Genealogy Blog

31 March 2009

WWII Mass Jewish Grave Discovered in Ukraine

Investigators discovered a mass grave for 200 Jews in a western Ukrainian city.

Rabbi Mendel Teichman, the chief rabbi for the city of Uzhhorod, on the country’s border with Slovakia, and the region, in recent weeks had come across an open area with no fence and no headstones in the local Jewish cemetery in recent weeks.

The rabbi then found decades-old historical documents stating that the grave site was the resting place for more than 200 Jews killed by the Nazis in World War II.

Before the war, Uzhhorod was part of Hungary and the city was known as Ungvar.

Source & Full Story

The National World War II Museum in New Orleans Seeks World War II Kitchen Memories

The National WWII Museum in New Orleans is encouraging members of the Greatest Generation to share kitchen memories as part of a national grassroots program called Kitchen Memories.

The Museum is seeking to gather a nation’s individual and collective memories of shopping, rationing, growing, cooking, serving, and eating during the war from those who experienced these things first hand. They are also encouraging people who did not experience the Home Front to gather stories from someone who did. Talk to your mother, grandmother, a relative or friend in your community who has food stories to share.

For helpful guidelines on recording your Kitchen Memories or those of a loved one, visit where you can also find information on submitting your oral history, photos and wartime recipes to The National World War II Museum’s archives.

Source & Full Story

How Much are Old Newspapers Worth? From the Civil War to JFK

By AuctionWally in

I get more email asking me about the value of old newspapers than any other type of email. What that should tell you, is that a lot of people have old newspapers.

Since the value of all collectibles is based in part on scarcity and demand, most newspapers are not worth a ton of money because they are not scarce.

Source & Full Story - Photo gallery with newspaper values

15th Annual Civil War Encampment – May 2, 2009, May 3, 2009

The Elmbrook Historical Society invites history lovers and Civil War buffs throughout the State of Wisconsin to their 15th Annual Spring Civil War Encampment, a two day Civil War era re-enactment that will be held on Saturday, May 2, 2009 and Sunday, May 3, 2009 from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm on the grounds of the historic Dousman Stagecoach Inn, 1075 Pilgrim Parkway in Brookfield, Wisconsin.

At the 15th Annual Civil War Encampment, visitors will have the opportunity to: Step back in time to the 1860’s...

• Relive the experiences of the soldiers dressed in Confederate and Union army uniforms who fought in the Civil War.
• See how they encamped and cooked.
• View them marching and preparing for battle.
• Observe a skirmish or two and an artillery demonstration.
• Hear their canons roar.
• And much more...

Source & Information

GeneaNet is Listed on the ProGenealogists 50 Most Popular Genealogy Web Sites!

ProGenealogists, Inc., the consortium of professional genealogists, has compiled the 2009 list of the 50 most popular genealogy web sites.

GeneaNet is number 42 and it is the only French genealogy web site to appear on the list!

The list uses a "places rated" approach to average the website traffic rankings from four major web analytics companies.

We would like to share this award with every one of you and we thank you so much for supporting GeneaNet!

War Medal for WWII Rescue Dog May Fetch $14,400 at Auction

Rip, a stray dog who became a World War II hero after being found homeless and starving in a bombing raid in London, will be remembered at an auction next month.

Rip was saved by an Air Raid Precaution (ARP) warden during the 1940 German attacks in the Poplar area. The terrier-cross became the local ARP post's mascot and soon started sniffing out casualties trapped under burning or bombed buildings.

He located more than 100 victims and won a Dickin Medal, the animal equivalent of the U.K. military's Victoria Cross for bravery. His circular bronze decoration will be offered by the specialist auction house and dealers Spink on April 23. The medal will fetch as much as 10,000 pounds ($14,400), Spink said in an e-mail last night. It would not name the seller.

Source & Full Story

30 March 2009

Spain: Two Holocaust Survivors Testify

Two Spanish Holocaust survivors testified Monday about their Nazi concentration camp ordeals as a judge began gathering evidence in a lawsuit urging the United States to extradite four alleged former death camp guards for genocide.

Judge Ismael Moreno of the National Court heard from Ramiro Santisteban and Jesus Tello, who were both at the Mauthausen camp, for about four hours, according to a court official and the human rights group that filed the lawsuit.

Source & Full Story

Man Locates Obscure Burial Grounds in Tennessee

John Waggoner Jr. is a cemetery hunter. He drives a Ford Explorer with two GPS instruments on board, and the vehicle's four-wheel drive comes in handy in the rain and snow.

A retired wholesale gas distributor, Waggoner lives in Carthage, Tenn. Ten years ago, he started locating old cemeteries around his home, often as a favor to the surviving family members. So far, he has found 630 obscure burial grounds in Smith County, most of them on farms, where families typically buried their dead prior to World War II.

Source & Full Story (with video and amazing photo gallery)

Pathway Genomics

Pathway Genomics is a new personal genomics company.

"Pathway Genomics hired some of the leading genetic genealogists in the world to design a custom analysis with the most precise and thorough genetic ancestry testing available. Our maternal and paternal tests are 10 times more precise in their definition of haplogroups than other services, with more than 1000 maternal andover 200 paternal haplogroups."

Get more information about their Ancestry Kit

Archaeologists Prepare to Excavate Brunswick Town/Fort Anderson

For the first time in 41 years archaeologists will undertake major excavations at Brunswick Town/Fort Anderson.

The public is invited to watch and ask questions about the work from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. April 7-9. The site is closed to the public on Mondays and Sundays.

Visitors to the state historic site in Winnabow already can see foundations of colonial homes and earthworks from the Civil War fort excavated by Stanley South in the 1950s and 60s.

From April 6 through 9, scientists will dig up and analyze a gun positioning site not yet excavated.

Source & Full Story

New Book Scanner From Atiz Featured at AIIMExpo 2009

Atiz Innovation, Inc., the leader in content digitization, will unveil its latest book scanning solution, BookDrive Pro, this week at the AIIMExpo and Conference in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Priced more competitively than other book scanners, BookDrive Pro is a powerful, cost-effective book digitization solution. By combining digital SLR cameras with a unique v-shaped book cradle, BookDrive Pro is gentle on books and eliminates curvature problems to produce high-resolution scans at up to 700 pages an hour. BookDrive Pro features a user-friendly, ergonomic design; automatic center positioning to ensure consistent borders and lessen manual intervention; a double security locking mechanism; distortion-eliminating even light distribution and standard auto capture to simplify the whole process.

Additionally, BookDrive Pro has the ability to scan oversized books -- up to A2, newspaper size -- and heavy, cumbersome items such as deed registries.


Delivery Firm Eagle Couriers Swoops on Britain's National Archive Deal

Delivery firm Eagle Couriers has scooped a six-figure contract to transport books and documents making up Britain's national archive. The company, which has bases in Glasgow and Edinburgh, is to deliver "Legal Deposit" materials between the five national libraries across the UK and Ireland.

Last month the central repository of the Agency for the Legal Deposit Libraries, which ensures that a copy of everything published is kept in one of the national libraries, was relocated to Edinburgh from London.


The Irish Times 150th Anniversary Marked

To celebrate The Irish Times 150th anniversary, the newpaper’s digital archive, which contains exact reproductions of all articles published by The Irish Times from 1859 onwards, is available free at until April 5th.

The Master Genealogist 7: Error Generating Reports

Full Featured - Windows - Purchase

Some users have reported encountering an error with The Master Genealogist 7 when generating a report to a word processor format. The error that was generated was: "Could not create or open CONV_LOG.TXT on scratch drive." or "Cannot find c:\Program Files\The Master Genealogist 7\Wordproc\wpt.sp1" or something similar.

Phil in Technical Support has been working with Jim Byram and a number of other users and has identified the cause of such errors. It seems that external programs will sometimes modify a critical entry in the Windows Registry upon which TMG relies. Users who have encountered this message are encouraged to write to for help in resolving this problem.

Note that this error is not connected to the known problem generating reports under the 64-bit version of the Vista operating system.

GeneaNet: Search Tools and Features

More than 250 million entries are indexed in the GeneaNet database!

Many search tools and features are available to help you find your ancestors quickly and easily: advanced, by first name, by spouses, by alternate spelling, cross-database search, etc.

Some of the features discussed below are only available for GeneaNet Club Privilege members. They are shown with the following icon:

Quick Search

This basic tool let you search in the database by name and place.

Advanced Search

This search tool let you narrow your search results to those found only in a particular place and in a range of years. You can limit the search to the family trees that contains a selected number of occurences of the surname and exclude some family trees by entering the username of their owner.

Search by Alternate Spelling

Changes and variations in surname spellings are of utmost importance to genealogists, as it is likely that many records are missed when only one form of the family surname is considered.

Looking for records under these alternative surnames and spellings may help you to find records you have previously overlooked, and even lead you to new stories for your family tree.

See "GeneaNet: Search By Alternate Spelling" for more.

Search by First Name

This search tool offers many options to narrow your search: sex, date and place of birth, ignore entries with no date of birth, date and place of death, ignore entries with no date of death.

Search by Spouses

This search tool let you search for any combination of first and last names for the spouses. You can also narrow the search to a range of years and ignore the entries with no date of marriage.

Cross-Database Search

This powerful tool let you automatically compare your family tree against the full GeneaNet database index!

It's available for all GeneaNet users except some options: compare your Sosa-Stradonitz (Ahnentafel) numbered individuals only, ignore unknown places, and search the GeneaNet online family trees only.

See "Searching your ancestors in the GeneaNet collaborative database: Cross-Database Search" for more.

Skeleton in the Closet: Prince William's Girl and her Jailbird Ancestor

As a prospective princess, Kate Middleton's character has stood up to the closest scrutiny. Unfortunately the same cannot be said for her ancestors.

A biography of Prince William's girlfriend reveals that her great great great grandfather was a jailbird.

According to the 1881 census, 55-year-old Edward Thomas Glassborow was doing hard labour in London's Holloway Prison at the time.

Unfortunately prison records have not survived from that era, so it is impossible to know why the father of seven, who worked as a messenger for an insurance company, was behind bars.

Source & Full Story

29 March 2009

Veteran is UK's Oldest Ever Man

The UK's oldest man has reached a new milestone by becoming the oldest ever British man, after clocking up 112 years and 296 days.

Henry Allingham has lived longer than Welshman John Evans, who died in 1990 aged 112 years and 295 days.

Mr Allingham is one of two surviving World War I veterans in the UK and is also the oldest Royal Navy veteran.

Mr Allingham, who has dedicated much of his time in recent years to giving talks to schoolchildren about his experiences, will be 113 years old on 6 June.

Source & Full Story

Portable GRAMPS – Genealogy in your Pocket

Ormus has created a portable version of GRAMPS for Windows that can be used with the popular USB software. This will allow you to use it on any pc without any requirements (beside an USB port). This one is based on the current Windows version of GRAMPS 3.1.1.

Usually it does require an installed Python and GTK environment, but this portable version brings it own environment.

So what can portable GRAMPS do? All the things your regular installed version can do plus:

• works everywhere without requirements
• leaves no traces on the host pc
• all data and settings contained on USB device
• automatic language detection (english and german supported currently)
• USB drive letter is adjusted on startup in settings

So install your (if it’s not already installed) and download the Portable Gramps installer. It should pick up the correct installation path to your plugged-in USB device.

A 17th-Century Survivor is Imperiled

When the first stone was laid for Sellers Hall in 1682, there was no Upper Darby, Philadelphia was largely an imaginary place, and Samuel Sellers was living in a cave near what is now Garrett Road in Delaware County.

The house was completed a year or so later, Sellers moved in with his new bride, and the couple launched what would become a remarkable multigenerational engineering clan that ultimately tooled the machines driving America's industrial revolution.

Sellers family members were founders and leaders of the American Philosophical Society and the Franklin Institute. They were staunch abolitionists, and the little Upper Darby house with the steeply raked roof became a documented Underground Railroad stop.

More than three centuries after it was built, Sellers Hall still stands, boarded up and vacant, on the grounds of its current owner, St. Alice Church.

Source & Full Story

A Unique World War II Collection

Many kids collect autographs. Some of sports heroes...others prefer actors. But there may be only one collecting them from World War II Survivors.

13 year old Dylan Laible of Stewart, USA, has more than 80 autographs from World War II survivors. Among his most famous—nearly 20 Medal of Honor winners...And the kissing sailor.

Laible got all of these by sending a thank you letter to these members of the 'Greatest Generation'.

Source & Full Story

28 March 2009

Pocket Genealogist 3.32

PDAs and Handhelds - PDAs and Handhelds - Purchase

Pocket Genealogist 3.32 has been released.


• Device/Desktop: Support for RootsMagic 4. ('Direct' import requires Pocket Genealogist 'Advanced')
• Desktop: New GenBridge module which greatly improves the FTM 2008 and 2009 imports with the PAF/FTM Add-on. (Note that large FTM 2009 databases can be significantly slower than older versions of FTM)
• Desktop: Added support for Multimedia imports for FTM 2006 and older with the PAF/FTM Add-on. (Multimedia support requires 'Advanced' version of Pocket Genealogist)
• Desktop: Added a new 'Check for Update' option which can be used to check the NHS website for program updates.
• Device: Change to the installing on the device in support of Windows Mobile 6.1.4. (Program files are now stored in a different location on device)
• Device: Better support for devices with 800x480 screens.

Continue reading...

Ancestry24 takes St George's Cathedral in Cape Town, South Africa, Records Online, South Africa's premier genealogy and ancestral website, has partnered with the Anglican Church in making the marriage and baptism records of St George's Cathedral in Cape Town accessible online. St George's is the oldest cathedral in southern Africa and is the mother church of the Anglican diocese of Cape Town.

A total of 3,633 marriage records, dating from the first available St Georges records in 1825 and over 6,000 baptism records dating 1921-1969, have been captured and made available online, free to the public. Earlier marriage records, dating from 1812 at the Colonial Chapel at the Castle have yet to be transcribed. This is part of an agreement between Ancestry24 and the Anglican Church Archives at Wits University where marriage and baptism records of some of South Africa's oldest churches are being accurately captured and published at

Source & Full Story

Historic Documents Found at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Akron, Ohio

The minister's closet at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Akronn, Ohio has held a secret for nearly 50 years.

''It's quite a find,'' said the Rev. Mary Moore, interim pastor at the church. ''Of all the things in the local Universalist archives, this could be the best of the collection.''

Moore is referring to the historic contents of a metal box that she found on Christmas Eve while cleaning the minister's office, getting it ready for remodeling.

Inside the box were two bound volumes of hand-scripted minutes of congregational meetings, membership lists, baptismal and marriage records from 1872 to 1910. Another book contains the recorded minutes of the board of trustees. Two more recent books contain records dating to 1961, when the congregation moved to its current location. A brown spiral tablet is filled with the personal memories of Federica Crispin from 1872 to 1935.

Source & Full Story

Early Photograph of New York to be Auctioned

One of the earliest photographs in existence is expected to fetch as much as $70,000 when it is auctioned off later this month at Sotheby's auction house in New York.

A half-plate daguerreotype dating from 1848 shows a country estate in Manhattan on what was then known as old Bloomingdale Road and referred to as "a continuation of Broadway."

In the foreground of the 5.5-by-4-inch, black and white daguerreotype, a dirt road leads to an entry gate that surrounds the grounds.

Source & Full Story

The U.S. Library of Congress Embraces YouTube, iTunes

The U.S. Library of Congress has begun uploading its audio archives to iTunes, and it will soon begin to post videos on YouTube, in an effort to make its materials easier for the public to access.

The decision to post audio and video on iTunes and YouTube follows a successful launch early last year of a library photo archive on Flickr. Since January 2008, the library's photos on Flickr have been viewed about 15.7 million times, and more than 20,000 Flickr users have added the Library of Congress as a contact, said Michelle Springer, digital initiatives project manager in the library's Web Service Division.

Among the items Web surfers can expect on iTunes and YouTube are 100-year-old films from Thomas Edison's studio, book talks with contemporary authors, early industrial films from Westinghouse factories, first-person audio accounts of life in slavery, and inside looks into the library's holdings, including the rough draft of the Declaration of Independence and the contents of President Abraham Lincoln's pockets on the night of his assassination.

Source & Full Story

27 March 2009

Genealogical Society Treasurer Indicted for Theft

A 67-year-old woman has been indicted for bilking the non-profit she volunteered at out of thousands of dollars, according to Licking County Prosecutor Ken Oswalt (Ohio, USA).

From Jan. 1, 2007, through Dec. 10, Karen L. Ray, allegedly stole about $4,300 from the Licking County Genealogical Society, the indictment and Oswalt state. She is charged with fifth-degree felony theft. Ray was a volunteer treasurer for the ancestry identification organization, the prosecutor said.

One of her alleged methods of drawing down on the society’s dollars was to withdraw money under the guise of transferring it to another fund, Oswalt said.

Source & Full Story

19th Century British Pamphlets Project

The 19th Century British Pamphlets Project, created by the Research Libraries UK (RLUK) and funded by the JISC Digitisation Programme, provides online access through JSTOR to the most significant British pamphlets from the 19th century held in UK research libraries. Pamphlets were an important means of public debate in the 19th century, covering the key political, social, technological, and environmental issues of their day.

The pamphlets that were selected provide users with a wide focus on the political, social and economic issues of 19th century Britain. This project has captured as much as possible from a number of smaller collections associated with individuals or families (Durham, Liverpool, Newcastle and UCL) or organizations (Manchester), and supplemented these with pamphlets drawn from larger collections (Bristol and LSE).

Bee Docs' Timeline 2.5.1

Timeline - Mac - Purchase

Bee Docs' Timeline 2.5.1 has been released.


• New: Select which monitor the 3D Mode uses for display in Preference pane.
• Improved: Up to 10x performance increase for automatic layout.
• Improved: "Things" importer has option for excluding completed To Do items.
• Improved: Tall timelines (stacked events, many rows) are more efficient in width.
• Improved: Shift-arrow and control-arrow combinations now work as expected.
• Fixed: "Things" importer works with databases stored in non-standard locations.
• Fixed: Sometimes arrow keys didn't traverse in the proper order.
• Fixed: Height of complex timelines were sometimes too tall.
• Fixed: Subversion (SVN) compatibility for timeline documents improved.
• Fixed: Change default export from Pixlet to Photo-JPG for wider compatibility.
• Fixed: Exporting 3D timelines that use image backgrounds would sometimes show a white flickering line on the back edge of the chart.

Graham Fund Gives $100,000 to the Foundation for the U.S. National Archives

The Philip L. Graham Fund awarded an unrestricted grant of $100,000 to the Foundation for the U.S. National Archives to strengthen the Foundation's organizational capacity. The grant was awarded in honor of Foundation board member Patrick Butler, who recently retired as senior vice president of the Washington Post Company.

The Foundation for the National Archives is an independent nonprofit that serves as the private-sector partner of the National Archives in the creation of the National Archives Experience, which includes permanent exhibits, educational programs, traveling exhibits, special events and screenings, educational literature, and historical/records-related products and media.

Source & Full Story

The Bodleian's Treasures, Available to All

In 2004, Google began a partnership with Oxford University Library to scan mostly 19th century public domain books from its Bodleian library. Five years on, they announce the end of this phase of scanning with Oxford.

From English to German, to Spanish and French, most of the digitized works date from the 19th century and range from classic literature to more scientific volumes in fields including Geography, Philosophy or Anthropology. Among some of the works now available through Book Search, you can find the first English translation of Newton's Mathematical principles of natural philosophy from 1729, the first edition of Jane Austen's Emma, and John Cassell's Illustrated History of England. You can search and read the full text of these works on Google Book Search, and download and print a pdf if you wish to.


26 March 2009

Alaska: Air Crash Victim Identified After 60 Years

Sixty-one years ago, Northwest Airlines Flight 4422 smashed into Alaska’s Mount Sanford, killing all 24 passengers -- merchant marines returning to the U.S. from China -- and six crew members aboard.

The wreck of the DC-4 was presumed to have been buried in snow and swallowed into a glacier. For nearly 50 years, no debris or remains were found.

Then, in 1997, two airline pilots -- Kevin McGregor and Marc Millican -- who had been taking annual trips to the mountain since 1994 to find the wreck, found airplane fragments. In 1999, they found a mummified arm.

Yesterday, at the annual meeting of the American Chemical Society, Colleen Fitzpatrick of genealogy consulting firm Identifinders, of Huntington Beach, Calif., described the nine-year effort that led to matching the remains—a single arm and hand—to Francis Van Zandt, born in 1911 in Bennington, Vt.

Source & Full Story

Italian Woman who Owes Life to Bravery of WW2 British Soldier in Desperate Appeal to Trace his Family

An Italian woman who owes her life to the bravery of a British soldier is desperately trying to trace his family to thank them personally for his heroism and kindness.

But the only clue she has to his identity is a faded black and white photograph of the two young daughters he left back in Britain when he went off to the Second World War.

The poignant story began in January 1944 when the soldier, a private known only as Martin who was part of the allied force in central Italy, leapt into action after a local doctor called his unit to say a pregnant Maria Mancini, 22, needed emergency treatment in hospital.

He volunteered to drive her in a journey fraught with danger, through fierce snowstorms and mined roads, and several times coming under German sniper fire.

Source & Full Story

Grandmother Discovers Mysterious Bronze Orb She Believes Is To Do With The War

Giving her home a spring clean led to an intriguing discovery for one grandmother.

Eileen Edwards was clearing out the coal cellar of her old home in Markham Crescent, Oakdale, Blackwood, Wales when she found a bronze disc, believed to have been awarded in memory of a Welsh soldier.

Inscribed in the bronze are the words: “He died for freedom and honour”.

Now, more than 30 years later, the 81-year-old grandmother of four is hoping to return the precious object to the family of its honoured recipient.

Source & Full Story

World War II British Code Crackers Reunite, Pride Unbroken

During World War II, the best brains in Britain cracked Germany's encrypted secrets but never broke their own code of silence.

Now gray-haired and using walking sticks and at least one wheelchair, the legendary code breakers returned for a reunion Tuesday at Bletchley Park, where they labored in the grim, blacked-out rooms and played a key role in defeating the Nazis.

For decades after the war, they were prohibited from talking about their top-secret work. But those restrictions began being lifted in the 1970s, allowing them to tell their friends and family what they had really done during the war.

All the Turing Bombe machines were destroyed after the war on Churchill's orders, because of security concerns, but the replica has been painstakingly rebuilt, a process that took 13 years. It was briefly switched on Tuesday, turning back the years.

Source & Full Story

U.S. Historian John Hope Franklin Dies at 94

U.S. historian and civil rights advocate John Hope Franklin, credited with helping create the field of African-American history, died on Wednesday at age 94, Duke University said.

Franklin's book "From Slavery to Freedom: A History of African-Americans," published in 1947, is still considered the definitive account of the black experience in America. The longtime Duke professor died of congestive heart failure at Duke Hospital in Durham, North Carolina.

Source & Full Story

25 March 2009

Secrets of Mass Grave of Irish Emigrants Revealed

In 1832, 57 emigrants from Donegal, Derry and the surrounding counties set sail for a new life in America.

They found work on the railroads, but within weeks they were all dead, struck down by cholera - or possibly even murdered by locals who believed the immigrants had brought the disease with them.

The men were buried where they had died, in a mass unmarked grave along 'Duffy's Cut', the section of the Philadelphia and Columbia railroad they helped to build.

For the last five years, Dr Frank Watson and a team from Immaculata University in Pennsylvania have been searching for the men's remains - and on Friday, they made the breakthrough they were waiting for.

Source & Full Story

Ohio County Loses 2 Civil War Monuments to Crashes

Civil War memorials are under attack from traffic in one Ohio county, where two monuments have been knocked down by vehicles this month.

Portage County authorities say a Civil War memorial that has already been replaced twice was struck by a truck on the central circle in Deerfield, 45 miles southeast of Cleveland.

The monument to those who fought in the Civil War first went up in 1870 and was rebuilt after crashes in 1975 and 2002. Deerfield trustee Mike Rach says the memorial belongs on the circle and should be restored again.


World War I Medal Found on Building Site in Wales

A man has unearthed a World War I medal under more than 40 tonnes of soil on a building site. The silver British War medal was found in the village of Llanfechain near Llanfyllin, Powys, Wales where Thomas Murphy is building his house.

He is trying to trace descendants of the soldier, Charles Edwards from nearby Bwlch-y-Cibau, to hand it back.

Mr Edwards, a sapper with the Royal Engineers, died in 1919 from wounds he suffered two years earlier at Ypres. Mr Murphy said it was a mystery why the medal had been buried in a field, where he is building his house, for 90 years. He explained that Mr Edwards' service number was 65744, and his body was buried in Bwlch-y-Cibau churchyard.

Source & Full Story

National Archives Presents Unique Perspective on the Lincoln Assassination April 17

On Friday, April 17, at 7 PM, the National Archives continues its celebration of the 200th anniversary of President Abraham Lincoln's birth with a book talk on "The Lincoln Assassination Conspirators: their confinement and execution, as recorded in the Letterbook of John Frederick Hartranft." Editors Harold Holzer and Edward Steers, Jr., will discuss this Letterbook, a National Archives record, for the first time and provide a "behind the scenes" glimpse of the assassination's aftermath. This event will be held in the William G. McGowan Theater of the National Archives Building in Washington, DC, located on the National Mall at Constitution Ave. and 7th Streets, NW. A book signing will follow the program.

View the Calendar of Events at:

Source & Information

RootsMagic 4 Family Tree Software Officially Released

Full Featured - Windows - Purchase

RootsMagic 4 has been released.

RootsMagic, Inc. today announced the official release of RootsMagic 4, the latest version of the award-winning genealogy software which makes researching, organizing, and sharing your family history easy and enjoyable.

A free trial version of RootsMagic 4 allows a person to import their data, add information, and play with RootsMagic's major features without any time limitation.

Shrubs 2.1

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Shrubs 2.1 has been released.


• Fixed issue affecting individuals with multiple NAME tags in the GEDCOM file.
• Fixed duplicate entries issue in individual and union index.
• Fixed GEDCOM event parsing issue.
• Improved GEDCOM text encoding support (mainly UTF-8).
• Old UI is now available through a toggle in the Settings app (screen rotation will not be available if active).

New York Court Orders Return of $600,000 Book Stolen in WWII

A New York court ordered a book collector to return a 16th-century volume valued at $600,000 to a museum in Stuttgart, more than six decades after it was stolen by a U.S. army captain at the end of World War II.

The state of Baden-Wuerttemberg, owner of the Stuttgart Staatsgalerie’s collection, filed a claim for the “Augsburger Geschlechterbuch” after being notified by Sotheby’s that it had been offered for auction, according to the opinion from the District Court in the Southern District of New York.

The book is a bound volume of drawings and prints showing prominent families of Augsburg in different costumes and situations. It is one of several treasures lost by Stuttgart at the end of the war.

Source & Full Story

Saving Civil War Battlefields on April 4

Actor Richard Dreyfuss made a plea to help save our country’s Civil War battlefields this month. The actor (center) is working with the Civil War Preservation Trust, a nonprofit organization that seeks to save endangered Civil War battlefields, as well as to educate the public about the war’s history.

The organization is sponsoring Park Day 2009 on April 4, at which volunteers can work to improve Civil War sites. Ten locations in Georgia are listed for Park Day 2009, including gravesite cleanup at the Blue and Gray Museum in Fitzgerald; painting, sweeping and other activities at Historic Prater’s Mill in Dalton; and painting, rebuilding park benches and more at Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park.

Go to for more information.


Commission Recommends a Memorial to Acknowledge Slave Trade Ties

A commission established by Brown University in cooperation with the City of Providence and the State of Rhode Island has released a report recommending how the history of slavery and the trans-Atlantic slave trade in Rhode Island should be commemorated in Rhode Island, Providence, and on College Hill.

Topping the group's six recommendations is a proposal that the Public Arts Committee of Brown be asked to commission a memorial about how slavery was intertwined with the University's early benefactors.

Source & Information

93-Year-Old Man Recognized As Survivor Of Both WWII Atomic Bombings

A 93-year-old Japanese man has become the first person certified as a survivor of both U.S. atomic bombings at the end of World War II, officials said Tuesday.

Tsutomu Yamaguchi had already been a certified "hibakusha," or radiation survivor, of the Aug. 9, 1945, atomic bombing in Nagasaki, but has now been confirmed as surviving the attack on Hiroshima three days earlier as well, city officials said.

Yamaguchi was in Hiroshima on a business trip on Aug. 6, 1945, when a U.S. B-29 dropped an atomic bomb on the city. He suffered serious burns to his upper body and spent the night in the city. He then returned to his hometown of Nagasaki just in time for the second attack, city officials said.

Source & Full Story

El Paso Firefighters Will Preserve their Legacy with Photoshoot

El Paso firefighters will take part in a photoshoot designed to preserve each firefighter's legacy of bravery and service in the National Firefighter Photo Archive Wednesday afternoon at the Airport Holiday Inn, 6655 Gateway West.

The El Paso Fire Department is joining more than 27 other fire departments and over 15,000 firefighters nationwide by having their photos taken for a National Firefighter Photo Archive. Other large cities, including New York City, Dallas, Denver, San Diego, Orlando, Phoenix, Memphis and Los Angeles, are participating in the program.

The photos will be available to family members of the firefighters and kept in a national archive for future use.

Take a look at the National Firefighter Photo Archive at


24 March 2009

UncleGED 9.07

Web Publishing - Windows - Freeware

UncleGED 9.07 has been released.


• Changed behavior of Privacy option so that if this option all dates and events are suppressed for individuals born after BirthCutOffYears.
• The options “Exclude individuals Born less than x years ago” and “Mark information for individuals currently living as private.” are mutually exclusive. Therefore when now checking on option will uncheck the other option.
• Added option to display menu at top of families instead of menu at bottom of page.
• Changed default log4net.config so that fewer log files are created.
• Fixed problem with comma spacing in locations and leading/trailing punctuation is stripped from location.

LongFamilyHistory 2.3.8

Full Featured - Windows - Purchase

LongFamilyHistory 2.3.8 has been released.


• Some bugs fixed in the persons data edit window.

FamilyInsight 2009.3.21.0

Other Tools - Windows, Mac - Purchase

FamilyInsight 2009.3.21.0 has been released.


• Fixed some issues with changing the summary data.
• Fixed some display irregularities in the Details view.

Serb Group Seeks Grave of WWII Guerrilla Leader

A Chicago-based Serb group said Monday it is offering a $100,000 reward for anyone who can locate the grave of a World War II guerrilla leader executed as a traitor by the Communists.

The burial site of Dragoljub Draza Mihailovic has been unknown since his execution in 1946 by the postwar Communist authorities. Mihailovic was convicted of collaboration with the Nazi occupiers in a hasty trial orchestrated by the new government.

In 1948, U.S. President Harry Truman posthumously awarded Mihailovic the Legion of Merit award for his role in rescuing hundreds of U.S. airmen downed by the Nazis over Serbia.

Source & Full Story

New York Vet's WWII Dog Tags Found in Philippines

The World War II dog tags of a combat veteran from central New York have been found on a beach in the Philippines.

Charles Stevens of New York Mills, near Utica, was recently told that a treasure hunter found the tags lost by his brother Ferris while fighting as a paratrooper in the Philippines. His brother died at age 82 in 2003.

Charles Stevens, who is 96, also served with an Army infantry unit in the Philippines.

The discovery of Ferris Stevens' dog tags was posted on a treasure hunter's Web site and the information eventually made its way his brother.

Source & Full Story

Heritage Microfilm Announces Partnership with SmallTownPapers

Cedar Rapids-based NewspaperARCHIVE, the world's largest online newspaper archive, announces that it has partnered with SmallTownPapers, the Seattle-based newspaper archives company.

This agreement will provide a new outlet to access the scanned archives of more than 300 newspapers from SmallTownPapers, and will provide new digital newspaper content for NewspaperARCHIVE members.


Census Records Solve Mystery of Michigan Centenarian

Mattie Caldwell turned 108 earlier this month. But she didn't know it at the time.

Caldwell celebrated her March 5 birthday with friends and family at her home in Genesee County's Flint Township, about 55 miles northwest of Detroit. But she had forgotten what year, exactly, she was born.

Medicare records said 1901, but an old family Bible recorded her birth as having happened in 1898. And there's no legal record of her birth because she was born at home.

But a genealogist from Okemah, Okla., came to the rescue. Patricia Funchess scoured historical records and found Mattie recorded as a 9-year-old in the 1910 census, making the 1901 date the correct one.

Source & Full Story

NBC To Premiere New "Who Do You Think You Are?" Series On April 20

Lisa Kudrow, Sarah Jessica Parker and Susan Sarandon explore their family histories in the U.S. reality series "Who Do You Think You Are?" NBC said Tuesday.

The program, which former "Friends" star Kudrow also executive produces, is set to premiere April 20.

In conjunction with Kudrow's production company Is or Isn't Entertainment and the U.K.'s Wall to Wall productions, the new show is an adaptation of the hit, award-winning British television documentary series of the same name.


First Americans Brought Anthrax?

Humans were dying of anthrax in North America much earlier than thought—perhaps after scavenging the remains of infected animals while migrating from Asia during the Ice Age—a new study says.

"We've always thought that anthrax was an Old World disease that was brought to the New World by Europeans" around 1500, said study coauthor Paul Keim of Northern Arizona University.

But the new report suggests that ancient humans entering the continent thousands of years earlier imported the disease after crossing the Bering land bridge, which once connected present-day Alaska and eastern Siberia.

Source & Full Story

GenealogyJ 2.4.5

Full Featured - Windows, Mac, Linux - Freeware/Open Source

GenealogyJ 2.4.5 has been released.


• User Interface: new icons.
• User Interface: changes in editors are now comitted before save/quit.
• User Interface: various fixes and adjustments.
• Handle OBJE|BLOB correctly.
• Various smaller issues fixed.
• Report: allow csv row headers.
• Report: more filter options for event report.
• Report: new names report.
• Report: various fixes and adjustments.
• GEDCOM: preserve encodings whether known or not.

23 March 2009

The Close Cousins DNA Project Needs Help

The Close Cousins Project was born on May 31, 2008 as a result of a discussion on the Genealogy-DNA mailing list on the genealogy site The discussion revolved around the question: If we used the same Y-DNA tests that we use for our own genealogical testing on our closest Primate relatives - what would their results look like? How much would it vary from humans? The primary interest was Bonobos and Chimpanzees.

As the project grows, they will need more participants. If you have a contact with a facility that has either Bonobos or Chimpanzees, and if you believe they might be agreeable to testing one of their them - please contact the project administrator at

via The Genetic Genealogist

Add Personal Messages to your GeneaNet Online Family Tree Pages

You may want to enhance the appearance of your GeneaNet online family tree and to personalize it. See below how to add some personal messages to your online family tree pages.

In the "My GeneaNet : Online Family Tree : Personalize" menu:

- Select the "Home Page" option to add a message to your family tree home page
- Select the "Personal Message" to add a header and/or a footer to your individual and family pages

You have the ability to change the style of the content and to add a link to an external website (your personal website for example).

Remember that GeneaNet offers many other features to personalize your online family tree!

Dublin Interment Records Coming Online

Glasnevin Cemetery group hold records for five Dublin cemeteries, some open to the public and others now closed. Select records on interments are now available to certified genealogists and will be available to the general public for online search starting on April 8, 2009. Included will be records for Goldenbridge Cemetery on Dublin 8, Dublin’s first Catholic cemetery. The initial records becoming available will date back until 1890; however, the project will be ongoing until all records are added. Glasnevin Cemetery opened in 1832, and Goldenbridge opened in 1829. The other three cemeteries managed by this group are: Dordistown, Newlands Cross and Palmerstown.

For details please visit:

Thanks to Deborah Nilles -

End of National Archives of Ireland?

The Irish government has announced plans to merge the National Archives of Ireland in Bishop Street, Dublin with the National Library of Ireland.

Source & Full Story

22 March 2009

Iceman Photo Scan

The Iceman Photo Scan is an innovative project wich record the complete photographic documentation of the body of the Iceman mummy.

Thanks to 12 different angle-shots it is possible to see the whole body of the mummy. The intuitive zoom function enables a high-resolution navigation, from a total body image to millimetric detail.

A section contains the complete mapping of the tattoos via high definition photos of the single interesting points. An apposite selection of images enables the 3D view of the mummy.

10 Fascinating Graveyards You Must See

While still considered a strange destination on holiday, a growing number of people are seeking out cemeteries to visit. There is an inherent fascination in cemeteries that should be embraced. Whether you are interested in the architecture or artwork of the tombs, the history of the area, or simply seeking out the final resting place of a favorite personality, cemeteries are a worthwhile destination.

The List Universe list a by-no-means definitive list of some of the most famous cemeteries in the world.

20 March 2009

Internet Archive to Unveil Massive Wayback Machine Data Center

The Internet Archive organization plans next week to announce the opening of a new data center to house two petabytes of information for its Wayback Machine, the digital time capsule that stores archived versions of Web pages dating back to 1996.

The Wayback Machine houses 85 billion Web pages archived for more than a dozen years, which amounts to three petabytes of data, or about 150 times the content of the Library of Congress. Only five years ago, the Wayback Machine contained about 30 billion Web pages. It is expected to continue to grow by 100TB of data per month now that it's live.

The Internet Archive's massive database is mirrored to the Bibliotheca Alexandrina, the new Library of Alexandria in Egypt, for disaster recovery purposes.


19 March 2009

Seeking Michigan: The Michigan Death Records Collection

As a partner in the Seeking Michigan site, The Library of Michigan makes the Michigan death certificates for the years 1897 to 1920 freely available online. The years 1915 to 1920 are particularly significant, as a readily available statewide index did not exist previously.

Teeth Of Columbus' Crew Flesh Out Tale Of New World Discovery

In a study that promises fresh and perhaps personal insight into the earliest European visitors to the New World, a team or researchers from the University of Wisconsin-Madison is extracting the chemical details of life history from the teeth of crew members Christopher Columbus left on the island of Hispaniola after his second voyage to America in 1493-94.

"This is telling us about where people came from and what they ate as children," explains T. Douglas Price, a UW-Madison professor of anthropology and the leader of the team conducting an analysis of the tooth enamel of three individuals from a larger group excavated almost 20 years ago from shallow graves at the site of La Isabela, the first European town in America.

The first analysis of the remains of 20 individuals excavated two decades ago by Italian and Dominican archaeologists portray a different picture, suggesting that living among the Spaniards at La Isabela were native Taínos, women and children, and possibly individuals of African origin. If confirmed, that would put Africans in the New World as contemporaries of Columbus and decades before they were believed to have first arrived as slaves.

Source & Full Story

Heritage Collector Suite 5.2

Family Pictures - Windows - Purchase

Heritage Collector Suite 5.2 has been released.


• Drag and drop a photo into programs such as Word, WordPerfect, Open Office, etc. or even into Legacy.
• Cut and paste photos into other genealogy programs.

18 March 2009

Reunion 9.09

Full Featured - Mac - Purchase

Reunion 9.09 has been released.


• Fixed a rare crash when sending a family file to the iPhone.
• Fixed a problem that could cause incorrect or missing links after a crash or power failure. This problem was accidentally introduced in the 9.08 update.
• Fixed some minor memory leaks.

MacFamilyTree 5.4.2

Full Featured - Mac - Purchase

MacFamilyTree 5.4.2 has been released.


• Fixes in the Family Assistant (alignment improved, pictures now always show up).
• Fixes in the Web Export.
• Several localization fixes.
• Minor Interface improvements.
• Performance of all 3D charts improved.
• General stability improvements.

Ancestor+ 3.24

Full Featured - Linux - Purchase

Ancestor+ 3.24 has been released.


• Ahnentafel numbers now supported and can be calculated for any person in the database.
• You can now enter up to four Witnesses in the Family (marriage) window.
• Improved HTML export and you can now save your HTML export settings.

New Website For Irish Diaspora In USA

A new web site,, has arrived offering Irish-American news and entertainment.

Niall O'Dowd, the New York-based Irish publisher is behind the site, which includes genealogy information, top tourist spots in Ireland as well as breaking news and features. Its target audience is the Irish diaspora, which numbers 36.5 million in the United States, more than eight times the population of Ireland.


Rare Trove of Army Medical Photos Heads to Flickr

An archivist has begun a massive project to make public a newly digitized collection of unique and sometimes startling military medical images, from the Civil War to Vietnam, without the Army's blessing.

This previously unreported archive at the National Museum of Health and Medicine in Washington, D.C., contains 500,000 scans of unique images so far, with another 225,000 set to be digitized this year.

Mike Rhode, the museum's head archivist, is working to make tens of thousands of those images, which have been buried in the museum's archive, available on Flickr. Working after hours, his team has posted a curated selection of almost 800 photos on the service already, without the express permission of the Army.

Source & Full Story

17 March 2009

100 Years of Teesdale (England) History Preserved

One hundred years of Teesdale history will be saved for future generations, thanks to a lottery grant.

The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) has awarded more than £35,000 to create a digital archive of the Teesdale Mercury from 1854 to 1954.

The Teesdale Mercury is steeped in history and was founded in 1854 in Barnard Castle, where it’s still published today. It is one of the oldest surviving, local, independently run newspapers in the country, and is widely thought of as one of the most important historical records of Teesdale life.

Source & Full Story

16 March 2009

Simple Family Tree 1.31

Full Featured - Windows - Freeware

Simple Family Tree 1.31 has been released.


• Adds automatic sorting of spouses by year of marriage when you open the Marriage window for an individual and close it with OK.

Legacy Family Tree

Full Featured - Windows - Purchase

Legacy Family Tree has been released.


• Timelines - "Canada - Census". A chronology of when the census was taken in Canada.
• Timelines - "US - Oklahoma History". History of Oklahoma, by M. La Nell Shores.
• Timelines - "US States and Territories - Dates of Organization and Admission".


• Ancestor Books - Fixed a problem where the header for the source section at the end of a generation would show the wrong person.
• Calendar Reports - Fixed an Error 3021, no current record.
• Picture Finder - Now finds all pictures.
• Publishing Center - Fixed a problem where the Table of Contents would overprint the title page or other preliminary page.
• Publishing Center - Individual and Family Group Record reports would produce two Name Indexes.

New Digital Library of Islamic Manuscripts Online at Princeton University

Princeton University has placed a new digital library of 200 Islamic manuscripts online for scholars to consult and study.

These manuscripts were selected from some 9,500 volumes of Islamic manuscripts in Arabic, Persian, Ottoman Turkish and other languages of the Muslim world in the University Library's Department of Rare Books and Special Collections. Princeton's extraordinary holdings constitute the premier collection in the Western Hemisphere and among the finest in the world, according to Don Skemer, curator of manuscripts.

The digitized manuscripts date from the early centuries of Islam until the fall of the Ottoman Empire. They originated in all parts of the Islamic world, from Moorish Spain and northern Africa in the West, through the Middle East, and to India and Indonesia in the East.

Click here for access to the digitized manuscripts. From this webpage, click on "View the Digital Library" and select any of the 200 manuscripts, which are listed both alphabetically and by subject and genre.


GeneaNet: Upload, Share and Link Your Documents

Did you know that you can upload your census documents, parish registers, land ownership and much more on GeneaNet? Did you know that you can link a document to your online family tree? Not only yours, but also a document uploaded by any GeneaNet user!

Select the "My GeneaNet > Online Records" menu item, then select the type of document that you want to upload and fill in the form.

You can authorize (or not) GeneaNet Club Privilege Members to download your records at the "My GeneaNet > Online Records > Preferences" page.

To link a document to your online family tree, log on as "wizard", select an individual, then click on "Associate a document" at the bottom of the screen.

This will open a new pop-up window showing all the documents you have uploaded for the surname of the selected individual.

To link a document indexed to another surname or a document uploaded by another GeneaNet user, just fill in the "Search another document" form.

You can link any document to your family tree, even if the individual doesn't appear on it.

When submitted, reload the individual page. A new section named "Associated documents" show the documents you have linked to the individual.

Shrubs 2.0

Full Featured - PDAs and Handhelds - Purchase

Shrubs 2.0 has been released.


• Significant UI overhaul.
• Performance improvements.
• Ability to import files directly over WiFi (built-in web server).
• All individual and family events are now supported.
• Event sources are now managed.

15 March 2009

America's First Constitution Was Big — Really Big

Before "We, the people," there was a much less catchy intro — "To all to whom these Presents shall come."

Those are the opening words to the Articles of Confederation, the first constitution of the United States of America, replaced by the current Constitution seven years later.

The original document is on full display for the first time at the National Archives in Washington, D.C., in celebration of the National Archives' 75th anniversary.

The reason the whole thing hasn't been brought out before? It's a 13-foot-long scroll. Appropriately enough, the document is part of a new exhibit titled "Big!"


Cleopatra Had African Ancestry, Skeleton Suggests

Cleopatra could have been part-African, according to the study of a skeleton believed to be her half sister.

Traditional thinking has always been that the monarch was Greek Caucasian. But experts have discovered what they think are her sister's remains, revealing that the siblings had a part-African heritage.

Princess Arsinoe's remains were found in a tomb in Ephesus, Turkey.

There was no love lost between her and her powerful sister - it is believed that Cleopatra ordered Roman lover Mark Antony to murder her.

Scientific papers on the remains will be presented by Dr Fabian Kanz from The Medical University of Vienna at the American Association of Physical Anthropologists on March 31.

Source & Full Story

Girl Decapitated 700 Years Ago Gets Church Burial

More than 200 people have attended the funeral and burial in north Kent of an unknown teenage girl who was decapitated about 700 years ago.

Her remains were found by an archaeologist on unconsecrated ground next to Hoo St Werburgh Parish Church, near Rochester.

Her head had been placed by her side, suggesting she may have committed suicide or been executed for a crime.

Her body has now been reburied in the church's main graveyard.

The girl was affectionately named Holly by church officials because her remains were found beside a holly tree used over many years to decorate the church at Christmas.

Source & Full Story

13 March 2009

Usenet Newsgroups Provider Helps With Genealogy Research

Usenet Newsgroups Provider now provides access to an extensive collection of newsgroups related to the topic of genealogy, making genealogy research with Usenet easier. This allows researchers to take advantage of extensive research conducted by the newsgroup community going back to 1995.

In order to access these newsgroups, it's required to have access to Usenet. NewsDemon provides a free public server for this purpose. Just use the nntp address, login, and password found here.


Putative Grandson Christopher Knight Capone is Looking for Answers

Yesterday in the Circuit Court of Cook County, Chicago, Illinois, Christopher Knight Capone, the putative grandson of the most notorious crime figure in American history Al Capone, filed a complaint requesting the court to enter an order protecting the interred remains of his grandfather Alphonse Capone.

Christopher Capone ( has conducted several years of in-depth historical and genealogical research in order to confirm his true identity, with the assistance of a professional team including a well-respected genealogist, forensic genetic genealogist, and numerous private investigators. The extensive research and historic findings give Chris good cause to believe that his deceased father, William Knight, was the hidden son of Alphonse Capone and his wife Mary. Much of the research is contained in his memoir, Son of Scarface: a memoir by the grandson of Al Capone (

Source & Full Story

20 Million Cards Concerning World War I Soldiers Discovered

Peter Barton was commissioned to carry out research into the identities of World War I casualties discovered in a mass grave at Fromelles in France.

He was given access to the basement of the Red Cross headquarters in Geneva.

There, he was allowed to examine records that have lain virtually untouched since 1918.

He estimates that there could be 20 million sets of details, carefully entered on card indexes, or written into ledgers.

It is hoped that the records kept in Geneva will be online by 2014.

Source & Full Story

Images of the Original 1881 Scottish Census Go Online

Family historians have been given a useful tool with the publication of 130-year-old Scottish census documents on the web.

Images of the original 1881 census records are available from Thursday at

They chart the lives of around 3.7 million people living north of the border and are an addition to other 19th century survey data already online.


New Zealand: Wairarapa Archive Goes Online With Image Repository

The world of research is rapidly transforming and the Wairarapa Archive is changing pace alongside it with a template image repository called Picture Wairarapa now online.

Wairarapa archivist Gareth Winter said the idea has already been used elsewhere around the world but took a wet weekend of techno tinkering to get up and running after he found the archive's computer system had the capability to handle the new pictorial resource.

"We've transformed nearly 2000 images into digital format and they're available to be searched. The first priority has been setting up a system of these 2000 photos that can be used as a working template for further images," he said.

Visit Picture Wairarapa at


National Archives to Hold 23rd Annual Preservation Conference March 26, 2009

In celebration of its 75th anniversary, the National Archives will host its annual preservation conference entitled Digitizing for Preservation and Access: Past is Prologue, on Thursday, March 26, 2009.

Adrienne Thomas, Acting Archivist of the United States, and Dr. Michael J. Kurtz, Assistant Archivist, Office of Records Services, will provide opening remarks for the event. The conference will be held in the William G. McGowan Theater of the National Archives Building in Washington, DC, which is located on Constitution Ave. between 7th and 9th Streets NW, and is fully accessible.

Source & Information

Digitization Project at the Indira Gandhi National Centre for Arts

In the silent corridors of the Indira Gandhi National Centre for Arts (IGNCA) stand endless rows of steel cupboards. A treasure trove of history lies within -- 20,600 microfilm roles of over two lakh manuscripts, 2,500 rare books and 3,000 photographs by eminent photographers ... and a whole lot more.

Founded in 1994, the Cultural Informatics unit of the IGNCA along with the UNDP began a project called the Interactive Multimedia Documentation of Cultural Resources aimed at preserving heritage virtually. Today the library has completed a large portion of the work and is making CDs, a web portal, and an in-house digital library called Kalasmpada.

The collection includes manuscripts from over 49 libraries in India, those from Bibliothic Berlin, the India Office of Britian, libraries of France, and rare collection of 3000 photographs by eminent photographers from Lala Deen Dayal's collection.

Source & Full Story

12 March 2009

MacFamilyTree 5.4.1

Full Featured - Mac - Purchase

MacFamilyTree 5.4.1 has been released.


• Kinship Report expanded by two generations.
• Additional Names are now shown in the Person Report.
• Fixes in the Family Assistant.
• Dutch localization added.
• Fixes for other localizations.
• Many general bug fixes and stability improvements.

Legacy Family Tree

Full Featured - Windows - Purchase

Legacy Family Tree has been released.


• Timelines - "Canada - Census". A chronology of when the census was taken in Canada.
• Timelines - "US - Oklahoma History". History of Oklahoma, by M. La Nell Shores.
• Timelines - "US States and Territories - Dates of Organization and Admission".


• Ancestor Books - Fixed a problem where the header for the source section at the end of a generation would show the wrong person.
• Calendar Reports - Fixed an Error 3021, no current record.
• Picture Finder - Now finds all pictures.
• Publishing Center - Fixed a problem where the Table of Contents would overprint the title page or other preliminary page.
• Publishing Center - Individual and Family Group Record reports would produce two Name Indexes. Fixed.

FamilyInsight 2009.3.11.0

Other Tools - Windows, Mac - Purchase

FamilyInsight 2009.3.11.0 has been released.


• Added Portuguese language version (mostly finished).
• Improved GEDCOM interoperability with Legacy.
• Fixed several crashes.

Mean Thieves Steal Vital Parish Records

A priest has appealed to thieves who stole precious parish records dating from the 1830s to return the documents.

Fr Sean Quinn from Louth Village asked that the thieves, who stole the safe from the parochial house while he was saying Mass on Saturday night, leave back the irreplaceable parish documents.

The gang behind the incident are thought to have got a young boy to go through a window of the parochial house before he let others in the front door.

Births, deaths, marriages, baptism and confirmation records from 1832 were taken when the safe was taken out of the house. There was less than € 100 in cash in the safe, which was locked with a key.

Source & Full Story

2009 FamilySearch Software Awards Recipients Announced

A Panel of judges decided the FamilySearch Software Category Awards in February after evaluating the products of the award applicants.  Active FSDN members voted for the below two Developer Choice categories in February. Applicants and nominees for the Software Category Awards are show below:

Desktop Productivity Category

• Incline Software’s Ancestral Quest for the “Best Listing Tool”
• Ohana Software’s FamilyInsight for “Best Standardizer”
• RootsMagic’s RootsMagic 4 for “Best Dashboard”

Desktop Syncing or Tree-Cleaning Category

• Incline Software’s Ancestral Quest for the “Most Comprehenisve Syncing”
• Ohana Software’s FamilyInsight for “Best Person Separator”
• RootsMagic’s RootsMagic 4 for “Easiest to Sync”

Desktop Use of Media Category

• Progeny Software’s Charting Companion for the “Best for Desktop Printing”

Web Productivity Category

US Family Tree’s Grow Branch for the “Best Web Site Feature for Publishing”

Web Use of Media Category

Generation Maps for the “Best Web Site Feature for Printing”
TreeSeek for “Best Web Site Feature for Mapping”


Brooklyn Genealogy Club Will Meet March 15 at Library

The Brooklyn Genealogy Club will meet at 2 p.m. on Sunday at the Brookly Library, 4480 Ridge Road.

The group's featured speaker will be John Stoika, who will give a presentation titled "How a Computer Can Help Your Research."

Stoika has more than 40 years experience in the graphic arts business and is president of the Cuyahoga Valley Genealogy Society. Stoika is also the treasurer of the Computer Assisted Genealogy group and a member of the Western Reserve Historical Society Genealogy Committee.

Source & Information

Interactive Cemetery Published on Web Site

Cedar City is creating an interactive cemetery online thanks to an Eagle Scout project by Cedar City resident Curtis Weber, 18.

Cedar City Engineer Troy Maxwell has been assisting Weber with the project.

"He was trying to put together a database where people could look it up," Maxwell said. "I said I could incorporate it to where they have a picture of where the plots are located."

Maxwell said that although the interactive cemetery is being worked on, people can still look online at what has been done so far online.

For more information, go to and click on the "cemetery interactive map" link.

Source & Full Story

RootsMagic 4 Receives FamilySearch Software Awards

RootsMagic, Inc. today received two 2009 FamilySearch Software Awards at a banquet held in conjunction with the 2009 FamilySearch Developers Conference at Brigham Young University. The purpose of the awards is to publicly and formally celebrate the software achievements of those developers and companies that are making important contributions to the Family History and Genealogy Industry.

Both awards were for features in RootsMagic 4, the latest version of the award-winning genealogy software which makes researching, organizing, and sharing your family history easy and enjoyable. On hand to accept the awards were Bruce Buzbee, president and Michael Booth, vice-president.

RootsMagic 4 is currently in public beta and is available for free at


The Last Photo Ever Taken Of Lincoln?

A photograph that once belonged to the man largely credited with helping Abraham Lincoln win the Civil War, Gen. Ulysses S. Grant, has been unearthed — and it could be extraordinarily rare.

The image, taken in 1865, shows the White House, but what's remarkable about it is a man standing in front. Some historians believe it could be one of the last photographs taken of Lincoln before his death in April that year. It also bears the seal of photographer Henry F. Warren, and a government tax stamp that was issued between 1864 and 1866.

Grant's great-great-grandson, Ulysses S. Grant VI, stumbled across the photo in a family album. He carefully removed it and was shocked to see this handwritten inscription on the back: "Lincoln in front of the White House."

Source & Full Story

11 March 2009

Medieval 'Vampire' Skull Found

The remains of a medieval "vampire" have been discovered among the corpses of 16th century plague victims in Venice, according to an Italian archaeologist who led the dig.

The body of the woman was found in a mass grave on the Venetian island of Lazzaretto Nuovo. Suspecting that she might be a vampire, a common folk belief at the time, gravediggers shoved a rock into her skull to prevent her from chewing through her shroud and infecting others with the plague, said anthropologist Matteo Borrini of the University of Florence.

In the absence of medical science, vampires were just one of many possible contemporary explanations for the spread of the Venetian plague in 1576, which ran rampant through the city and ultimately killed up to 50,000 people, some officials estimate.

Source & Full Story

Family Historian version 4: it's going to be April

Full Featured - Windows - Purchase

Simon Orde, List Administrator & Family Historian designer, on the FHU List:

I do apologise for the delay.  There is no single reason for this.  Version 4 is a big release and there are numerous late-stage tasks to be done before we can release it, and we underestimated how long these would take.  As I'm sure you appreciate, we have every motivation to get V4 out as soon as possible; but you wouldn't want us to release it before it's ready, and we won't.

Thank you all for your patience.

Simon Orde
List Administrator & Family Historian designer


British Overseas Non-Parochial Birth, Marriage And Death Records Go Online

More than 100,000 records of overseas births, baptisms, marriages, deaths and burials of British subjects, including those onboard ships, have been added to the searchable online service at BMDRegisters. These newly added records were previously only viewable on microfilm as the RG 33 series.

Included in this series you can find:

• Births, baptisms, marriages, deaths and burials abroad (but also including Lundy Island, Devon), and on British as well as foreign ships; of British subjects, nationals of the colonies, the Commonwealth and countries under British jurisdiction, and some foreign nationals.
• Original registers, notebooks and copies of entries in registers kept by incumbents of English churches and missions, British embassies, legations and political agents; documents deposited for safekeeping, correspondence and memoranda.
• The material relates mostly to the 19th and 20th centuries, but includes some for the 17th century concerning the English congregation at The Hague.
• A volume of marriages solemnised on board HM ships, 1842 to 1879, and a volume of events registered by British consuls prior to the Consular Marriages Act of 1849.


Library and Archives Canada Celebrates the 2009 Ottawa Irish Festival

Library and Archives Canada, in collaboration with the Irish Society of the National Capital Region, opened the 2009 Ottawa Irish Festival with a Proclamation ceremony by His Worship Larry O'Brien, Mayor of Ottawa in the auditorium foyer of Library and Archives Canada, 395 Wellington Street, in the presence of His Excellency Declan Kelly, Ambassador of Ireland and Doug Rimmer, Assistant Deputy Minister, Library and Archives Canada.

"It is very exciting for us to work with the Irish Society of the National Capital Region to be part of the celebrations surrounding the 2009 Ottawa Irish Festival," said Ian E. Wilson, Librarian and Archivist of Canada. "This festival brings together Canadians claiming Irish heritage, but also Canadians from all origins, and gives them the opportunity to explore and understand their collective memory."

Source & Information

10 March 2009

Museum Reveals Engraving Hidden In Lincoln Watch

For nearly 150 years, a story has circulated about a hidden Civil War message engraved inside Abraham Lincoln's pocket watch. On Tuesday, museum curators confirmed it was true. A watchmaker used tiny tools to carefully pry open the antique watch at the National Museum of American History, and a descendant of the engraver read aloud the message from a metal plate underneath the watch face.

"April 13 - 1861," the first line reads, "Fort Sumpter (sic) was attacked by the rebels on the above date. J Dillon." The second part repeats same date, states the location as Washington and says, "Thank God we have a government."

Jonathan Dillon, then a watchmaker on Pennsylvania Avenue, had Lincoln's watch in his hands when he heard the first shots of the Civil War had been fired in South Carolina. The Irish immigrant later recalled being the only Union sympathizer working at the shop in a divided Washington.

Source & Full Story

GRAMPS 3.1.1

Full Featured - Linux - Freeware/Open Source

GRAMPS 3.1.1 has been released.


• Crash with the message "need more than 6 values to unpack".
• Add a warning when installing from .tar.gz.
• Graphviz reports were generated off-page.
• Various gramplet fixes.
• Several text typo fixes and translation updates (de, fr).
• Name display format.
• Fix for HTTP 404 in NarrativeWeb due to bad relative path.

City Of Sammamish, WA, To Archive First 5 Years Of Documents

City Clerk Melonie Anderson opened up the drafty second floor room of City Hall and pointed to a row of 18 four-drawer black metal file cabinets.

Anderson acquired a $30,000 grant from the Washington State Archives in Olympia to keep permanent microfiche records of all city ordinances, resolutions, meeting minutes, financial documents and building permits from 1999-2004, a time frame covering the beginning of Sammamish’s history. The documents themselves will be sent to be stored in Olympia, Anderson said. As the documents leave, they’ll open up more storage space, she said.

Source & Full Story

9 March 2009

Wallace State Library To Find Forgotten Americans

The Family & Regional History Program at Wallace State Community College, Hanceville, has become one of the few libraries in the world to have microfilm of the claims of Americans who sided with the British during the American Revolution.

Some one third of the new nation's population, about the same number who became Patriots, were Loyalists and many of them gave their lives fighting for their country---Colonial America. Many of the king's men returned to the United States and their millions of descendents have played major roles in the building of this country.

Their thousands of claims, the originals of which are today in the National Archives of Great Britain in London, also contain information on tens of thousands of other people who lived in the Thirteen Colonies before 1776, many of whom would join the American cause or never left the country.

Source & Full Story

Painting Thought To Be The First Portrait Of William Shakespeare Done In His Lifetime

A painting that may be the only surviving portrait of William Shakespeare made in his lifetime will be unveiled.

The picture, from 1610, six years before the playwright's death, has been in the possession of the Cobbe family since the early 18th century.

It was initially kept at a property in Hampshire but more recently in Hatchlands, the family house in Surrey, which is run by the National Trust.

For three centuries the family was unsure of the identity of the figure in the portrait. According to Alec Cobbe, an art restorer, at one time it had been thought to be of Sir Walter Raleigh.

Source & Full Story

Shakespeare's Lost Theatre Uncovered On Site Of New London Playhouse

What are thought to be the long-lost remains of William Shakespeare's first theatre, in which plays such as Romeo and Juliet were first performed, have been uncovered by archaeologists.

By coincidence, it was work to build a new playhouse at the site in Shoreditch, east London, which uncovered the foundations of what was known simply as The Theatre, the direct forerunner of the Globe.

The Young William Shakespeare trod the boards there as an actor in the Chamberlain's Men company of players.

Although the approximate site of The Theatre was known, its exact location was lost for 400 years after it was built upon.

Source & Full Story

Microsoft Research Finds Future Value In Family History

For those Microsoft Research staffers who work at the mothership in Redmond, the company's annual TechFest is a festive and busy week of chatting with the people you really meant to spend more time with during the rest of the year. But if you're from out of town -- in from one of Microsoft's five satellite facilities in Beijing, Bangalore, Cambridge-UK, Cambridge-US, or Mountain View -- this may be one of a very few opportunities all year for you to connect with, and very likely show up, your out-of-town colleagues.

Take for instance the UK-based Socio-Digital Systems group, working thousands of miles from the offline conversations that happen on the Redmond campus. Gathered in the "Digital Past to Digital Presence" booth at the recent 'Fest, the gear the UK group had to show didn't make tiny bubbles float in virtual airspace or synchronize several social networks. Actually, its job was to give a place and presence for people's own history in the here and now.

Source & Full Story

Brother's Keeper 6.3.10

Full Featured - Windows - Shareware

Brother's Keeper 6.3.10 has been released.


• On Group sheets, if printing a picture to the right of the person, it will adjust the size larger or smaller if that picture has something in the Size column on the Edit screen for that picture.
• On the Utility, global search and replace, if you are changing the Occupation field or other field, it will show the name of the person and the BK number of the person when it asks if you want to make the change.
• If you are on the Birthday/Anniversary list screen and you press F1 it will show the help for the Birthday/Anniversary screen instead of the normal Custom Report help screen.


• On Graphic Charts, if printing a chart with months, it would sometimes include a person that had a year only in the date field.
• On Group sheets, if printing Basic events, it would sometimes not show the sources for the events of the first spouse.

Ahnenblatt 2.60

Full Featured - Windows - Freeware

Ahnenblatt 2.60 has been released.


• Several bugs fixed.
• New languages: Czech and Romanian.

GeneaNet: Contact Page Improved

The GeneaNet Contact Page is information you can include about yourself for others to see. The purpose of this public profile is to help users of GeneaNet collaborate on research they may have in common.

The Contact Page has now merged with GeneaNet "All Relatives" to be more attractive.

You can modify your own profile at

You can enter the phone number and any information about the user. These informations are private and no one can read it but you.

You can enter as many notes as you want about your contact. These private notes can't be read by anyone but you.

The tag cloud of most popular surnames shows the user's family tree surname frequency. The tag cloud is interactive: tags are hyperlinks allowing you to drill down on the data.

You can modify your own surname tag cloud at

8 March 2009

Barack Obama's English Relatives Whose Lives Are A World Apart From The White House

Charles Blossom, a former lecturer in automotive engineering at Loughborough University, discovered on Saturday that he is a distant cousin of President Barack Obama.

Genealogists have traced the family roots of the 44th US President back to a seventeenth-century Pilgrim settler who emigrated from England to America as one of the founding fathers of the colony of Plymouth, Massachusettes.

They found that President Obama is the 13th-generation descendant of Deacon Thomas Blossom, who was born in the village of Great Shelford, Cambridgeshire, around 1580.

Research by Charles Blossom, 63, and his close family had already revealed that they, too, are related to Thomas Blossom.

Source & Full Story

Shoes Found In 13th Century Trash Pile

A batch of well-preserved shoe soles have been found in an ancient trash dump in Lyon, France. They date from the 13th to the 18th centuries.

Older shoes have been found, including one from 2,000 years ago discovered in 2005 in a hollow tree trunk in southwest England. Sandals from 10,000 years ago were found in a cave in Oregon and are said to be the oldest footware ever found.

Humans began wearing shoes about 40,000 years ago, a study last year revealed.

Source & Full Story

7 March 2009

GRAMPS 3.1.0

Full Featured - Linux - Freeware/Open Source

GRAMPS 3.1.0 has been released.


• Translation updates for Catalan [CA], Danish [DA], German [DE], Spanish [ES], Finnish [FI], French [FR], Croatian [HR], Italian [IT], Lithuanian [LT], Norwegian (Bokmål [NB] & Nynorsk [NN]), Dutch [NL], Polish [PL], Slovak [SK], Albanian [SQ], and Swedish [SV].

Bee Docs' Timeline 2.5

Timeline - Mac - Purchase

Bee Docs' Timeline 2.5 has been released.


• New: Export full motion 3D QuickTime to Keynote slides.
• New: Option to skip to selected events for 3D exports.
• New: Professional quality motion blur for 3D video exports.
• New: Automatically import To Do items from Things by Cultured Code.
• Improved: Video export is more efficient (faster).
• Improved: Quality improved for video export presets.
• Improved: When entering 3D mode, current selection is respected.
• Fixed: Removing an event in bulk edit while editing text caused freeze.
• Fixed: Undo was not working properly for deleted events in bulk edit.
• Fixed: Undo was not working properly for newly added events in bulk edit.
• Fixed: QuickTime chapters are no longer added to HD exports for compatibility with iMovie.

War Hero's Medal Returns After 92 Years

After soldier Walter Thomas Baker was killed during the Battle of the Somme in 1916, a medal commemorating his brave sacrifice was sent to his widow.

Now more than 90 years later, the medal - known as the Dead Man's Penny - has been returned to his closest living relative in Lowestoft after being hidden in an attic on the other side of the Atlantic for decades.

The saucer-sized bronze gunmetal medal was sent home to Mr Baker's widow, living in Canada, after his death on September 20, 1916, but it was soon lost.

Source & Full Story

The First World War Poetry Digital Archive

Launched on 11th November 2008 the First World War Poetry Digital Archive (based at the University of Oxford and funded by the JISC Digitisation Programme) made available to the general public a wide array of archival resources relating to literature of the First World War. Building on the success of Oxford's 'Wilfred Owen Multimedia Digital Archive', and the 'Virtual Seminars for Teaching Literature' project, this multimedia digital archive contains archival resources from other major British poets of the First World War plus images, text, audio and video of primary contextual materials.

5 March 2009

RootsMagic 4 Public beta

Full Featured - Windows - Purchase

RootsMagic 4 Public beta has been released.

RootsMagic, Inc. today announced RootsMagic 4 public beta, the latest version of the award-winning genealogy software which makes researching, organizing, and sharing your family history easy and enjoyable. During the public beta period, all are invited to download and experience the software, free of charge.

RootsMagic 4 beta is available now for free at

4 March 2009

20,000 Photos From 150 Years Of Polar Exploration Available Online

Over 20,000 images capturing over 150 years of polar exploration have been made accessible online by the Scott Polar Research Institute (SPRI3), thanks to a digitisation programme funded by JISC.

As part of the preservation programme, negatives, daguerreotypes and lantern slides, which form part of a rich but fragile archive held by the Scott Polar Research Institute at the University of Cambridge, will be made available to scientists, researchers, scholars and members of the public.

From today, anyone interested in the 19th century exploration of the Arctic and the Antarctic expeditions of Captain Scott, Sir Ernest Shackleton and their modern counterparts such as Sir Ranulph Fiennes can simply visit the Freeze Frame site.


Obama Has Proclaimed March As Irish-American Heritage Month

US President Barack Obama has proclaimed March as Irish-American heritage month.

"I encourage all Americans to observe this month with appropriate ceremonies, programmes, and activities," said President Obama.

"Irish-Americans are integral to the rich fabric of the US, and we are grateful for their service."


3 March 2009

Cologne Archive Building Collapses in Germany

The building housing Cologne's municipal archive collapsed on Tuesday, bringing parts of some surrounding structures down with it. At least two people are missing.

First they heard loud creaking noises. Then, workers in the Cologne city archive building were ordered to get out as quickly as they could. Shortly afterwards, the entire structure collapsed, bringing down parts of neighboring buildings along with it.

Cologne's historical archive is the largest such municipal collection north of the Alps. It contains some 65,000 documents pertaining to the city's history, including one dating all the way back to the year 922. The archive also contains some half a million photographs. The building which collapsed on Tuesday was built in 1971 to house the archive.

Source & Full Story

The UK National Archives' iGoogle Gadget

Users of the personalised Google start page, iGoogle, can now search The UK National Archives' website directly from their page using a new gadget.

Add the gadget by clicking on 'Add stuff' on your iGoogle page and then searching for 'The National Archives'. Alternatively, you can go directly to the gadget (you will need to sign in to your iGoogle page, or create one).

Soviet Refusenik Documents Available Online

A comprehensive archive of the American Soviet Jewry Movement has been digitized and placed online for review by scholars and the public.

The American Jewish Historical Society has made available more than 30 years worth of records, testimonials and other material documenting the efforts of refuseniks, Soviet-era dissidents who fled the region and sought to influence policy from outside their home country.

The new, searchable database represents the culmination of a $200,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.


2 March 2009

Our Family Book 5.5.2

Family Books - Windows - Purchase

Our Family Book 5.5.2 has been released.


• Enhancements for reading of the ged-file. If year dates in DATE will be found higher than the actual year, this will be written to the log file. In case of invalid path data for media in the ged-file (filename or extention are missing), this will be written to the log file. During reading of DATE values in the wrong format "DATE / xxxx" or "DATE xxxx /", these will be translated to "from/to" resp. "after/befor" and accepted.
• Filename of log file changed. Flaws at the output of "add. lvl-2 tags" corrected and at "settings" a new option implemented to allow a conversion of the authors name at the footnotes to a link to an own homepage (only for such user loading the OFB output to a homepage).

MacFamilyTree 5.4

Full Featured - Mac - Purchase

MacFamilyTree 5.4 has been released.


• New Web Page Export
• New: display a Context Chart on every person page, showing close relatives for the selected person
• New: Kinship Report available on each person page
• All sources in a tree file are exported including citations
• Completely new web page design and enhanced workflow
• Additional and improved themes available
• Web pages can be exported in different localizations
• Tree Statistics available for each web page

Continue reading...


Charts and Diagrams - Windows - Purchase

FamilyTreeFactory has been released.


• While creating a new treeview, under certain conditions a Range check error could occur. The conditions depended on the position of the mouse pointer inside the treeview. The confirmation of the error message using the mouse could force the same error again, leading to an endless loop. The bug has been corrected.
• The adjustment of the Main directory for image files has been moved from the Treeview Options dialog to the Program Options dialog, new Directories tab.
• Saving of file and directory names in different files of the FamilyTreeFactory is no longer performed with absolute paths, but now with relative paths. Together with moving the adjustment of the main directory for image files from the Treeview Options to the Program Options, now moving files to another location or synchronizing two computers is very easy. Details can be found in the appendix of the manual in the section The FamilyTreeFactory Files.

Continue reading...

GeneaNet "All Relatives" Topics: Discuss And Share With Your Contacts

GeneaNet "All Relatives" helps you sharing with family, relatives and friends.

We already discussed some of its improvements and the snapshot view of the latest news from your network of family and friends.

A new feature called "All Relatives Topics" will help you discuss and share on any topic with your contacts.

Many topics are available (digital photography, genetic genealogy, genealogy softwares, etc.) and new topics can be created if needed. The next version will let you create your own new topics.

Fill in the search form to discover the topics and click the name of a topic to view members et the latest messages.

The messages are posted in the GeneaNet forums.

The "All Relatives Topics" feature show the latest messages to help you discuss with your contacts. Just click to answer a message.

Some suggested topics are shown on your "All Relatives" home page. Feel free to see if you may be interested in it...