Family Tree records round-up: August 2023

Save time with our records round-up! It’s your at-a-glance guide to what’s new in genealogy. In this series, exclusive to newsletter subscribers, we will be bringing together a monthly round-up of record releases from genealogy sites around the world. (Please note that many of the below websites may need a subscription to be able to access the records mentioned).


The Machine Gun Corps Database has been compiled by Graham Sacker, a member of the Vickers MG Collection and Research Association, who has spent more than 20 years collecting and collating records of the men who served in the corps from 1915 to 1922

Thanks to Graham’s hard work and generosity the Association can now offer access to the database, with over 128,000 records. This open access via the National Archives’ Discovery Catalogue should make it easy to find MGC soldier information in a  ‘one stop’ location alongside the war diaries, medal index cards and many other records from institutions around the country.

An example of one of the thousands of Discovery catalogue entries for Private Arthur Johnson, paired with a digital scan of an original postcard photograph featuring Private Johnson

The database is freely accessible and searchable through the Discovery catalogue of the National Archives here.


World War II POW questionnaires: UK and Allied countries

This collection comprises questionnaires filled out by prisoners of war who were liberated at the end of the Second World War in 1945. The questionnaires were given to thousands of British and Commonwealth soldiers captured by Germany, Italy, or Japan.

What information is included?

  • Name
  • Rank
  • Service number
  • Ship name
  • Unit name
  • Birth date
  • Enlistment date
  • Capture date and place
  • Escape attempt details

Explore on Ancestry here.

British Newspaper Archive

The Scotsman

This month's focus at BNA was The Scotsman, founded in 1817 with the promise to 'offer a brave new alternative publishing voice'. The newspaper's popularity has continued to the present day, as it is still in publication.

The latest additions to the BNA website are more than 400,000 new pages from the second half of the 20th century.

What can these records tell me?

These new pages shed a light on what life was like for our more recent ancestors, as World War II drew to an end. The moon landings, the end of rationing and the Cuban Missile Crisis are just some of the headlines our ancestors would have discussed with friends and family.

And of course, these international headlines were just the tip of the iceberg with each issue of The Scotsman also containing plenty of local news and birth, marriage & death announcements where you might find family members mentioned,


Canadian Headstones Index

1.8 million new records have been added to this set, with over 300 years of history to explore. You can typically find a name, the cemetery and a copy of the inscription from the headstone. The index was provided by Canadian Headstones

Explore here.


MyHeritage milestone

MyHeritage has announced that it in the past year, it has added 347 new collections and updated 18 collections in its growing database of historical records

Among the new additions are:

  • 1950 US Federal Census: 159M records

This census provides details about the lives of the 150 million Americans living in the U.S. and its territories from 1940 to 1950.

Explore here.

  • France census: 105M records

Over the past year, MyHeritage has added 51,252,583 French records to its database, including marriage records, death indexes, and censuses. 

Explore here.


Wartime Jewish newspapers

TheGenealogist has released a 'significant batch' of The Jewish Chronicles from the First World War and The Jewish Echo (Scotland and Ireland’s only Jewish paper from the time) covering years during the build up to the Second World War

What can I use the records for?

  • Learn what was happening from community notifications
  • Find Births, Deaths, Engagements, Marriages, Obituaries and Wills
  • Unearth dates for Bar Mitzvahs 
  • Track down when Tombstones were to be Set
  • Discover relatives that contributed to the many charitable funds supporting victims of the War
  • Learn about ancestors’ Military Promotions and listings in Casualty Lists

Explore at TheGenealogist.

Does your group, society, record office or archive have a record release you'd like to share? Email us and we'll be in touch.