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County & Local Histories (Including Scotland & Ireland)

Nature of Source

Written political, religious and social histories of counties, arranged by towns and parishes. These works often include the topography of the area. Following the 1066 Norman invasion, the county structure was established largely based on the former Anglo-Saxon shire. Technically a county means the same as a shire with a shire described as the area around a fortified castle and administered by a Sheriff whilst a county was land controlled by a Count or Earl. The most prominent settlement within the county became the county town and in Scotland this may have been a burgh and in England, a borough. A sheriff administered the local area with this post remaining in place in Scotland.

The Local Government Act of 1894 created Urban and Rural District Councils from the Urban and Rural Sanitary Authorities. The new organisations also assumed much of the powers previously the preserve of the Parish Councils including local highways.

County Councils were created in 1889 following the Local Government Act of 1888 and assumed the powers of various local bodies and carried out much of the work previously administered by the Quarter Session courts. In London, the Act also created the County of London administered by the London County Council (LCC) which was London's first elected strategic body with constituencies covering the same areas as those for parliamentary elections as well as 28 metropolitan boroughs which replaced the civil parishes. The new London-wide county covered parts of the metropolitan or ‘central’ areas of the ancient counties of Surrey (including Lambeth, Southwark, Newington and Wandsworth), Middlesex, Kent and the City of London, which remained under separate jurisdiction. The remaining areas of Middlesex survived as a small county council.

  It is therefore important to know the ancient county where an ancestor lived. In general terms, the London Metropolitan Archives holds the records for the County of London (which will include the present London Boroughs of Lambeth, Southwark including Newington, and Wandsworth), Middlesex and the City of London. The Surrey History Centre in Woking (formerly the Surrey Record Office, Kingston) holds records from the Diocese of Southwark except the South London and Sutton section. Pre-1889 Surrey records can be found at Lambeth Archives housed at the Minet Library. The East Surrey Family History Society covers the London Boroughs of Croydon, Kingston, Lambeth, Merton, Richmond, Southwark, Sutton and Wandsworth. For a list of other archives and libraries covering Surrey see here. London borough record offices will hold records relating to the ancient counties but county record offices covering modern-day counties might also retain some relevant material. The City of Westminster Archives Centre holds the records of the City of Westminster which was granted city status in 1900 and added to with the inclusion of the former metropolitan boroughs of St Marylebone and Paddington in 1965.

Following further reforms in 1965, the London county council and the Middlesex county council were abolished and Greater London was formed taking in further areas of Kent and Surrey as well as parts of Essex and Hertfordshire. The 28 metropolitan boroughs created in 1889 were replaced by twelve new Inner London boroughs. In addition, the London County Council was replaced by the Greater London Council (GLC) which lasted until its demise in 1986. London once again gained an elected strategic body in 1998 with the establishment of the Greater London Assembly. See London Parishes & Boroughs for more details on the administrative changes in London. For a list of the current London boroughs, how they were previously organized and links to related archives, historical background, maps and further information where available see here. For a table of London place names including tube and railway stations, civil parishes, metropolitan boroughs, postal districts with the corresponding modern-day London Borough see Places in London Boroughs produced by London Generations - the City of London Corporation. Records of the official minutes detailing the decisions of the local authority and work carried out by the various departments are available at County Record Offices. The records could also show the names, occupations, addresses of those employed by the Local Authority.

In addition, the County Councils have at some point been responsible for education, highways, planning, public health, and social services. In 1929 their powers increased with taking over responsibility of poor relief and education. Some administrative and boundary changes took place over the years but remained largely the same until the widespread local government reorganisation in 1974 following the Local Government Act of 1972. The Act divided the country into metropolitan and non-metropolitan counties and saw the creation of entirely new counties and the demise of some historic counties such as Cumberland and Westmorland being replaced by a single county of Cumbria.

In Scotland, the 33 counties established with the 1889 Local Government (Scotland Act) were abolished following the reorganisations of 1974. In 1995, 32 Unitary Local Authorities (ULAs) were created to administer local government, although it is common for family historians to still refer to county archives. The structure of Welsh counties began in 1536 following the Union with England. The local government reorganisation in 1974 created eight new counties which replaced the administrative counties created in 1889 which it turn were based on the historic counties of Wales. The reorganisation in 1996 replaced this structure with 22 unitary authority areas consisting of nine counties, three cities and ten county boroughs.

A modern administrative unit does not necessarily map exactly the geographical boundary of an old county so records could be spread between record offices. In England before the 1974 reforms local government consisted of county councils and below them a mixture of city, burgh or borough, metropolitan district, urban district and rural district councils. A burgh in Scotland was an administrative town with special legal status and enjoyed certain privileges such as raising taxes and levying tolls. A royal burgh was created by royal charter and enjoyed special privileges in foreign trade and representation in parliament.

In Northern Ireland the six counties and the other administrative units were reorganised into 26 single-tier District Councils in 1973. Northern Ireland forms a part of the old Province of Ulster of which four covered Ireland. The original Province of Ulster included the six counties plus another three now in the Republic of Ireland but after the Irish War of Independence (1919-1921) the six counties remained within the United Kingdom. The remaining 26 Irish counties seceded from British control forming the Republic of Ireland in 1922. The Local Government (Ireland) Act 1898 created a similar county structure to England and Wales although counties had emerged much earlier after the Norman invasion, sub-divided into baronies, parishes and the smallest unit the townland.

County histories can include information dating back to manorial times. Consult the Society of Genealogists Geographical Resources website for pages detailing their records held county by county and visit GENUKI for information on individual counties as well as contact details of record offices, local studies libraries and family history centres. Details of County Record Offices can also be found at The National Archives ARCHON directory and Cornucopia which provides contact details for record offices, libraries and other record collecting institutions throughout the United Kingdom and overseas. Consult the Gibson Guide: Record Offices: How to Find Them and the FFHS online article Record Offices: How to make the most of their resources. Robert Blatchford's annual Family and Local History Handbook lists Family History Societies, local and history societies, libraries, record offices and archives, cemeteries and crematoria and museums. The Federation of Family History Societies website has separate pages for the country or area which a society represents covering England and Wales. Scotland has its own Scottish Association of Family History Societies. In Scotland most records are centralised and are found online at Scotland's People or at the National Records of Scotland Some county record offices and libraries exist and are listed in the Scottish section of ARCHON or at the Scottish Library and Information Resources. In Ireland and Northern Ireland the Irish Family History Foundation coordinates a network of local county genealogy centres. Consult Robert O'Neill's Irish Libraries: Archives, Museums & Genealogical Centres: A Visitors' Guide for detailed information on repositories in Ireland. For research in Northern Ireland see the PRONI guide Research in Northern Ireland.

The United Kingdom is made up of Great Britain plus Northern Ireland whilst Great Britain of England and Wales plus Scotland. The British Isles comprises of Britain, Ireland, the Channel Islands, and the Isle of Man, although this is purely geographical definition with no legal standing.

Scotland is a separate nation from England although the crowns united in 1603 and the parliaments in 1707 following the Act of Union. England and Wales are legally one entity following The Acts of Union in 1536 and 1543, officially known as the Laws in Wales Act 1535 and the Laws in Wales Act 1542, with Wales attaining the status as a Principality of England. Northern Ireland is a largely self-governing part of the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland (previously called Eire) has been a separate country since 1922.

Also see
Directories, Trade, Professional, Telephone & Street
Maps & Gazetteers
Photographs, Prints & Postcards
Statistical Accounts of Scotland

Where Found

County Record Offices (ARCHON Directory: Find the details of a UK archive from a searchable list of over 2,500 archives The catalogue can be found on the TNA Discovery home page)
County Record Offices (Scotland)
County Libraries (England)
County Libraries
(Scotland)
Society of Genealogists (Including Boyd's Inhabitants of London, printed local histories, some local family history society journals and many special collections for specific areas)
British Library
Historic England Archive (The Archive is the public archive of the Historic Buildings and Monuments Commission and holds research material on buildings and places, social and local history and archaeological sites including many historical photographs. See below for details of online catalogues and digitised content)
LSE Library, also known as the British Library of Political & Economic Science (Local History: Sources for local history at LSE Archives)
The National Archives Library
Institute of Heraldic and Genealogical Studies (County maps, showing the parish boundaries, the probate jurisdiction, and the date of commencement of registers, also available to purchase from the web site)
British Association for Local History (The association promotes local history and serves local historians. It publishes the journals 'The Local Historian' and 'Local History News' and a range of local history related books)
Bishopsgate Institute Library
(The Library holds a collection of around 50,000 books, pamphlets, illustrations, photographs and maps covering the social and cultural history of London, with particular reference to Bishopsgate and Spitalfields The library also has a collection of press cuttings, London guidebooks and trade directories)

Period Covered

1600 - Onwards

Genealogical Value

Names, family relationships, BMD/CMB dates, addresses, occupations. Description of places.

Further References

Barratt, Nick. Nick Barratt's Beginner's Guide to Your Ancestors Lives: Pen and Sword Books, 2010

 

Bellerby, Rachel. Tracing Your Yorkshire Ancestors: A Guide for Family Historians: Pen & Sword Books, 2014

Bellerby, Rachel. Tracing Your Leeds Ancestors: A Guide for Family Historians: Pen and Sword Books, 2015

Blanchard, Gill. Tracing Your East Anglian Ancestors: Pen and Sword Books, 2009

 

Blatchford, Robert. The Family and Local History Handbook: Robert Blatchford Publishing, annual

 

Blatchford, Robert & Blatchford, Elizabeth. The Irish Family and Local History Handbook: Robert Blatchford Publishing, annual

 

Bristow, Joy. The Local Historian's Glossary of Words and Terms: Countryside Books, 2001

 

Brooks, Pamela. How to Research Local History: How to Books, 2008

 

Carter, Paul & Thompson, Kathryn. Sources for Local Historians: Phillimore, 2005

 

Cox, Jane. Tracing Your East End Ancestors: A Guide for Family Historians: Pen and Sword Books, 2011

 

Currie, C.R.J. & Lewis, C.P. (eds) Guide to English County Histories: Sutton, 1994

 

Few, Janet. Putting Your Ancestors in their Place: A Guide to One Place Studies: The Family History Partnership, 2014

 

Fillmore, Jacquelené. Local History Internet Sites: British Association for Local History, 2010

 

Foster, Janet and Sheppard, Julia. Eds. British Archives: A Guide to Archive Resources in the United Kingdom. 4 ed: Palgrave Macmillan, 2000

 

Fowler, Simon. Starting Out in Local History: Countryside Books, 2001

 

Friar, Stephen. The Sutton Companion to Local History: Sutton, 2004

 

Gibson, Jeremy. Unpublished Personal Name Indexes in Record Offices and Libraries: FFHS, 1985

 

Gibson, Jeremy, and Pamela Peskett. Record Offices: How To Find Them, 8th ed: FFHS, 1998

 

Gray, Kirsty. Tracing Your West Country Ancestors: Pen & Sword, 2013

 

Hawgood, David. One-Place Genealogy: D. Hawgood, 2001

 

Hey, David. The Oxford Companion to Family and Local History: OUP, 2008

 

Jack, Elizabeth. Discover Gloucestershire Ancestors: Your Guide to the Archives Volume 1: Hidden Heritage, 2012

 

Jack, Elizabeth. Discover Gloucestershire Ancestors: Your Guide to the Archives Volume 2: Hidden Heritage, 2013

 

Line, Paul. A History in Maps, Birmingham: The History Press, 2009

 

Meighan, Michael. Glasgow A History: Amberley Publishing, 2013

 

Oates, Dr Jonathan. Tracing Your Ancestors Through Local History Records: A Guide for Family Historians: Pen and Sword Books, 2016

O'Neill, Robert K. Irish Libraries: Archives, Museums & Genealogical Centres: A Visitor's Guide: Ulster Historical Foundation, 2010

 

Owen, Hywel Wyn. The Place Names of Wales: University of Wales Press, 2005

 

Pryor, Francis. The Making of the British Landscape : How we have Transformed the Land from Prehistory to Today: Penguin, 2011


Raymond, Stuart. Tracing Your Ancestors in County Records: A Guide for Family and Local Historians: Pen and Sword Books, 2016

Reader's Digest. Local History Detective: Reader's Digest, 2007

 

Redmonds, George. Names and History: People, Places and Things: Hambledon, 2004 Buy Now on Amazon

Richardson, John. The Local Historians Encyclopedia: Historical Publications, 2003

 

Royden, Mike. Tracing Your Liverpool Ancestors: A Guide For Family Historians: Pen and Sword Books, 2014

 

Sharpe, Michael. Tracing Your Birmingham Ancestors: A Guide for Family and Local Historians: Pen and Sword Books, 2015

Showell's Dictionary of Birmingham: A History and Guide Arranged Alphabetically: (Available to read online or download at Project Gutenberg)

 

Stewart, Alan. Tracing Your Edinburgh Ancestors: A Guide for Family and Local Historians: Pen & Sword Books, 2015
Travers, Tony. London's Boroughs at 50: Biteback Publishing, 2015 Buy Now on Amazon

West, John. Town Records: Phillimore, 1983

 

West, John. Village Records: Phillimore, 1997

 

Winchester, Angus. Discovering Parish Boundaries: Shire Publications, 2000

 

Yorke, Trevor. Tracing the History of Villages: Countryside Books, 2001

 

Yorke, Trevor. The English Village Explained England's Living History: Countryside Books, 2011

 

London

 

Bullman, Joseph & Hegarty, Neil & Hill, Brian. The Secret History of Our Streets: London: BBC Books, 2012

 

Dale, T Cyril. The Inhabitants of London in 1638: Society of Genealogists, 1931 (Householders listed by parish showing rents and tithes. Transcribed and available online at British History Online)

 

Dale, T Cyril. The Inhabitants of Westminster: 1935 (Extracted from lay subsidy rolls 1625-1645 and available at the Society of Genealogists library. Includes the poll tax of 1641)

 

Grynberg, Warren. Images of the City of London: Breedon Publishing, 2009

 

Hyde, Ralph. A-Z of Victorian London: London Topographical Society, 1987

 

Lockie, John. Lockie's Topography of London: London, 1810 (Available to download or read online at the Internet Archive) Buy Now on Amazon

Marcan, Peter. Greater London History and Heritage Handbook. 4th ed: Peter Marcan Publications, 2008

 

Mills, Anthony. A Dictionary of London Place Names: Oxford University Press, 2010

 

Oates, Jonathan. Tracing Your London Ancestors: A Guide for Family Historians: Pen and Sword Books, 2011

 

Sharpe, Michael. Tracing Your Birmingham Ancestors: A Guide for Family and Local Historians: Pen and Sword Books, 2015

Thornbury, Walter & Walford, Edward. Old And New London: A Narrative of its History, its People and its Places: Cassell, 1878 (Available to search in digital format at British History Online)

 

Webb, Cliff. My Ancestors Were Londoners: Society of Genealogists, 2010

 

Scotland  
Nicolaisen, W.F.H. Scottish Place-Names: John Donald, 2011
Buy Now on Amazon
Sinclair, Cecil. Tracing Scottish Local History: Stationery Office, 1996  
Scott, Maggie. Scottish Place Names: Black & White Publishing, 2008 Buy Now on Amazon
Taylor, Iain. Place-Names of Scotland: Birlinn, 2011
Buy Now on Amazon
Whetstone, Ann. Scottish County Government in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries: John Donald, 1981  
Wright, David. Tracing Your Kent Ancestors: A Guide for Family and Local Historians: Pen and Sword Books, 2016


The EurekA Partnership: Various titles containing transcriptions of County records covering Bedfordshire, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Gloucestershire, Northamptonshire, Oxfordshire, Surrey, Warwickshire and Worcestershire.

Websites

England & Wales
www.visionofbritain.org.uk (Place descriptions, statistics & maps)
www.abcounties.co.uk (Association of British Counties)
www.abcounties.co.uk/counties/countyconfusion (The problem of "county confusion" and how to resolve it)
www.abcounties.co.uk/counties (List of the historic counties of Great Britain)
www.county-borders.co.uk (The Historic County Borders Project: The project aims to digitise the borders of the historic counties of the United Kingdom at a scale of 1:100000 and making them available for public and commercial use. The project is managed by the Historic Counties Trust)
www.ons.gov.uk/methodology/geography/ukgeographies/administrativegeography (Office for National Statistics: Detailed information on the administrative structure within England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland)
www.victoriacountyhistory.ac.uk (Victoria County History. The Victoria County History series of county histories is an ongoing project recording county by county England's places and people from earliest times to the present day)
www.medievalgenealogy.org.uk/vch (Victoria County History: Lists of contents and place index)
www.genealogyinengland.com (County information and links with detailed information on the London boroughs and their administrative history)
http://placenames.org.uk (The Historical Gazetteer of England's Place-names. County by county survey of England's place-names, detailing over four million variant forms, from classical sources, through the Anglo-Saxon period and into medieval England and beyond to the modern period)
http://one-place-studies.org (Society for One-Place Studies. The aims of the Society are to encourage and assist those involved in one-place studies and to advance the education of the general public in these types of studies)
www.familysearch.org/learn/wiki/en/England (FamilySearch Research Wiki: Historic counties of England showing county civil districts, historic parishes, probate records and jurisdictions, place-names and jurisdictions for each parish)
www.genuki.org.uk/big/eng (GENUKI: County specific resources as well as other genealogical resources and guides. The GENUKI Search Page searches the contents of GENUKI as well as the websites of The National Archives, the Society of Genealogists and Federation of Family History Societies. The GENUKI Gazetteer provides information on a place and shows which GENUKI pages it appears)
www.genuki.org.uk/big/churchdb (GENUKI Church Database covering Great Britain. The site provides the means to locate a parish church and those surrounding it)
www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/records/looking-for-place/default.htm (TNA Records: Looking for a place?)
www.bbc.co.uk/history/trail/local_history (History Trails-Local History)
www.curiousfox.org.uk (Village by village contact site, including Ireland)
www.ukgdl.org.uk (UKGDL: Links to sites county by county offering databases containing genealogical information)
www.communityarchives.org.uk (Catalogue of lesser-known museums & archives)
http://uk.epodunk.com (Place descriptions & guides including links to family history records)
www.nottingham.ac.uk/research/groups/epns/index.aspx (The Survey of English Place-Names. The Survey is the principal project of the English Place-Name Society. The survey aims to examine the origins and development of all English place-names)
www.nottingham.ac.uk/manuscriptsandspecialcollections/collections/allcollections/genealogical.aspx
(University of Nottingham: Genealogical and Local History. The collections referred to here are principally concerned with research into local communities and families)
http://keithbriggs.info/epns_volumes.html (Map & list of counties completed by the English Place-Name Society)
http://search.ancestry.co.uk/Places/UK/England/Default.aspx (Ancestry: Welcome to our England family history research page. Here you'll find record collections, history, and genealogy resources to help you trace your England ancestors. Select a county to view its unique collections)
www.local-history.co.uk (Local History Online: Books, news, resources, information, calendar of events, courses and local history contacts and links)
www.lincstothepast.com (Lincs to the Past: The site contains records covering items held in Lincolnshire's Historic Environment Record, Archives, Libraries, Museums and Tennyson Research Centre. The site also provides a single place from which to search through the catalogues of the cultural heritage collections held across Lincolnshire)
http://historic-liverpool.co.uk
(Mapping the History of Liverpool. The site lets you explore old maps of Liverpool, find out more about the historic townships and find all the designated, listed and protected sites on Merseyside)
http://cornishmemory.com
(cornishmemory.com. The website features nearly 31,500 historic photos, films and audio recordings covering the whole of Cornwall and Cornish connections abroad, contributed by museums, libraries, archives, and private collectors)
http://places.wishful-thinking.org.uk/index.html
(Wishful Thinking Local History Pages: For Gloucestershire and Bristol research see the Ancient Parish Boundary Map and the article Gloucestershire Parish Boundary Changes, 1844-1974, by Rosemary Lockie)
www.waterloosightsandsounds.org (Waterloo Sights & Sounds. The heritage project is run by Coin Street Community Builders. The project explores and documents the changes to the urban and social landscape in the Waterloo area of London SE1 through images, oral histories and audio descriptions)
www.digitalhandsworth.org.uk (Digital Handsworth: A multimedia resource guide to the history of the community. Includes time line and image gallery)
http://historywm.com (History West Midlands. Magazine written by historians and researchers from the region covering the counties of Herefordshire, Shropshire, Staffordshire, Derbyshire, Warwickshire and Worcestershire)
www.theweald.org (The Weald of Kent, Surrey and Sussex: Lists of named individuals extracted from sources including census returns and directories from towns and villages in the region as well as maps, pictures, books and documents)
www.genealogylinks.net/uk/index.html (County links to online genealogy records & useful information)
www.ffhs.org.uk (Federation of Family History Societies)
www.mytimemachine.co.uk (Local and family history groups and local records offices in England and Wales and Scotland)
www.domesdaybook.net (Electronic translation of Domesday Book)
www.llgc.org.uk/cac (Archives and Records Council Wales, links to Archive Repositories in Wales)
www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~engwgw (The EnglandGenWeb Project. County by county links and information)
www.genuki.org.uk/big/Regions/Codes.html (Chapman Codes-Country and County Codes-British Isles)
Maps
http://maps.familysearch.org (Maps showing the administrative areas and units of England. For each place name the parish is shown and gives start date for parish registers and Bishop Transcripts. The name of the appropriate Probate Court, Diocese, Province, Poor Law Union and Hundred is shown. Contiguous parishes and parishes within a specified radius can be displayed. In addition map layers can be displayed showing boundaries for the Civil Registration District, the Parish, the County, the Diocese and other administrative areas)
www.abcounties.co.uk/counties/map (Map of the historic counties of Great Britain)
www.historiccountiestrust.co.uk (Maps and descriptions of the historic counties of England, Scotland and Wales)
https://data.gov.uk/dataset/f96d4afa-1100-484d-9f38-abf79a830db7/local-authority-districts-counties-and-unitary-authorities-december-2015-map-in-great-britain (Great Britain: Local Authority Districts, Counties and Unitary Authorities 2015, including the London boroughs)
www.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/business-and-government/products/boundary-line.html (Ordnance Survey: Boundary-Line: From Euro constituencies to council wards, Boundary-Line maps every administrative boundary in detail free to download)
www.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/education/outline-maps.html (Ordnance Survey: National, County & Unitary Authority Boundaries: Administrative Boundaries of Great Britain before 1995-1996 unitary changes
www.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/election-maps (Ordnance Survey: Election maps: A variety of administrative and electoral boundaries that can be overlaid on the mapping)
www.genuki.org.uk/big/Britain.html (Map of the counties of England, Wales and Scotland prior to the 1974 Boundary Changes)
http://jonathan.rawle.org/hyperpedia/counties/map-pre74.php (Map of pre-1974 counties of Great Britain)
London
http://homepage.ntlworld.com/hitch/gendocs/lon-str.html (Victorian London A-Z Street Index)
www.british-history.ac.uk (Published histories of London & elsewhere)
www.londonlives.org/static/LocalGovernment.jsp (London Lives Historical Background: Local Government)
www.20thcenturylondon.org.uk
(Exploring 20th century London: The site combines collections from 19 London museums, libraries and archives including the Museum of London, the London Transport Museum, the Jewish Museum, London and the Bishopsgate Institute)
www.genealogyinengland.com/Information/londonboroughs.htm (List of the current London boroughs, how they were previously organized and links to related archives, historical background, maps and further information where available)
www.victorianlondon.org (The Victorian Dictionary-extensive set of resources exploring Victorian London including some photos)
https://surveyoflondon.org (Survey of London: Histories of Whitechapel. The site allows users to share and explore the many histories of Whitechapel’s buildings and places. The map displays information about every building in Whitechapel with a linked history if available and the facility to overlay modern buildings onto maps including Ordnance Survey 1873 and Rocque 1746)
www.bishopsgate.org.uk/content/1492/London-History (Bishopsgate Library London History: Various holdings relating to London's social, cultural, architectural and topographical history)
Scotland
www.scottishrecordsassociation.org (The Scottish Records Association)
www.genuki.org.uk/big/Regions/Scotland.html (Administrative Areas of Scotland old and new)
http://maps.nls.uk/counties/index.html (National Library of Scotland, Counties of Scotland, 1580-1928: County maps)
www.historiccountiestrust.co.uk (Maps and descriptions of the historic counties of England, Scotland and Wales)
www.scotlandgenweb.org (ScotlandGenWeb. County by county links and information)
https://scotlandsplaces.gov.uk/understanding-scotlands-administrative-units (ScotlandsPlaces: What's the difference between counties, parishes, burghs, regions and districts?)
https://scotlandspeople.gov.uk/guides/searching-place (ScotlandsPeople Guide: County Guides: The individual guides to each Scottish county listed below provide a short history of that county's administration and will give you information about which types of family history records are available for particular areas of the country)
http://edina.ac.uk/stat-acc-scot (University of Edinburgh Statistical Accounts of Scotland: Transcriptions, parish maps and scanned page images of the First and Second editions)
www.ourtownstories.co.uk (Our Town Stories: Explore Edinburgh's past through images and maps from the collections of Edinburgh Library and Information Services)
https://scotlandsplaces.gov.uk/places (ScotlandsPlaces: Gazetteer of Scottish places and administrative units. The gazetteer is an A-Z index of inhabited places in Scotland, both past and present)
www.scottish-places.info (Gazetteer for Scotland)
www.absoluteastronomy.com/topics/Royal_burgh (Guide to Royal Burghs)
www.safhs.org.uk (The Scottish Association of Family History Societies)
Ireland
http://family.kiwicelts.com/21_Places_and_History/Place_Townlands.html (Administrative Districts of Ireland)
www.proni.gov.uk/index/local_history/areas_regions_and_land_divisions/main_administrative_land_divisions.htm (Main administrative land divisions)
www.irishancestors.ie/?page_id=5392 (Irish Genealogical Research Society: Index of Townlands, 1901: Searchable database of over 64,000 townlands in Ireland which are ancient land divisions measuring from just a few acres to several hundred and still in use today)
www.irelandxo.com (Ireland Reaching Out. The site aims to help identify the townland, parish and county where your ancestors lived. The site provides information on the parish with the opportunity to link up with others who have ancestors from the region. Volunteers can offer advice when they can)
www.curiousfox.org.uk (Village by village contact site, including Ireland)
www.thecore.com/seanruad (IreAtlas Townland Data Base, Ireland)
www.ancestryireland.com/database.php?filename=townlands (Townlands of Ulster, list of the townlands in Ulster per county)
www.irishtimes.com/ancestor/placenames (1851 General Alphabetical Index to the Townlands and Towns, parishes and Baronies of Ireland)
www.logainm.ie (Placenames Database of Ireland. Users can search for a placename in Irish or English including townlands, streets, electoral districts and civil parishes. Alternatively users can explore Ireland's placenames with the interactive map or browse by county)

Online Databases

British History Online (The site consists of a digital library of British historical sources developed by Institute of Historical Research and the History of Parliament Trust. The site is free to use with a search facility linking users to full transcripts of various sources including extracts from some Victoria County Histories, county and London surveys, including John Stow's 1603 Survey of London; The Aldermen of the City of London, Temp. Henry III-1912; London Inhabitants within the Walls 1695; The inhabitants of London in 1638, by T.C. Dale)
www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/archon (ARCHON Directory: Details of individual repositories which includes contact details for record repositories in the UK which have holdings indexed in the National Register of Archives. Contacts can include local archives, specialist libraries, museums, religious bodies, charities, businesses and universities. The database also includes a list of overseas repositories connected with the National Register of Archives)
www.cornucopia.org.uk (Cornucopia: Contact details with details of holdings covering local record offices, archives offices, local studies libraries, museums, libraries and galleries)
Hertfordshire Names Online (The site provides online access to the Hertfordshire Archives and Local Studies indexes. Searching the indexes is free but a charge is made for copies of a document. The indexes could also be of use for those with ancestors in the neighbouring counties of Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex and Middlesex)
www.findmypast.co.uk (Britain, Directories & Almanacs. Explore 122 almanacs and directories from Great Britain and Ireland. The collection includes trade directories, county guides, almanacs and general directories. Find the names of prominent people, tradesmen, people who held office, business owners and local civil servants. Discover your ancestor’s address and occupation or explore the history of your home address)
www.findmypast.co.uk (Boyd's Inhabitants of London & Boyd's Family Units 1200-1946 produced in association with the Society of Genealogists. The Society has partnered with findmypast.co.uk to publish online record sets from its unique collection. For more information on the available records see here. Members of the Society will be able to view these records for free at SoG Data Online via their existing membership)
www.findmypast.co.uk (Somerset & Dorset Notes and Queries 1890-1980)
http://histfam.familysearch.org (FamilySearch Community Trees: Boyd's Inhabitants of London)
www.ancestry.co.uk (County, town & family histories in the Family & Local History Records section including Notes and Queries for Somerset and Dorset, 1888-1899, 1905-1906; Memorials of Old Warwickshire - Alice Dryden 1908; A Warwickshire Word-Book by G. F. Northall 1896)
www.myheritage.com/research/collection-90100/compilation-of-published-sources
(MyHeritage: Compilation of Published Sources. This collection includes a compilation of thousands of published books ranging from family, local and military histories, city and county directories, school, university and hospital reports, church and congregational minutes and much more. All records include images of the book's pages)
http://books.familysearch.org (Family History Books: Searchable collection of more than 40,000 digitized genealogy and family history publications. The collection includes heraldic visitations, Phillimore parish register indexes, school registers, Phillimore calendars of wills, family histories, county and local histories, genealogy magazines and how-to books, gazetteers, medieval histories and pedigrees)
www.worldvitalrecords.com (County histories and guides in partnership with Anguline Research Archives. See here for coverage details)
www.biab.ac.uk (British and Irish Archaeological Bibliography: Online bibliographic catalogue providing information about articles and books on the archaeology of Britain and Ireland)
www.ukbmd.org.uk/online_parish_clerk (Online Parish Clerks: The project is run by volunteers who collect and transcribe parish records for a chosen Parish and make the data available for free online. The range of information covered includes Apprentice Indentures, Census Returns, Parish Registers, Bastardy Bonds, Settlement Certificates & Removal Orders, Militia/Muster records, Directories, Land Tax Assessments, Workhouse/Poor Law records, Churchwardens Accounts, Tithe Apportionments, Wills, Poor Rate Payers, Lay Subsidies, Protestation Returns, MIs, Church Memorials and Hearth Tax records. Old parish maps and photos are often included)
www.sog.org.uk/search-records (SoG Data Online: Indexes to local histories and records. County coverage includes: Bedfordshire; Buckinghamshire; Cambridgeshire; Cornwall;; Devon; Gloucestershire; Hampshire; Herefordshire; Hertfordshire; Lancashire; Leicestershire; Lincolnshire; Middlesex; Northamptonshire; Nottinghamshire; Oxfordshire; Shropshire; Suffolk; Surrey; Warwickshire; Wiltshire. Members of the Society of Genealogists are able to view these records for free via their existing membership. Non-members can carry out free surname searches but will need to join the society to view the full record details)
www.scotlandsplaces.gov.uk (Ordnance Survey Name Books. Digital volumes of the OS Name Books for counties in Scotland with indexes listing every place name found on the 1st edition Ordnance Survey maps. Each place name links to both the corresponding name book page as well as the map sheet where that place name may be found. The site also has an interactive map and gazetteer displaying the administrative areas and units of Scotland with the administrative history of each county or place. Each place name is accompanied by maps, plans and photographs in addition to historical tax rolls, official reports and boundary information)
www.britishlistedbuildings.co.uk
(British Listed Buildings Online: Online database of buildings and structures that are listed as being of special architectural and historic interest in England, Scotland and Wales)
www.dgcommunity.net/historicalindexes (Dumfries Town Chamberlains' Accounts 1793-1801; Dumfries Dean of Guild Plans 1892-1974)
www.victorianlondon.org (The Victorian Dictionary, compiled by Lee Jackson) 
www.genhound.co.uk (Corporation Minute Records of St. Albans, Hertfordshire 1585-1834)
www.londonremembers.com (London Remembers: Site displaying memorials and statues in London and Brussels, Belgium)
www.dhi.ac.uk/strype (University of Sheffield: John Strype's A Survey of the Cities of London and Westminster, 1720. The contents of John Strype's Survey of London can also be searched at Connected Histories together with a number of other databases)

CD Roms

Anguline Research Archives (The Aldermen of the City of London, Temp. Henry III-1912)
Your Old Books & Maps
http://flatcapsandbonnets.com (Scanned historical and genealogical county book collections on DVD including parish registers, marriage allegations/licenses, directories, paupers in workhouses in 1861, lists of emigrants from England to the USA and Caribbean 1773-76, visitations, poll books. See web site for county coverage and source material)
Archive CD Books (Local surveys and histories. A number of titles covering local surveys and histories are available as digital downloads, including John Stow's 1603 Survey of London)
www.midlandshistoricaldata.org (Local history books, Birmingham, Warwickshire, Worcestershire, Staffordshire & Shropshire, some with free indexes)
Centre for Wessex History and Archaeology (Hampshire and Surrey County Council Elections: 1889-1974, by Roger Ottewil)
Eneclann (Counties in Time: The CD contains samples of almost 1000 documents held in the National Archives of Ireland with a glossary of terms, county histories and guides to using the records)