The Middle Ages of European history (medieval or mediæval) is a period of European history covering roughly a millennium in the 5th century through 16th centuries. More specific starting and ending points are sometimes adopted by scholars to suit their respective specializations or current focus. It is commonly dated from the fall of the Western Roman Empire, and contrasted with a later Early Modern Period; the time during which the Reformation and the rise of humanism in the Italian Renaissance unfolded are generally associated with the transition out of the Middle Ages, with European overseas expansion as a succeeding process, but such dates are approximate and based upon nuanced arguments.
The Middle Ages included the first sustained urbanization of northern and western Europe. Many modern European countries owe their origins to events and trends in the Middle Ages; present European political boundaries are, in many regards, the result of the military and dynastic outcomes during this period.
Where to Start
For more information, see the EN Wikipedia article Middle Ages.
People at WeRelate Researching Medieval Families