The premier resource for tracing your British and Irish ancestors
Why choose Origins.net? By Peter Christian MA FSG
Access some of the richest British and Irish genealogy records for under £5 a month
Take your family tree back further with our unusual, hard-to-find, older records
Origins is ideal for family historians who are moving on from the first stages of their family history and need to find older records to take the family tree back further, or who want investigate less usual and hard-to-find sources to fill out the picture of an ancestor’s life.
Indexes provide names and source references so you can locate and consult the original document, but in many cases Origins includes abstracts, page images of originals, or additional information, making it easier to identify the entry you are looking for.
A collection of Help pages & Articles introduce you to the information provided by each type of record and show how these documents can further your family history research.
Explore specialist British and London records in British Origins
British Origins offers an outstanding range of records covering England and Wales. Alongside core general sources like the censuses and parish register marriage and burial records, there is a wealth of more specialised material: apprenticeship records, with details of occupations; court records relating to inheritance disputes and many other matters; militia recruitment records; and poor law abstracts relating to poverty and illegitimacy, with information on some of your more unfortunate ancestors.
British Origins is particularly strong in London records, with marriage and burial records, and apprenticeship abstracts for the City’s livery companies.Learn more
Our National Wills Index helps you locate a will no matter where it was proved
Wills are an invaluable source for family historians, providing details of family relationships and fascinating information about the wealth and property of your ancestors.
But because wills before 1858 are held by so many different church courts, locating the will of a particular ancestor can be a challenging and time-consuming task.
Origins aims to solve this problem with the National Wills Index, a growing resource, which will cover the whole of England and Wales and which will enable you to locate a will no matter where it was proved.
Overcome obstacles in Irish research with our key Irish records
Researching Irish ancestry presents particular difficulties, with most census records destroyed and civil registration starting later than elsewhere in the British Isles. But Irish Origins has a whole range of material to help overcome these obstacles, including Griffiths Valuation, which lists all Irish householders, some surviving early census returns, and 19th century directories. For those who can get back further, the site has indexes to over 200,000 Irish wills.
Emigration plays a role in many Irish pedigrees, and and Irish Origins’ passenger lists and indexes of Irish emigrants in the UK census indexes will help you trace those who left Ireland. Origins’ unique combination of UK and Irish sources makes it the ideal place to research Irish emigrant ancestors.Learn more
Order original documents
Origins’ indexes will always give a full reference to the original sources so that you can check the information and access other details in the original. But for a number of resources, Origins provides an online ordering service for hard copies of the originals, which will save you the time and expense of a visit to the archive which hold those originals.
Research from abroad
If you are seaching your British or Irish ancestry from outside the British Isles, Origins resources can help you make progress with your family tree in advance of, or even without, a visit. Many of Origins’ sources are records not easily available outside the British Isles. The censuses will help you identify family groups, even if you are not sure where a migrant family came from. Parish register indexes and the National Wills Index will help push your line back even further. The document ordering facility will deliver copies of original records to your door. If you are unfamiliar with records of the British state, you can turn to Origins’ help pages for useful background information about each type of record and what you can expect to learn from it.
Origins offers a range of subscriptions: you can subscribe separately to British Origins (which includes the National Wills Index) and Irish Origins, while the Origins Total Access subscription gives you access to all of Origins’ records and resources.