African-American County Slave Records Featured in New and Updated Genealogical Records

African-American county slave records are just one of two new collections to broaden your genealogy research. Also this week, records pertaining to the elite group of Masons in North Carolina, naturalization records from Michigan, and church records from New York. Lastly, take a look at the new records available for Northamptonshire, England!

In the past month, we have brought you two blog posts (Social History for Genealogy and the Colored Farmers’ Alliance and Genealogy Research Techniques for Finding Your Free People of Color) to offer you tips to researching your African-American roots. In this Friday’s post, we bring your attention to African-American county slave records and historical ads for genealogy research.

United States – Pennsylvania – African-American County Slave Records

This new database from Ancestry titled Pennsylvania, County Slave Records, 1780-1834 is a great find. This collection contains records pertaining to slaves and free persons from Adams, Bedford, Bucks, Centre, Cumberland, Fayette, Lancaster, and Washington counties, as well as Lancaster City. The types of records include: petitions to keep slaves past the age of twenty-eight, records of “negro” and “mulatto” children, as well as birth and residence registers. Various other records, such as apprenticeship records, bills of sale, and manumissions also occasionally appear.

African American genealogy and slave records

Entries include:
– the slave’s name (typically only a given name)
– description (e.g., Negro woman, negro man, etc.)
– owner
– birth date
– occasionally, the name of a mother

United States – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania – Finding Family After Slavery

This unique project by Villanova University and Mother Bethel AME Church in Philadelphia will make classified ads of the past easily accessible. The goal of “Last Seen: Finding Family After Slavery” is to make accessible an online database of snapshots from history, which hold names of former slaves, owners, traders, plantation locations, and relatives gone missing.

So far, project researchers have uploaded and transcribed 1,000 ads published in six newspapers from 1863 to 1902. These newspapers include: the South Carolina Leader in Charleston, the Colored Citizen in Cincinnati, the Free Man’s Press in Galveston, the Black Republican in New Orleans, the Colored Tennessean in Nashville, and the Christian Recorder, the official publication of the African Methodist Episcopal Church denomination published at Mother Bethel.

Thousands more ads will be added in the future.

United States – North Carolina – WWI Masons

New records from The Grand Lodge of Ancient, Free and Accepted Masons of North Carolina are now online. These records include several Minute Books and an Account book from St. John’s Lodge no. 1, Minute books and an account book from Zion Lodge no. 81, speeches from well known North Carolina Free Masons such as William Lander and J.M. Lovejoy, letters of correspondence, and more. But the best records for those doing their genealogy may be the list of North Carolina Masons Who Died in WWI.

African american genealogy and Masons

Screenshot from The Grand Lodge of Ancient, Free and Accepted Masons of North Carolina website.

The list is organized by name of lodge and includes the member’s rank, date and place of death, and where he was buried. This may particularly helpful to those researchers who have not been able to locate a death or burial record, or were not able to locate an obituary.

United States – New York – Church Records

This new database at Ancestry.com is titled New York and Vicinity, United Methodist Church Records, 1775-1949. It contains baptism, marriage, birth, death, and membership records of Methodist Episcopal churches in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut.

Materials include registers, membership certificates, minutes of meetings, church financial records, lists of seminary students and teachers. Though the records will vary due to the lengthy time span they cover, you may find:

  • names
  • birth dates
  • marriage dates
  • death dates
  • spouse’s names
  • parents’ names
  • places where an event (baptism, marriage, death, burial, etc.) took place

United States – Marriages

Over 54,000 records covering more than 1,800 counties have been added to Findmypast’s collection of United States Marriages including substantial updates from Alabama, California, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina, Ohio, and Tennessee. Released in partnership with FamilySearch international, these new additions mark the latest phase of efforts to create the single largest online collection of U.S. marriage records in history.

Each record includes a transcript and image of the original documents that list marriage date, names of the bride and groom, birthplace, birth date, age, residence as well as fathers’ and mothers’ names. The entire collection now contains over 168 million records and continues to grow.

United States – Michigan – Naturalization

FamilySearch has recently added a browse-only database titled Michigan, Eastern District, Naturalization Index, 1907-1995. Soon, this collection will be easily searched by name, but in the meantime, you can browse over 500,000 naturalization records for the state of Michigan.

Michigan naturalization records

Screenshot from FamilySearch.org

This collection contains images of soundex cards to naturalization petitions. A guide to using a soundex appears at the beginning of most of the image ranges within this collection and corresponds with NARA publication M1917: Index Cards to Naturalization Petitions for the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, Southern Division, Detroit, 1907-1995. For additional information on soundex indexes see the wiki article, Soundex.

The records usually include the following information:

  • Full name of citizen (sometimes a name change is indicated)
  • Date naturalized
  • Name of court
  • Certificate number

United Kingdom – Northamptonshire – Baptisms

Findmypast offers more great finds in the collection titled Northamptonshire Baptisms. This collection contains over 14,000 transcripts of original baptism records and covers 34 parishes across the East Midlands county. These records cover the years 1559 through 1901.

The level of detail found each transcript will vary, but most will include names, baptism date, baptism place, the names of both parent’s, document reference, page, and entry number. Remember, these are transcripts only and do not contain an image of the original document.

United Kingdom – Northamptonshire – Hospital Admissions

The collection at Findmypast titled Northamptonshire, Northampton General Hospital Admissions 1774-1846 consists of over 126,000 transcripts of original admission registers held by the Northamptonshire record office. These transcripts will allow you to discover whether your ancestors were admitted to the hospital, when they were admitted, why they were admitted, and the year they were discharged. Most records will also reveal the nature of ailment and the outcome of their treatment.

More on African-American Genealogy

African American genealogy podcastComing up next month in The Genealogy Gems Podcast episode 201: An interview with Angela Walton-Raji on finding African-American ancestors. She shares tons of resources!

Even if you haven’t found any African-Americans on your family tree, the challenges and rewards of African-American genealogical research are both fascinating and moving to learn about. And, learn other tips and tricks for genealogy research by listening to our archived free podcasts.

New Online! English Genealogy Records and More

English genealogy records abound in this week’s roundup of new family history records online. Find England BMD, parish records, newspapers, and more. Also: an important addition to the British Newspaper Archive’s Irish newspaper collection,  over 1,000 years of Chinese documents and records, German vital records, parish records for Italy and Sweden, and new US collections for VA, OH and NY.
headed to England for genealogy records

English Genealogy Records Now Online

Ancestry.com subscribers can now search these English genealogy record collections:

          • Bedfordshire Petty Sessions 1854-1915 This collection includes details of over 100,000 individuals involved in petty session hearings in Befordshire. Details for each individual may include name, role in the case, date of the hearing, location of the court, and even the fines or punishments given to the defendant(s).
          • Bedfordshire Valuation Records 1838-1929 These records deal solely with the value of properties in Bedfordshire county. The volumes name the proprietor or tenant, describe or name the property and give an annual rental value. It will also sometimes give an acreage for the property.
          • Bedfordshire Land Tax Records 1797-1832 Details found within this collection include may include year of residence, name of occupier, name of owner, and parish of residence.
          • Shropshire Extracted Church of England Parish Records, 1538-1812. This collection of indexes is taken from various published versions of parish and probate records from Shropshire, England dating from the early 1500s (with some non-parish records earlier) to the late 1800s. “The records include baptisms/christenings, burials, marriages, tombstone inscriptions, obituaries, tax lists, wills, and other miscellaneous types of records,” states the collection description. “Also included are some records from non-conformist churches.”

At FamilySearch.org, you can now search a free collection of Staffordshire Church Records. In partnership with Findmypast’s expansion of Staffordshire records, this collection provides church records from 1538-1944. Nearly 5 million indexed records and over 278,000 images are included.

Over at Findmypast, subscribers can now search extensive new collections for Buckinghamshire. (The original records are held at the Buckinghamshire Archives.) New databases include:
          • Buckinghamshire Baptism Index 870,000 transcripts created from original records held at the Buckinghamshire Archives. You will also discover your ancestor’s birthplace, the date of the baptism, their father’s occupation and residence.
          • Buckinghamshire Banns Index Explore 101,000 records created from original parish registers and bishop’s transcripts. “Each transcript will reveal the name of your ancestor’s intended spouse, the couple’s residence, the dates the announcements were read and their intended date of marriage.”
          • Buckinghamshire Marriage Index Over 485,000 transcripts “will reveal the couple’s birth years, marital status, occupation, date of marriage, place of marriage, residence, occupation, father’s names, father’s occupations and the names of any witnesses.”
          • Buckinghamshire Burial Index More than 662,000 transcripts are included, created from original parish registers and bishop’s transcripts. “Each record will reveal your ancestor’s birth year, age at death, burial date, and residence. An archive reference is also included, allowing you to locate a copy of the original document.”

British and Irish Newspapers Now Online

Over 2.3 million new articles and 7 brand new titles have been added to the British Newspaper Archive’s collection of historic newspapers this month. New titles now available to search include:

  • Tenby Observer
  • Brechin Herald
  • Milngavie and Bearsden Herald
  • Alcester Chronicle
  • Abergavenny Chronicle
  • Ripley and Heanor News and Ilkeston Division Free Press
  • Eastern Daily Press and the Colchester Gazette

Click here to explore these and other historic British Newspapers.

More than 5,000 pages from the Leitrim Advertiser have been added to Irish newspapers at the British Newspaper Archive. From the description: “The paper was originally published in Mohill, Leitrim and known in later years and The Leitrim and Longford Advertiser.” The earliest issue dates back to 1886, through 1916. With this addition, the British Newspaper Archive now has a newspaper for every county in Ireland!

German Births and Deaths: Bischofswerda

Ancestry.com has added new collections for Bischofswerda births (1876-1902) and deaths (1876-1951). Bischofswerda is located about 22 miles east of Dresden at the edge of Upper Lusatia in the German state of Saxony. To local residents, it is also known as “Schiebock” and known for its large historic market square and town hall.

Italian civil registration: Padova

FamilySearch has published 42,000 newly indexed records and images in its free collection, Civil Registration Records: Padova 1621 – 1914. From the collection description: “Civil registration of births, marriages, and deaths within the custody of the State Archive of Padova. Includes supplemental documents, residency records, ten-year indexes, and marriage banns. Availability of records is largely dependent on time period and locality.”

Swedish Household Examination Books

Also at FamilySearch are 1 million indexed records and images for Swedish Household Examination Books 1880-1920. According to the collection, “Each year until 1894 the Parish Priest would visit each home in the parish and test each individual’s knowledge of the catechisms. In addition, they would collect birth, death, and marriage dates as well as where families had moved to or from and when, etc. The priest would then come back each year and update or edit the information from the previous year and note any changes in the population of the home.” (These are also online at MyHeritage.com.) Click here to read a great article for getting started on your Swedish genealogy.

Chinese Records at the Library of Congress

An exciting announcement from the Library of Congress this week! “The contents of the Asian Division’s Pre-1958 Chinese Collection, totaling more than 42,000 items, are now fully searchable through the Library’s online catalog in both Chinese characters and Romanized script. This rich and diverse collection has served researchers and general audiences for nearly 90 years; until now, however, bibliographic records for these materials were only available through a card catalog.”

United States

New York. The Vassar College Digital Newspaper Archive is now available online. Provided by the Vassar College Libraries, this archive provides access to newspapers published by Vassar College students. Earliest issues date back to 1872, and cover a wide range of topics and events on and off campus. This collection currently contains over 85,000 pages.

Ohio. New at Ancestry this week are Ohio Soldier Grave Registrations, 1804-1958. This database contains grave registration cards for soldiers from Ohio who served in the armed forces, mainly from the time of the War of 1812 up through the 1950s. Records may contain an individual’s name, date and place of birth, date and cause of death, location of burial, next of kin, military service information, and more.

Also in Ohio, Kent State University has completed the digital Daily Kent Stater Archive. It contains 90 years of Kent State student publications, dated from Feb 1926 to Dec 2016. According to the press release, “it covers several historic events as well as some great memories for the Kent State alumnae.” Check out the introductory video!
Virginia. Two million pages of the Newport News Daily Press are now searchable on Newspapers.com, with issues dating back to 1898.

 

Did you know? You can search the Genealogy Gems website for articles about your favorite genealogy categories–including records and research tips for several countries and ethnicities. Go to our home page and click on the dropdown menu under What do you want to learn about? Scroll down to see the various categories or start typing a few letters to jump down to that part of the alphabetical list.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links and Genealogy Gems will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on these links. Thank you for supporting Genealogy Gems!

The Story I Discovered in this Week’s New Online Genealogy Records!

Once again, this week’s newest genealogical records to come online don’t disappoint. As I compiled this list for you this week, I jumped with joy as I discovered records that confirm the stories of my youth.

find your story in new online genealogy records

Like many families, mine is complicated. After my paternal grandparents divorced in 1956, my grandmother married her ex-husband’s brother in 1958.

Pauline_&_Elzie_Moore

Uncle Elzie and Grandmother Pauline Moore

Elzie Moore was not only my great uncle, but my step-grandfather (if there is such a thing.) As a child all I knew was that I was lucky to have what amounted to three grandfathers, although we respectfully called him “Uncle Elzie”.

This photo very much represents how I remember him:

Pauline and Elzie Moore Thanksgiving 1974

Pauline and Elzie Moore Thanksgiving 1974

He was devoted to my grandmother and ready to help whenever needed.

But well before I was born, he was ready to help his country when Pearl Harbor was attacked in 1941.

Genealogy Military Records Elzie Moore

Elzie Moore in 1941.

He didn’t talk much about it, but I remember the day I was sitting on his lap examining his face. I asked him about the prominent scar on the side of his chin. He laughingly told me a variety of wild hair-brained stories as to how he got it. He then simply and quietly told me he had been shot during the war. That was that.

The story was later confirmed by my dad, who went on to explain that was just one of several wounds Uncle Elzie sustained through a heroic career.

And now, so many decades later, the details from the records themselves appear on my screen. In the WWII Hospital Admission Card Files released this month by Ancestry, I discovered not one but three different admission records.

The first was the admission record for that chin injury. He was admitted to the hospital in July of 1944 for a facial wound by a “bullet, missile” sustained in battle. He was discharged in September 1944 and sent back to the front line.

WWI Hospital Admission Records at Ancestry.com

WWI Hospital Admission Records at Ancestry.com

The next record was an admission in November 1944 (although there appears to be a discrepancy in the transcription because the discharge date is listed as May 1944.) This time his injuries were shells and fragments to the thigh, buttock and hip in battle.

When working with these records it’s important to closely examine the service number listed. The third record had also matched “Elzie Moore” which you wouldn’t think was a common name. However, closer inspection revealed a different service number – he was not the same man.

Check the service number to confirm

Check the service number to confirm you have the right person.

Though the man himself rarely spoke of his service, the genealogy gems I found today in the records speak volumes. I’m grateful to have more of the story behind the “Purple Heart” inscription that appears on his grave marker.

Elzie Cecil Moore grave stone - genealogy military records

Elzie Cecil Moore grave marker

I hope this week’s list below brings you new genealogy gems!

New Records at Ancestry

Denmark
Denmark, Church Records, 1812-1918
Updated 1/15/2020

United States
U.S. WWII Hospital Admission Card Files, 1942-1954
NEW as of 1/6/2020

Washington State, U.S.
Washington, Death Index, 1940-2017
Updated 1/21/2020

New Records at FamilySearch

New Free Historical Records on FamilySearch: Week of 6 January 2020

United States

Georgia
Georgia, Chatham, Savannah, Laurel Grove Cemetery Record Keeper’s Book (colored), 1852-1942
129 Added indexed records to an existing collection

Georgia, Columbus, Linwood and Porterdale Colored Cemeteries, Interment Records, 1866-2000
114 Added indexed records to an existing collection

Hawaii
Hawaii, Board of Health, Marriage Record Indexes, 1909-1989
12,560 Added indexed records to an existing collection

Louisiana
Louisiana, New Orleans, Interment Registers, 1836-1972
868 Added indexed records to an existing collection

Louisiana, New Orleans, Slave Manifests of Coastwise Vessels, 1807-1860
115,098 New indexed records collection

Michigan
Michigan, Civil War Centennial Observance Commission, Committee on Civil War Grave Registration, Burial Records
2,957 Added indexed records to an existing collection

Mississippi
Mississippi, County Marriages, 1858-1979
2,419 Added indexed records to an existing collection

North Carolina
North Carolina, Center for Health Statistics, Vital Records Unit, County Birth Records, 1913-1922
239 Added indexed records to an existing collection

South Carolina
South Carolina, Charleston City Death Records, 1821-1926
37,437 Added indexed records to an existing collection

Tennessee
Tennessee, Shelby County, Memphis, Board of Health Death Records, 1848-1913
1,330 Added indexed records to an existing collection

Missouri
United States, Missouri, Recruitment Lists of Volunteers for the United States Colored Troops, 1863-1865
17,881 New indexed records collection

American Samoa 
American Samoa, Vital Records, 1850-1972
2,237 Added indexed records to an existing collection

Australia
Australia, South Australia, Immigrants Ship Papers, 1849-1940
145,165 Added indexed records to an existing collection

Brazil
Brazil, Rio de Janeiro, Civil Registration, 1829-2012
75,768 Added indexed records to an existing collection

Brazil, Santa Catarina, Civil Registration, 1850-1999
3,314 Added indexed records to an existing collection

Canada
Nova Scotia Church Records, 1720-2001
4,881 Added indexed records to an existing collection

Chile
Chile, Catholic Church Records, 1710-1928
806 Added indexed records to an existing collection

Chile, Cemetery Records, 1821-2015
203,870 Added indexed records to an existing collection

Colombia
Colombia, Bogotá, Burial Permits, 1960-1991
6,371 Added indexed records to an existing collection

Ecuador
Ecuador, Catholic Church Records, 1565-2011
2,277,196 Added indexed records to an existing collection

England
England, Oxfordshire Parish Registers 1538-1904
43 Added indexed records to an existing collection

England, Yorkshire Marriage Bonds and Allegations, 1613-1887
1,898 Added indexed records to an existing collection

Haiti
Haiti, Port-au-Prince, Civil Registration, 1794-2012
193,434 Added indexed records to an existing collection

Ireland
Ireland, Poverty Relief Funds, 1810-1887
691,210 New indexed records collection

Italy
Italy, Trieste, Civil Registration (State Archive), 1924-1944
1,305 Added indexed records to an existing collection

Netherlands
Netherlands, Noord-Holland, Civil Registration, 1811-1950
72,937 Added indexed records to an existing collection

Peru
Peru, Áncash, Civil Registration, 1888-2005
140,119 Added indexed records to an existing collection

Peru, Ayacucho, Civil Registration, 1903-1999
3,733 Added indexed records to an existing collection

Peru, Huánuco, Civil Registration, 1889-1997
10,307 Added indexed records to an existing collection

Peru, Prelature of Yauyos-Cañete-Huarochirí, Catholic Church Records, 1665-2018
550 Added indexed records to an existing collection

Sierra Leone
Sierra Leone, Civil Births, 1802-1969
1,200 Added indexed records to an existing collection

South Africa
South Africa, Civil Marriage Records, 1840-1973
425 Added indexed records to an existing collection

South Africa, KwaZulu Natal, Vital Records, 1868-1976
4,543 Added indexed records to an existing collection

MyHeritage

Sweden
Sweden Household Examination Books, 1840-1947
Updated January 19, 2020
Total number of records in the collection: 125,672,188

“The Household Examination Books are the primary source for researching the lives of individuals and families throughout the Parishes of Sweden, from the late 1600’s until modern times. The books were created and kept by the Swedish Lutheran Church which was tasked with keeping the official records of the Swedish population until 1991.

Each book or series of books represents a 3-10 year period of time within a parish. Every year until 1894 the Parish Priest would visit each home and test each individual’s knowledge of the catechism. They would also collect information about birth dates, marriages, deaths, where people had moved to or from, etc. Each year the priest would come back and update the information of the previous year, noting changes within the population of the home. After 1894 the examinations were less focused on doctrinal knowledge and more focused on enumerating the Swedish population.”

The British Newspaper Archive

 “This week we are delighted to welcome 71,598 additional pages to The Archive, as well as five brand new titles. Two of these titles, the Wakefield Express and the South Notts Echo, originate in England, while the other three, the Leinster Reporter, the Carnarvon and Denbigh Herald, and the Times of India are spread out across Ireland, Wales and India respectively.”

Start searching the British Newspaper Archive here.

New historic newspaper titles added:

Leinster Reporter
Years added: 1897-1925, 1927-1928

Caernarvon & Denbigh Herald
Years added: 1850-1872, 1874-1877, 1897

Times of India
Years added: 1861-1865, 1867-1888

Wakefield Express
Years added: 1879, 1892, 1897-1898, 1902, 1911, 1918

South Notts Echo
Years added: 1919-1923, 1927-1939

What Have You Found this Week?

Did you find some genealogy gems in any of these new records? We’d love to hear your story. Please leave a comment below.

And if you enjoyed this article we’d be grateful if you shared it on Facebook and other social media to help other family historians. You’ll find convenient sharing buttons at the top of this article. Thank you!

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