If you are living in the U.K. then you have probably heard of the Genes Reunited website. But what records can you search for at Genes Reunited? And what can it offer you with your genealogy research?
Well, read on as I will discuss all that you need to know.
Genes Reunited contains millions of records that will help you with your genealogy research.
There are 515 million records to be exact, and they cover a wide range of different categories.
Discussed in this post:
I must point out now though that in order to access these records you will need to purchase a Genes Reunited subscription package.
But please be assured that the money you will spend on accessing these records will definitely be worth it.
Searching For Your Ancestors
Discovering your ancestry through Genes Reunited is very easy. You just have to enter what information that you do know about the ancestor that you are looking for.
Entering both your ancestor’s forename and surname will obviously help you a great deal as you eliminate many of the people within the records that share either the same first or last name.
Do not worry if you don’t know how to spell your ancestor’s name as there may be records presented to you with different spellings.
It is also very likely that your ancestor’s name may have been recorded differently throughout their lifetime.
So, please bare that in mind.
Year of birth
If you know when your ancestor was born then that will also help you to cut down the search results that you will be presented with.
You can also set a tolerance when it comes to this information.
This will take into account years of birth either side of the year that you have given, 1880 in this example.
So, if you entered +/- 2 years then you will receive all records that match the name that you have given through the years 1878 up to 1882.
The search form will give you 5 options to choose from when it comes to selecting the tolerance, 0 (exact); 1 year; 2 years; 5 years; and 10 years.
To help you even further to eliminate records that do not interest you you can also enter keywords.
These could be places where your ancestor was born, married or died.
Or you could enter your ancestor’s occupation if you know it. Not all records will have this information but it is definitely worth entering just in case.
After all you just don’t know what records you will find so it’s worth entering what you do know.
What Historical Records Are Available!
Now you know how to search for your ancestors at Genes Reunited. I told you that it was very easy didn’t I?
But what sort of records will you find?
Well, Genes Reunited has divided up their databases into the following 6 different categories:
Census, Land & Surveys
In the United Kingdom the census was taken every ten years beginning with the first census in 1841.
Due to the 100 year rule the latest records that you will have access to is 1911.
You will therefore have to wait until 2021 to be granted access to the 1921 census records.
The UK Census Dates and Why You Should Use Census Records post will list the dates that the census took place.
Not only that but you will be shown just how important census records can be for your genealogy research.
To briefly sum up the post it can give you a snapshot of your ancestors lives.
And if you are able to find your ancestors through the years then you will be able to see where they lived, their family, and amongst other things their occupation(s) as well.
So, censuses can actually help you to build up their life story from when they were young right up until they died.
These particular records are far more recent as they cover the years 2002-2013.
Even though they cannot help you with discovering the lives of your grandfather or great grandfather they can certainly help you to piece together your family history.
One thing that I have learned about genealogy is that there are so many records available for you to find.
If you are like me and you are passionate about your family history then you will try to discover every little tidbit of information that you can about your ancestors.
The information that you will glean from these records include your ancestor’s name, approximate age, address and the other occupants that are in the household.
British Newspaper Archive
Records are a great way for us to learn about our ancestors. With a collection of census records we can build up a picture about our ancestor’s live.
The problem with records is that we have to figure out their story for ourselves. We have to be the detective!
There is no real problem though with this approach if you can actually piece together all the facts.
But you have to learn to be the investigator and be able to work out why your ancestor made the decisions that they did.
Newspaper archives on the other hand can tell your ancestors lives through articles.
My own family story uncovered!
I have been able to find many stories about my ancestors that have cemented what I already knew about my ancestors.
But they have also told me stories about my ancestors that I didn’t know in the first place.
So, this resource has been a real eye-opener for me, and it can for you too!
In my case I was able to find newspaper articles featuring my great grandfather John Couch and his involvement with gambling.
During the early 1900s gambling was illegal in the United Kingdom.
There were a few family stories passed down to me about him but these articles helped to validate those claims.
I was also able to find his father Henry Couch in a couple of newspaper articles.
And they showed me a man who to put it mildly liked to have a drink, i.e. he did get arrested a couple of times for being drunk and disorderly.
This part of my family history I knew nothing about so it was really interesting for me to discover it.
Searching British Newspaper Archives
Searching through the newspaper archives is pretty much similar to searching the other records that are available at Genes Reunited.
You just enter what you know or rather what you want to find.
To find newspaper archives of interest you need to enter/select:
- Keywords – Any keywords that you think can help your search, such as a building, a place, an occupation, etc.
- County – Search newspaper archives within a selected county of the United Kingdom, or All Counties if you wish.
- From – Start the search from as early as 1700 up to 1949.
- To – Enter the last date of the search.
- Type – You can break down the search even more by selecting the type of archive to search for. This could be an Advertisement, Article, Family Notice, Illustrated or Miscellaneous.
Births, marriages and deaths
As with census records the information that you will find on birth, marriage and death certificates can really help you build your family tree.
They can also help you to break down any brick walls that you may encounter during your research.
Prior to 1837 any key event in the life of your ancestor would have been recorded within their parish register.
From July 1st 1837 births, marriages and deaths were recorded by a civil registration system.
It must be pointed out that civil registration of births was not made compulsory until 1875.
There are a couple of instances within my own family history where I have been unable to find my ancestors birth record.
This is because they were never actually recorded.
Travel & Migration
Through these records you can see the migration of your ancestors as they left the United Kingdom in search of a new world.
Currently there are more than 24 million people featured in the Passenger Lists within the collection at Genes Reunited.
This collection of records can show you how your ancestors moved during the 19th and 20th centuries.
But there are more records within this category that can also tell the story of your ancestors lives.
The other records featured within this category predominantly show Indian records.
So, if you know that your ancestor either worked or went to India because of war then you may actually find them within this category.
- Passenger Lists between 1890 to 1960
- Passport Applications
- Convict Arrivals in New South Wales, Australia
- Bengal Civil Service Gradation List 1869
- East India Company Pensions 1793 to 1833
- East India Register and Army List 1855
- India Office List 1933
- Indian Army and Civil Service List 1873
Armed Forces & Conflict
If your family history is similar to mine then you will have heard many different stories about your military ancestors.
So, you will be pleased to know that you can indeed discover information about this time in your ancestors lives.
Wars and conflicts within the collection include:
- World War I – Includes 8 sets of records which include medal citations, casualties, prisoners of war, and more.
- World War II
- Boer War
Within the collection at Genes Reunited you will find records dating back to 1656 right up to 2005.
These records cover different kinds of serviceman including the military, RAF, Navy and the Marines.
From theses records you will glean data such as next of kin, physical descriptions and details about their military service.
I particularly like that you can uncover what your ancestor looked like. This is great if you do not actually have an old family photograph of him or her.
Newspapers, Directories & Social History
Newspapers can give you the story behind the facts that you already know about your ancestor.
They can also fill in the ten year gap between censuses.
Genes Reunited also contain a collection of directories which can include information containing where your ancestor resided, where their business was location and possibly their occupation as well.
So, this resource can also help you to fill in the gaps in your knowledge or confirm what you already know.
My Final Thoughts!
There are many reasons why you should check out Genes Reunited. 515 million reasons to be exact!
But seriously there are a lot of records held within the databases of this genealogy search website.
So, there is a very high chance that you will discover your ancestor on this site.
If you are like me then you will want to know as much as you possibly can about your ancestors.
And that is where Genes Reunited comes in with their vast collection of historical records.
They make it really easy for you via their simple to use search form. You just enter what you know and away you go on your family history journey.
Why not check out my Best Genealogy Sites For Your Family History Research post to discover what other sites offer. And then why not head on over to Top Ten Reviews where they review the ten best genealogy search websites that are both free to use and subscription based.
What do you think?
If you decide to subscribe to this genealogy site then please come back and let me know what you think of it. I would love to hear how it is working for you.
Thank You and Please Leave A Comment
I hope you enjoyed this post explaining to you what you can search for at Genes Reunited. If you have any questions or comments then please leave a comment below.
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