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.

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.

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.

New Genealogy Records Include UK Suffragettes and Travelers’ Records

New collections about Great Britain Suffragettes and travelers on the S.S. Great Britain headline this week’s roundup of new genealogy records online. Read here about more new genealogy records for England, Scotland and Ireland: parish records, newspapers and more.

Great Britain Suffragettes Collection free until March 8

In honor of the 100th anniversary of the first phase of women’s suffrage in England, genealogy giant Findmypast.com (together with The National Archives) has launched The Suffragette Collection. This new online collection of government records, digitized from originals at Kew, “reveals the struggles endured by the movement’s most ardent supporters and highlights the State’s response as it attempted to contain them,” says a company press release.

“Researchers can expect to find photographs, cabinet office papers, calendars of prisoners and Home Office papers on suffragette disturbances and prosecutions,” says Findmypast. “The collection also includes an index of women arrested between 1906 and 1914, the official police watch list recording the details of over 1,300 militant suffragettes, reports of prison conditions, force-feeding, police surveillance and much more….The collection brings together the stories of women from all classes who actively supported women’s suffrage, either by attending demonstrations and meetings or opting for militant ‘direct action.’”

Within days of its launch, the collection also added 271 issues of The Suffragette (later The Britannia, 1912-1918). “Edited by Christabel Pankhurst, it was the official organ of the Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU),” says Findmypast. It reported on “efforts made by the WSPU towards achieving women’s suffrage and detailing their support for the Allies during the Great War.”

S.S. Great Britain travelers and crew

You can now explore a free website with a searchable database of everyone who ever traveled on the S.S. Great Britain, both passengers and crew. Virtual exhibits on the Global Stories website also allow visitors to explore everyday life aboard the ship; what happened when people died, took ill, were hurt, or gave birth; what kinds of entertainment or discipline passengers could expect and more. You can even search departures and arrivals as the ship circumnavigated the globe 32 times and stopped at five continents between 1845 and 1970.

The Newark Advertiser Photo Archive

Thousands of images from The Newark Advertiser (UK) are now searchable online, thanks to volunteers who have been steadily digitizing and uploading images to the free Images from the Past gallery. According to a recent article in The Newark Advertiser, helpers “are working their way through thousands of old photographic negatives, some dating back to the 1940s. Because of their age, some of the negatives are becoming damaged or corroded so it is vital that they are digitized. They are also in a variety of formats, with the earliest on glass. The volunteers have worked through from the 1940s and are now nearing the 1970s.”

Newspapers

The British Newspaper Archive has recently added hundreds of thousands of digitized newspaper pages to current and newly-published titles. Here are some highlights:

  • North Star and Farmer’s Chronicle, 1895-1903 and 1905-1911 (NEW title)
  • Clifton Society, 1891-1892, 1894-1897, 1899-1916 (nearly 20,000 pages added) (NEW title)
  • Ally Sloper’s Half Holiday, 1885-1896 (NEW title)
  • Pearson’s Weekly, 1891-1911 (over 25,000 pages added) (NEW title)
  • Birmingham Daily Post, 1973, 1979 (nearly 15,000 pages added)
  • Neots Chronicle and Advertiser, 1855-1873, 1875-1886
  • Shipping and Mercantile Gazette, 1880-1881
  • Birmingham Daily Gazette, 1926, 1931
  • Lloyd’s List, 1889, 1894, 1896-1897, 1904, 1906-1909 (nearly 40,000 pages added!)
  • Northampton Chronicle and Echo, 1880-1882, 1884-1885, 1891, 1893-1894, 1896, 1899-1908, 1910, 1913-1915, 1918 (nearly 25,000 pages added)
  • Bristol Daily Post, 1860-1864, 1867-1873, 1875 (nearly 14,000 pages added) (NEW title)
  • Clifton and Redland Free Press, 1890-1895, 1898-1910, 1913-1931 (NEW title)
  • West Middlesex Herald, 1855-1858, 1860-1861, 1863-1870, 1890-1895 (NEW title)
  • Reading Observer, 1897-1898, 1900-1909, 1911-1914, 1921-1924 (over 12,000 pages added)
  • Kinross-shire Advertiser, 1850-1852, 1879-1884, 1890, 1892, 1900-1918
  • Leicester Herald, 1827-1842 (NEW title)
  • The Suffragette, 1912-1918 (NEW title)
  • Coventry Evening Telegraph, 1972-1979 (over 140,000 pages added!)
  • West Sussex County Times, 1874, 1877-1889, 1891-1892
  • Bristol Magpie, 1891, 1903, 1906-1907, 1911
  • Horfield and Bishopston Record and Montepelier & District Free Press, 1899-1911, 1913-1931
  • Middlesex & Surrey Express, 1887-1888, 1890-1895, 1899-1909 (over 11,000 pages added)
  • Croydon Chronicle and East Surrey Advertiser, 1870, 1875-1888, 1890-1892, 1894-1896, 1898-1908, 1911 (more than 14,000 pages added)
  • The Clifton & Redland Free Press, 1891-1931

England parish and probate records

The free genealogy giant, FamilySearch.org, has recently added significantly to its collections of England parish records:

The subscription-access genealogy giant Ancestry.com recently published the following collections:

Findmypast.com has updated its collection of Devon parish records, with over 30,000 new records in Baptisms, nearly 40,000 new records in Banns and nearly 80,000 new records in Marriages, about 31,000 new records in Burials, and all of these records (and more) browsable in its image collection of Devon, Plymouth & West Devon Parish Registers.

More new genealogy records from the British Isles

Ireland. Ancestry.com has published a new collection, Clare, Ireland, Church of Ireland Baptisms, Marriages and Burials, 1744-1991, with nearly 14,000 indexed records. According to the collection description, “This collection includes baptism, marriage, and burial records from parishes in the County of Clare in Ireland, with dates ranging from 1744 to 1991.”

Scotland. Ancestry.com has published three new collections for Scotland. They are small, but if they mention your ancestors, they’re important!

Start tracing your British Isles genealogy

The British Empire once spanned the globe and had a presence on every continent. Chances are that at some point you will need to extend your research back to the British Isles. Genealogical research in the British Isles has some unique characteristics. Guest blogger Kate Eakman, a Senior Researcher for Legacy Tree Genealogists, clarifies confusing terms and helps you get your research started on solid footing. Click here to read her tips.

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!

Scots-Irish Genealogy: Getting Started

Researching your Scots-Irish genealogy is easier if you can identify your ancestors as Scots-Irish! The Scots-Irish put down early roots in Virginia, the Carolinas, and the Appalachian “backcountry” and would likely have come from Northern Ireland or Scotland. Read these important tips for tracing your Scots-Irish family history.

Thanks to Suzanne Earnshaw, Project Manager at Legacy Tree Genealogists, for providing this expert how-to article on tracing your Scots-Irish family history.

Who were the Scots-Irish?

Researchers use the term “Scots-Irish” to identify a people who went back and forth between Scotland and Ulster, Ireland. The North Channel, shown on the map below (click on it to see the original image), is also known as the Straits of Moyle. It connects the west coast of Scotland and the Mull of Galloway at the narrowest part the strait. There, the strait spans only 13 miles. This short distance between Northern Ireland ports and the western Scotland ports made trade and commuting quite common between Ireland and Scotland.

Researching your Scots-Irish genealogy

To find a Scots-Irish ancestor, start with what you do know. For example, my ancestors immigrated to America from Scotland in the 1880s. I traced my great-great-grandmother here in the US through US records, until I found a record which stated that she had emigrated from New Kilpatrick, Dunbartonshire, Scotland. Then, I began searching Scotland Census records in 1881 to find out more about my ancestors.

Good research methodology includes finding your ancestors in each record possible to get an accurate picture of their life, and collecting data through which you can learn more about the previous generation. As I moved back in time through the Scottish censuses in 1871, 1861, 1851, and finally 1841, I found that some of these family members family on a record were born in Scotland and others were born in Ireland—my ancestors were Scots-Irish and moved fluidly back and forth between Ireland and Scotland. Based on this fact, I then knew to conduct research in records for both Scotland and Ireland to find additional family records.

Scots-Irish Genealogy Resources on FamilySearch.org

The free genealogy giant FamilySearch.org has a variety of records available, which are cataloged by collection. To learn what collections are available, go to familysearch.org, sign in for free (click here to learn how and why), click Search and then Catalog. Type in the place you would like to search for record collections.

Records were often kept at a variety of government and church levels, and they might be cataloged differently. To properly research, type in “Scotland” and see what records are available. Then type in a narrower geographic area such as “Scotland, Dumbartonshire” and see which of those records might be of interest to you. The next search would be even more specific: “Scotland, Dumbartonshire, New Kilpatrick.” This increasingly-specific record search process can be done for any place.

If you type “Ireland” into the FamilySearch catalog request, one of your choices is the collection Death records of Ireland, 1864-1870, with index of deaths, 1864-1921. Clicking on this collection takes you to the collection page. There is a note: “Ireland, Civil Registration Indexes are available online” (see #1 in the screenshot below). By selecting that option, you will be able to search an index of names that appear in “1864-1958 births, 1845-1958 marriages, and 1864-1958 deaths, but excluding index records for Northern Ireland after its creation in 1922.” Note that the index extends to 1958, further than the collection name indicates.

Searching this index is a good first step, since it will provide you with the registration district if your ancestor is listed. Type in the name and identifying details. When I searched for “Catherine Halloran” Death 1900-1950, I found the birth that matched and it gave me the registration district as Galway.

To view record images available in this collection, you’ll need to scroll down on the above catalog page. You’ll see the collection broken down into groups of records. Those with a camera icon on the far right (#2 above) have digital images on the site that you can browse through page by page. (Click here for instructions on browsing FamilySearch images.) Unfortunately, images of the original 1931 death records and the original index aren’t on the site; you’d only be able to look at original records through 1870 and the original index through 1921, as the collection name indicates.

More sites for tracing Scots-Irish genealogy

Irishgenealogy.ie. This website is free and home to the historic records of Births, Marriages, and Deaths of the General Register Office. Civil registration in Ireland began in 1864. Church records are also available on this website. Most on this website are for the Roman Catholic Church, but they do have some Presbyterian records as well.

The Ulster Irish were mostly Protestant by faith, since many were originally English. The Scots mostly worshiped as Presbyterians (a type of Protestantism). Knowing your ancestor’s religion might be a clue to which records to begin research.

AskAboutIreland.ie. This website can help you research your family pre-census. The Primary Valuation was the first full-scale valuation of property in Ireland. It was overseen by Richard Griffith and published between 1847 and 1864. To find your family, enter their surname in the search box. If you know the county you can put in that as well to limit the amount of records returned. Tip: Searching without the location can give you an understanding of the distribution of a surname at the time the valuation was taken.

Tithe Applotment Survey at NationalArchives.ie. This site has the Tithe Applotment Survey of 1823-1938 for the 26 counties of the Republic.

ScotlandsPeople.gov.uk. For information on how to search Scottish records on this official website for searching government records and archives, click here.

Here is my final tip: as you research your Scots-Irish ancestors be sure to thoroughly search record collections by looking for a variety of spellings, using wildcards in your search terms, and reviewing original records page by page when you don’t find them in indexes.

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New year, new records for genealogy!

Kick off 2018 with a diverse group of new genealogy records to explore online this week! Included are historical and vital records for British genealogy, Irish newspapers, Scottish records, and Palestine naturalization applications.

new genealogy records for 2018new genealogy records for 2018

British Historical & Vital Records

Lots of new genealogy records are available for England this week at Findmypast! Start with Britain, Histories & Reference Guides, which contains more than 65 volumes about genealogy, heraldry, paleography, geography, and more. These volumes will expand your knowledge about your ancestor’s life and how your ancestors lived through the centuries.

Next, if you’ve got ancestors in Greater Manchester, you’ll want to explore Greater Manchester Burials 1570-1990 and Greater Manchester Marriages 1570-1936. Both collections pertain to the historic county of Lancashire and contain names, dates, and transcripts of the original registers. These collections both come from FamilySearch.

Finally, Northamptonshire Memorial Inscriptions may reveal your ancestor’s death date, burial place, as well as the names of other family members for your family tree. This collection includes 17 cemeteries, churchyards, and other places, and the records span from 1422 to 2015.

Irish Newspapers

The Church of Ireland’s record repository, Representative Church Body Library (RCBL), has announced that all 19th-century editions of the Church of Ireland Gazette have been added to the online archive of the weekly newspaper. The full archive is free to the public and covers years 1856 – 1923.

The British Newspaper Archive has added the Dublin Evening Telegraph to their collection of historic newspapers recently. This paper spanned 1871-1924, and this collection has over 12,000 issues available online.

Scottish Records

Recently added to Ancestry.com are Carnegie Music Institution Registers, 1910-1920 from Dunfermline, Fife. This school was founded through a trust set up by Andrew Carnegie, and school records include names, year and term of attendance, resident, and subject studied.

Additional news for Scottish research comes from the University of Virginia School of Law.
30 years after they acquired a trove of legal documents from Scotland’s Court of Session, the supreme legal court there, the Law School’s Arthur J. Morris Law Library is building a digital archive and reaching out to partners “across the pond” to open these legal history materials to scholars and the public. According to the press release, the library is planning to release the first batch of documents online soon. When completed, users will be able to search through a single document or the entire collection, peruse the rich data provided for each case, and download documents for free.

Palestine Naturalization Applications

A fascinating new collection at MyHeritage is the Mandatory Palestine Naturalization Applications, 1937-1947. From the collection description: “This collection is a unique and rich compilation of records documenting the efforts of individuals, mostly Jews, and sometimes their entire families, to establish citizenship in Mandatory Palestine, which was under British administration at the time. The collection contains photos, histories, passports, and other various forms providing details for each applicant.”

Let 2018 be your year to break down brick walls!

Has your family history research hit a brick wall? Marsha Hoffman Rising’s best-selling and recently updated book The Family Tree Problem Solver has the solutions to help you find the answers you seek. Get tips on finding vital records before civil registration, finding “missing” ancestors on censuses, advanced court records, workarounds for lost or destroyed records, common names, case studies, and more! This revised edition also includes new information about online research techniques and a look at the role of DNA research. Get it right now as an e-book for just $15.79 (reg. $24.99).

Disclosure: This article contains affiliate links and Genealogy Gems will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on these links (at no additional cost to you). Thank you for supporting Genealogy Gems!

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