Tuesday, December 31, 2013

London Lives

London Lives makes available, in a fully digitised and searchable form, a wide range of primary sources about eighteenth-century London, with a particular focus on plebeian Londoners. This resource includes over 240,000 manuscript and printed pages from eight London archives and is supplemented by fifteen datasets created by other projects. It provides access to historical records containing over 3.35 million name instances. Facilities are provided to allow users to link together records relating to the same individual, and to compile biographies of the best documented individuals. Every document display page includes a link to the relevant background page which provides information about that document type. The site also features historical background notes and a user wiki.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Memoire Des Hommes

Mémoire des hommes intends to provide the public with digitised documents and data from the archives and collections held by the Ministry of Defence of France.  France lost over 1.4 million men in WW1 and you can find a certificate for each man on the website.  Searches are done by name and the scans of the documents show where a man was from and when and where he died.  The Minister for Defence proposes that users of the site annotate the pages of certain useful digitised documents for genealogy and searching in local history.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Photo London

PhotoLondon is a database of 19th Century Photographers and Allied Trades in London: 1841-1901.  The site has compiled a database of approximately 9,000 biographical entries on photographic companies and the people who worked within the photographic industry in London during the 19th century.
Read about pioneering photographers such as Antoine Claudet, Camille Silvy and Oscar Rejlander and less well known figures such as Walston Caselton, and the sisters Marion, Jane and Anna Dixon.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Historic Irish Photographs

The National Library of Ireland has begun to put some of their historic photographs online via the Google Cultural Institute. The purpose of the initiative is to increase the exposure of these photographs to the general public. Currently, there are three online exhibits: Witness to War; Dubliners - The Photographs of JJ Clarke; Power and Privilege – The Big House in Ireland. The National Library of Ireland’s photographic collection consists of some 5.3 million images. It is expected the online collection, although currently small, will grow over time. Access is free.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Cymru 2014

The National Library of Wales has launched a new website called Cymru 1914 - The Welsh Experience of the First World War. The website is a collaborative effort developed in partnership with several universities and archives in Wales. It commemorates the impact the First World War had on Wales. The website contains a collection of newspapers, images, sound and archival material from the era. The collection of war posters is particularly interesting, as shown by the example below.  Access to the website is free.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Blaeu Atlas of Scotland

The Blaeu Atlas if the first atlas of Scotland, published in 1654.  It contains 49 engraved maps and 154 pages of descriptive text.  You can search the entire atlas or browse for respective maps or descriptions individually, with relevant sections for the north east, west and south of Scotland.  The atlas has been translated from Latin into English for the first time and is available through the National Library of Scotland.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Bletchley Park - Find Your Code Breakers

Bletchley Park was the home of Alan Turing and the Cypher School of code breakers in World War II.  The Bletchley Park Roll of Honour lists all those believed to have worked in signals intelligence during World War Two, at Bletchley Park and other locations.
The Bletchley Park Roll of Honour has been compiled from information in official sources, publications and provided by veterans, friends and families.
The Government Code and Cypher School (GC&CS) mission was to crack the Nazi codes and ciphers. The most famous of the cipher systems to be broken at Bletchley Park was the Enigma. There were also a large number of lower-level German systems to break as well as those of Hitler's allies.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

National Archives UK

The National Archives has launched it new-look website after several months of public consultation and design.  Not only is there a new homepage layout but also a 'mega menu' which drops open to display all the main sections of the page for fast, efficient access.  The Archives hope that the new interface will offer a better experience for mobile users, who make up approximately 20% of the sites visitors.  Their many online collections can be browsed in a number of categories, including

  • 20th Century Politics 
  • Air Force 
  • Army 
  • Crime
  • Looted Art
  • Maps
  • Marines
  • Medals
  • Merchant Navy
  • Migration
  • Navy
  • Wills and Probate
The National Archives also boast a series of podcasts in which Researchers and historians from The National Archives and elsewhere offer expert guidance on researching family history and unlocking the multitude of sources available.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Dictionary of the Scots Language

The Dictionary of the Scots Language comprises electronic editions of the two major historical dictionaries of the Scots language: the 12-volume "Dictionary of the Older Scottish Tongue" and the 10-volume"Scottish National Dictionary". Dictionary of the Older Scottish Tongue contains information about Scots words in use from the twelfth to the end of the seventeenth centuries (Older Scots); and Scottish National Dictionary contains information about Scots words in use from 1700 to the 1970s (modern Scots). Together these 22 volumes provide a comprehensive history of Scots, and a New Supplement now (2005) brings the record of the language up to date. This comprehensive resource will help you decipher the old terminology on Scottish records and give up-to-date meanings.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Maxwell Ancestry of Scotland

Maxwell Ancestry had added two new collections to their website. The first collection is an index of paternity cases from the south of Scotland that went before the Sheriffs Court. These are typically cases where a woman gave birth to an illegitimate child and then had to pursue the father of the child through the court for maintenance payments. This is a rare collection that can help researchers overcome brick walls. The collection currently spans the years from 1831 to 1892 for the county of Roxburghshire and intermittently from 1830 to 1897 for the county of Dumfriesshire. Eventually, this collection will cover all of southern Scotland.
The second collection from Maxwell Ancestry is parish records not found on the Scotland’s People website. Specifically, these birth, marriage and death records were taken from Kirk Session material from the Church of Scotland and other Presbyterian churches. Maxwell Ancestry now has some 460,000 records across their various online indexes. There is no charge to search. There is a modest charge to order a full transcript.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Isle of Wight

The Isle of Wight Family History Society has been steadily adding to their collection of free genealogy records. So far, there are some 256,000 birth records, 102,000 marriage records and 226,000 death records. The records span the years from 1837 to 2010. There is also a project in place to add all recent deaths since 2010. A typical record on the website will provide the full name, year and place plus additional information. Also included is a very handy link to apply to the island registrar for an official certificate of the record with all the pertinent details automatically completed on the form. Access to the database is free.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Doegen Records Web Project

An archive of spoken Irish has just gone online. Called the Doegen Records Web Project, it consists of sound recordings made from 1928 to 1931. A total of 136 speakers from 17 counties recorded 400 stories, songs, prayers, charms and parables. The archive can be searched by title, speaker, county and keyword. This website won’t help you find a specific ancestor, but it does provide great context. Access is free.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

National Archives First World War

The National Archives has launched its new First World War portal as part of the 100th Anniversary commemorations.  The new portal makes it easy to access all the collections held by the National Archives from one convenient location. The Archives will be marking the centenary of the war with an extensive programme, spanning a five-year period from 2014 – 2019. With a rolling series of digitised record releases, online and on-site events and education resources being added to this portal as we move through the centenary period, the national Archives will open up their unique collection of First World War records as never before.  Some charges may apply to access some records.

Included are record collections of :

  • Medals 
  • RAF officers 
  • Merchant Seamen 
  • Army Nurses 
  • Prisoners of War 
  • Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve 
  • Royal Naval Division
  • Women’s Royal Air Force
  • Women’s Royal Naval Service 
  • Royal Naval Air Service

Thursday, October 31, 2013

A Postcard from Egypt

My uncle, Ernie (Squib) Green, sent the original of this postcard to one of his sisters from Egypt during WW2.  He spent his time in the army mostly in Egypt and Syria, and was fortunate enough to return uninjured.  Ernie was second eldest of 10 children, and his older brother Frank and youngest brother Peter also served in the war. Another brother Les, worked on the land farming and so was part of essential services.  I have not seen another postcard like this and have wondered how and where he had it made.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Green family of Fordham, Essex

Pictured are 4 generations of the Green family of Fordham in Essex.  Left to right they are : Mary Ann Green (1830-1915), her son Walter P. Green, (1857-1942).  Seated on his right is his daughter Constance (1882-1957).  The baby is not named but I believe she is Constance's daughter Rachel and that the photo was taken around 1910.

Friday, October 18, 2013

National Library of Wales

The National Library of Wales has a significant selection of databases you can search from The National Library website.
  •    Manors - Manorial Documents Register. A guide to the manors and manorial records of Wales searchable through the National Archives website.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Clergymen of England

Was your ancestor a clergyman?  The Clergy of the Church of England Database 1540-1835 (CCEd), launched in 1999 and makes available and searchable the principal records of clerical careers from over 50 archives in England and Wales with the aim of providing coverage of as many clerical lives as possible from the Reformation to the mid-nineteenth century.
The CCEd’s major features include:
  • Records relating to the major events of clerical careers – ordination, appointments as curates, rectors and lecturers
  • Information about parishes, chapelries and the many secular institutions and persons with chaplains
  • Information about patrons, many of them women
  • Information about schools and schoolteachers
  • Two search engines, one ‘Basic’ and the other ‘Advanced’, for investigating the records, as well as a Browse facility
  • A website, containing a host of useful aids, such as descriptions and maps for dioceses, lists of bishops and parishes, a glossary of terms, and an Online Journal containing essays and ‘notes and queries’

Monday, October 14, 2013

Biographical Database of Australia

The Biographical Database of Australia (BDA) has been launched and it already contains some 500,000 records. According to the website, this first batch of records contain convict, muster, census, baptism, marriage and burial records from New South Wales (1788 to 1828) and for Norfolk Island & Tasmania (1802 to 1811). In the future, data will be added for all states and territories. BDA is a not-for-profit database that is the result of years of work by volunteer genealogists, historians and contractors.  The indexes can be searched for free but there is a fee to see the underlying records.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

The death of Mr and Mrs Frost

I had always found it somewhat odd that this couple in my family tree appeared to have died on the same day until I stumbled across this newspaper article.


"Last Tuesday Morning a very melancholy Accident happen'd at Freston, about three Miles from this Town. Mr. William Frost, a considerable farmer in that Parish, was standing with his Wife by his Kitchen Fire, with the door open; and seeing his Son (about 18 Years of Age) going out a Shooting, with a Fowling Piece in his Hand, call'd to him, and told him that that Gun had been laid by so long, that he was afraid the Lock was not in good order, and desired he would strike it down. The Son, who continued without the Room, but while he was talking to his Father, had unhappily turn'd the Muzzle of the Gun towards the Fire Place, having first looked into the Pan and found no powder in it, struck down the Cock as he was ordered; when to his very great Surprize, the Piece went off, and he saw both Father and Mother fall to the Ground, and expire almost instantly. A Nephew of the deceas'd Mr. Frost, and two Servants, were very near to the Fire, but received no Hurt. The nephew stood almost close to his Uncle, but was very happily reaching towards the Window, to get his Hat, the very Moment that this Misfortune happen'd. It is now apprehended, that one of the Servants had made use of the Gun without Leave, and laid it up with a Charge in it." 

I am still investigating the outcome of the incident.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Ancestry and FamilySearch

Ancestry.com and FamilySearch.org have announced a joint agreement whereby they will work together to transcribe and put online an estimated 1 billion new genealogy records over the next five years. Ancestry is the world’s largest genealogy business and FamilySearch has the largest collection of free genealogy records in the world. This agreement is in addition to the joint project between the two to publish 140 million US wills and probate images and indexes over the next three years. Access to Ancestry.com is by subscription and can be searched free in Campaspe Regional Libraries at our public computers of using our free wifi. Access to FamilySearch.org is free.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Anguline Research Archives

Dedicated to making old and rare books available to family and local historians, the Anguline Research Archives catalogue now includes more than 600 titles, including the new Historic Still Birth Register and a free downloads section.  The collection spans all English Counties, Wales, Scotland and now Canada, and titles are browsable by area and category, which include directories, maps, military, parish registers, church and non-conformist history, schools and more.  Titles are in PDF format so they can be viewed on computer, tablet, e-reader and other viewers, and the majority of titles can be bought either on CD or a digital downloads.  

Monday, September 30, 2013

Will Calendars at PRONI

The Will Calendars at the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland provides a fully searchable index to the will calendar entries for the three District Probate Registries of Armagh, Belfast and Londonderry, with the facility to view the entire will calendar entry for each successful search.  The database covers the period 1858-1919 and 1922-1943.  Part of 1921 has been added, with remaining entries for 1920-1921 to follow in the near future.  
Digitised images of entries from the copy will books covering the period 1858-1900 are now available online, allowing users to view the full content of a will.  93,388 will images are now available to view.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Scottish Soldier's Wills

Scottish Soldiers Wills are scheduled to come online in 2014 as part of the commemoration of World War 1.  The wills consist of special forms removed from soldiers' pay books, other army forms, or other documents. They are generally very brief and do not mention individual possessions. They contain limited personal or service history information.
About 31,000 wills survive, of which approximately 26,000 date from the First World War (WW I) and 4,700 from the Second World War (WW II). The rest belong to the period between 1857 and 1966. The wills were written by men up to the rank of warrant officer. About 100 wills exist of officers who were commissioned from the rank during WW I, and a few from WWII. There are wills of some Royal Flying Corps (RFC) and Royal Air Force (RAF) personnel from WW I, and of six women serving with the Auxiliary Territorial Service (ATS) during World War II.
The soldiers' wills belong to a special series among the records of the Edinburgh Commissary Office, which received them from the War Office because the men were domiciled in Scotland. Most were not recorded in the commissary registers of the Commissary Office and the sheriff courts.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Archaic Medical Terms

Rudy's List of Archaic Medical Terms is a collection of archaic medical terms and their old and modern definitions.  The primary focus of this web site is to help decipher the Causes of Death found on Mortality Lists, Certificates of Death and Church Death Records from the 19th century and earlier. The web site is updated often and as new information is received, with the intention of collecting and recording old medical terms in all European languages. The English and German lists are the most extensive to date. If you are having trouble decoding the medical language used to describe causes of death then the Archaic Medical Terms website may help you.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

WW1 Conscription Appeals

The World War 1 Military Conscription Appeals series contains 11,000 case papers from the Middlesex Appeal Tribunal which, between 1916 and 1918, heard appeals from men who had previously applied to a local tribunal for exemption from compulsory military service. The reasons provided by applicants are varied, with applications made on moral grounds (conscientious objectors), on medical grounds (disability), on family grounds (looking after dependents) and on economic grounds (preserving a business). The vast majority of cases relate to the impact of war on a man’s family or their business interests, and the papers reveal some fascinating and tragic stories.

Due to the sensitive issues that surrounded compulsory military service during and after the First World War, only a small minority of the tribunal papers survive. In the years that followed the end of the war, the Government issued instructions to the Local Government Boards that all tribunal material should be destroyed, except for the Middlesex Appeal records and a similar set for Lothian and Peebles in Scotland, which were to be retained as a benchmark for possible future use. A sample of records from the Central Tribunal were also retained, which are also part of the series.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Great War Pension Records

The Western Front Association (WFA) has announced that it has secured the safe storage and preservation of over six million Great War soldiers' pension record cards after learning that the Ministry of Defence was no longer able to retain and manage this archive.  There was a possibility that the records would have had to be destroyed unless they could be passed for safe keeping to a reputable organisation. 

The WFA has made a study and catalogued the primary information for of each group of records in the archive, and arranged the safe transfer and storage of the records to the WFA's secure premises.

During the Great War, dependents of each serving British soldier, sailor, airman and nurse who was killed were entitled to a pension, as were those service personnel who were wounded or otherwise incapacitated due to the conflict. There is a card for each. These cards are categorised as follows:

  • Other Ranks Died (this contains nearly one million individual records)
  • Widows and Dependents of Other Ranks Died (in excess of one million records)
  • Other Ranks Survived: Requested/Rejected/Receiving Pension (over 2.5 million records)
  • Officers survived and Officers' Widows (approximately 150,000 records)
  • Merchant Naval Cards (about 5,000 records
The WFA is still working towards this online database, but prior to the records being digitised it will offer manual lookups upon application for a fee.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

English Wills

In England, wills fall into two main categories - pre-1858 and post-1858.  Pre-1858 wills were probated in one of two principal courts for England and Wales - the Prerogative Court of Canterbury in the south, searchable at www.discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk and the Prerogative Court of York in the north, searchable at www.britishorigins.com.  Below these were other levels of ecclesiastical courts, including what were known as peculiars.
Post-1858 wills were proved at the Principal Probate Registry, established 12 January 1858, and can be searched on Ancestry.  Copies of wills can be ordered at a cost.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Essex Police Museum

Has one of your relatives worked in the Essex Police Constabulary?
The Essex Police Museum holds the following indexes on the following;
  • Police officers in the Essex County Constabulary from the 1880s to present day
  • Police officers who served in the Colchester Borough Police and transferred to the Essex County Constabulary in 1947
  • Police officers serving in Southend Borough Police 1914 - 1969
  • Police War Reserves - World War II
  • Women Police Auxiliaries - World War II

These indexes will provide basic details concerning an individual, such as date/place of birth, dates of service, commendations, misconducts, sickness, training, pay, reason for leaving and rank held.  Basic information is free, full records incur a cost.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

19th Century Immigrants to Britain

The records of thousands of 19th century immigrants to Britain are now available to search and download online. The collection, which covers the period 1801 to 1871, includes records relating to more than 7,000 people who applied to become British citizens under the 1844 Naturalisation Act, as well as a small number of papers relating to denization, a form of British citizenship that conferred some but not all the rights of a British subject.
Applicants were required under the act to present a memorial to the Secretary of State at the Home Office stating their age, trade and duration of residence. These papers are now available online for the first time.
They include a rich mix of individuals from across the world, including a large number of immigrants from French and German states, as well as Belgium, Holland, Switzerland, Spain, Russia, Poland, Sweden and the Italian states.

The majority settled in London, establishing immigrant communities, such as 'Little Italy' in Clerkenwell, which still exist today. Many Italian immigrants were ice cream makers, plasterers, confectioners, restaurateurs, and shop keepers, while many German immigrants settled in the East End of London working in the sugar refineries and in the meat and baking trades.

Monday, September 2, 2013

What's New on Trove

Have you checked back to Trove recently to see what's new?  While we all continue “Troving” (yes, that is now a word), the team who digitise the newspapers for the National Library of Australia have been working hard.
Here’s their list of new newspapers:
- The Gundagai Times and Tumut, Adelong and Murrumbidgee District Advertiser (NSW: 1868-1931)
- The Shoalhaven Telegraph (NSW: 1879-1937)
- The Sydney Stock and Station Journal (NSW: 1896-1924)
Boorowa News (NSW: 1951-1954)
- The Braidwood Review and District Advocate (NSW: 1915-1954)
- The Clarence River Advocate (NSW: 1898-1949)
- The Gundagai Independent and Pastoral, Agricultural & Mining Advocate (NSW: 1898 – 1928)
- The Hebrew Standard of Australasia (NSW: 1895-1953)
Intelligence (Bowral, NSW: 1884)
- The International Socialist (Sydney, NSW: 1910-1920)
- The Newcastle Chronicle and Hunter River District News (NSW: 1859-1866)
Referee (Sydney, NSW: 1886-1939)
- The Richmond River Express and Casino Kyogle Advertiser (NSW: 1904-1929)
Sunday Times (Sydney, NSW: 1895-1930)
Queensland Times, Ipswich Herald & General Advertiser (Qld: 1861-1908)
- Herald (Adelaide, SA: 1899-1910)
Murray Pioneer (Renmark, SA: 1942-1950)
Murray Pioneer and Australian River Record (Renmark, SA: 1913-1942)
News (Adelaide, SA: 1923-1954)
Petersburg Times (SA: 1887-1919)
- The Times and Northern Advertiser, Peterborough, South Australia (SA: 1919-1950)
Wallaroo Times (Port Wallaroo, SA: 1882-1888)
- The Wallaroo Times and Mining Journal (Port Wallaroo, SA: 1865-1881)
Weekly Herald (Adelaide, SA: 1894-1898)
- Ballan Times (Vic: 1914-1918)
Clunes Guardian and Gazette (Vic: 1918-1918)
Cobden Times (Vic: 1918)
Cobden Times and Heytesbury Advertiser (Vic: 1914-1918)
Coleraine Albion and Western Advertiser (Vic: 1914-1918)
Creswick Advertiser (Vic: 1914-1918)
Daylesford Advocate, Yandoit, Glenlyon and Eganstown Chronicle (Vic: 1914-1918)
Geelong Advertiser (Vic: 1914-1918)
Grenville Standard (Vic: 1915 – 1918)
Hamilton Spectator (Vic: 1914 – 1918)
Koroit Sentinel and Tower Hill Advocate (Vic : 1914-1918)
Lang Lang Guardian (Vic : 1914-1918)
Mount. Alexander Mail (Vic: 1914-1917)
Penshurst Free Press (Vic: 1914-1918)
Richmond Australian (Vic: 1914-1916)
Riponshire Advocate (Vic: 1914 – 1918)
Rochester Express (Vic: 1914 – 1918)
Talbot Leader (Vic: 1914 – 1918)
Weekly News (Yarraville) (Vic: 1914-1918)

The National Library of Australia’s digitised newspapers currently has over 10 million pages from over 500 Australian newspapers online. All of these digitised newspapers are fully text-searchable, and users can enhance the data by subject tagging, text correction and annotations (have you done that?). And of course the newspapers are FREE for everyone to use and browse.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

British Census Dates

The 1841 Census was the fifth decennial census of the population of Britain, however it was the first useful census to genealogists interested in their English heritage, as it was the first time that names of individuals within each household were recorded, along with their ages, occupations and places of birth. Only census data up to 1911 is available for public viewing
Currently published census dates are :
1841 - Sunday 6 June
1851 - Sunday 30 March
1861 - Sunday 7 April
1871 - Sunday 2 April
1881 - Sunday 3 April
1891 - Sunday 5 April
1901 - Sunday 31 March
1911 - Sunday 2 April
The 1921 census was taken on Sunday 19 June, and is due to be published on 1 January 2022.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Ask About Ireland

Ask About Ireland and the Cultural Heritage Project is an initiative of public libraries together with local museums and archives in the digitisation and online publication of the original, the unusual and the unique material from their local studies' collections to create a national Internet resource for culture.  The website currently includes Griffiths Evaluation, free E-Books and other resources.
The participating organisations have selected material of particular public interest from their holdings within a variety of common topics ranging from sport, transport and architecture to flora and fauna and Irish writers. The material is then digitised (scanned, digitally photographed, recorded etc.) and set in a narrative context.

Ask About Ireland is a constantly growing resource with content being added to the website on an ongoing basis. While there is lots of material on this site of interest to all, this is just a sample of what is available in public libraries throughout the country.

Monday, August 19, 2013

From Ireland

The genealogy website FromIreland has posted an amazing collection of about 14,500 photographs of Irish gravestones, making it one of the largest Irish gravestone photograph collections. The collection is arranged in albums by county. The main counties covered are Kilkenny (4,600 images) and Laois (6,800 images), with additional images from Clare, Cork, Kerry, Kildare, Limerick and Offaly. The images have been transcribed and are searchable.  A number of other Irish records and resources are also available through the site.  Access is free.  

Friday, August 16, 2013

Shetland Newspaper Transcriptions

The Shetland Newspaper Transcriptions by Janice Halcrow aims to provide indexes of historic births, marriages and death announcements made in the Shetland newspapers available to as wide an audience as possible. The Zetland Times started publication in 1872 and changed its name to The Shetland Times in 1873 and as such it continues to this day. The Shetland News was published from 1885 to 1963.  Announcements are transcribed exactly as they appeared in the original newspapers misspellings and all!  

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Danish State Archives

Probate records from the islands of Sjaelland, Bornholm and Maribo are now online from the Danish StateArchives. Many court records are also now available as well as more records from Copenhagen, including death records and fire insurance records. Being able to use the site in Danish, German or English is a definite plus.  Access is free. 

Monday, August 12, 2013

National Library of Scotland Directories

The National Library of Scotland now has now reached over 700 digitized post office directories posted online. These directories cover most of Scotland and date from 1773 to 1911. The directories list alphabetically the name of the inhabitants, their address and often their profession. Access is free.  With their alphabetical list of a location's inhabitants and information on their profession and address, the directories enable you easily to find out where people lived at a certain time and how they earned their living.  

Friday, August 9, 2013

Church of Ireland Gazette

The Church of Ireland has put online all 52 editions of the church’s official weekly gazette for the year 1913. The Church of Ireland gazette essentially served as the weekly newspaper for the church. It lists specific names, places and events that occurred in 1913. The gazette can be searched by keyword or phrase. 

Monday, August 5, 2013

Cloud Convert

Has someone sent you a word processing document in a file format your word processor doesn't understand? Or a digital image that you cannot open? Have you received a file format via email which you cannot open on your smartphone or tablet? Perhaps you dragged out a CD-ROM disk from the storage box, only to find it has files on it stored in a format your new computer doesn't understand? Usually that means searching for a program that will read the other file, purchasing the program, installing it, and hoping it will convert the old file. Maybe it will, maybe it won't. Now there is a better way and it is in the cloud. It is also available free of charge to everyone: Windows users, Macintosh users, Linux, Android, and Apple iPhone and iPad users.

CloudConvert supports the conversion between more than 100 different audio, video, document, ebook, archive, image, spreadsheet and presentation formats. You can specify advanced options for every conversion type. Best of all, it is available to you now and it is free of charge.

Friday, August 2, 2013

The Down Survey

The Down Survey, so called because a chain was laid down and a scale made, was taken from 1656-8 under the direction of William Petty. Using the Civil Survey as a guide, teams of surveyors, mainly former soldiers, were sent out under Petty’s direction to measure every townland to be forfeited to soldiers and adventurers. The resulting maps, made at a scale of 40 perches to one inch (the modern equivalent of 1:50,000), were the first systematic mapping of a large area on such a scale attempted anywhere. The primary purpose of these maps was to record the boundaries of each townland and to calculate their areas with great precision. The maps are also rich in other detail showing churches, roads, rivers, castles, houses and fortifications. Most towns are represented pictorially and the cartouches, the decorative titles, of each map in many cases reflect a specific characteristic of each barony.

These maps and a lot more information have now been placed online on a web site created by Trinity College Dublin. If you can trace your ancestors back to the 1600s, you may be able to find a lot more about them by using the maps of the Down Survey of Ireland web site. Not only will you find names, but eve maps of their villages, showing roads, churches, and even buildings.

The maps chart the changes in land ownership in Ireland. Users can search by the names of landowners in 1641 and in 1670. It also displays ownership by religion. The web site also displays a lot of other historical information, such as roads and even a Map of the Ulster 1641 Depositions showing the number of recorded murders in each townland.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Yad Vashem

Yad Vashem, the Jewish Holocaust victims website continues to add more genealogy records. This free access website now records some 4 million names and biographical details. This is approximately 2/3 of the roughly six million Jews killed by the Nazis. The database can be searched by name and place of residence. Yad va Shem also accepts submissions of testimony and photographs.
Their mission :
As the Jewish people’s living memorial to the Holocaust, Yad Vashem safeguards the memory of the past and imparts its meaning for future generations. Established in 1953, as the world center for documentation, research, education and commemoration of the Holocaust, Yad Vashem is today a dynamic and vital place of intergenerational and international encounter.

For over half a century, Yad Vashem has been committed to four pillars of remembrance:
  • Commemoration
  • Documentation
  • Research
  • Education

Monday, July 29, 2013

Connected Histories

Connected Histories brings together a range of digital resources related to early modern and nineteenth century Britain with a single federated search that allows sophisticated searching of names, places and dates, as well as the ability to save, connect and share resources within a personal workspace.  Most resources can be accessed free, some require subscriber login, such as Origins.net.  Resources include British History Online, British Museum Images, Clergy of the VChurch of England database, the Charles Booth Archive, Convict Transportation Registers database, History of Parliament, House of Commons Parliamentary Papers, Lane's Masonic Records, Proceedings of the Old Bailey, and the Witches of Early Modern England.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

International Committee of the Red Cross

The International Committee of the Red Cross is digitizing the records of the International Agency for Prisoners of War (1914-1919).  The results will be available online in 2014.  These documents, which are protected by Unesco Memory of the World program, are meant to be a memorial to the war prisoners of the First World War.

Throughout the war, the Agency collected, analysed and organized information, which it received from detaining powers and National agencies, on individual enemy prisoners.  On the archival level, the Agency has generated with these documents a research system – a manual database - consisting mainly in series of lists, around 500'000 pages, and a card index counting 6 million cards.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Oral History Society

For more than 30 years the Oral History Society has played a leading role in the development of oral history, both in Britain and internationally.  It is dedicated to the collection and preservation of oral history, and making it accessible to everyone.  The Society offers advice, training and access to resources for individuals and a number of regional networks.  Thei website has a calendar of upcoming events, links to training courses, volunteer activities, links to their regional networks and an online journal.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

New Resources at FamilySearch

The people at FamilySearch have been busy again this month, adding several new collections.

The Sussex Parish Registers span the years from 1538 to 1910 and can be searched by name. These are primarily baptism, marriage and burial records and comprise some 410,000 individual records.

From Belgium there are the civil registration records, some 10.2 million images. These are civil registrations of births, marriages and deaths. The records are browsable by region (plaats). The largest collections come from Brabant (1582 to 1912), Hainaut (1600 to 1911) and Antwerp (1609 to 1909).

They have also seriously expanded their Spanish collection with an addition of some 7 million searchable municipal records. These records span the years from 1251 to 1966 and consist of everything from local censuses, military records and civil registration (birth, marriage, death) records. The main provinces of Spain included in this new update are Alicante, Almeria, Barcelona, Cádiz, Huelva, Jaén, Coruna, Leon, Lugo, Murcia, Segovia, Sevilla and Valencia. These records can be searched by name.

Finally, there is a new indexed record collection of people who lived in the five boroughs of New York City between 1970 and 2010. This is a massive new collection of some 29.5 million records and has everything from telephone directory listings, driver licenses, property tax assessments, credit applications, voter registration lists, etc. This collection of public records can be searched by name.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Old Maps Online

The Old Maps Online portal allows you to search for and access old maps for free.  Type a place name into the search engine and thumbnail pictures appear.  You can then click on the one you want to view.  There is a list of collections from where the maps have been collated with links to the repositry holding the originals.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Valuation Office Survey

Part of the National Archives website, the Valuation Office Survey was carried out between 1910 and 1915 to assess all site values in the UK for taxation purposes.  The catalogue contains descriptions of nearly 50,000 Valuation Office Survey maps.  When searching you need to have an idea of where your ancestor was living, such as an address from the 1911 census.
The maps serve as the means of reference to more than 95,000 Valuation Office Field Books which contain descriptions of more than 9 million individual houses, farms and other properties, detailing the use and value of lands and buildings, and naming their owners and occupiers. Valuation Office Field Books can only be viewed at The National Archives.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Deceased Online

Deceased Online alows you to search registers by Country, Region, County, Burial Authority or Crematorium free - further information incurs a fee.  They now offer access to the digitised records of the Peterborough Cathedral - 1200 records from the 16th century to 1995.  Burial registers are included for most records and there are some photos of monuments.  Records include Mary, Queen of Scots and Catherine of Aragon.  The site has also started releasing data from its collection of records from London's Brompton Cemetery.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Welsh Newspapers Online

Welsh Newspapers Online is a free online resource from the National Library of Wales where you can discover millions of articles from the Library’s rich collection of historical newspapers. The site currently lets you search and access over 250,000 pages from 24 newspaper publications from 1844 until 1910 and will grow to over 1 million pages as more publications are added during 2013.  Search all newspapers or select specific titles, narrow by date or type of article, or browse through specific newspapers, dates or regions.  Searching is free and does not require users to register at all.

Monday, July 1, 2013

German Military Grave Registration Service

The German Military Grave Registration Service database contains more than 2 million names of missing and dead German soldiers from World War I and World War II. All that is necessary is a surname (nachname) to search. On the first visit you will be required to register with your name and address (Straße/Nr. - Street and Number, Land - Country, PLZ - Postal or Zip Code, and Ort - City) to view the search results.  Be aware the site is in German, which can make navigating the site challenging - my one year of high school German was not really adequate to the challenge!

Friday, June 28, 2013


Interment.net is a free online library of cemetery records for historical and genealogy research.  The database contains over 3 million records from over 5000 cemeteries worldwide and contains actual cemetery transcriptions as well as links to other cemeteries around the world. You can search cemetery burial records or browse records by region.  While coverage is not extensive in some areas it is well worth browsing their list of cemeteries to see what is available.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Free access to Irish Records with Find My Past

On June 30, 1922, the Public Records Office of Ireland, located at the historic Four Courts in Dublin, caught fire during the Irish Civil War. Tragically a considerable amount of Irish records were destroyed. The fire has had lasting effects – still felt today – as Irish family history requires a unique approach to research than other heritages. To commemorate this anniversary and encourage exploration of Irish genealogy, findmypast.com will offer its full collection of Irish Birth, Marriage and Death indexes free of charge from June 27 to June 30. Anyone searching for their Irish ancestors can access the full Irish record collection by registering for free at findmypast.com.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

English Heritage Archive

Search over 1 million catalogue entries describing photographs, plans and drawings of England's buildings and historic sites, held in the English Heritage Archive.

•Including photographs dating from the 1850s to the present day
•Ranging from architectural details to archaeological landscapes, from country houses to coal mines
•Covering counties from Cornwall to Northumberland

Friday, June 14, 2013

Australian War Memorial

ANZAC Connections: Centenary digitisation project

The Australian War Memorial is currently undertaking a project to create a comprehensive digital archive of the ANZACs and their deeds, and of the wider Australian experience of war. The collections selected for this project will reflect the experiences of Australian servicemen, nurses and civilians during the First World War, not just well-known personalities. This project will digitally preserve the Memorial’s collections as well as provide full copies for research on the Memorial’s website.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Lives of the First World War

Digital publisher Brightsolid and the Imperial War Museum are creating a new platform to capture stories from the First World War.  Called Lives of the First World War, the website will enable people to share the stories of men and women who served in Britain and across the Commonwealth.  After registering on the sire for free, researchers will be able to add details about their ancestors, uploading photographs and other documents.  The site will also offer access to digitised records from libraries and museums such as The National Archives and Commonwealth War Graves Commission.  The launch of the new website is part of the Imperial War Museum's program of events to commemorate 100 years since the outbreak of WW1 in August 2014.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Family History magazines on Issuu

Issuu is a leading digital publishing platform delivering magazines, catalogs and newspapers on  wide range of topics, including genealogy.  Millions of readers come to Issuu every day to read free publications, created by enthusiastic publishers from all over the globe. Created by a bunch of geeks with a mad love for the publishing industry, Issuu has grown to become one of biggest publishing networks on the planet.
While not all of the publications on Issuu are full-text - instead only giving you a few pages of a publication to get a taste - many are the full publication, and there is a LOT of material to choose from.  Irish Lives Remembered is an online magazine pubished in full, as is Going In-Depth.  Others such as Ancestors and The Connected Genealogist publish pamphlets and articles through Issuu.
You can just browse and read things as you come across them, or you can create an account (for FREE) and choose to follow certain publishers, so that whenever they publish a new edition it is highlighted for you.  It is also possible to publish your own family history with Issuu. 
With over 11 million publications, and 25,000 new items every day, there is bound to be something for you on Issuu.

Friday, May 31, 2013

Surname Meanings

If you have ever wondered about the origin of your last name, you will find your surname may answer one of the questions of where your ancestors lived, what they did for a living, what was their personality like, or how they looked many hundreds of years ago.

In Europe, the first surnames were first used about eight hundred years ago. People developed individual surnames which, over time, became names that were passed down from generation to generation. Check the free Dictionary of Surname Origins and Last Name Meanings.

Monday, May 27, 2013

National Archives of Ireland

The National Archives of Ireland has made a substantial addition to their genealogical collection with the release of a new database called Calendars of Wills and Administrations 1858-1920. Basically, the database contains an index of wills and associated letters of administration in Ireland.

The database can be searched by county, the name of the deceased person, the names of executors and the names of beneficiaries. The index varies somewhat depending on the year of the record. A typical entry lists the name, address and occupation of the deceased, along with the date of death, the date and place of probate, the names and addresses of the executors, beneficiaries of the will (and their relationship to the deceased) and the financial size of the estate. Access is free.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

UK City and County Directories, 1766 - 1946 at Ancestry

Ancestry.com has released a new database to add to their collection.
This database is a collection of directories for various areas of the United Kingdom from the 1700s to the 1900s. Various types of directories exist, including:

•Street: listing of residents, businesses, and tradesmen according to street address
•Commercial: includes businesses, but may also include private residences; generally an alphabetical listing of traders
•Trade: not just for businesses, but anyone with a recognized trade or profession; an alphabetical listing of trades and businesses
•Court: lists wealthy residents and government officials
•Post Office: listing of householder's names and addresses
Many directories are named after the publishers, such as Pigot and Kelly. Most directories originally included maps. Over time, many of these maps were removed. Where still available as part of a directory, the maps are included in this database.
Directories were first published around the beginning of the nineteenth century; they primarily only covered cities and larger towns. The first major county directories were published around 1820. In London, however, some directories were published even earlier.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Unlocking Old Files

Computer software changes so rapidly that what worked on your last computer may be completely obsolete when you buy a new one, causing you endless frustration.  You may have found or been given a mystery software file that is potentially full of family tree information that you simply could not open? It probably had a file extension you didn’t recognize. And even if you did recognize the file type, you may not have been able to open it.  You computer doesn't have the necessary program, and you can't find anyony else who does.  Fortunately, there is a free website that can help. Called OpenWith.org, the website can help you identify old software files. It even provides free software tools to open many of these old software files.  This is not the kind of website you would use frequently, but it is well worth making note of for when you need it.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Historic Directories

Have you searched some of the historic directories for your ancestors?  The Historic Directories Project is a digital library of local and trade directories for England and Wales, from 1750 to 1919. It contains high quality reproductions of comparatively rare books, essential tools for research into local and genealogical history.  Below is the 1882 Kelly's Directory page for Fordham in Essex, where my ancestor Joseph Green was noted as a major landholder.  He also appears in earlier Post Office Directories, also available from the same site.  The Historic Directories can be search by Location, Decade or Keyword, and is free to use.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Australian Electoral Rolls

The Ancestry.com database contains selected Australian electoral rolls, with the exception of South Australia, that run from 1903-1980. Electoral rolls were compiled by each state during election years to determine the number and names of individuals eligible to vote. Information listed in electoral rolls usually includes:
•Name of voter
Electoral rolls are great records to use as “census substitutes.” They are useful when census records are either not complete or non-existent, and are usually available in between census years. Because electoral rolls were published on a fairly consistent basis and are generally country-wide, they are useful for tracking individuals over time and place.
Below is the Electoral Roll image for my Great-Grandmother Eliza Jennion and her second husband Edward, who were living in Charlotte Place, St Kilda at the time of this roll in 1914.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Henry Montgomery Clark

My Great-Uncle, Henry Montgomery Clark, served in World War Two along with three of his brothers, David James, Leonard Rupert and Russell Nicholas.  All were in different units and I have been told 3 served in the Middle East, and found themselves in the siege of Tobruk.  Originally I has been told all 4 brothers served un Tobruk, but have since been corrected - beware the inaccurate family story!  While I knew about their WW2 military service I was surprised to find that Henry also served in the Militia during the 1930s - something I discovered while searching family records on Recordsearch at the National Archives of Australia.  Below is his enlistent form in the militia in 1934.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Eliza Pummeroy

This article from The Argus on 9 May 1901 concerns my great grandmother Eliza Pummeroy who was left destitute upon the death of her husband.  I had never known she faced the courts in an application for relief.  Her children did end up in care for a while, until after Eliza remarried.  Not only does this article tell about her struggle but also fills in a lot of the detail on the death of her husband Alfred.

Another great article found on Trove.

Friday, May 3, 2013


FamilySearch has changed the look of their website. When you go to the relaunched website for the first time, it should offer you a video tour of the website enhancements. Amongst the new features are the ability to build a family tree and share photos of ancestors online. This provides a new avenue for making contact with others researching your family and sharing your knowledge and family stories.
While searching the historical records is still completely open, access to most of the new features requires registering to sign in to the site.  Access is still free and registering is also free and quick to do.
FamilySearch.org has also made available a new collection of some 74,000 images of Tasmania civil registration records from 1803 to 1933. These are birth, baptism, marriage, death and burial records from the Archives Office of Tasmania. The images are organized region and then by type of record. The images are not searchable by name and many of the records were kept in ledger books as opposed to individual certificates, so it will require some digging to find an ancestor.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Europeana 1914-1918

Europeana 1914-1918 is based on an initiative at the University of Oxford where people across Britain were asked to bring family letters, photographs and keepsakes from the War to be digitised. The success of the idea – which became the Great War Archive – has encouraged Europeana, Europe’s digital archive, library and museum, to bring other national or local institutions across Europe into an alliance with Oxford University.  The project is collecting memorabilia and stories from the period of the Great War (1914-1918). This phase of the project is focussing on European items: letters, postcards, photographs and stories from Germany, Luxembourg, Ireland, Slovenia and the UK.

Friday, April 26, 2013

The Word on the Street - Scottish Broadsheets

In the centuries before there were newspapers and 24-hour news channels, the general public had to rely on street literature to find out what was going on. The most popular form of this for nearly 300 years was 'broadsides' - the tabloids of their day. Sometimes pinned up on walls in houses and ale-houses, these single sheets carried public notices, news, speeches and songs that could be read (or sung) aloud.
The National Library of Scotland's online collection of nearly 1,800 broadsides lets you see for yourself what 'the word on the street' was in Scotland between 1650 and 1910. Crime, politics, romance, emigration, humour, tragedy, royalty and superstitions - all these and more are here.
Each broadside comes with a detailed commentary and most also have a full transcription of the text, plus a downloadable PDF facsimile. You can search by keyword, browse by title or browse by subject.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Dating old Photographs

The Roger Vaughan Picture Library provides a guide with a number of links to help date old photographs, with advice to determine what decade is a photograph from using the changes of the designs on the back and  fashion changes over time.  The site also covers types of photographs and links to online photograph databases as well as local trade directories.

Friday, April 19, 2013

London marriage licences, 1521-1869

The book of London marriage licences, 1521-1869, has been digitally scanned and is available online via the Internet Archive.  Contributed by the University of California Libraries, the book can be read online or downloaded in a number of formats, including PDF, Kindle, and EPub.  It is an alphabetical index by husband's surname, with an index of matches for the female partner included at the back, and is 866 pages in length.
Examply entry :
Mason, Stephen, of St Bennett, Gracechurch, London, Merchant, bachelor, about 26 and Mrs Sarah Woolrich, of Bartholomew Close, London, Spinster, about 25, her father' consent - at Barrett, co Herts.  18 June 1677. V.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Norman Clark in the news

My great uncle Norman Clark died at the age of 18 when he was taken by a shark off Middle Brighton Pier on Feb15th 1930.  He was the first swimmer to be killed by a shark in the bay for over 50 years, and was killed in full view of hundreds of people as there was a boating regatta taking place at the time.  The incident was reported in numerous papers around Australia - not just the Melbourne Argus but papers like the Rockhampton News, Launceston Times, Adelaide Advertiser, Brisbane Courier and Western Australian Mail.
Just looking at the language is fascinating - I doubt it would be allowed today to describe a young man's death in a shark attack as a "thrilling struggle".
I have over 20 newspaper articles reporting the attack and subsequent hunt for the shark, which was never found.  All the articles were found in about an hour while searching Trove, the website of the National Library of Australia, which has been busily digitizing newspapers for some time now.  What will you find there?

Friday, April 12, 2013

National Family History Week

National Family History Week is held from 2nd - 11th August this year.  During the week events will be conducted across the country that focus on genealogy, family history, heraldry and related subjects including family reunions, seminars, talks, open days, history walks, book launches, film evening and expos. Check your state on the website for details of local events.
Campaspe Regional Library will hold a series of Family History talks.  Bookings are essential for all sessions and can be made on 5482 1997 or by contacting your local branch library.
Sessions times and topics
Fri 2nd - Intro. to online resources.  Echuca Branch Library, 2-4pm
Sat 3rd - Intro to online resources.  Kyabram Branch Library, 10.30am-12noon
Mon 5th - Using Trove.  Echuca Branch Library, 2-3pm
Tues 6th - Ancestry.com.  Echuca Branch Library, 12-1pm
Tues 6th - Intro. to online resources.  Tongala Branch Library, 4-6pm
Wed 7th - Famliysearch.  Echuca Branch Library, 12-1pm
Thurs 8th - National Archives of Australia.  Echuca Branch Library, 12-1pm
Fri 9th - Victorian Public Records Office.  Echuca Branch Library, 2-3pm

Monday, April 8, 2013

Now and Then Newsletter

Now&Then provides up-to-date information about new research tools and resources, services and seminars, exhibitions and other activities taking place at the State Records of New South Wales. Now & Then is distributed every two months.
Articles from the latest issue include : Online News - 2012 Christmas Competition Winners! - 2012 Satisfaction Survey Results - Probate and Divorce transfers from the NSW Supreme Court update - Sentenced beyond the Seas update - Probate and the Divorce transfers from the Supreme Court update - Archives Outside blog update - Flickr update - Treasures in the records - Spotlight on Surveyors' Sketch Books - Stay up-to-date with State Records - Upcoming talks and tours.

Friday, April 5, 2013

The will of David Mulholland

This is the handwritten will of my great-grandfather David Mulholland, found on the Public Records Office of Victoria website.  This fascinating document not only gives the names of David's wife and surviving children, it gives the married surnames of his daughters, plus an insight into the family dynamics.  David's wife Eliza can live in the house for her lifetime (and can do as she likes with the furniture upon her death) and the two sons who have worked the land with their father share the land and stock and pay their mother 5 shillings a week to live on.  The son who has his own business receives 50 pounds cash, the unmarried daughter living at home 20 pounds - and spends the rest of her life living on her brothers' charity.  Of the 3 married daughters my grandmother Pricilla (Mrs Clark) is clearly the favourite - she receives 10 pounds from her father while her two other married sisters get a shilling each!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Irish Lives Remembered

Irish Lives Remembered is a free online genealogy magazine focusing on Irish research and resources.  Issue 10 of the magazine, the March 2013 edition, is currently online and features a 16 page special Irish-Australian supplement along with a number of other articles on Irish genealogy research.  Through the website Issuu - also free - you can also view back issues of the magazine.

Thursday, March 28, 2013


RootsTech is an opportunity to discover the latest family history tools and techniques, connect with experts to help you in your research, and be inspired in the pursuit of your ancestors. It is a conference with a unique emphasis on helping individuals learn and use the latest technology to get started or accelerate their efforts to find, organize, preserve and share their family’s connections and history. Workshops and interactive presentations are aimed at the beginner, intermediate, and advanced level.

The conference took place in Salt Lake City, Utah from March 21-23, and many of the presentations can be viewed onlint via the RootsTech website.

Friday, March 22, 2013

The Forgotten Times

Australia's first FREE digital-only online history magazine, The Forgotten Times is a history magazine with stories for those interested in all issues relating to genealogy, Australian history or researching a family tree.

The Forgotten Times is produced by a team of journalists keen to provide the very best history and family tree stories - ones that are really worth reading. If you ever asked What is History? well here it is in its most readable form.

Their list of expert writers continues to grow and includes : Christine Yeats, Australian History Society; Zoe D'Arcy, National Archives of Australia, Australian National Maritime Museum with more to come...

Friday, March 15, 2013

1922 Irish Army

MilitaryArchives.ie has updated their 1922 Irish Army Census database. It is now searchable by name (first and last), location and age. The database contains 33,210 records. A typical record lists the name of the soldier, where they were stationed, their division, home address, age, marital status, religion, name and address of next of kin (typically a father or mother) and the place and date of attestation (when and where they signed up for the military). The image below shows a typical record. Access is free.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Welsh Newspapers Online

In March 2012, the National Library of Wales is expected to launch online the first one million pages of its historic newspaper collection, called Welsh Newspapers Online. Eventually, the aim is to digitize some two million pages of newspapers and journals from before 1911 (the current out-of-copyright date). A list of newspapers and journals that have been identified for digitization is available on the website. When this website launches, it will provide the largest body of searchable text related to Wales. Access will be free.

Friday, March 1, 2013

National Archives of Ireland

The National Archives of Ireland site was launched on 8 November 2012 by Jimmy Deenihan TD, Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht. From this site, you can access the Census records for 1901 and 1911, the Tithe Applotment Books for 1823 to 1837 and the Soldiers’ Wills for 1914 to 1917.

The site will have a large number of other genealogical records added to it over the coming years, including:
1) Calendars of Wills and Administrations (1858– 1922);
2) Nineteenth-century census survivals (1821-1851);
3) Valuation Office House and Field Books (1848–1860);
4) Census Search Forms for the 1841 and 1851 Censuses.
All of these records will be free to access, through searchable databases and linked images of relevant pages. Eventually, it is hoped that the site will contain all of the important and easily accessible genealogical material in the custody of the National Archives.

The Soldiers’ Wills collection is the latest major project to become available free online, providing access to the wills of soldiers who died in the First World War (1914-1917). This is the first phase of the project carried out by the National Archives to digitise the 9,000 wills of the soldiers who died. Work is continuing and the remainder of the collection will be released online in 2013.

Monday, February 11, 2013


Free online name listings including: Australia, Canada, England, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, New Zealand, Scotland, South Africa, United States, Wales, Zimbabwe and world-wide one-name studies.

Online names is a free searchable database managed by Adelaide Proformat and compiled from public submissions. It has been available since 1997. The site has been upgraded since 8 June 2011 and many new features are now available.  While still small, the site is well worth using and will only grow if people take the time to post the names they are researching.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

FamilySearch and WorldCat

FamilySearch.org has formed a partnership with OCLC to share genealogical data. OCLC is a non-profit library organization that originally started as the Ohio College Library Center (OCLC) and has since grown to become an international library cooperative that is best known for the WorldCat library catalog. WorldCat links over 10,000 libraries worldwide. It is essentially the world's largest library catalog.

In this new partnership, FamilySearch.org will make its catalog of genealogical information accessible to WorldCat users. In exchange, going forward FamilySearch will be incorporating WorldCat search results into their website. What this means for genealogists is that the sharing of genealogical information across two major (and free) organizations will ultimately make it easier for people to find their ancestors.