Millions of family history records FREE on Findmypast this weekend
Millions of records, including newspapers and military records are being made free to access by Findmypast this weekend to mark Remembrance Day. Here's how to make the most of them.
This weekend, genealogy website Findmypast is offering free access to all its British and Irish collections (except the 1921 census) to mark Remembrance Day. The offer ends at 10am (GMT) on Monday 14 November so we have put together some tips so you can make the most of millions of free family history records.
Whether you have signed up for a 7-day free trial of Findmypast, or you are accessing the genealogy subscription service for free via a library or archive, or you want to make the most of a Findmypast free access weekend (such as the one currently running for the Remembrance weekend), here are 10 collections you will want to explore on Findmypast.
Remember, once a free trial has ended on Findmypast, you will not have access to the records you have discovered unless you have downloaded them.
- Newspapers - with over 50 million pages of local, national, international and specialist newspapers, explore as many family names, events and places as possible. NOTE - Newspaper results don't come up from searches using the site's main search engine, you have to select 'Newspapers & Periodicals' in the search page sidebar.
- Military records - with millions of records to explore, reaching back to the 18th century, it's worth entering the names of any of your military ancestors, whether they fought in WW1, WW2, Boer Wars or the Napoleonic Wars, to see what you can find.
- Old electoral rolls - with almost 200 million records, Findmypast is the best place to go and explore old electoral rolls online (and even better when free).
- Census records - use the census to find your family at home, or explore who used to live in your house. Because Findmypast lets you search by address, it can be a great resource for house history. Unfortunately, free access offers do not currently include the 1921 census, although there are ways to access the 1921 census for free.
- Parish registers - before the introduction of civil registration in England and Wales in 1837, the parish was the only place to record baptisms, marriages and deaths. Even after that date, these records can still help you grow your family tree. Findmypast has some unique parish register collections covering Leicestershire; Plymouth and West Devon; Staffordshire; Yorkshire and many others thanks to relationships with archives and family history societies.
- Criminal records - you may not want to find a criminal in the family, but the resulting records can be fascinating. Findmypast has built up an impressive collection of court and prison records that you won't find elsewhere.
- Old school records - along with some regional old school records collections the website has almost 10 million records in its National School admission registers collection (1870-1914).
- Poor Law records - from workhouse admission registers to settlement and removal orders, there are a number of records here that will reveal your poorer ancestors.
- Irish records - if your free access includes Irish records, then hop on and make the most of them now. Findmypast has a great selection of Irish records from court and prison records to parish and poor law records.
- Specialist collections - due to its relationship with the Family History Federation and the Society of Genealogists, there are a number of specialist collections you can search here that you won't find elsewhere, such as their British in India collection and 18th-century apprenticeship records.
Register now to get free access to all of these records.