23 July 2014

FindMyPast's World Records discount offer

FindMyPast's logo
Until 11.59pm (GMT) Friday 25 July 2014, FindMyPast is offering a one month World Subscription for just  $5  instead of the usual $19.95.

The world subscription gives you access to more than 1.5 billion family history records for Australia, New Zealand, Britain, Ireland, USA and Canada.

On FindMyPast, select 'subscribe', type WORLDAU in the promotional code box at the bottom of the payment page, and click 'apply'.

If you do not want your subscription to automatically renew at the normal price after your initial 30 day period, un-tick the 'auto-renew my subscription' box in the My Account section of the site.

You may want to read why I use and recommend FindMyPast.

(This post also appears in Genealogy Leftovers.)

20 July 2014

No.29 (genealogy worldwide)

Links open in new windows so you won't lose your place on this page. If you share these tips, please acknowledge the source as http://updatesgenie.blogspot.com.

  • British Newspaper Archive discount:  Today is the last day to get a 1 month subscription to the British Newspaper Archive for just 1 pound (use the discount code SUMMER01).

  • Land Records in Queensland:  On Monday evening, 21 July 2014, Nola Fulwood is speaking on this topic at the Genealogical Society of Queensland's Southern Suburbs branch. Nola is one of only a handful of people who understand the complexities of land records at Qld State Archives.

  • Illegitimate children:  I have added more names to the page about illegitimate children whose father is named in archival records.

  • Wills:  10 tips for wills, intestacies and probate (and related documents in unexpected places).

  • Handout from my talk:  Download a free PDF file with links to Websites and online indexes mentioned in my new genealogy talk 'Look Beyond the Border'.

  • Origins.net:  Record sets from Origins.net will be added to FindMyPast. With the National Wills Index from Origins, and collections currently on FindMyPast and those in development, FindMyPast will become the largest online resource for UK wills and probate (and those records include material for many people from other countries including Australia). The Origins website will continue to run as usual.

  • Searching at FindMyPast:  The site has changed again, and more improvements are coming. Read the latest tips on how to use FindMyPast's new search tools.

  • Recommended reading: 

~ ~ ~

7 June 2014

No.28 (genealogy worldwide)

Links open in new windows so you won't lose your place on this page. If you share these tips, please acknowledge the source as http://updatesgenie.blogspot.com.

  • Free access to British records:  Until 11.59pm on Monday 9th June 2014 there is free access to many British records on Ancestry. You can see images of original records such as UK outward passenger lists; 1911 census; and the magnificent England & Wales Probate Calendar 1858-1966 where you will also find death dates/places, addresses, next of kin etc for thousands of people from other countries including Australia. Use 'sign in' on Ancestry for a free account.

  • Research Tip:  In the British Newspaper Archive, look for clues about family members who emigrated (for example, a death notice saying "NSW papers please copy"). The BNA now offers very affordable one-month subscriptions.

  • Land Records in Queensland:  On 21 July 2014 Nola Fulwood is speaking on this topic at the Genealogical Society of Queensland's Southern Suburbs branch. Nola is one of only a handful of people who understand the complexities of land records at Qld State Archives.

  • Lifeline Bookfest:  The Brisbane Bookfest runs until 10th June. See my tips for family historians looking for bargains in books and stationery.

  • Free family history seminars in North Qld:  Between 13th & 28th June 2014 I will be speaking at Cairns, Atherton and Townsville. Admission is free, but you need to book because space is limited. Each seminar consists of two talks ('Court Records' and 'Look Beyond the Border'). For dates, times, venues, and how to book, see www.judywebster.com.au/talks.html.

  • NSW Public Service Lists:  More than 630,000 records have recently been added to the online collection 'NSW Public Service Lists 1858–1960'.

  • NSW certificates:  NSW certificate transcriptions are cheaper ($18) if you order them on any Saturday in June 2014.

  • 'Brick wall' tips:  'Widen the Search: a Genealogy Success Story' includes links to online sources that I used to solve a family history mystery.

  • Recommended reading:  'Finding genealogy data in an unexpected country'.

10 February 2014

No.27 (exciting improvements online)

The introduction of a one month subscription is the first of several exciting changes at FindMyPast.

The cost of a World subscription has already been reduced, and we can also look forward to the addition of new records every month; a new family tree builder; a new way to search; and a forum where you can vote for features and give feedback to improve the site.

I am a big fan of FindMyPast for genealogy research. For records that are on both FindMyPast and other sites, FindMyPast's indexes and transcriptions are usually (in my experience) more accurate. This is particularly obvious with British census records.

Although a 12-month subscription is the best value, you may want to start with the new one month subscription. This is now available for each of FindMyPast's regional collections (Australia/NZ, UK, Ireland, USA) and also for the World collection.

If you have no Australian research but need access to United Kingdom records, get your subscription via findmypast.co.uk.

Searches on FindMyPast are free. You only need pay-as-you-go credits or a subscription if you want to see transcriptions or images of original records. There is a 10% loyalty discount for renewing a 12-month subscription.

Follow the links below to see (for each region) a full list of categories and all the record sets currently available within them, with descriptions of what each record set contains and what detailed information you can expect to find... and watch for more to be added each month.


I have been using FindMyPast's census records and parish registers for many years. Recently other data sets (including passenger lists, Police Gazettes, Royal Household records and East India Company and civil service pensions) have provided some exciting discoveries. For example, I was surprised to find that two of my British families went overseas (one to South Africa, the other to Canada) for a short time - because they were back in the UK before the next census!

If you only get time to do research during your holidays, the new one month subscription to FindMyPast may suit you perfectly.

Postscript, 14 Feb 2014:  One of my clients signed up for the new one-month subscription and had huge success on day 1. She said (I quote), 'It has already paid for itself ten times over. I had no idea so many new records had been added since I looked a year ago! I found brilliant problem-solving stuff in Passengers leaving the UK, Convict records, and deserters and missing friends notices in Police Gazettes. Also lots of clues to follow up in electoral rolls, expats in New Guinea, wills, monumental inscriptions etc.'

Revenue from ads goes to Kiva

20 October 2013

No.26 (genealogy worldwide)

Links open in new windows so you won't lose your place on this page. If you share these tips, please acknowledge the source as http://updatesgenie.blogspot.com.

Image of clickable bar saying Receive email when this page changes
This ChangeDetection option is on many pages of my Web site

6 October 2013

No.25 (genealogy worldwide)

Links open in new windows so you won't lose your place on this page. If you share these tips, please acknowledge the source as http://updatesgenie.blogspot.com.

  • My Web site has moved!  To help you find Queensland, interstate and overseas folk, the site now has 135 pages with free advice and 53,000 names from my indexes to records in archives. The emphasis is on unusual sources that are superb for finding people who 'vanished'. The site is now easier to use, with a different font, a new 'main menu' bar, breadcrumb navigation links, etc. Before using the customised search box to search my entire site, read 'Site Navigation Tips'. Please update your bookmarks and ChangeDetection settings, and notify your family history group that the site is now at www.judywebster.com.au.

  • BDMs for VIC & ACT:  FindMyPast recently added birth, death and marriage records for Victoria and the ACT. Other States' records will follow soon.

  • 1911 census (England/Wales):  Although I think FindMyPast's census indexes are the most accurate, you may want to try Ancestry's version of the England and Wales 1911 census while it is free (until 23:59 GMT on 14 Oct 2013).

  • Dog Licences (Ireland):  Half a million records (1866 onwards) from Irish dog licence registers are now online, with millions more to be added later in the year.

  • Irish newspapers online:  More digitised Irish newspapers are now on the Internet.

  • Biographical Database of Australia:  Transcripts and indexes of many original records and published biographies of people who arrived in or were born in Australia, starting from the earliest times. Index searches are free.

  • Lost in Early NSW:  This is the theme of the Society of Australian Genealogists' weekend seminar at Port Macquarie (2-3 Nov 2013).

  • Why FindMyPast?  Read why I use and recommend FindMyPast for family history research in Australia, NZ, United Kingdom, Ireland, USA and Canada.

  • NSW Immigration Deposits Combined Index 1853-1900:  An updated edition of this CD index, with new data added to many records, is about to be released. It will be free to purchasers of the 2012 edition. To claim this, send the original CD (you can keep the case) to Aileen Trinder, 5 Garbala Road, Gymea NSW 2227, with a $5 admin fee to cover costs.

  • Family history talk:  On Fri. 25 Oct 2013 I am speaking at Mission Beach ('Family History Sources in Archives & Elsewhere').

11 September 2013

No.24 (genealogy worldwide)

Links open in new windows so you won't lose your place on this page. If you share these tips, please acknowledge the source as http://updatesgenie.blogspot.com.


Revenue from ads goes to Kiva

18 July 2013

No.23 (immigrants and electoral rolls)

Links open in new windows so you won't lose your place on this page. If you share these tips, please acknowledge the source as http://updatesgenie.blogspot.com.

  • Queensland's Commonwealth electoral roll databases for 1903, 1913, 1922, 1934, 1949 and 1959, plus indexes to Queensland State electoral rolls 1860-1884, are now on FindMyPast.

  • Index to Emigrants from Hamburg to Australasia 1850-1879 (compiled by Eric and Rosemary Kopittke from Hamburg departure lists) is now on FindMyPast. Hamburg departure lists give information that is not in the passenger lists held in Australia and New Zealand.

  • My article 'The Case of the False Identity', published in Inside History magazine, will have you looking at 19th century passenger lists in a new light.

Revenue from ads goes to Kiva

9 June 2013

No.22 (genealogy worldwide)

Links open in new windows so you won't lose your place on this page. If you share these tips, please acknowledge the source as http://updatesgenie.blogspot.com.

  • Queensland certificates:  You can now save money by downloading some Queensland birth, death and marriage certificates as images.

  • Free family history talks (North Qld):  Details of my six free family history talks at Atherton, Innisfail, Tully and Wongaling Beach (20-24 June 2013) are on my Web site.

  • British newspapers:  More years and more newspapers have been added to the searchable collection of digitised British newspapers (now 1710-1953).

  • 'Queensland Genealogy' categories:  There are now quick links to articles in certain categories (BDMs, Hidden treasures, Indexes, People, Places, Sources, Tips, Warnings, Websites) in my 'Queensland Genealogy' blog. At the bottom of that page there is also a complete list of keywords.

  • Visiting historical societies & museums:  Tips on what to do before you visit a local historical society or museum.

  • Recommended reading:  A Hobbyist Genealogist's Manifesto. I like the bit about 'Pirates of the Caribbean philosophy of citation'.

30 May 2013

My Web Site is Getting a Makeover

I know that many people with Queensland research are following this blog by email, so I am posting an invitation here as well as in Queensland Genealogy.

My genealogy Web site, which has been a bit neglected recently, is about to get a facelift.

To help me decide how to make the 100+ pages more user-friendly, I'd be grateful if you would
  1. Explore www.judywebster.com.au (it opens in a new window), noting what you like or dislike - but remember that it is a Web site, NOT a blog. The revamped site will use a better font, but if you want to increase the font size now, your browser can do that. Most pages have a menu and search box at the top.

  2. Do my quick (and anonymous) survey at www.surveymonkey.com/s/3XRMQWX.
Early feedback has shown that some of the changes I had in mind are indeed what people want. There has already been one excellent suggestion for a change that hadn't occurred to me, and I'm sure there will be more.

If you know someone who might like to help shape the future of my Web site, please send them the links above. Thanks!