Online Sites

NEHGS Announces July 4th FREE Access Event

The following announcement was written by the folks at the New England Historic Genealogical Society:

NEHGS Salutes the Nation’s Anniversary with FREE Access to the Great Migration Databases on

Family Historians May Commemorate Independence Day by Searching FREE on for America’s Earliest Settlers, July 1 through July 8

Click on the above image to view a larger version

June 29, 2015—Boston, Massachusetts—In a salute to the anniversary of our nation’s independence, New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) is granting FREE access to all online searchable databases related to the Great Migration. A unique foundation of governance and religion was created by the 20,000 men, women, and children who crossed the Atlantic between 1620 and 1640, seeking opportunity and relief in New England, in the period known as the Great Migration. These are the Mayflower names, the Pilgrims, the Puritans, and the families that delight and provide rich insights for genealogists and family historians. Since 1988 NEHGS has undertaken the Great Migration Study Project, directed by Robert Charles Anderson and scheduled for completion in 2016. The results are open to the public to research FREE during the first week of July 2015 on its data-rich website

A total of nine searchable databases comprise the Great Migration project on, consisting of thousands of records. Some content highlights include:

Digital Public Library of America Receives $3.4 Million Investment, Plans a Major Expansion

The Digital Public Library of America (DLPA) brings together the riches of America’s libraries, archives and museums, and makes them freely available to the world. DPLA provides public access to more than 10 million items – including the written word plus works of art and culture – from 1,600 institutions.

NOTE: You can read my earlier article about the Digital Public Library of America at

Ireland Reaching Out Creates “Reverse Genealogy”

Ireland Reaching Out, also called Ireland XO, is a non-profit organisation financed largely by the Irish government. The organization tracks down the descendants of those who left for America, Australia and other countries. Instead of waiting for people of Irish descent to trace their roots, Ireland XO volunteers worldwide are networking with people of Irish descent in their local areas, helping to build bridges between the present and the past by connecting people with the home parishes of their ancestors. Volunteers then invite the descendants to visit the homeland. Ireland Reaching Out hopes to build a database of the Irish diaspora containing 30 or 40 million names.

The Ireland Reaching Out web site states:

“Whether you have emigrated recently or have never been to Ireland, we welcome Irish people from all over the world and those who share an affinity for our rich and varied cultural heritage. We are a community with no geographical boundaries, connected first through bonds of people and place, and then developed through our shared celebration of culture and friendship, both online and offline.

New Convict Records Available To Search This Findmypast Friday

The following announcement was written by the folks at Findmypast:

This week’s Findmypast Friday marks the release of over 240,000 fascinating Australian convict records, new additions to our collection of historic Irish newspapers, Irish Workhouse records from County Clare and Sligo as well as English parish records from the parish of Southfleet in North West Kent.

Australian Convict Records

Historical Court Records and Passenger Lists from Victoria, Australia, to be Published Online for the First Time

The following announcement was written by the folks at

Leading family history website Findmypast has secured the rights to publish original petty session records and passenger lists from Victoria. In partnership with Public Record Office Victoria (PROV) and FamilySearch, the original images of these extensive collections will be scanned and transcribed for the first time.

Sydney, Australia, 25 June 2015, Never before microfilmed or indexed, the collection of Victoria’s Coastal Passenger Lists 1852-1924 will be brought online to later this year. Comprising both original images and transcripts of an estimated 118,000 records, these passenger lists provide a vivid snapshot of immigrants and travellers alike arriving in Victoria’s coastal ports.

Nunhead Cemetery Records Added to Deceased Online

Deceased Online has added a third of the Magnificent Seven Cemeteries’ records to its website, Nunhead Cemetery, managed by the London Borough of Southwark, is one of the largest and most historic cemeteries in South London and around 1 million records for all 275,000 burials from 1840 to 2011 are immediately available.

Here is the announcement from Deceased Online:

Historic Freedmen’s Bureau Records Released

This is a major announcement of new information posted online by a cooperative effort of five organizations. The following announcement was written by FamilySearch International, the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, the Afro­-American Historical and Genealogical Society (AAHGS), and the California African American Museum:

Event launches volunteer indexing effort of 4 million freed slave records

SALT LAKE CITY — FamilySearch International, the largest non-profit genealogy organization in the world, announced the digital release of 4 million Freedmen’s Bureau historical records and the launch of a nationwide volunteer indexing effort.

FamilySearch is working in collaboration with the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, the Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society and the California African American Museum to make these records available and accessible by taking the raw records, extracting the information and indexing them to make them easily searchable online. Once indexed, finding an ancestor may be as easy as going to, entering a name and, with the touch of a button, discovering your family member.

New Records Available to Search This Findmypast Friday

The following announcement was written by Findmypast:

This Findmypast Friday marks the release of thousands of fascinating new Prisoner of War records containing the details of thousands of American’s captured during the War of 1812 in partnership with The National Archives. This week’s Findmypast Friday also marks the release of birth, marriage, burial and congregation records from a Scottish garrison church in Gibraltar, new Greater London Burial Index records and substantial updates to our collection of historic British newspapers.

Prisoners of War 1715-1945 Phase 2 – Napoleonic Wars

Reviving the Statistical Atlas of the United States with New Data

The Statistical Atlas of the United States was published by the Census Bureau and was full of statistical data from the census records (although no names of citizens were included). It also mapped things you can’t see directly, including crop yields, the prevalence of disease, the provenance of people. It was a huge resource with many applications, used by thousands of people in government, industry, education, research, and also by private citizens. The Statistical Atlas of the United States, historically produced by the Census Bureau, was last published for 2000. A 2010 version of the Statistical Atlas of the United States was considered but then abandoned because of budget cuts.

What one large government bureaucracy could not produce in a cost-effective manner was instead done by one person: Nathan Yau. Adds Landowner Data

Arphax Publishing Company publishes, a family history web service for linking old maps and land records to your genealogy research. Arphax probably is best known for providing online versions of the Family Maps and Texas Land Survey Maps book series, but that perception has changed since the release of the company’s First Landowners Project.

The company recently announced the addition of 3.3 million original landowners to the “First Landowners Project,” for Arizona, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota, Washington and Wyoming.

National Archives of Australia Begins Digitizing World War 1 Repatriation Records

The National Archives of Australia (NAA) has begun a $3.4 million project to mark the centenary of World War I, describing and digitizing many of the Anzacs’ repatriation records, ensuring greater public access. Director-General of the Archives, David Fricker said the details were preserved in more than 600,000 World War I repatriation records, held by the NAA.

The government records contain information about Australians and New Zealanders in World War I and the Boer War. The personal stories provide information about service men and women through original archival records. Information in these records includes medical care, welfare services and pensions provided by the Repatriation Department, now known as the Department of Veterans’ Affairs. Very few of the files had been viewed since their official use.

Virginia Vital Records Online

Fred Moss, with input from Peter E. Broadbent, Jr., has written an excellent article about Virginia’s recent release of 16 million Virginia vital records. Fred writes, “This important new access to Virginia vital records occurred directly as a result of the Virginia Genealogical Society’s efforts in 2011 – 2012. VGS members wrote key legislators, and former VGS President Peter Broadbent lead the effort in meetings with legislators.”

The full article is available at

ManyRoads Adds Hundreds of Address Books

For those researching areas in the former Eastern German Provinces of Pommern and Westpreussen (Pomerania & West Prussia), Mark Rabideau has added online access to hundreds of address books. Major changes include new listings for Danzig, Posen, Stettin and Stolp.

You may access the records at:

Fly Around Your Family Tree with ZoomPast

This is somewhat like playing space invaders in your family tree.

Let’s face it: displaying a family tree to other people, probably relatives, has never been easy. If everything is printed on paper, jumping from one page to another as you flip through the generations can be very confusing for the person trying to understand the relationships. Large paper is a big help but not everyone has a printing device that will fill a piece of paper that is as large as a wall.

Many of us use computers for storing our data but displaying it to others often is a “herky-jerky” motion as we click on link after link, jumping through generations. Did you ever try to show a non-genealogist relative ten generations of his or her ancestry, including cousins? Within a couple of minutes, that person’s eyes probably looked dazed.

What is needed is the electronic equivalent of a large rood map.

RootsBid Family History Website Now Officially Certified by FamilySearch

The following announcement was written by the folks at RootsBid:

RootsBid, a new family history research website, is now certified by FamilySearch and listed in the FamilySearch App Gallery.

American Fork, Utah – June 04, 2015 – RootsBid today announces certification for on FamilySearch, the world’s largest collection of genealogical records. As part of the partnership, the RootsBid web application is featured prominently on FamilySearch’s App Gallery: a place to find, connect, organize, and explore your family.
“We are thrilled to be certified by as an approved application to help their user base with the genealogy research and records,” said Steven Pedersen, co-founder of RootsBid.

With RootsBid anyone can request or bid on family history projects around the world. This site is for people who are looking for help with their genealogy and also for those who are able to help others with their family history. RootsBid is especially effective for finding people who can perform family history projects in locations that are difficult to access for the requestor. Using RootsBid, they can now find genealogy experts and others who can complete family history tasks on their behalf all over the world.

Indexed Family History Records Now Available Through the DAR Genealogical Research System

The following announcement was written by the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution:

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Society Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) is excited to announce a new resource has been added to its Genealogical Research System (GRS). The new resource is an index of over 40,000 digitized family Bible records, and each day more records are digitized and added to the Index. This is one of the largest known collections of such genealogical materials in existence. The DAR collection spans many decades, so even those researchers who are not looking for Revolutionary War era ancestors, may find the new Bible Records Index useful (

WikiTree Reaches 10 Million Profiles

The following announcement was written by the folks at WikiTree:

3 June 2015: This week the WikiTree community reached a major milestone: 10 million profiles on our shared family tree.

Since its founding in 2008, WikiTree has grown steadily but carefully. Although the community’s mission is to connect the entire human family on one tree — ultimately including billions of people — WikiTree prioritizes collaboration and accuracy.

Over 200,000 genealogists have added profiles to WikiTree. Many of them share ancestors. Rather than create duplicate ancestor profiles, they work together on the same profiles. When duplicates are created accidentally, they’re merged.

MyHeritage Instant Discoveries™ in Oslo

MyHeritage (the sponsor of this newsletter) recently took to the streets of Oslo to test the service on Norwegian passersby. The video shows how genealogy can inspire anyone, and portrays the emotional experience of making family history discoveries.

It also proves the extent of MyHeritage’s reach in Norway, and Scandinavia as a whole, as noted in my earlier article at

More than 16 Million Virginia Records Are Now Digitized and Online

Governor Terry McAuliffe announced on Tuesday morning that a massive project to help Virginians find important documents is now finished.

So far, birth and death records from 1912 to the present, marriage records from 1936 to the present and divorce records from 1918 to the present have been scanned and are available. Image are available and the records have also been indexed.

Here is the announcement from the Office of Governor McAuliffe:

Announcing a New Genealogy Website: Twile

I took a brief look at this web site this morning and it looks good. It is new so it doesn’t yet have a lot of information but it certainly shows promise. The following announcement was written by the folks at Twile:

New Website Lets Family Historians Share What They Find

Twile aims to make Genealogy more engaging for the whole family

Sheffield, UK, June 2, 2015 – Twile ( allows family historians to create rich, visual timelines of their family history, made up of milestones and photos from their ancestors’ lives. Genealogy services, like MyHeritage and Ancestry, focus primarily on providing access to historical records. Twile, on the other hand, helps users get a visualization of the information and easily share it with their family.

“We’ve found there is a family historian in pretty much every family, who gathers as much information as they can about their heritage,” said Twile co-founder, Paul Brooks. “Unfortunately, most of their family will never see any of it, either because it isn’t shared or because it’s hidden away in notes and scanned documents that are difficult for most people to digest.”


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 9,626 other followers