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I don't know where to start with trying to find out some people's names

(17 Posts)
Iwantanelephant Sat 26-Oct-13 15:44:23

Is there anyone that can either tell me where to start or can help me more practically please. I have a lot of info already, just can't make it tell me anything else.

ParsingFright Sat 26-Oct-13 15:50:50

Free index of England & Wales Birth Death Marriage records is your best free resource.

ParsingFright Sat 26-Oct-13 15:57:53

Barbara Dixon's BMD certificate tutorials are also excellent for how to wheedle info out of the indexes and certificates.

ParsingFright Sat 26-Oct-13 16:01:59

The other thing I'd recommend is getting genealogy software. You'd be amazed how the scraps start falling into place once you have it in the right format.

The ability to go, "Hang on, didn't I see that address before" and hit Search, or "What order did those events happen, and how long apart," can help you create a narrative connecting apparently disparate bits of data.

ParsingFright Sat 26-Oct-13 16:05:39

Eventually, though, you will benefit from having access to the censuses, and for those you need to pay a site like FindMyPast, Ancestry, The Genealogist or Scotland's People.

Check out the offering of each site, as their coverage varies. The subscription you need depends on where your family were.

Iwantanelephant Sat 26-Oct-13 17:03:11

Sorry to post an run. Had a disaster involving a burn and a knife hmm.

I tried bmd but they don't go recent enough. I have somehow found a couple of more names that look right but obviously I am not 100%.

Thank you.

ParsingFright Sat 26-Oct-13 17:13:29

shock at injuries. Hope all saved/salved now.

FreeBMD has only recently ventured after 1911, but they have partial and increasing coverage; Ancestry has much better coverage of recent years, up to 2005, IIRC.

Can you say more about where you're stuck?

Iwantanelephant Sat 26-Oct-13 17:37:22

I am trying to work out who someone is married too and the name of their children. My head is full of cotton wool, I am in a really foul mood and I just can't get my brain to work.

ParsingFright Sat 26-Oct-13 18:49:33

OK, have you found the person's possible marriage in FreeBMD?

If so, click on page no for the marriage. Registers show two marriages per page (ie four people). Post 1911, the index helpfully tells you which names are matching spouses; if pre, you'll have to guess/try both.

Post 1911, once you've got two surnames you can flog the database for children born with father's name, mother's maiden name, in an interval say 20 years from the marriage.

Pre 1911 it's way harder as you don't have mother's maiden name in the index. You need other info to match. BUT it's still worth looking because you might get something helpful if eg this is the only family called Cholmondley in Leeds, or the Smiths might use Anastasia Gertrude as a family name.

Ancestry has now has some marriage & bapt registers for Manchester, Birmingham, West Yorkshire and London. So if your family is in those locations, a subscription would mean you might get away without ordering certificates to confirm your hunches (and of course will get the censuses, etc).

Otherwise it's certs from the General Record Office at £10 a pop to confirm your hunches.shock

iwantanelephant Sat 26-Oct-13 20:00:13

I am trying to find out two families.

I already know one mum, one dad and their two children's names. I found that today.

The other family I know the mum, her married name, one child's name but not the husband or the other child's name.

I would also like to find out about another couple of families but got a bit confused with it all.

ParsingFright Sat 26-Oct-13 20:07:58

On FreeBMD, put the mum's married surname in the first box (as this is the husband's surname too).

Put her given name in the fourth box, "Spouse first name".

Restrict by generous dates, and possibly a location, unless name very unusual.

That will give you a good chance of finding the marriage.

ParsingFright Sat 26-Oct-13 20:09:46

Meant to say, you will need to click "page no" for each possible marriage to check each combo for possibles.

Is this post 1911?

iwantanelephant Sat 26-Oct-13 20:26:16

I just tried the names with births and marriages but nothing confused. Definitely after 1911.

ParsingFright Sat 26-Oct-13 20:35:43

Ah, in that case possible a part not yet transcribed.

Last ditch effort - start playing around with * as a wildcard and also manually checking spelling variations.

Eg Johnston* will get Johnston & Johnstone, then you'll need to do Johnson separately.

Also try with only the first few letters of the given names (don't need trailing * in given names), eg Ann will look for Ann, Anne, Annie.

Then try * Ann in case they're actually Mary Ann, or whatever.

iwantanelephant Sat 26-Oct-13 21:01:58

I found one name but it didn't tell me anything so I am unsure if I am looking in the right place.

Thank you for all your help.

FamilyHistoryFun Mon 28-Oct-13 15:40:54

Hi Iwantanelephant,

If you want to message me the names you have, I don't mind having a look to see if I can help.

morethanpotatoprints Mon 28-Oct-13 15:45:20

Hello OP

I had the same problem and was recommended
I have a subscription now and it is far cheaper than the pay as you go other sites.
If it is the wrong record, you just do another search, costing you no extra.
It isn't cheap but I have it as birthday pressie from immediate family annually.
There are tutorials and it is so good, only down side, when you become good and names/tree start to grow, it can become time consuming.

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