This week we have a few announcements in the world of genealogy.

The University of Indianapolis has joined with Ancestry.com in offering its students a unique opportunity to learn more about how their family history has had an impact on their personal identity. All students, faculty and staff of the University are being given free access to the Ancestry.com databases when on campus, using any mobile device or computer. This is the first-ever such pairing of Ancestry.com with an institution of higher learning.

“The company is providing on-campus workshops and seminars to help the UIndy community make the most of the online product. UIndy faculty members, particularly in disciplines such as history, are enthusiastic about the classroom potential of giving students easy access to the vast database of historical documents,” states the University’s website. UIndy is using this access to the Ancestry.com databases as a “key component” in the University Series programs this year.

The National Archives of Ireland’s website at www.nationalarchives.ie/ has several exciting databases online for free public use at its genealogy website, www.genealogy.nationalarchives.ie/. Currently, three record groups are available from the site: 1901 and 1911 census records for Ireland, the Tithe Applotment Books from 1823 to 1837, and Soldiers’ Wills from 1914 to 1917.

Tithe Applotment Books are defined accordingly: “The Tithe Applotment Books are a vital source for genealogical research for the pre-Famine period, given the loss of the 1821-51 Census records. They were compiled between 1823 and 1837 in order to determine the amount which occupiers of agricultural holdings over 1 acre should pay in tithes to the Church of Ireland (the main Protestant church and the church established by the State until its dis-establishment in 1871). There is a manuscript book for almost every civil (Church of Ireland) parish in the country giving the names of occupiers of each townland, the amount of land held and the sums to be paid in tithes. Because the tithes were levied on agricultural land, urban areas are not included. Unfortunately, the books provide only the names of heads of family, not other family members.”

Watch this website for the addition of future online databases, including: Calendars of Wills and Administrations, 1858–1922; 19th century census survivals, 1821-51; Valuation Office House and Field Books, 1848–60; and census search forms for the 1841 and 1851 censuses.

The website ScotlandsPeople.com at www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk/ has added a free database to its site of fee-based databases: Wills and Testaments in Scotland, 1902 to 1925. “These new records, 392,595 in total, represent the last wishes of 267,548 people and reach across all social classes — from [the] famous … to the impoverished inmates of the nation’s poorhouses. As the wills also include inventories of moveable estate (i.e. savings, cash, furniture, stock, etc.), it’s possible to form an excellent understanding of the person’s financial worth at the time of their death. From a family history viewpoint, the records name family members and friends, thereby highlighting the relationships that the dying person considered to be most important,” announces the site.

Also free on the site is a coats of arms database. You must register to use this site.

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