Hands up, I am not a medieval genealogy expert. BUT, I’ve trawled the internet on your behalf. Weeding out the chaff from the wheat. Below are 6 of the best websites I discovered. These are exactly what I would visit as and when I felt the call to delve into medieval genealogy.
Click on the headings to visit these fantastic resources
A huge compendium of various medieval resources and history sites. There is even a list of 60 medieval twitter accounts to follow. Curate those twitter lists now! This site is the best place to visit in order to start to find out more about the medieval period generally. It’s always wise to get at least an overview of whatever time period you are hunting for ancestors within. Otherwise it’s impossible to put your ancestors into the context of the time and place within which they lived.
This incredible database “contains the names of soldiers serving the English crown between 1369 and 1453”. The site has lots of different search options and wild cards can be utilised. Remember spellings were very fluid at the time so be as broad as possible to explore all those variations!
This site contains a huge index of resources. Handily it has a ‘what’s new’ feature to help you stay on top of the latest releases. Along with it’s curation of resources it has a number of handy guides and explanations to assist you with your research.
I haven’t taken this course personally, but Pharos are a widely respected and trustworthy organisation. They provide short (about 6 week) online courses and recently added a Medieval Genealogy unit to their offering. With a non-accredited unit costing about £62, Pharos offer one of the most affordable options for delving into medieval genealogy.
The TNA guides are always one of my favourite go to resources. Use this guide to check out what’s searchable online and then plan your trip to the archives (post-pandemic!)
Whilst you are at the TNA site, don’t forget to try your hand at their FREE resources on learning to read old documents. Brush up on your Latin and your palaeography skills.
Guests Dr Sophie Therese Ambler & Dr Nick Barratt helped give me a crash course in medieval history for beginners. Find out just how bad King John was and what life was like for “ordinary” people under his oppressive regime.
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