Saturday, July 28, 2012

Finding My Past - Part Two: Census Records

Readers of Part One, where I looked at FindMyPast's marriage records, may have enlarged the image of the search results and noticed the check marks by the two view icons. This indicates that the transcription and the image had already been viewed.  I didn't take screen captures as I was conducting the research, I went back later and repeated my steps.

These check marks are a nice addition, letting the researcher know: You've already been here. 

Source: FindMyPast (used with permission)
Instead of repeating my original research steps exactly, I'm going to go another route to the same records.

First, I am going to click "Search" on the opening screen without entering any data whatsoever:

Source: FindMyPast (used with permission)
This takes me to a screen with 1,232,970,358 results. I guess that's the number of records they currently have. I will then narrow down the results dramatically by entering a last name, specifying the United Kingdom, and using the Optional Keyword "Tailor".  There are 15 results, and I show the first four below.

I'm unsure who Harry Newmark is. There are several Newmark families in England and the US. From discussions on Surname message boards, it seems many of them trace their roots to a similar geographical area. Whether there is a common ancestor might only be determinable through Y-Surname DNA.

Source: FindMyPast (used with permission)
Barnet is my great grandfather, Solomon his brother, and Samuel their father. There is one tailor in their household, however, who appears on the 1901 census, but doesn't appear in these search results. Unless one searches for "Tailor*" or "Tailoress". My great grandfather's sister, Nelly.

Source: FindMyPast (used with permission)
I was actually unaware that Nelly was listed on the census as a Tailoress.  I originally viewed the 1901 English Census back in April of 2007. (I know this because of the date on the image file I downloaded.) This tells me that there is a 99% probability I downloaded it from That said, I clearly wasn't looking at documents very carefully back then.
Database Source: The National Archives (published by permission)
Despite the X marks (and I am unsure why they are there) the professions for Solomon, Barnet, and Nelly are quite clear.

This page of census results only lists the children of the household. Obviously, the parents were at the bottom of the preceding page. There seems to be no way to move back or forward a page in the census results.  However, I can return to the transcription.

Source: FindMyPast (used with permission)
And at the top of the "Other Household Members" are the parents, and I can select the view options from there.  (You might notice that on the transcription page, previously viewed transcriptions or images aren't checked off like they are on the search results page.)

I like how FindMyPast appears to transcribe every or almost every possible field on the record. This allows one to search on those fields using the "optional keyword," and helps the novice researcher not overlook some fields on the image.

One might complain that even though one can find other family members on the transcription, not being able to move back and forth on the pages prevents you from looking up neighbors. Not so. The Registration District and Street Name appear in the transcription.

Using the Optional Keywords: Marylebone "Wells Street" - and narrowing the results to the 1901 census, produces 462 results - likely everyone recorded on Wells Street in the 1901 census.

Source: FindMyPast (used with permission)

Another feature I like is their "Research Profile". This can be selected from the home page, or any transcription or image page:

Source: FindMyPast (used with permission)

It provides you a list of every single entry you have looked at, and whether you have viewed the image, transcription, or both. 

Source: FindMyPast (used with permission)
It also provides you with the # of credits it would cost if you were purchasing the documents "As you Go" instead of using a monthly or annual package.  Currently you can buy 100 credits for $13.95, and you have 90 days to spend them.  This will help a lot in a year when I have to decide if I wish to renew, and what package to choose.

So far I have 'spent' 95 credits, and I have focused mostly on my Newmark relatives. I've viewed one Goldfinch record, no Denyers, and none of my wife's British surnames. There's a lot of fun research ahead for me.


Martin said...

FYI see:

evidently you can't use those images even in a blog.

John said...

Thannks -

I have contacted FindMyPast for some 'after-the-fact' permission, and will see how they respond. If they want me to take down some or all of the images, I will.