dig these new record collections

Findmypast is leading the way for new and updated genealogical record collections this week. FamilySearch and local county archives are following suit with historical newspapers, city directories, biographies, and more! We are digging these record collections for New York, Indiana, Ontario, Canada, England, Wales, and Scotland.

UNITED KINGDOM – CRIMINALS

This just in! Findmypast has just announced over 2.5 million new records for the lives of our “felonious forebears!” For the first time, Findmypast is making these records available, giving us a look into the history of crime and punishment for the 18th, 19th, and early 20th centuries in England and Wales. These records span the years of 1779-1936 and are the final installment in the Crimes, Prisons, and Punishments collection. The total collection contains over 5.5 million records.

Just a few of the things you may learn from these records include: judges’ recommendations for or against pardons, grounds for mercy, licenses from previous convictions, and the overall state of the prisoner’s health. Better still, the collection contains mugshots!

UNITED KINGDOM – MILITARY

A collection titled British Army Service Records Image Browse is now available for Findmypast users. Notice, the title includes the words Image Browse. These records are digital images, but are not searchable by typing in a name like you would normally do. A browse search gives you the opportunity to explore pages of the National Archive’s military records by each piece. You may find forms including attestation papers, medical forms, discharge documents, pension claims, and proceedings of regimental boards. There are six series relating to just the Royal Hospital Chelsea. A very large database in its entirety, it includes records between the years of 1702-1916.

SCOTLAND – ELECTORAL REGISTERS

Linlithgowshire (West Lothian), Electoral Registers 1864-1931 Image Browse collection can be viewed at Findmypast as well. Linlithgowshire is known as West Lothian, today. This new and updated records collection includes electoral registers. Electoral registers are lists, created each year, of people who are eligible and registered to vote. These lists could include reasons for eligibility, including possible ownership or occupation of a property as a tenant. Until 1918, the right to vote was closely associated with property. Electoral registers record the individual’s name, occupation, and residence, as well as notations regarding whether a person was a proprietor or tenant, and descriptions of the property. Also, you may find the name of the place or village where the property was located. Though you cannot search by name, you can search by district and year.

NEW SOUTH WALES – CENSUS

The only surviving records for New South Wales is the 1901 census and you can search it at Findmypast. The New South Wales census for 1901 is searchable by name, county, and district. You may find your ancestors in these transcriptions and images of the original census document. Transcribed information may include:

  • First name(s)
  • Last name
  • Sex
  • Year
  • Location
  • District
  • Sub-district
  • County
  • State
  • Country
  • Series
  • Film number

By viewing the original images, you may be able to discover additional information, such as the number of individuals living in the same household, the number of residents who are Aboriginal or Chinese, and any remarks noted.

ENGLAND & WALES – CENSUS

If you don’t have a subscription to Findmypast, you can search the England and Wales Census 1851 for free at FamilySearch. The schedules are arranged by county and then divided by civil parish. There are some missing images of this 1851 census. For a list of the missing images, check out Ancestry.co.uk.

The 1851 England and Wales Census records usually contain the following information:

  • Date, place, district, parish, and county where census was taken
  • Given names and surnames for members in each household
  • Age, gender, and birthplace for each household member
  • Marital status and occupation for each household member
  • Relationship to the head of the household

STATEN ISLAND – NEWSPAPERS

The New York Public Library has more than 9,000 pages from The Richmond County Advance online. This newspaper collection covers the years between 1886 to 1910. You can search them for free at nypl.org/sinewspapers. You will want to keep a close eye on this website, as more papers will be coming online in the near future.

CANADA – CITY DIRECTORY

The city directory for Peterborough, Ontario, Canada is a collection of 115 Peterborough city and county directories dating back to 1858. These city directories for Peterborough have been fully digitized and are now available online to search for free. There are some years that are missing, but this is a really amazing collection. The City of Peterborough, the Peterborough Public Library, the Peterborough Museum and Archives, the Trent Valley Archives, and the Trent University Archives, have worked together to bring this collection to the public. You can find and search the records at https://archive.org/details/peterboroughcitydirectories&tab=collection.

UNITED STATES – INDIANA

Indiana Biography Index at the Indiana State Library can be found online. You can search this database by surname. Remember, this is only an index and the results you receive will look like copies of index cards. Each of the 250,000 cards have at least one citation to a book, magazine, or other printed source. From there, you can locate these printed materials at the Indiana State Library or possibly in a library near you.

WILL YOU PASS THE WORD

Wow! What an amazing list of new and updated record collections for this week! I hope there is something you are anxious to check on for your own family history. Will you pass the word along to your friends about these new sources? Thanks, friends.

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