Posted by Paul Rawlins on March 16, 2018 in Collections

Just in case you might have missed them during the harried hustle of the holidays or the long winter’s night, we asked three of our favorite family historians to dish on some of their favorite new records on Ancestry.

New Jersey, State Census, 1915

Ten years between U.S. federal censuses is just long enough for families to move, people to be born and then die, or get married. It’s easy to lose threads of the family story in ten years. I love state census records because they cut that gap down to five years. The New Jersey State Census collections that recently went live on Ancestry cover the years 1855-1915 and allow me to keep track of the East Coast branch of my family tree. –Crista Cowan

 

U.S., World War II Draft Registration Cards, 1942

By the end of World War II, more than 50 million men in the U.S. had registered for the draft. Although only 10 million of them would go on to serve, the draft registration records can be a huge boon to family historians seeking information on the “Greatest Generation.” Fold3 now has images of records from 23 states (including the recently added Texas and California), D.C., and the Virgin Islands for men aged 18-44. This collection, along with the “Old Man’s Draft,” which was taken in 1942, are searchable on Ancestry. –Juliana Szucs

 

Steelworks Employment Records, 1887-1979

My grandfather worked in the steel industry, which meant that the U.S. military wanted him to stay at his job instead of enlisting in WWII. We don’t have records from his employer (yet), but I’m excited to see the growing number of employment records on Ancestry. We’ve recently added steel workers in Colorado, ship builders in Brooklyn, U.S. railroad retirees, and even employees of the East India Company going back to 1746. How awesome is that? –Jennifer Utley

 

95 Comments

    • Jerry

      By law, each U.S. census is released 72 years after it is enumerated. Expect to see the 1950 U.S. census in 2022 – I can hardly wait. The various companies who will be posting it will also need a little time to index the whole thing so we’ll need to be patient.

    • Dianne M. Mallery

      Unless I am missing something, it seems that I am unable to view WWII draft records. If I click on the record, it appears that I would need to now subscribe to Fold 3 to view the document, where previously I was able to see them on Ancestry. Am I doing something wrong here?

      • Crista Cowan

        Ancestry has the WWII “Old Man’s” Draft Cards available. If you scroll down to the bottom of the database page here you can read the full database description to understand what that entails: https://search.ancestry.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=1002

        Fold 3 has the first three rounds of draft registration for certain states. (These records were never on Ancestry.) But, Ancestry provides an index to those records here: https://search.ancestry.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=2238

        • Patricia Peoples

          I agree with Diane Mallory – I also have copies of WWII draft records that I used to be able to see on Ancestry.com. Now I’m being redirected to Fold 3. After paying almost 300.00 a year for Ancestry, I am very unhappy with being forced to pay another 60.00 to go to Fold 3. When is enough enough, Ancestry.com?

        • Wayne Cooke

          This is actually a reply to Patrica Peoples, but can be for everyone. She mentioned the extra expense of signing up for Fold3. If one goes to a Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon) Family History Center, Fold3 is available there for free. Just Google LDS Family History Center, and you can find the one closest to you. There more than 5,000 centers in 138 countries.

      • Nancy Blakeslee

        When you open a record In Ancestry that is from Fold3 all you have to do is use your Ancestry sign in to sign in to Fold3 to view the record. It also has a share link to share with Ancestry and to copy the record directly to you ancestors profile. Just click on the Ancestry link and a new window will open for you to enter your ancestors name. Click enter and save…done…easy. When you go back to Ancestry the record will be in your ancestors profile. You do not need to join Fold3 to obtain those records posted to Ancestry from Fold3. Try it but make sure you click on Sign In and not Join Now at Fold3.

        • Deb

          Correct me if I’m wrong; I believe one requires the “All Access” ($199/6mos) Ancestry membership to access Fold3 (and Newspapers.com Basic*) without joining Fold3. The “World Explorer” ($149/6mos) Ancestry membership does not include Fold3 (or Newspapers.com Basic*) access.

  1. J Young

    Has anyone heard when the ‘Young men’s’ draft cards from Illinois, Indiana and Michigan are going to be released?

  2. Michaele Swiderski

    Are there any plans to index and scan the Catholic Church records for cities like Chicago? They are a wealth of information, but right now I have to order microfilms and read page by page to find family. Adding those would be a great boost to research since you get clues from godparents and witnesses.

  3. Sharon Beach

    I just want to take this time to thank you for the job that you do. All this new information is so helpful. I’m sure hundreds of people have had their hands busy doing all the data entry. Great job! Keep up the good work!

  4. William Devlin

    The Emigrant Savings Bank test book records on Ancestry are incredible for Irish research if your ancestor came through New York. Chances are they banked there. The test books contain the equivalent of today’s passwords – personal identification information. So far I’ve found that the names of ships that four of my ancestors came over on, the county of origin of my first ancestor to emigrate, and was able to figure out the date of emigration of another ancestral family, all hidden in these records. Kudos to Marion Casey, the archivist who found them and persuaded the Emigrant Savings Bank to donate them to the New York Public Library, and to Ancestry.com for posting them on their website.

    • Deb

      I’m so jealous! My Irish ancestors arrived in Canada. I and several others have searched high and low. The only online record we’re able to locate is a Canadian 1851 Census reporting their 1839 arrival year (which may or may not be accurate). I’ve spent an unbelievable amount of hours over the years searching through manifests and alternate websites.
      The largest obstacle is the fact that Canada was under Great Britain’s rule and Irish immigrants were considered citizens of Canada. Therefore, not much was documented. Hopefully someday we’ll have a break through.

  5. Carmine Branco

    The Italian archives were supposed to be made public. As a consequence, usually, the Catholic Church archives in Italy and in the Vatican do the same. Is there any way we can access these arguments? If so, can you please make links available? I’ve tried to use the public access to these archives, but they are very incomplete. What’s more, church parish archives are not online and the local churches don’t help. Please help.

    • Michael B. Palazzolo

      I’ve found that the Italian parish records available on Family search.org are very helpful. My family is from the diocese of Monreale, just south of Palermo and all of the villages in the area have had their parish records digitized. Remember that they’re in Latin, not Italian so you’ll have to figure out the Italian version of the names. Good luck!

  6. Tom Ontis

    I found out through his draft cards for WW I & WW II that my grandfather was illiterate. My uncle by marriage had to sign next to his mark on both. He was too old for either, but still had to register

  7. Ruth Ellen Bartels

    There is more information in the WWII draft registration than just the image that comes up. Click on the image and then on the right-side arrow for the second part of the registration, which reveals the person’s physical description, and the date & place of registration.

  8. Virginia Feeback Bowling

    My maiden name is Feeback. My mother’s maiden name was Columbus and I see on my dna results I’m leaning more toward my father. My I ask why ? Thank you. Please reply because my mother’s parents were born and raised in Italy they were in their teens when they were brought to America.

    • Crista Cowan

      Everyone gets 50% of their DNA from their father and 50% of their DNA from their mother. So, regardless of which parent you look more like, you still have 50% from each.

      • Donna Crumley Woker

        “Everyone gets 50% of their DNA from their father and 50% of their DNA from their mother. So, regardless of which parent you look more like, you still have 50% from each.” But isn’t it true that women will only get X chromosomes from their father’s side, so we can only connect with his maternal side? I’ve been trying to get my brother to do the test so I can see more from dad’s paternal side. Am I wrong?

        • Greg J

          Donna, You have 23 pairs of chromosomes. One of these pairs is the XX or XY chromosome that controls gender. The other 22 chromosome pairs are called autosomal chromosomes. The DNA testing done by Ancestry only looks at these autosomal chromosomes. It doesn’t look at the x or y chromosome. So your DNA test results are half from your Father and half from your Mother. The X and Y chromosomes don’t affect the results.

          But remember that your DNA is only showing half of your Fathers (or Mothers) DNA so your DNA results don’t show the other half of your Fathers (or Mothers) DNA. That’s why it would still be good for your brother to get his DNA tested. The DNA that he received from his Father (or Mother) will contain at least some of this “missing” half of your Father’s (or Mothers) DNA that you didn’t inherit.

    • Cecilia Holt

      My maternal grandfather’s surname is Harrison, so I’m wondering if you’re part of that family that resided in Prince George’s County, Maryland, USA since the mid 1800’s, and many of us are still in the area. Let me know please…I’m looking for more information.

  9. Sandra Miller

    I am looking for any information on my Great-Grandfather James Lemuel Palmer born on July 05, 1867 and died on February 21, 1940. His mother was Elizabeth Jane Collins. I don’t know who his father was. It is listed that John Presley Palmer was but he died in 1862 in the Civil War. I would appreciate the information. Thank You

    • Crista Cowan

      Have you found James and his mother on the 1870 U.S. Federal Census? That would be a good place to start. Is there a male head of household there? Also, have you tracked down a copy of James’ death certificate and/or obituary? That often lists father’s name.

  10. carol

    I believe I may have ancestors that left N.Y. City in late 1880s, early 1900s on the Orphan Train. Is there somewhere I can verify if they were included? Thank you

    • Crista Cowan

      Great question, Carol. What is the earliest record you have found for this ancestor? What reason do you have to believe that they were part of the Orphan Train?

      • Deanna

        I’ve been very curious about this too. It looks like quite a bit of digging is necessary. My great-great grandmother was a German girl who ended up with a family in Minnesota in the early 1880s, somehow getting there from New York. The family who remember her have mixed stories about whether she was treated more as a daughter or an indentured servant. On her marriage records she gives what must have been her birth surname, rather than the adopted family’s name. I have wondered whether she came out on an Orphan Train but it looks like it will be quite a bit of work to reasearch that possibility.

        • Loretta

          Check with NY Foundling in New York City – they will check to see if your relatives were inmates there and send you whatever paperwork they have. Check out the history of NY Foundling on the web – they did send children on the orphan trains to the mid-west and south USA. Good luck. Loretta

    • carol

      Re: Orphan train. Biological mother died N.Y.C in early 1900’s. Two oldest children ended up in Cedar Rapids, Iowa & Lincoln, Neb. When daughter in Iowa got married, she shows her biological father’s name but mother’s name is different. I’m wondering if she was adopted or was just a “foster” child. Older brother shows father’s name correctly. They were 12-14 when they left N.Y. city. Thanks, Carol

    • Loretta

      Carol – search info on the web about NY Foundling Asylum. They are still in existence in NY City and I found on census records that my parents had been left there by unwed mothers in 1906 and 1916. Both had physical problems so they were not able to be adopted and did not wind up on the orphan trains, but sent at about age 8 to St. Agnes Orphanage and Hospital in White Plains NY. St. Agnes it not closed and torn down, so no records there, but when I wrote to NY Foundling they were willing to search for my parents records and sent me an envelop with everything they had on my mother with all her medical records and the name of her mother. I was able to trace my grandmother and my mother’s half-brother and sister. I sent them several donations, but I think they would probably do it for free if need be. Good Luck.

  11. Richard Coe

    I have found Ancestry’s records of the 1858 Russian Empire census (Revsion) very useful. Why can’t I find comparable records for the part of the Russian Empire that is now western Ukraine?

      • Linda

        Hi Crista — I met you twice when you spoke in The Villages. You really ARE the barefoot genealogist. I admire your work and enjoyed your discussions. Today I forwarded the above comment regarding Ukrainian genealogy to my Ukrainian friend, who is seeking more about the lives of her family members. She replied, “Part of the answer is that a chunk of Western Ukraine was considered part of Poland and records, no doubt, would be under Polish authority — as my father’s were. Parts of present day Ukraine were not held by the Russian Empire.”
        So this may complicate the issue for those looking into that heritage.

  12. Mary Hart Sapaugh

    My father: Eugene Francis Hart was born in Hartford City, Indiana on January 25, 1924 to Thomas And Grace Hart. Birthplace of his father was in West Virginia, and his mother in Indiana. This I am copying off of a copy of my father’s birth certificate. My father’s grandfather was born exactly 100 years (Jan. 25, 1824) before my father in County Louth Dundaulk, Ireland. James Hart married Isabelle Ryan from County Tyrone Dungennon, Ireland. I am now copying a 2nd cousin of my dad’s handwriting, please bear with me. The cousin, Clara writes in a letter to my dad dated Dec. 15, 1993 these words: “As you can see 3 brothers married 3 sisters so it is no wonder we never knew how we never how we were related to all the others.” It appears that the generation who emigrated to the United States was the one before my great grandfather, Harry Hart. These names are not familiar to me– Myria Hart And James Duffy who list their children: John, Peter, James, Catherine, Anne, and Frank, then listing Matthew as born in Conenaugh, Pa. and James N as born in Straitsville, Ohio. But I remember hearing, or my dad telling me that the ones who set sail for America left from County Sligo on the boat named the Dewdrop. Help? Mary

    • Crista Cowan

      Hi Mary – You provided some great family history information here and you asked for help but you didn’t state specifically what you needed help with. Did you have a specific question?

    • Valerie

      Mary – my 2X Great Grandmother was Mary Hart born 1841 from County Sligo. She married Peter Carty in 1865 and believe there were 7 children. My Great Grandmother Mary Carty (became McCarthy) came to the States about 1883 and lived in Brooklyn and married Clark Pitman in 1894. I had some family research completed by the County Sligo Heritage & Genealogy Society that confirmed family members and their birthdates. Unfortunately, there was not a define family line to follow to find out what happen to everyone – popular last names of Bridgid Carty & Patrick in Ireland! & Catholic!

  13. My Great Grandfather and mother both came from Luxembourg. But in a couple of censes they say Germany. I can’t find them In Luxembourg or Germany. Any idea how to go about it. I know they arrived in 1854, don’t know what port but they went to Aurora, Kane Co, Illinois.

    • Crista Cowan

      Carol – What record do you have that tells you they came in 1854? Have you located your great-grandfather’s naturalization paperwork yet? Do you have death certificates for both of them? Those usually list a more specific place of birth. It is going to be difficult to find records in Germany for them if you don’t know a more specific place where they were from. It sounds like you have some more research to do in U.S. records first. Here’s a video that might help: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DXjRjlNPMlQ

    • Lenora

      there are so many records available for Luxembourg. What are the names you are searching? I have some Luembourg books here I could check for the names

  14. Ronald Robinson

    Trying to find information on the parents of Jacob Robinson married to Sarah Hitchcock abt. 1690 . I have records for Sarah and their children forward but nothing going back .

  15. Josef Bešťák

    Ahoj,můj dědeček Josef Bešťák,nar.1.12.1887 odjel z Československa do Chicaga za prací.Zjistila jsem přes Ancestry, že v roce 1907 a byl tam do roku 1917.Je možné ještě zjistit nějakým způsobem co tam dělal?Existuje třeba sčítání lidu z té doby v Chicagu?Díky za odpověď.Jana.

  16. Connie Morris

    I can find my grandfather in the 1920 census when he was 14. But I cannot find him in the 1940 census. He was married and had 2 children by then.
    I was able to find my grandfathers baby brother who was married with an infant daughter.
    Both brothers lived in St Louis, MO in 1940.

  17. joanne gleason

    does anyone know about the sichi and Benedetti families from Florence, Italy now living in Sonoma county, calif. usa

  18. Donna Higgins

    When will the NYC orphan records be available? Your site says “early 2018” but I was wondering if a date is known. Thanks!

  19. Rodney Hutchison

    Wow,
    You Americans have no idea how lucky you are in terms of access to records containing family details. Australia is one of the worst countries in the world to try and access any records. Our 10-yearly Census data is NOT available for research – no, even though it belongs to us (and we get fined if we don’t participate in the Census) Aussies can’t access this data for family research. Sure we have Births, Deaths and Marriages (BDM) but information is denied within the last 100 years for Births, 30 years for Deaths and 50 years for Marriages. Also BDM records are held exclusively by independent State agencies which means that if a family member moved from one state to another you have no idea as there is NO national database. Anyway, Australia’s BDM records, comparatively, are woefully poor for family research and, as I said, you guys have no idea how lucky you are.
    Rodney Hutchison

  20. Susan Graves

    I have been searching for 10 yrs. trying to find info. about my gr-gr-gr-grandfather, John Adams. According to an Oath of Allegiance, he took before Col. Talbot on the 9th July, 1819 at Port Talbot, Elgin co. Ontario, Canada, he was a native of the Kingdom of Ireland. The 1852 East-West census states that he was 79 yrs. old and living with his son James. Instrument date for land given 4 Mar. 1863 to his 4 sons William, James, Calvin Winslow and Reuben Adams upon his death. According to family he came from Ireland, settled in the Albany area before coming to Elgin County in the early 1800’s. A family Bible gives his wife’s name as Margaret and he also had a daughter, Catherine B. Adams who married Moses Truman. He was predeceased by both his wife and daughter. I would very much like to find out where he came from in Ireland (he being Methodist) and where he and Margaret are buried. He is not with any of his children. I have dug through the archives but can not find any more information locally about him than what I have already mentioned and therefore am not able to take my family tree any further back. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated,
    Susan Graves

  21. Elaine (Zilka) Sauer

    Looking for ZIlka, Sadecki, Knopik, Smuda,Speier, Novak, Kurowski, and other re\latives Any help would be appreciated. THANKS in advance,

  22. Peg Brettin

    I am at the “brickwall”. My husband’s grandparents were Irish, living in Chicago approx 1875, if not before. John McBride (Ireland) marries a Robinia McFarlane (Scotland). I have gone as far as I can, since I do not have where in Ireland he was born. Can not find church records for either, I assume Catholic. There is an obit for her. She dies 21 Dec 1888. This is all that we have other than knowing a son, James was born 1875 (James) These three are shown in 1880 census, but son has the name of Thomas McBride. This is the only record we can find for John and Robinia. Am I missing something or do you have any hints of where to go from here? I am really trying to find out who Robina is so I can continue my research on her. But I have found nothing–not even in Scottish records.

  23. Samantha Alexander

    I am considering this membership. With the membership myself, am I able to research both sides of my family and my partner’s family history as well? Any tips are recommendations are appreciated. Thanks!

    • Paula

      Samantha, if you pay for Ancestry membership, you can search any and all records, for anyone you feel like, relative or not. You will spend every waking hour in research! 🙂 Seriously, you can spend all the time you wish researching the records that are available through Ancestry. Mind you, not all records in the world are available through Ancestry. And if you think you will need to do international research that will be an added cost. It is possible to do genealogical research with out Ancestry membership, but it is much, much more difficult. As someone who began researching in the 1970s, I can tell you that online research is so much easier than before, and Ancestry makes that research far easier still.

  24. Mohammed Ahsaf

    I was born at Mother Cabrini Hospital which no longer phyically exists and I was adopted at age 15. I’ve never met any biological relatives and want help finding my biological family. What can I do?

  25. Colette Jensen

    Would love to see Ancestry add searches within a tree based on the list they provide… Married in and I put a city and get a list of everyone in my tree that was married there, or buried in a specific cemetery named, a biography search. Just an idea
    Thanks
    Colette

  26. Colette Jensen

    I have uploaded many photos and birth/death certificates that I have ordered. At some point I get a hint and when I look it is a photo I added but says submitted by someone else… how does that happen?

  27. Stanley Archer

    I have my DNA attached to an open tree–Ancestry advise me i have a link to a closed tree with Valerie Allaway -she i presume can see the hint-i with an open tree cannot-despite many requests she will not open her tree or advise what the hint is-it seems wrong to me that those who keep their tree closed get better information

  28. Sharron McCabe

    I am extremely satisfied with the information on I have been able to find on Ancestry.com. I started with my gr gr grandfather and it snow balled from there. I left the web site for a period of time and then just couldn’t stand it any longer and just had to rejoin the site. Thank you Ancestry for giving me a link to my heritage including the War of 1812, Revolutionary War and WWII information on both sides of my family. This information led me to be able to join the DAR, which I am very proud to have been a part of. Recently I was told that the Towle’s of New Hampshire, USA left Scotland and then were driven out of Ireland and placed on ships to the colonies. Does anyone know if this is true and do you have a book that would substantiate that claim??

  29. Amanda Aguillon

    I was adopted at birth, at Mercy Hospital (Catholic) in Oklahoma City. My birthday is September 8th. However, my biological mother had complications and developed an infection, so I could not be released to my parents until she could go to the Courthouse 10-11 days later to sign the paperwork. She possibly is Polish or Irish and may have been from Harrah, Oklahoma. I’m desperately seeking her or my father. He may not even know I exist. She already had 2 children by her husband, but divorced him and then got pregnant with me. At least this is the story that my adoptive mom remembers. Biological parents would be in their 70’s. I’ve contacted DNA matches (closest 2 were 1st cousins and NO reply) and did get a couple of replies, who were very wonderful and helpful, but so many not replied, I’m very disappointed and discouraged. Any advice or suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

  30. Sandy Hooton

    Just wanted to thank you for this additional info. It seems that the more I learn about researching, the more there is to learn. I appreciate your added insights to specific areas, if it doesn’t help me, it might help my friends. Thanks!

  31. Louisa Crowley

    My family is in just about every census dating back to 1800s in Oklahoma. Head of household was: July Nivens (Cherokee Freedmen; born abt 1872) and his wife Sallie Mayfield). The one year that they are not in is 1920. There is another Nivens family in 1920 with similar first names as my great uncles/aunts. Any way to find out what happened. I believe they never left Oklahoma.

  32. Shirley Gruey

    My maternal great-grandfather, Andrew Oscar Ylitalo and his wife Louisa Freese Ylitalo, immigrated from Haapavedella Suomessa, Finland to Ashtabula, OH USA about 1888. This is as far back as I have been able to go and wonder if there is anyone searching for the Ylitalo surname that might have information on them.

  33. keith brodie

    I see there are orphanage records on the way. Does anyone know if this includes the records held at Columbia University in New York? I’m hoping those records include info on my great-grandfather and get me over a long-standing hurdle.

  34. Sherry Branson

    I have several letters written by ancestors from Germany in the 1890s. I have looked into having them translated to English but the cost is expensive. I think these could be a treasure trove of info for my family. I am wondering if anyone might have a way I could get them translated for little or no money.

    • Elynn Walker

      I lived in Germany and graduated from German High School, I would be willing to try and translate your letters at no cost. Please send me an email if you would like me to?

      • Sherry Branson

        I don’t know your age which is part of the problem. The letters are very old and written in old german and with old style pen and ink. I would love it if you think you could try it. Some of them are very long and written in the margins and all over the pages. I do know that there is also some historic references in them like comments about Bismarck. It is mostly my family items. The lettering is hard to tell what it is please email me if you are still willing to try.

  35. Bruce M Kopf

    I am a long-time and satisfied member of Ancestry. Ancestry took over RootsWeb and WorldConnect late last year. Seems to me that would constitute a “New Record Collection”. Ancestry previously included WorldConnect family trees in search results, but ended it a few years ago. My database is “kopf”, with 32,000 individuals, most of which include footnotes with extensive source documentation. When will Ancestry allow updates and display proper characters for non-English languages (instead of using a ? mark) in WorldConnect?

  36. Sherry Shaffer

    THANK YOU for the Colorado Steel Worker records! I have already saved many of these records. There are seldom new records from Colorado; I think they must be really “tight” in sharing!!

  37. CHARLENE WALLER

    I do not understand ANY OF THIS. I was told it would simply give me my nationalities
    From my DNA . I sent my sample in, in December of last year and have heard a bunch of names that have nothing to do with me and Ii don’t know, and nothing more, after 4 months! Please send what you offered ASAP! Thx I’m very disappointed and tired of waiting.

  38. Jeri Boyd

    My great grandparents came from Ireland in the 1880s. However, I’ve been unable to find the ship they came on. They may have arrived at Philadelphia, because I think their first child might have been born there. Part of the problem is the husband’s name was very common: James O’Connor, and I’m unsure of the wife’s maiden name, which might be Marguerite Loftus. They appear to have migrated very quickly to Oregon and settled there. These were poor people who may never have owned property. One way to find records might be with the Catholic Church. However, these records don’t appear to be online, and I’ve not been successful in finding where they might be stored. Thank you in advance for any suggestions.

  39. Jennifer

    I am interested in the Brooklyn ship builder records in your March update, but the link takes me to an error page, and I cannot find them on the site. Can you point me to them?

    • Beth

      I tried to view the ship builders link also and same thing for me…broken link. Looks like you posted this a few weeks ago with no response.

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