Showing posts with label Canada. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Canada. Show all posts

23 June 2014

Why I use FindMyPast (Tuesday's Tip)

I am a big fan of FindMyPast for genealogy research, and I'm glad that they are gradually improving their 'new' site.

For records that are on both FindMyPast and other sites, FindMyPast's indexes and transcriptions are (in my experience) much more accurate. This is particularly obvious with British censuses.

FindMyPast has an especially good collection of Queensland records, and I have also been using their British census records and parish registers for many years. Recently I made exciting discoveries in passenger lists, Royal Household records, East India Company and civil service pensions, and non-conformist baptisms, marriages and burials. For example, passenger lists showed that between one British census and the next, some of my families went to South Africa and Canada and then returned to England.

Recent improvements at FindMyPast include:

  • New record sets are now added more frequently, and announcements are made via FindMyPast's email newsletters, blogs etc. An exciting addition is 'NSW wills books 1800-1952'. See also '100 record sets in 100 days'.

  • You can now attach records to your online family tree, which can be created by importing a GEDCOM file or by entering data manually.

  • Article on 'Top tips for overcoming 'brick walls' in family history'.

  • Article on 'Hard to read records'.

  • One month subscriptions are now available and very affordable.

  • The British Newspaper Archive is available within FindMyPast.

  • The latest (July 2014) explanation of how to use FindMyPast's new search tools (a 'must-read' now that their site has changed). The new SEARCH platform is getting better all the time. It is very powerful and flexible, and it allows you to search at multiple category levels.

  • Records from will soon be on FindMyPast. That includes the National Wills Index with pre-1857 probate material for England and Wales. FindMyPast will then be the largest online resource for UK wills and probate (and those records include data for people from other countries including Australia). The collection includes (to name just a few) Queensland intestacies and wills (from Government Gazette notices); Bank of England wills extracts 1717-1845; British India Office wills and probate; London probate index; Suffolk testator index 1847-1857; Great Western Railway shareholders; index to death duty registers 1796-1903; index of Irish wills 1484-1858. To narrow your search in the 'wills and probate' collection, click 'Browse record set' then select the one(s) you want.

  • On-going site improvements are listed on What's New.

If you are not sure whether FindMyPast will suit you, try the one month subscription. Although a 12 month subscription is better value (and there is a 10% loyalty discount for renewing it), some people will find the one month option more convenient. It is available for each of FindMyPast's regional collections (Australia/NZ; UK; Ireland; USA) and also for the World collection (which, as of Feb 2014, is now cheaper).

If you have no Australian research but need access to UK records, sign up via

Searches on FindMyPast are free. You only need pay-as-you-go credits or a subscription to see transcriptions or images of original records. (HINT: Try entering a surname in the Keywords field. This finds entries in records that are searchable PDF files, such as digitised books and newspapers.)

Follow the links below to see (for each region) a full list of categories and all the record sets currently available within them, with descriptions of what each record set contains and what detailed information you can expect to find.

FindMyPast periodically offers discounts and 'free access' days. Check the Discounts and Freebies page on my main Web site.

('Tuesday's Tip' is a theme used by Geneabloggers.)

Revenue from ads goes to Kiva

22 November 2013

FindMyPast or a Coffee?

I recently wrote about why I like using FindMyPast. My world subscription is through their UK site, but I have also registered (free) with the Australia / NZ site because I want to receive their newsletter. (In 'My account - Personal details', tick the box beside 'Please send me an occasional newsletter'.)

The newsletter often has competitions and special offers (discounts, free pay-as-you-go credits, etc). Today's newsletter offered 20% off subscriptions if you join by 30 Nov 2013.

Depending on which subscription you choose, the cost (without discounts) ranges from about $5 to $25 per month. In other words, going without one takeaway coffee per month would save you almost enough to pay for an Australia/NZ subscription. Most people reading this blog probably have British ancestry, and for you the Britain & Australia/NZ subscription may be better value. I chose a world subscription because some branches of my family were in Ireland and Canada.

Not sure whether they have records that will be useful to you? Have a look at the full list (worldwide). More datasets are added each month. Note the inclusion of the British Newspaper Archive and various other digitised newspapers.

If you are thinking about getting a FindMyPast subscription (or if you already have one), see my tips on using FindMyPast for genealogy.

6 July 2012

Update re Obituaries of Civil Engineers

After reading my question about an index to obituaries in Minutes of the Institution of Civil Engineers (Great Britain), Darryn emailed me with details of a Web site that I somehow missed. (Was I blind? Did I do something stupid in my Google search? All I can say is 'Oops' and 'Thank you, Darryn'.)

For some unknown reason, the Web page with the Obituaries Index says it only covers 1880-1904, but the lists of names do in fact include entries for deaths up to the 1930s.

Unfortunately the link to L-M surnames was not working when I tried it.

The Web site says that the obituaries "contain very full descriptions of the life and work of the individual, and often list names of parents, and occasionally wives and children. Although the majority of them are British born, there are those born in Australia, New Zealand, Canada and India, as well as other distant places. Many of them worked and died in these countries and left family there."

22 April 2011

Thrifty Thursday: This Week's Freebies

There are some interesting freebies and discounts available at present (and, in the future, more will be listed on a Discounts and Freebies page).
  • LostCousins is totally free to 2 May 2011. This is probably the only web site that has virtually 100% accuracy in matching people who share the same ancestors. You do not waste time corresponding with people who are not related to you. To use LostCousins you need to have found relatives in one of these censuses: USA 1880 or 1940; Canada 1881; Scotland 1881; Ireland 1911; England and Wales 1841, 1881 or 1911. Be sure to enter data for brothers and sisters of your direct ancestors, as it is their descendants who are most likely to have letters or photos from your line. Start by reading the LostCousins 'How-to' page. Remember to log in periodically, go to your 'My Ancestors' page and click 'Search'.

  • Free access to Gale's historical newspaper and periodical collections, including more than 10 million digitised pages, to 24 April 2011.

  • In honour of ANZAC Day, free access on Ancestry during this Easter long weekend to 40 million military records for Australia, New Zealand, UK, Canada and USA.

  • England & Wales marriage indexes 1837-2005 on Ancestry are free to search to 30 April 2011.

  • Until 5pm AEST 27 April 2011, order a New South Wales full certificate transcription for just $16.

When I hear about more offers, I will list them on the Discounts and Freebies page on my main Web site.

2 July 2010 (Follow Friday) is probably the only web site that identifies (with virtually 100% accuracy) people who share the same ancestors. You do not waste time corresponding with people who are not related to you! I have found a couple of new relatives here; and the email newsletter has lots of useful tips.

To use LostCousins you need to find your relatives in the census for England & Wales 1841, 1881 or 1911; Scotland 1881; United States 1880 & 1940; Canada 1881; or Ireland 1911. Then at LostCousins you enter the census source/page details for those names. Read the instructions carefully before gathering and entering data, as requirements for each census are different. If you prepare well, entering the data is a lot quicker. Be sure to include brothers and sisters of your direct ancestors, because it is their descendants who are the 'cousins' you want to contact.

After entering some relatives, click 'Search', and the system checks whether someone else has entered identical data. Remember to log in periodically, go to your 'My Ancestors' page and repeat the search.

It costs nothing to join and enter data, but it may be worthwhile paying a small annual subscription (about $10) so that there are no restrictions on contacting your 'new' cousins.

('Follow Friday' is a theme used by Geneabloggers.)
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