Posted by Laura Gibson on May 28, 2020 in Collections

At Ancestry, we are constantly looking at how we can improve your experience with us and strive to bring you new and updated records, to help you continue your family history research journey.


We currently have more than 2 billion searchable records for the UK and in total, there are more than 24 billion records from over 80 countries. We work hard to try and ensure you have the right record sets and collections available to you, to help you bring your backstory to life and identify future areas of research.


We are often adding collections onto the site which will include new records sets that weren’t previously available on Ancestry. New collections are added to the site, by working closely with our archive partners from across the UK. One thing to note, Ancestry does not own the original versions of the records you see on-site, we work with archives to license their collection, create images of these records and then house a digital version of these records on Ancestry, for you to view.


Additionally, we regularly make updates to collections which were previously available in the card catalogue. Collections are updated regularly to ensure we are in keeping with privacy laws as well as looking for ways to improve the site experience for you. Here are a few reasons why we update collections:

  • An archive may receive newly accessioned records for an existing collection so we would digitise these and add them online
  • We continually work to improve the performance of a collection, either through adding previously unindexed fields or by reworking our existing indexes, enabling them to return better search results
  • We are always reviewing collections to see whether we can add records for additional years to older collections, keeping in line with privacy restrictions and make sure collections are as up to date as possible


If you want to know more about this process Content Acquisition Specialist, Kristian Lafferty, explains more about the privacy regulations around public records here.

Take a look at the Recently Added and Updated Collections , this will be the best place to stay up to date with the latest record releases and updates. Most recently, we have updated the Midlands, England, Electoral Registers, 1832-1965 and also launched the London, England, Newgate Calendar of Prisoners, 1785-1853.


Midlands, England, Electoral Registers, 1832-1965

We have recently updated this collection which contains voters’ lists—including electoral registers, burgess rolls, poll books, and absent voters lists—for Birmingham and some of north Warwickshire. This collection now includes records for 1955-1965.

The lists will typically provide a name, address, and year, and some may include additional details. For example, poll books may list candidates, occupation, and who a person voted for. Both poll books and burgess rolls may record property that made a person eligible to vote. As noted above, absent voter lists can record service details for military personnel.


London, England, Newgate Calendar of Prisoners, 1785-1853

The London, England, Newgate Calendar of Prisoners, 1785-1853 recently launched on Ancestry which is a collection containing prisoner calendars. These consist of lists of prisoners tried at Assizes and Quarter Sessions.

Newgate Prison stood at the corner of Newgate Street in the City Of London and housed prisoners for over 700 years until it was closed for good in 1902 and later demolished in 1904. It was originally opened in 1188 under the reign of Henry II to incarcerate individuals accused of crime whilst awaiting their verdict and potential sentence.