7 Un­der­stand the record set that you are us­ing

Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine - - BRICK WALLS -

When search­ing on­line, it’s re­ally im­por­tant to un­der­stand the scope of any datasets you are us­ing. If you are look­ing for a bap­tism, for ex­am­ple, and your sub­scrip­tion web­site says that it has bap­tisms for the rel­e­vant county, but you can’t find the one you are look­ing for, then there’s no point play­ing around with al­ter­na­tive spellings if the parishes you are in­ter­ested in are not in­cluded in the col­lec­tion, or bap­tisms for the years you are in­ter­ested in have not sur­vived. Also what may seem to you to be an un­usual name could be fairly com­mon in the area you are search­ing, and this can lead to false pos­i­tives. If you find some­one with the right name, born at the right time, in the right county, it could still be the wrong per­son if it’s not in a par­ish where other fam­ily events have oc­curred. Al­ways check which parishes (and which years for those parishes) are in­cluded in any on­line col­lec­tion or in­dex. GENUKI ( genuki.org.uk) is very use­ful be­cause it lists sur­viv­ing par­ish records and where to find them.

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