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    After good start where from here??

    it will cost a fortune!

    all you ever get in the index is the qtr,

    it was only later that the maiden name was added to the index, 1914?

    The IGI can be helpful.


      It will cost a fortune and it's better to look on it as a hobby such as golf, craft, etc where you also have to pay.

      There are some cost cutting ideas.....

      If you happen to have non-conformists, I've found The Genealogist site the cheapest way to get records. I paid 39.95 pounds for 6 months, but they were 2.50 pounds each elsewhere and I have at least 50 to get.

      Always use the free trials, but make sure you have free time for the 1 or 2 weeks trial you get.

      Also..............ask other family'd be surprised how many have certs already.

      I can only get a very few certs from England as most of mine came here before or shortly after 1837........and our certs are dearer still.

      I've also got over feeling odd when I ask for death certs for birthday


        Originally posted by Harrys mum View Post
        I've also got over feeling odd when I ask for death certs for birthday


          Hey!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We didn't say "Give up."

          As long as the people are no longer alive, put what you have here and we'll all help.

          Most of us get to a point where it's more fun for a while helping someone else than bashing our heads on our own

          I've had so much help here and everyone is very friendly.

          I still have a lot of certs to buy, but some will have to wait until I strike a major lottery win.


            Nigel, there are the baptism/marriage/burial records available at the local records office if you can reach it. A lot of the info you'd get from certificates is on there.

            Don't forget other online sources - some parish records have been transcribed online and can be looked at for free. And some family history societies sell CDs of church records - I've got most of one one branch of my family from a couple of CDs from the local FHS.

            Then there are sites like the Old Bailey online (free again) - I'm sure the Wiki has lots of free sites.

            Don't give up!


              Hi - you were saying about the potential for wasting money buying wrong certs........

              I have probably 400 certs - not all bought and paid for (a lot shared and swapped with other researchers and quite a few originals saved by my family) but I expect I've bought half of them over 20 years. I have only once bought a wrong certificate and a fair section of my tree is called Smith, so it's not because everyone has an uncommon name.

              If you are just starting, I would suggest you ask on this forum about any cert where you are wondering if you have picked out the right reference and there will always be a few people around to give you their opinions!

              The maim thing to do is, if you look at a possible cert ref, consider, "if this isn't the right cert who else might it belong to?" and try and find alternative families - it is often possible to work out which certificate belongs to which family from census information, the IGI and other registrations for the same families etc.



                You have not said where your folk are from but whichever county you home in on, in the UK look on a County Record Office visit as a way of finding one's way around your own country! I go to Northants CRO not as frequently as I would like, but we always go for several days, so a couple of days in the CRO, staying at a country B&B with lots of atmosphere and nice meals out, followed by a couple of days just touring the area and finding all the hamlets my folk lived in, maybe the bonus of a gravestone or two as well as beautiful country walks and finding hidden gems of manor houses and estates, National Trust properties and sampling the local food and drink!

                Don't give up. but you do have to be realistic. It is a hobby for life, not just a five minute wonder, just like fishing/walking/golf/and will have its cost the same as going out for a pub drink somewhere. I have had more than 30 happy years with family history and at present have two children without any interest, and two grandchildren, one of 3 years and one of 6 monhs so I have an uphill struggle as to who to pass it on to, more important I love every minute of what I am doing as it gives me so much satisfaction.

                I have also bought a few wrong certs but it is possible to whittle down gaps to find the correct one. I have one at present where I have about six contenders for a death cert but am waiting to see 1911 census which should whittle the gap further for me. However, just as life itself would be boring without some leaps in the dark, so too would Family History without the leaps, and some leaps in the dark have left me with some interesting genealogical pots of gold.

                Last edited by Janet; 15-03-09, 11:43.


                  One thing that's free that has added a lot of meat to the bones in my tree are online newspaper records. My local library offers home online access (via my library card number) to The Times online digital archive 1785-1985 and also a group of non-national papers 1800-1900. I have found a wealth of info via these. Check if your local library gives access. If not, or if you are not in the UK, I think there maybe still one library that gives access to anyone, but I'm not sure if that's still the case.


                    The other point - you don't have to buy EVERY certificate immediately - just buy them as your budget allows. As Merry says, you may find family members/other contacts who already have some relevant certs and are willing to let you have them, or copy them.

                    You can sometimes cut the cost of a marriage cert, if the couple married in church, by finding the relevant church register and photocopying the entry for the price of a photocopy. The information will be exactly the same as a certificate.

                    It IS an expensive hobby, no denying that, but it is so rewarding. None of my family are the least bit interested but that doesn't stop me doing this for nearly 40 years.




                      Every five years or so I look back on my life and I have a good... laugh"
                      (Indigo Girls, "Watershed")




                          Hi Nigel,
                          If you give us some more details we might be able to help you out, I subscribe to Ancestry and FMP ( both Xmas presents ) and can look up some entries for you.



                            Put your problems on these boards. You will be amazed how much we can help.


                              I've spent very little on certificates up to now, I expect I am lucky in one respect that my grandfather wrote down his family birthdates/marriages back to 1810 so I haven't had a need to. I can easily travel to each counties RO so I get my marriages and baptisms from there.

                              I have bought a couple of death certificates out of curiosity.
                              I'm presently stuck at 1810 with this side of my family as I can't find the baptisms and marriage certificates of this date didn't give fathers name.

                              However I do enjoy filling in on their lives and write a story about each ancestor.
                              I subscribe to Ancestry, seek out relatives that I haven't seen for years (this is one of the good bits) I use many online resources and have met some very good contacts, the library and most important, my memory about my relatives and what is happening now.
                              So don't give up


                                dont give up giving up!!
                                They're coming to take me away haha hee hee..........


                                  Thank you et al again.

                                  I have noticed people requesting certain info here and kind souls responding with not only a response but also an expansion on the subject. But I certainly don't want to be a parasite and feel a bit guilty just asking for free access to your subscription - which is not the same as asking if you get stuck.

                                  but ...............;)

                                  there is a special one upon whom I am stuck that interests my mother. I'll post a new thread "Missing Miss Dunt". As much as data it would be nice to know I haven't missed any obvious freebies.

                                  Tx Nigel x (the kiss just for the ladies of course).


                                    Hi Nigel,

                                    I just wanted to say that I am in a similar position to you, when it comes to reaching a point where you have exhausted your research without spending loads of money.

                                    I don't have loads of spare money to spend on my hobby. Young family, bills often greater than income etc etc.

                                    I have gone from finding loads of info everyday to getting excited when a member on here gave me details of my Gt Grandfathers death. (can't afford the cert yet though - wanna know what killed him at 35 years)

                                    I really enjoy the history. The fact that these people had lives...similar to or much harder than mine. I have even traced addresses through census and then google mapped them to see sat pictures of cottages where my Gt Gt Grandfather lived! One day I will go there and take a proper look.

                                    Things have got a lot slower but I am in for the long haul. My little girl is only 5 weeks old and I said that I was doing this for her, but now I am doing it for me. Guess I am hooked now!

                                    I recently posted a query regarding paying churches for info and it stirred up a debate. Not because I dont want to pay. But because I, like you need to find the most in-expensive way of doing things.

                                    I am staying (groans are heard across the net) I will continue to try to find more info as cheaply as possible and try not to offend other members as I do so.

                                    Sorry about the ramble.





                                        If you want to trace these people backwards, then I can't see that findmypast or ancestry is going to be much help unless they happen to have the parish register transcriptions for those particular places. You can do free searches to find out whether they do before deciding to pay to view, and anyway if you only have a few things to view you can buy pay-as-you-go credits for either site. I'm not sure if they do 6-month subs, by the way.

                                        If the people you mention got married after 1837 then you would be best to start by ordering copies of their marriage certificates from the GRO or local register office to get their fathers' names etc. and then you would need to start looking at parish registers for their baptisms.

                                        Every five years or so I look back on my life and I have a good... laugh"
                                        (Indigo Girls, "Watershed")