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Digital Subscriptions > Family Tree > Family Tree October 2018 > Dig deeper online!

Dig deeper online!

Chris Paton explores how to find advanced resources on the web that can help to push your research beyond the basics using a mixture of free and paid-for resources


When building our family trees as beginners we can make a vast amount of progress using resources such as basic birth, marriage and death records, censuses and newspapers. Nevertheless, even with such material, we will eventually come to brick walls on each of the ancestral lines that we are pursuing.

In trying to move from these basics of family history research to more advanced resources, we need to understand precisely why we have become stuck in our research in the first place. We need to learn, for instance, what the failings are in the most common collections that we have already considered.

In some cases, our inability to find an ancestor in the records will be simply because of the online presentation. This might be: an incomplete digitisation of a collection; an impression that a record set available online is the only relevant resource; a bad index transcription or perhaps a genuine reason that led to the event not being registered in the first place. A good example of this last circumstance is the Stamp Duties Act of 1783, by which the State imposed a fee of three pence to register baptisms, marriages and burials. Many people felt that they had a better use for their thruppence, and simply did not bother to register such events between 1783 and 1794, when the Act was finally repealed.

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About Family Tree

Check out our bumper guide to your top 101 must-search family history sites. We've got: Sites to help you track down essential records Online sources to help you dig deeper into your family's story Leads to help you research your family locally and across the globe! By exploring and using the excellent websites in our guide your family history is sure to flourish. Dive in and learn more about your ancestors' lives and livelihoods with our handpicked selection of websites and records to help you...