Category Archives: Soapbox

Transcripts and indexes

The release of the 1921 census returns for England and Wales earlier this year led to some (fairly heated) discussion on social media regarding the quality of the transcription provided by Findmypast, the National Archives’ commercial partners in the online … Continue reading

Posted in Document Sources, research, Soapbox, digitisation | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

When Digitisation Goes Bad Part II: Death’s Apprentice

or…Just When You Thought It Was Safe To Go Back Onto The Internet This is the second part of a blog post looking at some particularly bad examples of digitisation in the world of family history research. In the first … Continue reading

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When Digitisation Goes Bad Part I: The Night Of The Living Death Duties

This is the first part of the latest in a series of blog posts looking at the some of the problems behind the way that we access family history sources via the major commercial websites. In previous posts I’ve looked … Continue reading

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Please Release Me…

…being a very brief history of the releases of the English & Welsh census returns. We need to understand right from the start that the primary purpose of the census has never been to produce a resource for the benefit … Continue reading

Posted in Local History, research, Soapbox | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

You Don’t Know What You’ve Got…

I realise that I’m running the risk of sounding like a broken record here but it seems like there’s always something else to say when it comes to assessing the work of the major commercial genealogical websites. Because it’s undeniable … Continue reading

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You Had One Job…

I’ll try to keep this brief. I’ve blogged a lot in the past few years about the problems with many of the databases on the major commercial genealogical websites and in particular the various county-wide English and Welsh parish register … Continue reading

Posted in Document Sources, research, Soapbox, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

We Need To Talk About Ancestry

Or … How The Major Commercial Genealogical Websites Are Killing Family History Research As a full-time professional researcher, I depend heavily on the resources that I’m able to access online, particularly those databases provided by the major commercial websites. Without … Continue reading

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Birth or baptism?

A couple of weeks ago, I was searching for some baptisms on Ancestry’s London Parish Register Database, when I noticed something odd. I’d just done a basic search for anyone with the surname ROGERS and the parents’ names William and … Continue reading

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Just trying to get by…

The pressures of society weighed heavily on our ancestors; in particular, the expectation that they should live good, God-fearing lives and that they should conform to the beliefs and values of the Anglican church, particularly when it came to matters … Continue reading

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Where have all the women gone?

To mark International Women’s Day I wanted to have a look at the key records that we use to research our English & Welsh family history, and to consider how those records routinely under-represent the roles played by our female … Continue reading

Posted in research, Soapbox | Tagged , , , , , | 9 Comments