Newest Genealogy Records on the Internet
Below is a listing of the newest genealogy records that have become available on the internet (these records are also listed by country and many can be searched using our free Genealogy Search Engine):
Ireland – The National Archives of Ireland has made a substantial addition to their genealogical collection with the release of a new database called Calendars of Wills and Administrations 1858-1920. Basically, the database contains an index of wills and associated letters of administration in Ireland.
The database can be searched by county, the name of the deceased person, the names of executors and the names of beneficiaries. The index varies somewhat depending on the year of the record. A typical entry (see image below) lists the name, address and occupation of the deceased, along with the date of death, the date and place of probate, the names and addresses of the executors, beneficiaries of the will (and their relationship to the deceased) and the financial size of the estate. This is an extremely useful resource for anyone tracing their Irish ancestors online. Access is free. [Historic Irish Wills]
These calendars cover all of Ireland up to 1917. Since 1918, wills and probate from the six counties of Northern Ireland are searchable on the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI). [Northern Ireland Wills]
Ireland – Trinity College has created an interactive website that brings together a collection of 17th century maps of Ireland. Known as the Down Survey of Ireland, these maps were created from 1656 to 1658 during the time of Oliver Cromwell. It was the first detailed land survey of all of Ireland. The survey was carried out primarily to measure the estates of Catholic landowners (in a bid to forfeit the estates to transfer ownership to Protestants). As the website points out, in order to transfer land, it first had to be accurately surveyed and mapped.
The website has two major components. The first are digitized images of all the surviving Down Survey maps. These maps go down to the parish level. The second part of the website marries these historic maps along with the 1659 census results and Google maps to provide an overlay of historical information onto modern maps. It is worth spending some time looking through this website and understanding how it works. Access is free. [Ireland Down Survey Maps]
UK – Forces War Records, which specializes in British war records and military genealogy, has added a list of members of the University of Cambridge who participated in the First World War. The list contains some 14,000 names and the records are listed alphabetically by college. Access is by subscription. [Cambridge World War I Military Records]
UK – FindMyPast.co.uk has added new records from the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve. These are some 72,000 records that cover the period from 1914 to 1920 (bridging the World War I period). The records are essentially a medal roll that lists the names of people in the British Merchant Navy and fishing fleets who volunteered and participated in the war effort. Each record lists the following: name, service number, rank, WWI campaign medals awarded, service details, date of death, cause of death, how the medal was issued and other awards granted to the individual. The list of medals in the roll included the 1914 Star, Clasp to the 1914 Star, 1914-15 Star, British War Medal and the Victory Medal. Access is by subscription. [World War I Royal Navy Volunteer Medal Roll]
Canada – Library and Archives Canada (LAC) has released a new version of the 1871 Canadian census. This was the first general census of Canada. It covered the four provinces that were then part of Confederation: Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. This new version includes many corrections sent in by users as well as revised/improved district and sub-district information. The collection can be searched by name, age, province and keyword. Access is free. [Canada 1871 Census]
US – MyHeritage has announced that the entire collection of US federal censuses in now available on their website. These censuses span every decade from 1790 to 1940 and cover some 520 million names. Access is by subscription. [Historic US Census Records]
UK – Ancestry.co.uk has released a new collection of UK city and street directories. This collection is officially still in beta format. It lists directories from 1766 to 1946, with most of the directories being from the late 1800s. The early directories listed primarily merchants. Later directories tended to list merchants and wealthy residents. Directories from the 1900s tended to list every household. Access is by subscription. [Historic UK City Directories]
UK – Ancestry.co.uk has made two enhancements to their collection of 1911 census records. First, Ancestry has released new, clearer images of the original records. The previous images had the “Infirmity” column cut off. This is the column that notes any obvious physical or mental conditions/illnesses. The second change is that the records are now linked to historic maps of the UK so you can better understand the location source of the census record. Access to the updates is by subscription. [1911 Census Records]
Australia – FamilySearch.org has made available a new collection of some 74,000 images of Tasmania civil registration records from 1803 to 1933. These are birth, baptism, marriage, death and burial records from the Archives Office of Tasmania. The images are organized region and then by type of record. The images are not searchable by name and many of the records were kept in ledger books as opposed to individual certificates, so it will require some digging to find an ancestor. Access is free. [Historic Tasmania Birth Records]
World – FamilySearch has changed the look of their website. When you go to the relaunched website for the first time, it should give you a video tour of the website enhancements. Of particular interest is the ability to build a family tree and share photos of ancestors online. We could talk more about the changes, but you should probably see for yourself. Access is still free. [New FamilySearch.org website] If you are having trouble accessing the video of the website enhancements, try this link.
UK – The Society of Genealogists has relaunched their website with a new look. Of particular interest is the Learn section, which includes free guides to genealogical sources with hints and tips. Access to the records is by subscription. [Society of Genealogists]
St Helena – The British Library’s Endangered Archives Project has created a very interesting archive of colonial records for St. Helena Island in the South Atlantic Ocean (off the coast of Africa). The island is perhaps best known as the place where Napoleon was exiled in 1815. As Britain’s second oldest colony (after Bermuda), the island has served many purposes over the years. For example, more than 5,000 Boer prisoners were held on the island at one time. This collection primarily consists of government letters and records. The collection has not been indexed, but it does contain a wealth of genealogical information for anyone who may have had an ancestor that passed through the islands. Access is free. [St. Helena Genealogy Records]
Italy – Calabria Exchange continues to add records to their website and now has some 160,000 images and extractions of birth, marriage and death records. The website focuses on the towns in the province of Reggio di Calabria. Also contained on the website is a link to a list of people who are researching particular surnames. Access to some functions appears to require a donation. [Calabria Exchange]
UK – FindMyPast.co.uk has added an additional 600,000 Kent parish records in addition to the 2 million East Kent parish records that were added earlier this month. Most of the new additions appear to be baptism records dating from the 1500s to the 1800s. The exact date range varies by the specific parish. Access is by subscription. [Kent Parish Records]
UK – The National Archives has completed digitizing their collection of World War I war unit diaries. We first spoke about this collection in October 2012. Basically, war unit diaries are a collection of field reports by various military records. These diaries contain the minutia of daily activity from the front line. In order to search these directories, you need to know the regiment and battalion of your ancestor. [World War I War Unit Diaries]
Canada – The Ontario Name Index (TONI) is approaching 2 million records. Approximately 100,000 names are being added to the index each month and the project is now over 60% complete. The Ontario Genealogical Society is looking for volunteers to help further the project. Please follow the link for further information. [TONI Volunteers]
UK – FamilySearch.org has added a new collection of some 19.2 million images of World War I army service records dating from 1914 to 1920. These are scanned images from the National Archives from two separate record sets. The first record set is the War Office: Soldier’s Documents, First World War “Burnt Documents”. These are records of non-commissioned officers and other ranks who served in the 1914-1918 war and did not re-enlist prior to World War II. The second record set is the War Office: Documents from Pension Claims, First World War. This set is mainly limited to non-commissioned officers and other ranks who were discharged from the army and claimed a disability pension.
The images are arranged alphabetically by last name, making it fairly easy to find an ancestor. However, please note you may experience problems trying to access the images from home. Access is free. [UK World War I Service Records]
UK – FindMyPast.co.uk has added to their collection of East Kent parish records. The records go back as far as 1538 and now total over 2 million baptism, marriage and burial records from the region. Access is by subscription. [East Kent Parish Records]
US – FamilySearch.org has indexed an additional 2 million World War I draft registration cards from 1917-1918. The draft registration cards can be searched by name. A typical record lists full name, home address, date of birth, race, citizenship, occupation, employer, address of employer, height, build, eye color, hair color and name/address of next of kin. With this latest addition, FamilySearch has now indexed 86% of all US World War I draft cards. This is a good record set to search even if your ancestor did not serve in World War I. We have found records of men in their 40s who completed the registration cards. Access is free. [US World War I Draft Cards]
US – Archives.com has put online some 3 million birth, marriage and death records of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. These records date from the mid 1800s to 1940. Details vary somewhat from church to church, but most records list the parent’s name, place and date of the event as well as other relevant details. Access is by subscription. [Historic US Lutheran Parish Records]
US – FamilySearch.org has indexed some 931,000 New York City passenger and crew lists from 1925 to 1942. This collection can be a bit challenging to search because immigration officials sometimes guessed at the spelling of foreign names. It is therefore a good idea to check multiple spellings of a family name if you search this index. Access is free. [New York City Passenger Lists 1925 to 1942]
Ireland – The website Historic Graves has put online photographs of the inscriptions from 14 graveyards in Duhallow, in the North Cork region. Some very nice aerial photographs of the graveyards were also posted on the website. To use this resource, you have to know which cemetery contained your ancestor and then look through the photographs. To assist in the process, Historic Graves has created what is known as a word clout that lists the family names of all the people buried in each cemetery. The larger the word appears in the word cloud the more people have that family name in the cemetery. Access is free. [Duhallow Cemetery Records]
Belgium – FamilySearch.org has added some 3.2 million images of civil registration records from the province of Liège in eastern Belgium on the border with Germany. These records date from 1621 to 1910 and are primarily birth, marriage and death certificates. In addition, there are some marriage proclamations and marriage supplements. The images are organized by region. Access is free. [Belgium Civil Registration Records]
UK – Ancestry.co.uk has added some 500,000 marriage records from all 327 parishes in Wiltshire. The records span the years from 1538 to 1897. Also added were a small number of records (3,300) of Quaker birth and death records also from Wiltshire, which cover the period from 1542 to 1897. Access is by subscription. [Historic Wiltshire Marriage Records]
UK – The Genealogist.co.uk has added over 1 million parish records for Essex, Worcestershire, Lancashire and Devon. These are baptism, marriage and burial records that span the years from the 1500s to the early 1800s. Access is by subscription. [Essex Parish Records]
Northern Ireland – The Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI) will be releasing revision books to the Griffith’s Primary Valuation of Ireland next Wednesday 27 March 2013. The original Griffith Valuation books were essentially land record books that measured the value of all property for taxation purposes. The original books were created between 1847 and 1864 for the various counties in Ireland. They provide detailed records of who owned what land. Annual revision books were then created in subsequent years to show changes in land ownership. It is these revision books that are going online for the first time. The revision books were created right up until the 1930s, although it is not clear exactly which books will be released on the 27th. The good news is that access to these records will be free. [Griffith Valuation Revision Books]
Ireland – The Irish Genealogical Research Society (IGRS) has launched a new website called IrishAncestors. At the moment, the website provides details on all the resources available from IGRS, including a members’ area and the latest news. There is also an interesting free database on early Irish marriages that contains some 21,000 marriages (listed under Resources). [IrishAncestors]
World – ProQuest has announced they will now become a global distributor for NewspaperArchive. ProQuest is the ancestry database used by many public libraries. NewspaperArchive is the largest (130 million records) online newspaper archive. You might want to check with your local library to see if they subscribe to ProQuest. If they do, then this will be a convenient and free way to access Newspaper Archive. Newspaper Archive has newspapers from around the world, with a focus on historic newspapers from Canada and the US. The link is to the press release, which lists some of the major newspapers in the Newspaper Archive collection. [Proquest]
Ireland – The Genealogical Society of Ireland has made progress on indexing a large collection of solicitor documents dating back to the 1830s from County Laois (formally Queens County). This collection contains many things of interest to genealogists, such as deeds and estate rentals (which list the tenants of an estate). The index is arranged in a large pdf document. Access is Free. [ County Laois Historic Land Records Background and Index]
US - FamilySearch.org has added 8.6 million images of New York State probate records. This collection spans the years 1629 to 1971 with most of the records pre-1920s. Access is free. [Historic New York Probate Records]
Netherlands – FamilySearch.org has created a new browsable image collection of church records from Noord-Holland Province, which includes Amsterdam. This collection of some 672,000 images is primarily composed of baptisms, marriages, church memberships, deaths and burials from 1553 to 1909. Access is free. [Historic Amsterdam Church Records]
Ukraine – FamilySearch.org has indexed some 521,000 church records from Kiev, the capital of Ukraine. These are baptism/birth, marriage and death/burial records for Orthodox parishes in the Diocese of Kiev. These records span the years 1840 to 1845and can be searched by name. Access is free. [Historic Kiev Birth Records]
Slovakia – FamilySearch.org has added some 518,000 indexed records from churches and synagogues in Slovakia. These records span the years from 1592 to 1910 and include births/baptisms, marriages and burials from various Roman Catholic, Lutheran, Reform and Jewish congregations. These records can be searched by name. Access is free. [Slovakia Church Records]
UK – FindMypast has significantly expanded their collection of Westminster parish records. The collection now contains some 3 million records from more than50 churches spanning the years from 1538 to 1945. These are baptism, marriage and burial records. Access is by subscription. [Westminster Parish Records]
UK – FindMyPast has announced they plan to add an estimated 15 million Yorkshire parish records to their website. These parish records will span the years from 1538 into the 1900s. Unfortunately, no further details were provided as to when these records will become available. Access is expected to be by subscription. [Yorkshire Parish Records]
US – FamilySearch.org has indexed some 852,000 veteran’s pension payment cards from 1907 to 1933. These were payments of pensions to veterans, widows and other dependants. About 48% of the collection has currently been indexed. Access is free. [US Veteran Pension Records]
US – Ancestry.com has added birth, marriage and death records from Winnebago County, Illinois. This new addition consists of 65,000 birth records (1857 to 1937), 76,000 marriage records (1836 to 1962) and 107,000 death records (1844 to 1992). Access is by subscription. [Winnebago Birth Records]
US – FamilySearch.org has created a new browsable image collection of Missouri marriage records. This collection of some 1.4 million images includes recorded marriages, marriage applications, marriage licenses and marriage certificates. The images span the years from 1819 to 1969 and can be searched by county. Access is free. [Missouri Marriage Records]
Guam – FamilySearch.org has added a variety of images of genealogy records from Guam. Included are court records (1901 to 1935), land records (1896 to 1902), obituaries (1970 to 1999) and the 1897 Guam census. Access is free. [Guam Genealogy Records]
Canada – Library and Archives Canada (LAC) has released an indexed version of the Canada 1911 census. Previously, this census was only available on the website in image format. Now this census can be easily searched by family name, first name, age and province. This is a major new record set for anyone looking for their Canadian ancestors (and for anyone who is waiting for it, the Canada 1921 census will be released on 1 June 2013). Access to the Canada 1911 census is free. [Canada 1911 Census]
Canada – The New Brunswick GenWeb project has put online information on an additional 55 cemeteries in the province and provided updates on a further 16 cemeteries. The records can be searched by name and by region. Access is free. [New Brunswick Cemetery Records]
Australia – The National Library of Australia has been busy adding digitized newspapers to Trove. Most of the latest additions are from New South Wales and South Australia from the following towns/cities: Sydney (1911 to 1914), Brisbane (1926 to 1954), Port Lincoln (1927 to 1954) and Port Elliot (1866 to 1954). Trove has over 8 million pages of digitized Australian newspapers. Access is free. [Trove Newspaper Collection]
The National Library of Australia also has a series of excellent videos describing the resources that are available for family history research, which you can view below. They are well worth watching (the videos will automatically run one after the other).
Ireland – The Dublin City Library has released the city electoral roll for 1908. This list has some 46,000 registered voters. The requirements to vote in 1908 were minimum age (21 for men, 30 for women) and proof of occupancy (freeholder, leaseholder, occupier or lodger). Electoral rolls can provide a wealth of interesting genealogy information. If you are unfamiliar with electoral rolls, see the article Searching Electoral Rolls for Ancestors. Access to the Dublin electoral rolls is free. [Dublin Electoral Rolls]
Ireland – MilitaryArchives.ie has updated their 1922 Irish Army Census database. It is now searchable by name (first and last), location and age. The database contains 33,210 records. A typical record lists the name of the soldier, where they were stationed, their division, home address, age, marital status, religion, name and address of next of kin (typically a father or mother) and the place and date of attestation (when and where they signed up for the military). The image below shows a typical record. Access is free. [1922 Irish Army Census Records]
US – The McPherson Public Library of McPherson, Kansas has completed a digitization project of atlases from the region. The atlases are for the years 1884, 1903, 1921, 1937 and 1969. The atlases provide detailed property ownership maps showing the various parcels of land, the property owners, buildings and other features. The library also maintains a list of pioneer families of McPherson County. This is a great resource for anyone with ancestors from the region. Access is free. [McPherson County Genealogy Resources]
US – The Door County Library of Door County, Wisconsin has created a website of digitized newspapers from Door County. The website currently hosts all newspapers from the region from 1862 to 1923. There are plans to digitize more newspapers for the years 1923 to 1940. The website is searchable by keyword, such as name. Access is free. [Historic Door County Newspapers]
US – Fordham University is launching a website called Vanishing History to document burial grounds of enslaved African Americans. The university is reaching out to descendants, property owners, churches, local community groups and anyone who may have knowledge of undocumented burial grounds. The website contains details on how to submit information about a burial ground. Access is free. [African American Burial Grounds]
UK/Caribbean – The University College London has compiled a database of British slave owners. Specifically, these are people who made claims to the crown for compensation when Britain outlawed slavery in most of the crown colonies in 1833. The database lists some 46,000 claims in total. The total value of the claims was about £20 million, which represented some 40% of all annual government spending. At the time, this was a massive bailout by the government.
About 3,000 of the claims were from people living in Britain. Most of the rest were primarily from plantations in the Caribbean. This is a good website to check if you potentially had ancestors who were slaves on one of the Caribbean islands under British possession in the early 1800s. Britain outlawed the slave trade in 1807, but slavery itself was not outlawed in the colonies until 1833 (the United States followed in 1865 and Brazil in 1888). Some estimates suggest that about 10% of wealthy Britons in the early 1800s were directly connected to the slave trade.
The website hosting the database is called Legacies of British Slave Ownership and it contains a wealth of background information. Access is free. [British Slave Ownership]
UK – TheGenealogist.co.uk has added three new genealogy record sets involving casualty lists, naturalization records and war memorial records. The casualty list collection is a list of British soldiers who were reported injured, missing or prisoners of war during World War One. At launch, the collection covers some 600,000 records from 1917 and 1918. Eventually, the collection will include all of World War One. The second collection of naturalization records consists of some 150,000 British naturalizations from 1609 to1960. The war memorial record collection consists of images of various war memorials (searchable by name) from the Boer War in 1901 to the present. This unique collection has some 100,000 names.
In 2012, TheGenealogist.co.uk added some 200 million records to its collection. Some highlights include birth records from 1837 to 2005 (132 million records) and the 1911 census (36 million records). Access is by subscription. [TheGenealogist.co.uk]
Wales – On 13 March 2012, the National Library of Wales is expected to launch online the first one million pages of its historic newspaper collection, called Welsh Newspapers Online. Eventually, the aim is to digitize some two million pages of newspapers and journals from before 1911 (the current out-of-copyright date). A list of newspapers and journals that have been identified for digitization is available on the website. When this website launches, it will provide the largest body of searchable text related to Wales. Access will be free. [Wales Historic Newspapers]
UK – A collection of the National Archives historical criminal records is going online at FindMyPast. There are some 518,000 records dating from 1817 to 1931. Eventually, the collection will consist of some 2.5million records. Notwithstanding the sordid details, prison records in general can be very interesting to genealogists. They often contain a physical description of the individual and sometimes even include a photograph back in the days when photographs were rare (the irony being the criminal had their photograph taken when in society only the very rich could afford a photograph).
This collection contains several subsets: a register of convicts in prison hulks (floating prisons) from 1818 to 1831; after-trial calendars of prisoners from the central criminal court (1855 to 1931); criminal petitions (for pardons, etc.) 1817 to 1858; calendar of prisoners in Home Office records (1868 to 1929); London Metropolitan Police records of habitual drunkards (1903 to 1914) and prison commission records for 1880 to 1885. Access is by subscription. You can use the promotional code ‘criminal’ to get 20 free credits. [Historic UK Criminal Records]
Netherlands – FamilySearch.org has added some 725,000 images of church records from Zuid-Holland Province in the Netherlands. These images span the years from 1367 to 1911 (most are pre-1811) and consist of records of baptisms, marriages, deaths, burials and church memberships. The images are organized by religion and then by municipality. Several religions are covered in this collection. Access is free. [Historic Zuid-Holland Church Records]
Italy – FamilySearch.org has added 555,000 images of Catholic Church records from Catania (Diocesi di Caltagirone). These are images of the following: baptisms, marriage, death, church censuses, orphan records and children’s deaths. The collection also includes some marriage supplemental documents. These records span the years from 1502 to 1942 and are organized by region/town. Access is free. [Catania Church Records]
UK – Durham Records Online, which specializes in parish records from County Durham, has added several thousand new records. These are primarily baptism, marriage and burial records for various towns and parishes in Durham. The website has a complete list of all the new additions. In total, Durham Records Online has some 3.8 million transcribed parish records from Durham. Access is by pay-per-record. [Durham Parish Records]
US – FamilySearch.org has indexed an additional 527,000 birth certificates from Texas. These birth certificates come from the Texas Department of Health and span the years from 1903 to 1935. Access is free. [Texas Birth Certificates]
US – FamilySearch.org has indexed an additional 2.8 million records from the 1855 New York State census. This mid-1800s census is valuable because it lists every member of the household and it also lists where people were born. Access is free. [1855 New York Census]
Czech Republic – FamilySearch.org has added an additional 56,000 images of Czech census records dating from 1843 to 1921. This brings the total number of images in the collection to some 917,000. These census images are from Northern Bohemia, Eastern Bohemia, Southern Bohemia and Northern Moravia. Access is free. [Czech Census Records]
Scotland – ScotlandsPeople has added the 1905 Valuation Rolls to their website. This new collection contains the names of owners, tenants and occupiers of most buildings, structures and property in Scotland in 1905. The rolls contain some 2.4 million names and list where the person lived and whether they owned or rented the property. Usually, it is the head of the household who is listed, although often the wife is also listed. The Valuation Rolls also list the value of the property, which can provide interesting information as to the social status of your ancestor.
For estates, the Valuation Rolls typically list the names of the people who lived and worked on the estate (see example below). The 1905 Valuation Rolls can be used to fill in the gap between the 1901 and 1911 censuses. Access is by subscription. [Scotland 1905 Valuation Rolls]
US – The Waunakee Public Library of Waunakee, Wisconsin has put online the town’s newspapers dating from 1896 to 2006. In total, there are some 54,000 pages in the collection. The collection can be searched by name, keyword or date range. The newspapers are hosted by NewspaperArchive.com [Historic Waunakee Newspapers]
Ireland – FindMyPast Ireland has added the baptismal and marriage registers for the Roman Catholic parish of Kiltullagh, which sits on the Roscommon/Mayo border. Some 11,500 records are in this collection. Access is by subscription. [Kiltullagh Baptism and Marriage Records]
Canada – Library and Archives Canada has created a special database for anyone tracing ancestors who arrived from China. The database has some 100,000 records and spans the years from 1885 to 1949. Access is free. [Chinese Immigration Records]
Ireland – FindMyPast Ireland has put online an additional 2.1 million records from Irish Petty Session order books. These are essentially lower court records that cover all but the most serious civil and criminal cases. For example, it could be a court record that covers something such as a trespass charge. Most records are fairly comprehensive and typically list the name of the complainant, the name of the defendant, names of witnesses, cause of complaint, details on the judgement, details of any fines and details of any sentence. This latest addition spans the years 1850 to 1912 and involves records from the counties of Cavan, Clare, Donegal, Dublin, Galway, Kilkenny, Louth, Roscommon, Sligo, Tipperary and Waterford. Access is by subscription. [Irish Petty Session Records]
US – FamilySearch.org has added some 944,000 images of county birth records from Ohio. Some of these images have already been transcribed and cover a wide time span from 1841 to 2003. Access is free. [Ohio Birth Records]
Peru – FamilySearch.org has added some 390,000 records of civil registration records from Peru. The vast majority of the new additions are from the capital of Lima. These records can be searched by name and span the years from 1874 to 1996. They cover primarily birth, marriage and death records. Access is free. [Peruvian Birth, Marriage, Death Records]
World – FamilySearch.org has formed a partnership with OCLC to share genealogical data. OCLC is a non-profit library organization that originally started as the Ohio College Library Center (OCLC) and has since grown to become an international library cooperative that is best known for the WorldCat library catalog. WorldCat links over 10,000 libraries worldwide. It is essentially the world's largest library catalog.
In this new partnership, FamilySearch.org will make its catalog of genealogical information accessible to WorldCat users. In exchange, going forward FamilySearch will be incorporating WorldCat search results into their website. What this means for genealogists is that the sharing of genealogical information across two major (and free) organizations will ultimately make it easier for people to find their ancestors. Well done FamilySearch! [WorldCat] [FamilySearch.org] [Press Release]
Isle of Man – The Manx Museum has put online nearly 400,000 pages of newspapers and other publications from the Isle of Man (a crown dependency of the UK). The newspapers date from 1792 to 1960 and can be searched by time period, publication name and keyword (such as a name). This is a great source of information if you are looking for birth, marriage or death announcements. Access is by subscription. [Historic Isle of Man Newspapers]
Ireland – FindMyPast Ireland has launched an index of Irish birth, marriage and death (BMD) records. The collection comes primarily from the Index to the Civil Registration and spans the years from the 1840s to the 1950s. Please note this is an index to the records, it is not the full record itself. Once a name has been found in the index, the volume and page reference number needs to be noted. Then it is possible to order the full record from the General Register Office. This BMD index consists of some 21 million names. Until the end of January 2013, the FindMyPast Ireland website is offering 50 free credits by entering the code “FMPIEBMD” (it usually costs about 5 credits to view one record). Normally access is by subscription/credit. [Irish Birth Marriage Death Index]
Israel – Israel’s Antiquities Authority has launched a new online archive that covers the period of the British Mandate from 1919 to 1948. The website is in English and it is full of texts, pictures, maps and drawings from the period. At the moment, there are only a few hundred items on the website, but the intent is to eventually feature tens thousands of documents and photographs. Access is free. [Israel British Mandate Archive]
Luxembourg – FamilySearch.org has created a collection of 1.1 million images of Luxembourg census records that date from 1843 to 1900. In addition to listing all household members, these records show name, age, gender, marital status and profession. Some records also show additional detail such as full date of birth, place of birth, nationality and religion. The images in this collection can be searched by municipality and then by year. Access is free. [Luxembourg Census Records]
Cuba – The Cuba Genweb project maintains a database of ship passengers arriving and departing Havana Cuba in the 1800s. The database has now surpassed 130,000 records. The records can be searched by surname, first name and ship name. A typical record lists the name of the individual, the name of the ship, the port of departure, the port of arrival and the date of arrival. Most of the ships in this database came from ports along the Eastern Coast of America. Access is free. [Historic Cuba Ship Passenger List]
US – FamilySearch.org has indexed some 360,000 passenger ship records for Seattle, Washington. These are passenger and crew lists of ships that arrived in Seattle between the years 1890 to 1957. A typical record lists the name of the individual, age, sex, marital status, occupation and citizenship as well as details on the ship such as the name of the ship and date of arrival. Some records also list additional details such as last permanent address and final destination. Many of the ships that docked in Seattle during this time period had come from Asia. This is a good record set to search for anyone who had ancestors who migrated from Japan. These records can be searched by name. [Historic Seattle Ship Passenger Lists]
Canada – Library and Archives Canada (LAC) has just released a new version of the 1906 Census of the Northwest Provinces. This census covers the three prairie provinces of Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. This census has been available to search before, but it was limited to image searches by geographic region. The new database can now be searched by name, age, and keyword. We have found this to be a massive improvement. One ancestor that we had difficulty tracking down, we were able to locate in about 30 seconds with the new and improved database. It is definitely worth checking out. Access is free. [1906 Census of Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba]
Canada – The Ontario Genealogical Society (OGS) is looking for volunteers to help transcribe documents for The Ontario Name Index (TONI). The documents that require transcription include everything from diaries to letters to obituary notices to old newspapers, all from the province of Ontario. Transcribers work from the comfort of their home and the society will send you pdfs of the documents that require transcription. Complete details can be found on the OGS website. [The Ontario Name Index]
US – Genealogy Trails has completed their US Civil War Union Soldier Headstone Project. Over 167,000 soldier records and burial records are now available to view on the website. A typical record lists the name, rank, company, regiment, place of burial, grave number and date of death (if known). Most of the records are for Union soldiers who died between 1879 and 1903, although a few War of 1812 veterans are also included in the database. This project is the result of a two year effort and it is very well done. Access is free. [Union Soldier Burial Records]
Australia – The National Archives of Australia is looking for volunteers to help transcribe records. They have created a special section on their website called arcHIVE for anyone interested in transcribing records. To make the process easier, every document awaiting transcription is identified as easy, medium or hard. You also have the option of choosing the type of record that you would like to transcribe. This allows transcribers to work at their own pace and comfort level from their own home. What could be easier? [Transcribing National Archive of Australia Records]
Northern Ireland – The Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI) has re-launched their collection of 29 city (or street) directories in a new database. These directories cover the period from 1819 to 1900 and typically list the name, occupation and address of the person. Most of the directories are for Belfast and region. In total, this database covers some 20,000 pages, which represents roughly 1 million names. The new database can be searched by keywords (such as a name), by specific city directory and by year. It is very well done. Access is free. [Historic Belfast City Directories]
Scotland – Deceased Online has added to its headstone collection with 41 additional cemetery and churchyard burial sites from Fife in Eastern Scotland. The new additions are composed of some 80,000 records that go back as far as 1635. Each record consists of a photograph of the headstone plus a transcription of the inscription. Deceased Online now has records from well over 250 cemeteries in Scotland featuring nearly1.2 million names. Access is by subscription. [Fife Burial Records]
World – Google has prepared a short and very interesting video that summarizes the main search terms featured in 2012. Although not specifically about genealogy, it does provide an interesting context for anyone that uses Google to search for their ancestors.
US – FamilySearch.org has created a very interesting indexed record collection of some 4.1 million records of Germans who migrated to America between the years 1850 to 1897. These records come from the Balch Institute for Ethnic Studies. The key information found in these records are name, age, sex, last residence in Germany and expected town/city destination in the United States. Access is free. [German Immigration Records]
Denmark – FamilySearch.org has added some 2.6 million additional images to the existing collection of Danish estate records. These records date from 1436 to 1964 and can be searched by county. The records are full of genealogical information and contain everything from details on property management to military conscription lists for certain regions. Access is free. [Historic Danish estate records]
England – FamilySearch.org has indexed an additional 1.3 million parish records for Westminster. These records span the period from 1538 to 1912 and were prepared in cooperation with FindMyPast. Access is free. [Westminster Parish Records]
Spain – FamilySearch.org has added 831,000 images of Catholic Church records from the Diocese of Segovia. These records include baptisms, confirmations, marriages, deaths, indexes, church censuses, testaments and land records. [Segovia Church Records]
US – Genealogy Trails continues to add new genealogy records on a daily basis from across the United States. Recent additions include newspaper records from Alabama, census transcripts from New Mexico and obituaries from Texas. This is a great website worth checking out on a regular basis. Access is free. [Genealogy Trails]
US – FamilySearch.org has indexed some 454,000 records of Philadelphia passenger lists. These are passengers that entered the port of Philadelphia from 1800 to 1882. Access is free. [Historic Philadelphia Passenger Lists]
US – FamilySearch.org has made a massive addition to their images of New York State land records. Some 8.1 million new images have been added to the collection, which spans the years from 1630 to 1975. Access is free. [Historic New York State Land Records]
Australia – Trove continues to add more newspapers to its impressive free collection. The latest additions are from South Australia and Victoria. Included are various newspapers from Adelaide that cover the period from 1858 to 1895 and various small-town newspapers from across the state of Victoria that primarily cover the World War I period. Access is free. [Trove Historic Newspapers]
Norway – FamilySearch.org has indexed an additional 59,000 records from the 1875 Norway census. Access is free. [1875 Norway Census]
Spain – The Spanish website Routes of Sefarad has created an excellent mapping system that allows people to explore their Jewish ancestry in Spain. Basically, the website provides an interactive multimedia experience for anyone who wants to trace their Sephardic heritage. The website is in English and it is definitely worth exploring. [Jewish Ancestry in Spain]
Malta – The Archdiocese of the Malta Catholic Church has launched online a digital archive. The archive contains diocesan and parish manuscripts that date back as far as the 1400s. Typical records include baptism, marriage and funeral records as well as records of pastoral visits and property registers. Access is free, although you have to register. There is a modest charge to print/download pages from the archives. This well laid out website is a gold mine for anyone with Maltese ancestry. [Maltese Genealogy]
UK – The British Newspaper Archive reached the impressive milestone of 6 million digitized pages in late November 2012. About 40 million more newspaper pages are expected to be digitized by the end of this decade. That is the good news. The bad news is that the British Library has some 750 million pages of newsprint. Thus, less than 1% of the collection has currently been digitized and only about 5% of the collection will be digitized by the end of this decade.
Fortunately, the British Library is working hard to preserve their newsprint collection (old newspapers tend to deteriorate rapidly). Work is close to completion on a new £33 million storage centre at Boston Spa, West Yorkshire to house the collection (as shown in the photographs below).
When completed, the new facility will have 50 kilometers of robotic shelving. It was purpose-built to house 290,000 bound volumes containing the 750 million pages of newsprint. In addition to temperature and humidity controls, the atmosphere in the building has low oxygen to minimize the risk of a fire. Low oxygen also slows down the natural deterioration of the newsprint. The building will be completed in 2013, at which time the process of moving the newsprint collection from its existing facility in north London into the new facility at Boston Spa will begin.
The current newspaper digitization process is a collaboration with brightsolid. Access to the digitized newspapers is by pay-per-view [British Newspaper Archive].
Northern Ireland – Effective 17 December 2012, future deaths in Northern Ireland will now record the names of the parents of the deceased person. Until now, only the date and place of death was recorded. This change is a result of many years of lobby by the Council of Irish Genealogical Organizations (CIGO). The change is not retroactive and does not affect existing death records - it only affects future death records. More details can be found at CIGO’s website [Council of Irish Genealogical Organizations]
UK – FindMyPast.com has added 40million new records across a variety of areas. Some of the new additions include Cheshire wills and workhouse records as well as Derbyshire workhouse records. The bulk of the new additions, however are various military records that cover the First and Second World War, as well as military records that go back into the 1800s and earlier. Some of these new additions appear to have previously available on FindMyPast.co.uk Access is by subscription. [UK Military Records]
Canada – FamilySearch.org has put online an additional 750,000 images of Quebec notary records. The entire collection consists of some 3.6 million images and spans the period from 1800 to 1900. The records come from the Quebec Archives. Access is free. [Historic Quebec Notary Records]
Scotland – Genes Reunited has added over 25 million Scottish census records to their collection. These are transcriptions of Scottish census records from 1841 all the way to 1901. Genes Reunited is a brightsolid company. Unfortunately, the website has only the transcriptions of the Scottish censuses. If you want to see an image of the original record, you still have to go to ScotlandsPeople, which is another brightsolid company run in conjunction with the Scottish government. Access to the Genes Reunited is by subscription. [Scottish Census Records]
US – The Indiana Historical Society combined with Newspaper Archive have jointly put online 2.5million pages of historic Indiana newspapers. The newspapers date from 1924 or earlier. In total, some 760 different titles are in the collection, including many small-town newspapers. Access is by subscription. [Newspaper Archive] Alternatively, the newspapers can be searched free of charge at the Indiana Historical Society’s reference room in downtown Indianapolis.
US/Canada – The US Data Repository website has added a new section called Great Lakes Maritime History. Dedicated to the genealogy history of the Great Lakes, it covers both US states and Canadian provinces that surround the Great Lakes. At the moment, the records listed include biographies, 1930 census of merchant seamen, a list of shipwrecks, and a list of US and Canadian lighthouses. The US Data Repository is part of the USGenNet system. Access is free. [Great Lakes Maritime History]
Canada – FamilySearch.org has created a new browsable image collection of Catholic Church records from Saskatchewan. The 286,000 images in the collection span the years from 1846 to 1957. The images include baptisms, confirmations, marriages and burials. The images are organized by town/city and then by parish. Many of the records are written in French. Access is free. [Saskatchewan Catholic Church Records]
Estonia – FamilySearch.org has added an additional 143,000 images to an existing collection of Estonian population registers. These are a diverse collection of lists of names of family members, taxpayers, citizens, Jews, Germans and prisoners of war that were created between 1918 and 1944. This was a critical period of time for the country, which spans the period from after the Russian Revolution to near the end of World War II. The text of the records is written in either German, Estonian or Russian. Access to this collection is free. [Estonian Genealogy Records]
Scotland – Deceased Online has added some 40,000 graveyard inscriptions and images from Ayrshire (East, North and South). These new records cover 13 different burial grounds and cemeteries. Some of the records go back as far as 1666, although most of the records are from the 1800s and 1900s. The link provides a list of the specific cemeteries. Access is by subscription. [Ayrshire Cemetery Records]
Ireland – Jennifer Hearn is a student at Coventry University. As part of a university project, she is collecting family history stories on Barnardo homes in Ireland.
By way of background, Barnardo homes were orphanages and children’s homes found throughout the United Kingdom. They were established and run by Thomas John Barnardo from 1870 until his death in 1905. The homes continued to expand and by 1933 there were more than 8,000 children living in 188 Barnardo homes across the UK. It is estimated that at least 100,000 children were taken in and given a better life thanks to Dr. Barnardo. Some of the children from Barnardo homes were sent to Canada as “home children” (up to 1939) and to Australia (up to 1967). The last traditional Barnardo home closed in 1989.
If you have a family history story on Barnardo homes in Ireland that you would like to contribute, please contact Jennifer Hearn through her blog. [Barnardo Homes Ireland Stories]
Australia – FamilySearch.org has added a new collection of some 96,000 images of various Tasmania genealogy records. This collection spans the years 1829 to 1961and includes land records, school records, court records and occupation/guild records. Details on Australian convicts can be found buried in the court records. There are four types of convict records (tickets of leave, certificates of freedom, pardon and convict indents). The records are organized by location. Access to the collection is free. [Tasmania Genealogy Records]
Australia – The State Library of Western Australia has digitized and put online the Police Gazette of Western Australia. This collection spans the years from 1876 onwards. This gazette basically lists all the police activity by year. Typical information would include a list of people arrested and their sentences, police appointments and promotions, conditional pardons issued to convicts, physical descriptions of convicts, etc. (see the example below). This gazette contains a wealth of information for anyone looking for criminal or police records in Western Australia. Access this collection is free. [Western Australia Police Gazette]
Canada – FamilySearch.org has put online a new collection of some 540,000 images of crown land grants for the province of British Columbia (1869 to 1930) and a collection of some 285,000 images of land records for the province (1885 to 1949). These image collections have indexes that should be consulted first. Access to both collections is free. [Historic BC Land Grant Records] [Historic BC Land Records]
Canada – FamilySearch.org also added some 783,000 images of probate records (wills, estate files, etc.) from the province of British Columbia. This collection spans the years 1859 to 1949 and covers the southern part of the province. Please note these records are organized by court district. For example the New Westminster records cover most of the Fraser Valley (excluding Vancouver). Indexes exist for the probate records from Victoria and Vancouver. Access is free. [Historic BC Estate Records]
Canada – FamilySearch.org has created a new indexed collection of Ontario birth records. The new collection currently has some 82,000 records and covers the years from 1869 to 1912. Ontario began officially registering births on 1 July 1869 (along with marriages and deaths). Access is free. [Historic Ontario Birth Records]
UK – The UK National Archives has released another tranche of colonial administration records. These are wide-ranging administrative records from various colonies and territories within the British Empire. The link provides a list of when the colonial administration files will be available by territory. Access to the underlying records is by subscription. [UK Colonial Administration Records]
UK – FindMyPast has added to its collection of British Army service records. Included in the new update are Royal Hospital, Chelsea pensioners discharge documents (1760 to 1887) and documents of soldiers awarded deferred pensions (1838 to 1896). Also included are soldier documents from the South African War (1899 to 1902). Access is by subscription. [Chelsea Pension Records]
India – FamilySearch.org has put online a collection of some 214,000 images of Hindu cremation records. These records are created when a (typically male) member of a family is cremated and an offering is made to a priest according to Hindu custom. The records are arranged by caste and contain the name of the deceased, village of the deceased and the names of family members. Reference is also made in the records as to the last time a member of the family was cremated.
The records are from Allahabad in Uttar Pradesh and from Nasik and Trimbakeshwar in Maharashtra. Notionally, this collection spans the years from 1194 to 2012, but the records from U.P. are from 1800 to 1942 and the records from Maharashtra are mainly from 1750 to 1990. It is rare to find Hindu cremation records on the internet. Access is free. [Historic Hindu Cremation Records]
US – FamilySearch.org has added an additional 132,000 Idaho marriage records to its collection. The marriage records span the years from1947 to 1961 and come from the Idaho Bureau of Vital Records and Health Statistics. Access is free. [Idaho Marriage Records]
US – FamilySearch.org has created a new indexed collection of some 1.3 million Iowa birth records. This collection covers about 80% of the birth records for the years from 1880 to 1935. Access is free. [Historic Iowa Birth Records]
US – FamilySearch.org has added additional Maine marriage and death records to its existing collections. A total of 857,000 new marriage records have been added that cover the years 1892 to 1966 and 1977 to 1996. The new Maine death records (some 402,000 new record additions) spans the period from 1960 to 1996. Neither collection has data for 1967 to 1976. Access to both collections is free. [Maine Marriage Records] [Maine Death Records]
US – FamilySearch.org has created a new collection of customs immigration cards of individuals entering the United States through Detroit. This new collection contains some 845,000 records and spans the years 1906 to 1954. This collection can be searched by first and last name.
A typical record lists the following information: port and date of entry, name of ship, name of passenger, country of passenger, age, gender, marital status, occupation, place of birth, place of last permanent residence, final destination, name and address in the United States and a physical description. People crossing at Detroit would have come from Canada and many would have been moving to Michigan to work in the automotive industry.
One of the interesting things about this record set is that it lists the date and port of entry of the person when they immigrated to Canada. This could have occurred many years previously, as seen in the example in the image below. Access is free. [Detroit Customs Immigration Records]
US – FamilySearch.org has added almost 2 million additional World War I draft registration records for the United States. These latest additions cover the years 1917 and 1918. This collection now contains some 24 million records. It is approximately 54% complete. A total of some 38 million images are online and can be searched by state if you cannot find the record you are looking for by searching by first and last name. Men aged 18 to 45 are in the collection. Access to this collection is free. [World War I Draft Registration Cards]
South Africa – The Genealogical Society of South Africa is continuing its work transcribing church registers and other historic documents of interest to genealogists. The current collection consists of Cape Town baptisms (1653 to 1712), Cape Town marriages (1656 to 1713) and Stellenbosch NGK baptisms (1688 to 1815) and marriages (1689 to 1788). There are also muster rolls of free men in the collection. Access is free. [South African Baptism and Marriage Records]
Caribbean – The UK National Archives has put online at Flickr a collection of historic Caribbean photos. The images are organized by country and show a variety of important events and images of various towns and cities over the years. Access is free. [Historic Caribbean Images]
US – Ancestry, the number one genealogy website in the world, has launched a new website called Newspapers.com It focuses on historic US newspapers. The website currently has 819 historic US newspapers dating from the late 1700s to as recent as the early 2000s. In total, there are some 25 million pages in the collection.
By comparison, Newspaper Archive, the world’s largest online newspaper database has over 5,000 newspapers and some 120 million pages of historic information. The new Ancestry website can be searched by keyword (including an ancestor’s name), location, time period and specific newspaper name.
One nice thing about the website is that a user can ‘clip’ an article or a section of a newspaper page (like one would do with a pair of scissors for a physical newspaper). The clipping can then be saved and shared with others on the internet. Access is by subscription (with a free 7-day trial). [Newspapers.com] It should be noted that subscribers to Ancestry already have access to a large online newspaper collection. It appears that about 60% of the newspapers on Newspapers.com overlap with newspapers found at Ancestry.com.
Global – MyHeritage, the number two genealogy website in the world has purchased Geni.com, the number five genealogy website in the world (see the list at the Top 100 Most Popular Genealogy Websites for 2012). Both websites specialize in online family networks and collaborative genealogy.
Geni.com was launched in 2007 and has over 65 million profiles in its collection and 7 million users. MyHeritage is much larger, with about 1.5 billion profiles and 72 million users across 38 different languages. The price of deal was not announced. However, in the same week MyHeritage raised an additional $25 million in venture capital financing. According to the Geni.com blog, the website will be run separately from MyHeritage with users noticing some immediate enhancements:
• Geni.com will now be ad free.
• There will be more privacy controls for living relatives.
• No limits will be set on the number of family trees that can be created by a single user.
• The users of MyHeritage and Geni.com will now receive matches from the other website’s family trees.
The website follows the freemium model. Free to start and then you have to pay later once you start to use the website. [Geni.com]
MyHeritage works on a subscription model. Here are a couple of interesting facts about the website:
• The average user spends 8 hours a month on the website and logs in about 40 times each the month.
• Subscriber turnover (called churn) averages just 1.25% per month at MyHeritage. This is considerably less than the churn on Ancestry.com, which averages a much higher 3.5% per month.
Caribbean – A new website called Caribbean Family History has just launched with a variety of genealogy records. The main database contains some 200,000 parish burial records from Barbados. Also included are lists of minister, priests and clergy from Barbados as well as a list of Quakers from the island. The website also contains information of slave compensations for the region. Some of the records on the website also cover Antigua. Caribbean Family History is a rare example of a collaborative website containing historic Caribbean genealogy records. Access is free. [Historic Barbados Parish Burial Records]
UK – TheGenealogist.co.uk has added 14 million new death records to its collection. The new records are for UK deaths between the years 1960 to 1983. This brings to 26 million the number of death records on the website (spanning the years 1960 to 2005). TheGenealogist.co.uk is also using search technology to match the new death records to other records on the website for the same individual. Access is by subscription. [Recent UK Death Records]
Ireland – FindMyPast Ireland has added two Irish church directories to its collection. The additions are the 1836 and 1837 editions of the Catholic Registry, Directory and Almanac. These books list all the members of the Catholic clergy for those years. Access is by subscription. [Irish Catholic Clergy Directories]
Canada – The Royal BC Museum/Archives has uploaded approximately 700,000 scanned and indexed historical records of births, marriages and deaths in British Columbia. The museum is making these records and the associated images of the original documents freely available as part of the province’s open government policy.
In B.C, vital records can be released 20 years after a death, 75 years after a marriage and 120 years after a birth. Official government vital records began in the province in 1872. Birth records list name, date and place of birth, parents’ names and the mother’s maiden name. Marriage records list the name, age, place of birth and marital status of the bride and groom as well as the date and place of the ceremony, names of the parents, names of witnesses and the person who performed the wedding ceremony. Death records list the name and date of birth of the deceased as well as the date and place of death and the cause of death.
Not all the images of the records are immediately online. The balance consisting of some 300,000 additional images are expected to be added by the end of 2012. This would include overseas deaths in World War II, death records from 1985 to 1991 and marriages from 1933 to 1936. As well, any available pre-1872 records will be added by the end of 2012. This will bring the entire collection to some 1 million records. This is a first for Canada and great news for anyone with ancestors from British Columbia. Access is free. [Free Historic B.C. Birth, Marriage and Death Records]
Australia – The Queensland State Archives has released a new index of original shipping registers for vessels that arrived in Queensland from 1848 to 1912. A typical record lists the name of the ship, European port of departure, date of departure, place and date of arrival in Queensland, list of passenger and type of passage (free, assisted, remittance, bounty, steerage, etc.).
This index is for ships from the United Kingdom and Europe. It does not include ships from New Zealand, the Americas, Asia, Africa or other Australian ports. As well, some of the records from the 1860s are missing due to damage incurred in the Queensland 1893 floods. These indexes can be searched alphabetically by last name. Access is free. [Historic Queensland Shipping Registers]
Ireland – The National Archives of Ireland has created a special website specifically devoted to genealogy. The website contains a wealth of useful records for anyone tracing their Irish ancestors. Included are the 1901 and 1911 census records, tithe applotment books from 1823 to 1837 and soldier’s wills from 1914 to 1917. Eventually, the website is expected to contain all the genealogy records in the custody of the Irish National Archives. Please note there are many incorrect entries, locations, names and spellings in the tithe entries. These are being corrected over time. Access is free. [Irish National Archives Genealogy Website]
Scotland – The government website ScotlandsPeople has added a new collection of wills and testaments covering the period from 1902 to 1925. The new records document the last wishes of some 270,000 people who died in Scotland during this period. Access is by subscription. [Historic Scottish Wills]
Canada – McGill University has created a collection know as McGill Remembers. It consists of lists of faculty, staff, students and alumni that participated in World War II. The collection also consists of newspaper clippings and correspondence related to the war effort by the university. In total, there are some 6,600 names, more than 3,000 files and about 700 photographs in the collection. Access is free. [McGill University World War II Records]
Canada – The University of Prince Edward Island has digitized The Island magazine from 1976 to 2007. The Island often contained historic articles about PEI. This collection can be searched by keyword. Access is free. [The Island Magazine]
Ukraine – The National Historical Library of Ukraine has begun the process of digitizing local history and rare books in its collection. The first stage has seen the digitization of some 120 books, half of which are already available on the library’s website. Ukraine has had a challenged history when it comes to preserving its past. [National Historical Library of Ukraine]
UK – Deceased Online has begun adding burial and cremation records for Bolton Council in Lancashire County. In total, there are 7 cemeteries and 1 crematorium in the region. Already some 211,000 records from Tonge cemetery (opened 1856) and Heaton cemetery (opened 1879) have gone online. Access is by subscription. [Bolton Cemetery Records]
US – Mocavo has added a yearbook collection consisting of some 17,000 yearbooks from high schools, colleges and universities. Most of the yearbooks are from the United States, with some from Canada. The yearbooks typically range from about 1930 to around 1980. There are a considerable number of yearbooks from the 1960 to 1980 period. Some of the yearbooks appear to have been sourced from the Internet Archive. Access is free but registration is required. [US Yearbook Collection]
US – The New York State Military Museum has put online records of some 29,000 New York National Guard soldiers who were mobilized in the fall of 1940. A typical record lists the name, home address, date of enlistment, serial number and home unit of the soldier. The collection is organized alphabetically and can be searched for free. [New York National Guard 1940 Mobilization Records]
UK – The Cambridgeshire County Council has put online a database of birth, marriage and death entries that have been recorded across Cambridgeshire from 1837 to the present. In total, there are some 2 million records in the database. The database can be searched by type of certificate, year, location and full or partial name. There is a charge of £10 plus postage to order the certificate. [Cambridgeshire Birth Marriage Death Certificates]
Ireland – The Church of Ireland has put online parish registers of baptisms, marriages and burials for the parish of Delgany (Glendalough) and vicinity in North Wicklow. The records (together with an index of names) span the years 1666 to 1900. Access is free. The complete Delgany parish registers can also be conveniently downloaded as a pdf. This is a wonderful resource. [Delgany Parish Records]
Ireland – FindMyPast.ie has put online Byrne’s Irish Times Abstracts (1859 to 1901). This collection is particularly valuable for anyone who had ancestors from Dublin and surrounding areas as it is essentially a collection of extracts from the Irish Times newspaper that would be of interest to genealogists. This would include such things as birth, marriage and death announcements, articles on accidents, social activities and law cases. Also included is some information on various properties (including in some cases the names of occupants). This collection contains about 200,000 records. Access is by subscription. [Byrne’s Irish Times Abstracts]
Ireland – Origins.net has added a substantial number of Irish directories to its website. The latest addition is the complete run of the annual Thom’s Irish Almanac and Official Directory from 1844 to 1870. In the coming months, Origins.net will also be adding the 1871 to 1900 Thom’s directories. This is a substantial collection for anyone with Irish ancestors. Directories are a useful resource for genealogists in any country. In Ireland, they are particularly valuable because of the general lack of genealogy records in the country and the destruction of the Irish Public Records Office in 1922. Access to this collection is by subscription. [Thom’s Irish Almanac and Official Directory]
Canada – Ancestry.ca has added a couple of new collections of Canadian military records to its website ahead of Remembrance Day on 11 November. These include nominal rolls and pay lists for volunteer militia (1857 to 1922, some 1.6 million records) and military honours and awards citation cards (1900 to 1961, some 68,000 records). Also added were an additional 71,000 records from the war graves registers (1914 to 1948) that discuss the circumstances of casualty. Access is by subscription. [Canada Historic Militia Rolls] [Canada Military Awards] [Canada War Graves Registers]
New Zealand – Ancestry.com.au has added some New Zealand local histories to their online collections. These are essentially historical books containing information of interest to genealogists. Included in the new collection are the Cyclopedia of New Zealand (1897 to 1906) and the New Zealand Registered Ships and Owners (1840 to 1950). The link provides a complete list of the new books. Access is by subscription. [New Zealand Local Histories]
Canada – ProQuest has added 165 years of the Globe and Mail newspaper to its newspaper collection. The Globe and Mail originally launched as The Globe newspaper in 1844 in Toronto. Since then, it has grown to become the “newspaper of record” for much of Canada. ProQuest has digitized the entire newspaper from 1844 to 2009, some 1.5 million pages in total. Early versions of the newspaper are full of birth and death notices from the greater Toronto area. This is an excellent resource to check if you had ancestors from the region during the 1840 to 1870 time period when records are hard to find. ProQuest now has some 30 million pages in its historic newspaper collection that are accessible online. The ProQuest online newspaper collection is usually accessible only through local libraries. They do not sell individual subscriptions. [ProQuest]
US – FamilySearch has made a significant addition to its Iowa county marriage collection. In total, some 1.6 million new records have been indexed in the collection, which spans the years from 1838 to 1934. Historic records from Iowa can be hard to come by so this is a good collection to check if you have ancestors from the region. Access is free. [Historic Iowa Marriage Records]
US – On 22 October 2012, the website Chronicling America posted its 5 millionth historic newspaper page onto its website. The Chronicling America project now covers more than 800 newspapers from 25 different states spanning the period from 1836 to 1922. As a bit of history, this website was originally launched by the Library of Congress in 2007. Today, it gets some 2.5 million page views per month. Did we mention it was free? [Chronicling America]
US – FamilySearch has indexed some 430,000 new records of passenger lists for the port of Boston. The collection spans the years 1820 to 1891 (with a gap from 1874 to 1883). Early lists give the name, age, sex and occupation of the passenger. These lists were usually prepared on board the ship and given to customs officers when the ship docked. Many of the ships that docked in Boston in the 1800s did not carry immigrants, but carried merchants from various Eastern seaboard ports. The example below shows a passenger list for a ship from Liverpool, Nova Scotia that docked in 1837. It might be worth checking this collection if you had an ancestor who was a sea-born merchant on the east coast of North America anywhere from Canada to the Caribbean. [Historic Boston Ship Passenger Lists]
Africa – The website FamilyRelatives has added about 100,000 records from African telephone directories. These records are mainly from the 1958 to 1962 time period. The directories cover Kenya, Southern Rhodesia (now known as Zimbabwe), Uganda and Tanganyika (part of Tanzania). All the directories come from former British colonies. In the early 1960s, most telephones in Africa would have been owned by merchants, businesses, expats and wealthy farmers. Access is by subscription. [Historic African Telephone Directories]
UK – FamilySearch.org has created a new browsable image collection of Kent workhouse records. This collection spans the years from 1777 to 1911 and consists of some 80,000 images of various types of workhouse records. The records are organized by region so you will need to know what part of Kent your ancestors came from. Most of the records consist of recordings of births and deaths as well as registers of admissions and discharges. If you are unfamiliar with workhouse records (sometimes called poorhouse records), you can learn more about what they are and why they are useful in the article A Date Guide to English Genealogy. Access to this collection is free. [Kent Workhouse Records]
US – Ancestry.com has significantly expanded its collection of US yearbooks. A further 18,000 yearbooks from junior high schools, high schools, colleges and universities have been added to their collection. The new additions span the years 1806 to 2008, although presumably most of the yearbooks date from the 1900s. The nice thing about yearbooks is that not only does it identify the school your ancestor attended, but it also typically has a photograph of your ancestor. In addition to searching by name, this collection can be searched by location and year. Ancestry may even have your high school yearbook. Access is by subscription. [US Yearbook Collection]
US – GenealogyBank continues to add to its newspaper collection. The latest additions are two newspapers from Massachusetts (Boston newspapers from 1951 to 1986), four newspapers from North Carolina (mainly Greensboro newspapers from the 1900s) and one newspaper from Richmond Virginia from 1969/70. Access is by subscription. [Historic US Newspapers]
Dominican Republic – FamilySearch.org has created a new browsable image collection of genealogy records for the Dominican Republic. This is an eclectic collection of some 731,000 images of records from the National Archives in Santo Domingo. It includes such items as residency permits, passenger arrival and departure lists, immigration tax exemption requests and other immigration-related correspondence. Most of the records deal with immigration. The collection spans the years 1921 to 1980 with the majority of the collection dating from the 1950s. This would be a good collection to look at if your ancestors migrated from the Dominican Republic. Access is free. [Dominican Republic Immigration Records]
Australia and New Zealand – FindMyPast.com.au has just added another 56 million genealogical records covering Australia and New Zealand. This brings the total for the website to over 135 million records. The records consist primarily of census records, land records and survey records in addition to the usual birth, marriage and death records. Access is by subscription or pay-as-you-go. [Australian and New Zealand Genealogy Records] We feel compelled to mention that the Genealogy Search Engine also has just as many Australian and New Zealand genealogy records and it is free.
UK – FamilySearch has created a new collection of Kent electoral rolls. This collection spans a broad range from 1570 to 1907 and consists of some 132,000 images. Included in the collection are a few militia muster rolls (for Faversham). We also noticed this collection contains other types of related records, such as jury service lists (which were often drawn from electoral rolls). If you are unfamiliar with electoral rolls, please read the article Searching Electoral Rolls for Ancestors. Electoral rolls are an excellent substitute for census records. This collection can only be browsed at the moment. Access is free. [Kent Electoral Rolls]
UK – FamilySearch has added some 1.2 million parish records for Plymouth and the surrounding West Devon region. These are baptism, marriage and burial records that date from 1538 to 1912 and can be searched by name. Access is free. [West Devon Parish Records]
Italy – FamilySearch has added over 8.3 million new browsable images of civil registrations from all over Italy. The main new additions come from Ancona (1862 to 1929), Bari (1809 to 1910), Cagliari (1866 to 1941) and Udine (mainly 1871 to 1900). Most of these records come from various state archives across the country. The link will take you to the main index list so you can make your own regional selection. Access is free. [Italian Civil Registration Records]
Canada – FamilySearch has indexed some 92,000 records of Prince Edward Island baptisms. These are records transcribed from other sources (basically a collection of baptisms put on index cards) and span the years 1721 to 1885. Most of the records date from 1830 onwards. Access is free. [PEI Baptism Records]
Canada – The Ontario Genealogical Society’s Ontario Name Index now has 1 million names in the database. The purpose of The Ontario Name Index (TONI) is to provide a single index of Ontario names, with pointers to where additional information can be found on any given individual in the database. This database has been created by the dedicated effort of a group of volunteers. If you would like to participate, you can contact the coordinator Mike More at firstname.lastname@example.org Access to the database is free although there may be some cost to buy the underlying record. [The Ontario Name Index]
Brazil – FamilySearch has added 356,000 new browsable images to its collection of civil registrations from Brazil. This collection spans the years from 1870 to 2012 and now consists of a total of 11.2 million digitized images of civil registrations of births, marriages and deaths. This collection can be partially searched by name. Access is free. [Brazilian Birth Marriage Death Registrations] FamilySearch has also added an additional 526,000 Brazilian immigration cards in a separate collection. These are cards filled out by foreigners either visiting or immigrating to Brazil. This collection spans the years from 1900 to 1965 and now consists of some 2.6 million records. These records contain a wealth of information (see image below) and can be searched by name. Access is free. [Historic Brazilian Immigration Cards]
Colombia – FamilySearch has started a new collection of Colombian military records. The collection consists of some 400,000 scanned images of military service records, lists of military promotions, veteran benefit files and general correspondence from the army, navy and national guard. This collection is browsable only. Access is free. [Colombian Military Records]
UK – The British National Archives has made good progress in digitizing their collection of World War I war unit diaries. A war unit diary is essentially a collection of field reports by various military units. A typical war unit diary contains daily operational reports from the front lines as well as local intelligence summaries. These war diaries were written between 1914 and 1923 by various British and colonial units that served in various theatres of war. Most of the unit diaries cover activity in France, Germany and Belgium. War unit diaries can contain a wealth of information for people looking for their ancestors and they are one of the most requested items in the British Archives reading rooms. In order to search these diaries, you need to know the regiment and battalion of your ancestor. [World War I War Unit Diaries]
Canada – Ancestry.ca has put online a major collection of Canadian voter lists. These are more generally called electoral rolls, as discussed in the article Searching Electoral Rolls for Ancestors. The Canadian voter lists cover the period from 1935 to 1980, with each list organized by voting district (within each province) and then by polling station number and finally by address. The lists are spaced roughly 3 years apart from each other (although the earlier lists from 1935 to 1950 are spaced roughly 5 years apart). This collection comes from Library and Archives Canada, which surprisingly does not have their own collection on their own website.
A typical record in this collection lists the name of the eligible voter, home address and occupation. By 1935 (the start of this collection), women were eligible to vote in national elections in Canada and the voting age was 21. In 1970, the voting age was dropped to 18 and it was necessary to be a Canadian citizen to vote in national elections.
A couple of things to note about this collection:
• Ancestry lists about 89 million names in the collection, but the number of eligible voters during this period was about 120 million, meaning this collection is a bit less than 75% complete.
• These records have not been transcribed. Instead Optical Character Recognition (OCR) software was used to try to read the records from the original microfilm. In many cases (especially with the older lists from 1935 to 1949), the microfilm text was too smudged for the OCR software to be able to read it. This results in unexpected gaps in the data for the collection (based on whether or not a random roll of microfilm was OCR-readable).
• It is interesting to note that Ancestry has been able to post government voter lists online from as recently as 1980 without (presumably) violating Canada’s privacy laws. Somebody needs to explain to us how they managed to do this.
Access to these voter lists is by subscription. They can be searched by name. [Historic Canada Voter Lists]
US – The University of Illinois has been quietly growing their online collection of agricultural newspapers. The Farm, Field and Fireside collection as it is known consists of significant US farm weeklies published primarily in the late 1800s and early 1900s. The collection currently consists of 21 titles and spans the range from 1841 to 1981. Most of the newspaper titles in the collection are concentrated in the Illinois and Ohio region, but some are from other farm regions. This is a good collection to search if you are having trouble locating ancestors in certain farm states such as Iowa, where there are few online collections. The collection can be searched by keyword (such as name) and by newspaper title. Individual articles from the newspapers can be downloaded for free. [Historic US Farm Newspaper Collection] *Please note this website appears to experience occasional downtime unavailability.
US – The University of Nebraska has put online a small collection of historic Nebraska newspapers. The collection spans the period from 1878 to 1913 and consist of newspapers from the following communities: Valentine, Norfolk, Broken Bow, McCook, Omaha, Lincoln and Falls City. The collection can be browsed by community and date range as well as searched by keyword (such as a name). Access is free. [Historic Nebraska Newspapers]
UK – DeceasedOnline continues to add to their London cemetery record collection. Records from Plumstead Cemetery (opened in 1890) and Charlton Cemetery (opened in 1855) are the most recent additions. Both cemeteries are located in southeast London in the royal borough of Greenwich. All five cemeteries in Greenwich are expected to be online by the middle of October 2012. In addition to the two cemeteries already mentioned, Eltham (opened in 1935) was added a couple of weeks ago and there will be two additional cemeteries added in the next couple of weeks: Greenwich (opened in 1856) and Woolwich (opened in 1856). In total, there will be some 371,000 cemetery records from Greenwich. Access is by subscription. [Greenwich Cemetery Records]
UK – FindMyPast has added 175,000 new parish records from Middlesex to their collection. The new records consist of about 96,000 baptism records (1538 to 1882) and about 80,000 burial records (1538 to 1890). The website has a list of the exact parishes covered by the new records. Access is by subscription. [Middlesex Parish Records]
UK – Ancestry.co.uk has added more baptism, marriage and death records to its West Yorkshire parish collection. Ancestry has been a bit sparse on the details of their latest update, so please check the website. Access is by subscription. [West Yorkshire Parish Records]
World – GenealogyInTime Magazine has added 400 million new records to their two free search engines. The Genealogy Search Engine (which covers ancestral records) now searches an additional 100 million more records, while the Family Tree Search Engine (which covers genealogy forums and online family trees) searches approximately 300 million more records.
In total, the two search engines now cover 5.7 billion records across more than 1,000 different websites. The records are split between the Genealogy Search Engine (covering 1.9 billion records) and the Family Tree Search Engine (covering 3.8 billion records). There is no overlap of records between the two search engines.
GenealogyInTime Magazine now gets over 40,000 queries per month for the two search engines. This makes them one of the most popular alternatives to the FamilySearch website for people wanting to look for free ancestral records. Significant holdings exist for the United States, Canada, England/Wales, Scotland, Ireland, Europe, Australia and New Zealand with minor holdings for the Caribbean, South America and South Africa.
Some of the highlights of the latest addition to the Genealogy Search Engine include:
• 55 million new records for the United States and 6 million new records for Canada. These are primarily ancestral records held in digital archives of public libraries and universities across North America. Many of these new records are historic photographs.
• 23 million new records for England, Ireland and Scotland. These are primarily twentieth century obituaries.
• 14 million new records for Europe. These are primarily birth/marriage/death records from Central and Eastern Europe.
• 2 million more ship passenger records.
The underlying technology has also been improved:
• The search routines for both search engines have also been strengthened to provide better results.
• The number of returned records for a search query has been increased from 8 pages to 10 pages.
• Results are delivered even faster than before.
Access to both search engines is free and the underlying records are also free. [Genealogy Search Engine] [Family Tree Search Engine] GenealogyInTime Magazine also has a number of articles to help you become better at online genealogy searches.
GenealogyInTime Magazine is the world’s most popular online genealogy magazine. It is also now the fifth largest free genealogy website in the world (according to Alexa, the internet traffic people, the largest free genealogy websites in order are FamilySearch, Find A Grave, Geni, GeneaNet and GenealogyInTime Magazine).
UK – Ancestry.co.uk has added about 280,000 masters and mates certificates to their website. These are certificates issued to seamen who had reached the qualification of master or mate aboard British merchant ships. This collection spans the years 1850 to 1927. A typical record has several parts and includes certificates of competency, certificates of service and examination documents. Information listed includes name, date and place of birth, port of issue and date of issue, address of seaman and a history of service (vessels, dates, occupation aboard vessels, etc.) The British merchant fleet covered several of the British colonies and ex-colonies during this period. This is a good record set to investigate if you have seaman in your family from Britain, Ireland, Scotland, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Access is by subscription. [Historic British Seaman Records]
US – The Lost Souls Genealogy Project has now added over 100,000 records of ancestors to its database. Most of the records are structured as brief biographies submitted by users of the website. Some of the biographies include photographs. The information on the website is organized by state, with each state being moderated by a volunteer.
The website contains a search engine that you can use to search for a specific ancestor as well as many useful links and printable genealogy forms. The website can also be searched using the Genealogy Search Engine. The Lost Souls Genealogy Project is a wonderful example of a volunteer genealogy project (that are, unfortunately, becoming all too rare these days). The website is run by Diane Siniard. It is well worth checking out. Access is free. [Lost Souls Genealogy Project]
US – FamilySearch.org reported on 28 August 2012 that the final batches for the 1940 US census have been indexed. All 132 million people listed in the index are now fully searchable by name at FamilySearch.org and the associated partners’ websites (in early August, Ancestry.com announced the 1940 census had been completed, but they jumped the gun – there were still some final batches to be processed). Access is free. [1940 US Census]
Germany – FamilySearch.org has added 105,000 records from the 1867 census of the Grand Duchy of Mecklenburg-Schwerin. The 1867 census lists first and last name, gender, year of birth, religious affiliation, marital status, occupation/social standing, citizenship and distinguishing physical characteristics. Any visitors to the region at the time of the census were also listed. FamilySearch also has census records from the region for 1890 and 1900. Access to the records is free. [Mecklenburg-Schwerin Census Records]
New Zealand – FamilySearch.org has added an additional 384,000 images from probate cases from the Archives of New Zealand. The collection is now comprised of some 743,000 images that can be browsed by district and then name. The probate cases span the years 1878 to 1960. Most of the records are handwritten wills and affidavits (see image below). Access is free. [Historic New Zealand Probate Records]
US – FamilySearch.org has added and indexed 404,000 records from their extensive collection of pension files of Civil War widows and other dependents. This is the second large addition to this collection in the last two months. Access is free. [US Civil War Widow Pension Records]
US – FamilySearch.org has added another 84,000 marriage records for the state of Indiana. These records span the years 1811 to 1959 and have been indexed in partnership with the Indiana Genealogical Society. This latest batch means that about two-thirds of the marriage records for Indiana have now been indexed. Access is free. [Indiana Historic Marriage Records] You can learn more about this indexing project at the website of the Indiana Genealogical Society. [Indiana Marriage Indexing Project]
US – FamilySearch.org has added 4.5 million new images of Texas death records and indexed the images to make them easy to search. The death records span the years 1890 to 1976 and come from the Texas Department of State Health Services. Access is free. [Texas Death Records]
UK – Deceased Online has added some 110,000 burial records for two cemeteries in Greenwich, located south east of London. Approximately 95,000 records come from Greenwich Cemetery and date back to 1856 and 15,000 records come from Eltham (Falconwood) Cemetery and date back to 1935. Each record provides a burial register, grave details and a cemetery map giving the grave location. Deceased Online now has 1.6 million records for London cemeteries, with the number expected to reach 2 million records before the end of the year. Access is by subscription. [Greenwich Cemetery Records]
Canada – Ancestry.ca has updated its collection of 4.8 million records of border crossings between Canada and the United States from 1895 to 1954. This database generally includes the following information: name, age, date and place of birth, gender, ethnicity/nationality, names of any travelling companions and names of a relative or friend at the destination. These records were collected by the US Immigration Service and so will be primarily of interest for people wanting to trace ancestors who crossed from Canada into the United States. Also, please note that many crossings at the Canada/US border were not fully staffed until the early 1930s and it was perfectly possible (and legal) before this time for someone to cross into the United States without making a declaration. Access is by subscription. [Historic US Border Crossing Records]
US – An unusual and helpful resource for anyone looking for ship passenger lists to the United States and Canada can be found at ActionDonation.org. Some of the resources listed appear to be fairly new. Many of the listings involve ship passenger lists from Germany, which are always hard to find. All the resources listed are free. [Historic Ship Passenger Lists]
US – Ancestry.com has added a list of US high school students (1821 to 1923) and a list of college students (1763 to 1924). In total, the two lists comprise some 2.2 million names. Most of the records seem to come from an assorted collection of annual reports, yearbooks, registers, memorial, fraternity listings and other sources. Most of the collection seems to be concentrated in the New England area. Access is by subscription. [Historic US College Lists]
Germany – Ancestry.co.uk has updated the Lubeck, Germany censuses for the years 1871, 1875 and 1880. In total, this collection comprises some 165,000 records. These records are in German and typically list the first and last name, street address, head of household, occupation, marital status and religion. Access is by subscription. [Lubeck Census Records]
US – GenealogyTrails continues to add to their collection of Civil War headstones. The collection has now grown to 80,000 Union soldier names spanning the years 1879 to 1903. A typical transcribed record of the headstone lists the name and rank of the soldier, company, regiment, name and location of cemetery and the date of death. This is a very nice collection. Access is free. [Union Soldier Headstone Records]
UK – FindMyPast.co.uk has published the Royal Air Force muster roll for 1918. This collection is composed of some 181,000 records. A typical record lists the name, rank, job, date and terms of enlistment plus the rate of pay. Access is by subscription. [Royal Air Force 1918 Service Records]
US – The 1940 Census indexing project led by FamilySearch.org has now been completed. All 134 million records from the US 1940 census will be searchable in a few weeks by first and last name, state, county, town/city, place of birth and other key information recorded in the census. The last batch of records went online on Monday 6 August 2012 with posts from 6 states (Arkansas, Washington DC, Missouri, New York, Pennsylvania and West Virginia). Here are some interesting facts about this massive indexing project:
• According to Ancestry.com, the total number of people counted in the 1940 census was 134, 395,545. This is about 2 million over the official population of the US in 1940 (132,164,569) because the 1940 census included about 2.1 million people from the US protectorates of Puerto Rico, Guam, the US Virgin Islands, American Samoa and the Panama Canal Zone.
• The average 1940 US household contained 3.7 people and the average age of the head of the household was 43.
• The top five immigration countries in 1940 (as determined by people reporting their birth country in the census) were Italy, Germany, Russia, Poland and England.
• Roughly 175,000 indexers took part in the project that involved some 3.5 million pages of data. The average person involved in the project indexed approximately 750 records.
• The entire 1940 census project was completed in about five months. By comparison, indexing the US 1880 census took FamilySearch about 10 years to do and was only completed in 2000. The 1880 census also contained much less information than the 1940 census.
• The video below describes the indexing process.
• Most of the indexers for the 1940 census were Latter-day Saints. The greatest concentration of indexers came from the western corridor of Utah, Idaho, Arizona and Nevada. Some people were able to index an incredible 100,000 records by themselves.
• Access to the 1940 census is free. [FamilySearch 1940 Census]
• There are actually two groups indexing the 1940 census. The US Genweb Census Project is also indexing the 1940 census. They are still looking for volunteer indexers. One nice thing about the US Genweb Census Project is that the results are automatically available for search through the Genealogy Search Engine and Google. [US Genweb 1940 Census Project]
US – Ancestry.com has made an agreement with the New York State Archives and the State Library to create a searchable database of New York records that will be accessible for free at the new state archives website. Some of the material has already been posted online. Some of the highlights will be the 1892, 1915 and 1925 New York State Censuses, New York marriages (1600 to 1784), New York Civil War muster roll abstracts (1861 to 1900) and WWII enlisted men cards (1940 to 1945). There are also several other collections that will be of interest to genealogists. Access is free although you do need to enter a New York State zip code to access the records. [Genealogy Records at the New York State Archives]
Canada – The Quinte branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society has added an additional 105,000 names to its database of cemetery transcriptions, baptism records, newspaper indexes and genealogies. The database now contains some 1.1 million names. The Quinte area covers the counties of Hastings, Prince Edward and parts of Northumberland and is located on the northern shore of Lake Ontario. The region was one of the first areas settled by United Empire Loyalists in 1784. The database provides an index to paper records. There is a modest fee to order the paper records. [Quinte Genealogy Records]
US - The Oakland County Michigan Genealogical Society has created an index of the 1891 tax assessment roll for the Avon township area to add to the society’s 1884 and 1894 state of Michigan censuses for the region. The index is available for free on the society’s website. [1891 Oakland Tax Assessment Rolls]
UK – The website called A Vision of Britain Through Time provides a useful way to search the United Kingdom by place name. A typical search will provide a brief history of the town/village as well as links to historic maps, statistics, writings, census information, etc. on the town. This one website can quickly provide great geographical and historical context to ancestral searches. The website is run by the University of Portsmouth. Access is free. [A Vision of Britain Through Time]
Czech – FamilySearch.org has added to its collection of Czech census images spanning the years 1843 to 1921. The collection now totals some 455,000 images and covers the regions of Northwestern Bohemia and Southern Bohemia. The key genealogical facts in these records are head of household, names of members of the household (including servants), ages, occupations and religions. Some records also list date and place of birth. Access is free. [Bohemia Census Records]
Slovakia – FamilySearch.org has added about 1.1 million indexed church and synagogue records for Slovakia. These are birth, baptism, marriage and burial records spanning a broad period of time from 1592 to 1910. Most of the records are from the early 1700s and later. This collection contains both Catholic and Protestant church records in addition to Synagogue records. Access is free. [Slovakia Church and Synagogue Records]
South Africa – FamilySearch.org has created a new collection of genealogical records that cover the Western Cape province of South Africa. This collection includes a variety of record types, including birth, marriage and death registrations, probate estate files, slave records and immigration records. The records cover the years 1901 and 1902. The immigration records are particularly interesting because they list the name of the ship, date of arrival, date of departure from the home port, full name of the passenger, age, occupation, name of mother and name of any children. The slave records are a bit sparse, just listing the date of sale, name of purchaser, name of vendor and the number of slaves purchased. This new collection totals some 205,000 images. At the moment, the collection can be browsed by town. Access is free. [Western Cape Genealogy Records]
UK – Ancestry.co.uk has added a number of new records for Lancashire. Included are births, baptisms, banns, marriages, deaths and burials covering anywhere from 1538 to 1986. In total, some 2.9 million records have been added across a wide selection of record types. Access is by subscription. [Lancashire Genealogy Records]
US – FamilySearch has added an additional 166,000 Civil War widows pension files. The collection consists of approved pension case files for widows and dependants of soldiers submitted between 1861 and 1934 and for sailors submitted between 1910 and 1934. Some of the records are for service in the civil war in Spain. These records can be searched by name. Access is free. [US Civil War Widow Pension Records]
US – FamilySearch.org has added an additional 105,000 Utah marriage records to its collection. These records date from 1887 to 1937 and are derived from local county courthouse records. Access is free. [Historic Utah Marriage Records]
US – The United States Census Bureau has just launched a great infographic that clearly and concisely describes how questions on the census have evolved since the first national census was conducted in 1790. This is a wonderful resource to help genealogists identify when certain key questions were incorporated into the census questionnaire. It also helps place the census in an historical and economic context. Well worth checking out. [Evolution of the US Census] Also included below is an informative video from the US Census Bureau that looks back at what America was like in 1790 during the first census.
US – FamilySearch has added fully searchable indexed records from three state censuses. Included are the 1905 New Jersey census (2.1 million records), the 1915 New York State census (9.7 million records) and the 1925 New York State census (11.1 million records). Access is free to all these collections. [1905 New Jersey State Census] [1915 New York State Census] [1925 New York State Census]
US – GenealogyBank is now reporting that they have over 30 Baltimore, Maryland newspapers in their collection. The newspapers go back as far as 1773 with continuous coverage up to 1922. There is a gap in coverage from 1922 to 1990 and then complete coverage from 1990 to the present. It is interesting to note the changing trends in newspaper names over the years given this is a very large collection from one city that covers almost 240 years. Papers from the 1700s favored names such as “Federal Intelligencer”, “Maryland Journal” and “Baltimore Daily Intelligencer”. In the early 1800s the names became more patriotic, such as the “Baltimore Patriot” and the “Federal Republican”. In the late 1800s / early 1900s the newspaper names seem to have become more information focussed, such as the “Baltimore Bulletin”. Access is by subscription. [Historic Online Baltimore Newspapers]
US – FamilySearch.org has indexed 1 million Philadelphia, Pennsylvania birth records spanning the years 1860 to 1906. It includes birth returns filed by hospitals, doctors and midwives. A typical record lists name of child, date of birth, gender, color, place of birth (with address), name of parents, occupation of the father and name of the attending physician. The records can be searched by name, year and place of birth. Access is free. [Historic Philadelphia Birth Records]
US – The US Geological Survey has created an amazing online collection of historical topographical maps. The process was begun in 2009 and the collection from the contiguous United States is now complete. Maps for Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands should go online by the end of summer. In total, the collection is comprised of some 200,000 historical maps. This is a great resource if you are looking for high resolution historic topographical maps of your ancestors’ lands that you can download and add to your family records. You can search the archive by place name, zip code, address and USGS topographic map name. The link provides instructions on how to download maps from the database. Some charges may apply. [US Geological Survey Historic Topographical Map Collection]
US – FamilySearch.org has added a new collection of Texas divorce records. This collection of some 3.6 million records is for recent divorces from 1968 to 2010. Concurrently, FamilySearch has also added 7.6 million marriage records for Texas from 1966 to 2010. The records come from the Texas Department of State Health Services. Access is free. [Texas Marriage Records] [Texas Divorce Records]
Scotland – FamilySearch.org has added the entire 1881 Scottish census (some 3.7 million records) and the 1891 Scottish census (some 4 million records). At the moment, this collection can be searched by name but it does not contain access to the original image. It does however, provide the following information: name, gender, age, place of birth, county, and reference to the film number containing the original image. Access is free. [1881 Scottish Census] [1891 Scottish Census]
Italy – FamilySearch.org announced this week that its partnering with the National Archives of Italy has started to pay some serious dividends. To date, more than 24 million images from the historic Italian civil registration have been digitized and published and about 4 million names have already been transcribed and made available for searching. The link provides a complete current list of the various Italian record collections. Access is free. [Italian Civil Registration Records] Also included is a portal link to the main components of the Italian archives (in English). [National Archives of Italy]
Brazil – FamilySearch.org has indexed some 336,000 records of Brazilian immigration cards spanning the years 1900 to 1965. These are cards presented by foreigners either visiting or immigrating to Brazil. As shown in the image below, these cards very much resemble the information contained on passports and provide a wealth of information, including a photograph of the individual. Access is free. [Historic Brazilian Immigration Cards]
Ireland – FamilySearch.org has added 3.1 million Irish prison register records. These records were produced in cooperation with FindMyPast Ireland and span the years 1790 to 1924 for all 26 counties of the Republic of Ireland. A typical record includes the following information: name, age, place of birth and county. Access is free. [Historic Irish Prison Register Records]
Canada – FamilySeach.org has indexed some 246,000 records from its collection of Ontario marriage certificates (see image below). A typical record lists the full name of the groom, full name of the bride (including maiden name), occupation of the groom, age of bride and groom, name of mother and father of the bride and groom and the date and place of marriage. Also, something often not seen on marriage certificates, the place of birth of both the bride and groom. These records come from the Archives of Ontario. Access is free. [Historic Ontario Marriages]
Canada – The Public Archives of Nova Scotia has put online two historic Nova Scotia newspapers: The Acadian Recorder (1813 to 1853) and the Liverpool Transcript (1854 to 1867), from the town of Liverpool. Liverpool in particular had an outsize part in the early history of New England and the Caribbean. Many of the original inhabitants of Liverpool migrated from Connecticut in 1762. The town subsequently became the home and base of operations for many well-known pirates who operated up and down the New England coast and into the Caribbean. The town and surrounding area was repeatedly attacked by business interests and privateers from New England trying to route out the pirates. Oak Island (rumored to be the home of Captain Kidd’s hidden treasure) is just off the coast from Liverpool. Access to these newspapers is free. The newspapers are not indexed and must be read by date. Anyone looking for death notices in these papers should note that death notices can be easily spotted by the thick black border around them. [Historic Nova Scotia Newspapers]
New Zealand – FamilySearch.org has added 366,000 searchable records of New Zealand immigration passenger lists. These lists span the years 1855 to 1973. Most of the records are for passengers arriving from the British Isles, although there are some records from Western Europe, Asia and Polynesia. The records are basically the ship’s list of passengers that was prepared at time of departure and then handed to New Zealand authorities upon arrival.
A typical record lists the ship, date of arrival, port of arrival as well as the name, occupation and country of origin of the passenger. Since these handwritten records were prepared by the shipping companies (instead of government officials trained in neat handwriting), they can sometimes be hard to read. Alternatively the records can also be browed by port of arrival. Access is free. [Historic New Zealand Passenger Lists]
UK – The BBC has produced a nice infograph showing the demographic changes to the UK population based on the results from the 1911 to the 2011 censuses. For example, the 1921 census results show how big an impact World War I had on fertility rates. It also showed how the male/female proportion was skewed due to the 723,000 British servicemen who lost their lives during the war. A similar result shows up in the 1951 census based on the impact of World War II (essentially an extended period of low births combined with high deaths of males in their prime years). The impact of World War II is still evident in the results from the 2011 census. This infograph is well worth looking at to get a general sense of the major trends in UK family trees over the last 100 years. Access is free. [General UK Demographic Trends]
UK – The UK National Archives has indexed the service records of 320,000 airmen who served with the Royal Air Force in World War I. These service records can now be searched by name. The RAF was not formed until April 1918, but the records from the predecessor organizations (the Royal Flying Corps and the Royal Navy Air Service) are also now online. You can read more about this new series of records at the National Archives blog. Access is by pay-per-view. [Royal Air Force Service Records]
UK – TheOriginalRecord.com has added a variety of new records this week. Included are the 1824 Liverpool Directory (which covers the principal inhabitants on the Cheshire side of the river), the 1868 South Shropshire poll book, the membership list of apothecaries (essentially pharmacists) for England and Wales in 1823, the 1720 poor rate records for Wigan (now part of Greater Manchester) and the 1888 list of students at University College, Bristol. Access is by pay-per-view. [The Original Record]
UK – FindMyPast UK has added 49,000 new Lincolnshire parish marriage records. These records span the years 1700 to 1837 and cover more than 200 parishes. The records come from the Lincolnshire Family History Society. Also added were 22,000 new parish records from North Yorkshire that cover the period from 1600 to 1869. Access is by subscription. [Historic UK Parish Records]
UK – FindMyPast UK has added the Canterbury Collection to their offering. These are some 12,000 images of parish baptisms, marriages banns and burials for churches in the historic Archdeaconry of Canterbury. The images span the very broad period from 1538 to 2005. The images can be browsed by parish, event and year. At the moment, the records can not be searched by name, etc. Access is by subscription. [Canterbury Parish Records]
UK – The British Newspaper Archive has added over 35 new newspaper titles to its collection over the last 30 days. Some highlights include the Edinburgh Evening News (1904), the Liverpool Daily Post (1855 to 1864) and the Liverpool Echo (1912 to 1913). The link provides a complete list of all the newspapers in the collection as well as a list of recent additions. Access is by subscription. [British Newspaper Archive]
Canada – Library and Archives Canada (LAC) has launched its own YouTube channel. The first introductory video below provides a good brief description of you what you need to do if you want to access the LAC archives in person. The second short video describes the online search process. Well worth watching both videos even if you are familiar with LAC. [Library and Archives Canada YouTube Channel]
Canada – A new website has launched on the War of 1812. This website tells the story from the Canadian perspective. The website includes articles, news, videos and links to various books on the subject. Access is free. [War of 1812]
Scotland – The National Library of Scotland now has now reached over 700 digitized post office directories posted online. These directories cover most of Scotland and date from 1773 to 1911. The directories list alphabetically the name of the inhabitants, their address and often their profession. Access is free. [Scottish Post Office Directories]
US – Debra Osborne Spindle in her excellent blog All My Ancestors (which can also be picked up using the Genealogy Blog Gadget) mentioned that the Oklahoma Historical Society has added some rare pre-statehood ledgers to their website. These contain a wealth of information as they are essentially the government ledgers for such items as business agreements and incorporations as well as lease and mortgage transactions. These ledgers cover businesses, churches and lodges. A total of 27 volumes cover the Oklahoma Territory Incorporation Records and 15 volumes cover what was then known as the Indian Territory. The time period is from 1890 to 1907 (when statehood began). Access is free. [Oklahoma Territory Business Incorporation Records]
US – FamilySearch.org now reports that it has indexed 84% of the entire 1940 Census. A total of 31 states are fully indexed and available for searching. This works out to over 116 million names already completed. The link below provides the latest update from the FamilySearch blog, including a list of what states have already been completed. FamilySearch is still on track to complete the indexing of the 1940 census by the end of summer. [Update on 1940 Census Indexing from FamilySearch]
Austria – FamilySearch.org has added a new browsable image collection of registers of births, marriages, deaths (and some burials) for the Jewish community of Vienna (Israelitische Kultusgemeinde Wien). The collection spans the years 1784 to 1911 and consist of some 350,000 images. The records are in German. Access is free. [Historic Vienna Jewish Birth Records]
Belgium – FamilySearch.org has created a new browsable image collection of Antwerp city police files. Specifically, these are files listing foreign nationals residing in the city. The collection spans the years 1840 to 1930 with some 1.3 million images or about 650,000 records. These records are in French and are structured as an interview. Typical questions include name, place and date of birth (or age), occupation, place of residence, last city/town of residence, when arrived into Belgium, last Belgium residence, nature of identification papers, authorization to be in the country, etc. Historic online police records are rare and the probing nature of the questions can help generate new leads. Access is free. [Historic Antwerp Police Records]
Russia – FamilySearch.org has released an interesting browsable image collection of Russian tax lists that covers about 95% of the population. The tax lists are primarily for the years 1782, 1795, 1811, 1816, 1833-34, 1850-51 and 1857-58. Access is free. [Russian Tax Lists]
Canada – FamilySearch.org has created a browsable image collection of New Brunswick marriage registrations from 1887 to 1950. In January 1888 the province instituted compulsory registration for all vital statistics (including marriages), so this collection should be fairly complete. The early records (1887 to 1919) are arranged alphabetically by year and by the surname of the groom, making it easy to search.
The registration forms ask the bride and groom such questions as full name, occupation, age, religious denomination, place of birth, name of mother and father, maiden name of mother, place of birth of father and whether the person could read/write. It also lists the place and date of marriage, whether the marriage was done by license or banns, witnesses (with their address) and clergyman (with address). See sample image below. In total, there are some 260,000 images in this collection. Access is free. [New Brunswick Marriage Records 1887 to 1919] [New Brunswick Marriage Records 1920 to 1950]
US – FamilySearch has released a new collection of Ohio probate records. The collection consists of some 3.8 million browsable images of wills and estate files from county courthouses in Ohio. The collection covers a broad period from 1790 to 1967. The records can by browsed by county and then by year. Access is free. [Ohio Probate Records]
Northern Ireland – The Belfast city cemetery website continues to add burial records for the city cemeteries. About 350,000 records are now in the database. A typical record lists the name, last place of residence, age, sex, date of death, date of burial, cemetery, grave section and number and the type of burial (cremation or earth burial). It is free to search the records. A modest charge applies to see an image of the actual burial record. [Belfast Burial Records]
Ireland – FindMyPast Ireland has released the third tranche of Irish Petty Session Court records. These are court records for minor offenses such as trespass and drunkenness. This latest addition contains 2 million records and covers the years 1850 to 1910. The counties Limerick, Louth, Mayo, Monaghan, Tipperary and Wexford are included this time. Access is by subscription. [Irish Petty Session Court Records]
Scotland – A website devoted to the genealogy of the residents of the Hebrides Islands of Scotland has launched a searchable online database. It currently contains about 20,000 records of families who emigrated from the Outer Hebrides to Canada, Australia and the United States. Access is by paid credits. [Outer Hebrides Emigration Records]
Scotland – Janice Halcrow’s excellent website Shetland Newspaper Transcriptions has been updated with another 20 years of newspaper birth, marriage and death announcements to 1945. Access is free. [Shetland Islands Newspaper Transcripts]
UK – FindMyPast has added another 25,000 Royal Household records this week. These records span the years 1717 to 1924 and usually list the name of the employee, when employed and when discharged. Access is by subscription. [Royal Household Records]
Philippines – FamilySearch.org has added an additional 6.4 million browsable images to its collection of Philippines civil registration records. This collection spans the years 1888 to 1981 and consists of birth, marriage and death certificates from local civil registry offices throughout the Philippines (excluding Manila). The records are organized by province. Access is free. [Historic Philippines Birth Records]
US – The Oberlin (Ohio) High School Alumni website has an excellent collection of class lists dating back from the first graduating class at the high school in 1863 to the present, some 9,500 records. The website also contains nearly 2,500 obituaries of deceased classmates. [Oberlin High School Alumni Records]
UK – Ancestry.co.uk has added several new collections for Dorset. The largest new additions are jury lists (1825 to 1921 with 350,000 records), Dorchester Prison admission and discharge registers (63,000 records) and militia lists (1757 to 1860 with 31,000 records). Another interesting new addition is the alehouse license records (1754 to 1821 with 4,100 records), which are always useful to check in case one of your ancestors owned a pub. Access is by subscription. [Historic Dorset Jury Lists]
UK – A very interesting collection of legal records are The Proceedings of the Old Bailey 1674 to 1913 website. The Old Bailey was the central criminal court for England and Wales. It was located in central London. This court heard the most serious criminal cases for London and much of the rest of the country. The Proceedings of the Old Bailey website contains a great collection of detailed records from some 200,000 criminal cases spanning roughly 240 years. This collection has been slowly increasing over time. It is a great website to check if you want to know if you had any really interesting characters in your family tree. Only the most hardened criminals ended up at the Old Bailey. Access is free. [Old Bailey Criminal Records]
UK – Ancestry.co.uk has added a new collection of poll books and electoral registers. This collection of some 4.7 million records spans the years 1538 to 1893. Poll books and electoral rolls are essentially historical lists of eligible voters in a district. They are arguably the most underused genealogy record source. A typical record lists the name, age and address of the eligible voter.
One of the great things about poll books and electoral rolls is that they were ‘evergreen’ lists that were created on a regular basis (often every two years) to help prevent electoral fraud. They are a great source for tracing the address and location of your ancestors between censuses held every 10 years. See the article Searching Electoral Rolls for Ancestors for more details. Access is by subscription. [UK Electoral Rolls]
UK – FindMyPast UK has added a new collection of British prisoners of war records for military personnel held in Germany during World War I and II. The World War I record set covers some 7,700 British army officers. A typical record lists name, rank, service, section, date the soldier went missing and date of repatriation.
The World War II record set is more extensive. It covers army, navy and air force personnel. This record set has some 166,000 records. A typical record lists name, rank, regiment, army number (if applicable), camp, prisoner of war number, camp location and extra notes where applicable. [World War I and II Prisoner of War Records]
UK - FindMyPast UK has added some 70,000 new parish records from Sheffield. These consist of baptisms (1858 to 1940 with 13,000 records), marriages (1848 to 1986 with 25,000 records) and burials (1767 to 1802 with 31,000 records). Access is by subscription. [Sheffield Parish Records]
Global – MyHeritage, one of the world’s largest genealogy websites, reached a significant milestone this week. One billion individuals are now listed in the website’s 23 million family trees. The website also has 151 million photos. MyHeritage continues to grow rapidly with 63 million registered users and 600,000 new users being added every month. This translates into about 1 million new individuals being added to the website’s family trees every day.
MyHeritage is also a truly global genealogy website. It is available in 38 different languages. MyHeritage has also been expanding in other ways with the purchase of FamilyLink and WorldVitalRecords in November 2011 (#11 and #28 on our list of Top 100 Most Popular Genealogy Websites). MyHeritiage also recently announced they would be hosting the 1940 US Census and in December 2011 they launched a popular mobile app. The company is backed by two venture capital firms: Accel Partners and Index Ventures, both of whom also backed Facebook and Skype. Access to MyHeritage is free to download a family tree. There is a fee to access records from other family trees. [MyHeritage] The interesting video below shows MyHeritage CEO Gilad Japhet discussing how the website has grown from its humble beginnings.
Ireland – The genealogy website From Ireland has posted an amazing collection of about 14,500 photographs of Irish gravestones, making it one of the largest Irish gravestone photograph collections. The collection is arranged in albums by county. The main counties covered are Kilkenny (4,600 images) and Laois (6,800 images), with additional images from Clare, Cork, Kerry, Kildare, Limerick and Offaly. The images have been transcribed and are searchable. Access is free. Thanks to Dr. Jane Lyon for putting this collection online. [Irish Gravestone Images]
Northern Ireland – The Lurgan Ancestry Project is a website devoted to genealogy for the town of Lurgan in County Armagh in Northern Ireland. The website contains a great collection of free genealogy records for Lurgan and the surrounding area. Included are birth, marriage, death records, Griffith’s land valuation records, trade directories, gravestones, photographs, old newspaper articles, etc. This website is definitely worth checking out if you have ancestors from County Armagh. Access is free. [Lurgan Genealogy Records]
US – The US Data Repository (a USGenNet project) continues to add collections of free genealogy records to its website. The latest additions include an index of 11,000 names from the Clock Funeral Home in Muskegon MI (1894 to 1948) and records from the First Congregational Church of Hanover Mass. (1727 to 1865), with the first installment being church admissions (1728 to 1864). Hanover is in Plymouth County, and the US Data Repository already has an existing collection of historic letters, census, church and military records from the county. Access is free. [Muskegon Funeral Records] [Hanover Church Records]
Canada – The Niagara Peninsula branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society has created an index for all the funeral records from Morse & Sons Funeral Home in Niagara Falls, Ontario. The index contains some 18,000 names and covers the period from 1828 to 1960. The index can be searched by name and year. It is free to search the index, which provides the date of death, name of deceased, who paid for the funeral and the location of the handwritten record in the funeral book. There is a modest charge to see the underlying handwritten record. Morse & Sons was one of Canada’s first funeral homes and this collection spans an amazing 170 years. [Niagara Funeral Home Records]
Ireland – RootsIreland (the non-profit website created by the Irish Family History Foundation) has recently added 65,000 gravestone inscriptions from the Irish World Heritage Centre for parishes in County Tyrone and County Fermanagh. RootsIreland continues to grow rapidly and now has over 19 million records online. Access is by pay-per-view. [Irish Gravestone Inscriptions]
US – The group SFgenealogy, which provides genealogy information for the San Francisco Bay area has added records from the Holy Cross Cemetery in Colma, California. The some 305,000 records span the years 1887 to 2001. These records can ben searched by name (first, middle, last) and date of burial. Access is free. [Colma Cemetery Records]
UK – Ancestry.co.uk has extended their index of the UK national probate calendar to cover the time period from 1858 to 1966. The national probate calendar is essentially a national index that lists wills starting from 1858 when the UK government created the Principal Probate Registry (before 1858, probate records where kept by the Anglican Church). The index lists the full name of the deceased, the date of death, the place of death, the date of probate and the registry holding the will. Access is by subscription. [UK National Probate Registry] You cannot actually order the will from Ancestry. Instead, you must contact the government probate office. [UK Government Guide to Obtaining a Probate Record]
UK – FindMyPast has put online royal household records. These are some 50,000 staff records of people who worked for the royal household from 1526 to 1924. The records list such details as name, occupation, age, length of service and salary. Access is by subscription. [Royal Household Records]
US – Princeton University is putting online the images and text from the university newspaper called The Daily Princetonian. The archive covers the period from the newspaper's inception in 1876 through to 2002. The collection comprises some 685,000 articles. Most of the issues are already online with the final issues expected to be uploaded by the end of the June. The text is fully searchable. Access is free. [Archives of The Daily Princetonian]
UK – TheGenealogist now has all the counties of the 1911 census available on their website. They also now have a complete copy of all the censuses from 1841 to 1911. Access is by subscription. [England and Wales Censuses]
Scotland – Deceased Online has added an additional 120,000 memorial images to its website from 11 different regions of Scotland. Access is by pay-per-view. [Scottish Gravestone Images]
World – Ancestry.com has joined the Family History Information Standards Organization (FHISO), a group that is dedicated to developing standards for the digital representation of genealogical information. You can read more about FHISO at their website. [Family History Information Standards Organization]
World – Ever wondered what indexing projects FamilySearch.org is working on? In other words, is there a master list of all their projects? The answer is yes! Just follow the link to see if FamilySearch is working on anything that might be relevant to your family research. [FamilySearch.org Indexing Projects]
UK – FindMyPast has added 3.5 million parish records for Plymouth and West Devon. These are baptism, marriage and burial records from 1538 to 1911. Access is by subscription. FindMyPast has also upgraded their search capability to conform more closely to other genealogy subscription websites, such as Ancestry. Users can search first and last names using variants and dates can be entered with a date range. [Plymouth and West Devon Baptism Records]
UK – FamilySearch has added some 6.8 million records to the 1871 England and Wales census. This census collection is now 55% complete. Access is free. [1871 English Census]
Wales – FamilySearch has created a new indexed collection of parish records from Glamorgan County. The collection comes from the Glamorgan Family History Society. These are birth, marriage and death records from the years 1558 to 1900. This collection can be searched by first and last name. Access is free. [Glamorgan Parish Records]
US – GenealogyBank has recently added 152 more newspapers to its collections. The newspapers come from 42 different states and are a combination of articles and obituaries. Most of the new additions date from the 1880 to 1920 time period, although there are new additions to the collection that go back well before this time period as well as some recent newspapers. The link provides a complete listing of the new additions organized by state. Access is by subscription. [Historic US Newspapers]
US – FamilySearch has added about 850,000 county birth records for Ohio. This collection ranges in date from 1856 to 1909. Access is free. [Ohio Birth Records]
US – ProQuest has sent announced they are joining the US 1940 census consortium comprised of FamilySearch, FindMyPast and Archives.com (now Ancestry). ProQuest plans to eventually host the 1940 census records on their website. For those who are not familiar with ProQuest, the company is a large database subscription service that is normally accessed through public libraries and universities. With the addition of ProQuest to the 1940 census consortium, there are now three subscription services (FindMyPast, Ancestry, and ProQuest) and one free service (FamilySearch) hosting the 1940 census data that is being translated by volunteers. The consortium has also announced that they have indexed 35% of the census. They expect the indexing to be completed by late summer. The US Genweb Census Project also uses volunteers to translate the 1940 census records. They make the results freely available on their website and (as an additional bonus) to search engines. [Proquest] [US Genweb Census Project]
Canada – FamilySearch has added about 62,000 additional images of various documents from the Provincial Archives of Saskatchewan. This includes such items as homestead lists, voter lists, pioneer questionnaires, biographies, military records, teacher registries, municipal records, township records and Henderson Directories (basically a city directory of homes and businesses). The total collection now contains some 415,000 images and spans the years 1800 to 1900. Access is free. [Historic Saskatchewan Ancestral Records]
Canada – Library and Archives Canada (LAC) has put online an additional 73,000 images from the War of 1812. These records are actually three series. The first series deals with claims for 1812 losses from the Board of Claims (1813 to 1848). The second series is the Upper Canada (basically Ontario) militia returns, nominal rolls and paylists. The third series is the Lower Canada militia returns, nominal rolls and paylists. The entire LAC War of 1812 collection now consists of muster rolls, paylists, claims, medal lists, maps, paintings and claims from the war. Even if you think your ancestors were not in the war, they may have filed a claim for various things, such as damage to their property. The images are not searchable by keyword. Access, however, is free. [Canadian War of 1812 Claim Records] [Upper Canada Militia Records][Lower Canada Militia Records] [War of 1812 Miscellaneous Records]
US – Ancestry.com has put online a collection of 300,000 World War II cadet nursing corps card files. These are records of individual cadet nurses from between 1942 to 1948. In total, the collection covers some 124,000 young nurses who served in civilian, military and veteran hospitals in the United States during the war. These records are basically membership cards that list the name of the nurse, date of birth, date of admission to the corps, etc. Access is by subscription. [World War II Nursing Records]
US – Ancestry.com the number one genealogy website purchased the sixth most popular genealogy website Archives.com in a deal that valued the company at US$100 million. Archives.com runs a subscription genealogy search engine that focusses primarily on free ancestral records found on the internet (which incidentally is essentially the same as the free Genealogy Search Engine).
Archives.com had 380,000 paying subscribers, had over 5million monthly visits and generated some $15 million in annual revenue. This translates into Ancestry paying about 6.7 times sales for Archives. Ancestry now has access to the Archives team, who has done very well since Archives launched in July 2009 (as GenealogyArchives.com). The company behind Archives is Inflection, which specializes in people search websites (it also runs PeopleSmart.com and Identity.com).
Ancestry plans to continue to run Archives as a separate website with a differentiated offering from Ancestry. As Ancestry continues to grow, however, there are now less independent genealogy websites on the internet. According to the Top 100 Genealogy Websites List, Ancestry now owns five out of the top ten genealogy websites: (#1)Ancestry.com; (#6)Archives.com; (#7)Genealogy.com; (#8)Ancestry.co.uk and (#10)MyFamily. In addition, Ancestry.com owns ten other websites in the Top 100 List: (#14)Ancestry.ca; (#17)Fold3; (#18)Ancestry.com.au; (#31)Ancestry.de; (#36)FamilyTree Magazine; (#37)Jiapu; (#46)Mundia; (#53)FamilyTree Maker; (#74)ProGenealogists and (#77)Ancestry.se. It is starting to look a little lonely here at #20 GenealogyInTime Magazine.
UK – FindMyPast has published 113,000 wills and probate records from Chester. This collection spans the period from 1492 to 1911 and adds to the website’s extensive collection of Cheshire records. Access is by subscription. [Cheshire Probate Records]
US – The US Genweb Census Project has been very active since the release of the 1940 census records. Volunteers have been busy transcribing the new census records. This is a wonderful, website to check if you are looking for free census records from 1940 or earlier censuses. It is also a great website to volunteer your time doing some transcribing work. One particularly nice thing about the US Genweb Census Project is that they make their records freely available to all search engines.
Other participants in transcribing the 1940 census (Archives.com, FamilySearch, FindMyPast), who are also looking for volunteers, tend to hide their 1940 census records behind firewalls where they cannot be searched by Google and other search engines. By comparison, the US Genweb Census Project is fully searchable by Google as well as our free Genealogy Search Engine, which will automatically pick up the new 1940 census records as they are added to the website. [US Genweb Census Project]
Denmark – Probate records from the islands of Sjaelland, Bornholm and Maribo are now online from the Danish State Archives. Many court records are also now available as well as more records from Copenhagen, including death records and fire insurance records. Access is free. A free Java application must be downloaded to view the records. [Danish Probate Records]
Ireland – The Lensmen Press and Public Relations Photographic Agency has put online their massive archive of 2.6 million pictures of Ireland. In addition to the usual street scenes and photographs of famous events, this collection also contains a number of weddings photos, communions and family portraits, all of which are useful to genealogists. The archive can be searched by keyword, date range and location. Even if you are not looking for specific family images, this is a fun website to browse. It is generally free to search and view the images. There is a charge to make prints. [Irish Photo Archive]
Canada – The Canadian Museum of Civilization has put online a fascinating collection of Canadian mail order catalogues. The catalogues span the years from 1880 to 1975. If you are trying to date an old photograph by the type of hat or dress worn by the women in the image, or by the date of other artifacts in the image, then a collection of old catalogues can be a very valuable resource. Hats and dresses go in and out of fashion and (with a bit of practice) by cross-comparing cloths in an old photograph to the cloths in a catalogue you can reasonably narrow down the date range when an image was taken. Access to the catalogues is free. [Historic Mail Order Catalogues]
China – FamilySearch.org has increased their digital collection of Chinese genealogies from various public and private collections held in libraries and archives throughout the world. The collection is now composed of some 2.5 million images, with genealogies dating back as far as 1500 and as recent as 1900. The genealogies are organized by family name, country, province and county. Many of the genealogies originate from China. Access is free. [Chinese Genealogies]
Ghana – FamilySearch.org has put online 273,000 images of marriage records from Accra, Ghana. Accra is the capital and largest city of Ghana and these new marriage records date from 1929 to 1983. A typical marriage record from Ghana lists the name and age of both the husband and wife. It also lists the date and place of marriage, occupation of the husband, witnesses and place of residence. Also, something you don’t see every day on a marriage certificate, some marriage certificates also list other existing marriages of the husband. FamilySearch’s entire Ghana record collection now lists marriage and divorce records that span the years 1863 to 2003. Access is free. [Ghana Marriage Records]
UK – DeceasedOnline has put 210,000 records from the Eltham crematorium online. This is one of London’s largest cremation facilities and it has served primarily south east London since 1956. A typical record lists name, address, marital status, age, denomination, occupation, date of death and date of cremation. Access is by pay-per-view. [London Cremation Records]
UK – FindMyPast has added about 650,000 new parish records for Northamptonshire, Yorkshire, Dorset and Kent. The bulk of the new additions are burial records and marriage records from Northamptonshire. The link provides a complete list of the parishes that are covered. Access is by subscription. [Northamptonshire Burial Records]
UK – Deceased Online has added about 16,000 burial records for two rural cemeteries in Cotswold, Gloucestershire. Both cemeteries are near Cirencester. The record set consists of digital scans of the burial registers (forename, surname, description of person buried, age and date of burial), details of the graves and a map indicating the location of the grave. The records date from 1872 to the present. Access is by pay-per-view. [Cotswold Burial Records]
UK – FindMyPast in association with the National Archives has published over 1 million maritime records. The records are being released to coincide with the one hundred anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic. Titanic crew and passenger records are included in this collection, which consist primarily of death records of people who died at sea. Some birth and marriage records are also included. This collection was cobbled together from 10 different record series (the UK never had a centralized register of maritime births, marriages or deaths), so the type of information available will vary depending on the series. Access is by subscription. [UK Maritime Death Records]
Scotland – FindMyPast has been on a roll recently with their Scottish census records. They have just added the 1901 Scottish census to their collection. The website now has a complete collection of all Scottish censuses from 1841 to 1901. The records can be searched by first and last name, birth year, county, occupation, etc. Access is by subscription. [1901 Scottish Census]
US – FamilySearch.org has set up a special page on their website dealing with the recent release of the 1940 census. You can search the digital images from the census as well as keep track to see which records by state have already been published. This is a very useful page to check out. Access is free. [US 1940 Census Records]
For additional genealogy records, please see genealogy records by country.