Following last week’s letter about FamilySearch’s lack of collection coverage information about its collections, I received the response below from FamilySearch.
--The Ancestry Insider
Dear Ancestry Insider and all who are interested in obtaining up-to-date indexed/extracted data content in the FamilySearch system:
For more effectively finding available online British data content--keeping Hugh Wallis' and Archersoftware.co.uk great websites in mind--one of the very best ways to obtain up-to-the-moment info on whether a parish or chapelry (in especially England) has been indexed/extracted is to take the following very simple approach:
1) Go to FamilySearch
2) click "Search"
3) place curser in the "Place name" text box for i.e. "Births" or "Death" or "Marriage"
4) merely (but correctly as possible) type in the name of the parish or chapelry name
5) click "Search"
6) test by restricting/testing ranges of years as desired to determine precisely which years have data content are available online. Because we are adding content daily, it is extremely difficult to peg any point in time what FamilySearch has actually recently indexed (in the British realm of records) vs. what's not--unless you apply this approach.
The above will not work for large townships and cities, like i.e. "Manchester", "London", Birmingham, etc. You must know the exact or specific parish or chapelry within each city. Hint: go the FamilySearch online catalog and obtain the precise spelling of parish or chapelry names, such as "St Ann[e] Manchester", or "St Ann Blackfriars" (London). Note: Sometimes the system requires you to spell out a place i.e. S-a-i-n-t Ann Manchester, and etc.
Also, keep in mind that the FamilySearch Wiki is currrently constructing England parish links to online data content which provides researchers with some powerful links to online data content from not only FamilySearch, but from other major iconic websites such as Lancashire Online Parish Clerk (7m entries), and Ancestry.co.uk (~2m entries and quickly growing!) and others. For example, see each of Lancashire's parishes or chapelry pages, under Lancashire "Parish" (and Chapelry) pages. Here's the Liverpool St Peter & St Nicholas Parish. Lancashire is mostly completed for now; Yorkshire is approaching completion and Greater London is populated with numerous available links to online data content from especially Ancestry.co.uk, and FinMyPast, etc.
Hope the above steps are helpful to those researching especially in the UK (these steps should also work for much of Scandinavia, and many other countries around the world).
Sr British Consultant
Thanks for the information.
--The Ancestry Insider