Online Sites

Forces War Records Adds New Online UK Army Records

The following announcement was written by Forces War Records:

The specialist military genealogy website has added the 1800’s Worldwide Army Index, containing over 500,000+ records compiled from musters contained in WO 10-11-12 War Office Paylists held at the National Archives, Kew.

Whilst census returns have revealed many long-lost souls there was still the matter of many thousands of British (English, Scottish, Welsh & Irish) subjects who remained unaccounted for. Some of them would have been merchant mariners or Royal Navy subjects away on the highs seas or folk who simply upped and emigrated. A great number were army personnel.

New Records Available To Search This Findmypast Friday

The following announcement was written by Findmypast:

There are a whole host of fascinating Irish additions available to search this St Patrick’s weekend, including:

Irish Tontines Annuitants 1766-1789

Search for your Irish ancestor in over 153,000 annuity statements, accounts of deaths, death certificates, and marriage certificates relating to the subscribers and nominees of the Irish Tontine. Popular in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, a tontine was an investment plan designed for the raising of capital. Named after the Neapolitan banker Lorenzo de Tonti, who allegedly invented the tontine in France in 1653, subscribers would pay an agreed sum into the fund and thereafter receive an annuity from it. Upon a member’s death, their shares would devolve to the other participants whose annuities would then rise in value. The scheme would be wound up when the last member died.

The records in this collection have been released in association with the National Archives and cover the English tontine of 1789; the Irish tontines of 1773, 1775, and 1777; and the life annuities of 1766 to 1779. The records consist of both transcripts and images of original documents and the amount of information listed will vary depending on the source. Images may include additional information such as annuity amounts, nominee or subscriber status, and class. Participants were divided into different classes by age. Those over the age of forty were placed into the first class, those aged between twenty and forty were placed into the second class, and the third class consisted of those below the age of twenty.

Ireland, American Fenian Brotherhood 1864-1897

World’s Most Comprehensive Whaling History Database Released

The following announcement was written by the New Bedford Whaling Museum: – connects all things whaling for researchers, scholars, genealogists and enthusiasts

NEW BEDFORD, Mass. – The New Bedford Whaling Museum, in partnership with Mystic Seaport, has developed the world’s most comprehensive whaling history database and it is now available for all to use at Researchers, genealogists, students, teachers, and history buffs alike will find it to be the most robust and useful repository of whaling history documentation and scholarship.

The data presented combines many sources including logbooks, journals, ship registers, newspapers, business papers, and custom house records. Users will be able to find and trace whaling voyages and ships to specific logbooks, as well as the list of crewmembers aboard most of the voyages. The foundational fabric of Whaling History features three databases that have been stitched together – the American Offshore Whaling Voyage (AOWV) database, the American Offshore Whaling Log database, and an extensive whaling crew list database. All data is open to the public and is downloadable for any researcher to use with other tools and systems.

Owners Can Track the History of their Homes with Housestry

Housestry is building a digital yearbook of sorts for properties across the world. According to the web site:

“A home is more than the walls and materials of which it’s made. In its midst, meals are shared, boys and girls grow into young men and women and life chapters open and close. At housestry, we provide the venue where those experiences and memories live on.

“Share moments from your home’s journey by creating an account and adding your photos and personal stories. Bring the past to life and show other users the history hiding behind the walls. Did you pour blood, sweat and tears into a remodel? Have you unearthed items hidden by previous owners? What events meant the most to you happened there. All of these things form the housestry of a home.”

Findmypast Offers 50% Discount on 1 Month ‘Ultimate’ Subscriptions in Celebration of St. Patrick’s Day 2018

The following announcement was written by Findmypast:

  • Half price one month Plus and Pro subscriptions on offer until midnight 19th March

Leading family history website, Findmypast, is inviting family historians to explore their unrivalled collection of Irish records with a 50% discount on 1 month ‘ultimate’ subscription packages in celebration of St Patrick’s Day 2018. The discount will be available to anyone without an active subscription to Findmypast until midnight 19th March.

With more than twice the number of Irish records available on any other family history website, Findmypast is the number one resource for Irish family history.

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

The following announcement was written by FamilySearch:

Find your ancestors with new historic records published on FamilySearch this week from AustriaBillionGravesBrazilEnglandFranceGermanyGuatemalaIdahoIllinoisMexicoSpain, and Texas. Search these new free records by clicking on the collection links below or search over 6 billion free records at  FamilySearch.

Findmypast announces New & Improved Irish Civil Registration Indexes Available

The following announcement was written by the folks at Findmypast. The article was sent Friday, March 9, although I did not receive it until today because of my travels:

The home of the world’s largest online collection of Irish family history records, Findmypast, today announces the publication of two new and improved Irish Civil Registration Indexes.

Both collections are completely free to search and explore, providing family historians around the world with even greater chances of learning more about the lives of their Irish ancestors.

The two indexes, the Ireland Civil Birth Registers Index and Ireland Civil Marriage Index, contain over 5.3 million transcripts of Irish civil births and marriages compiled from original entries in General Register Office registers. Today’s release marks the first phase of a collection that will continue to grow as additional records are added throughout 2018.

Family History Hosting Announces Archive Hosting Plans

Who will keep your online genealogy web site active and available to others after you are gone? Family History Hosting, LLC has a solution that will appeal to many. Here is the announcement:

Keep your project online after you are unable to maintain it.

Narragansett, Rhode Island – March 12, 2018 – Family History Hosting, LLC is pleased to announce low-cost, long-term hosting plans that will keep your content online for an extended time. Using an Archive hosting plan, your genealogy project will stay online for 10 years from your last renewal payment.

Archive plans include a Yearly Fee and a one-time Setup Fee that is nine times the Yearly Fee. When you stop paying the Yearly Fee, the funds from the one-time fee extend your hosting subscription for an additional nine years.

Archive plans include only minimal features: the focus is on keeping your content available online and keeping the cost as low as possible.

1771 Massachusetts (and Maine) Tax Inventory is Available Online

A free online searchable database called the “1771 Massachusetts Tax Inventory” is available online. While the title says “Massachusetts,” keep in mind that what is now the state of Maine was still a part of Massachusetts at that time. Since the database includes all of what was then the Province of Massachusetts Bay, the property owners in what is now Maine are also listed in this database.

The collection of data contains the names and descriptions of taxable property of nearly 38,000 individuals who resided in 152 Massachusetts towns in 1771. Data include enumerations of the type and value of real estate and buildings, as well as tabulation of livestock and farm commodities produced.

The on-line version allows you to browse the data by selecting items to view and “drilling down” through totals for counties and towns to the holdings of individual taxpayers.

MyHeritage Releases New Collections with 325 Million Historical Records

MyHeritage has announced still another collection of records of genealogy interest. At the RootsTech conference, I had a chance to look at the new U.S. Yearbooks Name Index and even found myself in my high school’s yearbook with a picture of myself taken during my sophomore year. Boy, did I look like a geek back then! (Can I get the picture removed from the database??? No? Oh, OK.) You might want to find your picture as well as those of your friends and relatives.

Here is the latest announcement released at this week’s RootsTech conference:

Latest additions are the 1939 Register of England & Wales; a unique and innovatively structured U.S. yearbooks collection; and a collection of Canadian obituaries

TEL AVIV, Israel & LEHI, Utah–MyHeritage, the leading global destination for family history and DNA testing, announced today the addition of three important historical records collections that provide value for family history enthusiasts worldwide.

MyHeritage releases new collections with 325 million historical records

Findmypast Brings New York Catholic Records Online for the First Time

The following announcement was written by the folks at Findmypast:

  • Findmypast adds indexes containing over eight million New York records to its exclusive Catholic Heritage Archive
  • Released online for the first time, family historians can now search for Catholic ancestors in the second-largest diocese in the United States
  • New records date back to 1785, span more than 130 years of New York history and cover more than 230 parishes across the Archdiocese. Images will be added to the collection later in the year.

Leading family history website, Findmypast, has today announced the online publication of indexes containing over eight million New York sacramental records in partnership with the Archdiocese of New York.

This landmark release is the latest in a series of substantial updates to Findmypast’s exclusive Catholic Heritage Archive, a groundbreaking initiative that aims to digitize the historical records of the Catholic Church in North America, Britain and Ireland for the very first time.

Findmypast Helps North American Researchers Discover British & Irish Ancestors

The following announcement was written by the folks at Findmypast:

Your ancestors’ journeys to North America were tough.
Your discoveries shouldn’t be

Industry-leading British family history website Findmypast has introduced a unique approach to help North American family historians connect with ancestors in the British Isles.

As the home of the world’s most comprehensive online collection of British and Irish records, Findmypast is committed to making discoveries in the British Isles easier than ever before. Today Findmypast has launched a new subscription package for the North American market that provides all the tools needed to discover ancestors across the pond.

New Records Available To Search This Findmypast Friday

The following announcement was written by the folks at Findmypast:

There are over 175,334 records available to search this Findmypast Friday, including:

Greater London Marriage Index

Over 94,000 new records from the Royal College of Arms covering historic chapels at St James Duke’s Place, Gray’s Inn, Somerset House and the Austin Friars Dutch Reform Church are now available to search. Dating back to the early 1500’s the records will reveal details of your ancestor’s residence, occupation, marriage and spouse. A number of records also include images of original documents.

These new additions are not the only update the Index has received this week. We have also merged a number of existing London marriage collections to make them accessible through one unified search. The Greater London Marriage Index will now also include results from the Middlesex Marriage Index, the West Middlesex Marriage Index, the St Andrew’s Holborn Marriage Index and our collection of Docklands and East End Marriages.

England, Mining Disaster Victims

NYG&B Labs Releases The Record Map Search

The following announcement was written by the folks at the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society:

Thursday, February 22, 2018 – New York, NY – The New York Genealogical and Biographical Society has launched a brand new tool, produced by NYG&B Labs titled “Mapping The Record.”

This innovative project allows visitors to search an index of articles from New York’s oldest (and largest) genealogical publication, The Record and return map-based results at

Colour Tithe Maps for Buckinghamshire added to TheGenealogist

The following announcement was written by the folks at TheGenealogist:

TheGenealogist has added Colour Tithe Maps from The National Archives to their National Tithe Records collection. With this release researchers can see the plots owned or occupied by ancestors that lived in this ‘home county’ at the time of the survey in the 19th century.

Colour Tithe map of Buckingham 1847

The new data includes:

  • Over 40,000 Plots of Land covering the years from 1837 to 1855 with some much later plans of altered apportionments
  • Joining the apportionment record books and the previously published greyscale maps

One More Update about the Turkish Online Genealogy Database

I have written twice about the new online genealogy database created by the government of Turkey. (See to find my earlier articles about this story.) When the Turkish genealogy web site first appeared, it was so popular that it soon became overloaded, then was shut down so that the system administrators could add more hardware to the cluster of servers in order to handle the load. The Turkish genealogy web site is now back online and apparently is running well, handling a huge number of visitors.

Fehim Tastekin has written an article explaining why the web site become so popular. It seems that many Turkish citizens have deep, dark secrets in their family trees: some of their ancestors were Armenians, Syriacs, Greeks or Jews. In Turkey, this apparently is the equivalent to Germans in the 1930s and early 1940s hiding the fact they had Jewish ancestors or Americans in the Deep South hiding the fact they had Black Americans in the family tree. While the facts in Turkey have been hushed up for years, the new web site reportedly shows the truth. The story involves the Ottoman government’s systematic extermination of 1.5 million Armenians. (What was once called the Ottoman Empire was the forerunner of present-day Turkey.)

These facts have apparently been hidden from many of today’s younger Turks while they were growing up. Yes, apparently there are many skeletons in the Turkish family closets. The new web site reveals many family secrets and curious Turks want to know those secrets.

Tastekin’s article states, “Some people who had always boasted of their ‘pure’ Turkish ancestry were shocked to learn they actually had other ethnic and religious roots.”

Online U.S. Atlas of Historical County Boundaries

One of the more useful tools for genealogists is the Atlas of Historical County Boundaries created by the Newberry Library in Chicago. When I first started in genealogy, one of my biggest frustrations was trying to find records of ancestors in the county where they lived. Many genealogical records are created by counties. In many cases, I knew the town where they lived and I also knew what county the town was in. Yet I couldn’t find the records that normally are kept in county courthouses, such as probate records or the deeds of land transfers.

As I gained more experience, I soon learned that the problem was mine. I had looked in the country records for the county lines of today. In many cases, the county lines had moved over the years, even though my ancestors had not moved an inch. Once recorded at the county courthouse, records normally remain at that courthouse forever, even if the county lines are redrawn later and the property or the town in question is then “moved” to a different county.

For instance, if your ancestor lived in the town of Smallville in Washington County when the information was recorded at the courthouse and later the county lines were redrawn so that town of Smallville and your ancestor’s location were later in Lincoln County, you still need to look for older records in the Washington County courthouse. Existing courthouse records usually are not moved to a new courthouse when county lines are redrawn.

RootsFinder Delivers Powerful New Tools to Genealogists for Free

I suspect this is going to be a major tool for all genealogists. The following announcement describes the latest project by several people, including Dallan Quass, a well-known software developer who has produced several excellent genealogy products in the past. He was the Chief Technology Officer of FamilySearch from 2002-2004 and the creator of and, two of FamilyTree Magazine’s top 101 genealogy websites.

RootsFinder tries to be a great tree for supporting genealogy researchers at all levels, but especially new genealogy researchers. It also focuses heavily on pictures, stories, and videos to make things more interesting for a younger audience.

Here is the announcement: is a free, online family tree that makes researching family history much easier. Unlike other online trees, which only provide hints to their own content, RootsFinder provides hints and search suggestions to websites such as:

  • FamilySearch
  • FindMyPast
  • AmericanAncestors
  • BillionGraves
  • FindAGrave
  • Ancestry
  • MyHeritage
  • and more

Follow-up: Turkey Shuts Down Genealogy Service after Overload of Inquiries

As mentioned last week in this newsletter (at, “Genealogy interest turned out to be popular for Turkey’s new online genealogy service. The country’s population registry has shut down its online genealogy service after one day, due to an overload of inquiries, according to reports from the Turkish state-run news agency Anadolu.

The site is now back online at and appears to be working well. However, all information on the web site is in Turkish.

According to an article in The Daily Sabah at

A 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: