Articles on the History of Essex, Researching your Ancestors, and British History

Using Family History Forums to look for your Essex ancestors

documents, photographs, maps

How to break down that brick wall which is stopping you from researching your Essex family history.

Researching your family history can be very challenging at times, especially when you come up against a brick wall. You've looked at all the records held by the various genealogical providers; you've tried all different search terms and wildcard searches; and you've tried off-line resources and archives; but still you cannot find that vital piece of information which will then open up that branch of your family tree.

If you are in that position, then why not try asking for help or advice. There are several forums on the internet where fellow family tree researchers are more than willing to help you with your problem and to give you advice, or even search the records for you - all for free.

This is a list of the main forums which I am registered with. Each have a different format, style, etiquette, community, and number of members. Some are subject based and may consist of research appeals, photographs, computer help, etc., others with pages on a county by county basis. I will not recommend any one in particlar as each person has their own likes and dislikes on the way a forum operates.

All these forums are easy to register with - just your name and email address is required. It may be useful to complete your profile with your surname interests. You'll never know, there may be another member also researching the same family tree.

When posting an appeal try to give as much information as possible on what you know already and what you are trying to find out, but not in long paragraph after long paragraph, otherwise that may turn off some of the members into reading your posting. Indicate the records you have tried already. If you're a beginner, then say so, members will then understand why your question is perhaps simple and strightforward to them, but not to you. Do not post the same question on several forums at the same time - you will be found out.

If someone helps you, do say thank you. Nothing is worse than giving some your time helping someone with a problem and they cannot be bothered to say thank you.

Several of the forums have helpful tips and advice sections, or wikipedia type pages.

Here's just a few of the available genealogy forums, in no particular order.

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Who Do You Think You Are? - The BBC's Magazine's forum.

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Family Tree Forum - forum run by online magazine The Family Tree Forum.

picture of website - forum sponsored by Parish Chest a genealogy provider.

picture of website - a community based forum.

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GenesReunited community boards - forum operated by GenesReunited.

There are others, just search Google for them.

Join a forum, ask the question, you'll never know what may turn up!

More articles on the History of Essex, Researching your Ancestors, and British History

Search History House

Find your Ancestors in the Newspapers

Essex Standard Newspaper

Newspaper archives are now a very important source of information for researching your family tree.

Find your ancestors in the newspapers.
Try our example search to discover if your ancestors are in the British Newspaper Archive.

Also look at other newspaper archives and learn how they can help you research your ancestors. >>more

Looking for pictures to add to your family tree album?


Ebay is a good source of old images of Essex towns and villages. If you're looking for pictures to add to your family tree album, then try one of the auctions, or there are several 'Buy It Now' shops offering postcards which have been touched up and improved - so if you're unsure about bidding, try these. Link already formatted for Essex Postcards. Browse through or type the name of the location in the Ebay search box.