How the information in GENUKI is presented to the user
The method of structuring that we have adopted for GENUKI is not one that we have arbitrarily invented for ourselves. Rather it is based closely on the method that has been developed and used by the Family History Library in Salt Lake City. This of course is by far the largest genealogy library in existence and one which many genealogists all over the world are familiar with through their use of the microfiche and the CD-ROM versions of the library's catalogue, and of the excellent Research Guides published by the Library.
As shown above, the principal means of structuring used in this server is therefore by means of what is mainly a four-level hierarchy corresponding to locality. The top level corresponds to the British Isles as a whole, the next level consists of England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man. This choice is exactly that made by the Family History Library, and has been motivated by considerations of what major archives exist, and how various important sets of official records are organized, not by any political considerations. (Thus Ireland is the term used to cover the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland - since their official records and their genealogical traditions are inextricably mixed together.)
The third level of the hierarchy corresponds to counties (equivalently the separate islands comprising the Channel Islands), the fourth level corresponds to towns and parishes within such counties. This Information Service, and most other information sources of relevance to genealogy, in general uses the pre-1974 counties rather than the modern ones, in particular for all of England and Wales. However there were differences elsewhere, and there were boundary changes over time - for more details see A Note on Boundaries.
All parishes in each county should be directly reachable from the county page, our convention is for the list of parishes within certain major towns to be listed, indented under the town name on the county page, and also given on the town page, where they serve as additional links to these parish pages.
In principal, at each of these levels information is then organized by subject. We have chosen to use headings taken from the set of subject headings that the Family History Library catalogue uses for its British Isles information. The idea is to introduce such subject headings only as the need arises; many of these subject headings may never be needed, especially at the lower levels of the hierarchy. Nevertheless, for convenience and future guidance they are all listed below.
The organization scheme involves recording details about a given information source at the level which corresponds to the localities that this information relates to, under the appropriate subject heading. Thus information about the parish registers of Clovelly in Devon would be filed under British Isles: England: Devon: Clovelly - Church Records, while a large set of census records relating not just to England but to England and Wales, say, would be found under British Isles - Census. However, taking advantage of WWW's hypertext faciities, if this latter set of census set of records is actually organized by county, we would also expect there to be reference to, say, the Devon section of the census records under British Isles: England: Devon - Census.
This set of subject headings includes all those those found in the sections of the Family History Library Catalogue relating to the various major regions within the British Isles. (Following the practice in the Library's Research Guides, we have included a few "see under" entries to allow for differences in terminology on the two sides of the Atlantic.) Most of these entries are, we believe, self-explanatory. However if in doubt about the typical usage of a particular subject heading we would recommend checking how it is used in the Family History Library Catalogue.