SEARCH TIPS FROM DOWN UNDER
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!