When researching it is vital to consult primary original records rather than secondary records in books, transcriptions and other people's trees. It is best to collect digital images of those original sources on your computer, linked to the people concerned in your family history program. Make frequent multiple backups of your work on external hard drives stored in different buildings and in the Cloud on the Internet. For example, the program that I use Family Historian is set to backup to Dropbox in the Cloud every minute as I work. I use the option to keep historic copies of my files on Dropbox forever, so I can backtrack to any date/time very easily if I make a mistake or disaster strikes.

High quality digitised images of original source parish registers of baptisms marriages and burials are now available on a mixture of several websites - some free and some by subscription. As well as the images, Ancestry and Findmypast also have indexed transcriptions of varying quality. FamilySearch have some indexed transcriptions. SEAX and Cityark have none. FreeReg can often be used as an index to many parishes - for example their coverage of Norfolk is excellent as are the images of Norfolk on FamilySearch.

Here is a list of the counties or part counties that are available together with some other useful sources of information:

Ancestry (subscription) Birmingham, London, Surrey, Warwickshire, Yorkshire, non-conformist, Quakers

Findmypast (subscription) Devon, Hertfordshire, Kent (Canterbury), Lincolnshire, Staffordshire, Manchester, Wales, Westminster

FamilySearch (free) Cheshire, Cornwall, Derbyshire, Kent, Lancashire, Norfolk, Sussex, Wales, Yorkshire

FamilySearch UK (free)

FamilySearch Norfolk (free)

The National Archives (free)

FreeReg (free)

SEAX (subscription) Essex

Cityark (free) - Kent (Medway)

Family Historian

Censuses of England, available on, show all the members of a family living at an address, giving their ages, places of birth and occupations

Norfolk Online Access to Heritage (NOAH) has a database searchable by surname of probates 1800-1855, and directories. Searching by surname brings up a list of all the pages of probates that mention that surname as testator, beneficiary, executor, witnesses or other capacity. You can read the original will as recorded in the Copy Books. This provides a treasure trove of information about the deceased person’s estate, his wealth, family, close friends and business associates.

Directories and Gazetteers Several companies published county directories, including White’s 1845 Gazeteer and Directory of Norfolk. These give descriptions of every town and village in the county and have directories naming some of the prominent residents, the trades persons, shopkeepers, publicans and farmers, providing insight into the surroundings of our forebears and who their friends and acquaintances may have been.

Money’s Real Worth over Time enables you to calculate the present value of bequest in a will, or a sale of property or tithes paid many years ago. The tithe assessments in the 1840s indicate what Barchams’ farms would be worth now.

Norfolk Pubs names the landlords and histories of all the inns in all Norfolk towns and villages: choose a village and a list of all the pubs appears, then click on the named pubs. Henry Banfather Barcham and his wife Sophia were the publicans at the ‘White Horse’ in Blakeney [see connections], and others who were related to Barchams.

British Library Newspaper Archive covers a lot of papers, including several East Anglian ones. The Ipswich Journal or Gazette goes back to about 1720, although most others are 19th century. The archive is also available through FindMyPast, but the search facility is better on the British Library site. If a FindMyPast subscription is in force, it is best to search first on the British Library site (free) and then download the required images from FindMyPast.