Genealogy news round-up: Forces War Records launches WW1 Troop Movements tool

By Jon Bauckham, 30 June 2016 - 1:04pm

Plus: Findmypast completes PoW collection; Yorkshire fair kicks off on Saturday; AncestryDNA hits milestone; FamilySearch reveals Worldwide Indexing Event details

A new interactive map enabling researchers to track the movements of their First World War Army ancestors has been launched online.

Created by Forces War Records, WW1 Troop Movements displays the locations of different British Army units between 1914 and 1918, complete with detailed audio descriptions of the action in which they were involved.

The tool – which took two years to create – utilises information found in the official Order of Battle of Divisions (ORBATS), published by His Majesty’s Stationery Office. Each of the documents had to be transcribed by members of staff in order to build up a precise picture of where units served.

WW1 Troop Movements is free to access until Sunday 3 July – click here to try it out now.

Findmypast completes PoW collection 

More than 764,000 historic prisoner of war records dating back to the 18th century have been added to Findmypast.

Covering the Napoleonic, Crimean, Boer, First and Second World Wars, the fully searchable records have been digitised from material held at The National Archives in Kew.

Together, the new records make up the third and final tranche of material to be added to the site’s Prisoners of War 1715-1945 collection, which first launched online in April 2015.

Now comprising more than two million records, the record set now also includes a browse function, giving users the ability to select individual archival pieces and read the entire folder from beginning to end.

Until 11.59pm on Monday 4 July, Findmypast is offering free access to its entire range of military collections, as well as its British and Irish census records. Learn more here.

Yorkshire fair kicks off on Saturday

One of the biggest events in the UK family history calendar takes place in York this weekend. Now into its 21st year, the annual Yorkshire Family History Fair will be held at the Knavesmire Exhibition Centre at York Racecourse on Saturday 2 July.

More than 70 family history societies and specialist exhibitors will be stationed across two floors, including the likes of Ryedale Family History Group, East Riding Archives and event sponsors TheGenealogist.

Until midday on Friday 1 July, researchers booking to attend online can purchase two tickets for the price of one (£4.80). Click here to find out more.

AncestryDNA hits two million milestone

More than two million people across the world have submitted a DNA sample for testing via the AncestryDNA service.

News of the milestone, announced on Wednesday 22 June, means that the size of the site’s autosomal database has more than doubled over the past 12 months, with samples provided by customers from 37 countries.

As a result, researchers using the service may now have a greater chance of being ‘matched’ with someone who has a shared ancestor.

Read the full story here.

FamilySearch reveals Worldwide Indexing Event details

US genealogy giant FamilySearch has confirmed details of its next annual Worldwide Indexing Event.

Taking place between Friday 15 and Sunday 17 July, the initiative will see volunteers attempt to index as many genealogical records as possible in the space of just 72 hours. The indexed records will then be made available for researchers to explore free of charge via the FamilySearch website.

FamilySearch hopes to have at least 72,000 volunteers taking part in the event. To get involved, click here.

Download our free First World War family history guide!
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Download our free First World War family history guide!
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