Family History

Family History UK – Discover your Family History Today! can assist you in discovering your Family History, exploring census records and building your family tree. We list local Family History resources and many other genealogical records.

History of Genealogical and Family History Research

Family Trees have been built since the earliest times.  The Bible includes the genealogy of Jesus Christ. Our present Royal Family have a Royal Family Tree that goes back to Alfred The Great. There are multiple different families living today who claim to be from the line of Confucius which is the oldest extant Family Tree in the World.  DNA testing by Fudan University in 2013 showed that they all did had the same Y chromosone. Whilst it is impossible to prove they are from the Confucius line (as they do not have his DNA) Professor Han Sheng was able to say “it is a significant finding…”.

Growth of Family History Research

Prior to the modern era, genealogical studies would have often been restricted to the aristocracy to prove lineage and so help secure power and titles. Often these studies would have been closely linked to Heraldry and the designs of Coats of Arms to reflect a family’s ancestry.  In the modern era the availability of Family History Records has made the study of Genealogy and Family Trees much more widespread and anyone can now study and build their Family Tree or consider pursuing a career as a Genealogist.  The use of the computer has enabled vast quantities of records to be archived and available for modest fees or sometimes for free.

Build your Family Tree using the website

The Family History Team at will be providing useful information for genealogical studies and family history research. We will try to ensure that the site is informative and only includes useful information for anyone looking to build a family tree online. To access all the main UK Censuses try the 14 day free trial period offered below. We have teamed up with the popular family history website FindMyPast and you will have access to most of records including all the UK censuses (excluding the 1939 register in the one month package), parish records, passenger lists, military collection and newspaper archives.

Use for UK Census Records, Births, Marriages and Death Records, Parish Records, Emigration Records, Military Records and a lot more. You will find direct links through to all of the main British Census records of 1841 – 1911 and links to the 1939 Register.

Visit our information pages to find clubs, societies, genealogists and more.

UK Census History

Full censuses have been taken in the UK every 10 years since 1801 with the exception of 1941 due to the second world war. Unfortunately the 1931 census was destroyed in a fire in Hayes, Middlesex in 1942. However a National Register was taken in 1939 at the outbreak of the Second World War due to the need to introduce Identity Cards and rationing.  This Register followed the same lines as the normal censuses, with most of the same information, so the 1939 Register does help bridge the gap between the 1921 Census and the 1951 Census.

There was no census taken in Northern Ireland and the Irish Free State in 1921.  The first four censuses i.e. from 1801-1831 were statistical with no personal information collected.  The first census in 1801 was initially taken to ascertain the number of men in the country that were available to fight in the Napoleonic Wars.  An English Government official  and statistician by the name of  John Rickman is credited with drafting the first bill which was to become the 1800 Census Act.  This passed into law in December 1800.

Family History – Where do I start?

Treat this as a fun project – start by writing down details of all the living family relatives you can think of.  It’s a great chance to speak to some family members that you may have lost contact with.  Living relatives are a great source of information.  Grandparents may hold a lot of information that they’ve never shared in the past.  They may remember names and addresses that will prove invaluable to your search.  Write the information down, record it if they are comfortable with that. The BBC Family History section has a great free guide on ‘where to begin’ and a lot of interesting information and resources.  Here’s the link: