This is a page of resources about Europe. I must admit, when I first conceived this website, I never expected to be working on Dutch, German, Russian, or Polish records.
I put this link here because the database appears to hold mostly European-origin names, particularly British.
IRELAND and NORTHERN IRELAND
I’ve finally had some time to really dig into Irish records and I am in total envy. Lucky for me, I’ve got some Irish roots I can explore to take full advantage of the following free, data rich sites.
I found this site by clicking a link in Family Search for a census result, and am I ever glad I did. The family was represented in the 1901 and 1911 Irish censuses, and while it took a couple of hours to understand the county / townlands system, the rich resources are so worth it.
HOT TIP: The results may have clickable links taking you to the census where your family appears:
Form A: Return of the members of this family and their visitors, boarders, servants, etc. who slept or abode in this House on the night of Sunday, the 31st of March, 1901
. That’s great, but the results might also have:
- Form B.1 – House and building return
- Form B.2.-Return of Out-Offices and Farm-Steadings
- Form N: Enumerator’s Abstract for a townland or street
Together, these four forms give you a great picture of the family – not just names and ages and religion, but also size and class of house.
From the Irish OpenStreetMap community comes this interactive map of the townlands of Ireland. Start with the census, above, then come here to find exactly where your ancestors lived.
Searchable in its native Dutch or English, this is THE site for Dutch records – a true genealogist dream come true. It’s the central repository of Dutch records, a single lookup source for the entire country of The Netherlands. Imagine if Canada had a similar site? No more searching by province and having to learn each province’s peculiarities. But I’m getting off topic here…
A part of the reason why the records are so good is the underlying fact that the Dutch kept two copies of everything. It’s incredible that records have survived history – for example, the 1940 bombing of Rotterdam by the German army.
Here are some points to keep in mind as you search WhoWasWho:
- You must have the accurate spelling of a name
- The site is free, unless you’d like to search by soundex (names that sound similar)
- The paid site offers family connections – like a Dutch ancestry tree, which means when you locate a person, you’ll find not only their record, but all the records of the people connected to them. Amazing, right?
- Some files have the original records, which are free to download
- The Dutch kept census results, population registers, and family cards – if you’re not familiar with the differences, do a few google searches to get up to speed before diving in
POLAND, aka POLISH RUSSIA
Placeholder – review coming soon. This page particularly looks promising: Polish archives in a nutshell.
The histories of Poland and Russia are deeply intertwined, particularly during the period 1795-1945, which is when us genealogists are digging for records. Don’t miss the Russia research tips and record finder.
After about a week of digging, I found this amazing site. I haven’t yet had a chance to check out every post and link but this article about Polish history was an eye-opener, and a must for finding records.
This is a placeholder for me. A review will come after I’ve checked it out.
This site was recommended for German-Russian ancestors. I’ll provide a better review after I’ve tested it out.
Andrée Peel. (2010, Mar 9). Retrieved from the Telegraph.
Childs, M. (2010, Apr 4). Andrée Peel: French Resistance fighter who helped Allied airmen evade capture in occupied Europe. Retrieved from the Independent.
Goldstein, R. (2010, Mar 13). Andrée Peel, Rescuer of Allied Airmen, Dies at 105. Retrieved from the New York Times.
Nichol, J. and T. Rennel. (2007, Mar 16). Escape or die: the untold WWII story. Retrieved from the Daily Mail Online.
Opar, B. Armed with a smile or a dagger: Women in the French Resistance. (2012, Apr 13). Retrieved from Syracuse University.
Special Operations Executive. (2017, Apr 20) Retrieved from Wikipedia.
Maps, dates, and according to the home page, some 25K+ pages of resources, all very well organized.
OTHER INTERESTING SITES
A private site of information concerning European escape lines in WWII. Documents the various escape lines in detail; and lists the names, ranks, and outcomes (if known) of the escapers. Start here if you are researching this topic. A special thanks to Keith, who sent, unasked, records recommending an award for Andrée Virot.