Friday, June 27, 2008

I've added some links to on the site. To be honest, I'll get some revenue if people click through and subscribe but apart from that, I think that Ancestry provide an excellent service. Living 5000 miles away from the Public Record office, my research would have been greatly hampered had it not been for the ease of access to archives on line.

When I first started researching Chailey, there was barely any on-line resource available. Indeed, I'm pretty sure the term "on-line" had not even been coined. I still remember, a little later, making several trips from Essex to Kew to go through medal index cards - and that was just for the wounded soldiers at Hickwells and Beechlands. I hadn't even begun to contemplate the 370 odd parishioners who served their country.

Today, medal index cards, service records from WO363 and WO364, not to mention census returns for the years 1841 to 1901 and birth / marriage / death information are all available on Ancestry for around seventy pounds a year. Naval service records, officer records and war diaries, to say nothing of Royal Naval Division service records can all be accessed via the National Archives' site. For somebody like me who has researched well over five hundred people and had access to all the above archives and more, a subscription to Ancestry is not just a luxury, it's an essential.

Anyway, that's enough plugging for Ancestry. If you go to the soldier pages now, you'll see that those men for whom service records exist, have that fact noted against their names (well, names A-L currently but the others will follow). Click on that name and once you're in their biography on my site, you'll be able to access their service record directly - terms and conditions applying of course.

Folow the Chailey's Men A-D link here to see what I mean.

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