Discover Your Dutch Ancestors & More in New Online Genealogy Records

Featured this week is a fantastic resource for anyone searching for Dutch ancestors! Open Archives recently celebrated reaching 200 million historical person entries and collaborates with dozens of libraries and genealogical societies to make them all available online in one place. Also featured this week is the Ireland 1911 Census, online access to the New York Death Index, and major new additions to records for Hampshire, England. 

Featured: Dutch Records at OpenArchives

Recently, we received an email from a Genealogy Gems Podcast listener about a huge milestone achieved by the Open Archives website. This free site is home to the largest collection of references to persons in Dutch historical records, and they just reached 200 million historical person entries! If you are researching your ancestors in the Netherlands, this is a one-stop-shop to access the records you need, since Open Archives currently offers data from 86 organizations. 

From the press release: “…dive into records of the civil registry, baptism, marriage and burial registers, notarial deeds, militia registers and personnel administrations. Prayer cards, family messages and funeral cards are also very useful for genealogical research. Archive institutions and also local history and genealogical societies manage these sources, which are increasingly being made available in digital form. Open Archives has made the person entries in these sources searchable in one place.”

Ireland 1911 Census

Following the recent addition of the 1901 Census, FamilySearch has now made available the Ireland 1911 Census. This new collection is comprised of over 4 million indexed records. Search for your Irish ancestors and this collection might reveal their name, age, occupation, relationship to the head of household, marital status, education/literacy, religion, birth country, and other information. The index is free on FamilySearch and was created by the National Archives of Ireland.

New York Death Index

At MyHeritage, you can now browse 4.7 million records in the New York State Death Index, 1880-1956. You’ll find information on place and date of death, gender, age at death and the State file number. The images in this collection have been obtained through the outstanding work and efforts of Reclaim the Records. Due to the poor original documents these images are low-quality. For deaths referenced in this index copies of original death certificates can be obtained from the New York State Department of Health for a fee.

Hampshire, England Records

British genealogy giant Findmypast has over 2 million new records now available to search online, with the majority relating to Portsmouth in Hampshire, England. These unique collections come from a wide variety of resources beyond standard vital records and could shed valuable light on your ancestors’ lives. 

  • Hampshire, Portsmouth, Portsea Island Rate Books: Over a million pages of poor rate books from as early as 1700 through to 1921. The books recorded the amount of rates paid at each property, ownership of the property, and its location in the parishes of Portsea and Portsmouth. With each record, you will find a transcript of the vital facts and an image of the original rate poor.
  • Hampshire, Portsmouth Hospital Records: Assorted hospital records and medical journals from St James Hospital between 1878 and 1918. At that time, the hospital was known as the Portsmouth Lunatic Asylum. Includes civil registers, deaths, indexes to admissions and discharges, maintenance ledgers, patient notes, registers of discharge and transfers.
  • Hampshire, Portsmouth Police Staff Records, 1908-1924: The Portsmouth Police Service was formed in January 1836 and the city had its own police force until 1967. The city’s fire brigade was also a branch of the police force when it was first formed. Review this collection for years of service, birthplace, physical descriptions, photograph portraits, and more.
  • Hampshire, Portsmouth Quarter Sessions Browse: Thousands of criminal records from court Quarter Sessions. The browse search allows you to search each Session register from beginning to end. As well as the accused’s age, aliases and home parish, the records will provide you with a wide variety of details relating to their offense, trail and sentencing.
  • Hampshire, Portsmouth Burials: Over 129,000 additional Portsmouth parish records. The new additions cover Portsea, Highland Road and Kingston cemeteries between the years 1831 and 1902. Transcripts will reveal a combination of the deceased’s birth year, death year, age at death, burial date, burial location, denomination, occupation, residence and relatives names. 

Discover your British and Irish ancestors at Findmypast

Findmypast ranks as one of the Genealogy Giants: one of the world’s biggest and best genealogy websites. It’s a must-use site for tracing your roots in England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Findmypast also offers unique resources for finding your family history in the United States, Canada, and Australia. And their expansive archive of newspapers, Catholic Heritage Archive, and access to the Periodical Source Index mean that Findmypast is well worth a visit. Explore now with a free 14-day trial!

Lacey Cooke

Lacey Cooke

Lacey has been working with Genealogy Gems since the company’s inception in 2007. Now, as the full-time manager of Genealogy Gems, she creates the free weekly newsletter, writes blogs, coordinates live events, and collaborates on new product development. No stranger to working with dead people, Lacey holds a degree in Forensic Anthropology, and is passionate about criminal justice and investigative techniques. She is the proud dog mom of Renly the corgi. 

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!

U.S. Cemetery Records & More New Online

Find your ancestors in U.S. cemetery records and more in these week’s roundup of new records available online. All resources below come from free websites and also include vital records, court records, county records, and various historical collections. If you’re researching Jewish ancestors, be sure to check out a wonderful free Jewish collections website for resources and databases.

New U.S. Records Free at FamilySearch

FamilySearch has several new U.S. records collections online now. They may be small, but your ancestor just might be lurking in these indexes!

Arizona, Gila County, Cemetery Records, 1927-1994. Browse 3,500 records in this collection of cemetery records from the Dudleyville, Ft. Grant, Mammoth, Superior, Ray, and Hayden cemeteries in Gila County, Arizona. These records may tell you the name of your ancestor, birthplace and date, death date, parents’ names, children and spouse names, and even sibling names.

 

Idaho, Madison County Records. There are 2,300 indexed records in this new collection, as well as 34,000 browsable images. In this collection you’ll find vital records, homesteads, patents, deeds, mining records, and Wills and probate records.

Tennessee, Jackson County Records, 1801-1974. Marriage records and records of the Chancery and Circuit Courts are available in this new collection of nearly 14,000 indexed records and 18,000 images. This collection is being published as images become available.

Florida, Index to Alien Arrivals by Airplane at Miami, 1930-1942. This unique collection has 51,000 indexed airplane manifests. The collection is set up by index cards, arranged alphabetically by surname. These records correspond with NARA publication A3382 and were filmed at the NARA facility in College Park, Maryland.

Virginia, County Marriage Records, 1771-1943. Browse almost 40,000 indexed marriage records and images in this collection. The records include registers, bonds, licenses, and returns for the following counties: Accomack, Franklin, Giles, Rockingham, and Westmoreland. The content and time period varies by county.

Jewish Records & Collections

FamilySearch also has a new collection of Virginia, Jewish Cemetery Records Index, ca. 1800-1986. Included is an index to maps 1-45 of the Jewish cemetery records compiled by Samuel and Dorothy Werth. The original maps are located at the Virginia Historical Society. These cemetery records may be able to tell you the name of deceased, their year of birth, year of death, the name of the cemetery, and the city where the cemetery is located.

Another great resource for finding Jewish ancestors is the Jewish Digital Collections website. You can explore an annotated list of more than 350 sites containing digitized collections of Jewish history, records, culture, and more. The list is divided into 22 categories, which are alphabetized into drop-down menus. You may also be interested in their Jewish Studies Guides, which have been prepared by university librarians worldwide to help students taking courses in Jewish studies. They may lead you to additional resources and materials. 

More to learn about cemetery records

Cemetery research is a crucial family history skill. Tombstones are monuments to our ancestors’ lives and may have key genealogical clues engraved in the stone. Learn more about how to find them with these four steps to finding your ancestors’ burial places and the records that complement them.

For a comprehensive guide on finding your ancestors in cemeteries, grab a copy of The Family Tree Cemetery Field Guide. This book contains detailed step-by-step instructions for using FindAGrave and BillionsGraves, plus guides for understanding tombstone epitaphs and symbol meanings. Discover tools for locating tombstones, tips for traipsing through cemeteries, an at-a-glance guide to frequently used gravestone icons, and practical strategies for on-the-ground research. Click here to order yours today!

Lacey Cooke

Lacey Cooke

Lacey has been working with Genealogy Gems since the company’s inception in 2007. Now, as the full-time manager of Genealogy Gems, she creates the free weekly newsletter, writes blogs, coordinates live events, and collaborates on new product development. No stranger to working with dead people, Lacey holds a degree in Forensic Anthropology, and is passionate about criminal justice and investigative techniques. She is the proud dog mom of Renly the corgi. 

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!

U.S. Naturalization Records & More New Genealogy Records Online

U.S. Naturalization Records at MyHeritage top the charts this week for new records collections online. Over 200 million records are available for Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Wisconsin, Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont. Also new this week are German marriages, baptisms, and burials. Britain marriage licenses dating back to the 12th century may also pique your interest and are available online.  

U.S. Naturalization Records

New this week at MyHeritage are over 200 million U.S. Naturalization Records. First is the record index for Northern Illinois, 1840-1950, containing petitions for naturalization filed in northern Illinois circuit court and INS District 9. In addition to Illinois, INS District 9 covered parts of northwestern Indiana, eastern Iowa, and southern and eastern Wisconsin. Data collected prior to 1906 was limited, likely containing just the name of the petitioner, their country of origin, and record dates and numbers. After 1906, you’ll be more likely to see records with not only names, but also addresses, birth dates, witnesses present, and date and place of arrival the U.S.

Also new is the Naturalization Record Index for New England, 1791-1906. This collection is an index of naturalization documents filed in courts in the states of Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont from 1791 to 1906. The 3X5 inch cards in this collection contain limited information. But the 5X8 inch cards will likely contain the name of the petitioner, petition for citizenship, oath of allegiance, record of previous citizenship, place and date of birth, occupation, place and date of arrival in the United States, name of the ship, place of residence at the time of application, and name and address of a witness to these statements.

German Marriages

Genealogy Giant website Ancestry.com has a new collection of Eberswalde, Germany, Marriages, 1874-1936. Within these records, you can find a wealth of information, including names, occupations, birth date, parents, witnesses, and more. Each document has a front and back and are displayed one after the other. Additional events from the life of the couple were sometimes recorded later on in the margins, but these notes are not indexed. In addition to these civil registers, complementary alphabetical directories of names may also have been created. These directories may tell you the names of the bride and groom, occupations, residence, and cross-reference to the marriage register.

Ancestry has also recently partnered with FamilySearch to provide free access to Lutheran Baptisms, Marriages, and Burials, 1500-1971. From the collection description: “This collection contains parish registers from numerous Protestant communities and military garrisons found in former or modern German territories. The records are largely organized according to historical regions and church districts that may differ from current affiliations. These parish records primarily contain information about births and baptisms, marriages, and deaths and burials.” It’s important to note that this collection is in German, so you may want to reference the German Genealogical Word List on the FamilySearch Wiki.

Britain Marriage Licenses

If your ancestors were married in England, you’ll want to explore this great collection of Britain Marriage Licenses at Findmypast. Fifteen English counties are represented including London, Lancashire, Suffolk, Exeter, Lincoln, Yorkshire, and more, and records date back as early as 1115! These marriage licenses may be able to tell you the couple’s names, father’s name, and the marriage location. The collection consists of a mixture of more than 536,000 handwritten and typed record books from 1115 until 1906 provided by the College of Arms, Anguline Research Archives, and Gould Genealogy.

Reconstruct Your Ancestors’ Stories

When records have been destroyed, or simply remain elusive, you can still put the pieces together to discover your ancestors’ stories! In the new Genealogy Gems Premium eLearning Video, instructor Sunny Morton will show you how to reconstruct fascinating experiences from your own family history by combining clues from your family’s knowledge, documents from genealogy websites, good historical research and Googling to fill in the gaps. All while learning the riveting story of one of the worst disasters in U.S. history. Members can watch right now by clicking here. Not a member? Sign up today!

 

Lacey Cooke

Lacey Cooke

Lacey has been working with Genealogy Gems since the company’s inception in 2007. Now, as the full-time manager of Genealogy Gems, she creates the free weekly newsletter, writes blogs, coordinates live events, and collaborates on new product development. No stranger to working with dead people, Lacey holds a degree in Forensic Anthropology, and is passionate about criminal justice and investigative techniques. She is the proud dog mom of Renly the corgi.

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!

New Genealogy Records Online: WWI U.S. Records & More

Three new WWI U.S. records collections are available online now for free at FamilySearch! You’ll find census records for nurses in Connecticut, as well as Delaware servicemen records and navy card rosters for Florida. Also new this week are military and census records for France, and school records for Australia. 

Featured: U.S. World War I Records

Three new World War I collections for the United States are available now at FamilySearch.org for free.

Connecticut, World War I, Military Census of Nurses, 1917 – This small collection of about 5,500 records includes the “military census of nurses for the year 1917 in Connecticut. Pages may appear to be missing, but this is not necessarily true because many pages were attached to other pages of the same name but in a different area within this same group of records. A general index for this census’ codes is found in the first few images of each film.”

Delaware, World War I Servicemen Records, 1917-1919 – About 3,000 records are available for this collection. Digital images of the originals are held by the Delaware Public Archives in Dover, Delaware.

Florida, World War I Navy card roster, 1917-1920 – Explore nearly 6,000 records in this index and images of a card roster of Floridians that served in the United States Navy during the First World War.

France Military & Census Records

Also new at FamilySearch are military records for France, Rhône, Military Registration Cards, 1865-1932. You can search through this database of 40,000 indexed records of military draft cards for men born between 1865-1932. “Each record contains information about the solider such as name, birthplace, residence, occupation, parents’ names and their residence, a physical description of the soldier, military curriculum, and details about wounds.”

If your ancestors lived in western France, you’ll want to take a look at the France, Vienne, Census, 1896 collection at FamilySearch. Over 365,000 records are available to search online now for free. This collection may be able to tell you your ancestor’s surname, age, estimated birth year, province, marital status, and relationship to the Head of Household.

Queesland, Australia School Records

Over at MyHeritage, you can now explore the Queensland School Pupils Index, Part 5.  According to the collection description, this collection contains “names of pupils from 171 schools in Queensland, Australia. Dates range from 1866 to 2003. Schools range from large city ones with admissions in the thousands to country one-teacher schools with a total enrolment of hundreds. Some schools have long ceased to exist; others are still functioning.” There are nearly half a million records included in this collection.

Image courtesy of Findmypast

If you haven’t already, you can also check out the other collections in this series: Queensland School Pupils Index Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4. These four collections contain “names of pupils from 331 schools in Queensland, Australia. Dates range from 1870 to 1993 with a30-year closure, as recommended by Education Queensland, when names were extracted directly from Admission Registers. Schools range from large city ones with admissions in the thousands to country one-teacher schools with a total enrolment of hundreds. Some schools have long ceased to exist; others are still functioning.”

If you’re a Findmypast user, you can also access Parts 1-4 at Findmypast.

Learn more about Australian records

Ready to start your Australian genealogy research? Check out our free article, courtesy of Legacy Tree Genealogists. Learn all about  essential Australian history, geography, genealogical record types and online resources to trace your family tree “down under.” Click here to read.

Lacey Cooke

Lacey Cooke

Lacey has been working with Genealogy Gems since the company’s inception in 2007. Now, as the full-time manager of Genealogy Gems, she creates the free weekly newsletter, writes blogs, coordinates live events, and collaborates on new product development. No stranger to working with dead people, Lacey holds a degree in Forensic Anthropology, and is passionate about criminal justice and investigative techniques. She is the proud dog mom of Renly the corgi.

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!

Favorite Resources for Finding Colonial Ancestors Online

Colonial ancestors pose a unique challenge to the genealogist in that they often appear in many online family trees, but those trees frequently lack sufficient documentation. Eliminating the purely speculative and identifying verified relationships and accurate data is the goal. Here are three of our favorite online resources for finding colonial ancestors.

Thanks to Bob Call and the experts at Legacy Tree Genealogists for this guest post!

1. AmericanAncestors.org

The fantastic subscription-based website, AmericanAncestors.org, is the creation of the New England Historic Genealogical Society. NEHGS was founded in 1845 and is the oldest genealogical society in the United States. As such, they have had nearly two centuries to gather and preserve materials pertinent to family history. According to their “about” page, AmericanAncestors.org presents “more than 1.4 billion records spanning twenty-two countries” and is “one of the most extensive online collections of early American genealogical records.”

Of the 435 databases hosted on AmericanAncestors.org, 286 are focused on pre-1800 records. These databases include vital records, censuses, migration, bible, cemetery, tax, voter, property, probate, court, and military records as well as family histories, local histories, biographies, reference material, and periodicals. Searching these records is easy with the “Search All Databases” page, which allows the user to add a variety of search terms—names, years, record types, locations, keywords, and additional family members. With so many record types available to the genealogist, the databases at AmericanAncestors.org are a must for colonial family history research.

Besides research databases, AmericanAncestors.org offers access to a number of other helpful services. Two of these services are the Digital Collections and the Library Catalog both of which are portals to the extensive collections housed at the NEHGS library in Boston, Massachusetts. When searching the Digital Collections webpage the family historian will find personal family papers such as photographs, diaries, and letters as well as records created by non-family entities like organization and business records and newspapers. The Digital Collections section of the website also has a focus on the history of the Jewish community in the Boston area and offers material helpful to both the historian and genealogist.

The Library Catalog gives the family historian the ability to begin their research of NEHGS’s extensive collections at home. Of course, a catalog is different than a database in that a catalog lists the titles of the library’s holdings and not every name mentioned within each item. However, if planning a trip to NEHGS to conduct research, it would be wise to have a starting point for your research—that way you can hit the ground running and make the most of your time at the library itself. Use the catalog by searching family surnames and ancestral residences to find books, manuscripts, or photographs that may be beneficial to your research.

2. Digitized Books

Our experience reveals that many online trees presenting colonial American ancestries are based upon genealogies published in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries (although the online trees themselves frequently do not cite the published genealogies). Genealogies published in the nineteenth century and early twentieth century are not always accurate and rarely included extensive citations supporting each statement of fact as contemporary genealogies should, but they can still be helpful. These genealogies occasionally referenced original sources (such as wills or deeds) or made blanket statements about what type of records were used (like family correspondence or county records).

Additionally, the printed genealogies provide a clearer picture of what previous generations believed about their genealogy before the advent of the internet, which escalated confused and inaccurate pedigrees because of the ease of data sharing and a general lack of quality control. Thus, published genealogies can provide important clues about colonial American families. Accessing these published genealogies was much more difficult just a few years ago, but thanks to websites like Archive.org and Google Books many can be viewed right at home. These organizations have taken the time to digitize genealogies which are now in the public domain due to copyright laws.

3. The FamilySearch Catalog

One underutilized resource on FamilySearch.org is the FamilySearch Catalog (formerly known as the Family History Library Catalog). This tool inventories all of the holdings at the massive Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah. A majority of the holdings at the Family History Library are on microfilm, which FamilySearch plans to digitize by 2020. While some of these digitized microfilms have been organized into databases available through FamilySearch’s “Historical Records” portion of the website, many are only found listed as microfilm in the FamilySearch Catalog. In other words, there may be a collection of digitized microfilms that can only be viewed online by clicking on the link in the FamilySearch Catalog and will not be found in a “Historical Records” database.

So what does this mean for researching colonial American ancestors? There are two record types in particular where the FamilySearch Catalog becomes exceptionally beneficial to colonial research—property and probate records. These record types are useful because they can prove, through both direct and indirect evidence, family relationships in times or places where other documents (like vital records and census) are lacking. However, because property and probate records are difficult to index there are fewer databases in FamilySearch’s “Historical Records” which focus on them. This is where the FamilySearch Catalog comes in; many microfilms of probate and property records have been digitized and are accessed in the catalog. These high-quality digital images—often of better quality than the microfilm itself—can be clicked through in search of an ancestor’s property or probate records.

Here’s an extra tip: Some of the probate records that have been digitized in the FamilySearch Catalog can only be viewed at the Family History Library or a Family History Center—due to agreements the Family History Library has with the original agencies, the images are locked and cannot be accessed at home. If you can’t make it to your local Family History Center, one workaround is checking Ancestry.com to see if that database has the probate records in question. Ancestry’s probate databases include a searchable index, but these indexes are very incomplete and it is best to browse through the images.

Using these resources and many others, our team at Legacy Tree Genealogists has assisted many with their Colonial American research problems and would be glad to assist in discovering your Colonial ancestors as well.

Bob Call is a researcher for Legacy Tree Genealogists, a worldwide genealogy research firm with extensive expertise in breaking through genealogy brick walls. Whether you’ve got colonial ancestors or ancestors all over the world, you can get expert research help and access to records otherwise unavailable when you partner with Legacy Tree Genealogists. Visit their website to learn more and get a free consultation!

Exclusive Offer for Genealogy Gems readers: Receive $100 off a 20-hour research project using code GGP100!

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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