I went to do some research this past week and noticed that the Search at FindMyPast has changed! – and for the better I think! I don’t know when it was changed!!!
Anyone doing UK research will like FindMypast (FMP) – why use FMP? 1. it’s the official repository for the government indexes to Birth, Marriages, and Deaths (1837 on), 2. Has great indexes and images for UK Censuses, 3. It’s the online home for the National Burial Index, and 4. Many many more great record collections – including USA, Australia, New Zealand and Ireland (the latter only if you have the right subscription).
The last revision to the Search left us with a somewhat cumbersome process but it got good results – now they have simplified the process! I also appreciated that FMP allowed me to select which census years I wanted to search – so I could select to search 1851, 1861 and 1871 at the same time – and that feature has been retained.
So what is different? I always resist the simplified basic search on the main screen – and click on the search menu at the top of the screen – and select a category such as Birth or Census. Notice at the bottom of the Search menu there is a link to the A to Z of record sets – where you can select from 4 geographic regions or the world to find out what record sets are available at FMP.
Let’s select Birth Marriage, Death, and Parish Records. Note the icon and word at the top of the column on the left indicated which region you are searching – I have Britain – so the icon is an outline of the Great Britain – there is a down arrow to the right of Britain allowing me to select other regions or the World.
Now this is where the new and to me improved part comes . . . on the left side of the screen there are the list of the categories that we saw in the Search menu – the one we selected is Birth Marriage, Death, and Parish Records and is shaded in green with a down arrow to the left of it and the subcategories are visible: Births and Baptisms, Church Registers, Deaths and Burials, Marriages and Divorces, Wills and Probate. You click on the subcategory you want and then after the screen refreshes you enter the first and/or last name and any other information you want to help with the search – remember never tell a computer more than you have to! – and then click on Search.
If you don’t want to select a subcategory you don’t have to.
Ff you do select a subcategory you can further focus your search by clicking on the Browse Record Set link to the right of the Record Set box – and select one or more record sets. When you are working on census this is how you select one or more census years to be searched.
Below your category and subcategories are a list of the other categories with an horizontal arrow to the left of the title. Clicking on the horizontal arrow “opens” that category so you can see the subcategories – so it’s easy to change between categories.
Try it – I think you’ll like it!
And remember that free access to FindMyPast is available at any LDS Family History Centre – just call before you go as they may reduce hours over the summer