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 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.
Recent improvements and enhancements at FindMyPast include:
- 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.
- New record sets are now added more frequently, and announcements are made via FindMyPast's email newsletters, blogs etc. See also '100 record sets in 100 days'.
- The latest (July 2014) explanation of how to use FindMyPast's new search tools (a 'must-read' now that their site has changed). The new SEARCH platform is getting better all the time. It is very powerful and flexible, and it allows you to search at multiple category levels.
- 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.
- Online family trees can now be created at FindMyPast by importing a GEDCOM file (or by entering data manually).
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. I often list those offers on the Discounts and Freebies page on my Web site.