News From Terre Haute, Indiana

History

May 12, 2007

Genealogy: Web site offers gateway to British records

TERRE HAUTE — If you have ancestors from anywhere in the United Kingdom, a Web site to visit is Find My Past. Located at www.findmypast.com, this site offers the subscriber a multitude of British records online, with a search engine that looks through all of the records for a surname of interest.

The site offers birth, death and marriage records from England and Wales for 1837 through 1983; overseas births, deaths and marriages of British subjects from 1761 through 1994; births, deaths and marriages that took place at sea from 1854 through 1990; and divorces from 1858-1903. Also included in the database are the city of London burials from 1788-1855.

In addition, the site has the British censuses of 1841, 1861, 1871 and 1891, searchable by an address or the name of the person. British migration records online include passport applications from 1851-1903.

British military records have their own search engine and are available from 1656 to 1994.

But perhaps the most exciting project on the site is the listing of all passenger lists outbound from the United Kingdom from 1890 to 1960. This part of the site is still under construction, but so far the years 1890 though 1919 have been put online. This already includes 11.3 million names from 71,600 passenger lists, including the passenger list of the ill-fated Titanic voyage in 1912.

While there is no charge to use the site’s search engine and view the search results, there is a fee to view the actual records (which, of course, have the information you want). The site offers two ways to pay the access fee. The first is a pay-per-view method that involves buying “units” for 5-12 British pence per unit (the more units purchased at one time, the cheaper each unit is), and then paying one to three units for each record viewed. (A British penny is equal to almost 2 U.S. cents).

The second way to pay is by subscription. The Explorer subscription rate is 125 pounds per year, and allows unlimited access to the site’s records. The Discovery subscription is 65 pounds per year or 25 pounds for 30 days, and allows access to most, but not all, of the records. (A British pound is valued at about 1.99 U.S. dollars).

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