50 Family History Websites to Watch 2019: Part 5 (S - Z)

By Guest, 30 January 2019 - 10:16am

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Welcome to Part 5 of Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine's 50 Websites to Watch feature for 2019.

This page contains details of the next ten resources on our alphabetical list, covering websites beginning with letters S - Z.

You can catch up with the websites you missed on the 50 Websites to Watch homepage

If you can't wait to start bookmarking, you can get the full list in our January 2019 issue!


Sandhurst Archive

The digital archive of the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst (RMAS) launched in 2016.

Now the website, which allows users to search and download original records, is going through a redesign by the TownsWeb Archiving team.

The site will be made more mobile-friendly, and browsing will be improved so that users can find cadets and staff more easily.

Scottish Indexes

In 2018 Scottish Indexes added paternity cases from 20 Scottish sheriff courts, increasing the total number of cases indexed to nearly 30,000.

The index to paternity cases heard at the Stirling (1835–1919) and Stornoway (1829–1919) sheriff courts will follow early in 2019, with more to come from Campbeltown, Wick and Dingwall throughout the year.

Also the site now has more than 150,000 records in its Scotland’s Criminal Database collection, which launched in the autumn of 2018, and will be adding to the existing prison register section throughout the year.

Genealogist Emma Maxwell says: “Work has already begun to index Edinburgh lock-up house records (1826–1936), and we hope to have these online by spring 2019.” S

taff are also working on a new ‘Register of Sasines’ section, which will explain how researchers can use Scottish property records to trace the history of their family or their house.


ScotlandsPeople plans to expand its website and add “a range of further materials and records in the coming year”.

A spokesperson confirmed that these will include totally new record types covering selected areas of Scotland (rather than Scotland-wide), as well as expansions of existing record sets.

There will also be improvements to the website’s search functions.

Society of Genealogists

The Society of Genealogists (SoG) is building on the success of its associate membership offering, created a year ago for those who interact mostly online.

SoG genealogist Else Churchill says: “The members’ area of the site has been enhanced to add more educational content, talks and guides, and a new members’ forum is intended ultimately to supersede our RootsWeb mailing list.”

More lecture content and library data will be added too.


The big news for 2019 is an Augmented Map Viewer that will enable family historians to map their ancestors’ homes from the 1830s up to the present day.

You’ll be able to locate modern and bygone streets, and view the location of forebears from historic records.

This tool will launch as the new enhanced method to view the Lloyd George Domesday Survey collection, with rate books, map records and more additions arriving soon.

Other records on the way include seamen records, naturalisation records, parish records, criminal and asylum records, electoral/poll and voter lists, and a “major release” of Second World War material.

TheGenealogist Lloyd George Domesday Survey map
Maps from the 1910 Lloyd George Domesday Survey will be viewable with TheGenealogist's new tool

Unlocking Our Sound Heritage

This British Library project, supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, seeks to digitise sound archives from 10 regional repositories.

Norfolk archivist Hannah Verge says they are gearing up to start digitising approximately 15,000 recordings from the east of England.

Keep an eye on the library’s website for more news and updates.

Victoria County History

Many VCH publications have been digitised and available online for some time, but 2019 will see the launch of a new smartphone app.

The app will present the VCH entries topographically as pins on a UK map.

The advantage of this is that users will be easily able to roam between the histories of adjacent places, which may have been published in different volumes.

The app is likely to be called ‘English Places’, with a map interface using the First Edition Ordnance Survey.

More datasets, such as the Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments volumes, being added later.

Warwickshire Bytes: 100 Stories Of County History

Heritage and Culture Warwickshire is looking to recruit remote volunteers to help index the county’s collection of depositions made to quarter-session courts between 1828 and 1918.

These names, residences and occupations will form a searchable online database of records, currently only available to view in person.

Meanwhile experienced researchers are also needed to track down individuals exempted from military service, to find out what happened to them post-1918.

The most interesting cases will be used as part of Warwickshire Bytes, a digital resource that will celebrate 100 individual stories of living, playing and working in Warwickshire, and will feature on the Our Warwickshire website.

If you want to support the Warwickshire Bytes team, you can help them transcribe records as part of our Transcription Tuesday volunteerevent.

If you wish to volunteer for remote research, email bytes@warwickshire.gov.uk.

Sherborne Viaduct Warwickshire heritage
Sherborne Viaduct near Coventry, Warwickshire, 1830s (Credit: Universal History Archive/ UIG via Getty)

Wellcome Library on the Internet Archive

More archives are adding records to the Internet Archive, making it an essential free resource.

The Wellcome Collection, for example, has added its 65,000-strong medical health officer reports and lunatic asylum reports.

West Glamorgan Archive Service

West Glamorgan launched digitised First World War rolls of honour just as we were going to press.

Archivist Andrew Dulley says: “We hold a number of rolls that once hung in pride of place on the wall of a chapel, church or local works – many of them are highly decorative, illuminated and well-drawn.

"After the war they were often stuffed into attics and storage cupboards, and have found their way to us when their parent institution gave us their records.”

West Yorkshire Tithe Maps

There’s lots on the digital horizon for West Yorkshire, including a new tithe maps hub.

The site will allow users to explore tithe maps of Bradford from the 1800s, zoom in and out, compare them with maps showing the area today, and access details of who owned and occupied each plot, and what the land was used for.

There’s also a new resource from the West Yorkshire Archaeology Advisory Service, supported by Historic England, which undertook a Historic Landscape Characterisation Project between 2011 and 2017, covering Bradford, Calderdale, Kirklees, Leeds and Wakefield. 

50 Family History Websites to Watch 2019: Part 4 (O - R)
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50 Family History Websites to Watch 2019: Part 4 (O - R)
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