Family Tree records round-up: July 2023

Save time with our records round-up! It’s your at-a-glance guide to what’s new in genealogy. In this new 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).

English and Welsh GRO

Thanks to Chris Paton and @Willsmanone name for the great news that a number of English and Welsh birth and death records are now available digitally, bringing the English GRO at least partly in line with the Scottish and Irish record office, which already offer this service.

As Chris reported on his Scottish Genes blog here, you can now order digitised images of historic English and Welsh birth and death records - or at least some of them - for just £2.50 each.  

The records available are for English and Welsh births from 1837 up to 100 years ago (1923), and English and Welsh deaths from 1837-1887. 


UK and Allied Countries, World War II Air Combat Reports, 1939-1945

The activities of squadrons, wings, and groups in British fighter, bomber, and coastal commands and of Fleet Air Arm squadrons are all covered in this new collection, from AIR 50: Air Ministry: Combat Reports, Second World War, the UK National Archives.

How can this collection help me?

This collection can be used to verify that your ancestor was involved in air combat during the Second World War. You also may confirm the military rank your ancestor achieved and the squadron he flew with. The narratives in the documents could provide unique insights into what your ancestor experienced during air combat. Explore at Ancestry.

British Newspaper Archive

New to the collection is a run of the North Devon Advertiser, with 3,593 pages covering the years 1856 to 1889 (with some gaps). The Devon coverage continues with 12 years of Sidmouth Observer (1887-99).

Explore at British Newspaper Archive.



FindMyPast has announced the addition of the 1931 Canada Census to its database, with 234,606 images now available to browse. 

This census gives a highly detailed account of the population at the time it was was taken: 1 June 1931. At this stage, Canada's population stood at 10.3 million. It is the seventh comprehensive census taken in Canada since confederation in 1867 and was recorded in both English and French.

What information does it contain?

Each return includes:

  • the names of each family member
  • their address
  • a description of their home (whether it was owned or rented, the number of rooms, and even whether or not it contained a radio)
  • birth dates and places
  • nationality and racial origins, languages spoken
  • education and work information
  • religious denomination.

Explore at FindMyPast.


Scotland, prison registers

This collection contains prisoner records from various prisons in Scotland, between the years 1791 and 1965. Records typically include:

  • the name of the prisoner
  • year and place of birth
  • residence
  • the year and place of imprisonment

Search here.


New occupational records

This new record release allows English, Scottish and Welsh family historians to discover useful information on ancestors who were writers, artists, actors and many other professions. 

Using entries recorded in a number of biographical resources Diamond subscribers of TheGenealogist can fill in gaps with tantalising facts about the person, potentially leading you to other useful records. 

What can I use these records for?

You can use these records to fill in gaps in the lives of individuals, discover stories and anecdotes about the person, read facts which may lead you on to research other records and point you towards more avenues for investigation.

Find out more at TheGenealogist.

Also released this month are seafaring records. Researchers can use these records to reveal names, dates and information about ancestors who were recorded in a number of Navy Lists for the Royal Navy (RN) that cover both WW1 and WW2. Family historians looking for Merchant Navy (MN) mariners killed or who died on service in WW1 will also find something in this release for them, as well as gaining access to names for merchant seamen honoured with medals and awards between 1914-1918. 

The new resources include Merchant Shipping Losses 1914-1918, and the British Merchant Vessels Lost or Damaged by Enemy Action During the Second World War 1939-1945. For the Senior Service’s vessels, the Returns Showing the Losses of Ships of the Royal Navy 1914-1918 will give details of the ship and where it was sunk.


Airedale & Wharfedale Family History Society

Since their feature article in the July issue of Family Tree, the society has been in touch with a selection of Methodist records they have added to their members database: 

  • Austwick Wesleyan Methodist Baptisms 1852-1884 (Clapham parish)
  • Bentham Wesleyan Methodist Baptisms 1866-1884 (Low Bentham parish)
  • Bentham Wesleyan Methodist Marriages 1868-1878 (Low Bentham parish)
  • Bentham Mill Dam Wesleyan Methodist Baptisms 1853-1918 (Low Bentham parish)
  • Burton in Lonsdale Wesleyan Methodist Marriages 1919-1950
  • Giggleswick Wesleyan Methodist Baptisms 1847-1879
  • Langcliffe Wesleyan Methodist Marriages 1912-1949 (Giggleswick parish)
  • Newby in Craven Wesleyan Methodist Marriages 1923-1949 (Clapham parish)
  • Settle Wesleyan Methodist Marriages 1923-1949 (Giggleswick parish)
  • Westhouse Wesleyan Methodist Marriages 1929-1949 (Thornton in Lonsdale parish)

A full list of records can be found in the members database at the Airedale & Wharfedale Family History Society website. Members have free of charge access to this database.

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.