Monday, July 23, 2012

Revised FindMyPast website bears looking into

DearREADERS,
Got English, Scottish, Irish, Welsh, Australian or New Zealand ancestors? You'll be interested in the new beta website of an old favorite FindMyPast.com. They are rapidly adding US record sets as well, though primarily the federal census records at this time.

Part of the beta includes an online tree option, which at this point must be entered manually. Coming soon will be the ability to import family trees from other websites or genealogy software. Also anticipate the ability to add documents and photos to ancestors on your trees.

From officials at FindMyPast via email today:


"Earlier today, we launched a new Beta version of findmypast.com that includes our International records from England, Ireland, Scotland, Australia and Wales.

To the general public, we are launching an irresistible introductory offer for the World Subscription.  Our introductory Pioneer Offer is just $4.95/mo. (normally $20.83/mo.) for a short time to a limited number of early subscribers.

We are continuously expanding our record collections. Soon, articles from the British Newspaper Archives will be added to the world subscription including English, Scottish, Irish and Welsh newspapers dating back to the 1700s. Other new US and overseas collections, some unique to findmypast.com, are being secured and will be announced as they go live online.”

WHAT I DO LIKE ABOUT THE BETA SITE?
From a beginning genealogy research point of view, the screens are simple and easy and quick to navigate. The hit list is viewable prior to viewing a transcript or image requiring membership. In this manner, folks can see if the site has anything that could possible mention an ancestor.

World access is offered at a great price $4.95 to $20+ per month; a step up from free access to FamilySearch.org, and considerably lower than Ancestry.com's annual 100% access fees. [Admittedly Ancestry.com has databases and images from countries beyond the scope of FindMyPast.com]

There are now two payment options:   
  1. The new $4.95 monthly if paid annually in advance for 100% access.
  2. PayAsYouGoCredits - the once workable old system where you could see a results page, but to view an image, you needed to spend "X" amount of credits. It would appear this option is no longer the best bet for regular researchers.

SEARCHES
I have yet to fully consider the search filters to refine a search. One the several tests I just ran on my existing personal account results seemed to load very quickly. After typing in an ancestors first and last name, one then views a series of extracts with possible links to the full transcript and/or the image, as in this sample from the 1841 Census.



  • First Name  -   THOS
  • Last Name  -   WASDEN
  • Collections from  -   United Kingdom
  • Gender  -   F ERROR here!
  • Country  -   ENGLAND
  • Category  -   Census, Land & Substitutes
  • Record collection  -   Census
  • Record set  -   1841 England, Wales & Scotland Census
  • Title  -   
  • County  -   Yorkshire
  • Year  -   1841
  • Birth Year  -   1821
  • Age  -   20
  • Parish  -   ASTON WITH AUGHTON
  • Street  -   ASTON
  • Occupation  -   
  • Birth County  -   YORKSHIRE
  • City  -   
  • House Name  -   
  • House Number  -   
  • Registration District  -   ROTHERHAM
  • Town  -   
  • Inhabited  -   
  • Institution Name  -   
  • Archive Reference  -   HO107
  • Book  -   4
  • Folio  -   7
  • Page  -   7
  • Piece Number  -   1330
  • Age Transcribed  -   
  • Page Type  -   6
  • Provider  -   2
  • Schedule  -   334
  • Schedule Suffix  -   
  • Set  -   35
  • Sub District  -   BEIGHTON
  • Transcribed Folio  -   4/7
  • Where Born (other)  -  

From a copy/paste of this "transcript" one may construct a source citation that is more than 1841 England, Wales and Scotland Census Image listed at the top border above the image of the original enumeration sheet. Fortunately the Public Record Office reference tag is located to the side of the enumeration pages as shown below:


IMAGE VIEWER
The image viewer used in Firefox 14.0.1 readily loads, and one may easily zoom in and out as well as move the image to view different parts of the page.


WHAT I DON'T LIKE ABOUT THE  BETA SITE
For the life of me I cannot find a "catalog" of all record group titles and time periods covered.
 
Have fun exploring this revised site, and tell Ol' Myrt how this compares with the old website.

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt     :)
DearMYRTLE,
Your friend in genealogy.

Blog: http://blog.DearMYRTLE.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/DearMYRTLE
Twitter: @DearMYRTLE
G+: +Pat Richley-Erickson
Second Life: Clarise Beaumont    
http://www.youtube.com/user/DearMYRTLE



2 comments:

  1. I'm still trying to figure out how much different the .com site is from the .co.uk one. I have a full subscription to the UK site, which doesn't give me access to the US site. I sure would hate to have to pay a double subscription if it turns out that there are non-overlapping data sets. My focus is on UK records, though, so perhaps sticking with that site will be sufficient. I guess I need to sit and compare, but as you say, there's no catalog of record groups. Hmmm.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I've copied this from their Terms and Conditions

    "What you can use the service for:

    You can only use the website for your own personal non-commercial use e.g. to research your own family history. You can also help out other people with their family history by telling them about records available on the website and how and where they can be found. If you are using a subscription, you may not provide anyone with copies of any records (either an original image of the record or the information on the results page), even if you provide them for free."

    This appears to be VERY restrictive. Does that mean if I use the images for found records that I can't distribute my findings to my family?

    Also by saying "personal non-commercial" this would bar a professional from using it as well.

    ReplyDelete