Those of you who have been in involved in genealogy research for the past decade are likely very acquainted with PERSI (the Periodical Source Index). Even if you are new to this awesome finding aid, you may be thrilled to hear about the “Next Generation of PERSI” as it was introduced by Curt Witcher who has been its inventive mind since it was creative. It is being débuted in its new format at findmypast.com with options we have all awaited for years.
First a bit of history! PERSI is the largest index to Genealogical Society journals, newsletters, transcriptions, abstracts and indexes from the local unique sources found in a particular geographical area. This means if your ancestor lived his life in a particular area, it is likely something will be mentioned about him in the records of his locality, but not necessarily in government records. What about local clubs or fraternities that existed in that area? Where would someone post a copy of their family Bible when the family arrived from the old country? Likely in an ethnic organization publication. And the best way to find those records easily is through PERSI.
PERSI is also the index to the more heavily sourced, noted and photographed Historical Society series including those with unique subject matter and ethnic compilations. It also includes Surname Society Serials full of details from family members, and Ethnic Society publications with bibliographic insights and so many wonderful details on the customs of each group.
Findmypast.com is noted for its British Isles materials, and they feel there are tools they can bring to this index to make it more valuable to researchers. PERSI was launched on the findmypast site during the RootsTech 2014 conference with increased functionality, more search options, impressive web space and a commitment to a dynamic data file where users will be able to obtain copies of the documents directly from the index, or using inter-library loan features to study the actual periodical. Having this best technology with this best index is totally awesome for users.
Another fantastic learning experience from RootsTech 2014.