Where to start
It can be quite bewildering. It is necessary to figure out what kind of records exist and where they are located.
Birth Marriage Death – England
These records start from 1837, and are searchable online (see Online Searches)
Prior to that records were kept by the local Parish, but these are now archived, and generally accessible online.
Census Records – England
The first census was in 1841, and then every 10 years after that, these can be searched at FreeCEN (see Online Searches)