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World War I wasn't just about trench warfare in the Somme and Ypres. While the front lines clashed in France and Belgium, an equally important conflict was being fought at sea. Our new collection honours those who lost their lives in this conflict.
Royal Navy and Royal Marine War Graves Roll, 1914-1919, is the largest collection of British WWI naval casualties available anywhere online. It details over 40,000 sailors from the Royal Navy and Royal Marines who died all over the world.
Find a naval ancestor here, and you'll discover their rank, service number, the name of their ship, date and cause of death, and where they were buried. You may even find a next-of-kin – providing a vital clue for further research. The records include both officers and ratings.
You can use the records to follow the marine services' fate through the War. Their biggest blow came at the Battle of Jutland, off Denmark, when HMS Queen Mary was sunk, taking more than 1,200 souls to the sea bed with her.
HMS Invincible, Good Hope, Defence and many other ships also sank in WWI, causing thousands more deaths. However major sea battles were rare and in many smaller encounters only one or two sailors were killed.
Often they gave their lives protecting cargo vessels from the new threat at sea – U-boats, used in an attempt to blockade Britain. The Navy responded with heavily armed, steel-hulled battleships, cruisers and minesweepers, providing security for transatlantic convoys.
Royal Navy and Royal Marine War Graves Roll, 1914-1919, is available to Premium and Worldwide members. Upgrade now to start finding your naval ancestors
Ireland is famed for its history and tradition. If you have connections to this remarkable land, you'll often find that it provides some of the most fascinating chapters in your family's tale.
There's a myth that it's near-impossible to trace your Irish roots back any distance. It's true that there are differences to research around the rest of the UK – thanks largely to the mass destruction of Irish 19th century censuses. However, there are resources you can use to work around such problems – and our new records are great examples.
Griffith's Valuation, 1848-1864, includes over two million records of people who owned or rented land throughout Ireland. Its key use is that it tells you where your forebears were living, but it also reveals the size and value of your relatives' property, so you can work out how wealthy they were.
The Tithe Applotment Books, 1823-1837, form a similar collection from an earlier period. They're the result of a Church tax, as each home was surveyed to work out how much its occupier should pay. The records again provide names, places, amounts of land and amounts of money involved.
Our other two new collections provide some fascinating background, and help to bring your ancestors' experiences to life. The Lawrence Collection of Photographs, 1870-1910, is a compilation of 40,000 historical images from across the length and breadth of Ireland. Meanwhile, our Ordnance Survey Maps, 1824-1846, provide over 19,000 detailed six-inch-to-the-mile maps of almost the whole country.
To make your search even more rewarding, we've connected three of these collections together. Find your ancestors in Griffith's Valuation, then link to detailed maps of their land in Ordnance Survey Maps and actual photographs from their county or town in the Lawrence Collection.
Find out more about our new Irish records
In last month's Updated, we introduced our new Family Tree Viewer and explained some of the handy new features we've added to it. So, let's now take a look at each individual in your tree, and how you can add some colour to your picture of their lives.
As you find out more about each ancestor, you can save this information to their Profile screen. To go to someone's profile, roll over their entry on the tree itself and click on 'View profile'.
Find more records
You can search for more records about a person quickly and easily from their Profile screen. Simply click 'Search records', just below their picture box, and we'll use the information you've already found about them to look for other historical documents.
When you've found a record that relates to someone on your tree, you can save it to their Timeline, a key part of their Profile screen. For instance, if you find someone on a census, view the record image and click 'Save' on the top right, then choose 'Attach this record'. If the census reveals new family members, you can automatically save these to your tree.
If you're lucky enough to own photos of your ancestors, you can add these to their profiles. You'll need to scan them into your computer, then choose 'Upload photos' on the Profile screen. Similarly, you can add audio and video clips, and even stories from your ancestors' lives.
The Profile screen is also the place to make contact with living relatives. Choose any person in your tree and click on 'Member Connect' to see other Ancestry.co.uk members who are researching that same person. You can then see their tree, and even send them a message.
To see how a person in your tree relates to you, click the 'View relationship to me' option at the top of their Profile. Or, to make them the 'root' person of the family tree, select 'View his/her family tree'.
You can get more help with building your family tree in our new Help & Advice Centre.
Start a new family tree now
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Welcome to our Ask the experts section. This is where we answer your questions on all things genealogical, so if you have any pressing queries, send us your questions now*.
Thank you for all your questions so far. If your question doesn't appear here, you can email our Member Services team at firstname.lastname@example.org and they'll help you with your research.
This month's questions are answered by professional genealogist Chris Paton.
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