New Records at FindMyPast This Last Week

Databases added at FindMyPast this last week:

WWI Draft Registration Cards
Over 5.1 million new records have been added to our collection of United States WWI draft registration cards. This final update completes this fascinating collection, which now totals more than 25 million records.

The draft was authorized for the purpose of raising a national army in light of the United States’ entry into World War I. When, on April 6, 1917, the United States officially declared war on Germany, the US Army was far too small to effectively fight an overseas war. In response, the Selective Service Act was passed enabling men to be selected, trained and drafted into military service, as necessary. Following the Act’s passage on May 18th 1917, more than 24 million Americans (nearly 98% of the male population under the age of 46) registered for the draft, meaning that this collection records nearly half the male population at that time.

Each result will provide you with a transcript and an image of the original draft registration card. Transcripts will reveal your ancestor’s birth date, place of birth, residence, registration year and citizenship country. Images will often provide additional details such as your ancestor’s home address, citizenship status, marital status, occupation, employer and place of employment, prior military service, race, and details relating to their next of kin. Each card was also signed by the individual, which provides you with a look at your ancestor’s own script and signature.

Additional Sets Added This Last Week

A total of 7.3 million records from the US, Canada and the UK have been released this last Findmypast Friday. Additional collections now available to search include;

New Brunswick, County Deed Registry Books Image Browse
This browse-only collection allows you to explore over 1,400 volumes of land records in their entirety. The material covers 1780 to 1993, contains over 792,000 records and covers all 15 counties within the province. The deed books cover the years 1780 to 1930 while the Indexes run from 1780 to 1993.

Illinois, Northern District, Naturalization Index
Illinois, Northern District, Naturalization Index contains over 550,000 records. This index of naturalization cards from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois covers petitions made by residents of northern Illinois, northwest Indiana, southern and eastern Wisconsin, and eastern Iowa. The records have the highest concentration from the mid-1800s to the mid-1900s, with a few outliers. Each result will provide you with a transcript and an image of the original record. Transcripts will generally reveal the date of your ancestor’s naturalization, their country of birth, place of birth and language. Images may provide further information such as the names and addresses of witnesses, the name and place of the naturalization court, their address, and their date and port of arrival in the United States.

Royal Canadian Mounted Police obituary card index and notices 1876-2007 Browse
Find out if your ancestor died or was killed while serving with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police with over 9,000 browsable obituary cards. The collection comprises obituaries and death notices of RCMP officers who died in service and that were printed in Royal Canadian Mounted Police publications, such as the Scarlet and Gold Magazine, as well as an index of obituaries. The amount of information listed will vary depending on the source material. Most records will reveal when your ancestor died, their rank and regimental number at the very least. A number or entries also include photographs of the deceased officer.

Scotland, Post Office Directories Image Browse
More than 180,000 additional records have been added to our collection of browsable Scottish Post Office Directories. These fascinating records provide brief descriptions of local areas, lists of notable people, of local business owners and are an excellent source for both family and local historians.

1939 Register – empty addresses
Over 667,000 additional 1939 Register records are now available to search. These new records relate to vacant addresses recorded in the register.

TheGenealogist Launches the First World War Issues of The Sphere Newspaper

The following is from Nick Thorne at TheGenealogist:

TheGenealogist has expanded its Newspaper and Magazine collection with the release of The Sphere that cover August 1914 to June 1919.

Using the Historical newspapers and magazines resource on TheGenealogist enables researchers to follow current affairs that may have affected or concerned our ancestors at the time. Because the articles were written as events were occurring, they provide contemporary accounts of the world that our ancestors lived in and can furnish us with great insights into opinions of the time. In the case of the First World War years, covered by this release of The Sphere, we can gain information about individuals or read about situations that are similar to ones that our ancestors may have found themselves in.

The Sphere was an illustrated paper founded by Clement Shorter (1857-1926) who was also responsible for establishing the Tatler and it covered general news stories from the UK and around the world.

War Memorials collection
Also being released at this time by TheGenealogist are another 116 War Memorials containing 10,795 names. Included in this batch are a number of Boer War memorials as well as those for the First World War. With this addition the total figure for memorials on TheGenealogist has now reached 1,540 with 363,838 names.

To search these and many other records on TheGenealogist, go to: www.thegenealogist.co.uk

The Sphere, providing insights into your ancestor’s lives.

Nick Thorne uses the Newspaper and Magazines collection to better understand conditions in World War I

The Sphere December 12, 1914

I have been looking a little closer into the war exploits of my step-grandfather. I knew that he had joined the Royal Engineers Special Reserve Motor Cyclist Division as a despatch rider but, like many of his generation that fought in the First World War, he didn’t talk much about his experiences. What I did know was that he had found it ‘quite exciting’ to ride his despatches from headquarters to the front and back on a motorbike. He never expanded on this and certainly didn’t tell us stories about his escapades, nor what it was like to be a soldier on two wheels.

With the recent release of copies of The Sphere, on TheGenealogist, I was thus fascinated to come across the December 12, 1914 edition of the publication. Here was an article about motorcycle despatch riders from the early part of the war. This day’s publication featured a double page evocative image of a motor-cycle despatch rider on his machine fleeing with the enemy on his tail. As I knew that my step-grandfather was in his late twenties at the time and a keen motorcycle rider I could imagine him reading pieces such as this and wanting to join up to the R.E. Motor Cyclists to ‘do his bit’.

I know that Grandpa also served in the western theatre of war and so this image and the report that followed, resonated with me. I could now imagine him in similar situations as had been described and pictured in the newspaper. In this particular article from the newly released records, the rider telling his story suffers a whole lot of problems: ‘On returning I take the wrong road and my machine gives trouble, and whilst repairing same I suddenly find myself surrounded by Uhlans.’ This narrator is captured, has his hands bound behind his back and he feigns illness. When his guard goes to fetch a doctor the British Tommy escapes by rolling into a ditch. This episode makes me realise that when my step-grandfather said it was ‘quite exciting’ this was probably a bit of an understatement. Their duties were certainly not a simple ride in the countryside.

The British Army in World War I would often used Douglas or Triumph Motorcycles for despatch riding duties which only had between 2 and 5 hp engines. Some riders, however, brought their own machines along when they joined up. These motorbikes would have to be inspected by the military to make sure that they were suitable for the purpose; but in the early days, when many of the men were volunteers, this would have meant that this section of the Royal Engineers Signals would have been up and running quickly. In my step-grandfather’s case, however, looking at his attestation papers I can see that this part had been scored through – indicating that he would have had to be issued with an army bike.

Later in the First World War Grandpa was wounded and by reading other articles, such as that published on the 9th January 1915 about the RAMC work at the front, I got an understanding for how injured men were transferred in motorised omnibuses and ambulances that were also subject to breakdowns of their own.

Resources such as The Sphere, The War Illustrated, The Great War, The Illustrated London News, plus the other historical newspapers and magazines already found on TheGenealogist are great for building a picture of situations that our ancestors may have found themselves in. In some cases we may be lucky enough to find an ancestor actually named in a report – but even when that doesn’t happen we can find write-ups that provide us with an understanding of the wider conditions in which our ancestors worked, played or went to war in.

Another use that we can make of this resource is where we have an ancestor who was unfortunate enough to have lost their lives, while serving as an officer in the First World War. In many editions of The Sphere Rolls of Honour were published. In these we are able to find a picture along with a few lines recording their loss.The Newspaper and Magazine collection is available to all Diamond subscribers of TheGenealogist.

Georgia Archives Posts the Georgia Confederate Muster Rolls

The Georgia Archives has posted the company muster rolls for the Georgia Confederate military. The collection was launched in March of 2017. The following is from the Georgia Archives website:

The majority of the company muster rolls in this series are from military organizations created by the State of Georgia during the Civil War for service within the state. These military organizations include the Georgia Army (1861), the Georgia State Guards (August 1863-February 1864), and the Georgia State Line (1862-1865). The Georgia Militia is referred to as Georgia State Troops. Some units were later turned over to Confederate service. There are also nearly 250 muster rolls from Georgia Volunteer Infantry.

These records were taken from Record Groups 22-1-63, Defense Dept., Adjutant General, Confederate Muster Rolls.

What information can I find?

Each record of the muster roll includes:

  • regiment or battalion
  • company designation
  • unit nickname
  • service branch
  • commanding officer
  • beginning date of muster
  • ending date of muster

Each muster roll also includes:

  • Name and rank of each member of the unit. Soldiers are usually listed in rough alphabetical order after officers.

The muster roll may also include for each soldier:

  • Age
  • Date, place, by whom enlisted, and period of enlistment
  • Bounty paid for enlistment (if enrollment muster)
  • Date last paid
  • Remarks
  • Amount paid
  • Clothing paid
  • Location of muster

Note about indexing and digital collections: For the unit you wish to search, you can type in a portion of the name or number of the unit, its nickname, or the name of its commanding officer and click on the Search button.

This is the complete collection in Record Group 22-1-63. There are two copies of most muster rolls and both copies have been included in this collection. Unfortunately some muster rolls are almost illegible due to the type of ink used.

Learn more, and find your ancestor at: http://vault.georgiaarchives.org/cdm/landingpage/collection/cmr

Many thanks to ResearchBuzz for the heads-up.

WWII Japanese-American Internment Camp Newspapers Digitized & Posted Online

The Library of Congress has digitized & posted online a large collection of WWII Japanese-American Relocation Camp Newspapers. The following is from their website:

“Produced by the Japanese-Americans interned at assembly centers and relocation centers around the country during World War II, these newspapers provide a unique look into the daily lives of the people who were held in these camps. They include articles written in English and Japanese, typed, handwritten and drawn. They advertise community events, provide logistical information about the camps and relocation, report on news from the community, and include editorials.

“After the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, fears ran high among the American people. President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066 on February 19, 1942, allowing for the exclusion of persons from designated areas for security purposes. The order did not designate any specific group for exclusion, but in practice it was primarily used against people of Japanese ancestry, both citizens and legal residents. There was no mass incarceration of American citizens or residents from any other group. A 1982 Congressional commission later noted in their report, Personal Justice Denied, that “the broad historical causes which shaped these decisions were race prejudice, war hysteria and a failure of political leadership.”[1]

“Nearly 120,000 American citizens and residents of Japanese descent living along the West Coast were removed from their homes, bringing only what they could carry. They were forced to go to various assembly centers and relocation centers located throughout the Western United States. These camps, run by the Army and the War Relocation Authority, were created with temporary structures and barracks, surrounded by barbed wire. The living conditions were deplorable with large families housed in small rooms or even converted stables, and barracks that were not insulated against harsh winters or high heat. The rudimentary living conditions and prison-like environment, however, did not prohibit the people in these camps from forming their own communities and culture.”

Check out the online collection.

Thanks to ResearchBuzz for the heads-up.

California Goes to War: World War I and the Golden State – An Online California State Archives Exhibit

The following teaser is from the sierrasuntimes website.

April 30, 2017 – SACRAMENTO – April marks 100 years since the United States entered World War I, and the California State Archives has released its latest digital exhibit, “California Goes to War: World War I and the Golden State”…

This exhibit presents an overview of the U.S. entry into World War I, the actions taken by California to prepare for war, and instances of support and opposition to the conflict. The actual war in Europe is then viewed through the experiences of a young Californian, Stanley Cundiff, who served in the 322 Field Signal Battalion of the American Expeditionary Forces and the Army of Occupation. The exhibit follows Cundiff from enlistment, to the theater of war in France, occupation in Germany, and finally, back home to the United States…

Click here to view the “California Goes to War” exhibit.

Read the full article.

The online exhibit is courtesy of the California State Archives’ exhibits, available through Google Cultural Institute.

Is-sur-Tille, France Commemorates the Construction of the American Camp Williams

Is-sur-Tille, France is about to commemorate the construction of the American Camp Williams that was begun 100 years ago. A celebration will be held on 24 September 2017, 100 years after the arrival of American soldiers to Is-sur-Tille, in the great war (WWI). Various events and exhibitions will take place.

Descendants of those that helped to build the camp, worked there, were assigned, or got married there are invited to attend.

See http://www.alenjes.com/camp-american, a site created by my friend, Jeff Bockman.

A list of the American soldiers that married French girls in Is-sur-Tille and the surrounding towns during 1918-1919 has been created. A more detailed list will be included in a publication being created for the 100th anniversary.

Arkansas SAR to Honor Revolutionary War Soldier, Asher Bagley Sr., April 8 2017

The following excerpt is from an article posted at arkansasonline.com

Members of two chapters of the Arkansas Society Sons of the American Revolution will mark the grave of Revolutionary War soldier Asher Bagley Sr. on April 8 at the Old Union Cemetery in Saline County. Preparing for the memorial event are, from left, David James Hoss Sr. of Rose Bud, Bagley’s third great-grandson, past state SAR president and past president of the Casimir Pulaski Chapter, SAR; Larry Hartzinger of Hot Springs Village, treasurer, DeSoto Trace SAR Chapter; Charles McLemore of Joplin in Montgomery County, president, DeSoto Trace SAR Chapter; and Jimmie Weber of Diamondhead, secretary, DeSoto Trace SAR Chapter. Photo by: Matt Johnson.

Asher Bagley Sr. served in the American Revolution as a private in the first New Jersey Regiment. Following the war, he settled in Saline County in about 1828 near the community known as Bland. He is buried in the Old Union Cemetery in that community.

His third great-grandson, David James Hoss Sr. of Rose Bud in White County, and other members of the Arkansas Society Sons of the American Revolution will remember Bagley in a grave-marking ceremony at 11 a.m. April 8 at the Old Union Cemetery.

Descendants of Bagley and members of the public are invited to attend the event, which is co-sponsored by the Casimir Pulaski and DeSoto Trace chapters of the Arkansas Society SAR.

Read the full article.

Genealogical Resources of the Civil War Era – Second Edition

Following eight years of sales, Genealogical Resources of the Civil War Era – Online and Published Military or Civilian Name Lists, 1861-1869 & Post-Civil War Veteran Lists has been updated and revised in a new Second Edition. Written by William Dollarhide, and initially published in 2009, this book has consistently been a best seller for Family Roots Publishing. This new edition was much needed and after months of work, Bill got the book revised and it’s now available.

This new Second Edition contains many updates. Since the first edition in 2009, over 200 of the 265 Internet addresses alone within the volume changed! Virtually every state section of the book had to be updated and revised. Another major change of many pages within the book dealt with the Periodical Source Index (PERSI), which is now found exclusively at FindMyPast.org.

Click here to purchase the Printed Book.

Click here to purchase the PDF eBook, with an immediate download.

Most genealogical records during the decade of the Civil War are related to the soldiers and regiments of the Union and Confederate military. However, there are numerous records relating to the entire population as well. This new volume by William Dollarhide identifies the places to look and documents to be found for ancestors during the decade, 1861-1869, as well as post-war veterans. The book is laid out first by nation-wide name lists and then by state listings in alphabetical order.

The following broad categories are identified within this book:

National Resources:

  • Civil War Soldiers & Sailors System
  • The American Civil War Research Database
  • Official Records of the War of the Rebellion
  • General and Organizational Indexes to Pension Files, 1861-1934
  • 1883 List of U.S. Pensioners on the Roll
  • 1890 Federal Census of Union Veterans
  • Roll of Honor & Veteran Burials
  • 1865-1867 Confederate Amnesty Papers
  • Consolidated Lists of Confederate Soldiers & United Confederate Veterans Association
  • Index to Compiled Service Records

Statewide Resources:

  • Compiled Service Records (by state)
  • Index to Compiled Service Records (by state)
  • 1861-1869 State Censuses
  • 1861-1869 Statewide Name Lists
  • 1862-1869 Internal Revenue Assessment Lists
  • Statewide Militia Lists
  • Confederate Pension Applications
  • Pensioner Name Lists and censuses of Confederate Veterans
  • Indexes to Statewide Records
  • Lists of Veteran Burials; State Adjutant General Reports & state-sponsored histories
  • The Best Civil War Resource Centers for Local & County Research

Online Resources

Libraries & Archives

Order this new volume by clicking on the illustration or the link below.
Genealogical Resources of the Civil War Era – Online and Published Military or Civilian Name Lists, 1861-1869 & Post-Civil War Veteran Lists – Second Edition; by William Dollarhide; 2017; Soft Cover, Perfect Bound; 8.5×11; 203 pp; ISBN#: 9781933194455; Item # FR0113

The Japanese WWII Internment – 75 years ago today

Camp Harmony, under construction in 1942, at the Puyallup Washington State Fairgrounds. 7,390 people of Japanese decent were interned here. Photo courtesy of the Tacoma Public Library.

As I’ve written a number of times on this blog, our family had friends of Japanese ancestry who lived here in the Tacoma/Puyallup/Orting area of Western Washington. They were interned in “camps” during the Second World War. The presidential order for that round-up of American citizens took place exactly 75 years ago today. One of those camps – although a temporary collection point – was Camp Harmony, right here at the (Puyallup) Washington State Fairgrounds. See the photo. We attended many concerts in that grandstand behind the temporary housing – the Beach Boys, John Denver, and Ricky Nelson, just to name a few.

This was a shameful period in American history. Our small town of Orting was hit hard by it – the uncalled-for racism and the unrooting of our citizens is still felt today – all these years later. Our community has healed, but it took a very long time.

The following is from the February 19, 2017 Los Angeles Times. It includes comments made by the Press at that time. Oh, my…:
Seventy-five years ago today, President Franklin Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066, declaring parts of the United States to be military zones from which particular groups of people could be “excluded” for security reasons. The order set the stage for the relocation and internment, beginning the following month, of 120,000 people of Japanese ancestry, most of whom were American citizens living on the West Coast.

To our lasting shame, here’s what The Times editorial page had to say about the matter at the time:
“This is war. And in wartime, the preservation of the nation becomes the first duty. Everything must be subordinated to that. Every necessary precaution must be taken to insure reasonable safety from spies and saboteurs so that our armed forces can function adequately and our industrial machinery may continue to work free from peril.”

And this:
“The time has come to realize that the rigors of war demand proper detention of Japanese and their immediate removal from the most acute danger spots. It is not a pleasant task. But it must be done and done now. There is no safe alternative.”

And this, a year or so later, when some people were calling for the release of those who had been interned:

“As a race, the Japanese have made for themselves a record for conscienceless treachery unsurpassed in history. Whatever small theoretical advantages there might be in releasing those under restraint in this country would be enormously outweighed by the risks involved.”

Read the full article.

9,686 Nazi SS Commanders & Auschwitz Guards Names & Photos Posted Online

The Polish Institute of National Remembrance (INR) has posted the names of nearly 10,000 Nazi SS commanders and guards who helped in the extermination of more than a million Jews at Auschwitz. It’s been claimed that many of the guards were Poles – and the INR set about disproving this theory.

Upon seeing the notice of the website, I immediately checked to see if any Meitzlers or Damms were listed, and was relieved to find none. Many of my German cousins fought in both the first and second World Wars.

The following teaser is from an article posted January 31, 2017 at the DailyMail.com website.

Faces of Nazi guards who helped oversee the death of more than a million Jews at Auschwitz revealed as Poland publishes details of 10,000 of Adolf’s men

Poland’s Institute of National Remembrance has published details of 9,686 guards who worked at Auschwitz

Nearly all of them are German and the INR is seeking to dispel claims that Auschwitz was staffed by Poles

Auschwitz-Birkenau held Polish prisoners from 1940 but 1.1 million Jews died there between 1942 and 1945

The names of almost 10,000 Nazi SS commanders and guards who helped in the extermination of more than a million Jews at Auschwitz have been posted online for the first time. The huge searchable database, which includes hundreds of photographs, has been uploaded by Poland’s Institute of National Remembrance (INR) in an attempt to dispel false claims that many of the guards were Polish. The list of 9,686 names are predominantly German and their pre-war occupations are listed as farmers, butchers, teachers, cobblers and all manner of jobs.

Read the full article.

Go directly to the Polish Institute of National Remembrance’ Auschwitz Guard database & website.

Genealogical Resources of the Civil War Era — by Bill Dollarhide; 35% Off Thru December 17

For Day 8 of the 2016 FRPC 12 Days of Christmas sale, FRPC is offering Bill Dollarhide’s Genealogical Resources of the Civil War Era at 35% off, making it just $21.42. Click on this link to order.

civil-war-era-350pw-75resMost genealogical records during the decade of the Civil War are related to the soldiers and regiments of the Union and Confederate military. However, there are numerous records relating to the entire population as well. Genealogical Resources of the Civil War Era, by William Dollarhide, identifies the places to look and documents to be found for ancestors during the decade, 1861-1869, as well as post-war veterans. The book is laid out first by nation-wide name lists and then by state listings in alphabetical order.

The following broad categories, as well as others, are identified within this book:

National Resources:

  • Civil War Soldiers & Sailors System
  • The American Civil War Research Database
  • Official Records of the War of the Rebellion
  • General and Organizational Indexes to Pension Files, 1861-1934
  • 1883 List of U.S. Pensioners on the Roll
  • 1890 Federal Census of Union Veterans
  • Roll of Honor & Veteran Burials
  • 1865-1867 Confederate Amnesty Papers
  • Consolidated Lists of Confederate Soldiers & United Confederate Veterans Association
  • Index to Compiled Service Records

Statewide Resources:

  • Compiled Service Records (by state)
  • Index to Compiled Service Records (by state)
  • 1861-1869 State Censuses
  • 1861-1869 Statewide Name Lists
  • 1862-1869 Internal Revenue Assessment Lists
  • Statewide Militia Lists
  • Confederate Pension Applications
  • Pensioner Name Lists and censuses of Confederate Veterans
  • Indexes to Statewide Records
  • Lists of Veteran Burials; State Adjutant General Reports & state-sponsored histories

The Best Civil War Resource Centers for Local & County Research

    • Online Resources
    • Libraries & Archives

Genealogical Resources of the Civil War Era – Online and Published Military or Civilian Name Lists, 1861-1869 & Post-Civil War Veteran Lists; by William Dollarhide; 2009; Soft Cover, Perfect Bound; 8.5×11; 203 pp., Reg. $32.95 – 35% Off Through December 17, 2016 – just $21.42 (plus $5.50 p&h).

World War I Service Cards for N.C. Vets Released to the Public on FamilySearch

The following excerpt is from the November 12, 2016 edition of pilotonline.com:

wwi-cornett-card-from-the-nc-archives_300pw

BARCO, N.C. – Capt. Basil Sherwood Snowden of Currituck County joined the Army on Sept. 2, 1917, as part of the 318th Engineers.

He died in a motorcycle accident in Gevrolles, France, in December the following year at 30 years old. He had been promoted to captain just two months earlier.

That brief but poignant information comes from a small document filled in with a typewriter and some scribbling almost 100 years ago.

World War I service cards from the State Archives of North Carolina are now available online at FamilySearch.org, according to a news release from the agency. The database of about 80,000 North Carolinians who served in the war allows searches by name, birthplace and life events.

Read the full article.

Check out the database at FamilySearch.org.

Findmypast Publishes Over 2 Million British Military Records

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The following news release was written by FindMyPast:

· New collection of over 1.6 million gallantry medal records, over 171,000 Military Medal records and 551,000 Royal Navy Service records released online

· Records span 140 years of British military history and cover both world wars, the Napoleonic wars, Indian Mutiny, Crimea, Boer Wars and many more conflicts.

· Over 1.5 million new Military newspaper articles and the Lower Canada Census 1825 also available to search.

Nov. 11, 2016: Over 2 million records of British soldiers and sailors spanning more than 140 years of conflict have been published online at Findmypast.

The publication, released to coincide with Remembrance Day 2016, consists of Campaign, Gallantry & Long Service Medals & Awards, Royal Naval Reserve records, ships musters and Royal Navy & Marines service and pension records.

The majority of the new additions come from The National Archive’s Admiralty and War Office series (ADM & WO) and consist of both fully searchable transcripts and scanned colour images of original documents, including:

Britain, Campaign, Gallantry & Long Service Medals & Awards
Findmypast has released a new collection of more than 1.6 million records of British Army, Royal Marines, Royal Navy, and Merchant Navy personnel who were recognised for their service, courage, and accomplishments in times of war and conflict. The awards include, in part, Military Medals, Distinguished Conduct Medals, Waterloo Medals, Merchant Navy Medals, and the Victoria Cross Award, the premier award for gallantry.

The new Britain, Campaign, Gallantry & Long Service Medals & Awards collection was created by merging 171,000 new Military Medal 1914-1920 records with Findmypast’s existing medal collections to form a single, comprehensive search experience. The records list the details of men and women who showed exceptional courage and fortitude in the face of danger and contains records from both world wars as well as the Peninsular War, Indian Mutiny, Waterloo, and many more conflicts.

British Royal Navy, Ships’ Musters
This collection of over 280,000 muster rolls is an excellent resource for genealogists looking to find seafaring ancestors in the Royal Navy before service records began in 1853. Covering the years 1739 to 1861, the muster roll books recorded the names and birth details of every person present on board a ship and were kept on an 8-week basis for accounting and administrative reasons.

British Royal Naval Reserve 1899-1930
British Royal Naval Reserve 1899-1930 consists of over 81,000 service cards of officers and ratings who served with the RNR. The records list the names, ranks and dates of service of RNR personnel as well as details of awards, promotions and notes on their character and behaviour during combat.

The RNR is an amalgamation of the Royal Naval Reserve, created in 1859, and the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve, created in 1903. The two forces were merged in 1958. At the beginning of the First World War, the RNR had 30,000 officers and men. Sailors within the RNR served at the Battle of Coronel, the Battle of Jutland, and in Gallipoli. Many others boarded trawlers searching for mines.

British Royal Navy & Royal Marines Service and Pension Records, 1704-1919
Over 185,000 records have just been released in the second phase of Findmypast’s Royal Navy & Royal Marines Service and Pension Records, 1704-1919 collection. The collection consists of an assortment of documents kept by the Greenwich Hospital and the Royal Hospital Chelsea to record the details of Greenwich Pensioners and spans over 230 years of British naval history from to 1704 to 1934.

The records 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.

Paul Nixon, military expert at Findmypast, says: Findmypast has consolidated all its medal collections under a single search AND released a new collection: Military Medal awards 1914-1920, the most comprehensively indexed version of this Military Medal available online. Family historians can now access all our medal records through one search to easily uncover the stories of those ancestors who sacrificed so much.

As an island nation we owe a huge debt of gratitude to the men and women who have served Great Britain at sea. Our new naval records will open up fresh lines of enquiry for thousands of people and cement Findmypast’s reputation for having the most comprehensive online collection of British naval records.”

Other new additions available to search as of Friday, November 11, 2016:

Military Newspapers
Over 1.5 million new articles have been added to military publications available in our collection of historic British Newspapers. One new title has been added, The Naval & Military Gazette and Weekly Chronicle of the United Service, and additional articles have been added to the Army and Navy Gazette.

Lower Canada Census 1825
The Lower Canada Census 1825 contains over 74,000 records covering modern day Labrador and southern Quebec. Each search result will provide you will an image of the original document and a transcript revealing the language your ancestor spoke, where they lived and with how many people they lived.

Honoring WWII Veterans

The following teaser is from a story posted Nov 11, 2106 at the New York Times website.

veteran-memorial_300pw

As nations honored their war veterans on Friday — Armistice Day and Veterans Day — a 19-year-old in California is trying to preserve as many voices of World War II veterans in the United States as he can.

Many of the veterans are in their twilight years, with ages in the late 80s and the 90s. The teenager, Rishi Sharma, has started a nonprofit organization, Heroes of the Second World War, to record video interviews with them for posterity.

Of the 16 million Americans who served in World War II, about 620,000 are still alive, and 372 die each day, according to the National World War II Museum.

Read the full article.

Thanks to ResearchBuzz for the heads-up.

Discover Your British Family Heroes Over the Veteran’s Day Weekend, with Free Access to 70 Million Military Records, FREE at FindMyPast.com

The following is from FindMyPast:

veterans-day-2107_300pw

This Veteran’s Day, Findmypast wants to give everyone the chance to uncover the heroes in their family tree.

And so from November 10th to the 13th, you can explore Findmypast’s entire collection of over 70 million military records covering some of modern history’s most significant conflicts free of charge.

www.findmypast.com/military-records

The free access starts on 10th November at 9am BST and expires on 13th November 2016 at 11.59pm BST.