View Full Version : Subscription Sites
13-10-2005, 3:07 AM
With Winter fast approaching and having some serious catching up to do on my research I'm toying with the idea of taking out an all-inclusive subscription to one of the commercial online index sites. I'm not interested viewing The Census images as I have a large collection of Census CDs however the online indexes used in conjunction with the CDs would be most useful.
For now I'm mostly interested in London, Middlesex Metro-Herts, Surrey & Kent, the Home Counties and Cornwall. I presently have no interest in North America records
It seems to me that a subscription would be more economic than Pay by View when there are many names to process. It also appears that S&N offer the largest number of indexes and the greatest number of subscription choices.
What do others think?
13-10-2005, 6:04 PM
Without any doubt whatsoever, the best subscription for the material that you require, would be the relevant local family history society. Such subscriptions are very inexpensive, and superb value.
14-10-2005, 1:26 AM
I agree with Rod, the local family history societies have probably spent years transcribing parish registers or sitting in cemeteries copying the inscriptions on tombstones AND they have local members with a wealth of local knowledge and they can tell you about the place and gice you just a taste of the flavour of the ancestral home town.
I recommend to everyone that they should join the society closest to where their ancestors came from and the society closest to where they now live. All my ancestors came from outside my county so I have joined four societies and they have all helped me with my research - and the total for membership comes to less than one online subscription. Excellent value for money!
14-10-2005, 1:39 AM
Probably a nieve question but ......When one subscribes to a FHS and one doesnt live near the relevent place is there more to be gained by being a member rather than just visiting the on line FHS site ? As a member can you get more information on the internet by joining than a non member ?.
14-10-2005, 8:11 AM
Hello Tracy Donaldson, I want to know the answer to the question you have asked also. Is there anything to be gained by joining a Family History Group that is half a world away for instance? I'll watch out if you receive a reply, Betty Willson
14-10-2005, 8:34 AM
All the societies I belong to publish a journal 4 times a year for all members. This contains articles about the locality, local families and sometimes specific parishes within the area. There are also articles about getting started in family history, writing your family history, unusual sources for research, specific local sources for research and the projects being done by the society. The Journals sometimes have a letters page though this is dependent on members writing to the editor but I think all of them publish the surname interests of their members. This gives you the chance to see if anyone else is researching *your* surnames and then you can contact them. Not all FH members are computer owners so you could be missing out on that vital person who lives next door to your ancestral home and is old enough to remember some of your relatives.
Not all societies are online and not all have their publications available through Parish Chest (http://www.parishchest.com/), so there could be parish register transcripts that you need or there could be someone local who is prepared to go to the record office for you and copy the relevant documents for you at a fraction of the cost of paying the said office to do it for you.
just my humble opinion
14-10-2005, 10:34 AM
The two Societies I belong to, do exactly the same with four Journals a year. As Ann says, if someone is researching the same names, you find out immediately. They will also do look-ups for you from Parish Registers and provide a photocopy of the relevant page for very little cost.
One of mine sells Parish Register Transcripts of various Parishes, (then you can order photocopies as mentioned above) also they will do Surname searches for you, of all their Indexes ...... so great rewards for approximately £10 p.a. :)
15-10-2005, 12:12 AM
The best thing of all about FH Societies is that real people just like you and me are the ones who do the work. Most societies depend on volunteers from the membership to stand up and be counted. The committees of the societies the secretary, chairman, treasurer, journal editor (I did that one for 6 years) and all the people who put out the chairs at the local meetings and make tea and run the society library. The fiche librarian who carries the boxes with the fiche to all the research evenings AND the fiche reader machines and then packs it all away and takes it home again - and does it every month!
All these are volunteers who ensure that the membership fee for a year stays low enough for most people to afford. There are a few societies where the membership fee is over 20 pounds a year and I think this is a little excessive but I don't know what their overheads are for the storage of the library and other equipment - but the best thing of all is the people, the amount of help that ordinary members give to each other is quite staggering and the generosity of most family historians restores your faith in humanity - just like the people on here.
15-10-2005, 12:57 AM
I cannot agree more with what has been said about the value of joining a Family History Society for a fee of a few pounds a year. I belong to three at the moment and have belonged to others in the past. Without doubt, the benefits have been enormous. I think one of the best things is, as Ladkyis says, that any transcriptions or indexes are done by like-minded people, family historians such as ourselves with a true interest in the subject, and in my experience, all work done is checked and rechecked before publication. Mistakes will arise of course, but considerably fewer than on some sites mentioned in these posts.
I get four journals a year from each society, crammed with information about people and places in that County, lists of CD's, fiche, books, etc. for sale; offers of help in research; lists of Members' Interests - one society publishes a free fiche every year in addition to what is in the journal - and much, much more. If you live near enough, there are monthly meetings to attend.
Do try it, if only for a year, I don't think you will be disappointed.
17-10-2005, 2:51 AM
Thank you to everyone who answered the question about the benefits of joining a Family History Society. I am convinced! As the ancestors, who interest me most, all appear to have lived around the London area in the 1800's, i.e. Marshgate and Red Lion Street, Richmond and also perhaps Marylebonne, which society would you suggest that I contact about membership? I don't expect miracles so I would be pleased to receive any suggestions. Best wishes, Betty Willson
17-10-2005, 11:39 AM
There are quite a few covering the greater London area and as I am not familiar with anything north of the river (and only a casual acquaintance with the area to the south) I suggest that you look at this page
scroll down until you find all the societies listed - links to their web pages - and then you can find which of them will help you most.:D
And if you want some information on any of the Family History Societies out there, take a look at the Federation of Family History Societies
18-10-2005, 3:54 AM
Thanks Ladkyis & AnnB, I'll do as you say. Cheers, Betty
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