British directory website 192.com launched a new genealogy service today. The site offers searchable records of the more than 300 million registered births, marriages and deaths since 1837. It has also added information from the 1861 Census, which includes details of ancestors' occupations.
Pre 1983 data has been collated using scanned images of registry documents, while post 1983 data is available electronically. Both sets of records provide a specific code for each individual registration, which can be submitted to the General Registry Office (GRO) to receive a copy of the original birth, marriage or death certificate.
I used 192.com's genealogy directory briefly and found it easy to use. The menus led me though the searches and I was able to find births, marriages and deaths for the years that I tried.
Each search would eventually produce a listing of a person's name and date of the event but without details. However, clicking on VIEW in order to view all the details of the original document produced a screen asking for payment.
192.com's advertising and press releases neglected to mention that the site charges a minimum of £34.95 (roughly $60.00 in U.S. dollars) for searches. For the minimum amount, the user receives 100 "credits." One credit will buy any one of the following:
- One image view of any birth, marriage or death records from 1837 to 1983
- Up to four views of any birth, marriage or death records from 1984 to 2003
- One record from the 1861 Census Household Transcript
- One image view from the 1861 Census
Those who plan on making lots of searches can purchase larger numbers of credits at a lower price per credit.
The £34.95 probably is a good deal for the person who knows in advance that he or she will be conducting many searches. Indeed, that price is much cheaper than making a trip to London to search the same records. However, the pricing will discourage "casual" searches. It would be nice to be able to make just a few searches at a price of £5.00 or so.
192.com Genealogy provides numerous free useful links and tips on how to get the most out of genealogy.
I noticed a logo on most of 192.com's genealogy pages stating "Powered by 1837online.com," a well-known provider of genealogy information in the U.K.
You can access 192.com's genealogy searches at http://www.192.com/Genealogy