Now Online: England Parish Records and More

English parish records top this week’s list of new online genealogy records. More new or updated family history collections: British newspapers, pensions and India records; records for Brazil, Germany, The Netherlands, Peru, and Poland; UK images and deaths; US obituaries; newspapers for Delaware, Maine, New Hampshire and Rhode Island; and more for Idaho, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana and Oklahoma.

Featured: England parish records and more

As England made international news with the recent royal wedding last weekend, I found myself wondering what the couple’s entry in the official wedding register looks like (they signed it behind closed doors). That disappointment notwithstanding, plenty of historical Church of England registers have recently come online.

Find new and updated collections of these English church records on the following Genealogy Giants:

  • Cheshire, England, Extracted Church of England Parish Records, 1564-1837 at Ancestry.com is a new collection of historical parish registers from Cheshire and includes christenings, marriage bonds and licenses, marriage records, burials and even inhabitants lists.
  • Derbyshire records at Ancestry.com. There are separate collections of marriages and bannsburials, and baptisms, marriages, and burials. Dates and record types overlap, so it’s worth searching across more than one of these collections for your family.
  • Devon Bishop’s Transcripts, 1558-1887 at FamilySearch.org. Close to half a million indexed names have been added to this “index to and images of baptismal, marriage, and burial records in the county of Devon….Bishop’s transcripts contain more or less the same information as parish registers, so they are an invaluable resource when a parish register has been damaged, destroyed, or otherwise lost.” This collection is free to view, as all FamilySearch collections are, but the Devon Record Office, which supplies the collection, requires that you sign in with a free FamilySearch account.
  • Northumberland Registers & Records at Findmypast.com. “Explore publications of original parish records including Early Deeds Relating to Newcastle Upon Tyne, 1100-1600, Parish Registers of Alnham, Ceadnell, Chatton & Ilderton, 1688-1812, Parish Registers of Edlingham, 1658-1812, Parish Registers of Halton, 1654-1812 and Parish Registers of Ingram, 1682-1812.”
  • Nottinghamshire Registers & Records at Findmypast.com. Five new “publications cover parish registers from the parishes of Gedling and Warsop, Archdeaconry Court Marriage Licenses and Parish Register Transcripts from the Peculiar of Southwell, the history of the county and its highways and byways.”
  • Rutland Registers & Records at Findmypast.com. Subscribers may now search 180 pages from registers of North Luffenham, 1565-1832, to uncover baptisms, marriages, burials and monumental inscriptions.
  • Somerset Registers & Records at Findmypast.com. “These records cover Bishop’s Transcripts from Wells Diocesan Registry, Parish Registers from Chipstable, Raddington, Kittisford, Pitcombe and Wilton, as well as Wells Cathedral Monumental Inscriptions and Heraldry.”
  • Wiltshire Church of England records at Ancestry.com. There are separate collections of births and baptisms; marriages and banns; baptisms, marriages and burials; deaths and burials.

More English records to love:

British newspapers at Findmypast.com have been updated. More than 6.5 million new articles from 37 titles include “local newspapers from across the UK and Good Morning, the official Submariners newspaper during WW2.” Coverage includes “Yorkshire, Lincolnshire, Leicestershire, Oxfordshire, the British Armed Forces, Music Halls and Theatres.”

British in India. Findmypast.com subscribers can now “browse through 75 assorted almanacs that offer a comprehensive view of life in British India” in the collection, British in India, Directories 1792-1948. According to the site, “They contain lists of medical staff, veterinary staff, police, civil servants, and engineers working in India, as well as lists of debtors, charity members, and Freemasons. You can also discover practical information for living in India, such as gardening calendars and advice for posting parcels and letters.”

British pensions. Explore more than 150 years of pension applications in British Army Officers’ Widows’ Pension Forms 1755-1908 at Findmypast.com. “Released online for the first time in association with The National Archives, the collection includes forms and evidences of vital events extracted from widows’ pension files, including application forms, death certificates, marriage certificates, births and baptisms.”

British in India directories FMP England parish records

Sample page in 1878 British in India directory at Findmypast.com.

Continental Europe

Germany. Nearly 2.5 million indexed names have been added to FamilySearch’s free collection, Germany, Baden, Archdiocese of Freiburg im Breisgau, Catholic Church Records, 1678-1930. This database includes baptism, marriage and burial records. Another German collection at FamilySearch, Germany, Schleswig-Holstein, Kreis Steinburg, Civil Registration, 1874-1983, has also been updated.

Additionally, Ancestry.com has recently published new German vital records collections: Menden (Sauerland) Births, 1874-1906Menden (Sauerland) Marriages, 1874-1935 and Menden (Sauerland) Deaths, 1874-1986.

Netherlands. FamilySearch.org has added over 40,000 indexed records to the free Netherlands, Noord-Holland, Civil Registration, 1811-1950. This collection includes “Civil registration of births, marriages, and deaths,…ten year indexes, marriage intentions, marriage proclamations, and marriage supplements.”

Poland. Ancestry.com has published a new collection, Poland, Krakow Apartments of Displaced Jews, 1940. This comes from the World Memory Project in partnership with the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, so these records are free to search (click here to search all USHMM collections for free).

South America

Brazil. FamilySearch has added over 35,000 indexed names to Brazil, Minas Gerais, Catholic Church Records, 1706-1999. These are “baptism, marriage, and death records created by various Catholic parishes and diocese,” and the collection continues to be updated. Additionally, nearly 60,000 names have been added to the FamilySearch database, Brazil, São Paulo, Immigration Cards, 1902-1980.

Peru. FamilySearch has updated two civil registration collections for Peru: Puno, Civil Registration, 1890-2005 and Junín, Civil Registration, 1881-2005. These include “births, marriages, deaths, indexes and other records created by civil registration offices.”

The United Kingdom

UK images. The Irish Times and other news outlets recently picked up the news that subscription giant Ancestry.com published a new collection of historical images: UK, Historical Photographs and Prints, 1704-1989. The Irish Times reported that the collection “include[s] more than 120 images taken in Ireland, offer an insight into daily life in Irish cities, towns, villages and countryside between the late 1800s and the 1950s.” Just for fun, try browsing the collection on the different images categories, such as transport, nurses, navy, royalty or weddings (an image from the latter category is shown at the top of this article, in honor of the royal wedding).

Recent UK Deaths. Find over 2.5 million records in Findmypast’s UK Deaths, 2007-2016. “The collection covers England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, the Isle of Man, and Jersey and list the individual’s name, date of death, and location of death.”

United States

U.S obituaries. Findmypast.com has added over 2.5 million new records to its United States Obituary Notices index, which references data from Tribute.com, an online obituary news site.

Delaware. MyHeritage.com has published over 125,000 pages in a new collection, Delaware Newspapers, 1880-2009 from three newspaper titles: The Sunday Morning Star, Cape Gazette and Delaware News.

Idaho. Ancestry.com has updated several vital records databases for this state, including: Idaho, Birth Index, 1861-1917, Stillbirth Index, 1905-1967, Idaho, County Birth and Death Records, 1863-1967, Idaho, Marriage Records, 1863-1967, Idaho, Divorce Records, 1947-1967 and Idaho, Death Records, 1890-1967.

Iowa. More than a quarter million indexed names have been added to FamilySearch’s free database, Iowa, Old Age Assistance Records, 1934-1946. According to the site, “These records include principal name, date, and place of birth; parents’ names; and contemporary addresses. The birth information is especially significant as it applies to Iowa settlers who may not appear in regular birth records.”

Kentucky. FamilySearch has added over 30,000 new records to its free collection, Kentucky Death Records, 1911-1965, which comprises indexed images of state death certificates.

Louisiana. Over 235,000 indexed names have been added to the free FamilySearch collection, Louisiana, Parish Marriages, 1837-1957. Record images are included in this collection of “marriage licenses and certificates, including a few marriage declarations and marriage stubs for the years 1837 to 1957.”

Maine. More than 2 million newspaper page images appear in the new MyHeritage.com collection, Maine Newspapers, 1861-2008. Among the 16 titles represented at present are Sun Journal, Bangor Daily News, Lewiston (Evening/Daily Evening/Wednesday/Saturday) Journal, Biddeford Weekly Journal, The Quoddy Times, Riddeford Journal, The Union and Journal, New Gloucester Independent News and The Original Irregular.

New Hampshire. MyHeritage also published nearly 650,000 images in the new New Hampshire Newspapers, 1869-2008. The seven newspapers represented are The Telegraph, Nashua Daily Telegraph, Peterborough Transcript, The Milford Cabinet and Wilton Journal, Merrimack Journal, Hollis Brookline Journal and Bedford Journal.

Oklahoma. Free at FamilySearch are nearly 25,000 new records added recently to Oklahoma, School Records, 1895-1936. According to the site, the school records are “primarily annual censuses, of pupils who attended schools in Oklahoma counties between 1895 and 1936. This collection will be published as records and images become available.”

Rhode Island. MyHeritage.com has published nearly 600,000 digital images in the new collection, Rhode Island Newspapers, 1778-1938. At launch, the collection includes 26 titles. Among them are The Morning Herald, Evening Tribune, Providence News, Manufacturers and Farmers Journal, Evening Telegraph, Providence Evening Press, Providence Morning Star, Pawtuxet Valley Gleaner, Hope Valley Advertiser and more.

Learn to use England parish records

England’s earliest useful census is from 1841, and civil records only go back to 1837. So England’s parish records just might prove your genealogical salvation. Click here to learn more about using them.

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.

New Irish genealogy records and more

New Irish genealogy records top this week’s list of noteworthy new family history collections online from around the globe. Also, find records for Austria, Brazil, France, Germany, Guatemala, Spain, Wales and the U.S. (FBI criminal files and collections for CO, ID, IL, KY, MA, TX, WV. All these collections come from the Genealogy Giants: Ancestry.com, FamilySearch.org, Findmypast.com and MyHeritage.com.

Featured:  New Irish genealogy records online

The fabled luck of the Irish—or at least that of their descendants—continues throughout March, with significant new Irish genealogy records coming online. Subscription site Findmypast.com has updated its indexes of the Irish civil birth and marriage register images hosted online at IrishGenealogy.ie:

  • The updated Irish Births Index consists of over 2.7 million indexed entries. “As well as listing the date and location of your ancestor’s birth, these new transcripts provide a variety of additional details including the names of both parents (including mother’s maiden name), father’s occupation and full dates of birth.”
  • The updated Irish Civil Marriages now boasts over 2.6 million records. “These new transcripts…also provide a variety of additional details including the names of the couple’s parents, their fathers’ occupations, their residence and marital status.

Findmypast.com also posted more new Irish genealogy records:

  • Antrim Histories & Reference Guides. Search George Benn’s authoritative work, A History of the Town of Belfast from the Earlier Times to the Close of the Eighteenth Century (1877). “It contains historic maps and illustrations as well as a chapter on noted inhabitants mentioned in seventeenth-century records including names such as Captain George Theaker, Arthur Chichester, Hugh Doak, Thoams Waring, George McCartney, and more.”
  • Armagh Records & Registers. Browse 600 pages of Historical Memoirs of the City of Armagh (1819) to learn more about the history of Northern Ireland. “It contains biographical accounts of both Protestant and Roman Catholic archbishops, a narrative of important events, an account of the establishment of the Presbyterian congregations and the history of various customs and manners.”
  • Church of Ireland Histories & Reference Guides. This collection has two PDF publications: The National Churches: The Church of Ireland (originally published in 1892) and Some Worthies of the Irish Church (published in 1900). Learn more about the history and practices of the Church of Ireland.
  • Dublin Registers & Records. Over 2,000 records have been added to this collection of PDF images of “parish records (baptisms, marriages, and burials) from the Church of Ireland, census indexes, school registers, monumental inscriptions and printed histories. The records span from the 1600s up to 1800.”
  • Irish Tontines Annuitants 1766-1789. “Over 153,000 annuity statements, accounts of deaths, death certificates, and marriage certificates relating to the subscribers and nominees of the Irish Tontine….The records in this collection have been released in association with the National Archives and cover the English tontine of 1789; the Irish tontines of 1773, 1775, and 1777; and the life annuities of 1766 to 1779.”
  • Ireland, American Fenian Brotherhood 1864-1897. “Over 125,000 records from British Foreign Office correspondence regarding the American Fenian Brotherhood during the years from 1864 to 1897. Records include newspaper cuttings, letters, telegrams, lists of prisoners, and a number of photographs…. The collection includes accounts of the Brotherhood’s incursions into Canadian territory during the years 1866 to 1871.” Subscribers may also browse American Fenian Brotherhood records from 15,000 volumes of British Foreign Office papers.
  • Royal Irish Constabulary History and Directories. This collection has been updated. It contains “an assortment of pay records, lists, directories, commendation records, treasury books, Constabulary Code books and training manuals.”

Ancestry.com has updated a few of its own Irish genealogy records collections (original data for the Irish Catholic registers comes from Celtic Catholic Registers, digitized images):

More new genealogy collections worldwide

Austria. Nearly 34,000 indexed records are part of a new free collection at FamilySearch, Austria, Carinthia, Gurk Diocese, Catholic Church Records, 1527-1986. According to the site, this is a “collection of church books containing births, marriages, and deaths held at the Diocese of Gurk in Klagenfurt, Austria.”

Brazil. More than 100,000 records have been added to an existing free FamilySearch collection, Brazil, Santa Catarina, Catholic Church Records, 1714-1977. Also recently updated is its collection of Brazil, São Paulo, Immigration Cards, 1902-1980.

France. FamilySearch has added two new free census collections for France: upwards of 150,000 indexed names in France, Hautes-Alpes, Census, 1856 and over 66,000 names in France, Hautes-Alpes, Census, 1876. According to the collection descriptions, these are complete listings of the census for Hautes-Alpes in these years.

Germany. About 10,000 records each have been added to existing FamilySearch collectionsGermany, Prussia, Brandenburg and Posen, Church Book Duplicates, 1794-1874 and Germany, Schleswig-Holstein, Kreis Steinburg, Civil Registration, 1874-1983.

Guatemala. Over 687,000 names have been added to the free FamilySearch collection, Guatemala Civil Registration, 1877-2008. According to the site, documents report “births, marriages, deaths, indexes and other records created by civil registration offices in Guatemala. Some of these records have been indexed and are searchable as part of this collection. Additional indexed records will be published as they become available.”

Spain. Over 22,000 names have been added to the free FamilySearch collection, Spain, Diocese of Cartagena, Catholic Church Records, 1503-1969. “These records include: baptisms, confirmations, pre-marriage investigations, marriages, deaths, indexes, testaments, and parish financial and land records. Some of these records have been indexed and are searchable as part of this collection. Additional indexed records will be published as they become available.”

United States. Subscription giant Ancestry.com has posted a new collection of F.B.I. Deceased Criminal Identification Files, 1971-1994. According to the site, “This database contains details about deceased individuals extracted from criminal identification files from 1971-1994….Details vary widely by form, but details in this index may include the following: name, birthplace, birth date, gender, race, death date, eye color, hair color, height, and weight.”

Various U.S. state-level collections include:

Wales. Subscription site Findmypast.com has added over 43,000 new records to its collection of Monmouthshire Electoral Registers. According to the site, “The new additions consist of handwritten Gwent registers spanning the years 1832 to 1849 that will allow you to discover where your Welsh ancestor lived and the type of property they owned or rented. The early handwritten registers (1832-1839) are presented as images and transcripts and the later printed registers are presented as portable device formats (PDFs). The format of each register can vary depending on the constituency or the year of the register but most will reveal a combination of your ancestor’s abode, property type, property location, property name, year, constituency and district.”

Learn more about the Genealogy Giants

I keep my eye on the Genealogy Giants for you!  All four, Ancestry.com, FamilySearch.org, Findmypast.com and MyHeritage, boast billions of historical records that can help you find your family history at home and abroad. But learning about each can be overwhelming! Click here for an introduction to these sites: what they have in common and what sets each apart. You’ll want to know so you can get the most out of them!

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.

New Genealogy Records on the Genealogy Giants

Millions of new genealogy records for Australia, the British Isles, the U.S., Canada, Europe, and Central and South America have been added to Ancestry.com, FamilySearch.org, Findmypast.com and MyHeritage.com, the “genealogy giants.

This week, we’ve sorted them by site, in case you’re just using one or two of them. But we do think you should know about them all! Click here for in-depth comparisons of the genealogy giants.

New genealogy records on Ancestry.com

Australia. Subscribers may search a new collection, Victoria, Australia, Asylum Records, 1853-1940. According to the description, “This collection is comprised of Asylum Records between 1853-1940 from the Public Record Office Victoria. The following information will typically be found: name of patient, age and birth place of patient, date admitted into asylum, reason they were admitted and photographs also occasionally appear.”

England. The new collection, Worcestershire, England, Extracted Church of England Parish Records, 1541-1812, “is a collection of historical parish registers from Worcestershire, England…The records include baptisms/christenings, burials, marriages, tombstone inscriptions, obituaries, tax lists, wills, and other miscellaneous types of records. All of the data was converted as it was originally presented in various published registers and books.”

Another new collection, Liverpool, England, Electoral Registers, 1832-1970 “contains yearly registers listing names and residences of people in Liverpool, 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.”

Poland. A new index, USHMM: Poland, Jewish Holocaust Survivors Registered in Warsaw, 1945-1946, “was indexed by World Memory Project contributors from the digitized holdings of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum…This database contains more than 31,000 registration cards completed by Jewish survivors in Warsaw after the war, in order to register with the Central Committee of Polish Jews (Centralny Komitet Żydów w Polsce). While the cards themselves were compiled in Warsaw, only 15,270 individuals have Warsaw listed as their postwar residence. The original documents are held by the Emanuel Ringelblum Jewish Historical Institute in Warsaw, Poland.”

New York. A new collection, New York State, Marriage Index, 1881-1967 “consists of indexes of marriages from the state of New York between the years 1881 and 1967. The collection contains only indexes to records, but the certificate number can be used to order a copy of the original certificate. Details vary, but may include names of bride or groom, marriage date, and place and certificate number.

Scotland. The new collection, Edinburgh, Scotland, Electoral Registers, 1832-1966, “contains yearly registers listing names and residences of people in Edinburgh, Scotland, who were eligible to vote in elections.” Another new collection, Fife, Scotland, School Admissions and Discharges, 1867-1916, “is a collection of School Admission and Discharges for schools in Fife, Scotland…These records are lists of children who were admitted to and discharged from schools. When education was required, children could be discharged from their schooling if they were needed to work to help support the family. The records vary by school and some are more detailed than others.”

United Kingdom. A new Ancestry.com collection, UK, Registers of Employees of the East India Company and the India Office, 1746-1939, “lists the employees, both civil and military, of the East India Company and later, the India Office. You may be able to find (where available): Name, Military Rank, Place of residence or military service, Date of death, Place of death, Date of marriage and Name of parents.”

New genealogy records on FamilySearch.org

Because there’s so much to find on FamilySearch.org (in so many different places), we recommend you consult an expert resource like the Unofficial Guide to FamilySearch by Dana McCullough.

Check out these collections—all of them free:

Australia. Over a half million indexed records have been added to the collection, Australia Cemetery Inscriptions, 1802-2005. The site describes the collection as “Cards of cemetery inscriptions from many cemeteries throughout Australia. The majority of the cemeteries are in Queensland, but there are some in New South Wales, Norfolk Island, Tasmania, and Western Australia. Some cards include information culled from local newspapers which sometimes include birth and marriage announcements.”

Austria. Nearly 200,000 digital images and nearly 300,000 indexed names have been added to Austria, Vienna Population Cards, 1850-1896. These are described as “population cards for individual residents of the city of Vienna, Austria. The cards include: name; birth date and place; marital status; old and new places of residence; and dates of arrival and departure. Frequently the names of the spouse and children are listed. Many people from the Austro-Hungarian Empire and Eastern Europe passed through Vienna and may be included on these cards.”

Brazil. Nearly 100,000 indexed names have been added to Brazil, Santa Catarina, Catholic Church Records, 1714-1977. These are “baptism, marriage, and death records created by various Catholic parishes and diocese in the state of Santa Catarina. Some of these records have been indexed and are searchable as part of this collection.”

Colombia. A new collection with more than 170,000 indexed names is Colombia, Diocese of Barranquilla, Catholic Church Records, 1808-1985. These are “Catholic Church records created by parishes in the Diocese of Barranquilla, Colombia. These records include: baptisms, confirmations, marriages, marriage investigation files, deaths, and indexes. Some of these records have been indexed and are searchable as part of this collection. Additional indexed records will be published as they become available.”

El Salvador. Nearly 200,000 indexed names have been added to El Salvador Civil Registration, 1704-2001. According to the description, these records are “Births, marriages, deaths, indexes and other records created by civil registration offices in El Salvador.”

Peru. Nearly 275,000 indexed names have been added to Peru, Lima, Civil Registration, 1874-1996. These are “births, marriages, deaths, indexes and other records created by civil registration offices in the department of Lima, Peru.”

Russia. Over 180,000 record images have been published online in a new collection, Russia, Karelia Poll Tax Census (Revision Lists), 1782-1858. These are “images of family lists for the tax-paying population (about 95% of the population) conducted primarily in the years 1782, 1795, 1811, 1816, 1833-1834, 1850-1851, and 1857-1858. Some outlying years are included. Localities reflect the places that existed during the period of the Russian Empire since the records were created at that time.”

New genealogy records on Findmypast.com

England: Derbyshire Parish Records. “Brand new records covering the parishes of Alvaston, Boulton, Chellaston, Holbrook, Longford, Newton Solney and Wilne have been added to our collection of Derbyshire Parish records, including: 255,626 baptisms; 126,083 marriages; and 16,902 burials.…Parish records generally begin from 1538 after the Church of England mandated the keeping of parish registers in 1537. Baptisms, marriages and burials were all recorded in a single volume until 1774, when the law changed to require a separate marriage register and another one for banns (or proclamations of an intent to marry). Standardized forms for these registers appeared in 1812.”

US Catholic parish records

  • Illinois (Archdiocese of Chicago). Search over 411,000 baptismal registers, over 153,000 parish marriage records, over 37,000 parish burial records and over 1.9 million cemetery records (burial index cards, burial registers, daily burial logs, and registers of cemetery lot owners). The parish records span from the late 1800s up to 1925 and the cemetery records from 1864-1989. In baptismal records, discover the date and location of baptisms, the names of parents and family residence. Marriage records include “the couple’s marriage date, marriage location, the names of their parents and the names of any witnesses.” All have both transcripts and images of original records. The Archdiocese of Chicago was first established in 1843 and serves the Catholic population of Cook and Lake Counties in northeastern Illinois.
  • Maryland (Archdiocese of Baltimore). Subscribers may now browse “over 54,000 individual baptism, marriage, burial, communion, and confirmation registers from the Archdiocese of Baltimore in their entirety. The registers span the years from 1782 to 1918 and can provide a variety of important biographical details about your ancestor.” Click here to start browsing!
  • New York (Archdiocese of NY). “Search brand new indexes of Sacramental Registers, released in partnership with the Archdiocese of New York, of both baptisms and marriages “covering the boroughs of Manhattan, the Bronx and Staten Island in New York City, as well as the Counties of Dutchess, Orange, Putnam, Rockland, Sullivan, Ulster, and Westchester. The records date back to 1785, span more than 130 years of the region’s history and come from more than 230 parishes across the Archdiocese.

New genealogy records on MyHeritage.com

Get the most out of MyHeritage.com, a genealogy giant with a global user base and free family websites! Check out our essential (yet inexpensive) MyHeritage.com Quick Reference Guide, available in the Genealogy Gems store.

England & Wales: 1939 Register. This huge addition was announced during RootsTech 2018 last week. According to a press release, “Prepared on the eve of World War II, with 33 million searchable records, the 1939 Register is the most complete census-like collection for the population of England and Wales between 1911 and 1951….For each household member, the 1939 Register records name, gender, address, birth date, marital status, place of residence, and occupation….The 1939 Register collection is not exclusive, but other than MyHeritage, it is currently available on only one other website [Findmypast.com]. The initial collection on MyHeritage includes an index, without images.”

Canada: Canadian Obituaries, 1997-2017 is a new collection of “2 million records, documenting obituaries and memorials from the 10 Canadian provinces, spanning mostly 1997-2017. It includes the name of the deceased, the date of death, the publication source including locality information, and the text of the obituary or memorial — in English or French depending on the source. When available, a photograph of the deceased is also included.”

Share with your friends!

Who do you know with ancestors in Australia? England? Scotland? Austria? The United States? Poland? Brazil? Peru? Russia? The other countries mentioned above? Why not take a second and share this post with them? Thank you–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.

Common Surnames: How Unique is Yours?

Common surnames can make genealogy research more challenging. But learning more about your last name (including how common it is) can also enrich your family history. Check out 4 free online tools for learning more about your family’s surnames. Then share what you learn the next time your relatives get together!

common surnames

If you have common surnames on your family tree, you may have become frustrated at times trying to determine whether the “John Williams” or “Elizabeth Smith” you’re looking at in a record belongs to your John or Elizabeth. Would it make a difference if you discovered they lived in an area where there very few folks by those names during that time period? It would. Furthermore, it would probably also be nice to know things like where else in the world–or within England, for example–that surname is found now (or was in the past).

The enormous amount of census, vital records, and family tree data now online is making it easier to answer questions like these. Below, find free online tools for mapping common surnames (and less-common ones, too) across time. They include surname search tools hosted by a couple of our Genealogy Giants, Ancestry.com and MyHeritage.com. What can you learn from the following sites? Do they agree with one another? Check them out!

Your surname in the 1990 and 2000 U.S. censuses

common surnamesThe US Census Bureau has created databases of last names that appear in recent censuses. You can look at the results a couple of ways:

  • Click here to search for your surname among the most common 150,000 surnames from the 1990 and 2000 censuses. These surnames cover about 90% of those who participated in the census.
  • Click here to view a list of all surnames that appear 100 or more times in the 2000 census. (Smith, Johnson, Williams, Brown, Jones, Miller and Davis all top a million occurrences!) According to this webpage, the top 15 surnames have remained fairly steady in the most recent three censuses with one exceptional trend: Spanish-origin surnames are starting to make the lists.

common surnames england walesCommon surnames of England and Wales

Find out how common your surname is today in England, Wales, and the Isle of Mann. The Surnames of England and Wales – the ONS List has a searchable database of almost 270,000 surnames shared by 54.4 million people (it excludes surnames occurring fewer than 5 times in the total database of nearly 60 million people). The list compiled between 1998-2002 does have some duplication and misspellings: “experience suggests that multiplying the result for your surname by 0.93 will give a good idea of the living population for your surname.”

What’s in a name? Ancestry.com answers

Ancestry.com hosts this fun and free tool for those with roots in the U.S., England, Scotland, and Wales:

Remember, it’s not a precise genealogy research tool. But it can prove interesting. When I ran this search for the married surname of our Genealogy Gems DNA expert, Diahan Southard, I was shown (among other things) this interesting map illustrating how the Southard family was spread across the United States in 1920:

common surnames

Surname directory at MyHeritage

MyHeritage.com hosts a searchable surname directory taken from data found on its site. To search the surname directory, choose the first letter of the last name from the alphabet shown below the search screen. (If you enter a name in the blue search boxes, you’ll be taken into their record-searching area, which isn’t the same):

common surnames

You won’t find all names surnames here, though you may find variant spellings of yours. (I never knew McClellan could be spelled in so many different ways!) Here’s a map of how they find my husband’s surname, Morton, scattered across the globe:

common surnames

Looking for more surname distribution maps? Click here to find a list organized by country.

Next Steps: Try this with your common surnames

common surnames Google search strategiesIf you’ve taken a DNA test…Thousands of people are compiling their same-surname DNA test results into surname projects. Click here to learn more about how to “social network” your yDNA test results in a surname project.

If you’re a Genealogy Gems Premium subscriber…you can watch Lisa Louise Cooke’s fabulous video tutorial, Common Surname Google Search Strategies. Use her tips to find even your most commonly-named relatives online! (Not a Premium member? Click here to learn more–for one low price, you’ll get a year’s access to hundreds of Premium videos and podcast episodes!)

Comparing Digitized Newspapers on Genealogy Websites: Why Findmypast.com Gets a Headline

When it comes to digitized newspapers on genealogy websites, Findmypast is a clear headliner. The site already hosts millions of U.S., British, and Irish newspaper pages–and their British collection is about to DOUBLE. Extra, extra, read all about it!

digitized newspapers on genealogy websites

Genealogy Giants quick reference guide cheat sheet Big 4Here at Genealogy Gems, we regularly compare features of leading genealogy websites, or as we refer to them, the “Genealogy Giants:” Ancestry.com, FamilySearch, Findmypast and MyHeritage. Today’s topic: digitized newspapers.

It may surprise you to hear that digitized historical newspapers aren’t a big part of the collections at all four giant genealogy websites. In fact, only one site–Findmypast–offers access to millions of exclusive British and Irish newspaper pages and a major U.S. newspaper database (which is usually just available at libraries).

Why mention it now? Because a good thing just got better: Findmypast plans to double its British newspaper content over the next two years.

Digitized Newspaper Treasures at Findmypast.com

Findmypast’s enormous genealogy collections focus on the countries of England, Scotland, Ireland, and Wales. Findmypast and The British Library have been working together for several years on The British Newspaper Archive, now home to more than 22.5 million newspaper pages dating from the 1700s. But what many people might not realize is that these same newspaper pages are also available to Findmypast subscribers.

You can search newspaper pages on Findmypast by name (first and last) and by other keywords, such as an occupation, street address, event or another word that might be associated with your family in newspaper articles. You can narrow the date range of papers searched and even target specific newspapers:

digitized newspapers on genealogy websites

digitized newspapers on genealogy websites

Original bound newspaper volumes at the British Library. Image from The British Newspaper Archive.

And it gets better. Findmypast just announced that over the next two years, it will nearly double its digitized newspaper collections! It is scanning over 12 million pages from the largest private newspaper collection in the UK: the Trinity Mirror archives. Over 150 local papers from across the U.K. are included. These pages have never been made available online, but will be on both The British Newspaper Archive and Findmypast. The project is already underway and moving along rapidly: up to 100,000 pages per week.

According to a press release, “The program builds on an existing partnership that has already resulted in the digitization and online publication of upwards of 160 Trinity Mirror titles, including significant coverage of both World Wars. Published online for the very first time, these war-time publications also included the Archive’s first national titles, The Daily Mirror and The Daily Herald.”

TIP: If you are interested in accessing British newspapers, but not needing the full range of genealogy resources offered at Findmypast, consider purchasing PayAsYouGo credits from Findmypast. You can purchase 60-900 at a time and “spend” them to view individual search results, including newspapers. You can also subscribe separately to The British Newspaper Archive.

More Digitized Newspapers on Genealogy Websites

The other giant genealogy websites do offer some newspaper content–indexed, imaged, or both. Here’s a short summary of what you’ll find on Ancestry.com, FamilySearch, and MyHeritage:

digitized newspapers on genealogy websites Ancestry.com subscription options

Ancestry.com’s subscription options.

Ancestry.com: This giant site does offer some digitized newspaper content, including images connected to indexed names in Historical [U.S.] Newspapers, Birth, Marriage, & Death Announcements, 1851-2003, Australia’s New South Wales Government Gazettes, 1853-1899 and Canada’s Ottawa Journal (Birth, Marriage and Death Notices), 1885-1980. But Ancestry.com’s biggest newspaper collections are mostly indexed obituaries (not images of the actual newspaper pages). Ancestry.com subscribers who want major access to digitized newspapers should consider upping their subscription to “All Access,” which includes Basic access to Newspapers.com. (Click here to learn more.)

FamilySearch: Millions of indexed obituaries are searchable by name on its free website, but it doesn’t generally offer any digitized newspaper pages. Of its billion+ historical record images, FamilySearch prioritizes more “core” genealogical records, such as vital records, censuses, and passenger lists.

MyHeritage.com: This site used to have access to NewspaperARCHIVE, the same U.S. newspaper database Findmypast currently offers, but it doesn’t now. It’s got new collections of Ohio (4.5 million pages from 88 sources) and New York (1.9 million pages from 56 sources) newspapers and access to the Jewish Chronicle [England]. But the bulk of its newspaper search results come from searching two other websites: Chronicling America and Trove, run by the national libraries of the United States and Australia, respectively. While it’s convenient to search them from MyHeritage if you are already using it, it’s not a reason to subscribe, as you can use those sites for free.

More Inside Tips on the Genealogy Giants

Genealogy Gems is your home for ongoing coverage and insight into the four ‘genealogy giants’ websites. Click here to learn more and to watch the RootsTech 2017 world premiere of my popular lecture that puts these big sites head-to-head. Genealogy Gems has published my ultimate quick reference guide, “Genealogy Giants: Comparing the 4 Major Websites.” It distills that hour-long lecture (and I was talking fast!) into a concise, easy-to-read format that will help you know which websites are best for you to use right now.

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 the free Genealogy Gems podcast and blog!

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