29 March 2013

Upfront Mini Bytes

Upfront Mini Bytes

Welcome to the fifth edition of our bi-weekly feature Upfront Mini Bytes.  In Upfront Mini Bytes we will provide eight tasty bits of genealogy news that will help give you a deeper byte into your family history research. Each item is short and sweet.  We encourage you to check out the links to articles, blog posts, resources, and anything genealogical!

We hope you found the first edition, second edition, third edition and fourth edition helpful.

Do you have questions, suggestions for future posts, or comments?  Please post a comment or send an e-mail to [email protected].


As we go forward, words and phrases, which were previously common, become obsolete.  Such will be the case with the term Negro. Starting next year (2014) the U.S. Census Bureau Drops 'Negro' From Surveys. Are there other ethnic terms once used in Federal records that are no longer found?

Back in the day I used to collect stamps.  Though my stamp collection has long been donated to a philatelic society, I still love to look at stamps.  I found them such a fascinating glimpse into the countries around the world.  How detailed and intricate some were, how pretty others were, and how some honored historical figures while others honored the head of state.  And, deciphering the language and correlating how a country called itself on a stamp to what it was in English took me around the world many times. I was reminded of this past hobby when I read Online archive for Egyptian stamps is launched. Remember that stamps, post office, post marks, handwriting, addresses, and much more as connected to a simple piece of mail can tell you a lot about the parties involved!

Chinese genealogical research can be challenging.  With such different language, customs, and heritage, it can be slow going.  Check out Lisa Louise Cooke’s Genealogy Gems -- Family Tree Relationships – It’s Complicated (Chinese Genealogy) for some neat tips on researching Chinese ancestry. Do check out the video that accompanies the article.

Having tracked a few lines on my husband’s side through Wales, I was quite excited to hear, via British GENES, Welsh Newspapers Online up and running. The website, from the National Library of Wales, is at http://welshnewspapers.llgc.org.uk/en/ and is free to access with articles available to search from 1844-1910. I guess I have no excuse not to revisit those Welsh ancestors!

Over the last few years we have family history themed programming, such as Who Do You Think You Are? (WDYTYA), Finding Your Roots, Faces of America, and much more.  Well, this phenomenon is not limited to the UK (original source for WDYTYA) and the US.  A Swedish Reality Show will soon be starting its third year. “Allt For Sverige flies 10 Americans to Sweden for a six-week excursion that traces the contestants’ Swedish heritage.” Read more about a recent winner and the show in MN Woman Discovers Heritage in Swedish Reality Show. Upfront with NGS recently posted about Arkdigital, a subscription service for Swedish Records.

Just because a website operates a subscription service doesn’t mean that there is not free content available – articles on research topics, select databases, etc.  Here are some subscription genealogy and family history research sites that offer FREE content: ProGenealogists, Archives.com, American Ancestors (NEHGS), and Fold3 (look for word FREE), just to name a few.  Additionally, many of the subscription services will offer FREE access to select databases as certain historical events are celebrated.  Join their mailing lists and receive news of such offerings.

Are you celebrating the War of 1812?  Are you on Facebook (FB)?  If so, check out this page: Preserving War of 1812 Pensions. The focus is not just on preserving the War of 1812 pensions.  You will find information on all kinds of upcoming events and newly published media (video, books, etc) regarding this conflict.

More newspaper news!  ProQuest to Distribute NewspaperARCHIVE to Libraries Worldwide.  This is an excellent newspaper database.  You can have limited free access via the site – 10 views a day.  Or, a subscription to Godfrey includes full access to NewspaperARCHIVE, 19th Century Newspapers, and other databases.  And, having access via your local library would be the cat’s meow.  Hopefully some other newspaper content distributors who limit their collections to universities and colleges will expand the availability of their digitized newspaper collections.  A genealogist can only hope!

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