Get started finding your UK ancestors the frugal way. Free genealogy websites for you your UK genealogy research. #genealogy #free #ancestors

11 Free UK Genealogy Websites For Finding UK Ancestors

Totally free genealogy websites to help you find your UK ancestors in England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland. Start finding your ancestors the frugal way!

As a U.S. based genealogy researcher, I’m thrilled and ready to begin researching my UK ancestors – I have quite a lot of them! We actually joke that all genealogy roads lead to Virginia and all boats to England. ? Okay, that is over simplifying things a bit, but I do have a lot of UK ancestral lines.

Can I find totally free  genealogy websites focusing on UK records to get started?  

I’m familiar with many U.S. based free genealogy websites.   After all, I am a frugal genealogy researcher!  But I’m starting from scratch when it comes to researching my UK ancestors.  

Get started finding your UK ancestors the frugal way. Totally free genealogy websites for you your UK genealogy research.
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Let’s take a look at some of the most popular free UK genealogy websites.  

[I want to offer a special thanks to members of the Are You My Cousin? Community Facebook group for their suggestions! If you are not member, we’d love to have you.  Simply request to join and answer the question. ]

Free Genealogy Websites To Find Your UK Ancestors

(*Some of the websites are free and some are mostly free.)

1.The UK National Archives – I just love exploring archives both digitally and in person.  You just never know what you might find. Some of these record collections are available to view free online, but not all.  Others are available to view at FindMyPast or

Big Ben again blue sky with clouds

2. Free UK Genealogy  – Free access to birth, marriage and death records beginning in 1837.  Free UK Genealogy includes Free BMD, Free CEN (census data from 1841 – 1891) and Free REG (records from parish registers). These are ongoing projects, so be sure to check back periodically for any updates or additional records.

Cobblestone road in UK village with attached homes and vines growing on walls

3. GENUKI – A virtual library of genealogical resources for UK and Irish genealogy.  GENUKI is one of the first free UK genealogy websites to show up when I ask for recommendations. 

4. General Register Office  (GRO) – As genealogy researchers we are often seeking out birth and death information on our ancestors. The GRO index of births and deaths is free to search. A fee is charged for ordering  paper or pdf copies.

5. National Library of Scotland –  The National Library of Scotland has fantastic resources for learning how to research your Scottish ancestors.  Take time to look through the digital collections. One in particular you do not want to miss is their  fantastic collection of maps of Scotland. Don’t underestimate the importance of understanding why you ancestor was in a particular location!

Old stone church in Scotland

6. Scotland’s People – Scotland’s People is the official Scottish government website for records and archives.  The site’s indices are free to search. There is a charge for pay-to-view and download. So, this one’s only partially free. 

7. FamilySearch – Don’t forget this long time favorite of genealogy researchers.

8. The Proceedings of the Old Bailey, 1674-1913 – Find records and proceedings of London’s Central Criminal Court from 1674 – 1913 here. This is an interesting website I stumbled across accidentally. (Don’t you love it when that happens?)  Be sure and check out their tutorials!

9. The National Archives of Ireland – Access free online databases such as Tithe Appointment books, Will calendars and Diocesan and Prerogative Marriage Licence Bonds Indexes, 1623 – 1866. 

Old records book for finding free UK genealogy records

10. Internet Archives – Check out these Scottish Directories! Also, check for family histories and local parish histories.

11. David Rumsey’s Historical Maps – Fantastic (and large) historical map collection including maps from around the world.

Bonus! [This one’s from reader Karen H. Thanks!] –  The National Library of Wales Newspaper Collection – An easy to use site where you can search by title or type of content. Find genealogical gems in the coverage of court cases. 

And ONE MORE Bonus!  Check out’s free records index.  You will find free access to some UK records (+ a lot of others). 

Do you have a favorite site not on the list? Share it in the comments below! 

Want to read more frugal genealogy posts?  Try one of these!

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6 thoughts on “11 Free UK Genealogy Websites For Finding UK Ancestors”

  1. Robert Alan Horney

    Hello I’m Robert Horney and I’m 64 years of age living in the United States and trying to find my cousin Vivian Lea living in England . Lea is her maiden name and I have not seen her since 1980. I live in the U.S. on a green card and hold British citizenship. Vivian is the daughter of Burt Lea who is my deceased mom’s deciesed brother or my Uncle. My father was Alan Stewart Horney and he married Irene Mary Horney in England and immigrated to the U.S. in 1957 with my brother age 3 at the time and I was 1. My family is now gone and I am the only one left in the U.S.. This is why I am looking for Vivian she may be someone in can go to England to see. Her and I are the same age I believe I’m one year her senior . Can someone please help me and noone is getting any younger. Thanks so much.

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