Findmypast is leading the way for new and updated genealogical record collections this week. FamilySearch and local county archives are following suit with historical newspapers, city directories, biographies, and more! We are digging these record collections for New York, Indiana, Ontario, Canada, England, Wales, and Scotland.
UNITED KINGDOM – CRIMINALS
This just in! Findmypast has just announced over 2.5 million new records for the lives of our “felonious forebears!” For the first time, Findmypast is making these records available, giving us a look into the history of crime and punishment for the 18th, 19th, and early 20th centuries in England and Wales. These records span the years of 1779-1936 and are the final installment in the Crimes, Prisons, and Punishments collection. The total collection contains over 5.5 million records.
Just a few of the things you may learn from these records include: judges’ recommendations for or against pardons, grounds for mercy, licenses from previous convictions, and the overall state of the prisoner’s health. Better still, the collection contains mugshots!
UNITED KINGDOM – MILITARY
A collection titled British Army Service Records Image Browse is now available for Findmypast users. Notice, the title includes the words Image Browse. These records are digital images, but are not searchable by typing in a name like you would normally do. A browse search gives you the opportunity to explore pages of the National Archive’s military records by each piece. You may find forms including attestation papers, medical forms, discharge documents, pension claims, and proceedings of regimental boards. There are six series relating to just the Royal Hospital Chelsea. A very large database in its entirety, it includes records between the years of 1702-1916.
SCOTLAND – ELECTORAL REGISTERS
Linlithgowshire (West Lothian), Electoral Registers 1864-1931 Image Browse collection can be viewed at Findmypast as well. Linlithgowshire is known as West Lothian, today. This new and updated records collection includes electoral registers. Electoral registers are lists, created each year, of people who are eligible and registered to vote. These lists could include reasons for eligibility, including possible ownership or occupation of a property as a tenant. Until 1918, the right to vote was closely associated with property. Electoral registers record the individual’s name, occupation, and residence, as well as notations regarding whether a person was a proprietor or tenant, and descriptions of the property. Also, you may find the name of the place or village where the property was located. Though you cannot search by name, you can search by district and year.
NEW SOUTH WALES – CENSUS
The only surviving records for New South Wales is the 1901 census and you can search it at Findmypast. The New South Wales census for 1901 is searchable by name, county, and district. You may find your ancestors in these transcriptions and images of the original census document. Transcribed information may include:
- First name(s)
- Last name
- Film number
By viewing the original images, you may be able to discover additional information, such as the number of individuals living in the same household, the number of residents who are Aboriginal or Chinese, and any remarks noted.
ENGLAND & WALES – CENSUS
If you don’t have a subscription to Findmypast, you can search the England and Wales Census 1851 for free at FamilySearch. The schedules are arranged by county and then divided by civil parish. There are some missing images of this 1851 census. For a list of the missing images, check out Ancestry.co.uk.
The 1851 England and Wales Census records usually contain the following information:
- Date, place, district, parish, and county where census was taken
- Given names and surnames for members in each household
- Age, gender, and birthplace for each household member
- Marital status and occupation for each household member
- Relationship to the head of the household
STATEN ISLAND – NEWSPAPERS
The New York Public Library has more than 9,000 pages from The Richmond County Advance online. This newspaper collection covers the years between 1886 to 1910. You can search them for free at nypl.org/sinewspapers. You will want to keep a close eye on this website, as more papers will be coming online in the near future.
CANADA – CITY DIRECTORY
The city directory for Peterborough, Ontario, Canada is a collection of 115 Peterborough city and county directories dating back to 1858. These city directories for Peterborough have been fully digitized and are now available online to search for free. There are some years that are missing, but this is a really amazing collection. The City of Peterborough, the Peterborough Public Library, the Peterborough Museum and Archives, the Trent Valley Archives, and the Trent University Archives, have worked together to bring this collection to the public. You can find and search the records at https://archive.org/details/peterboroughcitydirectories&tab=collection.
UNITED STATES – INDIANA
Indiana Biography Index at the Indiana State Library can be found online. You can search this database by surname. Remember, this is only an index and the results you receive will look like copies of index cards. Each of the 250,000 cards have at least one citation to a book, magazine, or other printed source. From there, you can locate these printed materials at the Indiana State Library or possibly in a library near you.
WILL YOU PASS THE WORD
Wow! What an amazing list of new and updated record collections for this week! I hope there is something you are anxious to check on for your own family history. Will you pass the word along to your friends about these new sources? Thanks, friends.
MORE RECENT NEW AND UPDATED COLLECTIONS
Exciting New Records Across the Southern U.S.
New Record Collections Reach From Sea to Shining Sea
New genealogy records online this week include a new index of WWII POWs from the US; British and Welsh newspapers, New York passenger and crew lists and more. Take a look!
BRITISH 1939 REGISTER BROWSER. A new browsing tool is available to help Findmypast subscribers access the 1939 Register (which is online in indexed format but requires separate premium access). “A handy partner to the name-searchable 1939 Register, Browse offers you the ability to explore England and Wales by county, borough/district, piece number and ED letter code.”
BRITISH AND WELSH NEWSPAPERS. Over 6.4 million articles have recently been added to Findmypast’s collection of historic British Newspapers. They comprise 26 new titles, including 19 from Wales dating back to 1829. According to the collection description, “19 of our newest titles come from Wales, allowing you an insight into local life during the 19th and early 20th centuries.”
ENGLAND (LANCASHIRE) CEMETERY. Nearly a half million indexed records have been added to a free collection at FamilySearch of England Lancashire Oldham Cemetery Registers 1797-2004. According to the collection description, “This collection contains cemetery registers from Hollinwood, Failsworth, Royton, Crompton, Chadderton, Lees, and Greenacres cemeteries in Oldham. Most registers contain, name, address, date of death, date of burial and burial location.”
NEW JERSEY CHURCH. Ancestry.com has posted a new collection of New Jersey, United Methodist Church Records, 1800-1970, 1800-1970 spanning nearly two centuries (1800-1970). According to the description, “This collection includes baptism, marriage, burial, and membership records from churches in the Greater New Jersey United Methodist Church Commission on Archives and History. Most records are from churches that have been closed.”
NEW YORK IMMIGRATION/CREW. FamilySearch has a new browse-only collection of more than 3.2 million records of New York passenger arrivals at Ellis Island (1891-1924). It links to images of arrival lists at the Ellis Island website. In addition, nearly 1.3 million indexed records have been added to FamilySearch’s collection of New York New York Index to Alien Crewmen Who Were Discharged or Who Deserted (1917-1957).
US WWII PRISONERS OF WAR. A new database of over 143,000 United States prisoners of war records (1941-1945, prisoners of the Japanese) is now searchable on FamilySearch.org.
Keep up-to-date with this weekly digest of new genealogy records online, which notes some of the biggest, most interesting and exciting collections we’ve noticed. Sign up for our weekly e-newsletter so you won’t miss any, and you’ll receive a free e-book of Lisa Louise Cooke’s Google search tips from her popular book, The Genealogist’s Google Toolbox.
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Here’s our weekly roundup of new genealogy records online! Check out British newspaper articles, England and Wales electoral registers, Great Lakes crew lists, Kentucky divorces, Russian church records and US city directories.
BRITISH NEWSPAPERS. More than 3.7 million new British newspaper articles are now searchable on Findmypast. The updates boost online content for 43 existing titles add 11 new ones, including papers for the cities of London and Dundee and local papers like the Peterhead Sentinel and General Advertiser For Buchan District and Wisbech Chronicle, General Advertiser and Lynn News.
ENGLAND AND WALES ELECTORAL REGISTERS. A century’s worth of Electoral Registers(1832-1932) are now browsable on Findmypast. This enormous collection comes from around 10,000 volumes and contains 220 million names. It “includes parliamentary registers, burgess rolls, parochial registers and county council registers. Electoral Registers are lists created annually of people who are eligible to vote and include their reason for eligibility, such as their residence or ownership of a property.”
GREAT LAKES CREW LISTS (US). Ship crew lists taken for vessels arriving ports in Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin, covering parts of the 20th century, have been updated at FamilySearch.org. According to one of the collection’s descriptions, in these lists you may find an ancestor’s name, length of service, position on the crew, age, nationality, when and where he/she signed on, the name of the vessel, its arrival and departure information and clues about the person’s citizenship/alien status.
KENTUCKY DIVORCES. Ancestry has a new index to Kentucky divorce records, 1962-2005. For over half a million divorces, the record includes the names of both parties, date and place of divorce.
RUSSIAN CHURCH RECORDS. More than 1.7 million digitized pages of church records from Tastarstan, Russia dating back to 1721 are now browsable for free on FamilySearch. According to the collection description, these include “images of births and baptisms, marriages, deaths and burials performed by priests of the Russian Orthodox Church in the republic of Tatarstan.”
US CITY DIRECTORIES. The second biggest database at Ancestry just got bigger. There are now well over 1.5 billion records in their collection of U.S. City Directories since 1822.
Thanks for sharing this post with anyone whose ancestors might be mentioned in these records!
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The 1939 Register–the most comprehensive population survey EVER of England and Wales known–is finally searchable online!
Today FindMyPast, in association with the U.K.’s National Archive, has launched a digitized, searchable version of the 1939 Register. This major record set fills a major gap at a pivotal time in history.
“Anyone can now discover their family, their home and their community on the eve of WWII,” states a FindMyPast release. “Until now, the most recent information available was the 1911 census. Owing to the 100 year rule, the 1921 census will not be released until 2022, while the 1931 census was destroyed in the war and the 1941 census was never taken. The 1939 Register therefore bridges an important 30-year gap in history.”
“In September 1939, WWII had just broken out,” explains Findmypast. “65,000 enumerators were employed to visit every house in England and Wales to take stock of the civil population. The information that they recorded was used to issue Identity Cards, plan mass evacuations, establish rationing and co-ordinate other war-time provisions….
“Each record includes the names of inhabitants at each address, their date of birth, marital status and occupation….Comprising 1.2 million pages in 7,000 volumes and documenting the lives of 41 million people, the 1939 Register opens a window to a world on the brink of cataclysmic change.” Some of the records even include changes made clear up to 1991.
Additionally, Findmypast has added unique period photographs, infographics, regional newspaper articles and maps “personally tailored to each record.” They are promoting a “rich and unique user experience unrivaled by any other family history research tool to date.”
What about privacy concerns? This is a relatively recent record set: more recent than national censuses that DO have privacy restrictions on them. About 28 million records have been cleared of privacy restrictions. The remainder will remain temporary closed, “either because the individual recorded is still living and less than 100 years old or proof of death has not been verified….The Register will be updated weekly….Records will also be opened as people reach the age of 100 years+1 day.”
Interestingly, it appears individuals may have the ability to show proof of death to have records released: “Findmypast, working with The National Archives, will have an ongoing process to identify records which can be opened on proof of death provided either by matching against robust data sets or supplied by users.”
The Register is free to search on Findmypast. Charges apply to view the records, with discounts for subscribers and pay-per-view packages starting at £6.95.
More Research Gems for English Genealogy
WWII Documents at the National Archive (U.K.)
The Bombing of London: Check Out this Interactive Map of the Blitz
Findmypast Library Edition: Request it at Your Public Library!
Every Friday, we blog about new genealogy records online. Do any collections below relate to your family history? Please share with genealogy buddies or societies that might be interested! This week: Midwestern U.S. newspapers (Cleveland, OH and Chicago, IL) and records of Pennsylvania coal and canal workers’ and English and Welsh criminals.
CLEVELAND JEWISH NEWS. Technically this isn’t new content, but access to the Cleveland Jewish News is newly free, so it’s new to most of us! You do need to provide your name and email address for free access to 125 years of Cleveland Jewish newspapers. Subscribers have immediate access to all content as it is published; the public can access materials 90 days after they go online.
CHICAGO TRIBUNE ARCHIVE. For a very limited time–during beta testing of its new archive–old issues of The Chicago Tribune are free to search on its Archives website. Click here for their FAQ page or read a more detailed report on the National Genealogical Society (US) blog.
ENGLAND & WALES REGISTER OF CRIMINAL PETITIONS. Findmypast added over 77,000 records to its Registers of Criminal Petitions index to imaged registers of correspondence relating to criminal petitions. Documents usually give the outcome of any appeal and registers note the place of imprisonment.
PENNSYLVANIA COAL AND CANAL WORKERS. Ancestry just posted employee cards and applications from the Lehigh Coal and Navigation Company for first half of the twentieth century. “The cards may list name, marital status, occupation, birth date, record date, residence, spouse, nationality, number of children and their ages, citizenship, date range for jobs, who to notify in case of an accident, and pension date. Applications can contain other details, including parents’ names, schooling, employment record, birthplace, and height and weight.”
When searching digitized newspaper sites, remember that the search technology used (optical character recognition) is much less thorough for historical newspapers than modern text, especially for capitalized words. Use creative search terms if searches on an ancestor’s name aren’t productive, like the person’s occupation or death date. Click here to learn more about using Google to search digitized newspaper pages, or read Lisa Louise Cooke’s newly-revised and updated book The Genealogist’s Google Toolbox, available now both in print and e-book format.