Friday, March 6, 2015

New records available to search during Findmypast’s Free Weekend


In celebration of International Women’s Day, this Findmypast Friday marks the release of over 9,500 fascinating UK military records that illustrate the various roles played by woman during the Frist World War. Other additions include over 65,000 British Civil Service records and over 285,000 Australian Immigration records. We are also giving everyone unlimited free access to billions of records and newspaper pages from all over the world until midday on Monday, March 9th (GMT). and will be hosting a webinar on searching for women in their historical records at 10 am EST on Sunday 8th March. We have also created a new ‘Getting Started’ video to help everyone make the most of the free weekend. It’s not only new users who will be able to take advantage as those with current Findmypast Local subscriptions (with an active Britain, Ireland, US & Canada or Australia & New Zealand subscription) will be able to access Findmypast’s historical World records during the free access weekend, and those with active World subscriptions will have an additional three days added on to their subscription. Visit our dedicated Free Weekend page to find out more.

Women at war; new UK military records

Women's Army Auxiliary Corps Service Records 1917-1920 (WO 398) is a fascinating collection of over 7,500 records with multiple images per person. The Corps was established in January 1917 the war office needed to release men from working ‘soft jobs’ so they could fight on the battlefields. The WAAC received a royal patronage and changed its name to the Queen Mary’s Auxiliary Army Corps (QMAAC) on 9 April 1918. Approximately 57,000 women served with the WAAC in England, France and Flanders during World War One, each working in one of the four sections: Cookery, Clerical, Mechanical and Miscellaneous. The QMAAC was disbanded on 27 September 1921. The collection contains a wide range of WAAC documents, including application forms, medical examinations, uniform assignment forms, personal references, casualty reports and much more. These documents can reveal your ancestor’s birthplace and provide you with their physical description, medical history, work and education background and details about their parents’ nationalities. The original documents are held at The National Archives in London in Series WO 398.

Consisting of over 500 records, the British Women's Royal Naval Service officer files 1917-1919 (ADM 318) detail the service history of women who served as officers in the Women’s Royal Naval Service during the First World War. The WRNS or Wrens, as they were both familiarly and officially known, were set up to take over shore work that was keeping men from active service. They took over not just as cooks, drivers, dispatch riders and sail maker’s, but also as telegraph operators, code experts, clerks and intelligence officers. Each record is a transcript of information on the original document held at The National Archives in London in the series known as ADM 318.

The British Women's Royal Naval Service Ratings' Service Registers 1918-1919 (ADM 336) contain the details of nearly 7,000 enlisted women who served as Wrens during the First World War. Each record is a transcript from original material held at The National Archives in London in Series ADM 336. The amount of information may vary but most will list the Rating name, enrolment date, service number, rank or roll, the archive reference and a link to an image on The National Archives’ website

British Women's Royal Air Force Service Records 1918-1920 is an index of 31,090 Women’s Royal Air Force service records held by The National Archives. The records include other ranks and not officers as no known records of Women’s Royal Air Force officers survive. The Women’s Royal Air Force (WRAF) was created on 1 April 1918, the same date as the Royal Air Force. Volunteers from the Women’s Auxiliary Army Corps, Women’s Royal Naval Service, Voluntary Aid Detachment and the Women’s Legion were invited to join the new WRAF. There were four categories of work for members of the WRAF: A – Clerks and typists; B – Household such as cooks, waitresses and domestic workers; C – Technical such as tinsmiths, photographers, metal workers, wireless operators and carpenters; and D – Non-Technical or General, which included tailoresses, shoemakers and motor cyclists. The majority of the work was for clerks and typists.

Civil Service Records

Containing nearly 65,000 records, the British Civil Service Evidence of Age records were collected by the Civil Service Commission (CSC) to establish accurate birth records for their staff, to ensure they were of minimum age or eligible for a pension. This collection spans evidence of birth from 1752 up until the 20th century, although the great majority of births recorded took place in the 19th century. The records are declarations of births by parents or a signed testimony of an individual’s birth date in place of a birth or baptism record. They were provided by the Society of Genealogists, whose indexers have not only transcribed the civil service post-holder or candidate, but also any relatives named in the same document where a date of birth was given for them. We have now added scanned colour images to the majority of the indexed records for the first time.

New Australian Records

Containing over 261,000 records, Queensland Assisted Immigration 1848-1912 is an index compiled from Registers of Immigrants’ Ships Arrivals between 1848 and 1912, which were created and used by the immigration department of the Australian state of Queensland. These registers contained passenger lists of immigrant ships that arrived in Queensland. Each record includes a transcript.

Containing over 19,000 records, the Queensland Immigration registers 1922-1940 were compiled from registers of passenger lists of immigrant ships. These records were created and used by the immigration department of the Australian state of Queensland. Every passenger list contained the ship’s name and number, as well as its date of departure and arrival.

Consisting of nearly 5,000 records, the Queensland Passport registers 1926-1939 are indexes compiled from records created and used by the immigration department of Queensland relating to passport clearance registers and passport receipts. These indexes record the names of immigrants arriving in Queensland as well as their later disembarkation from the state. Each record includes a transcript.

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

About FindMyPast

Leading family history website Findmypast was the first company to make the complete birth, marriage and death indexes for England & Wales available online in April 2003, winning the Queen’s Award for Innovation. Findmypast has subsequently digitized many more family history records and now offers access to over 2 billion records dating as far back as 875 AD. This allows family historians to search for their ancestors among comprehensive collections of military, census, migration, parish, work and education records, newspapers as well as the original comprehensive birth, marriage and death records. The company runs the official 1911 census website for England & Wales in association with The National Archives and has digitized several other record sets from the national collection. Findmypast has also partnered with the British Library in a 10 year project to safeguard the future of the world's greatest local newspaper archive.