Findmypast: 12 tips for beginners (2023)

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Findmypast: 12 tips for beginners (1)

looking for my past, a UK-based genealogy website that initially focused on British and Irish records, but has since added extensive collections in the US and Canada. The website was launched in 2003 as and contains an index of vital records for England and Wales. It was renamed to the broader Findmypast in 2006.

with partnershipsearch for families, creating the largest collection of US marriage records on the web, eventually containing more than 100 million records and more than 450 million names from 1650 to 2010. With the acquisition of Mocav, Findmypast added US censuses from 1790 to 1940, plus books , pamphlets and magazines.

You can build your family tree and attach records to Findmypast, but you can't yet search all of the site's family trees.

1. Search all records

From the home page, you can search by first and last name, type of event (birth, death or other), year or series of years, and place. Location options include the world, Australia and New Zealand, Ireland, the UK or the US, and Canada, as well as the country, county, or city you enter. You can start by entering your last name in the search form on the home page. If you get too many irrelevant results, click Edit Search on the results page. The fields in this form mirror the search form on the web page and add checkboxes to exclude different forms of first and/or last name, enabling efficient and accurate searches.

(Video) Guided Tour of Findmypast | Findmypast

On the left side of the results, you can further refine your matches by selecting a country, category (such as immigration and travel), or subcategory (such as passenger manifest).

My ancestor Evan Powell died in 1819 in Boughrood, Radnorshire, Wales. Search for names using year of death and location (select UK and enterRaisedin the box), you get a match. Transcripts produced by the Powys Family Historical Society as part of the National Burial Index state that Evan Powell was buried at St. Cynog Anglican Church in Boughrood on 3 March 1819 aged 80 years. The index contains the names of more than 12 million people buried in England and Wales between 1452 and 2005, mostly between 1813 and 1850.

2. Category of search posts

To browse all categories of records, select Search All Records on the Search tab, then select a category or subcategory on the left.

Each category has a custom search form. For example, the list search form allows you to enter house numbers and street names. To limit your search to a specific census area, start typing the year, e.gin 1850, in the Recordset field, or click Browse Recordset and select an option.

Global Search does not generate matches in the Newspapers & Magazines category, so you must search only in that category or a single entry within that category.

Try searching the newspaper entries category by name plus residence or other terms closely related to your relative, such as occupation or spouse's name. For example, my ancestor Samuel Jones lived in the parish of Lanigan in Breconshire, Wales, so I clicked on the newspaper record, selected the British newspaper collection, and searched for his name plusLike thisas keywords. 18 games including an article dated 29 January 1806.the Hereford paper, which read: "To be auctioned on Thursday the 6th day of February 1806 at the Fountain Hotel, Hay, County Brecon ... in the Parish of Llanigon, County Brecon ... now occupied by Samuel Jones." He died a year before, at the age of 39.

Samuel's son Evan moved to the Ludgate Hill area of ​​London, where he worked as a sugarcane and taught Latin and Greek. Search newspapers for the name and keywords of Evan JonesLudgateThis resulted in 1327 games. Narrowing by date to 1800-1849 and then 1810-1819 reduces the matches to nine. in,Hampshire registarThe paper of 17 February 1817 contained a list of "bankrupts" which included "Evan Jones, Ludgate-hill, tailor".

When you search a newspaper, your search term is not highlighted on the page, making it difficult to find the names of your ancestors. You can enlarge and download the image.

3. Search for a specific collection

On the Search tab, select A-Z of recordsets to find collections relevant to your research. Select Show list of all contents to display an alphabetical list of all recordsets. Press the blue arrows to sort the record set by category or subcategory.

Alternatively, you can click anywhere on the left to filter the list of recordsets by country. You can enter a UK county or a US state or district in the search field at the top. To find Devon records eg select England on the left and searchDevon.Matches include baptism, marriage, burial and will indexes. Click on a match to use the custom form to search the collection.

(Video) 6 Things I Love about FindMyPast, 4 Things I Don't (by a Fully Paid Member)

The global search on Findmypast does not cover journal collections, so you must search them individually. Search for all of Elizabeth Reisner in New York and you get 49 results, none of which appear in the record. Findmypast has a large log covering the area,New York Genealogical and Biographical Recordsback to 1870. To find it, select "A-Z of Recordsets" on the Search & Type tabNew York Genealogyin the search field. Select a set of records, search by nameElizabeth ReissnerYou get a match that shows she was a member of the German Reformed Church in New York in 1774.

4. Get tips with your genealogy software

The three programs automatically search Findmypast for records related to people in your family file. In RootsMagic, click on the light to see the person's WebHints (you may need to use Chrome or Firefox as your default browser for WebHints to work). In the Family Tree Builder software, the numbers in the orange circles on the tree and in the profile view show how many tips have been found for that person. Family Historian, a popular program in the UK, will also notify you when it finds matching records on Findmypast.

5. Use PERSI to find articles

Now available only through Findmypasta, the Periodical Resource Index (PERSI) indexes articles in genealogical and historical periodicals, bulletins, and journals dating back to the 18th century. Findmypast links index entries to the digitized articles it cites, but so far only a small percentage of the articles are online. (If the article you need is not available, you can find it atAllen County Public Library, Indiana, whose staff produces PERSI. )

To search for PERSI on Findmypast, select A-Z Record Set on the Search Records tab and search for Journals. The PERSI search form here does not have a last name field. To search for a surname, enter it in the "Optional keywords" field below. Note that you are searching the index, not the full text of the article, and the index contains only the key names mentioned in the article. To search for a location, use one or more of the City/City, State, County, and State fields. Write USA for USA.

6. Access to free records

Click the Free Records tab for descriptions of some of the most important records available for free, including censuses, birth records in the US and Canada, and church records in Ireland. You can access these records by simply registering and creating a free account.

The free records tab has no connection to the databases, so you have to find them yourself. To jump to a specific recordset mentioned on the page, select A-Z of recordsets on the Search tab. Then select a country or world on the left and enter the name of the recordset in the search field. Alternatively, click Show All Lists on the left and use your web browser to search the page for the recordset name (Ctrl+F on Windows or Command+F on Mac).

In 2016, Findmypast acquired Mocavo, a defunct genealogy website that allows you to search your collection of personal records for free. These records, including all US censuses, remain free on Findmypast.

The Irish Roman Catholic Register of Baptisms, Marriages and Burials database originates fromNational Library of IrelandIt contains over 10 million records containing 40 million names from over 1000 parishes. Free to browse, the records date from 1671 to 1880, with some as far back as 1900.

published together withNational Archives of Irelandand FamilySearch, the following four sets of records -- all name indexes linking images of the original records -- are also free:

  • Ireland, register of original wills 1858-1920 with over 181,000 records
  • Irish Census of Catholic Qualifications and Conversions 1701-1845. depicts Catholics who have sworn allegiance to the crown or converted to Protestantism
  • The books of the Irish Valuation Office contain the names of over 2 million landowners and tenants between 1824 and 1856.
  • List of the Irish Merchant Navy 1863-1921. contains data on over 832,000 men and women.

7. Søg and Register of England and Wales 1939

1939 A National Identity Register for England and Wales was adopted shortly after the outbreak of war to issue identity cards, plan mass evacuations and institute rationing. It is particularly important as the 1941 census was not carried out due to the war and the 1931 census for England and Wales was destroyed in a fire in 1942. Originally only available on pay-per-view, the 1939 Register is now included in the 12-monthly ( not monthly) recurring international or UK subscription.

(Video) 12 Step Process for Researching Your Family History: Checklist

Household information in the 1939 register includes the name, date of birth, marital status and occupation of each resident. But if you want to find details about living relatives, there's a big catch: information for people born in the last 100 years has been blacked out to protect their privacy.

8. Try Findmypast for free

To start a trial membership of 14 days,click here.You must enter your credit card information on the next screen. Remember to cancel before the trial period ends to avoid fees.

9. See all records

If you're a Findmypast member, click on the My Records tab at the top of the page (or go toher) to see a list of all the records you have viewed on the page.

10. Seek advice

Findmypast automatically searches their vital records and lists to find information about people in the Findmypast family tree. (Start the tree under the Family Tree link at the top of the home page.) A hint is available for the numerical representation of a person's name in a lineage or family view. In any family tree view, click the orange "My Tips" button to see all new tips for that tree. You can search by last name.

11. Save time by saving your search

After you run a search, click Save Search on the left side of the results page. When you want to start a search again, click Saved Searches under the My Account tab.

12. Search using wildcards

You can use wildcards in names or keywords to find alternative spellings and related words. Use a question mark for one letter and an asterisk for zero or more letters.Robson, for example the invention of Robison and Robeson, docRobsonFind them both, plus Robson, Robinson and Robertson.

related reading

Find my previous free searchable collection without subscription

Findmypast: 12 tips for beginners (2)

Findmypast offers more than 830 million records for free. Here's what you can access and how to find out. Perfect for genealogy beginners and those of Irish Catholic descent!

(Video) Findmypast- How to
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Genealogy sites compared:, FamilySearch, Findmypast and MyHeritage

Findmypast: 12 tips for beginners (4)

Origin or my heritage? FamilySearch or Findmypast? Our experts compared records, genealogy and DNA testing from the "big four" genealogy websites.

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(Video) How To Find Immigrant Ancestors - #FindmypastFromHome | Findmypast



Findmypast: 12 tips for beginners? ›

The site is easy-to-use and has lots of information.

Is Findmypast easy to use? ›

The site is easy-to-use and has lots of information.

Can I have more than one tree on Findmypast? ›

To see these suggestions, you can begin a Findmypast subscription or a free trial. Can I have more than one family tree in my account? Yes, you can: click Family Tree in our menu bar to create a new tree, or click View all trees to manage all trees within your account.

What records are free on Findmypast? ›

Findmypast's free portal gives full access to the following to those who create their free registrations:
  • World Records Search. ...
  • Newspaper Archives. ...
  • U.S. Census Population Schedules, 1790-1940. ...
  • 1881 Census for England, Wales & Scotland. ...
  • British Military Records. ...
  • Public Vital Records for the United States and Canada.

How far back can the average person trace their Ancestry? ›

Standard Autosomal DNA Testing (5-7 Generations)

Most ancestry companies offer a solid view of your most recent 5-7 generations, with varying levels of detail. This is the report you're used to seeing, with the pie chart and map of your recent ancestry.

How does Findmypast differ from Ancestry? ›

Both FMP and Ancestry have unique ways of displaying search results. Generally, Ancestry provides a much easier 'quick glance' view of results. A search of the 1861 census records on Ancestry will provide a list showing names, approx. birth year and place etc.


1. 1939 Register - Getting Started Guide - Findmypast UK
2. Findmypast Part 2 - Vivien Brown (18 Mar 2023)
(BYU Family History Library)
3. Catholic Ancestors - Findmypast Live 12 June 2020 | Findmypast
4. Fridays Live 12 August 2022 | Findmypast
5. Becoming a Forensic Genetic Genealogist — An Interview with Dr. Claire Glynn
(Family Tree Magazine)
6. Fridays Live March 12th | Findmypast


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