New year, new records for genealogy!

Kick off 2018 with a diverse group of new genealogy records to explore online this week! Included are historical and vital records for British genealogy, Irish newspapers, Scottish records, and Palestine naturalization applications.

new genealogy records for 2018new genealogy records for 2018

British Historical & Vital Records

Lots of new genealogy records are available for England this week at Findmypast! Start with Britain, Histories & Reference Guides, which contains more than 65 volumes about genealogy, heraldry, paleography, geography, and more. These volumes will expand your knowledge about your ancestor’s life and how your ancestors lived through the centuries.

Next, if you’ve got ancestors in Greater Manchester, you’ll want to explore Greater Manchester Burials 1570-1990 and Greater Manchester Marriages 1570-1936. Both collections pertain to the historic county of Lancashire and contain names, dates, and transcripts of the original registers. These collections both come from FamilySearch.

Finally, Northamptonshire Memorial Inscriptions may reveal your ancestor’s death date, burial place, as well as the names of other family members for your family tree. This collection includes 17 cemeteries, churchyards, and other places, and the records span from 1422 to 2015.

Irish Newspapers

The Church of Ireland’s record repository, Representative Church Body Library (RCBL), has announced that all 19th-century editions of the Church of Ireland Gazette have been added to the online archive of the weekly newspaper. The full archive is free to the public and covers years 1856 – 1923.

The British Newspaper Archive has added the Dublin Evening Telegraph to their collection of historic newspapers recently. This paper spanned 1871-1924, and this collection has over 12,000 issues available online.

Scottish Records

Recently added to are Carnegie Music Institution Registers, 1910-1920 from Dunfermline, Fife. This school was founded through a trust set up by Andrew Carnegie, and school records include names, year and term of attendance, resident, and subject studied.

Additional news for Scottish research comes from the University of Virginia School of Law.
30 years after they acquired a trove of legal documents from Scotland’s Court of Session, the supreme legal court there, the Law School’s Arthur J. Morris Law Library is building a digital archive and reaching out to partners “across the pond” to open these legal history materials to scholars and the public. According to the press release, the library is planning to release the first batch of documents online soon. When completed, users will be able to search through a single document or the entire collection, peruse the rich data provided for each case, and download documents for free.

Palestine Naturalization Applications

A fascinating new collection at MyHeritage is the Mandatory Palestine Naturalization Applications, 1937-1947. From the collection description: “This collection is a unique and rich compilation of records documenting the efforts of individuals, mostly Jews, and sometimes their entire families, to establish citizenship in Mandatory Palestine, which was under British administration at the time. The collection contains photos, histories, passports, and other various forms providing details for each applicant.”

Let 2018 be your year to break down brick walls!

Has your family history research hit a brick wall? Marsha Hoffman Rising’s best-selling and recently updated book The Family Tree Problem Solver has the solutions to help you find the answers you seek. Get tips on finding vital records before civil registration, finding “missing” ancestors on censuses, advanced court records, workarounds for lost or destroyed records, common names, case studies, and more! This revised edition also includes new information about online research techniques and a look at the role of DNA research. Get it right now as an e-book for just $15.79 (reg. $24.99).

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 Collection for Tracing Immigrants From the British Isles

Exciting news this week is the brand new British and Irish Roots Collection from Findmypast. This collection has 98 million records and is free to search for a limited time. Also new are electoral rolls for Australia and vital records for the United States. 

Findmypast: New Collection for Tracing Immigrants From the British Isles

Findmypast has just announced the brand new British and Irish Roots Collection. This exciting new database consists of more than 98 million assorted records that have been hand-picked from existing collections by Findmypast’s in-house experts. It spans more than 400 years of migration between the British Isles and North America, all in one place. And for a limited time, this database is FREE to search for everyone!

A little more about the collection: “Millions of passenger lists, census records, naturalization applications and draft registrations, as well as birth, marriage, and death records spanning more than 400 years (1573 to 1990) of migration between the British Isles and North America can now be explored in one unified search, enabling North American family historians to trace the migration of ancestors from the Old World to the New through one simple search.”

The journeys researchers can expect to find include:

  • Anyone leaving the UK or Ireland and emigrating to the US, Canada or the Caribbean
  • Anyone emigrating from Canada or the Caribbean to the US (this covers the large number of British and Irish immigrants who stopped temporarily in Canada and/or the Caribbean)
  • Anyone listed on any US or Canadian record with British or Irish origins, birthplace or parents

This is a very exciting new collection, and one well-worth exploring now while it’s available for free. Click here to start searching now (a free Findmypast account may be required to view).

Australia – Electoral Rolls

MyHeritage has added new collections for Queensland, Australia Electoral Rolls. Years include 1906, 1941, and 1959. Electoral rolls are the nearest record Australians have to census listings and hence are extremely important to local, social and family historians. MyHeritage has also added the Tasmania Electoral Rolls 1916 collection as well.

Also new this week is Ancestry’s collection for the Queensland, Australia, Mining Accident Index, 1882-1945. From the database description: This collection contains information about mining accidents published annually in the Queensland Legislative Assembly Votes and Proceedings (later known as Queensland Parliamentary Papers) from 1882 to 1945.

United States Vital Records & More

Obituary Notices. Findmypast has a new collection of Obituary Notices containing 6 million records (transcribed from the website) that could help you unlock unknown details on your ancestor’s death in America.

Colorado. A new collection of Steelworks Employment Records, 1887-1979 is available now at Ancestry. The original records come from the Steelworks Center of the West, and you may find names, birthdates, birthplaces, spouses, occupations, and more.

Idaho. Two new collections of vital records for Idaho are now online at Ancestry. County Birth and Death Records, 1863-1967 will reveal names, dates, places, and includes a small amount of marriage records. County Marriages, 1863-1967 contains a variety of marriage forms, including: Marriage Certificates, Marriage Licenses, Marriage Affidavits, and Marriage Applications.

Montana. Also new at Ancestry are marriage records for Montana. These new databases include County Marriages 1865-1987Marriage Records 1943-1986, and Divorce Records, 1943-1986. To obtain certified certificates (or request changes) you’ll want to contact the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services Office of Vital Records.

New Hampshire. Finally, vital records for Portsmouth, New Hampshire are available at Findmypast. Start with the Vital Records 1706-1895 collection, containing birth, marriage, and death records reported in newspapers and town record transcripts. If your ancestors fell on hard times, you’ll want to search the Expenses Of The Poor 1817-1838 collection. The Newspaper Abstracts 1776-1800 collection may help you sketch a more detailed view of significant events in your ancestor’s life. Finally, cver 10,000 new records from Portsmouth, NH have been added to Findmypast’s collection of United States Marriage records.

Try Findmypast FREE for two weeks!

As we mentioned above, the new British and Irish Roots Collection is free to search at Findmypast for a limited time. But there’s so much more to discover! Findmypast is the leading records website for British and Irish records, and has growing databases for the United States, Australia, and Canada. Get a two-week free trial to explore everything that Findmypast has to offer!

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!

We Dig These Gems: New Genealogy Records Online

We dig these gems new genealogy records onlineEvery Friday, we highlight new genealogy records online. Scan these posts for content that may include your ancestors. Use these records to inspire your search for similar records elsewhere. Always check our Google tips at the end of each list: they are custom-crafted each week to give YOU one more tool in your genealogy toolbox.

This week: British POWs in World War I, North Carolina marriages, and church records for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and various denominations in Scotland.

BRITISH POWs IN WWI. Prisoners Of War 1914-1920, with over 43,000 records with images at FindMyPast, consists of “10 series of British Foreign Office documents relating to prisoners held by the Ottomans during World War One. They not only include the names of military personnel taken prisoner–both allied and foreign–but also the names of civilians, merchant seamen, fishermen, diplomatic employees and more.” Some documents “contain the names, ranks and locations of PoWs and provide insights into life in the Ottoman camps. They contain details of requests made by inmates for items including footballs and biscuits, details of visits by foreign diplomats and reports on camp conditions.”

NORTH CAROLINA MARRIAGE RECORDS. Ancestry has a new collection of North Carolina “marriage bonds, licenses, certificates, and registers, as well as indexes and abstracts to the various records from 87 North Carolina counties….Of special interest to African American researchers are records of cohabitation, which were required to be recorded in 1866 in order for the marriages of recently emancipated slaves to be legally recognized.” The records span 1741-2011.

SCOTLAND CHURCH RECORDS. Births, baptisms, banns and marriages, deaths and burials are among a slew of newer records searchable on According to the site, “The records in this collection were taken from Kirk Session material of the Church of Scotland, other Presbyterian churches, and also the registers of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers). These parish registers cover a wide range of dates (from 17th to 19th century) and many of them are not to be found in any other record source.” Information listed in these records may include names, family relationships, dates and places of events and details of the parish.

U.S. LUTHERAN CHURCH RECORDS. Baptism, confirmation, marriage and burial records from more than 2000 congregations of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (1875-1940) are now on Ancestry. These have been available on but have migrated to its parent site. “The information…varies from congregation to congregation (and sometimes from minister to minister). In some ethnic congregations, you may run into records in German, Danish, or some other language….Within the collection you may also find membership records, with some listing the names and dates of admission, communion records, and how they were received into the church.”
check_mark_circle_400_wht_14064 new genealogy records online

Google tip of the week: If you see a record collection online but don’t have a subscription to the website that hosts it, Google the name of the database. See whether a free site (like FamilySearch) or another site to which you do have access also hosts the same data set or a similar one. Can’t find it? Click on the description of the record collection (you can generally read the description even if you can’t search the records themselves) and read its source. It may come from a book or a resource that’s been microfilmed–something you can search for on WorldCat and borrow to a library near you. This tip is brought to you by The Genealogist’s Google Toolbox, 2nd edition–fully revised and updated in 2015!

Try FindMyPast for FREE This Weekend!

free_pc_400_wht_2095Beginning today, try FindMyPast for FREE –all weekend long!

Over 2 billion historical records will be available to search beginning Friday, March 6 and ending Monday, March 9 (start and finish at midday London time (GMT)). Local subscribers will have World access during this time and World subscribers get an extra three days tacked onto their subscriptions.

What kinds of records are we talking about? According to FindMyPast:

  • “Over 900 million census records from across the UK, USA and Ireland;
  • Passenger lists for ships sailing to and from Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and the USA;
  • Birth, marriage and death records dating back to the 18th century, and the largest online collection of UK parish records;
  • The most comprehensive collection of UK military records anywhere online;
  • The largest collection of Irish family history records available online;
  • Historical newspapers from across the world, including more than 10 million British newspaper pages from as long ago as 1710;
  • An easy to use online family tree builder which allows you to import and export your tree if you’ve built it elsewhere;
  • Our automatic Hints feature, which automatically searches our records for you and suggests potential matches to the people you add to your family tree.”

You may also find these resources helpful:

Webinar on Finding Female Ancestors. To celebrate International Women’s Day, at 7am EST on Sunday 8th March, Findmypast will host a webinar on searching for women in historical records. Women are usually tougher to find than men in old records because a) they were mentioned much less frequently and b) their names changed with their marital status.

Getting Started Video. Findmypast has created a new Getting Started video which will be available to view beginning this weekend.

Find out more at Findmypast’s dedicated Free Weekend page.

5 Most Popular Searches in Historical Newspapers–and Tips for Improving Yours!

Genealogy Research in NewspapersThe British Newspaper Archive celebrated its 3rd birthday recently by looking back at how people are searching its 9 million+ newspaper pages. To date, the five most common searches are:

1. Football

2. Murder

3. Death

4. Jack the Ripper

5. Railway

Not what you expected? Your digitized newspaper searches as a family historian may be a little more specific and less sports-and-murder oriented. But are they too general to yield successful results?

Here’s a tip from Lisa: “With 9 million searchable pages, the key to finding what you want is to use the Advanced Search.

british search“You’ll find it under the search box. My initial search for my husband’s great grandfather resulted in tens of thousands of hits until I included mandatory keywords, his name as a phrase, a defined time frame, and zeroed in on advertisements. The 299 results were far more manageable and resulted in several fantastic finds!”

Armed with these tips, those with Irish or English roots should explore The British Newspaper Archive, even if you’ve searched there before. “We’ve come a long way since the website launched on 29 November 2011 with 4 million historic newspaper pages,” says a press release. “The collection is now more than twice the size, with over 9 million fully searchable pages available from 300 British and Irish titles. The newspapers cover 1710 – 1954, a much broader time period than at launch. If you weren’t able to find a particular person, event or place when The British Newspaper Archive launched, it’s well worth looking again now.” Visit to try a search for free.”

Learn more about searching historical newspapers in Lisa’s book, How to Find Your Family History in Newspapers. Chapter 4 is all about the newspaper search process, and includes a copy-able Newspaper Research Worksheet.

Last of all, check out this fun infographic below from the British Newspaper Archive in honor of its birthday:

British Newspaper Archive

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