Family History

Commercial Genealogical Websites

Find My Past

Find My Past can be accessed free of charge at the following places in Devon:

Devon Family History Society indexes to Church of England parish registers of baptism (1813-1837), marriage (1754-1837) and burial (1813-1837) are now available on Find My Past. In addition, digitized images of the majority of original Devon parish registers of baptism (up to 1912), marriage (up to 1912) and burial (up to the most recent date deposited) which are held at Plymouth and West Devon Record Office are now available online through the Find My Past website. Eventually non-conformist registers and prison registers held at the same record office will apparently be digitized and also become available on Find My Past. A similar agreement between Devon Heritage Services and Find My Past has been made, and digitising of parish registers held at Devon Record Office has been completed. The registers at North Devon Record Office are currently being digitised. After indexing and uploading of images by Find My Past, these will become available online.

Some other record offices, archives, local libraries and history centres in other counties, and overseas, may also offer free access to Find My Past.

Available to subscribers at home; you must pay to use this site if you wish to use it at home.


AncestryLibrary Edition – the institutional version – can be accessed free of charge at the following places in Devon:

Many libraries, archives, history centres and Mormon Family History Research centres in other counties, and particularly overseas, also offer free access to AncestryLibrary Edition.

Available to subscribers at home – gives access to British genealogical records, and gives access to US, Canadian, Australian and other overseas records as well.

National Archives Online Documents

This was formerly known as Documents Online. Downloads of an increasing number of digitised records held in the National Archives are now available via the National Archives’ updated catalogue, the Discovery Catalogue. Information about this can be found on the National Archives webpage Our Online Records .

Digitised records include P.C.C. wills, registers of Royal Naval and Merchant Naval seamen, World War I British Army nurses' service records and war medal index cards.

These can be accessed free of charge at

  • Devon Heritage Services – at Devon Heritage Centre, Exeter
  • Devon Heritage Services – at North Devon Record Office, Barnstaple

You can access these at home as well. Searching the indexes is free of charge. However you must pay £3.36 per document, using a credit or debit card, to download documents from this website if you use it at home.

Genes Reunited

Genes Reunited is a family tree site useful for building your own family tree online, and tracing relatives, with links to British genealogical records (censuses, civil registration indexes etc) which can be used for research. The site is available to subscribers for a small basic annual subscription fee, with additional payments if you wish to access genealogical records of the type found on Find My Past.

The Genealogist

The Genealogist is another British genealogical website, available through subscription.

The Origins website includes British and Irish genealogy records, including wills indexes.  It concentrates on older, sometimes unusual records, and is available through subscription.


Geni is a North American-based family tree site useful for building your own family tree online. It enables you to share family photos, videos and historical records. You are also able to invite your family to help grow your tree or collaborate with other genealogists online. It is publicly accessible through various libraries in Canada and the United States. Many of the profiles or trees that Geni users have created are connected together in Geni's World Family Tree, also referred to as the ‘Big Tree’ by many users. Many new Geni users aspire to build their family tree and find their connection to the ‘Big Tree’.