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More Useful Websites for Genealogy and History Researchers
Posted 13 August 2009
Compiled By: Fawne Stratford-Devai   Biography & Archived Articles


This issue includes links to history and genealogy resources concerning Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland, UK, England, Wales, United States. Enjoy...

  • Ireland - USA: Information Wanted
    From October 1831 through October 1921, the Boston Pilot newspaper printed a "Missing Friends" column with advertisements from people looking for "lost" friends and relatives who had emigrated from Ireland to the United States. This extraordinary collection of 31,711 records is available as a searchable online database, which contains a text record for each ad that appeared in the Pilot. The advertisements contain the ordinary but revealing details about the missing person's life: the county and parish of their birth, when they left Ireland, the believed port of arrival in North America, their occupation, and a range of other personal information. Some records may have as many as 50 different data fields, while others may offer only a few details. The people who placed ads were often anxious family members in Ireland, or the wives, siblings, or parents of men who followed construction jobs on railroads or canals. These "Missing Friends" advertisements provide a window on the world of Irish immigration.


  • USA: Mountain West Digital Library
    The Mountain West Digital Library is a conglomerate of digital collections from universities, colleges, public libraries, museums, and historical societies in Utah, Nevada, and Idaho. The Mountain West defines the region of contributors, but the content extends beyond the Mountain West and into different fields. The collections can be searched for text, images, video, or audio clips. The collections are quite extensive (over 100 and growing) including such items as the Mormon publication "The Young Woman's Journal" that provides insight into the lives of Mormon women in the early 20th century.


  • USA: Western New York Legacy The goal of this project is to provide online access to materials that document the rich cultural heritage of the Western New York region. This region is made up of six counties in western New York State: Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie, Genesee, Niagara, and Orleans. Visitors can browse through the collection by contributing institution or collection title. More importantly, a detailed search can be done across the entire archive. Many types of materials may be found on Western New York Legacy, including: manuscripts; photographs; maps; drawings; books; artifacts; and audio files.


  • UK: Royal Marine Service Registers
    The National Archives UK has put more than 110,000 Royal Marine service registers online to search and download. If your relative joined the Marines between 1842 and 1936, you may be able to find them by searching by surname, first name and date of enlistment. The registers can tell you the ships that the Marine served on, medals they were awarded, details of their conduct - or misconduct - and more. There are also handy search tips and advice on understanding the registers including suggestions on where to look for more information. Searching the index is free, so start looking now.


  • UK: WWII Merchant Shipping Movement Cards
    The movements of Allied merchant ships during the Second World War were a closely guarded secret. Now you can search for these ships online. The cards record the movements of both British registered and Allied vessels engaged in the war effort. Each set of cards records the name of the ship, any former name it had, its size (tonnage), to whom it was registered, the ship's destination, date of arrival and sometimes ports of call. They also record any cargo carried on board. Importantly the cards also show if the ship was torpedoed, mined, damaged or sunk. They do not contain details of any passengers or crew and are concerned only with details of the ship. If your ancestor was a wartime merchant seaman, and you know the name of his ship, you can discover where he sailed. You will also find out if the ship was torpedoed, mined or sunk.

  • UK: Deceased Online
    Deceased Online is the first central database of statutory burial and cremation registers for the UK and Republic of Ireland. Deceased Online is making it possible for burial and cremation authorities around the country to convert their register records, maps and photographs into digital form and bring them together into a central searchable collection. Searching is FREE but it does cost to view entries. Currently it is 1.50 to view a register entry or grave; it is 2.00 to view a picture of a grave, and 5.00 to view a map showing the location of a grave. Currently available are six databases of cemetery and crematoria registers: Scotland, Forfar - Angus Council has are approximately 80,000 records from Arbroath East, Arbroath West, Kirriemuir, and Newmonthill cemeteries online. Hampstead Cemetery (Borough of Camden) has about 72,000 burial register records online from 1876 to 1994. Trent Park Cemetery (Borough of Islington) has around 4,000 burial records online, dating from 1960 to 2000. Kent and Sussex Crematorium has 95,000 cremation records dating from 1958 to the present. The London Borough of Havering has records of two of its cemeteries online with data starting in 1902: Rainham Cemetery with 5,450 burials and Upminster Cemetery with 9,570 burials. Kent: The Tunbridge Wells Borough Cemetery has 45,000 burial register records starting in 1873 to current times available online here as well.
  • UK: MAPCO - Map and Plan Collection Online
    MAPCO's aim is to provide genealogists, students and historians with free access to high quality scans of rare and beautiful antique maps and views. The site displays a variety of highly collectable 18th and 19th century maps and plans of London and the British Isles, and also 19th century maps and engravings relating to Australia. Maps are being added continuously - one recent addition is a map of North West Kent in 1789 taken from a map of "Twenty-Five Miles Round London Planned From A Scale Of One Mile To An Inch". It includes a search feature for place names. Other additions include a 1775 Map of London with a street search, a very clear 1908 Atlas of London and Suburbs, and an 1801 map of all of Kent. There are over 70 maps available here. With the release of the 1911 census, those with ancestors living in London will find the 1908 Atlas of London &c helpful.


Note: For more links to useful genealogy and history websites, visit Fawne Stratford-Devai's biography page where you will find links to many more articles from this series.

About Fawne Stratford-Devai
Fawne Stratford-Devai's work on Land Records and early Ontario records is well known in the genealogy community. A published author of several Canadian and UK research books, she has also contributed articles to the Ontario Genealogical Society's newsletter "Families" as well as writing for the online family history newsletter the "Global Gazette". Biography


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