Archive for the ‘Content’ Category

Uncovering The Legacy Pages

Wednesday, December 10th, 2008

One of the little known features on the Web site is the Legacy Pages. Did you know that used to be a reference site only, a few years before it became a subscription site? This old site is still part of the current site, but the material in the site are referred to as “Legacy Pages.”

The Legacy Pages contain about 150 links to sites where you can find US state vital records, with notes that indicate the number of records on the site, the date range of the records, whether or not the site is free, and comments about what can be found on the site.

The Site Map contains links to virtually every important searchable database on our site as well as links to our Legacy Pages. You can access the Legacy Pages here: Just click on that link and scroll down to the bottom of the page until you see the words Legacy Pages.

Many of these pages were created for our original reference site. The Legacy Pages also contain links to historic timelines for many US states and several countries. These timelines contain information that can provide you with a historical context for when your ancestors lived. Your children may also find them helpful when doing history reports!

For example, the Montana timeline starts at the 1740s when French explorers are believed to have explored the area. Before the white settlers arrived, Montana was the home to many Indian tribes. On the other hand, the Netherlands timeline starts at 50 BC with Julius Caesar and extends to 2002.

Take the time to learn about the legacy of your ancestors. The Legacy Pages on are completely free to access!

Records From Queensland: Public Service Employees, Classification Lists, and Cemetery Monumental Inscriptions

Friday, December 5th, 2008

The major collection this week at includes a variety of records from the Queensland Family History Society, Queensland’s leading family history and genealogy organization as well as the State’s largest genealogical bookshop.

The databases in this launch include the following (Note the Queensland Public Service database has been launched. The rest of the databases will be launched throughout the week.)

* Queensland Public Service 1864 – 1948
* Classification List of the Queensland Loco Enginemen, Firemen, & Cleaners 1912 South
* Brisbane Cemetery Monumental Inscriptions
* Toowong Cemetery Monumental Inscriptions

The Queensland Public Service 1864 – 1948 database includes:

1. An index to approx 65,000 Queensland Public Service Employees’ entries published periodically in the Queensland Government Gazette from 1864 to 1948 (or Queensland Blue Book for 1870-1879). The index gives name, present office, location, date of birth, date of initial appointment, and the date, page and volume of the Government Gazette reference. Further information in the Gazette or Blue Book may include salary, allowance, qualifications and appointment details.

2. An index to approx 35,000 names of teachers mentioned in the Education Office Gazette from 1907 to 1920. The index covers teacher admissions, promotions, transfers and resignations, listing the name, type of entry, standing, school/s, date and page reference in the Education Office Gazette.

3. An index to approx 12,500 names from School Committee notices in the Queensland Government Gazette between commencement year of 1876 and 1899. The school committee index covers notices of appointments and resignations for over 300 schools from all regions of Queensland.

Classification List of the Queensland Loco Enginemen, Firemen, & Cleaners 1912 is an excellent database for researching Queensland railway families and railway history. The database includes many records not previously published on microfiche.

South Brisbane Cemetery Monumental Inscriptions presents an index to the inscriptions on headstones and plaques in the South Brisbane (Dutton Park) cemetery, Brisbane, as transcribed during the 1980s by members of the Queensland Family History Society, with some more recent inscriptions added later. The original transcriptions were published by QFHS on microfiche.

The index covers 12,620 names from the inscriptions. The first burial listed in this database was in 1870. The cemetery was closed for new plots in 1961-1962, although a few were released in 1998-1999 and burials continued in family plots. Memorials range from those of prominent early residents to those of prisoners from nearby Boggo Road Gaol.

This data is a valuable resource, especially as time and vandalism take their toll on the headstones. As well as confirming or showing possible errors in the burial register, the database often show family relationships for 3 or 4 generations, including names of people not buried in the grave. Details can include parents, birth place and date, marriage information, titles and honors. Neighbouring plots can include related families.

Toowong Cemetery Monumental Inscriptions is an index that references approximately 47,000 names – on memorials still standing, on graves demolished once they were considered unsafe; and on inscriptions from the columbarium.

Toowong Cemetery is Brisbane’s largest. The transcriptions were undertaken by members of the Queensland Family History Society Inc. between 1983 and 1987.

Although Colonel Samuel Wensley Blackall (Queensland’s second Governor) was the first person to be buried at Toowong Cemetery in 1871, several memorials predate his grave. In 1881, the bodies of the three children of the guards (convict settlement) who died in the early 1830s, were exhumed from a North Quay site and, with the original headstones, transferred to Toowong. After the Paddington Cemeteries Act of 1911, a number of remains and memorials from this cemetery were also removed to Toowong.

The number of burials in Toowong Cemetery is unknown, though by 1963 a total of 106,000 burials were said to have taken place.

Described by the Lord Mayor of Brisbane, in 1994, as a project of great significance for the records of the City of Brisbane – no library or family historian should be without it.

Note: Sources for databases provided by the Queensland Family History Society.

About the Queensland Family History Society
The Queensland Family History Society Incorporated (QFHS) was formed in Brisbane in 1979 as a non-profit, non-sectarian, non-political organisation. The Society aims to promote the study of family, and local history, genealogy, and heraldry, and encourage the collection and preservation of records relating to the history of Queensland families. The Society has a variety of affiliations, including the Australasian Federation of Family History Organisations Inc. (AFFHO) , the Royal Historical Society of Queensland (RHSQ), History Queensland Inc. (HQ) formerly the Queensland Association of Local and Family History Societies Inc (QALFHS), and the Federation of Family History Societies (UK) (FFHS).

Collection of Family Histories, Transactions and Visitation Books

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2008

Our major collection this week is called the “Bloxham Database” and contains many old transactions and visitation books of the British Isles, along with a variety of family histories that genealogist Ben Bloxham compiled.

Click on the links below to view some of these databases from the Bloxham Collection:

Bonnie Hanks: Collection of Old Documents Given to W. Ben Bloxham October 2001

Collection of Vintage Postcards, 1900 – 1960 (Bloxham)

Bloxham was well known for his involvement in the field of genealogy. He started the Family History Department at BYU in 1978 after receiving his Ph.D. in Southampton England. He taught at BYU for more than 30 years. During these years, Bloxham also did genealogy for some very well known people such as Alan Ashton of WordPerfectBlake Roney of NuSkin, and many leaders from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Bloxham traveled all over the world teaching and participating in genealogy seminars. He died three years ago from cancer. His daughter, Lauri K. Brock has spent the last 2 1/2 years digitizing this collection (and there is still more to digitize).

The databases from the Bloxham collection will be free to access for ten days at After this trial period is over, subscriptions to access this content on may be purchased here.

Improvements Made to Ellis Island Database

Monday, November 24th, 2008

Recently, a major improvement was made to the Ellis Island database titled Ellis Island Passenger Arrival Records (1892-1924) at In the past, individuals who clicked on a result from this database (containing content from The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation) were sent to The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation’s website sign-up screen. Now, when they click on the link to access that database they are sent immediately to the record. Click here to search the Ellis Island Passenger Arrival Records (1892-1924). This database is free to access.

What is the Ellis Island database?
The Ellis Island database contains an index to more than 22 million records of individuals who entered the Port of New York through Ellis Island between 1892-1924. The Ellis Island database was created by more than 12,000 volunteers from who spent more than 5 million hours over seven years working on this database. The database allows approximately 40 percent of Americans to trace back their roots to an ancestor who entered this country through Ellis Island during this time period.

About The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, Inc.

The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, Inc. is a non-profit organization founded in 1982 to raise funds for and oversee the historic restorations of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, working in partnership with the National Park Service/U.S. Department of the Interior. In addition to restoring the monuments, the Foundation created a museum in the Statue’s base and the world-class Ellis Island Immigration Museum, The American Immigrant Wall of Honor® and the American Family Immigration History Center® ( Its endowment has funded over 200 projects at the islands.

Subscribe to today to help support our efforts to make the “best of genealogy” available through a single search.

New Collection of Newspapers From the United States and Canada

Friday, November 21st, 2008

The major collection this week includes content from the United States and Canada. As part of the release, one database each from Canada and the United States will be launched each day this week. The US content will be free to access for ten days.

  • Afro American Ledger (Baltimore, Maryland, USA)
  • Sunday Grit (Williamsport, Pennsylvania, USA)
  • Mackenzie’s Gazette (New York, New York, USA)
  • Philadelphia Afro American (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA)
  • The Sporting News(St. Louis, Missouri, USA)


  • Qu’Appelle Vidette (Fort Qu’Appelle, Saskatchewan, Canada)
  • Qu’Appelle Progress (Qu’Appelle Station, Saskatchewan, Canada)
  • Renfrew Advance (Renfrew, Ontario, Canada)
  • Renfrew Journal (Renfrew, Ontario, Canada)
  • Renfrew Mercury(Renfrew, Ontario, Canada)

The databases launched this week include content from 1838-2003. Subscribe to today to gain continued access to all of these databases. Sign up here!

Thank You To Our Veterans

Friday, November 14th, 2008

This week at, we recognize our veterans who have fought in many wars and conflicts throughout the world. We thank these individuals who have risked their lives and have left their families and friends to put themselves in danger for our freedom. Thank you to all the veterans! We appreciate you!

Below is a list of some of our databases containing names of former military officers and soldiers. Click on the links below to access each of the databases.

Army Casualties 1956 – 2003

This database contains information on U.S. military officers and soldiers who died as a result of either a hostile occurrence, including while missing in action or while prisoner of war, or non-hostile occurrence in the Southeast Asian combat area during the Vietnam War. In particular, it provides unit information the series creators had been able to locate about the following: more than 37,000 of the 38,200 casualties from the U.S. Army, more than 11,000 of the 14,836 from the U.S. Marine Corps, more than 1,700 of the 2,584 from the U.S. Air Force, more than 2,200 of the 2,564 from the U.S. Navy, and all 7 from the U.S. Coast Guard. Each record includes identifying information for the casualty, such as name, service number, date of birth, date of death, and city and state of home of record, and as much unit information as available from Military Command to task group or the equivalent.

US Korean Casualties 1950 – 1957
This database was created to maintain a centralized information source within the Department of Defense for memorials to those who died due to combat during the Korean conflict and other public issuances. This series contains selected descriptive data about U.S. military personnel who died by hostile means (i.e. battle deaths) as a result of combat duty in the Korean War. The data were usually extracted from Department of Defense Form 1300 (Report of Casualty) as well as from each of the four military services of the Department of Defense. Coverage dates are for dates of death; inclusive dates are for dates records entered into the system. The series lists as the home of record the county for those casualties in the Army and lists as the home of record the city, town, or municipality for those casualties in the Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps.

Vietnam Casualties 1956 – 1998
The Office of the Secretary of Defense created this series as the official repository for records on U.S. military casualties in the Southeast Asian combat areas during the Vietnam Conflict and used the database as the source for official information about U.S. military personnel casualties related to the Vietnam Conflict and for disseminating statistical data concerning them. This series contains records of U.S. military officers and soldiers who died as a result of either a hostile or non-hostile occurrence or who were missing in action or prisoners of war in the Southeast Asian combat area during the Vietnamese Conflict, including casualties that occurred in Cambodia, China, Laos, North Vietnam, South Vietnam, and Thailand. This database contains both final and nonfinal records; a data field in each record distinguishes between them. Final records, also referred to as the “last” records, represent the most current official information about a deceased casualty or about repatriated personnel; nonfinal records, also referred to as “previous” records, are those that precede the final records. Each record includes: the casualty’s name, service number, file reference number, date of birth, date of death or repatriation, date Southeast Asian tour began, record processing date, city and state of home of record, the casualty’s military service branch, country of casualty, type of casualty, military grade and pay grade, military occupation, service component, race, religion, length of service, marital status, sex, citizenship, the reason or cause of casualty, whether the casualty involved an aircraft, the status of the casualty’s body (whether recovered or not), whether the casualty was posthumously promoted, and the South Vietnam province where the casualty occurred, when applicable.

World War II Prisoners of War 1941 – 1946
This database contains information about U.S. military officers and soldiers and U.S. and some Allied civilians who were prisoners of war and internees. The record for each prisoner provides serial number, personal name, branch of service or civilian status, grade, date reported, race, state of residence, type of organization, parent unit number and type, place of capture (theater of war), source of report, status, detaining power, and prisoner of war or civilian internee camp site. Records of prisoners of the Japanese who died also document whether the prisoner was on a Japanese ship that sank or if he or she died during transport from the Philippine Islands to Japan. There are no records for some prisoners of war whose names appear in the lists or cables transmitted to the Office of the Provost Marshal General by the International Committee of the Red Cross.

World War II Prisoners of Japanese
World War II Prisoners of the Japanese database includes records from 1941 -1945. These records were compiled to provide NARA with more complete data on World War II prisoners of the Japanese. The database contains information on military personnel and a few civilians who were prisoners of the Japanese during World War II. The records include name, rank, service number, branch of service, source of the information, unit information as available from parent unit to subordinate unit, and notes.

Electoral Rolls, Police Gazettes, and Unclaimed Letters From Australia

Thursday, November 6th, 2008

This week’s major collection at includes Australian content from three different databases.

  • Queensland Australia Electoral Rolls 1934 & 1949
  • Queensland Police Gazette 1864 – 1874
  • Queensland Australia Unclaimed Letters

As stated last week, an electoral roll contains a list of the names of all people registered to vote in a particular area. The earliest electoral rolls in Australia begin in the 1840s, for the states of New South Wales and Victoria.

TheQueensland Police Gazette 1864-1874 contains 31,196 records. Each result contains the name, the topic (reason the warrant was issued), the volume and page number, and the date.

The Queensland Unclaimed Letters Index 1864-1874 was compiled by the Queensland Family History Society between 1997 and 2003, along with the Queensland Police Gazette 1864-1874. The Queensland Unclaimed Letters database provides an index to the names in the monthly lists of Unclaimed Letters published in the Queensland Government Gazette between 1864 and 1874. Currently this database contains 202,473 records.

The index is a valuable aid for locating early colonists in Queensland. Knowing where your ancestors were is often not easy to determine, particularly if no significant event occurred which let a paper trail. Many of them moved frequently, either seeking employment or chasing gold. As a result letters were often not able to be delivered – the last address was no longer applicable. The addresses given in this index will assist tracing just where that ancestor was, even it he or she was no longer there by the time these letters were due for delivery!

New Australian Records Online From Ryerson Index

Friday, October 24th, 2008

This week’s Major Collection at features an update to the existing Ryerson Index, which contains contemporary death notices, obituaries, and genealogical queries published in two Sydney daily newspapers, the Sydney Morning Herald and the Daily Telegraph.

The Ryerson Index ( was published as one of’s first large Australian databases. The update to the Ryerson Index contains 1,298, 320 new records, and is part of the Australian collection. The Ryerson Index is free to access as part of the global search at Free access is possible because of the way the content is indexed at For example, when an individual does a search and there is a “hit” on a name that is in the Ryerson index, once an individual clicks on the link, the search box on the Ryerson index web site is automatically populated with that search.

The Ryerson Index plugs a hole in available resources for those researching in Australia. There are no official records available for deaths post 1985 (in New South Wales), and from varying dates for other states. By indexing the deaths published in all major, and many smaller newspapers in New South Wales, the volunteers helping with the Ryerson index continue to make that gap in the records less of a brick wall for researchers. The Ryerson index has also been expanded to include other states of Australia, and now has a large number of entries from the major newspapers in Victoria, Queensland and South Australia. Combined, these four states cover about 85% of the Australian population.

This month is the tenth birthday of the Ryerson Index! In that time, volunteers have indexed more than 1.84 million entries, and are currently adding entries at the rate of more than 250,000 per year. There are approximately 120 active indexers, all volunteers, covering the 139 newspapers included in the index. Many indexers have taken on the task of back-indexing their local paper, with some papers now complete for between 40 and 60 years back from the present. The Ryerson Index is now being recognized as an essential resource for Australian research. They look forward to indexing their two millionth record (around mid-2009), and to continuing to expand in the future.

California University Yearbooks Brought Online by and

Friday, October 17th, 2008

This week’s major collection comes from E-Yearbook, one of’s premier partners. The collection contains two yearbooks from California: Stanford’s University Quad, and the University of Southern California’s El Rodeo.

Stanford University’s Quad is funded entirely by purchase, advertisement, and dedicatory sales. Originally started in 1895, the Stanford senior class is highlighted while including information from various undergraduate activities. The Quad on contains 17,026 records from 1898-1959. “There are an estimated 180,358 living Stanford degree holders, including 72,284 undergraduate alumni, 90,157 graduate alumni, and 17,917 dual-degree holders.”

The University of Southern California’s El Rodeo, was named in honor of fundraising activities by yearbook staff. Originally named the Sybil at the yearbook’s start in 1889, the change to El Rodeo occurred in 1899. El Rodeo on boasts 17,200 records from 1898-1960. A few notable alumni include George Lucas, Neil Armstrong, John Wayne, and Frank Gehry. An extensive list of distinguished alumni can be found at the USC Alumni Wikipedia site.

Stanford Facts: Alumni,” Stanford University webpage. [Accessed 14 Oct 2008.]

New Massachusetts and Maine Vital Records Now Online

Friday, October 10th, 2008

The Major Collection for this week consists of more databases resulting from the partnership between the Godfrey Memorial Library and Most of the records deal with the state of Massachusetts with vital records from Kingston, Wrentham, and Norton. Click here to access the Godfrey Memorial Library databases.

Also included in the collection are Massachusetts town histories from Woburn, Hingham, and Newburyport. A topical and historical description of Boston is also among the titles. Town histories from Maine round out the collection.

Since 1951, the Godfrey Memorial Library has promoted the study of family history by inspiring individuals in all sectors of society to study their heritage and their own place in history. It has also sought to support educational activities that create enthusiasm for family research and to make genealogical and historical resources available to all on a national and international level. It aims to achieve this by continuing the expansion, modernization, and distribution of the collection of print, electronic manuscript and other information media as technology develops.