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1974 – England significantly changes the boundaries of its 43 counties.

What You Need to Know:

• Genealogists looking for pre-1974 genealogy records need to refer to pre-1974 county names and boundaries. The pre-1974 counties are all identified by standardized three-letter codes known as Chapman codes, as listed below.

BDF Bedfordshire
BRK Berkshire
BKM Buckinghamshire
CAM Cambridgeshire
CHS Cheshire
CON Cornwall
CUL Cumberland
DBY Derbyshire
DEV Devon
DOR Dorset
DUR Durham
ERY East Riding Yorkshire (further subdivided into wapentakes)
ESS Essex
GLS Gloucestershire
HAM Hampshire
HEF Herefordshire
HRT Hertfordshire
HUN Huntingdonshire
KEN Kent
LAN Lancashire
LEI Leicestershire
LIN Lincolnshire
LND London (ncludes the city of London only, not greater London)
MDX Middlesex
NFK Norfolk
NRY North Riding Yorkshire (further subdivided into wapentakes)
NTH Northamptonshire
NBL Northumberland
NTT Nottinghamshire
OXF Oxfordshire
RUT Rutland
SAL Shropshire (Salop)
SOM Somerset
STS Staffordshire
SFK Suffolk
SRY Surrey
SSX Sussex
WAR Warwickshire
WES Westmorland
WIL Wiltshire
WOR Worcestershire
WRY West Riding Yorkshire (further subdivided into wapentakes)
YKS Yorkshire (further subdivided into wapentakes)

• Genuki maintains a useful interactive map of English counties prior to 1974. [Pre-1974 English Counties]

1975 – The Children Act allowed adopted adults the ability to gain access to the original record of their birth.

What You Need to Know:

• The requirements needed to access original records of birth for adopted children continue to evolve. It is best to check with local authorities to determine the steps required to access these records. In general, however, only the person who was adopted can gain access to these records.

Final Thoughts

One of the key challenges for any genealogist is to stay well organized. Hopefully, our innovative approach of looking at English genealogy from a chronological perspective will help keep you organized and give you new insight into tracing your ancestors. A chronological approach makes it easier to understand the flow of events, so you can spend more time looking for your ancestors and less time trying to figure out where to look.

At GenealogyInTime Magazine, we have a passion for genealogy and a desire to make it better. We like to think this article has put you a little bit closer to your ancestors. There are, of course, other areas of English genealogical research that we have not even discussed. For example, cemeteries and newspapers can also be major sources of ancestral records. But we will save that for future articles....

Highgate cemetery entrance
This way to more genealogy records.

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