FreeReg -- Parish Register Site (General)

by mrsbruso @, Tuesday, January 17, 2012, 13:10 (2965 days ago)

For anyone who might be looking outside the Forest, this is a very helpful site. I have had some luck with it.

FreeReg -- Parish Register Site

by Paul Andrews @, Shropshire, England, Sunday, January 22, 2012, 15:24 (2960 days ago) @ mrsbruso


Thanks for the link.

Latterday Saints (LDS) -- Free Census Site, & FreeBMD etc

by Jefff @, West London, Middlesex, Monday, January 23, 2012, 00:21 (2959 days ago) @ Paul Andrews

Hi MrsB,
I'm glad you found the FreeReg site useful, I'll certainly be revisiting it now, thanks !

For the record it has two sister sites, FreeCen and FreeBMD.

In my experience FreeCen hasn't been too useful, as you know it's still a "work in progress" site and many areas of the UK are still not covered including some of Glostershire methinks, but yes of course it's still worth trying and I hope it works for others.

On the contrary I use FreeBMD regularly and recommend it most highly, particularly as it allows fairly recent searches upto 1983. It seems to offer total coverage throughout our area. All three sites rely on volunteer transcribers hence the variation in "service", for some areas of the UK the coverage is patchy as the PRs havent yet been transcribed onto the site. However FreeBMD ONLY searches for exactly the same spelling as we enter into the search box, unlike GlosBMD for example. As a tricky name may have been spelt differently at the time it was registered, or transcribed, so you need to search a few times using all the various likely (and unlikely) spelling variations to ensure you find all the relevant PRs the site contains. HOWEVER it's still a very usefull site indeed, especially good as once its displayed the results it's quick and easy to browse down the list and you can often spot likely trends in a name, or likely family members within a county, etc etc. All these sites warts & all are VERY welcome and much appreciated by tightfisted researchers like me !

On the subject of free internet FH websites, especially useful for Census Research, is the US based site of the Church of Latterday Saints which is also well worth trying especially if your ancestors are likely to have emigrated.

However considerable patience and time is often needed when searching, like many search engines it's wise to not input too much data at once thro too many filters. My advise is to set low targets and gradually try to narrow down. For examples and some advice please see this thread from earlier tonight;

The Glos BMD site is excellent and unlike this FoD site also includes Registry Office Marriages as well as Church ones(aka P.R.s - Parish Registers). The data entry box allows you to enter just the first few characters of a name, it will then list all names starting with this, especially handy for names of variable spelling. The tabulated results can then be easily sorted for ease of reading by clicking the column headings, eg chronologically, name, etc. It is certainly a very user-friendly site which is fast to operate, so always worth a look, perhaps to focus your searches on other less user-friendly websites.

Finally Glos Archives have another site which is especially good for non-conformists etc;
records such as Wills or Gaol Records may be purchased on-lne, altho it seems some of the records are also available from the subscription sites such as Ancestry.

Both these sites may be found within the overall Archives website which is


by m p griffiths @, Monday, January 23, 2012, 07:27 (2959 days ago) @ Jefff




by janethowell, Sunday, June 15, 2014, 21:54 (2085 days ago) @ m p griffiths

Thanks for the link - added to favourites.
It's a new one for me

Latterday Saints (LDS) -- Free Census Site, & FreeBMD etc

by janethowell, Sunday, June 15, 2014, 15:50 (2085 days ago) @ Jefff


Thanks for the links - makes interesting reading and I'm following them all up.

I have used LDS site for many years and used their microfiche service at a local centre before we had images online.

LDS was better 10 years ago with much simpler listings and option for you to batch download the info as gedcom files. I used a simple family tree maker then which allowed input of the gedcom files. Still got the info but can't find such a nice simple tree maker that runs on windows 7 so the info lies dormant at the moment. Hence I'm having to cover some old ground again 10 years on.

I like this FoDweb - I am finding the census indexes very useful. I can copy and paste into Excel spread sheet and sort into families for a rough idea before getting hold of necessary images. Just a pity I can't search commercial sites via folio and page numbers. Commercial sites are geared up to make money I know but I do wish they had a genealogist or two to write their search engines!

I steer clear of Ancestry - it's free at the local history centre at the library anyway.

I am the product of the many Forest of Deaners who emigrated to the Staffordshire coal fields. My ggg-grandfather did return to his roots in Bream to retire but his offspring mostly did not. He did attract his young grandson and family to settle back in the forest too and lived long enough to see his great-granddaughter.

Many, many thanks to all the volunteer transcribers. Maybe when I'm not working full time I'll volunteer myself.

One last thought - are you interested in receiving the transcribed info from certificates and images people have to add to your database? Sometimes we get the wrong certificate or image and it's still valuable info for someone else.


Latterday Saints (LDS) -- Now called "FamilySearch"

by Jefff @, West London, Middlesex, Friday, June 24, 2016, 14:26 (1345 days ago) @ janethowell

Just in case it's necessary, such as for newbie researchers reading old posts which refer to "LDS" etc, the old "Church of Latterday Saints" website is now known as "FamilySearch". Although it occasionally has some inaccurate transcriptions, it's still an excellent website; easy to use with practice and free too. Particularly useful for researchers looking abroad with it's coverage of the USA, Australia, etc.

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