Online Sites

New FamilySearch Collections: Week of 27 July 2015

The following announcement was written by the folks at FamilySearch:

Highlights of this week’s updates include the Alabama County Marriages 1809-1950Denmark Deeds and Mortgages 1572-1928, Philippines Civil Registration (Local) 1888-1984, Utah Obituaries from Utah Newspapers 1850-2005, and Zimbabwe Death notices from 1904-1976.  Explore these newly released collections and others by following the links below.





County Marriages 1809-1950



indexed records and images to an existing collection

Deeds and Mortgages 1572-1928



browsable image collection.

Passenger Lists 1893-1941



images to an existing collection

La Libertad Civil Registration 1903-1998



indexed records to an existing collection

Civil Registration (Local) 1888-1984



images to an existing collection

Obituaries from Utah Newspapers 1850-2005



indexed records to an existing collection

Death notices 1904-1976



indexed records to an existing collection

Norfolk Parish Records to go Online on

The following announcement was written by the folks at

TheGenealogist and the Norfolk Record Office announce that they have signed an agreement to make Norfolk parish and other historical records available online for the first time. The registers of baptisms, marriages, burials and banns of marriage feature the majority of the parishes in Norfolk.

On release the searchable transcripts will be linked to original images of baptism, marriage and burial records from the parish registers of this East Anglian county

  • Some of the surviving records are from the early 1500s
  • These vital records will allow family history researchers from all over the world to search for their Norfolk ancestors online for the first time

Famous people that can be found in these records include:

New 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 27,000 fascinating British Army Military School records from both England and Ireland. This week’s additions also include over 92,000 historic Irish Newspapers articles, substantial updates to the PERiodical Source Index (PERSI) and the ability to browse our collection of Norfolk parish registers.

British Army schoolchildren and schoolmasters 1803-1932

New FamilySearch Collections: Week of July 20, 2015

The following announcement was written by the folks at FamilySearch:

Historic Philippines records stand out in this week’s collections update with more than 380,000 browsable digital images. Philippines Civil Registration (Archives Division) 1902-1945Philippines Civil Registration (Local) 1888-1984Philippines Civil Registration (Spanish Period) 1706-1911, and Philippines Pangasinan Civil Registration1945-1981 are now searchable at  Explore the complete weekly update by clicking on the links below.

“A History of the Geography of NYC” by Joel Weintraub

Steve Morse’s “One Step” web site at is a gold mine for genealogists. It provides simplified tools to access U.S. census records, Canada/UK census records, New York census, Social Security Death Index, vital records, calendars, maps, foreign alphabets, Holocaust, genetic and more. Thousands of genealogists use Steve Morse’s web site every day to simplify their searches of online sites. However, I suspect many of them overlook one hidden gem on the site: A History of the Geography of NYC by Joel Weintraub.

Weintraub’s five-page article provides a a great deal of information about boundary changes within that city and also contains links to Changed Street Names (for NYC as well as some other cities), graphics and other references. If you have ancestors who lived in New York City, you need this free document!

Gulbenkian Grant Helps Update the “Armenian Jerusalem” Project

I was in the Armenian Quarter of Old Jerusalem a couple of weeks ago so this new article caught my eye today. The Gulbenkian Foundation, one of the world’s leading philanthropic organizations, has provided the “Armenian Jerusalem” heritage preservation website project with a new grant, enabling organizers to carry out necessary hardware upgrades and software updates.

One of its primary objectives was the creation of an all-in-one family tree that highlights the inter-relationship and inter-connectivity of the “kaghakatsi” residents of the Armenian Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem.

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 – – 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 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

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. is Giving Free Access to 13 Colonies Records for July 4th is offering free access to many records concerning the original 13 US colonies as part of it’s 13 Colonies Collection at

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 Now the company has added even more records. The following announcement is from

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.


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