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We have discussed the merits of Ancestry in the past but my renewal is about due and I have decided to upgrade to Worldwide.
This however does not contain the 1939 census.
Have any of you used both and how do they compare? Alberta
I did a trial of FMP and Ancestry years ago and then went with Ancestry although I only have premium. If necessary you can buy credits for FMP which I did before the 1911 census came on Ancestry. I still use it sometimes to do a search in case it comes up with something that Ancestry does not. I used FMP when we did a school project and paid for both for the pupils to use. In the end I think it is personal preference - I stayed with Ancestry as it was the first I used and got to know my way round. Personally I find the filters harder to use on FMP but that is probably because I am not as used to them.
I prefer Ancestry over FMP, the searches are easier and result can sometimes be seen by "hovering" the mouse (when you have a sub!) instead of having to click on everything.
I have also used The Genealogist with limited success, although that was some time ago, to be fair.
I have World subscriptions on both because I do quite a lot of research in English-speaking countries for people all over the world. This is not a commercial venture, but, like several of us on here, I just enjoy doing it. All I insist is that I am reimbursed for any certifcates or photocopies obtained on someone's behalf. So far in many many years I have never been let down and on a couple of occasions I've been much more than reimbursed by a grateful client. I've also made quite a few internet friends and in one case, the husband of a client in Canada turned out to be working for the same company as one of my sons. My other half, Jan, has also for several years belonged to an international forum that endeavours to help trace half-siblings who resulted from affairs of the military during WW2. I've recently been asked to help with that, though I insist that none of the information I provide is put online.
To get back on topic, if you're doing this sort of research, the free access to 192.com (from 2002 to 2014) on FMP can be worth it's weight in gold and being a long time user of FMP, if I had to come down on one side or the other, I favour FMP. Their antipodean collection has also been very helpful. I admit that I found their new search interface a bit of a pain, but I discovered only yesterday that you can still use the old search interface if you wish. You just need to know where to look!
That's not to say that I am slating Ancestry - far from it. Their electoral roll collections & phone book archives are also very useful. Twice in the last couple of weeks I've found errors in FMP's census indexing and it's handy to have Ancestry handy to search the same thing. I also believe the non-English speaking collections are better on Ancestry. But the interfaces of both sites can be annoying at times. I'd like to see them more configurable by the user.
I second Maurice and like him I have world subscriptions to both FMP and Ancestry.
Ancestry is great as I have lots of Birmingham Ancestors, but the FMP 1939 register has added meat to the bone of my ancestors all over England and Wales plus I have found records which have been badly mis-transcribed on Ancestry on FMP and vice versa.
For those of you who have Northern Ireland ancestors you can obtain FREE copies of the 1939 register if you have an address (birth/death certificates etc). I got mine by emailing PRONI requesting copies for the addresses I knew about and received them back via email within a week!
I have accounts with both (but not World Wide) and I particularly like Ancestry for their Birmingham Churches collection and also the access to the Voters registers.
Earlier this evening, I was using Ancestry to try and find, in 1851, a Peter Marchant, b. circa 1812. Try as I might, and for using wildcards, I can normally 'rip the proverbial' out of any search database, but he still eluded me. Prompted by this thread, I tried the same search on FMP and.....up he popped.
The FMP search gave me:-
Agnes Ross Head Widow Female 43 1808 - Birmingham, Warwickshire, England
Charles - Son Married Male 20 1831 Japanner Birmingham, Warwickshire, England
Sarah - Daughter In Law Married Female 21 1830 - Birmingham, Warwickshire, England
Charles - Grand Son - Male 0 1851 - Birmingham, Warwickshire, England
Barbara - Sister Widow Female 42 1809 Whip Maker Birmingham, Warwickshire, England Peter Marchant Brother Unmarried Male 40 1811 Plater 3 Hands Birmingham, Warwickshire, England
- Way Aunt Unmarried Female 68 1783 Fund Holder Barbadoes West Indies
Sarah Way Aunt Unmarried Female 56 1795 Fund Holder Barbadoes West Indies
Knowing that his Mother was Elizabeth Way, explains the last two persons in both entries, and gives me more to research.
My understanding is that, apart from the 1881 transcription, which was done by the LDS, and for which we still have the original purchased CD set, the other Census transcriptions on Ancestry were out-sourced to the lowest bidder and were compiled on a 'piece work' basis in whatever Country/ies they chose to employ people to transcribe the records. Perhaps hence, why so many errors? Although, over the years, 'subscriber corrections' have actually made it much better to use.
I believe that the FMP Censuses were a 'new' transcription and perhaps they, realising the potential value/income, were more selective in ensuring that the transcriptions were more accurate.
The one thing I don't like about FMP is that, if you submit a correction, even 'evidencing' it with other Census references or family composition comparisons, if it doesn't 'look' like what you have submitted, they will not correct or add such as an alternative.