It’s hard to keep up! There is so much new information being released for family history research, so what do you do? A good thing to do periodically – maybe monthly? – is to check the collections at your favourite websites like FamilySearch, Ancestry, FindMyPast, etc to see what has changed.
How do you do that? Let’s look at FamilySearch this week – as I’m feeling guilty because I missed something recently for my Irish researching friends . . .
Go to Familysearch.org, click on Records under the menu Search. Then click on Browse All Published Collections which is under the world map. You get a list of all the collections in the historical records collection at FamilySearch – wow, now 2019 collections! Note that they mark any updated or new collection with an asterisk *. Click on the heading Last Updated to sort the list by last updated. This won’t tell you which are new collections – perhaps they could put 2 asterisks? – but you can see where there is new information to search. Clicking on a collection title will take you to a screen where you can search that collection.
Don’t forget to look for the little camera icons so you know which collections have images!
As of today (25 July) there are 22 new or updated collections since July 14! That’s great! There are some interesting collections from all over the world. Mexican Catholic Baptisms is now over 35 million records!
The next section talks about Ireland but the instructions apply to any record collection you want to search. Scroll down to Ireland or better still use the place list on the left . . UK and Ireland. A new collection was added on 22 June 2015 called Ireland, Petty Court Registers 1828-1912 – 21.8 million records – and images at FindMyPast. Now I’m not suggesting that all your relatives are petty criminals – maybe they were just witnesses in the court? If you click on Learn More just above the words Search Collection on the left you will get a very interesting article about this record collection from the Research Wiki !
This includes a description : This collection will include court records from 1828-1912. Most small criminal and civil cases were handled by the Petty Sessions Court. Petty Sessions Courts even handled minor matters such as dog registration.
So registering your dog might get your name in the collection!
Court records may contain the following information:
- Individual’s name
- Date and place (county) of court order
- Individual’s role (witness, complainant, or defendant)
- Other information specific to the court case
And some helpful hints:
- Remember that there may be more than one person in the records with the same name as your ancestor and that your ancestor may have used nicknames or different names at different times.
- When looking for a person who had a common name, look at all the entries for the name before deciding which is correct.
- Court orders usually identify the county. Search this county to find other local records, such as census records and parish registers, that may contain your ancestor.
- Search the court case information for family names or clues about your ancestor’s situation or life story.
- Take a look at the image of the actual record to verify that the information in the index is correct. As with any index, transcription errors may occur.
Knowing the county where your ancestors lived is very very helpful for Irish research – and this collection may really help you!