Online Sites

Discovering Your Family History: 7 Unique Technologies

As mentioned in the MyHeritage Blog, “MyHeritage Founder and CEO Gilad Japhet recently presented a keynote address to hundreds of attendees of the IAJGS 2015 conference in Israel. He discussed Seven Unique Technologies for Discovering Your Family History.

“His talk is a great introduction to understanding MyHeritage technologies, Smart Matches, Record Matches, Newspaper Matches and Instant Discoveries. Gilad described new technologies that MyHeritage has recently released, such as Global Name Translation, as well as new technologies that we are about to release.”

Findmypast Announces WWII Prisoners of War Records Published Online as Britain Marks 70th Anniversary

The following announcement was written by the folks at Findmypast:

findmypasy-logo-long-fw Today, 4 September 2015, one million records of service men, women and civilians who were taken captive during World War II are published online for the first time at Findmypast.

The publication, in association with The National Archives, marks the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II on all fronts on 2 September and the anniversary on 5 September of the liberation of the notorious Changi Prison camp, located on the eastern side of Singapore.

For the first time online, relatives and historians can search through the records of some of the most infamous POW camps of World War II. Included are the records for Stalag Luft III, the Nazi camp renowned for the mass escape by British and Commonwealth prisoners that inspired the film The Great Escape, and the Far East Prisoner of War camps immortalised in films such as The Railway Man.

NEHGS Salutes Labor Day with FREE Access to Databases on

The following announcement was written by the folks at the New England Historic Genealogical Society:

Labor day - promo concept for web pagesFamily Historians May Commemorate Labor Day by Working FREE on Family History on September 2 through September 9

September 2, 2015—Boston, Massachusetts—To commemorate the Labor Day holiday, New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) is granting FREE Access to a large group of databases within its popular Census, Tax, and Voter List category on, its data-rich website.

The Census, Tax, and Voter Lists category is a collection of 40 separate databases containing a range of resources to provide information about the families who resided in the New England states between the 18th and 20th centuries. Other broader databases help to trace families as they moved to other areas of the United States. And a handful of European databases within the collection can assist researchers attempting to further document their family’s heritage.

Monumental Archive Project: An Open Database of Historic Cemeteries

Archaeologists, historians, genealogists, community groups, and cemetery enthusiasts all over the world have recognized the historical value of gravestones for studying identity, social relationships, tradition, practice and choice, grief and emotion, self-representation, symbolism, trade and craft production – the possibilities are endless.


Created by Katherine Cook at the University of York in England, a new mapping project is being created on an open-access website with a database of monumental records, a curated collection of research projects (connecting data to methods and interpretations), and an interactive means of contributing data and commenting on research. Quoting from the Monumental Archive Project web site at

FamilySearch Makes 2.7 Million Historic Records from the 1915 New Jersey State Census Freely Searchable Online

The following announcement was written by the folks at FamilySearch:

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH (September 1, 2015)—FamilySearch International has added more than 2.7 million searchable historical records from the 1915 New Jersey State Census to its free online collections. New Jersey records are highly sought after by family historians because the state was a popular settling point for millions of immigrants during the heyday of US immigration from 1892 to 1924. The 1885 and 1905 New Jersey State Censuses are also available, making these three online collections invaluable for researchers. You can search the 1915 New Jersey Census collection and more than 5.8 billion other free historical records at

State censuses were typically taken mid-point between federal censuses. The 1915 New Jersey Census is halfway between the 1910 and 1920 federal censuses—a peak period of US immigration where millions of immigrants settled in the northeastern states to create their new homes and pursue their hopes and dreams in America. New Jersey took state censuses every 10 years from 1855 to 1915 to allocate the number of state legislators. The 1915 New Jersey State Census includes the names of each member of the household, location, gender, birth date (month and year) and birthplace. These state censuses can help researchers discover additional family members, migration patterns, and other important information.

Ancestry Launches Largest Online Collection of Wills and Probate Records in United States

The following announcement was written by the folks at Please note that the new collection will be available FREE of charge for the next few days:

More than 170 million documents from 1668-2005 now available exclusively on Ancestry;
New collection provides a wealth of deeper stories about ancestors’ lives

ancestry-com-logo(PROVO, Utah) – September 2, 2015 – More than 170 million pages from the largest collection of wills and probate records in the United States is now available online exclusively on Ancestry. With searchable records included from all 50 states spread over 337 years (1668-2005), this unprecedented collection launches a new category of records for family history research never before available online at this scale the United States.

Until now, these records have only been available offline. Ancestry spent more than two years bringing this collection online, working with hundreds of different archives from individual state and local courts across the country and making a $10M investment to license and digitize the records. The documents cover well over 100 million people, including the deceased as well as their family, friends and others involved in the probate process. Ancestry expects to continue to grow the collection, with additional records available over the next several years.

Google Custom Search for English Newspapers

Phil Bradley has created a customized Google search engine that will search the major newspapers in England as well as 384 major and local papers. Alternatively, you can search for regional newspapers as arranged by place/county/region.

The searches are divided into national and regional newspapers. You can search all of the major newspapers in England in one simple search engine. These include The Times, Guardian, Daily Express, Mail, Independent, Observer, Sun, Morning Star, Financial Times, and more.

Deceased Online Adds 60+ Cemeteries and 5 Million Lancashire Records

The following announcement was written by the folks at Deceased Online:

60+ cemeteries and 5 million Lancashire records available with the addition of Wyre Council

Above: Poulton le Fylde Cemetery, Moorland Road, one of four cemeteries managed by Wyre Council with all records now on Deceased Online

Above: Poulton le Fylde Cemetery, Moorland Road, one of four cemeteries managed by Wyre Council with all records now on Deceased Online

Records for the four cemeteries managed by Wyre Council in North Lancashire are now available on

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 browsable Manchester electoral registers, death & admission records from two Derbyshire hospitals, new additions to our collection of historic Irish Newspapers and a fascinating petition drawn up by early settlers in New Zealand.

Manchester electoral registers Browse 1832-1900

Those of you with Manchester ancestors can now browse through over 330,000 Manchester electoral registers. Spanning nearly 70 years (1832-1900), the register record a fascinating period of the city’s history. By 1835, Manchester’s booming cotton and manufacturing Industries had made it the first and greatest industrial city in the world. This triggered a population explosion as people from all over the UK flocked to the city in search of work, many of whom were forced to live in squalid conditions in the city’s newly formed slums. The registers include both the registers for local government elections Parliamentary Elections. Electoral Registers are annually compiled lists of all adults eligible to vote and typically list a person’s name, address and the type of property they owned or rented that qualified them to vote. The registers are a valuable census substitute and, as they begin after the Repeal Act of 1832, record all levels of society ranging from wealthy captains of industry to desperately poor slum tenants.

Providence, Rhode island, House Directories Now Available Online

ProvidenceHouseDirectoryThe Providence City Archives has announced the completion of a project to scan the Providence House Directories. The directories were published between 1895 and 1935 and are an invaluable resource for those conducting genealogy research, house research, neighborhood demographic change, and occupancy patterns. Basic entries in the more than 20,000 pages of information are organized by street (unlike the city directories).

Individual name listings for each address in many cases indicate occupation and whether the resident is a boarder or owner of the property. Additional directory sections include information on parks, businesses, churches, clubs, theaters, cemeteries, places of amusement and basic census data.

14 Volumes of Genealogical Lists of Irish-Jewish Families Presented to Dublin City

Fourteen rare volumes of genealogical lists of Irish-Jewish families in Ireland were presented to Dublin City Council’s Library and Archive today. The volumes were gifted by Stuart Rosenblatt, President of the Genealogical Society of Ireland. The set of 14 volumes presented by Stuart to the people of Dublin at Dublin City Library & Archive, is one of only five sets, and therefore is of immense rarity.

Ancestry Collaborates with Gannett to Digitally Archive More Than 80 U.S. Newspapers

The following announcement was written by

Cincinnati Enquirer the First Gannett Archive Launched with Over 4 Million Pages Online

PROVO, Utah, Aug 24, 2015 — Ancestry, the leader in family history and consumer genetics, today announced its collaboration with Gannett Co., Inc., the largest local-to-national media company, to digitize more than 80 daily newspapers across the nation., an Ancestry business unit, and Gannett will provide a historical newspaper viewing experience complete with full text search, clipping and sharing features. Together, they expect to deliver more than 100 million full-page images of historical newspapers in a simple, easy-to-use online archive.

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 fascinating Probate Calendars containing more than 100 years of English and Welsh wills. Additional birth, marriage and death records have also been added to our collection of Hertfordshire parish records.

Probate Calendars of England & Wales 1858-1959

Containing over 500,000 records, the Probate Calendars of England & Wales 1858-1959 record the details of wills lodged with the National Probate Registry. Until 1858, matters of probate were dealt with by the ecclesiastical courts of the Church of England. After 1858 the civil government took over the settlement of all estates and all wills were now probated through the Principal Probate Registry system. There were 11 district registry offices with 18 sub-district registries located around England and Wales, with the principal office located in First Avenue House, London. The calendars will reveal if your ancestor left a will or was mentioned in one. They may also reveal the size of the estate in question and list the will’s executors or administrators. The executors/administrator may have been a bank, solicitor, beneficiary or a family member, providing you with links to other branches of your family tree and new avenues to explore. Once you’ve found your ancestor in the index you can use the information listed to request a copy of the will from the National Probate Registry.

New FamilySearch Collections: Week of August 17, 2015

The following announcement was written by the folks at FamilySearch:

Fun FamilySearch additions to the Colombia, France, Peru, and Philippines international collections this week including significant digital images for Colombia Catholic Church Records from 1600 to 2012. Significant additions were also made to the Texas and Wisconsin marriage collections.  Over 7 million searchable records have been added this week. Follow the links below to explore the new content!





Colombia Catholic Church Records 1600-2012



Added images to an existing collection

France Finistère Quimper et Léon Diocese Catholic Parish Records



Added images to an existing collection

Illinois Adams County Card Index to Deaths 1877-1990



Added images to an existing collection

Peru Lima Civil Registration 1874-1996



Added indexed records and images to an existing collection

Manila Civil Registration 1899-1984



Added images to an existing collection

Philippines Pangasinan Civil Registration 1945-1981



Added indexed records to an existing collection

Texas County Marriage Records 1837-1977



Added indexed records to an existing collection

United States Census 1890



Added indexed records to an existing collection

United States Obituaries American Historical Society of Germans
from Russia 1899-2012



Added images to an existing collection

Wisconsin County Marriages 1836-1911



Added indexed records to an existing collection

Introducing SNAC

The Social Networks and Archival Context (SNAC) Project is addressing a longstanding research challenge: discovering, locating, and using distributed historical records. Scholars use these records as primary evidence for understanding the lives and work of historical persons and the events in which they participated.

SNAC_logoSNAC focuses mostly on the lives of historical persons, not on the general public. It may not help find the farmers, craftsmen, merchants, housewives, and other “common folk” in our family trees. However, if your ancestor was a person of some fame, SNAC could provide a lot of information about his or her life and work.

Longreads Website “The Social Historian” Officially Launches

The following announcement was written by Barbara J Starmans:

August 16, 2015 – The Social Historian at is a longform story website featuring social history themed articles from across the centuries and around the world.

What is Social History?

Social History is not concerned with politics and wars, or kings and presidents, but rather with the lives of ordinary people. It is a view of history from the bottom up, rather than from the top down.

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 fascinating British army records from the War of 1812 and the First World War, baptism records from the English county of Northumberland, a list of Scottish Presbyterians who signed the National Covenant to defend their faith during the 17th century, a valuable Irish census substitute and the first ever Australian census.

Northumberland Baptisms

Over 39,000 records have been added to our collection of Northumberland and Durham parish records. The records not only reveal your ancestor’s name but also the names of their parents’, their occupations and where they lived. The records include baptisms from Presbyterian, Independent, Wesleyan, Methodist and Anglican parishes. The collection now contains records from over 350 parishes and villages.

British Army, Casualty Index War of 1812

Forces War Records Releases New Online Database of British Prisoners Of War Held in Japan or Japanese-Occupied Territory

On the eve of the 70th VJ day anniversary, Forces War Records has released a new online collection of 56,000 records listing the Imperial Prisoners of War held in Japan (Original Source: Transcribed from the National Archive reference WO392/23-26 British Prisoners Of War Held In Japan Or Japanese-Occupied Territory). The following announcement was written by Forces War Records :

In 1945, 37,583 British and Commonwealth soldiers were released from Japanese captivity and Forces War Records has their details.

During the course of the Second World War, over 140,000 Allied soldiers were captured by the Armed Forces of the Empire of Japan. These men were kept in barbaric conditions, utilised as forced labour, tortured for information and used for medical experiments. Japan, while a signatory of the 1929 Geneva Convention, never ratified it and thus ignored it. Treatment of Allied prisoners was so poor that over 30,000 died in captivity. Many of the guards responsible were subsequently tried for war crimes.

More than 1,000 biographies posted on

The following is a press release from

More than 1,300 biographical sketches are now freely accessible at Each biography identifies the original source, long out-of-print books such as Paddock’s History and Biographical Record of North and West Texas, published in 1906 by Lewis Publishing Company in Chicago.

In the late 1800s and early 1900s, Lewis and other publishing companies sent representatives across America to compile local histories and interview area residents. To finance the printing, representatives sold pre-publication copies. These volumes are sometimes known as “mug books.” Those wanting to see their biography in print had to purchase the book in advance.

Online Petition to Save the “OLD” “Classic” User Interface

An on-line petition has been started that is directed to Tim Sullivan, President and Chief Executive Officer of The petition pleads for the retention of the Classic/Old interface, at least as a permanent option for people who prefer it.

The online petition states (in part):

Dear Tim Sullivan, President and Chief Executive Officer, CEO@

We, the undersigned, hereby sign this petition to acknowledge that we, do not like the look, style, color, and format and prefer the use of “Classic” versus NEW ancestry.

We the undersigned who have signed, liked or shared the following are NOT resistant to change. The recent change of “Classic” to NEW ancestry is the worst change that has ever made to its website. HELP SAVE Ancestry~com “Classic”!


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 10,140 other followers