Please note we are not a Family History Society. Research into family history can be very time consuming and while we would like to help, we are unable to follow up genealogy queries unless the individuals concerned were high profile personalities of general local history interest. The Family History Societies, County Records Offices or Church records are lines of research for family history queries (see links below).
www.ancestry.co.uk a good, comprehensive site through which you can access all the England and Wales censuses from 1841-2011, the Scottish censuses of 1841 & 1851, and all the civil registrations of birth death and marriages in England and Wales from 1837 to the 1900s. It is a subscription site view site, but they do offer a 14-day free trial during which you get unlimited access to the records.
There are various payment options. Very easy to use and invaluable, so log as you treble check entries on public family trees. There may be some hints as to what you are looking for, but also very many errors. As with all genealogy, you should always seek confirmation from originals or scans of documents.
www.familysearch.com Another good site and this time it’s free! It gives access to the International Genealogical Index compiled from parish records around the world. The details go back, in some cases, to the 1500s and up to about 1840 and show christening dates with the names of parents and marriage dates with the names of spouses. There is also free access to the 1881 England and Wales census
It is usually imperative to obtain copies of birth, marriage and death certificates (the only sure source of information). The most cost-effective method of obtaining copies of certificates is to go to www.freebmd.org.uk and then use the register information on www.gro.gov.uk and get the certificate for £11.
In addition the G.R.O.s own births database can give you the mother’s maiden name for all births up to 1916, unlike other sites (and it is free). A new feature is that birth certificates from 1837-1918 and death certificates from 1837 to 1957 can be obtained by pdf for £7 which will save you a lot of money as you will for sure need a great number of certificates to do the job properly, it is not cheap researching your family
www.findmypast.co.uk is another subscription site and the full subscription does offer access to newspaper archives which increase regularly. It is better than Ancestry in some fields, in others is not so good. I prefer to use both but the expense has to be taken into consideration.
Another site very useful for exchanging research into past family or friends is www.rootschat.com
This includes some correspondence about the old Icewell Hill Newmarket. The RootsChat site complex at http://www.rootschat.com/forum/index.php?topic=317330.new;topicseen
Suffolk County Records Office at Bury St. Edmunds is a good source of information covering the west of the county, including Newmarket. For instance they have microfiche copies of the pages of The Newmarket Journal, very useful for tracing local events from the past. Go to their site select here.
Other sites such as GENUKI which give details of the area of interest and links to other sites such as family history societies. The sites above, though, are great for getting the basics of who lived when and where. The only problem with family history is that not everyone got married or had their children christened and it wasn’t compulsory to register births, deaths and marriages until 1870. However, the later generations can usually be found on the censuses.
Nobody should use other than gro.gov.uk to order certificates, many others will supply but charge more than the official General Records Office, from where all the rest have to obtain them anyway. .
General warning…never take for granted that all you see is the truth, even original documents depend only on what was told to the officials, transcriptions frequently have errors and other persons family trees online must always be treble checked as so many contain errors. Always try at least to look at copies of original documents in all cases.
The best discipline is always to contact all living members of your family, starting of course with the eldest, and get them to search their memories. Take care as some memories are more accurate than others, so you do need always to seek more than one opinion. The distant past can be left until later, after all any records available are unlikely to move now.