Newest Genealogy Records on the Internet
Below is a listing of the newest genealogy records that have become available on the internet.
Ireland – The Irish Genealogical Research Society had uploaded a Roman Catholic index from Ennis parish (also known as Drumcliff) in County Clare, which is in southwest Ireland. Included in this index are baptisms (1841 to 1900) and marriages (1837 to 1900). For the baptisms, each entry lists the date of baptism, the parent’s names and the mother’s maiden name. For the marriages, the index lists the date of marriage and the names of the bride and groom. There are some 15,000 names in this index. Access is by subscription. [Ennis Parish Records]
US – Readex continues to add to their American Civil War collection. This collection comes from the comprehensive holdings of the American Antiquarian Society. It consists of a diverse set of material such as broadsheets, lithographs, maps, books, pamphlets and photographs. In total, the collection now features more than 13,500 works published between 1860 and 1922. It is fully indexed and searchable. Readex can be accessed through most public libraries. They do not offer individual subscriptions. [Readex Collections]
Ireland – The Irish Genealogical Research Society (IRGS) has started to put online a collection known as the Captain Clanchy Marriage Index. This is an index of Irish marriages prepared during the 1950s by Captain Henry Clanchy, an early member of the society. The marriage index was built from the society’s manuscript collection and pedigree files. Most of the marriages date from the 1600s to the 1800s. In total, the index contains some 6,000 entries, with the card entries for the letters A to C already online (see the example below). The collection is available to members of the society. [Captain Clanchy Marriage Index]
Canada – The Drouin Institute has put online 1.3 million free Quebec obituaries dating from 1999 to the present. These obituaries have been collected from 250 different internet sources. The records can be searched by name and date of death. Access is free. [Recent Quebec Obituaries]
US – The New York Public Library (NYPL) has released an incredible collection of more than 20,000 maps with no known copyright restrictions. These maps can be downloaded in high resolution format for free. The collection is diverse. Included are 1,100 maps of the mid-Atlantic United States from the 1500s to the 1800s; 700 topographical maps of the Austro-Hungarian empire from 1877 to 1914; 2,800 state, county and city maps mainly of New York and New Jersey and finally the really big one for genealogists: 10,300 property, zoning, topographical and Sanborn fire insurance maps of New York city from 1852 to 1922 as well as 1,000 additional maps of the five boroughs and neighborhoods dating from 1660 to 1922. The collection can be searched by keyword. Access is free. [Free Historic Maps of New York City]
The website also has a tool that allows you to ‘warp’ (overlay) historic maps onto modern maps. We have talked about this before (the Map Warper tool is about three years old). Below is the YouTube video that describes how the process works. If you want to download a high-resolution copy of a map for your files, you need to do it through the Map Warper tool. Access is free. Registration is required. [NYPL Map Warper]
US – FamilySearch.org has added some 1.7 million more indexed records to its collection of muster rolls of the US Marine Corps. The original documents come from the National Archives and cover the period from 1798 to 1892. A typical muster roll shows the name of the officer or enlisted man, rank and unit, date of enlistment (or date of re-enlistment), name of the ship and any appropriate notes, such as promotions, etc. In some cases, additional information may also be included, such as injuries or illnesses and date of death or discharge. For challenging situations, information may also include date of desertion, date of apprehension, date of court martial and the court martial sentence. The collection can be searched by first and last name. Access is free. [Historic US Marine Corps Muster Rolls]
US – The free website Genealogy Trails is currently working on adding the 1883 Pensioners on the Roll for every county in every state. These are pension records of Union soldiers. The project is currently around 60% complete. Work has also started on transcribing the 1890 Veterans Census. This project is currently around 25% complete (note: records are not available from all states because some of these census records were destroyed by fire). Access is free. [Genealogy Trails]
UK – FamilySearch.org has added 2.9 million indexed records to their collection of Kent registers of electors. The collection spans the years from 1570 to 1907 and lists eligible voters. The collection also contains a few military muster rolls. If you are not familiar with electoral rolls, read the article Searching Electoral Rolls for Ancestors. This collection can be searched by name. Access is free. [Historic Kent Electoral Rolls]
UK – This is a preannouncement. FindMyPast and the National Archives have announced a joint project to put online the 1939 National Identity Register. This was basically a mini-census that was taken on the night of Friday 29 September 1939 (at the start of World War II). The British Government conducted the survey because it wanted updated statistics on the population so that identity cards could be issued. It was also required in case a draft was needed, in case of mobilisation and mass evacuation of the general population and in case rationing was required (which was introduced a few months later in January 1940). For genealogists, the 1939 National Identity Register makes up for the regularly-scheduled 1941 census, which did not take place due to the war.
The details recorded in the 1939 National Identity Register include name, residence, sex, date of birth, marital status, occupation and whether the person was a member of the armed forces or reserves. The process for the enumeration worked as follows. On the night of Friday 29 September 1939, some 65,000 enumerators delivered forms to each household. Each household was responsible for filling out their own form. Two days later on the Sunday and Monday, the enumerators returned to collect the forms. The enumerators checked the forms and (if there were no problems) issued a complete identity card on the spot to each member of the household.
There was a strong incentive for everyone to register correctly. Other than societal pressure given that war had just broken out, it was widely broadcast that anyone who “neglected” to register would not be eligible in the future for ration books. The 1939 register covers some 40 million individuals. Given the absence of a 1931 census (the records were destroyed in a fire in December 1942) and a 1941 census (never taken due to the war), this record set will be very valuable to family historians. No date has been given as to when the records will be available online.
If you want to be kept informed about the project, you can register at www.1939register.co.uk One thing to note is that due to privacy issues, information on individuals still alive today will not be included in the database. If you really can’t wait for the 1939 register to go online, you can actually put a request into the government today to see the information (after paying a hefty charge of something like £42). Just click on the link. [1939 National Register]
Ireland – The free website Bandon Genealogy continues to add free genealogy records from the town and surrounding area of Bandon, County Cork Ireland. The list of records is extensive and includes everything from Griffiths Valuations to local directories, to leases and tenancies to military records to census records and much more. This is a great website to check out if you think you may have ancestors from the region. Access is free. [Bandon Genealogy]
Barbados – FamilySearch.org has added some 253,000 Anglican Church parish records from Barbados. These are primarily baptism, marriage and death records spanning the years from 1637 to 1887. Some church records from other denominations are also in the collection spanning the years 1660 to 1887. This record collection can be searched by name. The records can also be browsed by parish. Civil registration only began in Barbados in 1890 for births and marriages and 1925 for deaths, so parish records are very important for anyone wanting to trace their Barbados ancestors. Access is free. [Historic Barbados Parish Records]
US – FamilySearch.org has indexed some 2.6 million county tax rolls from Texas. These records span the years from 1846 to 1910 and cover 231 out of 254 Texas counties. The indexing project is 13% complete, although all the record images are currently available for browsing. A typical record lists the land owner’s name, name of the original grantee, number of acres of land, plot description (for town lots), value of land, closest town or city, type and value of livestock and quantity and value of crops as well as amount of county and state taxes. This collection is being indexed in partnership with the Texas State Genealogical Society. It can be searched by name, year and place. Access is free. [Historic Texas Tax Rolls]
France – Stanford University in California has launched a new digital archive on the French Revolution. Included are the day-to-day French parliamentary records from 1789 to 1794 and a vast visual collection of 14,000+ prints from the French national library. The parliamentary records consist of letters, reports, speeches and first-hand accounts from a variety of sources. Many famous and not-so-famous people are mentioned in the reports. The database can be searched by keyword, person, timeline and document type. This database is likely to be useful for anyone who may have had a French aristocratic connection in their family tree. Access is free. [French Revolution Archive]
Australia/New Zealand – The National Archives of Australia and the New Zealand Archives have joined forces to create a new website called Discovering Anzacs. The objective is to create a profile of every Anzac who enlisted in World War I complete with their service record. People can also contribute their own personal family stories and photographs as well as help transcribe war diaries and service records. The brief video below describes the process. Access is free. [Discovering Anzacs]
South Africa – The Genealogical Society of South Africa has been steadily adding to their online record collection. The latest additions include Cape Town Baptisms (1713 to 1742), Cape Town Marriages (1713 to 1756), Drakenstein baptism register (1694 to 1713) and indexes to civilian deaths in Cape Province (1895 to 1972). The link provides a complete list of all the records that have currently been transcribed and put online by the society. The society is also looking for volunteers to help with transcribing additional documents. Access is free. [South Africa Genealogy Records]
Ireland – The Irish Department of Defense has launched a collection of military service pension records that span the years from 1916 to 1923. The first tranche contains some 10,000 files on members of the Irish Volunteers, Citizen Army, Hibernian Rifles, the Irish Republican Army, Cumann na mBan and the National Army. This collection is part of a wider program by the Irish Department of Defense to catalogue and eventually put online some 300,000 military service pension files. Most of the files are expected to be online by 1916. The collection is fairly diverse and includes everything from letters applying for a pension to various organizational and membership files to basic administration files. The pension files are particularly detailed and list the full name of the individual, address, date of birth, date of death, civilian occupations, military record, military awards, etc. The entire collection can be searched by keyword. The website has a detailed guide to the collection. Access is free. [Republic of Ireland Military Pension Records]
US – The New York Philharmonic Orchestra, the oldest symphony orchestra in the United States, has put online their entire historic archive going back to 1842. Normally, this type of archive is not particularly interesting to genealogists. However, this archive has millions of pages of material on every aspect of the orchestra, including some 16,000 photographs of musicians who played for the orchestra over the years. If you had an ancestor who was a professional musician, you might find a reference in this collection. Access is free. [New York Philharmonic Orchestra Archives]
US – The US GenNet Data Repository continues to grow with new record collections. Some of the latest additions include US military fatalities from the Korean and Vietnam Wars from West Virginia and US fatalities of the Korean War from Michigan. Access is free and there is no registration of signup required. Records are organized by state. [US GenNet Data Repository]
US – The Butte Montana Archives has put online 20 different databases related to the mining city’s history. Included in the collection are local cemetery records, immigration records, obituary indices and widow pension applications. Access is by subscription. Subscriptions are available for 3-month time periods. [Butte Montana Archives]
US – The Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute of Troy, New York has put online more than 100 years of student newspapers from the university. The collection spans the years from 1885 to 2001 and consists of some 41,000 pages of newspaper content. The link below also provides access to other digital content from Rensselaer, including historic alumni magazines. The collections can be searched by keyword. Access is free. [Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Historic Student Newspaper Collection]
India – The 1947 Partition Archive is an oral history archive dedicated to preserving the stories of individuals who were affected by the partition of India at independence. An estimated 15 million people were thought to have been made homeless by the partition. Initially started by a former University of California postdoctoral student as a personal project, the archive has quickly grown to over 1,000 stories. The target is to gather at least an additional 3,000 more stories in 2014. The video below describes how the archive works. Access is free. [1947 Partition Archive]
US – Ancestry.com has added a new collection of Iowa marriage records. The collection consists of some 612,000 marriage records from Iowa that span the years from 1923 to 1937. These records can be searched by name, date of marriage and location of marriage. Ancestry also has a collection of Iowa marriage records from 1851 to 1900. Access is by subscription. [Iowa Marriage Records 1923 to 1937]
UK – TheGenealogist has added over 1.6 million parish records from the following counties: Essex; Kent, Lincolnshire, Somerset, Wiltshire and Worcestershire. The link below provides a detailed list of parish records held on the website by county, district and date. Access is by subscription. [UK Parish Records]
UK – Origins.net has put online the 1891 England and Wales census. This record collection contains details on some 29 million individuals. The census was taken on 5 April 1891 and lists the names, age, address, occupation, place of birth and relationship to the head of the household. This collection can be searched by name, county, district, place of birth and age. Origins.net also hosts the 1841, 1861, 1871 and 1901 censuses. Access is by subscription. [1891 England and Wales Census]
Australia – FindMyPast.com.au has added a collection of some 640,000 convict records. The collection consists of two parts: 515,000 New South Wales and Tasmania settler and convict records (1787 to 1859) and 125,000 convict transportation registers (1787 to 1870). The NSW record set consists of transcripts, indexes and original handwritten records relating to convicts, former convicts and settlers. A typical record lists a person’s year of birth, ship and year of arrival to the colony, occupation and place of residence. The convict transportation registers lists ship and year of arrival, details on sentencing and the term of the sentence (typically 7 years, 14 years or life). An estimated 20% of Australians are thought to have a convict ancestry, suggesting this record set will be of interest to many people. Access is by subscription. [Australian Convict Records]
Australia – FamilySearch.org has indexed 1 million records from their State of Victoria probate register collection. The collection covers the years from 1841 to 1989 and generally involves wills. A typical record lists the name of person, date of death, address, occupation, date of testament and a declaration. Most wills list names of children, names of heirs, name of the spouse and name of the administrator of the will. Access is free. [State of Victoria Probate Records]
New Zealand – Ancestry.co.uk has put online a new collection of some 113,000 names from the registers of medical practitioners and nurses from New Zealand. This collection covers the years from 1882 to 1933. The collection can be searched by name and location. A typical listing gives the name of the individual, their qualifications and their location. This list covers physicians, surgeons, nurses and midwives. Access is by subscription. [Historic New Zealand Medical Practitioners]
Norway – Arkivverket Digitalarkivet (part of the national archives of Norway) has posted online the 1910 Norwegian census. The collection is fully searchable by name and residence. Some of the information that can be found in this census includes name, gender, marital status, occupation, date and place of birth, address, religion and father’s ethnicity. This is big news for anyone with Norwegian ancestors. Access is free. The link takes you to the English-language version of the website. [Norway 1910 Census]
Scotland – ScotlandsPeople has put online the 1885 Valuation Rolls. These are essentially property assessments and cover every kind of property. A typical Valuation Roll lists the address, the name and occupation of the owner or tenant and the yearly rent or value. The 1885 Valuation Roll covers 1,441,484 people. Valuation rolls were produced yearly from 1855 to 1955. The 1885 Valuation Roll is the earliest one to go online (other years that are available at ScotlandsPeople includes 1895, 1905, 1915 and 1920). Access is by subscription. [Scotland 1885 Valuation Roll]
US – Archives.com has added 5 million US vital records to their collection. This is the first significant addition to the website since it was purchased by Ancestry.com in 2013. The new additions include Alabama marriage records (1816 to 1957), Arizona birth records (1907 to 1917), Arizona marriage records (1888 to 1908), Arizona death records (1910/11 and 1933 to 1994), California birth records (1812 to 1988), California marriage records (1850 to 1945) and District of Columbia birth, marriage and death records (various dates). Please be aware the coverage is not complete by state, but seems to vary county by county within each state. Access is by subscription. [Archives.com]
UK – Deceased Online has completed digitizing the records from Kensal Green cemetery in London. Kensal Green was opened in 1833. It became the first of the ‘Magnificent Seven’ – seven grand garden-style cemeteries that ringed what were at the time the outer suburbs of London. The cemetery received its first funeral in January 1833 and it is still in operation today. The cemetery contains both Anglican and ‘dissenter’ (non-Anglican) sections. Deceased Online has put online some 330,000 records for all burials and cremations up to December 2010. Each record consists of a digital scan of the original burial book and details of who is buried in the grave. Later this year, maps of the cemetery will also be added. Access is by subscription. [Kensal Green Burial Records]
Wales – Welsh Newspapers Online has added 27 new publications to their growing database of historic newspapers. The collection now consists of some 100 historic newspapers, 630,000 pages and 6.8 million articles. The newspapers span the years from 1804 to 1919. The records can be searched by news, family notices and advertisements. The collection can also be browsed by date and newspaper title. Access is free. [Historic Welsh Newspapers]
US – MyHeritage has put online a massive collection of 816 million recent US public records. The records come from recent telephone books, property tax assessments, voter registration lists and credit applications [not sure how they managed to get credit applications]. The collection spans the years from 1970 to 2010. Access is by subscription. [US Public Records]
World – An additional 100 million more ancestral records have been indexed by the free Genealogy Search Engine. Some highlights of the new additions include:
• Poland – several online digital collections have been added.
• US – more historic university archives have been added, as well as several more obituary websites.
• UK – indexed some early photographic collections.
• Canada – indexed websites containing historic biographies.
• Israel – indexed historic city directories from the 1930s and 1940s.
• Netherlands – added a few more websites containing ancestral records.
• Indexed various WWI commemorative websites.
The Genealogy Search Engine now searches over 3.1 billion free ancestral records from around the world. It is the most powerful free ancestral search engine available on the internet. [Genealogy Search Engine]
Read the article A Guide to Performing Online Genealogy Searches to learn how to use the search engine.
UK/India – FindMyPast in partnership with the British Library has released 2.5 million records detailing the lives of the British in India. The records span the years from 1698 to 1947 and consist of birth and baptism records, deaths and burials, wills and probates, pension records, cadet papers and applications for the civil service. The video below provides more details on the collection. Access is by subscription. However, for those who are interested, FindMyPast is currently offering a free 14 day trial. [British India Records]
UK – MyHeritage.com has added 118 million records to their UK collection. MyHeritage, which has traditionally been known for family trees, is now building up databases of historic records. Most of the additions to their UK collection are birth and christening records. The records cover the years from 1538 to 1975 (birth records of living individuals are presumably not in the collection). The collection can be searched by a variety of means, including first and last name, year, place, etc. If the search finds records for related individuals, it will show those as well. Access is by subscription. [UK Birth Records]
Europe – Europeana 1914-1918 has relaunched their website to better cover the First World War. One of the changes involves collecting from the public previously unpublished letters, photographs and keepsakes from the war. The website has already added 90,000 items and more than 7,000 stories and the collection continues to grow. The website also contains a substantial collection of over 400,000 pieces of material and 660 hours of film from eight different national libraries. Most of the material focuses on the human and cultural aspects of the war. New material is added on a regular basis. There are many things here that would be of interest to genealogists. The video below provides a glimpse of the scope of the collection. Access is free. [Europeana 1914-1918]
UK - The Wellcome Library has launched a new website called Wellcome Images. It contains over 100,000 historic images for viewing. Everything from manuscripts, paintings, early photographs and historic advertisements are included in this collection. The collection can be searched by keyword.
Although it is not likely that you will find your ancestors, this website does provide excellent reference images of various peoples and cultures from around the world. The old historical images in the collection can be downloaded for free (see the example below). Please note the website is running a bit slow. [Wellcome Images]
UK – The National Archives has launched a rare collection of First World War military service tribunals. These are 11,000 case files from Middlesex, where people applied to the local tribunal for exemption from compulsory military service (which was introduced in 1916, some two years after the start of the war). Most of the applications for exemptions fall into four categories: moral (conscientious objectors); medical (disability); family (looking after dependents) and economic (preserving a business).
As the First War dragged on, fatalities and casualties climbed far beyond anyone’s expectations. News about the horrible conditions on the front line slowly filtered back home. Much of it contradicted the official propaganda. This created a significant amount of tension on the home front. Still, only an estimated 10% of the applications for exemptions were based on moral grounds.
Only a very small number of these military tribunal papers survive. After the war, the UK government issued explicit instructions to local tribunals to destroy all these types of records due to their sensitive nature and the risk to the government.
The Middlesex collection was specifically held back from destruction and retained to be used as a possible benchmark in case military conscription was ever required in the future. It is a rare dataset. The collection can be searched by name, occupation and location. Access is free after registration. [WWI Military Tribunal Papers]
UK – Origins.net has added the fully indexed 1901 census for England and Wales to their collection. The 1841, 1861 and 1871 censuses are already available on the website. The 1851, 1881 and 1891 are expected to be added within the next six months. Origins.net currently has over 100 million British and Irish genealogy records. Access is by subscription. [Origins.net]
UK – Ancestry.co.uk has added some 1.4 million parish records from Plymouth and West Devon. The baptism, marriage and death records date from 1538 to 1912. Also included in the collection are some tombstone inscriptions, obituaries and tax lists. Access is by subscription. [Devonshire Parish Records]
Scotland – Ancestry.co.uk has added a collection of some 26.8 million birth and baptism records. The collection spans the years from 1564 to 1950. These appear to be records from FamilySearch, but (as usual) Ancestry is not clear on the source. The records can be searched by name, date of birth and location. Access is by subscription. [Historic Scottish Birth Records]
Australia – The website Claim a Convict is being relaunched on Australia Day. The new website is curated by Michelle Nichols and Jonathan Auld, who took over when Lesley Uebel fell ill. [Claim a Convict]
US – Ancestry.com has expanded their collaboration with FamilySearch. An additional 1billion records held by FamilySearch will become available on Ancestry. These are records that have already been digitized and are in addition to the previous announcement to digitize a separate 1 billion records. Apparently, the additional 1billion records come from some 67 different countries.
James Tanner has an interesting blog post suggesting these may be records that FamilySearch had in their possession, but they were not able to secure the digital rights. In the press release, Ancestry also mentioned they have committed to investing $100 million to digitize and index new content over the next five years. [Ancestry.com Press Release]
US – GenealogyBank has added 13 million more articles to their newspaper archives. In total, 29 newspapers from 17 states were added. The earliest addition comes from Fresno, California in the 1890s. The link provides the list of all the new additions. Access is by subscription. [New Additions to GenealogyBank]
US – Readex has expanded their early American newspaper collection. The new additions span the years from 1730 to 1900. Some of the early newspapers are rare, such as the Pennsylvania Gazette (1776 to 1793), one of the US’s most respected eighteenth century newspapers. In total, this collection contains some 440 newspaper titles. Readex does not sell individual subscriptions. Instead, it is accessible at most public libraries.
US – Ancestry.com has teamed up with the New York City Municipal Archives to compile an index to more than 10 million New York City birth, marriage and death records. The index is free to search. Ancestry also announced they are expanding their New York State census collection to include 1855, 1875 and 1905. [Historic New York Genealogy Records]
Peru – FamilySearch.org has added an additional 900,000 records to its civil registration collection from Lima, Peru. This collection spans the years from 1874 to 1996 and covers births, marriages and deaths that were recorded by civil registration offices in Lima. The collection can be searched by first and last name. Access to this collection is free. [Historic Lima Birth Records]
World – Want to know what indexing projects FamilySearch.org is currently working on? There is now a map of the world that you can consult to determine all the active indexing projects. If you are keen, you can even sign up as an indexer. [FamilySearch Indexing Projects]
Australia – The National Library of Australia has started 2014 off with a bang by announcing the addition of 53 more historic newspapers to Trove. The largest additions are from New South Wales and Victoria. Access is free. [Trove Newspaper Collection]
The Genealogy Search Engine can also be used to search Trove (in addition to over one thousand other websites containing ancestral records). When using the search engine, simply append site: trove.nla.gov.au to your search query if you want to limit your search to Trove.
UK/Ireland – FindMyPast has published the enlistment records of over 88,000 soldiers who served in the Royal Tank Corps from 1919 to 1934. According to FindMyPast, thousands of Irishmen are also featured in this record set. The collection contains details on previous military service, useful biographical information and the date of discharge. Access is by subscription. [Royal Tank Corps Enlistment Records]
UK – FamilySearch.org has created a massive new collection of indexes for births, marriages and deaths that cover England and Wales from 1837 to 1920. In total, there are 65.6 million births listed, 35.1 million marriages, and 40.6 million deaths. Note these are indexes and not complete records. These indexes will, however, point you to the exact location of the record, as shown in the image below. Access is free. [UK Birth Index] [UK Marriage Index] [UK Death Index]
UK – FindMyPast has published a unique collection of 19 million British rate book records. The records come from Manchester (1706 to 1900), Plymouth & West Devon (1598 to 1933), Southwark, and Westminster (1634 to 1900). If you are not familiar with rate books, they require some description. As mentioned in the article A Date Guide to English Genealogy, the passing of the Poor Law Act in 1601 compelled households to pay rates to help maintain the poor in their area. The rate paid was calculated based on the value of the property. This information was recorded in a rate book. Over time, the rates system evolved and the funds collected were used to pay for things other than welfare, such as local improvements to roads and canals.
Early rate books usually just list the householder’s name and the amount paid for their property. Beginning in the 1830s, however, rate books started to contain more detailed information. Rate books became more organized and were generally laid out in a logical geographic fashion. Houses were listed on a street by street basis. Each house listed the householder’s name, the value of the property and the rate paid.
Rate books in this collection can be searched by both address and householder’s name. They can serve as a useful proxy in the absence of census records. The easiest way to trace someone is usually to start with the most recent rate book and work backwards. Access to this collection is by subscription. [Historic British Rate Books]
UK – Ancestry.co.uk has added a collection of pre-1858 wills. The collection contains about 1 million records. The wills in this collection were managed by the ecclesiastical courts of the Church of England (wills prior to 12 January 1858 were managed by the church). Wills provide a good means of understanding family members and family relationships. A typical will lists spouses, children, and sometimes even parents.
Most early English and Welsh wills from this period were written by people who had to transfer land and significant property. This collection will likely appeal to people who had wealthy ancestors. There are a couple of other things to note before looking at this collection. First, married women were not allowed to own property, so there are few women in the collection. Second, wills were sometimes recorded in the courts years after the person died, so search a wide range of dates after the expected year of death. Access is by subscription. [UK Ecclesiastical Wills]
Portugal – FamilySearch.org has significantly increased their collection of Catholic Church records from the district of Santarém, Portugal. The collection now consists of some 650,000 images of baptism, marriage and death records spanning the years from 1544 to 1911. The images can be searched by municipality, parish, type of record and year. Access is free. [Santarém Baptism Records]
Denmark – FamilySearch.org has a new collection of approximately 100,000 civil marriages from Denmark that span the years from 1851 to 1961. These records can be searched by first and last name. The records cover the small percentage of people who did not get married in the state church (Lutheran Church of Denmark). Since most Danes were members of the church, this collection likely includes many foreign nationals living in the country at the time. Access to this collection is free. [Danish Civil Marriage Records]
US – The Troy Irish Genealogical Society of Troy, New York has added to their collection of interment records. Included are new interments from St. Mary’s Cemetery (1952 to 1970). Also new to the website are marriage, death and miscellaneous news stories from the newspaper West Troy Advocate (1837 to 1860) and a list of local casualties from World War II. The link provides a list of all the transcription projects done by the society. Access is free. [Troy New York Genealogy Records]
US – FamilySearch.org has created three new browsable image collections of ship passenger lists for Baltimore (1820 to 1897), Boston (1899 to 1940), and Philadelphia (1800 to 1906). Baltimore has been partially transcribed but the other collections are identified by NARA roll numbers so it will take some time to search through the images. One thing to note (as we identified in the article Ellis Island Immigration Records) is that ship passenger forms were typically filled out by ship’s pursers before the ship docked (and not by customs officials upon arrival). Ship’s pursers were not the best spellers. Misspelling names and places was a common occurrence, as shown by the example below. Access to these records is free. [Baltimore Ship Passenger Records] [Boston Ship Passenger Records] [Philadelphia Ship Passenger Records]
US – The Historic Pittsburgh Census Project allows users to search early 1850 to 1880 censuses of the city. The records can be searched by a variety of means, including by name, by street, by city of birth and by occupation. Access is free. [Historic Pittsburgh Census Project]
US – The New York Public Library has a service called Direct Me NYC 1940. Basically, you look up your ancestor’s New York address in the online 1940 NYC telephone directory. The website then converts the address into the appropriate census enumeration district. This makes a good second check for people who were not able to find their 1940 ancestors through the FamilySearch website. [Direct Me NYC 1940] [FamilySearch 1940 Census Search] [Official 1940 Census Website]
World – The year 2014 marks the 100th anniversary of the start of World War I. There will be many websites launched in 2014 to commemorate this event. A good place to follow the action is the First World War Centenary website. It provides useful information on upcoming events and website launches. It also has a very useful guide for genealogists wanting to research soldiers from WWI. Access is free. [First World War Centenary]
New Zealand – New Zealand has launched their commemorative website devoted to remembering the events of World War One. It is full of excellent information concerning New Zealand’s involvement in the war, including the incredible fact that 10% of the country’s population at the time was serving overseas. If you have New Zealand ancestors, this is a website that you will want to bookmark and return to on a regular basis. Access is free. [New Zealand World War One Website]
US – FamilySearch.org has added some 1.4 million images to their collection of Washington State county records. This collection spans the years from 1856 to 2009 and includes various types of records such as vital, probate, school, tax and naturalization records. This collection now totals some 5.4 million images in total. The images are organized by county and then record type. Below is a sample image of a school register. Access is free. [Washington State County Records]
Scotland – The Scottish College of Physicians has put online an index of doctors in Scotland from World War I. All doctors in the country at the time were required to register as part of the war effort. The indexes contain a surprising amount of detail, such as the full name of the doctor, educational qualifications, current address, age and specialties. In total, some 2,150 doctors are listed. The records are listed alphabetically by name and can also be searched by keyword. Access is free. [Historic Scottish Doctors Index]
Brazil – FamilySearch.org has created a new collection of images of cemetery records from the four municipal cemeteries in Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais. The collection consists of some 151,000 images organized by cemetery and then by family name. The collection spans the years from 1897 to 2012. A typical record is shown below. Access is free. [Minas Gerais Cemetery Records]
Liberia – FamilySearch.org has started a small but important census collection for the settlement of Monrovia in the colony of Liberia. The census dates to 1843 and lists many of the emancipated American survivors of slavery who resettled in Liberia and their descendants. The census lists the name, age, date of arrival, relatives in the colony, profession, education and health as shown in the image below (the comment “do” in many fields is short-hand for “ditto”, meaning the same as above). This collection can be searched by name. Access is free. [Monrovia 1843 census]
Wales – The National Library of Wales has launched a new website called Cymru 1914 - The Welsh Experience of the First World War. The website is a collaborative effort developed in partnership with several universities and archives in Wales. It commemorates the impact the First World War had on Wales. The website contains a collection of newspapers, images, sound and archival material from the era. The collection of war posters is particularly interesting, as shown by the example below.
Next year marks the 100th anniversary of the First World War. Many new websites are being planned by various national archives to commemorate the event. Hopefully, they will all be as good as Cymru 1914. Access to the website is free. [Cymru 1914]
Ireland – The National Library of Ireland has begun to put some of their historic photographs online via the Google Cultural Institute. The purpose of the initiative is to increase the exposure of these photographs to the general public. Currently, there are three online exhibits: Witness to War; Dubliners - The Photographs of JJ Clarke; Power and Privilege – The Big House in Ireland. The National Library of Ireland’s photographic collection consists of some 5.3 million images. It is expected the online collection, although currently small, will grow over time. Access is free. [National Library of Ireland Historic Photographs]
For those not familiar with the Google Cultural Institute, it provides a platform for museums, galleries and archives to digitally highlight their collection online. Hundreds of institutions are already on the platform. The short video below highlights some of the capabilities of the website, which may be of use to genealogists.
Belgium – FamilySearch.org has added a variety of indexed civil registration records from various regions of Belgium. Included is Antwerp (1609 to 1909), Brabant (1582 to 1912), East Flanders (1598 to 1906), Hainaut (1600 to 1911), Limburg (1798 to 1906), Liége (1621 to 1910) and West Flanders (1582 to 1910). In total, some 850,000 indexed records have been added to the collection. Access to these records is free. [Historic Belgium Civil Registration Records]
Canada – FamilySearch.org has added an additional 2.2 million records of passenger lists from various Canadian ports. This collection spans the years from 1881 to 1922. Access is free. [Canada Passenger Records]
Caribbean – Readex has begun the process of building a new online digital collection of Caribbean newspapers. The newspapers span the years from 1718 to 1876. There are 140 different titles in the collection and the newspapers come from 22 different Caribbean islands. It will take a while for the entire collection to be digitized and put online. However, this is exciting news for anyone with Caribbean ancestors. There is generally a lack of online genealogy records from the Caribbean region. This new collection should help close some of the deficit. The newspapers originate from the American Antiquarian Society. Once the digitization process is completed, this will be the largest online collection of 18th and 19th century Caribbean newspapers. For those not familiar with Readex, it is an online institutional service available at many public libraries. Check with your local branch. [Historic Caribbean Newspapers]
El Salvador – FamilySearch.org has added civil registration records from El Salvador. The collection spans the years from 1704 to 1977. These are primarily birth, marriage and death records. Access is free. [El Salvador Birth Records]
US – FamilySearch.org has made a huge increase to the collection of New York City passenger records. Some 28.3 million additional records have been indexed and put online from two different time periods: 1820 to 1891 and 1909 to 1957. This is a massive addition to free online records from Ellis Island. For more information on Ellis Island, please see the article Ellis Island Immigration Records. Access is free. [New York 1820-1891 Passenger Records] [New York 1909-1957 Passenger Records]
US – Genealogy Trails continues to add new genealogy records on a daily basis from across the United States. All of the information is sorted by state and region. The website now has a couple million records. This is one of the best free genealogy websites available and it is worth checking out on a regular basis. It can also be searched using the Genealogy Search Engine. Access is free. [Genealogy Trails]
UK – The Isle of Wight Family History Society has been steadily adding to their collection of free genealogy records. So far, there are some 256,000 birth records, 102,000 marriage records and 226,000 death records. The records span the years from 1837 to 2010. There is also a project in place to add all recent deaths since 2010. A typical record on the website will provide the full name, year and place plus additional information. Also included is a very handy link to apply to the island registrar for an official certificate of the record with all the pertinent details automatically completed on the form. Access to the database is free. [Isle of Wight Family History Society]
UK – Deceased Online continues to add to their collection of London burial records. Recently, two additional cemeteries in the London borough of Sutton were added to the website (Sutton Cemetery and Cuddington Cemetery). Access is by pay-per-view. [London Cemetery Records]
Scotland – Maxwell Ancestry had added two new collections to their website. The first collection is an index of paternity cases from the south of Scotland that went before the Sheriffs Court. These are typically cases where a woman gave birth to an illegitimate child and then had to pursue the father of the child through the court for maintenance payments. This is a rare collection that can help researchers overcome brick walls. The collection currently spans the years from 1831 to 1892 for the county of Roxburghshire and intermittently from 1830 to 1897 for the county of Dumfriesshire. Eventually, this collection will cover all of southern Scotland.
The second collection from Maxwell Ancestry is parish records not found on the Scotland’s People website. Specifically, these birth, marriage and death records were taken from Kirk Session material from the Church of Scotland and other Presbyterian churches. Maxwell Ancestry now has some 460,000 records across their various online indexes. There is no charge to search. There is a modest charge to order a full transcript. [Maxwell Ancestry]
Ireland – FindMyPast Ireland has added 2.6 million more petty court records to their collection of Irish Petty Sessions Court Registers. This collection spans the years from 1828 to 1912 and covers a variety of minor offenses and misdemeanors such as trespassing, public drunkenness, failure to pay rent, etc. With this newest addition, this collection covers over 20 million records with a significant expansion of records from Cork, Kerry, Offaly and Tipperary. FindMyPast Ireland now has over 76 million records in total. If you are not familiar with the website, the brief video below is a good introduction. Access is by subscription. [Irish Petty Court Records]
US – FamilySearch.org has added some 71,000 indexed records to its collection of Minnesota naturalization records. This collection spans the years from 1930 to 1988. A typical record lists the name, home address, age or date of birth, date of admission, various court information and the signature of the immigrant as shown in the image below. Access is free. [Minnesota Naturalization Records]
US – The Wisconsin State Historical Society is about half way through digitizing their collection of 8,000 Sanborn fire insurance maps from across the state. The collection is being digitized alphabetically. So far, the towns of Ableman to Marshfield have been completed. For those not familiar with Sanborn fire insurance maps, they were maps drawn up by insurance companies that provide detailed information on types and structures of buildings within a town. Below is a sample image. If you happen to know the address of an ancestor, these maps can be invaluable in providing a detailed layout of an historic street. Access to this collection is free. [Wisconsin Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps]
US – Record Hunter Search has grown over the past few months. The website hosts numerous historical and genealogical records primarily from Pennsylvania, with some records from upstate New York. Currently, the records are not indexed and exist as images only. Included in the collections are newspaper clippings, obituaries, Revolutionary War pension files and service records. Please be aware some of the links on this website do not work. Access is free. [Record Hunter Search]
Brazil – FamilySearch.org has added an additional 1.2 million images of immigration cards from Brazil. The latest additions come from São Paulo and cover the years 1902 to 1980. This brings the total number of immigration cards from the region to some 1.6 million. These images are not yet indexed, but they are organized alphabetically by last name. Below is a sample image. Access is free. [São Paulo Immigration Cards]
Ireland – An archive of spoken Irish has just gone online. Called the Doegen Records Web Project, it consists of sound recordings made from 1928 to 1931. A total of 136 speakers from 17 counties recorded 400 stories, songs, prayers, charms and parables. The archive can be searched by title, speaker, county and keyword. This website won’t help you find a specific ancestor, but it does provide great context. Access is free. [Doegen Records Web Project]
Ireland – The collaboration between FamilySearch.org and the National Archives of Ireland is starting to bear some really interesting results. According to an article in the Irish Times newspaper, by the end of this year irishgenealogy.ie will host the General Register Office’s database of its indexes of births, marriages and deaths. In particular, the years from 1903 to 1927 will be indexed and put online. These years lists the mother’s surname on the birth certificate. As well, FamilySearch.org will in the next few months be releasing transcripts and images of the surviving fragments of the 1821 to 1851 censuses. Stay tuned.
UK – The National Archives has launched new First World War portal. In addition, there will be a rolling series of digitised record releases over the next several months. The new portal makes it easy to access all the collections from one convenient location. Included are record collections of medals, RAF officers, merchant seamen, army nurses, prisoners of war, Royal Navy volunteer reserve, women’s Royal Air Force, women’s Royal Naval Service, etc. Some charges may apply. [UK National Archives WWI Portal]
Scotland – On Monday 28 October 2013, the website ScotlandsPeople will be releasing the Scottish Property Valuation Rolls for 1920. These rolls include the names and addresses of more than 2.6 million people across Scotland. They list the owners, tenants and occupiers of all types of property. Each record is searchable by name and address. These records will be very useful for anyone wanting to trace their ancestors beyond the 1911 census. ScotlandsPeople already has the 1895, 1905 and 1915 Property Valuation Rolls online. Access is by subscription. [Scotland 1920 Property Valuation Rolls]
Ireland – Galway County is formally launching their online digital archive. Although small at the moment, the collection is expected to grow larger in the future. Already, some burial records and Poor Law Union records have gone online. The archive appears to be focussing on putting the most requested collections online first. Access is free. [Galway County Digital Archive]
World – FamilySearch.org this week signed agreements with MyHeritage.com and FindMyPast.com to make records from FamilySearch.org available on these websites. FindMyPast.com will initially host 13 million records from FamilySearch.org with more records to follow. No specific number was given by MyHeritage.com, but according to the press release, more than 2 billion records from FamilySearch.org will be searchable from their website.
UK – FamilySearch.org has added some 1.1 million indexed records to its collection of Norfolk parish records. With this latest addition, FamilySearch.org has managed to transcribe about 76% of the available parish records from the Norfolk Record Office. These records of baptisms, marriages and deaths span the years from 1685 to 1941. Also included are some marriage banns. Note: some of the Norfolk parish records include parishes in neighbouring regions of Suffolk, Lincolnshire and Cambridgeshire. Access is free, although as of this writing, FamilySearch.org had not yet provided a landing page for searching this collection. [Norfolk Parish Records]
Canada – FamilySearch.org has indexed an additional 354,000 Ontario marriage records. This collection spans the years from 1869 to 1927 and can be searched by name. Access is free. [Ontario Marriage Records]
Canada – FamilySearch.org has indexed some 1.7million records of Canada passenger lists. These lists can be searched by name, making it easy to find ancestors. The list of ports covered is extensive: Quebec City (1900 to 1921); Halifax (1881 to 1922); Saint John (1900 to 1912); North Sydney (1906 to 1912); Vancouver (1905 to 1912) and Victoria (1905 to 1912). Also included are records from New York (1906 to 1912) and other Eastern US ports that list the names of passengers who intended to proceed directly to Canada.
Each record lists the full name of the individual, the date of arrival, port of arrival, place of birth and the name of the ship. Some of the original records contain additional information, as shown in the image below. Access to this collection is free. [Canada Passenger Lists]
US – Ancestry.com has a collection of US school catalogs. These are essentially yearbooks of middle schools, junior high schools, high schools and colleges from across the United States. This collection contains some 5.4 million records and spans the years from 1765 to 1935. The records can be searched by name, location, year and keyword. The nice thing about school yearbooks is they typically provide a rare chance to see photographs of your ancestors when they were young. Access to this collection is by subscription. [Historic US School Yearbooks]
UK – TheGenealogist has launched a collection of rare early UK militia muster lists. This collection contains some 58,000 records of part-time soldiers from 1781 and 1782. The word muster comes from the need for these men (who had other full-time jobs and occupations) to ‘muster’ at pre-determined places for training. Many regular army soldiers started their career in the militia, so these rare records can be a valuable source for anyone wanting to trace military ancestors. These records can be searched by name, company and rank. Access is by subscription. [Early UK Militia Lists]
Ireland – RootsIreland has added some genealogy records from Monaghan County. Included are 1821 census abstracts and baptism, marriage and burial records from various churches in the county. Most of the records date from the 1800s. RootsIreland now has over 20 million records online. Access is by subscription. [Monaghan County Genealogy Records]
Australia – A new website has launched in Australia devoted to creating a large biographical database of Australians. Known appropriately as the Biographical Database of Australia (BDA), it already contains some 500,000 records. According to the website, this first batch of records contain convict, muster, census, baptism, marriage and burial records from New South Wales (1788 to 1828) and for Norfolk Island & Tasmania (1802 to 1811). In the future, data will be added for all states and territories. BDA is a not-for-profit database that is the result of years of work by volunteer genealogists, historians and contractors. This website is well worth checking out if you have Australian ancestors. The indexes can be searched for free. There is a fee to see the underlying records. [Biographical Database of Australia]
Hungary – FamilySearch.org has indexed some 572,000 Catholic Church records from Hungary. These are primarily baptism records that date from 1636 to 1895. Access is free. [Hungary Baptism Records]
US – FamilySearch.org has indexed an additional 1 million Florida marriage records. These marriage records date from 1830 to 1993. This collection can be searched by name and contains marriage affidavits, marriage applications and marriage licenses. Access is free. [Florida Marriage Records]
US – FamilySearch.org has created a new indexed collection of the Iowa state census of 1905. Iowa genealogy records can be hard to find so this will be an important collection for anyone with ancestors from the state. This new collection contains some 1.5 million records. A typical record lists the full name of the person, town of residence, address, gender, age at time of census, marital status, occupation, military service (if applicable) number of years in Iowa, birthplace (often just listed as a State) and place of birth of both parents. See image below. Access is free. [Iowa 1905 State Census]
US – FamilySearch.org has added an additional 189 million records to its United States Public Records Index. This massive collection tries to index everyone who resided in the US between 1970 and 2010. The collection is built from telephone directories, driver licenses, property tax assessments, credit applications, voter registration lists and other types of records available to the public. The collection can be searched by name. FamilySearch reports the collection is now 28% complete. Access is free. [Database of US Citizens]
US – FamilySearch.org has now completed 80% of their collection of US Veteran Administration Pension Payment Cards for the period 1907 to 1933. An additional 576,000 records were recently added to the collection. Many of the records in this collection were for pension payments made to widows (see image below). Note how it states the date of death of (in this case) the widow. This collection can be searched by name and gender. Access is free. [US Veteran Pension Payment Collection]
Canada – Ancestry has launched a collection of passenger list records from the St. Lawrence Steamboat Company. This collection consists of some 187,000 records and spans the years from 1819 to 1838. The St. Lawrence Steamboat Company was started by John Molson several years after the success of his brewing enterprise. The shipping company carried passengers and freight along the St. Lawrence River between Quebec City and Montreal. This collection can be searched by name. A typical record lists the name of the passenger, date and port of embarkation and destination. Access is by subscription. [St. Lawrence Passenger Records]
UK – FamilySearch.org has indexed an additional 1.3 million parish records from Derbyshire. The collection spans the years from 1538 to 1910 and covers baptisms, banns, marriages and burials. The Church of England was established by King Henry VIII in 1530. In 1537, a law was passed requiring each parish to record baptisms, marriages and burials. Starting in 1598, parish ministers were required to send a copy of their registers to the local archdeacon or bishop (this copy is referred to a bishop’s transcripts). Thus from 1598 onwards there was usually two copies of parish records. These records can be searched by first and last name. Access is free. [Derbyshire Parish Records]
UK – Ancestry.co.uk has created a new collection of births, baptisms, confirmations, banns, marriages and burials from Birmingham. In total, there are some 2.4 million new records, and (depending on the type of record) they span the centuries from 1538 to 1937. These records can be searched by first and last name and by date range based on the type of record. Access is by subscription. [Birmingham Genealogy Records]
Italy – FamilySearch.org has indexed an additional 172,000 civil registration records from Napoli. These records come from the state archives and span the years from 1809 to 1865. These are birth, marriage and death records with some marriage banns and baptism records as well. This collection can be searched by first and last name. Alternatively, users can browse through some 2.9 million images. [Napoli Civil Registration Records]
Ireland – FindMyPast.ie has launched an Irish newspaper collection. Almost 2 million historical newspaper articles are now available on the website. This collection has been digitized from the British Library, with which Brightsolid (the parent company of FindMypast) has a long-term digitization agreement. There are six newspapers in this collection: The Belfast Morning News (1857 to 1882); The Belfast Newsletter (1828 to 1900); The Cork Examiner (1841 to 1926); The Dublin Evening Mail (1849 to 1871); The Freeman’s Journal (1820 to 1900) and The Sligo Champion (1836 to 1926). Newspapers are a great source for obituaries, wedding announcements, birth announcements and general news stories. Access is by subscription. [Historic Irish Newspapers]
Ireland – The Irish Genealogical Research Society’s marriage database has now reached 50,000 names. This database is a good source for pre-civil registration marriages in Ireland and it is comprised of information from a variety of non-traditional sources such as chancery bills, diaries, deeds, marriage settlements, memorial inscriptions, wills, family letter and newspapers. Each record provides the exact source of the information. Access is free. [Irish Marriage Database]
Ireland – Wexford County Archives has created a new website that has plans to put online a variety of genealogical records. Already, the minute books from 1899 to 1959 have been put online. These are minutes of the Wexford County Council. Access is free. [Wexford County Archives]
US – The German Genealogy Group continues to add to its collection of free searchable databases. The group based on Long Island, New York is focussed on German genealogy, but it has a variety of records that would be of interested to many people. There are databases for marriages, naturalizations, cemeteries, churches, veterans and even yearbooks. One particularly nice database is the surname database that is a compilation of the German surnames submitted by members of the group that shows how to contact members for various surnames and regions of Germany. Access is free. [German Genealogy Group]
Canada – Library and Archives Canada (LAC) has formally announced some details regarding their partnership with Canadiana.org. Their 10-year agreement will involve the digitization of about 60 million images, with transcribing and indexing of personal, administrative and governmental documents as well as land grants, war diaries and photographs. [LAC and Canadiana.org Digitization Project]
World – Ancestry.com and FamilySearch.org have announce a joint agreement whereby they will work together to transcribe and put online an estimated 1 billion new genealogy records over the next five years. Ancestry is the world’s largest genealogy business and FamilySearch has the largest collection of free genealogy records in the world. It will be interesting to see what new and useful records come out of this collaboration. Incidentally, this agreement is in addition to the joint project between the two to publish 140 million US wills and probate images and indexes over the next three years. Access to Ancestry.com is by subscription. Access to FamilySearch.org is free.
UK – TheGenealogist has announced the addition of over 1 million apprenticeship records. These records list the name, address and trade of the master and the names of the apprentices. Most of these records appear to be from the 1700s, where it was common in most trades to have apprentices. Records in the collection prior to 1753 also typically listed the parents of the apprentice. Access is by subscription. [Historic UK Apprenticeship Records]
US – Ancestry.com has created an index of California marriages covering the period from 1949 to 1959. The index has some 2.3 million names and lists the groom’s name, bride’s name, bride and groom’s age, date of marriage, county of marriage and the state file number. These records come from the California Department of Health and Welfare. Access is by subscription. [California Marriage Records]
Australia – Ancestry has published a small but important list of teacher’s rolls from New South Wales. The collection consists of about 16,000 names and spans the period from1869 to 1908. This collection can be searched by name, year and keyword. Details in the rolls include age at the time of hiring, training, promotions, teaching classification, employment history listing schools and dates, any awards or reprimands, salary and marital status. Access is by subscription. [New South Wales Teacher’s Rolls]
New Zealand – Ancestry has updated their database of New Zealand city and area directories. Ancestry does not provide any details on the update, but the database now contains some 6.9 million names. City directories are one of the best ways to search for ancestors because they can help identify where a person lived at a particular time. City directories often serve as a substitute census record and can also help fill in the gaps between two censuses. Access to this collection is by subscription. [New Zealand City Directories]
UK – Ancestry.co.uk has added a new collection of non-conformist records that span the period from 1567 to 1970. In the UK, non-conformists were generally considered to be Baptists, Methodists, Presbyterians and Quakers.
The General Register Office collected a large number of these nonconformist records in 1837 when the new civil registration system for birth, marriage and death records was created in the UK (see A Date Guide to English Genealogy – Part II), and again in 1857 when the government removed further rights from churches regarding the official collection of birth, marriage and death records.
Please be aware that between 1754 and 1837, only Church of England and Quaker marriages were considered legal. If your ancestor was Baptist, Methodist, Presbyterian, Catholic or Jewish they may very well have had a second marriage ceremony in an Anglican Church. This was often done to effectively legalize their marriage under UK law. The advantages to doing this included the right to hold public office, the right to vote and the ability to pass significant assets to descendants via probate. Thus, if you are looking for lost marriage records, try searching Anglican records first.
This collection at Ancestry consists of some 2.5 million records. Access is by subscription. [UK Non-conformist Birth Marriage Death Records]
UK – The UK government has begun the process of digitizing and putting online soldier’s wills from the World War I period. In total, wills from some 230,000 soldiers will go online. The records can be searched by surname and year of death and these latest additions cover the years from 1914 to 1921. This collection from the UK government also contains other soldiers’ wills spanning the years from 1850 to 1986. There is a fee to see the record. [World War I Soldier Wills]
Ireland – FindMyPast.ie has added to their collection of Irish Petty Sessions Court Registers. These are records of petty crimes in Ireland, which we have talked about before (see below). The new additions include a further 2.5 million court records that span the years from 1828 to 1912. Many of the new records come from Galway, Roscommon, Westmeath and Limerick, with major further additions from Donegal, Waterford, Tipperary, Cork, Carlow and Kilkenny. With the most recent additions, this brings the total size of the collection to some 15 million records and spans the years from 1842 to 1913. Access is by subscription. [Ireland Petty Sessions Court Registers]
Jamaica – FamilySearch.org has added some 490,000 indexed records of Jamaican civil registrations. These are official birth records dating from 1880 to 1999. The records can be searched by name. Marriage and death records are also available but are currently not indexed. The entire collection consists of some 4 million images. Early Jamaican birth records can be a little sparse on details and typically list only the bare minimum. However, this is a great resource for anyone with Jamaican ancestors. Access is free. [Jamaican Birth Records]
US - The Troy New York Irish Genealogy Society has launched a new database of the State Street Burial Ground in the city of Albany. The city opened the burial ground in 1801 to alleviate the overcrowded churchyards and private family graveyards in the city. It was located at the eastern end of what is now Washington Park. This new database contains roughly 3,700 burial records indexed by last name. Access is free. [State Street Burial Ground]
New Zealand - FamilySearch.org has indexed an additional 2.7 million immigration records for New Zealand. These are ship passenger lists from 1855 to 1973. These records can be searched by first and last name. Access is free. [New Zealand Ship Passenger Lists]
Canada – Library and Archives Canada (LAC) has finally announced the release of the Canada 1921 census. It turns out, however, by their own admission that LAC lacks the capability and resources to host the census images on their own website. Instead, LAC signed a contract with Ancestry that allows Ancestry.ca exclusive right to host the images. The images will be available for free, but only to Canadian residents and only on the Ancestry.ca website.
Ancestry is currently indexing the images and a name index is expected to be available within 2 to 3 months. Anyone wanting to search the Canada 1921 census by name will require an Ancestry subscription.
The LAC website contains more details on the contract between LAC and Ancestry, which can be accessed here. Apparently, the contract was signed over five years ago. It gives Ancestry exclusive commercial access to the digitized images for a period of five years. Three years after Ancestry publishes an index to the Canada 1921 census images on its website, LAC will get a copy to publish on its own website.
There is clearly some controversy surrounding LAC’s approach to releasing the Canada 1921 census. Blogger John Reid had to do an Access to Information Request to the Canadian government to get some answers. You can read his excellent summary on his blog Anglo-Celtic Connections.
We have one comment. At GenealogyInTime Magazine, we track and monitor the release of all the major genealogical record sets from around the world (which can be found in our list of new genealogy records). This is something we have been doing for almost five years. In those five years, we are not aware of any other large government archive anywhere in the world that gives its most important genealogical records away to a for-profit company on such generous terms.
One of the most important fields in the Canada 1921 census is the one that lists the country of origin of the mother and father of the person being enumerated. This was new to the 1921 census and can be very valuable information for anyone tracing their ancestors.
Since the 1921 census currently cannot be searched by name, one way to get started is to search the free Canada 1911 census (which is indexed by name) to find the census district of your ancestors. Use this information as a starting point in searching the images from the Canada 1921 census.
Ancestry makes you jump through a couple of hoops before being able to access the free 1921 census images. First, even though the images are supposed to be available for free, Ancestry.ca has chosen to bury the link on their website. Use the link below to find it. Also, it is necessary to provide a name and valid email address to Ancestry before accessing the images for anyone who does not have a current Ancestry subscription. [Canada 1921 Census]
US – FamilySearch.org has added another 128,000 indexed records to their Iowa County Marriage collection. This collection spans the years from 1838 to 1934. It is now approximately 86% complete. One nice thing about Iowa marriage records is that the maiden name of the bride is often listed along with the names of both sets of parents and the birthplaces of both the bride and groom (see image below). This collection can be searched by name. Iowa genealogy records can be hard to find and this is a welcome addition. Access is free. [Historic Iowa Marriage Records]
Ireland – The Church of Ireland has put online the church’s official weekly gazette for the year 1913. The Church of Ireland gazette essentially served as the weekly newspaper for the church. It lists specific names, places and events that occurred in 1913. The gazette can be searched by keyword or phrase. Access is free. [Church of Ireland 1913 Gazette]
UK – TheGenealogist has put online a collection of some 439,000 Royal Navy and Merchant Seamen records dating from 1851 to 1911 (pre-World War I). The records vary, but the merchant seamen ones typically list name, age, place of birth, rank and merchant number, list of ships with date and place of joining and leaving the merchant marine. The records can be searched by name, rank, age and ship. Access is by subscription. [UK Merchant Seamen Records]
World – Yad va Shem, the Jewish Holocaust victims website continues to add more genealogy records. The website now records some 4 million names and biographical details. This is approximately 2/3 of the roughly six million Jews killed by the Nazis. The database can be searched by name and place of residence. Yad va Shem also accepts submissions of testimony and photographs. Access is free. [Yad va Shem]
US – Ancestry.com has released a new collection of naturalization petitions from New York State. These petitions date from 1794 to 1906 and were filed in various federal, state and local courts in New York State. The collection contains some 1.2 million records. A typical record lists the name of the petitioner, age or date of birth, nationality, date and port of arrival and the court where the petition was filed. Access is by subscription. [New York State Naturalization Records]
US – FindMyPast.com has partnered with the Allen County Public Library Genealogy Center to enhance the PERiodical Source Index (PERSI). PERSI is a subject index for genealogy with more than 2.5 million records indexing articles from 8,000 different periodicals. FindMyPast will be providing additional linkages to the PERSI index. Access to FindMyPast is by subscription. [FindMyPast.com] [Allen County Public Library Genealogy Center]
Scotland – ScotlandsPlaces has put online the 218 volumes of surviving Scottish window tax rolls. These rolls date from 1747 to 1851. They were essentially a tax on any house that had 10 or more windows (the threshold was later reduced to houses with 7 or more windows). Windows were a luxury at the time. The idea of the tax was to allow the government to raise revenue from the comforts enjoyed by the propertied classes. Thus, these tax rolls generally cover better-off people during this people (most people were not liable for the tax). The money raised from the window taxes were mainly used to pay for various wars. A similar tax had been levied in England since 1696. Some people believe the term “daylight robbery” originates from the window tax as it encouraged people to minimize the number of windows in their houses.
As an interesting side-note, some wealthy property holders may have tried to avoid the tax by blocking up any unused windows, but this tactic rarely worked with the tax collector. The going rate by 1766 was two pence per window, but if the house had 25 or more windows (which is more than most houses today have), the rate rose to two shillings per window. By the time the windows tax was abolished in 1851, Victorian health campaigners successfully argued that it was a tax on “light and air”.
Access to these records is by subscription. The link provides a complete list of the resources available on the ScotlandsPlaces website. [Scottish Window Tax Rolls]
Canada – Library and Archives Canada (LAC) has been busy recently putting up every census except the Canada 1921 census (which was expected to be released on 1 June 2013). This week, LAC has released the 1842 census of Canada West (modern-day Ontario) and the 1842 census of Canada East (modern-day Quebec). These censuses contain somewhat limited information for ancestral research: name of the head of the household, occupation and number of residents in the household are the main fields of interest to genealogists.
The census also broke out the number of members of the household by age category, the country of origin (Canada, England, Scotland, Ireland and the US), the religion, the amount of land owned by the household and the agricultural production. The purpose of the census was to determine the distribution of parliamentary ridings, more detailed information on each member of the household was not required, and thus not collected. These databases can be searched by name. Access is free. [1842 Canada West Census] [1842 Canada East Census]
UK – DeceasedOnline has added records for 19 cemeteries and 2 crematoria for the West Yorkshire area of Wakefield. The earliest records date from 1857 and the collection currently consists of close to 143,000 burial and cremation records. DeceasedOnline plans to add more records from the region over the coming weeks and months. Access is by subscription. [Wakefield West Yorkshire Cemetery Records]
Canada – Library and Archives Canada (LAC) has put online the 1870 census of Manitoba. This census was taken shortly after Manitoba joined Confederation. It consists of some 12,200 individuals who lived in the region at that time, including aboriginals. Information listed in the census includes name, age, marital status, place of birth, religion, race and name of the father. All individuals in the region are listed (not just the head of the household). This census was taken one year before the first national census of Canada in 1871 and it was the first broad census in Manitoba (previous censuses of Manitoba tended to focus on the area around the Red River settlement). The census can be searched by name and keyword. Access is free. [Manitoba 1870 census]
UK – FindMyPast has added about two million Hertfordshire parish records. These are baptisms, banns, marriages and burials that date from 1538 to 1990. Roughly 2/3of the new records are baptisms and burials. Access is by subscription. [Hertfordshire Parish Records]
UK – FamilySearch.org has indexed some 410,000 parish records from Sussex. The records span the years from 1538 to 1910 and can be searched by name. These are primarily baptism, marriage and burial records. Access is free. [Sussex Parish Records]
UK – FindMyPast has added some 50,000 records of Royal Navy officers who served between 1914 and 1920. The records list such details as name, address, service number, physical appearance, next of kin, any disciplinary activity and even swimming ability! Access is free. [World War I Royal Navy Officer Records]
Belgium – FamilySearch.org has created a new collection of some 10.2 million images of Belgium civil registration records. These are civil registrations of births, marriages and deaths. The records are browsable by region (plaats). The largest collections come from Brabant (1582 to 1912), Hainaut (1600 to 1911) and Antwerp (1609 to 1909). Access is free. [Brabant Civil Registration Records] [Hainaut Civil Registration Records] [Antwerp Civil Registration Records]
Spain – FamilySearch.org has seriously expanded their Spanish collection with an addition of some 7 million searchable municipal records. These records span the years from 1251 to 1966 and consist of everything from local censuses, military records and civil registration (birth, marriage, death) records. The main provinces of Spain included in this new update are Alicante, Almeria, Barcelona, Cádiz, Huelva, Jaén, Coruna, Leon, Lugo, Murcia, Segovia, Sevilla and Valencia. These records can be searched by name. Access is free. [Spanish Genealogy Records]
US – FamilySearch has created a new indexed record collection of people who lived in the five boroughs of New York City between 1970 and 2010. This is a massive new collection of some 29.5 million records and has everything from telephone directory listings, driver licenses, property tax assessments, credit applications, voter registration lists, etc. This collection of public records can be searched by name. Access is free. [Recent New York City People Records]
US - Ancestry.com has created a new collection of Rhode Island State censuses covering the period from 1865 to 1935. Some 2.6 million records are in this collection, which can be searched by name. Access is by subscription. [Rhode Island Censuses]
US - Ancestry.com has made a major addition to their Massachusetts collection with some 9.6 million vital records added this week. The records consist of about 3.8 million birth records, 2.7 million death records and 3.1 million marriage records. The records span the years from 1840 to 1915. In total (with the new additions), Ancestry.com now has some 23.1 million town and vital records from Massachusetts covering the period from 1620 to 1988. Access is by subscription. [Historic Massachusetts Birth Records]
Canada – Library and Archives Canada (LAC) has put online the 1825 census of Lower Canada. Lower Canada is modern-day Quebec and this census covers some 74,000 households. This early census only lists the head of each household, their occupation and the number of family members. The database can be searched by family name, first name and keyword. Remember, only the head of the household is listed by name. Access is free. [1825 Lower Canada Census]
Canada – Ancestry has added a number of early Canadian military records to its collections. The largest addition consists of some 750,000 records of British Army and Canadian Militia Muster Rolls from 1795 to 1850. These are records of British career soldiers and local militias in Canada during the early 1800s. Most of the records are muster rolls and pay lists. The data recorded includes name, enlistment date, movement and discharge date. The database can be searched by name. Access is by subscription. [Early Canadian Militia Records]
US – FamilySearch.org has added some 452,000 indexed records to its collection of Colorado marriage records. Officially, the collection spans the years from 1900 to 1939 but there also appears to be some records from the late 1800s in the collection (starting in 1888). These records are from the State of Colorado Division of Vital Statistics and contain basic marriage information such as the name of the bride and groom, age, race, date and place of marriage and the name of the official who performed the ceremony. As shown in the sample image below, not all the cards contain complete information. Access is free. [Early Colorado Marriage Records]
Ireland – FindMyPast has added an additional 2.5 million Irish petty court records to their collection. These are records of petty crimes committed in Ireland between the years 1828 to 1912. With this new addition, FindMyPast’s collection of Petty Sessions Court Registers has grown to more than 12 million records. Examples of the most common misdemeanors captured in the records include public drunkenness, failure to pay rent and allowing livestock to wander onto the road. Most of the defendants simply paid a fine.
A typical Irish petty court record lists the date, name of the justice, type of complaint, name of the defendant, name(s) of witnesses and results of the judgement. If the record involves something such as failure to pay rent, the record will also list the name of the person receiving the compensation. FindMyPast has made these records available on all their international websites. The link provides a detailed list of what records are available by county. Access is by subscription. [Historic Irish Petty Court Records]
Canada – The release of the 1921 Canada census has been delayed. Taken on 1 June 1921, the census technically should have been released on 1 June 2013 to all Canadians (92 years later according to Canadian law). Instead, Library and Archives Canada (LAC) has announced the census will be released “in the next few weeks”. No other details have been provided by LAC.
The 1921 Canada census consists of 197,500 images of approximately 8.8 million people (8,788,483 individuals to be exact). Below is an image of the sample census form used by the enumerators.
The questions asked in this census includes the name of each person in the household, address, whether the house was owned or rented, monthly rent (if applicable), building material of home (wood, stone, etc.), number of rooms in house occupied by the family, relationship of each person to head of household, sex, marital status, age, place of birth of the person and each of their parents (if in Canada it lists the province, if foreign it lists the country), year immigrated to Canada, year of naturalization, nationality, race or tribal origin, can the person speak English, can the person speak French, can the person speak other languages, religion, can the person read and write, occupation, employer, type of product made by employer, annual salary and details on unemployment (if applicable).
For those super-keen genealogists, attached is a link to the instruction book used by the enumerators with detailed instructions on how each column of the census form was to be completed. [Canada 1921 Census Instructions]
If you want to track the latest news of when the census will actually be released, you can follow along with the LAC Blog [1921 Canada Census News]
Scotland – ScotslandPeople has added the 1895 Valuation Rolls to their website. This is the second recent addition of Valuation Rolls to the website. Several weeks ago the 1905 Valuation Rolls were added. The 1895 records consist of some 2.1 million names and basically list the names of owners, tenants and occupiers of most buildings, structures and dwellings in Scotland in 1895. Please see the description below on the 1905 Valuation Rolls for a more complete description of how Valuation Rolls work and their importance to genealogy. Access is by subscription. [Scotland 1895 Valuation Rolls]
US – FamilySearch.org has added 703,000 indexed records to their existing collection of county marriages from Illinois. These marriages span the years 1810 to 1934. This collection can be searched by first and last name. Illinois marriage records from this era list the names of the bride and groom, the residence of both (a good way to trace the address of the parents), as well as the usual information such as the place and date of marriages and the names of witnesses. Access is by free. [Early Illinois Marriage Records]
Canada – Library and Archives Canada (LAC) has released an updated version of the 1901 census of Canada. This new version includes revisions to the database that were sent in by users over the last several months as well as revised district and sub-district information.
The 1901 Canada census was the fourth general census of Canada (1871, 1881, 1891 and then 1901). It covered the provinces and territories then in existence: B.C., Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and the Northwest Territories (current day Alberta, Saskatchewan, Yukon, Nunavut, etc.). The database can be searched by province, name and keyword. Access is free. [Canada 1901 Census]
World – The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) has expanded their unique online collection of early remittance lists from the World War I period. Remittance lists are essentially collections of names of people in Eastern Europe and Palestine who received funds (or remittances) from relatives in the West. These are pdf versions of the original typed lists of who sent funds (the remitter - primarily from the US, often from New York) and who received funds (the payee - typically in Poland, Romania, Russia or Palestine).
The information on the remitter includes name, address and the amount remitted. The payee lists the name, the location of the payee and how many children where in the household (see sample image below). These lists are useful to check if you have Jewish ancestors from the New York region that may have sent money back to the old country as well as looking for Jewish relatives from Poland, Romania, Russian or Palestine during the World War I period.
In addition, the website has many other lists associated primarily with refugees during and after World War II. Access is free. [World War I Jewish Remittance Lists]
Guatemala – FamilySearch.org has added an additional 111,000 indexed records of Guatemala civil registration records. These are birth, marriage and death records dating from 1877 (when civil registration was introduced in Guatemala) to 2008. A typical birth record lists full name, date and place of birth, gender, parents name and address, legitimacy of the child and names of witnesses. Marriage records list the usual information. Some death records unfortunately do not list the place of burial. These records can be searched by name. Access is free. [Historic Guatemala Birth Records]
US – FamilySearch.org has indexed an additional 217,000 records of arrival manifests from Eastport, Idaho. These records date from 1924 to 1956 were filled out by anyone migrating from Canada to the US. Eastport is a small community in Idaho on the I-95 due south of Cranbrook, B.C. Most of the people passing from Canada to the United States during this time and at this border crossing would have been to meet up with relatives (see sample image below) and/or were migrating from BC or Alberta to the Pacific Northwest looking for jobs in the forestry or mining industries. These records can be searched by name. Access is free. [Eastport Idaho Immigration Records]
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]