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Getting Started and Finding Resources

Research Menu

Research - It's What We Do!

Getting Help

If you are a complete beginner (or perhaps you have some gaps in your experience) then our series of "Where to Start" articles will point you in the right direction. There is more information on a variety of specialist topics in our series of downloadable Research Guides and, if you need one-to-one help, our helpdesk is there to help with specific problems.If all else fails or you are simply looking for someone to research for you, then our "Find a Researcher" page may be for you. Where to start

Find Out More

There is a wealth of free information online, some of it on this web site but lots too on the ever-expanding number of specialist sites around the world. Our Weblinks pages provide you with a route to the most helpful web sites to help with your research whether in Manchester, elsewhere in the UK or even overseas. Closer to home on this site we offer a free search of our extensive databases (though only members will be able to access the details from some of these). Weblinks

Reaching Out

We are not inward looking! We work to engage both members and non-members in advancing family history research. Our magazine, The Manchester Genealogist provides a place to publish your findings and preserve them for the benefit of future researchers. Our constant programme of projects brings ever more material into public view and enables members to contribute to the widening of access to resources. And, if you are a young person who is looking for some first steps in family and local history, our Explorers pages will offer you something challenging.


In this section you will find some immediately useful references, starting with a lengthy list of local record offices, archives, register offices and cemeteries, all of them organisations which you are likely to encounter in your research in the Manchester area. Local addresses is full of information - you might also find some new resources amongst the list. Our FAQs are useful guides to accessing the members area, renewing subscriptions and accessing the members forum, and the Manchester Timeline is useful for placing lifespans in their social contexts.

Members Forum

We don't know everything! But there is a vast resource to be tapped in the knowledge and experience of our members. Our Member Forum gives you access to the knowledge of over 500 of our members. Equally important, you can share your knowledge with them - everyone wins! Members forum

Godfrey Maps Index

One of the most useful local resources is a free index to the Alan Godfrey series of Ordnance Survey maps for Manchester. It will pinpoint the maps you need and link you straight to our shop where yo can order them online, Godfrey Map Index

Research Documents

The General Records Collection

The largest collection of documents and databases is in the Manchester  Research section, and covers Greater Manchester, much of Lancashire and occasionally ventures into the adjacent counties, too. It would be impractical to split this list into documents and databases as many of these documents are now indexed in The Great Database, the remainder can be viewed using the View Documents button at the end of the list. this is a quick and easy way to browse through our holdings and get a good idea of the scope of our holdings.

Research Documents

The Branch Records Collections

Our new 'everyday name' of Manchester Ancestors reflects our central location but our research covers a much wider geographic area and our branch societies have contributed their local research to add to our knowledge database. Our member area holds a large collection of documents which  have been created by the Anglo ScotsOldham and Bolton branches and details are listed in each branch's Research Section, followed by a 'View Documents' button. The volunteers of the society and its branches continue to create and transcribe more records.