5 reasons why you should visit Findmypast for free this weekend

By Sarah Williams, 6 September 2018 - 11:42am

To mark Findmypast offering four days of free access, Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine editor Sarah Williams explains how the site can help with your family history research

Findmypast free access
Family history records are free on Findmypast from 7 to 10 September

Findmypast is one of the leading family history websites, with 2.7 billion records to help trace your ancestors around the world.

Now, Findmypast is offering free access to its records from 09.00 BST on Friday 7 September to 23.59pm BST on Monday 10 September 2018, although you will need to register for an account.

The free access includes parish records, criminal records, the 1939 Register and much more, but does not cover the British Newspaper Archive.

Here's five reasons why you should take advantage of Findmypast's offer this weekend...

1. Research your Irish family

Findmypast’s Irish collection is included in this offer, so even if you only have a Starter subscription (covering UK BMD and census records) you will get access to new levels of records.

2. Find a criminal in the family 

Whether you know there’s a criminal in the family, or you just suspect it, FMP’s crime and punishment collection is unrivalled.

Working with The National Archives, they have digitised a vast number of documents relating to crime and have now uploaded the last tranche of the collection, so even if you have looked before and not found anything, perhaps it’s time to look again.

3. Explore hundreds of years of military records 

Although many First World War records can be found on other sites, there are some unique datasets for this conflict as well as lots for earlier periods on FMP. There’s also a sizeable collection of PoW records covering both World Wars.

4. Check out FMP's parish register collection

If you’ve got ancestors that hail from Westminster, Plymouth and West Devon, Hertfordshire, Staffordshire, Yorkshire, Cheshire or Wales then you should definitely be checking out the parish register collections on FMP, as you will be able to see the original documents.

They’ve also got an impressive collection of indexes for other areas based on transcriptions by family history societies. Remember FHS transcriptions can sometimes be more accurate than those done by professional companies, so if you can’t find someone in a collection held by Ancestry, it might be worth seeing if FMP has an alternative transcription to help you track down the right record on Ancestry.  

5. Take pot luck 

Sometimes you just need to hope for a little bit of serendipity with family history research. Try entering the details of some of your family members into the basic search engine. Don’t add too many details at first and see what turns up. If you get too many results, you can add further details to narrow it down. With 2.7 billion records, who knows what you may find?


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Which records appeared in Jonnie Peacock's episode of WDYTYA?
previous blog Article
Tracing family history before the beginning of civil registration
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