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FamilySearch Adds More Than 3.7 Million Indexed Records and Images to Australia, Canada, Isle of Man, South Africa, and the United States

The following announcement was written by FamilySearch:

FamilySearch adds more than 3.7 million indexed records and images to Australia, Canada, Isle of Man, South Africa, and the United States. Notable collection updates include the 1,395,009 images from the Canada, Nova Scotia Probate Records, 1760–1993 collection; the 396,405 images and 396,405 indexed records from the US, BillionGraves Index collection; and the 389,387 indexed records from the South Africa, Church of the Province of South Africa, Parish Registers, 1801–2004 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.

Findmypast releases Pettigrew & Oulton’s Dublin Almanac & General Register of Ireland, over 1.7 million Devon parish records and over 250,000 Devon Wills

The following announcement was written by Findmypast:

Every Friday, leading family history website Findmypast reveals thousands of new records to explore over the weekend on its dedicated Findmypast Friday page. This week’s new additions include over 1.7 million new additions to our collection of Devonshire parish birth, marriage, banns and burial records, over 250,000 Devon Wills Index 1844-1900 records and Pettigrew & Oulton’s Dublin Almanac & General Register of Ireland 1835-1845.

Pettigrew & Oulton’s Dublin Almanac & General Register of Ireland 1835-1845 has been added to our collection of Newspapers, Directories and Social History records. Pettigrew and Oulton’s was the first annual publication to include a street by street directory of Dublin. First published in 1834, the Almanac provided not simply a street directory but also an alphabetical list of inhabitants, grouped by profession. Pettigrew and Oulton’s was published until 1845. Now available on Findmypast, the index is fully searchable and contains over 6,000 search results.

The Essex Ancestors Wills Collection now includes 70,000 Documents Which Date from the 1400s to 1858

The following announcement was written by the Essex (England) Records Office:

Councillor Roger Hirst, Cabinet Member for Libraries, Communities and Planning said “We have in Essex Ancestors an amazing resource dedicated to showcasing the rich and fascinating history of our county. The digital images of these historic documents – some of them over 500 years old – are now available so that people all around the world with connections to our county can research their family history and even learn where their family heirlooms originate from.”

Click on the above image to view a larger version

Wills can tell us all sorts of things about the lives of people in the past. For example, in 1641, Elizabeth Fuller of Chigwell left her eldest son Henry her ‘longe carte’, ‘dunge carte’, ‘pondering crose’, ‘furnace’, and her ‘mault quarne’. We believe the cross would have been used for religious contemplation and the quarne for grinding grain. Her second son received ‘my best chest and my best brace [brass] pot’, to modern eyes this might seem the better bequest!

Fold3 Offers Free Access to the World War II Collection Until November 30

The Fold 3 Blog reports:

“In honor of Veterans Day, Fold3 is offering free access to our World War II Collection November 10-30. Explore the records of the war that shaped America’s “greatest generation”—and look for your family’s own WWII heroes along the way.

“Whether you’re interested in historical aspects of the war or are searching for specific individuals who fought in it, Fold3’s WWII Collection likely has what you need.”

You can read all the details at http://blog.fold3.com/free-access-to-the-world-war-ii-collection.

Find Your Family’s World War I Veterans in New, Free Military Collections Online on FamilySearch

The following announcement was written by the folks at FamilySearch:

SALT LAKE CITY, Nov. 10, 2014 — Veterans’ Day is a time to recognize the veterans in our lives—to honor their service for our country and show them that we appreciate their sacrifices made in our behalf. “The Great War,” World War I, began 100 years ago and later ended on November 11, 1918. In commemoration of Veteran’s Day, FamilySearch.org has announced the addition of three free World War I collections containing information on the millions of American and British citizens who served and registered for military service between 1914 and 1920. These vital genealogical resources were made available in collaboration with the National Archives and Records Administration in Washington DC, The National Archives in Kew, Surrey, England, and findmypast.com.

These resources include the free United States World War I Draft Registration Cards 1917-1918. This collection “acts like a national census,” notes FamilySearch collection manager Ken Nelson, “because it includes over 24 million records representing almost half of the male population of the United States at the time.” Out of those who registered, approximately 4.8 million served and 2.8 million were drafted.

Search Historical Newspaper Archives with Elephind.com

Elephind can be a great FREE resource for anyone who wishes to search old newspapers. The purpose of elephind.com is to make it possible to search all of the world’s digital newspapers from one place and at one time. Elephind.com allows you to simultaneously search across thousands of articles using key words and phrases.

Elephind presently contains 141,831,915 items from 2,704 newspaper titles. You can find a list of libraries that have contribute their archives on the site by clicking on “List of Titles.” Clicking on any library’s name displays the newspapers in that collection.

Elephind.com is much like Google, Bing, or other search engines but focused only on historical, digitized newspapers. By clicking on the Elephind.com search result that interests you, you’ll go directly to the newspaper collection which hosts that story.

Of course, newspapers can be a great resource of genealogy information. Birth announcements, marriage announcements, court news, and more can be searched within seconds. If your ancestor was a merchant, you probably can also find his or her advertisements placed in the newspaper.

New Family History 4 Beginners Discussion Board

Peter Smith has formed a new discussion board, called Family History 4 Beginners. It is a totally free service with experts on hand to guide everyone through their family history efforts. The goal of the discussion board is to offer an environment where everyone can feel safe and welcome.

The discussion board runs on pb Pro Boards, a discussion board hosting service. It does have advertising. After all, they have to pay the bills somehow. When I looked at the site, there was one ad per page and that one ad never looked intrusive.

Free Access to ArkivDigital’s Swedish Records this Weekend, November 8-9

This is late notice but I just learned of it a few minutes ago. ArkivDigital is offering free access to its huge collection of Swedish genealogy records this weekend, 8 and 9 November.

You will need to register with the site and to install the special viewer software that is required to view records on ArkivDigital. You can learn more at http://www.arkivdigital.net/products/adonline/try-for-free/.

WikiTree Makes Finding Relationships with DNA Matches Easier

The following announcement was written by the folks at WikiTree.com:

6 November 2014: Today WikiTree.com is announcing two important features for genealogists who have taken DNA tests. These features make WikiTree’s Relationship Finder a uniquely powerful tool for genealogists who have taken 23andMe, AncestryDNA, and FTDNA Family Finder tests.

“One of the biggest challenges facing genetic genealogists,” according to Dr. Blaine Bettinger, author of the long-running blog The GeneticGenealogist, “is finding the elusive common ancestor. Finding genetic matches is easy, but finding the common ancestor from whom we inherited a segment DNA is very hard. WikiTree’s new Relationship Finder is a great tool for identifying the ancestors that two or more people share in common.”

Findmypast is Free This Weekend

An announcement from Findmypast.co.uk states:

This Remembrance Weekend, we want to help everyone find their First World War ancestors and learn more about their family history. So from 12:00 GMT on 7th November you can explore billions of historical records from around the world completely FREE.

From midday, Friday November 7th to midday on Monday, November 10th (GMT), you’ll be able to access:

FamilyTreeNow Adds Several New Improvements

I wrote a month or so ago about a new web site called FamilyTreeNow. The site is in beta and claims to have “billions of historical records, including census (1790-1940) records, birth records, death records, marriage & divorce records, living people records, and military records.” You can read my earlier article at http://goo.gl/KuMe1p. Now the owners of the web site have added a lot of new functionality, including:

User accounts. You can login with a local account, or for more convenience, you can also login securely with your Facebook or Google account.

Save Records: You can now save individual records and view them in your account manager.

Soldiers Mentioned in Dispatches are now Available Online on TheGenealogist.co.uk

The following announcement was written by the folks at TheGenealogist.co.uk:

For the first time online, leading British genealogy research website TheGenealogist has released over 81,000 records of records of Mentioned in Dispatches from the First World War, linked to citations from the London Gazette.

Find thousands of soldiers and army nurses who had come to the notice of superior officers for an act of gallantry, or meritorious action, in the face of the enemy in these records. The records created, when the recipient’s name appeared in an official report sent to the high command, can now be searched online only at TheGenealogist.

Some soldiers were mentioned in dispatches (MiD), but do not receive a medal for their action, they are nevertheless listed in the records as they were entitled to receive a certificate and wear the Oak Leaf decoration on their dress uniform.

Only one such decoration is ever worn, even when a soldier is mentioned in dispatches more than once, as was the case in the example of one Captain B.L. Montgomery.

Ancestry.com Adds 3.2 Million American Indian Records

Utah-based genealogy website Ancestry.com has partnered with the Oklahoma Historical Society to add more than 3.2 million American Indian historical records and images to its website. The new addition will bring the total number of American Indian historical records to more than 10 million.

The website will contain records of more than 570 tribes, including those from which most Americans with Indian blood descend. Census counts, treaties, land allotments, marriage certificates and citizenship documents are all included in the new data set.

FamilySearch Adds More Than 3.4 Million Indexed Records and Images to the Bahamas, Cape Verde, Peru, and the United States

The following announcement was written by FamilySearch:

FamilySearch adds more than 3.4 million indexed records and images to the Bahamas, Cape Verde, Peru, and the United States. Notable collection updates include the 2,623,218 indexed records from the US, New York, State Census, 1865 collection; the 178,692 images from the US, Illinois Probate Records, 1819–1988 collection; and the 163,023 images from the US, Ohio, Trumbull County Records, 1795–2010 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.

Searchable historic records are made available on FamilySearch.org 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 FamilySearch.org. Learn more about volunteering to help provide free access to the worldís historic genealogical records online at FamilySearch.org.

Huge New King County, Washington, Database Unveiled

The following announcement was written by the Seattle Genealogical Society:

The Seattle Genealogical Society is proud to announce the availability of a huge database, the SGS King County Court Cases Index, 1881-1980, or KC3I for short. This index contains over 1.7 million records. Of these, divorces and other end-of marriage cases comprise over 700,000 of the entries, and probate and similar cases account for nearly 300,000 more.

The KC3I was created over a ten year period by a small but resolute group of SGS volunteers from over 100 boxes of index cards from the Chicago Title Company. It is an index of ALL King County court cases that could potentially affect property rights, and therefore the title to property from before 1881 through 1980. In addition to divorce and probate cases, the KC3I also includes all King County court cases involving name changes, community property agreements and guardianships, among others. Nearly 80,000 hours of volunteer time went into the creation of the KC3I.

FamilySearch Adds More Than 462,000 Indexed Records and Images to Australia and the United States

The following announcement was written by FamilySearch:

October 24, 2014

FamilySearch has added more than 462,000 thousand Indexed Records and Images to Australia and the United States. Notable collection updates include the 161,880 images from the Australia, New South Wales, Cemetery, Military, and Church Record Transcripts, 1816-1982, collection; the 195,602 images from the Illinois, Northern District Petitions for Naturalization, 1906-1991, collection; and the 57,359 indexed records from the Oregon, County Marriages, 1851-1975, 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.

Millions of Historical Records added to MyHeritage

The folks at MyHeritage (the sponsor of this newsletter) have added millions of new records to the service. According to the MyHeritage Blog:

We’re happy to announce that we’ve just added millions of new records to SuperSearch.

The new collections include birth and death records, church records, electoral rolls and more from around the globe to help families everywhere explore their past. The new records come from the United Kingdom, the United States, South Africa, Germany, Russia and other countries to help discover more about your ancestors from around the globe.

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The collections include:

New German Records on Ancestry.com

This morning, Ancestry.com launched 31 new German databases. The collection includes 11.7 million records and consists of civil registration records of birth, marriages and death from 1874-1950. The record sets include:

Barry Fleig Builds an Online Database of Burials in Cook County Cemetery in Dunning, Chicago, Illinois

With over 38,000 burials spanning some seventy years, the Cook County Cemetery in Dunning, Chicago, Illinois, was a potters field serving the poor and indigent of the county. Those buried in the cemetery included deceased individuals from the County Poor house and farm opened 1854, the Insane Asylum opened 1869, the infirmary opened 1882, and the Consumptive hospital (TB), opened 1899. The cemetery received bodies from the Cook County Hospital, the city morgue, many Chicago area hospitals, and many city social institutions. About 120 bodies from the Great Chicago Fire in October 1871 were buried at the Cook County Cemetery in Dunning.

Records of those interred in the cemetery have been difficult to access. The vast majority of the records of who was buried at Dunning were destroyed in the 1960s when a storage room was flooded. Some records do remain but have not been conveniently available to the public. Barry Fleig, the former cemetery chairman of the Chicago Genealogical Society saw a need. He wanted to preserve the remaining records electronically before another disaster destroys the remaining fragile paper records.

Find A Grave Adds a New Upload and Transcribe Beta

The folks at Find A Grave have just launched a new Upload and Transcribe beta at Find A Grave. With this new feature, you can upload a whole trip’s worth of cemetery headstone photos and transcribe them in either new memorials, or attach the photos easily to existing memorials. The new software allows users to upload multiple photos at once, easily transcribe uploaded photos, get help, help others, and to provide feedback.

Details may be found in the Ancestry.com Blog at: http://blogs.ancestry.com/ancestry/2014/10/17/new-find-a-grave-upload-and-transcribe-beta-available.

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