Get a New View of Your Genealogy Featuring an Interview with Pat Dalpiaz

with Lisa Louise Cooke
Recorded May 2020
Please enjoy free access to this Premium podcast episode. Learn more about becoming a Genealogy Gems Premium member by clicking here

This episode is really about getting a fresh new view of our research and our ancestors’ world. To expand our view we’re going to dig into that word “view” in one of my favorite free tools,  Google books which contains some wonderful gems, and I’ll tell you how to find them. But first I chat with a Genealogy Gems Premium Member  about how her eyes were opened to a new view of her research, and 3 very important things she learned from it.


GEM: Interview with Pat Dalpiaz

In Genealogy Gems Podcast episode #238 I shared two tales of mystery. The first was a Valentine’s theme centered around a mysterious love letter. Professional genealogist Kathleen Ackerman shared how a love letter that was missing its last page took her on a genealogical journey full of surprises. And the second story was the mystery of a lost family scrapbook that was chock full of twists, turns and even murder! At the end of that episode I invited you to share your stories of discovery and the lessons you learned along the way. Long time listener and Genealogy Gems premium member Pat Dalpiaz did just that, and she joins me on this episode to tell us about it.

How did you first learn of the story of John Handran?
“John Handran of Newfoundland and Essex County Massachusetts was lost at sea in December of 1885 while aboard the Schooner Cleopatra. The story of that sea disaster is pretty amazing in itself. A brief version is told in the blog post I will reference and share. He left behind a wife and 3 young children.

He also left behind the story of his sea rescue of a fellow Navy shipmate who was swept overboard in Lisbon Portugal from the US Steamer Franklin in 1876, for which he was awarded a Medal of Honor by President U. S. Grant.

This story of his Medal of Honor had been a family story, accepted in full as given by another cousin researcher (expert level). So, I shared it on my blog Gathering the Cousins.”

What stirred the story back up?
“One day about 4 years ago, I was contacted by members of the Medal of Honor Historical Society of the United States as well as by a Canadian who specializes in honoring Canadians who have been awarded the US Medal of Honor. This came about directly as a result of publishing his story on my blog, a point made by others that I can help verify.

I was asked to determine if the John Handran in my family tree was THE John Handran who was awarded the Medal of Honor in 1876. Dope slap. I had never made that direct connection using documents and proof. I just accepted the story. So, the work began to collect the “smoking gun” documentation to prove “my” John Handran and the Medal of Honor John Handran.”

What approach did you take to try and verify this story?
“In 2017, I was finally able to locate a newspaper article regarding John’s death that stated he had been in the US Navy connecting him as needed. I found a copy of the 1885 local paper and shared it with the Medal of Honor Historical Society of the United States.”

What are you doing to restore this historical story to your community?
“As a result, they have been able to coordinate the placement of a “In Memory Of” marker at his widow’s grave in Gloucester Massachusetts. It took almost 3 years to accomplish that feat and then the virus interrupted plans to hold a service to mark John’s bravery and service to country.

In addition, I used some of your recommended Google techniques to locate a granddaughter nearby so she can be part of the service when it is held and visit the memorial when she’s ready.”

Where can listeners read more about this and your family history adventures?
“I also contribute to a blog called Good Morning Gloucester and have shared some of this information in that manner as well. Here’s a link to one of those posts.”

3 Lessons Learned:

  1. You don’t know what you don’t know.

Pat did not know there was a group out there specializing in something as specific as Canadians awarded the US Medal of Honor. Writing about the story on her family history blog brought them to her!

  1. The importance of validating those family stories.

The extra work you do to confirm your family stories might require close-reading very old newspapers or other similar documents. Pat says, “It might take a long time but stick with it.”

  1. Finding family members CAN be accomplished with Google!

Pat said she used the techniques that I talk about in the podcast and my book The Genealogist’s Google Toolbox on a regular basis, with ongoing success. She wrote: “Thank you as always for your efforts to share your expertise with us. I just renewed my Premium membership. It’s the most worthwhile genealogy money I spend each year!”

john handran plaque

John Handran In Memory Of plaque at Calvary Cemetery in Gloucester MA. An official ceremony will be planned as the pandemic allows.



The “smoking gun” part of the newspaper article Jan 1, 1886 in the Cape Ann Advertiser which accompanied a longer article about the Schooner Cleopatra sinking.


GEM: Expanding Your View with Google Books

Google Books URL:

Google Books is a goldmine of genealogical resources including over 25 million books. Many of the books are fully digitized and available for free. In this episode we are focusing on getting a view of our ancestors’ world. Simply focusing on the word view can help us find old book that include photographs, illustrations, maps and more.

Try searches such as:

A view of Australia

An illustrated view of California

Once you identify a book of interest, use the thumbnail view button in the toolbar at the top of the screen (it looks like a checkerboard) to view many pages at one time. This will help make maps, photos, and other images easy to spot.

thumbnail view new york book

Thumbnail view of King’s View of New York City, 1903

Search Operators are symbols or words that narrow or broaden a search. Quotation Marks can be used when you want to search for an exact word or phrase.

Example: “illustrated view”

How to narrow your search results only to fully digitized books:

  1. Go to
  2. Enter your search query and click the Search
  3. The results page will include all types of books – from fully digitized to no preview. Click the Search Tools button just below the search field.
  4. In the drop-down menu click the down arrow (under Any Books) and select Free Google eBooks.
  5. Your search results will now only include books that are fully digitized and freely available to use.

Here are just a few examples of books found using these strategies:

King’s Views of New York City,A.D.1903: 400 Views

The Ohio Railroad Guide, Illustrated: Cincinnati to Erie Via Columbus and Cleveland

Australia from a Woman’s Point of View By Jessie Ackermann, 1913 – Australia – 317 pages

View of Canada search results

An illustrated view of Canada search results

Illustrated view of California search results


Profile America: Scotch Tape History

Wednesday, May 27th. The difficulty of neatly painting cars two different colors led to the patenting of a universally practical product on this date in 1930. Five years earlier, Richard Drew, while working for the Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company, had developed an easy-to-peel, glue-backed masking tape. It considerably eased the task of separating two-tone paint jobs on new cars, which until then involved moistened plaster tape. Then, he expanded its use by introducing a clear backing. The result, an immediate hit, became known as Scotch Tape.

Now, 90 years on, 3M is joined by about 560 manufacturers of various adhesive products nationwide. This specialty generates sales of more than $13 billion a year and provides jobs for about 24,000 people.


As you’ll remember I launched this show after the first week of the stay at home recommendation in March, and back then my first recommendation was that you resist the temptation to cut your own bangs. Well it turns out that Scotch tape has had a wide variety of uses throughout the last 90 years.

Nostalgia - cutting your bangs with scotch tape

Nostalgia – cutting your bangs with scotch tape

Scotch Tape in Old Newspapers:


Saving Your Genealogy from Destruction – Episode 10 (Elevenses with Lisa)

Live show air date: May 28, 2020

Episode 10 Video and Show Notes

Join me for Elevenses with Lisa, the online video series where we take a break, visit and learn.

This episode includes an interview with Faruq Tauheed, host of the NBC TV series Roots Less Traveled. Faruq shares what caught his interest about genealogy (as someone with no previous experience) and his favorite stories from the show. Our families are full of folks who have never had an interest in genealogy. And that makes the job of ensuring your genealogy research will be passed down even more difficult. That’s why in this episode we are tackling the subject how how to ensure that your research doesn’t end up in a landfill after you’re gone. We will cover tangible things you can do today. Scroll down for all the show notes and details. Then, in our next episode, we’ll discuss ways to get your relatives on your team to preserve the family history. 

Today’s Teacup: Lyme House mug

Click here to learn more about Lyme, the home that “played the part” of Pemberly, the home of Mr. Darcy in the A&E version of Pride and Prejudice. 

Genealogy News

MyHeritage Facebook Live with Lisa Louise Cooke
June 3, 2 P.M. EDT
Topic: Fabulous Photo Discoveries at MyHeritage
Speaker: Lisa Louise Cooke
Description: Lisa Louise Cooke, founder of the genealogy research website Genealogy Gems, will illustrate the incredible potential of MyHeritage’s Photo Discoveries™ feature.

From You:

Alexis writes:

I am absolutely loving the tea time shows!! Thank you for all of your work and for sharing it with us.  I love the pictures and antiques in your office.  So inspiring! I hope to have an office like that one day. I wanted to send you this picture of my girls and me having a tea party with you.  We had milk and cookies. I don’t usually let the girls use the toy set for real food but I made an exception! The girl’s didn’t listen super well but I try to catch up on the show when I can.  Thanks again for doing this!

Interview: Faruq Tauheed, Host of the NBC TV series Roads Less Traveled

Faruq Tauheed is the host of the new NBC series ROOTS LESS TRAVELED.  Each week, Faruq leads a new pair of multigenerational family members who bond on a joint quest to learn more about their family history.  In partnership with Ancestry, the series will feature relatives as they set out on an adventure to solve mysteries in their family tree.  The show is adventurous, educational, inspiring and very often emotional.  Faruq is best known as the ring announcer on the uber-popular Discovery Channel series BATTLEBOTS.  

Click here to visit the Roots Less Traveled website where you can watch past episodes.


How to Save Your Research from Destruction

From Diana in the video comments at YouTube: 
Save your research from destruction? Yes please for a topic. Greatly moved by your words and clip at the end. Even though I am in Australia now, all my family are from the UK and my parents were young kids living outside, or evacuated from, London during the war. Stay brave!

From Julie K in Live Chat:
​I’m afraid that if I don’t have paper, my genealogy will get pitched with my laptop when I’m gone.

From Deborah:
That’s my question too – they might not even know that it’s there or want to bother with learning how to use it.

We’re tackling these questions in this week’s episode.

Don’t let your lifetime of genealogy research end up in the landfill!  I’m sharing key strategies for securing the future of your research, including designating a “research keeper,” setting up a Genealogy Materials Directive, and making donations with a Deed of Gift. This episode will help you put a plan in place to ensure the survival of your family history.

Getting and Staying Organized

Don’t allow your research materials to become a burden in the future for others or they will be at risk. Research that is piled high and disorganized will look like a candidate for the recycle bin to the non-genealogist.  Research that is neatly stored in binders or clearly labeled boxes will demand the respect it deserves.   

Physical files
I use 3 ring binders, with custom printed spines and acid-free sheet protectors. Tabs in the binder separate my materials by head of household, mirroring my digital files.
Watch episode 6 on organizing your genealogy paper.

Genealogy Notes
Cloud note-taking services such as Evernote <> or OneNote provide a way to collect, store and retrieve any type of file (typed, handwritten, clipped from the web, audio recordings, photos and videos). These services use the Internet to synchronize your notes across all of your computing devices. Each has a free version, and there are more robust subscriptions plans available as well.
Watch episode 9 to learn more about using Evernote for genealogy.

Protecting Your Files with Cloud Backup
The final step to organization is ensuring that all of your digital files are backed up automatically. I use and recommend Backblaze <> and there are other online backup services as well. These services accomplish some critical backup goals: redundant, off site, and automatic (set it and forget it) backup!
Watch episode 7 to learn more about Cloud Backup and organizing your data.

Get it on Paper with a Genealogical Materials Directive

The future is unknown and illnesses can come on unexpectedly. Don’t wait another day to keep your research safe and secure for years to come. Take small steps each day toward ensuring the security of your research.

Create a Genealogical Materials Directive with the help of your family attorney that you include with your will to ensure that your wishes for your research materials will be followed. A directive outlines what you have, what you want done with it after you are gone, and identifies all the people involved in that process. Then give it to your family attorney for any legal modification or addition that he or she may suggest and include the directive with your will.

Click here to download my free Genealogical Materials Directive.

Identifying Your Research’s Keeper

Talk to your relatives and determine who will be willing to care for and distribute your research. They don’t need to be a genealogist. Give them a copy of the Directive so they will be fully informed and prepared to follow through with your wishes.

Preparing Now for Future Donations with a Deed of Gift

Start researching archives and societies to determine which would most benefit and be interested in your materials. Think about locations as well as families. Contact the repositories and make the appropriate arrangements. Then clearly outline those arrangements in your Directive. 

Many organizations will have their own forms for donating materials. A Deed of Gift is a formal legal agreement that transfers ownership and legal rights of your research materials to the repository that you are donating them to. It is in everybody’s best interest to state the agreement on paper and make it binding. A Deed of Gift is signed by both the donor and an authorized representative of the repository.

A Deed of Gift may include other issues that are of interest to the repository. Have them all thoroughly explained to you. If you have any questions about the language of the deed of gift, it’s a good idea to check with your attorney.

If you are considering giving your hard-won genealogy research to an archive or library, there are two great brochures available from the Society of American Archivists that can help you through the process. 

Donating Your Personal or Family Papers to a Repository:

A Guide to Deed of Gift:

Society of American Archivists
17 North State Street, Suite 1425, Chicago, IL 60602-3315
Telephone: 312/606-0722

FamilySearch’s Gifts Donations and Loans Guidelines
For more information call: 1-866-406-1830

Final Thoughts

Genealogy is about the journey meme

Share this image with your friends on social media.


Please leave a comment below and let me know your thoughts on the the following questions:

  • Have you implemented any of the ideas shared in this episode?
  • What do you think the biggest obstacles are in passing down the family history you have assembled?
  • Do you have a question about saving your research from destruction and gaining support from your family?


Episode 9 Elevenses with Lisa Show Notes – Evernote Organization

Join me for Elevenses with Lisa, the online video series where we take a break, visit and learn.

In this episode I share viewers’ family tree display, the latest genealogy news, answer your questions about my genealogy organization method, and show you how I file use Evernote and cloud notetaking in conjunction with my organization system. (This series on genealogy organization began with Elevenses with Lisa episode 6.) Scroll down for all the show notes for this episode. 

Today’s “Teacup”

About a month ago YouTube alerted that our Genealogy Gems channel had qualified to have a merch store. I couldn’t resist the temptation to create a mug of our very own for our time together each week!

The Elevenses with Lisa mug is now available here.

Elevenses with Lisa Merch

Elevenses with Lisa Merch availabe at the Genealogy Gems Store on YouTube


Genealogy News:

Free Access to Military Records and Yearbooks at MyHeritage for a Limited Time

In honor of Memorial Day, MyHeritage is offering free access to all if their military records from May 20–26, 2020. The MyHeritage collection consists of 57 million records and includes draft, enlistment, and service records, pension records, and other military documents from North America and around the world, dating back to the American Revolutionary War in the late 18th century. 

Remember, Colorized  U.S. Yearbooks are available at MyHeritage for free through May 23, 2020.

Read all the details here

From You:

Linda wrote in this week and shared her family history display. She said her daughter-in-law started it in 2009 and she took the ball and ran with it, and she even added family photos.

“I am really enjoying your Elevenses videos.”

Linda's Family Tree Display

Linda’s Family Tree Display


Organizing Your Genealogy Files Q&A

From Lynnette:
​Q: I have my “working” tree on Family Treemaker 3–a very old version and not supported now. Can I make a GEDCOM from this program to upload into Roots Magic?
A: Yes!

From Barbara:
Q: By “master database” do you mean, e.g., My Heritage or Ancestry?
A: The buck stops with you.
Click here to listen to Genealogy Gems Podcast Episode #229 to hear more on the importance of a genealogy master database. 

From C Davis:
​Q: How will your family know how to use your genealogy database, let alone program name?
A: It’s the same challenge your passwords, bank accounts, etc. The Family Heirloom Tracking Binder offers a solution. Download the template from Elevenses with Lisa
Episode 6 Show Notes here. 

From Janice
Q: ​So, if you have recent documentation(not available online) for living people, like birth certificates, do you save those in a binder?
A: You can. I have mine in easy to grab folders with “official documents” in my file cabinet.

From Robin:
​Q: Do you download and save the census docs from the main sites like Ancestry and FamilySearch – as those are not most likely going to close and can be retrieved anytime…
A: Absolutely! Click here to read my article “If My Ancestry Subscription Expires, What Happens to My Tree?”

From Linda
Q: ​What year do you put first? Is it the birth year of the person or the date and place of the photo?
A: The year and location of the photo.

From Robin:
Q: Why do you use underscores in your file names?
A: It’s not necessary. Nice for spacing.

From MargtheCar 
Q: Does Evernote work if the URL is behind a paid wall?
A: No. You will be prompted to log in to the website.

From BeeMelo
​Q: What kind of scanner do you use?
A: My scanner: The Epson Perfection V550 Photo flatbed scanner. (I LOVE this scanner! It can do the high resolution I need for all my projects. If you decide to buy online, I appreciate it when you use my links because we will be compensated at no additional cost to you. This helps support this free show.)

Organizing Web Information with Evernote

  • Note-taking software is your active research. 
  • Final archiving of documents: on your hard drive backed up to the cloud. 

Select a free note-taking tool such as:

  • Evernote
  • OneNote


  • Web Clipper built in
  • Optical Character Recognition (OCR)
  • Syncing across devices
  • Note restoration to a new device
  • Free software, mobile app
  • Universal use

Get the Evernote Web Clipper from your browser’s app store. 

Types of Notes: typed, handwritten, audio, photos, videos, drawings.

Don’t Print, Clip!

Types of Tags I recommend:

  • Record Type (ex. Census)
  • Surname (ex. Jones)
  • Locations (ex. Minnesota)
  • Action to be taken (ex. Follow Up)
  • BSO (AKA Bright Shiny Object!) 

The options are limitless!


25% Genealogy Gems Premium Membership

Terry asked: ​When do you typically have a sale for your prime membership?
So I created a special discount coupon code for you. Now through May 27, 2020 get 25% off with the coupon code ACTION25

Stay Smart, Stay Brave

I always think very carefully about what I want to say to you each and every week, and particularly how I close each episode and the thoughts that I leave you with.  Lately, it seems like everyone says “stay safe” particularly as they say goodbye or end an email. I’d just like to share a few thoughts with you about this phrase. “Be safe” implies fear, and when fear kicks in, it replaces reason. “Be safe” also implies that it’s attainable in this life, and it’s not really possible to be completely safe. 

I like more empowering salutations like “be smart”, “think, and make good decisions for yourself”, and “be brave”.

At the end of episode 6 I told you that I believe that not knowing your family history is like arriving 60 minutes into a movie and expecting to understand the story.

Family History is Knowing the Full Story - Lisa Louise Cooke

Family History is Knowing the Full Story – Lisa Louise Cooke

And of course if we know this story then we can also help our kids and our grand kids know theirs. And that’s so important for children to hear about the adversity the family has faced and how it overcame it. This helps them be resilient. This current adversity we face, like all adversity, is temporary in nature, and will evolve. We have the opportunity to help the kids in our lives understand that and gain a longer range perspective. (Click here to watch my conversation with New York Times best-selling author and television personality Bruce Feiler on How Family History Creates Happy Families.)

This is SO on my mind because my family is my number one priority. So, I’ve been looking carefully again at my family history these last few weeks, and I noticed something very interesting about my ancestors. None of them appeared to be preoccupied with staying safe.

In fact, there were an overwhelming number of brave and hard-working people in my family. So this week, consider taking an inventory of your family, and cultivate the simple stories of bravery and persistence that exist there in your family tree.

With Memorial Day approaching this weekend here in America, it’s a timely reminder that we are a country with a rich history of risk-taking and bravery, particularly in the name of freedom. So I’d like to end this episode with a short video I produced a few years ago that pays tribute to the very brave men and women who have served their country, featuring an historical author who happens to be from the other side of the ocean.

Stay wise, stay brave, and thanks so much for watching friends.

Note: Author Chris Cleave was my guest in Genealogy Gems Premium Podcast episode 139. Premium Members can click here to listen now
Click here or the image below to get your copy of this wonderful book:

Everyone Brave is Forgiven Chris Cleave

From New York Times bestselling author and Genealogy Gems Podcast guest Chris Cleave.

I’d Like to Hear from You

In this episode I encouraged you to leave your comments in the Comments section below the video on YouTube. Silly me, I didn’t realize that the Comments section doesn’t appear under the Live video because there is a live chat in progress. It only becomes available after the show has ended and the video replay is posted. However, I thank all of you who left comments in the Live Chat about what you would like to talk about in future episodes of Elevenses with Lisa. Two topics I suggested were How to Save Your Research from Destruction and Using Google Photos for Genealogy. Please leave a comment below to let me know what you would like to hear about and learn about in upcoming episodes. And of course I welcome your questions. Thanks for watching!

Free Access to Military Records and Yearbooks at MyHeritage for a Limited Time

Here’s some great new. In honor of Memorial Day, MyHeritage is offering free access to all if their military records from May 20–26, 2020. 

Click here to get started, then in the menu click Research, then click Military

Military records at MyHeritage

May 20 through 26, 2020.

MyHeritage Military Records

Many of us may have a relative or ancestor who served in the military. We invite you to pay tribute to these heroes and honor their legacy by learning more about them through military records. 

The MyHeritage collection consists of 57 million records and includes draft, enlistment, and service records, pension records, and other military documents from North America and around the world, dating back to the American Revolutionary War in the late 18th century. 

MyHeritage Facebook Live Events

MyHeritage is also hosting 2 Facebook Live events about military records in the coming days: 

Searching Military Records on MyHeritage
Tune in TODAY, May 20 at 1 P.M. EDT to learn how to leverage MyHeritage’s vast collection of military records to learn more about your family history. 

Breaking Through Brick Walls with Military Records
On May 24 at 1 P.M EDT, you’ll learn how to use military records to break through brick walls in your genealogy research. 

Follow MyHeritage on Facebook to tune in live. You can also watch the recorded sessions later on, and check out the full list of our online events in May and June.

Lisa Louise Cooke, MyHeritage Facebook Live, June 3, 2 P.M. EDT

Topic: Fabulous Photo Discoveries at MyHeritage
Speaker: Lisa Louise Cooke
Description: Lisa Louise Cooke, founder of the genealogy research website Genealogy Gems, will illustrate the incredible potential of MyHeritage’s Photo Discoveries™ feature.


U.S. Yearbook Records Now Free and in Color

Following the release of the highly popular MyHeritage In Color™, we’ve colorized the entire MyHeritage U.S. Yearbook collection on MyHeritage. This collection includes 290 million names in 36 million yearbook pages, spanning from 1890 through 1979. You can now see colorized versions of your ancestors’ black and white yearbook photos next to the originals. To celebrate this moment, we’re offering FREE access to our U.S. Yearbooks through May 23, 2020.

New Genealogy Records Available Online April 15 – May 15, 2020

With so many new records coming online, I’m going to focus today on collections that are new, or have had a substantial update. These records are from around the world, and offer excellent opportunities to expand your genealogical research. 

New Genealogy Records Online

Keep reading here at Genealogy Gems for all the latest new records.

New Record Collections at FamilySearch

New indexed record collections offer new hope for genealogists yearning to bust a brick wall in their family tree. FamilySearch has recently launched several noteworthy new genealogical record collections. Some have substantial amounts of new records and some are just getting started. As always, they are free to access with an account. Here’s the latest:


England, Devon, Plymouth Prison Records, 1821-1919
Indexed Records: 13,495


Germany, Saxony, Church Book Indexes, 1500-1900
Indexed Records: 32,709


Ireland, John Watson Stewart, The Gentlemen’s and Citizen’s Almanac, 1814
Indexed Records: 17,266


Norway, Oslo, Akershus Prison Records, 1844-1885
Indexed Records: 808


Peru, Piura, Civil Registration, 1874-1996
Indexed Records: 878

United States

California, Geographical and Name Index of Californians who served in WWI, 1914-1918
Indexed Records: 27,306

Hawaii, Hawaiian Islands Newspaper Obituaries, 1900-ca.2010
Indexed Records: 243

Maine, Alien Arrivals, 1906-1953
Indexed Records: 199,010

New Mexico
New Mexico Alien Arrivals, 1917-1954
Indexed Records: 17,240

Oregon Death Index, 1971-2008
Indexed Records: 1,063,054

Oregon Divorce Index, 1991-2008
Indexed Records: 340,289

U.S. Newspapers
United States, GenealogyBank Historical Newspaper Obituaries, 1815-2011
Indexed Records: 1,827,447

Updated Records at FamilySearch

FamilySearch has also added indexed records to several interesting existing collections:

United States

United States, New York Land Records, 1630-1975
Indexed Records: 3,868,777

New York, Southern District, U.S District Court Naturalization Records, 1824-1946
Indexed Records: 103,000

Michigan, Detroit Manifests of Arrivals at the Port of Detroit, 1906-1954
Indexed Records: 323,121


Austria, Vienna, Jewish Registers of Births, Marriages, and Deaths, 1784-1911
Indexed Records: 27,317
Added indexed records to an existing collection comprising 1.8 million historical records.


Chile, Catholic Church Records, 1710-1928
Indexed Records: 8,575

Chile, Cemetery Records, 1821-2015
Indexed Records: 87,220


Italy, Benevento, Civil Registration (State Archive), 1810-1942
Indexed Records: 155,594

Italy, Brescia, Civil Registration (State Archive), 1797-1943
Indexed Records: 78,275

Italy, Salerno, Civil Registration (State Archive), 1806-1949
Indexed Records: 32,447
Images: 31,969


Peru, Diocese of Huacho, Catholic Church Records, 1560-1952    
Indexed Records: 260,438


Venezuela, Archdiocese of Valencia, Catholic Church Records, 1760, 1905-2013
Indexed Records: 306,392


MyHeritage, the leading global service for discovering your past and empowering your future, announced today the publication of three important Greek record collections:

  1. Greece, Electoral Rolls (1863–1924),
  2. Corfu Vital Records (1841–1932),
  3. and Sparta Marriages (1835–1935),

comprising 1.8 million historical records. Click here to start a 14-day free trial at MyHeritage.

This release constitutes the first substantial set of Greek record collections available on MyHeritage. All three collections have been indexed by MyHeritage and for the first time are now searchable in English, as well as in Greek. The total size of MyHeritage’s historical record database is now 12.2 billion records. This release positions MyHeritage as an invaluable genealogy resource for family history enthusiasts who have Greek roots.

“As the cradle of western civilization and a crossroads of continents and cultures, Greece is becoming a gem among MyHeritage’s historical record collections. The records in these collections are rich in detail and have pan-European, Balkan, and Mediterranean significance. The communities documented were shaped by Greek, Italian, French, and Russian influences, have been home to significant Catholic and Jewish communities, and represent some of the world’s most progressive systems of governance. These collections will prove valuable both to novice researchers and experienced genealogists,” said Russ Wilding, Chief Content Officer of MyHeritage.

The publication of these collections furthers MyHeritage’s commitment to providing new avenues for Greek family history research. In one of the company’s pro bono initiatives, MyHeritage Founder and CEO Gilad Japhet personally traced the descendants of a Jewish family that was hidden during World War II on the small island of Erikoussa, north of Corfu. The entire population of the island collectively gave refuge to the family, and saved it from death. His genealogical detective work, combined with MyHeritage’s extensive global database of historical records, culminated in recognition for the courageous people of Erikoussa, who were presented with the House of Life award by the Raoul Wallenberg Foundation. This was depicted in the books ‘When the Cypress Whispers’ and ‘Something Beautiful Happened’ by Yvette Manessis Corporon, whose grandmother was among those who saved the Jewish family on Erikoussa.

Japhet utilized his hands-on experience in Greek research to develop the enhanced method by which MyHeritage now handles Greek surnames in the new collections. In Greece, a woman’s last name is the genitive form of her father’s surname, or when she marries, of her husband’s surname. The new Greek collections on MyHeritage have been made gender-agnostic so that searches and matches will work to the fullest extent. For example, a search for the Jewish surname “Velleli” in the new collections on MyHeritage will also locate people named “Vellelis”. It is also possible to find these surnames by searching for “Belleli”, because the Greek letter beta is pronounced like the English letter V, but in some countries this distinction has been lost and Greek surnames are sometimes pronounced with the letter B, the way they are written in modern English. MyHeritage’s Global Name Translation Technology further ensures that when searching on MyHeritage in other languages, such as Hebrew and Russian, the results will also include names in the new Greek collections. No other major genealogy company has these Greek record collections, nor such sophisticated algorithms customized for Greek genealogy research.

The Greece Electoral Rolls (1863–1924) consist of 1,006,594 records and provide nationwide coverage of males ages 21 and up who were eligible to vote. They list the voter’s given name, surname, father’s name, age, and occupation. Each record includes the individual’s name in Greek, and a Latinized transliteration of the name that follows the standard adopted by the Greek government. MyHeritage translated many of the occupations from Greek to English and expanded many given names, which are often abbreviated in the original records. This new collection includes scans of the original documents and is the most extensive index of Greek electoral rolls currently available anywhere.  

The Corfu Vital Records (1841–1932) consist of 646,807 birth, marriage, and death records. The records were collected by the civil authorities in Corfu and document the life events of all residents of the island regardless of their ethnicity or religion. Birth records from this collection may contain the child’s given name and surname, birthdate and place of birth, name and age of both parents, and the given names of the child’s grandfathers. A marriage record from this collection may include the date of marriage, groom’s given name and surname, age, place of birth, residence, and his father’s name. Similar information is recorded about the bride and her father. Death records in this collection may include the name of the deceased, date of death, age at death, place of birth, residence, and parents’ names. The indexed collection of Corfu Vital Records includes scans of the original documents and is available exclusively on MyHeritage.

The Sparta Marriages collection (1835–1935) consists of 179,411 records which include images of the couple’s marriage license and their listing in the marriage register. The records in this collection list the full names of the bride and groom, the date of marriage, their fathers’ names, the birthplace of the bride and groom, and occasionally the names of witnesses to the marriage. The images in this collection were photographed, digitized, and indexed by MyHeritage from the original paper documents, in cooperation with the Metropolis of Monemvasia and Sparta.

The new collections are available on SuperSearch™, MyHeritage’s search engine. Searching the Greek record collections is free. A subscription is required to view the full records and to access Record Matches.  Click here to start a 14-day free trial at MyHeritage.




Alabama, Episcopal Diocese of Alabama, Church Records, 1837-1970
From Ancestry: “This collection includes baptism, marriage, and burial records from the Episcopal Diocese of Alabama between the years of 1837 and 1970. Established in 1830, the Episcopal Diocese of Alabama is comprised of 92 congregations and covers all of Alabama, with the exception of the very southern portion of the state.”
Click here to search this collection.


Oregon, State Marriages, 1906-1966
The original data comes from the Oregon State Archives. Oregon, Marriage Records, 1906-1910, 1946-1966. Salem, Oregon.
Click here to search this collection

Oregon, State Births, 1842-1917
These birth certificates will typically include the following information:

  • Name of child
  • Gender and race of child
  • Date and place of birth
  • Father’s name
  • Father’s birth place and age
  • Mother’s name
  • Mother’s birth place and age

Click here to search this collection


U.S., Pennsylvania, Grand Army of the Republic Membership Records, 1865-1936
These records are made available through a partnership with FamilySearch. The describe the collection as follows: “Index and images of membership records of the Pennsylvania Department Grand Army of the Republic that cover from the years 1865-1936. An organization of Union army and navy veterans of the Civil War. The collection consists of registers, lists, minute, account and descriptive books of local post (chapters) The descriptive books include town of residence, military unit, date of enlistment,date of discharge, age and birthplace. The collection was acquired from the Pennsylvania State Archives.”
Click here to search the collection. 


WEB: Washington, Various County Census Records, 1850-1914
The original data for this collection comes from the Washington State Archives – Digital Archives. Census Records. Cheney, Washington, United States: Washington State Archives – Digital Archives. 
Click here to search the collection.


Finland, WWII Military Casualties, 1939-1945
In this collection you will find details on Finnish soldiers killed during World War II. From Ancestry: “From the start of the war until 1944, Finland was involved in battles with the Soviet Union and from 1944-1945, Nazi Germany. Altogether, nearly 95,000 Finnish soldiers were killed or declared missing in action.”  The National Archives of Finland created these indexes. They are in Finnish, reflecting the original source material.
Click here to search this collection


Germany, Military Killed in Action, 1939-1948
Notes about this collection from Ancestry: “This collection is searchable using the search form, which among other things allows you to search by Last Name, First Name, Birth Date, Birthplace, Date of Death and Place of Death. Under “Browse this collection,” you can select the Box Number Range and Box Number of the cards desired.”
Click here to search the collection.

German Concentration Camp Records, 1946-1958
These records include copies of German records including camp records, transport lists, and medical data cards. The camp records include inmate cards, death lists, and strength reports.
Click here to search this collection

Updated Records at Ancestry:

New York

New York, Passenger and Crew Lists (including Castle Garden and Ellis Island), 1820-1957
Click here to search this collection

New York, Executive Orders for Commutations, Pardons, Restorations, Clemency and Respites, 1845-1931
39,246 new records have been added to this collection of executive clemency application ledgers and correspondence.
According to Ancestry: “Each record includes the felon’s name, crime, date and county of conviction, sentence, and prison. Signatures on the records can include the governor, secretary of state, and/or deputy secretary of state.”
Click here to search the collection. 

North Dakota

North Dakota, Select County Marriage Records, 1872-2017
30,266 new records were added for the following counties in Washington State: Adams, Cavalier, Hettinger, McIntosh, Nelson, and Pierce.

Search Tips from Ancestry:

  • This collection includes images of indexes as well as the actual marriage records. If you’re having trouble finding your ancestor through the search, try browsing the index for the county in which they lived and use that information to locate them in the actual records.
  • Don’t overlook the possibility that your ancestor may have been married in a nearby county that was more convenient to them, or where other family members lived.

Click here to search this collection


Tennessee, Death Records, 1908-1965
This is a significant update with 1,019,533 new records added covering 1959-1965. Be aware that, according to Ancestry, the forms used for reporting deaths 1908-1912 contain far less information than those used from 1914 forward. “No death records were recorded by the State of Tennessee in 1913 due to a change in the state law requiring vital records registration.”

Click here to search this updated collection.

More Genealogy for You

Join me for Elevenses with Lisa, the online video series where we take a break, visit and learn. In the episode below I share viewers’ family history displays, answer your questions about my genealogy organization method, and show you how I file my genealogy digital files. Click here for the episode show notes. 


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