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Jessie O'Hara
16 December 2022

This week's release uncovers different slices of history across the globe.

Whether you've traced roots to Colonial America, you're a South Londoner to your core, or you want to explore our shared national past - this release really does have it all. Here's a rundown of everything that's new.

In May of 1641, rumours spread that the Protestant reformation in Britain was at risk of collapsing. In response to this, the Long Parliament put together a draft of a national declaration - the first of three oaths of loyalty.

Men over the age of 18 were requested to sign the oath. If they didn't, they were assumed to be Catholic, and could not hold official positions within Church or state. It was not an effective way to differentiate Protestants and Catholics, though - some Catholics signed the oath as they had reservations about repercussions.

An example of a list of signatures from the 1641 Protestation Returns.

An example of a list of signatures from the 1641 Protestation Returns.

Some records may list 'absent', 'at sea' or similar as a reason they could not sign. Other records vary greatly - some only gave the names of officials, some listed women, some even defined each oath-taker with an occupation.

This collection acts as the closest record to a census that we have for this time period, as each man also had his exact parish of residence listed. Of these lists, only around a third of the records survive.

Comprising BMDs, letters, newspaper clippings and more, this collection explores the genealogies of selected families that made significant contributions to the development of Philadelphia during the Colonial era.

United States, Philadelphia Genealogy Abstracts

A page from this collection. View this record here.

Most of the families in this collection were of English, Welsh, or German descent, and most of these records cover the 18th and 19th centuries. However, some of them date as far back as the early 17th century.

The information per family varies. Often, the most crucial information is given in a linear manner - births, marriages, deaths within the family. Some will include extra detail using newspaper clippings, short biographies, letters, original certificates, or burial locations. Anyone with early Pennsylvania roots would be advised to dig deep into these pages.

We've added 4,700 new records to this collection, from Croydon and transcribed from the expansive Croydon in the Past historical publication, 1883.

This publication was created by a sole person in the 19th century, who was local to the area and noted down this information on their walks.

Croydon in the Past, pub. 1883.

Croydon in the Past, pub. 1883.

The transcriptions will often give more detail than a standard burial record. Though information does vary, you might find a birth year, an occupation, a last residence and names of relations (such as spouse or next of kin).

A page from the new Croydon burials.

Pages from the new Croydon burials. View this page here.

However, it is definitely worth checking the original image. Some will give small biographies, inscriptions left on tombs or gravestones, and more. To find these records, just add 'Croydon in the Past' to the optional keywords field on the advanced search screen. You can also browse the full publication here.

We've added five new newspaper titles this week, with three being local titles from south of the Thames. However, you'll also find a new Welsh title, as well as 68 updated titles. Here's a full list of everything that's new in the archives this week.

New titles:

  • Croydon Express, 1878-1895, 1898, 1900-1911, 1913-1916
  • Daily Post (Wales), 1982-1984
  • Greenford & Northolt Gazette, 1997
  • South London Observer, 1895, 1901-1962
  • Southwark and Bermondsey Recorder, 1868-1884, 1903-1920

Updated titles:

  • Accrington Observer and Times, 1917, 1993, 1999
  • Ashbourne News Telegraph, 1997
  • Belper Express, 1998
  • Birmingham Daily Post, 1920, 1933, 1982, 1984
  • Birmingham Mail, 1996
  • Birmingham News, 1992
  • Boston Target, 1993
  • Bracknell Times, 1997
  • Brent Leader, 1993
  • Buckinghamshire Examiner, 1996
  • Cambridge Daily News, 1911, 1916
  • Cambridge Weekly News, 1993
  • Chelsea News and General Advertiser, 1993
  • Cheltenham News, 1998
  • Cheshunt and Waltham Mercury, 1997
  • Chester Chronicle, 1997
  • Coalville Mail, 1993
  • Daily Record, 1996
  • Derby Daily Telegraph, 1972
  • Derby Express, 1997
  • Ellesmere Port Pioneer, 1997
  • Express and Echo, 1960
  • Football Post (Nottingham), 1986
  • Fulham Chronicle, 1997
  • Gloucester Journal, 1992
  • Gloucester News, 1998
  • Grimsby Daily Telegraph, 1954, 1996
  • Harrow Observer, 1924-1925, 1928, 1930, 1941, 1997
  • Heartland Evening News, 1996-1997
  • Hoddesdon and Broxbourne Mercury, 1997
  • Huddersfield and Holmfirth Examiner, 1879, 1882
  • Huntingdon Town Crier, 1997
  • Irvine Herald, 1974
  • Liverpool Daily Post, 1967
  • Liverpool Mercury, 1898
  • Llanelli Star, 1986
  • Loughborough Mail, 1992, 1997
  • Macclesfield Courier and Herald, 1914, 1918, 1928
  • Macclesfield Times, 1915, 1917, 1936
  • Merthyr Express, 1992
  • Middlesbrough Herald & Post, 1992
  • Nantwich Chronicle, 1997
  • Newcastle Evening Chronicle, 1920
  • North Wales Weekly News, 1992
  • Northampton Herald & Post, 1992
  • Nottingham Evening Post, 1960
  • Nottingham Recorder, 1992
  • Oadby & Wigston Mail, 1992
  • Oldham Advertiser, 1998
  • Plymouth Extra, 1992
  • Port Talbot Guardian, 1996-1997
  • Retford, Gainsborough & Worksop Times, 1878, 1997
  • Runcorn Weekly News, 1997
  • Scunthorpe Evening Telegraph, 1984
  • Sevenoaks Chronicle and Kentish Advertiser, 1992
  • Skelmersdale Advertiser, 1999
  • Stirling Observer, 1997
  • Surrey Advertiser, 1964
  • Surrey Mirror, 1951, 1958-1960
  • Surrey-Hants Star, 1992
  • Taunton Courier, and Western Advertiser, 1900
  • Thanet Times, 1992
  • The People, 1977-1978, 1981, 1985, 1990, 1997-1998
  • Uttoxeter New Era, 1886, 1888, 1890, 1892, 1898, 1900, 1902, 1905-1906, 1908-1909
  • West Lothian Courier, 1993
  • West Surrey Times, 1878, 1880, 1915, 1917
  • Western Morning News, 1863, 1952, 1961, 1980, 1982
  • Whitstable Times and Herne Bay Herald, 1992

Looking for a last minute gift idea? We've extended our 25% off selected gift subscriptions offer until 23 December, giving you the chance to grab a thoughtful, hassle-free gift for your loved ones. There truly is no present like their past.