31 January 2016

CuriousFox (gazetteer and genealogy message system)

Logo on www.curiousfox.com
CuriousFox is a gazetteer and message system that connects genealogists and local historians. Collaboration between these two groups is immensely beneficial.

In CuriousFox, every town and village in the United Kingdom and Ireland has its own page. There is also a USA version, which I have not personally used.

Things I like about CuriousFox include:
  • Exact map locations and historic maps.
  • Free to join, add entries, and search by village or surname.
  • With surname searches, finding relevant entries is easier because you can work at town / village level.
  • You can search for 'nearby' entries.
  • It is easy to edit or delete your entries.
  • Google searches will find your entries (so 'new relatives' can contact you).
  • No spam (your email address is not visible).
  • Privacy (the system sends messages between members, and you decide whether to give a particular member your address).
  • Advantages of being a paying member (about six pounds per year) include:
    • Contact and be contacted by all other members (free or paying).
    • Receive email alerts when people add entries for towns of interest to you.
    • Publicise your Web page or blog.

Entry screen for my ASHTON message
  • Give some thought to the wording of your entries. They should be concise, with surnames (and only surnames) in capital letters. Specify dates, and use appropriate punctuation.

  • For large towns with many entries and multiple pages, delete your entry every year and immediately resubmit it (updated if necessary) so that it reappears near the top of the list for that town. I did this recently, and within 24 hours a local historian contacted me and offered to send transcriptions of land records for that surname/town!

I hope you will try Curious Fox and share your success stories in a comment here.

(This is an updated version of a post that originally appeared on http://uk-australia.blogspot.com/2010/08/curiousfox-follow-friday.html for 'Follow Friday', a theme used by 'Geneabloggers'. I also published it on http://worldwidegenealogy.blogspot.com/2014/08/curiousfox-gazetteer-and-message-system.html.)


  1. This sounds like a great resource. I'll have to give it a try! Thank you for sharing it and for your hints on reposting.

  2. Thanks for this post Judy. I hadn't heard of Curious Fox. Will definitely check it out. Be great if it could break down my brick wall.

    1. Good luck Jen! Unless it's a tiny village with just a few entries on a single page, I strongly advise you to periodically delete your post and immediately resubmit it.

  3. Thank you for the information Judy. I will have a look, might help with a few blanks!

    1. Kerry, I hope CuriousFox works as well for you as it has for me. Feel free to come back here and add a comment with your success stories.

  4. I got some excellent assistance with my Aberdeenshire family on CuriousFox. I don't suppose you of something similar for Australia? I had some entries on CousinConnect but that site seems to have expired.

    1. I don't think Australia has anything similar to CuriousFox. You could try contacting historical societies, local studies sections in public libraries, family history societies, and private individuals with an interest in One Place Studies. Some are listed in Specialist Indexes in Australia: a genealogist's guide.


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