I mentioned in a recent post that I would be sharing a variety of material that was previous published, or going to be published in the now defunct, online genealogy Magazine, In-Depth Genealogy where I had a column called Across the Pond. This is the first of those pieces.
Regardless of where you live, be that within the United Kingdom or elsewhere, if you are beginning your journey of researching in the UK and Ireland, then the first port of call, should be to the very useful site of GENUKI
The site describes itself as
“GENUKI provides a virtual reference library of genealogical information of particular relevance to the UK and Ireland. It is a non-commercial service, maintained by a charitable trust and a group of volunteers.”
The site is free to all users, of course the costs is the time of the trustees and volunteers who strive to make the site user friendly and worthy for the genealogical community. As it is volunteer run, each county or regional page varies in the depth of the material. Two counties that immediately spring to mind for the amount of engagement is Devon and Durham, whereas, my home county of Surrey is not overly engaged. Nonetheless, wandering through the pages is a worthy one and I certainly recommend it.
The GENUKI site is an excellent starting point, to get your genealogical bearings within the regional structure of England, Scotland, Wales which makes up Great Britain. England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland make up the United Kingdom and of course the Republic of Ireland is the majority of the island of Ireland, with the six counties in the north are Northern Ireland.
Whilst the regional areas are distinct, there is a great deal of “free flow” across the borders of the regional centres, including Ireland and Republic of Ireland in much the same way as movement across the counties. GENUKI has a great many links to provisions and a very useful map which shows the counties, making identification of neighbouring counties easily identifiable.
For those searching for surnames for their one-name study, depending on the surname, you might find it useful to have an idea of where your surname is the most prevalent. I wrote quite recently about the Butcher study here where I showed the distribution of the surname across England and Wales. As I said in that post “my native Surrey comes out the most, as does Kent, Essex, Middlesex and Suffolk.” therefore those Counties were the ones that I looked at first on the GENUKI pages. Even though I have been researching a long time, I always find something that I have not seen previously on the site.
For those wondering about citations following finding material that will sit in your One-Name Study. I decided to look at the County of Suffolk and selected a transcription of Pigot’s Directory for 1823-1824. There were four BUTCHER references which are provided in the format of Name, Occupation and location in the County:
|Butcher, John||Fish Curer||Lowestoft|
|Butcher, Mary Anne||Straw Hat Maker||Debenham|
|Butcher, Robert||Wine & Spirit Merchant||Bungay|
The citation that I have used is:
Pigot’s Directory of Suffolk 1823-1824, Index provided by David Kolle, Melbourne, Australia 1994, Accessed 1 March 2020 link via GENUKI Suffolk pages (https://www.genuki.org.uk/big/eng/SFK/sfka_e)
Go on, grab a beverage, sit and explore! In closing, I should point out that the word GENUKI is a registered trademark and further details about the structure and “ownership” of the pages can be found HERE