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Messages - Eric Hatfield

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Family History Beginners Board / Re: Using English BMD records before 1841
« on: Sunday 15 July 18 05:52 BST (UK)  »
Thanks again for all the ideas and assistance, especially yours Maiden Stone. I will certainly be trying some of them out.

(Also happy for any more ideas.)

Family History Beginners Board / Re: Using English BMD records before 1841
« on: Thursday 12 July 18 08:43 BST (UK)  »
Hi Guy, thanks for that useful information. The trouble is, I don't really have any choice about doing my UK research online. I may never visit UK again and if I do I will probably be visiting places I've longed to see, not researching in churches and records offices. (If I had more time, I would love to do that, but ....)

So it is online records that I need. Once I found a person who was in charge of a set of church records (I think maybe at a village in Devon) and he kindly sent me a copy of the page of the records I was interested in, but I can't expect that all the time.

But putting everyone's ideas together, and being aptient, I hope I can make progress. Thanks.

Ancestral Family Tree DNA Testing / Re: Ancestry Personal Discoveries Project
« on: Thursday 12 July 18 08:39 BST (UK)  »
Hi Margaret, you were right. When I delve further, FindMyPast has "autorenew", and I had to go through a couple of buttons to get it turned off. That really aggravates me, but at least that have a button that allows us to turn it off, and makes it clear what is happening. But I missed it first time (maybe it was at the bottom of the screen or something). These companies really shouldn't be allowed to assume we want to continue beyond what we actually ask for, and I wouldn't be surprised if this aspect could contravene some fair trading laws.

Family History Beginners Board / Re: Using English BMD records before 1841
« on: Thursday 12 July 18 03:25 BST (UK)  »
Thank you. I will. I have gained a lot of help from this forum over the years, including finding an aunt I had never been in contact with, and through her identifying my grandfather, who until then had been a mystery.

Family History Beginners Board / Re: Using English BMD records before 1841
« on: Thursday 12 July 18 03:00 BST (UK)  »
Thank you everyone for all that helpful advice. It seems there is a real difficulty, but all that information will surely help. Thanks.

Family History Beginners Board / Using English BMD records before 1841
« on: Wednesday 11 July 18 05:35 BST (UK)  »
I have been doing family history for about 10 years, but most of my research has been for ancestors in Scotland or here in Australia where I live. I have mostly used Ancestry and FindMyPast plus Family Search. In Australia, I can also visit local records offices when I have needed to, but that isn't so easy for UK records!

Scotland has been good too, because Scotland's People only charges about $A2.50 for online records, and so I can afford to be a little speculative and buy a few certificates that prove to be dead ends.

But now I am researching ancestors in England (specifically Herefordshire, adjacent counties and Birmingham city), and I have to rely on online records. After 1841, the census information gives a very good indication of births, occupations, places and dates, which allows BMD records to be interpreted. But before 1841, there is no census information, and the BMD information available from Ancestry and FindMyPast typically is very sparse. Birth records often don't state parents, marriage records often don't state spouses, etc. At something like $A30 for certificates (if I have done my maths correctly), I can't afford to buy anything "on spec". And so I often have a number of possible births, parents, spouses, etc, to choose from.

But I am new to English records, so perhaps I am missing something obvious. What do more experienced people here do to overcome the limited information available from FindMyPast and Ancestry? I'd appreciate any tips.


Ancestral Family Tree DNA Testing / Re: DNA Why I urge caution
« on: Wednesday 11 July 18 05:14 BST (UK)  »
Excellent! You won't know if you don't try!

When you get your results, you'll find this forum to be a good way to get ideas and get the most out of your test.

Ancestral Family Tree DNA Testing / Re: Ancestry Personal Discoveries Project
« on: Thursday 05 July 18 13:47 BST (UK)  »
Hi Margaret, this is my first time with FindMyPast, but it seems like it doesn't automatically renew, but stops when I get to the end of the period. I'll keep an eye on it. I don't really trust organisations that automatically renew - we should get what we pay for and then it stops unless we make a conscious choice to pay again.

But my main point was that this seems like a potential bonanza for Ancestry and they don't offer us much of a share in the profits, or let us know what profit they expect to make. They are asking us to invest our DNA without any prospectus or statement of potential profits - at least that's what it seems.

Ancestral Family Tree DNA Testing / Re: Ancestry Personal Discoveries Project
« on: Thursday 05 July 18 09:07 BST (UK)  »
Hi Margaret,

I too have the link on my page (I imagine everyone should have, so I don't know why your husband didn't). But I have mixed feelings about what your link describes.

On the one hand, I am keen to get as much out of my DNA to assist my family history, and I am happy to contribute to research. e.g I uploaded my results to DNALand, which hasn't assisted me with family history (though I hoped it might) but has contributed to research by Columbia University in the US. They too have surveys like the ones described for Ancestry.

I am not too worried about the privacy aspects. Maybe I am naive, but I can't imagine there being a problem there for me. But I do have a few doubts about Ancestry as a company. They seem to be very profit oriented (parhaps we could say "money-grabbing"), understandable in a private company, but there needs to be a balance between profit and service.

For example, when we subscribe to Ancestry our bank account gets billed automatically every month until we specifically cancel, so a few years ago I subscribed to Ancestry for a month or two and then cancelled, but somehow I must not have pressed the right button at the end and my subscription stayed open and I was billed for several months without my knowing or even looking at the site. Of course I didn't get any refund when I enquired about what happened. Contrast that to FindMyPast who I am currently subscribed to for a month, and that subscription ends unless I renew it. It's just a different approach, and I don't like Ancestry's way.

Another example is the analysis tools available at FTDNA and not available at Ancestry. It wouldn't be too hard for Ancestry to provide better tools, like the ability to download a match list, a chromosome browser, better searching, etc, but they have apparently refused to do so for years now. I think it is because this forces us to use the connection with trees as our main method of analysis, and of course that requires an ongoing subscription. Again, I may be ignorant, but it seems to me that Ancestry's main interest is in increasing my subscriptions.

With all this in mind, I can only assume that Ancestry sees this Project as another way to make money, either by selling our data to researchers, for whom it is valuable, or (more likely) partnering with a research company in using the data for research that will yield profitable outcomes. They get the benefit from our DNA and don't offer us much in return. In the end, I think this could be more profitable than selling the DNA kits in the first place.

So in the end I am suspicious, and I won't be participating until I am convinced that Ancestry is doing this for the public benefit, or until they offer something more to share the profits I reckon they will make out of this.

Maybe I'm ignorant and cynical, and have maligned Ancestry unfairly. I am happy to be convinced otherwise. But I'll wait and see.

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