July 21, 2017

NEW Ukraine Genealogy Website Tops List of New Genealogy Records Online

Read all about a new free Ukraine genealogy website, Yorkshire parish records, English workhouse records, German vital records and digitized newspaper coverage of England, Ireland and Scotland.

A New Ukraine Genealogy Website! Vital records and family trees

A new, free Ukraine genealogy website has launched with free family-tree building capability and an enormous database of nearly 300 years of genealogical records from present-day Ukraine. “The database includes 2.56 million people and is expected to reach 4 to 5 million in 2019,” reports EuroMaidan Press. “The access to its contents is and will remain free of charge. The sources of data are manifold: birth registers, fiscal and parish censuses, lists of nobility, voters, the military, and victims of repressions, address directories, and other documents produced under the Tsardom of Muscovy, Russian and Habsburg Empires, Poland and the Soviet Union. A Roman-letter version of the data index is reportedly to be enabled in the coming months.”

To translate the site, bring it up in Google Chrome and right-click.

The family tree-building feature has already proven incredibly popular, reports the same article: “nearly 18 thousand trees have been created in the first couple of days following the official inauguration of the site.” Automated tree-matching hinting will apparently be added in July 2017.

If you have Ukrainian roots, you may also want to read this article about how to request KGB files on relatives.

British Newspaper Archive: New content and free webinar!

The following historical newspaper coverage has been added to the British Newspaper Archive. They add about 100,000 pages every week–learn more about what they do in the free webinar, below.

More Irish newspapers: Findmypast has added 20th century coverage of Dublin in the form of about 155,000 news articles from The Catholic Standard. (Limit your search to this paper by using the filters along the left side of the webpage.) The coverage includes weekly news reports dating from 1933-1949 and 1951-1957.

England

1861 workhouse inmates. Ancestry.com subscribers can now search indexed images of a new collection, England and Wales, Long-Term Workhouse Inmates, 1861. “This collection comprises records and images from a volume listing every adult ‘pauper’ in each Workhouse in England and Wales, who had been resident there for five or more years in 1861,” states the collection description. The report was in response to a government mandate to record long-term residents of workhouses. “The report was printed on 30 July 1861 and listed 14,216 adults,” continues the collection description. “When compared with the total workhouse population of approximately 67,800 adult workhouse inmates (excluding vagrants) the percentage of long term inmates was just over 21%.”

Yorkshire parish records. Findmypast has published these new church record collections for Yorkshire:

  • Yorkshire Parish Registers and Bishop’s Transcripts. Over 11,000 browse-only volumes of baptisms, marriages, and deaths dating back to 1538.
  • Yorkshire baptisms. Over 600,000 records have been added for Sheffield and the East Riding to this database, which now has more than 5 million entries.
  • Yorkshire banns. Over 30,000 entries have been added for Sheffield and the East Riding.
  • Yorkshire marriages. Over 400,000 entries have been added for Sheffield and the East Riding. The database now has nearly 3 million records.
  • Yorkshire burials. Over half a million new burials have been added for Sheffield and the East Riding; this database now tops 4.7 million.

Germany: Church and civil records

Ancestry.com has a new browse-only collection of church records from 42 communities in Erfurt, the capital of Thuringia. According to a collection description, “The vast majority of the church records are from Protestant communities, but some Catholic and Jewish communities are also included. In one case, records from the ‘Kaufmannsgemeinde’ or merchants’ community are included.”

Also at Ancestry.com is a new collection of browse-only civil marriage records. Bischofswerda, Germany, Marriages, 1876-1922 includes government records of marriages from Bischofswerda and 11 other communities from the district of Bautzen; date ranges of records from each may vary.

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A Shocking Family Secret–and 3 Powerful Newspaper Search Tips

family secrets in newspaper search tipsA shocking discovery in my husband’s family history was made with the help of three powerful strategies for finding ancestors in online newspaper articles.

Ever since I first started researching the family of Raymond Harry Cooke, I have been aware that Raymond’s mother, Mary Ann Susannah Cooke, died at a young age, around 40 years old. What I didn’t realize was how she died.

The only known image of Mary Ann Susannah Cooke nee Munns

I knew Mary Ann lost one child in child birth, and in 1908 had one living child, Raymond. Though the answer as to her exact date and cause of death have been elusive, I haven’t been in a big hurry to find the answer, because I guess deep down I assumed that she had lost her life in a third pregnancy. So it remained one of those genealogy projects I put off for a rainy day.

Well, a “rainy day” finally came. After blogging about the BritishNewspaperArchive, I decided to do some digging to see if I could find anything about Mary Ann’s death in Tunbridge Wells, England circa 1908. With the site’s powerful advanced search engine I located the answer within minutes. And it was devastating.

cookeThe Courier, August 31, 1908: “Tunbridge Wells Woman Sad Death: Drowned in a Water Tank.”

Suffering from prolonged depression, Mary Ann had drowned herself upstairs in their home’s water tank. The newspaper provided a blow-by-blow of the coroner’s inquest, and the heart-breaking testimony of her husband, Harry. And there came the final shock: Harry and Mary Ann’s 14 year old son Raymond had discovered the body.

After absorbing the story of Mary Ann’s untimely death, I was keen to see if I could learn more. And here’s where some very powerful search strategies came into play and helped me find MUCH more in the British Newspaper Archive.

3 Newspaper Search Tips

1. Look for “Search” Clues in the Articles You Find

I went back through the article with a fine tooth comb, making note of every unique details that could possibly be used in a future database search such as addresses, name variations, neighbors, friends, occupations, etc. I then headed back to the British Newspaper Archive to search on those leads.

2. Look Beyond Known Names

In my case, I noticed that Mary Ann Cooke was referred to as “Mrs. Cooke” in one article, and “Mrs. Cook” in another, so I omitted her first name and ran searches under both options, resulting in even more articles. And in the article about “Mrs. Cooke”, her son Raymond was referred to as “Master Cooke.” Indeed, even more articles existed under that name as well.

3. Go Beyond People

Search for the addresses of locations where they lived. And don’t necessarily include their name. Simply searching the address can give you a kind of “house history” set of search results, revealing who lived there before, descriptions of the home and its contents and who moved in after your ancestors left.

In my case, I located an article about the Cooke home (by the address) being up for sale several years before they owned it. That article included a fairly detailed description of the property. The final article found in the British newspapers was also found only by address (as the Cooke name wasn’t mentioned) and it detailed the contents of their household up for sale. The auction was held in preparation for their move to Canada.

Listen to this story and these newspaper search tips in a lot more detail in the free Genealogy Gems Podcast episode #174.

More Resources from Genealogy Gems:

How to Find Your Family History in NewspapersHow to Find Your Family History in Newspapers

5 Most Popular Historical Newspaper Searches–and How to Improve Yours

Can Google Help Me Search Digitized Newspaper Pages?

Premium Videos: Getting the Scoop on Your Ancestors in Newspapers and Getting the Scoop Part 2: Tech Tools for Newspapers (available to Genealogy Gems Premium website members)

figure_talk_giant_phone_anim_300_wht_6767Did my tips help you find your ancestors in old newspapers? Contact me by email or phone or on the Genealogy Gems Facebook page. I love hearing about YOUR successes!

5 Most Popular Searches in Historical Newspapers–and Tips for Improving Yours!

Genealogy Research in NewspapersThe British Newspaper Archive celebrated its 3rd birthday recently by looking back at how people are searching its 9 million+ newspaper pages. To date, the five most common searches are:

1. Football

2. Murder

3. Death

4. Jack the Ripper

5. Railway

Not what you expected? Your digitized newspaper searches as a family historian may be a little more specific and less sports-and-murder oriented. But are they too general to yield successful results?

Here’s a tip from Lisa: “With 9 million searchable pages, the key to finding what you want is to use the Advanced Search.

british search“You’ll find it under the search box. My initial search for my husband’s great grandfather resulted in tens of thousands of hits until I included mandatory keywords, his name as a phrase, a defined time frame, and zeroed in on advertisements. The 299 results were far more manageable and resulted in several fantastic finds!”

Armed with these tips, those with Irish or English roots should explore The British Newspaper Archive, even if you’ve searched there before. “We’ve come a long way since the website launched on 29 November 2011 with 4 million historic newspaper pages,” says a press release. “The collection is now more than twice the size, with over 9 million fully searchable pages available from 300 British and Irish titles. The newspapers cover 1710 – 1954, a much broader time period than at launch. If you weren’t able to find a particular person, event or place when The British Newspaper Archive launched, it’s well worth looking again now.” Visit www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk to try a search for free.”

Learn more about searching historical newspapers in Lisa’s book, How to Find Your Family History in Newspapers. Chapter 4 is all about the newspaper search process, and includes a copy-able Newspaper Research Worksheet.

Last of all, check out this fun infographic below from the British Newspaper Archive in honor of its birthday:

 

British Newspaper Archive

New Editions of Old Papers Now at the British Newspaper Archive

London Standard British Newspaper ArchiveMore than 8.5 million newspaper pages from 1710-1954 are now available to search at The British Newspaper Archive. Recent titles cover England, Scotland and Northern Ireland and include the London Evening Standard, Glasgow’s Daily Record and the Northern Whig.

The first years from the following new titles have been added to The British Newspaper Archive:

  • Biggleswade Chronicle, covering 1912
  • Daily Record, covering 1914-1915
  • Lake’s Falmouth Packet and Cornwall Advertiser, covering 1864
  • London Evening Standard, covering 1860-1862 and 1866-1867
  • Newcastle Evening Chronicle, covering 1915
  • Northern Whig, covering 1869-1870
  • Surrey Comet, covering 1854-1857 and 1859-1870
  • Watford Observer, covering 1864-1865, 1867, 1869-1870

Check out the latest additions of old news now at The British Newspaper Archive here!

How to Find Your Family History in NewspapersWant to learn more about using old newspapers in your genealogy research? Check out my book How to Find Your Family History in Newspapers. You’ll learn what kinds of family items you’ll find mentioned in old newspapers; how to find the right newspapers for your family; and how to locate old editions–both online and offline.

240K New Pages Now Online at the British Newspaper Archive

stick_figure_reading_newspaper_500_clr

Here’s a headline-worthy announcement!

In the past month, 240,000 extra pages from 1790-1954 were made searchable at the British Newspaper Archive. You’ll now find editions of London’s Penny Illustrated Paper, the Dundee, Perth and Forfar People’s Journal and the Folkestone, Hythe, Sandgate & Cheriton Herald online. 56 other titles were also updated, including the Aberdeen Journal, the Kent & Sussex Courier and the Morpeth Herald. (Click here for a full list of recent additions.)

The British Newspaper Archive is a partnership project between the British Library and DC Thomson Family History (formally known as brightsolid online publishing, owners of Findmypast). From November 2011 to 2021, up to 40 million pages from historical newspapers across the UK and Ireland will be uploaded to the website. The British Library is the national library of the United Kingdom.

Want to learn more about doing newspaper research? Check out Lisa’s book How to Find Your Family History in Newspapers, available in print or as an ebook. I especially love how she walks readers through the process of finding newspapers online, beginning with FREE resources!

 

The British Newspaper Archive Reaches 8 Million Online Pages

stick_figure_reading_newspaper_500_clrThe British Newspaper Archive has reached a new major milestone: 8 million newspaper pages now online!  The counter on the homepage ticked over that amount while adding editions of the Sheffield Daily Telegraph, Cheshire Observer and The Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer.

If you’ve tried searching for a person, event or place before without success, it’s well worth trying again now–and you can try a search for FREE. The amount online has doubled since the website launched with 4 million pages in November 2011. The time period covered now stretches from 1710 – 1954 too, much broader than at launch.

Looking for something that’s not there yet?

Thousands of pages are added every week, so your chance of finding something amazing increases all the time. 825,000 new pages have already been added so far this year. See a list of the newspaper titles that have been added or updated in the last 30 days here.

Who’s  doing this?

The British Newspaper Archive is a partnership project between the British Library and DC Thomson Family History (formerly known as brightsolid online publishing, mother company of the FindMyPast family of genealogy websites). From November 2011 to 2021, up to 40 million pages from historical newspapers across the UK and Ireland will be uploaded to the website.

Learn more about finding your relatives in the paper in my book,How to Find Your Family History in Newspapers How to Find Your Family History in  Newspapers. It’s available as an e-book or in print. Read all about it here!