I have written in this series about the free sites I use for researching in Australia. When it comes to my ancestors in England, I find that I need to use a subscription site, and I find most of the collections I need are on Ancestry.com. As far as I know, no other site has the images of the parish registers from Somerset, although there are transcriptions on free sites – FreeReg, Familysearch, and http://www.fromeresearch.org.uk/ for Frome in Somerset.
There are four collections I use for researching my ancestors from Somerset.
I have several branches of the family from Somerset. In my family, the Whimpeys and the Reeves, and in my husband’s side of the family, the Lavers and Males. In my genealogy do-over, I have just started researching the descendants of my 3x great grandparents, William Whimpey and Elizabeth Clement. William and Elizabeth were both baptised, married and buried in Frome, Somerset, England, and all their children were christened there. To find William’s baptism entry, I used the Somerset, England, Church of England Baptisms, Marriages, and Burials, 1531-1812 collection. For their marriage, I used Somerset, England, Marriage Registers, Bonds and Allegations, 1754-1914. To find the baptisms of their children, I used the Somerset, England, Church of England Baptisms, 1813-1914 collection. Elizabeth’s baptism is also in this collection, as she was baptised late, in 1853. And finally, I used the Somerset, England, Church of England Burials, 1813-1914 collection to find their burials, and the burial entries for the two children who died young.
You can not only search the indexes for these collections, but you can also browse the images for individual parishes. I find that for the earlier parish registers (from the 1500s to mid-1700s), I find it easier to find my ancestors by checking the transcriptions on FreeReg first, and then checking the original images.