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Be County-Wise and get to know the Historic Counties!

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Family History

For much of the history of the British Isles, the Historic Counties have been used as a means for denoting where a place can be found in the country. As such, for anyone with a family history project in the UK, knowledge of the Historic Counties is highly useful if not essential.

Key Points

  • Historic records (created before 1974) will refer to the Historic County. Thus it is essential to know the Historic County in which a place is located.

Finding historic counties:

Visit the ABC’s Gazetteer of British Place Names to search for a historic county by place name. The Notes pages provide useful information about the use of the historic counties in genealogy data, and other forms of county reference.

External Resources for your search: