More than 13 million new records recently appeared on findmypast.com, thanks to a new agreement between findmypast parent company DC Thomson Family History (formerly brightsolid online publishing) and FamilySearch International.
Among these millions of records are “major collections of births, marriages and deaths covering America, Australia, and Ireland,” according to a FamilySearch.org press release. Millions more records from about 600 additional collections are yet to be added. findmypast hopes these records will help current subscribers and allow the company to expand to non-English-speaking markets.
The FamilySearch press releases describes the overall purpose of the collaboration as delivering “a wide range of projects including digital preservation, records search, technological development and the means to allow family historians to share their discoveries.”
Originally published Fall 2008
Republished November 19, 2013
by Lisa Louise Cooke
Download the Show Notes for this Episode
Welcome to this step-by-step series for beginning genealogists—and more experienced ones who want to brush up or learn something new. I first ran this series in 2008. So many people have asked about it, I’m bringing it back in weekly segments.
Episode 7: Best Subscription Websites for Genealogy Research, Part 1
In our first segment, my guest is Lisa Alzo, popular genealogy lecturer and writer (now the author of nine books and online genealogy instructor at Family Tree University and the National Institute for Genealogical Studies). We talk about her reasons for researching her family history and what she’s learned in her genealogical journeys (which include international travel in Eastern Europe).
In the second half of the show, we tackle an essential topic: the best subscription sites for family history records. This is a two-part topic: in this episode I talk about the best genealogy websites that require payment to access their core content. In Episode 8, we’ll talk about the fantastic free websites that are out there.
Keep in mind that this episode was recorded a few years ago. As I mention in the show, the online records landscape is constantly changing. Here are a few updates:
- The biggest powerhouse paid subscription website is still Ancestry: it’s just bigger and better than what I originally described. As of fall 2013, they host 11 billion historical records. Member-contributed items include over 50 million family trees and 160 million uploads of photographs, stories and scanned documents. They still have a free 14-day trial membership and multiple subscription options: check out current ones here.
- WorldVitalRecords is still a great website, though it’s grown more slowly. At our republishing date, it boasts over 158 million digitized images, (including US and UK censuses); 300 million names from vital records; 75 million names from military records, over 100 million pages of newspapers dating from 1739; 1.5 million historical maps; 8000 yearbooks and over 30 million tombstone photos. WorldVitalRecords is now part of the MyHeritage.com family of websites. Click here for a free 3-day trial membership.
- Findmypast now has two web storefronts: findmypast.com (recommended for folks in the U.S.) and FindMyPast.co.uk (which specializes in British and Irish roots and records). At last glance in fall 2013, findmypast hosts over 1.5 million family history records. It offers great search options and a budget-friendly pay-per-view model or a more traditional subscription.
- RootsIreland is now home now to over 20 million Irish records.
- Genline.com for Swedish research is still online, though it’s part of Ancestry.com now. It’s home to over 20 million church record images and more.
- Scotland’s People is still your official home for online Scottish records, including an enormous collection of parish records with births and baptisms, banns and marriages and deaths and burials.
- Many other sites support specific topics in genealogy research. An example on my side of the pond is Fold3 (formerly Footnote) for American military records. This site is home to over 400 million total records from the Revolutionary War era forward. Check with others who research families from the same location or ethnic background as your family to see what sites would be perfect for you.
My website mentioned in the podcast, GenealogyGems.tv, is now better known as www.genealogygems.com. The Genealogy Gems newsletter mentioned in the episode is now my blog, which you can find on my website.
If you have Canadian roots, you’ll want to know about a rich new resource now at Findmypast.com. It’s the Canadian Books collection, with 71,000 pages of keyword-searchable histories, vital records, directories, published genealogies and more.
“Dating back to the 1600s, the Canadian Books boast 71,000 pages of items such as military, religious, occupational and immigration records, business directories, published genealogies and BMDs [births, marriages and deaths],” states a Findmypast.com press release. “The books feature a sizeable amount of military records with various nominal rolls and rolls of honour relating mostly to the First World War, such as The Royal Montreal Regiment, 14th Battalion, University of Toronto Roll of Service buy heartworm medication online canada 1914-1918 and 31st Canadian Infantry CEF 1914-1919.”
Though the core content is Canada, the reach of this 200-volume collection extends outside Canada’s boundaries. “With titles such as Sketches of Irish soldiers, The Scotch-Irish of California, and German-Canadian Folklore, the collection is valuable for people with Canadian ancestry and those who can trace their origins back to the UK or Europe.”
This collection comes from the Archive CD Books Canada Project, which has gathered, renovated and reproduced Canadian historical books, documents and maps for over a decade. The 200 volumes are searchable through all Findmypast international sites with a World Subscription and in the U.S. and Canada resources at Findmypast.com.
In December the genealogy records website Findmypast.com released new and exclusive historical records that highlight significant life events of the past. According to the the company, more than 40 million new records are included. Here are all the details from their press release:
LOS ANGELES (Dec. 17, 2012) – …“The number of records released offers findmypast.com’s users a staggering amount of new data, ranging from exclusive United Kingdom records from as early as 1790 to modern-day vital records from the United States that will add new layers of information for researchers,” said D. Joshua Taylor, lead genealogist for findmypast.com, “Findmypast.com is constantly expanding our collections with thousands of new records being added each month. Moving into 2013, we look forward to increasing our record offerings to include rarer, more exclusive materials, in our dedication to provide the most comprehensive family history resource available.”
Many of the new records that can only be accessed through findmypast.com offer a unique glimpse into history. The Harold Gillies Plastic Surgery set, dating back to World War I, contains fascinating records of some of the world’s first restorative plastic surgery, while the White Star Line Officers’ Books include officer records from the Titanic.
Newly added employment and institutional records including the records of the Merchant Navy Seaman (aka the Merchant Marines) provide unique color to family history that can’t be created from just names and dates. Other record sets include probates and wills, such as the Cheshire Wills and Probates, which often offer crucial clues to link North American family trees back to the United Kingdom.
The full set of exclusive records recently released by findmypast.com includes:
United Kingdom Court & Probate
- · Cheshire Wills and Probate
- · Suffolk Beneficiary Index
United Kingdom Education & Work
- · Cheshire Workhouse Records, Admissions and Discharges
- · Cheshire Workhouse Records, Religious Creeds
- · Derbyshire Workhouse Records
- · Match Workers Strike
- · White Star Line Officers’ Books
United Kingdom Military
- · Army List, 1787
- · Army List, 1798
- · British Officers taken Prisoners of War, 1914-1918
- · De Ruvigny’s Roll of Honor
- · Grenadier Guards, 1656
- · Harold Gillies Plastic Surgery – WWI
- · Harts Army List, 1840
- · Harts Army List, 1888
- · Manchester Employee’s Roll of Honor, 1914-1916
- · Merchant Navy Seamen (aka Merchant Marines)
- · Napoleonic War Records, 1775-1817
- · WWI Naval Casualties
- · Paddington Rifles
- · Prisoners of War, 1939-1945 British Navy & Air Force Officers
- · Prisoners of War, 1939-1945 Officers of Empire serving in British Army
- · Royal Hospital, Chelsea: documents of soldiers awarded deferred pensions, 1838-1896 (WO 131)
- · Royal Hospital, Chelsea: pensioners’ discharge documents 1760-1887, (WO 121)
- · Royal Hospital, Chelsea: pensioners’ discharge documents, foreign regiments, 1816-1817 (WO 122)
- · Royal Hospital, Kilmainham: pensioners’ discharge documents, 1773-1822 (known as WO 119 at the National Archives)
- · Royal Navy Officers Medal Roll, 1914-1920
- · War Office: Imperial Yeomanry, soldiers’ documents, South African War, 1899-1902 (WO 128)
- · WWII POWs – British held in German Territories
In addition to the exclusive records sets, this recent release includes additional records from the United States, Australia and Ireland. An update to the World War I Draft Cards collection provides registrations and actual signatures of more than 11 million young Americans from the beginning of the twentieth century.
Additional records released include:
United States Military
- · Japanese-Americans Relocated during WWII
- · Korean War Casualty File
- · Korean War Deaths
- · Korean War Prisoners of War
- · Korean War Prisoners of War (Repatriated)
- · U.S. Army Casualties, 1961-1981
- · Vietnam Casualties Returned Alive
- · Vietnam War Casualties
- · Vietnam War Deaths
- · WWI Draft Cards
- · WWII Prisoners of War
- · Kentucky Birth Records, 1911-2007
- · Kentucky Death Records Index, 1911-1999
- · Kentucky Marriage Records Index, 1973-1999
- · Texas Divorce Records Index, 1968-2010
- · Texas Marriage Records, 1968-2010
- · Northern Territory Anglican Baptisms and Confirmations, 1900-1947
- · Northern Territory Anglican Burials, 1900-1968
- · Northern Territory Anglican Marriages, 1902-1953
- · Irish Catholic Church Directories, 1836-37
Census Land and Surveys
- · Northern Territory Census, 1881-1921
- · Northern Territory Electoral Rolls, 1895-1940
Institutions & Organizations
- · Northern Territory Parliamentary Index, 1884-1890
Newspapers, Directories & Social History
- · Northern Territory Section of the Queensland Post Office Directory, 1920-1921
If you have found the passenger list for your British ancestor in the Ellis Island database, you’ve only gotten your hands on part of the story. There are outgoing passenger lists from the UK to the US available and www.Findmypast.com has added them to their offerings.
Findmypast has announced the expansion of its U.S. records to include World War I Draft cards and outgoing passenger lists from the UK to United States, among others.
Findmypast.com has also made news recently with the announcement of a new partnership with Federation of Genealogical Societies to preserve and digitize local U.S. records from genealogical societies around the country including newspapers and obituaries, bible records, cemetery records and birth, marriage and death records.
New records that have been added or will be added during 2012 include:
· World War I Draft Cards
· Outbound UK Passenger Lists (BT27)
· Genealogical society materials
· 1940 Census records
The new records join nearly 1,000 existing unique and international record collections including:
· England Royal Household Records
· Most complete England, Wales and Scotland census collection available online
· British Army service records
· Unique Irish prison and court records
· Irish military and rebellion records
· Millions more records and specialist records that cannot be found anywhere else and many sets dating back to 1200 AD