Online Sites

Historic Aerials

Historic Aerials claims to be “Home of the most comprehensive database of historical aerial photos of the United States.” Indeed, it is a huge resource.

According to information on the Historic Aerials web site:

“Take a ride in our time machine!
“Nationwide Environmental Title Research has spent the past 20+ years collecting the worlds largest database of historical aerial images and topographical maps of the United States. Our sources include USGS imagery, several private collections, and we are continually acquiring more. All the imagery we collect is painstakingly orthorectified to provide the data in a searchable and precise geo-locatable format. Our web application allows you to quickly and easily search for any parcel of U.S. land and instantly view that same area in any other year where we could obtain an aerial photo.”

While the basic service is free, the pictures displayed to free users have a rather obnoxious watermark pasted on top of each image. That makes the free images almost useless. Obviously, the web site owners want each user to sign up for a paid account in order to obtain more useful images.

Family History Hosting Announces GedSite Version 2.06

The following announcement was written by Family History Hosting, LLC:

Includes several enhancements, including image size optimization option

Narragansett, RI – June 15, 2018 – Family History Hosting, LLC is pleased to announce GedSite version 2.06, the most recent release of this must-have tool for any genealogist creating web sites from GEDCOM files. This release includes a new image size optimization feature and changes related to the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that went into effect on 25 May 2018. It also includes several other minor enhancements and changes.

“This version continues GedSite’s tradition of frequent updates,” said John Cardinal, CEO and Founder of Family History Hosting, “the web is always moving, and GedSite moves with it.”

Soliciting and acting on customer feedback is an integral part of the GedSite development process. This release delivers several features requested by users, including new options in charts, new features in the GEDCOM load process, and other changes.

New Records Available To Search This Findmypast Friday

The following announcement was written by Findmypast:

There are over 1.4 million new records available to search this Findmypast Friday, including:

British Armed Forces, First World War Soldiers’ Medical Records

Over 691,000 records have been added to our National Archives’ collection of medical records from the First World War. These records may allow you to discover when and where your ancestor was wounded, where they were treated how long they were held at the medical facility for treatment. Images may provide a variety of additional details such as their service history and a description of the wound.

The medical records were collected by the Medical Research Committee and then given over to the British Museum during the First World War, 1914 to 1918. The records were used for statistical research. In 1931, Thomas John Mitchell and G M Smith published History of the Great War, based on official documents. Medical services: Casualties and medical statistics of the Great War from the data gathered from these medical records.

United States Deceased Physician File (Ama), 1864-1968 Image Browse

Gale Introduces New Digital Archive on Amateur Newspapers From the 19th Century

The following is a press release from Gale, a Cengage company:

FARMINGTON HILLS, Mich., June 12, 2018 — Gale, a Cengage company, is introducing a new digital archive that’s considered the social media of the 19th century and gives students and researchers a unique inside look at how teens and young adults of the period expressed themselves and their opinions to the world. Amateur Newspapers from the American Antiquarian Society is the largest and most extensive digital archive in the U.S., providing authentic newspaper writings published by the younger generation of the 19th century. The archive gives an unprecedented look at how youth viewed themselves, their hometowns, the country and the world around them during the era, drawing researchers into the world of America’s first youth subcultures. Read Gale’s blog about the new archive.

Reclaim The Records wins a Third Lawsuit; NYC Marriage Index for 1996-2017 is now Online

One more victory for Reclaim The Records!

Brooke Schreier Ganz of Reclaim The Records fought the New York City Clerk’s Office and won 1.5 million genealogy records, and also won reimbursement of her attorneys’ fees! The records are now online, freely searchable and/or downloadable.

Details may be found at: https://mailchi.mp/reclaimtherecords/bfvk8vew84-1792469 and
https://www.reclaimtherecords.org/records-request/11/ and https://www.nycmarriageindex.com/.

New England Historic Genealogical Society Announces the Release of Its New Database: Mayflower Families Fifth Generation Descendants, 1700-1880

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

The Largest Online Database of Authenticated Mayflower Pilgrim Genealogies Now Makes It Easy to Learn Whether One Is Descended from a Pilgrim

June 13, 2018—Boston, Massachusetts—New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) has announced the release of an invaluable resource in the field of genealogy on its award-winning website AmericanAncestors.org. Through a partnership with the General Society of Mayflower Descendants (GSMD), the “Mayflower Families Fifth Generation Descendants, 1700-1880” database offers meticulous documentation on the Mayflower passengers who arrived in 1620 and left descendants.

It is the largest online database of authenticated Pilgrim genealogies, with more than half a million searchable names,” said D. Brenton Simons, President and CEO of NEHGS, “making it easier than ever to learn whether an individual is descended from one who planted the first permanent settlement of New England in Plymouth Colony and ultimately laid the foundation for America.”

Coming soon to Mormon Genealogical Database: Records of Gay Couples and Same-Sex Parents

The U.S. Supreme Court made gay marriage legal in every state, but the LDS Church’s FamilySearch massive genealogy databank still hasn’t listed same-sex couples. However, change is coming to the genealogy resource — and soon.

An article by Peggy Fletcher Stack in the Salt Lake Tribune web site states:

“The church’s genealogical arm has been planning for several years to expand its services to include “same-sex parents and same-sex couples,” according to a statement on the FamilySearch website, but that requires several systems to be “significantly redesigned to support same-sex relationships before Family Tree can release this capability.”

Over 100 Years of Japanese-American History is Now Online

The Rafu Shimpo online archive wasn’t designed for genealogists. You won’t find long lists of names of people. However, it does provide researchers with many first-hand accounts of day-to-day life from Japanese-Americans and their descendants from the early 1900s to today. As such, it can be a valuable tool to learn more about the lives of your Japanese-American ancestors and relatives. And, yes, many names are mentioned within the archive.

The following is a press release written by Rafu Shimpo (羅府新報, the L.A. Japanese Daily News) about the newly-released archive:

MINNEAPOLIS, MN, USA, June 12, 2018 — Over 100 years of Japanese-American history is now available online through Rafu Shimpo (羅府新報, the L.A. Japanese Daily News) Digital Archive, a new collection on East View’s Global Press Archive platform.

New Historical Records on FamilySearch: Week of June 4 through 8, 2018

The following announcement was written by FamilySearch:

FamilySearch added over 700,000 New York naturalization records and one million more historical records and images from ArkansasIdahoKansasOhio, and New Jersey. The BillionGraves Indexhas added over 600,000 indexed records and images to their database. Find your Italian ancestors from Naples with nearly 85,000 new records, and Jewish Records from Hungary. Other countries represented are Australia, Denmark, Honduras, India, Liberia, Peru, Portugal, and Sweden.

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

New Records Available to Search this Findmypast Friday

The following announcement was written by Findmypast:

There are over 82,000 new records available to search this Findmypast Friday, including:

Suffragette Collection Update

Explore over 22,000 new additions to our Suffragette Collection. Exclusively available on Findmypast, this latest batch of records has been digitised and released online for the first time in association with the National Archives. It includes a wide variety of Home Office and Metropolitan Police files as well as 1911 census returns that list either “Suffragette” or “Suffragist” as an occupation.

The Suffragette Collection now contains more than 78,000 records that reveal the struggles endured by the movement’s most ardent supporters and highlight the State’s response as it attempted to contain them. These rich documents bring together the stories of women from all walks of life who actively supported women’s suffrage, either by attending demonstrations and meetings or opting for militant “direct action”.

The collection spans from 1902 to 1919 and includes the following series of records from The National Archives: AR 1, ASSI 52, CRIM 1, CRIM 9, DPP 1, HO 144, HO 45, HO 140, LO 3, MEPO 2, MEPO 3, PCOM 7, PCOM 8, PRO 30, T 1, T 172, TS 27, and WORK 11. Among these are photographs of suffragettes, cabinet letters, calendars of prisoners, Home Office papers of suffragette disturbances, an index of women arrested between 1906 and 1914 (the official watch list of over 1,300 suffragettes), reports of force-feeding, and more.

Women’s Suffrage Petition 1866

Findmypast Publish New Suffragette Records Online for the First Time Ever

The following announcement was written by Findmypast:

●        Over 22,000 newly digitised records now available to search

●        Thousands of 1911 suffragette census Returns also added to the collection

Friday June 8th: In association with The National Archives, British family history website Findmypast  has added more than 22,000 brand new records to their ground-breaking Suffragette Collection.  

Digitised from original documents held at The National Archives in Kew, the collection was first launched in February 2018 to mark the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 1918 Representation of the People Act.

Today’s release marks the second phase of this ground-breaking project and consists of material that, until now, had never before been digitised and made available online. Thousands of newly transcribed 1911 census returns that either list “suffragette” or “suffragist” as an occupation or had been “spoiled” in an act of civil disobedience have also been added to the collection.

New Historical Records Released on FamilySearch During the Week of June 4, 2018

The following announcement was written by FamilySearch:

FamilySearch added over 700,000 New York naturalization records and one million more historical records and images from ArkansasIdahoKansasOhio, and New Jersey. The BillionGraves Indexhas added over 600,000 indexed records and images to their database. Find your Italian ancestors from Naples with nearly 85,000 new records, and Jewish Records from Hungary. Other countries represented are Australia, Denmark, Honduras, India, Liberia, Peru, Portugal, and Sweden.

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

Comment About the Recent Cybersecurity Incident at MyHeritage

I have refrained from writing about the recent cybersecurity incident affecting MyHeritage because of my relationship with the company. I didn’t want to write anything that could be seen as either a positive or a negative comment. I prefer to remain neutral and let everyone  interpret the facts as they wish. However, the news services are now full of stories about the incident and some of those stories are highly inaccurate. Therefore, I will simply mention it here, invite everyone to read the details for themselves in the MyHeritage Blog, and then offer my comments.

The MyHeritage Blog provides the details at https://blog.myheritage.com/2018/06/myheritage-statement-about-a-cybersecurity-incident/ and then the follow-up article at https://blog.myheritage.com/2018/06/cybersecurity-incident-june-5-6-update/.

OK, having written the disclaimer above, I will now give my (possibly biased) interpretation of the incident:

It wasn’t much of a break-in.

The hackers stole a LOT of email addresses, but nothing else. They didn’t get any passwords simply because MyHeritage has rather good, although obviously not perfect, security. MyHeritage doesn’t save passwords so hackers cannot steal passwords from the company. The hackers also apparently did not obtain any other personal information, such as addresses, telephone numbers, credit card numbers, or anything else like that.

Military Hints now Available on Findmypast Family Trees

The following announcement was written by Findmypast:

  • Findmypast family trees now generate hints from more than 89.4 million military records
  • New hints will provide researchers with detailed accounts of their ancestors’ military service

Leading family history website, Findmypast, has introduced an exciting update to their online family tree builder. As of today, Findmypast family trees will receive hints generated from over 89.4 million military records covering more than 430 years of military history in Britain, Ireland, the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

This includes Findmypast’s unrivalled collection of military service records covering all three branches of the British Armed Forces, US draft and enlistment records spanning both World Wars, Findmypast’s exclusive Prisoner of War collection, documents from the US Civil and Revolutionary Wars, military pensions, medal indexes, casualty lists, muster rolls, and much more.

Accessible Archives Completes Imaging for American County Histories Database

The following is an announcement from Accessible Archives:

Malvern, PA (June 5, 2018)Accessible Archives, Inc.®, an electronic publisher of full-text primary source historical databases, has announced the finalization of the imaging portion of its massive American County Histories collection. The project culminated with the inclusion of the last volumes from the expanded portions of the New England and Mid-Atlantic Regions. Imaging previously was completed for the original coverage of these areas as well as for the Southeast, Southwest, West, Central and Midwest regions.

Published primarily between 1870 and 1923, county histories are a cornerstone of local historical and genealogical research. They provide historians and genealogists with regional overviews and general community conditions. Ancestor research often yields collateral information about neighbors, friends and associates. Additional areas include government, medical and legal professions, churches, industries, schools, fire departments, cemeteries, transportation, and local and regional geological conditions. For an overview of non-traditional uses and original sources, please see our whitepaper on the topic.

Runaway Connecticut

Runaway Connecticut is an online database with a selection of the runaway notices that appeared in the Connecticut Courant between 1765 and 1820. Not only do the ads look for runaway slaves, but also a variety of runaway apprentices, deserting soldiers, escaped prisoners, and dissatisfied husbands and wives.

According to the Runaway Connecticut web site:

“RunawayCT.org is a digital humanities resource for the study of runaway slaves in Connecticut, conceived and executed by a Digital Humanities class at Wesleyan University. The site provides free access to a searchable database of runaway slave ads published in the Connecticut Courant, accompanied by scholarly content providing context and insight into slavery-era Connecticut.

New Historical Records Added to MyHeritage in May 2018

The following is an excerpt from a much longer announcement written by MyHeritage:

We’ve reached a new huge milestone — we now have over 9 billion historical records in MyHeritage SuperSearchTM! After achieving our huge milestone of over 8 billion historical records, we have added another one billion records in less than 10 months.

In this update, we are announcing 11 new collections with a total of 9,847,828 million new historical records.

Here is a breakdown of the new records added:

MyHeritage Pedigree View Now Available in Edit Mode

From the MyHeritage Blog:

We recently released the long awaited and highly requested Pedigree View for online family trees, which was very well received by our users. This new view enables you to see a person in your family tree and their direct ancestors.

We initially released Pedigree View as read-only. We are happy to announce that you can now add, edit, and delete tree profiles directly from the Pedigree View. It is no longer necessary to switch to the Family View to edit your tree.

Details, along with a step-by-step tutorial, may be found in the MyHeritage Blog at: https://blog.myheritage.com/2018/06/pedigree-view-now-available-in-edit-mode/.

Findmypast Announces New Records Available To Search This Findmypast Friday

The following announcement was written by Findmypast:

There are over 2.7 million new records available to search this Findmypast Friday, including:

Chicago Roman Catholic Parish Baptisms

Were your catholic ancestors baptised in the Archdiocese of Chicago in Illinois? Over 1.2 million additional Sacramental registers dating from the mid-1800s up to 1925 have been added to our existing collection of Chicago Catholic Baptisms. Records will reveal the date and location of your ancestor’s baptism, the names of their parents and their residence. Each result will provide a transcript and image of the original baptism register.

The Archdiocese of Chicago was first established as a diocese in 1843 and later as an archdiocese in 1880. It serves the Catholic population of Cook and Lake Counties in north eastern Illinois and consists of 6 vicariates and 31 deaneries.

Chicago Roman Catholic Parish Marriages

Early ‘Vermont Newspapers of Record’ are now Available Online

The following press release was written by the office of the Vermont Secretary of State, Jim Condos:

Secretary of State Jim Condos and State Archivist Tanya Marshall announced today that early Vermont newspapers have been added to Newspapers.com and can be researched online for free by residents. Through a partnership with Ancestry.com, and its subsidiary Newspapers.com, the Vermont State Archives and Records Administration (VSARA), a division within the Office of the Vermont Secretary of State, continues to improve access to many of the state’s most valuable records. The Vermont Department of Libraries, which has microfilmed hundreds of Vermont newspapers over the past several decades, transferred its newspapers microfilm reels to VSARA in 2017.

“Newspapers, especially newspapers of record, are instrumental to ensuring Vermonters are informed and knowledgeable about historic government actions” said Secretary Jim Condos. “Preserving these newspapers in the state archives and increasing access through our partnership with Newspapers.com is a win-win for both state government and the citizens of Vermont.”