Family Indices, Categories and Related Resources

This page is still work is progress, but hopefully explains 3 keys interrelated parts of this site:

  • Family Indices: summaries of main families being researched.
  • Categories: summaries of how the blog posts have been categorised.
  • Related Resources: key sites and other resources used as part of my family history research.

Family Indices

The content of each family index page is likely to be different depending on who’s written it, how far back the research goes, what’s been discovered, etc. The idea is that these family pages help provide some context or overview about the branches being researched together with sources, but hopefully other material you may find interesting/useful including links to relevant records among 160,000+ individuals we have on the searchable family tree at (more about this family tree collaboration project here).

The other ideas is that the comment section on these pages provides an opportunity for additional input from visitors, as an interim solution before possibly setting-up a separate discussion forum if there’s enough demand for one.

To kick things off here’s two:


The following list summarises the way I have categrorised blog post on here (work in progress):

  • Biographies | Eulogies | Obituaries: Short version is these posts contain biographies, eulogies and obituaries of ancestors I am researching (or links to them). Longer version, is that this is one of many attempts on this site to present information about ancestors that goes beyond the genealogical who begat who, where and when. And so some of these posts may just contain a tribute or even family story/anecdote that captures something about who they were and the lives that they lived.
  • Families: this is parent category for posts about the different ancestor families being researched below:
  • Family History Portfolios: this category has its own index with more explanation here. Short version is the following ‘portfolios’ are different formats for presenting family history:
  • Family news: this is category for more newsletter-like posts of hatches, matches, despatches and other relevant news of close kith and kin, e.g. media appearances, awards, medals, etc.
  • Other bits and bobs:
    • Genealogical dead-ends: where I have been unable to go back another generation (bookmarks for further research)
    • Heraldy: there are two sides of this. Firstly, some of my ancestors, relatives and not too distant cousins have coat of arms (old, new and even some that might may even be bogus). There’s also the (Heraldic) Visitation of England and Wales that comes in 21 volumes recording the lineage of various families, their armorial bearings etc. It’s another useful resource for finding out more about those ancestors listed in them. The volumes can be found on (more on this in Related Resources below).
    • Medals, awards and other accolades:
    • Military
    • Reflections
    • Research encounters
    • Royal Descent
    • Skeletons in the closet
  • Paintings, Photographs and artefacts
    • Artefacts
    • Paintings of places
    • Photographs
    • Portraits
  • Places
    • Fantasy Highland Road Trip
    • Short break in the Midlands
  • Poetry Corner
    • Poems by Angela Kirby
    • Other poems
  • When: this is the parent category to help break down posts into different eras.
    • Anglo Saxon: these posts are about Anglo Saxon ancestors that are mostly likely legends but fun nonetheless.
    • Biblical: these posts are about Biblical ‘ancestors’ and so could be considered mythical but fun nonetheless.
    • Edwardian: these posts are about my Edwardian ancestors
    • Norman:
    • Norse:
    • Victorian
  • Where: this is a parent category for posts about Ancestors from different parts of the globe.

Related Resources

This section contain is also still work in progress,. The aim is to list the various key resources that I’ve found helpful as part of my research, and hopefully the range of resources I’ve used. In most cases, sources are cited and often linked to the posts about families and other things categorised above:

Family History Platforms: genealogy is apparently the second most popular hobby in the US and so its no surprise that there are a number of platforms servicing this interest. The sites continue to change over time, mostly so that what was searchable for free previously is now something you need a subscription for. I will try and put a guide together with help from my cousin Hamish who has used and uses most of them to explain what is good about each.

In the meantime, here is my quick summary of other sites I have used:

Landed Gentry, Nobility, Aristocracy and Royalty: the thing about posher families is they are better documented and if you can trace your ancestors back far enough the mathematical progression of family trees makes it highly likely you’ll have one as an ancestor who will connect you to more (see more on this here). 

The Peerage: Daryl Lundy’s ‘genealogical survey of the peerage of Britain as well as the royal families of Europe’ is a great resource and I’ve been in contact with him pretty much since I started this blog. What I like about the site, apart from it being a free resource, is that I can follow-up various branches of my family tree as well as try and join dots between them.

Stirnet: this is similar resouce to The Peerage and records are based on same and similar directories of Landed Gentry, Nobility, Aristocracy and Royalty. The downside is that is records aren’t that easy to browse without a subscription – hence tending to end up here via Google searches rather than using the site itself. But with a little bit of effort it is possible to follow pedigrees without membership. The upside is it is more comprehensive than The Peerage and goes back further into ‘ancestors’ from Biblical, Classical Civilisation and other similar eras including the more mythical.

FabPedigree: has a database of over 290,000 individual pedigrees that I often end up at via Google searches. What it lacks in depth about pedigrees and searchability it makes up for in breadth of individuals covered and ease in which you can follow branches of any ancestors listed. It makes no claims about the genealogy contained being authoritative, but is a useful starting place. similar site to The Peerage but focused on royal and noble family trees of many European countries, including lists of their rulers. Again, another one I have tended to end up via Google Searches but easy enough to follow pedigrees once you have chanced upon an ancestor listed.

Family History Sites: much of my research as been via sites chronicling their family trees. This include those using the same The Next Generation of Genealogy Sitebuilding (TNG) software developed by Darrin Lythgoe that my cousin Hamish and I use for the family tree collaboration we co-faciltate (see more on this here). Here’s a selection I have used but others will be cited and linked to the posts about families categorised above:

The Thompsons, Shipbuilders of Sunderland: George H. Graham’s site is pretty much were my research started. It’s doesn’t have a searchable database but did contain an entry for my Great Great Great Grandfather George Goldsmith Kirby (GGK) who was the family mystery that started my genealogical adventure. I haven’t actually got much further him (see Kirby Family index), but George H. Graham has been hugely supportive with my quest.

Clan Macfarlane Genealogy: one of the many sites using the fully searchable TNG family tree software mentioned above. It has been super helpful for researching my Scottish ancestry.

Birley of Lancashire Genealogies: this is a good example of one of the many family history sites I have found helpful. And in this case for my father’s Lancashire ancestors, including: Baxendale, Birley, Hornby and other families on its John Birley of Skippool Descendants directory. It uses a generational Ahnentafel-like family tree of ancestors which is helpful, but the site uses ‘frames’ making it difficult to link to individuals on the site.


Other resources: there’s a whole host of other resources I have used over the years. Again, you will find these cited and linked to in the posts about families and other things categorised above. But I have put together a range to show the types of resources I have used: this site contains digitised versions (often searchable) of the directories of Landed Gentry, Nobility, Aristocracy and Royalty used by the sites mentioned above to compile their data. But there are many other books I have found on here chronicling my ancestors, including: The Clan Donald (1896-1904) by the Revs. Angus and Archibald Macdondald for my McDonnell of Keppoch ancestors;  The visitations of Bedfordshire ; annis Domini 1566, 1582, and 1634. … (1884) by William Harvey et al for my wife’s Faldo ancestors (see more here); Victoria History of the County of Lancaster (1906) by William Farrer and John Brownhill that refences the Dunkenhalgh Deeds (cited in books about my Birtwistle Family ancestors); and many many more.

2 thoughts on “Family Indices, Categories and Related Resources

  1. Hi Justin, I trust you are well,
    My goodness this is a very interesting blog. I would like to connect with you and discover the connections between our families as I see I have cousins I have never had any idea of.

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