Genealogy Blog

30 April 2009

Unique Roman Glass Dish Discovered At London Grave

Archeologists have discovered an exquisite Roman polychrome millefiori dish in East London, U.K. The dish is made up of hundreds of indented glass petals (the term millefiori means simply “a thousand flowers”) in an intricate repeated pattern and was found during excavations in Prescot Street, Aldgate, by L – P : Archaeology. It was highly fragmented but miraculously held together by nothing more than the earth around it.

It has been painstakingly reassembled by Museum of London Archaeology conservator Liz Goodman.

The dish formed part of the grave goods of a Roman Londoner whose cremated remains were uncovered, probably buried in a wooden container, in a cemetery in Londinium’s Eastern quarter. A number of other ceramic and glass vessels were also ranged along the sides of the casket, suggesting a rich and unusual burial.

Source & Full Story

MyBlood 1.0 alpha 4

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MyBlood 1.0 alpha 4 has been released.



• Bug fix: Height and Width in Export for web pages wasn't translated.
• Improvement: Added the last date there was checked of an update.
• Improvement: Added a warning in the Web export TAB if QuickTime is not installed, and the link to the site to install QuickTime Application.
• Added (Mac Only):This is the first iteration to made the application AppleScriptable. The set of Scriptable items will evolve in the Alpha and Beta's, and can change. Scriptable items are:
- Open, Close, Save MyBlood files.
- Open GEDCOM files including import settings....
- Get the number of people, families, notes, media... frm the database.
- Create Webpages and set encoding...
• Improvement: Date field are not read-only anymore. You can enter the date directly. If incorrect, the background become red. The field will not become red if the field is empty.
• Added: Added icons to some menu's, and adjusted some icons in the application.
• Dropped: We dropped the Carbon compilation of the Mac version. This means the Mac application is not Universal (PowerPC/Intel) anymore, but only Intel. Let us know you absolutely need a PowerPC version.

Find and Replace (NEW)

• Find and Replace is a new item found in the Find – Menu. It allows you to find and replace the contents of fields in the MyBlood database. E.g. the place name you entered for some pictures or events was spelled incorrectly. You can open the Find and replace window and look for place names in Media, and replace the or change the field content one per one...

Continue reading...

MacFamilyTree 5.5 public beta 5

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MacFamilyTree 5.5 public beta 5 has been released.


• Person List can be configured to show separate columns for name components.
• Other user interface bugs fixed.
• Performance Enhancements when opening Databases.

Geophoto 2.4

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Geophoto 2.4 has been released.


• Added support for copying and pasting coordinates.
• Geophoto is now more liberal when parsing typed or pasted coordinates: it will accept coordinates in DM (decimal minutes) format, and a leading +/- sign instead of a trailing cardinal direction marker (N/S or E/W).
• Faster geotagging (in particular, faster batch geotagging) of non-JPEG formats like TIFF and most TIFF-based RAW image formats, thanks to a new version of the exiv2 library.
• Fixed a long-standing issue with some TIFF-based raw image formats, like Nikon .nef, where the slide show would display a pixelated, low-resolution thumbnail, rather than the original image in its fully glory.
• Minor bug fixes and improvements.

FamiliaBuilder 5.1

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FamiliaBuilder 5.1 has been released.


• Support of all types of files. In addition to still images, now FamiliaBuilder supports multimedia (video/audio clips), PDF files and other files. In particular, in a video/audio clip you can mark the frame with the given person.
• Support of sources. If, for example, your GEDCOM provides a source for an individual's birth date, FamiliaBuilder puts an "S" link in that individual's personal page, in the "Birth" row. If you click on that link, a page pops up with the source description.
• Single, selectable font for all web pages. In the past, different FamiliaBuilder-generated web pages used different fonts. Now you can choose a font family (e.g., Arial, Comic Sans MS, etc.), and all pages will be done in that font. Moreover, almost all pages now use proportional fronts. That means that visitors can change the text size using their browser settings.

High Teen Genealogist Wins $10K for College

Bingham High School senior Brad Jencks is the Utah winner of the 2009 AXA Achievement Scholarship In association with U.S. News and World Report.

The teen has dedicated much of the past five years of his life to improving the Bingham City Cemetery and researching the lives of those buried there.

When the project began, his intention was to dedicate 100 hours in pursuit of his Eagle. He has since donated more than 6,000 hours to cemetery projects.

With the help of more than 2,000 volunteers, Brad replaced and preserved grave markers, discovered the identities of some 1,100 unknown burials, wrote a 1,500-page historical book about the cemetery, authored a military war hero book, and installed a "wall of honor" for 1,825 burials, a new fence, an information center and a monument honoring veterans of six years.

Source & Full Story

Native Americans Descended From A Single Ancestral Group, DNA Study Confirms

For two decades, researchers have been using a growing volume of genetic data to debate whether ancestors of Native Americans emigrated to the New World in one wave or successive waves, or from one ancestral Asian population or a number of different populations.

Now, after painstakingly comparing DNA samples from people in dozens of modern-day Native American and Eurasian groups, an international team of scientists thinks it can put the matter to rest: virtually without exception, the new evidence supports the single ancestral population theory.

“Our work provides strong evidence that, in general, Native Americans are more closely related to each other than to any other existing Asian populations, except those that live at the very edge of the Bering Strait,” said Kari Britt Schroeder, a lecturer at the University of California, Davis, and the first author on the paper describing the study.

Source & Full Story

29 April 2009

Soldier's Letters Give First-Hand Look at Spanish Flu Pandemic

As World War I rages in Europe, fresh U.S. Army soldiers pass the time on a train ride to to Camp Forrest, Georgia. "The boys are just starting to sing," Martin Aloysius Culhane wrote on September 6, 1918, to his friend back home. "They've gotten back to 'Old Black Joe' so far."

Stephen Foster's classic song from the Civil War is about the death of slaves who had become his friends. But Culhane, known as "Al," and the soldiers who sang along could not know how much death would hunt the recruits on that train, most of whom never made it to Europe to fight in the Great War.

They would find themselves in the deadliest influenza pandemic in history.

Source & Full Story

Inside the Mexican Suitcase: Previously Unknown Shots by Robert Capa, Gerda Taro and David Seymour During the Spanish Civil War

When the three weathered cardboard boxes — known collectively, and cinematically, as the Mexican suitcase — arrived at the International Center of Photography more than a year ago, one of the first things a conservator did was bend down and sniff the film coiled inside, fearful of a telltale acrid odor, a sign of nitrate decay.

But the rolls turned out to be in remarkably good shape despite being almost untouched for 70 years. And so began a painstaking process of unfurling, scanning and trying to make sense of some 4,300 negatives taken by Robert Capa, Gerda Taro and David Seymour during the Spanish Civil War, groundbreaking work that was long thought to be lost but re-surfaced several years ago in Mexico City.

What the center’s scholars have found among the 126 rolls over the last several months are a number of previously unknown shots by Capa, one of the founders of the Magnum photo agency and a pioneering war photographer, and by Taro, his professional partner and companion, who died in 1937 when she was struck by a tank near the front, west of Madrid. But more surprising has been the wealth of new work by Seymour, known as Chim, that was found in the cases. Another of Magnum’s founders, he was known not for his battle photography but for penetrating documentation of Spanish life in the shadow of war.

Source & Full Story

City of Rome, Georgia, U.S., Cemetery Burial Data Now Online

Thanks to a new burial data program on the city of Rome's Web site, genealogy researchers and loved ones may have an easier time locating their ancestors buried in Rome's public cemeteries.

The service can assist those looking for the plots of ancestors, family or friends buried in city-owned cemeteries — Eastview, Oakland and Myrtle Hill.

"We’re one of the first two or three cities to give this feature," said Rome Cemetery Director Stan Rogers.

The information only covers burial records, the cemetery lot number and plot location number. The site can also generate clickable maps of the cemeteries that allow the user to navigate and find the exact placement of the plot.

Eastview and Oakland Cemetery Search
Myrtle Hill Cemetery Search

Source & Full Story

Michigan Archaeologist to Study ex-Pauper Cemetery

An archaeologist from Michigan wants to use remote sensing equipment to look for graves in a ravine once used for pauper burials at Shreveport's Greenwood Cemetery -- and possibly also to bury Civil War soldiers.

Weather permitting, Ronald Bacon of Superior Environmental in Wixom, Mich., planned to start Wednesday in the area called "The Dell."

The work should take a day or two, he said. The first pass over the ground uses an electromagnetic induction device, with ground penetrating radar for more detailed looks.

Source & Full Story

Great Escape' Gardener, 97, Dies

One of the last surviving prisoners of war (PoW) from Stalag Luft III, the focus of the 1963 film The Great Escape, has died in Scotland.

Alex Lees, 97, and born in Manchester, had been the gardener in the famous PoW camp in Germany during World War II.

Mr Lees used his work to help get rid of the spoil dug from the escape tunnels at the camp.

Of those who broke out of the camp only three reached safety and of the 73 recaptured, 50 were shot.

Source & Full Story

Old Portuguese-Language Newspaper Now Read All Over

In what is seen as a boon to genealogists and local scholars, UMass Dartmouth announced Tuesday that more than 50 years of the former New Bedford Portuguese-language newspaper, Diario de Noticias, is now available online.

Known as the Ferreira Mendes Portuguese-American Archives, the project includes the digitizing of 84,010 pages or 16,641 issues of the newspaper, covering the period from 1919-73, so they can be viewed on the Web.

Source & Full Story

Reunion for iPhone & iPod Touch 1.0.1

PDAs and Handhelds - PDAs and Handhelds - Purchase

Reunion for iPhone & iPod Touch 1.0.1 has been released.


• Localizations for Dutch and French.
• Added “x of y” numbering when displaying pictures, where x is the current picture and y is the total number of pictures linked to a person.
• Editing of Phone, Fax, email and URL fields in Address section of Person Info window now works properly.
• Moved Soundex out of the Person Info window to the family card as an optional field.

America's 11 Most Endangered Historic Places

This year marks the 22nd annual list of America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places. Since 1988, the National Trust for Historic Preservation has used this list as a powerful alarm to raise awareness of the serious threats facing the nation’s greatest treasures. It has become one of the most effective tools in the fight to save the country’s irreplaceable architectural, cultural and natural heritage.

The list, which has identified 211 sites through 2009, has been so successful in galvanizing preservation efforts across the country and rallying resources to save one-of-a-kind landmarks that, in over two decades, only six sites have been lost. Dozens of sites have been saved through the tireless work of the National Trust, our regional offices, statewide and local partners, and preservation organizations across the country. Many more sites are considered “favorable” and are on the path to a positive solution. Still others remain threatened and the National Trust and its partners continue in their efforts to protect these important endangered places.

28 April 2009

British Library: Henry VIII Key Documents Online

Key documents from the life and times of Henry VIII, the pious yet bloodthirsty king whose reign forever changed the nature of England. With video extracts from David Starkey's acclaimed Channel 4 series 'Henry VIII: The Mind of a Tyrant'.

Officials Said the Person Believed to be the First Swine Flu Fatality Worked as a Census-Taker in Oaxaca

The first officially confirmed fatality from the disease occurred April 13. Maria Adela Gutierrez died in the southern city of Oaxaca, capital of the state of the same name.

Gutierrez was a door-to-door census-taker for the tax board, meaning she could have had contact with scores of people at her most contagious point, before being hospitalized. But Martin Vazquez Villanueva, the regional health secretary in Oaxaca, denied local news reports that said she had infected 20 people, as well as her husband and children.

Source & Full Story

27 April 2009

Home Sweet Home: The Man Who's Lived in the Same Flat for 100 Years

A retired ice cream seller is celebrating today after living in the same flat for a century.

The 107-year-old moved from Italy to the flat above the ice cream parlour his father ran when he was seven and has remained there for 100 years.

Alfonso De Marco was born near the southern Italian city of Cassino in 1902 before joining his father Guiseppe in 1909 in Eastbourne, East Sussex.

Source & Full Story

Shrubs 2.2

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Shrubs 2.2 has been released.


• New "Pad" feature: text entries can now be associated to individuals and families and can later be viewed on the device or sent via e-mail for merging back into a desktop application (this is not an automated merge feature - it basically replaces carrying a note pad around).
• Dates are now parsed and localized (feature can be disabled through the Settings app)
• Database statistics are now available through the Tools tab
• People and union indexes can now be searched
• Fixed issue affecting some individuals with multiple NAME tags.

Our Family Book 5.6.0

Family Books - Windows - Purchase

Our Family Book 5.6.0 has been released.


• GEDCOM Profile Management.

MacFamilyTree 5.5 public beta 4

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MacFamilyTree 5.5 public beta 4 has been released.


• Several bugs in the Palette Configuration fixed.
• Other user interface bugs fixed.

GeneaNet: How To Know How Many Descendants Are Belonging To An Individual In Your Online Family Tree

A GeneaNet feature can easily let you know how many descendants are belonging to an individual in your online family tree, including all of the children.

This can be useful when organizing a family reunion or sharing data with some other genealogists.

In your GeneaNet online family tree, select an individual then click on the link "Descendants (Tree)" at the bottom of the page.

The "Specify generation" drop-down list automatically show the number of descendants by generation.

Select the number of generations and the display options, then click the button "OK".

This will open a new page with the list of the descendants.

The number of descendants, including all of the children, is shown at the bottom of the list.

26 April 2009

British History Online

I just came across this amazing website:

Created by the Institute of Historical Research and the History of Parliament Trust, British History Online is a digital library containing some of the core printed primary and secondary sources for the medieval and modern history of the British Isles.

A lot of free resources and a full-text search of all the sources in the website!

Family Historian 4 Officially Here

Full Featured - Windows - Purchase

Version 4 of Family Historian is now available as a download (see Downloads). Resellers will receive boxes during the week beginning Monday April 27th.

Both Family Historian 4 (boxed) and Family Historian 4 (download) will, when installed, automatically detect and upgrade any previous versions of Family Historian you may have installed. Family Historian 4 Upgrade (download) and Family Historian 4 Upgrade (on CD) are available for version 3.x users only.

Customers who purchased a licence for the download version of version 3 since November 26th 2008, will be emailed a link for a free upgrade to version 4.

What's New:

• A new hub component window called the Focus Window, with views for spouses & children, parents & siblings, ancestors and descendants has been added. It is designed to make adding relatives and moving around a family tree, completely intuitive and easy. The Focus Window can display up to 9 pictures of the 'focus person', as well as pictures of other family members. If a person has multiple spouses, all of their families with each spouse, are displayed together on one page.
• The main data entry window - the Property Box - has been reworked so that it too is now easier than ever to use. Users can configure its appearance, customize it (even add custom tabs to it), move it, resize it, or ‘dock’ it to the side of the application window. And you can choose any text size or font you want.
• Project management capability has been added. The program automatically looks after all your project files for you (including picture files and other multimedia, saved charts and more) in a dedicated folder on your hard disk.
• Multi-level undo/redo lets you make changes in confidence, knowing that if you make a mistake you can easily undo it (this is the most voted-for feature on users’ wish lists).
• A new How Related tool has been added, which shows up to 9 different ways that any two people are related. If they are not directly related to one another, it will try to show you how they are indirectly related to one another, via a 3rd party, if they are.
• Full support for same sex relationships has been added.
• Support for multimedia has been significantly enhanced - especially pictures. Thumbnail views have been added to make browsing pictures easy. You can now link pictures to events and attributes. Adding pictures and multimedia is easier than ever, as is browsing all the pictures in your project - thanks to extensive filtering options, including keyword filtering, in the Multimedia Window. Support for pictures has been improved in reports, and there is an all-new Multimedia Report.
• Charts, reports and queries can all now be saved in PDF format. With charts, you also have the option of saving the entire chart as a one-page PDF file.
• There is a new Export GEDCOM File capability, with numerous options, including the ability to export selected Individual records only (with various methods supported for selecting them, including by query), a choice of methods for handling the export of same sex relationship information, options to exclude records of all types, and the option to remove [[private]] notes (that is, notes flagged as private by encasing them in doubled square brackets).
• Support for website generation and family tree CDs has been improved with automatic support for web links, enhanced privacy options, enhanced text colouring options, and support for the new Multimedia report.
• Charts and diagrams have had numerous improvements, including new more flexible alignment options for boxes. Text can now be any colour (previously colours were restricted). There is a new move within row/column option to allow better use to be made of space. As previously mentioned, charts can be saved as PDF files, and even as one-page PDFs. There are new features for power users, and other enhancements.
• Support for Fact Queries has been added. You can now create a query to search, filter and report on, any and all events and/or attributes in your project, using whatever criteria you like.
• Extensive power-user features have been added, giving power-users much greater scope to extend and customize the program than ever before. Ordinary users can also benefit through the ability to download program extensions written by power users, from Family Historian user websites (e.g.
• The product includes Getting the Most From Family Historian 4 as an online book. It has been extensively revised and updated since the version 3 edition.
• Family Historian 4 has been given a new more modern look, and numerous enhancements to make the program easier than ever to learn and even nicer and more fun to use.

24 April 2009

400-Year-Old Mummified Cat Found in Walls of Cottage

A 400-year-old mummified cat has been found in the walls of a house that was being renovated.

The cat, which is in recognisable shape and still has its claws and teeth, may have been placed in the walls of the house in Devon, to ward off evil spirits.

Richard Parson, a funeral director, who owns the house in Ugborough, near Plymouth, said: "The builders were stripping one of the bathrooms upstairs and this little fellow came to light. It is quite scary looking and is a lot bigger than a normal domestic cat."

He added: "Apparently 400 years ago people put cats behind walls to ward off witches. It clearly works as, since we have lived in the village, we have not seen sight or sound of any witches."

Source & Full Story

MacFamilyTree 5.5 public beta 3

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MacFamilyTree 5.5 public beta 3 has been released.

Fixes in Beta 3:

• Many problems fixed in the GEDCOM importer.
• Speed improvements while opening databases.
• Localization fixes.

Fixes in Beta 2:

• GEDCOM Importer improved for notes.
• Name Format change working again.
• Further performance enhancements.

Brother's Keeper 6.3.12

Full Featured - Windows - Shareware

Brother's Keeper 6.3.12 has been released.


• On Edit screen, if an event has exactly one source attached, you can hold down Shift and click the S with the mouse to jump to that source and bypass the screen showing all sources for that event.
• New option on Group sheets to only print if date of last change is after a certain date. Note that not every type of change will set the 'date of last change' on Edit, but if you add or change an event date or location it will reset the date of last change.
• Option to print the Divorced event on Descendant report and Ancestor Chart. It will later be added to Ancestor chart html output.


• Instead of setting option to show symbols in place of b. and d. on all reports, now you can pick that option separately for each report that can print b. and d.

The National Union Catalog of Manuscripts is Celebrating 50 Years

The mission of the National Union Catalog of Manuscripts (NUCMC) program is to provide and promote bibliographic access to the nation’s documentary heritage. This mission is realized by NUCMC production of cataloging describing archival and manuscript collections held by eligible repositories located throughout the United States and its territories. The program’s mission is further realized by the provision of free searching, via NUCMC gateways, of archival and manuscript cataloging in OCLC WorldCat.

A free-of-charge cooperative cataloging program operated by the Library of Congress, the National Union Catalog of Manuscript Collections (NUCMC) creates online records in OCLC WorldCat on behalf of eligible archival repositories throughout the United States.

Direct to NUCMC / OCLC Manuscripts Easy Search Form

NLM Announces New Software for Searching and Viewing Historical Imagery

The History of Medicine Division of the National Library of Medicine announces the launch of a new image platform for its premier database, Images from the History of Medicine (IHM). Using software developed by Luna Imaging, Inc., NLM offers greatly enhanced searching and viewing capabilities to image researchers.

Patrons can view search results in a multi-image display, download high resolution copies of their favorite images, zoom in on image details, move images into a patron-defined workspace for further manipulation, and create media groups for presenting images and sharing them via e-mail or posting on blogs.

With these new capabilities, NLM greatly enhances usability of its image collection, where inspection and comparison of images is often as important as access to bibliographic data. IHM is available online, free of charge, at


The U.K. Ministry of Defence Names WWI Mass Grave Troops

The Ministry of Defence has released the names of dozens of World War I soldiers they believe may be buried in a mass grave found in France last year.

Burial pits, which date from the Battle of Fromelles on 19 July, 1916, could also contain the remains of at least 20 Scottish soldiers.

Among those named are members of the Cameron Highlanders and the Royal Warwickshire Regiment.

More than 7,000 British and Australian servicemen died in the two-day battle.

Source & Full Story

WWII-Era Dive Bomber Pulled from Lake Michigan

A dive bomber that had ditched in Lake Michigan on a training run in 1944 was brought to land Friday for restoration in Florida for the National World War II Museum in New Orleans.

The Douglas SBD Dauntless lifted from the water Friday to a pier in Waukegan, Ill., is among 130 to 300 or more planes estimated to have sunk in the lake during training late in World War II.

Source & Full Story

Retelling the History of Chief Sitting Bull, Lakota Tribe

What the history books don't tell us is that the former Hunkpapa Lakota chief Sitting Bull was a man of great compassion, generosity, integrity and courage, and he was murdered on the banks of the Grand River in Michigan.

For more than 15 years – since 1992 when LaPointe was afforded the opportunity to first speak about Sitting Bull at his posthumous induction into the Hall of Fame of American Indian Chiefs at Anadarko, Okla. – LaPointe has traveled across the country, retelling the oral histories of the Lakota tribe and his great-grandfather, as told to him by his mother, the granddaughter of Sitting Bull.

On Monday, LaPointe will deliver a free lecture at 7 p.m. at the Temple College Pavilion during a program, "The Great-Grandson's Insight on Sitting Bull and the Lakota Culture."

Source & Full Story

World War I Diaries Reveal Story Behind 1914 Armistice

The diary of a First World War veteran has revealed his crucial role in the Christmas armistice of 1914.

Robert Hamilton was an assiduous diary keeper, recording life’s daily occurrences between 1913 and 1950 with military precision.

The entries were no doubt pertinent to the author but generally were less than gripping for a wider audience. According to Robert’s grandson, Andrew Hamilton, who ploughed through his late forebear’s leather-bound volumes, much of the content was “unexceptional and rather dull”.

Thank goodness Andrew kept looking, however. As he scanned the diaries, the former Birmingham history teacher’s eye was caught by a slim, hardback volume. Unlike the rest of the collection, the text was typed rather than handwritten and was marked: “Diary kept by Captain R C Hamilton from August 5th 1914 to January 12th 1915.”

Source & Full Story

Penn State's La Vie Yearbook from 1890 to 2000 Available Online

Penn State alumni and current students will be able to take a trip back in time beginning this weekend by accessing more than 100 years worth of yearbook issues online.

The six-month effort to make archived issues of Penn State's La Vie yearbook from 1890 to 2000 available online will come to fruition when the Web site debuts today.

The project is a collaboration between the Penn State University Archives and the University Libraries Digitization and Preservation Department. It features about 51,000 pages of yearbook content.

The Web site,, was up and running earlier this week for a trial run and library archivist Jackie Esposito said she has already heard some positive feedback.

Source & Full Story

Police Clerk's Ancestor Killed Police Constable

A Bristol police inquiry clerk who discovered an ancestor had murdered a policeman 140 years ago has led a drive to have the officer's grave restored.

Elaine Rees who works at Trinity Road police station was tracing her family tree when she made the discovery.

Pc Richard Hill, 31, was stabbed by her great, great, great uncle William Pullin while trying to stop him mistreating a donkey in Old Market.

Source & Full Story

23 April 2009

Trove of Unknown Ben Franklin Letters Found

Letters from Benjamin Franklin have been uncovered the British Library, unseen for 250 years.

The 47 letters are copies made in the spring and summer of 1755 of correspondence written to and from Franklin. The copies were transcribed by a contemporary of Franklin's, Thomas Birch, who had a penchant for compiling historical documents.

The trove was discovered by University of California, San Diego professor Alan Houston, and is being published for the first time in the April issue of the William and Mary Quarterly. The letters concern Franklin's involvement in the French and Indian War — specifically an incident called the "wagon affair."

Source & Full Story

Aussie who Found WWI Mass Grave Banned

An Australian school teacher who pinpointed the spot where nearly 200 World War I diggers lie in a mass grave in France has been effectively banned from helping to recover and rebury their bodies.

Lambis Englezos led Australian army officials to the spot of the mass grave on the outskirts of the rural town of Fromelles, near Lille in northern France, after years of painstaking research.

Work to exhume the bodies and rebury them in a new cemetery being built nearby is due to begin in May.

But Englezos has been told by Australian army officials he will be granted special access to the excavation site only once during the five-month project.

They want access to the site limited so as to prevent any contamination of DNA samples they plan to collect from the soldiers' remains in the hope that some of them can be identified.

Source & Full Story

22 April 2009

Winners of the 2009 Best Archives on the Web Awards

Archives Next has announced the winners of the 2009 Best Archives on the Web Awards.

Best Institutional Blog

• Winner: Historical Notes from OHSU - Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) Historical Collections & Archives
• Winner: Peeling Back the Bark - The Forest History Society
• Honorable Mention: Brooklynology - Brooklyn Public Library

Best Archives Website

• Winner: Archiefbank - Amsterdam City Archives
• Winner: Mapping Our Anzacs - National Archives of Australia
• Winner: Seeking Michigan - The Library of Michigan and the State Archives of Michigan
• Honorable Mention: The Archives of American Art - Smithsonian Institution

Most Whimsical Archives-Related Website

• Winner: Derangement & Description - Dee Dee
• Winner: Mustaches of the Nineteenth Century - University of Kentucky Archives
• Honorable Mention: The Fictional World of Archives, Museums & Art Galleries - David Mattison

Plans for First War Cemetery to be Built in Fifty Years Made Public

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission today announced plans and released designs for the first war cemetery to be built by the Commission for almost fifty years.

The new cemetery, to be known as Fromelles (Pheasant Wood) Military Cemetery, will be used to re-inter with dignity the remains of up to 400 Australian and British servicemen who died during the Battle of Fromelles in July 1916. The remains of these men currently lie in a number of newly-discovered mass graves at Pheasant Wood in the village of Fromelles.

Work on the new cemetery will begin in May 2009 and will be completed by December. The cemetery will be built to the same high standards as the Commission's existing First World War memorials and cemeteries in France - using similar materials and horticulture - but taking account of modern construction methods and accessibility requirements.

Source & Full Story

Do It Yourself: High-Speed Book Scanner from Trash and Cheap Cameras

"After suffering through scanning many of my old, rare, and government issue books, I decided to create a book scanner that anybody could make, for around $300. And that's what this instructable is all about.

I've built two of these things now, and this instructable covers the best parts of both of them. You can build a book scanner using only hand tools plus a drill.

We have written some open-source, free software to convert the images from your scanner into PDFs. It's currently in a rough alpha stage, and needs a pretty fast computer to get things done. It works on Macs and PCs. Help us improve it!"

Do It Yourself: High-Speed Book Scanner from Trash and Cheap Cameras

Volunteers Work to Restore Dignity to Patients Buried at Former Toledo State Hospital

Rows of shallow depressions, up a grassy slope, too high to be seen from the drive that feeds campus parking lots in South Toledo. Each hollow is three or four feet long by 18 inches wide and nested with brown leaves. Underfoot, the ground is soft. To someone walking a dog through this cedar grove, the patterns would have scant meaning. But once informed by a single scrap of context, the place assumes an eerie, solemn aura.

They are grave dimples that have sunk slowly as the cargo beneath — wooden boxes cradling bodies wrapped long ago in cloth shrouds — decomposes.

Under one of these narrow cavities rests the bones of poor Margaret Kramer Funk. Her 1897 death notice reads "... the mother of several small children, has gone violently insane. She was taken to the asylum at Toledo, where she died on Saturday." Her descendents in Mansfield wonder about her.

Source & Full Story

21 April 2009

Internet Archive Requests Book Copyright Indemnity

The Internet Archive, best known for its website archive the Wayback Machine, stated it is concerned that the settlement reached by Google and the Authors Guild for Book Search will give its own non-profit online library effort a competitive disadvantage and has informed a federal judge that it would like to be covered by same the copyright liability protection that Google enjoys.

"We're very concerned that this potential monopoly on orphan works will prevent other actors who want to provide access to the corpus of the books," said Peter Brantley, a spokesman for the Internet Archive, which owns a non-profit project that also involves scanning a large amount of books.

Source & Full Story

UncleGED 9.08

Web Publishing - Windows - Freeware

UncleGED 9.08 has been released.


• New feature: added option to generate an RSS feed (rssfeed.xml) containing a listing of the most recent changes. See CreateRSSFeed, RssRootURL, RssDescription, and DaysRecent in documentation.
• Fixed spacing of footer menu on family pages
• Fixed problem where copyright class in CSS was being ignored
• Added new options regarding CSS: No CSS, Use default uged.css, or Copy CSS from a specific location.
• Default files are copied to "My UncleGED" on first time start-up instead of being installed directly. This has been done to take into account multiple users on same machine.
• Fixed problem where last project was not being opened when UncleGED was started.
• Fixed problem with "Birth" & "Death" labels for children on family pages.
• Fixed problem with ordering of events on family pages (Birth and Death now appears first in list of events)
• Fixed problem some dates displaying incorrectly.

MacFamilyTree 5.5 public beta

Full Featured - Mac - Purchase

MacFamilyTree 5.5 public beta has been released.


• New: World History Database
• New: Completely Rewritten Database Engine
• New: Search
• New: Additional Charts Available for Statistics View
• Displays all Events in your Database in a historical context
• Our predefined database features categorized historical events in 22 topics
• Additional events can be easily added and edited from a dedicated Preferences section.
• Add custom regional and global historical data
• Historical data is available in Edit Mode, for each person and family. Historical information will be displayed in Time Line view, Person Reports and on Web pages generated using our powerful Web HTML Export.
• Fully localized integration with Wikipedia (Internet connection required)
• Dramatic speed increase throughout MacFamilyTree, especially on Macs running Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard)
• Full size images and large PDFs are stored in the MacFamilyTree database without compromising overall performance.
• Changes to the MacFamilyTree database are now saved much quicker.
• Reduced memory footprint, especially for larger databases
• Rewritten, fine-grained search with a new user interface
• Search for Persons, Families and Sources with many options to narrow down and customize your search criteria.
• Age of Children at Parents' Death
• Age of Person at Partner's Death
• Month of Marriage
• Other Improvements & Fixes
• Added Auto-Save
• GEDCOM Importer improved
• Improved Black & White theme for Charts
• Wood style now selectable in MacFamilyTree's Preferences, as an option for the program's entire user interface
• The Ancestor Chart can now be flipped as an upside-down view
• Added a parents of person popup menu to the man and woman palette
• Editing of saved Reports improved
• Many user interface refinements

LongFamilyHistory 2.3.9

Full Featured - Windows - Purchase

LongFamilyHistory 2.3.9 has been released.


• Table management functions added to the Story Editor.
• Some bugs fixed in the Story Editor.

GEDxlate 1.2

GEDCOM Tools - Windows - Freeware

GEDxlate 1.2 has been released.


• The program doesn't always recognize a GEDCOM file when it sees one. Fixed.

Ancestral Author 2.8

Family Books - Windows - Purchase

Ancestral Author 2.8 has been released.


• Support has been added for the GEDCOM INDI.ALIA tag. Alias names are now displayed in descendant and ancestor reports. Note that a new keywords.txt file entry has been added for alias.
• Children and spouses are now chronologically sorted. Press the OPTIONS button on the opening dialog, then select the "Sorting Dates" tab.
• Support for the GEDCOM INDI.DEAT.CAUS tag has been added. Cause of death is now displayed in descendant and ancestor reports. Note that a new keywords.txt file entry has been added for cause of death.
• The starting page number, which had previously been 1, can now be changed. This is especially handy if the PDF file produced by AA is to be appended or inserted into the middle of another document. Press the OPTIONS button on the opening dialog, then select the "Start Page" tab.
• Support has been added for the processing of unmarried couples. Press the OPTIONS button on the opening dialog, then select the GEDCOM tab. Help for the "MARR Tag Processing" box will explain how to use the new feature.
• Note that the keywords.txt file has changed with this release. If you have modified the keywords.txt file, you'll need to add to it the new entries in /samples/keywords/keywords.txt.
• Several bugs have been fixed, including a bug related to drag and drop on files that have parenthesis in their names.

Armenian National Archive Possesses 12,000 Documents on the Armenian Genocide

12,000 documents on the Armenian Genocide are kept in the National Archive of Armenia. Director of the Armenian National Archive Amatuni Virabyan said to reporters today that in reality their number is much larger, and their registration still continues.

According to Amatuni Virabyan, four types of documents are kept in the Archive. The first group includes the articles from Tbilisi based “Mshak” newspaper of 1916.

The next group includes the documents the church possessed. Since there was no statehood then, but there was the church that had substituted the state for centuries, the Catholicos f All Armenians was receiving letters from different sites of the world. The letters provide information about the massacre of the Armenian population of the Ottoman Empire, about the number of victims and emigrants.

Source & Full Story

UK's Aussie War Memorial Forced to Close

A multi-million dollar memorial in London honouring the thousands of Australians who fought in both world wars will close for several months so it can undergo urgent repairs.

The Australian War Memorial at Hyde Park Corner in central London was opened just six years ago by the Queen but will close after Anzac Day for a $300,000 facelift.

The curved stone memorial features the names of 24,000 towns which were home to the 101,000 Australian men and women who died during World War I and World War II.

But many of the town names, which are etched into a series of panels along the grey granite walls, are now illegible because the paint used to highlight each town's name has worn away.

Source & Full Story

20 April 2009

New Zealand Sculptor Sets Scottish Migration in Stone

When Waitakere sculptor John Edgar wants to tell a story, neither time nor distance can stand in the way.

Gripped by an idea to tell the story of Scottish settlers, he found eight tonnes of stone in the quarries and countryside of their homeland and had it shipped to his workshop.

Hundreds of hours' work later, five sculptures each weighing between 150kg and 300kg are nearly ready to be packed and sent back to Scotland.

They will be on show at the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh from August 5 to November 30, as part of the Edinburgh Arts Festival.

Source & Full Story

New Edition of RecordKeeping Magazine Available Online

The April 2009 edition of RecordKeeping magazine is now available to download. This quarterly magazine is aimed at archivists, records managers, and everyone involved and interested in archives and records.

Contents of this issue include:

• Supporting religious archives in the UK: the work of the Religious Archives Group
• Digital preservation roadshow 2009
• Living the poor life
• Exploring digital archives in Australia and the USA
• Manorial documents register: Launch for Buckinghamshire and Berkshire
• BT Archives launches its online catalogue
• Preparing for war: Colonel Colvile’s notes on Abeokuta

Download the April 2009 edition of RecordKeeping magazine and the previous issues at

Video: Better Way to Cite Online Sources

Every genealogist and family historian from beginner to professional will at some time confront the issue of source citations. Although great advances have been made in recent years to standardize and simplify citations, it is still too difficult. Today on, Mark Tucker has released a video that proposes a better way to cite online sources.

This 7.5 minute video consists of two sections. The first section discusses some of the current issues with citing sources especially when it comes to online sources. The second section demonstrates an approach to quickly and accurately cite online sources. The technology needed to accomplish this exists today. The changes proposed by this video requires collaboration between various providers of genealogy software and services.


Protect the Privacy of Living Individuals in your GeneaNet Family Tree

GeneaNet allows protecting or completely withholding of information on living individuals in your family tree, thus protecting their privacy.

Go to "My GeneaNet : Online Family Tree : Manage : Privacy" to configure your privacy settings.

GeneaNet - Gestion des contemporainsShow/Hide Living Individuals

- Default: Only the name and surname of individuals born within the past 100 years will be displayed. Information such as life events will not be available.

- Hide Living Individuals: The name and surname of individuals born within the past 100 years will be replaced with "XXX" and information about living persons will only be available in the online search for users with a Wizard Access Right.

- Show Living Individuals: All of the information about living individuals will be displayed in your family tree and available in the online search.

Remove living persons from your online family tree

This will remove every person born within the last 100 years. Please, save your data before processing!

Expert Options - Advanced Access Rights

- Privacy of Living Individuals: To restrict access to living individuals in your family tree, select a number of years then select "Yes" to replace these individuals with "XXX".

- Birth Date Unknown: Select if individuals with unknown birth date should be hidden in your family tree.

- Remove Hyperlinks: Select "Yes" to remove hyperlinks on private individuals.

19 April 2009

Civil War Museum of Philadelphia Won a Battle, Lost the War

The Civil War Museum of Philadelphia - which state officials once believed was so critical to the city's cultural fabric that they waged a court fight to keep it here - has been refused promised capital funding by Gov. Rendell and has lost access to its planned new home in the heart of Independence National Historical Park.

The museum, a reconfigured version of the Civil War Library and Museum in the 1800 block of Pine Street for more than 80 years, has sold its old quarters and put its unparalleled collection of artifacts and documents in storage.

Now, officials said, the entire cache may be lost to the city - just a few years before a major, long-planned regional commemoration of the Civil War sesquicentennial is set to begin.

Source & Full Story

Fresno Woman Keeps Alive Secrets of WWII

Penny Mirigian, 87, was part of an elite group of 'intercept operators' who typed up Japanese radio broadcasts to be decoded.

For 50 years, Penny Mirigian kept the secret about what she really did in the Navy WAVES during World War II. When people asked, she simply said: "I was a radio operator."

"Spy" would have been closer to the truth.

From 1943 to 1945, Mirigian was part of an elite group of "intercept operators" who typed up Japanese radio broadcasts to be decoded. The work was top secret.

Source & Full Story

17 April 2009


Organization - Research - Windows - Purchase

GenSmarts has been released.


• Added support for IE8.
• Fixed confusing wording on dial up user update check notifications.
• Made update downloads more reliable/retryable.
• Removed check for Foxpro driver for RootsMagic 4 in Welcome Wizard (no additional drivers are needed for RootsMagic 4).

Cognatio 1.4.1

Full Featured - Windows - Freeware

Cognatio 1.4.1 has been released.


• An issue preventing Cognatio from executing in Windows 98 and ME has been fixed.

New software for Europe: Centennia Historical Atlas (Europe's AniMap)

Centennia Historical Atlas (Legacy Family Tree) is a software program that shows the changing country boundaries in Europe and the Middle East from the beginning of the 11th century to the present. It is a dynamic, animated historical atlas and includes over 9,000 border changes. Centennia is ideal for anyone who loves maps and history, and is especially helpful for genealogists as they try to uncover their past.

US Team Hunting American WWII Dead in Poland

American officials who are trying to establish the fate of servicemen missing since World War II arrived in Poland Friday for two weeks of in-depth research, the US embassy said.

"US researchers are particularly interested in information related to aircraft shoot downs, crash sites, the capture or burial of persons believed to have been US servicemen, and any groups who may have aided downed air crews," it said in a statement.

The team from the Department of Defense's Prisoner of War and Missing Personnel Office in Washington will spend until May 1 conducting research and interviews in connection with several unresolved cases, the embassy said.

Source & Full Story

The Earthquake has Devastated some of Italy's Great Cultural Treasures

For the first time in decades, church bells did not ring on Easter Sunday in L'Aquila, Italy. The last time this city was silenced in this way was during World War II, when the Abruzzo region was a battlefield between German and Allied fighters. This time it was because all the bell towers had collapsed in an April 6 earthquake that killed nearly 300 people and damaged every building in this town of 70,000.

As emergency workers continued to search for survivors, officials of Italy's Ministry of Culture began to sift through the rubble for fragments of frescoes, ancient statues and pieces of medieval, baroque and Romanesque architecture. It's become apparent in the past week that Italy's cultural heritage has suffered a great loss. Of the region's 105 churches, 99 were severely damaged. Those structures that seemed reparable in the immediate aftermath, like the cupola on the 18th-century Santa Maria del Suffragio in the city's main square, eventually collapsed during aftershocks.

Source & Full Story

National Archives Celebrates Jewish American Heritage Month in May

On Thursday, May 21, at 7 p.m., the National Archives will celebrate Jewish American Heritage Month with a special program entitled: "Exhibiting the American Jewish Experience." This event is free and open to the public, and will be held in the William G. McGowan Theater of the National Archives Building in Washington, D.C., located on the National Mall at Constitution Ave. and 7th Street, NW.

Source & Information

Ian E. Wilson Announces his Retirement as Librarian and Archivist of Canada

Dear Colleagues,

I wish to advise you of my retirement as the Librarian and Archivist of Canada effective April 24th 2009. Although retiring, I will continue to be active as I fulfill my mandate as President of the International Council of Archives, and work on projects of interest to libraries and archives.

It was a special privilege to work with Roch Carrier and our entire staff team in creating the Library and Archives of Canada. We described it then as a voyage of discovery, exploring the possibilities of an integrated knowledge institution serving Canadians in the 21st Century.

Full Letter

April 17 is “Ellis Island Family History Day"

By official proclamation of our nation’s governors, April 17 has been designated as “Ellis Island Family History Day.” Under the auspices of The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, Inc. and the National Genealogical Society, the day has been set aside annually to recognize the achievements and contributions made to America by Ellis Island immigrants and their descendants.

Historically, April 17 marks the day in 1907 when more immigrants were processed through Ellis Island than on any other day in its colorful history -- 11,747 people. Over 40% of the U.S. population today -- 100 million Americans – can trace their roots back to the 17 million brave and hopeful immigrants who took their first steps towards freedom and opportunity by going through the “Golden Door” of Ellis Island.

Source & Further Information

Was A 'Mistress Of The Lionesses' A King In Ancient Canaan?

The legend is that the great rulers of Canaan, the ancient land of Israel, were all men. But a recent dig by Tel Aviv University archaeologists at Tel Beth-Shemesh uncovered possible evidence of a mysterious female ruler.

Tel Aviv University archaeologists Prof. Shlomo Bunimovitz and Dr. Zvi Lederman of the Department of Archaeology and Ancient Near Eastern Civilizations have uncovered an unusual ceramic plaque of a goddess in female dress, suggesting that a mighty female “king” may have ruled the city. If true, they say, the plaque would depict the only known female ruler of the region.

The plaque itself depicts a figure dressed as royal male figures and deities once appeared in Egyptian and Canaanite art. The figure’s hairstyle, though, is womanly and its bent arms are holding lotus flowers -- attributes given to women. This plaque, art historians suggest, may be an artistic representation of the “Mistress of the Lionesses,” a female Canaanite ruler who was known to have sent distress letters to the Pharaoh in Egypt reporting unrest and destruction in her kingdom.

Source & Full Story

Last Titanic Survivor Selling Mementos to Pay Bills

The last survivor of the Titanic, 97-year-old Millvina Dean, is auctioning off her remaining mementos of the doomed ship to pay nursing home bills.

The auction, which is expected to raise up to $50,000 for her, is set to take place Saturday near her home in England.

It is the second auction in less than a year for Dean, who was a 9-week-old when the ship sank on its maiden voyage in 1912.

Among the items going under the hammer at Henry Aldridge & Son is a canvas bag that might have been used to lift the infant Dean from a lifeboat to a rescue ship, said Alan Aldridge of the auction house.

Source & Full Story

Victorian Royal Wedding Cake Sale

A 138-year-old slice of cake thought to be the only surviving item from the wedding of one of Queen Victoria's daughters has gone on sale.

The cake was made for the marriage of Princess Louise and the Marquis of Lorne and is on sale at an antiques fair in Birmingham.

The one-inch cake is wrapped in antique parchment dating back to 1871.

The princess's wedding to a commoner was controversial and is said to have outraged the Prince of Wales.

Antique dealer John Shepherd, who bought the cake from a private seller, is asking for £145.

Source & Full Story

Replica Miniature Homes Chronicle 500 Years of Family History

A retired secretary and her husband have built miniature models of her ancestors' homes after chronicling 500 years of family history.

Peggy and Peter Newman, both 77, have traced buildings linked to 13 generations of relatives since they began researching the project 25 years ago.

Painstakingly carved by hand, each of the 14 houses and other buildings took six months to construct.

The collection, which has cost the couple more than pounds 100,000, includes a blacksmith's, a church, a windmill and a seaside scene.

It also contains homes of Mrs Newman's nine times great grandfather Thomas Rist, who died in 1616, and of David Rist, her five times great grandfather's cousin, who died in the 18th Century.

Source & Full Story

Wales: Digital Archive Project set to Put Reports from History just a Click Away

Firsthand accounts of some of Wales’ most dramatic moments will be available at the click of a button as part of a £2m project to digitise more than 300 historic magazines and newspapers.

The National Library of Wales initiative will bring old newspapers and magazines which pre-date the digital age to the web, and is being described as a significant development for researchers, local historians, genealogists, teachers and film and television researchers.

The money has been allocated from the Assembly Government’s Strategic Capital Investment Fund.

The publications which will be digitised over the next three years date as far back as the 18th century and cover up to 300 titles.

Source & Full Story

15 April 2009

Signs of Earliest Scots Unearthed

Archaeologists have discovered the earliest evidence of human beings ever found in Scotland.

The flints were unearthed in a ploughed field near Biggar in South Lanarkshire.

They are similar to tools known to have been used in the Netherlands and northern Germany 14,000 years ago, or 12,000 BC.

They were probably used by hunters to kill reindeer, mammoth and giant elk and to cut up prey and prepare their skins.

The discovery conjures up a picture of wandering groups of hunters making their way across dry land where the North Sea is now, after the end of the Ice Age.

Source & Full Story

Strange 1761 Atmospheric Phenomenon Explained

Unusual atmospheric phenomena were recorded worldwide in 1761, unexplained at the time.

Now independent astronomer Kevin D. Pang of La Cañada Flintridge, California, says he's figured out the cause — and he credits Benjamin Franklin with a conceptual assist.

While serving as American ambassador in Paris, Franklin first made the connection between a "dry fog" that had obscured the Sun for months in 1784, the extremely cold weather in Europe and North America that same year, and the 1783 eruption of Iceland's Laki volcano. The fog was, we now know, droplets of sulfuric acid, called vog (volcanic fog).

Pang learned that on May 18, 1761, astronomers could not see the fully eclipsed Moon, which usually glows faintly with refracted Earthlight.

A massive volcanic eruption at low latitude in late 1760 or early 1761 must have caused the worldwide cooling, Pang asserts. A likely culprit is Indonesia's Makian volcano, which blew its top in 1761, he says, but some other, unidentified eruption could be to blame.

Source & Full Story

Abraham Lincoln Comes to Life Through History Lives Project

The Terasem Movement Foundation Inc., creators of the award winning digital immortality website, announced the History Lives Project. This free, web-based project offers digital imaging & "artificial consciousness" technology that allows anyone with a PC and an internet connection to participate in bringing Abraham Lincoln, Gandhi, Charles Darwin and other historical figures back to life.

Created by an international software development team based in the United States and the United Kingdom, the History Lives Project is designed to make it possible for anyone to participate in the creation of interactive digital clones of past historical figures.


The Role of Inbreeding in the Extinction of a European Royal Dynasty

The kings of the Spanish Habsburg dynasty (1516–1700) frequently married close relatives in such a way that uncle-niece, first cousins and other consanguineous unions were prevalent in that dynasty. In the historical literature, it has been suggested that inbreeding was a major cause responsible for the extinction of the dynasty when the king Charles II, physically and mentally disabled, died in 1700 and no children were born from his two marriages, but this hypothesis has not been examined from a genetic perspective. In this article, this hypothesis is checked by computing the inbreeding coefficient (F) of the Spanish Habsburg kings from an extended pedigree up to 16 generations in depth and involving more than 3,000 individuals. The inbreeding coefficient of the Spanish Habsburg kings increased strongly along generations from 0.025 for king Philip I, the founder of the dynasty, to 0.254 for Charles II and several members of the dynasty had inbreeding coefficients higher than 0.20. In addition to inbreeding due to unions between close relatives, ancestral inbreeding from multiple remote ancestors makes a substantial contribution to the inbreeding coefficient of most kings. A statistically significant inbreeding depression for survival to 10 years is detected in the progenies of the Spanish Habsburg kings. The results indicate that inbreeding at the level of first cousin (F = 0.0625) exerted an adverse effect on survival of 17.8%±12.3. It is speculated that the simultaneous occurrence in Charles II (F = 0.254) of two different genetic disorders: combined pituitary hormone deficiency and distal renal tubular acidosis, determined by recessive alleles at two unlinked loci, could explain most of the complex clinical profile of this king, including his impotence/infertility which in last instance led to the extinction of the dynasty.

Gonzalo Alvarez (1), Francisco C. Ceballos (1), Celsa Quinteiro (2) - (1) Departamento de Genética, Facultad de Biología, Universidad de Santiago de Compostela, Santiago de Compostela, La Coruña, Spain, (2) Fundación Pública Gallega de Medicina Genómica, Hospital Clínico Universitario, Santiago de Compostela, La Coruña, Spain

Full Text

Newly-Found Tomb Mural Depicts Ancient Chinese Medication

A mural unearthed from an ancient tomb in the northwestern Chinese province of Shaanxi last week depicted how traditional Chinese medication was practiced 1,000 years ago, archaeologists said Wednesday.

Song Dynasty murals are not rare in and around the ancient Chinese capital Xi'an, but researcher Sun Bingjun at Shaanxi Provincial Institute of Archaeology said this was the first found to depict traditional Chinese medication, prevalent in China for nearly 5,000 years.

The mural, about four meters square, had a man sitting on a chair, whom experts believed was the tomb owner. "Jars and bottles were seen on a table nearby," said Sun.

Two other men were sitting at the table, one of whom was carrying two bags of herbs and the other consulting a huge collection of herbal formulas.

Source & Full Story

Library Book Returned 110 Years Late

An overdue library book with a storied past – including being pulled across an ice-covered St. Lawrence River on a skid – is back home in Canada after no less than 110 years.

The cost of its journey, dating back to 1899 from the Lyn Public Library, should have been more than $9,000, but it is a fine retired Denver, Colorado, engineer Dale Fenton Baird Sr. will not have to pull out of his wallet.

With book in hand Wednesday, the American walked into the Lyn Heritage Place Museum with the five-inch thick Webster’s Dictionary his great uncle Mutt failed to return just before the turn of the century.

The entire Baird family moved from the village of Lyn to Brant, New York, in the winter of 1899.

Source & Full Story

14 April 2009

World War I Veterans' Records now Available at State's Digital Archives

The state Digital Archives has a new program allowing people to access records of about 48,000 World War I veterans from Washington.

Copies of World War I Service Statement Cards from 1917 to 1919, recently indexed by Washington Historical Records Project volunteers, are now available and searchable online at the Digital Archives. The United States War Department had originals of the cards, and copies were provided to the Washington State Auditor many years ago.

To search, go to For more information on the World War I Service Statement Cards and related records, contact the Washington State Archives at (360) 586-1492 or visit its Web site at


13 April 2009

Gale Celebrates National Library Week With Video Competition Showcasing Libraries That Bring 'Power to the User'

Gale, part of Cengage Learning and a leader in e-research and educational publishing for libraries, schools and businesses, launched its third annual YouTube video contest in recognition of National Library Week (April 12 -18, 2009). Library fans are invited to create a one-minute video segment to promote their library and explain how it brings “power to the users” in their community or school.

Video entries should be no shorter than 30 seconds and no longer than 60 seconds in length. Entrants must load their videos to the Librareo group on YouTube ( before midnight EST on June 1, 2009. Participants may submit as many videos as desired, provided each entry is entirely original. All entries must comply with the complete contest rules which can be viewed, along with video samples, at

Source & Information

ProQuest Offers Free, Open Access to ProQuest Student Resources during National Library Week

ProQuest will provide free, open access during National Library Week to three of its most popular student resources—CultureGrams®, eLibrary®, and SIRS Discoverer®. These online resources connect learners of all ages to media-rich content that helps with homework, course study, and research.

From Monday, April 13 through Friday April 17 CultureGrams®, eLibrary®, and SIRS Discoverer® will be freely available at CultureGrams®offers concise, reliable, and up-to-date country reports on the cultures of the world—from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe. eLibrary® delivers high-quality, high-interest, and highly usable full-text and multimedia content—all via an engaging, contemporary interface. SIRS Discoverer® connects users to a wide range of topics, articles, graphics, and websites editorially selected from more than 1,900 sources worldwide.

Source & Information

GeneaNet: Quick Tips #2

This week, you will find some tips on how to index your online family tree, how to add family pictures in your family tree pages and how to change your family tree root.

How to index your online family tree?

When manually entering new data in your GeneaNet online family tree, you will need to index your data to make it searchable.

Go to the page "My GeneaNet : Online Family Tree : Update : Index your Data" then click "Index your data to make it searchable". Your data will now appear in the GeneaNet search result lists.

How to add family pictures in your family tree pages?

Go to your online family tree homepage. Log in as a "wizard" and select an individual. On the bottom of the page, click on the "Update Individual, Family, Media" link.

You will be taken to a new page where you will just have to click on the "Send an image" link to upload a picture.

How to change your family tree root?

Log on to your online family tree as "Wizard", then select an individual and click "Update - Individual/Family". This will open a window that shows you a list of available update options. Click "Set to home individual" to set the selected individual as your family tree root.

Sosa numbers will be automatically assigned to your family tree root ancestors.

11 April 2009

Barack Obama's Ancestor Left 12 Pence in Will

Peter Blossom, who genealogists claim is a forefather of the US President, was a farm labourer in Stapleford, near Cambridge.

Experts believe his son, Thomas, born in nearby Great Shelford in around 1580, sailed to America in about 1620 and the current president of the US is a direct descendant of Thomas.

Now details of Peter's will have emerged - and revealed the contrasting fortunes of Mr Obama and his ancestors.

In dividing his possessions, Peter wrote: "First, to my son, I do give 12 pence to be paid unto him forthwith after my departure."

He added: "I can give unto him no more."

Everything else went to his wife, Anable - who he described in the document as a "good wench".

"I give unto Anable my wife all the rest of my goods - these reasons and considerations moving me thereto because she has been a good wench as any could be," the document said.

Source & Full Story

Illinois Man Awarded Medal of Honor Dies at 89

Russell Dunham, an Illinois man who was awarded the Medal of Honor after killing nine German soldiers and taking two others captive while wounded during World War II, has died. He was 89.

Dunham died Monday of heart failure at his home in the southwestern Illinois community of Godfrey, said his stepdaughter, Annette Wilson. He had moved there just weeks ago from nearby Jerseyville.

Dunham never considered himself a hero on Jan. 8, 1945, when he charged a hill near Kayserberg, France, despite being wounded in the back, Wilson said Thursday.

Source & Full Story

10 April 2009

More than 9,000 National Academies Reports now Available in Open Access

The National Academies today announced the completion of the first phase of a partnership with Google to digitize the library's collection of reports from 1863 to 1997, making them available – free, searchable, and in full text – through Google Book Search. The Academies plan to have their entire collection of nearly 11,000 reports digitized by 2011.

"Much has changed since the National Academy of Sciences began advising the government in the late 1800s," said Victoria Harriston, manager of library and information services at the National Academies' George E. Brown Jr. Library. "Our early reports are essential to understanding the scientific advances made in this country as well as the science and technology issues the government struggled with in the 19th and 20th centuries."


Wellcome Library: Bon Appetit

The Wellcome Library announces that its entire collection of 17th century receipt (recipe) books - 75 manuscripts in total - have been made available online. They are currently available as PDFs from their catalogue records.

Further information on this project on the Library website digitisation pages and in the latest edition of Wellcome News.

9 April 2009

New Web Archive from Library of Congress: Iraq War, 2003 Web Archive

The Library of Congress Iraq War, 2003 Web Archive collection is part of a continuing effort by the Library of Congress to evaluate, select, collect, catalog, provide access to, and preserve digital materials for future generations of researchers.

Collection Period: The Iraq War Web-capture has three phases of collection. The first phase, a weekly capture, began on March 13, 2003 with the commencement of the war and ended June 30, 2003. Phase 1 has been processed and is available from this site.

Phase 2 is a weekly capture and covers December 2003 to December 2004. Phase 3, also a weekly capture, was begun in January 2005 and is ongoing as of January, 2008. Phases 2 and 3 are not yet processed.

Source & Information

NDIIPP Works with Indian National Digital Preservation Programme

The National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program was well represented at the Indo-US Workshop on International Trends in Digital Preservation held in Pune, India on March 24-25, 2009. Workshop objectives included learning from the experiences of other nations and developing a strategy for implementing the Indian National Digital Preservation Programme.

Dr. A.K Chakravarti, Advisor with the Indian Department of Information Technology, noted "a need to understand and adopt international best practices and international standards," and to "learn from the experience of other countries, learn from the experience of other domains." He set the Indian cultural context by stating that digital preservation was needed to ensure that people could "watch Satyajit Ray films or hear the Oscar winning Rehman 'Jai Yo' song in 50 years."

Source & Full Story

Largest 17th Century Bead Repository Found In Coastal Georgia

French and Chinese blue glass, Dutch layered glass, Baltic amber: roughly 70,000 beads manufactured all over the world have been excavated at one of the Spanish empire's remotest outposts, the Santa Catalina de Guale Mission.

The beads were found as part of an extensive, ongoing research project led by a team of scientists from the American Museum of Natural History on St. Catherines Island off the coast of Georgia. Comprising the largest repository ever from Spanish Florida, the beads enlighten archaeologists about past trade routes and provide clues to the social structure and wealth of the people.

The mission of Santa Catalina de Guale was inhabited by Franciscan missionaries and local people for most of the 17th century. The mission was a major source of grain for Spanish Florida and a provincial capital until1680, when the mission was abandoned after a British attack. Since 1974, David Hurst Thomas, Curator of Anthropology at the Museum, and colleagues have been carefully unearthing this part of the island's history.

Source & Full Story

Poland Launches World War II Victims Database

Seventy years after the outbreak of World War II, Poland will launch a database of some 2 million victims of the fighting, the daily Polska reported on Thursday.

The database will be available in the next several days on, and will include the location and circumstances of the victims' death. Families or loved ones will have the option to add to the list of victims.

Officials hope that the database will grow to 4 million names within a year or two.

'Launching such a database is a big event,' historian Wojciech Roszkowski told the daily. 'Up until now, researchers trying to determine the number of victims always hit a wall. They weren't able to determine in various places how many were really died.'


Clues of First Windmill Found in Orleans, Massachusetts

A group of researchers think they have found the site of the first windmill on Cape Cod near Skaket Beach.

Now houses and tall pines cover the high ground at the intersection of Beach Plum Lane and Willie Atwood Road. But H. Morse Payne of Bedford and Michael Farber of Chatham believe it's the likely spot for a windmill that was reportedly erected in that part of town in the mid-1600s.

"We're still strong on the idea that this was the first windmill on Cape Cod," Farber said on a recent visit to the neighborhood.

Source & Full Story

National Archives' Prologue Traces Origins of White House Easter Egg Roll

The following is a document alert -- part of a program sponsored by the National Archives to notify the media of documents in the National Archives holdings or stories from National Archives publications that are relevant to national holidays, anniversaries or current events. This program, which is based on original records from the National Archives, its 12 Presidential libraries and 13 regional archives, is designed to offer the media an historical perspective on events that occur periodically and to highlight historical antecedents to current political or diplomatic initiatives.

How special is Easter Monday at the White House?

Special enough to convert the White House grounds into a children's playground. Special enough for Presidents to share the spotlight with the youngest of egg rollers and cuddliest of Easter bunnies.

Easter Monday officially rolled into White House history in 1878, and from its earliest years this children's day of play has occupied every nook and cranny of the President's backyard. Canceled because of two world wars or an occasional bad weather day, the egg roll has endured to become the longest annual presidential tradition of the South Lawn.

Source & Full Story

8 April 2009

Penn State Launches Digital Library Archive Initiative with HP

Academic and research institutions are digitizing, preserving and distributing vast amounts of electronic content at an enormous rate today — from video, photos and animation, to research papers and visualization of scientific models. Like many universities, Penn State is striving to ensure that these immense electronic collections and storage repositories are easily accessible to users and will continue to be available to future generations.

Challenges like these are what keep data experts like Mark Saussure, director of Digital Library Infrastructure at ITS Penn State, up late at night. Saussure, who supports information technology initiatives at University Libraries, is using state-of-the-art data management storage tools to build a world-class research and library archive system that can endure for many years.

Source & Full Story

Fromelles War Graves to be Excavated

Worcestershire and Warwickshire soldiers who died in a First World War battle which began 19 days after the opening of the Somme Campaign could have their bodies removed from mass graves and accorded a proper military burial.

The UK’s Veterans Minister, Kevan Jones, and his Australian counterpart, Minister for Defence Science and Personnel, Warren Snowdon, have announced that Oxford Archaeology has been awarded the contract to undertake the archaeological excavation of six mass graves at Pheasant Wood, near Fromelles, France.

The 1916 Battle of Fromelles saw significant losses from both countries.

Excavation work is due to start in May and is expected to take up to six months.

Source & Full Story

Win Family 2009

Full Featured - Windows - Shareware

Win Family 2009 has been released.

WinFamily 2009 is based on WinFamily 6, but it's totally rebuilt to a modern, easy to use, high end product.


• Runs under Windows 2000, XP, Vista.
• 100% GEDCOM 5.5 compliant import/export routines.
• Record every possible detail for every person in your database.
• Store pictures, sounds, films or other multimedia with every person or event.
• Create professional trees and suns with included TreeDraw for WinFamily7.
• Click and drag individuals into family tree.
• Build webpages automaticly.
• Make imports and export easy.
• Validation.
• Multi Language (English, Dansk, Deutsch, Norsk, Svensk).
• Auto update.
• Automatic bacup rutines.
• Advanced statistics.


Full Featured - Windows - Purchase

Relatives has been released.


• "Open recent" has been added to "File" menu. It keeps up to 8 last opened/saved files.
• Some bugs in export to GEDCOM format were fixed as well.

Ezitree 10.88

Full Featured - Windows - Purchase

Ezitree 10.88 has been released.


• Resizing of forms has been improved with fonts in certain lists.
• Gender coding - Fixed default codes file not updated when person added using 'New' button.

World Digital Library to Launch at UNESCO, April 21

The World Digital Library, a website offering free access to rare books, maps, manuscripts, films and photographs from across the globe, will launch April 21 at UNESCO headquarters in Paris.

Launched by the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization and 32 partner institutions, the project was developed by the world's biggest library, the US Library of Congress.

Libraries and cultural institutions from Brazil to Britain, China, Egypt, France, Japan, Russia, Saudi Arabia and the United States contributed both content and expertise to the project to digitize priceless cultural material and make it available on the Internet.

The World Digital Library ( was the brainchild of Librarian of Congress, James Billington, who attended the launch of a prototype website for the project in Paris in October 2007.


Cologne Archive: After the Disaster

The collapse of the Cologne city archive three weeks ago wasn't just a personal tragedy for the historians and contributors involved, it was a disaster for Germany's cultural history, says Bettina Schmidt-Czaia, director of the municipal depository. Evacuated from the building mere seconds before it caved in, she describes watching northern Europe's largest collection of documents and artefacts, many of which date back to Roman times, disappear into rubble.

"I had gone into work feeling really positive that day. Everything's on its way, I said to myself. We had achieved so much over the past three years: technical standards had improved, we had employed some new workers and opened up the institution to a wider public. After lunch I even went to buy myself some flowers, because I felt so satisfied.

Back at work I put the flowers on my desk and met a guest to discuss a congress we were going to lead some weeks later. Suddenly the alarm went off. We were told to leave the building at once. I didn't have time to question the seriousness of the situation, I just went outside as fast as I could."

Source & Full Story

Italy Earthquake has Caused 'Incalculable' Damage to Cultural Heritage

Experts today spoke of "incalculable" damage to Italy's cultural heritage as the scale of the impact of the L'Aquila earthquake on the area's historic buildings became apparent.

Many Romanesque, Gothic, Baroque and Renaissance buildings in the 13th-century city were badly damaged in Monday's tremor.

"The damage is more serious than we can imagine," said Giuseppe Proietti, a culture ministry official. "The historic center of L'Aquila has been devastated."

The transept of the early medieval basilica of Santa Maria di Collemaggio, scene of the coronation of Pope Celestine in 1294 and renowned for its intricate pink and white stone facade, collapsed.

Source & Full Story

Old Aerial Photographs of the UK Available Online is an unsurpassed collection of information about old aerial photographs of the UK, from the 40's to the 90's. Our aim is to offer you the ability to search through hundreds of thousands of aerial photos, both vertical and oblique, at the click of a button, and to then select and purchase photos of your choice. You can select either a print or a digital scan.

Our team of experts has collated the photography held on the site from many independent and historic archives, and for the first time you are able to view the exact positions of these photos and see what area they cover on a map. Please note that currently only vertical aerial photographs are offered on the website. Oblique photographs are coming soon.

7 April 2009

U.S. WWII Shipwreck Found off Australia's Coast

The rusting wreck of the first American vessel sunk during World War II has been found off Australia's southeastern coast, ocean researchers said Thursday.

The MV City of Rayville, a freighter carrying a cargo of lead, wool and copper from Australia to New York, sank in the Bass Strait after striking a German mine on Nov. 8, 1940, a year before the United States entered the war.

One seaman drowned while trying to recover personal items from the sinking vessel but the 37 other crew survived.

Source & Full Story

Star of BBC Series Meet The Ancestors Launches Museum's Family Tree Exhibition

The star of BBC series Meet The Ancestors visited Trowbridge Museum at the weekend to open an exhibition on family history.

Archaeologist, broadcaster and writer Julian Richards officially opened the Facing Your Past: Unearthing Your Family History exhibition on Saturday, which runs until August 1 and is billed as a beginners’ guide to researching your roots.

The exhibition includes fun activities for children, a bookshop and freebies to help create your own family tree.

Source & Full Story

6 April 2009

Schindler's List Found in Sydney

A list compiled by the German industrialist Oskar Schindler has been discovered by a researcher at a library in Australia.

It was found in research notes which belonged to the Australian author of Schindler's Ark - the basis for the Oscar-winning film, Schindler's List.

The document was found at the New South Wales Library in Sydney.

There are 13 pages of fragile, yellowing paper, upon which are typed the names and nationalities of 801 Jewish people.

Source & Full Story

English Museum Searching on for Goodyear Aircraft Worker 'Smith'

An English museum is trying to identify the Goodyear Aircraft worker who signed the name ''Smith'' — or possibly ''Smity'' — on an engine panel of a Corsair fighter plane built in Akron during World War II.

The Corsair FG1-A — serial number KD431 — was transported to England in November 1944 and used for flight training, but the war ended before the aircraft fought in battle. From 1945 to 1963, the plane was used in training at Cranfield College of Aeronautics in Cranfield, England.

It then moved to the air museum, where it was repainted and put on display for 40 years.

Source & Full Story

25 Most Popular Genealogy Blogs

List of the 25 Most Popular Genealogy Blogs as of April 3, 2009, determined by Technorati.
  1. Genealogy (Kimberly Powell) 
  2. Eastman Online Newsletter* (Dick Eastman)
  3. Genea-Musings (Randy Seaver) 
  4. Creative Gene (Jasia) 
  5. Dear Myrtle (Pat Richely) 
  6. AnceStories (Miriam Midkiff) 
  7. Genealogue (Chris Dunham)
  8. footnoteMaven (Anonymous) 
  9. Genetic Genealogist (Blaine Bettinger) 
  10. Tracing The Tribe: Jewish Genealogy Blog (Schelly Talalay Dardashti) 
  11. GenaBlogie (Craig Manson) 
  12. Olive Tree Genealogy Blog (Lorine McGinnis Schulze) 
  13. Steve’s Genealogy Blog (Stephen J. Danko) 
  14. 24-7 Family History Circle (Juliana Smith)
  15. TransylvanianDutch (John Newmark) 
  16. GenDisasters (Stu Beitler) 
  17. Genealogy Insider @ FamilyTree (Diane Hadd) 
  18. Think Genealogy (Mark Tucker) 
  19. California Genealogical Society and Library Blog (California Genealogical Society) 
  20. The Genealogy Guys (George G. Morgan and Drew Smith) 
  21. CanadaGenealogy, or, 'Jane's Your Aunt' (Diane Rogers) 
  22. Ancestry Insider (Anonymous) 
  23. GenealogyBlog (Leland Meitzler) 
  24. Ancestor Search Blog (Kathi) 
  25. Tie Hugh Watkins Genealogue (Hugh Watkins) - It's a tie
  26.  Legacy News (Legacy Tree Software) - It's a tie

GeneaNet: Quick Tips #1

We will answer your frequent asked questions in some articles called "GeneaNet Quick Tips".

This week, you will find some tips on how to change your email address, how to modifiy your email alerts, and how to export your online family tree.

How to change your email address?

Your email address is needed to receive the GeneaNet newsletters and email alerts.

Go to the page "My GeneaNet : Account : Profile : Contact Details" to change your email address.

Enter your new email address in the "Email Address" field, then click "OK".

How to modify your email alerts?

You can subscribe for free to many GeneaNet email alerts: name/place, cross-database search, postcards, family pictures and birthday reminder.

Go to the page "My GeneaNet : Email Alert", then select the alert you want to modify.

You can view the latest entries for each of your alerts, and modify/delete your alerts. Remember that you must make a search in the GeneaNet database then to click "Subscribe to the Newsletter" at the bottom of the search results list to create a new email alert.

How to export your online family tree?

No need to say that data backup is very important!

Go to the page "My GeneaNet : Online Family Tree : Save" to export your online family tree.

You can export your family tree in GEDCOM ASCII, GEDCOM UTF-8 or GeneWeb file format. You can export only a branch (line) of your family tree. Your uploaded pictures can be exported in a ZIP file.

5 April 2009

WWII Vets Play Softball in Hiroshima

Japanese and U.S. veterans who fought in World War II played softball games Sunday in Hiroshima to play for peace.

The games at an elementary school, where some 400 children were killed in the 1945 U.S. atomic bombing, was the second such event following one in December 2007 in Hawaii, organizers said.

The 28 Japanese players are from Tokyo and seven other prefectures, and the 18 American players from Washington, Florida and Hawaii, they said.

Their average age is more than 80 years old.

The U.S. team won in the Japan-U.S. match in the morning. The players played mixed in the afternoon.

Source & Full Story

Genmod 1.7 beta 1

Full Featured - Linux - Freeware/Open Source

Genmod 1.7 beta 1 has been released.


• Added general search in media, notes and repositories.
• Added tabbed results in search.
• Added merge note records.
• Added link tabs to all detail pages.
• Added full support for level 0 notes.
• Added display of media attached to notes in facts.
• Added option to build all unknown isdead statusses.
• Added automatic install of languages in use from edit config page.
• Added support for install/run Genmod from other ports than 80.
• Added general performance improvement by moving names to 1 table.
• Added major performance improvement for soundex search.
• Added query execution time to exec statistics.
• Added souce/repo links in edit: click link for last added/selected.
• Added support for BURI Y and CREM Y.

Continue reading...

PhpGedView 4.2.1

Web Publishing - Windows, Mac, Linux - Freeware/Open Source

PhpGedView 4.2.1 has been released.


• Cemetery report.
• Make Autocomplete an option in the GEDCOM config, Edit section.
• Extra language file for Shared Notes.
• Files created with sitemap give an error on Google.
• Admin page, Add "unlinked note" and reorganised sections.(Thanks for the code Nigel). Added: various Help Texts for Shared Notes.
• SOUR Tag for shared Notes on note.php page.
• Shared Notes (or Linked Notes) support.
• Go To Merged Record.
• Improved functionality for Autosearch on Ancestry.
• Support for Serbian (Latin alphabet).
• wmv support to JWplayer module.
• Preparatory work to enable config option to turn on/off each Tab Navigator on Indi page.


Continue reading...

4 April 2009

A Cancer Mutation's Colonial Roots

When Mr. and Mrs. George Fry landed on the shores of Massachusetts not long after the Pilgrims, they carried with them a secret that remained hidden for nearly four centuries.

Their genes harbored a quirk that would travel through 16 generations of Americans, leaving a legacy of colon cancer. Now a Utah scientist, herself a descendant of Mayflower voyagers and Benjamin Franklin, has discovered the Fry family history.

In an example of crack scientific sleuthing, the University of Utah researcher and colleagues mined a trove of cancer records and a sprawling genealogical archive to uncover the source of a genetic mutation responsible for a rare form of colon cancer. Modern-day genetic fingerprinting identified far-flung relatives with this defect, and the team then traced the family tree back in time, past the Revolutionary War, to find their common ancestors.

They finally arrived at Weymouth, when colonists were only beginning to stake their claim to a new land. There, they found the Frys, who had decamped from their home in Somerset, England, sometime between 1624 and 1640, harboring hopes and the seeds of disease.

Source & Full Story

Major Cemeteries of Kolkata, India, to be Digitized

The process of digitizing records of more than 100,000 burials and 20,000 graves at the Lower Circular Road, Tollygunge, Kidderpore, South Park Street, North Park Street and Bhowanipore cemeteries has begun.

Once the process is completed, Europeans can easily find out where their ancestors who were part of the British East India Company are buried. Then, not only would Europeans love to visit the tombs of their ancestors, but even domestic tourists may like to see the last resting places of the likes of C F Andrews, David Drummond, J E Drinkwater Bethune, Michael Madhusudan Dutt, Lal Behari Shah, Governor Hiren Mookherjee and Kamala Bose.

Over 2 million Europeans are buried in India. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission takes care of four cemeteries in the east, including the one in Kohima. There are many more cemeteries here like the old Scottish Cemetery at Park Circus which are in a bad shape. A Scottish organisation has now started showing some interest in this.

Source & Full Story

3 April 2009

Croatia Explores Mass Grave of 4,500 WWII German Soldiers

Croatia is investigating a mass grave of German and local soldiers executed in the wake of World War II, the deputy president of the Croatian Helsinki Committee, Ivan Zvonimir Cicak, said Friday. The site at Harmica, 50 kilometres north-west of Zagreb, on Croatia's border with Slovenia, presumably contains 4,500 bodies of German soldiers, including 450 officers, executed by Yugoslav president Tito's partisans, Cicak told the German Press Agency dpa.

The victims were a part of the "Blue division," established by the German command in Croatia in 1944. Commanded by German officers, the division was composed of Croats and German settlers to Yugoslavia.

Details and photographs from the site at Harmica are to be released at press conference next week, Cicak said.

Source & Full Story

Washington Soldier Missing from Korean War Identified

The remains of a Washington state soldier who was reported missing in action 59 years ago during the Korean War have been found and identified.

Cpl. Robert G. Schoening of Blaine was reported missing on Nov. 27, 1950, after his company came under intense enemy attack while occupying a position in North Korea.

His remains, along with those of three other U.S. soldiers, were found during an excavation at the battle site in 2000 by a joint U.S.-North Korea team, led by the Joint POW-MIA Accounting Command.

The solders' remains were identified during a painstaking process that involved forensic identification tools, including the use of mitochondrial DNA and dental comparisons, as well as circumstantial evidence from the scene.

Schoening will be buried June 19 in Arlington National Cemetery with full military honors.

Source & Full Story

U.S. Passenger List 1819/1820 Now Free Online

U.S. Passenger List 1819/1820 is now free online at

This list gives info on deaths at sea & other family data. You can also not only the ships/passengers coming from overseas but see passengers from one US port to another US port - with their ages, home state/city locations etc.

2 April 2009

National Library of Medicine Releases Digital Archive of FDA Court Cases

The Archives and Modern Manuscripts Program at the History of Medicine Division, National Library of Medicine is pleased to announce the release of a new digital archive of court case summaries published as the Food and Drugs Act Notices of Judgment (

The collection is a digital archive of the notices judgment for products seized under authority of the 1906 Pure Food and Drug Act and the 1938 Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. The NJs are resources in themselves, but also lead users to the over 2,000 linear foot collection of the evidence files used to prosecute each case. These files include materials such as correspondence, lab results, photographs, and product samples and labeling. This collection offers insight into U.S. legal and governmental history, as well as the evolution of clinical trial science and the social impact of medicine on health. The legal history of some of our best-known consumer items of today, such as Coca Cola, and companies like Merck Pharmaceuticals, can be traced in the collection.

Users can perform full-text searching and browse the archive by Case Title, Defendant Name, Adjudicating Court Name, Geographic Seizure Location, and Case Publication Date.


The Names of 191 Australian World War I Soldiers Buried in Fromelles, France, have been Released

The names of 191 Australian World War I soldiers believed to be buried at Pheasant Wood in Fromelles, France, have been released.

Some 400 Australian and British soldiers are believed to have been buried by German forces following the Battle of Fromelles in July 1916.

Defence Science and Personnel Minister Warren Snowdon said the list of 191 Australian WWI soldiers released today was not definitive, and research into the group burial site at Fromelles would continue.

To access the list of names or register details, visit the website


Mystery Tombstone in St. Luke's Cemetery, Smithfield, Virginia, will be Removed

The marble headstone that mysteriously showed up in historic St. Luke's Cemetery will disappear just as quietly.

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has directed the museum to remove the government-issued headstone that an observant tourist noticed behind the 17th-century church in February, said St. Luke's executive director Charlotte Klamer. Museum officials believe someone went into the cemetery in late January — the only month the visitors center is closed — and erected the marker engraved with Revolutionary War patriot Jesse Barlow's name, birth, death and military rank in the Virginia Militia.

The sudden appearance of the 230-pound headstone raised lots of questions — and initially, few answers.

Source & Full Story

1 April 2009

New Newspaper Archive Service Launched

Readex of Naples, Fla., a division of NewsBank, has launched American Newspaper Archives -- an expanding online collection that will offer access to major U.S. newspapers.

"The archives will provide users with fully searchable digital editions of historically significant and regionally diverse publications from the 19th century through the 1990s," Readex states in a release.

The service will initially feature nine papers and their "relevant predecessors": The Times-Picayune of New Orleans, 1837-1988; The Plain-Dealer of Cleveland, 1845-1991; The Oregonian of Portland, 1850-1987; The Press-Register of Mobile, Ala., 1821-1992; The Times of Trenton, N.J., 1883-1993; The Seattle Times, 1896-1984; The Republican of Springfield, Mass., 1850-1987; The Dallas Morning News, 1885-1984; and The Augusta (Ga.) Chronicle, 1792-1993.


Relatively Yours 3.3.4085

Full Featured - Windows - Purchase

Relatively Yours 3.3.4085 has been released.


• Fixed transposing of burial event into marriage details.
• Enhanced verify routine to support recreation of missing repository/source shared resources.
• Fixed events not being merged correctly when person marked as deceased with no death date.
• Fixed duplicate marriage condition (and related marriage data issues) caused by closing of Edit Marriage dialog via X (Close) button.
• Added support for same-sex marriages (in addition to existing support for same-sex relationships).
• Fixed handling of event sensitivity on GEDCOM export.
• Resolved issue with Person > WebSearch function not returning results when searching IGI and Ancestral File records.
• Added text size to Search Narrative page results.
• Added validation of default restore location prior to commencing restore.
• Fixed handling of Julian dates in display of aged statistics on event descriptions (age erroneously shown as 11 days).

Brother's Keeper 6.3.11

Full Featured - Windows - Shareware

Brother's Keeper 6.3.11 has been released.


• Changed the Tree chart to only insert a blank line after the last child in each family if that child has no children.
• New routine under File, Utilities, Fix picture path. To be used if you move your data to a new computer and you have placed the pictures in a different folder name on the new computer.
• On Edit screen, on the Events tab, if you click Options, you can pick Family Events to be added automatically when you add a new spouse to someone.
• Now it allows more than 99 pictures per person.
• New option on Group Sheets, Individual Sheets, and Ancestor Chart, to 'show only years for dates'.

Famous Scots' Records Now Online

New records of famous Scots including Adam Smith and Sir Walter Scott have been made available online for the first time.

The digital images - some dating back to the 16th century - are of deaths and burials logged in the Old Parish Registers of Scotland (OPRs).

They have now been posted on the website, marking the completion of a digitisation project which began around eight years ago.


Geneally: New Genealogy and Family History Search Engine is a new dedicated genealogy and family search engine, built from the ground up to create a useful resource for anyone researching their ancestry.

Hundreds of new links are added each day. If you run a genealogy-related website, do contact us and we'll do our best to add the details of your site to our database.

In November 2008 Geneally acquired the former genealogy news site, making the best starting point for all matters of interest to family historians.

Vandals Destroy Graves of World War II Diggers at the Albury War Cemetery, Australia

The headstones on two graves at the Albury War Cemetery were smashed to pieces and another six were damaged during the attack, thought to have happened on Monday night.

Albury RSL President Mick Fowler said the callous attack had made him sick.

“When I first went there I was absolutely disgusted, I could see the damage from the roadway,” he said.

Mr Fowler said the graves that had been attacked belonged to soldiers who had served in WWII and had died between 1945 and 1947. All eight graves that were damaged were in the same row in the cemetery.

Source & Full Story