Thursday, March 6, 2014

Finding My Richman Family in FindMyPast Searches

One of the reasons I subscribed to was because I could access English records to research my Wiltshire and Somerset ancestral families from the 17th to 19th centuries, in addition to the USA records that they offer (and I'm looking forward to Canada records too - hint hint!).  I've been visiting the site regularly to capture records to add to my document files and to my family tree.

Here is a recent search, in which I found that the FindMyPast interface has changed a bit:

1)  From the home page, after signing in, I entered the name of John Richman in the name fields, and a birth date of 1788 plus/minus 5 years, and to limit results to Wiltshire:

The results of my search looks like this:

There are census records for 1851 and 1861 that are for "my" John Richman.

There are two blue icons on the right side of the screen - one icon is for the record image, the other for the record transcription.  They also have a small black dot in the upper right-hand corner of the icon - that denotes that I've looked at this item previously.

I clicked on the icon for the transcription.  Here are 3 screens showing the top of the transcription page for this record:

I especially like the clear definition of the record source elements, for example;

*  Parish:  Hilperton
*  County:  Wiltshire
*  Registration district:  Melksham
*  Record set:  1851 England, Wales & Scotland Census
*  Folio:  267
*  Page:  45
*  Piece Number:  1840
*  Archive Reference:  HO107

All of those are useful to define a source citation for this record on Unfortunately, FindMyPast does not provide a clearly defined source citation in any format for this record.  I think that it should - all of the elements needed are in the record transcription.

I also like the clear definition of the other persons in the household of the searched for person.  That helps minimize my flipping back and forth to add the household members to my event note.

There is much more on the transcription page, including a list of districts that did not survive or were not enumerated in this census.

When I clicked on the "record image" icon, the image appeared, and I zoomed in to fill the page.

In the lower right-hand corner of the page, there are small links in blue type to "Report Image Error," "Print" and "Download" the image.

The biggest change I see on the screen above is the ability to browse the record set.  There are small blue arrowheads at the left and right of the screen above.  If I click on the left arrowhead, I can see the previous image in the record set.  If I click on the right arrowhead, I can see the next image in the record set.  There is a real benefit to being able to browse a record set so as to determine who the close neighbors of the target family might be, or to search for other persons with the same surname near the target family.

A problem:  I wonder where the 1841 census entry for John Richman is?  Ah, he was enumerated as "Jno Richman."  I would think that, since the given name box for "name variants" was checked (automatically by FindMyPast), that "Jno" would be a recognized "name variant" for John.  I easily found him, and noted that "John" was not a "name variant" for "Jno" either.  That's strange, because if I do a search for "Wm" it finds "William" also, and vice versa.  "Jas" finds "James" and vice versa, also.

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Copyright (c) 2014, Randall J. Seaver


Haz said...

I am sure you know but a good way to check 1841 and 1851 census in the UK is through free census sponsored by roots web

Diane B said...

Thanks, Randy. I have been seriously considering FindMyPast. Good to see an example.