07 May 2015

What's New?

Several genealogy bloggers post information when FamilySearch updates or loads new databases. This is a nice service, but I tend to look at FamilySearch and Ancestry myself each evening to to see what, if anything has been added. I periodically check other sites, as well.

Now, you may not be as diligent (read, "insane") as I, but you, too, can check for updates any time you wish on your favorite genealogy database websites. One only needs to know where to look - and it's different for each website.

Here are a few (not all) of my favorites which seem to add content with some frequency. 


Click on the Search tab.

Then, click the Browse all Published Collections link. 
Wait a few moments for all the collections to load, then click on Last Updated in blue on the upper right side of the page.
You have now sorted the collections by date. The most recently updated will be first on the list. 

Unfortunately, one usually cannot tell from information FamilySearch provides which collections are completely new and which are just updated. If it's one I have checked before, the color of the link is a different color than the new ones. 


On my Ancestry home page I can scroll about half-way down the page to a button (See all new records) that gives me access to their updates page.
Make sure to select the geographical location of interest.

Alternatively (on nearly every site there's another way to get there), one may go to the Card Catalog.
Then, select Date Updated.
The resulting list will include labels describing the collections as either New or Updated.
If you hover your cursor over a database link, you will see a pop-up providing information on the date the collection was published by Ancestry and/or the date it was last updated. 
It might be nice to also see a description of what has been updated, but - oh, well!


Fold3 makes it easy to locate their new records list under New & Updated Collections. But, beware: it is literally a moving target! It may scroll away from you before you can click it (I had that problem when I was trying to get a screen shot). 
In that case, click on the little arrow that appears at the bottom if one hovers over the scrolling window, and try again.

On the right side of the resulting page you will find a percentage estimate of how much of the collection is online at Fold3 for your researching pleasure. This is a nice touch and quite useful if you have been wondering why great-great-great uncle Ralph - whose ancestors have been so darn proud of his Civil War service - does not appear (yet) in the expected Civil War Widows' Pension collection.

Genealogy Bank

Genealogy Bank usually sends out a monthly update to subscribers with a list of new newspaper resources. But one need not wait to receive that. Just look in the upper right hand corner of the home page.
On the new content page asterisks indicate new collections/newspapers. One may click on the little arrows at the top of the columns to sort the columns alphabetically.


For new and updated newpapers, click on the "Papers" tab.
Then, click on "New & updated." One may sort through these by either clicking on the state(s) of interest or by using the check boxes in the state list, below the map.

In you're wondering, I have not found a new collections list on MyHeritage - although it may be that I just somehow missed it. Regardless, if they have one, it's not obvious. 

I do not use or subscribe to Find My Past. I have looked at their site and do not see a new content area.

There are some sites (including some of the ones discussed above) that allow researchers to specify searches only in records added after a specified date. That's a wonderful feature - if one keeps track of when one last visited.

Anything that allows us to follow the great boom in online records is a good thing.

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