Wednesday 29 May 2019

Ancestry UK latest: new D-Day collection, and more

To mark the 75th anniversary of D-Day, Ancestry UK is to launch a new collection next week. It will include more than 100 record-sets/sources, including war diaries and photographs from the day (6 June 1944), sourced from 42 regiments around the UK.

British Troops landing on Jig Green beach, 6.6.1944
It will include fascinating, and sometimes harrowing, insight, such as a blow-by-blow account of the day from HMS Belfast’s log. With traditional historical records not yet available, this new collection aims to help tell the story of the start of the Normandy Landings, as well as offering family historians a chance to discover the important part that their ancestor played in D-Day.

This collection will be free to view to Irish and UK researchers. (I'm not sure if there will be a charge elsewhere... the PR isn't clear on this point.)

Later in June, another military collection – the Western Front Association's invaluable WWI Pension Ledgers and Index Cards, 1914-1923 – will see a big upgrade. The index cards will be refreshed with some 1,068,712 records, including 342,734 pictures of soldiers (non-officers) that died in the conflict. These are pension records, with some listing the widows, parents and children of the deceased, as well as exact death dates.

Another imminent update of potential interest to Irish family historians will see an extra 1.2million burial records from the Liverpool area joining the England and Scotland Selected Burials collection 1858-1916.

There will also be a new and extensive collection of Essex Parish Indexes adding 5.5million birth, marriage and death records to the database, plus UK divorce records from 1917 to 1918.

And if you're thinking of joining the 15million other individuals represented in the Ancestry DNA network, you'll be pleased to know a 25% discount for Father's Day will be on offer from Saturday 1 June. I'll blog about this when the offer goes live.