New Records Available To Search This Findmypast Friday, August 28, 2015


This week’s Findmypast Friday marks the release of browsable Manchester electoral registers, death & admission records from two Derbyshire hospitals, new additions to our collection of historic Irish Newspapers and a fascinating petition drawn up by early settlers in New Zealand.


Those of you with Manchester ancestors can now browse through over 330,000 Manchester electoral registers. Spanning nearly 70 years (1832-1900), the register record a fascinating period of the city’s history. By 1835, Manchester’s booming cotton and manufacturing Industries had made it the first and greatest industrial city in the world. This triggered a population explosion as people from all over the UK flocked to the city in search of work, many of whom were forced to live in squalid conditions in the city’s newly formed slums. The registers include both the registers for local government elections Parliamentary Elections. Electoral Registers are annually compiled lists of all adults eligible to vote and typically list a person’s name, address and the type of property they owned or rented that qualified them to vote. The registers are a valuable census substitute and, as they begin after the Repeal Act of 1832, record all levels of society ranging from wealthy captains of industry to desperately poor slum tenants.

The records are scanned copies of microfilms held at the Manchester Archives Central Library and cover Ardwick, Bradford, Beswick, Cheetham, Chorlton-Upon Medlock, Harpurhey, Hulme, Newton, Salford, Broughton and Manchester.


The New Zealand, Nelson, Petition after the Wairau Incident 1843 records list the names of nearly 600 settlers who signed a petition calling for action to be taken by the Governor of New Zealand following the notorious Wairau affray. The Wairau incident occurred on 17 June 1843 and was the first serious clash between New Zealand Company settlers and the local Ngāti Toa. Following a dispute regarding the settlement of the Wairau Valley, local Māori chiefs had the settlers temporary abodes burnt to the ground. The company responded by sending 49 armed men to arrest the chiefs resulting in a confrontation that left 22 settlers and 4 Māori dead. An investigation by the newly appointed Governor, Robert FitzRoy, found that the settlers claim to the land had been invalid and the chiefs were exonerated. Many settlers were enraged by the findings and submitted a petition that, along with active lobbying, resulted in Fitzroy being recalled in 1845.

Each record includes a transcript created using names listed in the Nelson Examiner and New Zealand Chronicle on 15 June, 1844. Transcripts list the names of the individuals who signed the petition, the newspaper in which they appeared, their occupations and any additional notes.


Derbyshire Hospital Admission & Deaths contain nearly 4,000 records taken from two different sources: Derbyshire Royal Infirmary, Deaths 1892 – 1912 and Victoria Memorial Cottage Hospital, Ashbourne Admissions 1899 – 1913. The Victoria Memorial Cottage Hospital was opened in Ashbourne in 1899 and was in operation for 65 years until its closure in 1964. The Derbyshire Royal Infirmary was first built in 1810 and rebuilt following a typhoid outbreak in 1890. Queen Victoria laid the foundation stone for the new hospital in 1894 and the hospital stayed in operation for over 100 years.

Each record includes a transcript produced by the Ancestral Archives of Derbyshire. Records can include the patient’s admission date, reason for admission, condition after admission, marital status, residence, rank or profession, date of discharge or death and cause of death.


Nearly half a million articles and 8 fascinating new titles have been added to our collection of historic Irish Newspaper. The brand new additions come from all four provinces of the country, include both local and national press and cover the time period before, during and after The Great Famine (1805-1871). New additions include the Belfast Commercial Chronicle, General Advertiser For Dublin and All Ireland, The Northern Standard and The Pilot,. Substantial additions have also been made to three existing titles; The Belfast Morning News, Freeman’s Journal and the Cork Examiner. The entire collection now holds over 9.7 million fully searchable articles, covering an impressive 231 years of Ireland’s history (1719-1950).

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

Its lead brand, also called Findmypast, is a searchable online archive of over two billion family history records, 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 doing detailed historical research.

In April 2003 Findmypast was the first 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.

The Family History Library Announces Free Classes for September 2015


These classes and workshops are designed to help individuals and families find their ancestors and teach others family history techniques.

Sep 3, 2015
11:00 A.M. British Resources on findmypast
1:00 P.M. British Resources on Ancestry.com

Sep 5, 2015
1:00 P.M. Recursos en línea además de FamilySearch.org

Sep 10, 2015
1:00 P.M. United States Civil War Records
6:00 P.M. Descendancy Research Webinar

Sep 17, 2015
11:00 A.M. British Resources on FamilySearch.org
11:00 A.M. Czech Online Church Records Webinar
1:00 P.M. Key Websites for British Research (Besides the “Big 3”)

Sep 19, 2015
10:00 A.M. Boy Scout Genealogy Merit Badge (1½ hours) To register, call 1-801-240-4673 at least one week before the workshop to ensure requirements are met before attending.
1:00 P.M. Conozca el sitio PARES
2:00 P.M. Protocolos notariales
3:00 P.M. ¿No hay otros registros?

Sep 22, 2015
1:00 P.M. Newspaper Research

Sep 24, 2015
6:00 P.M. United States City Directories Webinar

Click on this link to access the Live Online Classes. Or go to FamilySearch.org; click on Search; select Wiki. Type Family History Library andchoose the top entry. Click on 2.2 Live Online Classes for details; scroll to find the desired class.

Board for Certification of Genealogists Welcomes Five Trustees – Two New and Three Re-elected


Returning for another three-year term as trustees of the Board for Certification of Genealogists are:

  • Alison Hare, CG, of Ottawa, Ontario. She has been certified since 1999. She presented a lecture on the 1854 London cholera epidemic at this year’s National Genealogical Society conference.
  • Debra S. Mieszala, CG, of Libertyville, Illinois. She has been certified since 2002. She blogs at “The Advancing Genealogist” and specializes in forensic genealogy, 20th-century research, and the Midwest.
  • Judy G. Russell, JD, CG, CGL, of Avenel, New Jersey. She has been certified since 2012, serves on the executive committee this year as member-at-large, and speaks at conferences coast to coast.

Joining them are two newly elected trustees:

  • Judy Kellar Fox, CG, of Aloha, Oregon. She has been certified since 2007. She co-edits BCG’s blog Springboard, and specializes in Pennsylvania, Virginia, France, and Germany.
  • Richard G. Sayre, CG, CGL, of Herriman, Utah. He has been certified since 2007, serves as BCG booth coordinator, and teaches military records, land records, using maps in genealogy, urban research, and government documents.

All 15 trustees are certified, and all serve without compensation. Five are elected by certified associates each year. The new trustees’ terms of office will begin at the end of the October 10 trustees’ meeting in Salt Lake City.

For questions or more information contact: Nicki Birch, CG, office@BCGcertification.org.

CG, Certified Genealogist, CGL, and Certified Genealogical Lecturer are service marks of the Board for Certification of Genealogists®, used under license by board certificants after periodic evaluation.

FamilySearch opens a new Seattle Family Discovery Center that provides fun, interactive experiences to celebrate family history.


High-tech “Museum of You” concept for center guides visitors to discover, share, and preserve their histories and memories.

August 21, 2015 - BELLEVUE, WAFamilySearch International announces the grand opening of its Seattle Family Discovery Center, the first to open outside its headquarters in Salt Lake City, Utah. Based in Bellevue, the center offers interactive experiences for visitors of all ages to discover, share, and preserve family histories and memories. It is free to the public. Find out more online at FamilySearch.org/discoverycenter/seattle.

Visitors to the center are provided with a tablet computer as a personal guide to interface with large touch screens, where they learn more about themselves, view family origins, and discover how ancestors may have lived and even dressed. Data used for the interactive experiences is drawn from online data at FamilySearch.org and select partners.

The center creates a “Museum of You” feeling through a variety of experiences and activities for children, five interactive station experiences, and software applications that explore family ancestral lines in fun, creative ways to help patrons discover famous relatives.

When asked how visitors respond to the new attraction, 16-year-old Brynn Stapley of Bellevue, Washington, said, “I see amazement at the technology, the information, and how it’s presented on big screens. Visitors get excited when they discover a little piece of new information that leads to more information about their families. I think people are surprised how much they learn about themselves and their cultural heritage and then leave eager to continue the journey.” Stapley is one of 23 volunteers at the center.

The center features a high-definition video recording studio, where visitors can answer questions about their life stories and archive the recording for long-term preservation so future children, grandchildren, or great-grandchildren can access the recording later. Visitors can also bring a USB drive to take home a copy of the recorded session.

Becca Escoto, 26, resident of Bellevue and center volunteer, said she met a couple engaged to be married and encouraged them to record their engagement story for their posterity. “It was exciting to see them in the studio, sharing a story that will be important for their future family members,” Escoto said. “What a perfect start to begin their family.” Escoto said she was also surprised to discover that she personally is an eighth cousin to President Barack Obama through their maternal family lines.

The Seattle Family Discovery Center is a free community attraction funded entirely by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, of which FamilySearch International is a nonprofit subsidiary. “We believe our precious family relationships and experiences in this life do not end with death,” said Dennis Brimhall, CEO of FamilySearch International and managing director of the Family History Department of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

“Today family history research and telling, sharing, and preserving family memories through stories, photos, and technology are engaging a growing number of individuals of all ages from every faith and ethnicity like never before,” said Brimhall. “Youth want to discover themselves and their family’s history in fun, exciting ways, and adults want to strengthen family connections and leave enduring legacies. The discovery experiences provided by this facility will help do just that,” Brimhall added.

Planning for the Seattle Family Discovery Center has been years in development, and construction was completed in April 2015. In addition to the family discovery centers in Salt Lake and Seattle, FamilySearch has announced future centers in London, England, and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

The Seattle Family Discovery Center is located inside The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints facility at 15205 SE 28th Street in Bellevue, Washington.

PHOTO A: At the Seattle Discovery Center in Bellevue, Washington, Trace Farmer of Seattle, Washington, discovers 4,586 people share his first name while using the “Discover My Story” experience.

PHOTO B: Two visitors to the Family Discovery Center in Bellevue, Washington, use a tablet computer provided to each patron as a personal guide to interface with large touch screens that help patrons discover fun, new things about their family through FamilySearch data, photos and stories.

About FamilySearch

FamilySearch International is the largest genealogy organization in the world. Millions of people use FamilySearch records, resources, and services to learn more about their family history. To help in this great pursuit, FamilySearch and its predecessors have been actively gathering, preserving, and sharing genealogical records worldwide for over 100 years. FamilySearch is a nonprofit organization sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Patrons may access FamilySearch services and resources free online at FamilySearch.org or through over 4,800 family history centers in 132 countries, including the renowned Family History Library in Salt Lake City.

New Records Available To Search This Findmypast Friday, August 21, 2015


This week’s Findmypast Friday marks the release of fascinating Probate Calendars containing more than 100 years of English and Welsh wills. Additional birth, marriage and death records have also been added to our collection of Hertfordshire parish records.

Probate Calendars of England & Wales 1858-1959

Containing over 500,000 records, the Probate Calendars of England & Wales 1858-1959 record the details of wills lodged with the National Probate Registry. Until 1858, matters of probate were dealt with by the ecclesiastical courts of the Church of England. After 1858 the civil government took over the settlement of all estates and all wills were now probated through the Principal Probate Registry system. There were 11 district registry offices with 18 sub-district registries located around England and Wales, with the principal office located in First Avenue House, London. The calendars will reveal if your ancestor left a will or was mentioned in one. They may also reveal the size of the estate in question and list the will’s executors or administrators. The executors/administrator may have been a bank, solicitor, beneficiary or a family member, providing you with links to other branches of your family tree and new avenues to explore. Once you’ve found your ancestor in the index you can use the information listed to request a copy of the will from the National Probate Registry.

Each record contains an image of the page containing the entry. The amount of information can vary. Records can include the deceased’s name, date of death, their address at death, occupation, marital status, the name of their spouse, the size of their estate, the names of any beneficiaries and their occupations.

Probate Calendars of England & Wales 1858-1959 Browse

You can also browse the probate calendars of England and Wales to find details of wills lodged with the National Probate Registry between 1858 and 1959. The browse is useful if you are unsure of the spelling of your ancestor’s name as you can look through page by page to find possible options.
You can search by year, give the first letter of your ancestor’s last name and navigate through the books by clicking on the white arrows to the left and right of the screen.

Hertfordshire baptisms

Over 5,000 records from the parishes of Ashwell and Baldock have been added to our collection of Hertfordshire parish baptisms. Baptisms are not exclusive to infants and, although they most usually are new-borns, the names of those found within the baptism records could be of young children or even adults. Baptism records are not the same as birth records and therefor some members of the parish may not be recorded because they were not baptised or not baptised in the parish church. Hertfordshire Baptisms now contains over 826,000 records.

Each record includes a digitised image of the original record book and a transcript for the individual entry. Transcripts list the individual’s year and place of Baptism, the names of their parents, and their father’s occupation. Images may include additional notes although the amount of additional information documented was up to the wishes of either the parish clerk or reverend.

Hertfordshire marriages

Nearly 2,000 records from the parishes of Hatfield, Northhaw and Royston have been added to our collection of Hertfordshire parish marriages. Each record includes a digitised image of the original record book and a transcript for the individual entry.

Transcripts will list the name of bride and groom, the date of their marriage, their respective ages, and the names of their fathers while images can include considerably more detail. Images may reveal the marital status, occupations, their fathers’ occupations, their residence at time of marriage, the names of any witnesses and the officiating Minister. You may even be able to see your ancestors’ signatures.

Hertfordshire burials

Nearly 5,000 records, also from the parishes of Ashwell and Baldock, have been added to our collection of Hertfordshire parish burials. Dating as far back as the 1400s, the records will reveal your ancestors burial date, age at death and burial place. The Church of England began keeping registers of baptisms, marriages and burials in 1538. Of the 132 ancient parishes in Hertfordshire, however, only 16 have registers surviving from this date. The majority of the others date from the beginning of Queen Elizabeth’s reign in 1558.

Each record includes a digitised image of the original record book and a transcript for the individual entry. Images may reveal additional details such as your ancestor’s residence, grave location, notes on the circumstances surrounding their deaths and the name of the Minister who conducted their funeral.

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

Its lead brand, also called Findmypast, is a searchable online archive of over two billion family history records, 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 doing detailed historical research.

In April 2003 Findmypast was the first 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.

New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) Announces Appointment of Christopher C. Child as Editor of the Mayflower Descendant

New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) Announces Appointment of Christopher C. Child as Editor of the Mayflower Descendant


August 19, 2015—Boston, Massachusetts—Christopher C. Child, Senior Genealogist of the Newbury Street Press at New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS), has been named editor of the Mayflower Descendant, the Society announced today. Child is an award-winning genealogist and author of important published studies of American family history. He will begin his assignment as editor with the winter 2016 issue of the journal, the first to be published by NEHGS, while retaining his responsibilities with Newbury Street Press.

Last week NEHGS announced that, as the result of an agreement with the Massachusetts Society of Mayflower Descendants (MSMD), NEHGS will assume a ten-year stewardship of the Mayflower Descendant. First published in 1899 by George Ernest Bowman, under the auspices of the Massachusetts Society of Mayflower Descendants, the journal is one of the most highly respected scholarly journals in the field of genealogy. NEHGS plans to continue twice-a-year publication, winter and summer, available by subscription.

In making the announcement of Child’s appointment, Penny Stratton, NEHGS Publishing Director, stated “Chris Child is an excellent choice for this new position, poised to bring his well-articulated vision of genealogical scholarship to this very important journal.”

Child is the recipient of two publishing awards this year: Ancestors and Descendants of George Rufus Brown and Alice Nelson Pratt (2013, co-written with Patricia Law Hatcher and Kelvin L. Meyers) won the Brainerd T. Peck Award from the Connecticut Genealogical Society, and The Nelson Family of Rowley, Massachusetts (2014) won the Award for Excellence in Genealogy and Family History from the National Genealogical Society. In 2012 his book with NEHGS colleague Scott Steward, Descendants of Judge John Lowell (2011) won both those awards as well as the prestigious Donald Lines Jacobus Award of the American Society of Genealogists.

Child has been associated with NEHGS since 1997, first as a librarian and researcher, and later joining the Publications team as Genealogist of the Newbury Street Press in 2006. He also serves as editor of the genetics column in American Ancestors magazine and contributes frequently to the Vita Brevis blog of NEHGS.

An experienced and in-demand lecturer and consultant, Child has contributed many articles to scholarly genealogical journals, including the Mayflower Descendant. His wide-ranging research interests include, as well as Mayflower ancestry, colonial New England genealogy (especially Connecticut), presidential genealogy, and DNA. Chris holds a B.A. in history from Drew University in Madison, New Jersey.

More information about the Mayflower Descendant and subscription opportunities may be found at the website of NEHGS at www.americanancestors.org/mayflower-descendant.)

More than 82,000 FamilySearch Volunteers “Fuel the Find” for People Worldwide

More than 82,000 FamilySearch Volunteers “Fuel the Find” for People Worldwide


SALT LAKE CITY UTAH--A total of 82,039 volunteers helped to “Fuel the Find” during FamilySearch’s Worldwide Indexing Event, held August 7-14, 2015. Though short of the goal of 100,000 participants, the effort produced a number of remarkable achievements, among them an 89% increase in non-English language indexing activity. Volunteers produced more than 12.2 million indexed (transcribed) and 2.3 million arbitrated (reviewed) records during the weekly event (See infographic). As with all records indexed by FamilySearch indexing volunteers, those indexed during the global event will be made freely searchable at FamilySearch.org.

For the Worldwide Indexing Event, FamilySearch sought volunteers who could decipher records recorded in a variety of languages, with a focus on French, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish. Volunteers from all over the world exceeded expectations by processing over 2,183,212 non-English records including 1,380,684 in Spanish, 147,568 in Portuguese, 226,734 in French, and 116,835 in Italian.

“We are thrilled with the number of people who are fluent in a non-English language who accepted the challenge to index records in that language,” said Courtney Connolly, FamilySearch digital marketing manager. “If volunteers will keep up this rate of non-English indexing and arbitration, we’ll soon see people everywhere experiencing the same success in finding their ancestors that English-language researchers enjoy.”

The #FueltheFind name is derived from the way indexing helps people find family information in collections of searchable historical records online. Indexed records are like the fuel that gives genealogical search engines like FamilySearch.org the power to connect people to their missing ancestors. Committed FamilySearch volunteers online know that every name they index adds another drop of precious fuel that can help someone else discover the missing members of their family tree and learn their stories.

This year’s week-long event had an international focus. Most online indexing volunteers are native English speakers and lean toward indexing English language record collections. Currently FamilySearch.org offers twenty times more searchable records in English than in all other languages combined. “There is a huge and growing need for English speakers who are fluent in a second language, and native speakers of non-English languages to learn how to index. Tens of thousands of new volunteers are needed to keep up with the opportunity to index the world’s records,” said Connolly.

FamilySearch heartily thanks all of the volunteers for their contributions and dedication and encourages anyone interested in participating to join the ongoing indexing initiative at FamilySearch.org/Indexing.

About FamilySearch

FamilySearch International is the largest genealogy organization in the world. Millions of people use FamilySearch records, resources, and services to learn more about their family history. To help in this great pursuit, FamilySearch and its predecessors have been actively gathering, preserving, and sharing genealogical records worldwide for over 100 years. FamilySearch is a nonprofit organization sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Guests may access FamilySearch services and resources free online at FamilySearch.org or through over 4,600 family history centers in 132 countries, including the renowned Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Forensic Genealogy Institute announces dates for 2016 event

*** SAVE THE DATE ***
5th Annual Forensic Genealogy Institute
10-12 March 2016
Sponsored by
Council for the Advancement of Forensic Genealogy
Topics to Include
Marketing | Legal Issues | Advanced Practicum | DNA Workshop

This year’s location
The Historic Menger Hotel
San Antonio, Texas



Conveniently located near the River Walk and the Alamo, The Menger Hotel was established in 1859 and is the oldest continuously operated hotel west of the Mississippi. Its bar has been voted one of the Top 10 Most Historic Bars in the US and the hotel is the site where Teddy Roosevelt recruited the Rough Riders.

NGS Announces a New Course in the American Genealogical Studies Series: Beyond the Basics


ARLINGTON, VA, August 17, 2015: The National Genealogical Society proudly announces the release of its newest American Genealogical Studies course, Beyond the Basics. This course joins The Basics and Guide to Documentation and Source Citation in the series of online courses developed by NGS to help those interested in discovering their roots.

Beyond the Basics offers advanced genealogical training. During the course, you will learn how to conduct a more systematic genealogical investigation as you build your family tree. Its modules are designed to challenge you as you learn how to read, write, decipher, and cite numerous genealogical documents. You will expand your proficiency by collecting, interpreting, analyzing, and evaluating genealogical information. You also will hone your skills as you write genealogical reports.

The course contains five modules that contain information, videos, examples, self-correcting quizzes, a glossary, a topic reference list, and a final written assignment, which is graded by a professional genealogist. The modules are:

  • Module 1 – Evidence Analysis
  • Module 2 – The Library: A Research Repository
  • Module 3 – The Federal Population Schedules
  • Module 4 – FamilySearch.org
  • Module 5 – Civil Registration Records

Beyond the Basics is the third course in the American Genealogical Study series. Registration requires students to successfully complete both The Basics and Guide to Documentation and Source Citation within the year before signing up for Beyond the Basics.

Beyond the Basics is available for $175.00 for members and $200.00 for non-members. The Basics and Guide to Documentation and Source Citation are available individually or as a bundle. For further information or to view the syllabus, visit the NGS website at http://www.ngsgenealogy.org/cs/ags_beyondthebasics .

The courses of the NGS American Genealogical Studies are presented through an online cloud-based learning management system. To take advantage of this system, you need either a computer or tablet with an internet connection and an updated standard browser. Please refer to the NGS website for specific computer and software needs.

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.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Breaks Ground for First-of-Its-Kind St. George FamilySearch Library


For Immediate Release
August 15, 2015

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Breaks Ground for First-of-Its-Kind St. George FamilySearch Library


ST. GEORGE, UT (AUGUST 15, 2015)—The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and its nonprofit subsidiary FamilySearch International broke ground today on a first-of-its-kind facility in St. George, Utah. When complete, the state-of-the-art St. George FamilySearch Library will offer incredible free ancestry research services and fun, family-friendly experiences that invite personal and family discovery. Elder Allan F. Packer of the Church’s First Quorum of the Seventy presided over the groundbreaking ceremony along with local civic and faith leader guests. The new facility is projected to open in the fall of 2016.

“Today family history research and telling, sharing, and preserving family memories through stories, photos, and technology are engaging a growing number of individuals of all ages like never before,” said Dennis Brimhall, CEO of FamilySearch International. “Youth want to discover themselves and their family’s history in fun, exciting ways, and adults want to strengthen family connections and leave enduring legacies. The discovery experiences provided by this facility will help do just that,” Brimhall added.

The 13,500-square-foot St. George facility will be state of the art—designed from the ground up with the entire family in mind. It will deliver personal discovery experiences through interactive technologies and activities that can be continued in the home. Think of it as a dynamic, ever-unfolding “museum of me.”

Patrons will have access to the most current research resources available online and personal guidance from 150 very knowledgeable staff members. In addition, 4,700 square feet of the facility will offer new, fun, interactive, family-friendly activities that enable patrons of all ages to discover themselves through their personal family stories (see more about the FamilySearch Discovery Center in Salt Lake City).

The official opening of the new St. George facility is scheduled for late fall of 2016, and admission will be free to the public.

The current St. George FamilySearch Library is located at 162 North 400 East, Bldg. B Suite 200, and will remain open until construction of the new facility is completed.

About FamilySearch

FamilySearch International is the largest genealogy organization in the world. Millions of people use FamilySearch records, resources, and services to learn more about their family history. To help in this great pursuit, FamilySearch and its predecessors have been actively gathering, preserving, and sharing genealogical records worldwide for over 100 years.

FamilySearch is a nonprofit organization sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Patrons may access FamilySearch services and resources free online at FamilySearch.org or through over 4,800 family history centers in 132 countries, including the renowned Family History Library in Salt Lake City.


© 2015 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved. A service provided by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) to Publish The Mayflower Descendant with Winter 2016 Issue

August 14, 2015—Boston, Massachusetts—New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) has announced that, as the result of an agreement with the Massachusetts Society of Mayflower Descendants (MSMD), NEHGS will assume a ten-year stewardship of the venerable journal The Mayflower Descendant. First published in 1899 by George Ernest Bowman, under the auspices of the Massachusetts Society of Mayflower Descendants, the journal is one of the most highly respected scholarly journals in the field of genealogy. NEHGS plans to continue twice-a-year publication, winter and summer, available by subscription, with a winter 2016 issue to be published at the end of the 2015 calendar year.

An editorial board of NEHGS experts will manage publication of the biannual journal, working in collaboration with leading scholars in the field ensuring that the high standards of the journal are maintained.

The journal will continue to be a source of scholarship relating to Mayflower families and related families, their origins in England, and their lives and places of residence in America, from the earliest settlements to their migrations north and westward. Articles will be of genealogical and historical importance and will maintain The Descendant’s historic scholarly standards. As publisher, NEHGS will encourage first-time authors to publish in The Descendant. A call for articles will be forthcoming.

D. Brenton Simons, NEHGS President and CEO, pointed out, “The Mayflower Descendant is essential for New England research, a ‘must-read’ when tackling a genealogical problem in New England or with New England roots. As the leader in scholarly excellence in family history, with established strength in New England genealogy and a nearly 170-year history of producing publications in the field, NEHGS is perfectly poised to assume the publication of The Descendant,” Simons continued, “carrying on the tradition begun by George Bowman in 1899 and shaping this prestigious journal for a modern audience.”

Polly FitzGerald Kimmitt, CGSM, member of the Board of assistants of MSMD, and consulting editor for The Descendant, stated, “We are excited to partner with NEHGS in this new phase of publishing The Mayflower Descendant. The journal has long been a significant resource for genealogical researchers of early colonial New England and we are confident that NEHGS will continue its high level of genealogical scholarship.”

For more information, visit: AmericanAncestors.org/Mayflower-Descendant.

New Records Available To Search This Findmypast Friday, August 15, 2015


This week’s Findmypast Friday marks the release of fascinating British army records from the War of 1812 and the First World War, baptism records from the English county of Northumberland, a list of Scottish Presbyterians who signed the National Covenant to defend their faith during the 17th century, a valuable Irish census substitute and the first ever Australian census.

Northumberland Baptisms

Over 39,000 records have been added to our collection of Northumberland and Durham parish records. The records not only reveal your ancestor’s name but also the names of their parents’, their occupations and where they lived. The records include baptisms from Presbyterian, Independent, Wesleyan, Methodist and Anglican parishes. The collection now contains records from over 350 parishes and villages.

British Army, Casualty Index War of 1812

The British Army Casualty Index War of 1812 contains the details of over 12,000 soldiers in the British Army who died, deserted, or were imprisoned during the War of 1812 (or the Anglo American War). The War of 1812 was a two and a half year military conflict fought by the United States of America against the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, its North American colonies, and its American Indian allies. British losses during the War are estimated to be have been over 1,600 killed in action, 3,679 wounded and 3,321 dead from disease. Each record consists of a transcript of the original source material that will reveal the soldiers name, birth place, former occupation, rank, regiment or unit, place or action, company officer, company number, removal date and manner of removal – this may include information on how a soldier died or whether he deserted or was a prisoner of war.

British Army, Deserters and Absentees in Police Gazette 1914-1919

Containing over 13,000 records, Deserters and Absentees in Police Gazette 1914-1919 is comprised of lists of deserters and absentees published in Police Gazette during the First World War. The Gazette was primarily distributed to police forces around the British Isles and contained lists of persons wanted by police, missing or stolen objects, missing people and habitual criminals. During the war, it also provided lists of deserters and absentees from Britain’s armed forces. The lists were produced as a supplement every fortnight and most of the men listed were picked up and sent back to the army for court martial. Punishments could be severe but although execution was used in some cases it was not the norm. Some deserter’s evaded capture altogether, changed their name and went on to live a completely new life. Each record contains and image and transcript of the original source material. Records list the soldiers name, age, regiment, service number and the date and location of their desertion. Unsurprisingly, many deserters went missing after a visit home so each deserter’s last known address is included. Listings also included a full physical description.

British Jewry Book of Honour 1914-1920

The British Jewry Book of Honour 1914-1920 contains nearly 57,000 colour images and transcripts of the original document. This two volume book was published in 1922 to record and honour the contribution made by the 50,000 + Jews who served in the British and colonial forces during the First World War. The book was edited by Reverend Michael Adler who was the first Jewish chaplain to serve in HM Forces. It describes Jewish enlistment, casualties, military honours, Jewish Units and the work of Jewish hospitals and other Jewish institutions and agencies. Importantly, it contains alphabetical lists of those killed in action, those who were awarded military honours and the nominal rolls of Jews who served, listed by service and by regiment. There are indexed photographs of many of these individuals and the book also contains letters of support and acknowledgment from distinguished men of the day, both Jewish and non-Jewish. Winston Churchill wrote a foreword to the book in which he pointed out that although Jews only made up a tiny fraction of the Empire’s population, some 60,000 enlisted and fought in the war; of whom 2,324 gave their lives, and 6,350 were wounded.

Scottish Covenanters 1679-1688

Scottish Covenanters 1679-1688 contains over 81,000 records. The Covenanters were a Scottish Presbyterian movement that played an important part in the history of Scotland, England and Ireland, during the 17th century. They signed the National Covenant to defend their faith against the intrusion of the government after King Charles I forcefully introduced the Book of Common Prayer in Scotland. The records list the individuals who signed the Covenant and became rebels of the state. Each records contains a transcript created using sources held by The National Archives and the National Library of Scotland. Transcripts include the Covenanter’s name, county, a description (often their occupation or relatives) and place. Transcripts also include the original document’s source and archive reference.

Church of Ireland parish record search forms

Containing over 11,000 records, the Church of Ireland parish record search forms were filled out by Irish Public Records Office staff while dealing with Old Age Pension applications. The pension was introduced in Ireland 1864 and record office staff would be required to prove an applicant’s eligibility by checking dates of birth in parish and census records. Since many births, marriages or deaths were not recorded in Church of Ireland registers, confirmation of the applicant’s age would then be looked for in the 19th Century censuses. Many Irish census records were destroyed in the Public Records Office fire of 1922 making these records and invaluable census substitute for those with Church of Ireland ancestors. The forms were used by Record Office staff to document their findings and often contain notes on other family members uncovered during the course of their research. Each record contains a transcript and an image of the original search forms. The information varies according to what kind of search was carried out but will usually list the applicants name, birth year, parents name as well as the source type, year, parish and county.

New South Wales, 1828 Census householders’ returns

Containing nearly 1,000 records, the 1828 New South Wales Census was the first census ever to be taken in Australia. Previous government statistics were based on “musters”, a head count of assembled convicts and settlers. The 1828 census recorded the details of nearly 1,000 convicts and settlers at a time when the settlement was expanding rapidly. Indigenous Australians were not counted. The 1828 census is the only complete 19th century census to have survived and consists of original householders’ returns; the form filled in and signed by householders on census night rather than the more usual enumerators’ books. Each record contains a transcript and an image of the original record held by the State Records Authority of New South Wales. Forms will typically include the individuals name, occupation, birth year, arrival year, ship name, residence, class (whether free settler or class of convict) sentence, religion and details of their land and livestock.

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

Its lead brand, also called Findmypast, is a searchable online archive of over two billion family history records, 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 doing detailed historical research.

In April 2003 Findmypast was the first 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.

Forces War Records - New Collections Release - Imperial Prisoners of war held in Japan


Record Qty: 56,000+

Original Source: Transcribed from the National Archive reference WO392/23-26 ‘British Prisoners Of War Held In Japan Or Japanese-Occupied Territory’

In 1945, 37,583 British and Commonwealth soldiers were released from Japanese captivity and Forces War Records has their details.

During the course of the Second World War, over 140,000 Allied soldiers were captured by the Armed Forces of the Empire of Japan. These men were kept in barbaric conditions, utilised as forced labour, tortured for information and used for medical experiments. Japan, while a signatory of the 1929 Geneva Convention, never ratified it and thus ignored it. Treatment of Allied prisoners was so poor that over 30,000 died in captivity. Many of the guards responsible were subsequently tried for war crimes.

Immortalised in films such as “The Bridge on the River Kwai” (1957) and “To End all Wars” (2001), there is no denying the significant impact that these events had and continue to have on survivors, veterans and their families. Indeed, Japanese War Crimes against Prisoners of War are often a hotly debated topic.

This collection was compiled by the Directorate for Prisoners of War and lists the soldiers, along with the occasional civilian, who endured these conditions. Prisoners were only obliged to provide their name, rank and number so the amount of military information is limited, however the records do include the date of capture, the camp in which they were held and the date of liberation, be that through release, escape or death.

On the 70th Anniversary of the Empire of Japan’s surrender we are pleased to present this collection of 56,363 records, a permanent memorial to the servicemen involved and an invaluable resource for genealogists.

In addition, the record set includes such notable entries as:

Lieutenant Colonel Philip Toosey, the senior Allied Officer held at Tha Maa Kham PoW camp and the officer upon whom Alec Guinness’ Colonel Nicholson from ‘The Bridge on the River Kwai’ was based.

James Clavell, born Charles Edward Dumaresq Clavell, co-writer on the films ‘633 Squadron’ (1964) and ‘The Great Escape’ (1963) and author of the novel ‘King Rat’ (1962), based on his experiences in Changi camp.

Ernest William Swanton, the BBC Radio Sports broadcaster and journalist who was a regular commentator on ‘Test Match Special’.

New Records Available To Search This Findmypast Friday, August 8, 2015


This week’s Findmypast Friday marks the release of over 1.2 million new additions to our collection of Staffordshire parish registers. These new additions have been released in partnership with with the Staffordshire and Stoke on Trent Archive Service and are the second phase of an exciting project to create the Staffordshire Collection on Findmypast – a rich source, which on completion will comprise around 6 million fully searchable transcripts and scanned images of handwritten parish records. Over 17,000 records relating to Hillsborough Cemetery in Auckland, New Zealand are also available to search.

Staffordshire Baptisms

Over 483,000 records have been added to our collection of Staffordshire baptism records in the second phase of Findmypast’s partnership with the Staffordshire and Stoke on Trent Archive Service. On completion, the Staffordshire Collection will comprise approximately 6 million fully searchable transcripts and scanned images of registers from Staffordshire parishes, spanning 1538 to 1900. Staffordshire Baptisms now contains over 1.7 million records. Each record includes a transcript and scanned colour image of the original source material. The parents of the person baptised are often named, which can prove a crucial link to previous generations. Some of the more recent records list the date of birth, mother’s maiden name, the father’s occupation and the name of the officiating minister.

Staffordshire Marriages

Over 267,000 records have also been added to our collection of Staffordshire parish registers. Staffordshire marriages now contains contain over 905,000 records from 277 different parishes in the West Midland county. Some of the earlier records in this set contain the details of marriages that took place as early as 1538, a number of which are written in Latin. Each record includes a transcript and scanned colour image of the original source material. In some cases the records 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.

Staffordshire Banns

Over 185,000 records have been added to our collection of Staffordshire Banns. Banns of marriage are an ancient legal tradition, where a couple’s intention to marry would be publically announced at their parish church. The reading of the banns provided an opportunity for anybody to put forward a legal or religious objection to the marriage taking place. Banns had to be read on three Sundays in the three months before the wedding, unless the couple were to be married by licence. It is important to note that banns only state an intention to marry; the posting of the banns doesn’t necessarily mean the marriage took place. There now are 273,000 banns records from 208 different parishes in the Staffordshire Collection. Each record includes a transcript and scanned colour image of the original source material.

Staffordshire Burials

Over 284,000 burial records have been added to our collection of Staffordshire parish registers. The 1.1 million records now available to search in this set cover 229 Staffordshire parishes and date back to 1538, nearly 300 years before the civil registration of England & Wales burials began in 1837. Despite recording the dead, the Staffordshire burial records can reveal surprising amounts of biographical information about your ancestor such as their date of death, previous residence, their status at birth, previous occupation or rank, marital status and age at death, their religious denomination and occasionally their cause of death and the details of living relatives.
Staffordshire, Parish Registers Browse, 1538-1900

The ability to browse through more than 360 years of parish registers has also been added to our collection of Staffordshire parish registers. Search results will tell you what kind of records are in each result in the Event field. Earlier registers, before 1747, used a single volume to record all three life events. By 1813, there were three separate volumes, which contained printed forms to fill out.
New Zealand, Hillsborough Cemetery

New Zealand, Hillsborough Cemetery contains over 17,000 transcripts of burials that took place 1916 and 2008 at Hillsborough Cemetery in Auckland. A wealth of information can be obtained through these transcripts as they not only list the deceased’s name, date of birth and date of death, but can also include details of their occupation, residence, native place, how long they had been in the colony and their cause of death. Many transcripts also include original New Zealand Society of Genealogists (NZSG) headstone inscriptions.


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

Its lead brand, also called Findmypast, is a searchable online archive of over two billion family history records, 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 doing detailed historical research.

In April 2003 Findmypast was the first 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.

Announcing the Polish Genealogical Society of Connecticut and the Northeast 2015 Genealogy Conference

The Polish Genealogical Society of Connecticut and the Northeast 2015 Genealogy Conference will be held on October 2 and 3, 2015, at the Central Connecticut State University in New Britain, CT.

The conference provides an opportunity to learn strategies for tracing your Polish-American and Eastern European roots. The speakers are well known in Polish genealogy circles and their discussions will enable attendees to fill in the missing pieces of their family history. All speakers, who are highly respected with excellent credentials within the genealogy community, have extensive experience in their respective fields and have been featured at numerous regional, national and international conferences.

If your research has hit a brick wall, consultations with one of our speakers might aid in unraveling some of our research problems. These one-on-one consultations are always very popular and there are a limited number of openings. Featured speakers will be Tadeusz Piłat, John Righetti, Kris Rzepczynski, Lisa Alzo, Dr. Mieczyslaw B. Biskupski, Matthew Bielawa and Jonathan Shea.

Always a favorite at our conference is the two-part seminar "Introduction to Polish Research" on Friday night. This lecture is designed for both beginners and intermediate Polish genealogy researchers.

New this year, from Tarnobrzeg, Poland is Tadeusz Plłat. His topics are "Notary Records with an Emphasis on Records in the 19th Century" and "Galician Maps in Poland."

Other lectures include "Digital News: Utilizing Online Newspapers in Your Genealogy Research, Pennsylvania's Coal Mines, Pennsylvania Resources for Polish Genealogists, and Changed by Thalerhof - An Anniversary Documentary" which explains Europe's first concentration camp located in the Galician section of Poland from 1914-1917.

For more information and a description of the speakers topics, please consult our website at http://www.pgsctne.org/ConferencesEvents.aspx where registration materials are available. You can also contact Diane Szepanski, Conference Chair, at Szepanski3@cox.net.

Ohio Genealogical Society Announces New Lineage Society

The Ohio Genealogical Society (OGS) is proud to announce the formation of its fifth lineage society, The Society of Families of the Old Northwest Territory (SFONT). This new lineage society will be open to both members and non-members. Applications will be accepted starting on January 1, 2016 with the first induction ceremony to be held during the 2017 annual conference in Sandusky, Ohio.

The Old Northwest Territory, officially called the Territory Northwest of the Ohio River, was created by the U.S. Congress through the Northwest Ordinance and it existed between 13 July 1787 and 1 March 1803. The territory encompasses today’s Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin and part of Minnesota.

It was the first organized area within the United States to outlaw slavery, establish freedom of religion, create public education, and provide inheritance laws for widows and their children. The Northwest Ordinance foreshadows the first ten amendments to the U.S. Bill of Rights.

This new lineage society will not only honor the memory of American ancestors living within the boundaries of the Old Northwest Territory but also those of Native American, French and British ancestry who were living in this area prior to this territory becoming a part of the United States.

The French established Cahokia (Illinois) in 1699 and Detroit (Michigan) in 1701. Other settlements were also founded by the French. The British received this territory after the French and Indian Wars and then the territory become a part of the United States after the Revolutionary War.

Membership in the SFONT will not replace the 1803 pin for First Families of Ohio (FFO). Having an 1803 pin will not automatically qualify a member to join SFONT. FFO members with the 1803 pin will not lose their pin.

If your ancestor lived in what is now Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin or eastern Minnesota (east of the Mississippi River) between 13 July 1787 and 7 May 1800 (Indiana Territory created) or your ancestor lived in what is now Ohio or Michigan between 13 July 1787 and 3 March 1803 (Ohio Statehood) or your ancestor lived in what is now Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin or eastern Minnesota prior to 13 Jul 1787 as a citizen of either France or Great Britain, or as a Native American you may qualify for this new Society.

For many applicants this will be a challenging undertaking in order to prove ancestry since they will not only be dealing with American records but also French and British colonial records. The application form, rules & guidelines will be available on the OGS website by the end of the year http://www.ogs.org

GenGophers.com Doubles its Online Library to More Than 80,000 Digital Genealogy Books



GenGophers also adds the option to let users skip the daily Google Consumer Survey by paying a small fee, and a new fee waiver program for referrals

SALT LAKE CITY – Genealogy Gophers has broken additional new ground in genealogy research by launching an enhanced website that doubles the size of its original online library. GenGophers.com now provides online over 80,000 genealogy books and periodicals that are searchable and downloadable by Genealogy Gophers’ users for free. The online genealogy library has been built through a partnership with FamilySearch, and includes books and periodicals from their partner institutions such as the Allen County Public Library, the BYU Harold B. Lee Library, the Church History Library, the Family History Library, and the Houston Public Library.
The updated GenGophers.com website has also recently been redesigned to include additional search features that make it easier for users to search for ancestors by name, date, and place, as well as to launch searches for and within specific family history publications.

At the same time, Genealogy Gophers has launched a new offer to skip the brief once-per-day Google Consumer Surveys that helps keep the website, library, and search tools free to users. Requested by many GenGophers users who would like to avoid the surveys, this $19.95 option lets them skip the entire survey process for a full year. Simultaneously, Genealogy Gophers announced a referral program that waives that $19.95 fee for users who refer others to the site. Details for both programs are fully described on the GenGophers.com website.

The growing scale of Genealogy Gophers’ digital library is complemented by its unique search tools. The GenGophers.com website continues to employ the industry’s most advanced search technologies, allowing users to quickly and easily search through the online library. User-defined searches return “snippets” from possibly relevant pages found in publications contained in Genealogy Gophers’ online library. This snippet feature enables family history researchers to perform quick relevancy checks on their search results before downloading entire books. Each snippet displays the publication’s name and highlights the search terms that are found. Example: A search for “Joseph Hoole” in “Illinois” returned:


Once a snippet is reviewed and confirmed by the researcher as being possibly relevant, it can be selected and the entire page from the publication with the highlighted search terms is displayed. The page and the entire publication can then be further searched and downloaded for free by users.

“In addition to focusing our online searches only on our massive library of genealogy books, our search engine also employs a completely different approach than those used by other book-searching websites”, said Dallan Quass, founder of GenGophers.com. “While other websites can only search for specific words contained in books, our engine uses artificial intelligence to first identify and index all people mentioned in a publication and then allows specific searches for names, dates, and places associated with them. This approach significantly increases the chance of discovering extended family connections, stories about the lives of ancestors, and bringing family histories to life.”

GenGophers.com is a free website, financially supported by ads and Google Consumer Surveys. Those surveys ask users several market research questions once per day, allowing them to view the GenGophers library and use the search tools for free. Users also have the option to pay a $19.95 fee to skip the survey process entirely for a full year.

About Genealogy Gophers

Genealogy Gophers provides the most easily searched and retrieved family history books on the Web, with users able to access a growing online library that now includes more than 80,000 genealogy publications. Search tools based on artificial intelligence algorithms significantly increase the chances of finding relevant search term matches compared to typical word search engines. Relevant pages and books can be downloaded for free from the GenGophers.com website.