Online Sites

Mayflower Descendant Records and Family Trees Available Free at FamilySearch

FamilySearch has announced it has added tens of thousands of Mayflower Society member applications and documented descendant family trees of the Mayflower passengers to its website.

This new initiative is the work of FamilySearch International, AmericanAncestors.org (New England Historic Genealogical Society) and the General Society of Mayflower Descendants (GSMD).

Note: Please notice the words “member applications and documented descendant family trees.” The member applications are claims made by applicants and are not proven to be accurate. Many of the claims were rejected because of accuracy issues. However, the documented descendant family trees” are exactly that: documented. These records have been verified by the the General Society of Mayflower Descendants and should be very accurate. (However, the information still needs to be verified in order to meet recommended practices of always verifying your information.)

Hairenik Launches an Online Digital Archive of Armenian-American Newspapers

The Armenian language Hairenik newspaper began publication in 1899. Over the years, it has been published as a daily and a weekly, and currently as the Hairenik Weekly. It is the oldest continuously published Armenian newspaper in the world, last year celebrating its 120th anniversary. In 1934, the Hairenik Association began publishing an English language weekly newspaper that continues to this day as the Armenian Weekly. In total, tens of thousands of issues have been published of these storied newspapers, serving as both witness and participant to the history of the Armenian people through the lens of our region.

Although the project is not yet completed, a significant number of issues have already been digitized and are now online. Included are the first 21 years of publication as well as almost all issues published since 1938.

Findmypast Friday adds Mayflower Compact and New “Immigrant Guides”

The following announcement was written by Findmypast:

400 years on from its famous voyage, Findmypast have published a new Mayflower passengers lists along with a vast collection of “Immigrant Guides”, perfect for learning more about the lives of your immigrant ancestors.

Around 35 million people are descended from the Mayflower Pilgrims. Are you one of them?

Massachusetts, Mayflower Passengers 1620

This iconic collection includes the names and details of all 132 known passengers and crew who set sail from Plymouth on board the Mayflower 400 years ago.

The collection consists of five pages of the Mayflower Compact. Created and signed during the vessel’s ten weeks at sea, it recorded the essential details of who those on-board and established a rudimentary form of democracy for the new settlement.

Transcripts list the Pilgrims’ names, birth years, birth places and relationships to others on the ship while images may reveal additional details.

New Free Historical Records on FamilySearch: Week of 7 September 2020

The following announcement was written by FamilySearch:

This week FamilySearch added over 1M new Catholic Church records from Morelos, Mexico (1598–1994), and more for BrazilCanadaDominican RepublicEnglandFranceGermanyLuxembourgMicronesiaPeruPuerto RicoS. Africa and Spain.

Over 500K records were added to United States collections for ArizonaCaliforniaHawaiiKansasMissouriNew JerseyNew YorkN. CarolinaPennsylvaniaTexasVirginia, and Washington (state).

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.

New Records from the Canadian Expeditionary Force Now Available on Fold3

The following announcement was written by Fold3:

The Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF) was the force raised by Canada for service overseas during WWI. Some 620,000 Canadians who enlisted between 1914-1918 served in the CEF. Of those enlistees, about 424,000 went overseas. Most were volunteers, but when recruitment slowed, a conscription law went into effect in 1918. Our new Canadian Expeditionary Force, 1915-1919 collection contains nominal rolls, rosters, war diaries, yearbooks, and unit histories for the CEF. Before the war came to an end in November 1918, the CEF gained the respect of both friend and foe as an elite fighting force. There were more than 233,000 Canadian casualties during WWI, resulting in nearly 61,000 deaths.

Canadian troops are issued tea ration from field kitchen along the Western Front

Ontario Land Registry Offices are Moving io All Online Access to Land Records

All 54 Land Registry Offices (LRO) in Ontario are closing their in-person counter services to the public effective Tuesday, October 13th, right after the (Canadian) Thanksgiving long weekend. The last day you can visit a Land Registry Office in person is October 9th.

Normally, you might think the closure of the offices would be bad news. However, in this case, there is a silver lining: Traveling to one of the offices and looking up records on microfilm is being replaced by online images of the same microfilms. You can now search for and find the same records and even print them out, all without leaving home.

Yes, all those historical records that were stored on microfilm, are already available online.

15 Million New Travel & Migration Records Available to Search this Findmypast Friday

The following announcement was written by Findmypast:

United States, Passenger and Crew Lists

Over 15 million new records have been added to this colossal collection. Covering California, New York and Texas.

The new additions consist of five individual collections from the National Archives and Records Administration that are now available to search within Findmypast’s United States, Passenger and Crew Lists. This includes;

    • Alien Arrivals at Eagle Pass, Texas, 1905-1953
    • Texas, Alien Arrivals by Airplane, 1944-1952
    • California, San Diego Passenger Lists, 1904-1952
    • California, San Diego Airplane Arrivals, 1929-1954
    • New York City, Book Indexes to Passenger Lists, 1906-1942

This entire collection now stands at 118 million records and is essential for uncovering details of your ancestor’s voyage to the United States. To see exactly what’s available and the timeframes covered, check the list of sources.

Passenger lists are just one of many records that detail your family’s journey overseas. Each record includes both an image of the handwritten original document as well as a transcript capturing the essential details. This includes the passengers name, gender, birth year, birth place, nationality, ethnicity, literacy, arrival year, arrival location, ship name and more.

TheGenealogist Doubles the Number of Tithe Maps on Map Explorer™

The following announcement was written by TheGenealogist:

TheGenealogist Doubles the number of Tithe Maps on Map Explorer™

See Ancestors’ land or property recorded on georeferenced Tithe Maps

TheGenealogist‘s Map Explorer™ which can help researchers find an ancestor’s land and view how the landscape changed over time has been augmented by the addition of georeferenced Tithe Maps for Cheshire, Dorset, Hertfordshire, Kent, Lancashire, Lincolnshire, Norfolk, Staffordshire and Yorkshire West Riding.

  • Total number of maps in this release is 3,655
  • Total number of Tithe maps in Map Explorer™ is now 6,972
  • Map Explorer™ has over four million viewable records indicated by Map Pins
  • TheGenealogist’s Map Explorer™ displays maps for historical periods up to the modern day.

Corfe Castle mapped over the years

New Free Historical Records on FamilySearch: Week of 31 August 2020

The following announcement was written by FamilySearch:

FamilySearch added 400K German Catholic Church Records 1704–1957, and 500K Oregon Passenger and Crew Lists 1888–1956. Collections were expanded for Brazil, Canada, England, Peru, S. AfricaWales and the United States (military service records for Union soldiers and more for Arizona, California. Hawaii, Kansas, Mississippi, New Jersey, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin).

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.

The Digital Library of Georgia to Add More Historic Newspapers

If you are researching ancestors in Georgia, you will want to keep checking the Digital Library of Georgia website. Over the next year, the Digital Library of Georgia will be adding a variety of new newspaper titles to the Georgia Historic Newspapers (GHN) website  at https://gahistoricnewspapers.galileo.usg.edu/. A list of newspapers titles currently slated to be added to GHN in Fall 2020/Winter 2021 may be found at: https://blog.dlg.galileo.usg.edu/?p=7598.

Findmypast Friday: Welsh Wonders Await in Over 900,000 New Additions

The following announcement was written by Findmypast:

Delve deeper into your Welsh heritage this weekend with a host of brand new records, along with major enhancements to existing collections.

Wales Probate Records 1544-1858

Findmypast has transformed this important collection to make it fully searchable for the first time. Until today, these Welsh probate records were only available to browse. Researchers can now search more than 300 years of will abstracts, inventories and other probate records by name, year, location and role as well as the names of other family members. Containing over 700,000 records, this resource really is a must-search for anyone with Welsh roots.

Isle of Man Online Newspaper Archive to Remain Free Permanently

Thousands of newspapers documenting more than 150 years on the Isle of Man will remain available online for free permanently.

A subscription service to view the more than 400,000 pages of newsprint items, which date from 1792 to 1960, was temporarily suspended by Manx National Heritage (MNH) during the Covid-19 lockdown in April. More than 30,000 pages were viewed that month. Gaynor Haxby of MNH, said the digital collection had been “exceptionally popular” with people from “across the world”, including America, South Africa and Australia.

Gaynor Haxby also stated, “Our ambition over the next few years is to add all of the Isle of Man newspapers for the years 1961 to 2020, which we believe will significantly increase the popularity of the site.”

You can read more in the BBC News website at: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-isle-of-man-53854114.

Online Slave Registers from Curaçao Allow Descendants to Find Ancestors

The National Archive of the Netherlands is putting the names of 21,000 people who lived as slaves in the former Dutch colony of Curaçao online, enabling their descendants to find out about their ancestors.

The new list if names went online on Tula Day, which celebrates a major uprising in the island led by resistance fighter Tula in 1795. Tula and his fellow rebels demanded freedom, inspired by the ideals of the French Revolution and the successful slave uprising in Saint-Domingue (now Haiti; at the time, a French colony). The revolt was suppressed by the Dutch colonial authorities and Tula and his fellow fighters were tortured and executed.

Tens of Thousands of Australian Prison Portraits Captured Online from 15 Jails Over 50 Years

If your ancestor or other relative was a (ahem) guest of the New South Wales government for a while, you may find his or her picture in an online database

The NSW State Archives recently digitised 46,000 images and collated them in an exhibition titled Captured: Portraits of Crime. From “wicked old woman” Sarah Clifford to William Plummer, who spent five decades in and out of jail there are tens of thousands of records to rifle through.

Born in Jamaica in 1833, Sarah Clifford was a known pick pocketer in both NSW and Tasmania.

Brooklyn’s Old Tax Photos are Now Available on the ‘1940s Street View’ Website

If you had ancestors from Brooklyn or if you lived there yourself or if you have any other interest in the city, you might want to check out an article by Kevin Duggan in the BrooklynPaper.com web site. Depression-era tax photos of every building in the city are included, making it easier for researchers and history buffs to navigate several hundred thousand snapshots of buildings from 1940s New York City.

Left: The Williamsburgh Savings Bank Tower at Hanson Place seen from Fourth and Atlantic avenues. Right: The former elevated train above Myrtle Avenue near Navy Street.
Municipal Archives, City of New York

According to the article:

Ancestry® Completes the Arolsen Archives Collection with 19 Million Holocaust Records

The following announcement was written by Ancestry.com:

Launches Partnership with USC Shoah Foundation to Provide Access to a New Collection of Searchable Data from Jewish Holocaust Survivor Testimonies

LEHI, Utah & SAN FRANCISCO – (August 26, 2020) – Ancestry®, the global leader in family history and consumer genomics, has completed a significant philanthropic initiative to digitize and make searchable millions of Holocaust and Nazi persecution-related records. Building on its commitment to preserve at risk history, there are now more than 19 million Holocaust records available globally, for free and in perpetuity as part of the Arolsen Archives Collection. Ancestry also announced today a new partnership with USC Shoah Foundation to publish an index to nearly 50,000 Jewish Holocaust survivor testimonies that contain information on more than 600,000 additional relatives and other individuals found in survivor questionnaires. Both collections are now available and searchable for free on www.ancestry.com/alwaysremember.

New Free Historical Records on FamilySearch: Week of 24 August 2020

The following announcement was written by FamilySearch:

Make more family discoveries this week at FamilySearch by searching new records from France, Haute-Vienne Census,1836Paraguay Catholic Church Records, 1754–2015, and California, San Francisco Chinese Passenger Lists 1882–1947.  Find more records from BrazilCanadaEnglandFinlandNorwayNova ScotiaPeru, SAfricaZambia, and the United States: (AlabamaArizonaCaliforniaHawaiiIowaKansasMississippiNew YorkNorth CarolinaPennsylvaniaTexasUtah, and Virginia.)

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.

A New, Free Online Resource of 360 Million United States Court Records

I could make a rather poor joke that none of MY ancestors would be listed in court records but, of course, I would be wrong. Every family has a few people who end up on the wrong side of the law. HOWEVER, court records also list millions of victims, witnesses, law-enforcement personnel, judges, and other people as well.

360 million court cases could be a great treasure house for genealogists.

The site is https://www.judyrecords.com/ and is completely free, no credit card, no advertising, no sign ups, etc. and has over 360 million US court records that are completely free to search.

It has case types that are particularly important for genealogy research like marriage, divorces, probate/estates, name changes, and adoption records.

Ancestry® Announces Free Six-month Subscription for Teachers Just in Time for School Year

The following announcement was written by Ancestry®:

Access to Ancestry Library Edition is Now Also Available as Free Remote Learning Resource for Parents and Tutors

LEHI, Utah & SAN FRANCISCO, August 20, 2020 — Ancestry®, the global leader in family history and consumer genomics, announced today that for the first time, it will provide K-12 teachers across America a free six-month World Explorer subscription to access billions of historical records, providing support in lesson development and project creation for the school year ahead. Whether teaching in the classroom or through remote learning, Ancestry now offers free resources to inspire educators with new ways to engage students this fall.

The free subscription will give teachers the tools to help students across the nation make connections to their ancestors, historical places, and events throughout time. By pulling records around historical events to contextualize chapters in history like WWII and the Civil War, teachers can bring their curriculum to life in relevant and exciting ways–which is especially important for keeping students engaged during virtual learning.

TheGenealogist releases over 260,000 individuals in a New Selection of Poll Book Records

The following announcement was written by the folks at TheGenealogist:

TheGenealogist has just released over 260,000 records into its ever growing Poll Book Record Collection. This useful resource for family historians can be used to find the address of an ancestor’s residence from the period before and after the census records. The newly released Poll Books range from 1747 to 1930 and join records that also cover periods between the census years.

The Sphere Issue No 987 December 21 1918

The release allows researchers to: