Online Sites

Millions of Historical Records added to MyHeritage

The folks at MyHeritage (the sponsor of this newsletter) have added millions of new records to the service. According to the MyHeritage Blog:

We’re happy to announce that we’ve just added millions of new records to SuperSearch.

The new collections include birth and death records, church records, electoral rolls and more from around the globe to help families everywhere explore their past. The new records come from the United Kingdom, the United States, South Africa, Germany, Russia and other countries to help discover more about your ancestors from around the globe.

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The collections include:

New German Records on Ancestry.com

This morning, Ancestry.com launched 31 new German databases. The collection includes 11.7 million records and consists of civil registration records of birth, marriages and death from 1874-1950. The record sets include:

Barry Fleig Builds an Online Database of Burials in Cook County Cemetery in Dunning, Chicago, Illinois

With over 38,000 burials spanning some seventy years, the Cook County Cemetery in Dunning, Chicago, Illinois, was a potters field serving the poor and indigent of the county. Those buried in the cemetery included deceased individuals from the County Poor house and farm opened 1854, the Insane Asylum opened 1869, the infirmary opened 1882, and the Consumptive hospital (TB), opened 1899. The cemetery received bodies from the Cook County Hospital, the city morgue, many Chicago area hospitals, and many city social institutions. About 120 bodies from the Great Chicago Fire in October 1871 were buried at the Cook County Cemetery in Dunning.

Records of those interred in the cemetery have been difficult to access. The vast majority of the records of who was buried at Dunning were destroyed in the 1960s when a storage room was flooded. Some records do remain but have not been conveniently available to the public. Barry Fleig, the former cemetery chairman of the Chicago Genealogical Society saw a need. He wanted to preserve the remaining records electronically before another disaster destroys the remaining fragile paper records.

Find A Grave Adds a New Upload and Transcribe Beta

The folks at Find A Grave have just launched a new Upload and Transcribe beta at Find A Grave. With this new feature, you can upload a whole trip’s worth of cemetery headstone photos and transcribe them in either new memorials, or attach the photos easily to existing memorials. The new software allows users to upload multiple photos at once, easily transcribe uploaded photos, get help, help others, and to provide feedback.

Details may be found in the Ancestry.com Blog at: http://blogs.ancestry.com/ancestry/2014/10/17/new-find-a-grave-upload-and-transcribe-beta-available.

Mocavo Offers an Open Access Weekend

Mocavo recently introduced a new interactive census viewer that adds a lot of new functionality. You can now try that out, along with many other things, in a free access weekend. Like most other web sites that offer free access for a limited time, you will have to create an account but this weekend’s access is free. The following was written by the folks at Mocavo:

Celebrate Family History Month with an Open Access Weekend

FamilySearch Adds More Than 9.2 Million Indexed Records and Images to Belgium, India, Slovakia, and the United States

The following announcement was written by FamilySearch:

FamilySearch Adds More Than 9.2 Million Indexed Records and Images to Belgium, India, Slovakia, and the United States. Notable collection updates include the 2,694,665 images from the Slovakia, Church and Synagogue Books, 1592-1910, collection; the 2,785,409 images from the US, New Jersey, State Census, 1915, collection; and the 2,155,570 indexed records from the US, Ohio, County Death Records, 1840-2001, collection. See the table below for the full list of updates. Search these diverse collections and more than 3.5 billion other records for free at FamilySearch.org.

Searchable historic records are made available on FamilySearch.org through the help of thousands of volunteers from around the world. These volunteers transcribe (index) information from digital copies of handwritten records to make them easily searchable online. More volunteers are needed (particularly those who can read foreign languages) to keep pace with the large number of digital images being published online at FamilySearch.org. Learn more about volunteering to help provide free access to the worldís historic genealogical records online at FamilySearch.org.

Hebridean Connections now Online

A website which brings Hebrideans, and their descendants, together has been launched to share the Isles’ culture, history and genealogy. Hebridean Connections combines local and family tradition, clan histories, church records and legends, that are matched to provide the real stories behind a family tree.

At the core of the database is the genealogy of the area, sometimes reaching back to the mid-15th century. Add to this a huge array of photographs, documents, stories, songs, recordings, maps, ephemera and background history, and the result is a collection that brings the history of these island communities to life.

FamilySearch Adds More Than 2.8 Million Indexed Records and Images to Belgium, Canada, Colombia, Ghana, Spain and the United States

The following announcement was written by the folks at FamilySearch:

FamilySearch Adds More Than 2.8 Million Indexed Records and Images to Belgium, Canada, Colombia, Ghana, Spain and the United States. Notable collection updates include the 1,113,932 indexed records and images from the BillionGraves Index, collection; the 990,332 images from the Colombia, Catholic Church Records, 1600-2012, collection; and the 243,908 images from the Ghana Census, 1984, collection. See the table below for the full list of updates. Search these diverse collections and more than 3.5 billion other records for free at FamilySearch.org.

Searchable historic records are made available on FamilySearch.org through the help of thousands of volunteers from around the world. These volunteers transcribe (index) information from digital copies of handwritten records to make them easily searchable online. More volunteers are needed (particularly those who can read foreign languages) to keep pace with the large number of digital images being published online at FamilySearch.org. Learn more about volunteering to help provide free access to the world’s historic genealogical records online at FamilySearch.org.

German-American Day Assistance from the Deutsche Arbeitsgemeinschaft genealogischer Verbände e. V. (DAGV)

This happened two days ago but I learned of it today. Anyone with German ancestry will probably be interested in this web genealogy resource year-round.

October 6 is German-American Day, commemorating the first German settlers in what later became the USA on October 6, 1683. 300 years later, in 1983, President Ronald Reagan declared this date to become the German-American Day in the U.S. The Deutsche Arbeitsgemeinschaft genealogischer Verbände e. V. (DAGV) has created a new section on the organization’s web site called German-American Genealogy.

Quoting from the web page:

Following the historical path and also in further development of the Declaration of Salt Lake City by the DAGV and the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) in the US on March 22, 2013 we as German umbrella organisation present this site for intensify the contact not only between the our two but between all genealogical societies and researchers on genealogy in both of our countries dealing with people that are interested in that special topic.

We are supporting contacts to make researching more easy on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean: for the one who wants to find his ancestors coming from Germany mostly by leaving the ports of Hamburg or Bremerhaven, for the other one who wants to find offspring of former immigrants to America in today. Both could lead to a vivid connection in present families.

BillionGraves Introduces 5 New Features

BillionGraves now claims to have the world’s largest collection of GPS tagged headstones. Its competitor, Find-A-Grave, still has more headstones catalogued, but the majority of those do not have GPS locations. In a small cemetery, the GPS location of an individual headstone may not be important but in larger cemeteries it can be a critical piece of information for anyone seeking to visit the tombstone.

MyHeritage is Now Available at Subscribing Libraries and Educational Institutions Worldwide

More genealogy information is now available to everyone online, if your local library subscribes to a newly-announced service from MyHeritage. You can access the MyHeritage Library Edition™ either at your local library or in the comfort of your own home by using remote access. The following announcement was written by the folks at MyHeritage:

MyHeritage partners with EBSCO Information Services to bring MyHeritage to libraries and educational institutions worldwide

Leading family history network launches an institutional version of its service and unveils exclusive partnership to provide any educational facility with instant access to centuries of history in billions of historical documents from all over the world.

TEL AVIV, Israel & LEHI, Utah & IPSWICH, Mass – October 7, 2014: MyHeritage, the popular family history network, today announced a significant expansion into the institutional education market, with the launch of a dedicated, high-performance family history service for institutions and the signing of a strategic partnership with EBSCO Information Services (EBSCO) to distribute it exclusively.

As the leading provider of online research content for libraries and other institutions, EBSCO’s partnership with MyHeritage reaffirms its commitment to providing first-class content to libraries at affordable prices.

FamilySearch Adds More Than 183 Million Indexed Records and Images to Belgium, China, Czech Republic, England and Wales, Finland, France, India, Indonesia, Italy, Korea, Ukraine, and the United States

The following announcement was written by the folks at FamilySearch:

FamilySearch adds more than 183 million indexed records and images to Belgium, China, Czech Republic, England and Wales, Finland, France, India, Indonesia, Italy, Korea, Ukraine, and the United States. Notable collection updates include the 66,586,112 indexed records from the England and Wales, Birth Registration Index, 1837-2008, collection; the 6,142,790 images from the US, Missouri, Probate Records, 1750-1998, collection; and the 1,019,409 images from the US, Washington, County Records, 1803-2010, collection. See the table below for the full list of updates. Search these diverse collections and more than 3.5 billion other records for free at FamilySearch.org.

FamilySearch and GenealogyBank Announce a Massive Online US Obituaries Project using Volunteers

The following announcement was written by the folks at FamilySearch:

In celebration of Family History Month, FamilySearch International (FamilySearch.org) and GenealogyBank (GenealogyBank.com) today announced an agreement to make over a billion records from historical obituaries searchable online. It will be the largest—and perhaps most significant—online US historic records access initiative yet. It will take tens of thousands of online volunteers to make GenealogyBank’s vast U.S. obituary collection more discoverable online. Find out more at FamilySearch.org/Campaign/Obituaries.

The tremendous undertaking will make a billion records from over 100 million US newspaper obituaries readily searchable online. The newspapers are from all 50 states and cover the period 1730 to present. The completed online index will be fairly comprehensive, including 85% of U.S. deaths from the last decade alone. The death collection will easily become one of the most popular online genealogy databases ever, detailing names, dates, relationships, locations of the deceased, and multi-generational family members.

FamilySearch Adds More Than 3.7 Million Indexed Records and Images to Brazil, Canada, Ghana, Italy, Netherlands, Philippines, Portugal, Russia, South Africa, Spain, and the United States

The following announcement was written by FamilySearch:

FamilySearch has added more than 3.7 million indexed records and images to collections from Brazil, Canada, Ghana, Italy, Netherlands, Philippines, Portugal, Russia, South Africa, Spain, and the United States. Notable collection updates include the 469,781 images from the Italy, Caltanissetta, Civil Registration (State Archive), 1820–1935, collection; the 1,334,890 images from the US, Georgia, World War II Draft Registration Cards, 1897–1942, collection; and the 343,005 images from the Portugal, Braga, Priest Application Files (Genere et Moribus), 1596–1911, collection. See the table below for the full list of updates. Search these diverse collections and more than 3.5 billion other records for free at FamilySearch.org.

Congregation Beth Israel in Houston, Texas, Places Digital Archives Online

Congregation Beth Israel, located in Houston, has digitized many of the congregation’s early records, ledgers and books. These documents provide information about births, deaths, and marriages, as well as membership dues from 1869 to the 1920s.

The “Bris Book” is the handwritten bound volume chronicling the circumcisions performed by Rabbi Emmich, the first spiritual leader of Beth Israel, dating from the mid 19th century. In German, Hebrew and English this book, currently on display in a case in the history corridor of the current temple, and can also be viewed online in its entirety.

“Basic Principles” documents include more than 500 pages of letters, minutes, clippings and commentary, describing this significant chapter of Beth Israel’s history. The issue of whether to support Israel, from the early 1940’s, was a divisive and impassioned issue for the congregation.

Familypedia: the Biggest Genealogy Site You Probably Never Heard Of

Are you familiar with Familypedia, a web site with 166,770 online articles about deceased individuals plus another 276,546 genealogy-related pages?

Familypedia is a wiki, part of the commercial Wikia site. It is a place where YOU can create articles about your ancestors and easily link them to other articles about where and when they lived. The site is primarily text-based with biographical pages about deceased individuals. In some cases, you can find pictures of individuals as well as pedigree charts, maps, and other graphics. In most cases, each deceased person has a separate web page giving details about his or her life and also containing hyperlinks to other web pages that contain information about the person’s relatives. Entire families can be hyperlinked together.

The Church of Ireland Gazette editions for 1914 are now Fully Searchable Online

The following announcement was written by the Church of Ireland Press office:

Archive of the Month October 2014

The Church of Ireland Gazette editions for 1914 fully searchable online

Following on from the successful digitization of the 1913 editions of The Church of Ireland Gazette last year, and continuing its commitment to mark the Decade of Commemorations, the RCB Library is pleased to present all 52 editions of The Church of Ireland Gazette for 1914, in a fully searchable format online, as Archive of the Month for October 2014.

The Gazette which has always been editorially independent, provides the longest-running public commentary on the Church’s affairs, and as such is a recognised resource for understanding the complexities and nuances of Church of Ireland identity, both north and south, as well as the Church’s contribution to political and cultural life throughout the island. The RCB Library in Dublin holds the only complete run of paper – from the first issue in March 1856 up to the present date bound up in hard copy volumes for each year where they remain an invaluable resource. However, like collections available elsewhere (such as the National Library of Ireland) the hard copy is suffering wear and tear and is cumbersome to use and research from.

FindMyPast Adds 4 Million new Yorkshire Baptism, Marriage and Burial Records Dating Back to 1538

The following announcement was written by the folks at FindMyPast:

A poet, a cricketer, an abolitionist and death by poisoned pudding: 400 years of Yorkshire parish records revealed online

4 MILLION NEW YORKSHIRE BAPTISM, MARRIAGE AND BURIAL RECORDS DATING BACK TO 1538 PUBLISHED ONLINE

FINDMYPAST’S PROJECT WITH SIX YORKSHIRE ARCHIVES WILL CREATE THE MOST COMPREHENSIVE REPOSITORY OF YORKSHIRE FAMILY HISTORY RECORDS IN THE WORLD

Leading UK family history website findmypast.com has today, 30 September 2014, published online for the first time almost 4 million parish records in partnership with the Yorkshire Digitisation Consortium. The Yorkshire Collection comprises beautiful scanned images of the original handwritten registers held by six Yorkshire archives and spanning the years 1538 to 1989. Fully searchable transcripts of the originals enable anyone to go online and search for their Yorkshire ancestors by name.

Introducing a New Genealogy Site: FamilyTreeNow.com

A new genealogy site has appeared within the past few days at FamilyTreeNow.com. It is billed as being completely free for everything. The site is in beta and claims to have “billions of historical records, including census (1790-1940) records, birth records, death records, marriage & divorce records, living people records, and military records.”

I took a look at the site and was impressed. It doesn’t have everything that the well-established commercial web sites have, but the price tag of free will appeal to many.

Civil War Soldiers’ Graves Online Database

Click on the above image to view a larger version.

The Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) was the largest fraternal organization for Union veterans. It was a very active organization in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Only Union veterans were permitted to join the GAR. As the members aged and then died, the organization eventually disappeared. However, it was replaced by the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War, with membership restricted to descendants of Union Civil War veterans. The Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War inherited most of the records of the national GAR organization, as well as many of the records of local chapters (called “encampments”).

The Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War (SUVCW) now has created its Grave Registration Project to document the final resting places of BOTH Union and Confederate Civil War veterans. The fully-searchable database is available online and is free for everyone.

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