Online Sites Receives a Makeover

The Canadian website of has a new “look and feel” today. An announcement from the company states the changes will help “Canadians discover and tell their family story.”

With new storytelling features and a streamlined design, the new Ancestry site will help Canadians move beyond names and dates, enhancing the stories of their ancestors’ lives. A few new features include:

The Digitizing of the 1891 Census of Norway is Finished

According to an announcement by The National Archives of Norway:

“The Norwegian 1891 Census consists of one sheet per person and one sheet per house/residence. These sheets have all been scanned and published in ordered series for the 559 cities and municipalities (herred) that existed in Norway at the time of the census.

“Apart from name and occupation, most of the information in the census sheets is in printed letters. You need to access the information from the house lists. In these lists you will find reference to the person lists. announces Find-A-Grave Community Day

On Saturday 17th October, Ancestry is hosting our global ‘Find A Grave Community Day’. Essentially, this is an annual day taking place across the world whereby encourages people to visit their local cemeteries to take photos and videos of headstones, explore the grounds and share stories – to preserve the history of all our ancestors buried in cemeteries across the world. (Find A Grave is a division of

You can find out more about this annual community day at

New Records Available To Search This Findmypast Friday

The following announcement was written by the folks at Findmypast:

Findmypast logoThis week’s Findmypast Friday marks the release of over 100,000 pages of Directories & Almanac records covering 300 years of history in the UK, Ireland, Australasia and the British Colonies as well as six brand new Irish Newspaper titles and over 724,000 new articles.

Britain, Directories & Almanacs

Britain, Directories & Almanacs allows you to explore 112 volumes of fascinating documents spanning three centuries. They include a wide variety of records ranging from trade directories and county guides to almanacs and general directories. Almanacs and directories are an excellent resource for anyone researching their family history and can provide unique insights into how your ancestors lived.

New FamilySearch Collections Update: Week of September 21, 2015

The following announcement was written by the folks at FamilySearch:

FamilySearch_LogoCheck out the Pennsylvania Civil Marriages 1677-1950, Ohio County Marriages 1789-2013, and Virginia Richmond City Birth Index 1870-1912 additions this week.  Millions more records were also added for Italy (Potenza, Rieti, and Trapani) and Colombia. Search for these new records and more by selecting the links below.

Poughkeepsie Journal Newspapers are now Online

PoughkeepsieJournalWould you like to find an article, obituary or photo published in the Poughkeepsie Journal or its predecessors? and Gannett Co. Inc., the Journal’s parent company, have digitized the Journal’s centuries of archives. The Journal is the second-oldest paper in the nation, and the oldest in New York state. More than 1.2 million published newspaper pages are available on, which is owned by Visit to begin your search.

RootsPoint Announces the Fondo Colonial Archive Image Collection for Hispanic Heritage Month

The following announcement was written by the folks at

One-of-a-kind collection of 17th-19th century archival records available for free

HENDERSON, NV—(September 22, 2015)– Genealogy website, in collaboration with the Hispanic Heritage Project, announced today free access to the Fondo Colonial collection from the Archivo Históricos Municipal de Hidalgo del Parral (Parral Archive). The browsable collection of more than 77,500 digitized images available on the RootsPoint website spans the period between 1611 and 1821 and contains civil colonial records of the Province of Nueva Viscaya. Today, this area consists of the states of Chihuahua, Durango, Sonora, Sinaloa and part of Coahuila, Mexico. Images include records of the government, finance and treasury, church, militia, notaries and protocols.

Backblaze Online Backup Service

I have written often about the need for both on-site and off-site backups to protect your precious digital data, family photographs, tax records, and more. If a hard drive crashes, what happens to the genealogy information you have spent hours compiling? How about your children’s or grandchildren’s baby pictures? Then again, what about the photograph of your great-grandparents?

Findmypast is Now the Home of the New York Genealogical & Biographical Society’s eLibrary

A major joint announcement from Findmypast and from the New York Genealogical & Biographical Society (NYG&B) was made earlier today at the New York State Family History Conference in Syracuse, NY. It will be of interest to many genealogists but especially to members of the NYG&B as well as to the customers of Findmypast. Both parties are gaining access to many additional records at no additional cost:

Findmypast is now the home of the New York Genealogical & Biographical Society’s eLibrary, offering millions of records from New York and across the United States.

Fascinating NYG&B record sets now available to search at Findmypast

Findmypast and the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society (NYG&B) have today, 18 September 2015, made thousands of documents and records from the society’s eLibrary available to search online at Findmypast.

14 London Councils’ Burial Records now Available on Deceased Online

The following announcement was written by Deceased Online:

Deceased OnlineDeceased Online has added the first set of burial and cremation records for the London Borough of Lewisham and all records will be available at by mid-October.

Immediately available are the records for Grove Park Cemetery and Hither Green (aka ‘Lewisham’) Crematorium

When complete and online, the full Lewisham collection will comprise approximately 1 million records (nearly 400,000 names) and will include Brockley, Hither Green and Ladywell Cemeteries (in addition to Grove Park and the crematorium) dating back to 1858.

The new collection comprises:

IGRS launches ‘The Dublin Presbyterian Colporteur’s Notebook, 1875’

The following announcement was written by the Irish Genealogical Research Society:

IGRS Logo Rework V3 RND2To mark Culture Night 2015, the IGRS – “The Great Granddaddy of all Irish Family History Societies” – in collaboration with Clontarf & Scots Presbyterian congregation, announces the launch of a new and exciting database of scanned images from the Dublin Presbyterian Colporteur’s Notebook, which dates from 1875.

The rare Notebook was compiled during January to October 1875 by William Malone, a missionary-colporteur employed by Ormond Quay Presbyterian congregation. On his travels through the streets of Dublin between the two canals, Malone jotted biographical notes on approximately 10,000 inner-city Dublin Protestants. Given the lack of nineteenth century census records for Ireland, this unrivalled and until now almost unknown resource sheds new light on approximately a third of the inner-city’s Protestant population.

Malone’s task was to “seek out and visit unconnected Presbyterian families first, then Protestants of any denomination not attached to any place of worship…”. His journal is a fascinating insight into the lives of Dublin’s late nineteenth century Protestant working classes. Sparing no flattery, he noted industry, clean living and godliness alongside squalor, drunkenness and child neglect. He recorded too his interaction with Roman Catholics. Of such a family he met in Prussia Street, in Stoneybatter, he noted that, having “entered the houses of several Roman Catholics & held some conversations on religious subjects…found them averse to Gospel truth & firmly attached to their own errors”.

New FamilySearch Collections Update: Week of September 14, 2015

The following announcement was written by FamilySearch:

FamilySearch_LogoMama Mia! The Italian record collections continue to expand this week with new collections for Italy Arezzo Civil Registration (State Archive) 1314-1934, Italy Enna Civil Registration (State Archive) 1866-1944, Italy Imperia San Remo Civil Registration (State Archive) 1805-1910, Italy Pescara Civil Registration (State Archive) 1809-1929. Brazil, New York, Utah, and Delaware also have some new content. Look for these and more by selecting the links below.

Findmypast Announces Free Weekend 18-21 September 2015

The following announcement was written by FindMyPast:

  • Findmypast announces free access to all their historical records this weekend
  • Over 4 billion records available to everyone to search for free
  • Local subscribers granted World access, and World subscribers enjoy 3 days added to their subscription

Findmypast logoLondon, UK, 16 September 2015 Findmypast has announced that this weekend, they will be opening up their archives and giving unlimited free access to billions of records and newspaper pages from all over the world. From 7am on Friday, September 18th to 7am on Monday, September 21st (EDT), absolutely everyone will have access to Findmypast’s comprehensive collections of historical records and innovative research tools, including:

Hitler’s UK Hit List Translated into English to Mark 75Th Anniversary of Battle of Britain

The following announcement was written by Forces War Records:

Inspiration for James Bond was on Nazi death list
List unveiled online on Battle of Britain Day, 15 September

The Black Book front cover (translation: ‘Top Secret!’) Photo credit: ©IWM (041820) Die Sonderfahndungsliste

To mark 15 September, Battle of Britain Day (its 75th anniversary), a remarkable historical record can be viewed in English – and online – for the first time. Known as Hitler’s Black Book listing ‘enemies of the state, traitors and undesirables, marked for punishment or death’, it has been painstakingly translated from the original German by specialist military genealogy website Forces War Records. It documents 2,820 of the Reich’s ‘most wanted’ people in Britain, for targeting following invasion. The entire digital Black Book can be seen and searched, free, on ( There are many notables within the collection: probable and improbable politicians, intelligensia, even entertainers.

One further person on the hitlist however is a little known hero that the website’s historians, while researching the reasons WHY each had been named, believe was the inspiration for James Bond. If he had been killed, the series may never have been written. ‘Britain’s Schindler’ who saved 10,000 Jews from the Holocaust, is also named.

‘The real 007’

Conrad Fulke Thomond O’Brien-ffrench Photo: Wiki Commons

‘The real 007’, the wonderfully named Conrad Fulke Thomond O’Brien-ffrench, was a dashing and courageous spy who, for a dangerous few [weeks/months] was friendly with Bond creator, Ian Fleming.

Ancestry Adds a New Collection: UK Apprentices Indentured in Merchant Navy (1824-1910)

According to the Ancestry Blog:

More than 340,000 historic Merchant Navy apprentice records have been published online for the first time – shedding light on life at sea during the 19th and 20th centuries.

Historic records detail apprentices and their masters in the Merchant Navy
Collection features famous ships such as the RMS Britannia and the Cutty Sark, which can still be viewed in Greenwich today

Victoria Cross winners Frederick Daniel Parslow and Archibald Bisset Smith appear in the record


New FamilySearch Collections

The following announcement was written by the folks at FamilySearch:

New and old worlds collide in this extended collections update. View your Italian roots with the Italy Cremona Civil Registration (State Archive) 1744-1942 and Italy Bergamo Civil Registration (State Archive) 1866-1901 added collections. Or discover your Texas roots in more than 1.3 million new marriage records added to the Texas County Marriage Index 1837-1977 collection. See the table below for additional records added this week.

Findmypast Friday: Fascinating New School Records Available

The following announcement was written by Findmypast:

Findmypast logoTo celebrate the start of the new school year, this week’s Findmypast Friday marks the release of nearly 2.9 million School Admission Register records from England, Wales, Ireland and Australia.
These fascinating new records can allow you a glimpse into your ancestors’ early life, pinpoint the area they grew up in, reveal if they had a perfect attendance or occasionally played truant and can even determine whether they worked in a school as an adult.

National School Admission Registers 1870-1914

ProQuest Launches Library Edition of, now Available at Your Library

The following announcement was written by the folks at ProQuest:

ProQuest. (PRNewsFoto/ProQuest Information and Learning)

ProQuest. (PRNewsFoto/ProQuest Information and Learning)

ANN ARBOR, Mich., Sept. 10, 2015 — Libraries can now provide their communities with a rich collection of newspapers ranging from well-known state and regional titles to small local newspapers in the United States and other countries. Available to libraries exclusively from ProQuest, the Library Edition offers people of all ages and interests access to more than 85 million digitized pages, dating from the early 1700s into the early 2000s.

Luxembourg Family History Searches are now Easier Thanks to a new Online Archive

More than one million Luxembourg birth certificates from 1600 to 1923 have been made available online thanks to a voluntary project. Since launched in 2004, its 50 volunteers have analysed and uploaded 1 million birth certificates to its database, 800,000 of which were from communes currently in Luxembourg.

The online service was started by Georges Eicher and is funded entirely by contributions from users. Currently, around 700 people have subscribed and their fees provide the needed funding for the not-for-profit group behind the project.

Discovering Your Family History: 7 Unique Technologies

As mentioned in the MyHeritage Blog, “MyHeritage Founder and CEO Gilad Japhet recently presented a keynote address to hundreds of attendees of the IAJGS 2015 conference in Israel. He discussed Seven Unique Technologies for Discovering Your Family History.

“His talk is a great introduction to understanding MyHeritage technologies, Smart Matches, Record Matches, Newspaper Matches and Instant Discoveries. Gilad described new technologies that MyHeritage has recently released, such as Global Name Translation, as well as new technologies that we are about to release.”


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