Wendy – I want to thank you greatly for the time you took to reply to me with this great analysis and recommendation. I’m so sorry that I didn’t thank you immediately, but my time to read, digest and decide based on your e-mail slipped away due to other pressures. Now I plan to investigate again today. I too have an Ancestry account (global, though my current useage is heavily UK, moderately Canada and almost no US), and I have the 1911 census at FindMyPast. For me that was the correct complement because the military materials at FMP didn’t seem to be strong enough and argument to include it, and I planned to “pay as you go” for BMDs for the reasons you outline below (sometimes it’s great to have multiple eyes/transcriptions). I similarly use familysearch.org for that … and have discovered that in some areas their indexes are much more detailed. However, since the LDS environment typically has no images – I’m not as satisfied. I’m a fussy researcher and like to see the records that someone else has indexed (and rarely are they transcribed – in full).
The real puzzle for me was what TheGenealogist” had to offer incrementally. I wasn’t sure if they were calling indexes transcripts (I consider them to be completely different things), and whether there were images associated. I really don’t care about transcripts if indexes provide access to images. Effective search engines make a big difference and I think Ancestry has come a LONG way in this regard (despite their lack of precisions – understandably – when it comes to interpreting handwriting correctly). FindMyPast seems to take a better examination of indexing quality control, but they lack the breath of resources that Ancestry has.
What may set the 4 sites apart is how they manage the “Bishops’ Transcripts’. I’m hoping for high quality indexes and links to images. On TheGenealogist , I couldn’t figure out what exactly they were offering – their transcripts (and no images), images (but not indexed) or….
As you point out there are other resources as well. And, I’ve been using FreeBMD as well – but only after your e-mail discovered that it had greater coverage than Ancestry even. So I make sure I pursue their work. And, I do mean to share the information that I’ve transcribed from my register record purchase of the past year (I probably have ordered 20!) so that other researchers can benefit. FreeReg is a site that I’ve not used enough. I think the Parish clerk sites can be amazing (or weak) – variability is great. That’s been my experience with links found at GENUKI as well. But – they’re both were pursuing for when they are robust.
Regarding magazines, I’ve been picking them up for a while too. My favourite is Family History Monthly. But there are several that Chapters carries and occasionally I allow myself to select a second issue of another title in a given month.
So – apart from the above, I think what I’m going to do is subscribe on a 3-month basis to TheGenealogist.
TinyTafel list of names/places for one family pursuit appears below. A few families are a bit strangely represented in terms of geography below, but it does give a scope of names accurately:
A141 1801:1869 APPLEBY\unknown/Manninttree, Essex, England
B634 1800:1800 BARTLING\Dartmouth, Nova Scotia/Dartmouth, Nova Scotia
B210 1815:1996 BISHOP\unknown/St. John, New Brunswick
B260 1796:1851 BOUKER\unknown/Lancaster, Lancashire, England
B260 1816:1851 BOWKER\Kendal, Westmorland, England/ Lancashire, England
B346 1796:1873 BUTLER\unknown/Lancaster, Lancashire, England
C642 1797:1839 CHARLES\Northampton, England/Northampton, England
C252 1725:1922 COUSINS\Wales/unknown
C630 1802:1856 COWARD\Hawkshead, Lancashire, England/ Lancashire, England
C620 1794:1824 CRAIG\Rashorkine, Antrim, Ireland/Nova Scotia
C613 1794:1835 CROFT\Lancashire, England/Blackrod, Lancashire, England
E520 1815:1891 EMMS\Gloucestershire, England/Cumberland, England
F534 1786:1786 FINDLEY\Prescot, Lancashire, England/Prescot, Lancashire, England
F246 1759:1759 FOSELER\unknown/unknown
G663 1876:1916 GERARD\France/Sydney, Nova Scotia
H530 1791:1849 HAND\Staffordshire, England/Wolverhampton, Essex, England
H300 1806:1974 HAYWOOD\Sawford, Stafford, England/Edmonton, Alberta
H325 1810:1810 HODGSON\Lancashire, England/Lancashire, England
H235 1786:1786 HOUGHTON\Newton, Lancashire, England/Newton, Lancashire, England
H640 1831:1831 HURLEY\Halifax, Nova Scotia/Halifax, Nova Scotia
J520 1861:1964 JOHNES\Norwood, Surrey, England/Sarasota, Florida
J520 1818:1964 JONES\unknown/Sarasota, Florida
K450 1761:2006 KLINE\Wurtzburg, Germany/Halifax, Nova Scotia
L220 1877:1877 LE COCQ\France/France
L231 1820:1820 LIGHTBOURNE\Staffordshire, England/Staffordshire, England
L520 1831:1869 LONG\St. Pancras, London, England/St. Pancras, London, England
L220 1810:1845 LUCCHESI\Tuscany, Italy/London, Middlesex, England
M250 1775:1775 MCGOWAN\Atrim, Ireland/Atrim, Ireland
M460 1723:1770 MILLER\Scotland/unknown
M324 1770:1790 MITCHELL\unknown/unknown
M625 1728:1728 MORISSONE\unknown/unknown
N250 1796:1913 NIXON\Armah, County Down, Ireland/unknown
O165 1825:1890 O'BRIEN\Ireland/unknown
O500 1766:1797 OWEN\Warwickshire, England/Warwick, Warwickshire, England
P625 1813:1813 PIERACCINA\Ireland/Ireland
R200 1822:1822 ROCK\Digby Gut, Nova Scotia/Digby Gut, Nova Scotia
R345 1775:1860 RUDLAND\Suffolk, England/Stratford, Suffolk, England
S324 1796:1832 SATCHWELL\Warwickshire, England/unknown
S300 1785:1785 SCOTT\Lancashire, England/Lancashire, England
S512 1794:1820 SIMPSON\unknown/Lancaster, Lancashire, England
S530 1801:1821 SMITH\unknown/Hanklow, Cheshire, England
S314 1803:1823 STAPLETON\Ireland/Nova Scotia
S361 1791:1843 STIRRUP\Newton, Lancashire, England/Lancashire, England
S500 1788:1856 SWAIN\unknown/Lancashire, England
W300 1803:1803 WHITTY\unknown/unknown
W452 1771:1771 WILLIAMSON\Ellel, Lancashire, England/Ellel, Lancashire, England
W536 1782:1894 WINDER\Prescot, Lancashire, England/ Lancashire, England
Judith (Judii) Rempel
From: owner-dist-gen@... [mailto:owner-dist-gen@...] On Behalf Of Wendy Hamilton
Sent: November 5, 2010 5:58 PM
To: Judith Rempel; 'AFHS Distribution List'
Subject: Re: SOGS databases
I have subscriptions to both Ancestry http://www.ancestry.co.uk/ and FindMyPast http://www.findmypast.co.uk/. At present I wouldn’t give up either subscription. For my parishes of interest Ancestry and FindMyPast are complementary. Of course much of the census, BMD records and others overlap, but sometimes if I can’t find what I am looking for on one site I find it on the other – usually a transcription problem.
I have also looked at http://www.thegenealogist.co.uk/, and http://familyrelatives.com/ . They both seem to have good parish record coverage of certain counties. At present neither of them has much coverage in my parishes of interest. I will probably take advantage of their free trials when they add more records. I have been told that it is worthwhile to look at the PCC wills on the Genealogist UK.
To give you an example of parish record coverage, I am currently researching in Somerset and although all four sites have parish records, only FindMyPast includes some of the village/parishes I am interested in. I have been successful in finding many baptisms, marriages and burials on FindMyPast but the baptisms for my prime parish are not covered yet. Family Relatives does not cover Somerset at present. The Genealogist UK covers quite a few counties with baptisms, marriages and burials but for Somerset they only have marriages.
So in my case I subscribe to FindMyPast. For parish records, FindMyPast has transcriptions only and the search is limited to the county so you may get many results to view. It would be much better to be able to include a parish or place name. If you are researching a common name and wide date range then a subscription is the way to go.
Depending on your needs the other sites may cover your parishes of interest and also have images. Even if a site has your parish, all relevant years may not be covered or be complete, so you have to check the coverage listings carefully.
The links for coverage of the parish records listings are:
The Genealogist UK:
In addition to the commercial sites you asked about, I am familiar with many others related to British research. Also family history societies, local history and village websites sometimes have transcriptions. The free sites like Online Parish Clerks: http://www.onlineparishclerks.org.uk/ and the FreeReg project at: http://www.freereg.org.uk/ are being updated all the time and worth looking at for parish records.
As an aside, this week I received in the post a British magazine called “Family History on the Internet” just published by The National Archives and Wharncliffe Publishing Ltd. (£6.99 ISBN 184884457-3). It is current and very well done. It covers all the commercial websites as well as other sites were you can find the basic sources (census, parish registers, wills, military records, etc). Also includes information on archives, libraries, newspapers, directories, emigration, immigration, maps etc.). I didn’t order it, but believe I got it because I have a subscription to “Your Family History” magazine formally “Ancestors”. I don’t know if it can be purchased here, but it is well worth a read for British researchers.
Hope this helps. Let me know if require more information.
Regards, Wendy Hamilton