The Spratt = Cruse Family History Website

Links to Useful Websites

Every genealogist and family historian should be aware of the major websites for researching their families on the internet, but we list some of them here to be as helpful as possible.  With the rise of the Internet and the use of broadband connections to speed the search a lot of what we have done over the years can now be done online - no more travelling to the major centres in London, such as Portugal Street to see the census on microfilm or Somerset House to see wills, but a good genealogist will still need to check every reference to see that anything provided by others is valid to the family.  Please do not be fooled into thinking that because it is on the Internet it is true!  We have found that Family Historian is the best program to record our research and it is very easy to use; the program is UK authored, is Copyright 2008 Calico Pie Limited, and has excellent query facilities that allow instant retrieval of information in easy to use reports and diagrams.  See also the Family Historian User Group, FHUG, which is an independent web-site set up by Family Historian users for the benefit of Family Historian users. It also is free, has articles, forums, links, downloads (including queries uploaded by other users), video demos of how to use advanced features, polls, a Wish List you can vote on, and a newsletter.  Paper archives will never be superseded, so it is essential to keep any paper material in good storage facilities, and please remember to tell your family what to do with it when you are beyond searching for that missing link!
The premier site for UK and Ireland genealogists is GENUKI, and everyone should start at this site to see what is relevant to their own area of research.  Cyndi's List is a very useful list of resources that are available world-wide.  Curious Fox is the site for information about English villages, if your village has been added by someone with an interest in the place - maybe you could add information for others to share!  The Guild of One-Names Studies, GOONS, is the world's leading organisation for one-name studies and has members who major on a name and its variants, so check to see whether the names you are researching are listed.  The National Archives, formerly the Public Record Office has much to offer the budding genealogist or family historian.  Part of TNA is the major database of information set up under the Access to Archives scheme which links many major collections across the UK and makes information which was tucked away in repositories not normally open to the public accessible.   The Society of Genealogists, has the largest collection of genealogical and family history material in the UK, the annual subscription is quite modest and they have a searchable website so that you do not have to travel to London to see items, but a visit is always worthwhile.  The SoG also have regular lectures on genealogical subjects, including the use of computers/software to help with your family history.  The Commonwealth War Graves Commission was set up after WWI to look after the graves of Commonwealth personnel killed in the many theatres of war.  Their website lists all Commonwealth soldiers, sailors and airmen who died and the place of burial. The site also has details of the actions in which people were killed and is very easy to print off the details and commemoration certificates.
Family History Societies (FHS) are a must - particularly the county FHS where you had ancestors.  The Federation of FHS lists all the major FHS in the UK so we only list some of the FHS that we have used, starting with our own county of Essex - the Essex Society for Family History.  The Devon FHS covers anything that is related to Devon, the Somerset & Dorset FHS cover both counties in great depth, whilst the London Westminster & Middlesex FHS covers a vast area of London and Middlesex.  Record offices should be high in the list of places to visit, not literally, but via your broadband connection; see for example; the Devon Record Office,  the Essex Record Office, the Guildhall Library, the London Metropolitan Archives, the Somerset Record Office.
Pay to see indexes must not be neglected as they will provide that essential piece of information which will move research forward, or backward in time as genealogist will have it; there are many free trials on offer; such as on Ancestry, FindMyPast, the 1911 Census, but beware of putting all of your information on websites instead of holding master copies on your own computer, see  whose 'Hometown' part was shutdown in November 2008 for tales of woe from people who have lost their data!
Finally some websites built by our own family;
Our son Richard is a keen Railway Modeller working in ScaleFour, with his main interest being the GWR.  He also has railway wagons that he has built for sale - see his site Penrhos Junctions where he describes the progress on his layout.

Our daughter Liz has two websites, one illustrating the history of Guide Badges,  see Liz's Guide Badges, and another for her hand-made cards which are for sale, see Liz Cards.

Page still under construction 11th March 2009

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