Saturday, September 10, 2022

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - What Is Your Favorite Research Resource?

 It's Saturday Night - 

time for more Genealogy Fun! 

Your mission, should you decide to accept it (cue the Mission Impossible music here) is to:

1) What is your favorite genealogy research resource?  Not a website, but a type of record, like census, cemetery, tax, etc. Why is it your favorite?  [Thank you to Linda Stufflebean for suggesting topics!]

2)  Write your own blog post, or add your response as a comment to this blog post, in a Facebook Status post or note.

Here's mine:

My favorite research resource is Probate Records.  

Why?  Probate Records from every state, county, and country are extremely useful to identify heirs, or orphaned children, of a deceased person.  Wills, inventories, distributions, and other documents explicitly identify occupations, locations, real and personal property, etc. of the deceased person and their heirs.  Sometimes, these are the only original source documents that even name an heir.  Sometimes, real property is transferred to an heir and the probate record is the only document that describes the property.  

My best example is the case of Elizabeth Auble (1814-1899), a single person with no children.  See this series of blog posts:

*  Making Progress on My Auble Cousins - Post 1: Finding Elizabeth's Will (25 April 2016).

Why would a will or probate record be of much value if the testator did not have a spouse or any children?  Actually, the will or probate record of a childless person is very helpful, because the heirs-at-law are usually the person's siblings and their descendants, and in some cases, the heirs-at-law may be the person's parents, siblings and their descendants.  

Where can you find online probate records?  American Ancestors has the best and most complete indexed set of Massachusetts probate records. has indexed probate records from every state, but the indexes are incomplete IMHO.  FamilySearch has probate records states, counties, and countries on digital microfilm that can be browsed, but are mostly unindexed (except for the index for each volume of records which shows the name, year, and volume/page number.  The user has to find the index entry, then browse the specific volume to find the record on the specific page.

I have transcribed hundreds of probate records of specific historical persons - see my list by name on  Many on this list are my direct ancestors.


Copyright (c) 2022, Randall J. Seaver

Please comment on this post on the website by clicking the URL above and then the "Comments" link at the bottom of each post.  Share it on Twitter, Facebook, or Pinterest using the icons below.  Or contact me by email at

Added and Updated Record Collections - Week of 3 to 9 September 2022

 I am keeping track of the new and updated historical record collections at FamilySearch ( every week.

As of 9 September 2022, there are 3,136 historical record collections on FamilySearch (an increase of from last week):

The new and updated collections this week from FamilySearch are:

--- Collections Added   ---

*  St. Lucia, Church Records, 1751-1793    (; 2 indexed records with 2 record images, ADDED 06-Sep-2022

--- Collections Updated ---

Argentina, Catamarca, Catholic Church Records, 1724-1971        (; 116,964 indexed records with 102,718 record images (was 116,893 records with 102,718 images), UPDATED 07-Sep-2022
Argentina, Chaco, Civil Registration, 1889-1946 (; 59,288 indexed records with 59,106 record images (was 56,496 records with 56,318 images), UPDATED 09-Sep-2022
Benin, Civil Registration of Deaths, 1891-2014  (; 59,827 indexed records with 21,173 record images (was 25,076 records with 21,173 images), UPDATED 08-Sep-2022
Bolivia Catholic Church Records, 1566-1996      (; 9,172,256 indexed records with 1,649,601 record images (was 9,172,245 records with 1,649,601 images), UPDATED 02-Sep-2022
Brazil, Minas Gerais, Civil Registration, 1879-1949     (; 793,246 indexed records with 331,040 record images (was 792,447 records with 330,665 images), UPDATED 09-Sep-2022

Brazil, Paraná, Civil Registration, 1852-1996   (; 2,555,727 indexed records with 1,689,031 record images (was 2,553,585 records with 1,689,031 images), UPDATED 09-Sep-2022
Brazil, Rio Grande do Sul, Civil Registration, 1860-2006        (; 1,567,140 indexed records with 802,149 record images (was 1,561,528 records with 799,127 images), UPDATED 09-Sep-2022
Brazil, Santa Catarina, Civil Registration, 1850-1999   (; 589,090 indexed records with 1,037,638 record images (was 587,041 records with 1,037,638 images), UPDATED 09-Sep-2022
Cape Verde, Catholic Church Records, 1787-1957  (; 226,591 indexed records with 105,781 record images (was 216,556 records with 105,781 images), UPDATED 06-Sep-2022
Chile, Catholic Church Records, 1633-2015       (; 7,257,690 indexed records with 897,013 record images (was 7,241,982 records with 898,339 images), UPDATED 09-Sep-2022

Colombia, Catholic Church Records, 1576-2018    (; 24,981,041 indexed records with 12,659,776 record images (was 24,948,149 records with 12,659,776 images), UPDATED 09-Sep-2022
Costa Rica, Catholic Church Records, 1595-1992  (; 3,912,805 indexed records with 962,203 record images (was 3,910,877 records with 962,203 images), UPDATED 09-Sep-2022
Costa Rica, Civil Registration, 1823-1975       (; 6,072,440 indexed records with 404,718 record images (was 6,070,466 records with 404,718 images), UPDATED 09-Sep-2022
Cuba, Church Records, 1584-1960 (; 191,657 indexed records with 41,707 record images (was 191,634 records with 41,707 images), UPDATED 06-Sep-2022
Dominican Republic Civil Registration, 1801-2010        (; 2,283,046 indexed records with 3,416,801 record images (was 2,241,070 records with 3,416,801 images), UPDATED 08-Sep-2022

Dominican Republic, Catholic Church Records, 1590-1975  (; 2,193,658 indexed records with 238,265 record images (was 2,193,492 records with 238,265 images), UPDATED 08-Sep-2022
El Salvador Catholic Church Records, 1655-1977  (; 2,216,276 indexed records with 592,191 record images (was 2,214,370 records with 592,191 images), UPDATED 09-Sep-2022
England, Gloucestershire Non-Conformist Church Records, 1642-1996       (; 204,589 indexed records with 61,503 record images (was 204,446 records with 61,497 images), UPDATED 08-Sep-2022
England, Middlesex Parish Registers, 1539-1988  (; 5,996,310 indexed records with 359,881 record images (was 5,996,155 records with 359,879 images), UPDATED 02-Sep-2022
Florida Deaths, 1877-1939       (; 483,312 indexed records with 481,991 record images (was 482,607 records with 481,961 images), UPDATED 09-Sep-2022

France, Calvados, Census, 1856  (; 56,521 indexed records with 2,916 record images (was 53,216 records with 2,318 images), UPDATED 07-Sep-2022
France, Calvados, Census, 1891  (; 29,822 indexed records with 752 record images (was 1,616 records with 1 images), UPDATED 07-Sep-2022
Guatemala, Alta Verapaz, Civil Registration, 1877-1994  (; 589,956 indexed records with 17,770 record images (was 589,908 records with 17,770 images), UPDATED 09-Sep-2022
Guatemala, Chimaltenango, Civil Registration, 1877-1994 (; 566,105 indexed records with 3,075 record images (was 565,985 records with 3,075 images), UPDATED 03-Sep-2022
Guatemala, Guatemala, Civil Registration, 1877-2006     (; 2,373,515 indexed records with 1,486 record images (was 2,373,515 records with 1,486 images), UPDATED 09-Sep-2022

Guatemala, Huehuetenango, Civil Registration, 1877-1994 (; 436,073 indexed records with 17,993 record images (was 435,912 records with 17,993 images), UPDATED 03-Sep-2022
Guatemala, Jutiapa, Civil Registration, 1877-1994       (; 293,972 indexed records with 36,732 record images (was 293,907 records with 36,732 images), UPDATED 03-Sep-2022
Guatemala, Petén, Civil Registration, 1877-1994 (; 113,803 indexed records with 713 record images (was 113,474 records with 713 images), UPDATED 03-Sep-2022
Guatemala, Quetzaltenango, Civil Registration, 1877-1994        (; 737,242 indexed records with 41,022 record images (was 736,807 records with 41,022 images), UPDATED 03-Sep-2022
Guatemala, Sacatepéquez, Civil Registration, 1877-1994  (; 225,214 indexed records with 63 record images (was 225,192 records with 63 images), UPDATED 03-Sep-2022

Guatemala, Totonicapán, Civil Registration, 1930-2008   (; 357,163 indexed records with 229,699 record images (was 356,944 records with 229,480 images), UPDATED 03-Sep-2022
Guatemala, Zacapa, Civil Registration, 1877-1994        (; 159,401 indexed records with 18,271 record images (was 159,333 records with 18,271 images), UPDATED 02-Sep-2022
Honduras, Civil Registration, 1841-1968 (; 535,935 indexed records with 337,976 record images (was 535,571 records with 337,976 images), UPDATED 09-Sep-2022
Italy, Ravenna, Ravenna, Civil Registration (Tribunale), 1866-1929      (; 4,149 indexed records with 1,759,182 record images (was 3,908 records with 1,759,182 images), UPDATED 08-Sep-2022
Italy, Sassari, Civil Registration (Tribunale), 1803-1942       (; 3,037 indexed records with 879 record images (was 2,545 records with 740 images), UPDATED 09-Sep-2022

  Kentucky Death Records, 1911-1967       (; 1,742,600 indexed records with 1,741,084 record images (was 1,681,910 records with 1,680,477 images), UPDATED 09-Sep-2022
Mexico, Coahuila, Catholic Church Records, 1627-1978    (; 1,582,009 indexed records with 393,502 record images (was 1,582,000 records with 393,502 images), UPDATED 08-Sep-2022
Mexico, Puebla, Catholic Church Records, 1545-1977      (; 7,473,344 indexed records with 6,124,553 record images (was 7,459,698 records with 6,124,553 images), UPDATED 09-Sep-2022
Mexico, Querétaro, Catholic Church Records, 1590-1970   (; 2,703,469 indexed records with 1,380,077 record images (was 2,690,915 records with 1,380,077 images), UPDATED 09-Sep-2022
New York, Birth Indexes outside of New York City, 1881-1942     (; 640,875 indexed records with 78,889 record images (was 640,875 records with 78,848 images), UPDATED 09-Sep-2022

Nicaragua Civil Registration, 1809-2013 (; 2,558,267 indexed records with 2,591,542 record images (was 2,557,860 records with 2,591,542 images), UPDATED 09-Sep-2022
Nicaragua, Catholic Church Records, 1740-1960   (; 810,340 indexed records with 86,119 record images (was 810,309 records with 86,119 images), UPDATED 08-Sep-2022
Norway, Probate Index Cards, 1640-1903  (; Index only (465,767 records), no images (was 453,259 records with 0 images), UPDATED 08-Sep-2022
Panama, Catholic Church Records, 1707-1973      (; 917,460 indexed records with 240,799 record images (was 917,415 records with 240,799 images), UPDATED 03-Sep-2022
Paraguay, Catholic Church Records, 1754-2015    (; 2,050,555 indexed records with 373,775 record images (was 2,050,324 records with 373,775 images), UPDATED 09-Sep-2022

Paraguay, Military Records, 1870-1965   (; 295,932 indexed records with 294,710 record images (was 273,204 records with 271,997 images), UPDATED 08-Sep-2022
Peru, Arequipa, Catholic Church Records, 1660-2020      (; 100,395 indexed records with 28,070 record images (was 94,285 records with 25,882 images), UPDATED 03-Sep-2022
Peru, Cajamarca, Civil Registration, 1938-1996  (; 31,950 indexed records with 34,017 record images (was 31,813 records with 34,017 images), UPDATED 08-Sep-2022
Peru, Catholic Church Records, 1603-1992        (; 21,458,600 indexed records with 4,192,353 record images (was 21,444,093 records with 4,192,353 images), UPDATED 09-Sep-2022
Peru, Huánuco, Catholic Church Records, 1660-2020       (; 2,416 indexed records with 2,259 record images (was 717 records with 1,073 images), UPDATED 09-Sep-2022

Portugal, Aveiro, Catholic Church Records, 1550-1911    (; 1,039,534 indexed records with 571,698 record images (was 1,038,235 records with 571,698 images), UPDATED 05-Sep-2022
Portugal, Beja, Catholic Church Records, 1550-1913      (; 590,282 indexed records with 684,393 record images (was 577,869 records with 684,393 images), UPDATED 05-Sep-2022
Portugal, Braga, Catholic Church Records, 1530-1911     (; 731,477 indexed records with 857,376 record images (was 731,451 records with 857,376 images), UPDATED 05-Sep-2022
Portugal, Bragança, Catholic Church Records, 1541-1985  (; 637,327 indexed records with 960,435 record images (was 636,070 records with 960,435 images), UPDATED 05-Sep-2022
Portugal, Castelo Branco, Catholic Church Records, 1714-1911    (; 962,910 indexed records with 333,738 record images (was 909,135 records with 333,738 images), UPDATED 05-Sep-2022

Portugal, Coimbra, Catholic Church Records, 1459-1911   (; 1,856,736 indexed records with 490,922 record images (was 1,835,674 records with 490,922 images), UPDATED 05-Sep-2022
Portugal, Faro, Catholic Church Records, 1587-1880      (; 663,412 indexed records with 138,057 record images (was 660,598 records with 138,057 images), UPDATED 05-Sep-2022
Portugal, Guarda, Catholic Church Records, 1459-1911    (; 240,268 indexed records with 815,966 record images (was 238,561 records with 815,966 images), UPDATED 05-Sep-2022
Portugal, Leiria, Catholic Church Records, 1534-1911    (; 462,652 indexed records with 639,166 record images (was 461,045 records with 639,166 images), UPDATED 05-Sep-2022
Portugal, Porto, Catholic Church Records, 1535-1949     (; 2,196,624 indexed records with 1,207,157 record images (was 2,181,098 records with 1,207,157 images), UPDATED 05-Sep-2022

Portugal, Santarém, Catholic Church Records, 1544-1911  (; 1,497,865 indexed records with 647,938 record images (was 1,439,810 records with 647,938 images), UPDATED 05-Sep-2022
Portugal, Setúbal, Catholic Church Records, 1555-1911   (; 936,231 indexed records with 829,309 record images (was 935,659 records with 829,309 images), UPDATED 09-Sep-2022
Portugal, Viana do Castelo, Catholic Church Records, 1537-1911  (; 522,147 indexed records with 785,939 record images (was 522,073 records with 785,913 images), UPDATED 05-Sep-2022
Portugal, Vila Real, Catholic Church Records, 1533-1941 (; 741,907 indexed records with 396,243 record images (was 718,740 records with 396,243 images), UPDATED 05-Sep-2022
Portugal, Viseu, Catholic Church Records, 1523-1989     (; 1,628,684 indexed records with 1,034,661 record images (was 1,622,269 records with 1,034,661 images), UPDATED 05-Sep-2022

Portugal, Évora, Catholic Church Records, 1533-1912     (; 669,970 indexed records with 702,397 record images (was 666,620 records with 702,397 images), UPDATED 05-Sep-2022
Puerto Rico, Catholic Church Records, 1645-1969 (; 3,218,930 indexed records with 191,547 record images (was 3,217,464 records with 191,547 images), UPDATED 09-Sep-2022
Samoa, Vital Records, 1846-1996 (; 91,694 indexed records with 436,431 record images (was 91,694 records with 436,294 images), UPDATED 08-Sep-2022
South Africa, Church of the Province of South Africa, Parish Registers, 1801-2004       (; 1,894,361 indexed records with 355,318 record images (was 1,886,589 records with 355,318 images), UPDATED 09-Sep-2022
South Africa, KwaZulu Natal, Vital Records, 1868-1976   (; 641,614 indexed records with 901,411 record images (was 639,850 records with 900,783 images), UPDATED 09-Sep-2022

Spain, Catholic Church Records, 1307-1985       (; 11,419,479 indexed records with 3,008,340 record images (was 11,259,314 records with 3,008,340 images), UPDATED 05-Sep-2022
Uruguay Civil Registration, 1879-1930   (; Index only (466,827 records), no images (was 464,184 records with 0 images), UPDATED 09-Sep-2022
Venezuela Civil Registration, 1873-2003 (; 912,923 indexed records with 586,312 record images (was 903,725 records with 586,312 images), UPDATED 09-Sep-2022
Venezuela, Archdiocese of Caracas, Catholic Church Records, 1638-2020   (; 10,227 indexed records with 5,731 record images (was 9,384 records with 5,329 images), UPDATED 09-Sep-2022
Virginia, Vital Records, 1715-1901      (; 385,870 indexed records with 24,245 record images (was 322,664 records with 20,009 images), UPDATED 09-Sep-2022

--- Collections with new images ---

Argentina, Catamarca, Civil Registration, 1888-2000     (; 76,484 indexed records with 76,325 record images (was 76,484 records with 68,164 images), last updated 05-Aug-2022
France, Hautes-Alpes, Census, 1856      (; 260,627 indexed records with 4,475 record images (was 260,627 records with 2,881 images), last updated 23-Aug-2022
Germany, Rhineland, Diocese of Trier, Catholic Church Records, 1704-1957        (; 2,967,130 indexed records with 307,298 record images (was 2,967,130 records with 306,383 images), last updated 03-Nov-2020
Guatemala, Chiquimula, Civil Registration, 1877-2008    (; 248,138 indexed records with 168,246 record images (was 248,125 records with 168,233 images), last updated 02-Sep-2022

--- Collections with images removed ---

England, Cambridgeshire Bishop's Transcripts, 1538-1983 (; 1,108,130 indexed records with 101,556 record images (was 1,108,130 records with 114,977 images), last updated 29-Sep-2021
Ireland, Catholic Parish Registers, 1740-1900   (; 1,098,299 indexed records with 33,692 record images (was 1,098,299 records with 36,722 images), last updated 09-Aug-2022
Uruguay, Passenger Lists, 1888-1980     (; 3,641,119 indexed records with 141,358 record images (was 3,641,119 records with 145,255 images), last updated 19-Nov-2020

--- Collections with new records ---

Guatemala, Sololá, Civil Registration, 1877-1994        (; 302,658 indexed records with 70,746 record images (was 302,650 records with 70,746 images), last updated 02-Sep-2022


My friend and SDGS colleague, Marshall, has come up with a way to determine which collections are ADDED, DELETED or UPDATED, and to alphabetize the entries in each category.  Thanks to Marshall for helping me out here!

In order to select a specific record collection on FamilySearch, go to and use the "Filter by collection name" feature in the upper left-hand corner and use keywords (e.g. "church england") to find collections with those keywords.

Each one of the collections listed above has a Research Wiki page (use the "Learn more" link). It would be very useful if the Wiki page for each collection listed the dates for when the collection was added as a new collection and the dates for major updates also.


The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2022, Randall J. Seaver

Please comment on this post on the website by clicking the URL above and then the "Comments" link at the bottom of each post. Share it on Twitter, Facebook, or Pinterest using the icons below. Or contact me by email at

Friday, September 9, 2022

Added and Updated Record Collections - Week of 3 to 9 September 2022

The following record collections were listed on the Recently Added and Updated List on during the period from  3 to 9 September 2022: 

The Updated and ADDED collections include:



The complete Card Catalog is at  

By my count, there were 2 NEW collections ADDED this past week, per the list above.  There are now 33,196 collections available as of 9 September, an increase of 2 from last week.  


Disclosure: I receive a complimentary all-access subscription from, for which I am thankful. has provided material considerations for travel expenses to meetings, and has hosted events and meals that I have attended in Salt Lake City, in past years.

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2022, Randall J. Seaver

Please comment on this post on the website by clicking the URL above and then the "Comments" link at the bottom of each post. Share it on Twitter, Facebook, or Pinterest using the icons below. Or contact me by email at

Findmypast Friday: Explore the essence of family history with thousands of new BMDs

   I received this information from Findmypast today:


Explore the essence of family history with thousands of new BMDs

It's time to fortify the foundations of your family tree.

The core of genealogy is, and always will be, BMDs - birth, marriage, and death records all fill the branches of our personal histories. This week, we've added 87,000 more of them across the North of England and the English midlands. Read on to discover everything that's new.

Let's start at the beginning of the ancestral journey. We've added just over 8,700 new baptisms to this collection, bringing the total record count for our Derbyshire Baptisms to over one million.

Spanning 1768-1921, the new parishes you'll find in these records include:
  • Alfreton
  • Ashbourne
  • Melbourne
  • Hognaston
  • Yeaveley
  • Longnor
You can find an exhaustive parish list for the full collection here.

As well as the standard biographical information you'd expect with a baptism record, you may also find the father's full name, the father's occupation, and the mother's first name. Oftentimes, baptism records will only list the father, making this detail about the mother all the more valuable for tracing multiple generations in your family tree.

If you've traced your ancestors to the North of England, see if you can find their marriage record in this collection. There are 18,700 new additions this week, and these span from 1696-1934.

Because they date back to the 17th century, these new additions will become all the more important when you're searching for marriage records that predate civil registration in the United Kingdom.

The parishes included in these records are:
  • South Shields Holy Trinity
  • Durham St. Giles
  • Durham St. Margaret
  • Durham St. Oswald
  • Coldstream Church of Scotland
South Shields Holy Trinity takes the top spot, containing 7,416 of the new additions.

Our largest release of the week, comprising nearly 60,000 records, these new Northamptonshire records span 1538-1813.

They cover 86 churches and chapels across the county, with the largest amount being attributed to the Holy Cross Church in Daventry. You can find a full list of parishes for this index here.

As well as discovering the year of death and place of burial, many records will also list your ancestor's residence at the time, with some even including an exact address.

This week sees eight brand-new titles from England, Scotland and the Caribbean, as well as 23 updated titles from Birkenhead to Birmingham and beyond. Amongst our new titles, you'll find the Dominica Tribune, a newspaper written by Black poet, author, editor, and activist, J. R. Ralph Casimir. As a publisher, Casimir compiled the first ever Dominican poetry anthology, and he had many of his written works published in Black periodicals such as The Crisis and the Pittsburgh Courier.

The newspaper documented the intricacies of island life, commenting on maintenance work and news from the circuit court. It also featured specialist weekly articles on health issues and on Black culture and interests around the globe. Interestingly, it also had a particular fascination for cricket, with notices, fixture lists and match notes all featured across its 18 pages.

Not only is our newspaper archive ever-increasing, but we've also released another one million free newspaper pages this week, meaning our free-to-view archives now total over two million pages and are accessible to anyone, at anytime. If that's not enough to help you get lost in research this weekend, then read on for a comprehensive list of all new and updated titles. If you spot one you like the sound of, just head over to our archive and filter by title.

New titles:
  • Airdrie & Coatbridge World, 1995
  • Dominica Tribune, 1930-1951
  • Ely Town Crier, 1993
  • Richmond Herald, 1885-1896, 1898-1950
  • Ruislip & Northwood Informer, 1995
  • Skelmersdale Advertiser, 1991
  • Staines Leader, 1994
  • Uckfield Courier, 1992

Updated titles:
  • Birkenhead & Cheshire Advertiser, 1860
  • Birkenhead News, 1993
  • Birmingham News, 1993
  • Birmingham Weekly Mercury, 1920
  • Brentwood Gazette, 1995
  • Bridport News, 1882-1883
  • Brighton Herald, 1885, 1891
  • Cambridge Daily News, 1955
  • Coventry Standard, 1920
  • East Anglian Daily Times, 1875
  • Erdington News, 1907
  • Evening Despatch, 1946-1947, 1955
  • Haltemprice & East Yorkshire Advertiser, 1993
  • Harlow Star, 1994
  • Harrogate Advertiser and Weekly List of the Visitors, 1889
  • Leicester Daily Mercury, 1878, 1881, 1919, 1988
  • Liverpool Mail, 1878
  • Liverpool Shipping Telegraph and Daily Commercial Advertiser, 1850
  • Mid Sussex Times, 1889
  • Sandwell Evening Mail, 1975, 1983
  • Torbay Express and South Devon Echo, 1946, 1979, 1989-1993, 1996-1999
  • Warwick and Warwickshire Advertiser, 1854
  • West Briton and Cornwall Advertiser, 1816-1861, 1863-1864, 1866-1869, 1871-1872, 1875-1876, 1878, 1880-1888, 1892-1896, 1898-1899, 1904-1906, 1909, 1911, 1913-1914, 1917-1919, 1921-1922, 1925-1929, 1931, 1933, 1935, 1942
We're the only family history website to release new records and newspapers every single week, so make sure you keep an eye on what's new to get the most out your research.


Disclosure: I have a complimentary subscription to Findmypast, and have accepted meals and services from Findmypast, as a Findmypast Ambassador. This has not affected my objectivity relative to Findmypast and its products.

Copyright (c) 2022, Randall J. Seaver

Please comment on this post on the website by clicking the URL above and then the "Comments" link at the bottom of each post. Share it on Twitter, Facebook, or Pinterest using the icons below. Or contact me by email at