We Dig These Gems! New Genealogy Records Online

new genealogy records online

Here’s this week’s roundup of new genealogy records online: California, England, Australia, and Italy.

UNITED STATES – CALIFORNIA. Ancestry.com has added a new index titled California, Chinese Arrival Case Files Index, 1884-1940. This index includes passenger and crew lists of ships and airplanes arriving in California. Information you may find in these records are: name of passenger, ship name, port of arrival and in some cases, age, gender, birth date, birth place, and port of departure.

UNITED STATES – MILITARY. United States WWII Prisoner of War records for 1942-1947 have just been added to TheGenealogist.com in time for the anniversary of D-Day. These records inlcude U.S. military and Allies who were prisoners of war and internees. Some prisoners of both Germany and Japan are found in this collection. Records include the prisoners name, status, rank, service number, POW camp, and more valuable data.

ENGLAND – DEVON – PRISON RECORDS. Plymouth Prison Records for 1832-1919 at Findmypast include male and female prisoner records and prison officer records for Plymouth Prison in Devon. Recorded information includes name, birth date, offense, sentencing, last residence, residence of relative, physical description, and much more valuable data.

AUSTRALIA – QUEENSLAND – DEATH RECORDS. Findmypast subscribers can now conveniently search Queensland, Australia Death Records for 1829-1964 on Findmypast. These indexed records include: name, registration year, death date, father’s first and last name, mother’s first name, and sometimes her maiden name. (Birth, marriage and death indexes for Queensland are online for free at the State Library of Queensland website. Their death index goes from 1829-1986.)

ITALY – ROMA – CIVIL REGISTRATION. The Italian Civil Registration between the years of 1863-1930 has been newly added to FamilySearch.org. It is not yet indexed, but able to be browsed. Don’t be intimidated by its more than 4 million digitized images! They have broken down the database to be easily browsed by location and year. Marriage banns and residency records are just a two of things covered in this database.

GGP 192Don’t miss our newest free Genealogy Gems Podcast #192 for more tips and strategies to help you in your genealogy journey. Pop on over and listen now – we’d love to have you!

Family Tree Relationships – It’s Complicated (Chinese Genealogy)

Do you think it’s complicated to remember the definition of a third cousin, or what it means to be twice removed? What if every relationship in the family had a different name? If there was one word to describe your paternal grandmother and another for your maternal grandmother? Different words for older and younger brothers or sisters, aunts or uncles? Apparently that’s the case for those with Chinese heritage! Whether you have Chinese roots or not, check out this video below and you’ll see what I’m talking about. Then, if you do have Chinese heritage, keep reading for a few get-you-started resources.

Chinese Heritage: Get Started

Want to start exploring your Chinese family history? Get started with FamilySearch’s introductory page on the topic (it’s in English). You’ll find brief explanations of Chinese geography, a helpful date converter, and information about where to research.

Next, move on to a more in-depth article, Jia Pu: Chinese Genealogical Record (An Introduction), where you’ll learn about clan genealogies that provide the basic written history of Chinese families. Then head back to the FamilySearch wiki for articles on specific topics: cemeteries and burial practices, immigration and emigration, notarial records and more (do a keyword search for “Chinese”). Finally, do you want to learn to research in Chinese? FamilySearch offers several free online courses in Chinese.

Here are a few online Chinese record collections:

China: Collection of Genealogies, 1239-2010. “Digital images of Chinese genealogies from various public and private collections. Although some genealogies include information on family branches that migrated to surrounding countries this collection covers families with roots in China. Chinese family genealogies list the origin of the family within China, where the family settled, and gives the generations of the family. Although some genealogies reach as far back as 1500 the time period and content of the records will vary from one genealogy to the next. Additional records may be added to this collection. Check the wiki or browse the collection to determine current coverage.” (FamilySearch.org, free.)

San Francisco, CA Chinese Applications for Admissions, 1903-1947. “This database contains descriptive lists of Chinese immigrants arriving at the port of San Francisco, California between 1903 and 1947. Information recorded in these documents includes: ship or vessel name, date of arrival, name, age, gender, marital status, occupation, nationality, last place of residence [and] final destination.” (Ancestry.com, world collection, $)

PA-Philadelphia Case Files of Chinese Immigrants, 1900-1923. “Case files for Chinese immigrants arriving through Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1900-1923. Data includes the name, occupation, age, birthplace, ship name, date of arrival, and many other pieces of information. This collection corresponds to NARA publication M1144: Case Files of Chinese Immigrants, 1895-1920, from District No. 4 (Philadelphia) of the Immigration and Naturalization Service.” (FamilySearch.org, free)

North Dakota and Washington, Chinese Passenger Arrivals, 1903-1944. “Contained in this database are passenger arrival and disposition lists for Chinese immigrants between the years 1903 and 1944. The primary port of entry was Seattle, Washington; however, some additional entry ports, listed below, are also included in these records. Information that can be found includes surname, vessel name, arrival date, class or citizenship status, and whether the individual was admitted or denied. Ports of entry in these records: Seattle Washington, 1903–1944; Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, 1911–1916 (in transit to U.S.), Sumas; Washington, 1903–1909; Portal, North Dakota, 1903–1910.” (Ancestry.com, world collection, $)

Other helpful resources:

Chinese Roots Wiki

The Chinese Historical Society of America

National Archives (USA) Asian Genealogy Links

Research Guides to Chinese Genealogy

Finding Your Ancestral Village in China (YouTube video)


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