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Pocketmags Digital Magazines
Pocketmags Digital Magazines

Find your ancestors all over the globe!

Many of our ancestors left their homeland for new lives across the world, especially in the era of British Empire. Start tracing your family worldwide with Emma Jolly’s guide to the best online resources for your research


The best genealog y websites

Searching for ancestors outside of the borders of the United Kingdom and Ireland can be an overwhelming task. Records of churches or civil registration are not always arranged nationally. Therefore, a knowledge of regional history may be required. Online research has its own challenges, with websites often requiring a subscription or one-off payment. It can also be difficult to work out which databases are most representative of the record set you are exploring. Alongside all of this is the complication of using websites in different languages, many of which are using specific genealogy terms not in common use. Thus, no matter how many language qualifications you have, you may encounter unfamiliar terms which further complicate research.

The historical background to this is also far from straightforward. Some British ancestors were sent (or chose to travel) to parts of the British Empire. Although many of the records relating to them were created and / or retained in Britain, others are held overseas. Confusingly, what we understand today as the British Empire was not one formally controlled zone. The empire came into being gradually following the colonisation of the Americas in the 16th century. From this, Britain’s involvement in the transatalantic slave trade led to connections with countries in west and southern Africa.

Central to imperial expansion was India, the jewel in Britain’s crown. India’s natural resources, location on trade routes and vast population made it immensely valuable to Britain’s colonial intentions. Records were created differently across the colonies, dominions, and areas of imperial influence. These included areas as diverse as Burma, Malaya, Sarawak, Brunei, Oman, Iraq, Egypt, Libya, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Tonga, Fiji, Western Samoa, Sudan, Kenya, Uganda, South Africa, Swaziland, Nigeria, Gold Coast, Northern and Southern Rhodesia, Tanganyika, Zanzibar, Mauritius, the Maldives and Sierra Leone.

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About Family Tree

What exciting discoveries will you make as you journey on your family history quest? To help you cast your net wide, so that you don't miss a single clue about your ancestors, we’ve got leads to help you: • trace family all over the world • explore 25 must-search websites • find new family today and discover distant ties to generations past too... Family history’s all about making connections – between people and places, family stories and international events... Find out more and learn how to grow a family tree that spans the globe with this, the latest issue of Family Tree