Monday, December 22, 2014

New post-1858 wills service launches online

Family historians have a new route for accessing copies of their ancestors’ wills following the creation of a new web system.
The Probate Service has launched an online wills index for England and Wales, enabling people to search for any will dating from 1858-1996 and order a digital copy via their computer.  Searchable by name within specific years, the index links to a digitised version of the National Probate Calendar, showing all matching entries from the appropriate volume.  Once the correct person has been found – indicated by details such as address and court where the will was proved – researchers can then ‘click through’ and order a digital copy at a cost of £10 each. The document will then be made available as a download, generally within 10 working days.
Launched on Thursday 11 December, the new system is to act as a replacement for the Principal Probate Registry search room at the Royal Courts of Justice, which will permanently close on Friday 19 December.
While researchers can apply for wills by post or at district probate registries, the London facility has been the only place the complete National Probate Calendar can be accessed by the public. Although scans of Calendar volumes are available through – used by many when filling out a postal order form – this set only covers 1858-1966.
Thanks to Who Do You Think You Are Magazine for higlighting this new resource.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Irish Records coming online

The National Library of Ireland has announced that it will give free online access to its archive of Catholic Church records, the earliest of which dates back to the 1700s and spans the 1740s to the 1880s. The records are considered the single most important source of information on Irish family history prior to the 1901 Census. They cover 1,091 parishes throughout Ireland, and consist primarily of baptismal and marriage records.
Currently, the National Library provides free access to its microfiche records at its research rooms in Kildare Street, in Dublin. However access has been hampered in recent years by high demand and increased pressure on resources.
This is great news for those of us with Irish heritage, especially if you are like me and trying to trace ancestors from the other side of the world.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Forces War Records

Forces War Records has reached a new milestone in its latest transcription project. Launching with 30,000 records in November, the website has confirmed it has since uploaded a further 20,000 records to its Military Hospitals Admissions and Discharge Registers collection. The record set offers details of soldiers who received medical treatment on the front line during the First World War.
Each entry for a patient treated by the field ambulance includes:
  • Name
  • Rank
  • Regiment and sub unit
  • Age and completed years of service
  • Completed months with field force
  • Date of admission
  • Date of discharge
  • Injury / Illness
  • Any additional observations by medical practioners
  • Plus details of movement back to the front or to another hospital, or in some cases the soldier's death

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Genealogy Class Notes Online

For everyone who has attended my genealogy classes at Campaspe Regional Library, my class handouts are finally available to print from the library homepage.  Thanks to everyone who attended the sessions held during Family History Month in August - I hope you all enjoyed them as much as I did, and your feedback afterwards was wonderful.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Echuca Cemetery recorded

Congratulations to the Echuca Moama Family History Group for their extensive work to create the Echuca Cemetery 150 Year Pictorial History. Campaspe Regional Library was presented with a copy of their register, which will be made available to researchers in out Local History collection.  Also presented with copies were the Echuca Historical Society and the Echuca Cemetery Trust.  Pictured are David from the Cemetery Trust, Anita EMFHG, Dot and Jan from the Echuca Historical Society, Jenny and Victoria from the Library and Judy from EMFHG. Well done to the Group for all your hard work, what a great resource for family/local history researchers.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Researching your Multicultural Ancestors at the SLV

The State Library of Victoria has released a new Family History research guide called Researching your multicultural ancestors.
This guide specifically focuses on researching ancestors that emigrated to Australia from countries other than the United Kingdom and lists the key resources and records available for researchers.
The SLV states that "the Researching your multicultural ancestor guide is not a definitive guide that lists specific resources for individual countries, rather it demonstrates how to start your research using resources available at the State Library of Victoria. It also provides advice on how to locate and access overseas collections and repositories."  The guide is divided into the following sections -

Thursday, November 20, 2014

War Records on FamilySearch

FamilySearch has created two important new UK image collections.  The United Kingdom World War I military service records span the years from 1914 to 1920 and consist of some 43.5 million images. The United Kingdom World War I Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps records that span the years from 1917 to 1920. This collection consists of about 265,000 records. These images come from the National Archives.
FamilySearch has also created a new collection called United States World War I Draft Registration Cards 1917-1918. It consists of 24 million draft records of adult males, which according to FamilySearch “representing almost half of the male population of the United States at the time”. Given that this collection represents such a large proportion of the male population, it can be used as a proxy for census records. A typical draft card listed the full name of the person, home address, date of birth, place of birth, occupation, employer, dependants, marital status, height, build, eye color and hair color.
Records in these collections are organized by last name.  Access is free.