Friday, June 24, 2016

Findmypast Grants Free Access to All Military Records to Commemorate Centenary of The Battle Of The Somme

  • Findmypast makes entire collection of 65 million world military records free for eight days
  • All UK, Irish, Australian, Canadian and US military records free from 27th of June to 4th July , allowing researchers around the world the opportunity to learn more about the military heroes in their family
  • Includes free access to 32 million World War 1 records including 4.2 million British Army Service Records, over 5.8 million medal records, over 700,000 death records and over 27,000 Pals battalion records
  • Free access to all UK and Irish census records also included, allowing researches to discover what their military ancestors were doing prior to the outbreak of war

London, UK. 27th June 2016.

Leading family history website, Findmypast, has just announced that they will be making their entire collection of military records free for eight days to commemorate the centenary of the Battle of the Somme. From 04:00 ET, 27th June until 06:59 ET, 4th July 2016, all 65 million records within Findmypast’s “Military, Armed Forces and Conflict” category will be completely free to search and explore, providing family historians from around the globe the opportunity to uncover the stories of the military heroes within their own family. All 265 million UK and Irish census records will also be free to search, allowing researchers to uncover details of their military ancestor’s civilian lives.
This will include free access to Findmypast’s vast collection of more than 32 million World War 1 records, including:
  • Over 19 million US and Canada World War 1 records
  • The most comprehensive collection of British Army service records both for WW1 and pre WW1 - these multiple page documents were released in partnership with The National Archives and are packed with fascinating biographical details such as the names and addresses of next of kin, physical descriptions and character references from commanding officers
  • Exclusive Pals battalion records covering major cities including London, Liverpool, Manchester, Glasgow, Edinburgh and Birmingham.
  • Soldiers Died In The Great War 1914-1919 records
  • Comprehensive, illustrated Victoria Cross records
  • Over 1.5 million medal index cards, memorial rolls and roll of honour records
  • Military tribunal records - the records of thousands of men who attempted to avoid conscription
  • Military Nurses 1856-1994 records
  • Over 25,000 British Red Cross records
  • The most comprehensive British Naval collection available online
  • The most comprehensive Royal Air Force collection online
The Battle of the Somme, also known as the Somme Offensive, was fought by the armies of the British and French empires against the German Empire between 1st July and 18th November 1916 on both sides of upper reaches of the River Somme in France. It was the largest battle fought on the Western Front with more than one million men wounded or killed, making it one of the bloodiest battles in human history.

The first day of the action alone resulted in more than 58,000 British casualties, one third of whom were killed in action. This was followed by 140 days of horror in which hundreds of thousands of British troops fought and died in some of the worst conditions of the entire war.

The battle also marked ‘blooding of the Pals battalions’. The Pals, who had volunteered together, fought together and in many cases died together, were mostly young, educated, white collar workers who had signed up in 1914 amid the first excitement of Kitchener’s ‘Your Country Needs You’ campaign. For many, the Somme was the first major action they saw and casualty rates were staggeringly high. The devastating effect this had on their home communities led to the experiment being abandoned after the summer of 1916.

Paul Nixon, military expert at Findmypast, says: - "Findmypast is proud to perpetuate the memory of those who served their King and Country during one of the darkest chapters in the history of the British Armed Forces. By providing access to the most comprehensive collection of World War 1 service records and other military records online, Findmypast enables people to easily discover those ancestors who sacrificed so much.

William Spencer, Military Records Specialist at The National Archives, said: “Records relating to the Somme give us a very vivid picture of what it was like for those fighting there and the conditions they lived and fought in. Poignantly, they provide a record of the number of those killed, many of whom were young and who were experiencing a battle for the first time.

Learn more at

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 World War 1, The British Newspaper Archive and Genes Reunited, amongst others.

Its lead brand, also called Findmypast, is a searchable online archive of over eight 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 digitized records from across the globe, including major collections from Britain, Ireland, Australia, and the United States. Findmypast, in association with The National Archives, recently launched the 1939 Register, a record of 41 million lives on the eve of World War II.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Aha! Seminars, Inc., Announces New Podcast

Aha! Seminars, Inc., Announces New Podcast

“Genealogy Connection” Joins “The Genealogy GuysSM Podcast”

TAMPA, FL, 20 June 2016 – Aha! Seminars, Inc., provider of training, consulting, and production of podcasts for the library and genealogical community, announces today that it is launching a new genealogy podcast titled Genealogy Connection, sponsored by Findmypast.

Genealogy Connection will present interviews with genealogical speakers, authors, librarians and archivists, database service providers, software and technology developers, and other leaders in the community. Each episode will be approximately one hour in length, hosted by noted genealogical speaker, author, and podcaster Drew Smith. The first episode of the new podcast will debut the week of 27 June 2016.

“We are excited to add an informative and fun interview show for the genealogical community,” says Smith, who also is vice-president of Aha! Seminars, Inc. “Interviews have been very popular with our audience, and our listeners are eager to learn from the perspectives of others in the community.”

Genealogy Connection joins with The Genealogy Guys Podcast, which debuted on 5 September 2005 and is the longest-running podcast with thousands of listeners around the world. Genealogy Connection will alternate with episodes of The Genealogy Guys Podcast, and all episodes are free for download at and from the iTunes store, or by subscription from iTunes and/or with podcatcher software. All subscribers to The Genealogy Guys Podcast will automatically receive episodes of the Genealogy Connection podcast.

About Aha! Seminars, Inc.

Aha! Seminars, Inc., ( was founded in 1996 by George G. Morgan. Based in the Tampa Bay, Florida, area, it has provided training and consulting to libraries and library consortia and to the genealogical community for over twenty years. The company has also produced The Genealogy Guys Podcast for almost 11 years.

About Findmypast

Findmypast ( is a British-owned world leader in online genealogy. It has an unrivalled record of online innovation in the field of family history and 18 million registered users across its family of online brands, which includes Mocavo, Genes Reunited, The British Newspaper Archive amongst others.

About Drew Smith

Drew Smith is an academic librarian at the University of South Florida Library in Tampa, Florida. He is a well-respected speaker and author, whose new book, Organize Your Genealogy: Strategies and Solutions for Every Researcher has just been published by Family Tree Books. He is the recipient of the prestigious 2016 Filby Award for Genealogical Librarianship.

Friday, June 17, 2016

New Records Available To Search This Findmypast Friday, June 17, 2016

This week’s Findmypast Friday marks the release of a series of new additions to existing UK and Irish collections as well as some brand new Rate Books from South Australia.

Over 2.9 million articles have been our collection of historic British newspapers. This includes the addition of 13 brand new titles and updates to a further 17.

Fascinating new newspapers from all round England, Scotland and Wales have joined the line-up including Kirkintilloch Gazette covering 1898-1938, The Cornish Telegraph covering 1887-1888 and Aberdare Times from 1889. The updates to existing titles in the collection include generous supplements to the Coventry Evening Telegraph (126,975 new articles), Monmouthshire Merlin (180,701 new articles) and Rochdale Observer (163,633 new articles).

Over 49,000 new records from Yorkshire’s West Riding have been added to our collection of Yorkshire Marriages. The amount of information included can vary, but the records usually contain the full names of the bride and groom, their ages, home parishes and the date of their wedding. In some cases the records can also include the names of any witnesses (often family members), the names and occupations of the bride's and groom's parents, the occupation of the groom, the couple's previous marital condition and the name of the officiating minister.

Explore new additions to our Knights of the Realm index to find out if any of your forebears were awarded an order of chivalry. The Knights of the Realm index records the details of over 35,000 individuals who were awarded an order of chivalry by a British monarch. The index was created by Colin J Parry over a 40 year period to determine how many knights were made in each century and, furthermore, who they actually were.

Explore more than 343,000 additional records to uncover the age, colour, and breed of your ancestors four legged friend. Now containing over 6.3 million records, the Irish Dog Licences list not only the name, breed, colour and sex of your ancestor’s four legged friend, but also the owner’s address and the date the licence was issued, making them an incredibly valuable census substitute.

Over 547,000 new records have been added to complete our collection of Irish Petty Sessions Court Registers. Petty Sessions handled the bulk of lesser criminal and civil legal proceedings. They include details of victims, witnesses and the accused, such as address, date in court, details of the offence, details of the verdict and the sentence.

Search 1,000 new records to learn more about the poor relief efforts in Ireland from the late 1830s to the early 1860s. The Irish Poor Law Act of 1838 created the system of poor law unions in Ireland, which established 130 poor law unions. Under this system, the poor received relief, either from a workhouse or outdoor relief (which included money, goods, clothing, or food) provided for by poor rates assessed under the poor law valuation.

South Australia Rate books is an index of roughly 4,000 records. The index was transcribed from rate assessments for the coastal district of Beachport in southeast South Australia between 1882 and 1888. Each record includes a transcript and an original image. The amount of information listed varies, but the transcripts usually include your ancestor’s name, assessment year, assessment number, occupier, owner, situation and town. Images may be able to provide additional details, such as property descriptions, rate values, and dates paid.

Don’t forget to regularly check our dedicated Findmypast Friday page to keep up to date with all the latest additions.

About Findmypast

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

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

MyHeritage Releases Innovative Family Tree Chart

MyHeritage Releases Innovative Family Tree Chart

The Sun Chart is designed to be the most spatially efficient way to display a descendant family tree with photos

TEL AVIV, Israel & LEHI, Utah, June 15, 2016 MyHeritage, the fastest-growing destination for discovering, preserving and sharing family history, released today the Sun Chart — a new type of descendant fan chart, available to all users of MyHeritage for free. The center of the Sun Chart features an ancestor selected by the user, with multiple generations of descendants in the outer rings. This chart is the world's first descendant fan chart with personal photos, unique to MyHeritage.

The Sun Chart is designed to place as many descendants as possible on the smallest possible chart, scaling to hundreds and even thousands of people, making it ideal for sharing with relatives at a family reunion or get-together. Descendant charts that would not fit in a room if arranged horizontally or vertically, can now be prepared in this compact circular format and hung conveniently on the wall. It is designed to be the most compact family tree chart, while offering a very eye-catching and attractive visualization of a family tree, complete with photos.

The Sun Chart design was inspired by a family tree chart format that MyHeritage staff encountered multiple times while researching family history in Corfu, Greece. It was used for centuries by the Jewish community in Corfu, and the researchers immediately saw that it offered a unique benefit: a different segment is allocated for each person, proportional to the extent of descendants he or she has, creating a very compact layout that can easily be extended as new generations are born.

"The new Sun Chart is a perfect example of MyHeritage's unique approach," said Uri Gonen, Senior VP of Product Management at MyHeritage. "We bridge together cutting-edge technologies and an appreciation for the wisdom of generations past. When our research on the genealogy of the community in Corfu revealed an unusual and highly useful family tree format, we decided to harness our technological abilities to bring the benefit of this style of family tree chart to as many people as possible, and added personal photos to make it even more appealing."

Sun Charts provide extensive configuration options to control photo size, font size, and level of included detail, so users can customize each chart to their needs. MyHeritage has developed an algorithm for compacting the charts, which calculates every person's position precisely in order to result in the smallest possible chart.

Personal photos are included in the chart, helping to bring the family tree to life, and creating a visualization that is more appealing and interesting.

After generating the chart, users can download it in PDF format and print it themselves at home or at any printer, or email it to their family members. MyHeritage also provides an integrated poster printing service that is useful for charts of unusual size, with worldwide shipping.

Sun Charts are free. To generate a Sun Chart, users can sign up on MyHeritage for free and start a new tree, or import their existing tree as GEDCOM.

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.