Tuesday, October 18, 2016

What's the Matter with the Canadian Collection on Findmypast?

Find My Past - United States & Canada records

Last week I shared with you the big news about Find My Past releasing Canadian records. Since then Facebook and Twitter have been ripe with gripes, whines and complaints about what Findmypast has done wrong. Yesterday a Canadian genealogist took to her blog and complained about all she found wrong with the new Canadian records on Findmypast, and compared them to what was offered on FamilySearch.org. Yes, she has every right to do so.

I agreed with her on one point - the error Findmypast made by lumping us together with the Americans by not having the Canadian flag icon on the email announcements, and having the Canadian records categorized under the United States collection.  Findmypast heard our complaints, recognized the error, and about have quickly resolved the matter. See the image posted above.

As for the rest of the complaints about Findmypast's Canadian records, I disagree.  It's like comparing apples and oranges. Findmypast, Ancestry.ca and FamilySearch all offer Canadian records. What and how Findmypast chooses to offer its Canadian records is different than what these other family history companies offer. 

My opinion is when we focus on the negative, we send the wrong message to these companies. How long have we been wanting Canadian records on Findmypast? A long time. We've been waiting since this past February when I learned at RootsTech that Canadian records would be coming in November. Guess what? Findmypast not only kept their promise of Canadian records, they got them up on their website a month early.

As a Findmypast Ambassador*, I reached out to Jen Baldwin, Findmypast North America Data Licensing Manager and Outreach Manager, USA & Canada, to get some feedback about all this. Jen shared with me that the Findmypast Canadian collection is a continuous work in progress [emphasis mine], and it is going to take some time to work out all the bugs. Currently, Findmypast has a new CEO coming on board, and they are now going to be able to act on the things causing their subscribers frustration. The current Canadian record collection is starting with a baseline of Canadian records and will be building on that. So, yes, nothing that is currently offered is exclusive. Nonetheless, Findmypast has a continued commitment to bringing Canadian records online.

This new database of Canadian records has already made my life easier. As a Findmypast subscriber, I expect the convenience of finding the records I want in one place. I don't live near the Toronto Reference Library, or the Archives of Ontario, or the dozens of other locations where I research. Having these Canadian records in one place along with the excellent UK records Findmypast offers certainly makes researching my family history a whole lot easier.

As for the naysayers, in my opinion, you don't have to drink the Freshie® that Findmypast is serving. As for me, pass the pitcher, I want some more.

* I am an Ambassador for Findmypast and as such I have received a complimentary 12-month World subscription as compensation for blogging about Findmypast news, and my own experience with Findmypast.

© Copyright by Kathryn Lake Hogan, 2016. All Rights Reserved