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Genealogy and Archives Websites A-Z

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Ancestors and Records: Websites, Sources and Tips A to Z

There are several beginners guides online. From this page of external references you can find pointers for research, how to access historical records including the Armed Forces, view census records or search the UK National Archives (TNA) Discovery pages. No guarantees or endorsements are given for external content.

There are several free services and indexes online, but applications to bureaucracy and the major commercial genealogy websites usually incur fees. Commercial genealogy websites offer free trials; check their terms and conditions, and their cancellation terms. Free trials can be cancelled during the trial period; you may be charged fees if you continue a subscription beyond the trial period.

For the British Army: other ranks who served after 1920, officers who served after 1922 including those who served during the Second World War and members of the Home Guard (except Durham) – service records are held by the Army Historical Disclosures Team. Full records will be released to proven next of kin. Only very basic information about deceased service personnel will be released to other enquirers, with slightly more detail made available 25 years after the date of death. The fee is currently £30 and there may be a lengthy wait for this service.


A full name and date of birth is a good way of distinguishing your subject from several other people with the same name. If they served, their unique service number is a primary identifier. The ArrsePedia Genealogy category with its wealth of useful pages, may be useful.

You could start with census records or search the UK National Archives (TNA), and Ancestry.com is currently free to use in public libraries. The following long list should cover most needs for the budding military genealogist:



Disclaimer: the listed websites and information were tested in April 2018. Websites and information therein are liable to change without notice. External websites are not endorsed.