Family Tree records round-up: February 2024

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).



1902-70 electoral registers, Westminster, London

This collection, new at Ancestry this month, includes images of electoral registers dated between 1902 and 1970 from Westminster, London, England. The registers include the names of registered voters in the county and their place of residence.

What information do the records contain?

 The format of the registers changed over time, and how the place of residence was stated varies. There could be a full street address, the name of a house, the name of the street, or the name of the polling district. Registers weren't produced in 1916 and 1917 or from 1940 to 1944 because of the two world wars.

Original data: Westminster Electoral Records. London, England: City of Westminster Archives Centre.

Find out more and access the collection HERE

British Newspaper Archive

Explore the lives of Midland ancestors

Among the 120,000+ new pages added to British Newspaper Archive in the last month are 9,564 pages from the Market Harborough Advertiser and Midland Mail, covering the years 1869-1991 (not a continuous run)

Explore here.


New parish records and school registers

This month, FindMyPast has updated three York parish sets, with a total of 40,193 records and also added more than 270,000 school registers from Kent, spanning the years 1870 to 1914.

You can read more about the large Yorkshire parish record collections addition in our blog HERE.


1939 Register additions

TheGenealogist has made a further 389,600 individuals available to search on the 1939 Register for England and Wales, in accordance with the 100-year rule and requests submitted by the public

As these records are linked to pins on TheGenealogist’s Map Explorer™, a tool that allows users to view both historical and modern maps, you can explore the neighbourhood where your forebears lived as World War Two broke out. Map Explorer™ will often be able to show the location of properties from 1939 down to the actual building in many cases and at least to the thoroughfare or parish.

TheGenealogist’s version of the 1939 Register can also be searched from a plot on a map to find who lived there in 1939. This means that as well as being able to look for where a person lived, you can also search for who lived at a property, perhaps expanding your search to take a look at the neighbours.

Explore HERE

Somerset Archives

Over 73,700 names have been added to the Somerset Poor Law indexes in the culmination of a decades long project. These are searchable on the Somerset Archives online catalogue.

The indexes, compiled by volunteers over many years, were stored on traditional index cards in the searchroom at the Somerset Heritage Centre. Over the past few years these cards have been typed up and checked and are now searchable online from anywhere in the world.

How can I use these records?

The Settlement index lists documents such as removal orders, settlement certificates and bastardy examinations, which were all used to ascertain which parish should support persons in need. Prior to the Workhouse system made infamous by Dicken’s novels each ecclesiastical parish were responsible for the care of their population and supported anyone in need. To make sure that the correct parish was responsible for this care, poorer members of the community were subject to examinations and removal orders to forcibly move them to the correct parish. In addition, mothers of illegitimate children were examined to ensure that the father helped to pay for this care through bastardy bonds and orders.

The Apprenticeship index lists the apprenticeship indentures for children of poorer parents, or illegitimate children, where their apprenticeship was arranged by parish officials. These apprenticeships were mainly in trades such as housewifery or husbandry, and children could be apprenticed from the age of 7.

Explore in the Somerset Archives online catalogue.

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.