Contents of this article
Origins.net offers subscription access to a wide range of genealogy materials relevant to the British Isles, including Ireland. It also includes the National Wills Index, censuses, marriage registers, wills, passenger lists, and court, burial, militia and apprentice records, as well as downloadable images of original maps and plans used in 19th-century surveys.
Through Connected Histories you can search a substantial subset of this material; including abstracts of apprenticeship enrolments taken from the records of 60 of the City of London's livery companies, 1442-1850; abstracts of City of London settlement examinations from the parishes of St Botolph Aldgate and St Sepulchre, 1742-1868; and abstracts of Surrey and South London wills, 1470-1856.
Data capture has taken the form of abstracts and calendaring of primary material, resulting in structured datasets that include relevant search data. These abstracts and calendars exclude repetitious and formulaic elements.
The project website allows name searches to be undertaken using a Namex® search facility. This cannot be used from searches originating within Connected Histories.
Strengths and weaknesses
The subset of Origins.net material available through Connected Histories provides access to a large and important collection of materials relating to employment and the poor in early modern and 19th-century London. The site is particularly designed to find individuals, and works best with Person Name searches. It also contains a large amount of data about employment and occupation; and about family relations as recorded in Settlement Examinations. The resources are thoroughly indexed, and several fields allow for filtered searches, as well as free text.
The process of abstracting information from the original has meant that keyword searching for original words and phrases is less likely to produce substantial results than would be the case when applied to a full transcription. The material available through Connected Histories is also notably focused on London to the exclusion of the rest of the country.
About the project
Origins.net was established in 1997 by Ian Galbraith and offers online, subscription access to a wide range of information organised to facilitate research in family history. Origins.net services include subscription access to exclusive genealogy related collections on British Origins, Irish Origins, and the National Wills Index, plus free Scots Origins services.