29 Million Free Netherlands Genealogy Records

Nearly 30 million free Netherlands genealogy records are now searchable at FamilySearch.org. Also: free historical Catholic and Columbia University newspapers; Catholic parish records in Boston, MA; British Army and Royal Navy records; and new collections for England and Scotland.

Featured Collection: Free Netherlands Genealogy Records

Genealogy Giant FamilySearch has published 29 million new, free historical records from the Netherlands. With the latest additions, FamilySearch now offers over 65 million free images and indexes in its Netherlands collections. According to the site: “The freely searchable collections are comprised of birth, baptism, marriage, death, church, notarial, army service and passenger list records and population registers. Some of the records date back to 1564. Considering the population of the Netherlands is 17 million people today, the size of these collections makes it highly likely family historians will find the ancestors they’re seeking.” Explore these now at FamilySearch!

Find Your Family in Historical Newspapers

Historical newspaper publishing service Elephind recently reported on new and updated online collections it supports. These are free to view, so why not take a look?

The Columbia Record: Beginning as the University Record (September 1973-May 1975) and continuing to this day as the Columbia University Record (July 1975-present), this university-wide publication is a rich resource of past Columbia activities, events, scientific research, trustee and faculty appointments, awards and honors, libraries news, departmental achievements, budget and financial reporting, faculty and staff updates, as well as profiles of campus personalities from 1973 to the present. You can also read the predecessor paper in Columbia University’s Spectator Archive. It’s the second-oldest college daily paper in the United States. The latest content update brings the run of the newspaper from 1877 to 2015.

Catholic News Archive: This growing collection of Catholic research resources has been updated to contain 10,971 issues comprising 254,941 pages. The goal of this project is to provide access to all extant Catholic newspapers. Currently, this collection spans 1831 – 1978. These are the publications you can read online now:

Boston Catholic Parish Records

The New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) has published the following new browse-only record images from Archdiocese of Boston parishes spanning 1789-1900: St. Joseph in Boston’s West End, St. Thomas Aquinas (Jamaica Plain), Immaculate Conception (Newburyport), Holy Family (Rockland), Immaculate Conception (Weymouth), Sacred Heart (Weymouth), St. Francis Xavier (Weymouth), Most Precious Blood (Hyde Park), St. Joseph (Salem), St. Mary (Winchester), St. Mary Star of the Sea (Beverly), St. Mary Star of the Sea (East Boston) and St. Patrick (Lowell). For directions on how to navigate this database, be sure to watch this how-to video from NEHGS.

New British Isles records at Findmypast.com

Britain, Royal Navy, Navy Lists, 1827-1945. Search for your ancestors in official lists of Royal Navy Officers. The collection consists of 147 publications presented in PDF format. The amount of information varies from volume to volume. Details include an individual’s name, rank, seniority, and place of service.

British Army Service Records. Over 34,000 new Scots Guards records have been added to our collection of British Army Service records. The new additions consist of Enlistment Registers spanning the years 1642 to 1939. These records can reveal a variety of details about your ancestor’s life, family and military career.

England, Lancashire parish records. Find these in 3 separate databases:

  • Lancashire Baptisms. Discover your ancestor in original parish registers covering 191 Lancashire parishes and spanning 379 years of the county’s history. Learn when and where your ancestor’s baptism took place and discover their parents’ names, residence and father’s occupation.
  • Lancashire Marriages. Discover your ancestor in banns and marriage registers from Lancashire. Learn when and where your ancestor was married, as well as your ancestor’s age, occupation, residence, and spouse’s name. The registers, provided by Lancashire Archives, span the years from 1538 to 1932 and cover 194 parishes.
  • Lancashire Burials. Learn when and where your ancestor’s burial took place, as well as their age at the time of death with original parish records from the Lancashire Archives. These records cover 123 parishes across the county and span the years 1538 to 1991.

England, Wiltshire Social & Institutional Records 1123-1968. Over 400,000 records are available in this fantastic collection of 72 different types of records spanning nearly 900 years of Wiltshire history. The collection contains a wide variety of documents and a full list of what is available can be found at the bottom of the search page. 

Scotland, Edinburgh Apprentices 1583-1700. Did any of your ancestors learn their trade in Edinburgh? Discover details of their apprenticeship and occupation in this collection of almost 120 years of documents from the Scottish capital.

Scotland, Edinburgh Marriages 1595-1800. Did any of your relations marry in Edinburgh, Scotland? Discover their names, occupations, residence, spouse and dates of marriage, former marriages and more in this collection of PDF images of parish registers collated throughout the city.

Scotland, Fife Death Index, 1549-1877. Over 265,000 records are included in this collection of Fife’s old parish records, including deaths and burials from St Andrews and Edinburgh Testaments (from 1549 to 1823), sheriff court wills (1824-1854), Fife newspapers (1822-1854), Kirk Session account books for mortcloths, lair registers and other sources.

Scotland, Testaments, 1514-1800. If you ancestors died in Scotland, this collection will include details of their property, relatives, occupation and more in records of their last will and testaments. The digital images in this collection are presented in PDF form.

Get the Scoop on Your Relatives in Old Newspapers

You’ve probably heard the tip to look for your family stories in old newspapers. But which newspapers were around back then? And where are they now? Expert Lisa Louise Cooke has the answers! Her book How to Find Your Family History in Newspapers provides you with a fool-proof research process: step-by-step instructions, worksheets, checklists, location-specific newspaper resources, the best free and subscription sites for newspaper research and a case study that puts it all into action for you. And it’s currently 40% off in the Genealogy Gems store! Click here to check it out.

Offer subject to expire without notice.

About the Author: Sunny Morton

About the Author: Sunny Morton

Sunny is a Contributing Editor at Lisa Louise Cooke’s Genealogy Gems; her voice is often heard on the Genealogy Gems Podcast and Premium Podcasts. She’s  known for her expertise on the world’s biggest family history websites (she’s the author of Genealogy Giants: Comparing the 4 Major Websites); writing personal and family histories (she also wrote Story of My Life: A Workbook for Preserving Your Legacy); and sharing her favorite reads for the Genealogy Gems Book Club.

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!

Findmypast and Living DNA to provide genetic genealogy testing

Here’s exciting genetic genealogy news that you’ll want to know about.

Findmypast and Living DNA have announced a new partnership. The two leading British companies are creating a new DNA experience focused on uncovering British & Irish roots. 

This new service will be launched in the Fall of 2018. You can purchase a Living DNA kit right now to get your detailed ethnicity results, interactive map of your heritage throughout history, and family line ancestry (including mother line, and father line for males). As their database grows, your results will automatically be updated to reflect even more accurate results. According to Findmypast, when the Findmypast integration is officially launched later this year, all existing Living DNA test takers will be given the option to opt-in to receive DNA matching at no extra cost. Stay tuned to Genealogy Gems for more official announcements and updates!

From the press release issued by Findmypast:

Thursday July 19th: Leading British and Irish family history website, Findmypast, has today announced a new partnership with the providers of the world’s most advanced DNA test, Living DNA.

Together, the two British companies are creating a new DNA experience that is designed to help customers explore their British and Irish roots. This new experience will combine cutting-edge science with traditional family history research methods, allowing families to discover more about their past and present.

Living DNA’s tests provide a unique breakdown of ethnic identities associated with 21 regions across Britain and Ireland by analyzing unique combinations of linked DNA. This proprietary method delivers a level of detail that is currently unmatched by any other test available on the market.

By combining technology from the leading British DNA company with deep expertise and Findmypast’s vast collection of more 9 billion historical records and newspaper articles, family historian’s will be able to make new discoveries about their British & Irish genetic history.

New, co-branded kits will be launched when the integrated Findmypast and Living DNA service is introduced later in the year.

“Our partnership with Findmypast continues Living DNA’s mission to make DNA testing simple. We are passionate at not only providing cutting edge ways of looking at your DNA but to do so with strict privacy measures by never selling your data. This partnership allows the most precise DNA test on the market to work together with Findmypast’s family history records in a way not done before” says Living DNA Co-Founder, David Nicholson.

Tamsin Todd, CEO of Findmypast, said: “As the world leader for British and Irish records, we work hard every day to help our customers feel the thrill of making discoveries about their families. I’m delighted that we are partnering with a British company, Living DNA, who are pioneers in DNA technology, and look forward to combining our expertise in DNA technology and historical records to help people around the world connect with their British and Irish roots.”

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!

About the Author: Lisa Louise Cooke

About the Author: Lisa Louise Cooke

Lisa is the Producer and Host of the Genealogy Gems Podcast, an online genealogy audio show and app. She is the author of the books The Genealogist’s Google Toolbox, Mobile Genealogy, How to Find Your Family History in Newspapers, and the Google Earth for Genealogy video series, an international keynote speaker, and producer of the Family Tree Magazine Podcast.

British Isles Genealogy Records New Online

New U.K. suffrage records are online—and so is a related historical experience at Google Arts & Culture! Also: U.K. slavery notices, Scottish memorial inscriptions, British newspapers, and Irish school records.

Featured: The Suffragettes and the Road to Equality

Google’s blog recently reported a new Google Arts & Culture initiative: The Suffragettes and the Road to Equality. “In June this year, as a wave of Processions celebrating women and their long struggle for political and social equality comes to the UK, Google Arts & Culture has collaborated with more than 20 partners to bring online archival collections, video footage, and in-depth, visual stories of those who have helped shape history,” states the post.

For the first time, Google Arts & Culture is showcasing the work, lives, and sacrifices of powerful figures like Emmeline Pankhurst, Milicent Fawcett, and Princess Sophia Duleep Singh. This online experience delves into the organizations they established, their revolutionary forms of protest, and the objects that represent their legacy—the iconic suffragette banners, their personal letters and writings, photographs, and hundreds of other artifacts. Explore the exhibition on Google Arts & Culture.

More Suffragist records at Findmypast

We have previously spotlighted several U.K. suffragist record collections at Findmypast (including these ones recommended by Genealogy Book Club author Nathan Dylan Goodwin). Findmypast recently reported adding these items to their Suffragette Collection:

  • Thousands of newly transcribed 1911 census returns that either list “suffragette” or “suffragist” as an occupation or someone who had had been “spoiled” in an act of civil disobedience.
  • More than 78,000 records taken from Metropolitan Police and Home Office files, revealing the struggles endured by the movement’s most ardent supporters and highlighting the state’s responses.
  • Women’s Suffrage Petition of 1866. Search for the names of your relatives who may have signed the petition that laid the foundations of the organized campaign for women’s suffrage.
  • Nearly 60,000 new records from 14 suffrage newspaper titles. These include interviews, personal accounts, political statements, satirical cartoons, news stories, photos and more.

New British Newspapers

Recently, the British Newspaper Archive reported the following additions (also searchable in the British Newspapers collection at Findmypast):

  • New titles and updated content covering the cities of London, Birmingham and Newcastle, and the counties of Bedfordshire and Wiltshire, Cumbria, Cheshire, Lancashire and Oxfordshire. Two new titles are the Birmingham Weekly Post and the Uxbridge & W. Drayton Gazette. The Birmingham Weekly Post and the latter editions of the Uxbridge & W. Drayton Gazette are full of pictures of local and national news. You can read all about Princess Margaret’s visit to Solihull in 1954 when 100,000 people came to greet her here, as well as an interesting report in the Uxbridge & W. Drayton Gazette about the 1957 craze in pets – bush babies.
  • Another new paper, the West Cumberland Times, adds significantly to coverage of Cumberland, with issues dating from 1874-1911.
  • They’ve also added more pages to Dover Telegraph and Cinque Ports General Advertiser, covering 19th-century life in one of England’s most important port towns. Coverage now spans 1833-1862.
  • More content in the Trinity Mirror Archive, with new titles going all the way up to 1986. For example: the Sunday Sun (Newcastle). With its current run beginning in 1936, the paper offers its own perspective on the biggest event of that particular year – the abdication of King Edward VIII. Also: almost a century of news from South London in the Norwood News (1868-1962).

More new British Isles genealogy records

Slavery in the U.K. Glasgow Live recently reported on the Runaway Slaves in 18th-century Britain project, which the project site itself describes as “a searchable database of well over eight hundred newspaper advertisements placed by masters and owners seeking the capture and return of enslaved and bound people who had escaped. Many were of African descent, though a small number were from the Indian sub-continent and a few were Indigenous Americans.”

According to the Glasgow Live article, “The advertisements paint a detailed picture of the men, women, and children who ran away in an attempt to be free of servitude, providing a rich source of information about the enslaved and slavery in 18th century Britain. The written notices described the mannerisms, clothes, hairstyles, skin markings, and skills of people who otherwise would have been completely absent from the official historical records of the time. The advertisements also include information about the work of the enslaved, their homes and situations, and the lives, businesses, and homes of their masters and mistresses.”

Ireland. Over 43,000 additional records covering schools in County Mayo have been added to Findmypast’s collection of Ireland National School registers. The entire collection now contains more than 186,000 records from many areas of the country spanning the years 1860 to 1922. According to the site, “School registers can reveal a variety of details related to your ancestor’s schooling. Records may reveal how they did in school, how good their attendance was, how old they were and what their parents or guardians did for a living. These registers, from schools that have since closed down, give a fascinating insight into the multidenominational early school system and can be a valuable resource for genealogists. Please note, however, those images that include individuals born after the 100-year cut-off have been redacted; therefore, some entries only include a transcript.”

Scotland. Over 33,000 additional records have been added to Findmypast’s collection of Scottish Memorial Inscriptions. “The collection includes records from 14 Scottish counties including the Isle of Skye and 209 burial grounds….In this index, you will find burials as early as 1507, like Robert Graham buried at Kinneff church in Kincardineshire, and as recent as 2016, like Morag Hamilton buried in Carmichael cemetery in Lanarkshire.”

Fun reading on British Isles genealogy

One of our favorite Genealogy Gems Book Club authors is Nathan Dylan Goodwin, author of the popular “Morton Farrier, Forensic Genealogist” mystery series. His latest release combines two titles in one:  “The Suffragette’s Secret,” a short story, is published with his new full-length book, The Wicked Trade. Click here to read his guest blog post about the suffragette records he loves on Findmypast, and click here to check out his Morton Farrier series on the Genealogy Gems Book Club webpage.

About the Author: Sunny Morton

About the Author: Sunny Morton

Sunny is a Contributing Editor at Lisa Louise Cooke’s Genealogy Gems; her voice is often heard on the Genealogy Gems Podcast and Premium Podcasts. She’s  known for her expertise on the world’s biggest family history websites (she’s the author of Genealogy Giants: Comparing the 4 Major Websites); writing personal and family histories (she also wrote Story of My Life: A Workbook for Preserving Your Legacy); and sharing her favorite reads for the Genealogy Gems Book Club.

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). For example, as an Amazon Associate, Genealogy Gems earns from qualifying purchases. Thank you for supporting Genealogy Gems!

New Collection for Tracing Immigrants From the British Isles

Exciting news this week is the brand new British and Irish Roots Collection from Findmypast. This collection has 98 million records and is free to search for a limited time. Also new are electoral rolls for Australia and vital records for the United States. 

Findmypast: New Collection for Tracing Immigrants From the British Isles

Findmypast has just announced the brand new British and Irish Roots Collection. This exciting new database consists of more than 98 million assorted records that have been hand-picked from existing collections by Findmypast’s in-house experts. It spans more than 400 years of migration between the British Isles and North America, all in one place. And for a limited time, this database is FREE to search for everyone!

A little more about the collection: “Millions of passenger lists, census records, naturalization applications and draft registrations, as well as birth, marriage, and death records spanning more than 400 years (1573 to 1990) of migration between the British Isles and North America can now be explored in one unified search, enabling North American family historians to trace the migration of ancestors from the Old World to the New through one simple search.”

The journeys researchers can expect to find include:

  • Anyone leaving the UK or Ireland and emigrating to the US, Canada or the Caribbean
  • Anyone emigrating from Canada or the Caribbean to the US (this covers the large number of British and Irish immigrants who stopped temporarily in Canada and/or the Caribbean)
  • Anyone listed on any US or Canadian record with British or Irish origins, birthplace or parents

This is a very exciting new collection, and one well-worth exploring now while it’s available for free. Click here to start searching now (a free Findmypast account may be required to view).

Australia – Electoral Rolls

MyHeritage has added new collections for Queensland, Australia Electoral Rolls. Years include 1906, 1941, and 1959. Electoral rolls are the nearest record Australians have to census listings and hence are extremely important to local, social and family historians. MyHeritage has also added the Tasmania Electoral Rolls 1916 collection as well.

Also new this week is Ancestry’s collection for the Queensland, Australia, Mining Accident Index, 1882-1945. From the database description: This collection contains information about mining accidents published annually in the Queensland Legislative Assembly Votes and Proceedings (later known as Queensland Parliamentary Papers) from 1882 to 1945.

United States Vital Records & More

Obituary Notices. Findmypast has a new collection of Obituary Notices containing 6 million records (transcribed from the tributes.com website) that could help you unlock unknown details on your ancestor’s death in America.

Colorado. A new collection of Steelworks Employment Records, 1887-1979 is available now at Ancestry. The original records come from the Steelworks Center of the West, and you may find names, birthdates, birthplaces, spouses, occupations, and more.

Idaho. Two new collections of vital records for Idaho are now online at Ancestry. County Birth and Death Records, 1863-1967 will reveal names, dates, places, and includes a small amount of marriage records. County Marriages, 1863-1967 contains a variety of marriage forms, including: Marriage Certificates, Marriage Licenses, Marriage Affidavits, and Marriage Applications.

Montana. Also new at Ancestry are marriage records for Montana. These new databases include County Marriages 1865-1987Marriage Records 1943-1986, and Divorce Records, 1943-1986. To obtain certified certificates (or request changes) you’ll want to contact the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services Office of Vital Records.

New Hampshire. Finally, vital records for Portsmouth, New Hampshire are available at Findmypast. Start with the Vital Records 1706-1895 collection, containing birth, marriage, and death records reported in newspapers and town record transcripts. If your ancestors fell on hard times, you’ll want to search the Expenses Of The Poor 1817-1838 collection. The Newspaper Abstracts 1776-1800 collection may help you sketch a more detailed view of significant events in your ancestor’s life. Finally, cver 10,000 new records from Portsmouth, NH have been added to Findmypast’s collection of United States Marriage records.

Try Findmypast FREE for two weeks!

As we mentioned above, the new British and Irish Roots Collection is free to search at Findmypast for a limited time. But there’s so much more to discover! Findmypast is the leading records website for British and Irish records, and has growing databases for the United States, Australia, and Canada. Get a two-week free trial to explore everything that Findmypast has to offer!

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!

Comparing Digitized Newspapers on Genealogy Websites: Why Findmypast.com Gets a Headline

When it comes to digitized newspapers on genealogy websites, Findmypast is a clear headliner. The site already hosts millions of U.S., British, and Irish newspaper pages–and their British collection is about to DOUBLE. Extra, extra, read all about it!

digitized newspapers on genealogy websites

Genealogy Giants quick reference guide cheat sheet Big 4Here at Genealogy Gems, we regularly compare features of leading genealogy websites, or as we refer to them, the “Genealogy Giants:” Ancestry.com, FamilySearch, Findmypast and MyHeritage. Today’s topic: digitized newspapers.

It may surprise you to hear that digitized historical newspapers aren’t a big part of the collections at all four giant genealogy websites. In fact, only one site–Findmypast–offers access to millions of exclusive British and Irish newspaper pages and a major U.S. newspaper database (which is usually just available at libraries).

Why mention it now? Because a good thing just got better: Findmypast plans to double its British newspaper content over the next two years.

Digitized Newspaper Treasures at Findmypast.com

Findmypast’s enormous genealogy collections focus on the countries of England, Scotland, Ireland, and Wales. Findmypast and The British Library have been working together for several years on The British Newspaper Archive, now home to more than 22.5 million newspaper pages dating from the 1700s. But what many people might not realize is that these same newspaper pages are also available to Findmypast subscribers.

You can search newspaper pages on Findmypast by name (first and last) and by other keywords, such as an occupation, street address, event or another word that might be associated with your family in newspaper articles. You can narrow the date range of papers searched and even target specific newspapers:

digitized newspapers on genealogy websites

digitized newspapers on genealogy websites

Original bound newspaper volumes at the British Library. Image from The British Newspaper Archive.

And it gets better. Findmypast just announced that over the next two years, it will nearly double its digitized newspaper collections! It is scanning over 12 million pages from the largest private newspaper collection in the UK: the Trinity Mirror archives. Over 150 local papers from across the U.K. are included. These pages have never been made available online, but will be on both The British Newspaper Archive and Findmypast. The project is already underway and moving along rapidly: up to 100,000 pages per week.

According to a press release, “The program builds on an existing partnership that has already resulted in the digitization and online publication of upwards of 160 Trinity Mirror titles, including significant coverage of both World Wars. Published online for the very first time, these war-time publications also included the Archive’s first national titles, The Daily Mirror and The Daily Herald.”

TIP: If you are interested in accessing British newspapers, but not needing the full range of genealogy resources offered at Findmypast, consider purchasing PayAsYouGo credits from Findmypast. You can purchase 60-900 at a time and “spend” them to view individual search results, including newspapers. You can also subscribe separately to The British Newspaper Archive.

More Digitized Newspapers on Genealogy Websites

The other giant genealogy websites do offer some newspaper content–indexed, imaged, or both. Here’s a short summary of what you’ll find on Ancestry.com, FamilySearch, and MyHeritage:

digitized newspapers on genealogy websites Ancestry.com subscription options

Ancestry.com’s subscription options.

Ancestry.com: This giant site does offer some digitized newspaper content, including images connected to indexed names in Historical [U.S.] Newspapers, Birth, Marriage, & Death Announcements, 1851-2003, Australia’s New South Wales Government Gazettes, 1853-1899 and Canada’s Ottawa Journal (Birth, Marriage and Death Notices), 1885-1980. But Ancestry.com’s biggest newspaper collections are mostly indexed obituaries (not images of the actual newspaper pages). Ancestry.com subscribers who want major access to digitized newspapers should consider upping their subscription to “All Access,” which includes Basic access to Newspapers.com. (Click here to learn more.)

FamilySearch: Millions of indexed obituaries are searchable by name on its free website, but it doesn’t generally offer any digitized newspaper pages. Of its billion+ historical record images, FamilySearch prioritizes more “core” genealogical records, such as vital records, censuses, and passenger lists.

MyHeritage.com: This site used to have access to NewspaperARCHIVE, the same U.S. newspaper database Findmypast currently offers, but it doesn’t now. It’s got new collections of Ohio (4.5 million pages from 88 sources) and New York (1.9 million pages from 56 sources) newspapers and access to the Jewish Chronicle [England]. But the bulk of its newspaper search results come from searching two other websites: Chronicling America and Trove, run by the national libraries of the United States and Australia, respectively. While it’s convenient to search them from MyHeritage if you are already using it, it’s not a reason to subscribe, as you can use those sites for free.

More Inside Tips on the Genealogy Giants

Genealogy Gems is your home for ongoing coverage and insight into the four ‘genealogy giants’ websites. Click here to learn more and to watch the RootsTech 2017 world premiere of my popular lecture that puts these big sites head-to-head. Genealogy Gems has published my ultimate quick reference guide, “Genealogy Giants: Comparing the 4 Major Websites.” It distills that hour-long lecture (and I was talking fast!) into a concise, easy-to-read format that will help you know which websites are best for you to use right now.

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 the free Genealogy Gems podcast and blog!

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