East Anglian Ancestors

Norfolk & Suffolk genealogy

The 1939 register and other expenses

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Great.  The long awaited 1939 register has arrived, containing detailed historical family records that anyone with the vaguest interest in family history will be delighted to see. And it’s available on Monday.  I should be in seventh heaven and clearing my diary for a few evenings of pleasant research.

But not at that price, Find My Past!!!  

I have been a subscriber of FMP for many years.  It is a great site and a worthy rival to Ancestry. The variety of records on FMP is fantastic (although I prefer Ancestry’s search facility), but I already pay an annual subscription, so the thought of an additional £6.95 per family when my working database contains 44,888 individuals, is not a comfortable financial place to be.  I would have to sell my house to afford a fraction of what’s on my wish list.  I appreciate how long it takes to transcribe all these records and how time consuming and how costly it is to do so – but really – £6.95 per family!

Which brings me to this website – a labour of love going back more years than I care to mention, freely given to public.  Nowadays I find my own research bandied all over ancestry, intermingled with records that have nothing to do with my family; freely given research ending up in ‘private’ records or behind pay walls.  My days are spent un-spamming the website or, worse still, trying to rescue the thing from hackers.  See previous blog rant – a week of my life I will never get back again.

The hours of research I have spent, together with the costs incurred in running the site, not to mention to the ever-increasing money spent on subscriptions, can seem worthwhile sometimes.  On a good month, kind folk offer a wealth of information and advise me of errors and corrections, for which I am always very grateful.  On a bad month, I get complaint emails, people expecting changes to be made instantaneously (if they only knew how long it takes to upload a site this size) and demands for information that I cannot provide.  On a bad month, I get emails from paid genealogists, not only using my free records and my data to further their own billed research, but asking for more information besides. And on a bad month, I find out that Find My Past want to relieve me of an additional £6.95 per record on top of my standard subscription.

I am at a crossroads.  Do I continue providing all this information free of charge?  Is it ethical for me to dish out free information, when there are genealogists out there trying to make a living? Should I crowd fund the site?  Or just remove it?  Would people miss it if it wasn’t there? Would I?

East Anglian Ancestors currently has 31652 individuals.  If I update the site, there will be another 13,236 to add – and counting.  It’s a massive job and will take hours and hours of time and yet more money. It might be time to let it go and concentrate on my writing.  Funny that it’s taken the 1939 register costs to focus my mind on this disparity.  Thanks FMP.  I shall have to give it much thought.   In the meantime, if you want to support East Anglian Ancestors, why not download one of my books from the kindle store?

My Books

Amazon.co.uk    Amazon.com    Amazon.co.uk    Amazon.com

£1.99                 $3.02                    £0.99                    $1.52

Author: Jacqui Beard

Wife, mother, & property/finance professional having an obsession with genealogy bordering on the unhealthy. I live just north of Cheltenham with my family, a grumpy border terrier and four plump, friendly chickens. When not "playing with dead people," as my husband so charmingly puts it, I can be found pottering around the garden or writing.

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