There are hundreds of online resources for Derbyshire history, this guide highlights some of the most useful. As web addresses tend to change, only the site name is given.
Family History Records
- Ancestry: billions of records from across the world including UK census returns 1841-1911, birth, marriage and death (BMD) indexes 1837-2007, Derbyshire Anglican church registers from 1538. Access: Subscription required. Free access at all Derbyshire libraries
- Find My Past: in addition to census and BMD indexes, also includes registers of several Derbyshire non-conformist churches, many Derbyshire school admission registers and log books 1870-1914. Also includes Diocese of Lichfield records covering Derbyshire, including marriage licences and pre-1858 wills. Access: Subscription required. Free access in Derbyshire libraries
- FamilySearch: volunteer-submitted transcripts of many Derbyshire parish registers back to 1538. Worth trying this site if an Ancestry search is unsuccessful. Also includes a wide range of research guidance and background information on places. Access: Free, registration required
- FreeBMD: volunteer-transcribed indexes to civil registration of births, marriages and deaths between 1837 and 1992, with transcription work ongoing. Access: Free with no registration; often some search advantages over subscription sites, so often worth a try
- FreeREG: volunteer-submitted transcripts “of baptism, marriage, and burial records, from parish registers, non-conformist records and other relevant sources in the UK”, including Derbyshire. Access: Free, no registration
- Find A Grave: volunteer-submitted transcripts of over 180 million memorials and gravestones including for many Derbyshire cemeteries and churchyards. Access: Free, no registration
- General Register Office: search indexes of and ordering copy birth, marriage and death certificates from 1837. Access: Free to indexes, registration required to order certificates
- National Probate Index: search for and order copies of UK wills after 1858. Access: Free, no registration. Derbyshire wills 1858-1928 can also be searched via the record office online catalogue and copies ordered.
Newspapers are the most valuable source for many aspects of family and local history, particularly where other sources no longer survive:
- British Newspaper Archive: includes full text access to the Derbyshire Times, Derby Mercury and several other Derbyshire titles. Access: Subscription required. Free from the record office or any Derbyshire library (short registration required)
- The Times Archive: access from 1795 to 1985. Access: Subscription required.
- Picture the Past: Delve into the rich history of Derby and Derbyshire with this extensive collection of photos, postcards, glass plates and engravings from the city and county libraries
- Images of England: was English Heritage’s photographic library of listed buildings across England. Historic England has split the site into two: 1) the Official Register of nationally protected historic buildings and sites includes photographs alongside the corresponding description, and 2) over a million photographs via the Historic England website.
- Derbyshire Observatory: wide range of data and statistics on topics including population and households, health, census, crime, children and education, economy and employment
- Derbyshire Mapping Portal: Ordnance Survey mapping showing key Derbyshire sites and boundaries, including parish boundaries, schools, public rights of way and schedules monuments
- Derbyshire Heritage Mapping Portal: Ordnance Survey mapping of Derbyshire, with options to overlay a small number of historic maps
- Derbyshire Historic Environment Record: digital records of archaeological monuments, findspots, designated assets, historic landscape information, aerial photographs
- National Library of Scotland: view some editions of Ordnance Survey maps for Derbyshire over modern satellite images.
- GENUKI: charity and volunteer-run site containing a wide range of information for researching family history across the UK and Ireland, including links to other sites
- The National Archives: a wide range of guides on various family, local and other history research, plus detailed guides for reading old handwriting and Latin
- Find an Archive: contact details for archive repositories across the world
- University of Nottingham Manuscripts and Special Collections: detailed research guides on using historical documents and specific records such as deeds, accounts and manorial records.
Other Derbyshire collections
- Record Office Guide: a summary of archive collections at Derbyshire Record Office, searchable by type of record creator, i.e. school, business, society, family, organisation, local authority
- Online Catalogue: the main finding aid for all archive collections held at Derbyshire Record Office, and increasingly for the local studies collection also. A separate guide is also available
- Hospital Records Database: searchable database of hospitals across the country, with a summary of records held at relevant repositories and brief history.
- Manorial Documents Register: searchable database of manors across selected counties (including Derbyshire) and a summary of the records held at various repositories
- National Archives Discovery catalogue: contains references to most archive collections at the Record Office, as well as Derbyshire records held at The National Archives and elsewhere.
- Historical directories: a digital collection of nearly 700 trade directories forEngland and Wales from the 1760s to the 1910s
- Commonwealth War Graves Commission: commemorating the 1.7 million men and women of the Commonwealth forces who died in the First and Second World Wars, with a searchable database. See also www.roll-of-honour.com and www.longlongtrail.co.uk
Local History Groups
A large number of local history societies or local interest groups have websites and social media pages with a range of information and some resources. Unfortunately, it is not possible for Derbyshire Record Office to maintain a list of the groups and an online search is often the best approach to finding a relevant local group.
One thought on “Online Resources”
Thank you so much for posting this, I have been researching for 34 years and have found a couple which I did not know about – I love getting all your posts and have been reposting them to the Derbyshire online group – email@example.com – which took the place of the rootsweb group which is now defunct.
Annette WATSON Lismore 2480 Australia