Genealogy news roundup: Complete Ellis Island passenger lists now available online

By Rosemary Collins, 16 August 2018 - 1:22pm

Plus: 620,000 Canadian First World War records go online ahead of centenary; Findmypast adds First World War records; ARA to go ahead with Archives Card

Ellis Island immigration list
Ellis Island records such as this 1913 passenger list are now available on FamilySearch

Complete records of immigrants who arrived New York's Ellis Island between 1820 and 1957 are now available online.

A free searchable online database of digitised passenger arrival lists at the immigration centre is available on FamilySearch and on The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation's website, following a project by FamilySearch volunteers to index the records.

The records contain details of 63.7 million immigrants, other passengers and ship crew, including their age, last place of residence, sponsor in America, port of departure, date of arrival, and sometimes other information, such as how much money they carried with them.

The FamilySearch collection of passenger lists is divided into three sets: 1820-1891, when immigrants were processed at Manhattan's Castle Garden; 1892-1924, after Ellis Island opened; and 1925-1957, when immigration was restricted following the passage of the 1924 Immigration Act.


620,000 Canadian First World War records go online ahead of centenary

All Canadian army personnel records from the First World War have been digitised and made freely available online as the nation prepares to commemorate the centenary of the war's end.

Libraries and Archives Canada (LAC) announced the successful digitisation of 620,000 files, its largest digitisation project to date, on 8 August 2018 – the 100th anniversary of the beginning of the Hundred Days Offensive which led to the Allied victory.

LAC began working on the files in 2013 and has now completed a searchable database of over 30 million digitised images, including casualty or medal forms, pay books, passports, and personal photos and correspondence.

They are all available to search and download in PDF format for free via a database on the LAC's website.

620,000 Canadian First World War records go online ahead of centenary



Findmypast adds First World War records

Findmypast has added a number of new record sets to help the site's members trace ancestors who served in the First World War.

The website has created searchable databases based on three publications: Our Heroes, which listed Irish officers who died in the First World War, Honourable Women of the Great War, 1914-1918, concerning women who served in the war, and Airmen Died in the Great War, 1914-1919.

The collection can reveal valuable information about an individual's service history during the First World War, and in the case of Our Heroes and Honourable Women, images from the original book.

In addition, Findmypast has added over 58,000 records to its Britain, Campaign, Gallantry & Long Service Medals & Awards collection, which lists individuals who received medals in both world wars as well as the Peninsular War, the Indian Mutiny, the Battle of Waterloo and other conflicts.


ARA to go ahead with Archives Card

The Archives and Records Association (ARA) has confirmed that it will continue developing the Archives Card, a replacement for the County Archives Research Network (CARN) scheme.

It initially seemed as though the Card, which would allow researchers to use one access card at all participating archives, would not be viable after the ARA failed to meet its target of 60 local authorities agreeing to participate by 31 May 2018.

However, the ARA has now secured the commitment of 41 archives and record offices to take part, as well as support from the Welsh Government, the Federation of Family History Societies (FFHS), an anonymous donor, and financial sponsorship from family history website Ancestry.

The Card will be free to individuals who register for it online and is due to launch in April 2019.


Second World War prisoner records released on Fold3

Records of Allied soldiers captured in the Second World War are now available on Fold3, Ancestry's subsidiary military records website.

The new set of 1,294,406 records, taken from collections at The National Archives, records military personnel from the UK and Commonwealth and Empire countries who were held in camps in Europe and Asia.

The records contain details including the individual's service rank and number, their place and date of capture, the camp where they were held and, if they died while imprisoned, the place and date of death.

The records can be searched by Ancestry members, but only Fold3 premium members can view the original images.

One of The National Archives collections added to Fold3, WO 392: Imperial Prisoners of War Held in German or German-Occupied Territory, is also available as part of Findmypast's Prisoners of War collection.


TheGenealogist adds After Trial Calendar of Prisoners

TheGenealogist has expanded its Court and Criminal Records collection with the addition of over 160,000 records from the After Trial Calendar of Prisoners.

The records, held in The National Archives series CRIM 9, date from 1855 to 1915 and record individuals who were tried before the Old Bailey.

They record each prisoner's age, trade and degree of education, the date and place of their trial, the nature of their crime - which includes offences such as theft, fraud, sexual offences and murder - and the verdict and sentence.

The Calendar is also available on Findmypast as part of its England and Wales, Crime, Prisons and Punishment collection.


1890s maps available on TimePix

Street maps of Britain in the 1890s are now available online for free via Ordnance Survey's Timepix website.

To view the maps, select the location on the TimePix map of Britain and Ireland and click 'See on the map'.

TimePix was initially set up to share historic photographs taken as part of a survey of Manchester in the 1940s and 1950s.

It also allows users to view historic photographs and maps of their current location while viewing the website on their phone.


Museum appeals for Oxfordshire memories and objects

The Soldiers of Oxfordshire Museum (SOFO) is calling on the public to donate stories and objects that shed light on domestic life in the county during various conflicts.

The donated objects will be used in a new exhibition about how life in Oxfordshire was affected by the Second World War, post-war National Service and the Cold War, as well as in community reminiscence and outreach work.

Vicki Wood, SOFO's education and outreach officer, said the museum was looking for "small objects or photographs of domestic life" from about 1930 to 1970, as well as diaries, letters and memorabilia from family members.

Members of the public can also upload photographs and stories via SOFO's website.



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620,000 Canadian First World War records go online ahead of centenary
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620,000 Canadian First World War records go online ahead of centenary
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