Family Tree records round-up: November 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).



Wills of Royal Navy and Royal Marines Personnel, 1786-1882

New at Ancestry, this collection of wills covers the years 1786 to 1882. Although many records in this collection were handwritten onto pre-printed forms, you may encounter handwritten wills that aren't standardised. Some records may also include correspondence relating to the will, such as notes, proof of marriage, or applications for the executor/executrix. 

How can I use this collection?

Wills are an excellent resource for genealogical research because they contain personal information about your ancestor, their life, and their family. They often list personal details about other relatives that can help you trace your family back for generations.

The records in this collection are likely to span multiple pages. Click the arrow to the right of the image to access the rest of the record.

Keep in mind that the date of the will is generally not your ancestor's date of death. Wills are often written years in advance to offer family members stability in the aftermath of the author's death.

British Newspaper Archive

Mid-Ulster Mail

This week's additions to the BNA include new, 20th-century additions to the pages of the Mid-Ulster Mail, with new pages covering the 1920s through to the 1990s. Founded in 1891 in Cookstown, a town in County Tyrone, the Mid-Ulster Mail is still in print to this day. 

Access the collection here.


World War I campaign medals

Over 6.5 million new records have been added to FindMyPast this week, in the form of this brand-new collection. It contains the names of men and women who were awarded campaign medals during the First World War. You’ll typically find their:

  • name
  • rank
  • regiment or unit
  • medals awarded
  • theatre of war
  • any additional notes. 

Explore here.


Release of PhotoDater™ mobile app

PhotoDater™ is a free feature on MyHeritage that uses AI technology to estimate when historical photos were taken.

Now, users can enjoy PhotoDater™ on the MyHeritage app for iOS and Android and on the Reimagine app, as well as accessing it through a mobile web browser.

Find out more at MyHeritage.


World War II index cards

ScotlandsPeople has announced the release of almost 10,000 index cards for those who joined the Land Army and Timber Corps from 1939 to 1950.

These women played a vital role in the war effort, replacing men who had joined the forces during the Second World War. They contributed to the production of food and kept vital industries supplied with timber during the  war and its immediate aftermath.

How to use the records

These records will help you trace your Scottish ancestor's service history and will be of particular interest to family historians hoping to learn more about the role their relatives played in the Second World War.

Explore here.


Quarter session records

TheGenealogist adds to its Court & Criminal records with a new collection of Quarter Session Registers covering a period from 1590 – 1839.Search these records to find your miscreant ancestors brought before the local court quarter sessions. 

What are quarter session records?

The Quarter Session Records were produced by the local courts that were traditionally held at four set times each year. These courts, presided over by two or more justices of the peace plus a chairman, would sit with a jury at Epiphany (in January), Easter (March/April), Midsummer (June/July) and then at Michaelmas (September/October). With these records, you can:

  • Find the names of indicted persons, witnesses, and the Justices of the Peace
  • Search records as far back as 1590, in the reign of Elizabeth I
  • Discover indictments including assault, riot, running unlicensed alehouses, not Gging to church on Sunday, and being accused of witchcraft

Unearth Poor Law matters dealt with by the Justices including bastardy, compensation for maimed soldiers and removal of people to their parish of settlement.

Extract from the Quarter Sessions in Wiltshire, 19th April 1653

Explore the records 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.