A new Welsh genealogy resource has been launched by the National Library of Wales! Other new genealogy records online: Canadian military bounty applications, English and Scottish newspapers, Peru civil registration, Swiss census, a WWI online exhibit, Massachusetts probate records, and Minnesota Methodist records.
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Featured: Welsh Genealogy
Article hosted at Welsh Journals Online. Click to view.
The National Library of Wales has launched Welsh Journals Online, a new website with its largest online research resource to date. It contains over 1.2 million digitized pages of over 450 Welsh journals. “Providing free remote access to a variety of Welsh and English language journals published between 1735 and 2007, the website allows users to search the content as well as browse through titles and editions,” states an article at Business News Wales. “The website also enables users to browse by year and decades and provides a link to the catalog entry for each journal.”
The collection is described as containing the nation’s “intellectual history,” valuable whether you want to learn about attitudes of the day, find old recipes, or explore popular products and fashions. According to the above article, “Welsh Journals Online is a sister-site to Welsh Newspapers Online, which was launched in 2013 and which last year received almost half a million visits.”
Canada military bounty applications
A new database at Ancestry.com contains the names of Canadian militiamen who served between 1866-71 against the Irish nationalist raids of the Fenian Brotherhood and survived long enough to apply for bounty rewards beginning in 1912. Raids took place in New Brunswick, Ontario, the Quebec border, and Manitoba; members of the Canadian Militia in Ontario, Quebec and even Nova Scotia were called up in defense. The database includes both successful and disallowed applications and some pension-related records for those who were killed or disabled while on active duty.
The British Newspaper Archive recently celebrated putting its 20 millionth newspaper page online! They’re running a flash sale: 20% off 1-month subscriptions until 6/20/17 with promocode BNAJUN20. New content there includes historical news coverage of:
Norwich, Norfolk: over 7,000 pages from the Eastern Evening News for several years between 1884 and 1891 (total coverage for this paper planned to span 1882-1910).
Findmypast also recently announced 11 brand new titles and over 1.3 million new articles in its collection of historical British newspapers. New titles now available to search include Dudley Herald, Warrington Guardian, Willesden Chronicle, Goole Times, Weston Mercury, Annandale Observer and Advertiser, Bridgnorth Journal and South Shropshire Advertiser, Pateley Bridge & Nidderdale Herald, Fraserburgh Herald and Northern Counties’ Advertiser, Isle of Wight County Press and South of England Reporter, and Eastern Morning News.
Peru civil registration
Over a million indexed names have been added to FamilySearch’s existing collection of Peruvian civil registration records, which span over a century (1874-1996). According to the collection descriptions, these records include “births, marriages, deaths, indexes and other records created by civil registration offices in the department of Lima, Peru.”
The British Newspaper Archive has added more newspaper coverage from Arbroath, Angus in eastern Scotland. Issues from 1873-1875 from the Montrose, Arbroath and Brechin Review have been added, bringing the total coverage to 1849-1919.
Swiss census records
A new collection of indexed images of the 1880 census for Fribourg, Switzerland is now searchable at the free FamilySearch.org website. According to the collection description, “Each entry includes name, birthplace, year of birth, gender, marital status, religion, occupation.”
This 1880 census entry image courtesy of the FamilySearch wiki. Click to view.
U.S.: WWI Online Exhibit
The Veterans History Project has launched a web exhibit complementing the Library of Congress’s exhibition “Echoes of the Great War: American Experiences of World War I. ” The three-part web exhibit will help tell the larger story of the war from the perspective of those who served in it,” states an announcement. “The first part is now available at loc.gov/vets/. Part II and Part III will be available in July and September 2017.”
The Veterans History Project has on file nearly 400 personal narratives from World War I veterans. Watch some of these narratives in the video below.
U.S.: Massachusetts probate records
The New England Historic Genealogical Society has added a new database: Berkshire County, MA: Probate File Papers, 1791-1900. “Drawn from digital images and an index contributed to NEHGS by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Archives, this database makes available 21,143 Berkshire County probate cases filed between 1761 and 1900.” Watch this short video for tips on navigating this collection:
U.S.: Minnesota Methodists
The cover of an original Methodist membership register from the Minnesota conference archive. Registers often include members’ names, family relationship clues, baptisms, marriages and more.
Now it’s easier to locate records relating to your Methodist ancestors in Minnesota. The archive of the Minnesota Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church now has an online catalog of its holdings. The catalog contains about 700 items, according to a Conference press release, and continues to be updated regularly.
A Methodist conference is a regional geographic unit of government, similar to but often larger than Catholic dioceses. Each conference has an archive, to which congregations may send their original records. The online catalog has collections of photographs, archival material such as records of closed churches, and library material such as books about Methodism in Minnesota. Currently the catalog shows 42 collections of original church records, which are often the most useful for genealogists.
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Happiest of holiday greetings to you! Celebrate with us as we share the gift of new and updated genealogical collections like censuses, histories, and school records from all around the world. This week: the United Kingdom, Australia, France, Peru, Ecuador, and the U.S.
United Kingdom – Military
New records at Findmypast this week include the British Army discharges, 60th Foot 1854-1880. These British Army discharges will allow you to find your ancestor who served in the King’s Royal Rifle Corps. The records will contain service numbers, ranks, and the reason for discharge.
The 60th Regiment of Foot saw action in the Seven Years War, Napoleonic Wars, and Peninsular War. They have served in India, Burma, Afghanistan, China, and South Africa. The men found in these records most likely fought in The Indian Mutiny (1857-1859), in Canada during the Fenian raids (1866-1867), and The Zulu War (1879).
United Kingdom – Histories
Over 13,000 records have been added to Findmypast’s collection titled Britain, Histories & Reference Guides. The collection consists of 65 volumes on genealogy, heraldry, palaeography, geography, and more. The information found in these records may provide you with more insight into the lives of your ancestors and an better understanding of British life. For a more detailed description of the history publications and what each may offer, see the list at the bottom of the collection page.
England – Middlesex – Military
The Middlesex War Memorials at Findmypast contain over 21,000transcripts of memorials from over 40 parishes across the English county of Middlesex. The new additions to this collection list the names of soldiers who died while on active service between 1845 and 1998.
Each record will include a transcript of the individual entry from the war memorial and a full transcript of all the names that appeared alongside your ancestor. Other information found on the records may include the conflict they served in, where and when they were killed, a brief description, and additional notes. Transcripts also include links from the West Middlesex Family History Society providing greater detail about the memorial such as the memorial’s location and explanations of abbreviations.
Australia – Queensland – Passports
Also at Findmypast this week, the Queensland Passports Index 1915-1925 of over 13,000 names is a helpful collection for those searching traveling ancestors! This collection is an index. The original registers were compiled by the Collector of Customs, Brisbane, and are currently held by the National Archives of Australia. Each record includes a transcript and may contain the following information:
Year the record was taken
Address or residence
Date they applied for or renewed a passport
Their intended destination
Depending on the period covered, the registers themselves may include additional information such as passport numbers, warrant numbers, and remarks. Remarks may include details about soldiers returning home from the Great War.
Australia – New South Wales – Census
Explore the only surviving records from the New South Wales 1841 Census at Findmypast. Containing almost 11,000 names, this collection includes both fully searchable transcripts and scanned images of the original household returns, affidavit forms, and abstracts of returns.
Censuses like these often help piece together the family unit. Names, sex, ages, and birth places are common finds in this record set. Images of the original forms may also occasionally provide you with additional information such as:
The amount of information included will vary depending on the type of document.
Each record contains a transcription and digital image. These census records are in French.
Peru – Civil Registration
Civil registration records are particularly helpful when church records are unavailable. FamilySearch has added new records to their collection titled Peru, La Libertad, Civil Registration, 1903-1998. Births, marriages, deaths, and other records are contained in this collection set. Some of these records have been indexed and are searchable. Additional images and indexed records will be published as they become available. These records are written in Spanish.
Ecuador – Church Records
FamilySearch collection Ecuador, Catholic Church Records, 1565-2011 contain some new Catholic Church records created by parishes and dioceses in Ecuador. These records include: baptisms, confirmations, marriages, pre-marriage investigations, deaths, and indexes. Some of the records have been indexed and are searchable. Remember, you can always browse the collection of nearly 1.5 million records. Church records are a great resource when civil records have been lost or damaged.
United States – Oklahoma – School Records
Oklahoma, School Records, 1895-1936 are now available to search on FamilySearch. This collection includes school records and annual censuses of pupils who attended schools in Woodward County, Oklahoma between 1895 and 1936. The records are generally arranged by years and then in numerical order by school district. Many of them list the name of pupil, pupil’s date of birth, and the names of parents or guardians.
The records helped local governments determine funding needs for individual schools so the information is generally reliable. These records can also provide supporting evidence of parental and familial relationships.
Learn More About School Records for Genealogy
An underutilized record source, school records are just one of the hot topics in this video course titled “Institutional Records Research Methods.” Lisa Louise Cooke shares her knowledge on schools, orphanages, prisons, hospitals, asylums, workhouses, and the record sets that you might find when researching them.
It’s snowing like crazy in some parts of the U.S. this week and it’s blown up a blizzard of great new and updated genealogical record collections! Take a look at this week’s round-up for Bishop’s Transcripts in England, Veteran Memorials in New Zealand, and records for Peru, United States, and Canada.
England – Devon – Bishop’s Transcripts
England, Devon Bishop’s Transcripts, 1558-1887 is a collection found at FamilySearch. Though a rather small collection, these Bishop’s transcripts contain an index from the county of Devon and cover the years of 1558-1887. Availability of records will vary by year and locality.
Starting in 1598, parish priests were to make a copy of their parish register and send it to the archdeacon or bishop each year. Many priests stopped producing bishop’s transcripts with the beginning of civil registration in 1837, but they did not fully disappear until after 1870.
As bishop’s transcripts generally contain more or less the same information as parish registers, they are particularly valuable when parish records have been damaged, destroyed, or lost. However, because bishop’s transcripts are copies of the original records, they are more likely to contain errors than parish registers might be.
This collection refers to baptism, marriage, and burial records. Baptism record entries are the most common in the index, followed by burial records, with marriage records being the smallest portion.
England – Worcestershire – Probate Records
The Worcestershire Probate Index 1660-1858 at Findmypast contains over 51,000 records taken fromfour types of probate documents. Each record includes a transcript only, however the transcript may include some or all of the following information:
First and last name(s)
England – Buckinghamshire – Marriages
The Findmypast collection titled Buckinghamshire Marriages contains over 49,000 records. The collection consists of transcripts covering 26 parishes within the English county of Buckinghamshire. These transcripts will cover the years between 1538 and 1838. Here is the list of parishes and years covered within this collection:
Aston Clinton 1560-1812
Chalfont St Giles 1584-1812
Chalfont St Peter 1538-1812
High Wycombe 1600-1812
Stoke Poges 1563-1812
New Zealand – Church Records, Veteran Memorials, and Civil Service Examinations
Three new databases for New Zealand are available at Findmypast. The first, New Zealand Officiating Ministers 1882 is an index containing over 600 records and covering 13 religious denominations. Each record includes a transcript that will reveal the officiator’s official title and the church they served.
The second collection titled, New Zealand Waikaraka Cemetery Memorial 1902-1940 will help you find out if you have military ancestors who were memorialized as veterans who fought for the Empire and died at the Auckland Veterans’ Home between 1902 and 1940. Each record includes a transcript that will list their birth year, death year, age at death and force or regiment.
Lastly, the final collection at Findmypast is the New Zealand Civil Service Examinations 1906-1907. More than 700 records are available to explore and uncover the details of those who sat for the annual examinations for admission to, or promotion in, the Civil Service in mid-December 1906 and mid-January 1907. This collection is of transcripts only, but may contain the following information:
First and last name(s)
Peru – Puno – Civil Registration
Also at FamilySearch this week, Peru, Puno, Civil Registration, 1890-2005 has been updated. This collection includes births, marriages, deaths, and indexes. Some of these records have been indexed and are available for search. It should be noted that these records are written in Spanish.
Civil registration record for a birth in Peru via FamilySearch.org.
Within these records you may find any of the following helpful information:
Date and place of registration
Name and gender of child
Date, time, and place of birth
Parents’ names, ages, origin, and residence
Presenter’s name, age, civil status, occupation, origin, and residence
Witnesses’ name, age, civil status, and residence
Sometimes, grandparents’ names
Marriage records may include the following:
Date and place of registration
Names of the bride and groom
Date and place of marriage
Groom’s age, civil status, nationality, race and occupation
Names of groom’s parents, origin, and residence
Bride’s age, civil status, nationality, race, and occupation
Names of bride’s parents, origin, and residence
Bride and groom’s religious affiliation
Names, residence, and ages of witnesses
Death records may include:
Time, date, and place of registration
Name, gender, and age of the deceased
Cause of death
Date, place, and time of death
Civil status, and occupation of deceased
Nationality, origin, and residence of deceased
Parents’ names of deceased if a minor
Presenter’s name, age , and occupation
Presenter’s origin, nationality, and residence
Names of witnesses
United States – California – Cemetery Transcriptions
California Cemetery Transcriptions, 1850-1960 is a small collection at FamilySearch, but keep an eye on it as it will likely be added too. The collection consists of abstracts from cemeteries for 1850-1960 in the following counties:
You can do a search for your targeted ancestor, or you can browse through the collection. To browse through any of the FamilySearch collections, you can read our article here and follow the step-by-step instructions.
Cemetery abstracts are actually quite useful to genealogists, especially if there has been a loss of death records in the targeted area.
Cemetery abstracts may contain the following information:
Name of Cemetery
Location (Town, County, State)
Full name of deceased
Date of Death
Place of Death
Names of Parents, Husband or Wife
Other Important Facts
Place of Birth
Date of Birth
WWII Veterans – Interviews
We have found a free collection of oral histories and interviews of WWII veterans from around the world. Chronicles of Courage: Stories of Wartime and Innovation is an online video archive of in-depth interviews put together by the Flying Heritage Collection. The project, which took 15 years to complete, went live Wednesday on the 75th anniversary of Pearl Harbor. All 335 video interviews — some of which are two hours long — will be available on the Flying Heritage Collection’s website at www.flyingheritage.com/chronicles.
Another free collection includes eyewitness accounts by U.S. military personnel and family members in Pearl Harbor at the time of Japan’s 1941 attack. You can now access this site online. The Pearl Harbor Archive (http://1941.mapping.jp/), also carries photos of U.S. warships ablaze and sinking. The interactive website material was gathered by Katrina Luksovsky, 49, an American living on Ford Island in the center of the harbor. The website was created by Hidenori Watanabe, 42, an associate professor of network design at Tokyo Metropolitan University.
The website works similar to Google Earth and is really quite remarkable. If you are a WWII buff, this is right up your alley!
The Canadian Museum of History and Library and Archives Canada collaborate on new exhibition gallery. This gallery is named Treasures from LAC and will showcase some of Canada’s most historically significant documents, making them more accessible to Canadians and enhancing public understanding of Canada’s history and heritage. Many of the documents showcased in the gallery will be referenced in the Canadian History Hall, a new permanent exhibition opening July 1, 2017 at the Canadian Museum of History. The LAC documents will complement the Hall and add greatly to the visitor experience.
Another Blizzard of Savings for Genealogists
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FamilySearch recently added another 192 million+ images and indexed records from North and South America and Europe to its growing FREE online collections. In the list at the bottom of this post you’ll find content from Brazil, Colombia, Peru, Spain, Switzerland, the United States, and Wales.
Here’s an example of a V.A. pension card, created by the Bureau of Pensions and Veterans Administration to record payments to veterans, widows and other dependents. FamilySearch describes the cards this way: “On the front of the cards for invalid veterans are recorded the name of veteran, his certificate number, his unit or arm of Service, the disability for which pensioned, the law or laws under which pensioned, the class of pension or certificate, the rate of pension, the effective date of pension, the date of the certificate, any fees paid, the name of the pension agency or group transferred from (if applicable), the date of death, the date the Bureau was notified, the former roll number, and ‘home.’ On the reverse side of the form appears the name of the veteran, his certificate number, and the record of the individual payments. The army and navy widow’s cards are similar to the invalids’ cards with the addition of the widow’s name and occasionally information regarding payments made to minors, but they do not indicate if the veteran had a disability.”