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In my classes on Getting Started in Genealogy I am often confronted by the person who says that they are first – or maybe second – generation Americans and can not locate data on their ancestors in a foreign country. I also have students who have trouble finding data in the British Isles.
Here are some web sites which I have used. Additional sites may be found on Cyndi’s List
England: www.British-history.ac.uk
“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, we aim to support academic and personal users around the world in their learning, teaching and research.”
At this site I found dozens of historical recordings concerning my 10gg named John Vassall, including facinating court cases concerning he, his ship the Samuell, and numerous troubles on the high seas with Turkish mauraders.
Some data is free; some have a cost.

Northern Ireland: www.Proni.gov.uk
“The Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI) is the official archive for Northern Ireland. It aims to identify and preserve records of historical, social and cultural importance and make them available for the information, education and enjoyment of the public.

Located in Belfast, PRONI is a government organisation founded in 1923 (shortly after the partition of Ireland). It now operates as part of the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure (DCAL) within the Northern Ireland Civil Service (NICS).”

PRONI holds literally millions of documents that relate chiefly, but by no means exclusively, to Northern Ireland. They date largely from c.1600 to the present day (with a few dating back as far as the early 13th century).”
Some searches are free; some have a cost.

Ireland: www.Irish-roots.ie
The Irish Family History Foundation is the coordinating body for a network of county based genealogical research centres on the island of Ireland. These centres have computerised millions of Irish genealogical records, including church records, census returns and gravestone inscriptions. You will find information here about the Irish Family History Foundation centre in each member county. Through them you can have research carried out on your family history from the millions of records which they have gathered over the years.
Registration and identifying a name or place is free, but viewing a record has a cost.

France: www.Geneanet.org
The purpose of GeneaNet is to connect people so that they may share research. While the site starts with an irritating offer using Voice, the data is well presented, allowing searches by surname, location and timeframe.
Some of the site is free, some costs £40 annually.

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