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Research: The National Archives of England
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Many of us can trace our ancestry back to England and the British Isles and for this reason, The National Archives is one of the most important, if not the most important, source of information on our family history.

The old children’s rhyme about tinker, tailor, soldier, sailor, really does apply here. If your ancestor was English, it is essential to know what records are available here and how to access them, whether in person or from a distance.

The foundation stone of this archive is the Doomsday Book, the record of the whole country, a census if you will, instigated by William I in 1086. Records of British monarchs and governments through the ages are here from Henry VII’s Court of Star Chamber to the 1911 census.

The records may have been created by Kings or Queens or their governments but in the end, they are about people, our people, the ordinary man in street, who appealed to the Court of Star Chamber for justice or fought for his country in battles overseas.

This course is designed to help you learn how to explore this great archive, its holdings and how you can access them to help your research.

It covers records about our ancestor’s occupations, criminals, military men and emigration as well as records of divorce and dispute.

Course Content

Module 1
• Websites
Learning About The National Archives
The Keeper’s Gallery
What records are held at The National Archives?
What records are not held at The National Archives?
• Registration records of birth, marriage and death
• Census Returns
• Parish Registers
• Wills
The Catalogue
• Understanding the department codes
• Getting Help
Visiting The National Archives in person
• Travelling to The National Archives
• Rules
Viewing and ordering documents at The National Archives
• Ordering and copying original documents
• Document Reading Rooms
• Copying Documents
• Yellow Document Ticket System
Using The National Archives from a distance
• Ordering copies of documents not available to download
• What they cannot provide
• Hiring an Independent Researcher

Module 2
Birth, Marriage, Death, Divorce, Dispute & Inheritance
• Websites
• Introduction
• Nonconformist Registers
• Wills
• Death Duty Registers
• Chancery Documents
• Divorce
• Family Trees and Pedigrees

Module 3
Military Records
• Websites
• Soldier’s Families
• Muster Pay Rolls
• First World War Records (1914-1918)
Sailors - Royal Navy
• Service from 1853 to 1872 (series ADM 139)
• Service from 1873 to 1923 (series ADM 188)
Royal Marines
Merchant Seamen
• 1857-1913
• After 1913
• First World War Medals
• Second World War Medals

Module 4
Criminal Ancestors, Transportation, Emigration and Immigration
• Websites
• Records of Criminality
• Records of the Justices of Assize for the period 1554-1971
• Prison Records
Travel: Immigration & Emigration
• Incoming Passenger lists (1878-1860)
• Outgoing Passenger lists (1890-1960)
• Foreign Arrivals
• Aliens’ Registration Cards 1918-1957
• Other Records

Module 5
Occupational Records
• Websites
Customs and Excise Officers
• Customs Officers
Police Officers
• Staff Records
• Pension Records
Recommended Reading

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