Online Sites

New Historic Records on FamilySearch: October 23 to November 13, 2017


Over 28 million new historic records were added on FamilySearch from DenmarkEngland, and the Netherlands, as well as millions more from BillionGravesBritish Columbia, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Ecuador, France, GermanyHondurasIllinoisIowaItalyKentuckyMissouriNamibia, New JerseyOhio, PeruPoland, SlovakiaSouth AfricaSweden, United States, and Washington. Search these new free records at FamilySearch by clicking on the links in the interactive table below.

Over 2 Million New Military Records Available to Search this Findmypast Friday

The following announcement was written by the folks at Findmypast:

There are over 2 million brand new military records available to search this Findmypast Friday, including;

Commonwealth War Graves Commission Debt of Honour

Search over 1.7 million Commonwealth War Graves Commission records to discover the final resting place of your military ancestors. The collection honours the 1.7 million men and women of the Commonwealth forces who died in the First and Second World Wars and covers cemeteries and memorials at 23,000 locations in more than 150 countries.

British Armed Forces, Roman Catholic Registers

TheGenealogist adds another 15,000 Names from 53 new War Memorials

The following announcement was written by the folks at

In time for Armistice day TheGenealogist has added to their War Memorial records on the website so that there are now over 383,000 fully searchable records.

This latest release includes war memorials from Worcestershire and South Yorkshire as well as some further monuments from Australia,Canada, London and various other British counties. A more unusual one added in this release is from Olds, in Alberta, Canada – the memorial is a Sherman tank!

War Memorial at Olds, Alberta in Canada newly added to TheGenealogist

ArkivDigital is Offering Free Access this Week-End, November 11th and November 12th

According to an announcement in the ArkivDigital web site at

ArkivDigital provides the key to a very exciting story – the story about you!

Whether you’ve been researching for a long time or are just beginning, ArkivDigital has what you need: church books, estate inventories, tax registers, military rolls, spy documents, passenger ship manifests, Swedish American church books in Kansas, Minnesota and Nebraska, aerial photos and many other historical documents. In addition, there are many name searchable indexes that can make it easier for you to find your Swedish ancestors.

100,000 Signatures on Wiki Genealogist Honor Code

The following announcement was written by the folks at WikiTree:

November 9, 2017: This week, WikiTree’s Honor Code surpassed 100,000 digital signatures.

“The Honor Code is our community’s ‘secret sauce’,” according to WikiTree founder Chris Whitten. “It enables our collaboration to be productive and enjoyable. It’s why our our tree grows stronger and more accurate every year, instead of just larger.”

The Honor Code lays out the WikiTree community’s shared ethics and principles. Its nine simple points establish basic rules for open collaboration, respect for copyrights and privacy, the acknowledgement of other researchers, and the importance of citing sources.

Ancestry and the New England Historic Genealogical Society Collaborate to Make Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston Records Available Online

The following announcement was written by the folks at

LEHI, Utah and SAN FRANCISCO, Nov. 08, 2017 — Ancestry, the global leader in family history and consumer genomics, today announced joining the New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) Historic Catholic Records Online Project, a unique undertaking to digitize Massachusetts Catholic records from the late 1700s to the early 1900s. The collection includes approximately 10 million names.

The Historic Catholic Records Online Project marks the first time a significant number of sacramental records from any U.S. – based archdiocese have been made available in an online digital format.

“The detailed documents in this collection are a critical resource for researchers, historians, and genealogists, especially when secular records are spotty or lost,” said Brenton Simons, President and CEO of the New England Historic Genealogical Society. “We’ve worked with Ancestry as a trusted collaborator on several projects over many years including making vital records, city directories, and state censuses more accessible and we are thrilled to be working with them again on this new important project. This collaboration will help ensure that a large number of family historians will be able to connect with their ancestors through the information in these records.”

Findmypast Grants Five Days of Free Access to All Military Records Ahead of Veterans Day 2017

The following announcement was written by the folks at Findmypast:

Findmypast makes entire collection of more than 80 million world military records free for five days

All UK, Irish, Australian, Canadian and US military records free from the 8th to the 12th November 2017

London, UK.

Leading family history website Findmypast has today announced that they will be making their entire collection of world military records free for five days in honour of Veterans Day 2017.

From 8th November until midnight, 12th November 2017, all 80 million records within Findmypast’s “Military, Armed Forces and Conflict” category will be completely free to search and explore, providing family historians from around the globe with the opportunity to uncover the stories of the military heroes within their own family.

This will include free access to:

Just in Time for Veterans’ Day: Ancestry Hopes to Recover Veterans’ Information Despite the Loss of Records in a Fire

A catastrophic fire in 1973 at the National Personnel Records Center outside St. Louis destroyed 80% of the records of U.S. Army personnel discharged November 1912 to January 1960 and 75% of U.S. Air Force personnel discharged September 1947 to January 1964. None of these records – about 80-100 pages of info per soldier on average – had duplicate copies. Records about the battles these brave soldiers fought in, the ships they sailed on, the medals they received, etc. were lost.

Ancestry hopes to recover those lost accounts. The company launching a special project asking people to interview and share stories from World War II military veterans. Ancestry will take the submitted interviews and turn them into a searchable database to help supplement the lost World War II records for these soldiers and sailors.

North Carolina’s Brimley Collection of Photographs is now Available Online

The Brimley Collection is one of the oldest and most interesting photograph collections in the State Archives of North Carolina. The photographs in this collection document many aspects of life in the state between the late 19th and mid-20th century and include people both common and renowned, scenes of cities and towns, rural landscapes and farms, agricultural activities and products of every variety found in North Carolina, industrial concerns, and much much more.

The Brimley Collection is named for Herbert Hutchinson Brimley, the first leader of The North Carolina State Museum of Natural History. That museum was at the time an all-encompassing state museum that included history, art, and science. It later evolved and morphed into separate entities – the NC Museum of Natural Sciences, the State Archives of North Carolina, the NC Museum of History, and the NC Museum of Art – all of which operate under an umbrella governance and exist today.

MyHeritage Adds Significant Collection of New York Immigration Records with Unique Content

The following announcement was written by the folks at MyHeritage:

90 million records from the Ellis Island and Other New York Passenger Lists collection bring to light the stories of millions of immigrations, arrivals and visits to America spanning 138 years

TEL AVIV, Israel & LEHI, Utah, November 2, 2017 – MyHeritage, the leading international family history and DNA company, announced today the addition of the Ellis Island and Other New York Passenger Lists 1820-1957 collection to SuperSearch™, the company’s global search engine containing more than 8.25 billion historical records. The records are of major significance for anyone looking to trace their immigrant ancestors’ arrival in America, and include names, dates, countries of origin, addresses of family members and friends, occupations, and physical descriptions, among many other details.

New Records Available To Search This Findmypast Friday

The following announcement was written by the folks at Findmypast:

There are over 62,000 records available to search and explore this Findmypast Friday, including;

Surrey Lay Subsidies 1524-1645

Search for your ancestors in over 16,000 early taxation records created from The National Archives’ E 179 series, ‘Exchequer: King’s Remembrancer: Particulars of account and other records relating to lay and clerical taxation, National treasury records’. Lay subsidies are taxation records from the final years of the Tudor period and the early years of the Jacobean era. All the records come from Surrey in South East England.

Each record includes a transcription of the original taxation records held at The National Archives in Kew. Transcripts will reveal a combination of your ancestor’s name, the date of the original records, your ancestor’s home parish and hundred. Some records may also include the names of other taxpayers living in the same area as well as the individual and total amounts paid in taxes.

Surrey Court Cases 1391-1835

Find Living Cousins Using The Newfoundland 1921 Census

The following announcement was written by Peter Calver of Living Cousins:

Newfoundland didn’t become part of Canada until 1949 – so it wasn’t included in the Canadian censuses. The earliest census which covers the whole of Newfoundland was taken in 1921, and as it is now available free at the FamilySearch website it has been added it to the list of censuses that LostCousins members can use to search for cousins.

It’s really easy to enter the data for your relatives and search for the researchers who share your Newfoundland ancestors because all the information you need is in the FamilySearch transcription.

There are now 9 censuses that you can use to search for cousins, of which 7 are free online. Nobody should be excluded from the LostCousins project because they can’t afford to pay – that’s why standard membership of LostCousins is free.

Transcriptions from the St. Agnes Cemetery Tombstones in Menands, NY are Now Online

The following announcement was received from Bill McGrath of the Troy Irish Genealogy Society:

Headstones Showing Foreign Place Of Birth

The Troy Irish Genealogy Society has just added the following new data series to its website.

This data base of 900 names inscribed on 210 headstones in St. Agnes Cemetery in MENANDS, New York will be of interest to genealogy researchers. To see these records go to the website of the Troy Irish Genealogy Society – – click on PROJECTS and then click on CEMETERY RECORDS and then on Headstones Showing Foreign Place of Birth.

For the most part the inscriptions are overwhelmingly of Irish immigrants to the Capital District Region. While sone inscriptions merely say “Ireland”‘ a large number are more specific and identify the County in Ireland along with the name of the town and the name of the Parish.

TheGenealogist adds to its expanding collection of Parish Records

The following announcement was written by the folks at TheGenealogist:

TheGenealogist has added over 140,000 individuals to their Parish Records for Worcestershire and Warwickshire to increase the coverage of these midland counties.

Released in association with Malvern Family History Society and the Nuneaton & North Warwickshire Family History Society, this is an ongoing project to make available high quality transcripts to family history researchers.

  • 97,841 individuals have been added to the Worcestershire baptism records
  • 44,250 individuals join the Warwickshire baptism records

These new records can be used to find your ancestors’ baptisms, in fully searchable records that cover parishes from this area of England. With records that reach back to the mid 16th century, this release allows family historians to find the names of ancestors, their parents’ forenames, the father’s occupation (where noted), and the parish that the event took place at.

1921 Canadian Census is Now Available Free at the Library and Archives Canada

According to a note in the IAJGS Public Records Access Alert:

In 2013, Ancestry digitized the Canadian 1921 census and until last month it was available only through Ancestry. Per their agreement with Library and Archives Canada, the 1921 census is now available free at the Library and Archives Canada. Canada has a 92-year privacy act therefore, the first time it would have been available to the public is 2013. In 1921 there were 233 census districts and enumerators collected information on 8,788,433 individuals. The Dominion Bureau of Statistics was authorized to microfilm and destroy the original paper records. The only microfilm copy s an archival holding. The digitized copies were made from microfilm-which is acknowledged on inconsistent quality and some images are not readable. Some of the records did not survive. Access on Library and Archives Canada is free.

To access the census go to:

History Colorado Now Offers Historic African American Newspapers

History Colorado recently digitized and added Denver African-American newspapers, the Statesman (1905-1912), and The Denver Star (1912-1918).

The Statesman was first published by Joseph D. D. River in 1889. In 1912, The Denver Star began to bill itself as “The paper formerly known as the Statesman.” In 1913, it was noted that “the papers formerly known as The Statesman and The Independent, have been merged into The Denver Star.” While these papers covered news from African-American communities in “Colorado, Wyoming, Montana and the West”, they also covered local news from Denver’s Five Points district. Five Points, sometimes referred to as the “Harlem of the West” is one of Denver’s oldest neighborhoods. These newspapers offer researchers a vast amount of information on Denver’s African American culture and community, including its residents, businesses and aspects of everyday life.

Click on the above links to access either the Statesman or The Denver Star.

Over 1.3 Million New Portsmouth Records Available to Search this Findmypast Friday

The following announcement was written by the folks at Findmypast:

Findmypast publishes the archives of the Portsmouth History Centre online for the first time

Findmypast has today, 27th October 2017, published online for the first time more than 1.3 million historical records in partnership with the Portsmouth History Centre. The publication marks the first phase of Findmypast’s new Portsmouth collection, a rich archive spanning the years 1538 to 1917 comprising beautifully scanned images of original handwritten documents. When complete, the collection will from the largest repository of Portsmouth family history records available online.

Made up of a variety of fascinating documents including parish baptisms, marriages, burials and Workhouse records, the collection will continue to grow as additional Portsmouth records including electoral rolls, rate books, crew lists and World War One military exemption records are added in later phases.

Why Was the Information Removed from Online?

NOTE: This is a slightly updated version of an article I published about a year ago. A newsletter reader sent a message to me recently expressing dissatisfaction with records that once were available online but recently have disappeared. I am offering this republished article as an explanation about why we should not be surprised when that happens. I believe that every genealogist should understand why this happens so this article bears repeating every year or two. Please feel free to republish this article in newsletters, message boards, or forward it in email messages as you see fit.

I will also offer a suggestion as to making sure you keep your own copies of online records that are valuable to you.

A newsletter reader sent an email message to me recently expressing dissatisfaction that a set of images of vital records has been removed from one of the very popular genealogy sites. Indeed, removal of any online records of genealogical value is sad, but not unusual. Changes such as these are quite common on FamilySearch, MyHeritage,, Fold3, FindMyPast, and many other genealogy sites that provide digital images of old records online. Removal of datasets has occurred dozens of times in the past, and I suspect such things will continue to happen in the future. I thought I would write a brief explanation.

An Online Archive of Pictures and Stories of nearly 50,000 Australian Prisoners between 1870 and 1930 is Now Available

Arthur Astill, a 16-year-old labourer from Orange, charged with murder and photographed at Dubbo Gaol in 1893. (Photo courtesy of: State Archives and Records NSW)

Portraits of Crime is an exhibition and major project of State Archives and Records NSW, which has selected 37 of the prisoners to tell their stories in-depth. Not only are the tales compelling and moving in themselves, but exhibition curator Dr Penny Stannard said they give people “a taste of how they might engage with these archives”.

The stories of these men, women and children are told through source material from the State Archives Collection of Gaol Photographic Description Books from 20 NSW prisons.

Details may be found in an article by Melanie Pearce and Julie Clift in the (Australian) ABC News web site at:

RootsWeb Has Problems Again

Many of the web pages on RootsWeb have stopped working. Today, the following message is displayed at
As you know, RootsWeb is a collection of products that has grown organically over the last two decades. Many of these have not been updated or maintained in years. Ancestry is currently working on updating and revising World Connect, Mailing Lists, and hosted sites such as Free Pages over the next twelve months; however, all other products and functionality are under review. We will continue to notify you of updates here as decisions are made.

Many of the web pages on RootsWeb have stopped working. Today, the following message is displayed at

As you know, RootsWeb is a collection of products that has grown organically over the last two decades. Many of these have not been updated or maintained in years. Ancestry is currently working on updating and revising World Connect, Mailing Lists, and hosted sites such as Free Pages over the next twelve months; however, all other products and functionality are under review. We will continue to notify you of updates here as decisions are made.