SEARCH TIPS FROM DOWN UN­DER

Your Family History - - Letters -

I’ve just started read­ing the April is­sue of Your Fam­ily His­tory (YFH 181) – de­liv­ery takes a while to the an­tipodes. One letter in that is­sue, In­vis­i­ble Ances­tor, brought a search­ing tip to mind that Peter Calver from LostCousins.com pro­vided in his news­let­ter re­cently. When search­ing at Find­my­past he prefers to use the search­ing by a spe­cific record set rather than a gen­eral search. This method pro­vides dif­fer­ent op­tions for search­ing and also dif­fer­ent items listed in the sum­mary re­sults re­turned – both mak­ing it eas­ier to find the re­quired record. Also, us­ing the ‘less is best’ phi­los­o­phy, par­tic­u­larly where spell­ing er­rors are likely, will usu­ally re­turn some­thing use­ful.

So for the search caus­ing a prob­lem, just go: Search/A-Z of record sets/Se­lect the re­quired record set (in this case, ‘1861 Eng­land, Wales & Scot­land Cen­sus’). It then be­comes a bit con­fus­ing, as ‘parish num­ber’ ac­tu­ally means ‘piece num­ber’; ‘enu­mer­a­tion dis­trict’ means ‘fo­lio’ and ‘ar­chive ref­er­ence’ means ‘RG09’.

As the letter writer al­ready has the rel­e­vant num­bers (from the printed copy), he could just en­ter the ‘Parish Num­ber’, ‘Enu­mer­a­tion Dis­trict’ and ‘Page Num­ber’, in other words, Piece, Fo­lio and Page, (with­out any name de­tails) and get the 20 peo­ple on that one page. I have also found that Find­my­past are very good at cor­rect­ing iden­ti­fied spell­ing er­rors - just use the ‘re­port an er­ror in this tran­scrip­tion’ op­tion at the bot­tom of ‘Cen­sus De­tails’. DAVID FIN­NI­GAN, SYD­NEY Thanks for your use­ful ad­vice, David – and if any­one else has other search tips that can help with ef­fec­tive fam­ily his­tory re­search, do let us know!

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