Please note that opinions expressed are those of the writer, not EFU3A.
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1. If possible, interview elderly relatives and collect as much information as you can.
2. Obtain marriage certificate (see image 1 at bottom of page) of your parents which may show ages, occupations and addresses, and will show place, date of marriage, and names of both fathers ie your grandfathers. Certificate ordering phone number 0845 603 7788 £9.25 each, or see link to "Certificate Ordering Service" at bottom of page. You'll need to give the year, quarter, district, volume & page number which can be found in BMD Index (Births, Marriages Deaths). See links at bottom of page.
3. Obtain birth certificates (see image 2 at bottom of page) of both parents (BMD Index) which will show date, place of birth, their father's full name and occupation, their mother's (your grandmother's) full name and maiden name and where they were living. Order as before.
4. From there work back to the marriages and then the births of your grandparents and their ancestors (BMD Index) and you can keep repeating this process until you are back to the beginning of general registration in 1837.
5. However, once you have names, ages, places of birth or address of an ancestor living before 1912, you will be able to speed up your research by looking at the 1841-1911 Census (see image 3 at bottom of page) to find a family with their birthplaces and approximate birth years. (For Scottish records, see link to "Scotlands People" at bottom of page.)
6. Once you have found in a census or certificate, an ancestor born before general registration, use birthplace and date in the census or certificate to find their baptism (see image 4 at bottom of page) in a parish register with the aid of the IGI (International Genealogical Index). (Other sources available for Roman Catholics, Non-Conformists, Quakers, Jews, etc.)
7. Then work back to the parents' marriage (see image 5 at bottom of page) in a parish register and then the baptisms of the parents of that ancestor in parish registers again with the help of the IGI.
8. If you ever need help, join the Family History group or seek their advice. You can send a message to the group leader via the email link at top of page. Alternatively, see Prospectus for group details.
Access sites below from your computer or library. Loughton & Ilford Libraries have copies of the IGI; Ilford (phone 020 8708 2417) also has FREE access to BMD Index.