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Genealogy: reference sources

This is a selective list of reference sources relating to genealogy which are available in the Humanities Reading Room. Electronic resources can be accessed in the Electronic Resources Rooms in both Humanities - Floor 1 and 2. The shelfmark of each item is given at the end of every citation.

Bibliographies | Family histories | Dictionaries | Parish registers | Guides | Wills | Series | Poll books and electoral registers
 

Bibliographies

B.W. Christmas, Sources for one-name studies and for other family historians: a selected list and finding aid. London: Guild of One-Name Studies, 1991.
HLR Enquiry Desk 929.341 P
P.W. Filby, American & British genealogy & heraldry: a selected list of books. 3rd ed. Boston: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1983. 1982-1985 supplement, 1987.
HLR929.3
G. Gatfield, Guide to printed books and manuscripts relating to English and foreign heraldry and genealogy. London: Mitchell and Hughes, 1892.
HLR929.016
C.R. Humphery-Smith, A Genealogist's bibliography. [New ed.] Chichester: Phillimore, 1985.
HLR929.342
S.A. Raymond, English genealogy: a bibliography. 3rd ed. Birmingham: Federation of Family History Societies, 1996.
HLR Enquiry Desk 929.342 P

Dictionaries

T.V.H. Fitzhugh, Dictionary of genealogy. 5th ed. rev. by S. Lumas. London: A & C Black, 1998.
HLR929.1
S. Colwell, Dictionary of genealogical sources in the Public Record Office. London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1992.
HLR Enquiry Desk 929.341
P. Saul, Family historian's enquire within. 5th ed. Birmingham: Federation of Family History Societies, 1995.
HLR Enquiry Desk 929.1

Guides

M.D. Herber, Ancestral trails. Stroud: Sutton, 1997. Repr. 1998.
HLR929.341
R. Harvey, Genealogy for librarians. 2nd ed. London: Library Association, 1992
HLR Enquiry Desk 929.341
D.E. Gardner and F. Smith, Genealogical research in England and Wales. 3 vols. [Vol. 3 is of the rev. ed.] Salt Lake City: Bookcraft Publishers, 1956-66.
HLR929.10942
Guildhall Library, A Guide to genealogical sources in Guildhall Library. Compiled by R. Harvey. 4th ed. London: Guildhall Library, 1997.
HLR Enquiry Desk 026.929 P
Guildhall Library, The British overseas: a guide to records of their births, baptisms, marriages, deaths and burials available in the United Kingdom. 3rd (rev.) ed. London: Guildhall Library, 1995.
HLR Enquiry Desk 929.3089 P

Series

The Society of Genealogists produces a series of booklets entitled My ancestor was/My ancestors were. Those we hold are listed in the catalogue and kept in the pamphlet boxes at the Reference Enquiry Desk in Humanities - Floor 1.
The Federation of Family History Societies produces guides for genealogists on various topics. Many of these are by Jeremy Gibson and known as the Gibson guides. Those we hold can be traced in the catalogue and most are kept in binders or in the pamphlet boxes at the Reference Enquiry Desk in Humanities - Floor 1.

Family histories

Published family histories are entered in the catalogue both under the author and under the name of the family. In the printed catalogue the entry for a family appears before the first entry for an author of that name. For example, ROBINSON, Family of would appear before ROBINSON (Albert). Privately printed family histories may not be in the Library's collections. Some can be traced in T.R. Thomson, A Catalogue of British family histories. 3rd ed with addenda. London: Research Publishing Co., 1980.
HLR929.20941
References to material on family history in county histories, periodicals, series, etc. may be found in: G.W. Marshall, The Genealogist's guide. Guildford: Billing and Sons, 1903.
HLR929.341
J.B. Whitmore, A Genealogical guide. London: Walford Bros, 1953.
HLR929.20941
G.B. Barrow, The Genealogist's guide. London: Research Publishing Co., 1977.
HLR929.20941
Many works cited in the guides by Marshall, Whitmore and Barrow, are on the open shelves in Humanities - Floor 1.

Parish registers

The chief sources of information about births, marriages and deaths before civil registration in 1837 are the local registers of baptism, marriage and burial. The Society of Genealogists is preparing a National index of parish registers: a guide to Anglican, Roman Catholic and Nonconformist registers before 1837 together with information on marriage licences, Bishop's transcripts and modern copies, which aims to list all known registers, transcripts and printed editions.
The following series of printed registers is on the open shelves in the Humanities Reading Room: Harleian Society Publications, Registers.
HLX929.341
Some parish register copies held in the Library are listed in the catalogue under the name of the parish, e.g. DURHAM.- Church of St. Mary-le-Bow. Many printed registers are not entered separately in the catalogue. There are several guides to library holdings of parish register copies at HLR929.341 and an online list of those held by the Society of Genealogists. The guides listed below can be used to trace whether a copy of the register exists in printed form within a serial publication.
C.R. Humphery-Smith (ed), The Phillimore atlas and index of parish registers. Chichester: Phillimore, 1984.
HLR929.342
E.L.C. Mullins, A Guide to the historical and archaeological publications of societies in England and Wales 1901-1933. London: Athlone Press, 1968.
HLR941
E.L.C. Mullins, Texts and calendars: an analytical guide to serial publications. London: Royal Historical Society, 1958. (RHS Guides and Handbooks no. 7). -- Texts and calendars II: an analytical guide to serial publications, 1957-1982. London: Royal Historical Society, 1983. (RHS Guides and Handbooks no. 12).
HLR941
Texts and calendars since 1982: a survey. Available online only.
Boyd's marriage index is held by the Society of Genealogists. A list of the parishes covered by the Index is contained in: P.A. Boyd, A List of parishes in Boyd's marriage index. 6th ed. London: Society of Genealogists, 1987. (Repr. 1992 as: Library sources no. 3)
HLR Enquiry Desk 929.342 P
The International Genealogical Index (or I.G.I.) is an index to parish registers created by the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-Day Saints. It is not available at the British Library. The Society of Genealogists Library has the most recent edition on CD-ROM and it is available at the Family History Centres founded by the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-Day Saints.

Wills

Wills for England and Wales from 1858 are at the Principal Registry of the Family Division
A.J. Camp, Wills and their whereabouts. 4th ed. rev. London: A.J. Camp, 1974.
HLR Enquiry Desk 929.342
J. Cox, An Introduction to affection defying the power of death: wills, probate & death duty records. Birmingham: Federation of Family History Societies, 1993.
HLR Enquiry Desk 929.342 P
J. Gibson, Probate jurisdictions: where to look for wills. 4th ed. Birmingham: Federation of Family History Societies, 1994.
In binder: HLR Enquiry Desk 929.34
J. Gibson, Wills and where to find them. Chichester: Phillimore for the British Record Society, 1974.
HLR Enquiry Desk 929.342

Poll books and electoral registers

Poll books are lists of voters compiled locally showing the candidates for whom each person voted and were published from about the end of the 17th century up to the Ballot Act of 1872. Large collections are held at the Institute of Historical Research and the Guildhall Library. County record offices and local libraries hold substantial collections for their own areas. Poll books in the British Library are entered in the catalogue under the name of the borough or county e.g.: Chester, [Official Documents - Poll Books]. The best single source of information about the Library's holdings is Cheffins, Parliamentary constituencies (see below).
Electoral registers are compiled annually and list those entitled to vote. The British Library's holdings of electoral registers can be consulted in the Social Sciences Reading Room. More details of the Library's holdings can be found in United Kingdom electoral registers and their uses and Cheffins, Parliamentary constituencies (below).
R.H.A. Cheffins, Parliamentary constituencies and their registers since 1832: a list of constituencies from the Great Reform Act with the British Library's holdings of electoral registers together with the Library's holdings of burgess rolls, poll books and other registers. London: British Library, 1998.
OPL ERR
J. Sims (ed.), A Handlist of British parliamentary poll books. Leicester: University of Leicester History Department, 1984. (Occasional publication, University of Leicester History Department, no. 4)
OPL324.2410942
Society of Genealogists, Directories and poll books including almanacs and electoral rolls in the Library of the Society of Genealogists. 6th ed. London: The Society, 1995. (Library sources, no.5) [Previous editions published as: Catalogue of directories and poll books]
HLR Enquiry Desk 929.341 P
J. Gibson and C. Rogers, Poll books c1696-1872: a directory to holdings in Great Britain. 3rd ed. Birmingham: Federation of Family History Societies, 1994.
In binder: HLR Enquiry Desk 929.34
J. Gibson and C. Rogers, Electoral registers since 1832. 2nd ed. Birmingham: Federation of Family History Societies, 1990.
OPL324.2410942

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