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Ancestry Free This Weekend

(26 Posts)
SaskiaRembrandtWasFramed Wed 26-Aug-15 16:04:31

UK only I think, but it covers the whole bank holiday weekend.

HarrietVane99 Wed 26-Aug-15 16:50:43

That and the new Jodi Taylor novel = my weekend sorted. Must get wine and chocolate. Thanks for the heads up.

ARightOldPickle Wed 26-Aug-15 16:56:52

Ooh thanks! Was thinking of digging my family history stuff out again, it's usually my winter hobby but with this weather ... I'll start a list of things to look upsmile

SaskiaRembrandtWasFramed Wed 26-Aug-15 17:09:26

I was thinking the same - it's usually something I do on cold, dark evenings, but I have a feeling that is what the bank holiday will be like grin

SurelyYoureJokingMrFeynman Wed 26-Aug-15 17:14:33

Oh my god, I am going to be like a one-woman DOS attack. Warn the servers I'm coming...

<gets out To Do list>

Thanks, Saskia.

SaskiaRembrandtWasFramed Sat 29-Aug-15 15:52:40

Thought this might make you chuckle ...

You know those trees that aren't very well researched, and it's obvious someone has just collected details of people with the same name? I've just found one. I have an ancestor who lived in Bristol and worked as a hooper. However, according to a tree I just came across, at the same time he was also Master of Brasenose College, Oxford, and a smuggler in Virginia. What an incredibly talented and well travelled chap he was grin

SurelyYoureJokingMrFeynman Sun 30-Aug-15 11:44:06

shockgrin That's a corker.

I never know what to do when I've actually started working with someone, and it's clear they've gone baaaaaadly astray with a connection they're quite invested in.

Especially when it's the connection which would make you related... except clearly you're not. Oh dear.

Twowrongsdontmakearight Mon 31-Aug-15 10:52:51

Surely what type of work do you do with people? I've got so far but now have lots of brick walls.

SurelyYoureJokingMrFeynman Mon 31-Aug-15 11:17:19

Would you like me to have a look at your brick walls, Two? I'll happily take a very brief peek if you PM me (and I'll delete your PMs as soon as we're done, for security).

I don't (yet) do family history professionally, but I do a lot for friends, family and the occasional historian wanting to flesh out some the folk they're writing about.

Which means I have a stack of work pending for a journalist about a C19th soldier, a biographer about a woman poet of WWI, a museum about an FA Cup-winning footballer from a century ago, and a friend about a plumber in Manchester!

SwedishEdith Mon 31-Aug-15 13:30:57

I've been trying to take full advantage of this free weekend but I'm stuck on some really basic things ie marriages that I'm sure (???) took place but I just can't find any record of. Is Ancestry the easiest one to use or is there anything else that's better? Doesn't have to be free. Thanks

SurelyYoureJokingMrFeynman Mon 31-Aug-15 14:10:23

FreeBMD does what it says on the tin:

This covers England & Wales only, as Scotland & NI have separate registration systems.

Scotland's People for all Scottish records - it's excellent, but is all Pay Per View rather than subscription, so swings and roundabouts.

I can't recommend at the moment, as they seem to have quite a few issues just now. The site has an intermittent problem with some browsers (and they don't tell you this till you've forked over your money, at which point they refuse to refund). This is annoying, as they do have access to some very specific collections about Manchester, but I think these are also available through .

FMP is also difficult to use for census look-ups, because place of birth of the person isn't a search criterion, only current address. So you can neither narrow your search nor pick out likely hits from the results page. If you really do need Find My Past, be careful to uncheck the box which auto-renews your subscription at the end of the month.

SurelyYoureJokingMrFeynman Mon 31-Aug-15 14:10:52

Approximately where and when are the marriages you're stuck on?

PermetsTu Mon 31-Aug-15 14:31:28

My main problem with one branch of my family tree is not my own accuracy but the accuracy of records.

I would give anything to know the truth of what happened with my great, great grandma but all of my searches seem to suggest that the official documents tell lies.

What I want to know is whether my great, great grandma married the man she lived with for 40 years or whether they lived in sin. There are also babies born who I don't think can possibly belong to who the records say they do. All of my grandma's memories (she is 90), my great aunts and uncles, other family members I've found, have the same story to tell. The official records don't seem quite so sure about what happened.

SwedishEdith Mon 31-Aug-15 15:14:00

NW England between about 1880 to 1920. I wish there was a way of eliminating the options you've looked at so that they don't keep coming up. Having said that, keep having to revise things all the time!

SurelyYoureJokingMrFeynman Mon 31-Aug-15 15:17:17

Yy, people lie like troopers in the official documents.shock

At least you have your family's oral history, PermetsTu, so you aren't just swallowing the official record as true. It must be very frustrating, though.

SurelyYoureJokingMrFeynman Mon 31-Aug-15 15:29:09

Hmm, that period is well covered by civil registration, SwedishEdith, so not being able to find marriages suggests something is afoot.

FreeBMD can sometimes be better than Ancestry for elimination, as it produces a list answering precisely the Q you ask and doesn't try to add "helpful" non-results.

If all else fails, you could start identifying everyone.

Unless you have a very common surname, you could make a database dump of FreeBMD and match up births with marriages and deaths. Chuck in the censuses and street directories from and you may be able to eliminate a lot of people.

SwedishEdith Mon 31-Aug-15 15:33:52

Thanks Surely. I'm looking through and eliminating now but can't seem to see her. Maddening. Not an especially common surname - will just keep looking.

SwedishEdith Mon 31-Aug-15 16:19:36

Is there any site that gives you full access to BDM certificates and not just the reference number to find it? What do the Heir Hunters use?

eatyourveg Mon 31-Aug-15 17:27:53

Don't seem to be able to access the bdm for Ireland - only the 1911 census sad

SurelyYoureJokingMrFeynman Mon 31-Aug-15 18:09:49

All Scottish BMD certs can be downloaded from Scotland's People (up to cut-off dates for privacy)

For England & Wales certs, the registers of which the certs are copies have now been scanned for some areas - Manchester, Birmingham, London and much of W Yorks are available on Ancestry. Anything not scanned you will have to order from the General Register Office in Southport:

For Ireland... I'm very sorry to say, this is a picture of Irish records in 1922. That smoke is hundreds of years of Irish history... is the best place to look for surviving Irish records, other than the 1901 and 1911 censuses which are available free at the National Archives of Ireland:

SurelyYoureJokingMrFeynman Mon 31-Aug-15 18:15:23

SwedishEdith, have you tried all the likely misspellings?

FreeBMD works well with just the first few letters of a first name. For a surname, you can use an asterisk for missing letters or use the "sounds like" search options at the bottom.

If you suspect that the "first name" is actually a middle name, put an asterisk, then space, then the supposed "first name".

Another trick is to search for the other party in the marriage: sometimes that throws up results even when there's a gap or mistake in transcription.

Maybe also try broader locations? Yer'd be amazed where people get to...

SurelyYoureJokingMrFeynman Mon 31-Aug-15 18:17:59

I haven't seen much of Heir Hunters, but I seem to remember seeing them with certs apparently from the GRO.

SurelyYoureJokingMrFeynman Mon 31-Aug-15 18:22:56

SE, if you want to PM me the name(s) and dates involved, I may be able to make suggestions based on grim experience!

SwedishEdith Mon 31-Aug-15 22:05:17

Thanks for the offer Surely but think I've found one now. Can't even work out why I couldn't earlier. And sometimes, even when I put the same search criteria in, I can't find the results that I found earlier. I'm all Ancestried out atm. And my family seems so boring grin

SurelyYoureJokingMrFeynman Tue 01-Sep-15 09:23:10

grin No such thing as a boring family! Imagine what they'd be posting on MN!

"AIBU to be furious DH won't mend the outhouse roof? He says it's the landlord's job, but our LL will never do it. I'm fed up with a drip down the back of my neck while I'm on the khazi."

"AIBU not to want DH in my bed anymore? We have nine children already, and I was so bad with the last one we had to call a doctor - we're still paying the bill."

And the period you're looking at counts as "interesting times", unfortunately. The lads born 1880-1900 were just the right age to be caught up in WWI.

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