We have added a section entitled Sources, on our home page at www.theoriginalrecord.com; just scroll down. Here all the sources surname-indexed on the site are listed decade by decade. So it is now possible:
- To see at a glance descriptions of the records indexed year by year. Using control+F you can search through the descriptions for placenames and other words of interest.
- To search individual records for whatever surnames are of interest to you. This is a powerful additional tool, allowing you to search out possible variant spellings, by using wildcards, in any particular index.
Comment - In a lot of cases, I suspect a search is still going to be an expensive stab in the dark, unless you have a really unusual or rare surname. To give an example, I typed in Smith for the period 1880-1890. If I had an ancestor called Smith who lived in Macclesfield, I am presented with six different options for a 'Voters in Macclesfield' list from 1879-1880. If I know he lived in Hurdsfield Ward, there is only one result there, so possibly worth a punt at £6. If I don't know which ward, however, I will have to pay £36 to see all six returns - and there is no guarantee that he is even included. I can't in any way narrow down the search criteria further, other than by surname variants. On the other hand, if I know my man Smith went to Clifton College in 1880, there is only one result there at £4, so almost certainly him, and at least worth a shot. So likely success from the site will depend on how rare the name is and how specific the collection is.
One plus in the site's favour - it does have some wonderfully interesting collections, much of which I suspect you would never see on a site such as Ancestry. Those doing one-name studies will likely fare better, as you can buy entire datasets for a particular name, as 'surname source books'.
Scottish Research Online - 5 weeks online Pharos course, £45.99, taught by Chris Paton from 26 SEP 2012 - see www.pharostutors.com
New book: It's Perthshire 1866 - there's been a murder... www.thehistorypress.co.uk/products/The-Mount-Stewart-Murder.aspx (from June 12th 2012)