Family history tips and tricks

Red rose of Lancashire

How to use familysearch

Finding images that aren't indexed

Hints for specific places

Tips for FindMyPast

How to construct 1911 census links at FindMyPast

You need a census reference - the important parts are the RG14 'PN' part and the schedule number (SN).

Construct this URL in your browser's address bar:

Example: for 1911 reference RG14PN24909-RG78PN1424-RD472-SD4-ED29-SN42 the URL is:

You can increase or decrease the schedule number to find neighbouring properties. Changing the piece number is possible but maybe not so useful.

Other censuses may be similar. For example:

How to construct 1939 register links at FindMyPast

You need an existing 1939 register reference. All you can get is a partial transcript; name, address and birth year. It's the same information that you would get by clicking "Preview" in the search results.

The official reference will be something like RG101-3743d-006-01, but if you have a page from FMP it will be more like TNA-R39-3743-3743d-006. Notice that there's a 4-digit number, a letter and a 3 digit number. These identify the page. The 2-digit number is the line number in the page (range 01..44).

The URL for an individual is

Example: will take you to the top of the page for the example reference. You can increase the line number one at a time to get the whole page. Blacked-out lines show as "- - -". Increase or decrease the page number to move to neighbouring pages.

Footnote: You can no longer view transcripts from the 1939 register without a subscription.

Probate calendar

The probate service "upgraded" their website. The new website is in "beta" (has been for quite some time) and is quite poor. The previous incarnation, despite its quirks, was quite usable and you could grab the images of the probate calendar when you found the right page.

This relates to the pre-1996 probate calendars, which were printed and are provided as images on the website.

The search engine on the new service is pretty awful:

Despite all that, when you get used to the quirks the site is tedious but usable - apart from the lack of download capability.

How to download image files from the probate service at

These instructions are for firefox, but chrome and other web browsers may have similar features.

It seems a bit long-winded, but when you've done it a few times it becomes quite easy. You can navigate backwards to choose a different year, or even enter new search parameters, while the panel is open.

© David Haworth
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