14 November 2014

Upfront Mini Bytes -- Limerick Ireland Directories, Court Cases, Arabic, Civil War Graves, UK Red Cross (WWI), USGS, Philadelphia, Minnesota

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].


Limerick (Ireland) Trade directories, 1769-1976 now available.  You can search by trade, directory, time period, surname, address etc. I have one known collateral ancestor, John Walker Nelson, who lived in Limerick working as a Watch Maker for a few years before marrying and moving.  He is listed in the 1877-1884 directories on Westland Street.

Searching for someone who might have been involved in a court case, 1881-1980 in Seattle, King County, Washington?  If so, consider submitting a query to the Seattle Genealogical Society (SGS – free for members and a fee for nonmembers) for a search in the King County Court Cases Index, 1881-1980.  Cases pertaining to Divorces, probate, name changes, guardianship, bankruptcies, commitments and more.

New York University has introduced Arabic Collections Online. This mass digitization project aims to expose up to 15,000 volumes from NYU and partner institutions over a period of five years.  The landing page is in English on the left and Arabic on the right.  I suspect that many of the titles won’t be helpful to genealogists directly and possibly indirectly?!?!

Looking for the final resting place for a Civil War Veteran? Check out the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War Grave Database.  The database includes both Union and Confederate soldiers and tells from what state they served in, what branch of service, and where the cemetery is located.  When you click on an individuals name, a detailed information card comes up which will give death date, possibly birth date, may have information on cause and location of death and information on the cemetery.

Over 90,000 people volunteered for the British Red Cross during WWI.  Did one of your family members volunteer?  Names are being added in alphabetical order so if you don’t see a surname of interest, it may mean that the project hasn’t yet gotten to that letter of the alphabet.

Christ Church in Philadelphia has Vestry minutes (1717-1815), baptisms, marriages and burials (1709-1900+) and pew rent registers (1778-1785) now searchable via an on-line database.

The United States Geological Survey (USGS) launched a Historical Topographic Map Explorer, allowing one to easily pore through the agency's expansive collection of more than 178,000 of the USGS's maps dating back to 1884.  When you enter a city, you then click on the map and a timeline of available historical maps is revealed.  Select a map and you can then see if overlaid on the original map (you can adjust the transparency) and even download the map.  Very cool!

Official Minnesota documents, from the Office of the Secretary of State, covering 1900-1990 are now digitized and online. “Older, print-only official documents from the early 1900s to 1990, along with index cards used to retrieve them, have been secure in cabinets and boxes at the Office, but now they are available to anyone online.”

Editor's Note: 15 Nov 2014, Corrected date range for King County Court Cases Index item.

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