FreeCEN Makes 19th Century British Censuses Available Online Free of Charge

The following Press Release is from FreeCEN:

FreeCEN offers a free-to-search online database of the 19th century UK censuses. Transcribed entirely by volunteers, we have more than 32 million individuals available on our website that anyone can search without having to create an account. The new ‘FreeCEN2’ website (https://freecen2.freecen.org.uk) [launched] Monday, 31st July 2017 with all of the records that the [older] website [held], but with a fresh new look and feel in-line with Free UK Genealogy and FreeREG. We believe that family history records should be free to access for everyone; our new website will offer more features for researchers, and make it easier for them to find what they’re looking for. FreeCEN2 also brings with it a host of improvements for existing and future volunteers, such as a members sign-in area and brand new messaging system. FreeCEN, FreeREG and FreeBMD are projects by Free UK Genealogy, a registered charity that promotes free access to historical records. FreeREG underwent this process in 2015, and FreeBMD is due to begin its renewal later this year.

Pat Reynolds, Free UK Genealogy’s Executive Director said, “We are very proud of the progress that our volunteers have made in the 18 years the project has been running, and we look forward to a time when we have a complete database of all UK censuses. The launch of our new FreeCEN2 website marks the beginning of an exciting period of renewal for FreeCEN.”

Brenda Bowers, FreeCEN project leader went on, “The new website is a work-in-progress and we want genealogists and family history researchers to try it out and let us know what they think. If we know what works for them, what doesn’t, and what features they’d like to see, we can make FreeCEN2 the best resource for free census records. It could even encourage new volunteers to join us!”

To try out FreeCEN2, please visit https://freecen2.freecen.org.uk and share your feedback with us to help make it the best it can be.

We couldn’t do what we do without our volunteers, and we’re always looking for more. If you’d like to join the FreeCEN team, go to freecen2.freecen.org.uk/cms/opportunities-to-volunteer-with-freecen

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Free UK Genealogy is a non-profit organisation (a Charitable Incorporated Organisation registered in England and Wales, number 1167484) that provides free, online access to family history records. We work with a team of dedicated volunteers to create high quality transcriptions of public records from governmental sources, parish churches, and other trusted institutions. We believe that Open Data and Open Source are key to making and keeping public records accessible to all.

Our volunteers have made available:

  • 33,000,000 births, marriages and deaths in FreeBMD
  • 38,000,000 records from parish registers in FreeREG
  • 32,000,000 individuals from census data, from 1841 to 1891 in FreeCEN

We make the databases we create freely available for people to search in order to support their family history research. Unlike many sites, which are ‘pay-to-view’ after an initial search is carried out, our databases are completely free to search and view.

Thanks to Claire V. Brisson-Banks and ResearchBuzz for the heads-up.

Databases Posted at FamilySearch June 2 through August 10, 2017

The following databases were published or updated at FamilySearch between June 2 and August 10, 2017:

Title – Number of Indexed Records – Last Updated
BillionGraves Index – 21,969,173 – 02 Aug 2017
Find A Grave Index – 161,552,555 – 21 Jun 2017

Argentina, Buenos Aires, Catholic Church Records, 1635-1981 – 970,770 – 21 Jul 2017
Argentina, Entre Ríos, Catholic Church Records, 1764-1983 – 701,743 – 13 Jul 2017
Argentina, Mendoza, Catholic Church Records, 1665-1975 – 547,967 – 20 Jun 2017
Austria, Upper Austria, Linz, Death Certificates, 1818-1899 – 4,987 – 13 Jun 2017
Belgium, Limburg, Civil Registration, 1798-1906 – 65,837 – 19 Jun 2017
Belgium, Namur, Civil Registration, 1800-1912 – 162,851 – 09 Aug 2017
Bolivia Catholic Church Records, 1566-1996 – 744,404 – 23 Jun 2017
Brazil, Pernambuco, Civil Registration, 1804-2014 – 4,178,251 – 25 Jul 2017
Brazil, Piauí, Civil Registration, 1875-2013 – 1,604,454 – 10 Jul 2017
Brazil, São Paulo, Immigration Cards, 1902-1980 – 2,253,162 – 13 Jul 2017
Canada: British Columbia, Victoria Times Birth, Marriage and Death Notices, 1901-1939 – 57,993 – 10 Jul 2017
Chile, Cemetery Records, 1821-2015 – 520,958 – 08 Aug 2017
Chile Civil Registration, 1885-1903 – 3,076,508 – 06 Jul 2017
China, Imperial Examinations and Related Papers (Han Yu-shan Collection), 1646-1904 – 154 – 05 Jun 2017
Costa Rica, Civil Registration, 1823-1975 – 3,839,222 – 09 Jun 2017
Denmark Census, 1911 – 2,792,790 – 12 Jul 2017
Denmark Census, 1916 – 2,964,499 – 13 Jul 2017
Dominican Republic Civil Registration, 1801-2010 – 513,356 – 07 Aug 2017
Ecuador, Catholic Church Records, 1565-2011 – 1,514,690 – 18 Jul 2017
England, Cambridgeshire Bishop’s Transcripts, 1599-1860 – 52,632 – 23 Jun 2017
England, Staffordshire, Church Records, 1538-1944 – 4,852,180 – 09 Aug 2017
England and Wales Census, 1911 – 36,354,828 – 03 Aug 2017
France, Coutances et d’Avranche Diocese, Catholic Parish Records, 1533-1894 – 567,325 – 28 Jun 2017
Germany, Schleswig-Holstein, Kreis Steinburg, Civil Registration, 1874-1983 – 173,149 – 27 Jul 2017
Ireland Civil Registration, 1845-1913 – 389,073 – 23 Jun 2017
Italy, Asti, Civil Registration (State Archive), 1803-1814, 1911-1935 – 51,472 – 13 Jul 2017
Italy, Bergamo, Civil Registration (State Archive), 1866-1901 – 654,931 – 13 Jul 2017
Italy, Chieti, Civil Registration (State Archive), 1866-1930– Browse Images – 16 Jun 2017
Italy, Macerata, Civil Registration (State Archive), 1808-1814 – Browse Images – 23 Jun 2017
Italy, Modena, Civil Registration (State Archive), 1806-1942 – 317,276 – 16 Jun 2017
Lesotho, Evangelical Church Records, 1874-1983 – 10,255 – 27 Jul 2017
Liberia, Marriage Records, 1941-1974 – 35,699 – 10 Aug 2017
Netherlands, Archival Indexes, Miscellaneous Records – 17,511,123 – 01 Aug 2017
Nicaragua Civil Registration, 1809-2013 – 1,367,149 – 07 Jul 2017
Panama, Catholic Church Records, 1707-1973 – 226,937 – 20 Jun 2017
Paraguay, Catholic Church Records, 1754-2015 – 531,108 – 25 Jul 2017
Paraguay Miscellaneous Records, 1509-1977 – Browse Images – 11 Jul 2017
Peru, Amazonas, Civil Registration, 1939-1998 – 96,481 – 19 Jun 2017
Peru, Cajamarca, Civil Registration, 1938-1996 – 1,157 – 07 Jul 2017
Peru, Cusco, Civil Registration, 1889-1997 – 559,162 – 18 Jul 2017
Peru, Lambayeque, Civil Registration, 1873-1998 – 524,274 – 09 Jun 2017
Philippines Civil Registration (Local), 1888-1986 – 90,022 – 23 Jun 2017
Portugal, Coimbra, Civil Registration, 1893-1980 – 13,654 – 05 Jun 2017
Russia, Samara Church Books, 1779-1923 – 803,815 – 26 Jun 2017
Russia, Simbirsk Poll Tax Census (Revision Lists), 1782-1858 – Browse Images – 07 Jun 2017
Scotland Church Records and Kirk Session Records, 1658-1919 – 302,522 – 23 Jun 2017
South Africa, Dutch Reformed Church Records (Stellenbosch Archive), 1690-2011 – 20,413 – 01 Aug 2017
South Africa, Transvaal, Probate Records from the Master of the Supreme Court, 1869-1958 – 171,440 – 12 Jun 2017
Spain, Province of Asturias, Municipal Records, 1470-1897 – 86,369 – 09 Jun 2017
Spain, Province of Barcelona, Municipal Records, 1387-1986 – 910,059 – 09 Jun 2017
Sweden, Örebro Church Records, 1613-1918; index 1635-1860 – 231,883 – 25 Jul 2017
Sweden, Östergötland Church Records, 1555-1911; index 1616-1860 – 19,357 – 20 Jul 2017
Sweden, Stockholm City Archives, Index to Church Records, 1546-1927 – 278,704 – 15 Jun 2017

UNITED STATES DATABASES
California, San Diego Passenger Lists, 1904-1952 – 70,546 – 28 Jul 2017
California, San Francisco, Immigration Office Special Inquiry Records, 1910-1941 – 66,304 – 28 Jul 2017
Florida, Old Confederate Soldiers and Sailors Home records, 1888-1938 – 164 – 06 Jun 2017
Florida, Spanish Land Grants, 1763-1821 – 932 – 06 Jun 2017
Florida, World War I Service Cards, 1917-1919 – 42,412 – 09 Jun 2017
Hawaii Obituaries Index, ca. 1980-present – 93,702 – 23 Jun 2017
Idaho Divorce Index, 1947-1963 – 43,956 – 25 Jul 2017
Idaho, Southern Counties Obituaries, 1943-2013 – 96,609 – 01 Aug 2017
Illinois, Cook County Deaths, 1878-1994 – 6,560,088 – 13 Jul 2017
Iowa Mortality Schedules, 1850-1880 – 39,148 – 26 Jul 2017
Kansas County Birth Records, 1885-1911 – 21,152 – 01 Aug 2017
Kansas State Census, 1865 – Browse Images – 19 Jun 2017
Kansas State Census, 1875 – Browse Images – 19 Jun 2017
Kansas State Census, 1885 – Browse Images – 19 Jun 2017
Kansas State Census, 1895 – Browse Images – 19 Jun 2017
Kentucky, County Marriages, 1797-1954 – 1,317,764 – 07 Aug 2017
Louisiana Deaths, 1850-1875, 1894-1960 – 775,158 – 13 Jul 2017
Louisiana, Orleans Parish Vital Records, 1905-1913, 1955-1963 – 54,367 – 09 Jun 2017
Louisiana, Parish Marriages, 1837-1957 – 1,094,026 – 01 Aug 2017
Maine Vital Records, 1670-1921 – 2,048,825 – 19 Jul 2017
Michigan Obituaries, 1820-2006 – 715,183 – 05 Jun 2017
New Hampshire, United States Naturalization Records, 1906-1993 – Browse Images – 05 Jun 2017
New Jersey State Census, 1895 – 500,743 – 21 Jul 2017
New York, New York City Marriage Licenses Index, 1950-1995 – 3,124,588 – 19 Jun 2017
New York State Census, 1905 – 7,513,232 – 13 Jun 2017
Ohio, Crawford County Obituaries, 1860-2004 – 108,181 – 26 Jun 2017
Rhode Island Naturalization Records 1907-1991 – Browse Images – 05 Jun 2017
South Dakota, Department of Health, Index to Births 1843-1914 and Marriages 1950-2016 – 705,521 – 21 Jul 2017
Texas, Church Marriages, 1845-1957 – Browse Images – 18 Jul 2017
Texas, Eagle Pass Arrival Manifests and Indexes, 1905-1954 – 146,566 – 05 Jun 2017
Texas, Gonzales County, Death records, 1863-1970 – 15,028 – 12 Jul 2017
Utah Mormon Pioneer Overland Travel Database, 1847-1868 – 60,137 – 25 Jul 2017
Vermont Naturalization Records, 1908-1987 – Browse Images – 05 Jun 2017
Washington, County Marriages, 1855-2008 – 372,134 – 12 Jul 2017
Washington Death Index, 1965-2014 – 1,891,273 – 13 Jul 2017

United States, Freedmen’s Bureau, Records of Freedmen’s Complaints, 1865-1872 – 142,613 – 26 Jul 2017
United States Passport Applications, 1795-1925 – 1,445,863 – 13 Jun 2017
United States Rosters of Revolutionary War Soldiers and Sailors, 1775-1783 – Browse Images – 19 Jun 2017

Preserve the Pensions Announces Resumption of Document Conservation at the National Archives

This is great news! For reasons we won’t go into here, the conservation of documents, followed by digitization by Ancestry.com was halted over a year ago. It has been announced that work is now resuming. The following press release is from Tonia Kendrick, Marketing & Publicity Chair at the Federation of Genealogical Societies.

Preserve the Pensions Announces Resumption of Document Conservation at the National Archives – Digitization to follow.

Austin, Texas – The Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) is pleased to announce National Archives staff have recently resumed document conservation of the War of 1812 Pension files covering surnames M(Moore)-Q. Document conservation is the essential first step in digitizing these files. Our digitization partner, Ancestry.com, has scheduled image capture of these newly conserved documents to begin the second week of September 2017. As capture resumes, new images will be added to Fold3.com on a rolling basis. The Federation and the dedicated volunteers of the Preserve the Pensions project have worked tirelessly for well over a year to negotiate a resolution to the work stoppage. This portion of the project plan is expected to be completed by third quarter 2018.

The War of 1812 pensions are among the most frequently requested set of materials within the holdings of the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), yet had never been microfilmed or digitized. Through a fundraising effort unprecedented in the genealogical community, more than 4,000 individuals, 115 genealogical and lineage societies, and industry leaders such as FamilySearch helped FGS secure the funds, matched by Ancestry.com, to preserve and share this invaluable genealogical resource. The images already captured, as well as those soon to be, are hosted at Fold3.com for free, forever.

“We are grateful to our partners Ancestry.com and NARA for their support and willingness to continue working with us towards this successful outcome. We appreciate their recognition of the unique nature of this project and the community who worked so hard to fund it.” – Rorey Cathcart, FGS President

The Federation is committed to seeing the entire collection conserved, digitized and freely online at the earliest possible date. We will continue work with our partners to secure a timeline for the remaining portion of the War of 1812 Pension files.

About the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS)
The Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) was founded in 1976 and represents genealogical, historical, and lineage organizations throughout the United States. The Federation empowers the genealogical community through its annual conference, publications (including FGS FORUM) and projects. The Federation was the driving force behind the Civil War Soldiers and Sailors project alongside the National Parks Service and since 2010 has been actively involved in Preserve the Pensions, an effort to raise more than $3 million to digitize and make freely available the pension files from the War of 1812. To learn more visit http://www.fgs.org.

MyHeritage Acquires the Legacy Family Tree Software and Webinar Platform

MyHeritage has acquired Millenia Corporation. Based on my experience with both companies, I think this will be a good deal for the users of both companies.

The following news release is from my friend, Daniel Horowitz, at MyHeritage.com:

TEL AVIV, Israel & SURPRISE, Arizona, August 3, 2017 — MyHeritage, the leading global destination for family history and DNA testing, announced today its acquisition of Millennia Corporation, makers of the popular genealogy desktop software Legacy Family Tree and genealogy webinar platform, Legacy Family Tree Webinars. This is MyHeritage’s ninth acquisition to date.

With hundreds of thousands of devoted users since 1997, Legacy Family Tree consistently ranks among the top three most popular and highly rated genealogy software products in the industry. The Legacy Family Tree Webinar platform — which has amassed a large and dedicated fan base since 2010 — draws speakers who are leaders in their field and covers a wide variety of topics, including genealogical research methodology, DNA, and historical records, representing a full array of educational genealogy content.

MyHeritage, which has developed a world-class, global mobile and Web platform for family trees, historical records and DNA testing, used by more than 90 million users worldwide, will now offer its services to Legacy’s users.

Legacy Family Tree will retain its full staff and continue developing its software and webinar platform, backed by MyHeritage’s resources. Millennia Corporation and MyHeritage have started joint work on a new version of the Legacy Family Tree software — version 10 — which will include the optional capability to sync family trees to MyHeritage’s website and use the free MyHeritage mobile app to make remote updates to their family trees on the Legacy software. Legacy Family Tree version 9 has already integrated matching to MyHeritage’s 40 million family trees and to its historical records collection — which surpassed 8 billion records this week.

Legacy Family Tree Webinars will continue to feature diverse and informative content, and will be promoted to the millions of MyHeritage users, to increase the webinars’ audience. The webinar platform will also enjoy infrastructure upgrades to support increased concurrent viewership.

“We are very happy with the Legacy Family Tree acquisition as it gives us valuable assets that are highly complementary to our own, and a solid team.” said Gilad Japhet, Founder and CEO of MyHeritage. “We look forward to providing Legacy’s software and webinar platform with useful upgrades, and to welcoming Legacy’s huge user base of experienced genealogists to enhance their genealogical explorations through MyHeritage’s services.”

“The more I’ve learned about and experimented with MyHeritage, the more I have felt we need to partner together,” said Geoff Rasmussen, founder of Legacy Family Tree Webinars. “The technology behind their online trees and historical records is incredible — second to none. MyHeritage has positioned itself to become the leader of the future of the genealogy industry and we can be a part of it. It’s the perfect match: our software and webinars combined with their resources, technologies, and international reach will help both of us accomplish our mission — to help the world find their ancestors.”

“I’m excited for us to join forces with MyHeritage,” said Dave Berdan, President of Millennia Corporation. “MyHeritage clearly cares for genealogists and continues to invest in desktop genealogy software, in contrast to one of its major rivals that has done the opposite, shutting down its desktop genealogy software and then selling it off. As we’re passionate about genealogy, our team is happy to have found in MyHeritage kindred spirits and we’re excited about the value that we can create together to benefit millions of genealogists worldwide.”

For more information about this announcement and for answers to frequently asked questions, visit:
http://news.legacyfamilytree.com/legacy_news/2017/08/legacy-family-tree-has-a-new-home-with-myheritage.html

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.

Databases Posted at FamilySearch May 1 through June 1, 2017

The following databases were published or updated at FamilySearch between May 1 and June 1 2017:

Title – Number of Indexed Records – Last Updated

Argentina, Entre Ríos, Catholic Church Records, 1764-1983 – 601,470 – 30 May 2017
Canada, New Brunswick, Saint John, Burial Permits, 1889-1919 – 28,555 – 17 May 2017
Chile, Cemetery Records, 1821-2015 – 251,775 – 10 May 2017
Cook Islands, Civil Registration, 1846-1989 – Browse Images – 03 May 2017
Czech Republic, School Registers, 1799-1953 – Browse Images – 03 May 2017
Denmark, Copenhagen City, Civil Marriages, 1739-1964, Index 1877-1964 – 85,071 – 12 May 2017
El Salvador Civil Registration, 1704-1990 – 875,969 – 02 May 2017
France, Dordogne, Censuses, 1856 – 530,703 – 16 May 2017
Germany, Saxony-Anhalt, Halberstadt Kreisarchiv, Ahnenpäße (Ancestor Passports) – Browse Images – 18 May 2017
Italy, La Spezia, Catholic Church Records, 1838-1857 – Browse Images – 22 May 2017
Mexico, Tabasco, Catholic Church Records, 1803-1970 – 30,805 – 23 May 2017
Namibia, Dutch Reformed Church Records, 1956-1984 – 29,076 – 23 May 2017
Peru, Cusco, Civil Registration, 1889-1997 – 498,265 – 02 May 2017
Peru, Amazonas, Civil Registration, 1939-1998 – 68,565 – 17 May 2017
Peru, Lima, Civil Registration, 1874-1996 – 1,967,704 – 18 May 2017
Peru, Moquegua, Civil Registration, 1850-1996 – 1,554 – 18 May 2017
Russia, Simbirsk Poll Tax Census (Revision Lists), 1782-1858 – Browse Images – 17 May 2017
Spain, Province of Asturias, Municipal Records, 1470-1897 – 62,165 – 11 May 2017
Spain, Province of Teruel, Catholic Church Records, 1565-2013 – Browse Images – 01 May 2017
Switzerland, Fribourg, Census, 1880 – 10,443 – 18 May 2017

UNITED STATES DATABASES
Florida Marriages, 1830-1993 – 1,699,231 – 01 May 2017
Iowa, Poweshiek County Land Records, 1855-1934 – Browse Images – 08 May 2017
Kentucky, County Marriages, 1797-1954 – 1,317,764 – 19 May 2017
Kentucky Marriages, 1785-1979 – 1,493,817 – 19 May 2017
Louisiana, Parish Marriages, 1837-1957 – 1,093,880 – 01 Jun 2017
Maine Vital Records, 1670-1921 – 2,045,611 – 02 May 2017
Missouri, Reports of Separation Notices, 1941-1946 – 367,825 – 01 Jun 2017
New Hampshire, Civil War Service and Pension Records, 1861-1866 – 250,441 – 16 May 2017
New York Book Indexes to Passenger Lists, 1906-1942 – 13,611,543 – 09 May 2017
Utah, Birth Certificates, 1903-1914 – 99,172 – 17 May 2017
Utah, Weber County Marriages, 1887-1941 – 92,337 – 16 May 2017

MISC.
Family Group Records Collection, Archives Section, 1942-1969 – Browse Images – 16 May 2017

BillionGraves Index – 20,861,710 – 01 May 2017

99 Years of the Foreign Service Journal Now Available Online – 1919-2017

Do you have relatives or ancestors who were involved in the American Foreign Service? If so, you need to check out this new website. Search it for any name by clicking on the tiny “magnifier” in the upper right-hand corner.

Note that the AFSA website also has an “obituary” section that runs from 2003 through 2017.

The following is from the American Foreign Service Association website:

The fully digitized archive of The Foreign Service Journal is finally here! Witness nearly a century of diplomatic history, stories and discussion—as told by the people who were there and shaped it firsthand. Browse the archive to learn about American diplomacy and foreign policy while diving into the extraordinary experiences of the U.S. Foreign Service.

The archive is filled with adventure, thoughtful rumination and moments of historic import. Flee Manila amidst heavy bombing from Japanese warplanes during World War II and trek through muddy dikes alongside Vietnamese commandos. Monitor Soviet ships from the National Military Command Center during the Cuban Missile Crisis and experience the outpouring of support for the United States witnessed by our embassies across the world after 9/11.

Review the ongoing discourse on the diplomatic profession as the Foreign Service community reflects on everything from tradecraft to security, constructive dissent to the right way forward on reform. Discover the great foreign policy debates that transpired as the course of world history was decided time and time again.

What becomes clear throughout is the invaluable role the Journal has played in capturing the history and the story of the U.S. Foreign Service and American diplomacy. Now available to the public—students, academics, policymakers, the military—the FSJ archive can help raise awareness about the critical role of diplomacy and raise the profile of the Foreign Service.

View the FSJ Archive homepage to browse and search more than 900 issues of the Journal. Share the link with colleagues: www.afsa.org/fsj-archive. Visit the FSJ Special Collections page to view select archive articles, highlighted for their interesting content and relevance to current affairs.

Thanks to ResearchBuzz for the heads-up.

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.

New! Family Tree Lite – From FamilySearch

The following teaser is from a blog, written by Leslie Albrecht Huber, and posted May 12, 2017 at the FamilySearch blog website.

In recent years, FamilySearch has added a variety of tools that can both enrich your tree and make your research experience faster and more productive. You can attach photos, list sources—and attach or link to them—submit names directly to the temple, use record hints, search partner sites, and more. FamilySearch’s Family Tree mobile app carries these capabilities over to your phone or other mobile device. It’s truly amazing how much FamilySearch can do. But have you ever wished FamilySearch did less?

There are a number of reasons this might be the case. The first is limited available internet bandwidth. All the bells and whistles of FamilySearch.org run smoothly when bandwidth is plentiful. But in situations where it’s not, they can bog down the connection. A simpler site means a faster, less frustrating connection when bandwidth is limited such as in some countries or even just areas with less than stellar internet speed. Bandwidth can also be limited when too many devices are competing with one another. For mobile users watching their data, another benefit of a simpler site is that simplicity means less data used—which could lead to significant money saved.

These are some of the reasons that FamilySearch has released a new streamlined version of FamilySearch’s Family Tree, known appropriately as Family Tree Lite.

Read the full blog.

Philadelphia’s Eastern State Penitentiary Admissions Books (1830 and 1840s) Digitized, Transcribed & Posted

The following teaser is from a posting by Rebecca Onion at Slate.com:

The American Philosophical Society‘s library holds four fascinating admissions books offering details on prisoners held at Philadelphia’s Eastern State Penitentiary in the 1830s and 1840s. Three of those books seem to have been kept by Thomas Larcombe, a Baptist minister who was the first to hold the position of “moral instructor” at the prison.

It’s a little difficult to read the scanned versions of the books, but Scott Ziegler, of the American Philosophical Society, and Michelle Ziogas have transcribed the information within and made the data available through the University of Pennsylvania’s Magazine of Early American Datasets. Two admission books’ worth of Larcombe’s notes on Eastern State’s prisoners, one dated 1830–1839 and the other 1839–1843 appear here in .csv files

Read the full article.

View the Eastern State Penitentiary Scanned Admissions books by clicking here.

Read the Eastern State Penitentiary spreadsheets by clicking here.

Thanks to ResearchBuzz for the heads-up.

Genealogy Giants: Comparing the Four Major Websites

“Which genealogy website should I use?” It’s one of the most-asked questions in genealogy — and this quick reference guide answers it!

Use this jammed-packed cheat sheet to quickly and easily compare all of the most important features of the four biggest international genealogy websites: Ancestry.com, FamilySearch.org, Findmypast.com and MyHeritage.com. Then consult it every time your research budget, needs or goals change. Tables, bulleted lists and graphics make this guide as easy to use as it is informative.

Family Roots Publishing purchased a large quantity of these guides, and is making them available at 10% off thru the NGS Conference this week – plus a couple days. The sale runs through May 15. Click on this link to order.

This comprehensive quick reference guide explains:

  • How knowing about all four websites can improve your family history research
  • How the sites stack up when it comes to the numbers of historical records, names in trees, DNA profiles, site users, site languages and subscription costs
  • Unique strengths of each website and cautions for using each
  • What to keep in mind as you evaluate record content between sites
  • Geographic record strengths: A unique table has an at-a-glance comparison for 30+ countries
  • How to see what kinds of records are on each site without subscribing
  • How family trees are structured differently at these websites — and why it matters
  • Privacy, collaboration and security options at each site
  • How DNA testing features differ at the two websites that offer it
  • What you can do with free guest accounts at each website
  • Subscription and free access options

Click on the following link to order:
Genealogy Giants: Comparing the 4 Major Websites QuickGuide, by Sunny Morton; Editor: Lisa Louise Cooke; 8.5×11; 4 pp, 10 mil, tear resistant, water resistant synthetic – folded; April 27 2017; QuickGuide; Item #: Lu27

Sunny Morton is a genealogy writer whose work is read by thousands in magazines and online. As a Contributing Editor at Lisa Louise Cooke’s Genealogy Gems, she frequently posts on the news, but also loves to share quick research tips, reveal little-known resources or take genealogists for an exhilarating dive into deeper research topics and techniques. She’s also the author of My Life & Times: A Guided Journal for Collecting Your Stories.

1000+ Old Colonists of Australia Portraits Now Available Online

The State Library of South Australia have posted portraits of over 1000 “Old Colonists,” which were previously only seen at the State Library itself. Included are indexes and online catalog records. The portraits are of folks who arrived prior to 1841. The photographs have a fascinating story behind them.

According to the Library’s Facebook page,
“‘The Old Colonists Banquet Group’ of men was commissioned by businessman Emanuel Solomon to commemorate a free banquet he held at the Adelaide Town Hall on 28th December 1871 for fellow colonists ‘who date their arrival before 1841’.

“The companion mosaic of women was created partly as a consolation to women who applied for tickets only to be told that the banquet was for ‘the Male Sex’!

Take a look at the collections by clicking on the following links:
http://collections.slsa.sa.gov.au/resource/B+47769
http://collections.slsa.sa.gov.au/resource/B+19985

Thanks to Dick Eastman for the heads-up.

FindMyPast Adds 6.7 Million Exclusive Records to Their USA Marriage Collection

Findmypast continues to release millions of marriage records every quarter and aims to complete the entire digitization project by the end of 2017. The following is their latest news release:

5th May 2017: Leading family history website, Findmypast, has announced today the release of an additional 6.7 million United States Marriage records in partnership with Family Search International.

Covering 127 counties across 18 states, the new additions mark the latest step in Findmypast’s efforts to create the largest single online collection of U.S. marriage records in history. The collection was first launched in February 2016 and has received regular monthly updates ever since.

This is the first time that any of the records included in this update have been released online and all 6.7 million of them will only be available to search online at Findmypast. The new additions cover;

· Alabama
· Arkansas
· Connecticut
· Delaware
· Georgia
· Iowa
· Kentucky
· Maine
· New Hampshire
· New Jersey
· North Carolina
· Ohio
· Oregon
· Rhode Island
· Utah
· Vermont
· Washington
· West Virginia

Covering 360 years of marriages from 1650-2010, when complete this landmark collection will contain at least 100 million records and more than 450 million names from 2,800 counties across America. More than 60 per cent of which will have never before been published online. When complete, the collection will only be found in its entirety exclusively on Findmypast. The records include marriage date, the names of both bride and groom , birthplace, birth date, residence as well as fathers’ and mothers’ names.

The millions of new U.S. records will complement Findmypast’s massive collection of British and Irish data, allowing them to provide many more connections and a more comprehensive experience to family historians in the US and beyond. Customers with family trees on Findmypast will also benefit from leads connecting relatives on their trees with the marriage records, thus generating a whole new source of research.

For more information, visit: http://www.findmypast.com/marriages

55,000+ Romanian Medieval Documents Digitized

The following excerpt is from Romania-Insider.com:

Over 55,000 medieval documents from Romania have been digitized and compiled…

The database, which can be consulted at arhivamedievala.ro, is the result of a project implemented by the University of Bucharest, in a partnership with the Romanian National Archives, the Babeș-Bolyai University in Cluj-Napoca and the National Archives of Norway…

All the documents in the database have been scanned from the Romanian National Archives. Before this, some 1,000 manuscripts were restored.

Around 80% of the documents in the database are in Latin, 10% in Slavonic and Romanian, Digi24.ro reported. The other 10% is in languages such as German, Hungarian, Greek, Turkish or Cyrillic…

Read the full article.

Thanks to ResearchBuzz for the heads-up.

Linkpendium is now Mobile-Freindly

Linkpendium is one of my favorite sites. Linkpendium is a 10,000,000+ resource directory to everything on the Web about families worldwide and genealogically-relevant information about U.S. states and counties. They cover both free and subscription sites, with a strong emphasis upon free resources provided by libraries, other government agencies, genealogical and historical societies, and individuals. The following was posted on their Facebook page last week.

San Luis Obispo, March 20, 2017. Linkpendium is proud to announce our first-ever press release.

Er. That’s not what we meant to say.

Linkpendium is proud to announce that our we are now mobile-friendly. Nobody old enough to order a beer may have any hope of reading one of those silly smartphones, but now you can go to: http://www.Linkpendium.com/ and have all our pages display sensibly on a 2-inch by 4-inch screen. The main link collection, all 10,159,184 links to genealogical data, is fully accessible on mobile devices.

And so is our very popular Family Discoverer search engine — the one that lets you search 2,804,127 pages of *FREE* genealogical data, much of which you cannot find using Google even if you are a certifiable wizard at building long, complex, and inscrutable query strings.

You can try the search engine at: http://www.Linkpendium.com/family-discoverer/