Following the excellent article in January on the ‘50 family history websites to watch in 2015’ I was persuaded to take up trial subscriptions to FindmyPast and GenesReunited.
My extensive Atkinson family tree of Sligo and Hartlepool is on Ancestry but I did a number of searches to see what I was missing and uncovered late 19th-century resident magistrate records for County Sligo and my ancestor Robert in particular.
These gave an insight into his and his neighbours’ lives and what a litigious bunch they were! While this was interesting, most other records were duplicated until I started looking at family trees in common and tried to contact the authors.
Most of the replies were from descendants of siblings of in-laws, although I’m still waiting for a reply that may help me to trace Edward Hamilton who married Mary Anne Atkinson ( b1846).
I would recommend trials of other websites not just to look at the datasets, but to look at the family trees that people post there. Although some people do not reply, it can still be a way of contacting missing branches. Ken Atkinson, Cramlington, Northumberland