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.

Try Findmypast.com for 50% off

British Isles descendants should all explore Findmypast.com. This month only, Genealogy Gems fans can get 50% off the 1-month Ultimate Package at Findmypast–only $9.98 USD (instead of $19.95), where you’ll access to everything Findmypast has to offer. This offer is good through July 31, 2018 and only available through our exclusive link: GET THE DEAL HERE. You can accomplish a lot of research in one month, so keep reading to learn more about their fabulous new and updated collections.

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.

Try Findmypast.com for 50% off

If you’ve got British Isles ancestors, then you’ll definitely want to explore Findmypast.com. They’re also home to an incredible collection of unique and growing records for the U.S., Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. And there’s no better time to get your all-access pass than right now! This month only, Genealogy Gems fans can get 50% off the 1-month Ultimate Package–only $9.98 USD (instead of $19.95). This offer is good through July 31, 2018 and only available through our exclusive link: GET THE DEAL HERE.

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 York Genealogy Records and More

Work on your New York genealogy research with these new naturalization and marriage license records. Also: WWII draft registrations; family history records for AL, ID, KS, KY, LA, OH, VA; and records from Australia, Canada (including a mapped-out photo archive of Toronto streets), Denmark, Italy, Portugal, and Sweden.

Welcome to our weekly roundup of new and updated genealogy records online. Most of this week’s images come from Genealogy Giants Ancestry.com and the free FamilySearch.org, but there are few additional sites represented here, too! Happy researching!

Featured: New York genealogy records

Over three-quarters of a million indexed records have been added to New York, Southern District, U.S District Court Naturalization Records, 1824-1946. New York research is challenging for many reasons, not least among them limited access to vital records for your transient and immigrant ancestors in this state. Naturalization records are also typically difficult to find, as your ancestors in certain time periods could submit paperwork in any court they pleased. So this is a great collection! Let us know if you find any ancestors in this collection. We love hearing about your successes.

New York. The New York City marriage license index for 1996-2017, with 1.5 million records, is now free online, searchable and even downloadable. This announcement is from Reclaim the Records: “We successfully fought the New York City government for nine months to get the first-ever public copy of the 1996-2017 New York City marriage license index. It’s about 1.5 million records, which is about 3.1 million names. And you can now search this data, or even download it or reuse it, totally free. It’s in the public domain, no copyright. This 1996-2017 data is the continuation of the 1908-1929 and 1930-1995 data sets we won in two previous lawsuits from the NYC Municipal Archives and the NYC Clerk’s Office, respectively. (You can also check out the scanned microfilm images of the 1908-1972 portion of the marriage license data at the Internet Archive.)

More new genealogy records from around the United States

World War II draft registrations. Ancestry.com has updated its collection of U.S. WWII Draft Cards Young Men, 1 940-1947. “This database contains images and indexes for registration cards filled out by men born between the years of 1898 and 1929 from Arkansas, Georgia, Louisiana, and North Carolina.” It also contains an index (with a link to images available on Fold3) for about half of U.S. states.

Alabama. Subscription giant Ancestry.com has added a new collection, “Alabama, Surname Files Expanded, 1702–1981.” According to the site, “This database contains various records providing biographical information on individuals who lived in Alabama. Staff members at the Alabama Department of Archives and History (ADAH) started compiling these records on Alabamians in 1901. They include a variety of items and record types arranged by surname: newspaper clippings, obituaries, local and family histories, donated family research and records, extracts from censuses, research requests made to the archives, and other items.”

Idaho. Ancestry.com has recently updated these collections of Idaho vital records:

Also for your Gem State ancestors, About 80,000 indexed records have been added to the free collection, Idaho, Southern Counties Obituaries, 1943-2013, at FamilySearch.org. According to the site, these obituaries come “from a variety of Idaho newspapers and [are] housed at different LDS Family History Centers throughout the state.”

Kansas. Search a new and free FamilySearch collection of Kansas, Cemetery Abstracts, already with more than 110,000 indexed records in it. Compiled by a voluntary missionary society, it includes records from “Allen, Butler, Chase, Clay, Cloud, Coffey, Cowley, Crawford, Dickinson, Edwards, Ellis, Finney, Ford, Franklin, Geary, Gove, Grant, Gray, Greeley, Greenwood, Hamilton, Harvey, Haskell, Hodgeman, Jefferson, Jewell, Kearney, Kingman, Labette, Lincoln, Logan, Lyon, Marion, Marshall, McPherson, Meade, Montgomery, Morton, Neosho, Norton, Ottawa, Pottawatomie, Reno, Republic, Rice, Riley, Rooks, Russell, Saline, Scott, Sedgwick, Seward, Sherman, Stafford, Stanton, Sumner, Thomas, Wabaunsee, Wallace, and Wichita counties.”

Kentucky. Ancestry.com has updated its collection of Kentucky, Death Records, 1852-1965. You can search the index or browse the images, which include death certificates, 1911-1965 as well as “mortuary records, registers of deaths, and death certificates for Newport, Louisville, Lexington, Covington, and Jefferson County, up to 1911.”

Louisiana. Subscription giant Ancestry.com has updated its collection of Louisiana, Soldiers in the War of 1812. “This compilation contains an alphabetical list of Louisiana soldiers who fought for the state militia during the War of 1812. Taken from the National Archives, each entry includes the rank and company to which the soldier was attached.”

Ohio. New (and always free) at FamilySearch is a collection of Ohio, Washington County Newspaper Obituarie s, 1884-2013. The collection already contains nearly 700,000 new indexed records. Washington County is key to Ohio history because it was the original county in this Northwest Territory state.

Virginia. Ancestry.com has updated its collection, Virginia, Birth Records, 1912-2014, Delayed Birth Records, 1854-1911. According to the site, “This database contains an index of birth details extracted from Virginia birth records for the years 1864-2014 as well as images of birth records for the years 1864–1914, which fall outside the 100-year privacy restriction. You’ll find basic details such as name, birth date and place, father’s name, mother’s name, and certificate number.”

More genealogy records from around the world

Australia. Nearly 34,000 new indexed entries and over 14,000 accompanying digital images have been added to the free FamilySearch collection, Australia, Victoria, Tombstone Transcriptions from Various Cemeteries, 1850-1988. According to the site, the cemeteries included so far in the collection are “Beechworth, Bowmans Forest, Bright, Bundalong, El Dorado, Greta, Hyam, Milawa, Old Chiltern, Rutherglen, Springhurst, Stanley, Tarrawingee, Tawonga, Una Boorhaman, Waygunyah, Winton, and Yackandandah. [Records come from] original transcriptions located in the Wangaratta Family History Centre.”

Canada. About 4,000 images have been added to a free digital archive of historic photos of Toronto. OldTo organizes these images in an easy-to-use map interface. Even if you have no personal connection to Toronto, it’s fun to play with this and look at the pictures, which date back to 1850.

Subscription giant Ancestry.com has updated its collection of Canadian Passenger Lists, 1865-1935. “Passenger lists of ships arriving in various Canadian ports, as well as some eastern U.S. ports from 1865–1935, are indexed this database. This collection, covering 2.2 million people who arrived in these ports, has never been indexed before.”

Denmark. Nearly 9,000 indexed records have been added to the free FamilySearch collection, Denmark, Military Conscription Rolls, 1789-1792. The records are written in Danish. For tips and more information about using the records, see this article on the FamilySearch wiki.

Italy. About 85,000 indexed records have been added to FamilySearch’s free database, Italy, Napoli, Civil Registration (State Archive), 1809-1865.“Includes marriage banns (pubblicazioni; notificazioni); baptismal records; ecclesiastical returns of marriages; marriage memorandums (atti di memorandum); diverse records (atti diversi); marriages and deaths outside of the place of usual residence (matrimoni e morti fuori domicilio); and marriage supplemental documents (processetti).”

Portugal. Over 114,000 indexed records have been added to Portugal, Porto, Catholic Church Records, 1535-1949. “These records include baptisms, marriages, and deaths. Some of these records have been indexed and are searchable as part of this collection. Additional images and indexed records will be published as they become available.” Tip: scroll down to the bottom of the page and click where it says you can browse over 1.2 million record images. That’s where you’ll find the pages that haven’t been indexed yet.

Sweden. About 13,000 indexed records have been added to Sweden, Örebro Church Records, 1613-1918; index 1635-1860. As the title of the collection indicates, only a portion of the records have been indexed (had the names extracted). That means, if you REALLY want to find your ancestor, you may need to browse the records as described above.

Learn more about naturalization records

Lisa Louise Cooke teaches a 3-part series on naturalization records in her free how-to podcast series, Family History: Genealogy Made Easy. Listen to episodes 29, 30, and 31 for all you want to learn about passenger arrival lists, certificates of arrival, passenger departure lists, annotations on passenger lists, and the Ellis Island experience.

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 Records on Ancestry.com, FamilySearch and Findmypast

Search millions of new records on Ancestry.com, FamilySearch & Findmypast, three of the Genealogy Giants. Find your family history in Australia, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, England, Germany, Hungary, New Zealand, Panama, Poland, Sweden, the U.S., Wales and in PERSI, the Periodical Source Index.

Welcome to Genealogy Gems’ weekly roundup of new and updated genealogy records! Browse the lists below to see what’s become available recently at three of the Genealogy Giants, Ancestry.com, FamilySearch.org & Findmypast.com.

New records on Ancestry.com

Australia. About 7 million records total appear in Ancestry.com’s new Australian vital records indexes, Victoria, Australia, Marriage Index, 1837-1950 and Victoria, Australia, Death Index, 1836-1988. According to their collection descriptions, these records come from The Victorian Registry of Births, Deaths, and Marriages, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.

England and Wales. The 1939 England and Wales Register is now on Ancestry.com! With nearly 46 million records, it’s a de facto national census conducted just before World War II. (The 1939 Register is also searchable at Findmypast.com and MyHeritage.com.)

Poland. In partnership with the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, Ancestry.com has published Poland, Modliborzyce Ghetto Register Books, 1939-1944. These records are part of the USHMM’s collections and are described by them as “Documents of the Jewish Council in Modliborzyce (administrative district of Janów Lubelski), including alphabetical name list for January through September 1942.”

New Zealand. More than 350,000 records appear in the new Ancestry.com collection, New Zealand, World War I Service Records, 1914-1920. According to the collection description, “This database contains New Zealand Defense Force (NZDF) Personnel Files for all known New Zealanders who served in the First World War. The records contain information of interested to personal and professional researchers alike, including: transfers, promotions, punishments, medals and honors received, health status and medical history and other biological information. Military service files typically include several documents. The primary document which has been indexed and is searchable by name is the Attestation Sheet. The attestation sheet includes personal information about the individual who served….Additional documentation may be found in the files, including correspondence.”

North America. An even larger collection of church records relating to Swedes, or at least, Swedish emigrants, is Ancestry.com’s U.S., Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Swedish American Church Records, 1800-1946. Here’s a sample image:

This collection boasts 3.5 million records from the Swenson Swedish Immigration Research Center at Augstana College in Rock Island, Illinois. From the collection description: “The records in this collection consist of administrative records from select affiliates of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. There are also select records from Canada. Indexes have been provided for baptisms, marriages, burials, and membership records (arrivals, dismissals, and member lists), as well as congregational histories and biographical files of church leaders. The member lists in particular have a wealth of information, including vital dates and emigration information. Some member lists may include the location in Sweden an individual or family was originally from. Records are written in either English or Swedish.”

Sweden. Close to 2 million indexed records appear in a new series of Swedish church record databases on Ancestry.com:

The indexes come from the free Genealogy Giant FamilySearch.org, where you may also find record images pertaining to these records.

United States, New York. Over a million records appear in the new collection, New York State, Death Index, 1957-1968. FYI, this database is also available to search on the New York state government website for free, but I find it much easier to search at Ancestry.com (and Ancestry’s powerful and flexible search technologies may help you find people’s names who may appear differently than you expect).

New records on FamilySearch.org

Brazil. Nearly 140,000 indexed names have been added to an existing collection on FamilySearch.org, the always-free Genealogy Giant: Brazil, Rio de Janeiro, Civil Registration, 1829-2012. Among the records are “births, marriages, deaths and indexes created by various civil registration offices in the state of Rio de Janeiro.” This collection is partially-indexed: browse the records to see what’s available for your ancestor’s locale. (See below for instructions on how to do this.)

Denmark. About 12,000 indexed names have been added to Denmark, Copenhagen City, Civil Marriages, 1739-1964, Index 1877-1964. According to the site, the collection includes “marriage licenses and records for the city of Copenhagen for the years 1739 to 1964.” However, the detailed collection description in the FamilySearch wiki includes some conflicting information about the dates covered. Go ahead and search anyway—and follow the wiki tips for getting the most out of the collection.

Germany. Over 1.1 million indexed records have been added to Germany, Bavaria, Diocese of Augsburg, Catholic Church Records, 1615-1939. Among the records are baptisms, marriages and burial records from the diocesan archive. Accessibility alert: a notice on the collection description page states that “These images are available to view at Family History Centers. If possible, visit your nearest Family History Center to view the images.” Click here to learn about image access restrictions on FamilySearch.org and click here to find a Family History Center near you (they’re free to use, but most have restricted hours).

Hungary. Nearly 60,000 indexed records have been added to the free collection, Hungary Civil Registration, 1895-1980. These are “images of births to 1920, marriages to 1950, and deaths to 1980 reported to and recorded by civil registrars. Coverage varies by locality. This collection is being published as images become available.”

Check current coverage by browsing the collection (from the bottom of the collection page, as shown here). As shown below, you can browse which regions have available records. Click a region to see which locales have records, and then click a locale to see which specific records are available. Click on individual record sets to page through them in your browser.

Panama. Nearly 150,000 indexed records have been added to Panama, Catholic Church Records, 1707-1973. Among these are “baptisms, confirmations, parish censuses, marriages, pre-marriage investigations, marriage dispensations, deaths, and indexes” created by parishes and dioceses. Again, use the browsing technique shown above to see what records are available for your ancestor’s locale.

New records on Findmypast

Featured global collection: The PERiodical Source Index of all known genealogical and historical periodicals (with especially strong coverage of the U.S.) has added over 10,000 new articles to its subject index (along with 35,148 new digital images of some of those articles). The publications indexed here include historical, genealogical and ethnic newsletters, journals, magazines and other kinds of periodicals.

Individual articles often include biographies, historical sketches, maps and transcripts of cemetery, census, church, court, land/property, institutional, military, naturalization, obituary, passenger, probate, school, tax, vital, voter and will records. You don’t need to have a subscription at Findmypast.com to search the index (and when you see interesting search results you can’t access in full, you have the option to purchase Pay-As-You-Go credits or sign up for a free trial).

Australia. Queensland, Justices of The Peace 1857-1957, with nearly 30,000 records from the Queensland State Archives, lists names of Justices of the Peace, along with oath year and number and archival reference information. Also for the same region, Queensland, Register of Land Sold 1842-1859, includes over 7,100 records of land transactions during Queensland’s colonization era, along with names, locations and property details.

England & Wales. Over 146,400 new images have recently been added to this Genealogy Giant’s unique and extensive Catholic Heritage Archive. Dating to 1575, the collection includes a range of Catholic Record Society publications and a list of Roman Catholics from York in 1604.

England. Findmypast has added parish records for the following locations (and according to the site, the Staffordshire and Shropshire online collections are exclusive to Findmypast):

  • Staffordshire Registers & Records. Over 119,500 images of 23 distinct publications of parish registers (which include baptisms, marriages and burials).
  • Lancashire Registers & Records. Over 171,000 images of parish registers, court rolls and local histories.
  • Shropshire Registers & Records. Over 23,000 images from an eclectic collection of publications date back to the 14th century.
  • Surrey Baptisms. Over 476,000 records! Explore transcripts of original parish records for baptisms, birth dates, names and residences of parents and occupations. The collection covers 180 parishes and spans 1538 to 1901. (Findmypast is now home to over two million Surrey records, including baptisms, marriages, monumental inscriptions, court records, probate records and more. Click here to see a list of all collections relating to Surrey.)

North America. Over 800 pages from 12 publications comprise Scots-Irish in North America Histories, a Findmypast collection that covers a variety of date ranges and regions on the Ulster Scots and their descendants in the United States and Canada.

Please help us spread the word!

Every Friday, we share new records on Ancestry.com, FamilySearch.org, Findmypast.com, MyHeritage.com, other websites and digital archives across the internet. We hear from you how these weekly posts help your genealogy. Maybe a specific collection has (finally!) come online. Or maybe you read about an interesting-sounding record type and decide to go searching for something similar for your own family. Will you please help spread the good news by sharing this article on your favorite social media site? And do let us know if any records we mention lead to any discoveries on your family tree. Thanks–you’re a gem!

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!

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.

4 Must-Explore Ancestry.com Collections

Some Ancestry.com collections are super valuable but, for one reason or another, are easy to miss. You DON’T want to miss these four exclusive Ancestry.com collections that were hand-picked by an Ancestry staffer: landowner maps, iconic shopping catalog images, Prohibition-era identification cards and even WWII-era motion pictures.

4 Ancestry.com collections you don’t want to miss

Recently at RootsTech 2018, I compared historical record collections on the genealogy giants (Ancestry.com, FamilySearch.org, Findmypast.com and MyHeritage.com). An Ancestry.com staffer saw my lecture and emailed me with some of his favorite (and exclusive) Ancestry.com collections that don’t appear among your ‘shaky leaf’ hints, so they’re easy to miss. The descriptions below come from him or the site, and I’ve added some sample images–including a map showing the location of my great-great grandfather’s land.

Sears, Roebuck and Co. Catalogs, 1896-1993

“Do you know what your great-grandparents would have worn? What would they have wanted for Christmas? Get an idea by looking at the Sears Catalog through the years. The original 1888 mailer carrying watches and jewelry expanded into a catalog in 1894 that kept growing offering an ever-widening range of products: sewing machines, sporting goods, musical instruments, saddles, firearms, buggies, bicycles, baby carriages, and clothing. In the late 1800s the catalog began carrying Christmas holiday items leading to its eventual status as the “Wish Book.”

Other interesting facts about the Sears and Roebuck Catalog include some of the people who were involved in the making of it. Big name 40s and 50s film stars Lauren Bacall and Susan Hayward model fashions in pages of the catalog. Also featured are Ted Williams, a major baseball player in the 40s; Al Unser, a race car driver; and Gene Autry, “The Singing Cowboy.”

If your ancestor was a member of a fraternal organization such as the Freemasons or the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers, you may be able to find pictures of pins created for their organizations. Music history in America also credits Sears catalog with changing American lifestyle because of the inexpensive but quality musical instruments offered through mail order.”

Prohibition agent identification cards, 1920-1925

“With the enactment of the Volstead Act in 1920, Prohibition agents were called upon to do the often unpopular work of enforcing the law, which included shutting down speakeasies and stills and interrupting the trafficking of bootleg alcoholic beverages. This collection contains identification card files for prohibition agents, prohibition inspectors, prohibition directors, warehouse agents, narcotics agents, and narcotics inspectors in the Bureau of Internal Revenue’s Prohibition Unit.”

County Land Ownership Maps (US), 1860-1918

“Land ownership maps are portrayals of land purchased, granted, or inherited. They range in complexity from rough outlines of the boundaries of one tract of land to detailed county atlases showing every landowner at the time of compilation.

These maps are valuable to genealogists because they often contain the names of landowners, they predate topographic maps, they show important historical township and county boundaries [and] can include photos of county officers, landholders, and some buildings and homes. This database contains approximately 1,200 U.S. county land ownership atlases from the Library of Congress’ Geography and Maps division, covering the years 1860-1918…These maps can be searched by state, county, year and owner’s name.”

Note from Sunny: This collection has proven valuable to me because it helped me locate my great-great grandfather’s property on a Pennsylvania map. Shown here!

WWII Newsreels, 1942-1946

“Newsreels averaged 10 minutes in length and consisted of U.S. military footage depicting allied military operations and other events from the home front. Much of the footage was taken by military combat photographers and is in excellent condition.

This database contains all 267 issues of the ‘United News’ newsreels. Some of the more well-known WWII events depicted in these newsreels includes: Marines Raise Flag Over Iwo Jima, D-Day, Japanese Sign Final Surrender, Invasion of Sicily, and MacArthur Returns to the Philippines.

Note from Sunny: Search this database using keywords relating to your family, such as places, military units or a descriptive term such as engineer. The sample footage shown here, “Yanks help repair French railroad” appears in this Ancestry.com collection. (For ease of display on our site, we’re showing you the same footage from YouTube.)

Learn more about the genealogy giants

Learn more about what’s on Ancestry.com and the other genealogy giants, FamilySearch.org, Findmypast.com and MyHeritage.com). I specialize in comparing these sites to each other so you’ll know where to turn to meet your research needs. Click here to read more about the genealogy giants and to see my exclusive quick reference guide, Genealogy Giants: Comparing the 4 Major Websites. It’s arguably the smartest investment you can make before investing time and subscription dollars in the major genealogy websites.

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!

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.

African American Genealogy Records: New and Free!

Explore these African and African American genealogy records in celebration of your family history and Black History Month!

Also this week: see new records online for Southern Claims Commission, GA, NY and VA as well as African heritage sites, Liberia and South Africa. And check out a limited-time offer from Fold3 to view its Black History collection for free.

Black History Collection free this month at Findmypast.com

“In recognition of Black History Month, Fold3 is making the records in its Black History collection available for free through the end of February,” states a recent company announcement. “The Black History collection gives you access to more than a million documents, records, and photos that help to capture the African-American experience during five eras of American history: SlaveryThe Civil WarReconstruction & Jim Crow LawsWorld War I & II, and the Civil Rights Movement.

The Fold3 announcement lists several of its richest collections, and we think they’re worth noting individually:

African American genealogy records newly published online

U.S. Southern Claims Commission. The “genealogy giant” Ancestry.com has updated its collection of U.S. Southern Claims Commission, Disallowed and Barred Claims, 1871-1880. According to the collection description, “In 1871 the U.S. government created the Southern Claims Commission, an organization through which southerners could file claims for reimbursement of personal property losses due to the Civil War. Claims could only be filed by residents of AL, AR, FL, LA, MS, NC, SC, TN, TX, VA and WV.” Your African American ancestors may be among those listed therein: “Each claimant was required to provide witnesses. The witnesses had to answer the same 80+ questions that the claimant had to answer. Many of these witnesses were former slaves whose names rarely appear on any other legal document from the Civil War era. They also provided names and dates for family members who often lived on other plantations.”

Georgia. “The records of the Georgia Association of Educators (1921-2015)…are open for research,” reports the George State University Library. “The collection, comprised of unique documents and photographs, provides an in-depth look at the history of the organization that represents many of Georgia’s teachers. The collection includes convention proceedings, contracts and constitutions, meeting minutes, newspaper clippings, audio-visual materials, photographs, and periodicals.” Among the topics covered are the mergers of the previously-segregated black and white state teachers’ associations and integration of public schools about 1970. Click here to explore the finding aid to this collection.

New York. A first-of-its-kind free database documents those involved in the institution of slavery in New York from the earliest times. The New York Slavery Records Index “is a searchable compilation of records that identify individual enslaved persons and their owners, beginning as early as 1525 and ending during the Civil War,” reports the site. “Our data come from census records, slave trade transactions, cemetery records, birth certifications, manumissions, ship inventories, newspaper accounts, private narratives, legal documents and many other sources. The index contains over 35,000 records and will continue to grow as our team of John Jay College professors and students locates and assembles data from additional sources.” A hat-tip to WGRZ.com for publishing this article that alerted us to this valuable new resource.

Virginia. The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education reports, “Students in an introduction to public history class at Roanoke College in Salem, Virginia, created a digital archive of newspaper and other clippings collected during the civil rights era by the Hill Street Baptist Church in Roanoke. The project documents efforts in the area to desegregate lunch counters, movie theaters, and public schools during the 1950s and 1960s.”

African Genealogy and History Resources Now Online

African world heritage sites. CNN.com recently reported on a new online resource that seeks to provide digital preservation and access to important archaeological sites across Africa. “The archaeological wonders of the world offer a rich window into the past,” states the article. “But many are crumbling, weed-laden and victim to vandalism and conflict….Concerned with the decay of African heritage sites, The Zamani Project, based at the University of Cape Town, South Africa, is seeking to immortalize historic spots in three-dimensional, virtual reality-ready models…. Presently, they’ve mapped around 16 sites including Lalibela in Ethiopia, Timbuktu in Mali and Kilwa in Tanzania.”

Liberia. The free “genealogy giant” FamilySearch.org has added over 24,000 new record images and nearly 27,000 newly-indexed names to its free collection of Liberia, Marriage Records, 1912-2015. Documents include “applications for marriage licenses, marriage licenses, marriage returns, documents certifying marriages from Liberia.”

South Africa. FamilySearch has also updated two of its existing South Africa records collections with more indexed names:  South Africa, Cape Province, Kimberley, Probate Records of the Supreme Court, 1871-1937 and South Africa, Cape Province, Probate Records of the Master of the High Court, 1834-1989.

Listen to more African American genealogy topics

The free Genealogy Gems Podcast and the Genealogy Gems Premium Podcast have both featured inspiring interviews on African African genealogy research. We recommend these:

Genealogy Gems Podcast episode #201: Angela Walton-Raji joins Lisa Louise Cooke with tips for interviewing African American relatives, learning important history and getting past that 1870 brick wall into the era of American slavery. Listen for free!

Genealogy Gems Podcast episode #200: A university professor shares his discoveries about a mother and young daughter separated by slavery. Learn how he pieced together their story from a poignant family heirloom found at a flea market.

Genealogy Gems Premium Podcast episode #130: Oprah Book Club author Lalita Tademy talks about her book Citizen’s Creek, a novel about an African American and Creek Indian family. This special episode (and all Premium Podcast episodes) is something extra just for our Premium subscribers; click here to learn how to subscribe.

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!

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.

Creating Free Online Memorials for Deceased Relatives: A New Option from Ancestry.com

Creating free online memorials for your deceased relatives and ancestors is a wonderful way to remember and honor them. Genealogy giant Ancestry.com has created a new portal for posting these free online obituaries. Here’s what Ancestry.com’s “We Remember” tool is all about, and how you can use it.

A need for free, lasting online memorials

For several years, I have been concerned that newspaper obituaries are quietly going away, along with the popularity of print newspapers themselves. Obituaries and death notices fill important purposes. They help a family and community say goodbye. They pay tribute to loved ones and to lives well-lived (or ended too soon). They quietly but effectively spread news of a death, removing some of that burden from a grieving family. And for years to come, newspaper obituaries help genealogists learn their family history.

Increasingly, we share news of a loved one’s passing directly via social media channels–sometimes instead of in newspapers. These social media messages are personal and powerful, often accompanied by images or video and supplemented with others’ comments. But they don’t entirely replace the obituary:

  • They only reach those within our social media reach.
  • They often don’t contain the same rich genealogical information an obituary may mention.
  • Some may not easily be searchable by those who want to find them.

As younger generations age into the role of decision-makers after a loved one passes, they will decide on behalf of a family how and where a loved one is formally memorialized. Print obituaries may not seem important or relevant to those who don’t rely so heavily on newspapers.

Online memorials posted by funeral homes and sites such as Legacy.com have somewhat filled this gap. They have brought obituaries into dedicated online spaces where loved ones can share biographical information, photos and memories. However, many online memorials are only published temporarily. Many require a fee either to create or to maintain—or both.

A new option for free online memorials

That’s why I’m pleased to see that Ancestry.com has launched We Remember, a free online space for posting and sharing public memorials for deceased loved ones and ancestors. According to the press release, “Rather than being a research page, the ‘We Remember’ page is designed to gather and showcase memories about your loved one. You can celebrate their life by bringing together those who knew them and collecting stories, and photos, to paint a rich picture of who they were.”

A ‘We Remember’ memorial has 3 parts:

  • Tribute: Shows their name, photo, and a headline about them and/or their obituary
  • Guestbook: Lists all who have signed the page and how they are connected to the deceased (family, friends, coworkers, schoolmates).
  • Memories: Shows memories people have added. So far, this photos and stories; Ancestry.com hopes to add audio and video options in the future.

The web-based platform doesn’t require an app and can be used from your computer, tablet or smart phone. The memorials are interactive and “intended for sharing and collaborating, gathering everyone’s memories together. There are multiple options for sharing on the site: email, Facebook, or just copying the link and sharing it directly with friends and family.” You can post questions for those who visit to answer.

Essentially, ‘We Remember’ brings the death notice announcement out of your everyday social media environment and creates a stand-alone place for anyone who is online to visit.

Questions about ‘We Remember’

Of course, questions immediately arise about how permanent and free this service will remain, and whether it will become searchable so others may discover their family history on it. Here at Genealogy Gems, we always advise not relying on any single online or offline ‘container’ for your memories, photos and other family history treasures. Genealogy technology expert Lisa Louise Cooke always advises sharing online in selected places, but keeping master files of everything offline and backed up.

Ancestry.com responded to these and other concerns about ‘We Remember’ with comments I want to share here:

  • Will it stay free? “We have created [We Remember] as a free product to capture and preserve memories. (If that ever changed – which we don’t expect at this point – any pages created before a change would stay free.)”
  • Can we save what people post to our own master files offline? “We also hope to create features in the future to allow you to save content from a We Remember memorial page to your computer, such as in a file that you could view or print.”
  • Can we link memorial pages to profiles on our Ancestry.com trees? “We haven’t built any features around that yet but have received suggestions to link between We Remember pages and profile pages of ancestors in your tree and that is something we’re actively looking at and considering.”
  • Will we be able to search We Remember memorial pages? “That is something that we have planned but haven’t built yet.”
  • Is it going to remain ad-free? “We Remember purposefully does not have ads on it, and we have no plans to include ads in the future.”
  • What about other questions concerning privacy and managing the memorial? The site has a frequently asked questions page that addresses whether you need an account, how to limit access and manage content posted by others and more.

Clearly, ‘We Remember’ is still a work-in-progress by genealogy giant Ancestry.com. But the portal is free, easy to use and beautifully-formatted. Check it out for yourself and consider using it as one way to share the news of a loved one’s death. If you do decide to use it, don’t forget to save a copy offline of the memories and photos posted by others: screenshot them if necessary!

Create a video memorial of a loved one

One of Lisa Louise Cooke’s many inspiring talents is creating short, powerful family history videos that help her celebrate the people and memories that matter most. She does a fabulous job of teaching step-by-step how we can do the same! Click here to follow her instructions on how to create a short video to spotlight a loved one.

Sunny Morton

Sunny Morton

Sunny Morton is a Contributing Editor at Lisa Louise Cooke’s Genealogy Gems; her voice is often heard on the Genealogy Gems Podcast and Genealogy Gems Premium Podcast. She’s especially 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 latest favorite reads for the Genealogy Gems Book Club. Sunny is also a Contributing Editor at Family Tree Magazine and the NGS-award-winning Co-Editor of Ohio Genealogy News.

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