Much has been discretely written about the unreliability of family trees large and small placed on the internet. Some, of course, are admirable works of research with respectable sources properly recorded. Others are pure fiction. Most of these are obvious and easily spotted. Many, unfortunately, look at first to be the result of scholarly work, but then are revealed to be preposterous rubbish. No fear of rubbish with the small, two or three generation charts available from bigenet.fr.
The service is very similar to Geneabank, in that it offers extracted information from parish and civil registrations, carefully recorded from microfilms or the originals by the members of genealogy circles. The Fédération Française de Généalogie manages bigenet.fr, and there are currently forty-five genealogy circles or associations contributing data. This is half the number of those contributing to Geneabank. Clearly, there is serious competition between the two, for whenever one makes an announcement, the other counters quickly with one of their own:
"We have 58 million registrations available!"
"Well, WE have 108, 874, 951 individual names from registrations!"
bigenet.fr has the upper hand, in our opinion, for they have an easy and sensible payment system (compared with Geneabank's rather clumsy points system), do not require membership to a genealogy circle in France and, best of all, give the information from the registration, or acte d'état civil, in the form of a chart showing relationships, with the data from the registration listed at the end. Additionally, at the bottom will be suggestions for how to use the data to pursue the research further.
At the moment, only the first page has been translated into English. Type in a surname to receive a list of registrations by département number which by now, dear readers, you should have memorised. Select one to see the year, the type of registration and whether there are relatives mentioned. Then select it to buy the full chart and data list. At that point, it is necessary to open an account, or wallet, depositing a minimum of twenty euros by credit card or cheque. Each registration purchased costs two euros.
This is an excellent and reasonably reliable way to progress one's research.
© 2010 Anne Morddel