I spotted this on several of my genealogy feeds. It’s a perfect way to spend a snowbound weekend (or to celebrate NOT getting snowed in). I’d like to share some thoughts about FindMyPast. Although FindMyPast is a British company that has been emphasizing British genealogy, it is now going aggressively into the U.S. market, looking to acquire materials that will attract Americans. It has established it’s American headquarters right next door to Newton in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
One of their impressive projects is connecting the PERSI Index to the actual articles cited and making it available online. PERSI stands for Periodicals Source Index and is considered to be the largest genealogy and local history periodicals index in the world. It covers a large number of American periodicals. The Allen County Public Library in Indiana has been doing this indexing project since 1986. The index covers articles published as far back as 1847. Note that I said index. If you wanted an article, you could contact ACPL and pay to have the article copied for you. You could also use your own local library’s Inter Library Loan Service to obtain a copy of an article of interest. FindMyPast is attempting to connect the index to the actual articles online. This is a copyright nightmare. They have to track down the owners of the copyright and then get permission to put it online — for every single article. This process becomes even more complicated when the periodical has gone out of business. How far have they gotten? You can find out for yourself free by checking it out over this free weekend.
So even if you don’t have British ancestry, you still want to check out this site and not just for the PERSI information cited above. I emailed FindMyPast last night to clarify some points and they answered by this morning. At this point in time they make available over 2 billion records globally. 850 million of those are U.S. records. Sounds like enough to keep us all busy over a snowy weekend! And the price is certainly right.
I am including additional material provided by FindMyPast below. It gives you a more detailed description of the range and types of records they offer.
We’re delighted to announce that from 7am this Friday 22nd until 7am on Monday 25th (EST), our world records* will be available for anyone to view, completely free of charge.
You’ll be able to explore…
- The largest collection of Irish family history records available online
- Passenger lists for ships sailing to and from Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and the USA
- An easy to use online family tree builder, which allows you to import and export your tree if you’ve built it elsewhere
- Our Family Tree hints feature, which will suggest potential matches between the ancestors in your tree and records from our archives.
- The fantastic PERiodical Source Index, your reference guide to genealogy publications from all over the United States and beyond
- Millions of records you won’t find anywhere else, including fascinating World War 2 Prisoner of War records, millions of England & Wales Crime records and the incredible British in India collection
- The largest online collection of England & Wales Electoral Registers, containing over 220 million names
- Birth, Marriage and Death records dating back to the 18th century
- The largest online collection of UK parish records, dating back to 1538
- Historical newspapers from across the world, including nearly 13 million British newspapers dating all the way back to 1710
- The most comprehensive collection of UK military records anywhere online
… As well as millions of other records that will give everyone the opportunity to explore their family history, and bring their past to life.
We’re here to help you every step of the way. If you’re just getting going, make sure to take a look at our failsafe interview to mine your relatives for clues. You’ll be able to begin populating your tree, and start your hunt for more names to add to it.
If you’re new to exploring our collections you might find our guide to Birth, Marriage and Death records a useful starting point, as well as our new video guides, which offer useful tips on getting started with records, building a family tree, getting started with hints, and much more!
If you’re looking for a little inspiration, or are curious to see what other explorers have discovered in their past, take a look at our discoveries for some ….
Tracing your family history with Findmypast offers you the chance to discover things about the past which shaped who you are today. Start this weekend, and see where your tree takes you.
*Please note that access to the 1939 Register has not been included and pay as you go credits will be required in order to unlock household records. Terms and conditions apply.
vea/20 January 2016/updated 22 January 2016
Newton Free Library
Library website: http://www.newtonfreelibrary.net
Genealogy blog: https://thecuriousgenealogist.wordpress.com
Genealogy LibGuide: http://guides.newtonfreelibrary.net/genealogy