This week’s Findmypast Fridays marks the release of 4.5 million British Army records, over a quarter of a million Irish newspaper articles and thousands of British inheritance and Court of Chancery records.

British Army Records

The World War One British Army Medal Index Cards collection comprises 4.5 million records. Created and kept by the Army Medal Office in Droitwich, the cards were designed to keep an accurate record of the many medal entitlements earned by soldiers during the war. Although the majority of the cards contain the details of British soldiers, the records do contain a number of commonwealth soldiers, as well as those who took part in operations on the North West Frontier in 1919.

Irish Newspapers

Over a quarter of a million newspaper articles and nine fascinating new titles have just been added to our collection of historic Irish newspapers. The new titles that can now be found in the collection include The Drogheda Journal/Meath & Louth Advertiser, Dublin Monitor, The Galway Vindicator & Connaught Advertiser, Limerick Reporter & Tipperary Vindicator, The Newry Examiner and Louth Reporter, Northern Whig, Pue’s Occurrences, Sligo Champion and The Waterford Chronicle. These new additions are packed with fascinating insights into life in historic Ireland and cover all of the four of Ireland’s provinces.

Inheritance and Chancery Records

The Inheritance Disputes Index 1574-1714 contains over 77,000 records detailing over 26,000 law suits at the English Court of Chancery. The disputes heard by the court typically involved several members of the same family so are of particular value to family historians. The index covers the wills, bequests, grants of administration, descent of property, identity claims and other testamentary disputes tried in the Chancery Court in London.  Many of these suits arose because the ecclesiastical courts, where wills were normally proved and grants of administration were made, had no jurisdiction over bequests of freehold property.

 The Charles I Court of Chancery Index 1625-1649 is an index to all 81,163 Chancery Cases heard during the reign of Charles I. The Court of Chancery was a court of equity established to bypass England’s common law courts which had become increasingly rigid and inflexible, bogged down by countless highly technical and artificial rules. It had jurisdiction over all matters of equity, such as land ownership, trusts, the administration of the estates of lunatics and the guardianship of infants. These fascinating records are unique to Findmypast and can provide extraordinary insights into Britain’s family and business links with the nation’s colonial empire. Perhaps more so than any other English records, Chancery documents can reveal personal, business and family relationships and are a particularly important source of information for descendants of early migrants to North America.

 

To read more about all of this week’s records, head to our dedicated Findmypast Fridays page.