The Genealogist Research Guide

Discover Your Ancestors

Discover Your Ancestors Periodical is a high quality monthly digital magazine delivered to your personal online library every month. Packed full of stories, case studies, social history articles and research advice, this regular and affordable service is a must have for anyone starting out in family history research, or for those with more experience but who have reached brick walls.

Expert guidance and inspiration around historic themes merge to create an informative and educational guide through your journey of research. It’s really easy to read, too. We have created the product in both PDF and web ready formats, so whether you are viewing on a PC or MAC or mobile device, or you simply wish to print out an article PDF – it is available in the right format for you.

For subscribers to Discover Your Ancestors Periodical, click on the ‘View’ button next to Discover Your Ancestors logo to be taken to a page where you can download each issue. 



Search Options

Initially, when you log into your account, you will see the Search page as your default. If you dont please click on the Search tab at the top of the page.

Master Search

MasterSearch will be displayed at the top. You can use this search form to search across all of our resources.



From here you can use the 'Search For' menu to look for a Person, A Family or An Address.

You can use the Record Collection Menu to specify a particular resource you would like to search or you can leave this as All Records.

You can enter Forename, Surname and Keywords. The Keyword box is a really powerful tool and allows you to enter criteria that really reduces your number of potential results.

The Keywords you enter really does depend on what record you are searching. For example, if looking for a marriage you could enter the spouses name. Or if you were searching census you could enter a birthplace or occupation. If you were searching Tithe records you could enter a Parish. Sometimes less in more and you can be entering too many keywords. If at first you receive no results please try lowering the number of keywords you are using and making sure the keyword is relevant to your search. You do not need to enter the United Kingdom or England for example.

You can then put in a year range, this can be entered as the year range of the record you are looking for or you can filter this to year of birth, which is really helpful when looking for census records etc.

Once you have some results you can use the Menu on the left hand side to narrow down your results by filtering a record set:


Icons will be displayed on the right hand side of the screen to allow you to view the Record, Image, Report a mistake or Save the record.


Additional advice for using the Keyword Master Search can be found in our Video Tutorials available here:

If you wish to search a specific record set you can access the Advanced Search facility by clicking the 'Search' tab along the top of the website. Then scroll down the page to see a list of databases. These databases are listed alphabetically by category and there will be a Drop Down Menu available for each. You can select from here the record set you wish to search.



Address Search

One of the advantages of the full transcription on TheGenealogist is that you can find census entries for a street address without having to know who lives there.

Often we have addresses from certificates which we can use to see if our ancestors still lived at the same address in the census, or we can track the address through the census years to see how long they lived there.

From the Master Search select ‘An Address’ from the ‘What would you like to search for today?’ drop down box, then select the year, such as 1901, and the county, e.g. London and enter the name of the street you are looking for, click Search.



If there are lots of results you can Filter them down using the Area or Piece number filters.


You can then click on the Address of interest to see who was living there:




You will see all entries living on that street and can often spot new ancestors living close by. The icons on the right allow you to view the Record or Image and Save.



Family Search


We offer a fantastic search Tool for finding families with our Family Search.

This option is great for extracting hard to find families in the census. It enables you to search for a family group together when perhaps the usual method of searching for one individual household member has failed. Or if the family has a more common surname this will really narrow down your results.

From the main Master Search page you can opt to Search for Family:




As many families had a large number of children, the odds of another family in the same county being an exact match is quite remote. It is possible to narrow the search by year and county, if required, and enter as many householders that you know of.




You can select the Year of Census to Search and select the County if you know it.


If you wish to use a surname please enter it, if not leave this blank.


You can then enter as many household details as you wish. For each member you can include their year of birth and their relationship to the head of the household.


A useful tick box to use if you are using Year of Birth with your search is:


‘Match Decades e.g if you enter 1897 we will search all of the 1890’s as ages often vary throughout the census records.


Your results will appear below the Search box, highlighting in Green all the fields which match your Search Criteria.

From this results page you can open to view the Household Record or the Original Image using the icons on the right hand side of each result.

If you didn't select a County in your initial Search, once your results have loaded there will be a menu down the left hand side which will allow you to select a county to narrow the results list down if you need to.


Please remember, sometimes less is more and try not to be too specific with your search criteria.


TreeView is a powerful family tree builder. Whether you're an experienced family historian or just starting out, you'll find TreeView easy to use and an essential tool in your research. 

The TreeView tab takes you to a free online program that enables you to build your family tree on your computer. Premium TreeView features will require a subscription.

You can also link your TreeView online data to a full software package. For details please see:


Image Archive

We all want to know more about what life was like in the times of our ancestors...and old photographs provide the perfect opportunity to look through a window into the past. With this in mind, TheGenealogist has become the first family history website to launch a dedicated new 'Image Archive', which includes hundreds of unique 3D photos and thousands of standard images dating from 1850 to 1940!

A free to use service that allows researchers the opportunity to relive the past through the eyes of your ancestors at:

'Diamond' subscribers to TheGenealogist will have further access to the Image Archive to download the images in a high resolution format for the greatest possible clarity.

The Image Archive is fully searchable using the title of the photo itself, or just add a 'keyword' to narrow down your search. All the photos are rated so you can see which photos are of the highest quality. There's also a selection of main search categories and sub-categories to help you find photos of interest, quickly and easily.

The images are all named and tagged so they can be easily identified. They are also rated for quality so you can see how good the picture is before you download it.


Interact with other subscribers regarding your research and receive hints and tips from very knowledgeable members.


Through generations, specific parts of DNA are passed down with little change from parent to child. At its most basic, DNA tests compare the markers between different people who have already been tested to find those who are related to you.

From these matches, you can make contact or use the information they have provided about their family research. The information can then be used to make breakthroughs in your own research, connect with lost relations or confirm suspected genealogical connections.

For paternal line testing, it is also likely that the Surname will have been passed down along with the DNA markers. This has allowed 'Surname Projects' to be started based on DNA matches confirming your common surname ancestry.

A DNA test can also show you the ancestral make-up of your DNA and, from that, which countries feature these markers. This will not match you to individual people but can help find new avenues of research by showing areas of origin which you were not aware of or to confirm ones you suspected.

For more information please see:



In the Social area, you will find links to social networking sites, historical articles featured in email newsletters, and subscriber stories where you can read people's research stories and submit your own. Our historical articles show how famous ancestors such as Florence Nightingale and the Brontë sisters can be traced online. To access the featured articles section, click on the link below:


The News tab allows you to view our recent New Releases.


In the Help area, you can access our Research Guide, Frequently Asked Questions and Video Tutorials to help you get the most from your subscription and powerful search facilities. You can also access links to ask a question on our Forum and our Contact details.


My Account section is where you can amend your details including your registered email address and password, check details of your current and past subscriptions (under Subscription Information), submit new card details, buy more subscriptions, view credit information and contact us if you have any questions which are not answered in the help pages.