Friday, February 15, 2008

FindMyPast.com adds >1million to burial index

NOTE from DearMYRTLE: Researchers with British or Welsh ancestry will appreciate the following press release from our friends at FindMyPast.com. Please address all inquiries to: elaine.collins@findmypast.com

Over 1 Million more National Burial Index Records go live at FindMyPast.com

Premier UK family history website http://www.findmypast.com/ today announced that it has added another 1.2 million National Burial Index Records to its existing online collection. The new records cover the counties of Somersetshire, Dorset and Essex and have been contributed by the Somerset and Dorset Family History Society and the East of London Family History Society as part of an arrangement with the Federation of Family History Societies (FFHS) to transfer their local family history society records to findmypast.com.

Among the famous names that can be found in the new burial index records at http://www.findmypast.com/ is author Thomas Hardy, whose burial on 11 January 1928 aged 82 is recorded in Stinsford, Dorsetshire.

The National Burial Index (NBI) is a finding aid for burials that took place in England or Wales between the years 1538 and 2005. As such, it pre-dates the civil registration of deaths in England and Wales, which only came into effect on 1 July 1837, thereby enabling family history enthusiasts to delve even further back into their ancestors' pasts.

The details of over 11 million burials are now contained in the database at findmypast.com. It provides the full name, date of burial, age at death, (when given in the original source), name of the county, parish and the church or chapel where the burial took place.

The burial index brings together in one easy-to-search central place the disparate records from local parishes, which members of local family history societies have been compiling since 1994, under the guidance and encouragement of the Federation of Family History Societies (FFHS). It includes records from parish registers, non-conformist registers, Roman Catholic, Jewish and other registers as well as cemetery and cremation records. It will complement the Latter Day Saints' International Genealogical Index (IGI), which contains mainly baptisms and marriages.

Thanks to the cross-database search facility at findmypast.com, you will be able to search for your ancestor by surname across all the records on the site without needing to know where in the country they came from.

Previously some of these records were made available to the public by the Federation on CD ROM and at its own pay per view website http://www.familyhistoryonline.net/ but following a landmark agreement between the Federation and findmypast.com in September 2007, burial records can now be searched online alongside findmypast.com's existing collection of over 550 million records. The records at http://www.familyhistoryonline.net/ will be transferred to the findmypast.com website in phases over the next few months.

The National Burial Index records can be accessed as part of an Explorer subscription package or with pay-per-view units.

About findmypast.com
Leading UK family history website findmypast.com (formerly 1837online.com) was the first company to make the complete birth, marriage and death indexes for England & Wales available online in April 2003.

Following the transcription, scanning and indexing of over two million images, the company launched the first website to allow the public easy and fast access to the complete indexes, which until then had only been available on microfiche film in specialist archives and libraries. The launch was instrumental in creating the widespread and growing interest in genealogy seen in the UK today.

Findmypast has subsequently digitised many more family history records and now offers access to over 500 million records dating as far back as 1538. This allows family historians and novice genealogists to search for their ancestors among comprehensive collections of military records, census, migration, occupation directories, and current electoral roll data, as well as the original comprehensive birth, marriage and death records.

In November 2006 findmypast launched the ancestorsonboard.com microsite in association with The National Archives to publish outbound passenger lists for long-distance voyages departing all British ports between 1890 and 1960.

As well as providing access to historical records, findmypast is also developing a range of online tools to help people discover and share their family history more easily, beginning with the launch of Family Tree Explorer in July 2007.

Over 1.7 million people in the UK have researched their family trees and findmypast.com has over 800,000 active registered users, revealing the mass appeal of genealogy and findmypast.com's position as the leading family history website based in the UK.

In April 2007 findmypast's then parent company Title Research Group received the prestigious Queen's Award for Enterprise: Innovation 2007 in recognition of their achievement.

Findmypast.com was acquired in December 2007 by Scotland Online, the company which won The National Archives' tender to publish online the 1911 census.


About The Federation of Family History Societies
The Federation of Family History Societies (FFHS) is an educational charity formed in 1974. Over the years, membership has grown to over 200 societies throughout the world, including national, regional and one-name groups. The principal aims of the Federation are:
to co-ordinate and assist the work of societies or other bodies interested in family history, genealogy and heraldry to foster mutual co-operation and regional projects in these subjects to represent the interests of its member societies, and family historians in general, on numerous national and regional bodies involved in such pursuits. The Federation provides an authentic, audible, and respected voice for the many thousands of individual family historians.

Membership is open to any society or body specialising in family history or an associated discipline. Full membership is open to properly constituted organisations in the British Isles and associate membership is available to overseas family history, genealogical and heraldic groups as well as to other bodies within the British Isles for whom family history is a secondary interest.

Education is a vital element within the Federation. This is achieved by member societies and FFHS committees, informally through regular meetings, fairs and other events, and also formally through seminars and national conferences. To encourage member societies to produce their own high quality journals and websites, the FFHS presents awards each year to those making the best contribution to family history.

Achievements in national and regional projects is something the FFHS takes great pride in with millions of records transcribed and indexed by local experts for the benefit of all family historians. FamilyHistoryOnline was established by the FFHS to publish online these records which include indexes or full transcriptions of source records such as baptisms, marriages and burials; monumental inscriptions; census returns for the counties of England and Wales; and other specialist subjects.

The FFHS looks forward to the challenges in the future of supporting its members, ensuring the continual preservation of, and access to, archives, and encouraging new family historians to join a family history society so as to discover and enjoy the fascinating journey into their past in the company of other enthusiasts.

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