If you have immigrant ancestors who arrived in the U.S in the 1900s, these 7 sources can help you track their journey—perhaps even to that overseas hometown, so crucial to your genealogy success! (Thanks to Legacy Tree Genealogists for providing us with this guest...
Swedish-American newspapers are our first stop as we head off the beaten path. This week you’ll discover special record collections of Burke County, North Carolina yearbooks, photo images for Scotland, and State Militia records. Also this week, German civil registrations, Utah divorces, and lots of Irish goodies.
There are more online records than just those found at Ancestry, Findmypast, MyHeritage, or FamilySearch. Lesser known record collections pack a powerful punch to your family history research!
The Minnesota Historical Society has made some Swedish-American newspapers available online for the first time. This past week, Swedish-American Newspapers were made available through an online portal. Users can explore more than 300,000 pages from 28 different Swedish-American newspaper titles published across the U.S. between 1859 and 2007.
The portal is available in Swedish and English and includes a keyword search.
United States – North Carolina – Burke County – Yearbooks
The North Carolina Digital Heritage Center has a statewide digital publishing program located at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The center works to digitize and publish historic materials online.
Among their digital holdings, more than 60 years worth of yearbooks are now available to view online. The schools covered include:
Yearbooks provide enriching details into the lives of our ancestors and can be especially helpful in finding names of living family members!
United States – North Carolina – Militia
Also for North Carolina, the State Archives there have made their militia records, specifically the troop returns for the 18th and 19th centuries, available online.
The Troop Returns collection includes lists, returns, records of prisoners, and records of draftees, from 1747 to 1893. The majority of records are from the Revolutionary War, North Carolina Continental Line.
Militia records generally include the names of officers and soldiers, and are usually organized by district or county. Continental line records include field returns, general returns, draft records, and enlistment records.
This collection is a work in progress. As more records are digitized, they will become view-able online. In the meantime, see what’s there by checking out a helpful index in pdf form here.
Canada – Books
Though these new books added to the shelves of the Library and Archives Canada are not online, the information may be of value to you. Several new books are available to view in-person at the Library and Archives Canada.
Some of the new listings include:
Obituaries from the Christian guardian, 1891 to 1895, by Donald A. McKenzie (AMICUS 42197735)
American loyalists to New Brunswick: the ship passenger lists, by David Bell (AMICUS 43913838)
The link to the AMICUS record gives the call number you need to find the book on the shelves.
The collection includes birth, marriage, and death records from Nuremberg.
Birth records may include:
Name of child
Names of parents
Place of residence
Date of birth
Marriage records may include:
Name of bride and groom
Place of residence
Name of bride’s parents
Name of groom’s parents
Groom’s date of birth and birthplace
Bride’s date of birth and birthplace
Death records may include:
Name of deceased
Age at death
Place of residence
Date of death
United States – Utah – Divorce Records
Findmypast has added Utah Divorces to their collections. More than 177,000 records from Utah district courts cover the years of 1997 to 2016. Each result includes a transcript that will reveal the date the divorce was filed, the petitioner, respondent, attorney, case type, and the judgment that was reached.
Ireland – Cavan – Registers
Cavan Registers & Records currently includes only one title named “Crosserlough Census Index 1821.” The 1821 census of Crosserlough, County Cavan, was taken on 28 May 1821. The Four Courts fire in Dublin destroyed the original census documents, but a copy was made prior to this.
There are near 8,000 individuals listed in the 1821 census. Each entry records an individual name, age, occupation and relationship to the head of household.
Ireland – Kilkenny – Registers
Kilkenny Registers & Records are presented as PDFs. The collection includes the Castlecomer Census Index 1901 compiled in 2000 by Tom Delany.
The publication is a summary of the population of Castlecomer in 1901. It lists the names, ages, and occupations of the all the inhabitants. On image number 204 is the beginning of an index of all the names found in the publication to help you.
Ireland – Dublin – Registers
Ten new publications have been added to the collection of Dublin Registers & Records. These new items include school registers, district and street censuses, business directories, and monumental inscriptions. The collection also includes parish records from the Church of Ireland.
Ireland – Newspapers
Over 1.7 million new articles have been added to the historic Irish Newspapers collection. New additions have been made to existing titles including The Irish Times and The Weekly Irish Times.
Newspapers can be searched by time-frame, place, county, and newspaper title.
Scotland – Leith – Photographs
A picture is worth a thousand words, or maybe in this case, a thousand records! A rare collection of photographs from the 1920s in Leith, Scotland is available to view online. This collection was digitized by Edinburgh University.
Though most of the images are of buildings and streets and not well labeled, if you are familiar with the area, something might stand out to you. Take a stroll down memory lane of yesteryear in Leith Scotland by clicking here.
More Gems on Researching Newspapers for Genealogy
Available at www.shopgenealogygems.com
This week we explored Swedish-American newspapers as well as some from Ireland. Perhaps you are in search of newspaper elsewhere in the world. Lisa Louise Cooke presents everything you need to know about How to Find Your Family History in Newspapers. This exceptional book is packed with information on how to find and utilize newspaper collections. Available in book and e-book, you will find
Step by Step Instructions
Worksheets and Checklists
Tons of Free Online Resources
Websites that are worth Shelling Out a Few Bucks For
A Massive Amount of Location Specific Websites (International)
“Which big genealogy website should I use?” Genealogy Gems takes on that ambitious family history question in ongoing comparative coverage of the “Genealogy Giants,” Ancestry.com, FamilySearch.org, Findmypast.com and MyHeritage.com. (Disclosure: this article contains affiliate links. we will be compensated if you make a purchase. Thank you for supporting this free blog.)
millions of historical records from around the world;
powerful, flexible search interfaces;
family tree-building tools;
automated record hinting (if you have a tree on the site);
Help/tutorials for site users.
But each has unique strengths and weaknesses, too. You may determine that one or two of these sites meets your needs now. But your family history research needs may change. For example, you may discover an Irish or Swedish ancestor whose records may be hosted on a different site than the one you’ve been using. Or you may find that you need DNA to push back further on your family tree. It’s critical to which sites offer what records and tools, so you know your options when your needs or interests change.
Comparing the Top Genealogy Websites
There are so many features on each site–and an apples-to-apples comparison isn’t easy.
Here’s one example: how many records are on each site? Some sites include DNA results and user-submitted family tree profiles in their total record count. Others don’t. One site has a universal family tree–ideally with one record per person who has ever lived–and the others host individual trees for each user, leading to lots of duplication. Does a birth record count as one record? FamilySearch thinks so. But other sites may count a birth record as three records, because a baby, mom and dad are all named. So it’s not easy to compare historical record content across all the sites.
Click here to read what Genealogy Gems loves about MyHeritage.
Reviews of “Genealogy Giants”
“You may have asked, ‘Which is the best online genealogy service for me to use?’….I suspect this video [presentation by Sunny Morton at RootsTech 2017] will answer most of your questions. Topics covered include cost, record types, geographic coverage, genetic testing, DNA matching, search flexibility, languages supported, mobile-friendly, automated matching, and a lot more. Sunny provides the most information about these four sites that I have ever seen in any other one document or video. This is a keeper! I have been using all four of these web sites for years and yet I learned several new facts about them, thanks to Sunny’s online video presentation. I suspect you will learn some things as well.” – Dick Eastman, Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter
“We want to tell you how much we enjoyed the presentation about the comparison of the four major websites. [Sunny] did an excellent job and we were so thrilled with her presentation. She was so prepared and presented it in such a manner as to be understood. Give her our best.” – Eldon and Dorothy Walker
“I am incredibly thankful for your Big 4 session. I’ve never had interest in Findmypast or MyHeritage as I felt FamilySearch and Ancestry had it all…and hadn’t heard of PERSI either. With newly found Irish roots (via DNA), I’m excited to extend some lines that have gone cold.” – a FamilySearch employee
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!
Here’s this week’s roundup of new genealogy records online: Australia, France, New Zealand and, in the U.S., records for AK, CO, IL, IN, MA, MD, ME, NH, NY, PA and WI.
AUSTRALIA – NORTHERN TERRITORY – PROBATE. Ancestry.com has a new probate index (1911-1994) for Northern Territory, Australia. The collection includes images of an index “organized first by year range, then alphabetically by surname and given name.”
NEW ZEALAND – PROBATE. More than 350,000 browsable records (and over 10,000 indexed records) have been added to a free FamilySearch.org collection of New Zealand probate records (1843-1998). Original records are sourced from Archives New Zealand offices in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin.
US – VARIOUS – MARRIAGE. Findmypast.com announced the addition of around 10 million additional U.S. marriage records to its growing online collection. According to a press release, “This second installment includes significant additions from Indiana, New York, Illinois, Pennsylvania and Maine.” Nearly a million of these are new to online publication and, at least for now, exclusive to Findmypast. (The collection is part of a FamilySearch partnership.)
US – VARIOUS – PROBATE. Ancestry.com has updated its collections of wills and probate records for Wisconsin, Maryland and Colorado. Coverage by time period and county varies.
US – NEW HAMPSHIRE. Over 100,000 indexed records have been added to a free FamilySearch.org collection of New Hampshire Birth Certificates (1901-1909). According to the collection description, “Records consist of index cards that give the town and date of the event and often much more information.”
New genealogy records appear online by the millions every week. Keep current by subscribing to the free weekly Genealogy Gems email newsletter. The newsletter comes with a free e-book by Lisa Louise Cooke on Google search strategies you can use to find MORE genealogy records online that you need. Simply enter your email address in the box at the top of this webpage where it says “Sign up.”