Are your ancestral countries among those with new free genealogy records published at FamilySearch in 2018?
Last year, the free genealogy mega-site FamilySearch.org published hundreds of millions of new, searchable free historical record images and indexes from around the world. Here’s a ranking of the countries with the most records added, along with an overview of what’s new.
1. Germany: 85 million
By far, the largest German collection update at FamilySearch in 2018 was Germany Births and Baptisms, 1558-1898, now containing nearly 37 million records. Also notable are a collection of Lutheran Baptisms, Marriages, and Burials, 1500-1971 (a joint project with Ancestry.com), and collections of church or civil vital records for places in Prussia, Baden, Rhineland, Bavaria and Hesse-Nassau. (Go to the FamilySearch Germany research landing page to learn more.)
2. United States: More than 70 million
One of FamilySearch’s big new additions in 2018 were nearly 9 million New York passenger records for the Castle Garden and Ellis Island eras, along with 20th century lists. FamilySearch also added 12 million new census records. These additions are for existing census collections for entries previously missing, but Native American census rolls are now updated as well.
Recently, I wrote about the new Veterans Administration index addition at FamilySearch. Here you’ll be able to explore these records for veterans of World War I.
Several U.S. state collections saw additions in 2018, too. North Carolina currently tops the list with 7 million new records (yay for county marriage records!), followed closely by California, Virginia and Oklahoma. New York, Alabama, and Vermont also got significant boosts (2-4 million new records each). Finally, the site now has at least a million new records each for Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia.
3. Mexico: 63.5 million
Most importantly, the largest FamilySearch collection of new free genealogy records updated in 2018 is a compilation of Mexico Baptisms, 1560-1950, taken from various locales and years. The bulk of the additions, however, are civil registration records for various Mexican states and the federal district. Many of the civil registrations still need indexing. Therefore, you’ll need to page through them yourself to find ancestors. Links to the records are on the FamilySearch Mexico research landing page.
4. Sweden: 46 million
FamilySearch is now home to an enormous collection of Swedish household examination books, some of which were added last year. Church records dating back to the 1500s, many of them at least partially indexed, were also new additions. Find them at the FamilySearch Sweden research landing page.
5. The Netherlands: 18 million
Additions of new free genealogy records for the Netherlands in 2018 included those all-important civil registrations, births and baptisms, public records, and population registers. The Netherlands research landing page can be found here.
6. France: 12 million
Updates to French civil registration and church records took place throughout 2018. Locations now with new records are Dordogne, Toulouse, Brittany, Calvados and the Catholic dioceses of Coutances et d’Avranches and Quimper et Léon in Finistère. Explore them at the FamilySearch research landing page for France.
7. England: 10 million
England collection updates also trickled in throughout the year. Consequently, it’s probably worth revisiting the FamilySearch research landing page for England. In 2018, most new free genealogy records additions were to parish records. Locations with new records include Cheshire, Northamptonshire, Warwickshire, Essex, Derbyshire, Devon, Cornwall, Lancashire, Northumberland, Leicestershire, Norfolk, Kent and Rutland. (See below for information on a U.K. family notices collection.)
8. Ireland: Nearly 8 million
Updates in 2018 affect such significant Irish collections as the 1901 and 1911 Ireland censuses, as well as a compilation of 3.5 million indexed Irish civil registration records (1845-1913). (See below for information on a family notices in a U.K. collection.) Check out the Ireland research landing page here.
9. Italy: 7.5 million
Civil registration records—with record images—were the focus for Italy genealogy record additions in 2018. These are only partly indexed, and if you visit the FamilySearch research landing page for Italy, you’ll see an invitation to help extract names from these valuable records. A collection of Italy births and baptisms (1806-1900) now boasts more than 1.9 million records.
10. United Kingdom: 3 million
FamilySearch separates out the rest of the United Kingdom in its Top Countries for 2018, so we will too. Kudos for additions to an indexed collection of family notices (obituaries and other vital announcements). These were extracted from The British Newspaper Archives collections, via a partnership with Findmypast.com. As a result, the total record count for this database is nearly 6 million and you can search it here.
Additionally, other countries FamilySearch also has at least a million records for now are Australia, Brazil, Russia and South Africa.
Ready to make more fabulous finds on FamilySearch? Check out my video class instant download, “4 Ways to Use FamilySearch to Find Family History Records.” You’ll learn to skillfully navigate this amazing site—which stashes historical records in a few different spots—to get the most out of your research time.