Victorians to Elizabethans: Tracing our English Ancestors from 1901-1952

Zoom talk by:  Janet Few

Notes by: Lynda Balmforth

Approximately 36 people joined our Zoom meeting in which Janet made us realise just how much information we were missing out on by not exploring the sources of the twentieth century. We tend to think that we know it already and it can be difficult to research with rules of closures, such as the 100 year rule for releasing a census, also we think of it as not ‘history’ but it is a vital part of our family history with the advantages of concentrating on a time period, a time of great change and therefore interest, especially with the subject of DNA and Janet then gave us an in depth list of twentieth century sources available today.

Twentieth Century Sources

Birth, Marriage and Death Certificates

Remember to look at for mother’s maiden names and ages at death from 1837


1911 census – check the Enumerator’s Book List

Church Records

Non-conformist Records

Methodist Historic Roll, 1898-1908 List of contributors to fund see  for background and transcripts.

Cemetery Records


                        Deceased Online

                        Find a Grave

                        Gravestone Photos



Oral Evidence and Living Relatives


Moving Images

                British Pathe

                The British Film Institute  www.bfi/

                The National Archives

                Film Archives UK

Directories and Gazeteers

Electoral Registers  see  for useful background information

School records 

               Admission’s Registers

                Log Books

               School Leaver’s Certificates

               Teachers’ Registration Certificates

              The Society of Genealogists hold Teachers’ Registration Certificates for all those teachers                    

               Who were in service between 1914-1948. Available on

1910 Valuation Office Survey Lloyd George’s Domesday

The National Archives 1R58

The research guide, ‘Valuation Office Survey’ is available at

World War 1

War Memorials

               National Inventory of the War Memorials Project

Rolls of Honour and



Commonwealth War Graves Commission’s Database

‘Soldiers Died in the Great War’

                 Published 1921, 81 volumes, listing 42,000 officers and 662,0000other ranks. Usually gives    

                 The soldiers’ regiment, corps and battalion; decorations received; where the individual 

                 was born, lived and was enlisted; their rank and number and how, when and where they   

                 died. Available in libraries; on CD via Naval and Military Press Limited 

        online via and

Silver War Badge

                  Awarded to those unfit to serve WO329 AT National Archives, online           

                  and  For more information see


War Diaries  WO95

Medal Rolls  

                    WO372 at the National Archives available via the National Archives website for a fee


Service records

                  WO363 and WO364 at the National Archives available via subscription websites

Absent Voters Lists

                 Surviving records are likely to be in local archives. For details of online access to some lists see and

A number of World War 1 documents mentioned accessed via subscription

Red Cross Volunteers

Friends’ Ambulance Service

1939 Register This link will lead you to social history information about the 1930’s

FindmyPast’s You Tube channel includes videos about the 1939 register, which are well worth watching for more background information.

You may find these blog posts from The National Archives of interest:

The 1939 Register – when is a ‘census’ not a census?

National Registration Day 29 September 1939

National Registration – What happened next?

The National Archives have also produced a relevant podcast:  

The 1941 Farm Survey

There is a National Archives’ Research Guide, which gives further information about the Farm Survey

This talk was full of information for both beginners and people who have been researching their ancestors for more years than they care to remember! Something for everyone, an excellent talk that was enjoyed by all.

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