Author Topic: Scotland's People, Ancestry, FamilySearch etc: which to use?  (Read 15735 times)

Offline Forfarian

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Scotland's People, Ancestry, FamilySearch etc: which to use?
« on: Saturday 28 February 15 10:44 GMT (UK) »
Quite often, in this forum, I see something along the lines of, "I've searched Ancestry and can't find ...." or "I've tried Ancestry and Scotland's People ...."

There is a fundamental, major, difference between Scotland's People on the one hand and Ancestry, Family Search, Find My Past, Genes Reunited, MyHeritage, Geni and 1001 other genealogy sites out there on the Internet.

The critical difference is that Scotland's People is the ***only*** source of  the originals of the principal building blocks of a Scottish family tree.

Each of Ancestry, Family Search and Find My Past has a wonderful range of resources for finding out more about individuals and turning a family tree into a family history, but the tree has first to be constructed using the original data.

By all means use these other sites as a finding aid.

For example Family Search has the International Genealogical Index https://familysearch.org/search/collection/igi to births, baptisms, banns and marriages in Scotland until about 1874/5. Even so, the IGI is not complete, and the Community Contributed listings contain some very dubious information alongside the useful stuff. (If you don't believe this, try putting 'Odin' as the given name, 'Any Event' in 'Norway', from '0000' to '0900', and see what you get.)

Ancestry has one useful finding aid for constructing Scottish family trees, and that is the transcriptions of the census. However these are notorious for their inaccuracies; you cannot rely on them, so it is always necessary to check the originals, which are only available online at Scotland's People. (There are much more reliable transcriptions at FreeCEN http://www.freebmd.org.uk/cgi/search.pl but so far the coverage in FreeCEN is only a small proportion of the available records.)

Scotland's People has digital images of the following original documents
- the surviving baptism and marriage registers of the Church of Scotland from the 16th century to 1854
- the statutory civil registers of births, marriages and death from 1855 to the present day (though there are restrictions on what you can view online: you cannot view births less than 100 years ago, marriages less than 75 years ago and deaths less than 50 years ago)
- the decennial censuses from 1841 until 100 years ago
- the baptism, marriage and death registers of the Roman Catholic Church in Scotland
- almost all wills from the earliest times until 1925
- a selection of valuation rolls from the 19th and early 20th century

The Church of Scotland registers and the 1841 to 1901 censuses can be viewed on microfilm in public libraries, archives and family history centres in Scotland, or by arranging to rent the relevant film in any of the family history centres run by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormon Church). The latter also has microfiche of the statutory civil birth and marriage registers from 1866 to 1874/5.

I will mention only fleetingly the family trees you find on all these sites. Some are no doubt meticulously researched, but others are a load of rubbish. I have found trees where people were still having children years after they were dead and buried, and it's very common to find that someone has found only one candidate in the records who roughly fits their ancestor, so they hav assumed this must be the right one.

Digression - only yesterday I found a tree in which my 2nd great-uncle, who was born, married, brought up 10 of a family, was given a retirement award for 40 years' work and eventually died, all in Banffshire, allegedly had a second family (with birth dates overlapping those of the genuine family) and died in Australia. I am sure his wife (who also spent her entire life in Banffshire, and survived her husband) would have been astonished to learn of his double life several months' travel away on the other side of the world.

Then there is the story of Mary Simpson. www.rootschat.com/forum/index.php?topic=619657

So please, everyone, disabuse yourselves of the idea that you can properly build an accurate family tree without using Scotland's People. Unless your ancestors left Scotland before the early 19th century and you are prepared to go all over the place to access information on microfilm, it is simply not possible, and certainly not by using Ancestry etc alone.


Researching

AITKENHEAD, Lanarkshire; BINNY, Forfar; BLACK, New Monkland; BRYSON, Cumbernauld; BURGESS, North-East Scotland; CRUICKSHANK, Rothes; DALLAS, Botriphnie; DAVIDSON, Oyne; GUTHRIE, Angus; HOGG, Larbert; LESLIE, Rothes/Mortlach; MENDUM, England; MOLLISON, Lethnot; PATERSON, Larbert; RHIND, Forfar; SANG, Scotland; SCOTT, East Kilbride; STOR(R)I/E/Y, Shotts; THORNTON, Shotts; WADDELL, New Monkland; WILKIE, New Monkland; WILKIE, Tannadice; WYLLIE, Angus; YOUNG, Keith

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Offline Craclyn

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Re: Scotland's People, Ancestry, FamilySearch etc: which to use?
« Reply #1 on: Saturday 28 February 15 11:18 GMT (UK) »
I agree with you that Scotlandspeople is the site to use for images of the records. However, the other sites can often be useful in narrowing down the search parameters before spending credits at Scotlandspeople.
Crackett, Cracket, Webb, Turner, Henderson, Murray, Carr, Stavers, Thornton, Oliver, Davis, Hall, Anderson, Bainbridge, Charlton, Chator, Corbett, Coxon, Davis, Dow, Farside, Garden, Gowans, Harmsworth, Hedley, Hunter, Ironside, Johnson, Laidler, Mason, Miller, Milne, Moreis, Nesbitt, Newton, Parkinson, Piery, Reay, Reed, Read, Reid, Robinson, Ruddiman, Smith, Tait, Thompson, Watson, Wilson, Young

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Offline Forfarian

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Re: Scotland's People, Ancestry, FamilySearch etc: which to use?
« Reply #2 on: Saturday 28 February 15 12:28 GMT (UK) »
I agree with you that Scotlandspeople is the site to use for images of the records. However, the other sites can often be useful in narrowing down the search parameters before spending credits at Scotlandspeople.
Indeed. Which is why I said above, "By all means use other sites as a finding aid".

Just don't imagine that any of them is an adequate alternative for SP, because they are not.
Researching

AITKENHEAD, Lanarkshire; BINNY, Forfar; BLACK, New Monkland; BRYSON, Cumbernauld; BURGESS, North-East Scotland; CRUICKSHANK, Rothes; DALLAS, Botriphnie; DAVIDSON, Oyne; GUTHRIE, Angus; HOGG, Larbert; LESLIE, Rothes/Mortlach; MENDUM, England; MOLLISON, Lethnot; PATERSON, Larbert; RHIND, Forfar; SANG, Scotland; SCOTT, East Kilbride; STOR(R)I/E/Y, Shotts; THORNTON, Shotts; WADDELL, New Monkland; WILKIE, New Monkland; WILKIE, Tannadice; WYLLIE, Angus; YOUNG, Keith

Offline IMBER

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Re: Scotland's People, Ancestry, FamilySearch etc: which to use?
« Reply #3 on: Sunday 01 March 15 08:03 GMT (UK) »
Great advice Forfarian.

Imber
Skewis (Wales and Scotland), Ayers (Maidenhead, Berkshire), Hildreth (Berkshire)

Offline Rosinish

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Re: Scotland's People, Ancestry, FamilySearch etc: which to use?
« Reply #4 on: Friday 01 April 16 22:05 BST (UK) »
Good advice there from Forfarian as I hadn't seen this post previously.

I would also like to add.....a lot of people get "hung-up" on how a name was spelt, especially as an e.g. Mc/Mac (along with others of course) but there are numerous variations of numerous names so you have to have an open mind & use the "variants or soundex" etc. options on SP if you can't find who you are searching.

Eg. MacNeil MacNeill MacNiel MacNiell McNeil McNeill McNiel McNiell & that's not all of the variants for that particular surname.


Annie
South Uist, Inverness-shire, Scotland:- Bowie, Campbell, Cumming, Currie, MacDonald, MacInnes, MacIntyre, MacKinnon, Steele, Walker

Ireland:- Cullen, Flannigan (Derry), Donahoe/Donaghue (variants) (Cork), McCrate (Tipperary), Mellon, Tol(l)and (Donegal & Tyrone)

Newcastle-on-Tyne/Durham (Northumberland):- Harrison, Jude, Kemp, Lunn, Mellon, Robson, Stirling

Kettering, Northampton:- MacKinnon

Canada:- Callaghan, MacKinnon, MacPhee

"OLD GENEALOGISTS NEVER DIE - THEY JUST LOSE THEIR CENSUS"

Offline jcjc123

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Re: Scotland's People, Ancestry, FamilySearch etc: which to use?
« Reply #5 on: Friday 27 May 16 17:16 BST (UK) »
to add a little, i find scotlands people comparitive to other site, very expensive, especially when you have to pay 1/2 credits just to find out if it's the person you think....often it isn't.
i also found although branches of the family were Scottish, they quickly branched out into ireland/england and even over seas

i'd strongly reccomend a*cestry for a month or so - to get the bones of a family tree, people who've done searches before you (often on SP) record their findings so save you reinventing the wheel  - do proceed with caution though, it's often not accurate...so do checks on the details on SP and if you can't find on A at all, then check SP. But Sp alone could get VERY expensive.
Primarily Startup, Dickson & Cranston, with branches in baggs, Cheetham, Keir, Fosyth, Marshall & Logan. Regions mainly Scotland & the borders & Greater London area.
Many Naval ancestors and connections to Canada & American.

Offline Rosinish

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Re: Scotland's People, Ancestry, FamilySearch etc: which to use?
« Reply #6 on: Sunday 29 May 16 00:06 BST (UK) »
JC,

I agree SP can be expensive if you don't know how to manipulate the site & depending on the "era" being researched.

There are free sites for census records, births/baptisms/marriages/deaths & this can help immensely with narrowing down search windows for indexes when you have a knowledge of the area firstly then ages if it's a popular name or a name with many variations.

However, anyone with Scots ancestry needs to use SP (including myself) but there are many avenues to research to guide you........even a "google" search of names/areas can turn up unexpected help although terms used while on google can be expanded to help you or you may find yourself scrolling through everything forever.

Annie
South Uist, Inverness-shire, Scotland:- Bowie, Campbell, Cumming, Currie, MacDonald, MacInnes, MacIntyre, MacKinnon, Steele, Walker

Ireland:- Cullen, Flannigan (Derry), Donahoe/Donaghue (variants) (Cork), McCrate (Tipperary), Mellon, Tol(l)and (Donegal & Tyrone)

Newcastle-on-Tyne/Durham (Northumberland):- Harrison, Jude, Kemp, Lunn, Mellon, Robson, Stirling

Kettering, Northampton:- MacKinnon

Canada:- Callaghan, MacKinnon, MacPhee

"OLD GENEALOGISTS NEVER DIE - THEY JUST LOSE THEIR CENSUS"

Offline jcjc123

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Re: Scotland's People, Ancestry, FamilySearch etc: which to use?
« Reply #7 on: Sunday 29 May 16 07:22 BST (UK) »
JC,

However, anyone with Scots ancestry needs to use SP (including myself) but there are many avenues to research to guide you........even a "google" search of names/areas can turn up unexpected help although terms used while on google can be expanded to help you or you may find yourself scrolling through everything forever.

Annie

I think you've misread my last, I say to get the bones of a tree elsewhere (actry etc) and check the details on SP.

If you use SP as your first/only source, it's expensive. First check the free/cheaper sites. And IMHO actry is a good source because people have often already done all the expensive SP work and recorded it there.

I do say to check results on SP but would actually be more specific, check against actually certificates where possible. If you find that free or part of a subscription site, you don't need to pay to check again on SP

Primarily Startup, Dickson & Cranston, with branches in baggs, Cheetham, Keir, Fosyth, Marshall & Logan. Regions mainly Scotland & the borders & Greater London area.
Many Naval ancestors and connections to Canada & American.

Offline Forfarian

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Re: Scotland's People, Ancestry, FamilySearch etc: which to use?
« Reply #8 on: Sunday 29 May 16 08:55 BST (UK) »
to add a little, i find scotlands people comparitive to other site, very expensive, especially when you have to pay 1/2 credits just to find out if it's the person you think....often it isn't.

You are not comparing like for like. I repeat, Ancestry, FindMyPast, MyHeritage etc do not have original birth, marriage or death certificates for Scotland, or for England, Wales, New Zealand, Australia etc etc (apart from a few published in breach of copyright by people who have got them from SP or elsewhere).

Just try getting the equivalent original certificates from England/Wales (currently 9.25 per certificate compared with 1.40 on SP if you get your search right) Australia, New Zealand etc. Then you will really find out what 'expensive' means.

You can of course use any or all of these commercial sites to see what trees, accurate or not, other people have submitted to them, and you can use such trees as a basis for your own research, but you cannot compile a full and accurate tree using them instead of SP; and compared with almost all the government sites where you can buy original certificates from other parts of the world SP is not at all expensive; in fact it is the least expensive I have come across anywhere other than one US state, I forget which.
Researching

AITKENHEAD, Lanarkshire; BINNY, Forfar; BLACK, New Monkland; BRYSON, Cumbernauld; BURGESS, North-East Scotland; CRUICKSHANK, Rothes; DALLAS, Botriphnie; DAVIDSON, Oyne; GUTHRIE, Angus; HOGG, Larbert; LESLIE, Rothes/Mortlach; MENDUM, England; MOLLISON, Lethnot; PATERSON, Larbert; RHIND, Forfar; SANG, Scotland; SCOTT, East Kilbride; STOR(R)I/E/Y, Shotts; THORNTON, Shotts; WADDELL, New Monkland; WILKIE, New Monkland; WILKIE, Tannadice; WYLLIE, Angus; YOUNG, Keith