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Websites Featured in Web Watch

For ease of viewing the websites mentioned in “Web Watch”, a regular feature of our quarterly journal, the whole article is reproduced below.

Since websites, their content and their links are prone to frequent change, or even removal, we will only display the articles from the previous four issues of the journal.

Vol 37, No 1:  December 2023

Find My Past -
FMP have added 20,000 images of Canterbury Parish Registers; 187,000 more entries unredacted on the 1939 Register; 12,000 Catholic Parish Registers for Northampton diocese; 122,000 NBI records for Herefordshire; 14,000 Medway burials 1981 to 2020; 1,478 images from Dunns, a Bromley funeral directors; 195,000 records added to Cumberland Parish Registers, 247,000 for Westmorland, 67,000 for Oxfordshire, and 231,000 Berkshire Baptisms; 6.5 million records of WW1 Campaign Medals; 5,893 records added to Crimean war casualties; 25 million Electoral registers for Greater Manchester 1820 to 1940; 397,000 additions to Greater London burials; and  91,000 images for Dublin Protestant Parish Registers.

Ancestry -
Ancestry have added to Hampshire Parish Registers 1813 to 1921 making 3.2 million; 8.1 million Worcestershire Electoral Registers 1837 to 1974; 104,000 Officers' Birth Certificates, Wills and Personal Papers 1755 to 1908 from TNA WO42; 680,000 Royal Hospital Chelsea records 1702 to 1980 from TNA WO23; 275,000 Dudley Worcestershire Burials and Cremation Index 1800 to 2020; 323,000 Norfolk Indexes to Probate and Marriage Licence Bonds 1371 to 1858; and an index to Northern Ireland Probates 1858 to 1965 on PRONI.

The Genealogist -
They have added 170,000 records for the 1910 to 1915 Land Tax covering Northamptonshire; Seamen’s First and Second World War Rolls of Honour (BT 339);  Medal Awards from 1866 to 1970; Mercantile Marine Officers Nominal List 1916 to 1920; more Quarter Session Registers from 1590 to1839; and they have completed linking Tithe Maps to their Map Explorer.    

My Heritage -
They have added 62,000 Jersey WW2 occupation cards; 99,000 Cumberland and Lancashire burial records; 584,000 Scotland Court of Sessions records 1560 to 1930; 186,000 Paisley, Scotland Poor Law records 1837 to 1933; and 251,000 Soldiers’ Wills 1865 to 1970.

Scotland’s People -
A new addition is 9,700 images for the record cards of women born before 1923 who joined the Scottish Women’s Land Army and Women’s Timber Corps from 1939 to 1950; a yearly release will see those born in 1923 released in 2024, and so.

Family Search -
LDS have added 5 million records for UK Funeral Notices 1914 to 2023; and updated Cornwall and Pembrokeshire Parish Registers, Ireland Civil Registration and Ireland Catholic Parish Registers.

Civil Wars 1639 to 1660 -
Information about monuments, including memorials, plaques and information boards, located across the British Isles which relate to events concerning and key figures associated with the British Civil Wars 1639-1660. It also covers monuments located anywhere in the world relating to soldiers who served in the British Isles between 1639–1660.

Old Bailey Online - Proceedings of the Old Bailey, 1674–1913
Redesigned site (v9.0) with new functionality.

Family Tree Analyzer -
One of my favourite programs. Here is a tutorial on using it -

And finally – Lists and analysis of the oldest people in the country :

Vol 37, No 1:  September 2023

Find My Past -
FMP have added 12.2 million Electoral Registers and Companies House Directors to 2023; 63,000 new and 1 million improved Death Duty Registers 1796 to 1903; 1.4 million Lambeth Electoral Registers 1832 to 1886; 444,000 Ulster Covenant 1912; 8,635 more Kent burial transcriptions and 10,000 for Herefordshire; 102,000 more transcripts of Gloucestershire parish records, 618,000 more for Herefordshire, 453,000 more for Derbyshire, 133,000 more for Bedfordshire and 120,000 more for Dorset; 14,000 Southwark non-conformist records; 30,000 new Norfolk Memorials; 13,795 more images of Norfolk parish records and 55,000 more for Wales; 10,000 transcripts of Shoreditch Poor Law Settlement Examinations 1758 to 1802; 236,000 more Greater London Burials; 325,000 images of Catholic parish records for Leeds diocese; 13,000 Naturalisations 1603-1700; and 231,000 Lincolnshire Baptisms. 

Ancestry -
Ancestry have added 190,000 RAF Officer Service Records 1918 to 1919; 94,000 Scotland WWI Rolls of Honour; 50,000 England, Wales, Scotland and Isle of Man Old Series OS Maps 1805 to 1874; 656,000 WW II Army Casualty Lists; 200,000 BMDs of Passengers and Seamen at Sea 1891 to 1922; 1 million Ireland Abstracts of Wills and Marriages 1620 to 1923; 83,000 WW2 Liberated PoW Questionnaires; 225,000 Ireland Cemetery Collection 1865 to 2023; 650,000 Royal Hospital Chelsea Pensions 1842 to 1883; and 20 million Scotland Postal Directories 1825 to 1910.

The Genealogist -
They have added records for the 1910 to 1915 Land Tax covering Bedfordshire, Oxfordshire and the rest of Hertfordshire; 510,000 Catholic parish records for County Laois; and Lawyer Lists for 1780 to 1911 with judges, barristers and other court officials.

My Heritage -
They have added 163,000 Bomber Command Losses 1936 to 1968; 855,000 Manchester Burials; 284,000 England and Wales Hearth Tax 1662 to 1674 for 13 counties; 116,000 Warrington Burials; 135,000 Metropolitan Police Habitual Criminals 1881 to 1925; 429,000 Merchant Navy crew members; 406,000 UK Naturalization Certificates and Declarations from 1801; 446,000 Royal Air Force Personnel 1914 to 1928; and 106,000 Stockton-on-Tees Burials from 1971.

Scotland’s People -
A new addition is Lighthouse Keeper Registers for 1837 to 1921.

As always the Lost Cousins newsletters have great articles and links - Origins of place names and early history of counties.

And finally – Britain's Roman roads in the style of Harry Beck’s underground map

General comments - existing datasets often get updated with corrections and additional records, but these are not always publicised. Some datasets are available on more than one website, usually with indexes created independently; images may not be available on all of them - or any of them [always try and view an image]. Note that Ancestry and FMP are free at most UK public libraries.

Vol 36, No 4:  June 2023

Find My Past –
FMP have added 4.9 million records for Greater Manchester Rate books for 1790 to 1949, 682,000 transcriptions for Hampshire Parish records [but see below], 839,000 transcriptions for Sussex Parish records, 300,000 records from the Returns of Owners of Land 1873 and 1876, 98,000 Marriage Licenses and 34,000 Probate records for Dublin Diocese, 122,000 transcriptions of Essex Baptisms, 46,000 Burials in Worthing council cemeteries, 126,000 records for Surrey Regiments, 261,000 Northern Ireland Probate records for 1921 to 1965, and 305,000 Irish Inland Revenue Probate data for 1828 to 1879.

Ancestry –
Ancestry have added 4.7 million Parish Records for Hampshire with images, 512,000 Tyne and Wear Non-Conformist records 1710 to 1960, 1.0 million Westminster Poor Law records 1561 to 1900, 3.0 million records from Medical Registers 1859 to 1943, 338,000 Probate records for West and East Sussex, 92,000 WW2 Home Guard records for Surrey, 16.3 million Electoral Registers for Gwent 1832 to 1969, and 9.7 million Electoral Registers for Kensington & Chelsea 1889 to 1970.

The Genealogist –
They have added 33,000 records for the 1910 to 1915 Land Tax covering the Hitchin area of Hertfordshire. Improved images have been loaded for the 1851, 1861 and 1871 censuses for England & Wales. 76,000 records for criminals from The Police Gazette for 1901, 1911, 1921 and 1931 under TNA MEPO6 have been added.

My Heritage –
They have added 135,000 records from the Metropolitan Police Register of Habitual Criminals 1881 to 1925,

Deceased Online –
They have added 264,000 records for the Crematorium and 3 cemeteries in Reading.

Irish Genealogy ––search.jsp
They have added free images for 1922 Births, 1947 Marriages and 1972 Deaths.

Scottish Indexes –
They have added 104,369 records from prisons in Glasgow, Aberdeen, Paisley, Dundee, Ayr and Fort William.

GRO Registration Districts official guide – Registration District Book.pdf

The Federation Really Useful Bulletin for April 2023 had a detailed article on the 1939 Register. Find a copy here –"

As always the Lost Cousins newsletters have great articles and links –
  Masterclass on finding birth certificates in England & Wales
  The Clergy of the Church of England database covers 1540 to 1835 and is free.
  Census Street Indexes for 1841, 1851, 1861, 1871, and 1891 are on the archived version of the TNA website.
  Articles by Edward Higgs on under-enumeration in the 19th century censuses.

The Manchester + Lancashire FHS at suggested eight great reasons for joining a family history society –
1. Help you get started with your family history so you don’t make (so many) mistakes. We accept nobody is perfect!
2. Suggest websites and strategies to help you break down ‘brick walls’
3. Benefit from an amazing network of local knowledge
4. Access resources not available anywhere else
5. Join the great self-help family history community
6. Help preserve our rural, social and family history by transcribing and digitising archived documents
7. Contribute your own skills and/or learn new ones
8. Become an influencer in helping preserve our heritage.

And finally –
An appreciation of the life and work of Audrey Collins who died recently.

Vol 36, No 3:  March 2023

Find My Past -
Besides our own new records [see page NN], FMP have added 96,000 Barrow-in-Furness female shipyard employees, 61,000 payments to colonial enslavers, 872,000 Civil Service employment records 1871 to 1942 linked to the relevant page in the London Gazette, 216,000 Lincolnshire baptisms, 52,000 more Suffolk marriages, 48,000 Coldstream Guards records, 184,000 more England & Wales deaths 2020 to 2021, 295,000 Catholic parish registers for Nottingham diocese with images, 52,000 more in Greater London burials, 17,000 biographies of officers of the Honourable Artillery Company, 4700 Croydon burials, 113,000 Gibraltar Censuses 1871 to 1921, 4420 Gibraltar marriages, and 2749 Gibraltar military deaths 1870 to 1914.

Ancestry -
Ancestry have added 619,000 Scottish MIs, 3.9 million RAF records, 3.1 million more newspaper obituaries, 64,000 Berkshire WW2 records, 201,000 Kensington & Chelsea poor law and parish chest records, and 5.3 million North Yorkshire parish register entries.

Family Search -
The LDS have added more Cumberland parish registers making 465,000, 713,000 India Office Births and Baptisms 1712 to 1965, and 911,000 military pension and service records 1702 to 1933.

The Genealogist -
Their Map Explorer now includes the 1871 Census.  A short (20 minute) video which demonstrates Map Explorer –
They have added 319,000 records and images for the 1910 to 1915 Land Tax for much of Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire, Berkshire and Buckinghamshire, and 629,000 records for Chelsea Pensioners from 1702 to 1933.

The National Archives -
Volunteers have indexed 185,000 records from WO416 for WW2 Prisoners of War.

My Heritage -
They had added the following records [which may be available elsewhere] - 362,000 burials in Oldham, 274,000 burials in Dudley, 369k Scottish trial and prison records, 164,000 Scottish wills, 46,000 burials in Worthing, 123,000 transportations to Australia, 75,000 Northern Ireland wills to 1858, 83,000 burials in Perthshire and Stirling, 115,000 newspaper notices for Renfrewshire, 127,000 Scottish mental health records and 253,000 divorces in England & Wales.

Scotland's People -
Births for 1922, marriages for 1947 and deaths for 1972 can now be viewed online.

Kingston upon Thames joins, but only a small number of records so far.

7 videos from Dave Annal well worth watching

Institute of Heraldic & Genealogical Studies : A different list of Top 10 tools -

Cartophilia -
4500 images free to download of high and medium resolution images of English and Welsh maps from their beginnings to the early 20th Century. 

Dick Eastman : Consider the Source: Original, Derivative, or Copy -

And finally – it is difficult to know whether new records are just transcriptions or also include images.  Further, there are frequent small increases to existing datasets that are not publicised or are relatively small. 

Vol 36, No 2:  December 2022

Find My Past -
FMP have added 257,000 Norfolk Wills and Probates 1301 to 1858, 65,000 more Norfolk Banns and Marriages, 144,000 more Lincolnshire baptism transcriptions 1754 to 1862, 14,216 paupers in workhouses in 1860 aged over 16 and resident for over 5 years, 93,000 Royal Navy and Marines service records 1925 to 1939 from TNA ADM362-3 and 6000 Officers records 1840 to 1920, 20,000 original wills for Royal Navy and Marines 1786 to 1882, 10,000 MIs from Poole Cemetery Dorset, and 4300 parish records for All Saints, Kingston-upon-Thames. 

Ancestry -
Ancestry have added 95,000 Hampshire Wills and Probates 1398 to 1858.  Also 16,000 Lancashire Police Staff indexes 1836 to 1937, Navy Lists 1888 to 1970 increased to 12.7 million records, 4.3 million more obituaries from newspapers, 27,543 Post Mortems 1840 to 1920 from a University of London special collection, 91,000 WW2 Women's Land Army index cards from TNA MAF421, and 150,000 Coal Mining Accidents and Deaths 1878 to 1951.

Scotland's People -
The 1921 Census was released on St. Andrew's Day.

Family Search -
LDS have added 1.5 million Irish Catholic parish records 1740 to 1900, Non-Conformist records for Gloucestershire and Lancashire, Surrey parish records, Irish original wills 1858 to 1920, and Merchant Seaman records 1918 to 1941.

The Genealogist -
Their Map Explorer now includes the 1881 Census.  They have also added 50,000 records compiled by the Committee of the Irish National War Memorial. 

Deceased Online -
They have completed the addition of 5 cemeteries and the crematorium for Wolverhampton.

City of London Burial Registers for City of London Cemetery 1856 to 1998 -  495,000 records but no index, just images.

The National Archives -
TNA have added the first Ministry of Defence (MOD) service personnel records to the catalogue and available to order at Kew.

My Heritage -
They have added records of freeholders in Ulster between 1662 and 1839.  Also 164,000 Scottish Commissary Court Wills and Testaments 1514 to 1800.

Dave Annal's search for 365 places connected with his ancestors -

Two interesting articles from Dick Eastman -
Not Everything Online is Free -
Is It Unverified Data and Will It Always be Unverified? -

And finally – The death has been announced of Guy Etchells, the Proprietor of Anguline Research Archives, who with one other made a successful Freedom of Information campaign to enable public access to the 1939 Register.

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