All Ellis Island Passenger Records Now Free on FamilySearch

All Ellis Island passenger records are now available and free to search at FamilySearch.org! It’s one of 8 free fresh FamilySearch collections profiled in this article. You’ll also find: New Jersey brides, France vital records, Northumberland parish records, Palermo and Chieti (Italy) civil registrations, Maryland funeral homes and the 1905 New York state census.

Ellis Island Passenger Records All On FamilySearch

Over 100 million Americans have ancestors who immigrated through Ellis Island or one of its predecessor immigration stations. Now the entire collection of Ellis Island New York Passenger Arrival Lists from 1820 to 1957 are available online on both FamilySearch and The Statue of Liberty – Ellis Island website, giving researchers even more options for discovering immigration records.

According to a FamilySearch release, “Originally preserved on microfilm, 9.3 million images of historical New York passenger records spanning 130 years were digitized and indexed in a massive effort by 165,590 online FamilySearch volunteers. The result is a free searchable online database containing 63.7 million names, including immigrants, crew, and other passengers traveling to and from the United States through the nation’s largest port of entry.”

Searching on FamilySearch (in addition to or instead of the Ellis Island site) takes advantage of advanced searching tools on the site and the ability to attach records to profiles in the FamilySearch Family Tree. FamilySearch has divided these records into three collections that represent three phases of migration history:

“The ship manifests list passengers, their names, age, last place of residence, who is sponsoring them in America, the port of departure, and their date of arrival in New York Harbor and sometimes other interesting information, such as how much money they carried on them, number of bags, and where on the ship they resided during its sail from overseas.”

More FamilySearch additions

England. Upwards of a million records have been added to FamilySearch’s existing collection, England, Northumberland, Parish Registers, 1538-1950. These are “Church of England parish registers containing baptisms, marriages, and burials that took place in the county of Northumberland from 1538 to 1950. Records may include: name, parents, spouse, father’s occupation, residence, date of birth, date of marriage, burial date and place and much more depending on the record type. The original records are held at the Woodhorn Museum and Northumberland Archives.”

France. Over 50,000 indexed names have been added to an existing collection of France, Vital Records, 1542-1900. These include “various birth, marriage and death records indexed by Bibliothèque Généalogique et d’Histoire Sociale de France.”

Italy. FamilySearch has made two major additions to its unique online collection of free Italian civil registration records. A new browse-only collection, Italy, Palermo, Civil Registration (State Archive), 1820-1947, contains over 4.3 million images. Also, over 3.2 million images have been added to the existing collection, Italy, Chieti, Civil Registration (State Archive), 1809-1930. Available records vary by time and locale but may include civil registrations of births, marriages, and deaths; marriage banns; ten-year indexes; residency records and supplemental documents.

United States – Maryland. Over 4,000 records have been added to the collection, Maryland, Baltimore, Lock Funeral Home Records, 1936-2007. Available documents for deceased persons vary but may include death certificates, ledgers, obituaries, and miscellaneous loose papers, filled with rich genealogical information about the deceased and their relatives.

United States—New Jersey. A new collection, New Jersey, Bride Index, 1930-1938, contains nearly 240,000 indexed names. It was acquired by ReclaimTheRecords.org and donated to FamilySearch for publishing of images.

United States—New York. Over 130,000 indexed records have been added to the free-to-search New York State Census, 1905 at FamilySearch. This is a key resource for those with Empire States roots in the early 20th century, given the enormous immigrant and migrant population in New York and the general lack of public access to New York vital records.

Learn more about Ellis Island Immigration records

Learn everything you need to know about using Ellis Island immigration records in 3 special episodes in the free Family History: Genealogy Made Easy Podcast!

About the Author: Sunny Morton

About the Author: Sunny Morton

Sunny is a Contributing Editor at Lisa Louise Cooke’s Genealogy Gems; her voice is often heard on the Genealogy Gems Podcast and Premium Podcasts. She’s  known for her expertise on the world’s biggest family history websites (she’s the author of Genealogy Giants: Comparing the 4 Major Websites); writing personal and family histories (she also wrote Story of My Life: A Workbook for Preserving Your Legacy); and sharing her favorite reads for the Genealogy Gems Book Club.

German Civil Registration Records and More Now Online

Now online! German civil registration records for Bad Doberman, Berchtesgaden and Minden, as well as WWII UK prisoners of war records, updates to the 1939 Register, parish records for Cheshire, Cumberland and Derbyshire; British newspapers and Queensland, Australia inquests.

Featured: German civil registration records

Genealogy Giant Ancestry.com has published several new collections of German civil registration records. According to the site, “Beginning on January 1, 1876, birth, marriage and death records in the former German Empire were created by local registry offices. The collected records are arranged chronologically and usually bound together in the form of yearbooks. These are collectively referred to as ‘civil registers.’ Occasionally, alphabetical directories of names were also created. While churches continued to keep traditional records, the State also mandated that the personal or marital status of the entire population be recorded.” Information in each varies.

Explore these German civil registration records by first by going to Ancestry.com here and then in the menu, select Search > Card Catalog > and search for the name of the collection we list below: 

For Bad Doberman:

  • Bad Doberan, Germany, Military Registers, 1868-1914
  • Bad Doberan, Germany, Residence Registers, 1884-1918

For Berchtesgaden:

  • Berchtesgaden, Germany, Births, Marriages, and Deaths, 1876-1950

For Minden:

  • Minden, Germany, Citizen Lists and Residence Registers, 1845-1902
  • Minden, Germany, Births, 1874-1905
  • Minden, Germany, Marriages, 1874-1935
  • Minden, Germany, Deaths, 1874-1966 and
  • Minden, Germany, Military Records, 1783-1856.

UK, Allied Prisoners of War, 1939-1945. “This collection contains information about the soldiers captured, where they were held and often, what happened to them,” states the collection description. “Whilst details vary between sets of records, you may find the following information (where available): name, camp name, nationality, place and date of birth, place and date of death, father’s name, mother’s name, gender, date and place of capture, service (e.g. Army, Air, Navy, Civilian), service rank [and] service number.”

New Genealogy Records at Findmypast

1939 Register Update. For England and Wales: “Over 37,000 ‘closed records’ have been opened up and are now available to search. Search today and find out what your ancestors were doing on the eve of WWII. Discover exactly what they did for a living, maps of where they lived, and even who their neighbors were.”

Cheshire Registers & Records. Explore registers and records from the English county of Cheshire. This collection currently comprises five titles including parish registers, local histories, and funeral certificates.

Cumberland Registers & Records. This collection currently comprises one title: Monumental Inscriptions in the Graveyards of Brigham & Bridekirk, 1666-1876. This title was published in 1878. The preface notes that ‘the whole of these inscriptions were copied with great care, and the same care has been extended to the printing of them.”

Derbyshire Registers & Records. This collection currently comprises one title: The Brave Men of Eyam, 1665-1666. The preface of this title states that the statistics regarding deaths, dates, and some leading incidents are historical, although ‘the object of the book is to tell, in a popular form, the tale of a “mighty woe.”

British newspaper additions! Now at Findmypast is the Oxfordshire Weekly News, covering the years 1869-1895 and 1898-1926. You’ll also find the following added coverage for these papers: Irish Independent (1995-1997, 2000), Belfast Telegraph (1915-1916, 1918-1919) and Liverpool Echo (1987-1988).

Australia, Queensland, Inquests 1859-1897. Discover your ancestor in this index compiled from the inquest files created by the Justice Department for the period 1859 to 1897. Each result will provide you with a transcript including a combination of your ancestor’s name, alias, and inquest year, any additional notes, their file number, reference and item ID.

German family history research help for you

The Genealogy Gems website is packed with German family history research tips and tricks, from this beginner post (where we tackle the question of what “German” even means!) to this helpful explanation of German census records. Click here to explore all our German-related articles. Or: click on the free video right here to learn about finding your German ancestor’s village of origin!

About the Author: Sunny Morton

About the Author: Sunny Morton

Sunny is a Contributing Editor at Lisa Louise Cooke’s Genealogy Gems; her voice is often heard on the Genealogy Gems Podcast and Premium Podcasts. She’s  known for her expertise on the world’s biggest family history websites (she’s the author of Genealogy Giants: Comparing the 4 Major Websites); writing personal and family histories (she also wrote Story of My Life: A Workbook for Preserving Your Legacy); and sharing her favorite reads for the Genealogy Gems Book Club.

Disclosure: This article contains affiliate links and Genealogy Gems will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on these links (at no additional cost to you). Thank you for supporting Genealogy Gems!

29 Million Free Netherlands Genealogy Records

Nearly 30 million free Netherlands genealogy records are now searchable at FamilySearch.org. Also: free historical Catholic and Columbia University newspapers; Catholic parish records in Boston, MA; British Army and Royal Navy records; and new collections for England and Scotland.

Featured Collection: Free Netherlands Genealogy Records

Genealogy Giant FamilySearch has published 29 million new, free historical records from the Netherlands. With the latest additions, FamilySearch now offers over 65 million free images and indexes in its Netherlands collections. According to the site: “The freely searchable collections are comprised of birth, baptism, marriage, death, church, notarial, army service and passenger list records and population registers. Some of the records date back to 1564. Considering the population of the Netherlands is 17 million people today, the size of these collections makes it highly likely family historians will find the ancestors they’re seeking.” Explore these now at FamilySearch!

Find Your Family in Historical Newspapers

Historical newspaper publishing service Elephind recently reported on new and updated online collections it supports. These are free to view, so why not take a look?

The Columbia Record: Beginning as the University Record (September 1973-May 1975) and continuing to this day as the Columbia University Record (July 1975-present), this university-wide publication is a rich resource of past Columbia activities, events, scientific research, trustee and faculty appointments, awards and honors, libraries news, departmental achievements, budget and financial reporting, faculty and staff updates, as well as profiles of campus personalities from 1973 to the present. You can also read the predecessor paper in Columbia University’s Spectator Archive. It’s the second-oldest college daily paper in the United States. The latest content update brings the run of the newspaper from 1877 to 2015.

Catholic News Archive: This growing collection of Catholic research resources has been updated to contain 10,971 issues comprising 254,941 pages. The goal of this project is to provide access to all extant Catholic newspapers. Currently, this collection spans 1831 – 1978. These are the publications you can read online now:

Boston Catholic Parish Records

The New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) has published the following new browse-only record images from Archdiocese of Boston parishes spanning 1789-1900: St. Joseph in Boston’s West End, St. Thomas Aquinas (Jamaica Plain), Immaculate Conception (Newburyport), Holy Family (Rockland), Immaculate Conception (Weymouth), Sacred Heart (Weymouth), St. Francis Xavier (Weymouth), Most Precious Blood (Hyde Park), St. Joseph (Salem), St. Mary (Winchester), St. Mary Star of the Sea (Beverly), St. Mary Star of the Sea (East Boston) and St. Patrick (Lowell). For directions on how to navigate this database, be sure to watch this how-to video from NEHGS.

New British Isles records at Findmypast.com

Britain, Royal Navy, Navy Lists, 1827-1945. Search for your ancestors in official lists of Royal Navy Officers. The collection consists of 147 publications presented in PDF format. The amount of information varies from volume to volume. Details include an individual’s name, rank, seniority, and place of service.

British Army Service Records. Over 34,000 new Scots Guards records have been added to our collection of British Army Service records. The new additions consist of Enlistment Registers spanning the years 1642 to 1939. These records can reveal a variety of details about your ancestor’s life, family and military career.

England, Lancashire parish records. Find these in 3 separate databases:

  • Lancashire Baptisms. Discover your ancestor in original parish registers covering 191 Lancashire parishes and spanning 379 years of the county’s history. Learn when and where your ancestor’s baptism took place and discover their parents’ names, residence and father’s occupation.
  • Lancashire Marriages. Discover your ancestor in banns and marriage registers from Lancashire. Learn when and where your ancestor was married, as well as your ancestor’s age, occupation, residence, and spouse’s name. The registers, provided by Lancashire Archives, span the years from 1538 to 1932 and cover 194 parishes.
  • Lancashire Burials. Learn when and where your ancestor’s burial took place, as well as their age at the time of death with original parish records from the Lancashire Archives. These records cover 123 parishes across the county and span the years 1538 to 1991.

England, Wiltshire Social & Institutional Records 1123-1968. Over 400,000 records are available in this fantastic collection of 72 different types of records spanning nearly 900 years of Wiltshire history. The collection contains a wide variety of documents and a full list of what is available can be found at the bottom of the search page. 

Scotland, Edinburgh Apprentices 1583-1700. Did any of your ancestors learn their trade in Edinburgh? Discover details of their apprenticeship and occupation in this collection of almost 120 years of documents from the Scottish capital.

Scotland, Edinburgh Marriages 1595-1800. Did any of your relations marry in Edinburgh, Scotland? Discover their names, occupations, residence, spouse and dates of marriage, former marriages and more in this collection of PDF images of parish registers collated throughout the city.

Scotland, Fife Death Index, 1549-1877. Over 265,000 records are included in this collection of Fife’s old parish records, including deaths and burials from St Andrews and Edinburgh Testaments (from 1549 to 1823), sheriff court wills (1824-1854), Fife newspapers (1822-1854), Kirk Session account books for mortcloths, lair registers and other sources.

Scotland, Testaments, 1514-1800. If you ancestors died in Scotland, this collection will include details of their property, relatives, occupation and more in records of their last will and testaments. The digital images in this collection are presented in PDF form.

Get the Scoop on Your Relatives in Old Newspapers

You’ve probably heard the tip to look for your family stories in old newspapers. But which newspapers were around back then? And where are they now? Expert Lisa Louise Cooke has the answers! Her book How to Find Your Family History in Newspapers provides you with a fool-proof research process: step-by-step instructions, worksheets, checklists, location-specific newspaper resources, the best free and subscription sites for newspaper research and a case study that puts it all into action for you. And it’s currently 40% off in the Genealogy Gems store! Click here to check it out.

Offer subject to expire without notice.

About the Author: Sunny Morton

About the Author: Sunny Morton

Sunny is a Contributing Editor at Lisa Louise Cooke’s Genealogy Gems; her voice is often heard on the Genealogy Gems Podcast and Premium Podcasts. She’s  known for her expertise on the world’s biggest family history websites (she’s the author of Genealogy Giants: Comparing the 4 Major Websites); writing personal and family histories (she also wrote Story of My Life: A Workbook for Preserving Your Legacy); and sharing her favorite reads for the Genealogy Gems Book Club.

Disclosure: This article contains affiliate links and Genealogy Gems will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on these links (at no additional cost to you). Thank you for supporting Genealogy Gems!

New Jersey Death Index and More US Genealogy Records Online

The New Jersey Death Index tops this week’s list of new and updated U.S. genealogy records online. Along with a Native American census collection, our list includes family history records for Georgia, Illinois, New York, North Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia. Among the documents you can search for your ancestors are vital records, obituaries, digitized newspapers and even home movies!

Featured collection: New Jersey Death Index

The US records advocacy group Reclaim the Records has been able to secure copies of the New Jersey Death Index for the years they still exist. It’s the first public copy to be available online and it’s free to search! According to a recent announcement, the records exist for “about half of 1920-1924, all of 1925-1929, and then from 1949 to 2017.”

You can search a database of over 1.2 million records for 2001-2017 and click through to explore links to over 500,000 digital images for the not-yet-transcribed 1901-2000 data. “Most of the years of the index will at least give the age at death, from which you can infer an approximate birth year, but the later years of the index (after about 1985) also give the deceased person’s exact date of birth. Some of these records give a numeric locality code for the place of death and/or the place of residence of the deceased.”

Taking things a step further, Reclaim the Records is working with the state archive to secure additional records from the missing years. It also hopes to force the state to recreate missing years of the death index; we’ll report progress on that front as we hear about it. Search the New Jersey Death Index for free.

More US genealogy records now online

Native American records. The free Genealogy Giant, FamilySearch.org, has updated its collection of United States, Native American, Census Rolls, 1885-1940. Site visitors may now search nearly 250,000 records of “census rolls for various tribes. Original records are NARA Series M595. This NARA series also includes some vital records.”

Georgia. The Digital Library of Georgia has added a new collection of town and home movies that have been digitized by the Walter J. Brown Media Archives and Peabody Awards Collection. Better yet, according to the site, “DLG staff provided enhanced descriptions of these moving image resources that enable users to locate segments of the moving image footage without having to view the footage in its entirety.” The finding aid includes shot lists, Library of Congress subject headings, word-search capabilities and “a time-correlated description that connects the text search term to the corresponding moment in the moving image footage.” The Georgia Town Films Collection covers the towns of Fitzgerald, Bowman, and Athens; the Georgia Home and Amateur Movies collection comprises 126 home movies.

Illinois. Genealogy Giant Findmypast has published the browse-only collection, Illinois, Tazewell County, Obituary Card Index, which covers nearly a century (1914-2007) of obituaries published in the Pekin Times. The index includes the deceased’s full name, birth date, death date, and burial place.

New York. FamilySearch.org, has updated its collection, New York State Census, 1905. It now has over 7.7 million records available for free searching. State census records for New York are especially valuable, given that the state was the first U.S. home for millions of immigrants and their children, and since state vital records aren’t easy to come by.

Haven’t heard much about state-level censuses? Click here to read a little more about state census records.

North Carolina. You can now search (for free) over 150,000 records in FamilySearch’s database of North Carolina, Davidson County Vital Records, 1867-2006. According to the site, the collection includes “images of death records and marriage licenses recorded in Davidson County, North Carolina. Some of the individual volumes include an index and there are comprehensive indexes to some of the records. Index and images of birth certificates for the years 1914 through 1930 and delayed births certificates filed between 1940 and 2006 (for births occurring between 1869 and 2000).”

Tennessee. A free new website, ChattanoogaNewspapers.org, features about 6000 pages of old Tennessee newspapers. According to a report at Nooga.com, “The first batch of newspapers covers 1862 to 1907 and 12 different newspapers. Publications include The Chattanooga Star (1907), The Daily Times (1869-1895), The Chattanooga Daily Times (1875-1911), Chattanooga Daily Gazette (1864-1865) and others.”

Virginia. “The Virginia Newspaper Project has reached a major milestone: over a million historical newspaper pages have been added to Virginia Chronicle. According to an announcement at Virginia Memory, “Recent additions include: 1879-1959 of the Northern Neck News of Warsaw, additional West Virginia titles and the Idle Hour of Glen Allen.” The project is ongoing, so keep checking back.

Keep up with new Genealogy Gems like these

New records come online every week–sometimes by the million! And important DNA news breaks frequently, like this week’s news about Findmypast’s new partnership with Living DNA. We curate these “gems” and tons of try-this-now tips in the Genealogy Gems weekly e-newsletter. Subscribe for free and you’ll stay informed and inspired as you search for your ancestors’ stories!

About the Author: Sunny Morton

About the Author: Sunny Morton

Sunny is a Contributing Editor at Lisa Louise Cooke’s Genealogy Gems; her voice is often heard on the Genealogy Gems Podcast and Premium Podcasts. She’s  known for her expertise on the world’s biggest family history websites (she’s the author of Genealogy Giants: Comparing the 4 Major Websites); writing personal and family histories (she also wrote Story of My Life: A Workbook for Preserving Your Legacy); and sharing her favorite reads for the Genealogy Gems Book Club.

Disclosure: This article contains affiliate links and Genealogy Gems will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on these links (at no additional cost to you). Thank you for supporting Genealogy Gems!

New European Genealogy Records Online

This is the week to explore new European genealogy records online! This weekly record roundup covers four areas of England as well as France, Germany, Ireland, Luxembourg, Scotland, Spain and Sweden. Boost your family history research by keeping up with new records that may mention your ancestors.

European genealogy records for 8 countries

Explore your European roots with these new and updated family history records on three of the Genealogy Giants websites: Ancestry.com, FamilySearch, and Findmypast. If you find anything exciting about your ancestors, we’d love to hear about it! Leave a comment below or contact us here at Genealogy Gems.

England genealogy records

Berkshire. New at Genealogy Giant Findmypast is Berkshire Registers & Records, in which subscribers may “explore PDF images of registers and records from the English county of Berkshire. Discover your ancestors in parish registers of baptisms, marriages and burials from the parishes of Leckhamstead and St Mary in Reading.”

Collections at Ancestry: Explore the following collections at Ancestry by going to Ancestry here and then in the menu Search > Card Catalog > and search the name of the collection we list below. 

Cambridgeshire. The Cambridgeshire, England, Electoral Registers, Burgess Rolls and Poll Books, 1722-1966 collection has nearly 1.7 million records. According to the collection description, “This database contains yearly registers listing names and residences of people in Cambridgeshire, who were eligible to vote in elections. These year-by-year registers can help place your ancestors in a particular place and possibly also reveal a bit about property they owned.”

A related new collection at Ancestry.com is Cambridgeshire, England, Juror Books, 1828-1883 contains over 20,000 records of “of those qualified to serve as a juror in the county of Cambridgeshire between the years 1828 and 1883. Qualifications were based on ownership of land or property and therefore excluded the majority of residents….This collection includes residents of Cambridgeshire as well as those living in the historic county of Huntingdonshire and historic region of the Isle of Ely, both of which now fall under the administration of Cambridgeshire.”

Durham. Findmypast has also published Durham Registers & Records, which consists of “baptism, marriage and burial registers covering 14 parishes [in this northeastern England county] as well as a guide to the “Antiquities of Sunderland and its vicinity.”

London. Findmypast has added over 109,000 new records to its Greater London burial index. New additions cover Middlesex and British deaths overseas. “The records consist of transcripts that may reveal a combination of your relative’s name, age, occupation, religious denomination and where they were buried.”

France genealogy records

Coutances et d’Avranches. The free Genealogy Giant, FamilySearch, has added about 13,000 records to its collection, France, Coutances et d’Avranches Diocese, Catholic Parish Records, 1533-1894According to the site, you’ll find a “name index and images of Catholic parish registers recording events of baptism, marriage and burial in the Diocese of Coutances et d’Avranches. Parishes within this diocese are within the boundaries of the department of Manche.”

Saône-et-Loire. Also at FamilySearch is a new online record collection: France, Saône-et-Loire, Censuses, 1836. Included are more than 380,000 records that are described as “a complete indexing of the population censuses for Saône-et-Loire.” Census records include first and last names, ages, marital status, number in household and relation to the head of household. (Click here for a free FamilySearch tutorial on reading French handwriting.)

Here’s a tip for you: click on the image to the right to explore more French genealogy records that have recently come online.

Germany genealogy records

About 70,000 records have been added to the free FamilySearch collection, Germany, Baden, Archdiocese of Freiburg im Breisgau, Catholic Church Records, 1678-1930. Among the records are baptisms, marriages and burials. Also recently updated on the site is a related collection, Germany, Baden, Church Book Duplicates, 1804-1877.

Ireland genealogy records

FamilySearch.org has updated its indexed collection, Ireland Civil Registration, 1845-1913. It now includes over 2 million records of “1864-1913 births, 1845-1870 marriages, and 1864-1870 deaths. These are copies of the original documents and volumes held at the General Register Office and are referenced in the Ireland Civil Registration Indexes,” states the site.

Luxembourg genealogy records

Now with over 100,000 records available to search is Luxembourg, Civil Registration, 1796-1941 at FamilySearch.org. These include “images of civil births, marriages, deaths, and indexes. Some records are indexed, including births 1800-1923, marriages 1796-1923, and deaths 1796-1923. The original registers are located in the National Archives of Luxembourg.”

Scotland genealogy records

Now at Findmypast.com, subscribers may “learn about the Jacobites and the Jacobite Risings of the 17th and 18th centuries” in Scotland, Jacobite Histories, 1715-1745. This collection of 23 publications ranges “from memoirs to song books” and consists of “digital PDF images that can be searched by name, conflict, publication title, year and keyword.”

Spain genealogy records

Free at FamilySearch.org are additional records in its collection, Spain, Diocese of Lugo, Catholic Parish Records, 1550-1966. This index-only database references baptisms, marriages, and deaths mentioned in Catholic Church records created by parishes in the diocese of Lugo, Spain.

Sweden genealogy records

FamilySearch.org has updated its collection of Sweden, Örebro Church Records, 1613-1918; index 1635-1860. It now contains over 380,000 baptisms, marriages, and burials from the county of Örebro.

Learn more about European genealogy records

Improve your knowledge of researching your roots from various European countries with these free get-started tutorials:

Beginning German genealogy: Defining “German”

Scots-Irish genealogy: Getting started

Beginning Swedish genealogy

About the Author: Sunny Morton

About the Author: Sunny Morton

Sunny is a Contributing Editor at Lisa Louise Cooke’s Genealogy Gems; her voice is often heard on the Genealogy Gems Podcast and Premium Podcasts. She’s  known for her expertise on the world’s biggest family history websites (she’s the author of Genealogy Giants: Comparing the 4 Major Websites); writing personal and family histories (she also wrote Story of My Life: A Workbook for Preserving Your Legacy); and sharing her favorite reads for the Genealogy Gems Book Club.

Disclosure: This article contains affiliate links and Genealogy Gems will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on these links (at no additional cost to you). Thank you for supporting Genealogy Gems!

British Isles Descendants Will Love these New Records Online

Millions of British Isles descendants—whether still living in England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales or dispersed to the United States, Canada, Australia or New Zealand, may find their ancestors in these new online records that include medieval maps, BMD and immigration records, name changes and even medical records for British troops in WWI.

British Isles descendants: Time to explore!

New collections for across Britain

Britain name changes. TheGenealogist.co.uk has published a new database that will help researchers identify official name changes by their ancestors in Britain. According to Family Tree (UK), “The Change of Names Database covers information gathered from a number of sources including Private Acts of Parliament; Royal Licences published in the London and Dublin Gazettes; notices of changes of name published in The Times after 1861 with a few notices from other newspapers; registers of the Lord Lyon [King of Arms] where Scottish changes of name were commonly recorded; records in the office of the Ulster King at Arms and also some private information.” Click here to learn more about name change records and subscription options.

British WWI records. British Isles subscription-based Genealogy Giant Findmypast.com has added nearly 700,000 records to its collection of British Armed Forces, First World War Soldiers’ Medical Records. According to the site, “These records may allow you to discover when and where your ancestor was wounded, where they were treated how long they were held at the medical facility for treatment. Images may provide a variety of additional details such as their service history and a description of the wound.”

British Isles descendants FMP British WWI medical record

Sample image from Findmypast.com. Crown Copyright Images reproduced by courtesy of The National Archives, London, England.

Battle artifacts. You can now browse or search a new database of more than 2000 archaeological artifacts that have been recovered from Anzac Cove and the Gallipoli Penninsula, in the area where thousands of Turkish, Australian, New Zealander, British, French, Indian and Newfoundlander troops died as part of a campaign over control of Istanbul. According to News Australia, this artifact collection results from “the world’s most extensive battlefield archaeological study uncovered items which gave a glimpse of life on the frontline for Turkish and Anzac troops, uncovered the trenches where men fought, lived and died, and unearthed everyday items such as bottles of beer and belt buckles.”

Medieval maps. Those who can trace their family history back to medieval times (even just to a particular region) will be excited to hear that the British Library has published a collection of free online maps. According to this announcement, “The Virtual Mappa Project has been officially released as an open access publication, with an incredible collection of digitised medieval world maps from the British Library and beyond, all online, annotated and waiting to be explored.” This collection is published “in a visually navigable, text-searchable, translated format that makes their intricacies much more accessible to modern minds.” Click here to read more instructions and to start exploring this collection!

Australia

Obituaries. Subscription-based Genealogy Giant Ancestry.com has updated its databaseAustralia and New Zealand, Obituary Index, 2004-2018, which now has more than 370,000 records. According to the collection description, this recent collection is curated through online research: “The collection contains recent obituaries from hundreds of newspapers. We work with partners to scour the Internet regularly to find new obituaries and extract the facts into our database. Where available we include the original URL link to the source information. As the internet is a changing medium, links may stop working over time.”

Queensland immigration. The tech-savvy subscription-based Genealogy Giant MyHeritage.com has published a new collection with more than 100,000 records in it: Queensland, Australia Passenger and Crew Lists, 1852-1885. According to the site, “This collection is an index to inwards passenger and crew lists arriving in Brisbane and Moreton Bay between 1852 and 1885, sourced from the Collector of Customs (Brisbane) records, held at the National Archives of Australia, Brisbane (Shipping Inwards Series J715). Many of the ships have two lists–one prepared at the time of departure (classified in this index as a “Departure” list), and another prepared upon arrival (classified in this list as an “Arrival” list). The index covers over 100,000 individuals from 485 different voyages. A few outwards lists are also included. Information provided may include name of passenger or crew member, age, marital status, occupation, name of ship, departure date and place, and arrival date and place.”

South Australia immigration. The free Genealogy Giant, FamilySearch.org, has added more than 25,000 records to Australia, South Australia, Immigrants Ship Papers, 1849-1940. According to the site, this update includes “a record of births and deaths aboard, 1849-1867 and 1873-1885. Indexed records in collection include passenger lists arriving and departing from South Australia. Information on images varies but may include ship’s name, master’s name, tonnage, where bound, date, port of embarkation, names of passengers, ages, occupation, nationality, and port at which passengers have contracted to land.”

Canada

New Brunswick births. FamilySearch has also added nearly 24,000 names to its collection, New Brunswick Late Registration of Births, 1810-1899. “These records include indexes and images of provincial returns of births, 1869-1906 and late registrations, 1810-1906. The late registrations from 1810 to 1899 are arranged by birth year and then surname. Although the index is complete, images are being added to this collection as they become available. The returns of births, 1870-1906, and the late registration documents which were original certificates and some returns, 1810-1899, are arranged alphabetically within each year.”

England

Kent births. This collection isn’t huge, but it’s new and as the record of a male midwife, it’s fairly unusual: Kent, Lydd Midwife’s Birth Register 1757-1815. The site states, “The collection contains over 2,400 records transcribed from the original register of William Waylett (1729-1815), a male midwife who practiced in Lydd and the surrounding parishes on Romney Marsh in Kent….Transcripts span the years 1757 to 1815 and will reveal a combination of your ancestor’s birth date, birth place, parent’s names and any additional notes. Notes may include details of the pregnancy, delivery, mother, or payment for services.” If you find your ancestor in these records, we hope you’ll let us know about it!

Liverpool church records. Ancestry.com has added to several separate collections of Liverpool Anglican church records so that they now total more than 4 million records. You may want to search first the multi-record type Liverpool, England, Church of England Baptisms, Marriages and Burials, 1659-1812, and follow up by searching within these individual collections of Liverpool, England, Church of England Baptisms, 1813-1917, Liverpool, England, Church of England Confirmations, 1887-1921, Liverpool, England, Church of England Marriages and Banns, 1754-1932 and Liverpool, England, Church of England Burials, 1813-1975.

Northumberland and Durham burials. Findmypast.com has added over 14,000 new records to Northumberland and Durham Memorial Inscriptions. According to the site, “The new additions cover churchyards in Birtley, Blyth, Boldon, Eighton Banks, Gosforth, Great Lumley, Penshaw, Ryhope, South Shields, Whitley Bay and Woodhorn. Each result includes a transcription of an original inscription. The amount of information listed may vary although most transcripts will include a combination of your ancestor’s burial year, birth date, death date, age at death, denomination, inscription, location, plot, stone type and any additional notes.”

Yorkshire burials. Findmypast.com has added more than 38,000 new records to its database, Yorkshire Burials. According to the site, the collection “now contains over 5.1 million records spanning more than 400 years of the county’s rich history.”

New Zealand

Nearly a half million records already appear in New Zealand, Cemetery Transcriptions, 1840-1981, a brand new free collection you can search at FamilySearch.org. Containing indexed names and images from various places across New Zealand, the records may include the cemetery name, name of deceased, death date, age at death and names of family members.

Scotland

Ancestry.com subscribers may now search a new collection with more than 3.2 million records: Aberdeen City and Former Counties of Aberdeenshire, Scotland, Electoral Registers, 1832-1976. “This database contains yearly registers listing names and residences of people in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, who were eligible to vote in elections. These year-by-year registers can help place your ancestors in a particular place and possibly also reveal some information about property they owned. Coverage for the area and timeframe is not complete, so it may be helpful to check the browse menu on the right [of the database’s search page, linked to above] for details of which volumes are included.”

British Isles descendants Aberdeen voters Ancestrycom

Sample image from electoral roll of Aberdeenshire County, 1862, images 25-26 on Ancestry.com.

United States

Deceased physicians. Findmypast.com has published more than 700,000 biographical card files of deceased doctors from the American Medical Association. The Deceased Physician File (AMA), 1864-1968 is a browse-only collection. The site explains, “Each record consists of a transcript that may reveal when your ancestor died, where they practiced, where they attended school, where they were living at the time of their death, details relating to their career and their cause of death.”

Indiana marriages. Findmypast.com has added nearly 80,000 records of Indiana marriages (1818-1920) to its growing (and already enormous) collection of United States Marriage records. According to the site, “The collection includes both transcripts and images of original documents that will list a combination of your ancestor’s marriage date, location, the names of both the bride and groom, their birthplaces, birth dates, ages, residence and the names of both their parents.”

Massachusetts. The Boston Public Library has curated a collection of thousands of high school yearbooks from across the state of Massachusetts and published them online for free viewing at the Internet Archive. The collection page appears to comprise 4440 volumes dating back to 1892. (We read about this new collection in this online article at CBS Boston.)

Native American census. New and free to explore on FamilySearch.org is United States, Native American, Census of the Ute Tribe, 1944. Though a small collection (only about 2500 records), it may be key to helping you trace Ute ancestors and tribal membership. According to the site, these records come from an “index and images of Indian Census Roll taken on the Uintah and Ouray reservation in northeastern Utah during the month of January 1944 by the Office of Indian Affairs….Additional records for this tribe, reservation and agency will be found at the National Archives at Denver in Record Group 75 Records of the Bureau of Indian Affairs.”

North Carolina. A new collection of nearly 20,000 records at FamilySearch is North Carolina, County Divorce Records, 1926-1975. The collection description states, “This collection contains an index and images to the ‘index to former husbands and maiden names of divorced women’ covering the years 1926 to 1975. The documents included are affidavits, which are titled “Notice of Intention to Resume Use of Maiden Name.”

Also new for North Carolina is the online availability of some issues of the Charlotte Post, an African American weekly newspaper founded in 1878 and now available on DigitalNC. According to this article, “The first issues that we are making available online on DigitalNC cover 1988-1990, 1993, and 1996.” However, the landing page shows online issues back to 1971.

Ohio. Nearly 168,000 records have been added to the free FamilySearch collection, Ohio, Crawford County Obituaries, 1860-2004. These records come from the obituary file at the Crawford County Genealogical Society in Galion, Ohio. (We love societies and the work they do to compile and preserve local records!)

Tennessee. More than 150,000 records have been added to the free FamilySearch collection, Tennessee Death Records, 1914-1963. This collection includes indexed images of statewide death certificates.

Washington, D.C. FamilySearch.org has added nearly 100,000 record entries to District of Columbia, Glenwood Cemetery Records, 1854-2013. According to the site, “This collection includes images of cemetery records from 1854-2013 from the Glenwood Cemetery, a historic cemetery located on Lincoln Road NE in Washington, D.C.” This collection continues to grow as more images are added.

About the Author: Sunny Morton

About the Author: Sunny Morton

Sunny is a Contributing Editor at Lisa Louise Cooke’s Genealogy Gems; her voice is often heard on the Genealogy Gems Podcast and Premium Podcasts. She’s  known for her expertise on the world’s biggest family history websites (she’s the author of Genealogy Giants: Comparing the 4 Major Websites); writing personal and family histories (she also wrote Story of My Life: A Workbook for Preserving Your Legacy); and sharing her favorite reads for the Genealogy Gems Book Club.

Disclosure: This article contains affiliate links and Genealogy Gems will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on these links (at no additional cost to you). Thank you for supporting Genealogy Gems!

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