Genealogy Blog

27 January 2015

More Union Writing Discovered at Brandy Station's Graffiti House in Virginia

A conservator working this week at the historic Graffiti House in Brandy Station has for the first time uncovered Civil War-era writing on the ground floor of the structure.

The newest uncovered writing appears to be from Union soldiers, apparently during the period the house was used as part of the headquarters of Union Gen. Henry Prince, said Foundation President Jim McKinney.

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Santa Monica College Student Newspaper Archives Now Available Digitally

Thousands of historic pages of the Santa Monica College newspaper, the Corsair, crumbling and fading with age, have now been safely preserved and converted into a more research-friendly digital format.

The Corsair digital collection – representing 14,000 pages of Corsair editions from 1929 through 2011 – is now a searchable database hosted by the California Digital Newspaper Collection (CDNC), a virtual newsstand of historic and current California newspapers.

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26 January 2015

Historic Collection of Documents To Remain in Lancashire County Archives, England

A historic collection of documents covering the period between 1199 and 1947 has been saved for Lancashire.

The Hulton Archive, of great significance both to the North-West and nationally, has been looked after by Lancashire County Council since 1943. It contains a major collection of medieval deeds and other material from the Middle Ages and documents which shed light on Lancashire as the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution.

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Genealogy: 2 Billion Individuals on Geneanet

We are happy to announce that we have reached the milestone of 2 billion indexed individuals on Geneanet!

It took almost 16 years to reach the milestone of one billion individuals, and only 2 years to index one billion more individuals.

This is a new step: Geneanet becomes more and more useful and efficient for your genealogy research.

That show our involvement in the free and collaborative genealogy: On Geneanet, you can create your family tree, search your ancestors and share with other members. The Premium Membership offers access to additional Geneanet services and options.

We thank all of our members worldwide. You are our strength!

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Are You Related to Ellen DeGeneres?

DeGeneres was born on January 26, 1958, in Metairie, Louisiana, the daughter of Elizabeth Jane "Betty" Pfeffer, a speech therapist, and Elliott Everett DeGeneres, an insurance agent. She has one brother, Vance, a musician and producer.

She is of French, English, German, and Irish descent. She was raised as a Christian Scientist until age 13. In 1973, her parents filed for separation and were divorced the following year.

Ellen DeGeneres' Family Tree

25 January 2015

First World War Officer's Time Capsule Found Tucked Away in Storage at School History Department

The immaculate uniform, trench maps and belongings of a First World War officer have been discovered in his 'time capsule' trunk nearly 100 years after they were last folded away.

The set of items includes the neatly folded uniform of Lieutenant Howard Hands, his officer's cap, belts, cigarette case, photographs, newspapers and even his bedpan. His own trench maps showing a network of secret tunnels and mine galleries that ran under enemy positions on the Western Front were also found in the stash.

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23 January 2015

In an Old Church, the Internet Archive Stores our Digital History

In San Francisco’s Richmond District, where Geary Boulevard meets Park Presidio, there stands a bright, white, defunct Christian Science church. There are big white columns out front, with pink steps leading up to iron double doors.

But, what goes on inside this church is not quite what you’d expect.

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A 16th Century View of North America in the Vallard Atlas

The prolific Dieppe school of Northern France produced some of the atlases with the most innovative and beautiful marginalia.

The Vallard Atlas, which was made in 1547 and ascribed to the Dieppe cartography school, has a clearly Portuguese flavour due to either its anonymous creator or the model that inspired it.

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22 January 2015

Genealogy Software Updates of the Week

Brother's Keeper 7.0.41 (Full Featured - Windows - Purchase)

• When you are making a Backup, there is a new option to only copy files that have changed since the last backup to the same location.
• When you are making a Backup, it will now remember your settings for Text, Picture, and Media files.
• On the report: Lists, List of Surnames, there is a new option to select Ancestors of a person.

GeneaNet for Android 2.14 (Mobile - Freeware)

• Pictures can now be added to your family tree.
• Added pictures gallery for each individual.
• Minor bug fixes.

iScrapbook 5.0.1 (Family Pictures - Mac - Purchase)

• Added 45+ all-new pre-designed templates with rich photo placeholders.
• Added 13 drag-and-drop vintage water stains.
• Added ability to convert text to outlines so the text is treated like any other shape.

MobileFamilyTree for iPhone and iPad 7.3.2 (Mobile - Purchase)

• Stability improvements using FamilySearch integration.
• Issue displaying the correct name format resolved.
• Further smaller bugs fixed.

15th-Century Irish Town Found Near Medieval Castle

The medieval Dunluce Castle, located on the craggy rocks of Northern Ireland's coast, is neighbors with a mysterious stone settlement, according to a recent excavation.

The castle dates back to the 15th century, and once housed the powerful MacQuillan family, which controlled a large amount of territory in Northern Ireland. On a recent dig, the Northern Ireland Environment Agency planned to uncover part of the lost 17th century town of Dunluce near the castle.

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DNA Tests Suggest Kennewick Man Was Native American

Nearly two decades after the ancient skeleton called Kennewick Man was discovered on the banks of the Columbia River, the mystery of his origins appears to be nearing resolution.

Genetic analysis is still under way in Denmark, but documents obtained through the federal Freedom of Information Act say preliminary results point to a Native-American heritage.

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20 January 2015

Magna Carta Through the Ages Exhibition To Take Place in London, England

The Society of Antiquaries of London will launch a historic exhibition to celebrate the 800th anniversary of the sealing of Magna Carta. It will bring together and display, for the first time, the Society’s three copies of the charter.

Magna Carta Through the Ages, which takes place from May 26th to July 31st, will explore the antiquarian interest in the charter through the centuries and the ways in which Magna Carta has continued to be relevant to successive generations.

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Inmates Volunteer for Family History Work, Indexing in Utah, Arizona and Idaho

Inside county jails across Utah, Arizona and Idaho, nearly 2,300 inmates voluntarily meet as family history indexing teams to help organize genealogical records around the world.

Using, the inmates view digital images of the genealogical records and enter the data into a document, which is then compiled into a searchable index and made available for public use, according to a news release.

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19 January 2015

Pennsylvania has a new archivist to go with a new archives building

The windowless concrete slab of a building looms more than 20 stories over downtown Harrisburg near the state Capitol complex.

The Pennsylvania State Archives building, used by scholars and the public, have more than 235 million pages of documents and manuscripts, 30,000 reels of microfilm containing images of county deeds, wills, mortgages and estate papers and more than 1 million special collection items such as photographs, negatives, maps, audio recordings and films.

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31 Rolls of Undeveloped Film from a Soldier in WWII Discovered and Processed

Photographer Levi Bettweiser is the man behind the Rescued Film Project, an effort to find and rescue old and undeveloped rolls of film from the far corners of the world.

He recently came across one of his biggest finds so far: 31 undeveloped rolls of film shot by a single soldier during World War II. Bettweiser tells us he found the film rolls in late 2014 at an auction in Ohio. About half the rolls were labeled with various location names (i.e. Boston Harbor, Lucky Strike Beach, LaHavre Harbor).

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