skip to content

Pedigrees and Family Histories (Including Scotland and Ireland)

Nature of Source

Published pedigrees extracted from books, county histories, heraldic visitations, biographies and local and national periodicals. Strictly speaking a pedigree chart or 'birth brief' shows the direct male line descent of a single individual through the generations. This type of chart should only show the parents through each generation without other relatives. A 'family tree' chart can expand the information to show brothers, sisters and other family relationships thus showing all known descendants from a common ancestor.

Some manuscript pedigrees might remain unpublished. Some of the references to pedigrees cited in works such as Marshall and Whitmore (see below) might be difficult to identify and actually track down as the references to the sources can appear obscure with no indication of the whereabouts of the publications cited. Therefore identifying the exact nature of the publications and whether copies remain in circulation could prove a time consuming task. For example, the reference to 'T.P.' cited in Marshall refers to Thomas Phillipps an avid, some would say obsessive, 19th century collector of books and manuscripts including pedigrees. His vast collection has since been broken up and finding the individual book referred to in Marshall might be impossible.

Also consult the Society of Genealogists' Surname Document Collection and Special Collections. The Surname Document Collection consists of unbound family history material given to the society as well as references to large roll pedigrees and other surname material. The index of names and families covered in the Collection can be viewed online and includes information extracted from a variety of original documents such as birth, marriage and death certificates, deeds, wills, marriage licences and settlements, apprenticeship indentures, letters, manuscript and typescript transcripts of wills, parish register entries, family trees and other research notes. The Special Collections consists of references to large roll pedigrees and to other special collections on particular surnames.

Also see
Family Sources
Heraldic Coats of Arms & Seals
Heraldic Coats of Arms & Seals (Scotland)
Heraldic Visitations
Surname Origins and Distribution

Where Found

College of Arms (The official repository for the family trees of families of English and Welsh descent)
The Court of the Lord Lyon (The official registry of armorial bearings and pedigrees for Scotland)
Society of Genealogists (Pedigrees including the Document Collection, Special Collections, Surname Document Collection, The Great Card Index, The Bernau Index)
British Library (Published Family histories)
Institute of Heraldic and Genealogical Studies (Family History Library and Collections)
County Record Offices
Reference and specialist libraries
Local family history societies (Pedigrees lodged locally)
Scottish Genealogy Society (Published and unpublished pedigrees some online at the Family History Index which has been compiled by members of the society from pedigrees, family histories, research notes and other material deposited at the library)
Irish Genealogical Research Society (Family histories and pedigrees)
Harleian Society (Published Heraldic Visitations)

Period Covered

1100 - Onwards

Genealogical Value

Collections of printed pedigrees can help locate a person or family without time consuming research.

Further References

Collected Pedigrees


Adolph, Anthony. Tracing Your Aristocratic Ancestors: A Guide for Family Historians: Pen & Sword Books, 2013


Barrow, Geoffrey B. The Genealogist's Guide: Research Publishing Co., 1977 (Whereabouts of printed pedigrees extracted from various sources containing post-1903 pedigrees and some missed by Marshall)


Ferguson, Joan. Scottish Family Histories: National Library of Scotland, 1986 (Whereabouts of Scottish printed pedigrees post-1930)


Marshall, George. The Genealogist's Guide: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1981 (1879) (Whereabouts of printed pedigrees extracted from various sources pre-1903. Browsable images of printed edition available at or to download from the Internet Archive)


O'Hart, John. Irish Pedigrees: The Origin of the Irish Nation: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1989 (1892) (Available from the Internet Archive)


Squibb, George Drewry. Visitation Pedigrees and the Genealogist: Phillimore, 1964 (Whereabouts of printed pedigrees)


Stuart, Margaret. Scottish Family History: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1994 (Whereabouts of Scottish printed pedigrees up to 1930)


Thomson, Theodore Radford. Catalogue of British Family Histories: Society of Genealogists, 1980 (Whereabouts of printed pedigrees, 1975-1980)


Whitmore, John Beach. A Genealogical Guide: Walford Brothers, 1953 (Whereabouts of printed pedigrees extracted from various sources containing some missed by Marshall and others post-1903)




Blanchard, Gill. Writing Your Family History: A Guide for Family Historians: Pen & Sword Books, 2016

Ferguson, Joan P. S. Scottish Family Histories held in Scottish Libraries: National Library of Scotland, 1986


Gibson, Jeremy & Creaton, Heather. Lists of Londoners: FFHS, 1997


Gilchrist, Cherry. Your Life, Your Story: Writing your Life Story for Family & Friends: Piatkus Books, 2010


Kyle, Noeline. How to Write and Publish Your Family Story in Ten Easy Steps: UNSW Press, 2011


Mills, Elizabeth Shown. Evidence Explained: Citing History Sources from Artifacts to Cyberspace: Genealogical Publishing Company, 2009


Mills, Elizabeth Shown. Quicksheet Citing Online Historical Resources: Genealogical Publishing Company, 2007


Lynskey, Marie. Family Trees: A Manual for Their Design, Layout & Display: Phillimore, 2010


Titford, John. Writing Up Your Family History: A Do-it-yourself Guide: Countryside Books, 2005


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



Name Related (Society of Genealogists Hints & Tips Three: Surname Searching at the SoG and Elsewhere. What’s Been Done Before?) (What's Been Done Before: Surname Searching Online and at the SoG, by Else Churchill) (What's Been Done Before? Published genealogies, By Else Churchill) (Library Ireland: Digitised version of Irish Pedigrees Or the Origin and Stem of the Irish Nation, by John O'Hart. The site offers free online access to a broad range of Irish related material including articles, digitised reference books and searchable databases covering Irish history, genealogy, and culture) (The Guild of One-Name Studies: The guild provides advice and forums for those engaged in one-name research)
(Burke’s Peerage. Definitive guide to the genealogy and heraldry of the Peerage and Landed Gentry of the United Kingdom, the historical families of Ireland and the Commonwealth of Nations. Online resources include free access to Burke's Family Index, Burke's General Armory and Burke's Colonial Gentry and a Glossary of Heraldry) (RootsWeb: The site operates as a genealogical community designed to help people share genealogical research. Users can search records transcribed by volunteers, upload your own family tree, join a mailing list, post your own surname and build your own genealogy website. For a detailed insight into RootsWeb read The Official Guide to by Myra Vanderpool Gormley and Tana Pedersen Lord)
Family Trees and Relationships ( blog entry: Kinship terminology: How we refer to our family relationships) (Crestleaf: Are You My Relative? Family Relationship Chart) (Betty Eichhorn’s relationship chart with comments and explanations) (Betty Eichhorn’s relationship chart. Image only) (Ahnentafel Explained) (Ahnentafel Charts Ron Wild explains what they are and why you need one) (Genealogy Research Process Map by Mark Tucker: Graphical depiction of the genealogical research process. An in-depth presentation explaining the process is also available) (LostCousins genealogy newsletter: Calculating relationships) ( blog entry: Kinship terminology: How we refer to our family relationships) ( What is a First Cousin, Twice Removed?)
(Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter: Ahnentafel Explained) (Wolfram|Alpha: Guidance on using the search engine to compute the possible relationships given any sequence of relationships) (Legacy News: How Many Ancestors Do We Have?)
Citing Sources (Evidence or Proof? How to Apply the Genealogical Proof Standard to Your Family Tree by Kimberly Powell: Guidance on applying the Genealogical Proof Standard to genealogical research)
(Citing Sources: Documentation Guidelines for citing sources)
Family Tree Forms and Services (CAB Search: Pedigree charts) (Specialist family tree printing service. The company provides a family tree chart printing service from most major genealogy programmes allowing you to have your chart on a single sheet of paper with no minimum size. They also publish a range of blank charts) (Producer of calligraphy style family trees) (Self-publishing company providing the facility to publish and print on-demand books) (Retailer of document storage and the Springback Book Binder which provides the means to present your family history in book form) (Designer and supplier of Family Tree Charts including custom designed charts) (Website offering the ability to map family history events where they took place)
(Place My Past. The site aims to use mapping to enrich family histories with stories about the places and events which surrounded our ancestors. Users can upload a GEDCOM family tree file to Place My Past and display every event on a map with the facility to search for locations, events and individuals) (Wakefield Family History Sharing: Genealogy research forms) (Guide to organising your records) (Staffordshire Record Office: Caring For Your Family Papers: A Guide to Preserving Your Family's History)

Online Databases (Boyd's Family Units & Boyd's Inhabitants of London) (Dictionary of National Biography: Who's Who Collection for Counties) (Society of Genealogists: Search document collection index. This index shows which surnames the Society has documents for in its collections) (Society of Genealogists: Search birth brief index. This index contains all of the member surnames that occur on the birth brief forms received prior to 2007)
(The ScotlandsPeople website is the official Scottish Government site for searching government records and archives including The Public Register of All Arms and Bearings in Scotland contains all recordings of coats of arms in Scotland from 1672 to the present day) (The Family History Index: Index of pedigrees from the Scottish Genealogy Society)
(National Library of Scotland: Histories of Scottish Families. Clan histories, memoirs and histories of Scottish families, mostly published in the 19th and early 20th centuries) (Burke's Peerage & Gentry: Access to genealogical records containing 1 million plus names from various Burke's publications. Entries include Coat of Arms plus the image where available) (Burke's Landed Gentry Irish Families) (UK Genealogy Archives: Online volumes of visitations covering English counties. Searches of pedigrees can be made by pedigree name)
(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) (The Peerage: Place index and surname index containing information on European royal families and on the British Peerage compiled by Darryl Lundy)
Batrum Genealogical Project (Searchable electronic version  of  Dr Peter C. Bartrum Welsh Genealogies A.D. 300-1400 and Welsh Genealogies A.D. 1400 - 1500) (FamilySearch Community Trees: Pedigrees and family names extracted from a variety of sources including Peter Bartrum's 'Welsh Genealogies', with other sources such as the Golden Grove book of pedigrees as additional references, 100 C.E. to the mid-1800's)
(Irish Genealogical Research Society: Index of names extracted from the society’s publication 'The Irish Genealogist' covering the years from 1937 to 2012) (The former Ancestral File and Pedigree Resource File can be found under the heading of 'Family Trees') ( Free genealogy search engine providing search results for billions of names, dates and places worldwide. The UK site is available at
(GenDex Network: Free genealogical index which indexes family trees on the internet) (Genealogy Search Engine: Search billions of free online ancestral records across 500+ websites from around the world; Family Tree Search Engine: Search genealogy forums and online family trees) (Irish Ancestors Surname Search. Enter a surname and find out: How the name is mapped to counts of surnames recorded year-by-year in state registrations of births in Ireland between 1864 and 1913; The number and location of households of the name in Ireland 1848-64; A surname map, showing numbers and locations throughout Ireland; Variant spellings or associated names; Surname dictionary entries; Surname histories; The number and location of births of the name in 1890; Published or printed family histories; A possible coat of arms associated with the name)
(Ireland Surnames & Family Histories. Discover more about your Irish family name and history from this collection of Irish publications)

CD Roms

Archive CD Books (Marshall & Whitmore's printed pedigrees; Kelly's Handbook of the Titled, Landed & Official Classes; Dod's Peerages, 1902; John Lodge, The Peerage of Ireland, 1754; Bernard Burke, A Genealogical and Heraldic Dictionary of the Landed Gentry of Great Britain and Ireland, 1863)
S & N Genealogy Supplies (Including the History of the Commoners of Great Britain & Ireland; The Genealogist's Guide, An index to Pedigrees; Roll of the Baronets, 1929; O'Harts Irish Pedigrees 1881)
UK Genealogy Archives (Includes Family Histories and Peerage and Gentry)