This Findmypast Friday marks the release of over 1.3 million records. This week’s new additions include fascinating Australian prison and government records from the state of New South Wales, an Index of will beneficiaries from the English county of Essex, First World War records covering the district of Craven in Yorkshire and over 5.3 million new British Newspaper articles.

 Australian Records

Containing over 29,000 records, the New South Wales Goal Photographic Books 1871-1969 consist of entries of prisoners from 14 different gaols around the state. The records are particularly fascinating as they contain not only transcripts and scans of the original prisoner entry listings themselves, but also the mug shot photographs of individual inmates. The original series, held by the State Records Authority of New South Wales, was created as per the ‘Gaol Regulation’ which was proclaimed in the New South Wales Government Gazette on 19 February 1867. This required that description books be maintained to keep track of incoming and outgoing prisoners.

The photographic description books contain fascinating details about not only the prisoners’ physical appearance, offences, sentences and incarceration, but also biographical information such as their name, date of birth, country of origin and occupation. The records may also include the name of the ship on which the prisoner arrived if they were not born in Australia. Each record includes a transcript and image.

The New South Wales Government Gazette Indexes 1832-1863 consist of over 1.2 million transcripts containing rich details of life in Australia’s most populous state. Government gazettes were published by the government as a means of communication to officials and the general public. The gazette was usually published weekly, although there were sometimes special issues, and covered a broad spectrum of community matters concerning tens of thousands of ordinary people every year. The information recorded was of an administrative and bureaucratic nature and can reveal details of your ancestor’s property, occupation, transactions and other useful biographical information. Each record includes a transcript of the original document.

 UK records

 Containing over 156,000 records, the Essex Wills Beneficiaries Index 1505-1916 was compiled over a 15 year period by researcher Thora Broughton. The index records all people mentioned in a will, with the exception of witnesses and those with the same name as the testator - therefore not only beneficiaries and relatives appear but also executors, trustees, occupiers of property and adjacent landowners and so on. Each record contains a transcript and an image of the index

Containing over 4,000 records, Craven's Part in the Great War 1914-1919, was presented to each member of His Majesty's forces who joined up from the Skipton Parliamentary division of Craven in North Yorkshire, or to their next of kin. It was designed to serve as a memento of the part that Craven had played in the Great War and is effectively a Roll of Honour. The memorial itself is divided into two main sections. The first section is a nominal roll containing names, ranks and regiments. The second is the Roll of Honour which includes more detail, including photographs, supplied by the families of the deceased. Each record includes a transcript as well as an image of the original document.

Over 5.3 million articles and 15 new titles have recently been added to our collection of historic British newspapers. The collection now stands at over 124 million articles from across England, Scotland and Wales and covers 245 years of British history from 1710-1955. New to the collection is the national title, The Daily Telegraph from 1871. There’s also new additions from other cities and towns around the country including Nottingham, Fife, Yorkshire and London. Substantial additions have also been made to existing titles, including the Fife Herald and the Derbyshire Courier.

Remember to check our dedicated Findmypast Fridays page every week to keep up to date with the latest new additions.