Genhound is the brainchild of Ellen Fotherby, who has been researching her own family history for several years.
As a keen genealogist with over 10 years experience of web design and development I am well placed to fill what I saw as a gap in the market. I am passionate about using internet and database technology to improve access to information.
Anyone who begins to research their family history soon becomes aware of the huge amount of potentially useful information that exists in printed format. Having online access to census data via the various subscription sites and to many parish registers via the LDS Familysearch website has had a huge impact on genealogy, but it is only the start.
A lot of older printed material is now available on CD, but the disadvantage of this is that you have to purchase the item before you can find out if there is any relevant information in it. This can be an expensive business.
Also, using CDs, you will probably only locate ancestors in ‘predictable’ sources such as those relating to a particular area, and may be missing out on references from surprising sources. For example, the Scottish Register of Deeds, as well as containing information on people resident in Scotland has occassional references from further afield – merchants from Rotterdam doing business in Edinburgh, family members who have emigrated to Ireland, or are living in London, and even in the Caribbean. Sessions records often contain the names of unfortunates from other counties who were refused permission to reside in the county and were shipped back to ‘where they came from’, so you may for example find a reference to an ancestor in Cambridgeshire in the Hertfordshire sessions books.
All the information at Genhound is in a single database, which not only makes your search much easier, it means that you don’t miss out on key information located in inexpected places.
Most of the information on the Genhound site is scanned from printed documents. However, the text from each page is then extracted and stored in a database, therefore providing a range of sophisticated search options that can help you in your search. Not only that, but you will also get to see a snippet from the actual text containing your search word, that will help you decide whether it might be of interest.
Documents are divided into single pages, or small sections, so you need only purchase the page or section that is relevant to you, at a much lower cost than buying the whole document on CD. What’s more, it’s instant and there are no postage costs. Your purchase gives you access to the relevant text in the database and a PDF scan of the actual page(s) of the document. Pages you have purchase are stored in the ‘myGenhound’ area created for you when you register and stay there until you decide to delete them. You can also (and we would recommend that you do) save the PDFs on your own computer at any time.
Please don’t hesitate to contact us at Genhound if you have any questions about the Genhound website.