29 August 2014

Upfront Mini Bytes – North Dakota, Scottish, WWI Prisoners, TN Bible Records, Mormons, California Newspapers, Marine Casualties, and Savannah GA

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].


The North Dakota State Historical Society has unveiled Digital Horizons, “an online treasure house of thousands of images, documents, video, and oral histories depicting life on the Northern Plains from the late 1800s to today.”

“... Maxwell Ancestry, [is] pleased to bring you this new website [Scottish Indexes] bringing you even more indexes to help you trace your Scottish family tree online. We now have a large collection of indexes, from unique sources such as prison and court records to more commonly used sources such as birth, marriage, death and census records. While currently many of our records are from the south of Scotland, we have Quaker records and mental health records covering all of Scotland.” Transcriptions (full or partial) are provided for found entries.  For some records, you can pay a fee to access more details (e.g. the full entry). (see editor’s note)
Prisoners of the First World War, the ICRC archives is a great collection which encompasses 1914-1918 and the 10 million people, serviceman and civilians who were captured and sent to detention camps.  Do look at the tab “Examples of Index Cards” to fully understand the information provided and how you might access additional information.

Tennessee Family Bible Records collection is now online. “Before the 20th century, Tennessee and many other states did not keep comprehensive records of births, marriages, and deaths. Families recorded their own vital records in family Bibles that were passed down through generations ... The Bible records featured here were taken from photocopies in TSLA’s vertical files; additional records will be added as they are donated or discovered in manuscripts collections. The bulk of the records in this collection date between the late 18th and early 20th century.“

If you have Mormon ancestors, some of the more than 60,000 who traveled overland to the Salt Lake Valley 1847-1868 in one of the more than 300 companies which departed from various places, check out Mormon Pioneer Overland Travel. If you have a family tree set up at FamilySearch, you can go to this website, Sacrifice, Faith, and Miracles, and it will attempt to match individuals in your tree to the mentioned database.

The California Digital Newspaper Collection contains almost 73,000 issues comprising over 600,000 pages and almost 7 million articles for California newspapers from 1845 to the present.

If a family member served in the marines and was a casualty (wounded, missing, killed, or deemed a prisoner of war) during World War II, Korea, Vietnam and the interwar periods, there might be a casualty card found via the Casualty Card Databases. [NOTE: I did get a security certificate warning though I proceeded ahead with no issues.  Use your own judgment about whether to access or not.]

Research into the records of Savannah (Georgia) has just gotten easier!  Via a partnership with Ancestry.com, the following records are now available to researchers online through Ancestry.com:
  • Savannah, Georgia, Vital Records, 1803-1966
  • Savannah, Georgia, Cemetery and Burial Records, 1852-1939
  • Savannah, Georgia, Cemetery Burial Lot Cards, 1807-1995*
  • Savannah, Georgia, Court Records, 1790-1934
  • Savannah, Georgia, Land Tax & Property Records, 1896-1938
  • Savannah, Georgia, Naturalization Records, 1790-1910
  • Savannah, Georgia, Records of Titles, 1791-1971
  • Savannah, Georgia, Registers of Free Persons of Color, 1817-1864*
  • Savannah, Georgia, Voter Records, 1901-1917
  • Savannah, Georgia, City Council Minutes, 1790-1900*

Editor’s Note: I have one lone Scottish family in my tree and so I’m always looking for information for Newton Stewart (Penningham Parish).  The surname was Nelson/Neilson with the common forenames of Mary, John, George, etc.  My ancestors were also non-conformists meaning that they were not members of the Church of Scotland (Presbyterian).  It took me years and finding a helpful archivist in Scotland to find some of the baptisms of the children listed in the records of the Newton Stewart Relief Church.  Well, these same baptisms are included in the Births/Baptisms collection on this website.

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