16 May 2014

Upfront Mini Bytes – Paper Dolls, Royal Navy, Perth Australia, Colorado Springs, Mug Shots, European History Primary Sources, Venice Italy, WWI 3D Photographs, US Census Enumerator Instructions

Welcome to our newest edition of our periodic 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].


Girls of a certain age (and that does include my college-age daughter) remember playing with paper dolls.  I do believe that they still exist though not as the centerpiece of our lives they once were.  I remember spending many hours with paper dolls, although I was always frustrated when I couldn’t get the tabs to fold just right! Reading the article From Little Fanny to Fluffy Ruffles: The Scrappy History of Paper Dolls brought back these memories and also gave me some context into their popularity and history.  Might my ancestors have also played with paper dolls? Speaking of paper dolls, I just stumbled across Heritage Paper Dolls -- free paper doll fashion pages for the Clara paper doll. The clothing is based on beautiful vintage fashions. 

Did your ancestors serve in the Royal Navy and receive a pension?  Did they or their widow die between 1830 and 1860?  Did someone apply to receive unpaid wages or pensions?  If this is possible for an ancestor of yours, check out Next of kin claims for unpaid Royal Navy pensions 1830-1860.

Researching ancestors in Perth, Western Australia?  If so, check out this extensive resource list posted by James Tanner (Genealogy’s Star)

Colorado Springs (CO) has a neat index to articles called the Pikes Peak NewsFinder. Currently, citations to local news articles and obituaries from the Colorado Springs Gazette and other local newspapers, and citations to the Colorado Springs Death Registers for 1/6/1872-5/11/2014 are included.

Mug Shots.  Were any of your ancestors imprisoned or wanted?  If so, they may have had their mug shot taken and such would be an invaluable addition to your collection and also possibly tell you where a hidden ancestor disappeared to.  Check out these collections: Doing Hard Time: Historic Nebraska Mug Shots, Vintage Mugshots from the 1920s, and Child mugshots of the 1800s were like a depressing episode of The Little Rascals. Google on historic + mug + shots for additional collections.

If I haven’t mentioned this resource before, check out the European History Primary Sources and its news archive.  I get a periodic feed of new additions and if you are doing European research you’ll want to see what is available.  For example, through this I learned about the Archivio di Stato di Venezia, which contains documents that were produced by the Venetian government until the 20th century.  When you visit the site, you can use Google Translate or similar to convert the native language website into English (or another language).

Previously used photographic techniques are always interesting.  They give us glimpses into both the technology and the subject photographed.  Check out Rare 3D Camera Found Containing Photos from WWI for your today’s visual fix!

Though no new census records will be released for several years, it’s never too early to prepare for the release of the 1950 census or make sure we fully understand the records of the 1850-1940 censuses.  A great tool to help with this is the Enumerator Instructions page created by the Minnesota Population Center, University of Minnesota. I will be spending a bit of time with these to help me more fully understand not just what was asked but how it was asked.

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