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6 Things to Look for in FamilySearch in 2017

Click here to read some goals of FamilySearch in 2017.

Future Database of Church Records

Taken from Dick Eastman's blog 12 January 2017.
The Boston Archdiocese is partnering with the New England Historic Genealogical Society to create the nation’s first extensive database of church records to help people trace family histories.

The plan is to create a searchable database of millions of baptisms, marriages, ordinations and other pivotal life events recorded from 1789 to 1900 at more than 100 Boston and Eastern Massachusetts parishes — a project that could take up to 10 years and cost an estimated $1 million, which will be paid for with proceeds to a Historic Catholic Records Fund the society is launching.

Here's a link to the Boston Herald article.

Family Trees on FindMyPast

Users can add a family tree on FindMyPast.  Here's a link to a video and FAQs.

Colonial North American Project at Harvard Univ

This project will make available to the world digitized images of all known archival and manuscript materials in the Harvard Library that relate to 17th and 18th century North America. Scattered through twelve repositories, these documents reveal a great deal about topics such as social life, education, trade, finance, politics, revolution, war, women, Native American life, slavery, science, medicine, and religion.”  The website can be found here.

FindMyPast Completes Petty Ct Session Records

Following on from the release of a further 900,000 more dog license register records from Ireland recently, FindmyPast has now completed the Petty Session Court Registers collection for the country, with the addition of 227,000 more records. A list of courts records previously available in the collection is available here.

Scottish Witchcraft Book Now Online

The pages of a 350-year-old book covering the Names of Witches in Scotland, 1658 collection, has been published online.  It can be found on Ancestry.  An article announcing the book can be found here.


The Red Baron Film

Taken from Dick Eastman's Online Newsletter 14 January 2017.
Talk about an old film! It’s from 1917, and it’s an up-close and personal look at the most legendary combat pilot who ever lived, the infamous Red Baron, Manfred von Richthofen. It shows the Baron preparing for a mission, as well as film of him putting on a flying suit prior to a flight in cold weather. If you look closely you will also see a brief glimpse of Hermann Goering.

The Baron was shot down on 21 April 1918 by Roy Brown of the Royal Navy Air Services, long before it was called the R.A.F.


You can view the film on YouTube

Free Family History Webinars in January

Check it out!! Click here.

New Archdiocese of Boston Database

by Sam SturgisMolly Rogers, and Don LeClair
This week NEHGS is announcing Massachusetts: (Image Only) Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston Records 1789-1900. 
Thanks to their partnership with the Archdiocese of Boston, they have a browsable collection of the records of five Boston parishes from this time period that will continue to grow as more volumes are scanned. Learn more about the history of Catholics in Boston and the creation of this database on a new webpage dedicated to this project. Be sure to check out a video (under the header "How to Browse Parish Records") explaining how to locate records in this unique collection. 

Oklahoma Birth & Death Indexes Online

OK Dept of Health has put online their birth and death index!  Included is limited information on births occurring more than 20 years ago and deaths occurring more than 5 years ago.  Click here to begin searching.

New, free Irish genealogy education website

Family Research 2016 is a new website and workbook created by the National Archives of Ireland to help you find your ancestors online.  Click here to get started!

1924 New York City List of Registered Voters

Reclaim the Records has done it again!  They posted the 1924 New York City List of Registered Voters---the first digital and online publication of this list.  This is a joint project of Reclaim the Records, the New York City Municipal Archives and Jewish genealogist Phyllis Kramer.
(Taken from their website announcement - click to read more):

If you see a name of interest here, you can then put in a request with the New York City Municipal Archives or New York City Board of Elections to obtain a copy of that person’s full one-page voter registration form, which will have all sorts of interesting and potentially useful information on it. The usual fields will be there, like name and address, but also tidbits like political party affiliation, how long they had been in the state and the city, and when they had last voted.

But even more importantly, for New Yorkers who were naturalized citizens, those one-page voter registration forms will tell you the exact court name and the exact date on which they were naturalized. That information is otherwise fairly hard to determine, especialy if the person you’re researching had a common name, or if other sources, such as census information, are conflicting or inconclusive. If the voter had obtained citizenship through marriage, the voter registration form would also provide their spouse’s name.

And once you have that naturalization information from their one-page voter registration form, you can then locate and obtain a copy of their naturalization file from USCIS or the National Archives (NARA), and that file may have further detailed information about that person, such as their exact town of origin.

Check out Reclaim's page on here to view the list of registered voters.

NYC Marriage Records 1930-1949 Moved!!

Effective 31 October 2016, copies of marriage records from 1930-1949 will no longer be available at the City Clerk's Office.  
They will be available at the Department of Records and Information Services (aka Municipal Archives) at 31 Chambers Street.
NYC Clerk's website
NYC Municipal Archives website

NY Pub Lbry Digitizes 137 Yrs of City Directories

Taken from Records Access Alerts Digest, Vol 47, Issue 2

The New York Public Library announced they are digitizing its collection of New York City Directories 1786-1922/23. Using City Directories is a wonderful genealogical tool as it gives us perspective of where our ancestors were at a specific time and place. Prior to telephone directories, city directories were the way to locate people. The information in the directories include: name, address, profession and sometimes marital status (listing a woman as a widow). As the city directories lists addresses, they are helpful when searching for people in the census. Unlike telephone directories, one did not require a telephone to be listed.  The city directories began in the United States after the Revolutionary War. In some instances they provide history of the area and era. One had to subscribe (pay) to be included. The directories were available to those who were not included, again for a fee.


The first of the city directories to be digitized are 1849/50 through 1923, the next being scanned are 1786-1848/9.  The entire collection will be completely online in the coming months.


You may access them free from the New York Public Library Digital Collections portal. Type New York City Directories into the search bar.


To read more about the New York Public Library digitization of city directories see this site.


HeinOnline Releases Materials on Slavery FREE

HeinOnline is a subscription site for legal research.  It has announced that it's collection entitled Slavery in America and the World: History, Culture and Law is not available for FREE.
You will need to register - it's a several hour / overnight process, but you will have complete access to their entire collection.

Free Access to Ireland's GRO Records!!

The General Register Office have put the vital records online, with free access for all.  Over 2.5 million historic records of births, marriages and deaths are now freely available online, ensuring that Ireland continues to lead the way in giving access to historical genealogical information.

With the introduction of state registration, birth and death information was required to be provided to the local registrar who was usually the doctor, within 21 days. Late registration resulted in the imposition of a fine. Hence, in order to avoid the payment of a fine, later birth and death dates were often provided to the registrar. The informant of such information was obliged to be a relative, a medical attendant or a person present at the event (the birth of the child or the death of an individual).  The priest at a wedding was also required to provide all marriage information to the state.

State records of birth provide the following information: the date and place of birth; name if any; sex; name, surname and dwelling-place of father; name, surname and maiden surname of mother; rank or profession of father; signature, qualification and residence of informant; when registered; signature of registrar and baptismal name if added at a later stage.

State records of marriage record the following: when married; names and surnames of the bride and groom; ages; condition; rank or profession; residence at the time of marriage; fathers names and surnames; rank or profession of fathers; name of officiating priest and the church where the marriage took place.

State death records contain: the date and place of death; name and surname; sex; condition; age at last birthday; rank; profession or occupation; signature, qualification and residence of informant; when registered and signature of the registrar.  While the cause of death is also provided on death certificates the holders of copyright of these records prohibit us from disclosing this information.

In the early decades of state registration it would appear that many events were not registered with the state.  The number of absent records cannot be quantified (although one frequently notices baptismal entries in church registers with no corresponding state birth and vice versa).  Ages provided on the older state records should be treated as ‘approximate’.

BIRTHS: 1864 to 1915
MARRIAGES: 1882 to 1940 
DEATHS: 1891 to 1965

You can now access these records for free by going to Irish Genealogy.

Digitized NYC Marriages on FamilySearch!

FamilySearch has begun digitizing NYC marriage certificates!!  11 rolls of microfilm for marriage certificates covering part of 1916 and part of 1917 for Manhattan are now able to be viewed:

Announcement from Cyndi Ingle

I'm very excited to announce a new service to help you succeed in your research. I've joined genealogyDOTcoach to help coach you through your research questions and tasks. One-on-one live sessions in which we can screenshare and exchange documents. I've started taking appointments now. Take a look here.

York’s Archbishops’ Registers Revealed

This article was taken from Dick Eastman's March 3, 2016 blog.
The York’s Archbishops’ Registers from 1225 to 1650 are now available online. The available records include 21,647 high quality images of 45 Archbishops’ Registers. Held at the Borthwick Institute, these documents record the formal acts of the Archbishop of York. They are the earliest systematic records of the archbishops’ office, and document the government of the Church, the management and staffing of parishes and the Church’s oversight and regulation of the moral and spiritual conduct of the mass of the population across Yorkshire, Northern England and beyond.

The period covered by the Project spans the struggles over Magna Carta; the Anglo Scottish wars; the loss of nearly a quarter of the population to the Black Death in 1349; the Wars of the Roses; the societal earthquake of the Reformation and the first English Civil War in the seventeenth century.

The registers are key sources for the study of medieval and early modern religious and political history, for art and buildings history, for studies of the historic environment, and for legal and economic history, to name but a few of the areas covered. As a result of the project, the content of the registers is now open to a much wider audience, including genealogists and local historians.

You can learn more here while the records themselves are available free of charge by starting here.

Reclaim Has Posted New Jersey Indexes!!

The following indexes were obtained from New Jersey by Reclaim the Records and posted on InternetArchive!
Birth index 1901-1903 - 100,000 birth records
Marriages (Grooms Index) 1901-1903 - 44,000 marriage records
Marriages (Brides Index) 1901-1914 - 205,000 marriage records
Death index 1901-1903 - 96,000 death records
Click here to view the indexes!

National Library of Australia's Trove 7

The National Library of Australia has announced that it will be publishing a new release of its popular TROVE database next Thursday, 25 February. Trove is an essential tool for any family historian with Australian connections. It's probably best known for its database of digitised copies of historical Australian newspapers, most of them published between 1803 and 1954, but it also holds all kinds of goodies including journal articles, reports, theses, books (full, or individual chapters), maps, diaries, letters, photos, music and written/video/oral interviews. This content comes from a number of libraries, museums, archives and other research organisations. And it's free. The update will include faster, more responsive searching and improved viewing on mobile devices. In addition the newspaper zone will see a simplified interface, customisable view displays and new browse features. Samples from the NSW Government Gazette (1832 to 2001) collection will also give a taste of what is to come from this one million page digitisation project. The database will be shut down for three days to prepare for the upgrade, from 5pm AEDT on Monday 22 February until the relaunch on Thursday 25 February.  The site is located here.

Free UK Websites

Taken from Records Access Alerts Digest Vol 41, Issue 11

London’s Pulse: Medical Officer of Health Reports 1848-1972  

5500 Medical Officer of Health reports from the Greater London area, including present day London and boroughs.


History to Herstory 

Lives of women in Yorkshire from the 1100’s to the present day.


Statistical Accounts of Scotland  1791-1845

Detailed parish reports on agriculture, trades, education and more.


Proceedings of the Old Bailey  1674-1913 

Search names and historical information from almost 200,000 criminal trials.


Free UK Genealogy 

Online, searchable, free genealogical databases created through the efforts of thousands of volunteers


A Vision of Britain Through Time 

Look at British history between 1801 and 2001 through topographic, boundary, and land use maps,


Crime and Punishment in Wales 1730-1830


British Convict Transportation Transfers 1787-1867

Records may contain the convict's name, the place of trial, the duration of the sentence, the name of the transportation ship and date of departure, and the place of arrival in Australia


Commonwealth War Graves Commission   

Commemorating the 1,700,000 men and women of the Commonwealth forces who died in the two world wars-- who died in some 154 countries across the world.

Free Scotland Family History Books

The National Library of Scotland has digitized 383 books on family histories and made them available on their website for free to be downloaded.  Use this link to view the gallery.

MyHeritage Now Has DNA Matching

Taken from Dick Eastman's Blog 7 Sep 2016:
MyHeritage has just announced that DNA Matching is now live!
MyHeritage compares DNA data of individuals, which has been uploaded to the MyHeritage website, in order to find matches based on shared DNA. Your DNA matches are people who are highly likely to be relatives (close or distant) because there are significant similarities between their DNA and yours. MyHeritage DNA Matching can open up exciting new research directions, and allow you to find and connect with relatives you may not have known about.
The DNA matching has been available for a few months in a limited beta test but now is available to everyone. The DNA Matching is free and will remain free for those who have already uploaded their DNA test results to MyHeritage. Anyone who has taken a DNA test with other test providers, or has DNA test results from other family members, and has not uploaded them to MyHeritage yet, the company recommends they hurry and upload the DNA data now, in order to enjoy free DNA Matching on MyHeritage forever.
What I like best about the MyHeritage DNA service is that the test results are presented in a manner that is easier to read than that of some competitive services. Quoting from the MyHeritage Blog:
“MyHeritage displays the matches in a new page called DNA Matches, in the Discoveries tab. This page lists all the DNA Matches, sorted by the amount of shared DNA, so closest relatives will be listed first. The page lists the top 500 matches. Keep in mind that DNA Matches listed at the very bottom who share very little to almost no DNA with you could be the result of identity by state rather than identity by descent. This is a technical way of saying that these are false positives and the DNA they share with you is a result of coincidence. Starting with 3rd cousins and going further, you should take DNA Matches with a grain of salt and look for additional pieces of information as an indication on whether a family connection exists (such as shared surnames or similar geographical locations between their family tree and yours).
“For every match listed, the page displays basic information about the person who matched your DNA, the possible relationship(s) between you and that person as implied by the DNA characteristics, information about the DNA Match quality, and family tree details if your match has a family tree.”
You can read a lot more about MyHeritage DNA Matching in the MyHeritage blog post.

British Red Cross Personnel Records-FREE

The British Red Cross has been digitizing the index cards held at their London headquarters for the almost 100,000 volunteers during World War 1 –1914-1918. Currently the personnel records for surnames starting with A through V are available. Their website is constantly being updated.  Free images are displayed with search results.

Alberta Homestead Records

Homestead records from the province of Alberta, Canada, are online, free to download, at  There are a total of 686 reels of microfilm and approximately 500 have been uploaded to date.  While these are not indexed, an index is located at the Alberta Genealogical Society's website.  The search results will provide you with a film number and a file number.  The film number can then be downloaded for free from  Once downloaded, the file number can be used to locate the specific image on the roll.


January 17
German SIG

January 19
Beginning Genealogy Workshop
For members only.  Please e-mail Nancy Johnson at by January 2nd if you are interested in attending.   Living Lord Lutheran Church  meeting room (come in main doors of church) 11107 Palmbrush Trail, Bradenton, FL 34202 Take Interstate 75 ...

January 21
Researching Your Irish Ancestors
Meeting Rooms A & B Speaker:  Donna Moughty:  Professional Genealogist, Former regional  manager for Apple Computers, Specialist in 19th Century Irish Research Program One:  From Rubble to Ruin – Locating Famine Emigrants Using  Griffith’s Valuation. Fire and government destruction ...

January 21
Finding My Family Tree
Finding My Family Tree is a program aimed at individuals who are just getting started in genealogy or people who have been doing their own research but haven’t yet discovered who else has been researching their family.   Taught by Janet ...

January 21
Selby Genealogy Research Day
Vicky Scott, head of our library volunteers, has planned it for us. She will have extra volunteers available for the first couple of hours to help you find and acclimate yourself to the collec- tion, as well as offer any ...

January 28
Irish SIG

January 31
United Kingdom SIG