Month: September 2016

New Records Available To Search This Findmypast Friday, September 30, 2016

Over 2.2 million new records are available to search this Findmypast Friday including:


Billion Graves Cemetery Index

Over 1.7 million new records have been added to our Billion Graves Cemetery index collections. With over 12 million headstone records, Billion Graves is the largest online resource for GPS-tagged headstone and burial records, allowing you to discover the exact location of your ancestor’s grave.

This latest update includes;

Theses index will be regularly updated throughout the year. Each entry has a transcript, which includes a link to an image of the headstone with GPS details. The amount of information listed may vary, but most records will include a combination of the deceased’s name, birth date, death date, and cemetery, city, county and image link.


The British Army Worldwide Index 1851 contains over 156,000 records and index and covers over 300 regiments serving around the world. A wide range of ranks is represented from privates and drivers to captains and lieutenants. The index was created by Roger E. Nixon using regimental muster books and pay lists, part of the War Office records, held at The National Archives. Each transcript will provide you with an archival reference from the original source and will reveal your ancestor’s service number, rank, and regiment, as well as where his regiment was serving at the time the record was created.

The regiments in this collection were serving in Malta, the West Indies, Ireland, Pakistan, Canada, Honduras, and more places around the world.

Over 1,000 records from Witton Cemetery in Birmingham (formally known as Birmingham City Cemetery) have been added to our collection of Warwickshire Burials. The entire collection now contains more than 1.1 million records.

Each record includes a transcript of the original burial registry or details from the monumental inscription. Each record will vary depending on its source, but most will include your ancestor’s name, age, birth year, death date, burial year, burial location and the name of the officiating minister. A number of records will also include their parent’s names and residence.

Over 372,000 articles from three brand new titles have just been added to our collection of historic Irish Newspapers; the Irish Times, Weekly Irish Times and the Waterford Standard.

FamilySearch Adds 141 Million Family History Record Hint


Salt Lake City, Utah (29 September 2016)–You might discover new ancestors on your family tree this week at FamilySearch.org.

The nonprofit FamilySearch International, the largest genealogical organization in the world, released 141 million new hints in its online Family Tree today. The hints make use of the newest additions to FamilySearch’s massive collections of worldwide historical records made searchable online by volunteer indexers. These hints can lead to exciting new family history discoveries.

Two years ago, FamilySearch.org’s search engine began creating the hints by comparing data from the five billion names in its historical records online to the 1.2 billion customer-contributed ancestry names in the online Family Tree. “When we put the data together for comparison and find high-scoring matches to people in your family tree, that’s what we call a hint,” explained Robert Kehrer, FamilySearch senior product manager.

“In essence, the FamilySearch.org search engine is constantly working to make research discoveries for you without your having to do much more than login, validate what it found, and accept the hints,” added Kehrer.

The current addition enlarges the already published 1.5 billion hints from historical records in FamilySearch Family Tree. These hints can help in your research. Instead of searching for each ancestor separately, you receive the information in the form of a hint after FamilySearch has already searched the records for you.

These hints can identify a possible ancestor to add to your individual tree, or they can provide rich additional sources for an ancestor already in your tree. The details from one historical record may lead to the discovery of another, and the added details of each ancestor’s life can help weave together your family’s story.

Kehrer said he is confident of the hints’ accuracy because the historical records are being compared to all the rich information surrounding the ancestors in your family tree. In fact, the results have been verified at a 98.5 percent average accuracy. An exception can occur, for example, if your ancestor has a common name and not much differentiating information is attached to him or her. “If your ancestor is named John Smith and was born in New York in 1920 and there aren’t many people associated with that ancestor, the accuracy won’t be that high,” he said.

These newest hints in the historical records arsenal come from many countries, but particularly noteworthy are the 1851 and 1881 census records of England and Wales. “A large number of family history buffs have ancestors from the British Isles and records from this relatively recent time can be a good way to start or build a family tree,” Kehrer said.

How do you find your hints?



It’s easy. Sign in to your free FamilySearch.org account. If you don’t have an account, you can obtain a free account by going to FamilySearch.org. The hints, designated by a blue icon, can be located in multiple places, including the main page, the ancestor’s person page, and an ancestor’s entry in the descendancy view of the tree. Click the blue hint icon. If you agree that the record is a match, you can quickly and easily attach the record to that ancestor’s profile in your tree.You may find new hints any time you add a new person to Family Tree or you change the details in an ancestor’s listing. FamilySearch adds historical records daily that are continually mapped to contributors’ ancestors in Family Tree. And just as with today’s announcement, periodically very large batches of new hints are added throughout the year—which means millions of fun, new family discoveries.

Find and share this release online here.

About FamilySearch

FamilySearch International is the largest genealogy organization in the world. FamilySearch is a nonprofit, volunteer-driven organization sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 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. Patrons may access FamilySearch services and resources free online at FamilySearch.org or through over 4,921 family history centers in 129 countries, including the main Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Genealogy Research Without Borders: Legacy Tree Genealogists Launches Site in Portuguese

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH – September 28, 2016 – Legacy Tree Genealogists, a leading genealogy research firm based near the world’s largest family history library in downtown Salt Lake City, has announced their website will now be available to residents of Brazil in their native tongue of Portuguese. The announcement comes after months of development and professional translation services, ensuring that all elements will transition seamlessly for international users.

Already translated in Spanish, the website aims to provide resources for those searching for their ancestors who may feel overwhelmed or have hit a brick wall in their personal research, uniting them with a worldwide network of professional genealogists who can help them find the answers they seek.

“Our team of genealogists is hand-picked, experienced, and trained to work efficiently and carefully in uncovering our clients’ family stories. They have expertise in areas ranging from finding rare international records to genetic genealogy and DNA analysis,” said Legacy Tree president, Jessica Taylor. “We have established a reputation as the best research firm in the world based on client satisfaction. We cite all resources and provide documentation, so you can feel comfortable knowing that the information you receive is verified and accurate.”

Taylor, a graduate of Brigham Young University’s Family History program, founded Legacy Tree Genealogists in 2004, and has seen tremendous growth in the family history arena within the past 12 years, rising to a multi-billion-dollar industry.

“People have an innate desire to know where they came from,” said Taylor. “The question of who we ¬¬are is as old as time itself, and with the advancements in technology and genetic genealogy, these answers are more readily available than ever before.”

The decision to translate the website into Portuguese was a very personal undertaking for Taylor, who served an 18-month mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to Brazil from January 2001 to July 2002.

“I have a deep love for the people of Brazil, and to be able to provide a service to them that can help them gain a greater understanding into where they came from is incredibly fulfilling and rewarding,” said Taylor.

In the near future Legacy Tree Genealogists has plans to release the website in additional languages, including French and Russian, in order to continue to better serve the global community.
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About Legacy Tree Genealogists

Legacy Tree Genealogists is the world’s leading genealogy research firm. Founded in 2004, the mission of the company is to bridge the divide between our clients and their ancestors, helping them discover their roots and personal history. Our team of professional genealogists search the world for answers and find the un-findable. Based near the world’s largest family history library in downtown Salt Lake City, Utah we have developed a network of professional researchers and archives around the globe. More information is available at https://www.legacytree.com or https://www.legacytree.com/pt-br

Twile Integrates with FamilySearch

Twile Integrates with FamilySearch
Twile Integrates with FamilySearch

LONDON, UK and SALT LAKE CITY, UT (September 14, 2016)—Twile and FamilySearch International have announced the launch of a new feature that will let FamilySearch.org users generate a family history timeline and share their research with other family members online. The timeline is designed to make research and discoveries more engaging for the broader family—especially younger generations—and to encourage collaboration.

Connecting securely to FamilySearch.org, Twile imports a user’s tree and automatically adds events, such as births and marriages, to a personal, interactive timeline of their family history. Users can then browse the timeline, add photos, and share it privately with other family members.

By presenting a family tree as a timeline, Twile makes it easier for non-genealogists in a family to explore their ancestry through events, stories, and pictures. It also encourages collaboration by letting them add missing details, their own life events, and recent photos.

UK-based Twile won two awards in the Innovator Showdown at RootsTech 2016, including the People’s Choice award. In response to customer requests, Twile immediately started development on its FamilySearch integration.

Paul Brooks, Twile CEO, said, “The FamilySearch import has been our most requested feature, especially following our success at RootsTech. We have a passionate community of FamilySearch users who have waited patiently while we built it, and we’re so happy that it’s now ready for them.”

Currently, the integration imports FamilySearch’s Family Tree data into Twile. Soon, Twile will be adding support for FamilySearch’s memories and photos plus an automatic synchronisation that will keep the Twile timeline up to date as FamilySearch records change.

“FamilySearch is always looking for fun, engaging experiences that help our patrons make new personal discoveries and family connections. Twile’s rich, custom timeline of key family history events does exactly that!” said Steve Rockwood, FamilySearch CEO.

To utilize the new feature, FamilySearch users will need to register for Twile at www.twile.com. The basic service is free and lets users add up to 10 events and photos per month, while a Twile Premium account allows subscribers to add unlimited events and photos for $49.99 per year.

About FamilySearch

FamilySearch is the largest genealogy organization in the world and is a nonprofit, volunteer-driven organization sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 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. Patrons may access FamilySearch services and resources for free at FamilySearch.org or through more than 4,921 family history centers in 129 countries, including the main Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah.

About Twile

Twile is a UK-based interactive timeline of your family’s past, present, and future. The timeline consists of photos and milestones—such as births, marriages, and deaths—that tell the story of your family from your earliest known ancestor right through to today. Family historians can import their family tree from FamilySearch and then add more recent events from their own life before inviting their family members to explore and contribute.

While the Twile website is aimed primarily at family historians, it is also designed to encourage the rest of the family to add their own content, including the younger generations. Since its beginnings, Twile has been backed by Creative England, a number of UK angel investors and Findmypast, with whom they partnered in February 2016. Twile was the winner of two innovation awards at RootsTech 2016, including People’s Choice.

New FamilySearch.org Collections: Week of September 26, 2016


SALT LAKE CITY, UT—Check out the new record collections for Australia and the United States Revolutionary War this week at FamilySearch.org. Six million new records were also added to the Find A Grave Index. Quickly search or share this week’s new collections from the interactive table online. 
FamilySearch is the largest genealogy organization in the world. FamilySearch is a nonprofit, volunteer-driven organization sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 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. Patrons may access FamilySearch services and resources for free at FamilySearch.org or through more than 4,921 family history centers in 129 countries, including the main Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Kerry Scott Named Editor of APG eNews


WHEAT RIDGE, Colo., 26 September 2016 – The Association of Professional Genealogists (APG®) has named Kerry Scott, as the new editor of APG’s monthly newsletter. Scott is a professional genealogist and owner of Clue Wagon, LLC. She brings years of experience as a blogger, writer, and lecturer to APG’s popular monthly electronic newsletter. She is the author of How to Use Evernote for Genealogy and has written genealogy and technology articles for Family Tree Magazine and other publications.

Scott served as F+W Media’s online content manager, creating content and producing webinars and courses for FamilyTreeMagazine.com and FamilyTreeUniversity.com. Her background is in human resources. She served as the member benefits coordinator for APG for three years.

“APG eNews is designed to be a go-to source for news concerning the professional, as well as APG news,” said Kerry Scott. “I’m excited to grow the publication in its usefulness to APG members. I’d like it to be a resource that members look forward to receiving every month. Thank you to the APG Board for selecting me for this position.”

APG eNews Subscription Information

APG eNews launched in 2012 and is produced monthly. The most recent three issues are posted in the Publications areas of the APG website. Members have access to all past issues in the Members Only section of website. Members who subscribe to the email list will receive a notice and link each month.

About the Association of Professional Genealogists

The Association of Professional Genealogists (www.apgen.org), established in 1979, represents more than 2,700 genealogists, librarians, writers, editors, historians, instructors, booksellers, publishers and others involved in genealogy-related businesses. APG encourages genealogical excellence, ethical practice, mentoring and education. The organization also supports the preservation and accessibility of records useful to the fields of genealogy and history. Its members represent all fifty states, Canada and thirty other countries. APG is active on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.

Association of Professional Genealogists Recognizes Members and Chapters for Contributions to the Organization and to the Genealogy Profession


FORT WAYNE, Indiana, and WHEAT RIDGE, Colo., 22 September 2016− The Association of Professional Genealogists (APG®) honored several of its members for their achievements and service to the field of genealogy today at its 2016 Professional Management Conference (PMC) in Fort Wayne, Indiana. APG President Billie Stone Fogarty presented the awards at today’s opening session of PMC.

Melanie D. Holtz, CG, received the Grahame T. Smallwood, Jr., Award of Merit, which honors personal commitment and outstanding service to the APG. Holtz was an APG board member in 2010 and from 2013–2014 and served on APG’s Professional Development Committee for six years. She is a member of the APG North Carolina Chapter. She operates an international research firm that specializes in Italian genealogy, dual citizenship, and probate cases.

Eileen M. O’Duill, CG, received the APG Professional Achievement Award. The award, created in 2007, recognizes exceptional professional achievement and ethical behavior with contributions to the field of genealogy. O’Duill, who lives in Ireland, served on the APG Board from 1995–2000 and 2007–2012. She is a genealogist, writer, and lecturer on Irish genealogy topics and is a co-author of Irish Civil Registration—Where Do I Start?

Elizabeth Shown Mills, CG, CGL, FASG, was awarded Honorary Lifetime Membership for her contributions to APG and to the field of genealogy. Benjamin B. Spratling III was presented an award plaque in appreciation and with gratitude for outstanding service as legal counsel to the APG.

Other awards included:

APGQ Excellence Award: Yvette Hoitink, CG, for her September 2015 article “Use Content Marketing to Grow Your Business.”

Certificate of Appreciation to Kimberly T. Powell for her service and dedication to the Professional Development Committee and an award plaque for her service as APG President from 2014–2015.

Certificate of Appreciation to Diane Rapaport for her years of service on the Publications Advisory Committee.

Fogarty presented an award plaque to Curt B. Witcher, MLS, FUGA, IGSF, of the Allen County Public Library for hosting the Association of Professional Genealogists 2016 Professional Management Conference. APG also presented a $1,000 donation to the library.

Northland Chapter Received APG Golden Chapter Award

APG’s Northland Chapter received the Golden Chapter Award for excellence in professional development and networking opportunities for its members. A Golden Chapter Award Honorable Mention went to APG’s Puget Sound Chapter for excellence in outreach, collaboration, and preservation upon the successful completion of “Scrapbook of Picture Cards,” a joint project with the Seattle Public Library. The Great Plains Chapter also received Golden Chapter Award Honorable Mention for excellence in programs, outreach, and administration of a small chapter.

“We are blessed with a multitude of outstanding members who contribute their time, talents, and expertise to further the goals of APG and make the field of genealogy better for all,” said APG President Billie Stone Fogarty. “We are especially proud of this year’s honorees and thank each of them for their service and dedication.”

About the Association of Professional Genealogists

The Association of Professional Genealogists (www.apgen.org), established in 1979, represents more than 2,700 genealogists, librarians, writers, editors, historians, instructors, booksellers, publishers and others involved in genealogy-related businesses. APG encourages genealogical excellence, ethical practice, mentoring and education. The organization also supports the preservation and accessibility of records useful to the fields of genealogy and history. Its members represent all fifty states, Canada, and thirty other countries. APG is active on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.

New Occupational Records now on TheGenealogist

If your ancestor held a prominent position in a religious organisation then you may find them in amongst a number of recent releases at TheGenealogist.co.uk. The new records include:The Year Book of The Church of England in the Dominion of Canada 1926 …

BCG’s Free Day of Quality Education to be Broadcast Online Through Legacy

BCG's Free Day of Quality Education to be Broadcast Online Through Legacy

Top genealogists Pamela Boyer Sayre, Elizabeth Shown Mills, Ann Staley, Jeanne Larzalere Bloom, David McDonald, and Judy Russell will present six one-hour lectures held at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City Friday, 7 October 2016 between 9 AM and 5 PM mountain U.S. time. The lectures are free and open to the public (registration is not required), sponsored by the Board for Certification of Genealogists. Most will also be broadcast online (free registration is required, see below). The board is an independent certifying body and author of the updated 2014 Genealogy Standards.

Times, topics, and speakers:

9:00 AM – “Enough is Enough. Or Is It?” Pamela Boyer Sayre, CG, CGL

10:15 AM – “FAN + GPS + DNA: The Problem-Solver’s Great Trifecta.” Elizabeth Shown Mills, CG, CGL

11:30 AM – “Black Sheep Ancestors and Their Records.” Ann Staley, CG, CGL

1:30 PM – “Bringing Life to Our Ancestors: Manuscript Collections.” Jeanne Larzalere Bloom, CG

2:45 PM – “Document Transcription & Analysis: A Workshop.” David McDonald, CG

4:00 PM – “When Worlds Collide: Resolving Conflicting Evidence.” Judy G. Russell, CG, CGL

“Whether you stop in for the lectures or join online, you will learn more about how to apply good methodology to your family research,” said President Jeanne Larzalere Bloom, CG. “The Board for Certification of Genealogists strives to foster public confidence in genealogy by promoting an attainable, uniform standard of competence and ethics. Educating all family historians of every level is part of this mission.”

For questions or more information contact office@BCGcertification.org.

Register for the Online Broadcasts

Five of the six classes will be broadcast online by BCG’s webinar partner, Legacy Family Tree Webinars. Visit www.FamilyTreeWebinars.com/BCG to sign up individually (free), or click here to sign up for multiple classes at once.

The words Certified Genealogist are a registered certification mark and the designations CG, CGL, and Certified Genealogical Lecturer are service marks of the Board for Certification of Genealogists, used under license by board-certified associates after periodic competency evaluations, and the board name is registered in the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office.

6th Annual Forensic Genealogy Institute to be held March 7-9, 2017, in San Antonio, Texas

The Council for the Advancement of Forensic Genealogy (CAFG) is proud to announce two first-time tracks–unique to CAFG–being offered at the 6th Annual Forensic Genealogy Institute to be held March 7-9, 2017, in San Antonio, Texas.The first track, App…

New SLIG Scholarship for First-Time Institute Attendees

The Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy, sponsored by the Utah Genealogical Association, is pleased to announce that applications for a new SLIG Scholarship will be accepted beginning September 15, 2016.Who may apply: Any past institute participant will…

TheGenealogist Adds to its Growing Collection of Parish Records

TheGenealogist adds to its growing collection of Parish Records with the release of those for Nuneaton & North Warwickshire.

  • Released in partnership with the Nuneaton & North Warwickshire Family History Society there are over 454,000 new fully searchable records of individuals
  • Allowing the researcher to discover more than 300,000 people recorded within the baptisms from this area in the heart of England
  • Family historians can also discover the details of over 90,000 individuals from marriages and nearly 60,0000 people listed in the burials of Nuneaton & North Warwickshire

Nuneaton & North Warwickshire FHS worked with TheGenealogist to publish their records online for the first time, making 454,525 individuals from baptism, marriage and burial records fully searchable.

“The officers of Nuneaton & North Warwickshire Family History Society are delighted to be working with The Genealogist to bring their collection of baptism, marriage and burial transcriptions for north Warwickshire online…” John Parton (Chairman)

With some of the surviving records reaching back into the 1700s this is an excellent resource for family historians to use for discovering Nuneaton & North Warwickshire ancestors.
The records are also available on TheGenealogist’s Society website FHS-Online.co.uk where societies get 100% of the income.

“This new initiative will provide for those researchers preferring online access, while allowing us to continue offering the data on CD. NNWFHS members have opportunity to take out an enhanced subscription which includes access to the data.” John Parton (Chairman)

This is an ongoing project with the society working on transcribing many more records.

“We’re delighted to welcome NNWFHS to both TheGenealogist and FHS-Online. This release adds to the growing collection of parish records on both websites. These partnerships help societies boost their funds whilst bringing their records to a much wider audience, through online publication.” Mark Bayley (Head of Online Development)

If your society is interested in publishing records online, please contact Mark Bayley on 01722 717002 or see fhs-online.co.uk/about.php

New records available to search this Findmypast Friday September 16, 2016

Over 4.7 million new records have been added this week including;

BRAND NEW RECORDS

Ireland Valuation Office Books contains just under 2 million records. The collection houses several types of manuscript records from the Valuation Office in Ireland including field books, house books, quarto books, rent books, survey books, and tenure books. All of these books helped to inform the publication of Griffith’s Valuation; a comprehensive assessment of the rental value of Irish lands and property from the mid-1820s to the mid-1850s.

Each record includes both a transcript and an image of the original document. The amount and type of information will vary depending on the date and nature of the document. Images offer additional information, particularly about the land being assessed. Some book types, such as tenure books, include notations about the property as well as notes on the cost of rent and any additional observations. House books also often include descriptions of a property and its various components, such as notations of office, barn and piggery. Quarto books include observations about the tenement.


Ireland, Original Will Registers 1858-1920 contains over 181,000 records and forms the largest collection of surviving wills for post-1858 Republic of Ireland. The registers come from will books created by the district courts and held by the National Archives of Ireland. The collection includes wills from Northern Ireland up until 1917. Each records contains both a transcript and an image of the original source document.

Explore lists of over 50,000 Irish Catholics who swore loyalty to the crown or converted to Protestantism. During the harsh Penal Laws of the 18th century, Catholics were restricted from owning property or having businesses so many chose to either convert (at least legally) to the Church of Ireland or swear loyalty to the Crown in front of a court so that they might qualify for certain rights.

Each record contains a transcript and an image of the original entry. The amount of information may vary as there are different kinds of records included in the collection. Most records will reveal your ancestor’s address, occupation, date of conversion or qualification, date of enrollment or court hearing and the location of the court.


These brand new records consist of indexed lists of men and women who served with the Merchant Navy and reveal detailed information for each crew member such as where and when they were born and details of their life at sea. They hold the names of thousands of men and women from Galway, Belfast, Dublin, and lands farther away such as Philadelphia, Norway and many more. Crew lists also recorded marriages, engagements, births and deaths at sea.

Each record includes an image of the original record and a transcript. Transcripts will usually list your ancestor’s birth date, birth place, vessel name, ship number, registry port and the nature of the event that was recorded.

ADDITIONAL RECORDS & FEATURES FOR EXISTING SETS

Our collection of Lincolnshire baptisms is now available to search by name, year, place and parent’s names. Lincolnshire baptisms contains over 1.9 million parish records dating from 1538 to 1911 and will allow you to discover your ancestors birth year, baptism date, location and parent’s names. Each record includes both an image and a transcript of the original document.

Lincolnshire banns is now available to search by name, year, spouse’s name and location. The collection contains over 121,000 records covering banns read in Lincolnshire parish churches between 1538 and 1911. The records allow you to discover your ancestor’s residence, banns date, spouse’s name’ spouse’s residence and location.

Our Lincolnshire marriage records are now available to search by name, birth year, marriage year, spouse’s name and location. The collection now contains over 933,000 records and covers more than 650 locations across the county. Discover your ancestor’s age, birth year, residence, marriage date, location, father’s name and spouse’s details as far back as 1538.

You can now search our Lincolnshire burial records by name, birth year, burial year and location. Lincolnshire burials contains over 1.4 million records covering more than 300 burial places across the county. Discover your ancestor’s age at death, birth year, burial date and burial location.

Browse over 5000 parish registers containing more than 4.4 million records of baptisms, marriages and burials from all over Lincolnshire.

Over 1.6 million new articles have been added to our collection of historic British newspapers. 14 brand new titles have been added to the collection from right across the country including the Preston Herald, Norwich Mercury, Warwick and Warwickshire Advertiser, Barnsley Chronicle, Durham Chronicle, East & South Devon Advertiser and more.

Over 3 Million historic Irish records free forever to search online

  • Four fascinating NAI collections spanning 220 years of Irish history (1701-1922) free to search forever
  • Released online for the first time, the records will allow researchers to trace their roots back to Pre-Famine Ireland and learn about the lives of their Irish ancestors


Dublin, Ireland, September 15th 2016

Leading Family History website Findmypast, has today announced the online publication of more than 3 million historic Irish records released in association with the National Archives of Ireland and Family Search International. The release consists of a wide range of documents including original wills, lists of Catholics who swore loyalty to the crown or converted to Protestantism, land valuation records and merchant navy crew lists. The records date back to pre-famine Ireland and will be completely free to search forever.

Spanning over 220 years of Irish history from 1701 to 1922, the release is comprised of four highly valuable National Archives of Ireland collections including:

  • Original Will Registers 1858-1920 – over 181,000 records the largest collection of surviving wills for the post-1858 period for the Republic of Ireland. The registers allow researchers to explore the pages of wills to discover where their family lived, what assets they had, if it was left to relatives, and if anyone was left out due to a family feud.
  • Qualification and Convert Rolls 1701 – 1845 – lists of over 52,000 Catholics who swore loyalty to the crown or converted to Protestantism. During the harsh Penal Laws of the 18th century, Irish Catholics were restricted from owning property or running businesses. Many chose to either convert (at least legally) to the established Church or swear loyalty in front of a court in order to qualify for certain rights
  • Valuation Office books 1824-1856 – these land and house surveys kept by the Valuation Office of Ireland contain over 2 million names. The books that make up this collection were preparatory to the Griffith’s Valuation, and provide a comprehensive assessment of the rental value of Irish lands and property from the mid-1820s to the mid-1850s. The books reveal where and when individuals rented or owned property and provide rare glimpses of life in pre-famine Ireland
  • Merchant Navy Crew lists 1857-1922 – These indexed lists records the details of over 832,000 men and women who served with the Merchant Navy. The original lists were extensive and provided detailed information for each crew member, where and when they were born, and their life at sea. The lists not only cover Irish sailors but also include natives of Norway, Russia, Sweden, America and Germany, to name but a few

This is the first time these important National Archives of Ireland collections have been fully indexed with digitized images of the original papers linked online. All four collections are fully searchable, providing relatives and historians from all over the world with opportunities to discover more about their Irish heritage through documents that, until today, could only by accessed by visiting the Archive’s reading rooms in Dublin.

Findmypast is home to the most comprehensive online archive of Irish family history records with over 114 million documents published in partnership with The National Archives of Ireland, The National Archives UK, and a host of other local, county and national archives.

Brian Donovan, Head of Irish Records at Findmypast, comments:

“The records of the National Archives of Ireland are a central resource for Irish family history and we at Findmypast are once again delighted to be making them available and fully searchable to all online in partnership with our colleagues at Family Search. Moreover, we are once again releasing these records for free forever, just like we did with the pre-1901 census records or the Roman Catholic parish registers, making Irish genealogy that much easier and cheaper for all. It is a privilege to work with the records and team at the National Archives, and we look forward to further releases in the near future.”

Catriona Crowe, Head of Special Projects at the National Archives of Ireland, said:

“The National Archives of Ireland has been to the forefront of genealogical democratisation, starting with the release free to access of the 1901 and 1911 censuses online, and followed by the material available on our genealogical website – genealogy.nationalarchives.ie. We regard it as a fundamental principle that Irish people and people of Irish descent should have free access to their genealogical cultural heritage. Our partnership with Findmypast and FamilySearch has allowed us to continue to activate that principle, and we regard the partnership as an exemplary arrangement for access to important records with minimum cost to the State. It has been a harmonious partnership, where all involved gain benefit from the arrangement.

This latest release comprises a huge number of records, ranging from 17th century convert records to 19th century land records, shipping records and copies of wills which were destroyed in 1922. None of these records have been digitised or indexed before. They contain millions of names not available elsewhere. We know that they will be a great addition to the records already available to the millions interested in their Irish ancestry, and to the growing online scholarly archive on Irish history.

Our partnership with Findmypast and FamilySearch has allowed us to continue to activate that principle, and we regard the partnership as an exemplary arrangement for access to important records with minimum cost to the State. It has been a harmonious partnership, where all involved gain benefit from the arrangement.”

This latest release comprises a huge number of records, ranging from 17th century convert records to 19th century land records, shipping records and copies of wills which were destroyed in 1922. None of these records have been digitised or indexed before. They contain millions of names not available elsewhere. We know that they will be a great addition to the records already available to the millions interested in their Irish ancestry, and to the growing online scholarly archive on Irish history.”

Find out more at: http://www.findmypast.com/irish-ancestors

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 First World War, 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 digitised records from across the globe, including the 1911 Census and the recently released 1939 Register which they digitised in association with The National Archives.
www.findmypast.com

About The National Archives of Ireland

Occupying a key position in the cultural and intellectual life of the nation, the National Archives holds the records of the modern Irish State which document its historical evolution and the creation of our national identity.

In keeping with our Mission Statement, we secure the preservation of records relating to Ireland which warrant preservation as archives and ensure that appropriate arrangements are made for public access to archives.

Our holdings relate to all parts of Ireland and have enormous research potential as they provide essential primary source material for people seeking to understand the political, economic and social forces which have shaped our nation. The records also permit the study of Government policy and encourage greater use of our archival heritage by the general public.

FamilySearch New Collections Update: Week of September 12, 2016

SALT LAKE CITY, UT—Searchable records are becoming more and more available across the globe. The most recent published collections are great evidence of that. From the large indexed 1911 census in Denmark to browsable images from Korea. Click here to see the interactive table of this week’s historic records added to FamilySearch.org.

About FamilySearch

FamilySearch is the largest genealogy organization in the world. FamilySearch is a nonprofit, volunteer-driven organization sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 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. Patrons may access FamilySearch services and resources for free at FamilySearch.org or through more than 4,921 family history centers in 129 countries, including the main Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Third Annual 2017 RootsTech Innovator Showdown Boasts $100,000 in Prizes

Third Annual 2017 RootsTech Innovator Showdown Boasts $100,000 in Prizes


The global innovation competition is now accepting entries

Salt Lake City (September 12, 2016)—RootsTech, the world’s largest family history and technology conference, is now accepting entries for the 2017 Innovator Showdown—a “Global Innovation Competition” for developers and entrepreneurs seeking an opportunity to impact the growing multi-billion dollar family history industry while competing for $100,000 in cash and prizes. The Innovator Showdown seeks to support, foster, and inspire innovation within the family history marketplace. The deadline for submitting to the 2017 Innovator Showdown is December 1, 2016. The winners will present on stage and be selected by judges and live audience voting at RootsTech 2017 on Friday, February 10, 2017. Go to RootsTech.devpost.com for more information.

2016 RootsTech Innovator Summit

Last year, 50 contestants, including six international applicants, competed in the Innovator Showdown. In 2017, the total cash and in-kind Innovator Showdown prizes will again be $100,000—making it one of the most attractive innovator contests in the nation.

Showdown Calendar:

  • Submissions will be accepted: today through December 1, 2016
  • Online Judging: December 1–20, 2016
  • Semifinalists Announced: December 20, 2016
  • Showdown Semifinals: February 8, 2017
  • Showdown Finals: February 10, 2017 at RootsTech at the Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Out of all applicants, the field will be narrowed to 10 semifinalists. Showdown semifinals will be held during lunch at the RootsTech Innovator Summit in the Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City, Utah on February 8, 2017 where we will introduce the semifinalists and their products. Five finalists will be announced that evening.

The exciting Showdown Finals are held during RootsTech before a panel of industry judges, including genealogy, technology and business gurus, and a live audience of 3,000 family history consumers, making the Innovator Showdown arguably one of the largest live audience tech competitions in North America. Finals will also be streamed live through RootsTech.org to tens of thousands of online viewers. This year, five finalists will pitch their innovations, field questions from judges, and await the announcement of the winners, while real time audience voting is taking place via texting to determine the winner of the People’s Choice prize.

Rootstech Innovator Summit 2016 - 1st place winner, TapGenes by Heather Holmes—Tools to identify medical and genetic threads that tie your family together. TapGenes also competed in the 2015 competition

Cash Prize Breakdown for Finalists:

  • Judge’s 1st Choice: $20,000
  • Judge’s 2nd Choice: $14,000
  • Judge’s 3rd Choice: $6,000
  • People’s Choice: $10,000

Besides cash prizes, winners will receive fabulous in-kind prizes from sponsors to assist in successfully launching their products to the awaiting world of family history enthusiasts, bringing the total prize value up to $100,000.

2016 Showdown winners represented a wide variety of family history related products that included:

  • 1st place winner, TapGenes by Heather Holmes—Tools to identify medical and genetic threads that tie your family together. TapGenes also competed in the 2015 competition.
  • 2nd Place winner, Studio from Legacy Republic by Michael Chang—Technology hardware and software for digitizing hard copy photo albums using off-the-shelf smartphone technology
  • 3rd Place winner, Twile by Paul Brooks from Doncaster, South Yorkshire, UK— Web app that populates a visual family timeline with data and media
  • People’s Choice winner—Twile

Entries for the 2017 Innovator Showdown can be made through http://rootstech.devpost.com/ and must include a video.

You can find this release online at media.familysearch.org.

About RootsTech

RootsTech, held February 8-11, 2017 and hosted by FamilySearch, is the largest global family history event in the world! The sixth annual conference—celebrating families across generations—is the perfect place to discover and share your family’s stories and connections through technology.

© 2016 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved. A service provided by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

MyHeritage: 33 Million Finish Church Records

MyHeritage Releases Most Significant Collection of Finnish Historical Records Ever Published Online

Extensive collection of 33 million Church records digitized by MyHeritage covers the population of Finland during 300 years, providing a treasure trove of information for anyone with Finnish ancestors

TEL AVIV, Israel, LEHI, Utah & HELSINKI, Finland, September 12, 2016 — MyHeritage, the fastest-growing destination for discovering, preserving and sharing family history, announced today the addition of a new historical records collection: Finland Church Census and Pre-confirmation Rolls, 1657-1950. The collection, indexed and searchable in its entirety, is currently available only on MyHeritage, along with millions of scanned original documents. It was created with the cooperation of the National Archives Service of Finland.
The collection includes clerical surveys (rippikirjat) and pre-confirmation books (lastenkirjat) for a period starting in 1657 and spanning nearly 300 years. MyHeritage is the first organization to index this collection. Users can access the collection on SuperSearch™, MyHeritage’s global search engine for historical records. In addition, users who upload their family trees to MyHeritage immediately benefit from Record Matching technology that automatically reveals new information about their ancestors who appear in the records.
Records from the collection list family households and include family relationships; more recent records include birth dates and birthplaces, and notes on marriages, deaths, and migrations. Records may also include notes on a person’s reputation and physical appearance.
“This is the most important collection of historical records for Finland ever published online,” said Russ Wilding, Chief Content Officer at MyHeritage. “We are pleased to have been the ones to index it in its entirety and make it available to our millions of users. Anyone with Finnish ancestors will find them here, extend their family tree by many generations, and make fascinating family history discoveries.”
With this latest addition from Finland, MyHeritage extends its genealogy market leadership in the Nordic countries, with millions of registered users and hundreds of millions of historical records from Finland, Norway, Sweden, and Denmark. MyHeritage was the first company to release the invaluableSwedish household examination (census) records, followed by multiple collections of Census Records from Denmark. MyHeritage is committed to continue to digitize important historical records and bring them online for the first time, for the benefit of the global family history community.
Searching the Finland Church Census and Pre-confirmation Rolls collection is free. A subscription is required to view records and Record Matches.
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. www.myheritage.com.

New London Records Available To Search This Findmypast Friday

To commemorate the Great Fire of London’s 350th anniversary, over 3.5 million historic London records are available to search this Findmypast Friday, including:Brand New RecordsLondon Post Office Directories 1842, 1851 and 1861, BrowseBrowse over 1.5 m…

Ancestry Appoints Catherine Ball as Chief Scientific Officer



Recognized Leader in Field of Genomics
Will Help Company Scale DNA Offering to Millions More


LEHI, Utah, Sept. 08, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Ancestry, the global leader in family history and consumer genomics, today announced the appointment of Catherine Ball, Ph.D. as Chief Scientific Officer. In addition to overseeing the science team, Dr. Ball leads the Company’s initiatives to develop innovative new technologies and analyze genetic data at a rapidly-increasing scale.

Dr. Ball joined Ancestry in 2011 as Vice President of Genomics and Bioinformatics, helping to establish the Company’s approach to genetic genealogy leading to the launch of AncestryDNA. She has built Ancestry’s science team into a key innovation engine, driving new scientific discoveries and powering the Company’s growth to become the largest consumer genomics provider globally. Today, AncestryDNA has the world’s largest consumer genomics database and has helped more than two million customers learn more about their ethnic origins and genetic relationships.

“This is an important recognition of the instrumental role Cathy has played — and will continue to play — in the tremendous growth of our DNA business,” said Ken Chahine Ph.D., Executive Vice President and General Manager of AncestryDNA. “We’re focused on developing new innovations that combine the science of DNA with our vast database of 70 million family trees to help everyone, everywhere discover what led to them. We’re at the beginning of this journey and there’s no one better to spearhead these efforts than Cathy.”

“It’s incredibly gratifying to work on a product that has a meaningful impact on so many lives,” said Dr. Ball. “Our customers share extremely rewarding stories of self-discovery with us daily and it’s an important priority to be good stewards of the data entrusted to us. I look forward to continuing work with a stellar team of laboratory scientists, geneticists, statisticians, and computer scientists as we refine the genomic science behind family history to deliver more detailed and personalized results to those of all backgrounds.”

By bringing together DNA data and the context of ties between people, places, and human events found in family trees, the AncestryDNA team will continue to study ethnic diversity, migration patterns, human evolution and the history of our species, which has the potential to influence the way we think about identity and the connections among mankind.

Dr. Ball is a genomic scientist who has annotated and mined the genomes of various organisms and created resources to help clinicians, citizens and other scientists exploit and explore genome data. Her career has focused on helping people around the world appreciate, understand and use their own genomic data. Dr. Ball has collaborated on the annotation of the first sequenced eukaryotic genome (brewer’s yeast) and has collaboratively built databases to explore the genomes of yeast, E. coli and the bacterium that causes tuberculosis. As a pioneer in data analysis resources for high-throughput biomedical technologies, she led the Stanford Microarray Database, the largest academic database of its kind. Dr. Ball has used high-throughput biomedical data to shed light on diverse research topics, from the biology of infectious organisms to the mechanisms involved in cell division and cancer. Dr. Ball has presented seminars at leading universities and contributes to National Institutes of Health committees. She received a B.S. in Biology and a Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from the University of California, Los Angeles. Dr. Ball was a post-doctoral fellow at the University of California, Berkeley prior to her research in the Departments of Genetics and Biochemistry at Stanford University School of Medicine.

About Ancestry

Ancestry, the global leader in family history and consumer genomics, harnesses the information found in family trees, historical records, and DNA to help people gain a new level of understanding about their lives. Ancestry has more than 2.4 million paying subscribers across its core Ancestry websites and more than 2 million DNA samples in the AncestryDNA database. Since 1996, more than 18 billion records have been added, and users have created more than 80 million family trees on the Ancestry flagship site and its affiliated international websites. Ancestry offers a suite of family history products and services including AncestryDNA, Archives, ProGenealogists, Newspapers.com and Fold3.

Twile Allows Users to Merge Multiple GEDCOM Files

Twile Allows Users to Merge Multiple GEDCOM Files



Doncaster, UK: 7th September, 2016

Twile have today released a new feature allowing users to merge multiple GEDCOM files into one family tree and keep it updated with future changes.

The new feature means that family members storing their research independently in different family history sites – such as Ancestry or Findmypast – can now bring all of their findings together in one private family tree on Twile and import newer versions as they further their research. As well as building their tree, Twile will use the data in the GEDCOM files to automatically add events to the family timeline, such as births, marriages and deaths.

The merge tool will intelligently match people from a GEDCOM file by comparing their names, genders, dates of birth and relationships, requesting the user’s help with any matches that aren’t obvious.

Twile users have been able to import GEDCOM files since early 2015, but until now it hasn’t been possible to bring in multiple versions. The company has built the merge feature in response to the requests of customers, who wanted to keep their Twile timelines up-to-date for their wider families to explore.

Co-founder Paul Brooks comments “It’s now possible for the whole family to explore their complete family tree, with all of the family’s historians combining their research together. It’s a significant new feature for Twile and one that’s been requested again and again by customers, so we’re really happy to finally have it finished”.

About Twile

Twile is an interactive timeline of your family’s past, present and future. Made up of photos and milestones – such as births, marriages and deaths – it tells the story of your family from your earliest known ancestor right through to today. Family historians can import a family tree from their existing research tool (e.g. Ancestry) and then add more recent events from their own life, before inviting their family to explore and contribute.

While the website is aimed primarily at family historians, it is also designed to encourage the rest of the family to add their own, more recent content.

Since its beginnings, Twile has been backed by Creative England (who bring capital through the Government’s Regional Growth Fund), a number of UK angel investors and leading genealogy site Findmypast, with whom they partnered in February 2016. Twile were winners of two innovation awards at RootsTech 2016, including People’s Choice.

Hotel Reservations Now Open for the FGS 2017 Conference in Pittsburgh

For Immediate Release
9/7/2016

HOTEL RESERVATIONS NOW OPEN FOR THE
FGS 2017 CONFERENCE IN PITTSBURGH

Book your room now for #FGS2017

Hotel Reservations Now Open for the FGS 2017 Conference in Pittsburgh


9/7/2016 – Austin, TX. 

FGS is pleased to announce that hotel reservations are now open for the 2017 Conference to be held in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Two Pittsburgh hotels are now taking reservations for the FGS 2017 conference – “Building Bridges to the Past.” The conference will be held August 30-September 2 at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center.

The Westin Convention Center and the Omni William Penn Hotel are offering reduced rates to FGS 2017 Conference attendees from Wednesday, August 23 to Friday, September 8 (subject to availability). Both hotels are conveniently located near the David L. Lawrence Convention Center.

Westin Convention Center (Main Conference Hotel)
1000 Penn Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15222

Omni William Penn Hotel
530 William Penn Place, Pittsburgh, PA 15219

Full details and links for FGS discounted reservations can be found on the FGS website.

Conference hotels fill up quickly, so it is not too early to make reservations. We look forward to seeing you in Pittsburgh!

About the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS)

The Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) was founded in 1976 and empowers the genealogical and family history community, especially its societies and organizations, by advocating for the preservation and access of records and providing resources that enable genealogical organizations to succeed in pursuing their missions. FGS helps genealogical societies and family history enthusiasts alike to strengthen and grow through online resources, FGS FORUM magazine, and through its annual national conference which provides four days of excellent learning opportunities for both societies and family history enthusiasts. To learn more about FGS visit fgs.org. To learn more about the next annual conference to be held in Springfield, Illinois, visit fgsconference.org. Also, find FGS on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/FGSgenealogy, on Twitter @FGSgenealogy and on the FGS Voice blog at http://voice.fgs.org.

Sir Tony Robinson Tells Stories from the Past in New Podcast Series “It’s About Time”

 Sir Tony Robinson Tells Stories from the Past in New Podcast Series "It's About Time"


New history podcast from Ancestry
launches with three compelling episodes
  • Sir Tony Robinson brings stories from the past to life in the present
  • Tales include a sordid murder in Victorian England, immigration to America through a Charlie Chaplin classic and the split of famous suffragette sisters the Pankhursts
  • Podcast brought to you by Ancestry, available on iTunes and Stitcher now

New podcast series It’s About Time has launched online today (Wednesday 7th September), featuring narrator Sir Tony Robinson bringing stories from the past to life in the present.

It’s About Time is produced by Ancestry, the global leader in family history and consumer genomics, and the first three episodes are available to listen to and download for free through iTunes and other podcast platforms.

The series, which will see further episodes released over the coming weeks, sees Sir Tony as the chief storyteller, stepping back in time to bring a variety of yarns to life.

Listeners can learn more about the podcast at the It’s About Time webpage: www.ancestry.co.uk/its-about-time

In the first episode, Sir Tony tells the tale of the murder of 17-year-old Mary Ann Mason in Victorian Dudley – right at the heart of industrial Britain in the 1850s. Mary Ann was shot to death in a pub, and her killer was hanged for his crime, but the story behind the murder makes it all the more incredible.

The second episode of the series takes its inspiration from iconic Charlie Chaplin film The Immigrant. Sir Tony uses the comedy and satire of the film to bring to life the real hardships of immigrants to America in the early 1900s, when Chaplin himself made the trip to chase his American dream.

The Pankhurst sisters are the focus of the third episode, specifically the story of how a family so closely linked with the suffragette movement could end up so far apart.

Further episodes to be released in the coming weeks of the debut season of It’s About Time feature the Jedi-like adventures of actor Mark Hamill’s ancestors, and an exploration of the genetic history of humankind today as Sir Tony explores the context of his own DNA test results.

Sir Tony Robinson said: “I absolutely loved telling these stories on It’s About Time. This isn’t just reading from a history book, rather we’re bringing stories from the past to life in the present for a modern audience. I hope that everyone who listens enjoys them as much as I enjoyed making them.”

Ancestry’s UK and Ireland Country Manager Sue Moncur commented: “Millions of us listen to podcasts every week and we felt that this was an amazing opportunity to do some really creative and engaging storytelling around some less well known tales from history. It’s something we’ve wanted to do with Sir Tony for quite a while so we hope people listen, subscribe and enjoy It’s About Time as much as we do.”

To find out more about It’s About Time, search for it now on iTunes or Stitcher, or visit It’s About Time’s website at www.ancestry.co.uk/its-about-time

ABOUT ANCESTRY

Ancestry, the leader in family history and consumer genomics, harnesses the information found in family trees, historical records, and DNA to help people gain a new level of understanding about their lives. Ancestry has more than 2.3 million paying subscribers across its core Ancestry websites and 2 million DNA samples in the AncestryDNA database. Since 1996, more than 18 billion records have been added, and users have created more than 80 million family trees on the Ancestry flagship site and its affiliated international websites.

Ancestry offers a suite of family history products including Archives, Fold3, Newspapers.com. AncestryDNA sold by Ancestry International DNA, LLC.

WikiTree Announces Source-a-Thon



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 7, 2016
Contact: Eowyn Langholf, eowyn@wikitree.com


WikiTree Announces Source-a-Thon
Genealogy community donates $3,000+ in prizes to support sourced genealogy




September 7, 2016: WikiTree will be kicking off Family History Month with a three-day sourcing marathon, October 1-3, 2016. Individuals and organizations from around the genealogy community are coming together to support this event by donating door prizes for participants. Over $3,000 in genealogy prizes have already been pledged.

Citing sources is required on WikiTree’s collaborative, free family tree, but inexperienced genealogists don’t always record them. As Mags Gaulden, a WikiTree leader, states, “In a perfect world all genealogies would be well-sourced, but unfortunately this isn’t the case. We have all run across online genealogies that are just repeats, copy-and-pastes, of what someone else had thrown up based on what aunt Mabel told them back in the 70s.”

Second-hand family information deserves to be preserved and shared, but it needs to be verified. Generous genealogists in the WikiTree community help each other every day by confirming the information in unsourced profiles and adding citations. 200,000 profiles on WikiTree’s 12-million person tree are currently identified as needing independent verification. The Source-a-Thon is a major community event to slash that number, draw attention to the importance of sources, and to have fun doing it.

Live chats will be hosted every few hours during the three-day event for participants to cheer each other on. During the chats, random winners will be drawn for valuable prizes including full memberships at MyHeritage, FindMyPast, Ancestry, Fold3, Newspapers.com, and GenealogyBank, DNA tests from Family Tree DNA, conference passes for RootsTech, software, books, gift certificates, t-shirts, research assistance, and much more.

To be eligible for door prizes, participants must register in advance and get a “race number.” See http://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Source-a-Thon

Prize donations will be accepted until race day. Contact eowyn@wikitree.com if you would like to support the Source-a-Thon with a donation for participants.

WikiTree: The Free Family Tree has been growing since 2008. Community members privately collaborate with close family members on modern family history and publicly collaborate with other genealogists on deep ancestry. Since all the private and public profiles are connected on the same system this process is helping to grow a single, worldwide family tree that will eventually connect us all and thereby make it free and easy for anyone to discover their roots. See http://www.WikiTree.com

Guild of One-Name Studies Is Now Available at FamilySearch.org


The online resource helps people trace the possible origins and variations of their last name.


LONDON, UK and SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH (September 6, 2016)—The Guild of One-Name Studies, a charitable organization that promotes facts about given surnames, and FamilySearch International, a nonprofit and the largest genealogy organization in the world, announced today The Guild’s collections will now be searchable at FamilySearch.org. The partnership gives Guild members another source for preserving their great work while also allowing more researchers across the globe to benefit from exploring the variant spellings of their personal surnames and possibly connect with others with the same last name throughout the world.

The study of one’s last name (one-name or surname) researches all known occurrences of that particular surname in all identifiable resources worldwide, as opposed to the ancestors or descendants of a person. Such richly compiled studies can assist a family history researcher see the geographical distribution of surnames in their tree over centuries which can help in reconstructing family lines bearing variants of those names. A common hope of customers that use surname studies is to identify the actual geographic locale of origin of a family surname. This could very well happen for unique surnames, but for common surnames that reflect an occupation (like “Farmer” or “Fisher”) or a patronymic-type surname (Johnson or Williamson), there may not be a single place of origin.

Cliff Kemball, Guild Publicity Manager said “The partnership with FamilySearch give Guild members another method of preserving their One-Name Study data. Their data is fully preserved for the long term, while still remaining within the control of the Guild member, who may update, replace or delete it as their work develops.”

The Guild was founded in 1979, and has over 2,980 members, studying over 8,935 individual surnames. The Guild of One-Name Studies website launched April 1, 2016, and is continually expanding its list of surnames. The Guild expects the volume of data submitted by Guild members to significantly increase now that they can make their research contributions online. And teaming up with FamilySearch.org will ensure more people are making interesting discoveries about their surnames.

David Rencher, the Chief Genealogy Office for FamilySearch, said, “The rigorous standards and guidelines required by the Guild of One Name Studies for members of the guild make this the highest quality data available for these surnames. Those who administer and oversee the collection of this data have spent decades collecting all instances of the surnames from a wide variety of records. Since many of these sources are yet to be made available on the Internet, this new set of records on FamilySearch is a rich new source of information.”

To see if your surname has been researched by The Guild community, go to FamilySearch.org, Search, Genealogies, enter your last name, and search Guild of One-name Studies.

More information about the Guild can be found at one-name.org where researchers can also register their own surnames.


About The Guild of One-Name Studies


The Guild of One-Name Studies is the world’s leading organisation for one-name studies. A one-name study is a project researching facts about a surname and all the people who have held it, as opposed to a particular pedigree (the ancestors of one person) or descendancy (the descendants of one person or couple). The Guild is a charitable organisation dedicated to promoting the public understanding of one-name studies and the preservation and accessibility of the resultant information. Founded in 1979, the Guild now has over 2,980 members spread across the world, studying over 8,935 individual surnames.

International Society for British Genealogy and Family History Announces Winter Webinar Series

The International Society for British Genealogy and Family History (ISBGFH) is pleased to announce their Winter Webinar Series.

The presenters are all experts in their respective topics and will assist those researching British Isles ancestors to move forward in their research.

All webinars take place at 1pm ET

  • 1 October 2016: In Search of Your Irish Ancestors with Michael Brophy
    The webinar begins with the central event in the history of Irish genealogy — the destruction of the Public Records Office in Dublin on 30 June 1922. As a result, the unique challenges and realistic expectations for Irish ancestral research will be discussed. Vital records, immigration documentation, and unique resources will be presented.
  • 12 November 2016: DNA Testing for Genealogy with Dr Maurice Gleeson
    In this webinar Dr. Gleeson discusses the different tests available for genealogy and will help us to understand what information we can hope to get from each one. Dr. Gleeson will also discuss some of the different projects available through FamilyTreeDNA.
  • 10 December 2016: Researching Your Scots-Irish Ancestors
    This webinar will assist you in researching your Irish and Scots-Irish ancestors with roots in the province of Ulster and help you discover how to find various records, historical documents, and links to your family history.
  • January 14 2017: Genealogy Gems in the National Archives with Nick Barratt
    The National Archives in London is a genealogist’s treasure trove. Nick Barratt will share with us the gems that can be found among the collections of the National Archives
  • February 4 2017: They Came From Scotland: Finding Your Scots Immigrant Ancestor with Christine Woodcock
    In this webinar, Christine Woodcock will look at the historical events that led to Scots leaving their homeland for the new world. She will share online and offline resources to assist you with researching your Scottish Immigrant Ancestor
  • Saturday March 4 2017: Finding Your American Ancestors Using Canadian Records with Kathryn Lake Hogan
    Although your ancestor may have ultimately settled in the United States, it was not uncommon for them to have spent time in Canada, especially after the Revolutionary War. In this webinar, Canadian research specialist Kathryn Lake Hogan will show you how you might be successful finding your American Ancestors Using the Canadian records.
  • April 8 2017: Researching Your Welsh Ancestors with Darris Williams
    Researching Welsh ancestry can be a daunting task. With the right understanding of Welsh ancestry, this can be much easier. In this webinar, Darris Williams will assist you in finding your Welsh ancestors. He will discuss what records are available online and what records are not.

The webinars are open to everyone. To register: http://www.isbgfh.org/cpage.php?pt=91

National Genealogical Society Publishes The First Workbook on Genetic Genealogy

ARLINGTON, VA, 6 September 2016—The National Genealogical Society (NGS) announces the publication of Genetic Genealogy in Practice, the first workbook on genetic genealogy. Written by Blaine T. Bettinger, PhD, JD, and Debbie Parker Wayne, CGSM, CGLSM, the book provides family historians and genealogists who have just begun to explore genetic genealogy practical, easy to understand information that they can apply to their research. As Wayne notes in her blog, Deb’s Delvings in Genealogy, “DNA can seem complex to many of us, but this book will guide you and help build your knowledge level one step at a time.”

At their own pace, readers learn the basic concepts of genetic genealogy. They then build on that knowledge as they study the testing, analysis, and application of Y-DNA, X-DNA, mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA), and autosomal DNA (atDNA) to reach and support genealogical conclusions. Each chapter includes exercises with answer keys for hands-on practice.

Individuals may purchase a print edition of Genetic Genealogy in Practice from the NGS Store starting 12 September. Visit the NGS website to order.

Blaine Bettinger is an intellectual property attorney in Syracuse, New York. The author of The Genetic Genealogist blog, he is a genealogy educator, a trustee of the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society, and organizer of the Shared cM Project, a crowdsourced project examining the associations between genetic data and genealogical relationships.

Debbie Parker Wayne is a professional genealogist who has conducted research for individuals as well as for the PBS series “Finding Your Roots” with Henry Louis Gates Jr. and other television shows. She is an award-winning author, the coordinator for genetic genealogy institute courses, and the DNA Project Chair for the Texas State Genealogical Society.

Visit the NGS website to learn more about Genetic Genealogy in Practice and other NGS special publications.

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.

Unlock the Past Announces History & Genealogy Cruises for 2017 and 2018



Adelaide, South Australia, 2 September 2016 – Unlock the Past Cruises announces its latest cruise schedule for the next two years.

2017 cruise (now booking) – Papua New Guinea (13th cruise)

This exciting 10 night cruise out of Brisbane to Papua New Guinea and its islands opened for bookings earlier this year. It is a completely different kind of itinerary to one of the emerging and exciting new cruise destinations. It offers a great balance of conference (during the 4 days at sea) and places to visit during the 5 days in ports and/or around islands – great sightseeing and fascinating shore excursions.

It will feature a special WWII Pacific war stream within our usual wide ranging conference program to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Pacific war coming to Australia and New Guinea in 1942. The war in this region was very much part of the greater Pacific war. American ships were sunk in Australian waters. Almost 1 million American and Canadian service personnel, including 100,000 African-Americans, passed through Australia from 1941 to 1945.The conference program will be headed by Dr Tom Lewis, one of Australia’s foremost Pacific war historians and authors, supported by other recognised experts.

For details see the PNG cruise at www.unlockthepastcruises.com/cruises

2018 cruise (provisional) – Alaska (14th cruise) NEW

This provisional 7 night cruise to Alaska from Seattle is planned for later August or early September 2018 – our 14th Unlock the Past cruise. Unlock the Past cruises offer unique opportunities to learn more about discovering your family history in great company while visiting great destinations.

We have often been asked about a cruise to Alaska. Now we have provisionally committed to one in 2018. Why provisional? 2018 cruise schedules won’t be released until early 2017 and we need some time to confirm there is enough interest to support a program featuring leading international speakers.

For details and to register interest see the Alaska cruise at www.unlockthepastcruises.com/cruises

A genealogy conference on the high seas? Not only do you get all the fun of a regular cruise, you have the opportunity to network with other family historians from all over the world. The best part: the lectures and educational presentations are offered by some of the leading speakers in the genealogy industry. And Unlock the Past Cruises has the best selection of destinations and speakers hands down! – Thomas MacEntee, United States, 4th cruise presenter

Only one thing beats a good genealogy conference, and that is a genealogy conference that offers a chance to see a bit of the world, to enjoy some top class entertainment, and above all else, meet many other people sharing a similar interest. It’s also the perfect family holiday, with plenty of fun activities for your partner and kids to get up to on board whilst you’re attending conference sessions! – Chris Paton, Scotland, 2nd, 4th and 8th cruise presenter

About Unlock the Past

Australian based Unlock the Past was established in 2009. It is the event and publishing division of Gould Genealogy & History which has served family and local historians since 1976. It is a collaborative venture involving an international team of expert speakers, writers, organisations and commercial partners to promote history and genealogy through innovative major events and a new publishing brand. It also maintains general and events directories online.

Findmypast Launches Best Value Subscription on the Market

Findmypast offers new 12-month Starter Subscription for $34.95 in the US market

  • Low cost starter subscription offered for the first time
  • 12 months’ access to over 2.9 billion UK & US records for less than $35 a year
  • Over 830 million records available to search and explore for FREE


Springfield, Illinois: 02 September 2016

Leading family history website Findmypast has announced a new subscription package for U.S. customers. The new Starter Package will create a more competitive and accessible service while providing even better value to customers.

For only $34.95 a year budding family historians can begin their journey with access to over 2.9 billion records. This includes a variety of core US collections, as well as a taste of the sites British offerings including US birth, marriage and death records, US immigration and travel records, US newspapers and Findmypast’s entire collection of UK census records.

The package offers a unique price point in the family history market and is over 50% cheaper than similar subscriptions available on other family history websites.

This is the first time that Findmypast has offered a subscription aimed solely at beginners, giving new users the opportunity to get started with 2.9 billion US & World records and get to grips with online research at the lowest possible cost.

Findmypast is also home to a FREE collection of over 830 million records from around the world including the largest online collection of Irish Catholic parish registers, all US censuses between 1790 and 1940, and a whole host of US and Canadian records.

A premium package is also available at an annual price of $239.50. Aimed at the more expert user, this option provides access to best in British, Irish and US collections. The signature datasets include the largest online collection of UK parish records, over 187 million historic British Newspaper articles and over 23 million Irish newspaper articles. Also included is Findmypast’s landmark United States Marriages collection which, on completion, will cover 360 years of marriages from 1650 to 2010, contain at least 100 million records and more than 450 million names from 2,800 counties across America. A variety of other valuable UK and Irish resources are also included.

Findmypast aims to make subscription options simpler, offering consistently better value while maintaining a premium quality service. Customers will see a variety of new records published every week, constantly increasing the value of all Findmypast subscriptions.

Ben Bennett, Executive Vice-President North America and International for Findmtpast said: “At Findmypast we believe everyone should have the opportunity to understand their place in history through their ancestors’ stories. By offering these new subscription packages, we are making family history more affordable and accessible, enabling more people to share magical moments of discovery.”

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 First World War, 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.

Records of British soldiers killed, wounded or captured during the Second World War released online

Over 1.1 million records of British casualties sustained during WW2 available to search online

September 2016

Today, 2nd September 2016, the records of over 1.1 million casualties sustained by the British Army during the Second World War have been published online at Findmypast.

Released in association with The National Archives to coincide with the 77th anniversary of Britain’s entry into the war, the British Army casualty lists 1939-1945 record the details of officers, nurses, and other ranks who were reported as killed in action, dead as a result of illness or accident, missing, or taken as a prisoner of war.

The records are comprised of daily lists prepared by the War Office. Each list covers the various expeditionary forces serving in different locations such as The Western Desert, Malaya, Italy, Greece or France, and also cover those killed or injured at home or at overseas stations outside theatres of war. In some cases, the lists also recorded casualties suffered at sea when transport ships were attacked by enemy vessels.

The records consist of fully searchable transcripts and scanned colour images of the original documents. Each entry lists the person’s name, rank, service number, regiment, status, and previous theatre of war. The image may also provide additional information such as a date of death or a notation on their previous status.

The Poor Bloody Infantry

The data reveals that some of the heaviest fighting took place in France, with over 158,000 casualties reported. In Northwest Europe (Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Luxembourg, Netherlands & Norway) over 104,000 military personnel were killed, wounded or captured while the Jungles of Malaya and the Western Desert of Egypt and Libya also saw large numbers of British troops taken out of the fight.

The records also reveal some interesting statistics about the war. Durham Light Infantry suffered the worst casualties of any infantry regiment during the war, having lost over 23,000 men while fighting in Dunkirk, Normandy, Burma, North Africa, Italy, and Germany. The Gordon Highlanders also suffered particularly heavy casualties while the Royal Artillery suffered the heaviest casualties overall. Privates faced the highest risk, being 15 times more likely to be killed, wounded or captured than a rifleman, while Gunners, Lance Corporals, and Drivers also appeared to have been particularly at risk.

The British Army at war

In 1939 the British Army was a small volunteer force, but on 3rd September, when Britain declared war on Germany, the National Service (Armed Forces) Act was passed by Parliament. The Act enforced full conscription for men between the ages of 18 and 41. By the end of the war, an estimated 3.5 million people served in the British Army. They fought in battles and campaigns in Western Europe, Eastern Europe, North Africa, the Far East, the Middle East, and the Mediterranean. The Army suffered over 200,000 deaths during the course of the War, over 180,000 men were taken prisoner, and nearly the same number again were wounded.

Notable names in the records include:

  • Tommy MacPherson, also known as the ‘Kilted Killer’, the most decorated British soldier of the war. Tommy was awarded the Military Cross, received the Croix de Guerre three times, the Legion d’Honneur, and Papal and Italian medals for his service with the Scottish Commandos. He was captured during a mission to raid the headquarters of Erwin Rommel – the German Field Marshall – in 1941, and made several escape attempts. He didn’t succeed until 1943, during a transfer to a Polish camp. Only months after his escape, MacPherson returned to Europe as part of a special operation to carry out guerrilla warfare and sabotage in support of the local resistance fighters in France. MacPherson caused so much chaos and structural damage that the Nazis placed a substantial bounty on his head.
  • Lieutenant General Sir Adrian Paul Ghislain Carton de Wiart VC, KBE, CB, CMG, DSO, one of the toughest professional soldiers to ever serve with the British Army. De Wiart served in the Boer War, First World War, and Second World War. He was shot in the face, head, stomach, ankle, leg, hip, and ear, and tore off his own fingers when a doctor refused to amputate them. He also survived two plane crashes, one of which resulted in his capture by Italian forces in 1941. Whilst in captivity, De Wiart made five escape attempts including seven months tunnelling, and once evaded capture for eight days disguised as an Italian peasant. De Wiart was released in 1943 when the Italian government tasked him with delivering peace terms to London
  • Dame Evelyn Marguerite ‘Margot’ Turner, Colonel Commandant of Queen Alexandra’s Royal Army Nursing Corps. Turner fled Singapore in 1942 and was forced to survive for three days on a small deserted island after her escape fleet was destroyed in a Japanese air attack. She was then picked up by a vessel overcrowded with women and children which was later sank by Japanese gunfire. Turner and another nurse were able to save 16 others including small children and get them all to a raft. Tragically, all save Turner perished and she was found alone, starving and disorientated by an enemy cruiser, and immediately placed in a Japanese prison camp. Turner managed to survive the brutal camp conditions for another three years until it was liberated in 1945.
  • Members of the Queen Alexandra’s Imperial Military Nursing Service. In addition to those serving in the British Army, the records hold the names of hundreds of nurses and sisters who participated in the war effort across all theatres of war, including France, Gibraltar, Italy, Malaya, Palestine, Singapore, and Africa. Nurses served both in field hospitals and hospital ships. In addition to treating soldiers, they opened clinics and treated local civilians. The records show the names of nurses and sisters, as well as others serving with the Medical Corps who were reported as missing, prisoners of war, or dead.

Paul Nixon, military expert at Findmypast, says: “At a point in our history when commemoration has rightly been focused on the First World War, this release of over one million names on official casualty lists from the Second World War acts as a timely reminder of the sacrifices of a later generation.”

David Langrish, Head of Public History and Military Records Specialist at The National Archives says: “Split into sections covering Officers and Nurses and then Other Ranks, these lists cover individuals reported as killed in action, wounded, prisoner of war, missing, died of wounds, missing believed killed, dangerously ill, and involved in accidents. The daily War Office Casualty Lists provide a fascinating insight into the multitude of dangers faced by men and women serving with the British Army during the Second World War.”

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

Its lead brand, also called Findmypast, is a searchable online archive of over two 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 digitised records from across the globe, including major collections from Britain, Ireland, Australia, and the United States.

About The National Archives

The National Archives is one of the world’s most valuable resources for research and an independent research organisation in its own right. As the official archive and publisher for the UK government, and England and Wales they are the guardians of some of the UK’s most iconic national documents, dating back over 1,000 years. Their role is to collect and secure the future of the government record, both digital and physical, to preserve it for generations to come, and to make it as accessible and available as possible. The National Archives brings together the skills and specialisms needed to conserve some of the oldest historic documents as well as leading digital archive practices to manage and preserve government information past, present and future.

http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/ http://www.legislation.gov.uk/

Federation of Genealogical Societies Presents Awards to Deserving Individuals and Organizations in the Genealogical Community at FGS 2016 Annual Conference


For Immediate Release
September 1, 2016

Federation of Genealogical Societies Presents Awards to Deserving Individuals and Organizations in the Genealogical Community at FGS 2016 Annual Conference

September 1, 2016 – Austin, TX. The Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) presented awards to fellow genealogists and organizations who provide excellent work, assist other genealogists, and aid in the preservation of records at this morning’s Keynote Session at the FGS 2016 National Conference, “Time Travel: Centuries of Memories,” in Springfield, Illinois.

Loretto (“Lou”) Szucs from Illinois was presented with the Rabbit Malcolm H. Stern Humanitarian Award for being a constant supporter and visionary for the genealogical community.

Judy Russell from New Jersey, also known as “The Legal Genealogist,” was presented with the Directors Award for her role as a leader within the genealogical community in helping to raise awareness and funds for the Preserve the Pensions project.

Mike Hall from Utah was presented with a Presidential Citation for his constant dedication and support of FGS’ Preserve the Pensions project.

Julie Cahill Tarr from Wisconsin was also presented with a Presidential Citation for enriching FORUM’s readers with dynamic new content and resources as FGS FORUM editor.

John Fisher from Vermont was presented with the FGS Award of Merit in recognition of exemplary and outstanding service to FGS Member Society, the Vermont French-Canadian Genealogical Society.

Phyllis Snider from Illinois was presented an FGS Certificate of Appreciation for her tireless work in promoting genealogy for and with the Iliana Genealogical and Historical Society.

The FGS Technology Advances Award was presented to the International Society of Genetic Genealogy (ISOGG) Wiki in recognition for their impact on the genealogy community with their promotion and education of genetic genealogy and their advocacy for education of genetics as a tool for genealogical research.

An FGS Technology Advances Award was also presented to JSTOR (Journal Storage) for their impact on the family history community by providing access to more than 2,300 digitized academic journals.

Eight individuals received the FGS Award of Merit in recognition of meritorious service or distinguished work on the 2016 FGS Conference. Additionally, sixteen individuals received a Certificate of Appreciation to express FGS’ thanks for work performed for the 2016 FGS conference in an outstanding manner.

“Congratulations to all FGS Award winners,” said FGS President D. Joshua Taylor. “Thank you for your service and creativity. Each worthy recipient is representative of the tremendous accomplishments made in the genealogical industry.”

About the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS)

The Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) was founded in 1976 and empowers the genealogical and family history community, especially its societies and organizations, by advocating for the preservation and access of records and providing resources that enable genealogical organizations to succeed in pursuing their missions. FGS helps genealogical societies and family history enthusiasts alike to strengthen and grow through online resources, FGS FORUM magazine, and through its annual national conference which provides four days of excellent learning opportunities for both societies and family history enthusiasts. Also, FGS was the driving force behind the Civil War Soldiers and Sailors project alongside the National Parks Service and since 2010, has been actively involved in Preserve the Pensions, an effort to raise more than $3 million to digitize and make freely available the pension files from the War of 1812. To learn more visit fgs.org.

Findmypast Adds a Further 4 Millions Records to the United States Marriage Collection

Includes significant additions from Arkansas, West Virginia, Illinois, New England, Tennessee and Massachusetts

Springfield, Illinois: 01 August 2016

Leading family history website, Findmypast, announced today at the 2016 conference of the Federation of Genealogical Societies the release of over 4 million new marriage records in the latest installment of their United States Marriages collection.

Released in partnership with FamilySearch International, the records contain more than 8 million names and marks the latest stage of an ambitious project that will see Findmypast digitize and publish the single largest online archive of U.S. marriages in history.

Covering 360 years of marriages from 1650-2010, when complete this landmark collection will contain at least 100 million records, more than 450 million names from 2,800 counties across America. More than 60 per cent of the records will have never before been published online and the collection will only be found in its entirety exclusively on Findmypast.

While the United States Marriage collection includes marriages from nearly every state, this latest instalment includes significant additions from Arkansas, West Virginia, Illinois, New England, Tennessee and Massachusetts.

The records include marriage date, bride and groom names, birthplace, birth date, age, and residence as well as father’s and mother’s names. Customers with family trees on Findmypast will benefit from leads connecting relatives on their trees with the marriage records, thus generating a whole new source of research.

Commenting, Ben Bennett, Executive Vice-President North America and International for Findmypast said:

“The United States marriages project is central to Findmypast’s growth strategy in the U.S. The millions of new U.S. records will complement Findmypast’s massive collection of British and Irish data. Many of these new US marriage records have never been available online before and we are excited to help our customers make new discoveries and fill in the missing pieces in their research.”

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 First World War, 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.

With Historic Gift and Community Support, FGS Announces the Completion of Fundraising for Preserve the Pensions



Springfield, IL –Today at its annual conference, the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) announced the receipt of a historic $500,000 anonymous contribution to the War of 1812 Preserve the Pensions fundraising project. The unprecedented donation, which came from outside of the genealogical community, will be matched by Ancestry.com, and in total provide $1 million to the project. Those funds, along with crowdsourced funds from the genealogical community have provided more than $3 million dollars to the project. With these donations, FGS officially has announced the completion of fundraising for “Preserve the Pensions,” the landmark community fundraising project.

The largest fundraising effort ever initiated for a single genealogical record set, Preserve the Pensions involved donations from more than 4,000 individuals and 115 genealogical and lineage societies. Each donation was generously matched by Ancestry.com.

“We are humbled and grateful for the generosity of the genealogical community and those outside of our community who are dedicated to the preservation of records, thank you!” noted D. Joshua Taylor, FGS President. “This historic gift, in-tandem with the thousands of contributions from individual genealogists and societies, illustrates the incredible power of the genealogical community – together we can make a difference.”

The War of 1812 pensions, among the most frequently requested set of materials within the holdings of the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), had never been microfilmed or digitized. Now, with fundraising complete for the project, and with ongoing cooperation from the project’s partners and major supporters, NARA, Ancestry, Fold3, and FamilySearch, these important documents will be made available free, forever to the general public. The project, set out to raise more than $3 million in 2010, an unprecedented amount for the genealogical community.

“It’s gratifying to see the fundraising portion of this project completed after five years, and now we look forward to ensuring these important records are preserved,” said Ancestry President and CEO Tim Sullivan. “This is a fantastic moment for FGS, the genealogical community, and future generations who will benefit from the perseveration of these rich pension records. We want to thank the more than 4,000 individuals who have contributed and are thrilled to play a matching role in this campaign.”

About the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS)

The Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) was founded in 1976 and represents genealogical, historical, and lineage organizations throughout the United States. The Federation empowers the genealogical community through its annual conference, publications (including FGS FORUM) and projects. The Federation was the driving force behind the Civil War Soldiers and Sailors project alongside the National Parks Service and since 2010 has been actively involved in Preserve the Pensions, an effort to raise more than $3 million to digitize and make freely available the pension files from the War of 1812. To learn more visit http://www.fgs.org.

ISFHWE Excellence-In-Writing Competition Winners Announced!

The International Society of Family History Writers and Editors is proud to announce the winners of the Excellence-in-Writing Competition. All entries were exceptional this year. Submission details for 2017 will be announced soon. For any questions on the competition, email Tina Sansone at competition@isfhwe.org.

Cat 1 – Columns

1st Place: Elaine Thomas – Stories I’ve Been Told – Otto l. Fuchs, Jr.
2nd Place: Martha E. Jones, PhD – Ancestral Avenues – Write Your Own Obituary
3rd Place: Barbara Starmans – General Paresis of the Insane
HM: Carolyn Schott – Happy Birthday, Mom
HM: Susan R. Anderson – Searching for roots to find my way home
HM: James M. Beidler – Accomplishing Client’s Goal the Best Holiday Present

Cat 2 – Articles

1st Place: Barbara J. Starmans – ‘In every city, village & hamlet’
2nd Place: Barbara Ellman – Genealogy Myth-Busters
3rd Place: Beverly Thompson – A Most Amazing Find: Protecting the Purse
HM: Paul Gorry – The Changing Face of Irish Genealogy
HM: Mary Penner – Collaboration with Colleagues
HM: Carolyn Schott – The Letter to the Governor

Cat 3 – Newsletters

1st Place: Michelle D. Novak – The Archivist (Genealogical Society of Bergen County, NJ)
2nd Place: Tony Burroughs – The Center for Black Genealogy News & Notes (CBG)
3rd Place: Patricia Mansfield Phelan – Newsletter of the Irish Family History Forum – Irish Family
HM: Michael McKeag – (1) North Irish Roots & (2) Snippets
HM: Stephanie Jobes – Lifeliner (Genealogical Society of Riverside)
HM: James M. Beidler – Der Kurier

Cat 4 – Unpublished Authors

1st Place: Frieda Anna Stiehl – Aunt Frieda’s Story
2nd Place: Catherine Smith – Converging Lines

Cat 5 – Unpublished Material – Published Authors

1st Place: Ruth Randall – Joseph Workman: Pioneer
2nd Place: Wendy Wilson Spooner – English Colonists and their Quest for Structured Family Life in America
3rd Place: Emilee M. Marks – A Puzzling Puzzle
HM: Susan R. Anderson – They Were Soldiers in the War of Independence
HM: Elaine Thomas – Family Ties
HM: Roccie Hill – A Snapshot of my Iowa Family History

Cat 6 – Poetry

1st Place: Wendy Wilson Spooner – My Father, My North Star
2nd Place: John Newmark – The Genetic and Synthetic