On this page I invite you to share some of the best websites I have used in researching John Bankes, plus some others that are not necessarily relevant to Bankes, but are of continuing interest to me. Hopefully they will be of use to some of you.

The records offices listed are those that hold most of the information I have used in my research. They should be of interest if you want to look at any of these sources. Obviously, not all of you will be as obsessed by Bankes as I am, but you will find that the material can be used for other kinds of research, besides that which I have carried out.

For those of you who are interested in Bankes, much of the information on the sites listed should enable you to place him in his historical context, as well as to research him.

I shall add to the list as and when I can, so don’t forget to come back for another look!

Inevitably, from time to time the content or locations of these sites may change; that is beyond my control. I would be grateful if you would advise me of any problems you may experience in using these links, by clicking here. Additionally, if you know of other websites that may be of interest to me in my research, I would be delighted to hear from you.

Records Offices and Related Sites

The A2A database contains catalogues describing archives held throughout England and dating from the 900s to the present day.” That quotation just about sums up this sight. Superb.

In you are researching Welsh history or family history and you want to find out which Welsh archive holds the records relevant to your research are held, try the Archives Network Wales website.

Guildhall Library, City of London. Heaps of material here about the Manuscripts Section of this wonderful library, and its holdings.

The COLLAGE database. This site displays images of pictures held in the Guildhall Library’s collection, and thus allows us to see views of London from the past, as depicted by some fine artists. Opportunities to look and buy.

The website of London Metropolitan Archives – yet another fine London repository, crammed with treasures.

On its London Signatures website London Metropolitan Archives has made available a free index to10,000 wills from the Archdeaconry Court of Middlesex. As a bonus, you can buy copies of these wills online at a very reasonable price.

The National Archives, Kew, is the home of the British Government archives and a veritable treasure trove containing all kinds of official records. The catalogue to the collection is available here, and If you follow the Documents Online link to PCC Wills you can search for – and buy – your ancestors’ wills without leaving your desk!

The National Library of Wales at Aberystwyth holds a wealth of material of interest to local or family historians with Welsh interests, and has proved of great value in researching the Welsh Bankes descendants. Click here to visit its website.

Westminster City Archives website, with searchable on-line catalogue.

Other Archives

The Society of Genealogists, London. This library is full to bursting point with all kinds of genealogical material, and has proved immensely useful to me in my research into the Bankes descendants pedigree. Indexes to Certain records held by the SOG are available on-line at

The archives of the Wellcome Foundation contain some medical writings written by Thomas Hunt (1789 – 1879). You can search their catalogue by clicking here.

London History & Livery Companies

The Haberdashers’ Company website. Lots of information about the Company past and present.

London Genealogy. This site holds a variety of material about the City of London, as well as links to many other sites. Of relevance to family and local history topics.

Anybody interested in the history of London must take a look at the London’s History website. Articles on all manner of topics bring history to life.

City of London Livery Companies. Part of the Corporation of London’s History website. This site gives you loads of information about the City of London Livery Companies. It also provides links to the websites of individual Livery Companies.

The London Lives website makes available, in a fully digitised and searchable form, a wide range of primary sources about eighteenth-century London, with a particular focus on ordinary Londoners. To date (DEcember 2010) it includes over 240,000 manuscript and printed pages from eight London archives, supplemented by fifteen datasets created by other projects. It provides access to historical records containing over 3.35 million name instances. Facilities are provided to allow users to link together records relating to the same individual, and to compile biographies of the best documented individuals. The Project Manager is Dr Sharon Howard. and the project is implemented by the Humanities Research Institute at the University of Sheffield and the Higher Education Digitisation Service at the University of Hertfordshire. Well worth a look, in my opinion.

Did your ancestor feature in an Old Bailey trial between the years 1674-1913 You can find out at the Old Bailey Online site, and obtain a transcription of any relevant material.

There are a number of excellent map sites on the internet. If you are looking for a really clear, easy to use map of London in 1827 try the Greenwood Map. I have used it quite a lot.

As I expect you know, Charles Booth carried out his survey into life and labour in London, dating from 1886 to 1903. The results of his research is contained in a series of notebooks, which you can see on the web at the LSE’s Charles Booth Online Archive. This is an amazing site, containing the famous Booth Poverty Maps of London and much besides. If your forebears lived in the area covered by the survey you can learn a lot about them here.

If you are interested in London history you will probably find Licy Inglis’s Georgian London blog a terrific read. This blog was voted the ‘History Website of 2009 by the online readers of History Today magazine, as well as winning the 2009 Cliopatria Award for ‘Best Individual Blog’ and ‘Best New Blog’.

Another blog that I dip into quite often to satisfy my need to read about London history is Carole Reeves’ Bloomsbury People project. Carole is Outreach Historian at The Wellcome Trust Centre for the History of Medicine in London, and is creating this archive of people who lived or worked in Bloomsbury, London. Among many other goodies There’s an article on there, posted on 1 April 2009, about a Bankes Descendant and Bloomsbury person – Dr Thomas Hunt

Family and Community History Research

If you look at the tree on this website you will see my Holliday line. James Frederick Holliday (1853-1938) – not my direct ancestor – migrated to Brazil in the late nineteenth century, and his descendants have a very rich history from that time to this. The Holliday Family in Brazil Blog has been set up by George Holliday, with help from Johnnie Holliday, in order to record the family’s history, and to display some quite brilliant family photographs. Have a look!

Although, so far as I know, I have no Shropshire ancestry, I am a member of my local family history society – Shropshire FHS. You can reach their website by clicking here.

Genuki – Genealogy UK & Ireland This site gives you all sorts of information about family history research, including addresses of, and links to, family history societies. I recommend it highly.

If you are interested in placing your ancestors in their social context, as I am, have a look at the website of the Family & Community Historical Research Society. Another society that I belong to.

Anybody involved in family history research will attest to the great part played in our research by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. The mormons make available a vast range of primary sources and indexes at minimal cost. Their Familysearch website is well worth a visit.

Another site that is a “must” for all family historians researching in England and Wales is FreeBMD. This index to civil registration indexes is entirely the work of volunteers, and its nineteenth century coverage is now extremely good. It’s free to use, and if you haven’t already done so I recommend that you give it a go next time you are looking for a reference to order a birth, marriage of death certificate.

Anybody interested in the Dewsberry family and other families connected with the Llanelly Pottery should look at Richard Evans’s website.

UKBMD includes over 1800 links to web sites offering on-line transcriptions of UK births, marriages, deaths and censuses. A wide range of other indexes and transcriptions are also available for most counties, including parish records, wills, monumental inscriptions etc. Its sister site is UKGDL, which provides over 1300 links to web sites offering on-line data in a wide range of categories to help us all with our Family History research.

Other Sites of Interest

The BBC History Website’s Sceptred Isle section contains information about historical events in various periods. Click here to see information relevant to 1660-1702. Alternatively, Click here to see information relevant to 1702-1760. You can find vast amounts of information about various aspects of British history on the BBC site, so while you’re visiting, have a play!

A perpetual calendar. Do you know the day of the week on which your ancestor was born or married? You can find out here. Very useful for all kinds of information about dates.

A Timeline, showing significant events that occurred during the lifetime of John Bankes. This helps us to place Bankes in his historical context.

Need some more links to genealogy sites? will help you.

For all sorts of information about UK genealogy have a look at the British website.

In the Articles section of this website you will see my article, written for the Shropshire FHS Journal, on the use of Directories. In it I make mention of the Leicester University Historical Directories Searchable Digital Library. Whatever type of historical research you are involved in, you really must make good use of this tremendous resource.

John Newton was a minister in the 18th – 19th centuries. He was a famous preacher and writer of hymns, and performed the ceremony when my ancestor – Ann Hunt – married John Stephens in 1791. 2007 was the bicentenary of Newton’s death, and to mark the occasion the John Newton Project has been carrying out research into the life and works of this remarkable man. On their website you will find some of the fruits of the project.

To quote from the Introduction on the website, British History Online “is the digital library containing some of the core printed primary and secondary sources for the medieval and modern history of the British Isles. Created by the Institute of Historical Research and the History of Parliament Trust, its aim is to support academic and personal users around the world in their learning, teaching and research”. If that description sounds a bit dry, don’t let that put you off using it to find out about the history of the part of the country that interests you. It’s a terrific source of information.

  • This page was last updated on Wednesday December 1st, 2010.