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Perverse parameters to FMP

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Perverse parameters to FMP

Postby AdrianB38 » Thu Dec 01, 2016 6:19 pm

Anyone following my posts will know that I will defend FindMyPast where it's possible - however, sometimes it does get a little, "What the **** were they thinking?" - case in point:

If you go to the search screen for British India Office Births & Baptisms, you will find that it is not possible to search on the name(s) of the parents. This is nonsensical and makes me wonder if the person who designed that screen had ever done any genealogy. Once you have a person and their parents, what do you want to do? See if they had any siblings, of course.

Now, both Ancestry and FMP may offer a way round this problem through what's usually referred to as the Keyword facility. Keywords are words that are part of the "transcript" (as FMP calls it), usually with a label such as "father" but cannot be directly searched via that label - only via the "keywords" parameter.

To take today's example, I wanted to find children baptised to John Bond in the Madras Presidency. Presidency is a search parameter to British India Office Births & Baptisms but, as I said, Father is not. Normally the way round this is to specify "John" as a Keyword parameter. But just to make life even more difficult, Keyword isn't a parameter either! Apparently the best that can be done is to search on a last name of "Bond" and a Presidency of Madras. You'll get 70 lines many of which won't contain John.

A better plan is to ignore the specific collection and just go to the general search screen "Birth, Marriage, Death & Parish Records" then to "Birth & Baptisms". On that screen, leave "Where" set to Britain, and put "India" next to it, where you would normally put a British county. Then in the "Optional keywords" put "Madras John" and hit 'enter'. This way you only get 26 lines.

It's not a perfect solution - if James Bond had a son named John, then that would come up - there's no way to restrict the keyword to looking at a specific label. If Madras came up in another context, then that line would also appear. But it's somewhat better than nothing.

So to summarise - if the required data is in the "transcript" then it can be searched using the "Keyword" parameter. If the "Keyword" parameter isn't present for a particular collection, go to a more generic search screen where it is.
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Re: Perverse parameters to FMP

Postby Sylcec » Fri Dec 09, 2016 8:13 am

I share your frustration Adrian, particularly with respect to the BL records. The other thing that irritates me is: after doing a search in, say, the BL baptisms, there is no easy way to then move to marriages or burials because FMP provide no links to other datasets which should be linked. You can only find the linked sets if you use the general UK search function. I usually search from home page for person, select UK, and for 'where' just type India.

However my general procedure is to begin with Familysearch where I can do a "parent search", then go to FMP to view the images for specific records.
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Last edited by Sylcec on Sun Dec 11, 2016 3:12 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Perverse parameters to FMP

Postby AdrianB38 » Fri Dec 09, 2016 9:59 am

Yes, starting with a search in FamilySearch is often a really good approach and one that I often forget myself!

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