30 June 2015
A new version of BMDVerify is now available - version version 3.1.2.
The main change in this version is where the scan of the index page appears too large, particularly on high resolution screens; you can now zoom out down to 10%.
10 June 2015
An automatic correction reporting system for FreeBMD was brought into service. The system assigns ownership of incomimg correction requests after taking into account whether transcribers accept or not accept correction requests and whether the transcriber is active or not and also the configuration set by the syndicate coordinator for dealing with corrections within their syndicate.
05 Jun 2015
The Trustees are pleased to report that Pat Reynolds has been appointed as the new Executive Director of Free UK Genealogy
30 April 2015
Richard Light appointed a Trustee of Free UK Genealogy.
29 July 2014
FreeBMD has been named one of the 101 best family history websites in the September 2014 issue of Family Tree Magazine.
Each year, Family Tree Magazine publishes the 101 Best Websites for family history to guide genealogists to the top websites where they can make family history research progress, and to honour the individuals and organizations who create those sites.
The full list of 101 Best Websites for family history, including FreeBMD, can also be found at http://familytreemagazine.com/article/101-Best-Websites-2014
21 February 2014
A significant milestone has been reached with a total of over 300 million records uploaded to the FreeBMD database.
This is due to the outstanding efforts over the years from almost 12,000 transcribers supported by their Syndicate Coordinators.
Our transcribers are currently working on years up to and including 1971.
Many thanks to all who have contributed to our Project.
30 November 2013
- A new version of BMDVerify is now available - version version 3.1.1.
The major change in this new version is properly handling 1963 Quarter 2 and later transcriptions where the surnames are on separate lines in the index.
23 October 2013
The Trustees are pleased to report that Darren Wright has been appointed as the new Executive Director of FreeBMD. This role will encompass FreeREG and FreeCEN as well as FreeBMD.
02 June 2013
A facility has been added to Show File to display the counts of different surnames in a file. When the content of a file is displayed there is a link "Show surname counts" which will give a list of the different surnames in the file plus the number of instances of each surname.
The main purpose of this facility is to help identify missing content in files that are a transcription of a scan with surnames on a separate line and the scan effectively divided into four quarters.
06 December 2012
Nick Barratt, who has worked as Executive Director of FreeBMD (including FreeREG and FreeCEN) for the past 15 months has recently accepted a new role at the National Archives. Unfortunately for the projects, this new full time role will mean that he will no longer be able to fill his part time role at FreeBMD.
Nick's appointment was a new and experimental departure for us, which the Trustees feel has been much to the benefit of the projects, and he will be missed.
We wish Nick every success in his new venture, which represents a great opportunity for him.
01 October 2012
Jim Killock, Executive Director of the Open Rights Group appointed a Trustee of FreeBMD.
23 April 2012
WinBMD updated to version 7 and does not require version 5 to be existing on your PC prior to its installation as was the case with version 6.
Many of the changes in version have been invisible ones aimed at fixing bugs and making the program more stable, other changes were minor. Some of the significant but not a full list of visible changes are:
- District names can now contain any character, including numbers.
- A problem is fixed which stopped the scan ruler from moving.
- Additional characters are allowed in the page number field that were previously disallowed.
- The striped colours on the data input grid rows can now be removed.
- The Do Not Validate (district/page number) now apply to the current box only.
- There is now a new Formatting Menu which allows you to set UPPERcase, lowercase, Name Case or As TyPeD for each column.
- The program uses 4 different Supplementary District Files and are automatically switched as appropriate depending on the year/qtr being transcribed.
- Fixed a problem with row numbering when a comment is inserted or replaced when using Data Row Numbering.
- Fixed a problem with the scan ruler which could jump to the wrong row when there was a comment or theory.
25 March 2012
As part of our continuous quality control process, the two separate Suspect File Reports have been enhanced so that in addition to shift+click taking you to show-file (with the lines in question highlighted), ctrl+click will now try to take you to the relevant scan. This speeds up the checking and correction process for coordinators.
20 August 2011
A superseded entry is from a file that has been superseded by later transcription(s). This typically means that the original transcription was done early in the FreeBMD project when only poor quality scans were available. However where better quality scans have now been acquired by FreeBMD transcriptions are made from them where necessary. The original transcription is noted in order to give credit to the original transcriber and to provide continuity to researchers who may have found a different transcription of this entry in the past.
- A facility introduced to mark a transcription as "superseded", mainly where we now have transcriptions from better sources.
30 April 2011
Following the Tri-project seminar which took place on 21 April 2011 at The National Archives the first FreeBMD Newsletter was produced and distributed to Coordinators. This was to meet comments made at the seminar that perhaps we could improve the communication aspects within FreeBMD.
- It is intended the Newsletter will be produced on a monthly basis and sent out following each database update.
21 April 2011
A Tri-project (i.e. FreeBMD, FreeCEN and FreeREG) seminar took place on Thursday 21 April 2011 at The National Archives. The seminar was chaired by our Executive Director Barratt and all the Trustees were in attendance as well as Coordinators and transcribers from the three projects.
Discussions and workshops took place on a wide range of topics including three presentation talks on
- The Media and Family History
- The Work of The National Archives
- The Open Genealogical AllianceA facility introduced to mark a transcription as "superseded", mainly where we now have transcriptions from better sources.
23 September 2010
Some FreeBMD transcribers belong to more than one syndicate and this may possibly cause identification problems where the volunteer is in the two syndicates involved in double keying the same quarter. Upload Report has been enhanced to provide an indication column where a number 2 in the column indicates a file in question was transcribed by a volunteer belonging to the two syndicates involved in double keying and it has not been determined by automatic means as to which syndicate the file was transcribed.
The simplest way to resolve this situation is by putting the syndicate in the header of the file and uploading it again. Alternatively the administration team can force a file to be allocated to a specific syndicate.
20 September 2010
Allan Raymond appointed a Trustee of FreeBMD.
Allan Joined FreeBMD as a volunteer transcriber in mid 2000 and shortly afterwards took on the role of Coordinator of Syndicates which he still holds.
06 April 2009
Two new servers for image downloads installed and commissioned. These replaced two servers that were starting to fail and becoming temperamental.
08 January 2009
- A new version of BMDVerify is now available - version version 3.0.4.
The major new feature is some extra buttons at the bottom of the screen, labelled "Adjust Columns", that can be used to adjust the position of the columns showing age at death, mother's maiden name or wife's maiden name (as appropriate for the transcription being verified) and also the district.
19 September 2008
15 September 2008
14 September 2008
9 September 2008
The popularity of FreeBMD continues to grow as one of the foremost genealogy search sites.
Today we reached possible the highest number of searches on any day since the inception of FreeBMD, achieving a total of just under 280,000 searches in a day. During a peak hour FreeBMD is handling five searches every second.
The search statistics can be found here
25 August 2008
As part of our continuous quality control process, the Suspect File Report has been enhanced to include a list of files which have pages suspected to contain an unusually low number of entries. This is likely to arise where an index page consists of multiple columns but not all have been transcribed.
The report excludes files containing the transcription of the last index pages for an initial letter which by default normally include a lesser number of records than other index pages in the same series.
The enhancement also includes files containing the reverse situation; this is where the number of entries between +PAGE lines is significantly greater from what is expected. This normally occurs where multi index pages have been transcribed in a file without a corresponding number of +PAGEs.
14 August 2008
The district aliasing team is now approaching its 8th year of existence. The team is responsible for creating aliases for the alternative or mis-spellings of the standard districts.
The number of new spellings of district names to be aliased has dropped to below 600 per month, which is about a third of the number 4 years ago when the scan quality was poor.
For a minority of post-1911 marriages, where a surname has been used in the index books in the district column, the correct district has been found by consulting the entry for the spouse and a "System entry" has been created by the Alias team, resulting in the correct district being available on the search result page. In a few cases where there has been incomplete information in a "late addition" entry (e.g. see D/24) and the scan of the later year is available this has been consulted and a "System entry" also created.
1 August 2008
To take some of the pressure off existing Syndicate Co-ordinators and to replace retiring Co-ordinators four new syndicates were set up in July 2008.
If you wish to contribute to FreeBMD, please contact one of the Syndicate Co-ordinators listed here
5 July 2008
Correction requests sent to our transcribers by the Corrections Co-ordinator enhanced to include details of the "Changed Fields".
This is of great help to transcribers to quickly identify the actual correction requirements. Prior to this it was necessary to visually inspect the whole record for a before and after situation.
Approximately 5,000 formal correction requests are submitted every month to FreeBMD. About half of these are dealt with by transcribers or by their Co-ordinators amending the affected files and the other half is dealt with by the Corrections Co-ordinator uploading under a special Submitter ID.
It is encouraging to note that only a small percentage of formal correction requests are rejected.
29 June - 6 July 2008
All the FreeBMD servers were relocated to the new datacenter over a period of a week. The FreeBMD search page was available throughout the move with the number of searches completed each day being only slightly affected for a couple of days. On the most affected day 170,000 searches were still completed. Once again our technical team lived up to our high expectations of keeping the FreeBMD site available 24/7.
There are currently nine production servers for searches and two for images.
18 April 2008
As part of our continuous quality control process a new report has been created which identifies files with high Uncertain Character Format (UCF) usage. The initial threshold has been set at 10%.
18 August 2007
Typically users are leaving 40 to 50 Postems (see News item dated 12 February 2006) each day.
Around 15% of these are people leaving corrections for an entry and opting for the "leave Postem"
option because their correction is not accepted.
17 August 2007
*** 135.6 million unique records on FreeBMD ***
Congratulations to all our volunteers, your efforts enabled the total unique records uploaded to FreeBMD to reach over 135 million.
A magnificent total of just under 177 million records have now been uploaded to FreeBMD.
See our Database statistics here for further details about records uploaded to FreeBMD.
30 July 2007
Marriage searches after 1912 that specify a spouse will now filter on spouse givenname if supplied (previously it was ignored).
26 June 2007
The Society of Genealogists awarded their prestigious Prince Michael of Kent Award to FreeBMD.
The award made for distinguished and outstanding services to Genealogy has only been made four times in its history. Previous recipients were The Family Record Centre, ABM Publishing and The Genealogical Society of Utah.
Graham Hart, one of the founder Trustees of FreeBMD received the award at Society of Genealogists AGM.
"The Trustees" were thrilled to accept this award which recognises the huge efforts made by all the FreeBMD volunteers, without whom there would be no FreeBMD.
For further information please see the Press release or item 8) from the Society of Genealogists 2007 AGM Minutes
27 April 2007
One million files uploaded to FreeBMD. A file can contain anything from one to several thousand records.
1 April 2007
FreeBMD introduces System Entries.
The objective of FreeBMD is to give electronic access to the GRO index and its policy of transcribing exactly what
is in the index aligns with this. It is also important in enabling FreeBMD to adopt a straightforward policy to
transcription by implementing Type What You See (i.e. transcribers must not enter what they think it should be).
However, it has been recognised for some time that there are instances where the index is obviously in error and
transcribers have a method (#THEORY) to allow them to recording this. Searchers can also leave Postems for the same purpose.
However, if the error is such that the entry will not normally be found, #THEORY and Postems are not adequate so
FreeBMD has now implemented System Entries These are entries introduced by FreeBMD administration which record what
we believe should be in the index (but is not); they are linked to the actual entries in the index.
An example is June 1882 Marriages where several entries with surname Lucas have been put in the index as Luby
because the change of surname from Luby to Lucas has not been correctly recorded in the index.
26 March 2007
Changed the way errors and warnings are reported in File Maintenance to make it easier to correct them.
The content of the file is now displayed and transcribers can go to or scroll through the errors or warnings.
14 December 2006
Search results now include percentage coverage figures (i.e. records actually uploaded compared against GRO estimate
of actual registrations) for each quarter.
08 December 2006
The Coverage Charts for Births, Marriages and Deaths have been enhanced to include an
indication of the records transcribed since the previous update.
Records transcribed since the last update are shown in a lighter colour on the percentage bars for each quarter.
21 November 2006
As part of our continuous quality control process, the Suspect File Report criteria for "Too many entries between +PAGE"
has been gradually reduced over the last twelve months from 750 down to 500.
Action has been taken each time the figure was reduced enabling greater accuracy in the reporting of completed
transcription of pages of the BMD Indexes.
10 November 2006
*** 123 million unique records on FreeBMD ***
Congratulations to all our volunteers, your efforts enabled the total unique records uploaded to FreeBMD to reach the 123 million mark.
A magnificent total of just over 160 million records have now been uploaded to FreeBMD.
Since 12 October 2006 over 1.7 million records have been added to the database.
See our Database statistics here for further details about records uploaded to FreeBMD.
Over twelve hundred (1236) volunteers contributed to the 1.7 million new records added to the database.
A little under three hundred (288) of these volunteers joined FreeBMD within the last 12 month.
31 October 2006
- New versions of BMDVerify are now available - 3.0.3 and 2.1.15 - which clear two minor issues.
Two versions of BMDVerify are currently supported; which version to use depends on which version of WinBMD is in use and is explained
in more detail on the BMDVerify website.
Anybody transcribing post-1912 marriages where the wife's maiden name is in the index should be on version 2.1.13 or later.
25 August 2006
New facilty introduced to Upload Report to enable users to select either Sequenced, OneName or Random files or any combination
of the three options.
Upload Report is used by Syndicate Coordinators and Central Administration Team to analyse files uploaded to FreeBMD.
2 August 2006
Formal launch of WinBMD Version 5.
There were almost 100 changes in WinBMD version 5 compared to the prevous version, the vast majority of them being either bug fixes or invisible changes (for example efficiency changes).
Major changes which are most likely to be noticed by our transcribers are:
(i) Changes to the upload routine making it much more reliable and fixing a couple of errors that affected a lot of transcribers
(such as the "circular redirects" error).
(ii) Changes to the scan viewer with the introduction of the "ruler" which highlights the row being transcribed and auto-moves
to the next row.
(iii) "Scan Tools" also added which allow a number of effects on the scan view such as changing the background/text colours
(on Tiff format scans), rotating and flipping the scan, changing the brightness etc.
(iv) One vital change allows new format scans to be opened which version 4 didn't recognise.
(v) Inclusion of a summary window - a form which pops-up when a file is saved and summarises all the errors/warnings found in the file.
This is also an opportunity to place on record our thanks to Ian Brooke for his work on developing and bringing to fruition
this latest version of WinBMD.
9 April 2006
First batch of Index scans provided free of charge by Ancestry uploaded to FreeBMD.
14 March 2006
The Project management system for FreeBMD was changed from PTS (Problem Tracking System) to Trac.
The aim of Trac is to simplify effective tracking and handling of software issues, enhancements and overall progress.
PTS has been in use for the FreeBMD Project since 8 June 2000 and in that time has dealt with 745 software and web page amendment requests.
12 February 2006
Postem facility added.
A Postem is a note left by someone about an entry on FreeBMD - the content of the postem is determined by the person who left it. Postems will only be seen by people who search for and find the entry concerned.
31 December 2005
As part of our continuous quality control process, changes have been made to the Suspect File Report criteria so that it reports all files in which "The Age at Death field (or Date of Birth)" is missing from all records in a file from Jun 1866 onwards.
30 December 2005
In order to maintain service levels, the master server functions of FreeBMD was switched to a different server in the cluster.
This change should allow more efficient database updates, and avoid problems caused by running out of disk space.
10 October 2005
*** 107 million unique records on FreeBMD ***
Congratulations to all our volunteers, your efforts enabled the total unique records uploaded to FreeBMD to reach the 107 million mark.
A magnificent total of almost 133 million records have now been uploaded to FreeBMD.
Since 12 September 2005 just over 2 million records have been added to the database.
See our Database statistics here for further details about records uploaded to FreeBMD.
Just over twelve hundred (1200) volunteers contributed to the 2 million new records added to the database. A little over four hundred (400) of these volunteers joined FreeBMD within the last 12 month.
25 September 2005
A new version of BMDVerify is now available - version 2.1.13 - which detects and then
correctly displays transcriptions of marriages from March quarter 1912 and later where the wife`s
maiden name is included in the entry
30 June 2005
A new version of BMDVerify is now available - version 2.1.12 - includes a minor improvement in the guess it makes of which line in the transcription matches up with the top of a column on an index scan.
22 June 2005
DVDs containing the scans of marriage films covering 23 years from 1846 to 1915 have been delivered to FreeBMD. Before upload to FreeBMD, these have to be renamed into the FreeBMD standard format.
This is all part of the ongoing committment to make more transcription source available to our volunteers and to maintain and improve the status of FreeBMD as a leader in Genealogy research.
16 May 2005
*** 100 million unique records on FreeBMD ***
Congratulations to all our volunteers, your efforts enabled the total unique records uploaded to FreeBMD to pass the 100 million mark.
Just under 90000 records are added every day, equivalent to 2.7 million every month.
A magnificent total of 122 million records have now been uploaded to FreeBMD.
See our Database statistics here for further details about records uploaded to FreeBMD.
11 May 2005
A new facility has been introduced to link search results to scan images.
This has resulted in a large increase in the number of corrections, which is an added bonus since it improves the quality of our records.
7 May 2005
The search engine has been enhanced to provide the facility to search on mother`s maiden name for births post 1910.
1 May 2005
As part of the improved security volunters are now required to enter their unique SubmitterID and password to access the scans on FreeBMD for their transcription activities. Previously all volunteers used a generic ID and password which could have been subject to abuse.
20 April 2005
A new version of BMDVerify is now available - version 2.1.10 - which
works much better for those transcribers who include the transcriptions from several index pages (usually the earlier handwritten pages) into a single transcription file.
There`s also an extra check that the year/quarter in the transcription file matches the year and quarter from the index page image file - warning is given if there appears to be a mismatch.
12 January 2005/26 February 2005
- In order to improve the service offered by FreeBMD, two new servers for FreeBMD searches have been
commissioned and brought into service. These servers supplement the four already in service for
searches and a further two for scan images.
3rd December 2004
- As part of our continuous quality control process, changes have been made at "File Upload" to check that the filename corresponds to the content of a file and that the appropriate +PAGE lines are present.
- Files cannot be uploaded if these checks fail. Errant files already uploaded will require changing to meet the new criteria should there be a need to carry out any corrections to the files.
20th November 2004
- Another cause for celebration.
- The district aliasing team is now in its 4th year of existence. The team is responsible for creating aliases for the alternative or mis-spellings of the standard districts.
- After a lot of hard work during its early years the team is able to keep on top of aliasing new spellings as they are added each month.
- As part of our continuous quality control process, changes have been made to "File Upload" so that files containing transcriptions of pre-1866 death records are rejected if the Age at Death field is other than blank. Errant files already uploaded have been identified and will be corrected as part of a controlled programme.
24th August 2004
*** 100 million records on FreeBMD ***
- Congratulations to all our volunteers! Your efforts have enabled the total records uploaded to FreeBMD to pass the magical 100 million figure!
28th June 2004
- In order to improve the service offered by FreeBMD, two new servers to provide much needed extra capacity for scan storage have been commissioned and brought into service. These servers supplement the four already in service.
- The additional servers are used only for providing scan download
facilities, and thus free-up valuable disk space on the main FreeBMD servers.
- Coinciding with the introduction of the new servers the general public have been given free access to the scans on our site by clicking "View Images" on the FreeBMD Homepage.
3rd May 2004
- We have now reached just under 78,000,000 unique records.
- 86,200 records are added every day, equivalent to 2.6 million every month.
- To take some of the pressure off existing Syndicate Co-ordinators, ten new syndicates were set up in late December 2003/early January 2004. Between 19 December 2003 and 30 April 2004 these new syndicates accepted 694 new volunteers out of a total of 999 new volunteers.
- A further 12 new syndicates were set up in late April 2004 and some have just started accepting new volunteers.
- Archive CD Books has scanned the films for Births 1908 to 1910, Marriages 1907 to 1910 and Deaths 1904 to 1910 and these have been uploaded to the FreeBMD site.
- A further set of films for Marriages 1843, 1845, 1847, 1857, 1861, 1862 and 1863 is with Archive CD Books for scanning.
- A further order for Marriages 1853, 1855, 1856, 1858, 1860, 1864, 1865, 1904, 1905 and 1906 is with the ONS with expected delivery mid July 2004.
- FreeBMD will systematically order films for any years (1837 to 1910) which are currently devoid of scans and then order new films for those event/periods that have poor quality scans on the FreeBMD site.
7th December 2003
- We have now reached just under 71,000,000 unique records.
- 89,300 records are added every day, equivalent to 2.7 million every
- FreeBMD is pleased to be working in collaboration with Archive
CD Books who have recently offered to scan the Indexes for the
FreeBMD Project free of charge.
- Films for Births 1908 to 1910, Marriages 1907 to 1910 and Deaths 1904 to 1910 have been purchased by FreeBMD and are now with Archive CD Books
to scan. Scans from this order for Deaths 1910 were uploaded to the FreeBMD site late November 2003.
- It is anticipated the remaining scans will be uploaded to
FreeBMD by early January 2004.
- Scanning for Births 1886, 1887 and 1888 were also uploaded to the
FreeBMD site late November 2003. These were part of an earlier
purchase by FreeBMD and were scanned in Canada by an entirely
separate organisation to Archive CD Books.
- A further order for Marriages 1843, 1845, 1847, 1857, 1861,
1862 & 1863 is with the ONS with expected delivery mid February
- FreeBMD will systematically order films for any years (1837 to 1910)
which are currently devoid of scans and then order new films for
those event/periods which have poor quality scans on the FreeBMD
- FreeBMD is also a victim of its own success. Two new servers
to provide much needed extra capacity for scan storage are
in situ and are ready for commissioning. These servers will
supplement the four already in service.
16th November 2003
Two changes have been made to the upload routine that checks the format of transcribed files. These changes will affect transcribers and are as follows:
The help files have been changed to take into account both of the above.
- Where an entry has something like "See D/1865" in the page field this can now be entered as seen. A warning will be shown to indicate that it is not in the normal page format but this can be ignored in this situation. (Previously such a field had to be entered as three underscores.)
- For new uploads we will be further checking conformance with the Uncertain Character Format (UCF) definition (see here). This does not affect any file already uploaded unless it is uploaded again (i.e. replaced). We will now check that:
- More than one character occurs between square brackets
- There are no adjacent asterisks
- Asterisk is not adjacent to underscore
- Question mark appears only on its own in a field (Note that district and volume are separate fields so ?,? will be accepted for a missing district and volume)
19th July 2003
- The long-awaited program which produces a report showing Files Uploaded by our transcribers, has been well received by our Syndicate Co-ordinators. The new report replaces in part a similar report called Range Check which was proving problematic to run, due to the increasing size of our records database.
- As part of our ongoing Quality Control, two other new programs which produce reports on Suspect Files and Duplicate Files have proved to be extremely useful. The number of Duplicate Files (these are duplicate files uploaded by the transcriber and not duplicate files as part of our double-keying process) has been reduced to zero after liaison with the appropriate transcribers. Work has started on eliminating the suspect files.
- We have now reached just over 61,000,000 unique records.
- 85,000 records are added every day, equivalent to 2.6 million every month.
- We have just over 5,600 transcribers.
- Each month more than 1000 new spellings of district names are included in the database for the first time, many of which can only partially be read and which include the _ and * characters. The district aliasing team do their best to recognize the corresponding district on the 'standard districts' that appear on the search page and to create an alias, or alternative spelling, against one of the standard spellings. After less than 2 years of work and with 67,000,000 entries now transcribed there are fewer than 160,000 (or about a quarter of one percent) of them cannot be aliased to one of the standard spellings and which are therefore not included in the search results when either the district or county is used in a search.
The district aliasing team has recently been doubled in size to enable them to consult the original scans for some of the remaining entries. Sometimes this results in them being able to create an alias without the transcriber being aware of our work, and sometimes they cannot read the entry either, and for a couple of hundred of the entries they will be submitting corrections to the transcribers through the Corrections Coordinator.
9th April 2003
- Permission has been granted by the ONS to include records from the Births, Marriage and Deaths Index for the period 1837-1983 on the FreeBMD site (this is a relaxation of the 100 year rule).
- Following the database update of 31 March 2003, records post-1902 that were held in the FreeBMD database (but not searchable) are now open and searchable. You should note, however, that transcribing efforts have been concentrated on the period 1837-1901 and there are, therefore, very few records post-1902.
- We have now reached just under 52,000,000 unique records.
- FreeBMD has continued to DOUBLE in size every 12 months.
- 90,000 records added every day equivalent to 2.7 million every month.
28th October 2002
- We have now reached over 42,000,000 entries.
- FreeBMD has DOUBLED in size in 12 months.
- 1.75 Million more records every month.
- Almost 5,000 transcribers.
1st September 2002
- Improved Search facility means a 50% increase in search capacity.
8th March 2002
- 3 new servers for FreeBMD.
- 100% increase in capacity.
4th November 2001
- We have now reached over 21,000,000 entries.
- 1.5 Million more records every month.
- Almost 3,000 transcribers.
- Index improvements mean faster searches
26th May 2001
We have now reached over 12,000,000 entries
Major problems were encountered this month due to a disc crash on the server.
Thanks to all our volunteers for your patience during this period.
17th April 2001
FreeBMD were proud to announce that we have now reached 10,000,000 entries and are now entering
nearly 60,000 new entries per day or nearly 2,000,000 new entries per month !!
Sincere congratulations and thanks to all who are helping make this possible.
7th Mar. 2001
We have now reached 8,000,000 entries and are regularly managing
51,000 per day or 1,500,000 new entries per month.
26th Feb. 2001
We have now reached just over 7,500,000 entries and are regularly managing
42,000 new entries per day or 1,250,000 new entries per month.
7th Feb. 2001
We have now reached just over 6,500,000 entries and are regularly managing
42,000 new entries per day or an amazing 1,250,000 new entries per month.
11th Jan. 2001
We have now reached just over 5,500,000 entries and are regularly managing
28,000new entries per day or 840,000 per month.
9th Jan. 2001
- We are very pleased to record that Ancestry has very kindly
purchased a complete set of microfilm for years 1837 to 1900, Births,
Marriages and Deaths for the FreeBMD Project.
- We are now working to ensure that data of higher quality will be available for transcribers.
1st Jan. 2001
We have now reached 5,000,000 entries and are regularly adding 24,000 new
entries per day, or 720,000 new entries per month.
18th Nov. 2000
- The re-designed Website is launched, making it easier for users and transcribers to navigate to whatever they want
9th Nov. 2000
- We reached 3,500,000 entries.We are currently adding just under 18,000 new entries per day to the database,which equates to about half a million entries per month.
26th Oct. 2000
- New process implemented for allocating volunteers to Syndicates.
- In response to the demands of our volunteers a "Transcribers Knowledge Base" section was added to the FreeBMD site.
27th Sep. 2000
- We reached 3,000,000 entries. The database is still growing at a quarter of a million entries every month.
31st May. 2000
- We reached 2,000,000 entries. The database is growing at quarter of a
million entries every month.
1st Feb. 2000
- We reached 1,000,000 entries. It is remarkable that the database
has doubled in size in just 2 months.
13th Nov. 1999
- A few weeks ago, SpeedBMD was
launched. It looks like the most popular input method so far.
- We've passed 400,000 entries.
- Coordinators can now manage their own syndicates.
6th Oct. 1999
- Although the database has always stored the "age at death" field, we'd managed to forget to put it in the search results. Today, that fault is finally rectified!
- The new search facility has been phased in, and the old one out. As well as handling double-keyed records nicely, the new facility is also an order of magnitude faster for many searches.
8th Sep. 1999 (End of Holiday Season)
31st Jul. 1999
- Added support for page numbers in data sets. See the +PAGE entry on the Data Format page.
- Added a new graph for the number of double-keyed records.
18th Apr. 1999
- Over the last few days, Graham has taken over the syndicate and allocation management and Andrew has set up a mailing list ready for the Syndicates.
- Today, we have added scans of the ONS and LDS order forms for buying microfiche and microfilm.
- We've started a regular IRC channel, on the IRC server hosted by the
IIGS and sponsored by
RootsWeb. Read all about it on the
12th Apr. 1999
- Apparently every now and then a district contains a colon or two, which we
were not permitting. Fixed.
26th Mar. 1999
- Letter received from the ONS giving formal instructions for gaining permission to copy the source for transcribing.
21st Mar. 1999
11th Mar. 1999
4 Mar. 1999
- Fix "all types" in the search form.
28 Feb. 1999
- Accept a * in a district name.
- We hit 90,000 entries!
27 Feb. 1999
- Added quarters to start and end dates on the search form.
- Only list the page in the same year and quarter on the page link.
- Added "All Types" and "All Districts" to the list boxes on the search
20 Feb. 1999
- Check roman volume numbers more carefully.
- Change the way credits are handled, so we can accomodate credits to people
who helped and submissions on someone else's behalf. See the
format page for details.
2 Feb. 1999
- Use +CREDIT information (at last).
26 Jan. 1999
- Allow ranges in age at death.
17 Jan. 1999
- Districts were not checked for correct characters. They now are.
16 Jan. 1999
- Added "district synonyms" - that is, a way to map known variants of
district names onto a single "standard" spelling.
15 Jan. 1999
- FreeBMD finally gets a logo. Thankyou to all those, especially Isabel
Easter, who helped with ideas and inspiration. Feel free to use it on your own
websites. Don't copy it, though, just use one of the URLs below to refer to
- The standard version: <IMG SRC=http://www.FreeBMD.org.uk/Stamp.gif WIDTH=216 HEIGHT=128>
- The small version: <IMG SRC=http://www.FreeBMD.org.uk/Stamp-small.gif WIDTH=108 HEIGHT=64>
- The tiny version: <IMG SRC=http://www.FreeBMD.org.uk/Stamp-tiny.gif WIDTH=54 HEIGHT=32>
14 Jan. 1999
9 Jan. 1999
3 Jan. 1999
- Added spouse matching to search form.
- Made 1898 the last valid year.
- Added progress graphs.
30 Dec. 1998
28 Dec. 1998
- Added file upload facility to file management.
19 Dec. 1998 - Merry Christmas!
- Rootsweb provide a new machine for FreeBMD! This was planned anyway, but
accelerated by the unfortunate demise of the test machine. Thanks Rootsweb!
Unfortunately, in the crash the test data that had been submitted was lost. However, none
of the web pages, or programs disappeared for good.
5 Dec. 1998
- Added some checking for validity of volume numbers. This may invalidate
some existing data.
3 Dec. 1998
- The test system passes 80,000 records!
- Added tentative allocation pages.
30 Nov. 1998
29 Nov. 1998
- Allow an 'm' for months in age at death field.
14 Nov. 1998
- Update format page to show mother's name for births from 1911.
- Update flat format filter to do births correctly from 1911.
1 Nov. 1998
- If the volume is in Roman numerals, the page link now works.
31 Oct. 1998 (Hallowe'en)
- Added support for microfilm - see the format
- Added support for source and transcription date fields.
- Allowed comments in data files.
- Added ficherange and fichenumber to flat file support.
30 Oct. 1998
- Show offending lines in errors, as well as line numbers.
- Be more forgiving about extra/missing fields, to allow easier export from
the likes of Excel.
- Allow blank lines in uploaded files.
- Permit capital letters in page numbers as well as lower case.
27 Oct. 1998
- Minor correction - allow wildcards in page numbers.
- Permit the upload of flat files. See the flat format
definition for how.
25 Oct. 1998
23 Oct. 1998
- Allow "uncertain characters" in names.
- Added statistics page.
- Make colouring the same on districts as on surname.
22 Oct. 1998
- Allow underscores in file names.
- Peter Abbott will help you submit some entries for use in testing.
21 Oct. 1998
- Added database status page.
18 Oct. 1998
- Fix minor problem with Death uploads - age at death should be optional.
17 Oct. 1998
- Add submitter details to search engine (currently layout 3 only).
- Make layout 3 the default.
- Try out a background for FreeBMD.
If you think it is either great or ghastly, let us know!
- Fixed a bug in file maintenance - now you can edit big files.
- New input format for One Name Studies has been added - this allows us to
take advantage of the "semi-sequenced" nature of one name data. See the
data format page for details.
- Work is in progress for managing submitter information, but in the meantime
anyone with test data can submit it now - just write to
Ben for a login.
- Rootsweb are to supply a new, faster machine for the FreeBMD Test system.
The current system is a 486/66 (!), so we should see a considerable speed
- Two extra paragraphs added to the end of the FreeBMD FAQ
- The web site has been considerably restructured
16 Oct. 1998
- An announcement mailing list is on the way for those interested in the FreeBMD project without being involved in its management, this will be for volunteers and those with a general interest in our happenings.
2 Oct. 1998
- Database and searching updated
30 Sep. 1998
- Web site updated - FreeBMD FAQ page inserted; first version of the FAQ online
Press Cuttings and Press releases
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