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    Genealogy Hints, Tips and Cheats

    Just wondering if we could start a thread where we can share our special, genealogy hints, tips and cheats, something above and beyond the norm, a little piece of your expert advise. Especially tips on all the big genealogy sites.

    I will start you off;

    I didn't know until recently that those Ancestry Hints that we all see every day, well they are only based on approximately 10% of their record collection. So if an Ancestor has no hints, it doesn't mean that Ancestry doesn't have a stack of records hiding for them in the background somewhere.
    My Family History Blog Site:

    https://chiddicksfamilytree.com

    #2
    Sounds like a good idea Paul.
    I have couple for you about census searches on ScotlandsPeople.
    1. For persons in the same household.
    Whilst you can do this easily on FMP, it is not the same thing on SP. There is a box in the search fields which allows you to enter another forename BUT the big difference is that the results are for the main person along with anyone on the same page that has the name you entered into the additional search field. This is not necessarily the same household.
    There is a statement to this effect immediately above the additional search box but for years I had not used it.
    Just a few months ago, I was searching for a particular man whose daughter had an unusual forename. I found a few matches for the man given his age but as you cannot search on place of origin, occupation or specific address it was impossible to know which was him. So I then searched for the daughter with forename and surname plus age and added the father’s forename in the additional search box. I got only one match, so I was sure this was the correct family and used my credits. WRONG!! There were indeed two persons matching the names I had searched for but they were not in the same household and turned out that neither were even individually the people I was looking for.

    2. There are serious limitations on census searches on SP and these apply in SP centres as well as online.
    a) no search on place of origin, not even county
    b) no search on birth year or +\- drop down list. You must work out how old the person should be and then take off a couple of years and enter that in the first age “age range” search box and then add a couple on and enter that in the second “age range” search box. (I usually add three years either side).
    c) No search on address.
    d) You can only search on census year at a time.
    e) You can only search one county of residence at a time. There is no option for including adjacent counties as offered on ancestry search fields.
    f) Within a county you can either choose “all” enumeration districts as default or choose up to five individual ones from a drop down list. This is useful if you get loads of results which given the previous mentioned weaknesses in the search system, is highly likely!
    To choose your individual districts you can’t just tick a box, you have to hold down the ctrl and the shift keys together (don’t let go till you are done) and then use the other hand or your mouse to scroll down the list and highlight/click the ones you want.

    g) No search on occupation.

    h) There are no full household transcriptions. Search results are returned for the person in the main search box only.

    i) SP does have an option to save each search that you perform (offered in all areas of data, not just census) so I would use this in case you lose the plot with your searches or if you simply want to make sure in the future that you are not going over old ground.

    j) If you want to have an original SP census record, do your initial search on either ancestry or FMP to make sure you have the correct person. Note the age (as given) of the person and county or residence plus enumeration district. Then go to SP and search. You should end up with a single match. Just in case you don’t, then go back to your original search and look for another forename in the household that is unique to that record and add that to the SP search. By “unique” I mean that if in ancestry you find your David Maxwell and his wife is called Agnes but there are other households in the same district with spouses of the same names then don’t enter Agnes at SP, pick another name from the household that none of the other households on your ancestry search has.
    Aim for the nearest person to the head of household as that lessens the chances of you finding the household is split across two pages on SP or finding an example such as I did where the two people were in different households. If you do find a “split” household, you will have to pay another set of credits to see the rest of the people.

    Hoping this helps somebody.
    Last edited by GallowayLass; 18-06-20, 13:01.

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by Paulc View Post
      Just wondering if we could start a thread where we can share our special, genealogy hints, tips and cheats, something above and beyond the norm, a little piece of your expert advise. Especially tips on all the big genealogy sites.

      I will start you off;

      I didn't know until recently that those Ancestry Hints that we all see every day, well they are only based on approximately 10% of their record collection. So if an Ancestor has no hints, it doesn't mean that Ancestry doesn't have a stack of records hiding for them in the background somewhere.
      Carrying on this Ancestry theme:
      Ancestry rarely brings up Reg of electors, schools and trade directories - you always have to search and then always best to filter down and look at just that collection,
      then you will get a simple summarised list - I am hoping one day you will be able to sort!
      Once in the collection the search box may change and will include other areas to search such as specific date on Reg of Electors.

      A non ancestry one
      The trade directory on Ancestry is available for free still with Leicester uni. Different way to search.

      and another of my favs are here:
      https://www.familytreeforum.com/foru...aiden-name-mmn
      Carolyn
      Family Tree site

      Researching: Luggs, Freeman - Cornwall; Dayman, Hobbs, Heard - Devon; Wilson, Miles - Northants; Brett, Everett, Clark, Allum - Herts/Essex
      Also interested in Proctor, Woodruff

      Comment


        #4
        Some great tips here, I have not used SP much myself, but I can see how annoying or easy it is to miss that one!
        My Family History Blog Site:

        https://chiddicksfamilytree.com

        Comment


          #5
          Another SP hack.

          Scottish death indexes on SP show the mother's maiden name of the deceased person and that can be a huge aid to searching backwards.

          OC

          Comment


            #6
            Bear in mind the Ancestry hints are generated from records other people have used for the same family. If no-one else is researching them there may not be any hints but as Paul said it doesn't mean the records are not there. Many times I have worked on a person with no hints and found them straight away on the censuses and BMDs. I always tell Ancestry (in my head) that they really didn't try very hard on that one!

            If you have both Ancestry and FMP, I find it much better to do the initial search on FMP. You can easily specify exact OR similar and get much better search results IMHO. With Ancestry you can specify exact but if you don't the massive number of results are overwhelming.

            Anne

            Comment


              #7
              To get a bit closer to where someone was born or died (compared to GRO indexes) or to find an exact place of marriage you should try ukbmd.org.uk
              There are only certain counties/areas in England and Wales on this site and as the work is done by volunteers, some are much further on with the work than others.
              There are projects running for Bath, Berkshire, Cheshire, Cumbria, Lancashire, North Wales, Shropshire, Staffordshire, West Midlands, Wiltshire, Yorkshire. Cheshire, Lancashire and Staffordshire are particularly well represented.
              The site also has links to other council areas who have their own version of BMD searches online.
              One very handy thing is a link through to every registration district in England and Wales and lists every subdistrict there is and was with details of what places moved under boundary changes and when.

              If you are lucky enough to have your county represented in ukbmd’s own projects you will find the following info.

              Births
              Name of child, mother’s maiden surname and the sub district the cert was issued in. Also where the registers are kept should you wish to order a cert locally rather than from GRO in Southport. n.b. not all entries yet have mms because originally the projects were not given permission to transcribe this. They are now catching up and revising the entries to include mms. Some counties now offer a click through ordering service through the site. Click on the underlined cert number at the right hand end of the entry. Don’t worry that the cert numbers bear no resemblance to those at GRO. Local registrars have their own numbering systems.

              Marriages
              Names of the couple (and where updated, the full forenames). If the entry has more than one name for either the bride or groom, it reflects either a known spelling error on the original or that one of them has been married before. Clicking on the name shows more detail. The place of marriage, the subdistrict and where the registers are kept and ordering links as above where offered. You will see the actual name of the Church where the marriage took place. Should the entry say Civil Marriage then you will have to order the cert as it was a registry office “do”. In more recent times this could also mean a hotel or hall or some such where a registrar would perform the ceremony. Older entries say Register Office or Registrar Attended. This could either indicate a registry office “do”, a mosque, Sikh temple, Jewish temple etc. Way back, everybody that did not marry in the rites of the Church of England had to have a registrar in attendance. That summary is a wee bit simplistic but there are plenty articles on the net and books about marriage law. One recommended one is by Rebecca Probert https://www.amazon.co.uk/Marriage-La...2488097&sr=8-4

              Deaths
              Name of the deceased (some are updated to include full forenames). The age at death if this has been updated - same exclusions used to apply as with mms in births so they are playing catch-up. Subdistrict and where registers are kept and an ordering link if offered. As the GRO online indexes to deaths are known to have errors for young children the age where given at ukbmd will most likely be correct eg. 3 months whereas the same entry at GRO might say 3 which implies 3 years. If you are thinking of discounting an infant death on grounds of age, check to see if your entry is on ukbmd just in case the two are different as regards age at death.

              ukbmd.org.uk has many more links to sites to do with genealogy such a place studies, single surname studies etc., the county lists are huge and well worth a look for something that might help you. They also link to the big sites should you feel inspired to pay a sub at one of them.

              I have been very lucky with ukbmd as my English roots are Cheshire, Lancashire, North Wales, Shropshire and Staffordshire plus some of my Scottish side moved to England - mainly Lancashire. I can’t remember how I first came across the site but it has been a mainstay if mine for many years now.
              If you do have roots in the counties where there are projects, you will find it very helpful for marriage certificates from 1837 up to around the early 1910’s. FindMyPast is strong on parish records for Cheshire and Staffordshire in particular and has some for Shropshire, Lancashire and Yorkshire. ancestry has records for Lancashire, particularly the Liverpool area (both CofE and RC) so rather than purchase full certs., you could see the originals on those sites if you choose to take out a sub or if that is too expensive then note down all the ones you would like to see and hit the sites when they offer free trials.
              Birth and death certificates are not available in this way but again, if the county is there in ukbmd, this could lead you to baptismal and burial registers images on ancestry and FMP.
              As well as those two - don’t forget to look for an “online parish clerk” site. These show only transcriptions but the details can often show more than a transcription found on either ancestry or FMP.
              Last edited by GallowayLass; 18-06-20, 14:43.

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by Olde Crone Holden View Post
                Another SP hack.

                Scottish death indexes on SP show the mother's maiden name of the deceased person and that can be a huge aid to searching backwards.

                OC
                Remember though that they are playing catch up on this. Modern (1974 onwards) entries will have mms and they have been working on adding it to early ones but a huge chunk doesn’t have this info yet and SP is terribly slow at the catch up game. They say they don’t have the resources.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Look and see if any of the cemeteries in the area you are researching have records on line.

                  Gedling council in Nottinghamshire is an example. They are only transcribed but I found my G Grandparents there.

                  Also our local crematorium has their Remembrance Book on line. That helps as well.
                  Lin

                  Searching Lowe, Everitt, Hurt and Dunns in Nottingham

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Good thread.
                    Another SP tip - many Scottish people have their mother's maiden name as a middle name. If you put the mother's maiden name in the forename box then sometimes you can be lucky and find someone you didn't know about. Especially useful if the person was born and died between census years.

                    Note also that quite a few of my Scots do not have middle names on their birth certs but a middle name appears later so don't rule out anyone with a middle name.

                    And finally remember you can search births with just a forename and no surname. I searched for years and years for my great granny's birth (I had her marriage and death certs) and then they enabled searching without a surname and up she popped. The father was not who we expected at all and a mystery was solved, including another 3 unknown siblings with this father!
                    herky
                    Researching - Trimmer (Farringdon), Noble & Taylor (Ross and Cromarty), Norris (Glasgow), McGilvray (Glasgow and Australia), Leck & Efford (Glasgow), Ferrett (Hampshire), Jenkins & Williams (Aberystwyth), Morton (Motherwell and Tipton), Barrowman (Glasgow), Lilley (Bromsgrove and Glasgow), Cresswell (England and Lanarkshire). Simpson, Morrow and Norris in Ireland. Thomas Price b c 1844 Scotland.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Another one on free bmd.

                      When you find a Marriage on Freebmd, don’t assume the brides surname shown is her maiden name. It may be her married name if she was a widow at time of marriage.
                      My Family History Blog Site:

                      https://chiddicksfamilytree.com

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Postems on FreeBMD, I often add one if I have a certificate, or come across a newspaper report of a birth, marriage or death.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Searching for families who have an unusual middle name which may have been passed down to a son or daughter using BMD only.

                          Put * Name in the search box but don't tick the ' include name variants' or Exact.

                          You can narrow the number of results down by choosing a county or counties and a time frame if necessary.

                          This works well for FreeBMD and FindMyPast but not so good with Ancestry as they insist on giving variants of the name eg looking for * Beadon it gives that but also Baden etc and not necessarily a middle name. Typical Ancestry search

                          This what I got for * Beadon + Suffolk. They are all 'mine' except for the Newmarket one as far as I know - will have to check him out!
                          FMP
                          Lock Elsie Beadon 1902 1902 England & Wales Births 1837-2006 Ipswich, Suffolk, England
                          Miller Ann Beadon 1800 Suffolk Baptism Index 1538-1911 Suffolk, England
                          Segger Elsie Beadon 1902 1988 1988 England & Wales Deaths 1837-2007 Ipswich, Suffolk, England
                          Sporle Emma Beadon 1876 1876 Suffolk Baptism Index 1538-1911 Ipswich, St Clement, Suffolk, England
                          Sporle Emma Beadon 1898 England & Wales Marriages 1837-2005 Ipswich, Suffolk, England
                          Taylor Edmund Beadon 1792 Suffolk Baptism Index 1538-1911 Suffolk, England
                          Witt James Beadon 1833 1874 1874 England & Wales Deaths 1837-2007 Newmarket, Cambridgeshire, England
                          Sporle Jessie Jane Beadon 1886 1886 1886 National Burial Index For England & Wales Ipswich, Suffolk, England

                          FreeBMD

                          Deaths Mar 1874
                          WITT James Beadon 41 Newmarket 3b 353

                          Marriages Jun 1898
                          Sporle Emma Beadon Ipswich 4a 1572

                          Births Dec 1902
                          Lock Elsie Beadon Ipswich 4a 1023

                          Kat
                          My avatar is my Great Grandmother, Cassandra Elizabeth Palmer 1861 to 1940

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by GallowayLass View Post

                            1. For persons in the same household.
                            Whilst you can do this easily on FMP, it is not the same thing on SP. There is a box in the search fields which allows you to enter another forename BUT the big difference is that the results are for the main person along with anyone on the same page that has the name you entered into the additional search field. This is not necessarily the same household.
                            There is a statement to this effect immediately above the additional search box but for years I had not used it.
                            Just a few months ago, I was searching for a particular man whose daughter had an unusual forename. I found a few matches for the man given his age but as you cannot search on place of origin, occupation or specific address it was impossible to know which was him. So I then searched for the daughter with forename and surname plus age and added the father’s forename in the additional search box. I got only one match, so I was sure this was the correct family and used my credits. WRONG!! There were indeed two persons matching the names I had searched for but they were not in the same household and turned out that neither were even individually the people I was looking for.

                            :
                            I am by no means an expert on SP, but found you can sort census results in different ways - so for instance when looking for my several possible 1901 Bernard McCartneys recently, I made a quick note of the RD refs -eg Hutchesontown - plus ref nos, and then searched again for all McCartneys in that reg district, and then sorted them by by the ref number heading so I could then quickly find that particular Bernard McCartney and other McCartneys with the same ref number and therefore in the same household. So if you know other family first names, you can sort the wheat from the chaff, so to speak. Would that have worked for you in the search you describe - even if it was only to determine that your 2 people had different ref numbers and were therefore in different households?
                            Of course, this method would not flag up eg married daughters or grandchildren with a different surname, so it's a pity there isn't an option to search by reference number, and therefore see everybody in the household, whatever their surname.

                            Christine

                            PS Re your point 2d, You can only search one census year at a time -I have searched multiple census years at a time with no problems...
                            Researching:
                            HOEY (Co Fermanagh, other Ulster counties and Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada) BANNIGAN and FOX (Ballyshannon, Co Donegal, Ireland and Portland, Maine, USA) REYNOLDS, McSHEA, PATTERSON and GOAN (Corker and Creevy, Ballyshannon, Co Donegal, Ireland) DYER (Belfast and Ballymacarrett) SLEVIN and TIMONEY (Co Fermanagh) BARNETT (Ballagh, Co Tyrone and Strangford, Co Down)

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Another freebmd one - you can, in desperation, search on first name only, although if it is a very common name you will have to limit the other parameters in some way. This technique has helped me find some wild mistranscriptions or unexpected surnames.

                              OC

                              Comment


                                #16
                                Originally posted by Karamazov View Post
                                PS Re your point 2d, You can only search one census year at a time -I have searched multiple census years at a time with no problems...
                                You probably didn’t enter the age range for the person? If you did, then you should only have got results for the one census year - the one in which the age was a match.
                                I will try later to see what happens with one of my people who was in the same district for ages and see what I get.

                                That’s a good tip for sorting by ref number In the huge tenements of the big cities, it was not unusual to find close relatives up the same close (in the same building or even a few closes nearby further along the street) and you could find many people living at the same street number. Enumerators rarely distinguished by floor level or right/left door in the address description so all you have to go on are the double marks on the actual page which shows where a particular household starts and stops. Your tip should sort people of the same surname into household order.

                                Comment


                                  #17
                                  A couple of useful websites that I have just come across when looking for information about Norwood in Surrey (Greater London)

                                  https://www.francisfrith.com/ - lots of photos and maps from different eras all over the country

                                  https://boroughphotos.org/lambeth/places/ Lots of photos, people, places etc relating to the Borough of Lambeth.
                                  Main research interests.. CAESAR (Surrey and London), GOODALL (London), SKITTERALL, WOODWARD (Middlesex and London), BARBER (Canterbury, Kent) and CHEESEMAN (Kent).

                                  Comment


                                    #18
                                    Don't forget our Reference library if adding links!! The layout has gone wonky since the upgrade but still works more or less as before.
                                    Caroline
                                    Caroline's Family History Pages
                                    Do not do to others what angers you if done to you by others. Socrates

                                    Comment


                                      #19
                                      Sorry, I didn't know about that I'll have a look
                                      Main research interests.. CAESAR (Surrey and London), GOODALL (London), SKITTERALL, WOODWARD (Middlesex and London), BARBER (Canterbury, Kent) and CHEESEMAN (Kent).

                                      Comment


                                        #20
                                        Originally posted by Gardengirl View Post
                                        Sorry, I didn't know about that I'll have a look
                                        Don't worry - many people may not know about it, that's why I posted!!
                                        Caroline
                                        Caroline's Family History Pages
                                        Do not do to others what angers you if done to you by others. Socrates

                                        Comment

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