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

The fallowing news release is from Find My Past
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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. www.nationalarchives.gov.uk www.legislation.gov.uk

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

The following excerpt is from newsweek.com

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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.

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

The following excerpt is from m.obsentinel.com

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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.

Online database of Holocaust victims hits 1 million records

The following teaser is from an article posted on usatoday.com

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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.

Archbishop of Canterbury discovers he is illegitimate at age 60

The following excerpt is from dailymail.co.uk

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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.

Read the full article.

New FamilySearch Database Collections Update as of March 28, 2016

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Explore the new record collections for Denmark Deeds and Mortgages 1572-1928, Czech Republic School Registers 1799-1953, United States War of 1812 Index to Service Records 1812-1815, and more than 7 million additions to the Find A Grave Index. Search these and more by following the links below.

COLLECTION – INDEXED RECORDS – DIGITAL RECORDS – COMMENTS

Belgium Antwerp Civil Registration 1588-1913 – 5,142 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Belgium Brabant Civil Registration 1582-1914 – 28,028 – 2,055 – Added indexed records and images to an existing collection
Belgium East Flanders Civil Registration 1541-1914 – 41,927 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Belgium Hainaut Civil Registration 1600-1913 – 4,729 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Belgium Liège Civil Registration 1621-1914 – 5,655 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Belgium West Flanders Civil Registration 1582-1910 – 43,815 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Czech Republic School Registers 1799-1953 – 0 – 1,158,164 – Added images to an existing collection
Denmark Deeds and Mortgages 1572-1928 – 0 – 2,993,164 – Added images to an existing collection
Find A Grave Index – 7,586,038 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Japan Genealogies 850-2012 – 0 – 59,303 – Added images to an existing collection
Japan Village Records 709-1982 – 0 – 223,187 – Added images to an existing collection

United States Databases

South Carolina Georgetown Passenger Lists 1904-1942 – 1,302 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
Texas and Arizona Arrivals 1903-1910 – 59,299 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
United States Passport Applications 1795-1925 -38,025 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection
United States War of 1812 Index to Service Records 1812-1815 – 1,130,851 – 0 – Added indexed records to an existing collection

The Canadian National Digital Heritage Index (CNDHI) is Now Live

The following teaser is from an article posted on CRKN.ca
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CRKN is pleased to announce that CNDHI (affectionately pronounced “candy”) is now live at http://cndhi-ipnpc.ca. CNDHI is funded in part by Library and Archives Canada as part of the Documentary Heritage Community Program.

Libraries, archives and other memory institutions across Canada take the preservation of our national digital heritage very seriously with the goal of preserving both hard-copy and digital materials for present and future generations. CNDHI complements these activities by providing a single point of reference for every digitized collection in Canada that includes relevant metadata and information needed to access the various collections, all with the goal of increasing awareness of and access to these collections.

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

American Ancestors by NEHGS Announces an Unprecedented, Historic Event for Genealogists: A BILLION Records FREE!

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April 6, 2016—Boston, Massachusetts— America’s oldest and largest genealogical society announces a historic event for family historians around the world. From April 6 to April 13, American Ancestors by New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) is offering FREE access to all of its online records on AmericanAncestors.org. More than one billion records covering 18 countries— including the most important family history research materials for early America created by the experts and scholars at NEHGS—and all are open to anyone who registers for a free account. Start searching now at AmericanAncestors.org/Free-Billion.

To assist family historians of all levels in locating more pieces of the family tree puzzle, NEHGS is granting this unprecedented free access to its entire collection of genealogical databases from Wednesday, April 6, 2016, at 12:00 a.m. (EDT) through Wednesday, April 13, 2016, at 11:59 p.m. (EDT). Free accounts on AmericanAncestors.org ordinarily allow visitors only a sample of the vast offerings that NEHGS provides family historians of all levels. This unprecedented free access promotion by NEHGS from April 6 through April 13 offers the Society’s entire collection of online content for eight full days to anyone who registers for a free account.

About American Ancestors and NEHGS

Holding the largest collection of original family history materials in the country, the New England Historic Genealogical Society, founded in 1845, is the nation’s oldest and largest genealogical society. Our website, AmericanAncestors.org, offers access to more than 1 billion searchable records and leading scholarly resources to help you advance your family history research. Our expert staff helps researchers of all levels explore their past and their families’ unique place in history. Located in Boston, our research center houses millions of manuscripts, books, and original items to preserve the stories of families in America and beyond.

MyHeritage Releases Exclusive Book Matching Technology for Family History

This is it, folks! This announcement is the one I’ve been waiting for! I’ve been writing that some new technology was coming from MyHeritage for the last two weeks – and it’s arrived. Pretty amazing stuff!

To find your ancestors in the books, go to the MyHeritage website. Bs sure and have a family tree posted at the site. Then:

1. Click on the Discoveries Tab on the top of the Home page.

2. Click on Record Matches

3. Click on Compilation of Published Sources.

Enjoy!

TEL AVIV, Israel & LEHI, Utah, April 7, 2016 — MyHeritage, the fastest-growing destination for discovering, preserving and sharing family history, has launched today a revolutionary addition to its suite of technologies: Book Matching. This innovation automatically researches users’ family trees in historical books with high precision.

In April 2012 MyHeritage launched SuperSearch™, a search engine for historical records, which has since then grown to include 6.6 billion historical records, including birth, marriage, death and census records. By implementing its vision of enhancing genealogy with technology, MyHeritage then developed a line of unique and sophisticated technologies that automatically match the records from the search engine to the 32 million family trees uploaded by its users.

In December 2015, MyHeritage expanded its data collections to include digitized historical books, with an initial corpus of 150,000 books of high genealogical value. This collection was tripled last week to 450,000 books with 91 million pages. With a team of more than 50 dedicated curators, MyHeritage aims to add hundreds of millions of pages of digitized books to the collection each year.

As of today, MyHeritage users will receive matches between profiles in their family trees and the books from this collection. The Book Matching technology analyzes the book texts semantically, understanding complex narrative that describes people, and matches it to the 2 billion individuals in MyHeritage family trees with extremely high accuracy. This breakthrough technology is the first of its kind, and is exclusive to MyHeritage.

Book Matching has produced more than 80 million matches, and this number will continue to grow as the collection grows and as the family trees on MyHeritage continue to expand. Book Matching is currently available for English books, and the technology is being enhanced to cover additional languages. In addition, de-duplication technology is being added in the next few weeks to remove duplicate books that have been scanned and OCRed more than once by different sources.

“No one has ever done this before,” said MyHeritage Chief Technology Officer, Sagi Bashari. “Our Book Matching technology reads hundreds of thousands of books for you, every hour, comparing them to your family tree and pointing you to relevant excerpts about your ancestors with almost no false positives. MyHeritage is the first to offer full semantic text analysis in this way, and the genealogical breakthroughs speak for themselves. You will be amazed at the value of books for your research.”

“I’ve personally seen what this new technology can do, using my own family tree,” said blogger and lifelong genealogist Leland Meitzler. “It found well over 500 books with information on my family, most of which I’d never seen before. All kinds of ancestors and relatives can now be added to my tree! To say that this new search technology changes everything would be an overstatement, but not by much.”

Genealogist James Tanner said: “This advanced technology from MyHeritage opens up a whole new world of research possibilities that were almost completely unavailable in the past. I have always valued the content of the older genealogy books because the people who wrote them were contemporaries with my ancestors. Being able to search these books on a large scale will change the way most of us have been doing genealogy and our attitude towards the books that have been there all along but were not searchable.”

Dick Eastman, of Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter, summed up MyHeritage’s latest innovation: “MyHeritage Book Matching is like having a huge library at your fingertips, with a twist; there is a magical librarian who tells you exactly which books have information about your ancestors.”

Book Matches are available at www.myheritage.com and are generated automatically for any family tree built on the website or imported into it. A Data subscription is required to view Book Matches.

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. www.myheritage.com

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View From Space Hints at a New Viking Site in North America

The following teaser is from an article posted on nytimes.com

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A thousand years after the Vikings braved the icy seas from Greenland to the New World in search of timber and plunder, satellite technology has found intriguing evidence of a long-elusive prize in archaeology — a second Norse settlement in North America, further south than ever known.

The new Canadian site, with telltale signs of iron-working, was discovered last summer after infrared images from 400 miles in space showed possible man-made shapes under discolored vegetation. The site is on the southwest coast of Newfoundland, about 300 miles south of L’Anse aux Meadows, the first and so far only confirmed Viking settlement in North America, discovered in 1960.

Since then, archaeologists, following up clues in the histories known as the sagas, have been hunting for the holy grail of other Viking, or Norse, landmarks in the Americas that would have existed 500 years before Columbus.

Read the full article.

Silver Lake to invest in Ancestry.com

The following teaser is from an article posted on reuters.com

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Private equity firm Silver Lake Partners has agreed to acquire a minority stake in Ancestry.com in a deal that values the privately held genealogy website at $2.6 billion, including debt, people familiar with the matter said on Friday.

The investment represents a bet that Ancestry’s fast-growing DNA business will continue to expand. Ancestry sold 1 million genomics kits last year, a 93 percent increase from the prior year, as people keen to discover their roots sent in saliva samples.

Read the full article.

Teens tipped over headstones at 175-year-old Michigan cemetery

The following teaser is from an article posted on clickondetroit.com

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Teens tipped over headstones at 175-year-old Michigan cemetery ‘because they were bored’

GENEVA TOWNSHIP, Mich. – Authorities say three teenagers have confessed to tipping over and damaging more than 30 headstones at a cemetery in southwestern Michigan.

The Van Buren County sheriff’s department says in a statement that two 15-year-old boys and a 13-year-old girl told deputies they tipped headstones at Lacota Cemetery in Geneva Township on March 19 “for fun and because they were bored.”

Read the full article.

Scottish Jews Finally Get Their Own Tartan

The following teaser is from an article posted on uk.news.yahoo.com
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Scottish Jews Finally Get Their Own Tartan – After 300 Years

Scotland’s Jewish community finally has its own tartan – a 100% kosher design approved by the Scottish Tartans Authority.

The design was approved by Rabbi Mendel Jacobs, the only Scottish born Rabbi living in Scotland.

Read the full article.

Crash Course in Family History, Fifth Edition – on Sale for 25% Off Thru April 5

One of my favorite genealogy guides is Paul Larson’s Crash Course in Family History. The book is now in its fifth edition, and is a great guide for the beginner to the advanced genealogist. If you’re looking for a fresh prospective in how to go about your research, I recommend you take advantage of the following offer.

Purchase Crash Course for 25% off – anytime between now and midnight, Tuesday, April 5, 2016. Regularly $39.95, this 344 page hardbound guide is only $29.96 through the sale period. Following is a description of the book.

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HOW TO DISCOVER YOUR FAMILY TREE AND STORIES

Step-by-Step Illustrated Guidebook and Comprehensive Resource Directory

  • Features 3-Easy-Steps…
    • to trace your family roots and stories. Walks you through the fascinating family history journey hand-in-hand! It couldn’t be easier!
  • Updated and Expanded
    • The new epic Fifth Edition has been updated and expanded with 100 more pages of the best essential resources totaling 344 pages of family history help.
  • Easier and Faster
    • Discovering your family roots and story can be a life-changing experience. Learning about your ancestors, and how they met life’s challenges, can bring new perspective and understanding to your own life. Now its easier and faster with this epic new step-by-step guide from Paul Larsen.
  • Today’s Technology
    • This dynamic new fifth edition – available in both hardcover and e-book – is an illustrated guidebook and comprehensive resource directory to help you discover your family tree and story better than ever before using today’s technology.
  • Latest and Best Resources
    • Paul Larsen has done the legwork for you. He has scoured the Web and consumer reports to bring you the latest and best resources. This widely-acclaimed, best-selling guidebook has been updated and greatly expanded, and is the essential and perfect guide to discover your family roots and stories. It enables easier and faster ways of searching and organizing your family tree, collaborating with others, and connecting to your ancestors.
  • Discover Missing Information
    • It will help you discover missing information on your family tree, and add richness to your family story. And perhaps change your life!

LEARN ABOUT THE FEATURES AND BENEFITS OF HUNDREDS OF NEW WEBSITES AND RESOURCES

  • 10 Essential Websites to Search
  • 10 Things You Can Do to Get Started
  • 7 Steps to Find Your Ancestral Village
  • FREE Genealogy Records to Make Your Research Easier and Faster
  • FREE Genealogy Charts and Forms
  • FREE Genealogy Websites
  • How to Find Lost Living Relatives
  • How to Use Google Earth to Find Your Ancestral Home
  • How to Discover Your Family Stories
  • How to Find Your Ancestors in the Military
  • How to Find Your Birth Parents
  • How to Network with Others

Crash Course in Family History, FIFTH EDITION; by Paul Larsen; Published: 2014; Hard Bound; viii+343 pp; 8.5×11; ISBN: 9781937900052; Item # PL13

9 Historic Cannons at Fort William Henry in NY are From a Sunken British Warship

The following teaser is from an article posted in the Arts section of Yahoo.com.

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Research has determined nine historic cannons displayed for the past 60 years at a recreated French and Indian War fort in upstate New York were originally aboard a British warship that sank in the Florida Keys in the 18th century, according to an underwater archaeologist who led the project. Joseph Zarzynski, of Wilton, New York, said a study of all 68 cannons at Fort William Henry found that some if not all of the nine iron cannons likely came from HMS Looe, a British warship that sank after hitting a reef in 1744.

Read the full article.