African American Genealogy Records: New and Free!

Explore these African and African American genealogy records in celebration of your family history and Black History Month!

Also this week: see new records online for Southern Claims Commission, GA, NY and VA as well as African heritage sites, Liberia and South Africa. And check out a limited-time offer from Fold3 to view its Black History collection for free.

Black History Collection free this month at Findmypast.com

“In recognition of Black History Month, Fold3 is making the records in its Black History collection available for free through the end of February,” states a recent company announcement. “The Black History collection gives you access to more than a million documents, records, and photos that help to capture the African-American experience during five eras of American history: SlaveryThe Civil WarReconstruction & Jim Crow LawsWorld War I & II, and the Civil Rights Movement.

The Fold3 announcement lists several of its richest collections, and we think they’re worth noting individually:

African American genealogy records newly published online

U.S. Southern Claims Commission. The “genealogy giant” Ancestry.com has updated its collection of U.S. Southern Claims Commission, Disallowed and Barred Claims, 1871-1880. According to the collection description, “In 1871 the U.S. government created the Southern Claims Commission, an organization through which southerners could file claims for reimbursement of personal property losses due to the Civil War. Claims could only be filed by residents of AL, AR, FL, LA, MS, NC, SC, TN, TX, VA and WV.” Your African American ancestors may be among those listed therein: “Each claimant was required to provide witnesses. The witnesses had to answer the same 80+ questions that the claimant had to answer. Many of these witnesses were former slaves whose names rarely appear on any other legal document from the Civil War era. They also provided names and dates for family members who often lived on other plantations.”

Georgia. “The records of the Georgia Association of Educators (1921-2015)…are open for research,” reports the George State University Library. “The collection, comprised of unique documents and photographs, provides an in-depth look at the history of the organization that represents many of Georgia’s teachers. The collection includes convention proceedings, contracts and constitutions, meeting minutes, newspaper clippings, audio-visual materials, photographs, and periodicals.” Among the topics covered are the mergers of the previously-segregated black and white state teachers’ associations and integration of public schools about 1970. Click here to explore the finding aid to this collection.

New York. A first-of-its-kind free database documents those involved in the institution of slavery in New York from the earliest times. The New York Slavery Records Index “is a searchable compilation of records that identify individual enslaved persons and their owners, beginning as early as 1525 and ending during the Civil War,” reports the site. “Our data come from census records, slave trade transactions, cemetery records, birth certifications, manumissions, ship inventories, newspaper accounts, private narratives, legal documents and many other sources. The index contains over 35,000 records and will continue to grow as our team of John Jay College professors and students locates and assembles data from additional sources.” A hat-tip to WGRZ.com for publishing this article that alerted us to this valuable new resource.

Virginia. The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education reports, “Students in an introduction to public history class at Roanoke College in Salem, Virginia, created a digital archive of newspaper and other clippings collected during the civil rights era by the Hill Street Baptist Church in Roanoke. The project documents efforts in the area to desegregate lunch counters, movie theaters, and public schools during the 1950s and 1960s.”

African Genealogy and History Resources Now Online

African world heritage sites. CNN.com recently reported on a new online resource that seeks to provide digital preservation and access to important archaeological sites across Africa. “The archaeological wonders of the world offer a rich window into the past,” states the article. “But many are crumbling, weed-laden and victim to vandalism and conflict….Concerned with the decay of African heritage sites, The Zamani Project, based at the University of Cape Town, South Africa, is seeking to immortalize historic spots in three-dimensional, virtual reality-ready models…. Presently, they’ve mapped around 16 sites including Lalibela in Ethiopia, Timbuktu in Mali and Kilwa in Tanzania.”

Liberia. The free “genealogy giant” FamilySearch.org has added over 24,000 new record images and nearly 27,000 newly-indexed names to its free collection of Liberia, Marriage Records, 1912-2015. Documents include “applications for marriage licenses, marriage licenses, marriage returns, documents certifying marriages from Liberia.”

South Africa. FamilySearch has also updated two of its existing South Africa records collections with more indexed names:  South Africa, Cape Province, Kimberley, Probate Records of the Supreme Court, 1871-1937 and South Africa, Cape Province, Probate Records of the Master of the High Court, 1834-1989.

Listen to more African American genealogy topics

The free Genealogy Gems Podcast and the Genealogy Gems Premium Podcast have both featured inspiring interviews on African African genealogy research. We recommend these:

Genealogy Gems Podcast episode #201: Angela Walton-Raji joins Lisa Louise Cooke with tips for interviewing African American relatives, learning important history and getting past that 1870 brick wall into the era of American slavery. Listen for free!

Genealogy Gems Podcast episode #200: A university professor shares his discoveries about a mother and young daughter separated by slavery. Learn how he pieced together their story from a poignant family heirloom found at a flea market.

Genealogy Gems Premium Podcast episode #130: Oprah Book Club author Lalita Tademy talks about her book Citizen’s Creek, a novel about an African American and Creek Indian family. This special episode (and all Premium Podcast episodes) is something extra just for our Premium subscribers; click here to learn how to subscribe.

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: 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.

Totally Free New US Genealogy Records Online

Among the totally free new US genealogy records recently put online are collections from 8 states: CA vital records and photos, GA Reconstruction oaths, IL photos, MA naturalizations, NY passenger lists, and digital newspapers from NJ, NC, NY and OH. Also: the Japanese-American experience, African American life on the West Coast and the Cumberland Gap in the Civil War.

Totally free new US genealogy records online

Check out these three important regional digital archives, followed by state-level collections of new US genealogy records from the East Coast to the West—and the South to the North.

The Japanese-American experience

The Bancroft Library at the University of California, Berkley, has published the massive Japanese American Evacuation and Resettlement Digital Archive. According to a university announcement, this new online resource “includes approximately 150,000 original items including the personal papers of internees, correspondence, extensive photograph collections, maps, artworks and audiovisual materials.” This project, together with a companion study, “form one of the premier sources of digital documentation on Japanese American Confinement found anywhere.”

You can now search over 50 newspaper titles (1887-1944) from the Hoji Shinbun Digital Collection. It’s “the world’s largest online archive of open-access, full‑image Japanese American and other overseas Japanese newspapers,” according to digital newspaper website developer Elephind. “All image content in this collection has enhancements added where possible, thus rendering the text maximally searchable. The holdings of each title are also browsable by date, with each title cross searchable with other titles on the platform. This collection is planned to contain some sixty newspapers published in Hawaii and North America. Most publications present a mix of content in Japanese and English, with formats and the proportionality of Japanese/English often changing as a reflection of shifting business and social circumstances.”

African Americans on the West Coast

The Official California Negro Directory and Classified Buyers Guide for 1942-43 is now available for free on Internet Archive. According to this news article, it “contains residential and business listings for California, Oregon and Washington. The 1942 directory includes ads for both black-owned businesses and white-owned businesses that accepted black trade, similar to The Negro Motorist Green Book, a travel guide issued for more than 30 years to help African-Americans find hotels and restaurants that would accommodate them during a time of rigid segregation.”

The Civil War in the Cumberland Gap

The Abraham Lincoln Library and Museum in Harrogate, TN houses the valuable Cumberland Gap Byrnes Collection. According to the site, “The Cumberland Gap was a strategic location during the American Civil War and changed hands several times throughout the course of the conflict. The collection includes correspondence, cartes-de-visite, and artifacts from soldiers belonging to the 16th, 42nd, and 185th Ohio Volunteer Infantry, units that were stationed for a time in and around the Cumberland Gap area.” The collection is being digitized and uploaded to a free digital archive on an ongoing basis.

Free new US genealogy records online: State collections

California. The free genealogy giant FamilySearch.org has added over 667,000 indexed names to its existing collection of California, County Birth and Death Records, 1800-1994. According to the collection description, “Registers, records and certificates of county birth and death records acquired from county courthouses. This collection contains some delayed birth records, as well. Some city and towns records are also included. Records have not been acquired for Contra Costa, Imperial, Kern, Kings, Modoc, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Siskiyou, Solano, Tulare and Ventura counties. The name index for death records covers Stockton, Lodi and Manteca cities and San Benito and San Joaquin counties.”

The new Sonoma County Fires Community Memory Map is a new crowd-sourced digital archive that has come after a fast-moving wildfire burned over 100,000 acres of land across the county. According to the site, it “serves to provide a central place where people can share photographs and stories of the places that we lost overnight. Through the power of community, we aim to reconstruct a digital collective memory. Residents and visitors of beautiful Sonoma County can share their recollections of the places we no longer have.” Here’s a moving article about the story behind the site’s creation.

Georgia. A new post-Civil War record index has been published at FamilySearch.org. So far, Georgia, Reconstruction Registration Oath Books, 1867-1868 includes nearly 175,000 names. “Registration Oath Books [were] created by U.S. military officials stationed in Georgia following the Civil War,” explains the collection description. “Registers typically contain each voter’s name, county of residence, date of registration, race, and an oath of allegiance to the United States. The oath of allegiance was required in order to register. Registered voters would then elect delegates to the state’s constitutional convention.” Don’t forget to use your free guest login at FamilySearch.org for the maximum level of online access to records. Click here to learn more about this.

Illinois. About 1,700 digital images depicting the history of Rockford (Winnebago County), Illinois have been published in the Midway Village Museum’s Online Collections. According to the site, the images include: “postcards and photographs of central Rockford, Camp Grant, and local landmarks and businesses; photographs of community activities in the late 1800s and early 1900s; letters home from Rockford boys fighting in the Civil War; [and] transcripts from interviews done in 2007 with immigrants to Rockford and their children.”

Massachusetts. FamilySearch.org has published a new collection of early 20th-century naturalization records. Massachusetts, Naturalization Records, 1906-1917. Over 71,000 digitized record images are browseable on the site. Nearly 100,000 names have been indexed to date (more names will be added as they are indexed). These records are from petitions and records of naturalizations of the U.S. District and Circuit of Massachusetts.

New Jersey. Digital historical newspapers from New Jersey are finally being added to Library of Congress website, Chronicling America. Only one paper, the Perth Amboy Evening News, has been published on the site so far, but more are coming. “Upon the project’s completion, 100,000 pages of New Jersey newspapers will be available through the site,” states this news article.

New York. Over 1.6 million names have been added to FamilySearch.org’s free collection, New York Book Indexes to Passenger Lists, 1906-1942. This collection will continue to grow as more names from its 748,000 digital page images are indexed. You may browse unindexed pages: the indexes are grouped by shipping line and arranged chronologically by date of arrival.

Also, the Hudson River Valley Heritage Historical Newspapers project has now published issues from 34 newspaper titles dating from 1831 to 2013. Counties covered include Dutchess, Orange, Rockland, Ulster and Westchester. According to the site, “This collection contains 28,946 issues comprising 300,793 pages and 1,017,782 articles.”

North Carolina. The Digital North Carolina Heritage Center has added more newspapers to its free website:

  • The entire run of the Brevard News, a Transylvania County, NC newspaper. According to the site, “Previously, issues of the Brevard News only covered from 1917 to 1923, but DigitalNC now includes January 1924 through December 1932….It joins fellow Transylvania county newspapers the Sylvan Valley News, The Echo, and The Transylvania Times.”
  • 16 Wilmington newspapers spanning 1803-1901, including the Wilmington Daily Record. According to a blog announcement, “Some of the papers have several years of content available and several have just an issue or two. But together, they paint a rich picture of what life in Wilmington looked like during the 1800s and the wide variety of political viewpoints that were held in the city, and North Carolina as a whole. The papers shed light on a port town that was instrumental in the Civil War and in the politics of Reconstruction afterwards, which culminated in the infamous riots of 1898.”
  • More issues of a Warsaw, NC newspaper, The Duplin Times. The years 1962-1985 have been added to a collection for this title dating back to 1935. The paper covers primarily local politics and community issues and events.

Ohio. The public library system in Gallipolis (Gallia County), Ohio has put its entire local historical newspaper collection online. The collection spans 123 years of news (since 1895) and includes Daily Times, Sunday Times-Sentinel, The Gallipolis Daily Tribune and others. The digital publication of issues of some newspapers through 2017 is unusual and required the publisher’s permission. Access these at the Digital Archives of the Bossard Memorial Library.

Not free but still fabulous: 110 million more newspaper pages

Newspapers.com recently sent out a “Year in review” statement that is worth passing along. They report that in 2017, the site added nearly 1,400 new newspaper titles. “With an average of 9,203,918 pages added per month, Newspapers.com added 110,447,021 pages’ worth of new content last year!”

Additions in 2017 span 41 U.S. states, Washington D.C., the UK, and Canada. They added the most newspaper titles for Alabama (265), Kansas (187), Arkansas (151), Mississippi (126) and Utah (91). Breaking it down by the number of pages added, though, you can see they added substantial content for other states, too—with Utah making both lists:

  • Florida: 11,579,543 new pages
  • Indiana: 3,830,015 new pages
  • New York: 2,047,831 new pages
  • Pennsylvania: 4,827,196 new pages
  • Utah: 1,174,417 new pages

Newspapers.com now claims over 338 million total pages of newspaper content. If it’s been a while since you’ve last looked around the site, it may be time to visit again and explore your ancestors’ lives in print.

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: 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.

Find Australian Ancestors and More: New and Updated Genealogy Records Online

These new and updated genealogical records span three continents and date to the Middle Ages: Australia colonial portraits, New South Wales and Queensland; millions of new U.S. marriage records, a WWI online exhibit, Liverpool church records, a Romanian digital archive, German (Bavarian) civil registers, Confederate musters (GA), PA obituaries, and a Minneapolis newspaper.

Featured this week: Australia Colonial Portraits, New South Wales and Queensland 

The State Library of South Australia announced a newly-digitized collection of more than 1,000 photographs of South Australian colonists. The original photos have been on display at the State Library. “In 2017 they have returned as facsimiles (along with new indexes and online catalogue records),” says a Facebook post. Click to explore the men’s photos or women’s photos online for free. Several people have already identified their ancestors in these collections, judged by comments on the Facebook post. Even better news: the images may be freely copied and used. The Library responded to a question about use with, “The images are well out of copyright. We just ask that you cite as appropriate.”

Subscription website Findmypast.com has posted new Australia content, too:

  • New South Wales Parish Registers, Christ Church Cathedral Newcastle.The records span the years 1804 to 1900 and will reveal the names of your ancestor’s parents,” states Findmypast. “Currently the collection holds just over 5,000 baptisms, around 2,200 marriages records, and just over 3,300 burials. Some burials have also been transcribed from newspapers and other sources.”
  • 1881 British Census, Crew and Passengers on Ships arriving in New South Wales. “Over 19,000 records….These records pertain to British and non-British passengers and crewmen arriving at Sydney from 1 January to 31 March 1881….Each record will reveal the individual’s age, status, nationality, occupation and details of their voyage.”
  • New South Wales, Closer Settlement and Returned Soldiers Transfer Files. “Over 19,000 records have been added….These land transfer records can help you determine the property dealings of your New South Wales ancestors and see if they were involved in transferring land ownership. The records also include files relating to returned servicemen from the First World War who took part in the soldier settlement scheme.”
  • Queensland School Pupil Index. “This database covers over 1.6 million names drawn from 1,022 Queensland schools,” says the collection description. “The earliest date of admission is 1864…. Schools range from large city schools with admissions in the thousands to one-teacher country schools with a total enrollment of only hundreds. Some schools have long ceased to exist; others are still functioning.”

Europe – Digital image archive

Just shy of a half million images from the cultural heritage digital archive Europeana are now part of the new Creative Commons (CC) search database. Now it’s even easier to discover and share images about an ancestor’s life–and to identify images you can re-use without copyright restriction.

“A tool for discovery, collaboration and re-use, CC Search enables users to search a variety of open repositories through a single interface to find content in the commons,” explains a Europeana blog post. “The new beta version of the project, which was released in early February, includes simple, one-click attribution, making it easier to credit the source of any image. CC Search beta also provides social features, allowing users to create, share, and save lists as well as adding tags and favorites to the objects in the commons….These records can all be used for commercial purposes, and are also open for modifications, adaption, or to be built upon. Click here to learn more about WWI and other genealogy-friendly content at Europeana.

England – Liverpool

Ancestry.com has updated its collections of Church of England parish records for Liverpool, England. These databases include baptisms, confirmations, marriages/banns and burials, along with a combined database of older baptisms, marriages and burials dating to 1659.

Germany (Bavaria) – Vital Records

Ancestry.com has published a new collection of Freilassing, Germany, Births, Marriages, and Deaths, 1876-1985. “This collection contains civil registry records from Bavaria,” states the collection landing page. “It includes births covering the years 1876-1899, marriages from 1876 to 1932, and death records for the years 1876-1985. Freilassing is a community in Berchtesgadener Land, Bavaria. It is situated immediately on the German border with Austria and is adjacent to the city of Salzburg. Until 1923, Freilassing was called ‘Salzburghofen’ and this is the name given in many of the records.”

Romania – Digital Archive

Thousands of documents from medieval Romania have been digitized and published online at Arhiva Medievala a Romanie. It’s the first collection of its kind for the country, says an article at Romania-Insider.com. Because of the age and content of these documents, they likely don’t have direct genealogical research value for most people. But anyone with Romanian roots might enjoy getting a sense of the country’s deep history.

United States: WWI, Millions of Marriages and More 

A new online exhibit from the Library of Congress can help you better picture your U.S. ancestors’ experiences during and after World War I. “‘Echoes of the Great War: American Experiences of World War I‘ examines the upheaval of world war as Americans confronted it— both at home and abroad,” states the webpage. “The exhibition considers the debates and struggles that surrounded U.S. engagement; explores U.S. military and home front mobilization and the immensity of industrialized warfare; and touches on the war’s effects, as an international peace settlement was negotiated, national borders were redrawn, and soldiers returned to reintegrate into American society.”

Also in the U.S.: Findmypast has added over 6.7 million records to its U.S. marriage records collection. “New additions covering 127 counties across 18 states have been added to our collection of US marriages,” states a press release. “This is the first time ever these records have been released online, providing you with brand new opportunities to expand your family tree.” The 18 states with new records are Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Rhode Island, Utah, Vermont, Washington and West Virginia.

More from across the U.S.:

  • Georgia: Confederate Muster Rolls. The Georgia Archives has digitized and published its collection of Confederate Muster Rolls. According to the site, “The majority of the company muster rolls in this series are from military organizations created by the State of Georgia during the Civil War for service within the state. These military organizations include the Georgia Army (1861), the Georgia State Guards (August 1863-February 1864), and the Georgia State Line (1862-1865). The Georgia Militia is referred to as Georgia State Troops.  Some units were later turned over to Confederate service. There are also nearly 250 muster rolls from Georgia Volunteer Infantry.”
  • Minnesota: Newspapers.com now hosts the entire run of The Minneapolis Star Tribune, which dates to 1867. That’s more than 54,000 issues, among which are a 1976 headliner about a teenage star in the making: Prince. (See that article here for free, just because you can).
  • Pennsylvania – Obituaries. A new collection of Beaver County, Pennsylvania obituaries (1920-1969) is now online at Ancestry.com.

2 Free Resources for Finding Australian Ancestors

Trove: Australia’s Digital Newspaper Website

Assisted Immigration to Australia: Queensland Passenger Lists

Source for our lead image: Click here to view map of Australia

New England Vital Records and More: New Genealogy Records Online

Millions of New England vital records are among newly-published genealogy records online. So are English parish records, Irish Easter Rising records, Italian civil registrations, South African church records, and records for Georgia WWI soldiers and Louisiana women.

New online this week are millions of new genealogy records from around the world! First, we’ll feature these (mostly) free vital records collections for New England states–but keep scrolling. We’ve got records to mention for other parts of the U.S., as well as England, Ireland, Italy, and South Africa.

New England Vital Records

New England vital records online got a BIG bump this week with the following additions:

Sample image from “Maine Vital Records, 1670-1921.” Database with images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : 2 May 2017. Citing Division of Vital Statistics. State Board of Health, Augusta. Click to view.

Connecticut. More than 755,000 indexed names have been added to FamilySearch.org’s free collection, Connecticut Marriages, 1640-1939. This hybrid index/image collection has this note: “We have legal rights to publish most of the images associated with these records; however, there are a few records that will not have an accompanying image available for view.”

Maine. FamilySearch.org has added nearly a half million indexed names to its collection of Maine Vital Records, 1670-1921. According to the site, the collection is comprised of a “name index and images of birth, marriage, and death returns acquired from the State Board of Health, Division of Vital Statistics and the state archives.”

Massachusetts: New images have been added to the New England Historic Genealogical Society’s collection for the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston, 1789-1900. The update includes the following volumes: Immaculate Conception (Salem), St. Mary (Salem), and Sacred Heart (Roslindale).

Rhode Island. FamilySearch has added over a half million new indexed names and 30,000 digital images to its free collection, Rhode Island – Vital records. These are described as “Certificates and registers of births, 1846-1898, 1901-1903, marriages 1901-1903 and deaths, 1901-1953 acquired from the State Archives in Providence.”

Other new and updated records in the US include:

  • Newspapers – Baltimore MD and Hartford CT. Newspapers.com has added issues for two major papers: the Baltimore Sun (1837-2017) and the Hartford Courant (1764–2017). (With a Newspapers.com Basic subscription, you can access issues of these papers through 1922; or, with a Publisher Extra subscription, access those early years and additional issues from 1923 onward.)
  • Georgia. A memorial book for Georgia soldiers who served in World War I is being updated to include the names of African-Americans who served. “Due to the social and racial conditions of the time, this Memorial Book contains the information for only white soldiers,” explains the database landing page on the free United States World War I Centennial Commission website. “The current project is rectifying this by adding information for Georgia’s African-American personnel that also died in service. Further, we are adding names found on WWI monuments and plaques that are missing from the original Memorial Book….As missing names are determined and documented, they will be added” We learned about it in this press release from the University of North Georgia.
  • Louisiana. A collection of digitized publications by the Louisiana United Methodist Women (and predecessor organizations) is now free to search at the Centenary College of Louisiana Archives & Special Collections web portal (scroll down to Digital Collections and click Louisiana United Methodist Women’s Publications). According to an announcement by the college, “The digitized material includes annual reports (1884-2014) and newsletters (1963-2006) – 12,000 pages in total. Researchers can access them online, page through each volume, download complete PDFs, and search the full text versions.” Published digitized material is easy to keyword-search for ancestors’ names and hometowns. Here’s a general tip for finding married women’s names in older documents: search on just her surname or her husband’s name, as she may appear as “Mrs. Alexander Reed.”

England: Newspapers and Parish Records 

The British Newspaper Archive has added two new titles, The Yarmouth Independent (a Norfolk paper, 1862-1891) and The Rugby Advertiser (a Warwickshire title, 1850s-1950s).

Subscription website TheGenealogist has published over 100,000 parish records and thousands of voter records. According to the announcement, polls books include “35 different registers of people who were entitled to vote in Wakefield, West Yorkshire and other constituencies situated in Hampshire, Gloucestershire, Somerset and New Westminster in Canada….Electoral records are taken from the official lists produced to record who was entitled to vote in the various parliamentary elections.” Among new parish record collections are “100,000 new individuals added for the County of Worcestershire and additionally the Registers of the Parish Church of Rochdale in Lancashire that covers the period between 1642 and 1700.”

Findmypast.com has added 312,000 new records to its collection of Kent marriage records. New additions are for the parishes of Bapchild, Biddenden, Kilndown, Tenterden, and Wittersham. Additionally, over 18,000 new records have been added to Kent Baptisms (parishes of Bapchild, Brompton, Chatham, New Gillingham, Wingham and Wittersham); over 3,000 records have been added to Kent Banns (parishes of Bapchild, Biddenden, and Wittersham); and over 18,000 new records are in Kent Burials (parishes of Bapchild, Kilndown, Tenterden, and Wittersham).

The site has also added to its records for North West Kent, described as “areas within the London boroughs which were historically part of Kent.” Over 23,000 records have been added to the North West Kent Baptisms collection, and another 15,000 to North West Kent Burials.

Ireland – Easter Rising and Newspapers

Findmypast.com has added over 76,000 records to its collection, Easter Rising & Ireland Under Martial Law 1916-1921. According to the site, “These once classified records, digitized from original documents held by The National Archives in Kew, record the struggles of life under martial law in Ireland and contain the details of soldiers and civilians who participated in or were affected by the Easter Rising of April 1916.”

“Your ancestor may be found in the records if they were killed or wounded during the conflict, arrested and held in internment, or tried by court martial. Additionally, if their home or place of work was searched they may appear in the records as the collection shows the efforts of the military and police to discover arms, ammunition and seditious material through thousands of raids.”

Also, Findmypast.com has added over 401,089 new articles and one new title to its collection of historic Irish Newspapers. The Ballymena Weekly Telegraph is the latest publication to join the collection and currently covers the years 1904, 1906-1916, 1921-1929 and 1931-1957.

Italian genealogy Italy flagItaly – Civil Registration

FamilySearch.org has added to its free online collections of Italy’s civil registration records. Among them are:

  • Trapani, 1906-1928; 1.1 million images added to an existing collection
  • Brescia, 1797-1815, 1866-1943; 620,801 new browseable image
  • Napoli, 1809-1865; 164,991 images added to an existing collection
  • Benevento, 1810-1942, over a million images added to an existing collection

South Africa – Church records and civil death records

FamilySearch.org has added more than 61,000 digital record images and over 3,000 indexed names to its collection, South Africa, Dutch Reformed Church Records (Stellenbosch Archive), 1690-2011. Also updated at FamilySearch.org is South Africa, Cape Province, Civil Deaths, 1895-1972, with over 16,000 new names.

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Exciting New Records Across the Southern U.S.

dig these new record collections

Exciting new genealogical records are popping up for the southern U.S. this week. If you haven’t found the record you need yet, try again…you may be surprised! Records for Arizona, New Mexico, California, Texas, Kentucky, and Georgia are listed below.

ARIZONA, NEW MEXICO, CALIFORNIA, AND TEXAS – BORDER CROSSINGS

Ancestry has updated their Border Crossings: From Mexico to U.S., 1895-1964 collection. This database is an index of aliens and some citizens that crossed into the U.S. from Mexico via the states of Arizona, New Mexico, California, and Texas. Each port of entry used a slightly different form, so some data will vary. Information contained in these records may include: name, age, birth date and place, gender, ethnicity, the names of individuals accompanied by, and port and date of arrival.

KENTUCKY – MARRIAGES

FamilySearch has updated the Kentucky, County Marriages, 1797-1954 collection this week as well. This database is unique because it contains digital images of the marriage books and ledgers. There are over 1 million digital images in this collection, and now they are almost completely indexed. It is much easier to search these records when they have been indexed. However, you can still have great success using browse-only databases by reading our simple how-to post here.

GEORGIA – MILITARY

The Georgia World War II Draft Registration Cards, 1940-1945 have been updated at FamilySearch, too. These draft cards cover a group of individuals born between 1897 and 1929. Usually, WWII draft cards contain the following information:

  • Name and Serial Number
  • Place of residence
  • Date and place of birth
  • Age
  • Name of person who will always know your permanent address (which is sometimes a relative)
  • Employer’s name and address
  • Physical description (height, weight, color of hair and eyes)

GEORGIA

This week, I found the Georgia Vault online at the Georgia Archives. The “vault” is an online website of digital material that pertains to the history of Georgia. Deed books, church records, colonial wills, and confederate pensions are just a sampling of the things you will find there. I think you could spend a few afternoons browsing their wonderful collections. There is so much to see!

Would you let us know of any new or updated record collections we may have missed? Just leave us a comment below. Afterall, it’s nice to share!

More Gems on Using New Genealogical Recordsshare

Browse Only Databases at FamilySearch: Easy to Use

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