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Which is the best subscription website for research and why

(14 Posts)
jeanie99 Tue 02-Mar-21 23:47:24

Can anyone give me advice on which subscription site is best for research into Parish records I'm up against a brick wall in the early 1700s.

I have never bought into subscription sites, tend to use Latter day saints the free sites and local archives which include the original registers.
Of course all the archives are closed.

I am assuming you pay a yearly amount on anyone of them with updates during the year.

Do the sites say the % transcribed, I am researching the UK.

Just a run down of advantages and disadvantages.


LadyHonoriaDedlock Wed 03-Mar-21 00:34:06

I've found very useful. All sites have a basic free service but it's going to be very limited and if you're serious you are going to have to pay to get access to some serious database muscle. You can use it to build a very detailed tree. If a line goes off-piste (to France, for example, in my case) its difficult to pick it up is quite good if you strike a good line and want to chase it back a long way quickly. Ancestry is the biggest and if somebody else has hit that seam you are in luck, although to do it properly you'd have to validate everything.

It's all a matter of luck really. Some counties have better records than others. If you have roots in Devon you may have real problems because a lot of Devon parish records were destroyed in the wartime bombing of Exeter cathedral. Cornwall's records are pretty good but a big chunk of mine were from a part of NE Cornwall that used to be in Devon at one time, so those records are lost.

Of course, if you are looking for Scottish relatives just come to the Mitchell Library in Glasgow. It's not open at the moment but it will be eventually and if you love records you'll be in heaven.

jusnoneed Wed 03-Mar-21 08:54:22

Ancestry has monthly payment subscription so you can cancel your membership after just one month if you wish. They give you a free fortnight trial (remember to cancel before that ends if you don't want monthly payments to start) so you could take a look at it to see if you think it would be useful. I occasionally have a month if there are a few things I want to check.

FreeREG is a good free site for parish records.

Septimia Wed 03-Mar-21 09:01:53

If you know which parishes you need to research, it's worth looking to see if they have put their records online. I found a lot of information that way because the parish had got volunteers to transcribe the registers and made them available. Often local history or local genealogy groups do this.

Chestnut Wed 03-Mar-21 09:40:51

Just to say you should not use but otherwise you will get the American site. It has a huge amount of information, just be careful to verify it relates to your ancestor. And do not take information from other people's trees because 50% of them are absolute nonsense. Many people are extremely careless in constructing their trees.
If you have Welsh ancestors then Find My Past is much better. Ancestry don't seem interested in Welsh records. I use both sites as I've often found things on one of them but not the other.

jeanie99 Tue 09-Mar-21 00:40:19

Thank you everyone for your advice & suggestions it is much appreciated.
Since I left my message I've had a response from one of the archives centres (at the moment closed) with regard to the church records I wanted to view.
They have very kindly allowed me to view their Parish Records held in digital form on FMP. I am not sure of the % transcribed and I have not found the birth I need(could be out of this parish).
However I have been able to exact some interesting information which I am very pleased about.
Just need now to find the time to sort out what I have.
Thanks again everyone.

jeanie99 Wed 10-Mar-21 18:15:33

Amazingly I have found a marriage I have been looking for for many years.

I just need to find a baptism now (my brick wall), a couple of contenders but!!!no positive proof.

Keeps me out of mischief.

Chestnut Fri 12-Mar-21 17:41:54

jeanie99 you can find most baptisms and some marriage entries at Ancestry and/or Find My Past as they have mostly been put online. Sometimes you see the actual page in the register, sometimes it's a transcription but has all the details. This can save you buying a birth or marriage certificate, which is costly when you have several. Also, some burials are online too which may save buying a death certificate.
The marriage entries are especially wonderful as they show the exact same thing you would get on a marriage certificate for £11 so the website subscription is well worth the money.

Chestnut Fri 12-Mar-21 17:48:50

Of course, if you are looking for Scottish relatives just come to the Mitchell Library in Glasgow.
Or go to Scotlands People if you want to search online. I found things on there which were not on Ancestry or Find My Past.

Blossoming Fri 12-Mar-21 17:51:06

Google ‘Online Parish Clerks’ and the name of the county you’re researching. It’s free and has transcriptions of the old parish registers.

Chestnut Fri 12-Mar-21 18:37:25

Yes, some counties are very good for Online Parish Clerks though you have to search through their parishes and find what you're looking for. Wiltshire and Dorset are brilliant. Essex is not at all helpful, they make you pay to see their records, although they have put transcriptions on Ancestry and Find My Past.

Blossoming Fri 12-Mar-21 19:16:06

Glad I didn’t have any Essex ancestors! The Lancashire one is excellent.

jeanie99 Tue 23-Mar-21 07:18:58

The problem with my brick wall birth is I do not know the county he was born in.
I'm talking around 1710, I've found a couple of possibles but can't prove if either are my Thomas.
The other thing is the surname changes over the years.
I think I need to give up on this.
I'm very happy I found the marriage I'd been looking for for some years.
I had originally thought they had married in Ireland but they married in England.

Daisydaisydaisy Tue 27-Apr-21 07:01:05

I'm currently using Ancestory and have done My DNA..I was paying £20.00 a month but I have recently cancelled ti enable me to join again with a discount code which will be a lot cheaper for the year..Take a look at Ancestoryuk on Facebook and look for the discount code in files.
I cant wait to see the 1921 census next year but I'm sure it will be on FindMypast only atm