by Lisa Cooke | Jul 17, 2015 | 01 What's New, British, Digital Archives, Findmypast, images, Newspaper
Every Friday, we blog about new genealogy records online. Do any collections below relate to your family history? Please share with genealogy buddies or societies that might be interested! This week: Midwestern U.S. newspapers (Cleveland, OH and Chicago, IL) and records of Pennsylvania coal and canal workers’ and English and Welsh criminals.
CLEVELAND JEWISH NEWS. Technically this isn’t new content, but access to the Cleveland Jewish News is newly free, so it’s new to most of us! You do need to provide your name and email address for free access to 125 years of Cleveland Jewish newspapers. Subscribers have immediate access to all content as it is published; the public can access materials 90 days after they go online.
CHICAGO TRIBUNE ARCHIVE. For a very limited time–during beta testing of its new archive–old issues of The Chicago Tribune are free to search on its Archives website. Click here for their FAQ page or read a more detailed report on the National Genealogical Society (US) blog.
ENGLAND & WALES REGISTER OF CRIMINAL PETITIONS. Findmypast added over 77,000 records to its Registers of Criminal Petitions index to imaged registers of correspondence relating to criminal petitions. Documents usually give the outcome of any appeal and registers note the place of imprisonment.
PENNSYLVANIA COAL AND CANAL WORKERS. Ancestry just posted employee cards and applications from the Lehigh Coal and Navigation Company for first half of the twentieth century. “The cards may list name, marital status, occupation, birth date, record date, residence, spouse, nationality, number of children and their ages, citizenship, date range for jobs, who to notify in case of an accident, and pension date. Applications can contain other details, including parents’ names, schooling, employment record, birthplace, and height and weight.”
When searching digitized newspaper sites, remember that the search technology used (optical character recognition) is much less thorough for historical newspapers than modern text, especially for capitalized words. Use creative search terms if searches on an ancestor’s name aren’t productive, like the person’s occupation or death date. Click here to learn more about using Google to search digitized newspaper pages, or read Lisa Louise Cooke’s newly-revised and updated book The Genealogist’s Google Toolbox, available now both in print and e-book format.
by | Feb 26, 2014 | 01 What's New, Ancestry, Beginner, FamilySearch, MyHeritage, Trees
As you may have already noticed, a lot of websites these days host millions of family trees: MyHeritage.com, Ancestry.com, FamilySearch.org, Geni.com, FindMyPast.com, Archives.com and more. There are virtual forests and forests of family trees out there! How can you find a tree that includes your family? How can you be sure it’s yours? How do you know that what you see is accurate?
Get started with these 7 Steps: How to Find Your Family Tree Online:
1. Choose a site from the list above and create a free log in.
Which should you choose?
- FamilySearch.org is the only one that offers totally free access to all user-submitted family trees as well as the historical records that can help you with your research. However, the other sites offer a variety of free access options, especially to user-submitted trees.
- MyHeritage is known for its international user base (check out its user map here) and multi-language access.
- Some sites have different portals that specialize in records from different countries. For example, Ancestry.com (with a U.S. focus) owns Ancestry.ca for Canadian genealogy, Ancestry.co.uk for the United Kingdom and Ancestry.com.au for Australian records. Similarly, FindMyPast.co.uk (U.K. focus) also hosts FindMyPast.com (U.S.), FindMyPast.ie (Ireland) and FindMyPast.com.au (Australia). Check out additional sites for specific countries (including non-English-speaking) here. If your family recently immigrated, look for a site about “the old country.’ If you have pretty deep roots in your current country, or you’re not sure, pick a site that specializes in your current home.
2. Enter the name of one of your relatives in the Search bar.
Each site files its family trees a little differently: some with historical records and some separately. Search trees at FamilySearch here. On Ancestry.com, look under the Search option for Public Member Trees. Enter names of your relatives, along with any other details you know (like a birth date and place or a spouse’s name). Try different combinations, sometimes using the person’s first and middle name, trying a maiden name, entering a nickname, etc. Increase your odds of finding people by entering a range of years (like 1880-1890) for a date and a more general place, like a state, rather than the name of a little town. If you get too many results, enter more specific information.
Which relative(s) should you choose?
- One who is deceased, if possible. Records about living people may be restricted for some places (but not all).
- If possible, one with a relatively unusual name. They may be easier to spot.
- One you know several things about: a full name (including maiden for women), dates and places of birth, marriage and death; burial place; where they lived during their lifetime; names of their spouse(s), sibling(s) and/or child(ren).
- One who lived as long ago as possible, to increase the chance that someone has posted a tree. But a grandparent is a great starting point, if that’s as far back as you know. If your grandparent is still alive, ask them their parents’ names, and start with your great-grandparent.
- Need to learn more about your relatives first? Read this article on how to gather information about your family.
3. Click on results labeled as “family trees.” Are they “yours?”
Browse the search results. Do any of these names and details look familiar? Everything doesn’t have to be a perfect match for a tree to include your roots. Sometimes different information is handed down through different branches of a family. Sometimes people get their information from sources that don’t match yours. Sometimes people just guess or patch together parts of different family trees without looking closely to see if they’re right.
Tech tutorial: What exactly are you looking at when you look at a family tree online? Before the days of internet genealogy, researchers organized family history findings on their home computers in one of several specially-designed software programs. These programs could generate .GED files (often referred to as GEDCOMs) that would allow researchers using different software to share their findings. Many people have now uploaded their GED files to genealogy sites like the ones we’re talking about–or they’ve just built a family tree from scratch right on the site.
4. Evaluate the accuracy of what you find.
The best way to judge the accuracy of a family tree without researching it yourself is to see what proof is offered. Do you see any records mentioned (like footnotes) or attached to the tree? Common records include tombstone images; government or church vital records (birth, marriage or death records) and census listings. Do you see photos attached? Photos may indicate the submitter has access to family records or albums (bonus!).
If a tree mentions lots of sources, it’s more likely to be accurate–at least for the pieces of information that are sourced. If a tree doesn’t have sources, it doesn’t mean it’s wrong, it just means you don’t know if it’s right.
Sometimes you’ll find a “branch” on a tree that goes back many generations without a single source mentioned. Beware! Sometimes these branches are just copied from other trees. This may particularly be true if a branch is connected to a royal line. Royal lines are well-documented in history and some people have created family trees with the hope of running into royal relatives. These connections may not have been thoroughly researched–they might just represent “wishful thinking.” Again, look for sources.
5. Optional step: reach out to the submitter of promising-looking family trees.
Some sites allow you to contact them through confidential email routed through the site (you may have to purchase a subscription first). You might contact a submitter to meet a possible cousin, share information you have or ask for more details about what they posted. If you contact them, be polite–don’t open with “you got my grandfather’s birthday wrong” or you may never hear back. You may not hear back anyway, if the submitter is no longer researching, their email changed or they have passed away.
6. Google your surname along with the phrase “family tree” or “genealogy.”
See if any personal websites pop up with your family tree (or other family history information) in them. Evaluate the information by looking for accurate details (as far as you know) and lots of sources mentioned. Look for an “About” or “Contact” page to learn more about the submitter of this information.
7. Verify it yourself.
Wandering through forests of online family trees may give you the urge to create your own tree. An accurate, and sourced tree! If so, good for you. Keep reading the articles suggested below to learn how to get started!
Up next, read:
Get Started: How to Find Your Family History for Free. Perfect for the beginner!
Explore the Genealogy Gems website for more tools, tips and resources that can help you put together your family’s “bigger picture.”
Sign up for our free e-newsletter and receive my FREE ebook on using Google to find your family history.
Check out my step-by-step Family History podcast for beginning genealogists.
Post an Online Family Tree. Listen to a podcast episode (or just read the show notes) on how to post your own family tree online.
by Lisa Cooke | Nov 3, 2019 | 01 What's New, Records & databases
The newest genealogy records to hit the Internet are exciting because of the wide range subjects they cover. Peruse these carefully because there just may be a genealogy gem waiting just for you!
New and Updated Free Records from FamilySearch
The newest additions to the FamilySearch collections are global in their reach, and best of all they are free. Here’s the latest:
American Samoa, Vital Records, 1850-1972
2,874 Added indexed records to an existing collection
Argentina, Salta, Catholic Church Records, 1634-1972
98,907 Added indexed records to an existing collection
Brazil, Santa Catarina, Civil Registration, 1850-1999
4,072 Added indexed records to an existing collection
Manitoba Church Records, 1800-1959
58 Added indexed records to an existing collection
Chile, Catholic Church Records, 1710-1928
2,670 Added indexed records to an existing collection
Colombia, Bogotá, Burial Permits, 1960-1991
18,221 Added indexed records to an existing collection
England, Oxfordshire Parish Registers 1538-1904
826 New indexed records collection
England, Yorkshire Marriage Bonds and Allegations, 1613-1887
960 New indexed records collection
England, Bedfordshire Parish Registers, 1538-1983
376,993 New indexed records collection
England, Devon Bishop’s Transcripts, 1558-1887
33,158 Added indexed records to an existing collection
England, Warwickshire, Parish Registers, 1535-1963
20,994 Added images to an existing collection
Finland, Tax Lists, 1809-1915
73,007 Added indexed records to an existing collection
France, Vienne, Census, 1876
20,638 Added indexed records to an existing collection
Peru, Cemetery Records, 1912-2013
565 Added indexed records to an existing collection
Peru, Huánuco, Civil Registration, 1889-1997
6,480 Added indexed records to an existing collection
Peru, Junín, Civil Registration, 1881-2005
365 Added indexed records to an existing collection
Peru, Prelature of Yauyos-Cañete-Huarochirí, Catholic Church Records, 1665-2018
680 New indexed records collection
Alabama Deaths, 1908-1974
697 Added indexed records to an existing collection
Alabama, County Birth Registers, 1881-1930
6,638 Added indexed records to an existing collection
Alabama, Friends of Magnolia Cemetery, Funeral Books, 1911-1965
6,606 Added indexed records to an existing collection
California, Lassen County, State Board of Health, Burial Permits, 1931-1988
800 Added indexed records to an existing collection
Georgia, County Delayed Birth and Death Records, 1870-1960
7687 Added indexed records to an existing collection
Hawaii, Board of Health, Marriage Record Indexes, 1909-1989
10,729 Added indexed records to an existing collection
Illinois, Stark County Circuit Court, Stark County Naturalization Records
560 New indexed records collection
Louisiana, New Orleans, Interment Registers, 1836-1972
12,755 Added indexed records to an existing collection
Louisiana, Orleans Parish, Birth Records, 1819-1906
30,826 Added indexed records to an existing collection
Mississippi, Adams County, Natchez Death Index, 1835-1905
168 Added indexed records to an existing collection
Missouri, County Marriage, Naturalization, and Court Records, 1800-1991
5,678 Added indexed records to an existing collection
Nebraska, Grand Army of the Republic, Burial Records, 1861-1948
364 Added indexed records to an existing collection
North Carolina, Wake County, Death Records, 1900-1909
2,537 Added indexed records to an existing collection
South Carolina, Charleston County, Charleston, Birth Registers, 1901-1926
601 Added indexed records to an existing collection
Tennessee, Board of Health, Shelby County, Memphis Death Records, 1848-1913
1,061 New indexed records collection
Texas, Harrison County Delayed Birth Records, 1860-1933
196 Added indexed records to an existing collection
United States, GenealogyBank Historical Newspaper Obituaries, 1815-2011
98,269 Added indexed records to an existing collection
United States, Iowa Naturalization Records, 1859-1990
55,114 New indexed records collection
United States, Louisiana, Passenger Departures from New Orleans, 1867-1871
5,123 New indexed records collection
United States Census (Slave Schedule), 1860
4,429,408 Added indexed records to an existing collection
Virginia, Slave Birth Index, 1853-1866
13,135 Added indexed records to an existing collection
Wisconsin, Milwaukee, Pilgrim’s Rest Cemetery, Interment Records, 1880-1979
300 Added indexed records to an existing collection
Wales, Anglesey, Parish Registers, 1538-1912
281,418 Added indexed records and images to an existing collection
The Latest from Ancestry.com
Obituaries are a staple of genealogical research. Here’s the latest from the folks at Ancestry:
“Ancestry® updated its collection of US obituaries by combing through millions of digital obituaries to key names, relationships and other facts so members can now easily search these records with just one click.
This initiative first announced at RootsTech uses new sophisticated artificial intelligence technology.
The new Newspapers.com Obituary Collection and the upgraded Ancestry U.S. Obituary Collection will expand Ancestry’s unparalleled historical record collections that enable people around the world to uncover their family history, spark their own journey of discovery and inspire meaningful conversations.
- Obituary collections include over 262 million worldwide obituaries and death announcements with almost 1 billionsearchable family members
- US Obituary Collection, 1930-Current search is the world’s largest, searchable digital archive, now includes 4x more searchable family members
- Newspapers.com Obituary Index includes facts from nearly 200 millionNewspapers.com obituaries
- Newspapers.com is the largest online newspaper archive, with over 525+ million pages of historical newspapers, including obituaries, from thousands of printed newspapers across the United States and beyond.
Members with an Ancestry All Access or Newspapers.com Basic subscription have a 1-click option to view the full obituary on Newspapers.com. Some images may require a Publisher Extra subscription as certain newspapers require additional licenses to view their content.”
Visit Ancestry here.
Visit Newspaper.com here.
Other Unique Collections Updated
From the State Archives of North Carolina blog comes a very interesting addition ton an existing Civil War digital collection:
A selection of 12 volumes from the Soldiers’ Home Association have been added to the Civil War digital collection. These volumes document the history of medical care for veterans and the elderly around the turn of the 19th century.”
“These volumes provide recorded information on veterans’ military service, illnesses or injuries that might not have been recorded elsewhere. Some volumes include patients’ requests for their burial and funeral wishes. The volumes included are listed below:
Roll Book, 1890-1911
Record of Inmates, 1896-1924
Record of Inmates, 1925-1936
Record of Clothing Issued, 1926-1934
Hospital Patients, 1908-1916
Hospital Register, 1911-1919
Hospital Register, 1925-1930
Hospital Night Orders, 1918-1919
Hospital Night Orders, 1919
Hospital Night Orders, 1924
Hospital Night Orders, 1928-1929″
New British Genealogy Records
Discover your Scouse ancestor’s address, occupation and who they were living with in 1801. Findmypast now offers over 13,000 new and exclusive early census records. Don’t miss the images because they provide additional information about your ancestor’s abode.
The 1801 census was the first official census to be carried out in Britain. It estimated the population of England and Wales to be 8.9 million, and that of Scotland to be 1.6 million.
The 1801 census comprised two parts:
- the first was related to the number of people, their occupations, and numbers of families and houses.
- The second was a collection of the numbers of baptisms, marriages and burials, thus providing an indication of the rate at which the population was increasing or decreasing.
Click the following link to search the collection: 1801 Lancashire, Liverpool Census
Over 75,000 new records covering 52 parishes across the Cornish peninsula are now available to search at Findmypast.
These transcripts reveal 5 key pieces of information:
- when your ancestor was buried
- where your ancestor was buried
- their age at death,
- and relatives’ names.
Click here to search the Cornwall Burials collection.
And finally, Findmypast has added 12,000 new records to their collection last week. The majority of these new additions cover Swanscombe municipal cemetery and will reveal where and when your ancestor was buried as well as the names of their spouse and father. Click here to search the Kent Burial records.
New Records Coming Soon
Recently announced on the University of Georgia website:
“Through a new partnership with Google, about 120,000 of the Libraries’ 4.5 million volumes will be digitized, allowing further access to literary, historic, scientific and reference books and journals through UGA’s library catalog as well as one of the largest digital book collections in the world.”
“In addition to more modern materials that will be available for preview online, other examples of volumes available in full text include shipping registers from as far back as 1764 and Atlanta city directories dating back to 1870.
The project also advances a longstanding effort to provide digital access to state and federal government publications, and free digital access will be available to works by Balzac, Sir Francis Bacon, Robert Louis Stevenson, Thomas Hardy and other historically significant authors, thanks to UGA Libraries.”
Read the full post here.
What Did You Discover this Week?
Did one of these new and updated digital genealogy collections deliver what you’ve been waiting for? Please share your discovering in the Comments below. And click here to subscribe to the free Genealogy Gems newsletter to receive all the latest in new and updated genealogy records for your family history.