Saturday, July 26, 2008

Genes Reunited web site - UK research

I've been exploring the Genes Reunited web site, which is mainly for England and Wales researchers. It is "...officially the number 1 family web site in the UK by visits" (Source:Hitwise, July-September 2007). I registered to be a free member.

The site has several major parts:

1) A family tree section, where you can enter your family tree data one person at a time, or you can upload a GEDCOM. This is free.

2) A search of existing family trees submitted by other researchers. You get a list of matches and can then contact those researchers, via an online message system sent to their email address, about their family tree. This is free, although you cannot see their actual tree.

3) A search of UK records, with a list of matches and a link to the records that costs money. The records available include:

* Census Records - 1841, 1851, 1861, 1871, 1891 and 1901 for England and Wales.

* Civil Registration of Birth, Marriages and Deaths, 1837-2002, for England and Wales.

* Military Records - World War I and II Deaths

They have two pay plans -

1) Pay per view credits -- 50 credits cost only $7.50 -- Credits are valid for 7 days and can be used over the entire records collection, including census, birth, marriage, death and military

2) Gold Membership -- Only $69.95 for 6 months -- That's just $11.66 a month for unlimited access to the No.1 family history site with over 500 million names listed.

It was a challenge to find out how many credits are used to view each record - the answer on the FAQ page is here.

I put my great-great-grandfather, James Richman, born 1821 in Wiltshire, in the search trees box, and found two entries from persons who have him in their trees. I could contact those persons - perhaps they are cousins! I put his name and birth year and Wiltshire in the Search Records box and found records in the 1841 and 1851 census. If I needed to find records for my Wiltshire families, I could pay for credits or subscribe for six months.

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