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Family History Societies:

the family history society devoted solely to Cornwall

the family history society devoted solely to Devon


Dorset FHS Logo

the family history society devoted solely to Dorset

the long-established family history society that covers both counties


Record offices:

Cornwall Record Office (Kresen Kernow) - home of Cornwall's archives


Devon county council logo

Devon Record Office - home of Devon's archives

Dorset History Centre - home of Dorset, Bournemouth and Poole's archives


Somerset County Council Homepage
The Somerset Heritage Centre

The Somerset Heritage Centre - home of Somerset's archives


Online Parish Clerk projects:

Cornwall OPC project

a volunteer project to make as many Cornwall records as possible available online

Devon OPC project

a volunteer project to make as many Devon records as possible available online


a volunteer project to make as many Dorset records as possible available online



a volunteer project to make as many Somerset records as possible available online

as this is still relatively in its infancy, further sites are listed below

Ian Sage's Index to some online Somerset Transcriptions

There are also numerous other sites that give information about individual parishes or groups of parishes


Free research sites:

Sites hosted by Ancestry under their Roots Web banner


Search FreeBMD

Birth, Deaths and Marriagee


Parish Registers

and LDS site


NOTE - With FamilySearch though be wary of contributor submitted entries as these are not always transcriptions but often suppositions with no basis in fact.- hypothetical example: John Smith marries in Beaminster in 1825 so there is 'contributor' record submitted for John Smith born Beaminster ca 1800 whereas John Smith was really 35 when married and born in Broadwindsor, a genuine 1790 baptism transcription already existing.  As with all transcriptions on all sites, no matter what the source, bear in mind that they are only what the transcriber believes they see and are only as good as that individual's interpretation of what can be seen on documents that are sometimes incredibly difficult to read or decipher.  Another thing to watch out for is the recent efforts to get more records online by Ancestry, Findmypast, Btitisn Newspaper Archive, amongst others with the need to use Optical Character Recognition equipment whose performance is variable.  Quite severely affected appear to be Ancestry's electoral roll name search indexes where, as well as 'inventive' interpretation of the characters read (not all are), the 'J' to indicate jury service is included, as are often parts of the person's address as well!  Comparison of the index at the bottom of the page and the actually list shown also often reveals whole chunks of the roll have not been included in the indexes so presumably won't be picked up in searches.  It is always best to check the original documents when you canI've lost count (in transcriptions from numerous sites) of the Hams, Hains, Manns, Slanns and Flanns I've seen indexed or transcribed as Hann and the times Hann has been transcribed as Haun, Mann, Ham, Harm etc, and whilst I can see the reasoning behind getting people who have no idea what something might be to index/transcribe as 'an accurate reflection of what they see' and in no way wish to decry the valuable work they do in making that data accessible to me, I still think you can't beat a person with local knowledge who knows what a name is supposed to be.  They would know it was a very localised but exceedingly common name and index/transcribe it accordingly rather than possibly cobble together an unlikely jumble of letters that is of no use to anybody trying to find the person by surname search anyway.  In the end I suppose it is down to the availability of people (either voluntary or otherwise) who have time and are willing to undertake the work.


Subscription/pay-per-view research sites with south west UK content:

The Genealogist - UK census, BMDs and more online


Support organisations:

the independent body that supports the Devon Record Office in its work


Dorset Archives Trust logo

Dorset Archives Trust (formerly Friends of Dorset's Archives)

the independent charitable body that supports the Dorset History Centre in its work

and works closely with the Dorchester Museum (managed by the Dorset Natural History and Archaeology Society)

the independent body that supports the Somerset History Centre in its work






The Old Congregational Chapel

Whitcombe Road


Dorset  DT8 3NB

+44(0)1308 863 623



The Coach House

Gundry Lane


Dorset  DT6 3RJ

+44(0)1308 458 703



High Street


Devon  EX14 1PG

+44(0)1404 44 966 New
  New   New New

preserving the heritage of Beaminster, Bridport, Honiton and their surrounding areas

Another useful site for making connections

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