Online Sites

An Online Digital Archive of Long-Lost Phillips County, Arkansas Death Certificates

A history class at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock has created a new digital index of Phillips County death certificates from 1917 to 1922. This is an index only, not images of the original records.

Dr. Brian Mitchell’s American Urban History Class created the index during the fall 2017 semester and donated the archive to the Arkansas History Commission so it can be made available for public use.

“This project is an important addition to the commission’s collections as it is currently the sole record of African American deaths in the county for that time period,” Mitchell said. “The index would be helpful for future research on public health issues in the region, identifying many of the Elaine Massacre’s victims, and of vital importance to African-American genealogy in the state.”

Details may be found in an article by Angelita Faller in the University of Arkansas at Little Rock web site at: http://ualr.edu/news/2018/02/14/phillips-county-death-certificates/.

New Records Available To Search This Findmypast Friday

The following announcement was written by the folks at Findmypast:

There are over 378,000 new records available to search this Findmypast Friday, including:

Connecticut, Town of Sharon Cemetery Indexes

Explore more than 4,000 transcripts of headstone inscriptions from eight cemeteries in Sharon, Connecticut. From these indexes you can discover your ancestor’s birth year, death date, and burial place. This collection has been obtained from the sharonhist.org website. Additional information about the records can we found on the source’s website.

Sharon is a town located in Litchfield County, Connecticut, in the northwest corner of the state. It is bounded on the north by Salisbury, on the east by the Housatonic River, on the south by Kent, and on the west by Dutchess County, New York.

Norfolk, Electoral Registers 1832-1915 Image Browse

Henry L. Benning Civil War Materials are now Available Online

The Digital Library of Georgia (DLG) announced the availability of the Henry L. Benning Civil War materials collection at http://dlg.galileo.usg.edu/CollectionsA-Z/ghlb_search.html.

Brigadiere General Henry L. Benning, CSA

Henry L. Benning was born in Columbia County, Georgia in 1814. After finishing first in his class at the University of Georgia in 1834, he moved to Columbus in 1835. There, he was admitted to the bar, married Mary Howard in 1839, and entered his father-in-law’s firm. In 1840, Benning lost a race for the General Assembly, but was later elected to the state Supreme Court in 1853. After Lincoln’s election, Benning became one of Georgia’s most vocal supporters for secession. During the war, he served as Colonel of the 17th Georgia Infantry in twenty-one engagements including Antietam, Gettysburg, and Chickamauga. By the beginning of 1863, Benning rose to the rank of brigadier general. His regiment was the first part of the Army of Northern Virginia under Robert E. Lee and later under Braxton Bragg in the Army of Tennessee. After the war, Benning returned to Columbus and resumed the practice of law, dying on his way to the court in 1875.

New Historic Records on FamilySearch: Week of February 12, 2018

The following announcement was written by the folks at FamilySearch:

SALT LAKE CITY, UT—Find your ancestors on FamilySearch with new historic records published this week from BillionGravesColombiaDenmarkEcuadorEnglandPanamaRussia, and Slovakia. Search these new free records by clicking on the collection links below or search over 5 billion free records at  FamilySearch.

New Records Added This Week to Findmypast

The following announcement was written by Findmypast:

There are over 291,000 new records and newspaper articles available to search this Findmypast Friday, including;

Suffragette Collection Update

An additional 3,000 records have been added to our recently released Suffragette collection. The new additions consist of fully indexed newspaper reports taken from The Suffragette (later The Britannia). The paper was edited by Christabel Pankhurst and was the official organ of the Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU). In 1915, the newspaper title changed its name to reflect the WSPU’s patriotic ideals and was used to campaign for the war effort while retaining a focus on women’s issues.

At its peak the Suffragette had a circulation of around 40,000 and was used to announce the activities of suffragettes and upcoming meetings. It was also packed with interviews, first-hand accounts and articles related to a wide range of women’s issues.

Suffragette Newspaper Collection Browse

Over 650,000 Criminal Records Added to TheGenealogist

The following announcement was written by the folks at TheGenealogist:

TheGenealogist has added 651,369 quarterly returns of convicts from The National Archives’ HO 8 documents to their Court & Criminal Records collection. With this release researchers can find the details of ancestors that broke the law and were incarcerated in convict hulks and prisons in the 19th century.

The new data includes:

  • 651,369 Records covering the years 1824 to 1854
  • Quarterly returns from Convict Hulks, Convict Prisons and Criminal Lunatic Asylums

All Digital Collections at the Swedish National Archives are now FREE to Search and View

The Swedish National Archives has made an announcement at http://bit.ly/2EliiYU that will please many Swedish descendants:

Digital collections now free!

From 1 February 2018 all digital collections at the Swedish National Archives are free to search and view. You will find more than 100 million digitised archival records in the Digital Research Room.

You can read more (in Swedish) at: https://sok.riksarkivet.se/om-soktjansten?infosida=fri-tillgang.

My thanks to newsletter reader Larry Parker for telling me about the new free access.

New Historic Records on FamilySearch: Week of February 1, 2018

The following announcement was written by the folks at FamilySearch:

Find your Mexican ancestors on FamilySearch with over 63 million new Mexico historic records  published this week. There are also new collection additions for Australia, AustriaBelgium, Brazil, Czech Republic, England, France, Italy, Lesotho, Luxembourg, Maryland, New Jersey, Peru, Russia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, the United States, and Utah. Search these new free records by clicking on the collection links below or search over 5 billion free records at  FamilySearch.

New Records Added This Week to Findmypast

The following announcement was written by Findmypast:

There are over 755,000 new records available to search this Findmypast Friday, including;

Suffragette Collection

Search our new collection of over 3,000 records from The National Archives recording the details of the women and men who supported women’s suffrage in the early 20th century. Discover your suffragette ancestor among the arrest records, parliamentary papers, watch list of over 1,300 suffragettes, personal statements, reports of force-feeding, and transcripts of speeches.

The collection brings together the stories of women of all classes who actively supported women’s suffrage by attending peaceful demonstrations and meetings, as well as committed arson attacks, window breaking, contributed to public disobedience, chalked on footpaths, and more. You will find working-class women of the factories recorded alongside aristocratic women. The records do include the names of male suffragettes who were arrested with their female comrades.

Suffragette Collection Browse

Fold3 Offers Free Access to its Black History Collection through the End of February

In recognition of Black History Month, Fold3 is making the records in its Black History collection available for free through the end of February. According to the Fold3 web site:

All the titles in our Black History collection contain valuable insight into the history of African-Americans, but titles that are especially rich in information include:

Danish West Indies – Slavery and Emancipation: These records cover the institution of slavery and the emancipation of slaves in the Virgin Islands during Danish rule, 1672-1917.

Suppression of Slave Trade and Colonization (1854-72): These records cover the institution of slavery and the emancipation of slaves in the Virgin Islands during Danish rule, 1672-1917.

City University of New York has Compiled the State’s First Slavery Records Index

The New York Slavery Index, created by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice at the City University of New York (CUNY) , provides records dating back to the year 1525 all the way through the American Civil War. The database includes records, documents, narratives and other sources that identify individual enslaved people and their owners.

Visitors to the free public database can search 35,000 records related to New York state, including the names of the slave-owning senators and records of people who escaped slavery through the Underground Railroad. The goal is to deepen the understanding of slavery in New York by bringing together information that until now has been largely disconnected and difficult to access. This allows for searches that combine records from all indexed sources based on parameters such as the name of an owner, a place name, and date ranges.

The New York Slavery Records Index is available to all at no charge at: https://nyslavery.commons.gc.cuny.edu/.

Findmypast Publish new Suffragette Collection in Association with The National Archives

The following announcement was written by the folks at Findmypast:

  • New Suffragette Collection containing over 3,000 Police and Home Office records now available to search online at Findmypast.
  • This new collection will be completely free to search and explore until International Women’s Day on March 8th.

Thursday February 1st: British family history website Findmypast in association with The National Archives has launched a new online collection of government records that tells the stories of individuals who fought for women’s suffrage. The Suffragette Collection, digitised from original records at Kew, reveals the struggles endured by the movement’s most ardent supporters and highlights the State’s response as it attempted to contain them.

First Database of Burial Grounds in England and Wales to be Created

The first national database to record all the natural and manmade treasures of burial grounds, from the giant Victorian urban cemeteries to little country churchyards, is to be created with a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

The grant will be announced on Monday to help record and preserve rare plants and animals in danger of extinction across most of Britain, threatened by development and modern agriculture, but still flourishing among the gravestones in an estimated 20,000 burial grounds in England and Wales.

Details may be found in an article in The Guardian at: http://bit.ly/2GqUTmV.

New Historical Records Added to MyHeritage.com in January 2018

The folks at MyHeritage have obviously been busy! There have been many new additions to the genealogy web site’s online records within the past month. The collections include U.S. Yearbooks, newspapers from Indiana, Pennsylvania and Ohio, over 38.5 million new records added to Sweden Household Examination Books, the Germany Minority Census from 1939 as well as naturalization applications in Mandatory Palestine from 1937 to 1947.

Most of this content is exclusive to MyHeritage and cannot be found on any other major genealogy service. Here’s a brief amount of information about each collection (longer and more detailed information may be found at: https://blog.myheritage.com/2018/01/new-historical-records-added-in-january-2018/):

U.S. Yearbooks, 1890-1979: One of the largest collections of digitized US yearbooks in existence, providing genealogical coverage of individuals who went to high schools throughout a period of 90 years.

Indiana Newspapers, 1847-2009: A compendium of newspapers published in various cities and towns in the state of Indiana from the 1840s until 2009.

Pennsylvania Newspapers, 1795-2009: As above, for the state of Pennsylvania, from the 1790s until 2009.

Findmypast Adds New Records Available To Search

The following announcement was written by the folks at Findmypast:

There are over 2.1 million new records available to search this Findmypast Friday, including;

Texas, Laredo Arrival Manifests 1903-1955 Image Browse

Explore images of arrival manifests from Laredo, Texas containing over 1.3 million records. This collection corresponds to National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) publication A3437: Manifests of Statistical and Nonstatistical Alien Arrivals at Laredo, Texas, May 1903-April 1955. From these records, you can discover such details as names, ages, nationalities, and physical descriptions. This collection has been obtained from FamilySearch.

Idaho, Southeast Counties Obituaries 1864-2007 Image Browse

Michigan State University Receives $1.5 Million Grant To Build Slave Trade Database

Michigan State University, supported by nearly $1.5 million from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, will create a unique online data hub that will change the way scholars and the public understand African slavery.

By linking data collections from multiple universities, the website will allow people to search millions of pieces of slave data to identify enslaved individuals and their descendants from a central source. Users can also run analyses of enslaved populations and create maps, charts and graphics.

The project, called Enslaved: The People of the Historic Slave Trade, is funded by a $1.47 million grant from the Mellon Foundation.

You can read the full story in an article in the MSU Today web site at: http://bit.ly/2BtQNXv.

JSTOR: the Great Online Genealogy Resource that Few Genealogists Know About

Genealogy information can be found in many places. Most genealogists know about and use the various online sites that have census records, vital records, pension application files, and user-contributed family trees online. These are great resources but they are not the only ones available to us. For instance, have you used JSTOR?

JSTOR is an online library of hundreds of years of academic research and presently contains more than 1,900 journal titles in more than 50 disciplines. The web site started in 1995 as a site containing back issues of academic journals. Since then, JSTOR has grown to include books and primary sources, and current issues of journals.

A quick search for “genealogy” on the JSTOR web site produced 105,889 “hits” to that word.

As always, I searched for some of the surnames in my own family tree. Here is one that I found that can serve as a typical example of the information found on JSTOR:

TheGenealogist Releases More than 5 Million U.S. Records

The following announcement was written by the folks at TheGenealogist:

TheGenealogist has added over 5 Million passenger records to their US records, featuring people that migrated to the USA between 1834 to 1900. The mass movement of people from one country to another isn’t a new thing. The motivation can be economic, political upheaval or religious persecution.

The data covers:

  • 3,956,780 German passengers who arrived in the United States between 1850 and 1897
  • 836,122 Italians immigrating into the USA between 1855 – 1900
  • 522,638 Russians who emigrated to America from 1834 to 1897

Most were drawn to the U.S.A by the attractions of land and religious freedom, after being forced to leave Europe by shortages of land and religious or political oppression.

New Historic Records on FamilySearch: Week of January 22, 2018

The following announcement was written by the folks at FamilySearch:

Looking for your ancestors? FamilySearch published millions of free records from around the world this week, including Argentina, California, Colombia, Denmark, El Salvador, England Georgia, Liberia, Massachusetts, Missouri, New Hampshire, New York, Peru, Portugal, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, the United States, Utah, and Venezuela. Search these new free records by clicking on the collection links below or search over 5 billion free records at  FamilySearch.

What’s Coming from FamilySearch in 2018

The following announcement was written by the folks at FamilySearch:

FamilySearch is a global leader in fun, online family history services with over 9 million users in 2017. In 2018 FamilySearch will be expanding its free site and services by adding new family discoveries, more online connections, expanded global reach, and millions of new sources to search.

1.   Personalized Home Page

Refinements to the FamilySearch personalized home pagewill enable signed-in patrons to make many more new discoveries and easily engage with their family trees.