Hints And Help For Beginners
Ideas for locating information for reference from GENUKI
The web is now a primary source of local information and, once you know where to look, it's relatively easy to find. Here we list some of the ways that have been found for locating relevant information. Of course, don't forget the famous web search engines like Google and Yahoo. If you search for a particular place name you will probably get too many hits, but with experience you will find the search terms to use to get what you want. In particular the tourist/local information and local government ones are particularly useful sources.
The suggestions that follow are grouped by location in the GENUKI hierarchy, under the appropriate subject headings to use on the pages. The links are those that contain information for any location within the specified subject and don't indicate where the link should sit in the GENUKI hiearchy. Have a search round each link as some have quite a lot of information and it's not always immediately obvious where to go.
Archives And Libraries
The relevant county record offices - their holdings are usually partly, if not completely, catalogued on their own web sites and/or the National Archives Discovery catalogue).
Mike Harbach (Staffordshire) suggests adding Bibliography sections to county parish pages by searching the on line British Library catalogue. However, note that the bibliography subject heading covers bibliographies of material about the area of the page, and specific books should be listed under the appropriate subject headings.
Brett Langston has provided and maintains a list of each English and Welsh county's registration districts.
Local History Magazine have a list of local history societies for each county.
- Look at Family History Society material, but respect copyright and don't just copy their information to GENUKI. Look at their book list and, for example, under the Census heading put a list of the indexes published, and piece number, with links where appropriate to the society.
- Find out where the Local Studies information is held, and add it to Archives and libraries.
- Under Probate give details for locating pre-1858 wills (England & Wales).
- Under cemeteries put details of all the cemeteries and churches which have or had graveyards. If you can get dates of when they were in use so much the better.
- The old directories such as Kelly and Barrett are mines of useful information. They often have dates when churches etc. were founded and other information specific to a particular town.
When you think you've finished
Before uploading your pages to the web please check all links. It is also a good idea to read through your pages carefully before uploading, possibly even reading them out loud to check that they make sense. It is easy when typing to miss out a letter, or transpose two letters. A quick read through can pick up on that. It may also be wise to make careful use of a spell-checker.
It's optional to include a What's New page with your county, so, when you have uploaded the new version of parish pages please ensure that the changes are added to your What's New page, if it exists.
After uploading your pages you should continue to maintain them, adding new information as it comes to light and correcting any mistakes which are pointed out to you. As time goes on, your pages will gradually evolve into a detailed information resource and will be of benefit to many researchers all over the world, thanks to your valuable contribution.