Saturday, 19 June 2010

English and Welsh BMD indexes updated

A few months ago Ancestry ( radically overhauled its English and Welsh BMD indexes to make them fully searchable. Prior to this the index pages had been digitised, but each page was only indexed by the first and last name on that page, meaning that it often took a while to browse through several pages per quarter until you found the right entry. The new index, produced in collaboration with FreeBMD, made a huge difference in that each individual entry was suddenly searchable, and in the case of marriages, could be cross-referenced with a spouse's surname.

Now FindMyPast and The Genealogist have joined the party. FindmyPast ( will shortly be uploading new fully searchable birth indexes, to be followed by equivalent upgrades for its marriage and death indexes, as well as providing newly digitised index pages also. The Genealogist ( has already uploaded new fully searchable marriage indexes from 1930 onwards, will expand that back to 1837 in the very near future, and will in due course then add new birth indexes.

FindmyPast has also taken the opportunity to introduce a new credit charge for its pay-per-view system. From the press release:

As well as these improvements, we will be simplifying the pricing of our PayAsYouGo records from 1 July 2010.

Currently there are over 10 different price bands for records which can be quite confusing. From July we will have fewer price bands, grouped into multiples of 5 credits, for example, 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30.

In most cases the changes will result in a slight increase in credit prices, in some instances there will be a reduction, and some records will stay the same (for example, 1911 census and passenger lists). Viewing a BMD result will cost 5 credits instead of 1, but thanks to the full indexing of the BMDs, overall a BMD search will cost you less, as you will need to view far fewer records to find the one you want.

(With thanks to Nigel Bayley at The Genealogist and Amy Sell at FindmyPast)

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