12 April 2013

Upfront Mini Bytes

Upfront Mini Bytes

Welcome to the sixth 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 past editions helpful:

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


source: http://public.health.oregon.gov/BirthDeathCertificates/GetVitalRecords/PublishingImages/images/fs-cert-face.jpg
Doing research for ancestors from Oregon?  If so, be aware that the legislature is looking to making vital records access rules even more stringent.  Both Dick Eastman and The Legal Genealogist have written on this topic. Additionally, there continue to be efforts to limit access to the Master Death File, White House to propose restrictions on Master Death File to fight tax fraud.

Newry ME and nearby communities are fortunate to have a citizen like Mark Vale. A recent article in The Bethel Citizen, Family genealogy turns into town history project, talks about an incredible one-man project of abstracted records. If you are doing research in this area, do check out this database of over 30,000 names!

Most of the ancestors that we research will ultimately be remembered as names in documents.  Many of us won’t ever find images of our 19th century ancestors, never mind those deeper in our tree.  With the prevalence of affordable cameras,  video cameras, and now digital technology, we are in a position to leave more image-laden records for our descendants to enjoy.  The New York Times discusses this in the article, Hey, at Least You Can Be Virtually Immortal.

New databases are always fun.  A recently found one is the Union Civil War Surgeons Database.  Genealogy Decoded posted an article about this database which you can access at the Indiana University School of Medicine website.

You think our handwriting can be difficult to read? I sometimes wonder what the requirements were to be a court clerk.  I have seen some of the worst handwriting in court records.  Probably the only things harder to read are petitions where the signatures are all original (great) and yet almost illegible (not so great).  Do you struggle with deciphering hand-written documents? The UK Archives has Palaeography: reading old handwriting 1500 – 1800, A practical online tutorial.
image source: GollyGForce Photostream, http://www.flickr.com/photos/see-through-the-eye-of-g/5827220004/sizes/l/in/photostream/used under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license, http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Are you researching ancestors from Northern Ireland?  If so, Valuation Revision Books (VAL/12/B) covering counties Antrim, Armagh, Down, Fermanagh, Londonderry, and Tyrone between the years 1864 to 1933 are now online at the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI).

image as used with the referenced original article
We often talk about social media and the power it has to connect us to distant cousins and also as a platform to share the information we have and find.  Recently an aunt and her adopted niece connected via Facebook, Facebook post leads to family discovery [Editor’s note: the video which originally accompanied the article seems to no longer be available though the article still is]

Church records are invaluable!  The newest addition to the Archives.com website is Millions of Lutheran Church Records from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America Archives.

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  1. I'm not sure if you're aware of this, but your blog is now showing up as a partial feed on RSS feeders. That means that anyone who subscribes to your blog (i.e. your most loyal and engaged readers) can't read the full blog post without clicking through. Many of us read on mobile devices, where clicking through isn't a good option. That's one of many reasons partial feeds are so unpopular (google "hate partial RSS feeds" for more information).

    This is going to become especially problematic when Google Reader goes away in a few months. The replacement readers out there don't necessarily allow you to click through without issues, so you have to launch a separate browser to do so. As a practical matter, most readers (especially technically challenged ones) won't go through that multi-step process to read your blog post.

    I urge you to consider returning to a full feed, so that we can read and enjoy your posts. They're always interesting and informative, and I don't want to miss them.

  2. Thank you for bringing this to our attention; we have heard from a few people posting to various blogs and through direct e-mail. We had issues with feedburner as we used it previously in that though it gave full articles, you didn't know if there was more than one article and many were missing the second one.

    I think we need to revisit the parameters and see if we can do both full articles + have a way to indicate more than one article.

    I will pass your comments to the IT person and we'll see what we can do about this. Definitely don't want to lose any readers and we definitely aren't trying to make it "hard" for the readers we do have to follow the blog!

    Appreciate your taking the time to "explain" the issue with clicking and readers -- we weren't aware of that.