Family Research – English, Scottish and Irish Genealogy


Ancestry UK: Dorset Parish Records now available!‏

16th-century Dorset was a fascinating place. It was at the heart of England?s religious disputes, with seven abbeys dissolved by Henry VIII and Catholics fleeing to France off its coast.

It was a naval stronghold, supplying eight of the ships that destroyed the Spanish Armada in 1588.

It was also a hive for pirates and smugglers, to the extent that special commissioners were appointed to patrol the seas.

Families living in these troubled times faced difficult decisions every day. From simple choices like whether conditions at sea were conducive to fishing; to life-changing judgements such as what religion to follow, there were risks at every turn.

You can see how your ancestors coped with such testing circumstances with new parish and probate records at

Work your way through the generations to follow the twists and turns in your family?s past. Parish records for Dorset will be released going all the way back to the Tudor period, but get started with these earlier collections right now on

Dorset Parish Records, 1813-2001, includes over one million records of baptisms, marriages, burials and confirmations all over the county.

Once you pinpoint the parish where your forebears lived, you can quickly build a timeline of the key events in their lives.

You can then delve deeper with Dorset Wills and Probate, 1565?1858. The wills themselves show who benefitted from each estate ? providing vital clues about family relationships.

If you?re lucky enough to find an inventory, that will provide a complete list of your relative?s personal possessions ? from expensive jewellery to simple pots and pans.

As you build your family tree, call in on key moments in history, from D-Day landings, through rural riots, to bloody civil war battles.

And see how these crucial events impacted your ancestors? lives.

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