Geneology data research sites

  johndrew 19:45 18 Sep 2012

For some time I have toyed with doing research on my family but have done little about it. The Daily Mail is currently doing a promotion of a site which has a substantial level of data; this has stimulated me to have a better look at the research.

I know several here are also involved in researching their histories and wondered if there are better sources than Findmypast and Ancestry which appear to be two of the larger sites.

Any suggestions or advice would be appreciated.

With thanks in anticipation.

  Bing.alau 13:10 19 Sep 2012

May not be the right thread for this revelation, but I never found out until I joined the forces that my mum and dad weren't married. So that's why I don't care when somebody calls me a bastard. They are stating the truth. I've just realised I have left myself open to some abuse from my pal Brumas.

  spuds 14:14 19 Sep 2012

Over the years I have tried to do a family history, and at times the results can become rewarding or perhaps misleading with headaches burning the night oil trying to locate connections. It can get very addictive.

If you have a local library, then try there, because the staff might be very knowledgeable on this subject, more than perhaps you may realise.

Another suggestion is to have a look at Amazon or eBay, because there can be some real gems available via those means, especially books that cover the subject in more concise detail. Reading the reviews about the books first will provide even bigger and better results, because someone may have done some of the legwork for you already. Some books will even tell you how to find information from abroad in some of the remotest or off-beat track places, if your family roots and discoveries go that far.

Through my own research I have been able to pick up a couple well out of print local history books, that involved my late father. From that came quite a few surprises, which brought the question of "Why didn't I ask more questions when certain people and family member's were alive". A simple oversight, which most of us do, but well worth considering perhaps now and to the future, if you have past and present family around.

  Brumas 15:01 19 Sep 2012

Bing.alau as if..... ;o}

  simonjary 15:22 19 Sep 2012

If you have a relative using Ancestry you can ask them to "share" the online with you. You need to register but don't need to pay for a subscription.

  chub_tor 16:10 19 Sep 2012

I use findmypast for the major part of my searches (yes it is expensive but seems to be pretty good) but you can get an awful lot of stuff from freebmd and freecen. Where we have run into trouble is on my wife's side as her father was born in India and he was the son of a soldier serving in the army during the early 1900s and married in Bangalore. Still at a dead end there and it looks as if we need to access military records which are not available online.

  Picklefactory 17:31 19 Sep 2012

Whilst it can be a bit annoying and throw up quite a few false trails, I've also found quite a lot of extremely useful info from, and also found a few distant relatives, one of whom had dug far deeper than I'd managed and gave me some very valuable pieces of info. I also got a few very old photos of some of my ancestors through that route.

Be warned, as mentioned above, it can become quite addictive, but not necessarily expensive. The cost, i think, depends on how quickly you want to establish your info and how patient you are in spending time digging through free/cheaper options. I've taken a sabbatical for quite a while now, as i overdosed on it a bit, but it is extremely interesting.

  Woolwell 18:18 19 Sep 2012

chub_tor. Many of the military records are now online especially through findmypast. If you have the time then you can travel to the PRO at Kew. The regimental pay records can be very useful as they often record a list of dependants at the back. There is also a record of Army births overseas (also on findmypast). This includes India. I have relatives who served in India in the 1800's and have been able to trace them.

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