09 June 2016

UKBMD and FREEBMD -- great resources for English and Welsh research and they are FREE

I think I’ve mentioned that I’m English-born and my mother was the first emigrant in her family, hence, all my maternal research involves English records (with one lone Scots branch).

This means that many years ago I discovered FreeBMD and then later UKBMD – great places to start your UK research since vital records started in 1837 in England and Wales and they are so invaluable to one’s research.

Let’s look at each of these websites.


FreeBMD is an ongoing project, the aim of which is to transcribe the Civil Registration index of births, marriages, and deaths for England and Wales, and to provide free Internet access to the transcribed records. It is a part of the Free UK Genealogy family, which also includes FreeCEN (Census data – 1841-1891 censuses) and FreeREG (Parish Registers – over 35,595,547 records).

The FreeBMD Database was last updated on Fri 13 May 2016 and currently contains 254,285,771 distinct records.  That is a lot of records.

Fountain is one of my family names and it’s a somewhat unusual name to find in Lancashire in the early 1800s (I have tracked it back to Yorkshire) and when I search it in the database, many of the entries found are for my ancestors.  It’s like a who’s who from my family tree.

If you haven’t check out FreeBMD, FreeCEN or FreeREG when researching English or Welsh ancestors, I suggest you do so.


UKBMD provides 2533 links to websites that offer on-line transcriptions of UK births, marriages, deaths, and censuses. A wide range of other indexes and transcriptions are also available for most counties, these may include parish records, wills, monumental inscriptions etc.

It also has companion projects – UKGDL (UK Genealogical Directories and Lists on the Internet – 1972 links) and UKMFH (UK Military Family History on the Internet – 1488 links).

UKBMD is like Cyndi’s List or Linkpendium in that it is a clearing house (or aggregator) about information housed on other websites.  If I research on Lancashire, it brings up not only the previously discussed FreeBMD, FreeCEN, and FreeREG websites and sites like Lancashire BMD (almost 10 million birth, 4.5 million marriage, and 5.8 million death records), many one name study websites, RootsWeb pages, and much more.

What FREE UK websites are faves as you do English & Welsh research?

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