Want to research your family history?
There are lots of free online resources to help get you started. If you have no experience of family history research, don’t worry.
Don’t forget, pop back in to the Central Library once it re-opens, to carry on your research and tap into resources only available in the Local Studies collection.
Our staff picks:
Founded in 1917, the Commonwealth War Graves Commission aims to honour the 1.7 million who died in both World Wars. Find out about the history of the commission and use the search facility to find information about those who died in war as well as details about specific cemeteries.
Deceased Online gives access to UK cemetery records by country, region, county, burial authority or name. Search for free and get a brief summary of results; note: there is a charge for access to the grave details, burial register scan and grave location.
Family Search contains thousands of family history records from around the world which are free to search. Note: registration is required to use the website, but there is no charge for use.
FreeBMD provides free to search Civil Registration indexes of births, marriages and deaths for England and Wales births from 1837 to 1983.
Use FreeCen to search census transcripts for England, Wales and Scotland from 1841 to 1891. Nottinghamshire has 100% coverage for all census years but this is an ongoing project and not all counties have full coverage.
FreeReg gives access to transcripts of parish registers for England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales, although be aware that coverage varies – check coverage by county under the ‘transcription’ heading. Records include Anglican, Catholic and non-Conformist records with several search filters to narrow your search.
Use the GRO website to freely search birth and death indexes. The birth indexes include the mother’s maiden name, and death registrations include age at death. You will need to register before you can search (which is free) or to purchase certificates – to register or to login and search use the ‘order certificates online’ option.
Genuki is a reference library of genealogical information with particular relevance to England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales. Find out historical details about counties and places, as well as a wealth of subjects from wills to census returns, churches to maps.
Search for 1st World War military and civilian Prisoners of War from the International Red Cross archives. Results include details of regiment, next of kin and place of internment, as well as tips to help with your search.
The Nottinghamshire Great War Roll of Honour is a searchable archive as well as a permanent tribute to local men and women who died during the First World War. Names have been collected from across 677 Nottinghamshire memorials in villages, town centres, churches and churchyards, parish halls, places of work, schools and sports clubs.
The War Graves Photographic Project aims to photograph every war grave, individual memorial, and family memorial of serving military personnel from WWI to the present day, for all nationalities and military conflicts, and make them available on a searchable database.
The government’s Wills and Probate website holds English and Welsh records from 1858 to the present day. Search is free with an option to purchase a copy of a will for a small charge.