FindmyPast Friday: 8 May 2015


This week’s Findmypast Friday marks the release of over 1.4 million cemetery Index records from England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Australia and New Zealand. Over 1 million fascinating 18th century British Apprenticeship records and over 186,000 parliamentary papers from the Australian State of Victoria have also been released.

Britain, Country Apprentices 1710-1808

Britain, Country Apprentices 1710-1808, contain over 1 million records taken from original registers kept by the Board of Stamps. These registers recorded the money received in payment of the tax on apprentices’ indentures. An apprenticeship was a system where an artisan or craftsman took on a young apprentice to teach him/her skills of their profession. In Great Britain, the Statute of Apprentices of 1563 (sometimes called the Statute of Artificers) stated that no one could set up a trade without completing an apprenticeship. An apprentice was placed with or bound to a master for at least seven years.

Each record includes a transcript created by the Society of Genealogists from the original registers held by The National Archives. They contain the name of the apprentice and until the year 1752 the names of the apprentices’ parents are given (usually the father, though sometimes the mother, if the father was dead), but after that year very rarely. They also included the place the apprentice came from, his father’s trade, the name of the master to whom he was indentured, the master’s trade, the place where the master lived, and the value of the premium paid to the master for taking on the apprentice. About 350,000 indentures are included, from all over Great Britain (about 20% are Scottish).

BillionGraves Cemetery Index records

Over 1.4 million cemetery index records from six different countries have been released in partnership with BillionGraves. With over 12 million headstone records, BillionGraves is the largest resource for GPS-tagged headstone and burial records on the web. Findmypast’s partnership with BillionGraves aims to make available all the cemetery records held on their site for free. These latest addition include;

Each entry has a transcript, which includes a link to an image of the headstone with GPS details. The amount of information varies, but the records usually include the deceased’s name, birth date, death date, cemetery, city, county and image link. The indexes will be regularly updated throughout the year.

Victoria Parliamentary Papers 1852-1899

Over 186,000 records have been added to the Victoria Parliamentary Papers 1852-1899. This index includes Volumes 1-3 from 1852 to 1879 and enables family historians to search the previously unindexed Parliamentary Papers. The Papers are a wonderful source for the broader social history of the early days of the Colony of Victoria covering land, mining, occupations, etc.

Each record includes a transcript provided by the Australian Institute of Genealogical Studies Inc. The amount of information may vary but most records will include an individual’s name, event year and event description as well as the page number and reference.

With Thanks to FindmyPast