Wednesday, 5 March 2014

New FindmyPast site goes live

The UK based FindmyPast site at has been redecorating - here's the news announcement:

Welcome to the new findmypast

Findmypast is now simpler to use with more helpful features so that you can explore your family's story more easily than ever before.

More records - easier searching 
• You can now search individual record sets or your choice of records in one go.
• Filter by country, record collection and then record set to see exactly where your results are coming from.
• The changes we've made mean that we'll be able to release new records for you to explore every week.

Start searching

We have a brand new family tree
• Bring your story to life by giving each family member a profile picture.
• If you've been building your tree elsewhere, you can now import it to findmypast. Upload your GEDCOM file and continue working on your family tree with us.
• Build multiple family trees.

Try the new tree

To find out more about the changes we have made, visit our Learn More page. We're on hand to answer any questions you have about the new features. You can post questions and sugg estions on the new group forum directly from the website by clicking the light bulb icon in the bottom right hand corner of the page, or email our support team at

We hope you enjoy your new findmypast experience.

Visit the new findmypast

NB: I've noticed that the FindmyPast Ireland site has also been rejigged at

The UK site has adopted the horrendous global search facility across all collections that appears on the other worldwide based FindmyPast sites, but has thankfully retained individual search function on its own databases - these in turn have been redesigned and allow you to input information as before, rather than all that horrendous filtering that the US and other sites require. So for example, the Travel and Migration dataset search screen looks like this:

You can apply filters to restrict the search, but this lets you feel that you are in control of the search, so a cautious thumbs up from what I have seen so far.

But I must admit - I am rapidly losing the plot when it comes to what each of the different FindmyPast sites is doing around the world...!


My latest genealogy books are Tracing Your Family History on the Internet (2nd ed), Discover Scottish Civil Registration Records, and Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet. My next Pharos course is Scottish Research Online, which commences Feb 27th 2014, 5 weeks, price £45.99.


  1. Lose the plot no longer! Part of new findmypast is that all the sites are coming together and will be served from the same platform, the UK and international sites will take the best of both worlds - once the process of moving everybody to new findmypast is complete everyone can benefit from the same new features and records at the same time.

  2. Thanks, Chris - I hadn't got my head round how to find individual search on FMP databases and was going doolally faffing around with filters. Very useful tip.

    Thanks for the additional info, Myko.

  3. Wonder how long it will take to migrate - I've just tried to have a look and I get put back to the old site.

  4. Well it's now 3rd April 2014 and the new findmypast site format has just been in effect for a day or two, and the findmypast site feedback forum is flooded with complaints from disaffected and outraged findmypast customers.

    Mainly on the findmypast feedback forum message on the link below.

    Most of the message comments are similarly themed, we loath the new site format, it's tediously obscure and difficult and unintuitive to use, the way the search results are presented is unsatisfactory, the site has been ruined, we want the old format restored, we intend to not renew our subscription payments if the site changes aren't reversed.

    Basically all of the customers are saying that a formerly very good and easy to use site has been trashed by the introduction of unneeded and unwanted and badly implemented changes to the site.

    I challenge anyone to read some of those customer comments and then to a) find any positive comments amongst them, and then b) to find anything positive to say about the findmypast site in it's present new format.

  5. Site not worth signing up for now. One of the most useful features was the search census by address facility. Now impossible. Site useless for me.
    Will not be rejoining. In fact I view my wife's subscription as in breach of trades description act (from when she paid her subscription.)

  6. Letter to:
    Richard Higgs
    CEO brightsolid
    Gateway House,
    Luna Place Technology Park
    Dundee DD2 1TP

    Re; Subscription Reference: [snip]
    2 April 2014
    Dear Mr Higgs,

    FindMyPast/brightsolid’s Terms and Conditions state:
    “Offering a decent service: We always try to make sure the website is fast, accurate and performs well: however, we can't promise that it will always work as expected.”

    You have, however, implemented such extensive and disastrous changes to FindMyPast in the last few days that the ‘product’ I bought with an annual World Subscription is no longer what I paid for. As evidence of just how bad it now is, may I refer you to the complaints recorded at:
    which if they continue mount at the present rate will exceed 1000 in number by the time this letter reaches you.

    A far as I am concerned, what I subscribed for was a fast and easily used web site for searching your data sets. What brightsolid now provides, with no choice in the matter, is an exceedingly slow and complicated site which is, frankly, so user-unfriendly as to be virtually useless for simple genealogical research. My last, unsuccessful attempt at searching for one piece of data about a single person has convinced me that FMP is now impractical for my research.

    If you bought a car, Sir, which would cruise happily at the speed limit, and its manufacturer then unilaterally installed a speed limiter which kept it below 25mph, a T&C clause such as “we can't promise that it will always work as expected.” would not stand up in any British court.

    I would therefore formally ask you to reimburse the remainder of my subscription from 2nd April to 29th September on a pro-rata basis, i.e. (days remaining/365) x (subscription paid).

    I believe that I have a legal right to ask for this reimbursement, and will not hesitate to take action before the Small Claims Court if you are not prepared to entertain this.

    Yours sincerely

  7. The new site is totally useless! For instance marriage searches demand birth dates and provide no year ranges. Facts I know to be facts, when 'searched' return zero results - I tried 12 such and all returned a zero. Utterly, infuriatingly useless! Moreover, each such search took 10-15 mins each to respond. Previously, I could search and find speedily and accurately, so much so it was almost an embarrassment of riches! Now? ZILCH! Am going to cancel my sub

  8. So much discontent about the new and not improved FMP. The simplicity and accuracy were its biggest draw. It just seems to be mimicking Ancestry now so that you can't tell the difference between them. One thing I will say about Ancestry is when they made their changes, the site remained fundamentally the same. FMP have sold one product to the public and then completely changed it out of all recognition a short time after the sale.

  9. They have ruined the site. When I complained that I couldn't 'sign into the site' they told me that they had no problems their end.Now I see that I wasn't the only one.What IS the point of putting all the BMD's on one page ?When I want a birth I don't want the deaths and marriages as well Totally confusing. I have cancelled my subscription.It was just fine as it was.