British Isles Genealogy Records New Online

New U.K. suffrage records are online—and so is a related historical experience at Google Arts & Culture! Also: U.K. slavery notices, Scottish memorial inscriptions, British newspapers, and Irish school records.

Featured: The Suffragettes and the Road to Equality

Google’s blog recently reported a new Google Arts & Culture initiative: The Suffragettes and the Road to Equality. “In June this year, as a wave of Processions celebrating women and their long struggle for political and social equality comes to the UK, Google Arts & Culture has collaborated with more than 20 partners to bring online archival collections, video footage, and in-depth, visual stories of those who have helped shape history,” states the post.

For the first time, Google Arts & Culture is showcasing the work, lives, and sacrifices of powerful figures like Emmeline Pankhurst, Milicent Fawcett, and Princess Sophia Duleep Singh. This online experience delves into the organizations they established, their revolutionary forms of protest, and the objects that represent their legacy—the iconic suffragette banners, their personal letters and writings, photographs, and hundreds of other artifacts. Explore the exhibition on Google Arts & Culture.

More Suffragist records at Findmypast

We have previously spotlighted several U.K. suffragist record collections at Findmypast (including these ones recommended by Genealogy Book Club author Nathan Dylan Goodwin). Findmypast recently reported adding these items to their Suffragette Collection:

  • Thousands of newly transcribed 1911 census returns that either list “suffragette” or “suffragist” as an occupation or someone who had had been “spoiled” in an act of civil disobedience.
  • More than 78,000 records taken from Metropolitan Police and Home Office files, revealing the struggles endured by the movement’s most ardent supporters and highlighting the state’s responses.
  • Women’s Suffrage Petition of 1866. Search for the names of your relatives who may have signed the petition that laid the foundations of the organized campaign for women’s suffrage.
  • Nearly 60,000 new records from 14 suffrage newspaper titles. These include interviews, personal accounts, political statements, satirical cartoons, news stories, photos and more.

New British Newspapers

Recently, the British Newspaper Archive reported the following additions (also searchable in the British Newspapers collection at Findmypast):

  • New titles and updated content covering the cities of London, Birmingham and Newcastle, and the counties of Bedfordshire and Wiltshire, Cumbria, Cheshire, Lancashire and Oxfordshire. Two new titles are the Birmingham Weekly Post and the Uxbridge & W. Drayton Gazette. The Birmingham Weekly Post and the latter editions of the Uxbridge & W. Drayton Gazette are full of pictures of local and national news. You can read all about Princess Margaret’s visit to Solihull in 1954 when 100,000 people came to greet her here, as well as an interesting report in the Uxbridge & W. Drayton Gazette about the 1957 craze in pets – bush babies.
  • Another new paper, the West Cumberland Times, adds significantly to coverage of Cumberland, with issues dating from 1874-1911.
  • They’ve also added more pages to Dover Telegraph and Cinque Ports General Advertiser, covering 19th-century life in one of England’s most important port towns. Coverage now spans 1833-1862.
  • More content in the Trinity Mirror Archive, with new titles going all the way up to 1986. For example: the Sunday Sun (Newcastle). With its current run beginning in 1936, the paper offers its own perspective on the biggest event of that particular year – the abdication of King Edward VIII. Also: almost a century of news from South London in the Norwood News (1868-1962).

More new British Isles genealogy records

Slavery in the U.K. Glasgow Live recently reported on the Runaway Slaves in 18th-century Britain project, which the project site itself describes as “a searchable database of well over eight hundred newspaper advertisements placed by masters and owners seeking the capture and return of enslaved and bound people who had escaped. Many were of African descent, though a small number were from the Indian sub-continent and a few were Indigenous Americans.”

According to the Glasgow Live article, “The advertisements paint a detailed picture of the men, women, and children who ran away in an attempt to be free of servitude, providing a rich source of information about the enslaved and slavery in 18th century Britain. The written notices described the mannerisms, clothes, hairstyles, skin markings, and skills of people who otherwise would have been completely absent from the official historical records of the time. The advertisements also include information about the work of the enslaved, their homes and situations, and the lives, businesses, and homes of their masters and mistresses.”

Ireland. Over 43,000 additional records covering schools in County Mayo have been added to Findmypast’s collection of Ireland National School registers. The entire collection now contains more than 186,000 records from many areas of the country spanning the years 1860 to 1922. According to the site, “School registers can reveal a variety of details related to your ancestor’s schooling. Records may reveal how they did in school, how good their attendance was, how old they were and what their parents or guardians did for a living. These registers, from schools that have since closed down, give a fascinating insight into the multidenominational early school system and can be a valuable resource for genealogists. Please note, however, those images that include individuals born after the 100-year cut-off have been redacted; therefore, some entries only include a transcript.”

Scotland. Over 33,000 additional records have been added to Findmypast’s collection of Scottish Memorial Inscriptions. “The collection includes records from 14 Scottish counties including the Isle of Skye and 209 burial grounds….In this index, you will find burials as early as 1507, like Robert Graham buried at Kinneff church in Kincardineshire, and as recent as 2016, like Morag Hamilton buried in Carmichael cemetery in Lanarkshire.”

Fun reading on British Isles genealogy

One of our favorite Genealogy Gems Book Club authors is Nathan Dylan Goodwin, author of the popular “Morton Farrier, Forensic Genealogist” mystery series. His latest release combines two titles in one:  “The Suffragette’s Secret,” a short story, is published with his new full-length book, The Wicked Trade. Click here to read his guest blog post about the suffragette records he loves on Findmypast, and click here to check out his Morton Farrier series on the Genealogy Gems Book Club webpage.

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). For example, as an Amazon Associate, Genealogy Gems earns from qualifying purchases. Thank you for supporting Genealogy Gems!

Irish history in pictures, film and folklore

This week’s records roundup features Irish history in pictures, film and folklore; 1939 Register updates; British and Irish newspapers; UK WWI War Memorials Register, British folk music, Norfolk and Somerset parish records, Wiltshire wills and probate and Scotland historical photography. See if any of these can enrich your family history or genealogy research!

This week’s collections come from a variety of sources, including free private, public and government websites and subscription-based Genealogy Giants such as Ancestry.com and Findmypast.com. Enjoy!

Featured: Irish history in pictures, film and folklore

Historical images. A new database shows illustrations of Ireland created by travelers and dating back to 1680. According to Galway Daily, where we read about this fantastic collection, “Ireland Illustrated, 1680-1860, is a database of over 500 images of Ireland – woodcuts, water colours, engravings and other illustrations – with related text, drawn from more than 50 manuscript and printed works, and highlighting several neglected or rarely accessible sources. Many of the pictures in the database, woodcuts, water colours, engravings and other illustrations, have rarely, if ever, been seen by the public.”

Film footage. The Irish Times announced that a new archive has been founded to house “thousands of hours of film documenting Ireland’s past from potential decay and allow the Irish Film Institute (IFI) to open its doors to more amateur collections.” A spokeswoman in the article points out that “’from the 1890s until the 1960s, all there really was in Ireland was amateur footage’…and that “the reason amateur film is so important is because it is sometimes the only record we have of how Ireland was.” Click here to explore the Irish Film Institute’s digital archive, which includes rare historical footage of the bombing of the Four Courts. Watch a brief film clip of the latter here.

Folklore collection. Over 100,000 pages of Irish folk stories, customs and beliefs have been transcribed and placed online by the National Folklore Collection, says a recent article in The Irish Times. And more are coming. According to the article, “A voluntary collective online is working its way through transcribing 700,000 pages of folklore that were collected throughout Ireland between 1937 and 1939. This mass of previously inaccessible material was gathered by more than 100,000 children who were sent to seek out the oldest person in their community just before second World War to root out the darkest, oddest and weirdest traditional beliefs, secrets and customs.” Click here to start exploring!

Around the British Isles

1939 Register update. Genealogy Giant Findmypast.com, the first to publish the 1939 Register online, has added over 64,000 newly opened records to the collection. “The 1939 Register, compiled by 65,000 enumerators and sent to every household in England and Wales, documents the lives of 41 million people,” states the site. “It gives the names of the inhabitants at each address, their date of birth, marital status and occupation….Findmypast has more 1939 Register records than any other site, with thousands more being opened and made available to search every month.

British and Irish newspapers

The British Newspaper Archive is now home to more than 25 million digitized newspaper pages from Britain and Ireland. It has recently added several new newspaper titles and additional pages for existing titles on its site. Here’s a sample of new and enlarged collections:

WWI War Memorials Register. The Imperial War Museum is compiling the War Memorials Registry, “the comprehensive national register of UK war memorials and the names of the individuals they commemorate.” The database contains over a million names from over 74,000 memorials in the UK., Channel Islands and Isle of Man, along with a sizeable database of images of these war memorials.

According to the site, “War memorials form an important part of our cultural heritage and reflect the changing face of commemoration as well as artistic, social, local, family, military and international history. The Register includes memorials to members of the armed forces, civilians and animals from all wars and to those who died in service….We will be adding more records to the names database throughout the First World War Centenary so please check back for updates.”

England

British folk music. The British Library recently announced that it has placed online “around 350 English folk songs recorded by composer Percy Grainger in different regions of England between 1906 and 1909.” These unique, early recordings were made on wax cylinders, which don’t have a long lifespan, and then transferred to a more permanent recording format in 1940, a remarkable chain of events that makes it possible to hear audio recordings over a century old.

Norfolk. Almost 6 million records are in the new Ancestry.com collection, Norfolk, England, Bishop and Archdeacon Transcripts of Parish Registers, 1600-1935. According to the collection description, “This collection contains images of transcripts created by Bishops and Archdeacons of baptism, marriage, and burial records for the years 1600–1935 from the county of Norfolk, England. Also included are Weekly Register Bills from Great Yarmouth….Later this year, we will be adding Archdeacons’ Transcripts for parishes beginning O-Z.” Related Ancestry.com collections have been recently updated:

Somerset. Ancestry.com has also recently updated a few parish records collections for Somerset. These include: Somerset, Church of England Baptisms, Marriages, and Burials, 1531-1812; Somerset, Marriage Registers, Bonds and Allegations, 1754-1914; Somerset, Church of England Baptisms, 1813-1914 and Somerset, Church of England Burials, 1813-1914.

Wiltshire. Last week, we announced some Wiltshire records updates for Ancestry.com. This week, we add updates to Wiltshire, England, Wills and Probate, 1530-1858, now with over 100,000 records in the collection. Tip: read the collection description for important instructions on navigating it.

Scotland

Historical images. Thousands of images of Scotland from the 1970s are now available online. According to an article on the Historic Environment Scotland website, the images were originally taken as part of a visual survey of historic architecture. However, “the backdrop to their work is life in rural Scotland.” You can view a curated sample of these images by clicking here.

In related news, The National Library of Scotland (NLS) reports that more than 14,000 photographs of Scotland taken between the 1840s and the 1940s has been acquired by the NLS and the National Galleries of Scotland. “The McKinnon Collection covers an expansive range of subjects — including family portraits, working life, street scenes, sporting pursuits, shops, trams, tenements, mountains and monuments, and it was one of the last great collections of Scottish photography still in private hands,” states the NLS release. It is expected that the collection will tour on exhibit and then be digitized to share online—so watch for that in a few years.

More British Isles resources on Findmypast.com

As one of the Genealogy Giants, Findmypast.com is a global leader in online genealogy and history research for England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. We keep up with what’s going on at Findmypast. Check out this short conversation I had with CEO Tamsin Todd and Executive Vice President Ben Bennett at RootsTech 2018 about an intriguing new approach they are piloting for collaborative online family trees. Click here to read more about Findmypast and how it stacks up to the other Giants, Ancestry.com, FamilySearch.org and MyHeritage.com.

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.

5 Free Online Historical Maps for Genealogy

These free online historical maps may help you learn more about your ancestors’ daily lives and flesh out your family history. Find maps for Victorian and Edwardian England and Wales; indigenous people of Canada and the U.S.; European synagogues; the Soviet military during WWII and even shipwrecks in and around Ireland.

We’ve reported previously on fantastic interactive map tools to help you learn more about your ancestors’ worlds. The best interactive maps don’t just give you locations: they combine locales with statistics, historical timelines, images or stories to help you get a sense of that time and place. (One amazing site that comes to mind is Bomb Site, an interactive map of the London Blitz.)

Recently, several interactive map tools have come across my desk for consideration in our weekly Friday Records post, so here’s a nice roundup of them. Whether you have ancestors from these places or cultural communities, or whether you just love old maps as Lisa Louise Cooke and I do, we think you’ll enjoy these.

Featured Free Online Historical Map: Populations Past

Populations Past is a new interactive online atlas of Victorian and Edwardian populations in England and Wales. According to the site overview page, “The second half of the nineteenth century was a period of major change in the dynamics of the British population….[But] this transition was not uniform across England and Wales….This website allows users to create and view maps of different demographic measures and related socio-economic indicators every 10 years between 1851 and 1911. These include fertility, childhood mortality, marriage, migration status, household compositions, age-structure, occupational status and population density.” Brief explanations are included, and you can zoom in, compare maps and even download them. The atlas is hosted on the University of Cambridge website.

Map of Native Lands and People

Yes! Magazine has reported on the free Native Land website and app, which help you learn about the history of wherever you are (or wherever you want to learn about). According to the article, the site “seeks to map Indigenous languages, treaties, and territories across Turtle Island” (North America). As you can see from the screenshot below, though, other parts of the world are also included. When you enter any ZIP code, the map “will zoom in on your inquiry, color-code it, and pull up data on the area’s Indigenous history, original language, and tribal ties.”

The site’s About page stresses that the boundaries and names used are meant to come from the point of view of native people (rather than their conquerors) and that different perspectives exist. The site does actively solicit user feedback, though so much has been received that corrections are temporarily on hold. It’s certainly a fascinating lens through which to view the history of the land your ancestors lived on or settled—or perhaps even the property on which you yourself live now.

Map of European synagogues

Over 3000 synagogues have been mapped out at the free website, Historic Synagogues of Europe. The site aims “to provide a comprehensive and up-to-date inventory of the historic synagogues of Europe,” encompassing the 47 member states of the Council of Europe plus Belarus. Information about the various buildings, their historical and cultural significance, their current condition and their associated communities are included. Genealogists tracing Jewish ancestors might search extant synagogues located near an ancestor’s home, if known, to learn more about the building and at least to generally identify the communities that called it home. Sadly, though, according to this report on the site, only about 19% of European synagogues built before World War II are still standing.

4,000 Russian maps being digitized

A collection of about 4,000 topographical maps at Indiana University have traveled a long way (physically and culturally) since being produced by the Soviet military between 1883 and 1947. According to a press release, these maps of “the Eastern Bloc Borderlands project portray Poland, Ukraine, Belarus, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Finland, and Western Russia – all areas greatly impacted by World War II and of strategic importance to Russia and the Soviet Union.”

These regions have changed greatly since the maps were created. In many cases, the maps identify villages and boundaries that no longer exist. The collection is being digitized because it contains such unique information that is of value to the international community. (What value may it have for your family history??)

About 1,000 of these maps have already been digitized and can be viewed at Indiana University’s Image Collections Online. The rest are forthcoming.

Shipwrecks around Ireland

Do you have relatives who may have been shipwrecked off the coast of Ireland? A new interactive map, the National Monuments Service Wreck Viewer, charts nearly 4,000 shipwrecks around the island. The data comes from the Wreck Inventory of Ireland Database, which catalogs thousands more wrecks that don’t have precisely known locations. In addition to a location, some wrecks report the name of the ship, the date of the wreck, the type of boat or ship and source of data (from Lloyd’s to a group of amateur divers). Many wrecks show very scant information but you may be able to use it in combination with other family history discoveries, such as newspaper articles or emigrant passenger lists, to add depth to your family history stories.

More Free Historical Maps Online!

Did I mention we love historical maps here at Genealogy Gems? Click on the articles below to read about more of our favorites. And for the ultimate historical maps education, join Genealogy Gems Premium eLearning, which gives you access to exclusive video classes by Lisa Louise Cooke on using historical maps and even Google Earth for genealogy! 

Vintage NYC Street Views on Google Earth

4 Must-Explore Ancestry.com Collections

Meyers Gazetteer Online for German Genealogy

Denmark Church Records and More Now Online

New online! Denmark church records, Yorkshire parish records, English and Irish estate records, French church and civil registration records, German vital records, Irish townland indexes, and U.S. collections for Georgia, New York, Ohio and Pennsylvania. They’re all new at the Genealogy Giants: Ancestry.com, FamilySearch.org, Findmypast.com and MyHeritage.com.

Featured: Denmark church records

Genealogy Giant MyHeritage.com has published an exclusive new collection, Denmark Church Records, 1813-1919. According to the site, these are “records of births, baptisms, marriages, deaths, burials, and other records kept by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Denmark. Church records are extremely important for Danish research as vital events of virtually every individual who lived in Denmark during the time period covered by this collection were recorded in these parish registers or church books (kirkebøger).”

The records include the typical birth or baptisms, confirmations, marriages, deaths and burials but also may include the following, as described on the site:

  • “Vaccinations (Vaccinerede) – The vaccination mandate began in 1810 required everyone to receive the smallpox vaccine, unless the person at already had the pox. Vaccinations typically occurred when children were quite young. These records usually list the name of the person receiving the vaccine, date of vaccination, their father’s name, and their age or birth date. A person’s vaccination date could also be recorded in their confirmation record, and if they ever moved, could be noted in their moving in or moving out record.
  • Moving In (Tilgangsliste) and Moving Out (Afgangsliste) Records – Began in 1812 and list individuals moving in or moving out of a parish. These records may contain name, age or birth date, occupation, residence, vaccination date, moving date, and where moving to/from.”

England parish records

Subscription giant Ancestry.com has published a new collection of indexed images, Yorkshire, England: Church of England Parish Records, 1538-1873. According to its description, “Parish records–primarily baptisms, marriages, and burials–provide the best sources of vital record information in the centuries before civil registration. Baptismal records generally list the date of the baptism, the name of the child being baptized, and the name of the father. Marriage records generally include the date of the marriage and the names of the bride and groom. Burial records generally list the date of the burial and the name of the deceased individual. Occasionally burial records will include other bits of information, such as where the individual was from or if he/she was a widow. Records from various parishes throughout Yorkshire will continually be added to this database for the next couple of months.”

UK subscription site Findmypast.com has published Prerogative Court Of Canterbury Administrations 1660-1700. Subscribers may “search over 88,000 transcripts and images of Index slips and related documentation created from original Prerogative Court of Canterbury administrations held by The National Archives at Kew. This collection includes a high volume of mariners; approximately a third of these records refer to a mariner. Each record will reveal the date of your ancestor’s will, the value of their will, the archive reference number and any additional notes.”

England and Wales electoral registers

Findmypast.com has released an exclusive new collection, England & Wales, Electoral Registers 1920. According to the site, “Electoral Registers are lists created annually of people who are eligible to vote and include their reason for eligibility, such as their residence or ownership of a property. These records from 1920 will include the men and women who first gained the right to vote in 1918….These newly indexed records can be searched by name, year, constituency, polling district and keyword.”

France church and civil records

Nearly 8 million records comprise a new, free collection at FamilySearch.org: France, Dordogne, Church and Civil Registration, 1540-1896. Among the documents included are baptism, birth, marriage and death records. According to the site, these can be an incredibly rich resource for identifying your French ancestors:

  • Birth records often include the child’s name, gender, birthdate, birthplace, parents’ names (including mother’s maiden) and marital status, father’s age, father’s occupation and residence and the names of witnesses or godparents, along with their ages, occupations, and residences.
  • Marriage registers may include the names, ages, birthplaces, occupations and residences of the bride and groom; marriage date and place; marriage certificate and banns date; names of the bride’s and groom’s parents (including mother’s maiden); and the witnesses’ names, occupations, and ages.
  • Death records may include the deceased’s name, age at death, cause of death, gender, marital status, death and burial date and place, birth date and place, name of spouse, and father’s name and occupation.

For help reading these French-language records, click here.

Germany vital records

Ancestry.com has recently published or updated several new collections of German vital records:

Ireland wills and townland indexes

Ancestry.com has published a new collection spanning nearly 300 years: Ireland, Index to the Prerogative Wills, 1536-1810. The source of this collection is a previously-published volume by the same name (ed. Sir Arthur Vicars; originally published in 1897, Dublin, Ireland; Genealogical Publishing Co., 1989). The collection description explains the historical process of proving wills in Ireland. This particular collection relates to a specific type of estate: “The Prerogative Court of the Archbishop of Armagh, latterly established at Henrietta Street, in Dublin, proved the wills of testators dying with assets of value greater than £5 (“bona notabilia”) in at least two Irish dioceses. This court was also abolished by the Court of Probate Act 1857.”

Findmypast.com also has new Irish records: Ireland, Alphabetical Indexes To The Townlands and Parishes 1851-1911. Browse “2,900 records taken from indexes of townlands and parishes in Ireland spanning the years 1851 to 1911. In addition to townlands and parishes, discover details of baronies and electoral divisions in Ireland for a given year.”

U.S. genealogy record collections by state

Georgia. A new, free collection, Georgia, Houston County, Marriage Records, 1832-2015 is available at FamilySearch.org. According to the site, “Marriage records usually include: the name of the groom, the maiden name of the bride, the names of the officiator and witnesses, the marriage date [and] the marriage place.” The collection link above goes just to the index, but you can also click here to see a full list of the various digitized volumes in this collection in the FamilySearch Catalog (with links to the digital images).

The site also offers an important tip: “Many marriages recorded in the South are separated by race in volumes, books, or registers. Be sure to check to determine if you have the right set of marriage records.” For example, there is a volume dedicated to “Marriage certificates (colored), 1891-1951,” which you’ll find in the above-named list of volumes in the FamilySearch Catalog.

United States genealogy records by state

New York. Subscription-access giant MyHeritage.com has added over 6 million records to its collection of New York City Marriage License Index 1908-1972, bringing the index to nearly 10 million names. According to the site, This collection is an index to marriage licenses filed at the New York City Clerk Offices from the five boroughs from 1908 to 1972. The index contains the given names and surnames of both the bride and the groom, the date of the license application, and the license number. Images provided by Reclaim the Records.”

Ohio. FamilySearch has added over 150,000 free indexed records to Ohio, County Naturalization Records, 1800-1977. The collection includes images of naturalization records from county courthouses in Ohio and a growing number of indexed names. According to the site, “The record content and available years vary by county, though most content falls between 1818 and 1954.” You can either search indexed names on the collection page or scroll down and select the option to browse through over a million images that may not have been indexed yet. (These images are grouped by county, then by record type, year range and volume, making it relatively easy to find the records you want. Click here for a tutorial on browsing records on FamilySearch.org.)

Pennsylvania. Over 200,000 records have been added to the free FamilySearch.org collection, Pennsylvania, Eastern District Petitions for Naturalization, 1795-1931Again, this images-and-indexed names collection is not yet completely indexed, and you may search it by browsing. Petitions are arranged by year and petition number.

Millions of records on the Genealogy Giants

Ancestry.com, Findmypast.com, MyHeritage.com, and FamilySearch.org publish millions of new historical records online every month. Keep up with the new collections of these Genealogy Giants with me here at Genealogy Gems. Bring focus to your research: click here to learn what sets apart each of the Genealogy Giants, and learn strategies for getting 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 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 Digital Archives for Genealogy

Do you use digital archives in your genealogy research? You should! Check out these new digital archives relating to notable women in the U.S. and Sweden; Scottish WWI hospital records; the WWI Armenian genocide; Ohio; Irish-Americans; and African-American military service. Bonus: we also provide quick links to new archives for Kansas in WWI; historic Montana; post-WWII Manchester, England; vintage Tacoma, WA; and colonial Florida.

New digital archives: genealogy treasures

Irish-American resources at the Library of Congress. The Library of Congress announced recently on its blog the release of a new guide to researching the Irish-American experience and new images in its “Free to Use and Reuse” archive. The latter features “sets of themed content: travel posters, presidential portraits, Civil War drawings and all manner of dogs,” explains the article. “All the sets highlighted in the archive—and these are just a few examples—are fee to use and reuse, meaning there are no known copyright restrictions associated with the content, and you can do whatever you want with it.” New content comes from various Library of Congress collections relating to folklife, maps, music and prints/photographs.

Women’s obituary collection in the New York Times. “Since 1851, obituaries in The New York Times have been dominated by white men. Now, we’re adding the stories of remarkable women.” So states the home page of Overlooked, a new obituary collection at the New York Times website. The site goes on to explain how they will be adding belated obituaries—short biographical sketches—of women and others whose lives deserve recognition. You can read about many, search them and even suggest nominees for the series.

Oral history archive of Armenian genocide. The USC Shoah Foundation “has received one of the largest collections of testimonies from survivors of the Armenian Genocide” of World War I, PR Newswire recently reported. More than 1,000 oral history interviews comprise this collection. Only a small number appear online presently; more will be added as the files are digitally remastered and indexed. Click here to learn more about this collection.

Biographies of notable Swedish women. The Chicago Evening Post reported recently on a new online biographical dictionary of women in Swedish history. The site itself is Svenskt kvinnobiografiskt lexicon (it does have an English-language home page). Its home page encourages visitors to “Read up on 1,000 Swedish women from the Middle Ages to the present day. Use the search function to reveal what these women got up to, how they were educated, which organisations they belonged to, where they travelled, what they achieved, and much more. All of them contributed in a significant way to the development of Swedish society.” According to the Chicago Evening Post, the current collection of 1,000 biographical sketches will soon double (at least).

Scottish WWI hospital admissions. The records of a hospital that treated WWI wounded have been digitized and put online. “Erskine Hospital [in Renfrewshire, Scotland] – then called the Princess Louise Scottish Hospital for Limbless Sailors and Soldiers – was set up in 1916 to treat soldiers who had suffered the loss of a limb during the war,” explains an article at BT.com. The original leather-bound admissions registers from 1916-1939 have been digitized and placed online at Erskine.org. In many cases, not just admissions are recorded, but patients’ progress, prosthetic fittings and other long-term care details.

Ohio Digital Network Collections. The State Library of Ohio recently announced that “over 90,000 new materials from Ohio Digital Network are now discoverable in Digital Public Library of America (DPLA).” Several institutions have partnered to contribute content, including the State Library of Ohio, Ohio Library and Information Network (OhioLINK), Ohio Public Library Information Network (OPLIN), and Ohio History Connection [the state historical society). “The Ohio Digital Network builds on strong digital collection efforts across the state including Ohio Memory and the Ohio Digitization Hubs project. Click here to start exploring Ohio Digital Network collections.

Digital archive of African-American military service. The Library of Congress has also launched the William A. Gladstone Afro-American Military Collection, named for a historian and author of books about black Civil War troops. According to the site, “The collection spans the years 1773 to 1987, with the bulk of the material dating from the Civil War period, 1861–65. The collection consists of correspondence, pay vouchers, orders, muster rolls, enlistment and discharge papers, receipts, contracts, affidavits, tax records, miscellaneous military documents and printed matter. Most items document African-Americans in military service, especially the United States Corps d’Afrique and the United States Colored Troops, which were organized during the Civil War. Also included are many documents concerning slavery and various other Civil War documents that mention African-Americans.”

More digital archives for genealogy: quick links

These smaller collections are more specific, so they won’t apply to as many of you. But if they DO apply, they may reveal unique family stories or documents.

Didn’t find anything here that applies to your family history? Let the diverse topics and record types in these collections inspire your searches for similar items about your relatives.

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.

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