11 October 2013

Upfront Mini Bytes – WA & Adoptees, Newspapers, Irish Research, Linguistics, Civil War, Western Canada, Facebook and more

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].


We often talk about how family names morph through time.  Understanding the “how” or “why” some names might have changed through time, linguistically, might help us as we research our own families.  I was reminded of this when I read Linguistic Oddities in French Genealogy
Are you researching western Canadian ancestors? A neat resource is The Mountain Legacy Project.  Read more about the project in this Library and Archives Canada blog post, The Mountain Legacy Project: An Archive-Based Scientific Project.

Check out this 100-Year-Old Infographic Maps the Entire American Civil War. “And while its gloriously complex form has been preserved by the Library of Congress in great detail, instructions on exactly how to read it properly seem to have been lost to time.” Thanks to Thomas MacEntee (via Facebook) for sharing this.

If you are a fan of Facebook and use it as a genealogical research tool, check out 50 Genealogy Resources Found on Facebook. Though I am familiar with many of the listed resources, there were some new-to-me ones.

With more and more original birth records becoming available to adoptees, this announcement shares the other side of the coin: the right to privacy of the birth parents. Washington state birth parents who placed children for adoption before 1 October 1993 must notify the health department to retain anonymity. A new law that takes effect next July will open access to birth records. Read the full article.

Do you have a wee bit of Irish in you?  If so, check out Free Irish eBooks: Irish History, Biography, Genealogy (a neat and ever-growing collection with some really useful books, including a selection of Almanacs and Directories) and The Irish Motor Directory and Motor Annual 1911-1912 (lists the names and addresses of the registered owners of all vehicles from lorries and motor-ploughs to cars and charabancs), county by county, plus the six county boroughs of Belfast, Cork, Dublin, Limerick, Londonderry, and Waterford, in that year. Thanks to Irish Genealogy News.).

We love newspapers!  They are such a great source for personal and/or legal information about our ancestors.  It can sometimes be hard to figure out whether a newspaper existed when and where our ancestors lived and whether we can easily access its contents.  Check out NewspaperCat (University of Florida), “a tool that facilitates the discovery of online digitized historical newspaper content from newspapers published in the United States and the Caribbean.”

Identifying photos can be so frustrating and yet so important.  We’ve discovered another website, ID A Photo, and its corresponding Facebook page, which might just help you with those not-yet-identified family photographs.

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