Discovering the history of Barrow Upon Soar......

How to trace your Family


Information that may be useful when researching your family.

How to trace your Family (MS Word 30K)

1. Starting Out

Family history demands a step by step approach, working back in time. Begin by finding out what your family already knows. Who is your earliest known relative? Do you have the date and place of that person's birth, marriage or death? Draw up a family tree showing the known people in your family, their dates, and how they relate to each other, starting with yourself at the bottom. Then you can see where there are gaps.

2. Is Anyone Else Researching Your Family?

British Isles Genealogical Register (BIG-R 2000), published by the Federation of Family History Societies, on CDROM and in separate county sections on microfiche, lists more than 155,000 surnames, recording the places, counties and dates of families currently being researched, with the names and addresses of contributors. Copies of the microfiche editions for 1997 and 2000 are held at the Family Records Centre (FRC), 1 Myddelton Street, Islington, London EC1R 1UW (020 8392 5300;
Genealogical Research Directory, National and International, edited by K A Johnson and M R Sainty (Sydney, annual, 1981-) contains similar information about world-wide ancestral researches, and includes a section on one-name studies. This indicates collectors of every reference to particular surnames. You can search a consolidated list of entries between 1990 and 1999 on CD-ROM at the FRC.
The Guild of One-Name Studies, Box G, Society of Genealogists, 14 Charterhouse Buildings, Goswell Road, London EC1M 7BA, regularly publishes its Register of One Name Studies. This is also available online at

3. Records of Births, Marriages and Deaths From 1 July 1837

4. Divorces

From January 1858, it became possible for people to obtain a civil divorce, freeing both partners to remarry. You can search microfilm copies of the indexes to matrimonial causes between 1858 and 1958, in series J78  at the Family Records Centre and The National Archives. Each cause was assigned a number matching up with the files between 1858 and 1937 in series J77 , which you can search at The National Archives. The indexes from 1928 to 1958 relate to causes filed in the Principal Registry only, and only a representative sample of files has been preserved for the period 1938 to 1954, listed in J77  by surname. If you want to buy a copy of a decree of divorce granted elsewhere after 1928, or filed in the Principal Registry later than 1937, you will need to visit the Decree Absolute Search Section, Principal Registry of the Family Division, First Avenue House, 42-49 High Holborn, London WC1V 6NP (020 7947 7017). This is open Monday to Friday from 10.00am until 4.30pm.

For more details about records on divorces see The National Archives research guides: Divorce Records before 1858 and Divorce Records after 1858   


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Last Updated. 15-April-2019 By admin