Posted by cameron
September 11, 2007 | 1 Comment
Scotlands People is a web site designed by the Scottish government to enable online record searching. I tried it out this past weekend with mixed success. If you are interested in Scottish Ancestors and Scottish Genealogy this post may be useful to you.
If you want to check it out the website address is ScotlandsPeople.gov.uk.
It is a commercial site and you will need a credit card to do just about anything. The site works on a credit system meaning that you buy credits with a credit card and spend those credits by viewing records as you follow your research. Your credits down-count until they are zero, at which time the old credit card will be needed again.
The information seems to be as good as it gets but you will find yourself nickel-and-dimed to death. For example, there were many times that a search would provide 3 or 4 results. It would cost one credit to preview a bit more information about those results to try to determine which record was the one I really wanted to view. On several occasions that extra information was insufficient to enable a real determination. Several times I found myself paying to look at the details of each one in turn to find the one I wanted (or not find in several cases). Each “viewâ€ cost 5 credits. Before long I had burned through my first 30 credits and purchased another 60 credits. I burned through another 30 credits when I decided to start looking at the same information at Ancestry.com. The thing I like about Ancestry is the preview pane they have in the bottom left corner of the screen, which shows some of the information in the record before needing to download and view the original. That way you can sift through quite a few records in short order. There was no need to download each one in turn.
Scotlands People is a website that is far ahead of any government site I have experienced to date. I like the pay as you go approach but the implementation of the record preview is inadequate for filtering false leads. Money is wasted looking into dead ends. They need to rethink the preview approach to make it more efficient. This irritates me enough that I will use up my credits and probably not go back unless there is something unique that I can’t retrieve anywhere else.