Online Sites

New Records Available To Search This Findmypast Friday

The following announcement was written by Findmypast:

Findmypast round-off their month of Second World War releases with fascinating new military records from the British Army and Royal Air Force

British Army Service Records

This essential military collection has been enhanced with over 89,000 records from the Coldstream Guards, spanning from 1800-1947. Comprising of many different regimental histories, there are records including discharge books, court martial books, decorations and rewards and officers’ statements of services. The Coldstream Guards are the oldest regiment in the British Army in continuous active service. With origins dating back to the English Civil War, the regiment has served in every major conflict and many minor ones since it was raised.

These fascinating records have been published in partnership with The Coldstream Guards Charitable Fund.

Royal Engineers Journals 1939-1945

New Free Historical Records on FamilySearch: Week of 26 May 2020

The following announcement was written by FamilySearch:

FamilySearch added 1.2 M new, free, historical records this week to United States collections including 800K from California. World collections added church, civil, and tax records for American Samoa, Austria, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, England, Finland, France, Honduras, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Mexico, Niue, Peru, Puerto Rico, South Africa, and Sweden.  Additional United States records were for AZ, DC, FL, GA, HI, ID, IN, IA, LA, MI, MN, MS, MT, NE, NJ, NY, NC, OH, OK, PA, RI, SC, TX, UT, VA, and WI.

Search these new records and images by clicking on the collection links below, or go to FamilySearch.org to search over 8 billion free names and record images.

MyHeritage Adds Exclusive New Record Collection: Germany, North Rhine Westphalia, Death Index 1870–1940

MyHeritage has announced a major new addition to its available online records. The North Rhine Westphalia, Death Index 1870–1940 collection includes 2,450,551 records along with beautiful scanned images of the original documents. These records cover 98% of the population and have been mandatory in all German states since 1876. They may include the first and last names of the individual, the date and place of birth and death, age at death, residence, name of spouse, and even the names of the individual’s parents.

The images have been fully indexed by MyHeritage for the first time, making the information more accessible and readily searchable than ever before. These records are available only on MyHeritage, and are an invaluable resource for anyone researching their German roots.

Pasadena (California) Museum of History’s Black History Collection Is Now Available Online

Online Project is Part of USC’s Award-winning L.A. as Subject Community Histories Digitization Project

From the PasadenaNow web site:

Pictured: Merlene Ballard and boyfriend (Black History Collection, BH-D-5-19

“The Black History Collection, one of more than 250 special collections in the Archives at Pasadena Museum of History, is part of a generous digitization grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities as part of the University of Southern California’s L.A. as Subject Community Histories Digitization Project.

Findmypast Friday: Commemorate Military Ancestors this Memorial Day with New WW2 Records

The following announcement was written by Findmypast:

Findmypast are commemorating and celebrating the lives of American military heroes with the release of 2 million additional military records this Findmypast Friday.

The War Illustrated 1939-1947

The War Illustrated 1939-1947 was a magazine first published in 1939 following the start of the Second World War. The series was edited by Sir John Hammerton and its 255 editions ran from 16 September 1938 to 11 April 1947.

The magazine captured World War 2 as it was happening. It is filled with black and white photographs and stories from those involved in the conflict, living up to its tagline as ‘a permanent picture record of the Second World War’.

United States, National Veterans Cemetery Index

Over One Million RAF Operations Record Books released on TheGenealogist

The following announcement was written by TheGenealogist:

TheGenealogist has expanded its unique collection of searchable RAF Operations Record Books with the addition of 1.2 Million new records for aircrew operations.

Airmen – planning their next mission. Public domain

Operations Record Books (ORBs) are official air force documents chronicling an air force unit from the time of its formation. They were intended to be an accurate daily record of the operations that the squadron carried out in peace and at war. The ORBs are for squadrons primarily after the First World War, but there are a few early squadron records from 1911 to 1918. TheGenealogist uniquely has made the Operations Record Books fully searchable by name, year and keywords.

New Free Historical Records on FamilySearch: Week of 18 May 2020

The following announcement was written by FamilySearch:

FamilySearch added 7 million new land, obituary, death, and divorce records this week to United States collections. Additional indexed records and images were added for American Samoa, Argentina, Austria, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Dominican Republic, England, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Niue, Peru,Puerto Rico, South Africa, Sweden, and Venezuela. Other United States records were added for AZ, CA, GA, IA, ID, LA, ME, MI, MO, MT, NC, NE, NM, NY, OKOH, ORPA, UT, VAand WI. 

Search these new records and images by clicking on the collection links below, or go to FamilySearch to search over 8 billion free names and record images.

MyHeritage Releases Three Major Collections of Greek Historical Records

The following announcement was written by MyHeritage (the sponsor of this newsletter):

TEL AVIV, Israel & LEHI, Utah, May 18, 2020 — MyHeritage, the leading global service for discovering your past and empowering your future, announced today the publication of three important Greek record collections: Greece, Electoral Rolls (1863–1924), Corfu Vital Records (1841–1932), and Sparta Marriages (1835–1935), comprising 1.8 million historical records.

This release constitutes the first substantial set of Greek record collections available on MyHeritage. All three collections have been indexed by MyHeritage and for the first time are now searchable in English, as well as in Greek. The total size of MyHeritage’s historical record database is now 12.2 billion records. This release positions MyHeritage as an invaluable genealogy resource for family history enthusiasts who have Greek roots.

New WW2 Records Available to Search this Findmypast Friday

The following announcement was written by Findmypast:

Findmypast is continuing their month of Second World War releases with new photographs of fallen soldiers and records of those who served on the Home Front.

Durham Home Guard 1939-1945

Did your ancestor serve with the Durham Home Guard between 1939 and 1945? Over 80,000 records are available in this collection, and could tell you:

    • Their date and place of birth
    • The battalion they served in
    • Their death year and burial county

Set up in May 1940, the Home Guard was Britain’s last line of defence against an invasion by Germany.

Members of the Home Guard were men usually above or below the age of conscription or those unfit or ineligible for front line military service.

Greater West Cork Area (Ireland) Genealogy Records are Now Online – for Free

More than 15,000 previously unavailable genealogy records relating to the greater West Cork area are now online to view – free of charge.

The Skibbereen Heritage Centre has been digitising burial registers for a number of graveyards in West Cork for some time and the results of this work are now available on its website. These new records are in addition to the graveyards surveys already available on its West Cork Graveyards database.

New Free Historical Records on FamilySearch: Week of 11 May 2020

The following announcement was written by FamilySearch:

FamilySearch added 2.7 million new historical records this week from South Africa, Brazil, Ecuador, Peru, England, Ireland, Canada, Hungary, Italy, Czech Republic, Chile, Niue, Puerto Rico and American Samoa.  United States obituary, vital, land, census, naturalization, and passenger lists were added for NY, AZ, GA, MT, LA, HI, ID, WI, CA,NC, MN, OK, OH, UT, MI, MS, NE, RI, VA, AR. PA. NJ, IA, IN, MN and TX.

Search these new records and images by clicking on the collection links below, or go to FamilySearch to search over 8 billion free names and record images.

Ancestry® Announces Virtual Memorial Day “Parade of Heroes” in Honor of 75th Anniversary of the End of World War II

The following announcement was written by Ancestry:

To help Americans commemorate Memorial Day from home this year, Ancestry®, the leader in family history, announced today it will host the “Parade of Heroes,” a virtual event which will stream online Monday, May 25 at 11 AM EST (8 AM PST) on Ancestry’s Facebook Page via Watch Party. Emmy Award-winning television personality Kathie Lee Gifford will host the show, with a special guest performance by two-time GRAMMY Award-winning singer-songwriter Tori Kelly.

Recently Added and Updated Collections on Ancestry.com

From the Ancestry.com list of recent new and/or updated additions at https://www.ancestry.com/cs/recent-collections

New and Updated

TheGenealogist adds Extra Tithe Maps to Map Explorer™

The following announcement was written by TheGenealogist:

Powerful new map tool now helps trace ancestors land or property with further additions of Tithe Maps

TheGenealogist’s Map Explorer™ which can help researchers find an ancestor’s property and watch the landscape change over time has now been enhanced by the addition of georeferenced black and white Tithe Maps for Berkshire, Cambridgeshire, Leicestershire and Oxfordshire.

• Total number of maps in this release is 927
• Total number of Tithe maps in Map Explorer™ is 3,317
• Map Explorer™ has over two million selectable records shown using Map Pins

Joining the georeferenced Lloyd George Data Layer, Headstones, War Memorials, and colour Tithe Maps for a number of counties, the new additions to the ever-expanding Map Explorer™ allow researchers to trace property from Victorian times to the modern era.

Great Coxwell Tithe Barn Oxfordshire (was Berkshire) used to store original tithe contributions of crops.
Photo by Motacilla / CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)

Findmypast Friday: New World War 2 Allies Collection Available To Search For VE Day 2020

The following announcement was written by Findmypast:

Leading family history website, Findmypast has created a new collection of over 15 million WW2 records in celebration of VE Day 2020.

The new “World War 2 Allies Collection” brings together a wide variety of resources covering the Allied Forces. Handpicked by Findmypast’s in-house military experts, the collection includes service records, draft registrations, enlistment records, prisoners of war records, casualty lists, cemetery indexes, rolls of honour and much more.

Covering the British, United States and Canadian armed forces, the collection gives family historians the chance to search for details of their ancestor’s military service all in one place through one simple search. In order to make military research easier, more accurate and more rewarding, Findmypast has brought tighter all existing records that pertain to:

    • Individuals who signed up and served in the British, United States and Canadian armed services.
    • Individuals who were buried in a Commonwealth War Grave
    • Individuals who were buried in National Veterans Cemeteries

Findmypast Launch Vast New Photographic Collection in Celebration of VE Day 2020

The following announcement was written by Findmypast:

    • Findmypast publish new online photographic archive in partnership with the UK’s largest news publisher Reach plc
    • Over 10,000 original images from WWII, many which have never been published before, will offer vivid new insights into a nation at war
    • The Findmypast Photo collection will scale over the coming years to include millions of images taken between 1904 – 2000, covering all aspects of British life ranging from sports, education, places of work and daily life to politics, national and local events
    • The collection is now available for anyone to search for free from May 8th to May 15th, in celebration of VE Day 2020

Leading family history website, Findmypast, has announced the launch of a ground-breaking new project in partnership with Reach plc. 

Digitised and published online for the first time as a complete standalone collection in celebration of VE Day 2020, the Findmypast Photo collection is made up of more than 10,000 original images from Reach’s archives. Managed through Reach PLC’s content licensing agency, Mirrorpix, this huge vault of press photography dates from the earliest years of the 20th Century up to the present day and is one of most significant photographic records of British history in the world.

A van-load of beer passing through Piccadilly Circus. The expression of some of the men sitting on top suggest they have tasted a drop. 8 May 1945.

The Mennonite Archival Information Database (MAID)

If you are researching Mennonite ancestry, you need to spend some time searching in the Mennonite Church USA Archives. The public database now represents 14 partners and features thousands of historic photos and a quickly growing number of entries, including one-of-a-kind letters, diaries, meeting minutes, travel documents, biographies, and audio and video recordings.


This is a photo of the Peter Bahnmann (owner of Zelyonoye and Brodsky estates) and his family in [1897?]. He is pictured with his two married daughters and their husbands. Peter’s wife, Marie (Martens) Bahnmann, had already passed away (d. 1889). The four children in the photo are probably four of the Fehderau children (Liese, Tina, Manja, and Peter). The adults in the photo are (l-r) Maria (Bahnmann) Fehderau, Jacob Fehderau, Peter Bahnmann, Katherina (Bahnmann) Wiebe, and Peter Wiebe (GR#396619).

MyHeritage Announces New Colorization Settings for MyHeritage In Color™

MyHeritage (the sponsor of this newsletter) has announced that you can now customize the settings for MyHeritage In Color™ to achieve even better results for your colorized photos. Quoting from the announcement:

MyHeritage In Color™ is an automatic colorization feature that brings your old black and white family photos to life using sophisticated machine learning technology. It has become one of our most popular features recently, with nearly 11 million photos colorized in less than 3 months!

We are pleased to announce that it is now possible to customize the colorization settings of MyHeritage In Color™, to improve its results even further.

The quality of automatic photo colorization depends on many factors, such as the quality of the original photo, its resolution, lighting, contrast, sharpness, and so on. In most cases, MyHeritage In Color™ will produce excellent results. However, in some cases there is room for improvement. Adjusting the settings allows you to fine-tune the colorization process, giving you more control over your final image and resulting in a higher-quality colorized photo that you’ll be more than proud to share.

This beautiful couple, Jacquie and Norman Levy, were photographed together in 1947 in Denver, Colorado in this black-and-white photograph:

New Free Historical Records on FamilySearch: Week of 4 May 2020

The following announcement was written by FamilySearch:

Explore 6 million new, free, historical records from Guatemala, England, Peru, Argentina, DR Congo, Venezuela, Chile, South Africa, Brazil, and American Samoa,  United States obituaries, vital, passenger and voter records were also added from WI, LA, HI, AZ, AR, NJ, CA, NE, NC, RI, MN, UT,  IN, PA, MT, ID, OK, VA, GA, MS and IA. 

Search these new records and images by clicking on the collection links below, or go to FamilySearch.org to search over 8 billion free names and record images.

New Records from England and Scotland Available to Search This Findmypast Friday

The following announcement was written by Findmypast:

Findmypast announce latest additions to the fastest-growing collection of Scottish family records online.

Scotland, Edinburgh & Lothian Death and Burial Index

Trace Edinburgh and Lothian ancestors in this unique collection of death and burial records. We’ve added 63,990 new burial transcripts from the parishes of Restalrig Churchyard and Edinburgh, St Cuthberts.

Burial records provide details on where your relative was laid to rest along with other important information including:

    • Their names
    • Their birth, death and burial dates
    • Their ages when they died
    • Their occupations
    • Cause of death
    • Whether they were buried on private or common ground
    • Their religious denominations
    • Charges paid for the burial

Discovering whether your ancestor was buried in a private or common ground will give you an indication of the family’s wealth.

Scotland, Aberdeenshire Poll Tax 1696