Other Records

Additional Background Information

There are many types of record, other than those previously mentioned, that can provide you with additional background information. This can assist you in getting a better understanding of the places and environments your ancestors grew up in, and help build a picture of what their daily life might have looked like.

Atlases and Maps

Atlases and Maps can be a great aid to finding where your ancestors lived. Over the years streets get knocked down, villages disappear and cities expand. During the second world war many streets were bombed and areas changed out of all recognition.

Some atlases include city and town centre plans and are at a large enough scale to show houses. Bartholomew's 1897 Atlas of England and Wales includes great detail, and shows the structure of towns and cities with outlines of streets. It contains detailed major town and city street maps showing locations no longer in existence through development and bombing in World War II.

1890s street map
1890s street map showing Westminster


These contain lists of place names with descriptions. They can give detailed information including information on barony, borough, burgh, chapelry, civil-parish, ecclesiastical parish, hamlet, liberty, market towns, parish, quoad sacra parish, riding, tithing, town land and townships, location, population, distance from nearest rail station, distance from either London or Dublin, soil conditions, natural resources, goods manufactured, names of churches, monuments, and historical information. Some also contain maps to illustrate the county sections.

School, College and University Records

These records give you information about pupils in a school or university – they usually include the name, birth date, entrance and leaving dates, address, and career information (where available). Some registers can also give details about the teachers and masters, matches, compet­itions, prize and honour lists, school sports results, challenge cup holders, and more.

University records usually give the same information, but include more detailed biographies of graduates, as well as listing their achievements. School, College and University records are useful for finding out more about your ancestors' education and to gain an understanding of how different education was back then.

Cheltenham School pupils
Pupils sitting an exam at the Cheltenham School.

Criminal Registers

Most criminal registers provide details of the offender, including name, aliases, court, offence and sentence or acquittal. These registers can be useful for finding criminals in your ancestral line – the only criminal registers I have found are for counties from 1805 to 1816, from S&N Genealogy Supplies.

Tips and Things to Remember

  • Consider spelling variants, wrong names and ages, and the possi­bility that some people were not recorded.

Searching Other Records

You should first try S&N Genealogy Supplies, as they have one of the largest highest-quality selections of directories available to download or on CD. They also sell Bartholomew's 1897 Atlas of England and Wales on a double CD set.

Also try The Genealogist – there are a number of specialist records available to search, including crew lists, landowner records, army lists, and more.

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