Saturday, 22 September 2007

Update on genealogy databases

Its time to catch up on news about online resources of British and Canadian interest which I've been neglecting.

LAC Home Child Databases
Library and Archives Canada have substantially augmented and updated their information on home children.

The index database is now complete, or as complete as possible, for children found on ships passenger lists from 1869 to 1922. Years previously missing, 1872, 1895, 1911 and 1915 have been added. Source and reference information has been added. If you find an entry for a specific child there is now a convenient link near the bottom of the page, so you can view the complete list of children in the party.

A separate database, an index to children found in the Board of Guardians Inspection Register on microfilm reel T-537, is now available online for the first time. It contains 10,678 names of children, approximately half of the Workhouse children sent to Canada between 1869 and 1935. I recommend reading the online help section for advice on interpreting the information.

LAC work on home children is cooperative with BIFHSGO. John Sayers leads this project for the Society.

Findmypast.com
The company continues to grow its online service, now there are over 500 million records on the site.

If you have roots in London the addition of burial records from 75 more parishes to the City of London Burials Index will be of interest. This database now contains 350,000 records of burials within the Square Mile of London. The majority cover the period 1788 to 1855.

Two more counties have also been added to the 1871 census - Yorkshire and Suffolk. There are now 13 complete counties on the website's 1871 census - Cornwall, Devonshire, Dorset, Glamorganshire, London, Middlesex, Norfolk, Staffordshire, Suffolk, Surrey, Wiltshire, Worcestershire and Yorkshire. I have heard knowledgeable people claim that findmypast.com census indexes are better than those of ancestry.co.uk; true or not its always good to have a second option.

In addition, a new decade - 1930 to 1939 - has been added to the outbound passenger lists digitized from TNA's BT27 holdings. The digitized records now cover 1890 to 1939 and contain details of passengers travelling on outbound voyages from all British ports to long-distance destinations.

Finally, Findmypast and the Federation of Family History Societies (FFHS) have announced an agreement for hosting of the FFHS’ pay per view data service. Read the full announcement here. No date for implementation is given. Thanks to Sherry Irvine for bringing this to my attention.

S&N Genealogy Supplies - Non-conformist records
Another result of TNA's partnership initiative saw realization in mid-September when S&N Genealogy Supplies made available online indexed images of non-parochial and nonconformist registers 1567-1840 held in RG 4 and RG 5. TNA holds 5,000 registers of a huge variety of nonconformist congregations, including Baptists, Methodists, Presbyterians, Protestant Dissenters (known as 'Dr Williams Library') and Independents. There are also registers from a small number of Roman Catholic communities. Basic searching is free of charge, but there is a fee for advanced searching and to download images. If you've searched the LDS British Isles Vital Records Index you may already have some of the data from Dr Williams Library. Now you can access the full record as originally written.

The Irish Times
A fully searchable online archive of The Irish Times , from the newspaper's first edition almost 150 years ago up to the present day, has been launched. Birth notices, obituaries, social notices, court reports and inquests will be of particular interest to genealogists. Reports also reflect the social and historical background of daily life.

The archive contains over 1,100 reels of 35mm microfilm with about 700 individual page images per reel and was digitized in cooperation with Olive Software, noted for the quality of their work.

The site is accessible through http://www.ireland.com/search/ and pricing starts at €10 for a 24-hour pass.

New York Times
As of mid-September articles from the NYT from 1851 to 1921 became available in full text searchable form, and FREE. Go to www.nytimes.com and select NYT Archive 1851-1980 from the drop down box below the masthead. There is a charge to view articles published after 1921. I already found a marriage of one of the English strays in my tree.

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