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FamilySearch Adds more than 1.7 Million Indexed Records and Images to Canada, Croatia, Peru, Poland, and the United States

The following announcement was written by the folks at FamilySearch:

FamilySearch has added more than 1.7 million indexed records and images to collections from Canada, Croatia, Peru, Poland, and the United States. Notable collection updates include the 1,160,179 indexed records from the UnitedStates, Hawaii, Honolulu Passenger Lists, 1900–1953, collection; the 50,858 indexed records from the Peru, Cusco, Civil Registration, 1889–1997, collection; and the 99,950 indexed records from United States, Panama Canal Zone, Employment Records and Sailing lists, 1905–1937, 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.

Digital Collections of Historic Newspaper Available on Veridian

Veridian is a company that provides newspaper digitization services to libraries and other cultural heritage institutions. Services offered include: scanning services, Optical Character Recognition (OCR) services, software for online discovery and delivery of digitized newspapers, hosting services for online digital collections of any size, and long-term digital preservation solutions. The company’s web site includes links to many of the newspaper collections that have been digitized for the libraries and other organizations. As a result, the web page is an excellent “starting point” to find many of the collections.

Digitized newspaper collections that may be found by starting at http://www.veridiansoftware.com include:

Tennessee State Public Library Adds more than 1,500 Digitized and Searchable Family Bibles Online

Before the 20th century, Tennessee and many other states did not keep comprehensive records of births, marriages, and deaths. Families recorded their own vital records in family Bibles that were passed down through generations. The Tennessee State Library and Archives holds hundreds of family Bible records in several formats and within many collections. The Bible records recently placed online were taken from photocopies in TSLA’s vertical files; additional records will be added as they are donated or discovered in manuscripts collections. The bulk of the records in this collection date between the late 18th and early 20th century. Many prominent Tennessee families are represented here; some records even include the names of families’ slaves.

USGS Historical Topographic Map Explorer

This has to be one of the best tools I have seen for finding old maps. The United States Geological Survey (USGS) recently launched a GIS-based website that allows viewers access to more than 178,000 USGS maps, dating back to 1884. The maps can be searched by location by starting with current maps. If you like old maps as much as I do, you will want to check this out.

Click on the image to view a larger map of Los Angeles

Millions of Staffordshire Historical Records Go Online

An 18th century Admiral, a freed Jamaican slave and the founder of the Wedgwood pottery company are all included in records to be published online for the first time. The Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent Archive Service and Findmypast website will make 2.8 million documents available.

The baptism, marriage and burial records span 1538 to 1900. Accounts of floods, riots and an earthquake are also included.

You can read more in an article in BBC News at http://goo.gl/jMvD2q.

U.S. Marine Corps Offers Historical Database

Family members of Marines who were wounded, killed, deemed a prisoner of war or missing during past wars can now access their loved ones’ casualty card using the Marine Corps History Division’s new online database. Each casualty card lists the military member’s unit, service number, type of casualty and date of death. Currently, there are digitized casualty cards for World War II, Interwar period 1946-50, and for war dogs, trained military dogs that served in combat. Korean War cards are scheduled to be complete and released this summer and Vietnam in the fall. To access the online database, visit the U.S. Marine Corps History Division Casualty Card Databases webpage, or to request a copy of the original card, send an email to history.division@usmc.mil or a request in writing to:

MyGreatBigFamily.com: An Alternative to MyFamily.com

Ancestry.com recently announced that it will soon close the popular MyFamily.com web service. (See http://wp.me/p5Z3-lk for the details.) The outcry from MyFamily.com users has been loud. However, all is not lost. Several other web sites offer similar services to those previously offered by Ancestry.com’s subsidiary at MyFamily.com. Anyone who has been using MyFamily.com will want to check out the alternatives available.

This week I took a look at MyGreatBigFamily.com and must say that I am impressed.

MyGreatBigFamily.com supplies family web sites that are preconfigured with most everything you need to connect online with your relatives around the world and to preserve your family history. The web site proclaims, “We’ve made it so easy for you to customize & manage a professional looking website. All you do is add the content. No need to understand web publishing tools or be a web wizard.” After using the site for a while, I believe that is an accurate claim. In fact, I was so impressed with this service that I am now a MyGreatBigFamily.com customer. Details are given near the end of this article.

Savannah, Georgia, City Records Back to Late 1700s Now Available Online

Savannah officials announced Friday that the has made many of the city’s records from 1790 through 1900 available online on the Ancestry.com web site. Currently the following collections of City records are available to researchers online through Ancestry.com at:

  • Savannah, Georgia, Vital Records, 1803-1966
  • Savannah, Georgia, Cemetery and Burial Records, 1852-1939
  • Savannah, Georgia, Cemetery Burial Lot Cards, 1807-1995*
  • Savannah, Georgia, Court Records, 1790-1934
  • Savannah, Georgia, Land Tax & Property Records, 1896-1938
  • Savannah, Georgia, Naturalization Records, 1790-1910
  • Savannah, Georgia, Records of Titles, 1791-1971
  • Savannah, Georgia, Registers of Free Persons of Color, 1817-1864*
  • Savannah, Georgia, Voter Records, 1901-1917
  • Savannah, Georgia, City Council Minutes, 1790-1900*

Tennessee State Library & Archives Puts Family Bible Records Online

Visitors to the website of the Tennessee State Library and Archives (TSLA) can now access family Bible records previously available only to patrons visiting TSLA’s building. Over the past few years, TSLA volunteer Cinamon Collins scanned more than 1,500 family Bible records held at TSLA.

Most of the records were photocopied from privately-held family Bibles and preserved at TSLA by archivists and librarians. A new database on the TSLA website allows researchers to browse these records in their entirety, and a search function will ultimately include all of the thousands of names written in these unique documents.

Search World War I Military Records for Free on MyHeritage

2014 marks a century since the outbreak of World War I. On July 28 1914, the Austro-Hungarian Empire invaded Serbia, beginning a world war that would last four years and result in millions of casualties. Were your ancestors among the brave men who fought? How did they serve their country?

MyHeritage can help you learn more about your ancestors by searching hundreds of thousands of WWI military records. You can enjoy FREE access to a number of military record collections from now through the end of July. Details may be found in the MyHeritageBlog at: http://blog.myheritage.com/2014/07/search-wwi-military-records-for-free.

Archives From Prisons in New York Are Being Digitized

1931 Mugshot of Lucky Luciano

New York State Department of Corrections inmate records previously have been available only at the state archives in Albany. The same records are now being digitized and placed online. Records already available in digital format include: Newgate in Greenwich Village (1797-1810), the first New York State penitentiary and the inspiration for the phrase “up the river”; Clinton (1851-1866, 1926-1939); and Sing Sing (1865-1939), will be available free to New York residents from Ancestry.com later this month.

“Enhanced” Indexes to Ireland’s Civil Registration Records Now Online

The following was written by the Council of Irish Genealogical Organisations (CIGO):

At an event on the 3rd July attended by representatives of CIGO, the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Jimmy Deenihan TD, launched a database index to Ireland’s civil registration records. The database covers all civil records from 1845 (when registration first began) right up to 2013 – encompassing all non-Catholic marriages from April 1845 and all births, deaths and marriages from January 1864.

New England Naturalizations records 1791-1906 released on Findmypast

The six states of New England were all popular destinations for immigration and settlement since colonial times due to the rich and expansive farmlands and large towns and cities such Boston, Providence and Hartford. Findmypast has just released 635,867 records filed at various courts throughout the six states of New England, which include Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont.

These states form the northeastern corner of the United States and were all major places for immigration and settlement since colonial times. Immigrants moved here both for the rich and expansive farmlands and to the larger towns and cities like Boston, Providence, and Hartford. After the founding of the United States, new immigrants to the area who wished to become citizens needed to apply for naturalization before attaining citizenship.

FamilySearch Adds More Than 4.9 Million Indexed Records and Images to Belgium, Mexico, Peru, Spain, Sweden, and the United States

The following announcement was written by the folks at FamilySearch:

July 3, 2014

FamilySearch has added more than 4.9 million indexed records and images to collections from Belgium, El Salvador, Mexico, Netherlands, Peru, Spain, Sweden, Ukraine, and the United States. Notable collection updates include the 466,156 indexed records from the Mexico, Distrito Federal, Catholic Church Records, 1514–1970, collection; the 522,882 indexed records and 522,882 images from the U.S., BillionGraves Index, collection; and the 530,556 indexed records from U.S., Pennsylvania, Philadelphia Passenger Lists Index, 1800–1906, 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.

BillionGraves and The Federation of Genealogical Societies Partner to Image Cemetery Markers for War of 1812 Participants

The following announcement was written by BillionGraves and The Federation of Genealogical Societies:

The Federation of Genealogical Societies and cemetery website BillionGraves announced today a joint project to image all of the gravestone markers for participants of the War of 1812. “The images from these markers, coupled with the Federation’s current project to raise the funds to digitize the 7.2 million images of the pensions for those who participated in the War of 1812 are a natural fit,” said D. Joshua Taylor, President of FGS.

Ancestry.com to Offer US Census for Free for 4th of July Weekend

In honor of the 4th of July, Ancestry.com will be opening up of the available U.S. Federal Census Records from 1790 through 1940 for FREE. These collections will be open from July 2nd through the 6th.

Findmypast Releases 450,000 new RAF Records Online

Today, Findmypast in partnership with The National Archives has released nearly 450,000 service records of men of the Royal Flying Corps and Royal Air Force, including 342,000 Airmen’s records never seen online before.

The records, comprising National Archives series AIR 76 (Officers’ service records) and AIR 79 (Airmen’s records) contain information about an individual’s peacetime and military career, as well as his physical description, religious denomination and family status. Next of kin are often mentioned, and this too has been fully indexed and is easily searchable.

You can learn more at http://goo.gl/vQBaOR.

Spokt – A Substitute for MyFamily.com?

Ancestry.com recently announced that it will close the popular MyFamily.com web service. (See http://wp.me/p5Z3-lk for the details.) The outcry from MyFamily.com users has been loud. However, users of the MyFamily web site are not out of luck. Other companies offer similar, perhaps better, services. Spokt.com appears to be a strong contender to replace MyFamily.com. If you are planning to move your family’s web site to a new service, you may want to investigate Spokt.com.

University of New Hampshire adds Four Sets of Digitized Historic Maps Online

The University of New Hampshire has placed four new sets of digital historic maps online. Those looking for New Hampshire locations may wish to check out these maps and gazetteer. Three of the new additions are for New Hampshire only:

  • Hurd Town and City Atlas of New Hampshire, originally published in 1892
  • Atlas Accompanying the Hitchcock Geology of New Hampshire, originally published in 1878
  • Gazetteer of the state of New-Hampshire, originally published in 1817

The fourth covers all of New England: Historic USGS Maps of New England. The online collection of 1100 USGS topographic maps includes complete coverage of New England from the 1890s to 1950s.

Ancestry.ca Offers Free Access to all 235 Million Canadian Records

In celebration of Canada Day on July 1st, Ancestry.ca is offering free access to all its Canadian records. Quoting from the web site’s home page: “Explore our extensive variety of Canadian records – ALL FREE this weekend – and connect the milestones of your ancestors’ lives.”

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