- September 2009 -
Fall is here and it’s not just a great time to watch the leaves change colour – it’s the perfect time to add some to your family tree.

We’ve added several new collections this month, including 3 New York record collections to celebrate the discovery of the Hudson River, the Ontario Marriages by Clergy collection, the British Prisoners of War collection and more! Now get comfortable and celebrate autumn by leafing through this exciting edition of our newsletter.
FEATURE STORY: Discover Your New York Heritage
New York gave us some of the world’s
most interesting people—your ancestors.
In 1609, Henry Hudson changed the world when he explored the river valley between Albany and New York City. The river named for him became an important waterway. At the mouth of it stood Ellis Island, the immigration port that welcomed more than 12 million immigrants to America. Now, on the 400th anniversary of Hudson's discovery, we're combining some of the most significant records from New York history to celebrate the people who made this state so fascinating.

Because millions of people immigrated through New York, there are millions of us who can trace our ancestry back to this cultural, philosophical and religious melting pot.

In honour of the 400th anniversary of the discovery of the Hudson River, we have added three more record collections from New York: SEARCH NOW
The Ancestry World Archives Project (AWAP) gives people everywhere a unique chance to help save the world's historical records - millions that might otherwise be lost. As part of this exciting project, we're looking for volunteers to help key new material.

In This Issue

Search for Free
Search these historical collections and you can experience Ancestry search without subscribing. Maybe you'll find someone in your family?
New York City Immigrants, 1890
Australian Convict Index, 1788-1868

Don’t keep your holiday family traditions a secret. We want to hear all about them. Tell us what you’ve discovered about your family holiday traditions with the help of Ancestry.ca. Go ahead and send us your story, even send us the family recipes and we might even feature it in our newsletter.


Look for your family’s dark past within this collection, made up of the trial registers of more than 97,000 convicts. Each register includes details of the crime, the full name and age of the accused, the location of the trial and the judgment passed.

The registers include:
• 900,000 sentences of imprisonment
• 10,300 executions, including one of a boy aged just 14.
• Irish and Scottish criminals tried within England and Wales during this time
• And a number of notorious criminals appear in the collection as well.

NEW COLLECTIONS: Available for Canadian Deluxe and World Deluxe Members

Ontario, Marriage Registers by Clergy, 1896–1948

After the Registration Act was passed in Canada in 1896, clergymen were required to record vital events for all the individuals in their charge. This collection contains 18 volumes of marriages recorded by clergy in Ontario, Canada. The records include the name of the bridegroom and bride, age, residency when married, place of birth, parents’ names of bridegroom and bride and place and date of the marriage. This collection was keyed on Ancestry.ca by our World Archives Project contributors.

NEW COLLECTIONS: Available for World Deluxe Members
UK, British Army Prisoners of War, 1939–1945
According to the 1929 Geneva Convention, countries at war were required to notify their enemies of any service personnel they captured. This index was originally created for that purpose. Search it for the names, ranks, and Prisoners of War camps for thousands of British Army personnel captured and interned in camps across Germany, Austria and Poland during WWII.

UK, Army Roll of Honour, 1939–1945
The Army Roll of Honour, held by the UK National Archives, was originally compiled to honour those servicemen who died during WWII—both from battle wounds and natural causes.

Now that it’s been digitized and put on our site, you can search it for your relatives and further honour their memory. Search by name, rank, theatre, death date or birthplace.

Some interesting statistics from the collection:
1. WWII officially began on September 1, 1939, and the earliest recorded army deaths in this collection are from September 3—seven deaths.
2. May 8, 1945, or “Victory in Europe Day,” which is considered by some to be the ending date of the war, saw 72 British army deaths.


Jewish Orphan Records from New York
Have you ever been searching through census records only to find one of the children in the family disappears? If your family was Jewish, the answer might be that they were sent to a Jewish Orphan Asylum.

These asylums were not really for orphans, and they weren’t really asylums. They were more like boarding schools for any Jewish children—orphan or otherwise—whose families needed help adjusting to life in a new land and a new culture. And they were very popular. From 1860 to 1960, tens of thousands of Jewish children attended one of these institutions, and we’ve just released records for two New York Orphan Asylums—the New York Hebrew Orphan Asylum, 1860–1934 and the Brooklyn Hebrew Orphan Asylum, 1878–1969 —plus five other Jewish record collections, in conjunction with the American Jewish Historical Society and the Routes to Roots Foundation, we’ve just released records.


“I discovered where my ancestors came from…and felt as if I got a glimpse into their lives spanning across the Pacific Ocean.”

Last year’s release of the Canadian Passenger Lists on Ancestry.ca was a major boost to my search. Prior to that launch, searching ships lists involved countless hours sifting through libraries - something I really didn’t have the time for.

In the past year, I’ve located two of my grandparents’ relatives, two uncles’ passages, and their parents’ passages to Canada from Japan. I also found the men that my grandfather sponsored as yobiyose or “called over workers”.

The wealth of information now available to me at the click of a mouse is simply amazing. Thanks to Ancestry.ca, I discovered where my ancestors came from, what their occupations were, who they were traveling with, how much money they had when they arrived in Canada, and more, how long they had been away or if they had been in Canada before. I felt as if I got a glimpse into their lives spanning across the Pacific Ocean; going to get wives or children returning from education in Japan, vacationing, and some were just taking care of business.

The Canadian Passenger Lists collection has proven to be an incredible resource in Japanese Canadian history as many of the immigrants came back and forth to Canada between 1905 and 1935.

Ancestry.ca has been extremely helpful in filling in the gaps of my family history.

Linda (Kawamoto) Reid

As history has shown us time and time again, mistakes do happen. Ancestry.ca would like to apologize for placing the wrong titles on the New Collections section last month. We’re sorry for any confusion this error may have caused.

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