28 June 2013

Upfront Mini Bytes -- NYC, Newspapers, Photos, SF, Federal Land Patents, Native Americans, and more

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Hart Island is NYC’s Public Burial Ground and the Department of Correction has created a database of Hart Island Burial Records. You can search on name, age, date of death, place of death (e.g., which hospital), etc.
Though we always hope that our Revolutionary War soldier filed a pension or had a nice and detailed service record, unfortunately, that just isn’t always the case.  Tom Kemp recently posted on the GenealogyBank.com blog about using newspapers, etc., as a way of Piecing Together the Clues about a Revolutionary War Soldier.

Photos, photos, photos – they do speak volumes!  We get so used to seeing landmarks fully completed as they have been in our lifetime.  And yet, they were once under construction.  Check out Photos of Famous Landmarks While They Were Still Under Construction to see some neat photos.  Maybe your ancestors worked on these projects?

Do you live in San Francisco (CA) or did your ancestors?  There is a website called History of SF Place Names that is fun to explore.  You can search on a street name or you can browse the  map and click on a highlighted street or landmark and a window will pop up with some details. Click on “read more” and you will be taken to a relevant Wikipedia page.

Digital Preservation isn’t just for libraries and archives.  We also generate and collect a lot of digital content in the course of our genealogy research.  Learn about Fifty Digital Preservation Activities You Can Do as published on the Library of Congress’s blog The Signal: Digital Preservation.

If your ancestor obtained land through a Federal Land Patent, it can be fun and frustrating to correlate that land description (meridian, township, and range) to determine exactly where that land would be on a modern map.  On her blog Roots, Branches, and a Few Nuts, Beverly McGowan Norman has posted Finding the Old Homestead where she takes you step-by-step through the process of using your ancestor’s original land patent to eventually plotting it on Google Earth.

Did you know that Native Americans served in the War of 1812? Apparently in upper New York, the Oneida and Seneca had tribal members who participated.  Read Native Americans in the War of 1812, which is posted on the Preserve the Pensions (a project to enable the digitization of the War of 1812 Pensions) blog. Read more about Oneida involvement here or watch this video (War of 1812 – Oneida’s Part). [note to self: image source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oneida_people]

It used to be that if your family was involved in a “trade,” frequently several generations of ancestors were employed in that same trade (basket making was big in my Lancashire family in the 19th and early 20th centuries).  Nowadays that is not the case.  In fact, research shows that many children deliberately choose a different trade. Read Following the family’s trade now the exception on scotsman.com to learn more about this change.  Obviously, some of the change is due to job obsolescense. How might this impact future genealogists?

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