Genealogy news roundup: Ancestry adds Cambridgeshire electoral registers and juror books

By Rosemary Collins, 19 July 2018 - 1:16pm

Plus: Over 600,000 Canadian First World War records available for free; Findmypast announces partnership with Living DNA; Brompton Cemetery reopens to public following Heritage Lottery Fund project

Cambridge electoral records Ancestry
This early electoral record from Cambridgeshire in 1722 is among those digitised on Ancestry

Ancestry has announced the release of two new collections of over a million digitised records to help family historians trace their ancestors in Cambridgeshire.

The first collection, 'Electoral Registers, Burgess Rolls and Poll Books, 1722-1966', contains records of 1,694,140 individuals.

The second, 'Juror Books, 1828-1883', contains 20,157 records.

The records were originally kept as annual lists of individuals in Cambridgeshire who were eligible to vote and serve on juries, and are now held by Cambridgeshire Libraries and Archives.

 

Over 600,000 Canadian First World War records available for free

Libraries and Archives Canada (LAC) has announced that it has now digitised 608,399 Canadian Expeditionary Force service files from the First World War.

When the project is completed, LAC will have digitised 640,000 files, containing documents including casualty or medal forms, pay books, passports, and personal photos and correspondence.

Family historians can search for the digitised files via LAC's Personnel Records of the First World War database and download them in PDF form for free.

Digitising the files allows LAC to limit public access to the original documents and store them in climate-controlled vaults at the LAC Preservation Centre in Gatineau, Quebec in order to preserve them better.

 

Findmypast announces partnership with Living DNA

Family history website Findmypast has announced a new partnership with DNA testing company Living DNA.

Living DNA tests are now available to buy for £99 from Findmypast, and the two companies will launch an integrated service with co-branded DNA tests later this year.

Living DNA offers the most detailed ethnicity breakdowns on the market, and is the only DNA testing service to give regional breakdowns of British and Irish ancestry.

The Findmypast website promises that a feature allowing DNA test users to connect with living relatives is "coming soon".

Tamsin Todd, CEO of Findmypast, said: “I’m delighted that we are partnering with a British company, Living DNA, who are pioneers in DNA technology, and look forward to combining our expertise in DNA technology and historical records to help people around the world connect with their British and Irish roots.”

 

Brompton Cemetery reopens to public following Heritage Lottery Fund project

The Grade I registered Brompton Cemetery, one of London's 'Magnificent Seven' Victorian cemeteries, reopened to the public on 11 July following a £6.2 million restoration and conservation project.

The project preserved the cemetery's landscape, wildlife and ecology and uncovered the hidden history of the site and its architecture.

Over 205,000 people are buried in Brompton Cemetery, including Emmeline Pankhurst, leader of the suffragette movement; Sir Henry Cole, who was instrumental in the Great Exhibition and founding the Victoria & Albert Museum; and Dr John Snow, who discovered the link between cholera and contaminated water.

The Heritage Lottery Fund, which funded the Brompton project, announced it is awarding grants to three more cemeteries: Sheffield General Cemetery Park, Belfast City Cemetery and London Road Cemetery in Coventry.

 

MyHeritage adds 25 million records

MyHeritage has announced that 25 million new family history records have been added to its collections.

The website has exclusively released 291,798 records from the 1835 census of Denmark, which covered the duchies of Schleswig and Holstein in modern-day Germany.

The other non-exclusive additions to MyHeritage are a collection of 5,113,473 West Virginia death certificates, dating from 1853 to 1964; 16,755,003 Ellis Island passenger list records (1820-1957); and 3,662,252 Swedish examination book records (1860-1930).
 

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