I am a big fan of FindMyPast for genealogy research. For records that are on both FindMyPast and other sites, FindMyPast's indexes and transcriptions are (in my experience) much more accurate. This is particularly obvious with British censuses.
FindMyPast has an especially good collection of Queensland records, and I have also been using their British census records and parish registers for many years. Recently I made exciting discoveries in NSW will books 1800-1952 (which include information about many non-NSW people), passenger lists, Royal Household records, East India Company and civil service pensions, and non-conformist baptisms, marriages and burials. For example, passenger lists showed that between one British census and the next, some of my families went to South Africa and Canada and then returned to England.
Discounts offered by FindMyPast are often listed on the Discounts and Freebies page on my main Web site.
Recent improvements and enhancements at FindMyPast include:
- New record sets are now added every week, and announcements are made via email newsletters and FindMyPast's 'News' page.
- The new SEARCH platform is getting better all the time. It is very powerful and flexible, and it allows you to search a single record set or search multiple categories. I strongly advise you to read 'How to search for your ancestors on Findmypast' (Oct 2014) and 'An introduction to FindMyPast's search tools' (Jul 2014).
- I was impressed when FindMyPast added three free days to existing World subscriptions because the general public had three days of free access.
- You can now attach records to your online family tree, which can be created by importing a GEDCOM file or by entering data manually.
- Article on 'Top tips for overcoming 'brick walls' in family history'.
- Article on 'Hard to read records'.
- One month subscriptions are now available and very affordable.
- The British Newspaper Archive is available within FindMyPast.
- Records from Origins.net will soon be on FindMyPast. That includes the National Wills Index with pre-1857 probate material for England and Wales. FindMyPast will then be the largest online resource for UK wills and probate (and those records include data for people from other countries including Australia). The collection includes (to name just a few) Queensland intestacies and wills (from Government Gazette notices); Bank of England wills extracts 1717-1845; British India Office wills and probate; London probate index; Suffolk testator index 1847-1857; Great Western Railway shareholders; index to death duty registers 1796-1903; index of Irish wills 1484-1858. To narrow your search in the 'wills and probate' collection, click 'Browse record set' then select the one(s) you want.
- On-going site improvements are listed on What's New.
If you are not sure whether FindMyPast will suit you, try the one month subscription. Although a 12 month subscription is better value (and there is a 10% loyalty discount for renewing it), some people will find the one month option more convenient. It is available for each of FindMyPast's regional collections (Australia/NZ; UK; Ireland; USA) and also for the World collection (which, as of Feb 2014, is now cheaper).
If you have no Australian research but need access to UK records, sign up via findmypast.co.uk.
Searches on FindMyPast are free. You only need pay-as-you-go credits or a subscription to see transcriptions or images of original records.
Follow the links below to see (for each region) a full list of categories and all the record sets currently available within them, with descriptions of what each record set contains and what detailed information you can expect to find.
- Australia and New Zealand
- United Kingdom
- Canada (the Canadian collection is still in its infancy)
FindMyPast periodically offers discounts and 'free access' days. Check the Discounts and Freebies page on my main Web site.