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Pre-1500 Resource Page

Privacy Level: Public (Green)
Date: [unknown]
Location: World Widemap
Surnames/tags: pre-1500 resources Profiles
This page has been accessed 2,564 times.

Purpose and Scope

This page is for collecting and sharing reliable resources for pre-1500 research. The information presented is available to all Wikitree members, however the page is only editable by members who have qualified for the pre-1500 badge.

These are some existing available resources from WikiTree Categories Category:Source and [[Project:Dutch_Roots/Dutch_Portal_World-The_Netherlands#Dutch_Archives_and_sources|Project:Dutch_Roots/Dutch_Portal_World-The_Netherlands#Dutch_Archives_and_sources]]



These are modern secondary sources with a high level of scholarship. They should be followed unless proven incorrect by other modern sources.
  • The Prosopography of Anglo-Saxon England (PASE), The Department of History and the Centre for Computing in the Humanities, at King’s College, London, The Department of Anglo-Saxon, Norse, and Celtic Studies, University of Cambridge, August, 2010 (searchable database). (Note: This is a well sourced relational database claimed by the authors to contain all the recorded inhabitants of England from the late sixth to the late eleventh century.)
  • Medieval Lands by Charles Cawley. A study which attempts to provide a narrative biography of all of the noble houses of Europe cross-referenced to some original sources. Valuable because of the broad scope of the study but mostly doesn't have the in-depth investigation of individuals as some other resources in this list. Searchable.[1]
  • Complete Peerage, by G.E. Cokayne is a comprehensive and authoritative source for the peerage of England. Originally published in 8 volumes between 1887 and 1898, the high level of scholarship generally holds up well until today. Though, like all works of its kind, improvements and corrections to CP are constantly being made.
From 1910 to 1959, 'revised and expanded' versions were published. This stretched the original 8 volumes to 13. Finally, in 1998 a 14th volume of 'Additions and Corrections' was published. Many additional corrections, most of which were first noted on the SGM newsgroup, have been collected by Chris Phillips on his Medieval Genealogy site. All 14 volumes are available for download at [2]
  • Royal Ancestry, by Douglas Richardson. [3]

Resource Sites Online

Places to help you find primary records.
  • English Regnal Calendar - Most medieval documents did not state the actual year but referred to the reign of the king. This online calendar will allow you to quickly convert to the correct year.
Abstracts of Feet of Fines Corrections to Complete Peerage English Medieval Records
  • British History Online "British History Online is a digital library of key printed primary and secondary sources for the history of Britain and Ireland, with a primary focus on the period between 1300 and 1800."

English Medieval Primary Records

  • Domesday Book Online, searchable by county, Domesday Book images kindly made available by Professor J.J.N. Palmer. Images may be reused under a Creative Commons BY-SA licence - please credit Professor J.J.N. Palmer and George Slater, Site by Anna Powell-Smith. Domesday data created by Professor J.J.N. Palmer, University of Hull, (open source): PostgreSQL, PostGIS, GeoDjango, and OpenStreetMap.
  • Fine Rolls: Fine Rolls are records relating to the financial affairs of the king. They frequently touch on issues of genealogical interest as they can record transfers of property which were held of the king. Also, writs of Diem Clausit Extremum were recorded in the Fine Rolls making this a key source for dates of death for medieval persons.

British Isles

British Isles:Scotland
  • Records of the Parliaments of Scotland to 1707 Records from 1235, show records in original Latin, French, Scots, and Modern English translation, or both side by side. Browse by reign or use Advanced Search.
British Isles:Ireland
British Isles:England
  • Gildas best known for De Excidio et Conquestu Britanniae, history of Britain, the only widely accepted source for history of the post-Roman period written by a near-contemporary
  • Anglo-Saxon Chronicle Organized by year; the earliest dated at 60 BC (the annals' date for Caesar's invasions of Britain), and historical material follows up to the year in which the chronicle was written, at which point contemporary records begin. These manuscripts collectively are known as the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. Written in 9th Century in Old English. Many copies made and dispersed throughout England each being updated independently. 1154 is latest update known. Written from perspective of the invaders. 9 Surviving manuscripts are known about.

European Continent

  • Monumenta Germaniae Historica "carefully edited and published primary sources (mostly in Latin, no translations)... for the study of German history, but includes other areas - Britain, Czech lands, Poland, Austria, France, Low Countries, Italy, Spain etc" Often see them used as sources with abbreviation MGH in The Henry Project or Medieval Lands etc. Online version containing all volumes up to 2010 here
  • Landesarchiv Baden Württemberg - Recherche & Bestellung
  • France: French records that have been published online. indexe.htm I like the surname to village database
  • access only for paid members. This site is specific to glass and crystal makers and their craft. Multiple databases. User donated ones are reviewed and notes made by review group. Other databases from physical acts and other official documents. Laura Bozzay is an officer in the Organization and can access all databases.
  • généalogie des rois de France arbre généalogique des rois de France, mérovingiens, carolingiens, robertiens, capétiens, valois, bourbons, orlé...
  • Histoire Généalogique de la Maison Royale de France, des pairs, grands officiers de la Couronne... by Père Anselme. USE WITH CAUTION for medieval genealogies. Whole collection available here.
  • Savoy (Savoie, Savoia) Previté-Orton, Charles William. 1912. The early history of the House of Savoy (1000-1233). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press" Digital image: Internet Archive. Appears to be really well-researched using primary and secondary sources. Perhaps a bit dated?

Family Specific Resources

Please only put high quality and well-sourced references here.
  • Throckmorten:

Quality Websites - Use with Caution

Best used as a guide to further research.
  • The Bartrum Project presents Peter C. Bartrum's "Welsh Genealogies AD 300- 1500". This work was a continuation of earlier publications. As described in 'The Bartrum "Welsh Genealogies"' by Darrell Wolcott (accessed September 15, 2017 at Center for the Study of Ancient Wales): 'So long as today's researchers understand that Bartrum was NOT attempting to portray actual and feasible family charts, but limited his purpose to summarizing the material found in other manuscripts, his work can be very helpful. It should not, however, be cited as the principle source to "prove" any asserted facts.'
  • - Personal website of Leo van de Pas. Large database generally created with quality secondary sources. It has the advantage frequent error correction by contributors to SGM newsgroup. Like all sites of its kind, some errors are inevitable and it is best to confirm the information directly from quality secondary and primary sources.
  • Our Royal, Titled, Noble, & Commoner Ancestors and Cousin, Personal website of Marlyn Lewis. Large database generally created with quality secondary sources. Like all sites of its kind, some errors are inevitable and it is best to confirm the information directly from quality secondary and primary sources.

Sources to avoid / known Frauds

  • WikiTree free space containing a compilation of known fraudulent family trees and the genealogists that fabricated them.
  • Royalty for Commoners, by Roderick W. Stuart. Seemingly authoritative and similar in structure to Magna Carta Sureties and Ancestral Roots, this publication is filled with unproven speculation, and disproved lines. Do not use.
  • Nicolas Viton de Saint-Allais (author of Nobiliaire Universel de France and numerous other genealogy books): Viton de Saint-Allais's genealogy work is considered "of poor value", and should only be accepted with extreme caution. Contains approximations and some artificial connections. Do not use for pre-1500 profiles.
  • Jean-Baptiste-Pierre Jullien de Courcelles (Dictionnaire Universel de la Noblesse de France), while his reputation is not as bad Nicolas Viton de Saint-Allais's, Jullien de Courcelles bought Saint-Allais's practice and continued his work, and for this reason should be used with caution. Do not use for pre-1500 profiles.

Full Citations

Formatted full references for your copy-paste ease of use.
  1. Cawley, Charles. Medieval Lands: A Prosopography of Medieval European Noble and Royal Families, Online at Foundation for Medieval Genealogy Website (accessed 20xx).
  2. Cokayne, George Edward ed. Complete Peerage of England, Scotland, Ireland, Great Britain and the United Kingdom, 2nd edition in 14 volumes. (London,1910-1998).
  3. Richardson, Douglas. Royal Ancestry: A Study In Colonial And Medieval Families, in 5 vols. (Salt Lake City, Utah, 2013).

Pre-1500 Help Aids

Translation Tools
Calendar Tools
  • A medieval English calendar, version of the Julian calendar, as used in England, covering the 11th to 16th centuries, "SOME NOTES ON MEDIEVAL ENGLISH GENEALOGY" (Website)

  • Login to request to the join the Trusted List so that you can edit and add images.
  • Private Messages: Contact the Profile Managers privately: Laura Bozzay, Joe Cochoit, and John Atkinson. (Best when privacy is an issue.)
  • Public Comments: Login to post. (Best for messages specifically directed to those editing this profile. Limit 20 per day.)
  • Public Q&A: These will appear above and in the Genealogist-to-Genealogist (G2G) Forum. (Best for anything directed to the wider genealogy community.)

On 8 Jun 2019 at 14:57 GMT Richard Devlin wrote:

Under British Isles: could you add British Isles:Wales and a link to Space:Cymru_Project_Resources

On 3 Jun 2019 at 18:27 GMT Joe Cochoit wrote:

I added them under English Medieval Primary Records.

On 3 Jun 2019 at 06:34 GMT Vance Mead wrote:

Here are some primary English records that you could include.

Anglo-American Legal Tradition: Ten million images of original documents

Searchable databases:

Common Pleas

Kings/Queens Bench


On 3 Feb 2019 at 17:16 GMT Joe Cochoit wrote:

I would be OK with that John. They are in a section labeled "Use with Caution".

On 1 Feb 2019 at 23:43 GMT John Atkinson wrote:

Along the same lines, I notice that Magna Carta project have a much stricter policy as to when to use Marlyn Lewis's website and wonder if we should be consistent.

On 1 Feb 2019 at 23:03 GMT John Atkinson wrote:

I'd like to remove the.Peerage website by Darryl Lundy from our list. The main quality secondary source is probably The Complete Peerage and if all those volumes are still accessible then people should really be using that as a source rather than an intermediary. The only other source he uses often is a later version of Burke's Peerage, but I think we are all agreed that it isn't suitable for pre-1500.

I've just noticed lately that Darryl is using more sources that are debatable such as Clan Macfarlane website and even though we do say to use with caution I think it is better to delete it altogether?

On 10 Jan 2019 at 19:05 GMT Michael Thomas wrote:

Thank, Joe, I'll see what else I can find that works as well. It sure is ideal getting an overall view of a family, instead of a few people at a time.

On 9 Jan 2019 at 19:15 GMT Joe Cochoit wrote: I would say is a subscription source which is really not that widely used. It's user base is vastly smaller than which people are always complaining about being behind a paywall.

It uses a wide varied of sources but does rely heavily on Burke's Peerage. Since the general view of Burke's Peerage is that it is not reliable, especially as you go farther back into the medieval period, I would consider to be an unreliable source for medieval genealogy. You can use it as a guide but I would always try to find the underlying sources stirnet uses and also confirm from other sources.

On 9 Jan 2019 at 18:04 GMT Michael Thomas wrote:

I use the family lists on to find profiles on Wikitree and fill in missing individuals. I also use Stirnet as a source. I was recently called out for using it as an unreliable source, but I see nothing negative on Wikitree about it. Your thoughts?

On 27 Aug 2018 at 05:16 GMT John Atkinson wrote:

OK I've toned it down. I think I've made it more objective but tried to clarify the issue. I don't know how we say that, but for instance The Henry Project should always be preferred to Medieval Lands when they have a different perspective on the information.

more comments