Wednesday 19 June 2013

Ancestry uploads millions of US & Canadian records

As promised last month, Ancestry has uploaded a ton and a half (nearly 10 million) birth, marriage and death records for Massachussetts. They date from 1840/1 to 1915, the main period of exodus from Ireland, so there should be plenty of Irish immigrants awaiting discovery within this huge database.

The Massachussetts Town and Vital Records collection, which dates from 1620 to 1988, has also been updated. It now holds 23,159,802 records, including some really unusual ones such as dog licence applications, fishing permits, mortgage and tax records, and even details of pew sales.

Another Massachussetts collection, less mainstream but useful, holds 336,033 membership cards dating from 1733 to 1990 of the Grand Lodge of Ancient Free and Accepted Masons of Massachussetts, the oldest masonic lodge in the United States.

Sticking to neighbouring North-Eastern states, Ancestry has also added new collections for New Hampshire (2.3million birth, marriage, death and divorce records dating back up to nearly four centuries), Vermont (1.4million vital records), Rhode Island (state censuses 1865–1935), and Connecticut (some 1.3million headstone inscriptions dating from 1675–1934 from more than 2,000 cemeteries, the work of Charles R Hale).

Several smaller new or updated packages have also been added to Ancestry in the last week or so, including a total of 1.5million records in a number of Canadian databases primarily related to military service. Among them are British Army and Canadian Militia Muster Rolls and Pay Lists, 1795-1850, and British Navy Ship Muster Rolls and Pay Lists, 1757-1836, the latter covering Canadian ships and shipyards.