Free access to UK records on Ancestry

I haven’t had time to do any research for a while now but I was excited to receive an email from Ancestry that I thought was worth sharing.

Are you from a long line of adventurers? Perhaps a recently discovered cousin is from a long line of minor royals? Now is the time to find out with FREE access to all UK and Ireland records.

Access to the records in the featured collections are free until 29 August 2016 at 23:59 BST. To view the records you will need to register for free with Ancestry.co.uk with your name and email address.

Happy searching!

911,000 Royal Navy Pension records online

I hope the following information might be useful for someone. Today over 911,000 records of British Royal Navy pensions have been published online for the first time at Findmypast.

The publication, released in association with The National Archives, consists of an assortment of documents kept by the Greenwich Hospital and the Royal Hospital Chelsea to record the details of Greenwich Pensioners.

The British Royal Navy & Royal Marines service and pension records span over 230 years of British naval history from to 1704 to 1934 and contain over 270,000 scanned colour images. The collection will allow family historians to uncover fascinating details of their ancestor’s career with the Royal Navy, such as their period of service, where they served, when they joined and if they were wounded in the line of duty.

Since 1804, The Royal Greenwich Hospital has paid small out-pensions to large numbers of deserving applicants who had served in either the Navy or Marines, as well as admitting a fixed number to live as in-pensioners of the hospital. This is the first time that records relating to these payments have been made available online, allowing more people than ever before to learn about the lives of their naval ancestors.

The collection includes:

·       Registers of Greenwich Hospital out-pensioners and candidates
·       Service records of both officers’ & ratings’ between 1802 and 1919
·       Indexes of Greenwich Hospital pensioners and out-pensioners
·       Royal Hospital Chelsea payment returns for England, Scotland, Wales and Jersey
·       Royal Hospital Chelsea admission books, registers and papers

To coincide with the upcoming centenary of the Battle of Jutland, Findmypast has also released over 40,000 records of Royal Navy & Royal Marines personnel who served at Jutland. The Battle, which took place off the coast of Denmark between the 31st May and 1st June 1916, was the largest naval engagement of the First World War and cost the lives of nearly 7,000 British sailors.

Free Access to 10 Million Irish Catholic Parish Records

Leading family history site, Findmypast, has announced today the online release of over 10 million Irish Catholic Parish Registers as part of their ongoing commitment to making Irish family history easier and more accessible than ever before. Fully indexed for the first time, the registers form one of the most important record collections for Irish family history and are free to search forever.

Spanning over 200 years of Ireland’s history from 1671-1900, the Irish Catholic Parish Registers contain over 40 million names from over 1,000 parishes and cover 97% of the entire island of Ireland, both Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic.
This is the first time that National Library of Ireland’s collection of Irish Catholic Registers has been fully indexed with images to the original documents linked online. The records can now be searched by name, year and place, allowing relatives and historians the opportunity to make all important links between generations with the baptism records and between families with the marriage registers.
The indexing of these important documents also allows researchers to witness the devastating effects of the Great Famine (1845-1852) first hand. Using the records to examine baptism rates in pre and post Famine Ireland has revealed that the number of children baptised across the whole of Ireland dropped by more 50% in the decade that followed. Across all 32 counties, 2,408,694 baptisms were recorded from 1835-1844, while 1,109,062 baptisms were recorded between 1851 and 1860, a difference of more than 1,299,000 baptisms.

The records also reveal the worst affected regions, with counties Limerick, Wexford, Roscommon and Kilkenny seeing the most dramatic drops in baptism rates.

To celebrate the release of this essential collection, Findmypast is also making its entire archive of over 110 million Irish records, the largest available anywhere online, FREE from 9am Tuesday 1st March to 9am on Tuesday 8th March. Findmypast is home to the most comprehensive online collection of Irish family history records with millions of exclusive records, published in partnership with The National Archives of Ireland, The National Archives UK, and a host of other local, county and national archives.

10 million Irish Catholic Parish Registers to be released by Findmypast

Leading family history site, Findmypast, announced today at Rootstech that it will launch 10 million Irish Catholic Parish Registers, one of the most important Irish record collections, in March 2016.

Covering over 200 years from 1671-1900 and over 1,000 parishes, Findmypast has worked to transcribe the National Library of Ireland’s online image collection of 3,500 baptism and marriage registers. This is the first time that the collection has been indexed with the images linked online, making the search much easier and the records more accessible. As a result, family historians will now be able to make all important links between generations with the baptism records and between families with the marriage registers.  These essential records cover the entire island of Ireland, both Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic.

Ben Bennett, Executive Vice-President North America and International for Findmypast said:

“The Irish Parish Registers will be a gold mine for anyone with Irish heritage. The 10 million baptism and marriage records will help even more people to trace their Irish ancestors.  In addition to being able to search this valuable collection, customers with family trees on Findmypast will benefit from leads that automatically connect the records related to their family directly to their trees.  The Catholic Parish Registers are a hugely important addition to Findmypast’s Irish collection, the largest and most comprehensive source for online Irish family history research.”

Findmypast Announces Free Weekend 22-25 January 2016

I thought this might be of interest. Findmypast has announced that this weekend, they will be opening up their archives and giving unlimited free access to billions of records and newspaper pages from all over the world. From 12pm on Friday, January 22nd to 12pm on Monday, January 25th (GMT), absolutely everyone will have access to Findmypast’s comprehensive collections of historical records and innovative research tools, including:

Millions of records you won’t find anywhere else, including fascinating WW2 Prisoner of War records, millions of England & Wales Crime records and the incredible British in India collection

The largest online collection of England & Wales Electoral registers, containing over 220 million names

Birth, marriage and death records dating back to the 18th century

The largest online collection of UK parish records, dating back to 1538

Historical newspapers from across the world, including nearly 13 million British newspaper dating all the way back to 1710

The most comprehensive collection of UK military records anywhere online

The largest collection of Irish family history records available online

Passenger lists for ships sailing to and from Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and the USA

An easy to use online family tree builder, which allows you to import and export your tree if you’ve built it elsewhere

Our Family Tree hints feature, which will suggest potential matches between the ancestors in your tree and records from our archives  

Family historians will also have free access to the millions of other records available to search on Findmypast. Access to the 1939 Register has not been included and pay as you go credits will be required in order to unlock household records.

You can find out more at Findmypast’s dedicated Free Weekend page.

The 1939 Register

I was recently sent a code to unlock a household record for free from the newly released 1939 Register at Find My Past. I would love to explore the 1939 Register but the cost of accessing the records has put me off. I understand that people invest a lot of money in digitising records and need to make money but I just don’t have any spare money for accessing these kinds of records at the moment.

Anyway, thanks to my free credit I was able to access one record. But which record to choose? I opted for my paternal grandparents as 1939 was the year before my father, their only child, was born. I knew they moved to Swindon at some point around this time so was interested to see where they were living.

I searched for my paternal grandmother – Viola M Young. Her first name is quite unusual so she was easy to find and according to the site was living with her husband – Henry H Young in Southampton. I used my code to see the relevant page of the 1939 Register.

the 1939 Register

They were living at 170 The Broadway, Portswood Road, Southampton. As well as their dates of birth, the fact they were married, the 1939 Register gives their occupations. My paternal grandfather was Manager, Wine, Spirit and Beer Retailer. This record has been transcribed as Retired, but I think it says Retailer so have submitted a request to amend their record.

My grandmother has her occupation listed as Unpaid domestic duties.

It was really interesting to find this record but I don’t think it was worth the money that Find My Past are currently charging to access the records. Hopefully they will become cheaper and I will be able to use it soon.