Genealogical Research in England's Public Record Office: A Guide for North Americans

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The purpose of this book is to help North Americans make the most effective use of the records of the Public Record Office in England, one of the richest genealogical repositories in the world.

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Overview

The purpose of this book is to help North Americans make the most effective use of the records of the Public Record Office in England, one of the richest genealogical repositories in the world.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Library of Congress reference librarian and LJ reviewer Reid provides a thorough guide for North Americans wishing to investigate genealogical or historical information in the Public Record Office PRO in Kew and London, England. The PRO is the English equivalent of the National Archives in Canada and the United States. Though it has rich holdings and unique source materials, it is not the place to begin a genealogy inquiry. One of Reid's objectives is to help researchers identify many of the PRO records that may be available from other, more convenient institutions. After helping distinguish the "when" and "why," she gives helpful logistical information for consulting the PRO. From then on she focuses on areas of particular interest to North American researchers. She covers records pertaining to emigration and immigration along with other principal record classes. Anyone researching British heritage will find this a helpful book in planning the investigation.-Scott Hightower, New York Univ.
Booknews
A guide to using the Public Record Office (PRO) in England for English or Welsh genealogical research, providing an introduction to PRO record classes of interest to North American researchers and identifying PRO records available in North American institutions. Includes advice for finding sources of emigration and immigration records, with appendices on local record offices in England and Wales and useful addresses. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Zom Zoms
This inexpensive and clearly written guide will save Americans who travel to England for genealogical research many hours of frustration. It constantly emphasizes the need for preparation before visiting and warns about the delays that may be experienced in the delivery of documents. After extolling the vast quantities of material to be found, it bluntly states that, "However, the PRO is not the place to begin a genealogical enquiry." What is the PRO? It is a collection, somewhat similar to our National Archives, of all documentation resulting from legal, marital, civil, military, religious, and other decisions that have affected the lives of British citizens The book starts with helpful details on how to reach the new building in Kew by Underground, bus, or private car and adds details about getting a reader's ticket, photocopying, and the like. It then offers a list of document codes, such as the AO group (Exchecquer and Audit), the PROB group (Prerogative Court of Canterbury), and so on. There is also a list of guides (some of them only leaflets) that should be read before arrival. The bulk of the text is made up of general descriptions of the various kinds of documents within each grouping--emigration, censuses, births, deaths and marriages, army, prisoners, wills, etc. There are also maps of the counties, both before and after the boundary changes of 1974. An appendix lists addresses, by county, of local record offices. An extensive bibliography gives full data for all titles cited in the text as useful guides. Finally there is an index to all the records in the PRO, arranged by code letter and number The author advises her fellow Americans that much of their work in pedigree hunting has been done for them by the Mormons and published in the Family History Library series by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (LDS). She urges them to make use of the International Genealogical Index (IGI) and the Ancestral File, both of which cover all of England and are on microfiche or CD-ROM at Family History Centers throughout the U.S. Appropriate use of these should be made before attempting the masses of PRO documents in England The book is still very useful, particularly for the specialist who has exhausted the LDS sources in the States, or for whom perhaps a date in the IGI is suspect--too young, or too old--or two persons with the same name. A military record, an emigration roster, or the probated will in the PRO may solve the problem.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780806315041
  • Publisher: Genealogical Publishing Company, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 5/28/1996
  • Pages: 164
  • Product dimensions: 6.26 (w) x 9.28 (h) x 0.71 (d)

Table of Contents

Illustrations ix
Preface xi
Acknowledgments xiii
Chapter 1 When to Use the Pro, and Why 1
Getting Started 2
Vital Statistics 3
Researching Published Sources 4
Searching Archival Records 5
About This Guide 7
Chapter 2 A Guide to the Pro's Facilities 9
Getting to the PRO 9
Location 9
Transportation to the PRO at Kew 11
Accommodations 11
Hours 13
Access 13
Using the PRO 13
What You Can Bring 14
Finding and Ordering Documents at Kew 14
Photocopies 15
Eating and Other Facilities 15
Professional Research Assistance 17
Friends of the PRO 17
The PRO Library 17
The Family Records Centre 17
Chapter 3 Using the Pro: Finding AIDS 23
Organization of PRO Records 23
General Guides 25
Handbooks and Class Lists 25
Special Guides 29
Tools for North American History Research 30
Chapter 4 Emigration and Immigration 37
Overview 37
General Sources on Emigration 38
Before You Come 39
Records on Emigrants to North America 41
Correspondence and Registers 41
Passports, Port Books, and Passenger Lists 47
Land Grants 49
Convicts and Bonded Emigrants Transported to America 55
American Loyalists' Claims 57
Records on Immigrants to England 60
Naturalization 61
Denization 61
Aliens 62
Palatines 62
Chapter 5 Other Records 65
Censuses 1841 to 1901 65
Vital Statistics in Nonconformist Church Records 67
Birth, Death, and Marriage Records 70
Birth, Death, and Marriage Records of the British Overseas 71
Births, Deaths, and Marriages at Sea 72
Probate, Wills, and Other Death Records 73
Wills and Letters of Administration 73
Inventories 75
The Death Duty Registers 76
Military Records 77
Army 77
Militia Lists 82
Royal Air Force 82
Royal Marines 83
Royal Navy 84
Prisoners of War 85
Merchant Marine Records 85
Taxation 88
Apprenticeship Records 88
Hearth Tax 89
Association Oath Rolls, 1696 to 1697 90
Maps 91
Parliamentary Papers 94
Court Records 96
Appendix A Local Record Offices of England and Wales 99
England 100
Wales 107
Appendix B Useful Addresses 109
Appendix C Historical County Boundaries 113
Appendix D Worksheet for Getting Ready 115
Appendix E Local Government Records 117
Appendix F Glossary 121
Some Common Abbreviations 129
Further Reading 129
Bibliography 131
General Index 153
Index to PRO Record Groups 163
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