The next step might be to find your ancestors on censuses (1841- 1901.) Eastbourne Central Library holds a variety of town and area censuses on microfiche, film and in pamphlet form. It also has a wide selection of other useful resources plus free online access to Ancestry. See the Local Resources Directory for a full list.
1911 Census Online
The 1911 Census is now available to search online on the Find My Past website.
Released early, this huge data resource is of vital importance to 20th century family history research.
Online Census Resources
There are several online resources for censuses including:
- 1901 Census Online - Free to search, but a small fee is payable to view the record.
- Family Search (1881 census). Free
- FreeCen (A selection of censuses 1841 – 91, being added to on a daily basis by volunteers). Free.
- Ancestry - full censuses from 1841 to 1901. Subcription required
The censuses, particularly the later ones will tell you the name of the person you are researching, their approximate age, their address, their place of birth and their profession or trade. You will also be able to see other members of the household so may be able to find brothers and sisters, parents and grand-parents.
Probably the biggest and one of the most useful online resources is Family Search, the genealogy website of the church of the Latter Day Saints (Mormons). This is a massive database of over 2 billion entries. The UK entries are mostly parish records of births, baptisms, marriages, deaths and burials. This is known as the IGI – the International Genealogical Index. It is free to search and view transcribed records.
Thousands of members of the public have also published their family trees here, so someone may have already done a lot of your work for you. We recommend, however, that you try to view the original records where possible to truly verify the information. Some people copy information down wrongly or presume people to be related when they are not.
There are also records from countries across the globe as well as UK, US and Canadian censuses.
Family Search also offers free family tree collation software – Personal Ancestral File - which is very useful for administering your family tree.
You should now be well on your way to compiling your family tree. Wills, town directories, apprenticeship papers, war memorials and tombstones are all also valuable in the search for our ancestors.
The National Archives' Access to Archives (A2A) project website holds an astonishing amount of historical information that might contain your ancestors' names. It allows you to search the extensive holdings of Archives and Records Offices across England and Wales.
Our Local Resources and Useful Links Directories contain many other links and resources to help you with your research, including information specific to Eastbourne.