. This website has transcriptions of parish registers, school log books and other documents.

Radstock Museum

http://radstockmuseum.co.uk/

Radstock is in the south of our area, about 15 miles from Bristol. It was one of the main centres of the North Somerset coalfield.

Thornbury & District Museum

http://www.thornburymuseum.org.uk/

Thornbury is a small town about 10 miles north of Bristol. The museum is run by volunteers and organises events concerned with the town and its history.

Tobacco - W.D. & H.O. Wills

http://www.davenapier.co.uk/wills/wdhowill.htm

Tobacco was one of the major Bristol industries. This section of a bigger site is about W.D.& H.O.Wills, the famous Bristol tobacco company, and about Imperial Tobacco, of which it became a part. There are some good photos of production methods in the 1920s.

Victorian Photos

http://www.users.waitrose.com/~victorian/index.htm

Roger Vaughan is a member of the Society. His site includes a useful list of Bristol photographers and their dates.

Winterbourne Family History

http://www.frenchaymuseumarchives.co.uk/

This site is presented by Frenchay Village Museum and contains family history resources for Frenchay, Hambrook and Winterbourne. There are parish records, other records of births, marriages and deaths, census transcriptions, photographs and much more.

Bristol 2014

http://www.bristol2014.com/

Bristol 2014 is an extensive programme of activity marking the centenary of the start of the First World War and looking at other conflicts that have had an impact on the city over the last century. Find out all about it on this website.

Keynsham & Saltford Local History Society

https://keysalthist.org.uk/online.htm

Local History Society website with online local Baptism Marriage and Burial records including Keynsham Cemetery

History of Bath Research Group

http://bathhistoricaldirectories.org.uk/

The 'History of Bath Research Group' are publishing digitised version of the Bath Directories. They have been working for the 4 years on this project and launched in November 2018 with a total of 15 of the 60 available directories completed. They are continuing to add directories as they are available.

The site is free to use and offers a wide range of search tools designed to get the most out of the entries, currently numbering just over a quarter of a million records.

It should make the job of researching Bath families from 1846 to the late 1930s much easier, no longer needing a trip to the Bath Record Office and much quicker generally to find people and organisations. Take a look if you have research interests in Bath!

Bristol Historical Association

https://bristolha.wordpress.com/

Local branch of The National Historical Association, an independent charity incorporated by Royal Charter which been supporting the study and enjoyment of history since 1906.

Handy Family History Links

This mixed list is distilled from searches to help visitors at our Research Room in the Bristol Records Office. Many of these links will appear elsewhere under the various subheadings in these lists.

Bristol Archives on-line catalogue

http://archives.bristol.gov.uk/

Neil Dun's GRO/Church Cross Reference for Marriages

https://neildun.co.uk/marriagexref/live/mainpage.htm

Familysearch

https://www.familysearch.org/en/

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints

Surnames

http://www.taliesin-arlein.net/names/

Surnames of England and Wales - the ONS list How common (or rare) is your surname?

CWGC

https://www.cwgc.org/

Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Bristol's Lost Pubs

http://bristolslostpubs.eu/

ALHA

http://www.alha.org.uk/

Avon Local History & Archaeology.

Streetmap

https://www.streetmap.co.uk/

Find locations, places, streets in the UK

Arnos Vale Cemetery

https://arnosvale.org.uk/

Know Your Place

https://maps.bristol.gov.uk/kyp/

Bristol City Council launched this site in 2011 with maps of Bristol from 1750 to the present day. Designed primarily to identify the location of places of historic interest and sites illustrated in the Braikenridge Collection, the site has many maps from different times including one aerial photograph, all of which can be enlarged and shown at the same scale. It offers hours of pleasure to anyone wanting to know how places have changed over the years. Although the modern maps cover the whole city, the older ones are only of the central area.

Genealogical Sites

GENUKI

https://www.genuki.org.uk/

The index of online family history resources for the U.K. and Ireland. It lists societies and organisations, record offices, and libraries, and also lists sites by county.

Federation of Family History Societies

https://www.familyhistoryfederation.com/

The Federation of Family History Societies (FFHS) is an educational charity which exists to represent, advise and support its membership of family history societies and other genealogical organisations worldwide. This page gives useful research tips on family history research:- https://www.familyhistoryfederation.com/resources-research-tips

Ancestor Search

http://www.ancestor-search.info/

This site is aimed particularly at newcomers to genealogy and provides loads of helpful advice and many useful links.

Findmypast

https://www.findmypast.co.uk/

A paysite with full online access to the 1841-1911 census collection, 1837-2006 BMDs, parish, migration and military records. Various options to subscribe, pay-as-you-go or buy vouchers.

The National Archives

http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/

The National Archives holds the A2A database containing catalogues of archives held across England and dating from the 900s to the present day as well as thousands of other archives.

Commonwealth War Graves Commission

https://www.cwgc.org/

LDS Family History Centres

https://www.familysearch.org/en/

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints has a world-wide interest in family history, and its facilities are open to both church members and the general public.

Family Tree Resources

https://www.familytreeresources.com/

Rachel Dunkley introduces her website saying, "Tracing your genealogy is like being a detective trying to solve a mystery, your own family being at the centre of it, just waiting to be discovered". She hopes that the information provided on her site will help you to embark on, "a magical journey back to the past." and she aims to help you on your way! If you are new to family history, you will find lots of helpful advice. Be aware that there are links to other commercial and pay websites but 'Family Tree Resources' seems to be a very helpful 'gateway'.

RootsWeb

https://www.rootsweb.com/

RootsWeb is an American co-operative organisation which hosts millions of pages of free genealogical data. It is also the home of the Roots Surname List, which lists other researchers of particular surnames, and RootsWeb World Connect, which contains information submitted by family historians all over the world. Largely of U.S. origin, this is the largest free international resource. RootsWeb also hosts a large number of mailing lists about individual counties, places and surnames.

Scotland's People

https://www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk

This General Register Office for Scotland site enables you to search records of births, marriages and deaths from 1553 onwards. There is a charge.

Ancestry

https://www.ancestry.co.uk/

The U.K. pages of this American organisation contain indexes to the 1841 -1901 censuses, together with access to the original census pages. You can either take out a subscription or use their pay-per-view system.