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Dorset is a county in South West England on the English Channel coast. Dorset borders Devon to the west, Somerset to the north-west, Wiltshire to the north-east, and Hampshire to the east. The county town is Dorchester which is situated in the south. After the reorganisation of local government in 1974 the county's border was extended eastward to incorporate the Hampshire towns of Bournemouth and Christchurch. Around half of the population lives in the South East Dorset conurbation, while the rest of the county is largely rural with a low population density.
Dorset has a varied landscape featuring broad elevated chalk downs, steep limestone ridges and low-lying clay valleys. Over half the county is designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and three-quarters of its coastline is a World Heritage Site that features notable landforms such as Lulworth Cove, the Isle of Portland, Chesil Beach and Durdle Door. Agriculture was traditionally the major industry of Dorset but is now in decline and tourism has become increasingly important to the economy. There are no motorways in Dorset but a network of A roads cross the county and two railway main lines connect to London. Dorset has ports at Poole, Weymouth and Portland and an international airport. The county has a variety of museums, theatres and festivals, and is host to one of Europe's largest outdoor shows. It is the birthplace of Thomas Hardy, who used the county as the principal setting of his novels, and William Barnes, whose poetry celebrates the ancient Dorset dialect.
- Dorset Online Parish Clerks Over 1.6 Million FREE individual records.
- The history and antiquities of the county of Dorset Volume I by John Hutchins 1774
- The history and antiquities of the county of Dorset Volume II by John Hutchins 1774
- The History and Antiquities of the County of Dorset 3rd Edn., John Hutchins, revised and corrected by William Shipp and James Hodson 4 volumes, 1861-1870 portal for PDF downloads, LDS Library
- Dorset Poll Book 1807 FREE site. The names of the Freeholders are listed in alphabetical order, together with their place of residence, the location of the freehold property, who was living there and the page number in the book.
- Dorset Poll Book 1831 Digitised by Google Books, so searchable. Arranged by division and place, with the names of freeholders in alphabetical order. Lists their place of residence, the location of the freehold property, who was living there.
- Dorset History Centre The Dorset History Centre is the archives service and local studies library for Bournemouth, Dorset and Poole.
- Dorset Family History Society Dorset FHS can provide research support and facilities for people in the UK or overseas with family interests in Dorset, as well as those who live in Dorset but whose families may have lived in other counties or countries.
- Keep Military Museum, home of the regiments of Devon and Dorset
- Visitation(s) of England and Wales County Index entries for persons whose pedigree first entry in the Visitation(s) commences in Dorset, or who appears listed in a pedigree, addendum or correction to the Visitation(s) as born in Dorset.
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