New genealogical records this week include a big update to Genealogy Bank’s newspaper database, including titles from 31 states. Also new are Massachusetts passenger lists, a Connecticut digitization project, and oral histories for WWII veterans and for Irish history. 

Featured Genealogy Records: U.S. Newspapers

Genealogy Bank is a fantastic resource for newspapers and they’ve made a big update this week. New content has been added to 87 titles from 31 different states in the U.S. Some of the largest additions include:

To see all updated titles and states, click here. Discover family history in millions of historical newspaper articles from 1690-1980, including obituaries, birth records, marriage notices, and more facts about your ancestors. 

More about Historical Newspapers for Genealogy: 
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Massachusetts Passenger Lists

Over at MyHeritage, you’ll find a new collection of Boston, Massachusetts Passenger Lists, 1891-1943. There are 4.8 million records in this data set, so if your ancestors immigrated through Boston, this could be a gold mine! Here’s a little bit of information about the collection from the description:

“Information available varies due to significant changes to immigration laws during the span of this collection. The most common information available includes the passenger’s name, sex, age, date of arrival, and name of the ship. More detailed passenger manifests collected additional information including marital status, birth information (date and location), nationality, last residence, home city, port of departure, as well as the names and addresses of family members in the United States and home country. This collection is comprised of NARA publication T843.”

Connecticut Historical Footage Digitization

Tasha Caswell is the research and collections associate for the Connecticut Historical Society and thanks to her keen nose and film background, she was able to save valuable historical footage from being lost to decay. She noticed a smell reminiscent of vinegar that meant these films were in danger of deteriorating.

“She alerted the other members of the collections department, and soon afterward they applied for a grant to preserve and digitize the invaluable films — many of them home movies that had been donated through the decades. The result: now the public will be able to see these gems on the Connecticut Digital Archive.

“Thanks to that grant for about $24,000 from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the society was able to loan approximately 75 films to a company called George Blood LP, which specializes in digitizing audiovisual media. CHS has about 50 more films in its collection but will have to apply for another grant to complete the digitizing project. The grant, received in September 2017, also allowed them to digitize thousands of photos and negatives as well as maps, architectural drawings, lithographs and posters.”

Click here to learn more about this project and how you can help. Tasha says, “I’m hoping people watch our films online, and if they have information about what’s depicted, they can contact us.”

Oral Histories

We recently stumbled upon two fascinating oral history resources now available online that we think you might enjoy. 

First is the Voices of Liberation project, which has been set up to commemorate more than 100,000 service personnel who died in 1944. The voices of Second World War veterans and their relatives are being recorded to mark the 75th anniversary of some of the conflict’s most momentous battles. It was started by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, which hopes the archive will be a fitting tribute to the dead and highlight its cemeteries and memorials across the world. The public can contribute to this project at https://liberation.cwgc.org/

If you have Irish ancestors, you might enjoy exploring Irish Life & Lore‘s oral history collections, totalling 3,000 hours. It was founded by Tralee-based oral historians Maurice and Jane O’Keeffe. From their website: “Through our decades of work in the compilation of audio recordings and books for educational and commercial purposes, thousands of Irish voices from all regions of the country have been captured and archived for the future.” You can browse their collections and listen to samples, and individual recordings are available for purchase. 

Tapping into Newspapers for Genealogy

If you’re interested in learning more about your family history, you’ve probably heard of several people say “be sure to check old newspapers!” Sounds great, right? But which newspapers were around back then? And where are they now? Lisa Louise Cooke’s hit book provides you with a fool-proof research process including step-by-step instructions, worksheets and checklists, and a case study that puts it all together. Her methodology applies to newspaper research no matter where your ancestors came from and settled. Click here to grab a copy of How to Find Your Family History in Newspapers, available in both print and digital download

Lacey Cooke

Lacey Cooke

Lacey has been working with Genealogy Gems since the company’s inception in 2007. Now, as the full-time manager of Genealogy Gems, she creates the free weekly newsletter, writes blogs, coordinates live events, and collaborates on new product development. No stranger to working with dead people, Lacey holds a degree in Forensic Anthropology, and is passionate about criminal justice and investigative techniques. She is the proud dog mom of Renly the corgi. 

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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