Tuesday 24 June 2014

FindmyPast finally plans to sort Scottish census citations out

On April 11th I blogged that the new FindmyPast site, amongst all the various problems it had introduced with its new website, had also bizarrely made a dog's dinner of the Scottish censuses source citations. The full description of what the company has done to the census citations is outlined in my blog post at http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2014/04/findmypast-scottish-censuses.html.

There's not a lot of Scottish content on FindmyPast, so with one of the few dedicated resources so poorly portrayed on the site, I added the following to the FindmyPast's new Ideas and Improvements site at http://feedback.findmypast.co.uk/forums/222583-ideas-and-improvements on May 8th :

Reinstate original census source information on Scottish censuses

The census citations on the Scottish censuses do not make sense any more. They previously did on the old UK site, albeit with some transcription and terminology errors, but never did on the US site, with nonsensical RG numbers which you have now imposed on your new platform. Scottish censuses were not kept at TNA, and are cited differently to English censuses. It may not seem important if you're not a genealogist, but source information is as important as the information contained in the records themselves for those who are.

One hundred and seventeen British GENES readers have agreed with that proposition to date - thanks to those who have done so (and you can still do so if you haven't!)!

Seven weeks later - yes, SEVEN weeks later - I have finally received a note that FindmyPast has finally taken a note of this, with work to address this now 'planned'.

There are of course many issues, affecting the site, and this is but one example, with many other suggestions on the same platform that do not seem to have as yet been considered. Changes are being made, with performance in certain areas now much improved, though some areas could clearly still do with a lot of work - customer service perhaps being just one of them. If people are going to take the time to make suggestions on what needs to be sorted via its own facility to do so, it would be at least useful to acknowledge receipt of said suggestions (or even to dismiss them - not all may be practical!), instead of leaving the proposers in limbo, not knowing whether they have just been wasting their time.

UPDATED 25 JUN: It looks like someone's read this blog post - all the suggestions on the site have now been looked at and updated with a comment on whether they are planned, or under review.


Now available for UK research is the new second edition of the best selling Tracing Your Family History on the Internet: A Guide for Family Historians, whilst my new book British and Irish Newspapers is also now out. And FindmyPast - please reinstate the original Scottish census citations on your new site.


  1. "it would be at least useful to acknowledge receipt of said suggestions" - absolutely. When I ran an IT Help Desk team, our first target was "Acknowledge the call in X hours." In other words, no it hasn't got lost, yes we are going to treat you as a human being. Carrying out the fix is a whole different ball game, of course it is.

    Seems to me like FMP's Feedback site is being run by an unpaid intern who knows nothing of customer expectation (why would they?)

  2. Either you've had a word, DCTFH read this, or it's just coincidence but there's a whole raft of FMP-sourced updates on the Feedback site now. Not extensive text but it's the important first step.