Online Sites

Historical Court Records and Passenger Lists from Victoria, Australia, to be Published Online for the First Time

The following announcement was written by the folks at

Leading family history website Findmypast has secured the rights to publish original petty session records and passenger lists from Victoria. In partnership with Public Record Office Victoria (PROV) and FamilySearch, the original images of these extensive collections will be scanned and transcribed for the first time.

Sydney, Australia, 25 June 2015, Never before microfilmed or indexed, the collection of Victoria’s Coastal Passenger Lists 1852-1924 will be brought online to later this year. Comprising both original images and transcripts of an estimated 118,000 records, these passenger lists provide a vivid snapshot of immigrants and travellers alike arriving in Victoria’s coastal ports.

Nunhead Cemetery Records Added to Deceased Online

Deceased Online has added a third of the Magnificent Seven Cemeteries’ records to its website, Nunhead Cemetery, managed by the London Borough of Southwark, is one of the largest and most historic cemeteries in South London and around 1 million records for all 275,000 burials from 1840 to 2011 are immediately available.

Here is the announcement from Deceased Online:

Historic Freedmen’s Bureau Records Released

This is a major announcement of new information posted online by a cooperative effort of five organizations. The following announcement was written by FamilySearch International, the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, the Afro­-American Historical and Genealogical Society (AAHGS), and the California African American Museum:

Event launches volunteer indexing effort of 4 million freed slave records

SALT LAKE CITY — FamilySearch International, the largest non-profit genealogy organization in the world, announced the digital release of 4 million Freedmen’s Bureau historical records and the launch of a nationwide volunteer indexing effort.

FamilySearch is working in collaboration with the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, the Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society and the California African American Museum to make these records available and accessible by taking the raw records, extracting the information and indexing them to make them easily searchable online. Once indexed, finding an ancestor may be as easy as going to, entering a name and, with the touch of a button, discovering your family member.

New Records Available to Search This Findmypast Friday

The following announcement was written by Findmypast:

This Findmypast Friday marks the release of thousands of fascinating new Prisoner of War records containing the details of thousands of American’s captured during the War of 1812 in partnership with The National Archives. This week’s Findmypast Friday also marks the release of birth, marriage, burial and congregation records from a Scottish garrison church in Gibraltar, new Greater London Burial Index records and substantial updates to our collection of historic British newspapers.

Prisoners of War 1715-1945 Phase 2 – Napoleonic Wars

Reviving the Statistical Atlas of the United States with New Data

The Statistical Atlas of the United States was published by the Census Bureau and was full of statistical data from the census records (although no names of citizens were included). It also mapped things you can’t see directly, including crop yields, the prevalence of disease, the provenance of people. It was a huge resource with many applications, used by thousands of people in government, industry, education, research, and also by private citizens. The Statistical Atlas of the United States, historically produced by the Census Bureau, was last published for 2000. A 2010 version of the Statistical Atlas of the United States was considered but then abandoned because of budget cuts.

What one large government bureaucracy could not produce in a cost-effective manner was instead done by one person: Nathan Yau. Adds Landowner Data

Arphax Publishing Company publishes, a family history web service for linking old maps and land records to your genealogy research. Arphax probably is best known for providing online versions of the Family Maps and Texas Land Survey Maps book series, but that perception has changed since the release of the company’s First Landowners Project.

The company recently announced the addition of 3.3 million original landowners to the “First Landowners Project,” for Arizona, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota, Washington and Wyoming.

National Archives of Australia Begins Digitizing World War 1 Repatriation Records

The National Archives of Australia (NAA) has begun a $3.4 million project to mark the centenary of World War I, describing and digitizing many of the Anzacs’ repatriation records, ensuring greater public access. Director-General of the Archives, David Fricker said the details were preserved in more than 600,000 World War I repatriation records, held by the NAA.

The government records contain information about Australians and New Zealanders in World War I and the Boer War. The personal stories provide information about service men and women through original archival records. Information in these records includes medical care, welfare services and pensions provided by the Repatriation Department, now known as the Department of Veterans’ Affairs. Very few of the files had been viewed since their official use.

Virginia Vital Records Online

Fred Moss, with input from Peter E. Broadbent, Jr., has written an excellent article about Virginia’s recent release of 16 million Virginia vital records. Fred writes, “This important new access to Virginia vital records occurred directly as a result of the Virginia Genealogical Society’s efforts in 2011 – 2012. VGS members wrote key legislators, and former VGS President Peter Broadbent lead the effort in meetings with legislators.”

The full article is available at

ManyRoads Adds Hundreds of Address Books

For those researching areas in the former Eastern German Provinces of Pommern and Westpreussen (Pomerania & West Prussia), Mark Rabideau has added online access to hundreds of address books. Major changes include new listings for Danzig, Posen, Stettin and Stolp.

You may access the records at:

Fly Around Your Family Tree with ZoomPast

This is somewhat like playing space invaders in your family tree.

Let’s face it: displaying a family tree to other people, probably relatives, has never been easy. If everything is printed on paper, jumping from one page to another as you flip through the generations can be very confusing for the person trying to understand the relationships. Large paper is a big help but not everyone has a printing device that will fill a piece of paper that is as large as a wall.

Many of us use computers for storing our data but displaying it to others often is a “herky-jerky” motion as we click on link after link, jumping through generations. Did you ever try to show a non-genealogist relative ten generations of his or her ancestry, including cousins? Within a couple of minutes, that person’s eyes probably looked dazed.

What is needed is the electronic equivalent of a large rood map.

RootsBid Family History Website Now Officially Certified by FamilySearch

The following announcement was written by the folks at RootsBid:

RootsBid, a new family history research website, is now certified by FamilySearch and listed in the FamilySearch App Gallery.

American Fork, Utah – June 04, 2015 – RootsBid today announces certification for on FamilySearch, the world’s largest collection of genealogical records. As part of the partnership, the RootsBid web application is featured prominently on FamilySearch’s App Gallery: a place to find, connect, organize, and explore your family.
“We are thrilled to be certified by as an approved application to help their user base with the genealogy research and records,” said Steven Pedersen, co-founder of RootsBid.

With RootsBid anyone can request or bid on family history projects around the world. This site is for people who are looking for help with their genealogy and also for those who are able to help others with their family history. RootsBid is especially effective for finding people who can perform family history projects in locations that are difficult to access for the requestor. Using RootsBid, they can now find genealogy experts and others who can complete family history tasks on their behalf all over the world.

Indexed Family History Records Now Available Through the DAR Genealogical Research System

The following announcement was written by the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution:

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Society Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) is excited to announce a new resource has been added to its Genealogical Research System (GRS). The new resource is an index of over 40,000 digitized family Bible records, and each day more records are digitized and added to the Index. This is one of the largest known collections of such genealogical materials in existence. The DAR collection spans many decades, so even those researchers who are not looking for Revolutionary War era ancestors, may find the new Bible Records Index useful (

WikiTree Reaches 10 Million Profiles

The following announcement was written by the folks at WikiTree:

3 June 2015: This week the WikiTree community reached a major milestone: 10 million profiles on our shared family tree.

Since its founding in 2008, WikiTree has grown steadily but carefully. Although the community’s mission is to connect the entire human family on one tree — ultimately including billions of people — WikiTree prioritizes collaboration and accuracy.

Over 200,000 genealogists have added profiles to WikiTree. Many of them share ancestors. Rather than create duplicate ancestor profiles, they work together on the same profiles. When duplicates are created accidentally, they’re merged.

MyHeritage Instant Discoveries™ in Oslo

MyHeritage (the sponsor of this newsletter) recently took to the streets of Oslo to test the service on Norwegian passersby. The video shows how genealogy can inspire anyone, and portrays the emotional experience of making family history discoveries.

It also proves the extent of MyHeritage’s reach in Norway, and Scandinavia as a whole, as noted in my earlier article at

More than 16 Million Virginia Records Are Now Digitized and Online

Governor Terry McAuliffe announced on Tuesday morning that a massive project to help Virginians find important documents is now finished.

So far, birth and death records from 1912 to the present, marriage records from 1936 to the present and divorce records from 1918 to the present have been scanned and are available. Image are available and the records have also been indexed.

Here is the announcement from the Office of Governor McAuliffe:

Announcing a New Genealogy Website: Twile

I took a brief look at this web site this morning and it looks good. It is new so it doesn’t yet have a lot of information but it certainly shows promise. The following announcement was written by the folks at Twile:

New Website Lets Family Historians Share What They Find

Twile aims to make Genealogy more engaging for the whole family

Sheffield, UK, June 2, 2015 – Twile ( allows family historians to create rich, visual timelines of their family history, made up of milestones and photos from their ancestors’ lives. Genealogy services, like MyHeritage and Ancestry, focus primarily on providing access to historical records. Twile, on the other hand, helps users get a visualization of the information and easily share it with their family.

“We’ve found there is a family historian in pretty much every family, who gathers as much information as they can about their heritage,” said Twile co-founder, Paul Brooks. “Unfortunately, most of their family will never see any of it, either because it isn’t shared or because it’s hidden away in notes and scanned documents that are difficult for most people to digest.”

“Cuban Equivalent” of Now Available Online

According to an article by Alexandra Pecharich in the Florida International University News, the Florida International University Libraries has unveiled an online resource to help families of the Cuban diaspora research their roots—and already several have hit pay dirt.

An extensive set of family trees, civil records and sacramental documents is now available on the Internet. It references thousands of Hispanic surnames and gives everyone from the Abadias to the Zúñigas the opportunity to search for their ancestors. The material comes from the Enrique Hurtado de Mendoza Collection of Cuban Genealogy, a treasure trove that also features hard copies of more than 3,500 17th and 18th century books, long out-of-print publications and periodicals that few, if any, other U.S. libraries hold. The online offerings can be accessed by going to FIU’s Digital Library of the Caribbean and searching by last name.

FamilySearch Adds More Than 3.7 Million Indexed Records and Images for Belgium, England, Germany, the Philippines, and the United States

The following announcement was written by the folks at FamilySearch:

FamilySearch has added to its collections more than 3.7 million indexed records and images for Belgium, England, Germany, the Philippines, and the United States. Notable collection updates include 2,807,806 indexed records from the England, London Electoral Registers, 1847–1913 collection; 190,879 indexed records from theUS, Texas, Brownsville Passenger and Crew List of Airplanes, 1943–1964 collection; and 137,815 images from the Philippines, Index to Filipino Passengers Arriving at Honolulu, Hawaii, 1900–1952 collection. See the table below for the full list of updates. Search these diverse collections and more than 5.8 billion other records for free at

Searchable historic records are made available on 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 Learn more about volunteering to help provide free access to the world’s historic genealogical records online at

New Exclusively Transcribed Record Collection Released From Forces War Records

The following announcement was written by the Forces War Records in Wiltshire, England:

This month, in commemoration of the 70th Anniversary of VE Day and the end of the war in Europe, Forces War Records will be releasing a brand new collection of daily reports from the Second World War.

We are really excited about this collection, as it includes detail not available in previously released Second World War data sets. It will give Forces War Records’ users information about what happened to your Army ancestors at very specific times during the war. Almost any military records will give the name, rank and service number of the subject, but officer records traditionally miss off the latter piece of information. In these records however, service numbers are also given for officers. In addition, information on deaths, wounds and prisoners of war is given, along with specific duty locations. Importantly, the collection also gives corrections for previously released lists where soldiers have, for example, been incorrectly recorded as killed or missing but later found to be alive and well.

TheGenealogist Releases 60,000 Railway Worker Records

The following announcement was written by the folks at TheGenealogist:

  • More than 60,000 railway workers have been added to the Occupational Records on TheGenealogist
  • Find details of railway ancestors, where they were employed and what they did
  • Trace your railway worker ancestor’s careers through their promotions
  • Discover when they retired
  • Read obituaries

Click on the above image to view a larger version

Click on the above image to view a larger versionThe Genealogist has added over 60,000 rail workers to its online indexes of Railway Employment Records. Taken from Railway Company Staff magazines these records are useful to family historians with railway employee ancestors, wanting to find important occupation related dates and add some social history to their family tree. These records include such details as staff changes, promotions, pension records, retirements and obituaries. Often additional personal information is revealed in the magazines. In some cases you can read about gifts from co-workers given when rail staff leave.


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