Sunday, July 18, 2010

Researching UK Births? Try FindMyPast's New Index recently updated their birth indexes and they are fully searchable (see image at right; click on image to enlarge).  They cover the time period 1837 to 2006, and for all of England and Wales.  Why use their index instead of FreeBMD or Ancestry?
  • FindMyPast claims to have the most comprehensive index available.
  • FindMyPast claims their images are crystal clear and easier to read, thus rendering better transcriptions.
  • You can include spelling variations.  This comes in handy to quickly see other variations of the surname you are researching.
  • Advanced Search tab adds a District, so you can narrow your search.  You have this same search available on FreeBMD.  FindMyPast claims that Ancestry's indexing doesn't properly allocate the districts to the correct counties.
Why I am writing about this?  To remind you that ALL websites make mistakes in transcribing records, so checking different websites for the same information may help you find your lost relatives.  And, all websites are constantly updating and improving their indexes to improve accuracy, so check back again at a later date.

TIP:  If you want to see the images from the FindMyPast site, you don't have to pay for them if you go to your local LDS Family History Center and utilize their FH Portal.  However, I've found that viewing the actual pages of the BMD indices are not very helpful (see image above).  You cannot rely entirely on when the births were recorded, so go to the source and order the actual birth record (see image below) from the General Register Office in England.  It is nice you can order these online too, and you receive your certificate within a couple of weeks.

Thank you for for first reporting on FindMyPast's new index.  I shall use it immediately!


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