13 September 2013

Upfront Mini Bytes – Gesher Galicia, Boer War, WWI Soldier Wills, Digital Preservation, Hathi Trust, Maps, Scottish Records, Brooklyn ...

Welcome to our newest edition of our bi-weekly feature Upfront Mini Bytes.  In Upfront Mini Bytes we 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.  Use your favorite search engine with “Upfront with NGS” “Mini Bytes” or use this Google search link.

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


Images are always precious, and images of those going off to war are more so.  Portraits of Queensland soldiers who fought in the South African War (1899-1902), known as the Boer War, were published in the weekly newspaper The Queenslander, often just prior to their departure for South Africa. An index of just under 3,000 soldiers is now searchable through One Search, the library catalogue  and links directly through to the digitized page of the newspaper on which the portrait appears.
Speaking of War, [UK], read about World War I soldier wills digitised for online archive.  As with many digitized collections, this one is a bit bittersweet – the last written words of soldiers who died in WWI.

Gesher Galicia has a wonderful project, The Cadastral Map and Landowner Records Project. Cadastral land records and property maps are an excellent source of family history information with endless possibilities for researchers. The combination of maps and records provides exact locations in a shtetl where each family lived and can tell the story of who the neighbors were.  Anyone with Galician ancestors (which includes this author) needs to check out this project.

I love this concept: Digital Preservation in a Box. It is a product of the National Digital Stewardship Alliance’s Outreach Working Group and is designed as a toolkit to support outreach activities that introduce the basic concepts of preserving digital information. As genealogists and family historians, we know how important digital preservation is for future generations.

The Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) just keeps growing. 1.7 million titles from HathiTrust now live on DPLA homepage. This is roughly half of the almost 3.5 million of HathiTrust’s freely available books, journals, government documents, and more, which are now accessible on dp.la and through the DPLA application programming interface (API).

To be able to share something about maps and a tool created in my home state of NC is an opportunity not to be missed.  UNC Develops Online Tool For Mapping History. This easy-to-use website-building tool puts previously complex digital programming into the hands of historians and researchers. The new tool, called the Digital Humanities Toolkit or DH Press, provides a way for historians, researchers, teachers and others to create interactive websites, virtual tours, data maps, and multimedia archives with a WordPress platform.

Have Scottish Ancestors?  What to be involved in a crowdsourcing project? If you answered yes, check out Transcribe ScotlandsPlaces. Thousands of volunteers are being sought to help transcribe information in more than 150,000 pages of historic archives dating from 1645 to 1880. There are more than 1 million records, written in Scots, English, and Gaelic, that cover land taxation; taxes clocks, watches, windows and farm horses; and Ordnance Survey “name books”, which formed the first official record of Scottish places and place names.

Brooklyn Genealogy Info Site Moves to a New Home.  Steve Morse is now hosting this wonderful site. Though I mostly do NC/VA and west to the Mississippi River research, it seems that many 20th century families, as they looked for work, had someone end up in Brooklyn.  I am frequently checking out this page in search of these elusive individuals.

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