The family history research help which can be obtained with the aid of a computer is considerable. Society members without their own computing facilities should seek the help of colleagues who have computers. There are two main types of family history computing sources, compact disks and the internet. Compact disks are portable disks carrying permanent data and the internet can be accessed by any computer having the necessary hardware and software.

CD-ROM (Compact Disk - Read Only Memory)

The most notable set of CD-ROM's is the index to the 1881 population census of the United Kingdom. (There are some faults in this index and, like any index, should be used only as a pointer to the original records.) There is a CD-ROM of the 1851 census of the counties of Devon, Norfolk and Warwickshire. A few other CD have been produced, but most attention is directed towards publication on the internet.


The total amount of data on the internet is huge, although little primary family history data has been placed there. In general, there is good coverage of catalogues and guides, but original data is not usually available on the internet. The researcher should first make himself familiar with the contents of "Genealogy in the United Kingdom and Ireland" (GENUKI). This gives pointers to most of the data available. On the internet is Family Search, the internet version of the Mormon index familiar on microfiches. There are "mailing lists" for most areas and for many surnames. The researcher should, at a suitable time, join those mailing lists as are appropriate. Special interest areas can be examined by use of the "search engines".








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Furness Family History Society. Established 1993. Affiliated to the FEDERATION OF FAMILY HISTORY SOCIETIES.