Latest News

Latest genealogy and family history news and information.

These tend to concentrate on new information available to search on websites, much for free but also when the commercial providers of genealogy information (like Findmypast, Ancestry, Genes Reunited, The Genealogist, The British Newspaper Archive and Scotland's People) add more databases and records they also like to tell the world.

Thursday 17th April 2014
The British Newspaper Archive have just added a brand new monthly subscription to help you find out more about your family history. For just £9.95 per month you can search, view and print articles from millions of pages of newspapers covering 1710 to 1954.

Friday 23rd August 2013
Ancestry are offering free access to its UK census records collections from 1841-1911 for the Bank Holiday weekend, until midnight on Monday 26th. You do need to register (free) but then searching, viewing the transcriptions and viewing the census page images (where they have them) are free.

Tuesday 20th August 2013
The Spectator Magazine has put their archive on line with both scanned and digitised copies of the magazine from July 1828 to December 2008 available for free online.

Tuesday 13th August 2013
Family Search have added over a hundred thousand indexed records and images to their Sussex Parish registers 1538-1910 collection. All access to the Family Search's own records are free although some searches on the site (for example census records) sometimes take you off to another site where you do need to pay or have a subscription.

Tuesday 13th August 2013
Welsh Newspapers Online have added another 10 publications this month to their fast growing, completely free, Welsh Newspaper Archive covering 1804 to 1919.

Friday 9th August 2013
FreeBMD have updated their site with now over 231 million distinct records, all completely free to search.

Wednesday 7th August 2013
Genes Reunited are now including tracing living relatives as part of their Platinum subscriptions by making the UK electoral registers 2002-2013 available for search.

Wednesday 31st July 2013
The British Newspaper Archive are offering for the whole of August £10.95 off the annual price of £79.95, making it just £69. To take advantage of this offer, enter the code BnA82013 at the checkout. If you subscribe to a 12 month package, you will get unlimited credits / page views, access to digitised newspapers dating back to 1710 and also gain access to ‘My Research’ which is a personal area to keep track of searched articles, add notes and bookmark viewed items.

Thursday 25th July 2013
Ancestry has made its entire England & Wales 1911 Census FREE for a limited time until the 14th October 2013. If you want to take advantage of this offer, you do need to register and set up an account but this is free.

Wednesday 24th July 2013
FreeREG added more records to their database with now over 25.2 million records available to search, that's over 12.4 million baptisms, over 4.1 million marriages and over 8.5 million burials, all completely free to search.

Friday 19th July 2013
FreeBMD have updated their site with now over 230 million distinct records, all completely free to search.

Thursday 18th July 2013
Findmypast are now including tracing living relatives as part of their Britain Full and World subscriptions. This includes the UK electoral registers 2002-2013 and the records of UK directors whose companies were registered with Companies House 2002-2013.

Monday 1st July 2013
Findmypast have added almost two million new Hertfordshire parish baptisms, marriages and burials records to thier parish records collection, part of a partnership with Hertfordshire Archives and Local Studies.

Friday 31st May 2013
Ancestry has released the Surrey Parish Records, 1538-1987, collection which gives you access to the Church of England parish registers of births, marriages and deaths in Surrey. You can search the 2.6 million records for free but you will need an Ancestry subscription to view the details, a free 14 day trial is usually available.

Wednesday 8th May 2013
FreeCEN has been updated and now contains entries for over 23 million individuals now available including more transcriptions for Nottinghamshire for 1891 taking the coverage to 71% alongside their 42% coverage for 1861, all completely free to search.

Thursday 7th February 2013
Ancestry has released the Manchester Parish Records, 1541-1985, collection which gives you access to the Church of England parish registers of births, marriages and deaths in Manchester. You can search for free but you will need an Ancestry subscription to view the details, a free 14 day trial is usually available. Lancashire parish records are also available, that's more then eight million historic baptism, marriage and burial records from Manchester and Lancashire.

Wednesday 16th January 2013
Ancestry has released the Civil Divorce Records, 1858-1911, collection. These records were created as part of the legal divorce cases and provide a thorough examination of all the claims and counter-claims that led up to the split. These detailed records often reveal an entire history of the marriage before it all went wrong. This could include the date and place of the wedding, details of any children, and even the couple's different addresses. You can search for free but you will need an Ancestry subscription to view the details, a free 14 day trial is usually available.

Friday 9th November 2102
Ancestry are offering for four days, free access to the World War I records, ends 12th of November.

Wednesday 23rd April 2012
Ancestry have added more than six million probate records, dating from 1942 to 1966 to form part of the England and Wales National Probate Calendar, 1858-1966, a total of over 12 million records.

Wednesday 11th April 2012
Findmypast have just published the 1901 Scottish census, a new transcription which they say is to an extremely high standard to make it as easy as possible to track down your Scottish ancestors.

Tuesday 27th March 2012
Findmypast have made the first release of the Westminster Records Collection, staring with parish records, baptisms, marriages and deaths from 50 Westminster churches, with promise of a lot more to come.

Sunday 25th March 2012
FreeBMD updated their site on March 25th with now over 214 million distinct records, all completely free to search.
Meanwhile FreeCEN updated their database on March 15th with entries for just under 21 million individuals now available for free including more transcriptions for Norfolk for 1871.

Thursday 1st March 2012
Findmypast have released nearly 4 million new Welsh records covering Cardiganshire, Carmarthenshire, Denbighshire, Flintshire and Glamorganshire. That includes 1.4 million baptisms covering 1538-1911, 950,000 marriages covering 1539-1926,340,000 banns 1701-1926 and 1.16 million burials covering 1539-2007.

Thursday 16th February 2012
Findmypast have just published the 1891 Scottish census, another new transcription.

Thursday 9th February 2012
FreeREG have added more records to their database with now over 19.3 million records available to search, that's just over 9.4 million baptisms, over 3.3 million marriages and over 6.4 million burials, again all for free.

Thursday 19th January 2012
Findmypast have just published the 1881 Scottish census, another new transcription, which means its worth looking if you haven't been able to find your ancestors in the other transcriptions that have been available for a number of years.

Monday 19th December 2011
Findmypast have added the 1871 Scottish Census to their collection of census records, approximately 3.3 million records. You need to be a subscriber to view the results or alternatively they offer a pay per view option.

Friday 9th December 2011
Ancestry have now made available transcriptions for the 1911 census for a number of English counties, following on from their release of the transcriptions for Wales, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man (see the news for 26th November).
English counties now available are Cheshire, Cornwall, Cumberland, Derbyshire, Devon, Durham, Lancashire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, London, Norfolk, Northumberland, Nottinghamshire, Rutland, Warwickshire, Westmorland, Worcestershire, Yorkshire East Riding, Yorkshire North Riding and Yorkshire West Riding.
They also have made the records for the Royal Navy available.
View the records - you can search for free but you will need an Ancestry subscription to view the details.

Wednesday 7th December 2011
The FreeBMD site was updated on December 4th with now over 209 million distinct records, all completely free to search.
Meanwhile FreeCEN updated their database on November 28th with entries for over 20 million individuals now available for free including more transcriptions for Sussex for 1871 taking the coverage to 63% alongside their 100% coverage for 1891.
FreeREG added more records to their database on November 28th as well with now over 18.4 million records available to search, that's just over 9 million baptisms, over 3.2 million marriages and over 6.2 million burials, again all for free.

Thursday 1st December 2011
Findmypast have released 10 million new Cheshire records. These records in the Cheshire Collection cover 1538-1910 and include parish and electoral registers as well as non-conformist and workhouse records.

Thursday 1st December 2011
The Guild of One-Name Studies has introduced flexible membership joining rates in six currencies to enable new members to assess the benefits of the Guild over an extended period, to find out what the benefits of membership are and to experience the services and facilities that the Guild offers.
More details are here.

Wednesday 30th November 2011
Ancestry has added to their collection of records from the London Metropolian Archives, the London Freedom of the City Admission Papers from 1681-1925, detailing almost 600,000 of London's citizens who were awarded one of the City's greatest honours. From aldermen and constables to merchants and stonemasons, it includes prominent men and women from all walks of life. In many cases, the privileges that with the Freedom of the City were essential to people's livelihoods. Freemen could vote in civic elections, drive livestock over London Bridge, and even carry a naked sword in public! Information in this database includes Surname, Date of indenture, Parent or guardian’s name, County of residence and Master's name.
View the records - you can search for free but you will need an Ancestry subscription to view the details.

Tuesday 29th November 2011
The British Newspaper Archive .... Bright Solid, owners of Findmypast and Genes Reunited have announced a new British Newspaper Archive, where you can search up to 4 million pages of historical newspapers online. The British Library and brightsolid are working together on this project. The website offers access to up to 4 million fully searchable pages, featuring more than 200 newspaper titles from every part of the UK and Ireland.
This is a new site, you can search for free but it costs to view images in the viewer, either as a subscription or pay-per-view basis. Exisiting subscriptions to other Brightsolid sites, Findmypast and Genes Reunited do not include access to this new site.

Monday 26th November 2011
For several months, Ancestry have had available to subscribers the images of the 1911 census for England and Wales but no index information which meant you couldn't serch by name.
However they have now released transcriptions for Wales, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man
View the records - you can search for free but you will need an Ancestry subscription to view the details.

Monday 3rd October 2011
Ancestry are making available for the next two weeks, one collection a day for free.
These are:
October 3rd: California Marriage Index, 1960-1985
October 4th: Bavaria, Germany, WWI Personnel Rosters, 1914-1918
October 5th: 1920 US Federal Census
October 6th: Australian Electoral Rolls, 1903-1954
October 7th: Texas Birth Index, 1903-1997
October 8th: Sweden, Births from the Swedish Death Index, 1947-2006
October 9th: US WW I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918
October 10th: England & Wales, Birth Index, 1916-2005
October 11th: Historical Newspapers, Birth, Marriage & Death Announcements, 1851-2003
October 12th: Quebec Vital and Church Records, 1621-1967
October 13th: 1930 US Federal Census
October 14th: 1901 England Census
October 15th: US Obituary Collection

Thursday 22nd September 2011
Family Search have added a free dynamic map showing all English Parish Boundaries in 1851, such as county, parish and civil registration districts - its available at http://maps.familysearch.org. It's a very powerful tool for finding neighbouring parishes or for finding the parishes that make up a civil registration district.