On a recent visit to Wiltshire I dropped into the offices of S&N British Data Archive, manufacturer and suppliers of many family history products from archival binders and equipment to data CDs and much much more.
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Family History (U.K.)
Findmypast’s customers seem to be telling them that they want to go back to the past website.
It is difficult to ignore perhaps the biggest story in the British isles family history world this week of a customer backlash being played out on social media and on the review websites such as http://www.reviewcentre.com and http://www.trustpilot.co.uk about Findmypast.co.uk’s new website.
It even spilled over on to my Nosey Genealogist YouTube channelwhere an interview I did with Debra Chatfield at Who Do You Think You Are? Live got comments posted about, what Findmypast’s customers think of the new site.
While it may not be all of their subscribers, venting this anger, it would be fair to say that many of their customers are not impressed with the new site’s functionality and these are demanding a return to the old site.
Comments indicate that customers do not like the “new and improved platform”, some find it very slow to use and difficult to search for records. It would seem that these customers of DC Thompson Family History’s Findmypast do not like it, preferring the previous interface.
The facility to search for an address was not working properly this week, as I found out myself, though Findmypast promised to fix that.
It would seem, from the head of steam being built up, that many of the subscribers are threatening to walk away from Findmypast to other genealogical providers.
As someone who uses more than one website for my searches my immediate solution was to look up my census address query on the rival website ofTheGenealogist, which also offers an address search not to mention carries a very substantial suite of data sets including all the census records, parish records and the recently released and very interesting Tithe Apportionments that I find fascinating in my ancestor research.
I was also interested to see in an email that I received on Friday from the Society of Genealogists that they are running a training session for Members, staff and volunteers of the SoG.
They say that As the changes are quite significant the Society has arranged some special training in using the new style search functions etc. Paul Nixon, UK Data Strategy with DC Thompson Family History has agreed to come to the Society to make a training presentation and explain how it all works now.
I don’t really understand why Findmypast has let the situation get to this point.
As a fresher on a Business Studies course, way back in the 1980s, I remember being taught in the first few weeks of my undergraduate course that companies that are Customer led are the only ones that will survive. Those businesses that are product led or led by technology often try to push their customers to accept what they think is best for them, and that this is a recipe for disaster.
Surely a company such as DC Thompson Family History will have people within it that understand this customer focus? Lets hope so.
Now here is a very special interview for you from my trip to the Who Do You Think You Are? LIVE show at the end of February.
I was on my way to The Society of Genealogists stand, where I was volunteering on the second hand book stall as a way of giving something back to the SoG, when I spotted the well respected genealogist and author Anthony Adolph. He was taking questions from show-goers on the stand of the “Your Family Tree Magazine”, a publication for which he writes articles on surname research.
As a shareholder in an independent bookshop I am also aware of Anthony Adolph as an author of several books, including Full of Soup and Gold: The life of Henry Jermyn and many titles on family history.
He was gracious enough to give me a wonderful interview that began by reassuring me and my blog readers/ YouTube Channel viewers, that “we have all reached points in our family trees where we are stuck.”Â He revealed that he has been tracing his own family tree for getting on for thirty years now.Â “First of all as a complete and utter amateur, as a schoolboy, ” Mr Adolph said, “and then later on I became a professional.”
Giving some hope, to all those of us who find we are facing a brick wall, he charmingly admits that, just like everyone else, at the beginning of each of his family lines he is completely stuck.
The interview then goes on to touch on the four techniques for getting further back:
Anthony Adolph then reveals that he has become quite passionate about the latter and how DNA in genealogy enabled him to discover that the “cap” to his family tree was unusual. It seems that the Haplogroup, from which he descends from the genetic Adam and Eve, is G and so from Armenia, Georgia and Turkey. This is in contrast to the fact that most men in Europe are from group R.
Family historians will find out by watching my interview with Dan, where this important family tree research site will be heading in the next few months and it seems that Ancestry’s focus will be on continuing the development of parish records on ancestry.co.uk that they had started with London and the registers from LMA and also bringing us more occupational records.
The interview is just one of a number recorded at the UK’s largest family history show: Who Do You Think You Are? LIVE at London’s Olympia. The event is a fantastic mix of workshops, exhibitors and more for those of us passionate about family tree research.
To watch the other videos navigate to the Who Do You Think You Are? LIVE 2011 button on the bar above, or simply watch at my YouTube channel: www.YouTube.com/NoseyGenealogist
WDYTYA? Live is, as many of you know, the UK’s largest family history show. It’s a great place to find over 200 family history exhibitors all under the one roof. The stands ranged from The Society of Genealogists, Ancestry, TheGenealogist.co.uk, findmypast to small business and the various Family History Societies.
Also of fantastic value were the many workshops going on throughout the three days.
More videos will be added to the Who Do You Think You Are? LIVE pages on this blog. See the pages tabs above.
I’ve just seen some figures and they are impressive. Last year, the fourth ever annual family history event at Olympia managed to attract in more than 14,000 family historians over its three day run!
Known as Who Do You Think you Are? LIVE this show has established itself as the biggest family history in the calendar for those people passionate about researching their family tree.
Sixty percent of the visitors were attending for the first time and so the organisers have managed to go on attracting people to come and see what the family history community and business have on offer. This can only be good for our hobby as it shows just how many people are continuing to turn to family history as a pastime.
Nearly twenty eight percent, of those taking the organiser’s survey said that they had started to research their tree in the last two years, with 56.5% having begun within the last 5 years and 17.4% being old hands and been doing their research for more than fifteen years.
I’m going this year and will be reporting back on the three days here on my blog and on my YouTube channel as well, so keep coming back to the Nosey Genealogist!
And what was the highest rated attraction of going to the show? The survey suggests that it was the various exhibition stands.