Finding New Record Collections at Ancestry.com and FindMyPast

Family History is not a dead subject . . .   there is so much new material becoming available almost  every week!

How can you tell what is new at Ancestry.com?  or .ca or .co.uk

Go to the menu Search and select Card Catalog.  In the upper right next to the word Sort By is a dropdown menu – change it from Popularity to Date Added and you see all the new collections added recently to Ancestry. Hovering (that is pointing with the mouse but not clicking a button) shows an information box which includes the date that collection was last updated.

One recent collection added to Ancestry was Canada, Selected School Yearbooks 1908 to 2010.  Definitely selected yearbooks – I thought I would find some of my wife’s family who grew up in Alberta.  Nothing!  But I was surprised to find an entry for me at the University of Calgary – complete with picture – but the wrong degree.  Who did the indexing?  No one! It was done with new optical character recognition software – that is the computer software reading the scanned images.  No one transcribed it!  I submitted a request for a correction – although the degree they gave me was quite nice!  Nice picture though!

Try some of Ancestry’s new collections!

How do you find new record collections at FindMyPast?

FindMyPast is a great site if you are doing British Research, but you need to take a few minutes to work out how to do basic navigation.

Under the menu Search there is a link A-Z of Record Sets.  This is good to browse but there is no indication of what is new.  I found 2 ways to get information on new collections:  1.  Click on the menu News – which takes you to a blog – and look for articles about FindMyPast Friday – they like to release their new collections on Friday – after the headlines are a series of links across the screen including New Releases which takes you to lots of information on new collections, and 2. Go to the home page by clicking on FindMyPast in the upper left hand corner – you are of course signed in! – and in the middle of the screen you see a message Welcome Back Peter – well you probably don’t see Peter! – right below that are 3 links and the right hand one is Latest Records Sets on FindMyPast Fridays.

There are lots of interesting and valuable collections at FindMyPast – well worth the effort to find them.

One exciting collection that will be coming soon – and you need to watch out for is the 1939 Register. “In 1939, on the eve of World War II, the British government introduced an act that would allow them to gather vital information about the country’s population. This information would inform their decisions on identity cards, rationing, conscription and more, including – eventually – the formation of the NHS. In 2015, for the first time, Findmypast in partnership with The National Archives are publishing the 1939 Register online, providing an unprecedented insight into a country on the verge of war.”  There is a link to information about this project on the  home page.

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