We wanted to ask:

Would it be helpful to see, on FreeBMDresults, the County and/or subdistricts?

Inspired by Harry Vervet's work - What "hidden" clues are there in the GRO Indexes of births and deaths? here at Free UK Genealogy we are wondering if it would be helpful if we could use this or something like it to give users more detail on the search results (e.g. rather than just "Newark" in the results for a search, we would give "Newark, Balderton", or "Newark, Bassingham" etc.

It would be lovely to talk to anyone interested in helping to make this happen.

Is there any place for a question like this on the G&FH SE?


2 Answers 2


I think it could be helpful, especially in cases where FreeBMD users are researching common names, to have FreeBMD report the subdistrict as well as the district. This would allow researchers to narrow down the geographical area where their research subject might be. Even in the cases where the surnames are less common, being able to see that a registration is in the expected sub-district as well as the expected district gives the researcher more confidence that they've found the right reference before ordering a certificate.

Another advantage of using Harry's method is quality control, as it allows the user to discover what references on FreeBMD are out of range. FreeBMD's volunteers do their best, but the image quality of the printed indexes is problematic.

Harry's method only addresses births and deaths. The two marriage locators from the Guild of One-Name Studies and the Surname society (discussed in other questions here) are incomplete, and are geared toward finding parish marriages -- thus they fail when the marriage in question took place at a register office. If FreeUKGen had a comprehensive marriage locator, that would be a wonderful addition to the FreeUKGen sites.

  • 4
    I do wonder how much people understand sub-districts. Those of us who see county-BMD sites will have some appreciation but the rest? Maybe this idea might help of course! I would also be concerned about the volatility of sub-districts. One of my local SDs changed name part way through and I'm unclear about what effect that might have on things. Not trying to be negative - I'd really like to see SDs - but it will need a lot of careful thought.
    – AdrianB38
    Jan 21, 2020 at 12:08

I voted to migrate your question from the G&FH Main site into its Meta site because, even though it is a cause that I suspect a large portion of our users (including me) would love to promote, it does not adhere to the protocols of the focused Q&A format that we use.

Your question seems to be trying to achieve a number of purposes, all of which are admirable, so I want to handle it carefully. We would love more Free UK Genealogy users to use the Genealogy & Family History Stack Exchange, to aid them in their research, and to see more of our users using the sites of Free UK Genealogy to aid them in theirs.

Those purposes appear to be:

  1. To advertise that you are considering the addition of a new feature to your sites
  2. To see if our users would like to help you shape that new feature
  3. To make direct contact with some of our users

I will deal with the last first. The only place that it is permitted to place your contact details is in the Profile of your usercard. Consequently, I will need to edit your question to remove your signature details from it, and suggest that you copy them into your profile instead. Our users are in the habit of looking for contact details in people's profiles so if a question is of interest then they are likely to find you that way. You can also chat direct to them in the Roots Chat Room but you need to have a reputation of 20 before you can do that.

The other two are advertising and discussion items that are often seen on discussion forums and bulletin boards, but are not on-topic at our Main sites and at best can only be tackled indirectly here. You may see edits made to your question to try and help it stay open in here, using a modified question structure.

  • Thank you, that is great! Jan 31, 2020 at 11:51
  • Noting that you would like us to encourage us to encourage users to use the G&FH main site as a source of support with their research, I'll add that to our our link page, and a have a think about what else we can do. Jan 31, 2020 at 12:11

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