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Our pick of the top websites to trace your family tree

With time on your hands, why not build a bridge to the past?

Here are some of the top websites to help you trace your family tree.

Find out what family you have
Find out what family you have

FreeBMD

FreeBMD is an ongoing project which aims to transcribe the Civil Registration index of births, marriages and deaths for England and Wales, and provide it for free online. It is a part of the Free UK Genealogy family, which also includes FreeCEN (Census data) and FreeREG (Parish Registers). The recording of births, marriages and deaths started in 1837 and transcribing the records is being carried out by volunteers. It's a registered charity and does have running costs so you can make a donation to help with them on the site too.

Go to freebmd.org.uk

MyHeritage

This site helps you find family you never knew you had with DNA matching, like Ant and Dec's DNA Journey recently, where they both found they had Irish heritage through to a female wrestler and even ancestors of historical importance. There's a free 14 day trial and if you sign up after that you can create your family tree online with 36 detailed reports.

Go to myheritage.com

Looking up your family tree could be rewarding
Looking up your family tree could be rewarding

FreeUKGenealogy

The site gives free access to family records online with help from a team of volunteers transcribing public records from governmental sources, parish churches, and other trusted institutions. You can search by births, marriages and deaths data; census records and parish records.

Go to freeukgenealogy.org.uk

FamilySearch

Run by a non-profit family history organisation dedicated to connecting families across generations, this site is packed with parish records, censuses, and other crucial resources to help you.

It claims to have the largest collection of genealogical and historical records in the world - more than 4 billion names - to search, a 24 hour helpline if you get stuck and a dedicated team of employees and volunteers able to help you, you can create an account in minutes and start searching. It was created by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for its members to research their ancestry, but now is open to everyone.

Go to familysearch.org/register to get started.

Find your extended family online
Find your extended family online

Kent Family History Society

Not free, but the society, which has more than 2,000 members worldwide and was set up in 1974, helps and supports members in their family history research. Regular meetings are currently cancelled but there's also a quarterly Journal and online community forum.

Go to kfhs.org.uk

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Now could be the time to trace your family tree online
Now could be the time to trace your family tree online

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