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Serendipity Day

** Genealogy’s Star: A Must-Read Blog (in my opinion) & YouTube Channel

** Washington’s Colville Tribes Selected For The Next U.S. Census Test

**Insects: Future Or Past Food?

**How To Ensure All Will Be Lost



Gen Star

James Tanner crafts his Genealogy’s Star blog nearly two times per week and I read every post and learn something new each time. Back on 5 Mar 2016, he posted about the BYU Family History Library Channel on YouTube. He was discussing a new uploaded video titled, “Why You Can’t Trace Your Family Back To Adam.” Who would not want to view this video?? Here’s how: (1) Click to;  (2) select the BYU Family History Library channel; (3) Chose what you want to view from the list of over 400 videos; and (4) Click the subscribe button to get notification of new videos as they’re uploaded.

May I, as your serendipity teacher today, give you two homework assignments today? First click to (note the two “s”) and sign up for James Tanner’s blog. Next click to and get going with your home learning from there!


An AP blurb in our local paper by Regina Garcia Cano, and from Sioux Falls, SD, read: “The Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation is one of two National American reservations selected as test sites ahead of the 2020 census, as officials mull whether to ask for the first tie about tribal enrollment.” The two reservations are Standing Rock Indian Reservation, which straddles North and South Dakota, and the Colville reservation. “By selecting these geographic areas, we are allowing ourselves an opportunity to test our methods and procedures in areas where it is difficult to deliver questionnaires by mail,” said Deirdre Bishop, chief of the bureau’s Decennial Census Management Division.” I found this tidbit fascinating for many reasons. I’d not realized that the tremendous amount of decade-long work went into the taking of a census.

For more information on this (census taking) Google “Decennial Census Management Division.” Or “2020 U.S. Census.”  And ditto for more info on the two reservation test sites.



According to an article in the Delta Sky magazine for April 2016, the foods in our future may include insects……..bugs. Here is a link to a short video about Andrew Zimmern’s views on eating insects: from the Travel Channel. There has been plenty of buzz about “how are we going to feed the hungry millions on our planet in the future…and are insects the answer?” in the media. But I was not prepared for the picture that accompanied that Delta Sky article: a lollipop with a nice fat caterpillar inside of it! Yum??

Now, you might say, what does this have to do with family history? Let me ask you this:  Did our ancestors eat insects? I think they surely did but not in the way you think. I think poor eyesight, poor lighting in homes, and creepy-crawlies everywhere and in everything ensured that there were insects in our ancestor’s food. Yum.


How to ensure that all your genealogy, your life’s work, will be lost. Eight thoughts from Donna.

  1. Do not ever make time to take to relatives and collect their memories and memorabilia.
  2. Do not make time to share photos with relatives and get positive ID for them.
  3. Do not bother to scan in old photos and memorabilia and certainly do not bother with backups.
  4. Do not both to compile a list of who-in-the-family gets what of all the family treasures you’ve collected over the years.
  5. When cleaning out grandma’s house after the funeral, just bring lots of big black plastic bags for everything to take to the dump or Goodwill.
  6. Do not bother with transferring all the family information you have stored in binders and boxes to an online program.
  7. Do leave so much stuff stuffed in your office that your kids will be overwhelmed and not really know what to keep and what to toss.
  8. Don’t make a plan for without a plan you surely will fail and your genealogy will be lost.

Sad Facts:  Your local genealogy society DOES NOT WANT all your binders and boxes of un-organized papers and stuff. Neither does the Family History Library. And neither do your kids! They want the information and not all the stuff and they want it organized.

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The Reviews Are In. German Census Records 1816-1916 Gets Raves


Family Roots Publishing is on schedule to ship German Census Records 1816-1916 on June 15 as announced. We might even beat that by a couple days. Final text edits have been made, and layout adjustments are now complete. The soft cover will be ready to print by the 23rd. Dies for the imprinting of the hard bound books have been ordered. Printing of the text could start as early as May 30. We began getting reviews from folks who received PrePub copies of German Census Records 1816-1916 this last week.

What a happy ending! After all these years, family historians are no longer discouraged by futile searches into that formerly hidden and unorganized body of German censuses. Let’s sit back and listen to the cheers –from both sides of the water!
Shirley J. Riemer, author of “German Research Companion” and editor of “Der Blumenbaum”

Dr. Minert’s stupendous work has opened up a new world for German researchers.  No longer must one lament that census records are inaccessible or even “non-existent.”   He has made census records known and accessible.  All German genealogists should have this book and make it a standard reference in their research. Dr. Fritz Juengling, Research Specialist, Family History Library

This is truly a groundbreaking work! Roger Minert refutes the conventional knowledge that censuses were not taken in most German lands, with numerous examples proving that they do exist. He not only describes censuses taken in the German Empire, state by state, but gives pointers on where to obtain them. This opens a whole new realm to explore. Ernest L. Thode, author and lecturer in Germanic family history

Das Werk macht Historiker wie Genealogen auf vielfach völlig unbekannte Quellen aufmerksam, die zwischen 1816 und 1916 für das gesamte spätere Gebiet des ehemaligen Deutschen Reiches (1871 – 1916) und davor abdecken. Mit anderen Worten die Zeit nach dem Wiener Kongress bis zur Mitte des Ersten Weltkrieges. Ein unglaublich wertvoller Schatz für die Forschungen des 19. und 20. Jahrhunderts. Roger Minert führt ein in die historische Entwicklung und Gestalt der Volkszählungsakten. Roger Minert hat damit Neuland betreten, das er sich angeschickt hat, zu vermessen. Ein großer Schritt für die Genealogie in Deutschland. Er gibt damit Anstoß und ermutigt, diese Quellen auszuwerten und Interessierten zugänglich zu machen.“ Dirk Weissleder, Vorsitzender der Deutschen Arbeitsgemeinschaft genealogischer Verbände e. V. (DAGV) [Translation below]

This book draws the attention of historians and genealogists to almost totally unknown resources. This is an amazing treasure for research in the German Empire in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Roger Minert introduces researchers to the development and nature of census records and he encourages us to seek out and utilize those records. This is a gigantic step for genealogy in Germany. Dirk Weissleder, President of the Federation of German Genealogy Societies

Click Here to see the announcement I made several weeks ago. Click Here to PrePub Order by June 15, and get 15% off. 

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New FamilySearch Collections Update: May 9, 2016

A variety of small collection updates this week including Ecuador Catholic Church Records 1565‐2011, Germany Prussia East Prussia Königsberg Funeral Sermons 1597‐1794, Guam Judicial Land Obituaries and Census Records 1712‐2000, Ontario District Marriage Registers 1801‐1858, and can you believe, Zimbabwe Death notices 1904‐1976! See the table below for other additions this week.


Ecuador Catholic Church Records 1565‐2011 – 206,594 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Germany Mecklenburg‐Schwerin Census 1867 – 3 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Germany Prussia East Prussia Königsberg Funeral Sermons 1597‐1794 – 0 – 31,607 – New browsable image collection
Ontario District Marriage Registers 1801‐1858 – 0 – 2,738 – New browsable image collection
Zimbabwe Death notices 1904‐1976 – 10,358 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection

United States Databases
Montana Meagher County Records 1866‐2012 – 1,030 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Texas World War I Records 1917‐1920 – 6,271 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Guam Judicial Land Obituaries and Census Records 1712‐2000 – 22,418 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection

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Announcing new Pro Bono initiative: Tribal Quest


MyHeritage Launches Global Pro Bono Initiative to Document the Family Histories of Remote Tribes

Tribal Quest team members visit indigenous communities to create their family trees and record their family stories online, preserving them for future generations

TEL AVIV, Israel & WINDHOEK, Namibia & PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea, May 10, 2016MyHeritage, the fastest-growing destination for discovering, preserving and sharing family history, unveiled today a new initiative — Tribal Quest — to record the family histories of communities that lack access to modern technology.

MyHeritage has completed its first two Tribal Quest expeditions to Namibia and Papua New Guinea, meeting elders and families of the Himba people in Namibia, and different tribal groups in Papua New Guinea. Collaborating with local guides, MyHeritage teams spent three weeks in each destination, interviewing hundreds of community members, taking thousands of family photos, gathering information at cemeteries, and attending local community events and rituals. The teams then processed all the data they gathered, cross-correlated and tagged it, and organized the family history information of over 6,000 members of tribal communities in 55 richly-detailed family trees. This information is now saved online on MyHeritage, preserving cultural heritage and personal family histories of tribal people forever.

At one of the villages deep in the rural Kunene region of Namibia, Tribal Quest team members met Mbunguha, a village elder who recounted family stories going back many generations. Mbunguha’s parents told him that he had been born during a particularly intense drought, marking a tough period for his family. He now worries about the effects that recent repetitive droughts, and the resulting economic instability, will have on his community. With the traditional Himba way of life now in decline and globalization and urbanization on the rise, Mbunguha is concerned that many family traditions will be lost. Mbunguha was eager to participate in the project and have his family history recorded to ensure that it is not lost for the next generations of the village. Mbunguha’s family tree — and those of his clan — are now preserved online on MyHeritage.

Further expeditions to other remote destinations are currently being planned.

“Across a wide range of diverse cultures and traditions, we all have family in common; we all learn from and honor our ancestors,” said Golan Levi, User Experience Expert at MyHeritage and founder of the Tribal Quest project. “This project aims to allow people around the world — no matter where or how they live — to save their ancestors’ legacies forever, for the benefit of their descendants, and our descendants.”

“We are privileged to be the global destination of choice for millions of people interested in discovering and preserving their family history,” said Gilad Japhet, Founder and CEO of MyHeritage. “We love combining our work with pro bono projects, utilizing our technologies and our enthusiastic staff to bring the benefits of genealogy to more people. With Tribal Quest we are preserving diverse cultural heritage that is at risk, and doing it uniquely at the level of individuals and families. If we don’t do this, nobody else will, and therefore we must do it.”

The Namibia expedition is showcased online at; Papua New Guinea expedition materials will be added soon. Visit the website to learn more about the project, view photos and read stories of the Himba people, and to get involved.
View the Tribal Quest introduction video.


About MyHeritage

MyHeritage is the world’s fastest-growing destination for discovering, preserving and sharing family history. As technology thought leaders, MyHeritage is transforming family history into an activity that’s accessible and instantly rewarding. Its global user community enjoys access to a massive library of historical records, the most internationally diverse collection of family trees, and ground­breaking search and matching technologies. Trusted by millions of families, MyHeritage provides an easy way to share family stories, past and present, and treasure them for generations to come. MyHeritage is available in 42 languages.

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Serendipity Day

How many presidents have visited YOUR town?

Ancient Mohawk Cemetery in New York

Eight Critical Thinking Skills

Oregon-California Trails Association

Is there a book with my family mentioned?

Hollywood Cemetery, Richmond, Virginia


Blurb in our daily paper explained that Spokane has been visited by a dozen U.S. presidents plus some VPs, wives and others. Our list is Taft, Harding, both Roosevelts, Truman, Carter, Nixon, Clinton, Reagan, Ford and GW Bush. How about your town? How many presidential visits do you mark?


Cemeteries have always been of great interest to family historians. It’s always interesting to me to read about cemeteries of yore and of other cultures. In December 1634, three men set out from Fort Orange (now Albany) New York to make contact with the Mohawks to convince them that the Dutch made better trades than the French or English. They visited a series of villages, “surprising Harmen with their level of civilization. They encountered cemeteries, surrounded by palisades, ‘so neatly made that it was a wonder,’ and graves painted red, white and black. A chief’s tomb they found was large enough to have an entrance and was decorated with carvings and paintings of animals.” (From The Island at the Center of the World: Epic Story of Dutch in Manhattan and the Forgotten Colony That Shaped America, by Russell Shorto, 2005.)


Another newspaper article spelled out the “Eight Critical Skills” or attributes that teens need to become well-functioning adults. As I read it, seemed to me that even we adults could tune up our skills in these areas, especially as genealogists:

  • Problem-solving skills
  • Critical thinking
  • Emotional intelligence (“a greater predictor of success in life than IQ”)
  • Values and ethics
  • Resourcefulness and resilience
  • Creative processing
  • Executive functioning, including basic social skills
  • Leadership perspective and the ability to see the big picture


[Read the rest of this entry…]

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Filipino Amerasians – America’s Forgotten Children

Under U.S. President McKinley, the United States took possession of the Philippines, and took responsibility of The Philippines. U.S. servicemen fathered children with Filipino women and then…

The Many (Forgotten) Faces of America
When the US naval bases in the Philippines closed in 1992, the military left behind thousands of Amerasian children. Since the closings, American presence still exists and -contrary to initial estimate of 52,000 – it is now estimated that there are 250,000 Amerasian children, ranging from newborn to geriatric, abandoned in the Philippines. These Amerasians are acutely vulnerable, particularly to human trafficking, and painfully stigmatized. They live in abject poverty, forcing them to continue the cycle of marginalized sub-existence and prostitution.

My grandfather served in the U.S. Army between 1921-23. I wonder if I have any aunts, uncles, or cousins that I know nothing about. These are American children.

In 1982, the United States Congress voted to grant U.S. citizenship to Amerasians from Vietnam, Korea, Thailand, and other Asian countries, in what was known as the Amerasian Homecoming Act. Although the Philippines has been a United States ally for more than a century, Filipino (and Japanese) offspring of soldiers were not included: they must be claimed by their former American G.I. fathers if they wish to claim their U.S. citizenship.

Even if I were to find family, in the Philippines, I can’t bring them home.

Written by Dale Meitzler

Read the full article.

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New FamilySearch Database Collections Update as of May 2, 2016


Millions of new US an international records this week including Philippines Civil Registration (National) 1945-1984, New Zealand Archives New Zealand Probate Records 1843-1998, Massachusetts Town Clerk Vital and Town Records 1626-2001, France Saône-et-Loire Military Conscriptions 1867-1940, Russia Tatarstan Church Books 1721-1939, Paraguay Catholic Church Records 1754-2015, and Ukraine Kyiv Orthodox Consistory Church Book Duplicates 1734-1920. Find these and more by following the links below.


France Saône-et-Loire Military Conscriptions 1867-1940 – 244,795 – 0 – New indexed records collection
Lesotho Evangelical Church Records 1874-1983 – 0 – 20,396 – New browsable image collection.
New Brunswick Saint John Saint John Burial Permits 1889-1919 – 0 – 13,902 – New browsable image collection.
New Zealand Archives New Zealand Probate Records 1843-1998 – 10,511 – 363,839 – Added images to an existing collection
New Zealand Auckland Waikumete Cemetery Records 1886-1948 – 27,054 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Ontario County Marriage Registers 1858-1869 – 0 – 9,447 – New browsable image collection.
Paraguay Catholic Church Records 1754-2015 – 397,638 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Peru Lambayeque Civil Registration 1873-1998 – 339,222 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Peru Puno Civil Registration 1890-2005 – 0 – 248,882 – Added images to an existing collection
Philippines Civil Registration (National) 1945-1984 – 0 – 1,741,178 – Added images to an existing collection
Russia Tatarstan Church Books 1721-1939 – 0 – 444,585 – Added images to an existing collection
Russia Tver Church Books 1722-1918 – 0 – 905 – Added images to an existing collection
Ukraine Kyiv Orthodox Consistory Church Book Duplicates 1734-1920 – 0 – 205,216 – Added images to an existing collection

United States Databases

Arkansas Ex-Confederate Pension Records 1891-1939 – 172,347 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
California Fresno and Napa Counties Obituaries 1974-1997 – 65,850 – 76,098 – New indexed records and images collection
Iowa Church and Civil Marriages 1837-1989 – 13,474 – 0 – New indexed records collection
Iowa County Marriages 1838-1934 – 67,489 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Massachusetts Town Clerk Vital and Town Records 1626-2001 – 472,449 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Massachusetts Town Records ca. 1638-1961 – 58,412 – 87,781 – New indexed records and images collection
Michigan Church Marriages 1865-1931 – 2,303 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Michigan County Marriages 1820-1940 – 62,733 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
New Hampshire Birth Certificates 1901-1909 – 104,327 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Pennsylvania Grand Army of the Republic Membership Records 1865-1936 – 14,100 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
South Carolina Deaths 1915-1965 – 157,759 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection

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Chinese Immigration to the United States, 1882-1944 Digital Archive

University of California, Berkeley has launched a new digital archive covering Chinese immigration to the United States between 1884-1944.


“From 1882 to 1943 the United States Government severely curtailed immigration from China to the United States. This Federal policy resulted from concern over the large numbers of Chinese who had come to the United States in response to the need for inexpensive labor. Congress passed several laws restricting their immigration and naturalization. In its efforts to regulate these matters, the Congress also established federal agencies that created documentation related to those activities and its management of those people under the existing legislation. This website provides an overview of that history and offers an online, searchable index to many of the nearly 200,000 ‘casefiles’ held at NARA which cover the era of the Chinese Exclusion Act (1880-1943).”

Thanks to ResearchBuzz for the heads-up.

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Serendipity from Donna

Even if you don’t live in the Pacific Northwest, you know some local geography……….. like the Strait of Juan de Fuca separating the U.S. and Canada. Just learned that the man for whom the strait was named was a Greek!  Ioannis Phokas, or Apostolos Valerianus (seen it both ways) “is better known by the Spanish transcription of his name, Juan de Fuca, born 1536 on the Ionian island of Cefalonia and died there in 1602.  He was a maritime pilot in the service of the King of Spain, Philip II, and is known for his claim to have explored the Strait of Anian, now known as the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Now we both know!


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German Census Records 1816-1916 – A Groundbreaking New Genealogy Resource


I need to first make a sincere apology. For years I have been telling people that there were very few German censuses taken – with a small number of exceptions. I didn’t know what I was talking about. I guess I could make the excuse that I didn’t know what I didn’t know, but I learned years ago that excuses aren’t worth anything. Actually, many German censuses were taken, some as early as the 1700s, but with most starting in 1816. And yes – many are accessible to researchers today.

After wondering for several years why American researchers know very little about German census records, my good friend, Dr. Roger Minert, found an opportunity to live in Europe for six months to investigate them. He was sure that many existed, but he could find very little information about them. While in Europe, he learned that even German researchers know very little about their census records! How could such a potentially important resource be lost to obscurity? In a new book, researchers can now learn where and when German census records were compiled, as well as why and how. The author also describes state by state the content of the census records and explains how surviving census documents can be located. This is groundbreaking information, of enormous value to anyone researching their German roots.

Would you like additional information about your family in old country? The information found in the parish registers is key to your research, but there’s often even more family information to be found in the German census records.

German Census Records, 1816-1916: The When, Where, and How of a Valuable Genealogical Resource is available for pre-publication purchase, with a substantial pre-pub discount. Family Roots Publishing is offering a 15% discount as a pre-pub sale price at the FPRC website through June 15, 2016. The book is selling for just $29.71 (plus $5.50 USA p&h) during the sale period. The volume itself will be shipped between June 15 and 20, with the orders received first, shipping first.

Note – this book is also available in a hardbound edition. Click on this link to be directed to that page at the FPRC website.

The following Table of Contents is found in the volume:

  • Acknowledgements
  • Introduction
  • Chapter 1: A History of Census Records in the German States
  • Chapter 2: The Census of 1867: The Great Transition
  • Chapter 3: Census Records during the German Empire 1871-1918
  • Chapter 4: Census Records in the German States from 1816 to 1864
  • Chapter 5: Anhalt
  • Chapter 6: Baden
  • Chapter 7: Bayern [Bavaria]
  • Chapter 8: Brandenburg
  • Chapter 9: Braunschweig [Brunswick]
  • Chapter 10: Bremen (Hansestadt Bremen)
  • Chapter 11: Elsaß-Lothringen {Alsace-Lorraine]
  • Chapter 12: Hamburg (Hansestadt Hamburg)
  • Chapter 13: Hannover [Hanover]
  • Chapter 14: Hessen [Hesse]
  • Chapter 15: Hessen-Nassau [Hesse-Nassau]
  • Chapter 16: Hohenzollern
  • Chapter 17: Lippe
  • Chapter 18: Lübeck (Hansestadt Lübeck) [Luebeck]
  • Chapter 19: Mecklenburg-Schwerin
  • Chapter 20: Mecklenburg-Strelitz
  • Chapter 21: Oldenburg
  • Chapter 22: Ostpreußen [East Prussia]
  • Chapter 23: Pommern [Pomerania]
  • Chapter 24: Posen
  • Chapter 25: Reuß älterer Linie [Reuss Elder Line]
  • Chapter 26: Reuß jüngere Linie [Reuss Younger Line]
  • Chapter 27: Rheinprovinz [Rhineland Province]
  • Chapter 28: Sachsen-Altenburg [Saxe-Altenburg]
  • Chapter 29: Sachsen-Meiningen [Saxe-Meiningen]
  • Chapter 30: Königreich Sachsen [Kingdom of Saxony]
  • Chapter 31: Sachsen-Meiningen [Saxe-Meiningen]
  • Chapter 32: Provinz Sachsen [Province of Saxony]
  • Chapter 33: Sachsen-Weimar-Eisenach [Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach]
  • Chapter 34: Schaumburg-Lippe
  • Chapter 35: Schlesian [Silesia]
  • Chapter 36: Schleswig-Holstein
  • Chapter 37: Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt
  • Chapter 38: Schwarzburg-Sondershausen
  • Chapter 39: Waldeck
  • Chapter 40: Westfalen [Westphalia]
  • Chapter 41: Westpreußen [West Prussia]
  • Chapter 42: Württemberg [Wuerttemberg]
  • Chapter 43: German Census Records from 1816-1916: What Do We Know Now?
  • Chapter 44: Conclusions
  • Appendix A: Writing to Archives in Germany, France, and Poland
  • Appendix B: Conducting Census Research in Archives in Germany, France and Poland
  • Appendix C: Interesting Documents Relating to German Census Campaigns
  • Appendix D: The States of Germany in 1871
  • Bibliography
  • Index

German Census Records, 1816-1916: The When, Where, and How of a Valuable Genealogical Resource; by Roger P Minert, Ph.D., A.G.; 2016; 261 pp; 8.5×11; Softbound; ISBN: 9781628590777; Item #: FR0650

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Findmypast Publishes over 911,000 Royal Navy Pension Records Online for the First Time

The fallowing news release is from Find My Past

Today, 09 April 2016, over 911,000 records of British Royal Navy pensions have been published online for the first time at Findmypast.

The publication, released in association with The National Archives, consists of an assortment of documents kept by the Greenwich Hospital and the Royal Hospital Chelsea to record the details of Greenwich Pensioners.

The British Royal Navy & Royal Marines service and pension records span over 230 years of British naval history from to 1704 to 1934 and contain over 270,000 scanned colour images. The collection will allow family historians to uncover fascinating details of their ancestor’s career with the Royal Navy, such as their period of service, where they served, when they joined and if they were wounded in the line of duty.

Since 1804, The Royal Greenwich Hospital has paid small out-pensions to large numbers of deserving applicants who had served in either the Navy or Marines, as well as admitting a fixed number to live as in-pensioners of the hospital. This is the first time that records relating to these payments have been made available online, allowing more people than ever before to learn about the lives of their naval ancestors.

The collection includes:

  • Registers of Greenwich Hospital out-pensioners and candidates
  • Service records of both officers’ & ratings’ between 1802 and 1919
  • Indexes of Greenwich Hospital pensioners and out-pensioners
  • Royal Hospital Chelsea payment returns for England, Scotland, Wales and Jersey
  • Royal Hospital Chelsea admission books, registers and papers

To coincide with the upcoming centenary of the Battle of Jutland, Findmypast has also released over 40,000 records of Royal Navy & Royal Marines personnel who served at Jutland. The Battle, which took place off the coast of Denmark between the 31st May and 1st June 1916, was the largest naval engagement of the First World War and cost the lives of nearly 7,000 British sailors.

Paul Nixon, military expert at Findmypast, says:
“As an island nation we owe a huge debt of gratitude to the men and women who have served Great Britain at sea. These naval pension records, indexed and published online for the first time, shed new light on our naval ancestors and will open up fresh lines of enquiry for thousands of people. This release cements Findmypast’s reputation for having the most comprehensive online collection of British naval records.”

Bruno Pappalardo, Principal Maritime Records Specialist at The National Archives, said:
“The complexity, diversity and nature of eighteenth and nineteenth century Royal Navy pension records has previously made the searching of such documents speculative and difficult to undertake. The release of these key pension records will be an essential contribution to opening up these records for research purposes.”

About Findmypast
Findmypast (previously DC Thomson Family History) is a British-owned world leader in online family history. It has an unrivalled record of online innovation in the field and 18 million registered users across its family of online brands, which includes Lives of the First World War, The British Newspaper Archive and Genes Reunited, amongst others.

Its lead brand, also called Findmypast, is a searchable online archive of over two billion family history records, ranging from parish records and censuses to migration records, military collections, historical newspapers and lots more. For members around the world, the site is a crucial resource for building family trees and conducting detailed historical research.

In April 2003, Findmypast was the first online genealogy site to provide access to the complete birth, marriage, and death indexes for England & Wales, winning the Queen’s Award for Innovation. Since that time, the company has digitised records from across the globe, including major collections from Britain, Ireland, Australia, and the United States.

About The National Archives
The National Archives is a government department and an executive agency of the Ministry of Justice (MoJ). As the official archive of the UK government and England and Wales, we look after and make available to the public a collection of historical records dating back over 1,000 years, including records as diverse as Domesday Book and MI5 files.

Our 21st-century role is to collect and secure the future of the record, both digital and physical, to preserve it for generations to come, and to make it as accessible as possible. We do this by devising technological solutions to ensure the long-term survival of public records and working to widen access to our collection. The National Archives also advises on information management across government, publishes all UK legislation, manages Crown copyright and leads the archive sector. We work to promote and improve access to public sector information and its re-use.

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An Engineering Disaster on Edge of L.A. Left Nearly 500 Forgotten Deaths

The following excerpt is from


The remnants of the worst engineering disaster of 20th-century America sit about an hour’s drive from downtown Los Angeles…

Eighty-eight years ago, the St. Francis Dam burst in the middle of a March night, killing nearly 500 people. There are some images of the aftermath, but numbers tell the story better: 12.4 billion gallons of water rising to the furious height of 140 feet, surging 54 miles to the Pacific Ocean, an inland tsunami 2 miles wide leveling towns in its path. Some thought a saboteur had dynamited the dam. This would be easier to believe than the dam failing and people dying senselessly. But that was the case. And given the sorry state of American infrastructure, something similar could be the case again: the St. Francis Dam as portent, not aberration.

Read the full article.

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Lost Roanoke Colony’s Ft. Raleigh? New Find on Roanoke Island Creates Stir

The following excerpt is from


Scott Dawson, a native of Hatteras Island and now a resident of Colington, has shared the location of a discovery he made on National Park Service property with that agency, which has now secured the area and posted surveillance to insure that intruders don’t disturb the site.

Doug Stover, park historian of the Park Service, said that park officials think that the site may be the remains of Fort Blanchard, a Civil War fort.

But if proven correct in his beliefs, Dawson will be the envy of many archaeologists who have spent their careers in the search of the long-lost Ft. Raleigh, Ralph Lane’s 1585 fort on Roanoke Island.

Read the full article.

To learn more about the Lost Colony of Roanoke check out this Wikipedia page.

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Online database of Holocaust victims hits 1 million records

The following teaser is from an article posted on


The Nazis aimed to erase the Jewish people. Now, 70 years later, contributors around the globe are etching victims’ names back into memory through an online memorial that’s just hit 1 million records.

World Memory Project, a collaboration between the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum and genealogy website Ancestry, is a free online database that lists information about millions of victims and survivors of the Holocaust.

Launched in May 2011, the project hit one million records this month, a major milestone made possible through over 3,500 volunteers from 18 different countries. The contributors spend hundreds of hours indexing archived documents from the Holocaust Museum into an online software provided by Ancestry.

Read the full article.
Thanks to ResearchBuzz for the heads-up.

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Archbishop of Canterbury discovers he is illegitimate at age 60

The following excerpt is from


The Archbishop of Canterbury’s real father confessed the priest was his secret son shortly before he died.

It also emerged that Sir Anthony Montague Browne’s dying wish was to see Justin Welby one last time.

The most senior figure in the Anglican Communion discovered last month that the late Montague Browne was his biological father and not Gavin Welby.
Montague Browne, who was Winston Churchill’s private secretary between 1952 and 1965, had told his step-son Paddy Macklin the truth, after years of denying his paternity.

Macklin, 56, is the son of Lady Shelagh Montague Browne from a previous marriage and is a renowned round-the-world yachtsman.
He had growing suspicious that Sir Anthony was Welby’s father and the family used to joke about the striking resemblance between the two.

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