Co Norfolk, England Genealogy
Surname Index Page
Allman Index Page
Chamberlain's of Norwich
Cobb's of Co Norfolk
Crome Index Page
My Norfolk Lines

Map from 'Hotels in England'
Greenwood's of Co Norfolk
Hazell's of Co Norfolk
Money Index Page
Riches of Depwade district, Co Norfolk
My Norfolk Lines
My Co Norfolk genealogy begins with my most recent Norfolk ancestor, Francis Allman, who was transported to Australia in 1818 as a convict. As part of the research into Francis and his family, I researched Allman's across the entirety of Co Norfolk (ie: a county-wide one-name study). Where practical I duplicated this county-wide one-name study for surnames that married into my Allman's and in turn for surnames that married into those lines and so forth. In some cases the surname was too common to make a county-wide study feasible. In the case of Chamberlain & Riches I researched all families in the relevant registration districts. In the case of the Money family (a very common Co Norfolk surname), I only researched my own Money family.

There are a wealth of resources available for studying genealogy in Co Norfolk: Parish registers, civil records, wills & deeds, census' and much more. However there are also several rather sizeable limitations. Many parish registers are unavailable, unless one is able to visit Co Norfolk, and those that are available often have sizeable gaps or only a rather limited coverage.

Perhaps the most valuable tool available today in genealogy is the IGI, specifically the parish register extracts therein (more or less anything with a 'Ba' number). Submitted material, Ancestral File & Pedigree Resource data is often suspect and less valuable (sometimes even misleading). The coverage of the IGI varies across the UK. In the case of Co Norfolk, the coverage is rather poor. Norfolk has over 750 individual parishes. Of these, less than 150 have had some or all of their parish records in the IGI. The Norfolk parishes covered by the IGI are rather unevenly spread. There is no coverage at all for the Depwade registration district (roughly the central southern part of Norfolk), yet for the city of Norwich, almost all of the city parishes have been extracted. In addition to the IGI, the FreeREG parish register project is a very useful tool. There is some duplication of parishes covered by the IGI, but many of the parishes not in the IGI can be found in FreeREG. For instance, whilst the IGI has no coverage of the Depwade Registration district, FreeREG has almost a complete coverage. As with the IGI, the coverage of parishes by FreeREG is rather uneven across Norfolk. An additional advantage of FreeREG, even when it duplicates IGI coverage, is that FreeREG transcriptions also include burials. To further complicate matters, whilst a large number of parishes are covered by the combination of the IGI & FreeREG, the coverage within individual parishes is uneven with sizable gaps in the records. Also, most Norfolk parishes extracted in FreeREG only date back to the early to mid 1700's and many more only date back to the late 1700's or even the early 1800's. The consequence of all this is that the ability to research a particular family in Co Norfolk prior to 1800 is to a big extent a matter of luck, likewise researching back before 1700.

Census records are also a valuable tool. The 1851 & 1881 census' are available from the Church of Later Day Saints and are very useful tools. The 1881 census covers all of the UK whilst the 1851 census covers Norfolk and a couple of other counties. Worthwhile & economical resources for anyone researching in Norfolk. Two additional census resources are available. FreeCEN, a sister site of FreeREG. FreeCEN has a very limited coverage for Co Norfolk, although since this is a volunteer project in its early years, the coverage will grow with time. The other source of census information is the 1901 Census Online site.Whilst this site charges for accessing the actual census information, the indices are available for browsing online for free. Apart from the 1851 index, wildcard searches are possible. Whilst the free searches only returns information on the registration district and not the actual civil parish, it is possible to obtain additional information using a 'backdoor trick' using the place keyword search field. For example, a search for Norwich will return all individuals of the specified name living in all of the Norwich districts, which includes Heigham and other surrounding villages. If, however, you enter in the name of a particular Norwich parish (eg: St Stephen) in the place keyword field, the results will be filtered for just that parish (even tho' the displayed results only list the administrative area and not the parish). This is especially useful with the 1841 census where the place keywords only cover where the individual was residing at the time. The keyword filter for later census' covers both the place of birth and also the place of residence.

Another very useful site is the Norfolk Records Office. A searchable index of their catalogues is available online and contains a wealth of information including wills, deeds, court records, settlement & removal orders and much more. Useful for fleshing out the background on individuals and filling in gaps in the earlier centuries. If desired, copies of the relevant documents can be ordered online. FreeBMD contains transcriptions of civil birth, marriage & death records (from 1837 on). Useful for finding death and marriage details (tho' it only gives the registration district). Using FreeBMD to track births is somewhat limited since no relationship details are given, ie: the index gives the date, registration district and the name of the baby but does not give any details on the parents.

There are of course many other sources available. You can search the Roots-Web mailing list archives (which date back to the 1990's) using keywords (eg: a surname and parish or county). The information available is limited only by what others have submitted to the mail lists in the past and can include family trees and extracts from primary records. The Norfolk Transcription Archive was established in 2001 and whilst it is no longer being added to (as of early 2009), the site contains around 1/2 million records including Parish Register, Bishop & Archdeacon Transcripts, Census Returns, musters, polls, taxes & so forth. The site has a surname search index. Coverage is somewhat sporadic and most of the register transcriptions are also included in FreePR. A final source that cannot be understated is Google (or your favourite search engine), the trick being to carefully chose the search parameters.