Friday, 28 November 2014

FindmyPast adds Scottish OPR indexes

FindmyPast ( has added two Scottish databases to its site, Scotland Births & Baptisms 1564-1950 and Scotland Marriages 1561-1910. These are the LDS databases already made available on the Family Search website ( and Ancestry (, and two of the most important Scottish genealogy databases online, providing indexes to the Scottish old parochial registers/old parish records, aka the OPRs. Although not a hundred per cent complete or accurate (there are errors and missing entries which browsing the original records occasionally throws up) the parent search facility is one of the most useful exercises that the births and baptisms LDS database facilitates, often allowing you to trace a couple and their family from parish to parish across time.

Test search:
I have just tried a test parent search on the FamilySearch presentation of the births and baptisms database ( for the children of my great great grandparents William Hay Paton and Janet Rogers. Using those terms only within the fields for the parents names, six children were dutifully returned, with their entries picking up on the surname variants of Roger and Rodger for Janet.

By doing the same search on Ancestry (, and unchecking the 'exact' boxes under the surnames, variants are also picked up, as on FamilySearch, with the first six entries in the records list returned being the children sought. In fact, Ancestry goes one better - it picks up a seventh child, Margaret, with the mother's surname recorded as Rogie (an older Perthshire variant of the name).

By contrast, however, when I tried the same search on FindmyPast, I received no returns at all when just using the same search terms in the parent name fields - William Hay Paton and Janet Rogers. By changing the mum's surname to Roger I got one return, by changing it to Rodger I got 5, and by changing it yet again to Rogie, Margaret was picked up. In other words, the search fields for parents do not recognise surname variants - the names as transcribed must be typed in exactly.

The fact that this cannot be done so effectively on FindmyPast's presentation is deeply disappointing, with its database the least successful of the three sites, and with Ancestry surprisingly even trumping FamilySearch on its own database. I'll be sticking with FamilySearch and Ancestry for my index searching.

* Also now available on the FindmyPast site are a gazetteer for England and Wales from 1895, and another 1.3 million Irish newspaper pages, as sourced from the British Newspaper Archive/British Library.

UPDATE: Thanks to Len Hutton for also flagging up that the batch number facility on FindmyPast's two LDS Scottish collections don't work. I've checked it myself, and it is useless.


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  1. The Findmypast batch search is not working at all either Chris. Reported to them this morning

  2. Thanks, yes, just had a look, and it is useless. Will update my post, thanks for flagging it

  3. I found using a test search much the same with surnames varying only returned one at a time. But was able to use wildcards to get all the children listed.
    I tried yours with Janet Ro*g*e* and it returned seven children.