Online Sites

New Online Database of Albany, Rensselaer, Saratoga and Schenectady County, New York, Residents who Died during World War I

A new data base identifying residents of Albany, Rensselaer, Saratoga and Schenectady county residents who died during World War I has been added to the website of the Troy Irish Genealogy Society. To see these records, go to the TIGS website – www.troyirish.com – click on PROJECTS and then click on WORLD WAR I – NEW YORK STATE ROLL OF HONOR.

The names in this new data base were copied from a July 1, 1922 report identifying citizens of the State of New York who died while in the service of the United States during World War I. The 1922 report was compiled by Brigadier General J. Leslie Kincaid, the Adjutant General of the State of New York at that time.

New FamilySearch Collections: Week of July 13, 2015

The following announcement was written by the folks at FamilySearch:

Family historians hungry for historic Irish records will enjoy FamilySearch’s new collection, Ireland
Petty Sessions Court Registers 1828-1912
. These indexed court documents bring 22 million records to your fingertips. These records were originally filmed at the National Archives of Ireland
and the index was created by 
findmypast.com. See the table below for additions to over 60 historical record collections, including 46 million US obituaries. Click on the collection’s link to start your discovery.

London Jewish Synagogue Seatholder Records Go Online

The following announcement was written by the folks at TheGenealogist:

TheGenealogist has released online 99,500 records of London synagogue seat-holders spanning the years from 1920 to 1939.

  • Covering the records from 18 Synagogues around London with many connected guilds, societies and charities etc.
  • Additional information found in these records include names of gentlemen eligible for office, life member of the council, women who are seatholders in their own right and seatholders who are not eligible to vote.
  • Fully searchable by name, keyword, synagogue and address, the Jewish Synagogue Seatholders has been extracted from various years of: “Seatholders for Synagogues in London”

Those with Jewish ancestors from London will welcome this fascinating new release from TheGenealogist. Revealing details of positions held by forebears, researchers will be able to track ancestors who became wardens, council members, or served on committees of their synagogue, as well as seatholders in synagogues from around the capital city. These fully indexed records allow family historians to search by name, keyword, synagogue and address and with one click see an image taken from the pages of Seatholders for Synagogues in London.

Forces War Records Adds the Medal Rolls for the Territorial Force Nursing Service

The following announcement was written by the folks at the Forces War Records:

Long-lost WW1 nursing record collection is rediscovered at the AMS Museum:

(Territorial Force Nursing Service Medal Rolls)

When Forces War Records Director Phil Cooper realised what he was holding, he couldn’t believe his eyes. Found in a box that had been donated to the Army Medical Services Museum, but not yet properly examined, the stack of documents listed the names of 5-6,000 women who, as members of the Territorial Force Nursing Service, had been awarded medals for their work in the Great War. Excitedly, Phil shouted for Ceri Gage, Collections Curator of the museum, whose eyes widened with shock when she saw what he had discovered. “I don’t know whether to laugh or cry” she said, “because for years I have been telling people that these records don’t exist.”

Index to French Canadian Revolutionary War Patriots

American schoolchildren all learn about our glorious ancestors who fought for American independence in 1776 and for a few years following the Declaration of Independence. However, the history books published in the U.S. rarely mention that the desire for independence was not unanimous. Many Americans and Canadians wanted to remain loyal to the King of England they are generally referred to as Loyalists. While discredited in the U.S., these same Loyalists are considered to be heros by the Canadians. In fact, Canadian history books generally devote more pages to the Loyalists than to those who fought for independence. Likewise, many Canadians supported the Patriot cause even though they lived north of what is now the U.S.-Canadian border.

Was Your British Ancestor a Slave Owner?

Slavery was abolished in the British Empire in 1833. Those who had owned slaves were compensated at the time for their financial losses when they lost their slaves. Historians from University College London (UCL) have catalogued the 46,000 British subjects who were compensated by the British government for losing in total 800,000 slaves as a result of abolition. Descendants of the last British slave owners can now find out about their ancestors’ involvement.

These 46,000 slave owners were compensated a total of £20 million (£17 billion today). The research team discovered that it was not only the rich elite that had vested interest in slaves but also clergymen, shop owners and ‘ordinary’ members of the British middle classes. It is estimated that 10 per cent of Britons who died in the 18th century had benefited from slavery and that up to 15 per cent of the British elite were involved. Prime Minister David Cameron and his wife Samantha as well as actors Benedict Cumberbatch and Ben Affleck have all been revealed as having ancestors linked to the slave trade.

Findmypast Adds More than 197,000 Records Online

The following announcement was written by the folks at Findmypast:

This week’s Findmypast Friday highlights two fascinating sets of Criminal Petitions and nearly 7,000 Judges Reports on Criminals released early this month as part of our England and Wales Crime, Prisons and Punishment collection. Over 94,000 British Army, Northumberland Fusiliers records and 1831 census fragment records covering the parish St Julian’s in Shrewsbury are also available to search.

Registers of Criminal Petitions (HO18)

The Registers of Criminal Petitions HO 18 contain just over 19,000 further records. Some petitions have additional documents attached, such as returns of convicts recommended for early release by the governor, newspaper cuttings and other documentation. It is worth browsing through the connected images as some petitions are quite lengthy documents that will give details of family circumstances and the grounds on which they are hoping to appeal their sentence.

MyHeritage Launches Breakthrough Global Name Translation™ Technology

I think this is a huge advancement in online searches for genealogy information. I saw the brand-new Global Name Translation demonstrated earlier today at the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies (IAJGS) annual conference in Jerusalem and I am very impressed.

Global Name Translation is the easy way to search through MyHeritage’s massive multilingual and international database of 6 billion family tree profiles and historical records. As stated in the announcement below, the Global Name Translation “…automatically translates names found in historical records and family trees from one language into another, in very high accuracy, generating all the plausible translations, to facilitate matches between names in different languages. In addition, a manual search in one language will also provide results in other languages, translated back to the user’s language for convenience.”

Click on the above image to view a larger version

A search for “Jacob Schmidt” will find all the results shown above and more.

Yes, that’s right. If your ancestors came from a country that keeps its records in a language other than your preferred language, you can enter the search in your own language and MyHeritage will find matches for the same or very similar names in other languages as well. For instance, a search for Alexander or for Alessandro (Alexander in Italian) will also find “Саша” which is the Russian form of Sasha, a popular nickname of Alexander in Russia.

The first version successfully translates names to and from English, German, Dutch, French, Spanish, Catalan, Portuguese, Italian, Norwegian, Swedish, Danish, Greek, Hebrew, Polish, Czech, Russian and Ukrainian. The next version currently in development will add Chinese and Japanese, and additional languages will follow.

I am not aware of any other genealogy service that has anything like this.

The National Library of Ireland Places Adds Catholic Parish Registers Back to the 1740s Online

The National Library of Ireland in Dublin today (Wednesday) has placed the entire collection of Catholic parish register microfilms held by the National Library of Ireland (NLI) online. Involved are over 370,000 digital images of the microfilm reels on which the parish registers are recorded and which will be accessible free of charge.

These parish register records are considered the single most important source of information on Irish family history prior to the 1901 Census. Dating from the 1740s to the 1880s, they cover 1,086 parishes throughout the island of Ireland, and consist primarily of baptismal and marriage records. The NLI has been working to digitise the microfilms for over three years under what is had described as its most ambitious digitisation programme to date.

Drouin Institute’s Free Online Database Now Holds more than 1.6 million Canadian Obituaries

The Drouin Institute has added 246,000 recent obituaries to its bilingual website GenealogyQuebec for a total of 1,685,650 Canadian obituaries, from 1999 to 2015. A short article providing a bit of information and links to the new database may be found in Gail Dever’s Genealogy à la carte blog at http://genealogyalacarte.ca/?p=9997.

Findmypast Adds New Crime, Prisons and Punishment Records

The following announcement was written by the people at Findmypast:

To celebrate the release of over 1.9 million new additions to our England and Wales, Crime, Prisons and Punishment records, this week’s Findmypast Friday highlights some of the fascinating record sets that are now available to search within the collection.

England & Wales, Crime, Prisons & Punishment, 1770-1935, contains the details of felons who passed through the criminal justice system in England and Wales between 1770 and 1935. The records reveal the exact nature of the crimes they committed, where and when they were tried and the sentence they received. Records can also include physical descriptions, petitions for clemency, reports on behaviour, health and education and photographic mug shots. The details of victims and government officials working within the penal system can also found within the collection.

Preserve the Pensions July Initiative to Share a Document a Day

Here is a great idea from the several groups that are working to preserve, digitize, and make available online the War of 1812 pensions. I would hope every genealogist would help support this effort.

Welcome to July, 2015!

There is always so much to celebrate during the month of July. We spend time at family gatherings, picnics, and honoring our nation’s heritage. During the coming month, we are excited to celebrate our progress in the effort to digitally preserve the pension files from the War of 1812.

We have found some amazing material within the collection so far, and what better way to share it with our friends than in our Facebook group? We now have just over 1,000 people engaged in conversation, asking interesting questions, and assisting each other in their War of 1812 related research. Whether you are a genealogist, historian, or educator, we would invite you to be a part of that community.

Ancestry.com is Giving Free Access to 13 Colonies Records for July 4th

Ancestry.com is offering free access to many records concerning the original 13 US colonies as part of it’s 13 Colonies Collection at http://www.ancestry.com/cs/julyfourth2015.

Access to the records in the featured collections will be free until July 5, 2015 at 11:59 p.m. ET.

140,000 Original Kansas Landowners Added to HistoryGeo

I wrote about HistoryGeo a few days ago at http://blog.eogn.com/2015/06/16/historygeo-com-adds-landowner-data. Now the company has added even more records. The following announcement is from HistoryGeo.com:

We just added an additional 140 thousand original Kansas landowners to the map in our First Landowners Project. That brings us to just under half a million Kansans in this single map of original U.S. landowners.

Fold3 Offers Free Access to the Revolutionary War Collection until July 15th

The following announcement was written by the folks at Fold3:

As we celebrate America’s independence this month, learn more about the people who made it possible by exploring Fold3’s Revolutionary War Collection for free July 1st to 15th.
Popular titles for finding Revolutionary War ancestors include:

History Colorado Collections Online

History Colorado recently launched a database of selected items in its collection, including artifacts, photographs, and archival materials. The site primarily contains a variety of archives, artifacts, and photographs, all documenting the people and places of Colorado. I didn’t see any genealogy records other than one handwritten note. However, the site’s 80,000 items does contain a wealth of information about the area where your Colorado ancestors lived. This database is an excellent resource for researchers to find primary sources on Colorado’s history.

You can access History Colorado at http://goo.gl/mg8PYx.

Hands on with Ancestry Academy

The following article was written by Pam Cerutti.

NOTE: Pam Cerutti is the editor of this newsletter, but her professional background suits this review well. After teaching high school English, she went on to a career in computer education, where she developed many courses on software applications. In particular, she spent much of her time creating self-paced instruction and managing online learning. In all, she has over 30 years of assessing educational best practices and a pretty good understanding of how people learn.

Ancestry.com launched a new offering called Ancestry Academy in April, and I finally had a chance to try out some of its courses this week. I have a career in computer education, and my interest in e-learning goes back to the infancy of the internet. Having followed the development of online courses ever since, I thought other EOGN readers might be interested in this review.

To access Ancestry Academy, you need either a free login or a subscription. A free login will get you access to some of the courses, but you will be able to see all the titles available. Subscription detail appears at the end of this article.

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 AmericanAncestors.org

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

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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 AmericanAncestors.org.

A total of nine searchable databases comprise the Great Migration project on AmericanAncestors.org, 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 http://blog.eogn.com/2015/02/27/the-digital-public-library-of-america.

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.

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