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.
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 newgenealogical 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:
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:
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
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, 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.
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.”
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.
New genealogical records continue to pour on line. This week we’re highlighting the latest from FamilySearch and MyHeritage. We’re crossing our fingers that the records you’ve been waiting for are among them. Happy searching!
FamilySearch New Records
SALT LAKE CITY, UT—FamilySearch.org added over 8 million new, free,historical records from WWII Draft Registration Cards(1940-1947) and Lincolnshire, England, Parish Registers (1538-1990). The military records are from California, Kansas, Montana, Oregon and Texas. More indexed records were added from Australia, Finland, France, Netherlands, Peru, Poland, Sweden, and the United States.
Historical Books – Index of Authors and People Mentioned, 1811–2003
Description: An index of persons mentioned in various English-language public domain books as well as the names of authors of these publications. This collection of 494 million records is an index of persons mentioned in various English-language public domain books as well as the names of authors of these publications. The number of digitized books is over 3 million. The following searchable information can be found in most records in the index: the title and the year of publication, name of the author(s), birth and death year of the author(s), the names of all the individuals mentioned in the publication, the publisher, and the subject(s) of the publication.
Number of Records: 494,096,291 records in 3,024,213 books
Authors of Scholarly Articles
Description: Names of authors of millions of scholarly articles. This collection of 272 million records includes the names of authors of millions of scholarly articles. Authors’ names are collected from over 50,000 journals and open-access repositories from all over the world. Records typically include the given name and surname of authors and co-authors, the article’s title and date, the name of the journal, and the name of its publisher. For some of the articles, a link is provided to view the article online.
Number of Records: 272,046,994 records
Texas Marriages and Divorces
Description: An index of marriage license applications from all counties in the state of Texas for the years 1966 to 2016. This collection was updated and now contains 26 million records.
Number of Records: 26,591,435 records
France, Military Death Index, 1914–1961
Description: An index of death records of individuals who died fighting in the French armed forces, members of foreign armed forces who died fighting in France, and civilians who were killed in France.
This free collection of 5 million records is an index of death records of individuals who died fighting in the French armed forces, members of foreign armed forces who died fighting in France, and civilians who were killed in France. The majority of the records pertain to the First World War, although there are also records from the Second World War, the Franco-Prussian War, and various other conflicts that occurred in France or that involved the French armed forces. Records may contain the following searchable information: first and last name of the individual, date and place of birth, date and place of death, burial place, and the first and last names of the individual’s parents and spouse.
The following information may also be found in most records: rank and regiment, company, conflict, military decorations, additional notes on locations, and the individual’s family situation.
Number of Records: 5,332,260 records
Germany, Hesse Marriage Index, 1849–1931
Description: An index of marriage records from several communities that are within the state of Hesse in Germany.
This collection of 4.77 million records includes marriage records from several communities within the state of Hesse in Germany. Marriages were usually recorded in the bride’s place of residence. When the information is available a record will include the groom’s given name and surname, age or birthdate, birthplace, residence, occupation, marriage date, and information about the groom’s parents. A record will also include the bride’s given name and surname or maiden name, age or birthdate, birthplace, residence, occupation, and information about the bride’s parents.
Starting in 1874, the state mandated that new local civil registry offices be responsible for creating civil registers of birth, marriage, and death records in the former Prussian provinces, among them many communities in Hesse.
Number of Records: 4,770,560 records
Germany, Hesse Birth Index, 1874–1911
Description: An index of birth records from several communities that are within the state of Hesse in Germany.
This collection of 3.78 million records includes birth records from several communities within the state of Hesse in Germany. When the information is available a record will include the child’s given name, the date of a birth, and sex. Information about the mother includes given name, maiden name, last name, address, and spouse. Information is also provided about the informant. An informant was often the father of the child or a midwife.
Number of Records: 3,784,938 records
This is the next installment in our U.S. newspaper collections. We have added 14.6 million pages from nine states: Florida, Wisconsin, Kansas, Texas, Montana, Minnesota, Illinois, and Tennessee. The newspapers in this update range in date from the late 19th/early 20th century to 2009.
Newspapers are an important resource for genealogy and family history research as they contain obituaries and other vital record substitutes such as birth, marriage, and death notices. Additionally, society pages and stories of local interest contain rich information on activities and events in the community and often provide details about the persons involved.
Before vital records were recorded by city, county, or state governments, local newspapers often published articles listing or detailing these events. Obituaries contain vital and biographical information on the deceased as well as his or her family and relatives.
Society pages began as a way to entice readers with gossip and news about the wealthy and famous but soon evolved to cover the goings-on of “average” citizens. An incredible array of information can be discovered in these society pages or sections from seemingly mundane notices and reports on events such as parties, job changes, hospital stays, and social visits by friends or relatives. These pages are a source of historical events that are unlikely to exist in any other record.
Coverage and completeness in this collection varies by title.
Description: This collection is a compendium of over 8 million newspaper pages from 25 newspaper titles published in various cities and towns in the state of Florida. Time frame: 1901 to 2009. Number of Records: 8,084,846 pages in 25 newspaper titles
Description: This collection is a compendium of newspapers published in various cities and towns in the state of Illinois. Time frame: 1840 until 2009. Number of Records: 83,452 pages in 14 newspaper titles
Description: This collection of 1.4 million newspaper pages is a compendium of newspapers published in various cities and towns in the state of Kansas. Time frame: 1869 to 2009. Number of Records: 1,473,037 pages in 39 newspaper titles
Description: This collection is a compendium of newspapers published in various cities and towns in the state of Minnesota. Time frame: 1902 until 2009. Number of Records: 92,171 pages in 26 newspaper titles
Description: This collection is a compendium of newspapers published in various cities and towns in the state of Montana. Time frame: 1890 until 2009. Number of Records: 155,210 pages in 94 newspaper titles
Description: This collection is a compendium of newspapers published in various cities and towns in the state of Oklahoma. Time frame: 1927 to 2009. Number of Records: 521,793 pages in 14 newspaper titles
Description: This collection is a compendium of newspapers published in various cities and towns in the state of Tennessee. Time frame: 1870 until 2009. Number of Records: 66,994 pages in 8 newspaper titles
Description: This collection of 1.2 million records is a compendium of newspapers published in various cities and towns in the state of Texas. Time frame: 1848 to 2009. Number of Records: 1,254,230 pages in 33 newspaper titles
Description: This collection of 2.8 million newspaper pages is a compendium of newspapers published in various cities and towns in the state of Wisconsin. Time frame: 1884 to 2009. Number of Records: 2,887,946 pages in 3 newspaper titles
Searching all of these collections in MyHeritage SuperSearch™ is free, but a Data or Complete subscription is required to view the full records, save them to your family tree, and fully access Record Matches. Our Record Matching technology will automatically find relevant historical records revealing new information about any ancestors who appear in these records.
Here are the important system and records updates from industry leaders. Each new feature and record offers a new opportunity to learn more about your family history. Let’s get started!
MyHeritage announced an update their Related Records features on December 16, 2019. Here’s the latest from their blog:
“We recently revamped Related Records in SuperSearch™ to ensure that you don’t miss any important historical records that can lead you to new discoveries.
Related Records, previously known as Record Detective™, shows additional records or family tree profiles that might belong to the person or people featured in the historical record you are currently viewing.
The technology scans the record you’ve discovered in SuperSearch™ and matches it to our entire database of over 10.2 billion historical records and family tree profiles to locate related records.
For example, a birth record could point to a newspaper article about the wedding of the same person, where you could learn about new family members that you weren’t aware of.
To make Related Records more practical and ensure that you won’t miss them, we now show them in a convenient panel on the right-hand side of the record instead of below it.
Related Records are generated by MyHeritage’s record-to-record matching technology, and we’ve just re-calculated these matches, adding hundreds of millions of additional Related Records. This will open the door to many new and exciting discoveries.”
MyHeritage has also been busy adding new records:
Germany, War Graves Index, 1902-1961
An index of 4,234,266 records
“This index of over 4.2 million records containing information on German soldiers and civilians who died in wars or military operations between 1902 and 1961.
Many of the records are for soldiers killed during World War I or World War II. While the amount of information in each record varies, the vast majority of records contain the following searchable data: first and last name, date of birth, date of death, and place of death. Some records also include birth place, burial place, and military rank.
The burial place is seldom recorded, but when available it can provide valuable information about the location of the grave.
While this is largely an early 20th-century military death index, many women are present in this collection.
In the case of soldiers who went missing, the date of death field may refer to the date on which they went missing. Similarly, the place of death may refer to the place from which they went missing.”
Australia, Military Lists and Awards
An index of Australian military rolls.
United States, Index of Burials, 1900-2019
An index of records from various cemeteries located in the United States.
Australia, Index of Burials, 1900-2019
An index of records from various cemeteries located in Australia.
England & Wales, Prerogative Court of Canterbury, Index of Will Registers, 1384-1858
An index of wills proved before the Prerogative Court of Canterbury and other jurisdictions.
United Kingdom, Royal Navy Ratings’ Service Records, 1853-1928
An index of Royal Navy service records for ratings who entered the service between 1853 and 1928.
United Kingdom, Registry of Shipping and Seamen: Royal Navy Reserve Ratings’ Records of Service, 1908-1958
An index of service record cards of Royal Naval Reserves, mainly those who served during the First World War.
United Kingdom, Royal Air Force Officers’ Index, 1918-1919
An index of service records of those who served in the Royal Air Force (RAF) during the First World War (1914–1918).
United Kingdom, Royal Marines’ Service Records, 1842-1925
An index of service registers of men who joined the Royal Marines between 1842 and 1925.
United Kingdom, Index of Merchant Seamen’s Campaign Medals, 1939-1945
An index of 108,387 records
United Kingdom, Index of Merchant Seamen’s Campaign Medals, 1914-1918
An index of recipients of British War Medals, Mercantile Marine Medals, and Silver War Badges issued to merchant seamen and officers in the First World War.
United Kingdom, Recommendations for Military Honours and Awards, 1935-1990
An index of recommendations for military honors and awards between 1935 and 1990 to British Army personnel and army personnel from British dominions.
United Kingdom, Royal Navy Officers’ Service Records, 1756-1931
An index of service records for officers who joined the Royal Navy between 1756 and 1931.
United Kingdom, Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve Index, 1903-1922
An index of First World War service records for officers and ratings of the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve (RNVR).
United Kingdom, Index of Death Duty Registers, 1796-1811
An index of 51,146 records
United Kingdom, Admiralty and War Office: Royal Naval Division: Records of Service, 1914-1919
An index of service records of ratings and officers in the Royal Naval Division (RND) during the First World War.
FamilySearch has also continued to add indexed records. Most are to existing collections, but some are new collections. Here’s what they announced on December 9, 2019.
SALT LAKE CITY, UT—New, free, historical records were added to FamilySearch.org from American Samoa, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, England, France, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, New Zealand, Peru, Puerto Rico, South Africa, Venezuela and the United States.Over 800,000 records were added from the Cape Province of Africa(1895-1972.)
FamilySearch Adds Ability to Document All Family Relationships SALT LAKE CITY, UT (10 December 2019)
“The FamilySearch Family Tree now provides the ability for users to document all family relationships, including same-sex relationships.”
(FamilySearch) “encourages genealogical accuracy based on original source records and contains over a billion user-contributed lineage-linked records. Patrons are now able to document same-sex relationships, including same-sex marriages and same-sex adoptions.”
“When adding a spouse or parent to the FamilySearch Family Tree, the user can now add a spouse or parent of the same sex. The Family Tree mobile app will also support this new capacity after users install the necessary updates.”
FamilySearch.org added new, free, historical records this week from Benin, Brazil, England, France, Ireland, the Netherlands, Puerto Rico, South Africa and the United States including 2 million North Carolina birth, marriage, and death records (1800 to 2000).
Search these new genealogical records and images by clicking on the collection links below.
FamilySearch International is the largest genealogy organization in the world. FamilySearch is a nonprofit, volunteer-driven organization sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Millions of people use FamilySearch records, resources, and services to learn more about their family history. To help in this great pursuit, FamilySearch and its predecessors have been actively gathering, preserving, and sharing genealogical records worldwide for over 100 years. Patrons may access FamilySearch services and resources free online at FamilySearch.org or through over 5,000 family history centers in 129 countries, including the main Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah.
What Did You Find in the New Online Records?
We’ve got our fingers crossed that you are able to unearth some new genealogy gems from these new updates. If you do, please leave a comment and let us know, and then share this post with your friends.
Obituaries are a staple of genealogical research. Here’s the latest from the folks at Ancestry:
“Ancestry® updated its collection of US obituaries by combing through millions of digital obituaries to key names, relationships and other facts so members can now easily search these records with just one click.
This initiative first announced at RootsTech uses new sophisticated artificial intelligence technology.
The new Newspapers.com Obituary Collection and the upgraded Ancestry U.S. Obituary Collection will expand Ancestry’s unparalleled historical record collections that enable people around the world to uncover their family history, spark their own journey of discovery and inspire meaningful conversations.
Obituary collections include over 262 million worldwide obituaries and death announcements with almost 1 billionsearchable family members
US Obituary Collection, 1930-Current search is the world’s largest, searchabledigital archive, now includes 4x more searchable family members
Newspapers.com Obituary Index includes facts from nearly 200 millionNewspapers.com obituaries
Newspapers.comis the largest online newspaper archive, with over 525+ million pages of historical newspapers, including obituaries, from thousands of printed newspapers across the United States and beyond.
Members with an Ancestry All Access or Newspapers.com Basic subscription have a 1-click option to view the full obituary on Newspapers.com. Some images may require a Publisher Extra subscription as certain newspapers require additional licenses to view their content.”
From the State Archives of North Carolina blog comes a very interesting addition ton an existing Civil War digital collection:
A selection of 12 volumes from the Soldiers’ Home Association have been added to the Civil War digital collection. These volumes document the history of medical care for veterans and the elderly around the turn of the 19th century.”
“These volumes provide recorded information on veterans’ military service, illnesses or injuries that might not have been recorded elsewhere. Some volumes include patients’ requests for their burial and funeral wishes. The volumes included are listed below:
Discover your Scouse ancestor’s address, occupation and who they were living with in 1801. Findmypast now offers over 13,000 new and exclusive early census records. Don’t miss the images because they provide additional information about your ancestor’s abode.
The 1801 census was the first official census to be carried out in Britain. It estimated the population of England and Wales to be 8.9 million, and that of Scotland to be 1.6 million.
The 1801 census comprised two parts:
the first was related to the number of people, their occupations, and numbers of families and houses.
The second was a collection of the numbers of baptisms, marriages and burials, thus providing an indication of the rate at which the population was increasing or decreasing.
Over 75,000 new records covering 52 parishes across the Cornish peninsula are now available to search at Findmypast.
These transcripts reveal 5 key pieces of information:
when your ancestor was buried
where your ancestor was buried
their age at death,
and relatives’ names.
Click here to search the Cornwall Burials collection.
And finally, Findmypast has added 12,000 new records to their collection last week. The majority of these new additions cover Swanscombe municipal cemetery and will reveal where and when your ancestor was buried as well as the names of their spouse and father. Click here to search the Kent Burial records.
New Records Coming Soon
Recently announced on the University of Georgia website:
“Through a new partnership with Google, about 120,000 of the Libraries’ 4.5 million volumes will be digitized, allowing further access to literary, historic, scientific and reference books and journals through UGA’s library catalog as well as one of the largest digital book collections in the world.”
“In addition to more modern materials that will be available for preview online, other examples of volumes available in full text include shipping registers from as far back as 1764 and Atlanta city directories dating back to 1870.
The project also advances a longstanding effort to provide digital access to state and federal government publications, and free digital access will be available to works by Balzac, Sir Francis Bacon, Robert Louis Stevenson, Thomas Hardy and other historically significant authors, thanks to UGA Libraries.”
Did one of these new and updated digital genealogy collections deliver what you’ve been waiting for? Please share your discovering in the Comments below. And click here to subscribe to the free Genealogy Gems newsletter to receive all the latest in new and updated genealogy records for your family history.