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British Country Houses, Gardens, and Castles: Researching Family/Indiv. Histories

This page is intended to guide users through the resources needed to study Castles, Country Houses and Gardens of England, Scotland and Wales.

Books on Family Histories

Use the following resources to look up a family name. Consider consulting a published family history if there is one that applies to your research.


Finding Articles

Try searching Yale's databases of historical periodicals for family or individual names.

Jennnings's Albums

Search for images of British monarchs, members of parliament, artists, etc.

Looking for a Person?

Ancestry, Library Edition

United States and United Kingdom genealogical resources, including census, military, court, land, and probate, vital and church records, directories, passenger lists and more.

The National Archives

The National Archives hold many records which can help you find out about individual's lives, deaths and careers. Guides also can point you to useful records in other archives and organisations, and reveal which records are available online.

Family Archives

Family papers may include deeds, architect's plans, building accounts, letters from architects, room-by-room inventories, and photographs. Such archives may remain in private hands (see Castle Howard Archives as an example), or be deposited in the British Library or the local record office. Large private archives may have a catalogue published by the Historical Manuscripts Commission or the owner.

A family with a large country house generally also owned a large estate with many other buildings on it such as lodges, houses, farms, pubs, mills, forges. One family could own several villages or a city suburb. Their estate records are often held in the same archive as the more personal family papers, but some may be retained by an estate office.

Search the National Register of Archives Family and Estate Index for a guide to family estate papers and archives.

Manorial Documents

Medieval Manorial Documents

This guide was designed to provide some useful resources, mainly for those tracing medieval English genealogy. The dates covered extend up to about 1600.

The National Archives Manorial Documents Register

The Manorial Documents Register identifies the nature and location of manorial records. The MDR is partially computerized – Wales, the Isle of Wight, Hampshire, Hertfordshire, Norfolk, Nottinghamshire, the three Ridings of Yorkshire, Shropshire, Surrey, Middlesex, Cumberland, Westmorland, Lancashire North of the Sands (the Furness area, part of Cumbria since 1974), Dorset, Gloucestershire, Berkshire and Buckinghamshire are available online. However the majority of the counties have not yet been computerized.

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