Local Grantham historian Ruth Crook recently offered up some useful advice on where to start looking if you think you are related to the Newton family tree.
Whilst he had no direct descendants, Sir Isaac Newton came from a large extended family in Lincolnshire with numerous branches. Therefore if you think you might be related to Sir Isaac Newton you will need to look at one of the branches of his family who lived locally in Lincolnshire and try to trace your links with them.
If you are unable to visit Lincolnshire’s archives and are starting your search on the web, here is an overview of just some of the online resources and tools available to help you on your quest.
There is a wealth of information out on the web – type family tree into your browser and it feels like a tidal wave of results come crashing onto your screen. It can be a little overwhelming to say the least. BBC Genealogist Jenny Thomas offers some practical guidance on navigating your way through the chaos.
First there are a number of free resources that you can start with such as:
Birth Marriages an Death Indexes for England and Wales : www.freebmd.org.uk
A vast international genealogy website run by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints: www.familysearch.org
For genealogy chat and all kinds of relevant information: www.rootsweb.com
However, as Thomas says, ‘none of these is guaranteed to hold all the records that you want’ and ‘the bottom line in genealogical research is that at some stage you are going to have to pay’ if you wish to further your research.
When it comes to choosing which website you want to use to help trace and build your family tree, Thomas advises to consider the following questions:
- Does it contain basic resources of genealogy such as birth, marriage, and death certificates?
- Is there a full explanation of what else is in the site?
- Can you access the original documents? Either by scans or by post it’s important to see these.
- Are you happy with the charging structure
Here is a small selection of popular ancestory sites to get you on your way:
Genes Reunited: www.genesreunited.co.uk
Family Relatives: www.familyrelatives.com
Find My Past: http://www.findmypast.co.uk/
The Geneologist: http://www.thegenealogist.co.uk/
Other useful resources:
Cyndislist – http://www.cyndislist.com/ .A comprehensive, categorized & cross-referenced list of links that point you to genealogical research sites online.
National Archives: http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/default.htm
And don’t forget the Lincolnshire resources here:
Lincs to the Past: www.lincstothepast.com
Lincolnshire Family History Society www.findmypast.co.uk
See the full article by Jenny Thomas ‘To Pay or Not To Pay? A guide to choosing a geneaology on the internet’ here:
Another useful BBC guides on how to research family history: