Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Clann newsletter presents RootsIreland search tutorial
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The latest issue of Clann, the digital newsletter of the Irish Family History Foundation (IFHF) has been published.

A major focus of this edition is the move by RootsIreland, the IFHF-managed pay-to-view database of more than 20million records, to a subscription platform. This switch from a credit-based pay-per-view arrangement was sprung upon researchers last month (see blogpost) without warning* but is apparently in response to feedback from customers. As is always the case, some researchers will prefer the subscription option; others would prefer to see a pay-as-you-go facility retained. The latter group have been noticeably vocal on genealogy forums and seem to be largely made up of people who are already some way along with their research and may need to search for only one or two records a month at most. Having to pay €25/$32/£20 for that pleasure is not going down well.

Other criticisms have been levelled at the new restricted search facility, especially the withdrawal of surname-only searches and the maximum five-year plus or minus option.

So this issue of Clann devotes more than six pages to the basics of searching and getting the best results. It also includes details of activities and projects involving some of the IFHF's network of heritage centres, upcoming events, an overview of Griffith's Valuation place in history, and, rather tucked away on the penultimate page, notification that RootsIreland will be adding records for counties Waterford, Antrim & Down, North Tipperary, Derry, Armagh and Wexford during the next few months.

* My customer notification of the change arrived on 9 October, 18 days after the event!