This week I had the pleasure of helping someone find a marriage from the early 1800s in Canada using online resources. It is exciting when we learn new things about our ancestors and can add them to our family tree.
Isn’t it great that more records are being digitized, that people are doing the indexing, and we can search for our ancestors online? Each week there are millions and millions of records being added to websites.
In the last short while I have learned that:
1. There is a large new collection of Gloucestershire, England parish register transcriptions online at ancestry.com – and we’re talking 100s of thousands of records . . .
2. Northamptonshire parish register transcripts are now available at findmypast.com- again many many records
How do you know if new record collections have been added to a web site from places where your ancestors lived?
With my ancestry I generally look for new record collections at familysearch.org, ancestry.com, and findmypast.com.
How do you know what is new at familysearch.org? Go to familysearch.org, then click once on menu Search and select Records. Next, on the right side of the screen below the map click once on Browse All Collections. Next after the list of collections is loaded – you may have to wait a minute or even two as this is a busy website – click on the heading on the right side – Last Updated. This sorts the collections so that new and updated collections appear at the top of the list – they are marked with an asterisk (*) and give a date. You might find it helpful to scroll down beyond the asterisks unless you do this regularly. Click on a collection name if you want to search just that collection.
How do you know what is new at ancestry.com? Go to Ancestry.com ( or any of the ancestry websites like.ca or .co.uk) – you can do this if you don’t have an Ancestry account – there are lots of things you can do for free at Ancestry and this is one of them! – just click on Search (don’t be tempted by Free Trials!) – and select Card Catalog, then go to upper right to Sort By and select Date Added (Date Updated produces different but interesting results too!). Currently there are 3 screens full of New collections! Wow! Click on a collection to search in that collection!
How do you know what is new at findmypast.com? I don’t have an easy answer for this. Maybe you do and if so would you please teach me by leaving a Comment? I get to the A to Z of Record Sets under the Search menu – but only can search what collections are there and put in keywords like names of counties. You can easily limit record collections to regions of the world under Show Records From (on left side of the screen). I usually go under the menu News to see what has been added recently – and FindMyPast, like the others is busy adding new collections all the time. Look for FindMyPast Friday – and then click on Read More to get the details – yes, they add collection every Friday!
Remember you can go to your local Family History Centre to access Ancestry.com and FindMyPast.com without charge – and have someone to help you!