Welcome, fellow genealogists! My blog will teach you about U.S. land records and United Kingdom research. My family has roots in Niagara County, New York; Norfolk, England; and northeast Germany.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Wisdom Wednesday: British History Online

The new-to-me site with lots of background information is British History Online at www.british-history.ac.uk, which describes itself as a “digital library containing some of the core printed primary and secondary sources for the medieval and modern history of the British Isles.” It is a collaboration between the Institute for Historical Research at the University of London and the History of Parliament Trust so it can boast that it has as a primary resource, “the texts of original documents, such as the Journals of the Houses of Commons and Lords, Acts and Ordinances of the Interregnum, and the Statutes of the Realm. “ This site was mentioned in 26 Sept post because it has digitized the Victoria County History and is strong in maps, gazetteers and dictionaries.

On the left side of the homepage, there are two lists so you can search by top sources and by region. The five top sources listed are - Local history, Historical geography, Urban & metropolitan, Parliamentary, and Ecclesiastical & religious. If you are like me, the location of counties are in England is a bit of a mystery to me. I know that Norfolk is one of the four counties included in the region known as East Anglia.  Therefore, I click on ‘East’ to find a list of resources from the four counties I expected plus Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire.
The chart below comes from the website. Its strength is that a modern day Brit has divided the UK as he/she was taught in school so we see regions as a native would see regions. Its weakness is that the modern slang for the county names will challenge some of us.

East - The historic counties of Beds, Cambs, Essex, Herts, Hunts, Norfolk and Suffolk
London - The area now covered by the 32 London boroughs. Includes the historic county of Middlesex, and parts of Surrey, Essex and Kent

Midlands - The historic counties of Derbys, Hereford, Leics, Lincs, Northants, Notts, Rutland, Salop, Staffs, Warks and Worcs
North - The historic counties of Cheshire, Cumberland, Durham, Lancs, Northumberland, Westmorland and Yorks

Scotland - The 32 historic counties of Scotland.
South East - Includes the historic counties of Berks, Bucks, Hants, Kent, Oxfords, Surrey and Sussex. Parts of Surrey and Kent are included in the London region

South West - The historic counties of Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Gloucs, Somerset and Wilts
Wales - The 13 historic counties of Wales.

©2012, Susan Lewis Well


  1. A really useful list but I think almost everyone would know Salop as Shropshire

  2. Oh, no they wouldn't, it's the one I had no idea about and didn't take time to look up. Amazing that you would use that example.

  3. Great site! - thank you for the links.
    Theresa (Tangled Trees)

  4. This looks like a really cool site. Thanks for the suggestion!