Findmypast Free Access Ahead of Remembrance Day

  • Explore the lives of your military ancestors and their families for free this Remembrance weekend
  • All UK, Irish, Australian, New Zealand, Canadian, US and world records will be completely free to search and explore from the 8th to the 11th November 2019

Leading British & Irish family history website, Findmypast, will be providing free access to their entire collection of military and civilian records ahead of Remembrance Day 2019.

From 12pm (GMT) Friday November 8th, until 12pm Monday November 11th, all records on Findmypast excluding newspapers, electoral rolls and the Periodical Source Index, will be completely free to search and explore.

This includes more than 85 million military records covering all three service branches of the British Armed Forces as well as the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Ireland. Researches will be able to search for their ancestors in a variety of fascinating documents ranging from service records and pensions to medal rolls, POW records, casualty lists and more.

By providing free access to these detail rich documents, Findmypast is offering all visitors to the site the chance to honour the struggles and sacrifices endured by their military ancestors by telling their stories.

What’s more, all other records including censuses, births, marriages & deaths, wills, education & employment records, travel and social history records will also be free to use.

Free access to such a wide range of resources will enable researchers to paint a complete picture of their ancestor’s lives, before, after and during their military service, as well the impact it had on the wider family.

NOTES

To use Findmypast for free this weekend, you simply need to sign up. Once you’re signed up, log in during the free period and you’ll be able to access all the records and features that would normally be included in a paid subscription. For more information, including our fair usage policy, read our free weekend terms and conditions.

*PLEASE NOTE - Records excluded from this free weekend promotion are:

  • All newspapers
  • The Periodical Source Index (PERSI)
  • UK Electoral Registers & Companies House Directors 2002-2019

To view any excluded records during the free access period, you’ll need a valid subscription.

About Findmypast

Findmypast (previously DC Thomson Family History) is the British-owned world leader in online family history with over 18 million registered users across its family of brands, which include Findmypast, Genes Reunited, the British Newspaper Archive and Twile. 

Its lead brand, also called Findmypast, is the home of the world’s most comprehensive online collection of British and Irish records, including:

  • The largest online collection of UK parish records
  • Twice the number of Irish records available on any other site
  • The British Library’s vast collection of historical newspapers
  • Military service records for all three branches of the British Armed Forces
  • The official home of the 1939 Register, in partnership with The National Archives

Findmypast is committed to making discoveries in the British Isles easier than ever before. It combines the best of British and Irish data with the knowledge of inhouse experts to provide a unique family history experience that guides researchers through every step of their journey. 

For more information on how Findmypast is enhancing the experiences of family historians worldwide, visit: www.findmypast.co.uk

Why Newspapers Are Essential for Genealogy Research

The team over at Genealogy Bank have provided us with a helpful reminder about why newspapers are such an important tool for family historians.

Naturally, they are quite keen to get you to sign up to their service but we at Ancestorian would also point you in the direction of many free newspaper resources (more information about these will be coming soon in our community library) such as Australian newspapers at Trove, New Zealand newspapers at PapersPast and importantly, British newspapers in the British Newspapers Archive which is part of the collections at FindMyPast.

Primary Way to Stay Informed

Genealogy Bank reminds us that newspapers and periodicals were the most important source of information for our ancestors:

Our ancestors existed in a time before the Internet, electronic record keeping, social media, and in some cases centralized databases. A time of paper, ink, quills, and the printing press. Periodicals, local newspapers, and letters – not blogs or social media – were the primary way people stayed informed of the outside world.

Not only did newspapers provide stories relevant to their contemporary audience, they also included details that make them invaluable to those studying their genealogy today.

What You Find in Newspapers

There are many sections within newspapers that really stand out for family history research. Genealogy Bank helpfully lists those as follows:

  • Obituaries
  • Marriage announcements
  • Birth announcements
  • Local stories – the community’s trials and tribulations
  • Passenger lists, especially in port cities
  • Casualty or promotion lists for Armed Services
  • Event attendance announcements
  • School-related events (honor rolls, theater productions, graduations, etc.)
  • Classified advertising (ancestors’ businesses, personal ads, etc.)
  • Society news (birthday parties, club meetings and events, notable out-of-town visitors)
  • Immigration and naturalization-related events (ship sailings, naturalization ceremonies, etc.)
  • Legal notices (divorces, sales, purchases, probate, etc.)

Read their Blog in Full

Read the full Genealogy Bank post over at their website.

Library of Congress Releases Free WWI Newspaper Clippings

The US Library of Congress has announced a release of a large collection of WWI newspaper clippings. These are available for free on their website.

Quote from Library of Congress:

World War I: A Wartime Clipping Service Update: All 400 Volumes Now Online

The massive collection, World War History: Newspaper Clippings, 1914 to 1926, is now fully digitized and freely available on the Library of Congress website. The 79,621 pages are packed with war-related front pages, illustrated feature articles, editorial cartoons, and more. You can search by keywords, browse the content chronologically, and download pages.

Coverage begins on June 29, 1914 with articles focusing on the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria and continues into the post-war world through Dec. 31, 1926. The clippings provide a tremendous resource for the examination of the devastating Great War and its aftermath. The chronological arrangement of daily press coverage from multiple sources is invaluable.

Resources

Find out more here: https://blogs.loc.gov/headlinesandheroes/2018/12/world-war-i-a-wartime-clipping-service-update-all-400-volumes/

View the collection: https://www.loc.gov/collections/world-war-history-newspaper-clippings/about-this-collection/

Evidentree Unreservedly Recommends FindMyPast

I would highly recommend FindMyPast. I have subscribed to both Ancestry and FindMyPast for several years. I wouldn't do without either - for different reasons.

Unjustified Complaints

Some people have been complaining about FindMyPast in the last few days but their complaints are completely unjustified. Apparently, until September 2018, you have been able to mark a record for inclusion in an online area of your account called 'My Records'. Unbelievably, FindMyPast gave you access to these records even when you weren't a paid subscriber. They must be the only subscription-based service on earth to be so generous.

Now, FindMyPast is changing this process and not giving access to those linked records if you are not subscribed. I expect this is for legal reasons relating to copyright and licencing laws. In any case, their provision of those records was extraordinary.

Download Records

All of the records are available for download - even to these non-paying users - until an undisclosed date in September.

Every record I have needed has been downloaded and the quality is superb. Of course, if you subscribe, you can view the records in your account as expected - just like on the other sites. The viewer on the site and the ease with which you can search for the records is also top notch.

Research Shows FindMyPast Best Equal in Market

There is no question in my mind that FindMyPast is equal with Ancestry at the top of the pile of family history record suppliers. This isn't just my opinion, my Master's dissertation from 2012 was a study of the biggest 11 players in the UK records market and this was the conclusion reached after that rigorous investigation too. I recommend them to any prospective users.

Find My Past Releases Over 378,000 New Records

Records - Wikimedia
Find My Past

Like every Friday, Find My Past has released a new batch of records today. This collection includes records from Australia, USA and England.

New South Wales, Deceased Estate Files 1880-1923

Discover your ancestor in this index of over 137,000 deceased estate files from New South Wales. The records span the years between 1880 and 1923. Each result includes a transcript that may reveal a combination of your ancestor's date of death, duty date, locality and any additional remarks. There are over 378,000 new records available to search this Findmypast Friday, including;

The state of New South Wales required a duty to be paid before probates and letters of administration could be executed. Deceased estate files were created for estates upon which a duty was imposed, including documentation and correspondence regarding the assessment of the estate.

Waterford Registers & Records

Search for your Irish ancestors in a collection of registers and records from the oldest city in the Republic of Ireland. The collection contains over 211,000 records taken from seventeen different databases spanning the years 1662 to 2006.

Various events are recorded in this collection including burgess lists, burials, deaths, directories, emigration records, freedom petitions, freemen records, langable rentals (rent rolls), rate books, registers, and war deaths. Each result will provide you with a transcript. The amount and type of information recorded will vary depending on the nature of the event.

New Jersey Death Index 1901-1903 Image Browse

Explore over 1000 digital images of the New Jersey death index covering the years 1901 to 1903. This collection has been obtained through Reclaim the Records. The index will allow you to discover your ancestor's death year and entry number. Additional information about these records can be found on the source's website.

New Jersey Marriage Index 1901-1914 Image Browse

Explore over 7,000 digital images of the New Jersey marriage index covering the years 1901 to 1914. This collection has been obtained through Reclaim the Records. The 15 volumes included in this index will allow you to discover your ancestor's marriage year and entry number. This collection has been obtained through Reclaim the Records.

Surrey Feet of Fines 1558-1760

Explore over 20,000 feet of fines records for Surrey created between 1558 and 1760. Feet of fines were documents of a fictitious suit of law created to obtain a secure transfer of land. The document recorded the final agreement (or concord), written in triplicate, between buyer and seller: two copies side by side and one copy across the bottom of the sheet (the foot of the fine). An indented or wavy line separated the three sections; one section was given to the seller, one to the buyer, and one (the foot) to the court. The idea behind this system was that forgeries could be identified by showing they didn't fit the three-piece jigsaw of the authentic, original foot of fine.

The amount of detail provided varies from period to period. For example, some will provide the full names of all the buyers and sellers while others only provide the last name of the first buyer in a transaction.

Cornwall Burials

Hundreds of new records have been added to our collection of Cornish burials. The collection now contains over 280,000 records covering more than two hundred parishes across the Cornish peninsula.

The new additions cover Dissenter burials in Falmouth and Penryn between 1808 and 1926. Each result includes and transcript of an original parish register that may reveal a combination of your ancestor's birth year, death year, burial place and residence.