October 2009

The ScotlandsPeople website has put the  Catholic Parish Register births and baptisms online. These include details of “French Royal post revolution refugees” and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s family tree.

Searching the indexes on this site’s database is generally free, but to view an original document you’ll need to pay anything between £5 and £13 (approx. 7 to 13 Euros or $9 to 18).

However, the Old Parish Register, Statutory Register and Census indexes are not free and you need to buy credits.  See the ScotlandsPeople website for details at  http://www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk

If you have ancestors from Dorset here’s a new resource you’ll find useful. The ‘Origins’ network has just put all Dorset marriages 1538-1856 online, a database of around 150,000 records searchable by name, including witnesses. The marriages have been transcribed by Somerset & Dorset Family History Society from parish registers, Bishops Transcripts and non-conformist circuit registers, so a pretty comprehensive database. You have to be an ‘Origins’ subscriber to see them, of course, either for 3 days, a month or a year (see  http://www.originsnetwork.com).

The Origins network has a peculiar set-up: you can subscribe to British Origins, Irish Origins or Scots Origins to view the records for each country; or for a higher fee you can have ‘Total Access’ to all three. Take note though that Scotland makes its public records freely available online, so there’s really no need to subscribe to Scots Origins unless you want to use their ‘enhanced’ search facilities.