I've noticed that when I've struck problems -quite often the people who have come to my aid haven't been using Genes Reunited databases to search -but either Find my Past or Ancestry.
Could anyone give me an idiots guide as to the pro's and con's of them and in their opinion which are the best to use please.
In simple terms it is a case of horses for courses.
If your ancestry was mainly based in England or Wales then FMP is usually a good site to find records for them. If on the other hand your ancestors either came from or went to places further afield then a worldwide subscription to Ancestry might be a better bet for you.
No one site will provide all your answers so you have to be prepared to either have multiple subscriptions yourself or to take advantage of the generosity of others who have a subscription to the site you need and are willing to help you.
Although GR does provide access to databases my understanding is that GR does so by accessing the data held by other sites such as FMP who are part of the same group of companies as GR. It appears to me as if the most common arrangement is that most GR members subscribe at the basic membership level only, not at the level which gives access to the records that GR offers access to. They then either subscribe to one or the other sites that you mention or simply communicate on GR's message boards hoping that another GR member who has access to the site they need will assist them.
Most public libraries offer their members Ancestry access free of charge and both Ancestry and FMP offer prospective members a 14 day free trial. As to which site is best, there is no definitive answer as it is a case of which site is best for YOU.
I have subs to both and I use Ancestry more than I do FMP because my tree is on Ancestry.
A pro and a con of Ancestry is the hints that are provided. Sometimes the records are correct and then others are totally off the mark it's laughable. You have to laugh when you receive a hint for an ancestor who you have a death date for 1889 and you receive a hint for the 1911 census.
The problem is someone will put that hint on their tree which you know is incorrect and they won't change it and then half a dozen others copy it and the frustration continues.
Thanks to both of you -much appreciated
I too have subs to both Ancestry and FMP (personally would not bother with the records on here, but that is a personal thing) and keep a full but private tree on Ancestry.
As Gai has said the hints on Ancestry can be helpful, but also very funny!!!!
I have London and Lancashire ancestors and Ancestry is great for them.
However, if I cannot find someone one one site I can usually find them on the other. Also for print outs I prefer the printouts from FMP.
I would suggest you take out one of the 14 day free trials for both, remembering to cancel your card a couple of days before the 14 days are up. Then you can see for yourself what is available. As both have pretty much the same, but both also carry records that the other does not.
Good hunting :-)