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.

Devon Heritage Services and Find My Past made a similar agreement, and most of the parish registers dating up to 1914, and held at Devon Heritage Centre and North Devon Record Office have also been digitised.  Digitised images of the first batch of these parish registers appeared online on Find My Past in summer 2014, and more are gradually being made available as indexing and uploading continues.

School admission registers held at the Devon Heritage Centre and North Devon Record Office have also been digitised and were launched online on Find My Past on 22 September 2014.

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

Find My Past is available to subscribers at home, but you must pay to access databases and digital images on the site.


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’.