Friday, March 27, 2015

New US & UK records available to search this Findmypast Friday

Over a million fascinating British and US military records are now available to search thanks to the latest installment of Findmypast Friday. Over 1.3 million US Civil War pension records are now available to search and the ability to search by surname has been added to our collection of British Mariners, Trinity House Calendar records. Nearly 29,000 records containing the details of Officers and enlisted men who served with the Royal Artillery are also now available to search along with a First World War Roll of Honour from Clacton on Sea in Essex.

United States Civil War Pension Files Index 1861-1934

Containing over 1.3 million records, the United States Civil War Pension Files Index, 1861-1934, is an index of pension application cards for veterans and their beneficiaries. This time period actually covers veterans of numerous wars including the Civil War, the Indian Wars, the Spanish-American War, the Philippine Insurrection and World War I. The bulk of these files pertain to service in the U.S. Civil War, which saw millions of Americans enlisted into the Union Army. Pensions were received by soldiers or their beneficiaries for service rendered and were available to widows, children under the age of sixteen, and dependent relatives of soldiers who died in military service from war-related injuries or diseases. Each record includes a transcript and many include an image of the original index card. Most transcripts will list the applicant’s name, relation and year of application, while images can reveal the veteran’s unit, the time he applied for the pension, names of his widow or children, pension application numbers, previous pension application numbers, certificate numbers, and the name of his attorney.

British Mariners, Trinity House Calendars Surname Search

British Mariners, Trinity House Calendars covering the years 1787 to 1854 are now fully searchable by surname. These records contain the details of British Mariners who petitioned for aid from the Corporation of Trinity House of Deptford Strond. Trinity House was responsible for the supervision of lighthouses and buoys around the English coast and also distributed charitable funds to disabled seamen and their families across the UK. Great care was always taken to see that charitable funds were carefully disbursed and every mariner or dependent applying for help was required to give full particulars of his or her circumstances. These forms of application were known as 'Petitions' and were submitted by seamen or their relatives to Trinity House. Each record contains an image and a transcription. The records are split into three main types; Calendars of Petitions, Calendars of Apprentice Indentures and Calendars of Miscellaneous Papers consisting mainly of marriage and baptismal certificates. Each type may give rather different information however most records will include the petitioner’s name, their relationship to the mariner, their age, location, circumstances and the date of their petition.

British Military Records

Containing over 17,000 records, Royal Artillery Officer Deaths 1850-2011 list the details of commissioned officers who were killed or died during the campaigns in Kosovo, Bosnia, Borneo and Iraq as well as the First and Second World Wars. It is estimated that since the regiment’s formation in May 1716, over 2.5 million men and women have served with the regiment. Each record includes a transcript of details found in the original records.

The British Army, Royal Artillery War Commemoration Book, 1914-1918, is an alphabetical list of 3,505 Officers of the Royal Regiment of Artillery who died during the First World War. Artillery was of huge importance in the war. It influenced nearly all tactics and operations and was incorporated into strategies that were used by the belligerents to break the stalemate at the front. Each record includes an image of the original record and a transcript.

British Army, Royal Artillery Officers 1716-1899 contains over 7,400 records taken from the fourth edition of ‘Officers of the Royal Regiment of Artillery: The year 1716 to the year 1899’, a list collected by General W. H. Askwith, Colonel-Commandant Royal Artillery, and published in 1900. Officers in this list have served in countries all over the world including India, Canada, America, Jamaica, St. Helena and many more. Each record includes an image from the original publication and a transcript.

The Royal Artillery, 80th Field Regiment records contain the details of 978 men who served with the Regiment during the Second World War. The 80th Field Regiment consisted of three batteries with a Colonel in command of 24 guns. Based in Glasgow as part of the 52nd Lowland Division, the Regiment left for Arromanches on 19 October 1944 and saw extensive action in the Netherlands and Germany. Every record is a transcript of information found in original records.

The Clacton Roll of Honour, 1914-1918, contains the records of over 1,100 men from the English seaside town of Clacton-on-Sea in Essex who were killed during the First World War. Rolls of Honour were commonly started by newspapers to announce the local dead. Details would often be supplied by family members and the resultant list would be printed in commemoration after the war. Each record contains a transcript and an image.

Remember to check our dedicated Findmypast Fridays page every week to keep up to date with the latest new additions.

About Findmypast

Findmypast is an international leader in online family history and genealogy research with customers and operations in the United States, United Kingdom, Ireland and Australia. Its searchable online archive includes over two billion family history records, from parish records and censuses to migration records, military collections, historical newspapers, the Periodical Source Index (PERSI) and lots more. For members around the world, the site is a crucial resource for building family trees and making family connections.

Findmypast has an unrivalled record of innovation in the field of family history, and works closely with the genealogy community, including local libraries, archives, societies, and other organizations from around the world, to preserve, digitize, and provide access to historical records. Findmypast’s historical records, advanced search tools and accurate data work together to help both professional and budding genealogists discover, explore and share their family stories.

New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) to Honor Mary Matalin and James Carville with Lifetime Achievement Award in Boston on April 24

March 25, 2015—Boston, Massachusetts—“Continuing the tradition of celebrating some of the most respected living Americans in history, public service, the arts, and culture, on April 24, the New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) will honor Mary Matalin and James Carville with the Society’s Lifetime Achievement Award,” NEHGS President and CEO D. Brenton Simons announced today.

As keynote speakers at the annual NEHGS Family History Benefit Dinner—one of Boston’s premier social and charitable events of the year—Matalin and Carville will be honored with NEHGS’s highest award, which celebrates a commitment to the advancement and preservation of family history in America. Well-known individually and as one of the nation’s most intriguing and powerful married couples for their service on the American political scene, and for frequent public appearances as media hosts and commentators, Matalin and Carville are one of the nation’s most politically opposed, ideologically mismatched, and intensely opinionated couples. They dated in 1992 while Matalin led the campaign for the re-election of President George H. W. Bush and as Carville advised presidential candidate Bill Clinton.

Together, they are authors of Love & War: Twenty Years, Three Presidents, Two Daughters and One Louisiana Home. The 2014 bestselling memoir looks at how they—and America—have changed in the last two decades and gives the nation insights to an unusual collaboration proving that after 20 years of marriage two very spirited and independent individuals can manage to agree on a few things. Book reviews described the authors as “In love with family, with their home city of New Orleans, with the nation and with each other.” In a celebration of making differences yield to success, interweaving love and family into a fabric of unity and service, the couple will speak on “Our American Heritage” at the NEHGS Benefit Dinner.

In making the announcement, President and CEO Simons recalled the tradition of NEHGS to pay public tribute to important figures who represent some of the best contributions to our understanding of family in the nation’s past, present, and future. “One hundred and seventy years after our founding, NEHGS continues its commitment to document a significant part of our nation’s history through the celebration of remarkable individuals who have made an indelible contribution to our understanding of family in America,” commented Simons. “Mary Matalin and James Carville embody that example. Through the often entertaining dynamic that their very public relationship has brought to the nation’s eye—in the White House, as well as in their own hometown—they have won the hearts of people everywhere who love to be reminded that family unity is possible among even the most unlikely personalities.”

Past recipients of the NEHGS Lifetime Achievement Award have included Boston Mayor Thomas Menino (2009), Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr. (2010), documentary filmmaker Ken Burns (2011), former Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis and Kitty Dukakis (2012), CNN senior political correspondent David Gergen (2013), author and presidential historian Doris Kearns Goodwin, and actor of stage and screen Dame Angela Lansbury (2014).

The April event will benefit the NEHGS capital campaign, Connecting Families. Advancing History. A comprehensive campaign with a goal of $55 million, the campaign has raised more than $53 million to date. Event Chairs of the Family History Benefit Dinner are NEHGS Trustees Judith Waite Freeman and Susan P. Sloan. The Dinner’s Corporate Benefactors include Wells Fargo & Company, Eaton Vance Investment Counsel, and Piña Napa Valley. Benefactors and patrons of the event are invited to a private champagne reception with guests of honor Matalin and Carville preceding the dinner. For more information, or to register, visit

About American Ancestors and New England Historic Genealogical Society

The founding genealogical society in America, New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) was established in 1845. Today it has a national collecting scope and serves more than 75,000 constituents through an award-winning website,

NEHGS’s resources, expertise, and service are unmatched in the field, and their leading staff of on-site and online genealogists includes experts in early American, Irish, English, Scottish, Italian, Atlantic and French Canadian, African American, Native American, Chinese, and Jewish research. The NEHGS library and archive, located at 99–101 Newbury Street in downtown Boston, is home to more than 28 million items, including artifacts, documents, records, journals, letters, books, manuscripts, and other items dating back hundreds of years.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Sioux Valley Genealogical Society (SVGS) to Host Genealogy Seminar Saturday, April 18th

SVGS will be hosting a genealogy seminar on Saturday, April 18th from 8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. at Faith Lutheran Church, 602 N. Cliff Ave., Sioux Falls, SD. Featured speaker will be Gail S. Blankenau, an experienced genealogist and photo historian who shares her research and advice in many well-known periodicals. Genealogists who crave unique perspectives and a fresh point of view will find new inspiration and ideas in her engaging and high-energy presentations. Additional details, registration form and fee schedule can be found at or the SVGS library located in the Old Courthouse Museum at 200 W. 6th St., Sioux Falls, SD.

Gail S. Blankenau will be speaking at a free seminar on Friday, April 17th from 4:00 – 6:00 p.m. at Siouxland Libraries Main Branch and 200 N. Dakota Ave., Sioux Falls SD. Her topic is Beginning Genealogy – Hunting and Gathering.

NGS 2016 Family History Conference Call for Papers Closes 1 April 2015

ARLINGTON, VA, 26 MARCH 2015—Time is running out to submit lecture proposals for the NGS 2016 Family History Conference. Speakers and sponsoring organizations must submit their proposals by 1 April 2015. The conference, entitled Exploring the Centuries: Footprints in Time, will be held 4–7 May 2016 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

The ethnic makeup of Florida is, and always has been, diverse. Native Americans—including Miccosukees, Choctaw, Creek, Timucua, and Calusa—lived throughout the area, which became known as La Florida after the arrival of Ponce de León in 1513. The Spanish were followed by other groups such as the French, British, Irish, German, and Greeks. The importation of African slaves also affected society in Florida as did the formation of the Seminole alliance. All of these people have left many footprints in time and a rich repository of records to trace our ancestry.

NGS will consider lectures covering the following topics: Florida history (especially early settlements), records, repositories, ethnic and religious groups, neighboring areas (i.e., the Caribbean, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, North Carolina, and South Carolina), and migration to, from, and within Florida. The Society will also consider regional topics of interest, including land and military records, especially those pertaining to the Revolutionary War, Indian wars, Civil War, and World War I. Additionally, proposals may cover broader genealogical categories, including federal records, the law as it relates to genealogy, methodology, genetic genealogy, analysis and problem solving, and technology.

Interested individuals and organizations should adhere to NGS guidelines. Speakers may submit up to eight proposals electronically through the NGS website. Organizations wishing to sponsor a lecture or track of lectures should review the details and sponsor requirements. All proposals must be submitted by 1 April 2015.

Founded in 1903, the National Genealogical Society is dedicated to genealogical education, exemplary standards of research, and the preservation of genealogical records. The Arlington, Virginia, based nonprofit is the premier national society for everyone, from the beginner to the most advanced family historian, seeking excellence in publications, educational offerings, and guidance in research. It also offers many opportunities to interact with other genealogists. Please visit the NGS Pressroom for further information.