ESSEX-UK-L Archives

Archiver > ESSEX-UK > 2008-12 > 1230638012

From: "Sally-Ann Jay" <>
Subject: Re: [Ess] Which subscription?
Date: Tue, 30 Dec 2008 11:54:41 -0000
References: <4F8F9B52B5894E898DE35CE91E83DDB3@sallyann><000d01c96a73$f40e7020$dc2b5060$>
In-Reply-To: <000d01c96a73$f40e7020$dc2b5060$>

Hi Caroline
Thanks - Most of my ancestors on the JAY side come from East London/Essex so
far, so the London Metropolitan Archives would be good (another source not
investigated so far!)


-----Original Message-----
From: Caroline Bradford [mailto:]
Sent: 30 December 2008 11:44
To: 'Sally-Ann Jay';
Subject: [!! SPAM] RE: [Ess] Which subscription?

Hi Sally-Ann

You are absolutely right that, unless you are absolutely determined to do
your family history the "old fashioned way" - i.e. purely through using
original sources in archives around the country (or even the world), you
will need to use at least one of the commercial sites. And unless your
requirements are very small indeed (and this is unlikely as family history
is such an addictive pastime!), subscriptions are very much more
cost-effective than pay-per-view units.

So far, so uncontroversial (I hope!). But the choice of supplier is
trickier, and does rather depend on the nature and scope of your particular
research. It would probably be fair to say that Ancestry is the "market
leader" in the field, and with some justification. They certainly have the
largest collection of data (though it is probable that you may not need a
good percentage of it). The quality of their indexing and transcription is,
in my view, no better or worse than any other. But the flexibility of their
search facilities is extremely good, and this is an important consideration
- but you will get the best results by applying your brain to the exercise
rather than relying on their dubious claims to find your ancestors for you
based on typing in "as much as you know". If you have interests in the
London area, you should be aware that Ancestry will be rolling out digitised
data from parish registers at the London Metropolitan Archives starting at
some point in 2009.

FindMyPast has some good stuff too - as well as alternative census
transcriptions which can sometimes be helpful, the facility to search by
address in certain years, and the ability to use wildcards at the start of
names. They will be the first site to provide access to the 1911 census,
though to begin with at least this will only be on a pay per view basis on
its dedicated site - a FMP subscription with not, I repeat, not, give
unlimited access to the 1911 transcriptions and images when it is released
early next year.

The Genealogist is less comprehensive, but has a wide range of different
subscription rates, which can be useful if you don't want to commit yourself
for too long. They are also the only site which has the non-conformist
registers available to subscribers - a very valuable resources if you have
dissenters in your family.

There are other useful sites (notably British Origins) where you may need to
spend some time and money from time to time.

So, if I had to stick my neck out, I would say subscribe to Ancestry, but
accept that it does not have everything you may need and be prepared to
spend elsewhere when necessary.

Hope this helps


-----Original Message-----
From: [mailto:]
On Behalf Of Sally-Ann Jay
Sent: 30 December 2008 11:06
Subject: [Ess] Which subscription?

Hello list

Have decided I really do need a subscription to one of the family history
sites and would like your recommendations. Which do you think represents
the best value for money, which has the widest range of info and which has
the best search facilities? Suspect I will get a lot of differing answers
but I would appreciate your input/experience.


Sally-Ann Jay

Any problems, please contact the List Admin:
To unsubscribe from the list, please send an email to
with the word 'unsubscribe' without the quotes
in the subject and the body of the message

This thread: