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The very latest news from the world of genealogy



Free Military Records Released to Commemorate D-Day

To mark the 80th anniversary of D-Day, The Genealogist adds Enlistment Records to their Free Record Collections

In time to commemorate the 80th anniversary of D-Day on 6th June, TheGenealogist has added United States WWII Army Enlistment Records (1938-1946) to its ever-growing Free Records Collection. In these records, we can find the names and particulars of American soldiers who joined up to serve their country and fight for freedom.

These records provide detailed information about enlistment dates, service branches, ranks, and more about US soldiers from this time.

While Operation Overlord, the code name for the Battle of Normandy, was an Allied operation consisting of British, Canadian and other Allied nations' troops, the Americans provided the bulk of the soldiers for the Liberation of Europe on 6 June 1945, and so this new record set will have many of the young men who fought in D-Day listed.


[American assault troops in a landing craft approaching Omaha Beach, Normandy, France]


This new addition brings the total number of Free Records you can access on The Genealogist to over 10.9 Million. There’s a rich collection for researchers to sink their teeth into, with records dating back to 1086!


Simply register for free at The Genealogist to access:

  • The 1086 Domesday Records
  • The Image Archive - Thousands of historic photos and illustrations
  • US WW2 Enlistment Records
  • UK Rolls of Honour
  • Dam Busters Records
  • War Memorials
  • Tree View - A free family tree builder


You can research even further by registering for a free First Steps Subscription, giving you 3 months’ access to Births, Marriages, Deaths and the 1891 to 1911 census for England and Wales. Find out more at https://thegenealogist.co.uk/firststeps 


Read TheGenealogist’s feature article where we explore the fate of four brothers whose enlistments can be found in these newly released records: D-Day – Operation Neptune 6 June 1944 and the real Private Ryan https://www.thegenealogist.co.uk/featuredarticles/2024/d-day--operation-neptune-6-june-1944-7495/ 




Lifetime Discount Offer!


For a limited time, you can claim a Diamond Subscription to The Genealogist for just £99.95, a saving of £40! Plus, you’ll also get a free year’s subscription to Discover Your Ancestors Online Magazine (Worth £24.99)

To find out more and claim the offer, visit https://www.thegenealogist.co.uk/MGBDDY624

This offer comes with a Lifetime Discount, meaning you’ll pay the same discounted price every time your subscription renews.


This offer expires on 31st July 2024.




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New Seafaring Records to find ancestors from WW1 & WW2 released


TheGenealogist has just released a range of records that will appeal to many British family historians with seafaring roots. As an island nation, we have seen countless ancestors go to sea, especially in the two World Wars. Whether our forebears served in merchant vessels or in warships, this latest release has records of interest for those with both types of sailors in their family trees.



Researchers can use these records to reveal names, dates and information about ancestors who were recorded in a number of Navy Lists for the Royal Navy (RN) that cover both WW1 and WW2. Family historians looking for Merchant Navy (MN) mariners killed or who died on service in WW1 will also find something in this release for them, as well as gaining access to names for merchant seamen honoured with medals and awards between 1914-1918. 


For those who have lost seafarers, whether in either the Royal Navy or the Merchant Navy, then this collection of records is a useful addition. Family history researchers will be able to look for ships that were sunk. The new resources include Merchant Shipping Losses 1914-1918, and the British Merchant Vessels Lost or Damaged by Enemy Action During the Second World War 1939-1945. For the Senior Service’s vessels, the Returns Showing the Losses of Ships of the Royal Navy 1914-1918 will give details of the ship and where it was sunk.

Fully searchable by name or keyword from TheGenealogist’s Master Search. The new additions include records from a variety of sources, including:

  • The Navy List 1914
  • The Navy List January 1916
  • The Navy List April 1918
  • The Navy List August 1937
  • The Navy List October 1937
  • The Navy List July 1943
  • The Navy List April 1945
  • Return Showing the Losses of Ships of the Royal Navy 1914-1918
  • Merchant Adventurers 1914-1918
  • Merchant Shipping Losses 1914-1918
  • British Merchant Vessels Lost or Damaged by Enemy Action During Second World War 1939-1945

To learn more about how this collection of records helped in the research of a mariner whose daring deeds earned him a VC read TheGenealogist’s article: Under the “Red Duster” and the White Ensign.



About TheGenealogist


TheGenealogist is an award-winning online family history website, who put a wealth of information at the fingertips of family historians. Their approach is to bring hard to use physical records to life online with easy to use interfaces such as their Tithe and newly released Lloyd George Domesday collections. 

TheGenealogist’s innovative SmartSearch technology links records together to help you find your ancestors more easily. TheGenealogist is one of the leading providers of online family history records. Along with the standard Birth, Marriage, Death and Census records, they also have significant collections of Parish and Nonconformist records, PCC Will Records, Irish Records, Military records, Occupations, Newspaper record collections amongst many others.

TheGenealogist uses the latest technology to help you bring your family history to life. Use TheGenealogist to find your ancestors today!

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Additional R.A.F. Operations Record Books released on TheGenealogist

Further R.A.F. Operations Record Books now released on TheGenealogist


TheGenealogist has today released additional new R.A.F. records that are fully searchable by name, aircraft, location and many other fields, making it simpler to find your air force ancestors.


In a release of over 1.8 million records, this batch of R.A.F. Operations Record Books (ORBs) joins TheGenealogist’s huge military records collection and includes entries for the famous children’s author Roald Dahl when he flew Hurricanes in WW2.


Hurricanes of No. 80 Squadron in Palestine, June 1941 as flown by Roald Dahl

The Operations Record Books record the stories of day to day operations of units and so will give the researcher an idea of action that took place as well as give insights into the everyday lives on the bases. You can use this collection to follow an airman’s war time experiences by searching these fully searchable Air Ministry operations record books which cover various Royal Air Force, dominion and Allied Air Force squadrons that came under British Command. The AIR 27 records allow the family history researcher a fascinating insight into their relatives' time while serving in a number of units of the air force. 


The ORBs give summaries of events and can reveal encounters with the enemy, pilots who went missing or were shot down, plane crashes, as well as less traumatic details such as weather and places patrolled by the aircraft and where the squadrons were based as the war wore on. As aircrew personnel are named in these Operations Record Books, researchers wanting to follow where an ancestor had been posted to and what may have happened to them will find these records extremely useful. 


Operations Record Book for No. 80 Squadron on TheGenealogist


Family historians will find the duties recorded in these documents interesting when they reveal the assignments that a serviceman took part in. Examples include Bombing, Convoy Escort, Submarine Hunt, Fleet protection, Attacking Aerodromes and Shipping, Dive Bombing Raids and more. 


Use these records to: 

  • Add colour to an aircrewman’s story 
  • Read the war movements of personnel in air force units
  • Discover if a pilot, navigator, radio operator or gunner is mentioned in the action
  • Find if an airman is listed for receiving an Honour or an Award
  • Note the names of squadron members wounded, killed, or who did not return
  • Easily search these National Archives records and images


This expands TheGenealogist’s extensive Military records collection.


Read TheGenealogist’s feature article: R.A.F. Operations Record Books that tell a storyteller’s story: https://www.thegenealogist.co.uk/featuredarticles/2020/raf-operations-record-books-that-tell-a-storytellers-story-1356/

These records and many more are available to Diamond subscribers of TheGenealogist.co.uk

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Over One Million RAF Operations Record Books released on TheGenealogist


TheGenealogist has expanded its unique collection of searchable RAF Operations Record Books with the addition of 1.2 Million new records for aircrew operations.


Airmen - planning their next mission. Public domain


Operations Record Books (ORBs) are official air force documents chronicling an air force unit from the time of its formation. They were intended to be an accurate daily record of the operations that the squadron carried out in peace and at war. The ORBs are for squadrons primarily after the First World War, but there are a few early squadron records from 1911 to 1918. TheGenealogist uniquely has made the Operations Record Books fully searchable by name, year and keywords.


This collection also includes some record books for Dominion Air Forces (Australia, Canada, New Zealand and South Africa) as well as Allied Air Force squadrons under British Command and can be used to find the stories of brave aircrew, giving insights into the operations that they carried out. The ORBs follow a daily diary format giving summaries of events and can reveal the death of aircrews, crashes, as well as less disquieting entries such as the weather for flying, promotions and the decorations men of the squadron received. ORBs also detail the areas that the fighter planes patrolled, or the bombers targeted, as well as where the squadrons were based as the war wore on. These duties and assignments include bombing the enemy, patrolling the skies, convoy escorts, submarine hunts, attacking docks & shipping, dive bombing raids, and more.


As aircrew personnel are named in these reports, those wanting to follow where an ancestor had been posted to and what may have happened to them will find these records extremely informative. 


Use these records to: 

  • Add details to an aircrewman’s story 
  • Study the war movements of personnel in air force units
  • Discover if a pilot, navigator, radio operator or gunner is mentioned in the action
  • Note dates airman received promotions, medals, or other honours
  • See the names of squadron members wounded, killed, or who did not return
  • Easily search the transcribed records and images licensed from The National Archives

This latest release expands TheGenealogist’s extensive Military records collection and is available to all Diamond subscribers.


You can read their article about a famous fighter ace and a bomber pilot who flew more than 120 operations: 


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