Genealogy Blog

31 October 2009

The London History Festival

The London History Festival is a welcome new addition to the capital's cultural life and one that should help satisfy the already considerable appetite for history in one of the world's truly global cities. As editor of History Today, a publication whose mission is to bring the work of leading historians to the widest possible audience,

The London History Festival is a social event too, encouraging its audience to mingle and share common interests. The authors will also be available for a book signing session and chat over a drink once the talks are completed.

The festival runs from the 2nd - 10th November and takes place at Kenssington Central Library, London, England.

30 October 2009

Today’s Technology Preserves Ramona’s Past (California)

Using a high-end scanner, David Hunsberger is digitizing about 2,500 photos from the 1800s and early 1900s of families that lived in the Ramona- to- Santa Ysabel area and in the Santa Maria Valley (California). The photos will be saved on a hard drive and can then be transferred to DVDs where they will be more easily accessible, and there will be no worry of deterioration, Hunsberger said.

The project was initiated by Ken Woodward, director of the Guy B. Woodward Museum. Woodward’s father, Guy, founded the museum and was instrumental in collecting many historical photos and documents.

Woodward wanted to make sure the collection would never be lost and would be available for others to view. He was aware that many major museums had been using computer technology to preserve their historical documents and photos.

Source & Full Story

Skull Found At Former Gravedigger's Home Identified In St. Petersburg, Florida

Authorities have confirmed that a skull found in a former gravedigger's home belongs to a woman buried at Royal Palm Cemetery in St. Petersburg, Florida, more than 60 years ago.

Pinellas County sheriff's detectives, University of South Florida anthropologists and cemetery workers spent the morning and part of the afternoon exhuming the grave of Ruth Keaton.

The casket had deteriorated and authorities sifted through the dirt excavated from the grave to account for every bone, USF anthropology professor Erin Kimmerle said. Before the diggers reached the bones, they had sifted and collected hinges and other metal hardware from Keaton's casket.

Source & Full Story

Old Gravestones Carefully Recorded At Mount Zion Cemetery, Near Cincinnati, Ohio

Pamela Smith got down on her knees in a cemetery off Mount Zion Road near Cincinnati, Ohio, on a recent October day. Then she began to dig.

Gravestones she uncovered had fallen and settled into the earth in the abandoned cemetery of Mount Zion Methodist Episcopal Church, which organized about 1809 but is long gone.

She used a shovel to pry up a stone so she could take its picture, then gently laid it back down.

Smith, 52, a trustee of the Clermont County Genealogical Society, has photographed more than 33,000 gravestones in about 100 cemeteries over the last four years.

Source & Full Story

FamViewer 2.1.1

PDAs and Handhelds

FamViewer 2.1.1 has been released.


• Fixed a bug that caused some individuals names to be imported incorrectly.
• Changed the Uploads method to use an IP address that doesn't use port 8080 if possible.

FamiliaBuilder 5.2

Full Featured - Windows - Purchase

FamiliaBuilder 5.2 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.
• Add multiple files. Now you can select any number of files and add them to your album at once.
• 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. When 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, now almost all pages use proportional fronts. That means that visitors can change the text size using their browser settings.

Brother's Keeper 6.3.32

Full Featured - Windows - Shareware

Brother's Keeper 6.3.32 has been released.


• New lines available for translators for the 'All Relatives' report. Translators can download the new translation program now.
• On the Edit screen, the Notes textbox was not showing Hebrew characters correctly.
• Some users of Windows 95, 98 or ME were having an error when going to Edit screen with versions from the past two weeks. This has been fixed.

29 October 2009

UK Cemetery: Share A Grave With A Stranger?

So you think London, population 8 million, is crowded with the living?

There are many millions more under the soil of a city that has been inhabited for 2,000 years. And London is rapidly running out of places to put them.

Now the city's largest cemetery is trying to persuade Londoners to share a grave with a stranger.

The problem is a very British one. Many other European countries regularly reuse old graves after a couple of decades. Britain does not, as a result of Victorian hygiene obsession, piecemeal regulation and national tradition. For many, an Englishman's tomb, like his home, is his castle.

Source & Full Story

Family Welcomes Home Remains Of WWII Airman In Ontario, California

For two decades after her son's bomber went down in the Pacific Ocean during World War II, Vella Stinson faithfully wrote the U.S. government twice a month to ask if his body had been found — or if anyone was looking.

The mother of six strapping boys went to her grave without the answer that has finally reached her two surviving sons 65 years later: the remains of Sgt. Robert Stinson are coming home.

Military divers recovered several pieces of leg bone from the wreckage of a B-24J Liberator bomber found at the bottom of the ocean off the coast of the island nation of Palau. DNA testing showed the femur fragments belonged to the 24-year-old flight engineer who died in combat on Sept. 1, 1944.

Source & Full Story

Son Hunting For Story Of Father's WWII Photo Cache

This photograph of German soldiers on the Eastern Front during World War II, is one that Paul Sadler found in the Dachau concentration camp in Germany at the end of World War II.

After 64 years, Bruce Sadler slowly is unraveling the mystery of the haunting Nazi photos his father, Paul, found in the Dachau concentration camp in Germany at the end of World War II.

The images that Paul Sadler never could bring himself to talk about are ones that Bruce Sadler is driven to talk to anyone about, especially if they can help him identify the content.

Source & Full Story

Gates Foundation Donates $10M to Smithsonian’s African American History Museum

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation recently contributed $10 million to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture, expected to open in late 2015 on the National Mall in Washington. The purpose of the grant is to support the capital campaign of the new museum, which is raising funds for the design and construction of its building.

The facility is to be built on a five-acre tract adjacent to the Washington Monument. The design, construction and exhibition installations are expected to cost about $500 million, half provided by congressional funding and the remainder raised by the museum. Groundbreaking for the 300,000-square-foot building is expected occur in 2012.

Source & Full Story

New Founding Fathers Documents Available On-Line Through NHPRC Pilot Program

The National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC), in partnership with Documents Compass at the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, this week announced 5,000 previously unpublished documents from the nation’s founders are now available online through Rotunda, the digital imprint of The University of Virginia Press.

The ROTUNDA Founders Early Access project makes available for the first time letters and other papers penned by important figures such as James Madison, John Adams, and Thomas Jefferson. The Founders Early Access portion of the site allows users to read, search, and browse the newly transcribed documents, and is available at no cost to users.

In 2008, Congress urged the National Archives to investigate ways to make the Founders Papers more readily available. Later that year, NARA issued The Founders Online, a report which included a plan for providing online access, within a reasonable timeframe, to historians, scholars, and the general public at no cost.

Source & Full Story

28 October 2009

Senate Panel Clears Ferriero Nomination to be Archivist of the United States

On October 28, the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, by voice vote, approved the nomination of David S. Ferriero to be the next Archivist of the United States. Ferriero’s nomination is considered non-controversial and confirmation by the Senate is expected shortly.

Source & Full Story

Read also: David Ferriero Confirmation Hearing as U.S. Archivist

27 October 2009

30 Swedish Heritage Sites And Museums In The Delaware Valley, USA

The New Sweden Centre has erected a map sign, at the Kalmar Nyckel Shipyard, 1124 E 7th St., Wilmington, DE, with 30 Swedish Heritage sites and museums the public may visit in the Delaware Valley. This informative sign has been designed to complement the State of Delaware’s newly launched Geo-caching History Trail that was initiated Oct 6th, 2009.

The Swedish Council of America, a national umbrella organization of Swedish Culture and History, participated in the unveiling and dedication of map October 22nd as part of a tour of many of these sites in conjunction with their National conference held in Philadelphia, Pa.

Source & Full Story

18th Century Tombstone Unearthed in Washington Square Park

This past Friday, as construction on Washington Square Park's redesign entered Phase II, a tombstone was unearthed. An eagle-eyed reader of the WSP Blog wrote in to that website Friday after "he noticed that there was a large hole dug about 6 feet below the surface in the fenced-off construction area" where two people were seen dusting off the tombstone.

Washington Square Park was a potter's field from 1797 to 1826, and in early 2008, during a soil testing, four bodies were discovered (and left buried) there. In fact, there are still 20,000 (known) bodies down there. The tipster for the recent tombstone find, however, wondered if this tombstone could have been from the original land owner, and perhaps part of a "family cemetery from 200 years ago or more."

Source & Full Story

University of Maine at Presque Isle Cemetery Mapping Progresses

A project between the University of Maine at Presque Isle and the Fairmount Cemetery Association that is now halfway complete will link generations of the past with the future.

The project is thought to be the first large-scale, comprehensive cemetery mapping with GPS and GIS technology in Maine. The goal is to create a cemetery GIS database for historic, cultural and social research that offers access to anyone on the Internet and that will serve as a model for cataloging historic and cultural landmarks.

During the first phase of the project, students collected data at the Fairmount Cemetery, which was established in the 19th century and is one of the oldest and largest graveyards in northern Maine. The data included gravesite lot and plot numbers, names of the interred, birth and death dates, gender, military-civilian service and more from 2,200 lots and more than 10,000 plots. All the lots and plots have been mapped with GPS and GIS technologies, and all the stones have been photographed.

Source & Full Story

Elvis Is Alive And He's My Half-brother, Says Eliza Presley

It's a long story, involving conspiracies and cover-ups, love-children, DNA tests and the courts. But Eliza Presley says she has incontrovertible proof that she shares genes with the King of Rock 'n' Roll -- and not only that, but she's been in regular contact with him.

Here's the short version: Eliza Presley, born Alice Elizabeth Tiffin, grew up in an adoptive family. When as an adult she sought out her birth mother, she found that her mother had lived near Graceland in Memphis, and had at times been a part of Elvis' coterie. For a time, Presley, 47, believed she was Elvis' daughter. But according to DNA tests -- she claims to have tested her DNA with both sides of Elvis' family -- the true match for her father was not Elvis himself but his father, Vernon.

Source & Full Story

10 Fascinating Recently Discovered Photographs

Phineas Gage was a railroad construction worker from New Hampshire and is known for his incredible survival after an explosives accident in 1848. The explosion propelled an iron rod (shown being held above) traveling at high speed to enter the side of Gage’s face, pass behind his left eye, and then exit at the top of his skull. The iron rod was recovered some 30 yards away, smeared with blood and brain. Gage recovered from the accident and retained full possession of his reason, but his wife and other people close to him soon began to notice dramatic changes in his personality. This is possibly the first recorded case suggesting that damage to specific regions of the brain might affect personality and behavior.

The photo was discovered in July 2009 and is the only known picture of Gage that exists.

10 Fascinating Recently Discovered Photographs

26 October 2009

Spain: Longoria, The Village, Ready For Eva Longoria

More than 400 years after her ancestors left for the Americas, "Desperate Housewives" star Eva Longoria Parker can expect a joyous welcome when she visits the remote northern Spain village that bears her name.

The village of Longoria, home to around 60 people whose average age is 70, lies in the green hills of the Asturias region.

Eva Longoria Parker plans to visit next month to retrace her roots back to the place which her ancestors are believed to have left in 1603 to try their luck in the Americas.

Source & Full Story

7th-Grader: Obama, Most US Presidents Related

A seventh-grader and her 80-year-old grandfather are allegedly the first people to discover that President Barack Obama is related to all other U.S. presidents except one.

BridgeAnne d'Avignon, who attends Monte Vista Christian School in Watsonville, traced that Obama, and all other U.S. presidents except Martin Van Buren, are related to John "Lackland" Plantagenet, a king of England and signer of the Magna Carta.

The student and her grandfather, who is a genealogist, spent this past summer designing the first known family tree chart in history that shows the presidents' direct relationship. BridgeAnne's grandfather has researched president genealogy for 60 years.

BridgeAnne has written to Obama, who she has concluded is her own 11th cousin, in hopes that she will get a chance to present the president with the chart.

Source & Full Story

The Memoro Project

The Memoro Project is a non profit online initiative dedicated to collecting and divulgating short video recordings of spontaneous interviews with people born before 1940.

An editorial staff identifies and authenticates the material uploaded by the volunteers involved in the project.

The Memoro Project was created by Memoro S.r.l. with the financial support of the Province of Cuneo, Italy. In exchange for visibility on the portal, we are seeking sponsors with a strong ethical code.

Any profit will be devolved into charity to associations supporting the elderly and/or the children, creating a link between the generations.

Archives Of Queen Elizabeth's Dressmaker Sir Hardy Amies To Be Opened

Sir Hardy, who opened his fashion house at 14 Savile Row in 1946, helped establish British couture as a force in its own right.

The exhibition will contain material including previously unseen photographs of the Royal Family, sketches, and letters from such clients as Baroness Thatcher and Sir Cecil Beaton, the photographer.

It will also contain unseen drawings of Princess Elizabeth in the year before she was crowned Queen, and sketches of his costumes for Stanley Kubrick's science-fiction film 2001.

The designer was knighted in 1993 and died in 2003.

Source & Full Story

Genealogies Of The Victims Of The 1692 Salem Witch Hunt

Here's a quick genealogy of the victims of the 1692 Salem Witch Hunt.

Bishop, Bridget (Playfer) (Wasselbee) (Oliver) (-1692). Daughter of __ Playfer. Married 1660 Samuel Wasselbee (d. 1665); m2. 1666 Thomas Oliver; m3. before 1680 Edward Bishop (d. 1705). Salem, MA. Hanged 10 June 1692.

Burroughs, Rev. George (c1650-1692). Son of Nathaniel and Rebecca (Stiles) Burroughs. Harvard College, class of 1670. Minister at Salem Village 1680-1683; minister in Wells, Maine, in 1692. Married, first, Hannah Fisher (1653-1681); m2. Sarah Ruck (d. 1689/90); m3. Mary (--). Wells, Maine. Hanged 19 August 1692.

Carrier, Martha (Allen) (-1692). Daughter of Andrew & Faith (Ingalls) Allen. Married 1674 Thomas Carrier alias Morgan (d. 1735). Andover/Billerica, MA. Hanged 19 August 1692.

Source & More Victims

Bristol Project Will Take Us Back In Time

Bristol traffic is thundering past as Sarah Cox and Hilary Light stand outside the St Mary Redcliffe Sixth Form College building.

To anyone passing by, it must appear a fairly unremarkable scene of modern life in Bristol city centre.

However, Sarah and Hilary are seeing the lines of vehicles, the nearby blocks of modern flats and nearby St Mary Redcliffe Church through different eyes.

Called A Time Traveller's Guide to Bristol, it will cover the century from 1910, and focus upon six areas of the city: Redcliffe Hill; Park Street; The Harbour; Castle Park; Stokes Croft; and the Eastville stadium, where IKEA is now situated.

Source & Full Story

How To Contact A GeneaNet User?

Anyone who has registered with GeneaNet can send or receive messages from other users as well as reply to messages if they are contacted.

Through the email address

You may contact another user anonymously through the email address provided on their public profile.

To view their public profile:

- In the GeneaNet search results list, click on the username
- In the user's online family tree, click on the icon at the top left of the screen (see image below)

Through the user's personal forum

Every GeneaNet user has their own online family tree forum for free.

By clicking on the icon at the top left of the screen (see image below) you can post a message and an email will be automatically send to the user.

Through the "All Relatives" address book

Enter the name or the username of the user in the search form, then click "Add to my address book". When adding a user to your address book, you can enter a message. The user will automatically receive an email.

More about the "All Relatives" feature.

25 October 2009

AGeneDb 0.3.17-alpha

PDAs and Handhelds - Freeware/Open Source

AGeneDb 0.3.17-alpha has been released.


• Tree view fixed and many updates.

23 October 2009

Evidence Alexander the Great Wasn't First at Alexandria

Alexander the Great has long been credited with being the first to settle the area along Egypt's coast that became the great port city of Alexandria. But in recent years, evidence has been mounting that other groups of people were there first.

The latest clues that settlements existed in the area for several hundred years before Alexander the Great come from microscopic bits of pollen and charcoal in ancient sediment layers.

In the past few years, scientists have found fragments of ceramics and traces of lead in sediments in the area that predate Alexander's arrival by several hundred years, suggesting there was already a settlement in the area (though one far smaller than what Alexandria became).

Source & Full Story

War Of Roses Coin Haul To Be Sold

A hoard of silver coins hidden in a Northamptonshire field (England) during the Wars of the Roses is expected to fetch more than £30,000 at auction in December.

The 290 silver groats were found in a field in Brackley in 2005 by a man using a metal detector.

It is thought they were hidden in the summer of 1465 by someone who went into hiding during the dynastic civil war.

Jeremy Cheek, from auctioneers Morton and Eden, said the coins represented a "sizeable stash of money" at the time.

Source & Full Story

Former Archbishop Of Canterbury Gifts In River Mystery

Precious artefacts given to a former Archbishop of Canterbury have been found apparently thrown into the River Wear at Durham, England.

Individual items, including gifts from Pope Paul VI and other religious leaders, could be worth up to £10,000.

The former Bishop of Durham Michael Ramsey lived in the city after retiring as Archbishop in 1974. He died in 1988.

The objects, some solid gold, were discovered by brothers Gary and Trevor Bankhead while diving in the river.

The first artefact - a silver trowel presented to the Archbishop for laying the foundation stone of an Indian church in 1961 - was found two years ago.

Source & Full Story

View Post-War Scotland From The Air

Air photographs of Scotland taken during and after the Second World War have joined an extensive online maps collection.

The 'Ordnance Survey Air Photo Mosaics of Scotland, 1944-1950' provide detailed information on the Scottish post-war landscape.

You can search for photos by place-names or by using a zoomable map of Scotland. A Google maps overlay lets you compare them with present-day air photography and mapping.

Taken by the Royal Air Force, mostly from Spitfire and Mosquito fighter planes, these mosaics were intended for reconstruction and planning after the war. The photographs represent Ordnance Survey's first widespread use of aerial survey methods in Scotland.

Source & Full Story

The Complete Genealogy Reporter 2009 build 91014

Family Books - Windows - Shareware

The Complete Genealogy Reporter 2009 build 91014 has been released.


• Improved: French language report grammar.

The Complete Genealogy Builder 2009 build 91014

Full Featured - Windows - Shareware

The Complete Genealogy Builder 2009 build 91014 has been released.


• Maintenance release incorporating changes to reporter module; see revision history for The Complete Genealogy Reporter.

Brother's Keeper 6.3.31

Full Featured - Windows - Shareware

Brother's Keeper 6.3.31 has been released.


• (fixed) On the 'All Relatives' report, if including the relatives of the spouses, the 6.3.30 version would sometimes incorrectly say 'of the partner of' instead of 'of the wife of' or 'of the husband of' for a married couple.
• (changed) On the 'All Relatives' report, it uses different temporary files now which should stop the 'error 75' that some people got when doing more than 10 generations.

Nationwide Graveside Locator Service (USA) Now Available For Mobile Devices

Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki announced today that the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has made the gravesites of more than 6.7 million Veterans easier to locate using handheld devices with Internet capability, such as "smart phones."

"This innovative program continues VA's commitment to use the latest technology to provide Veterans and their families with information they need," said Secretary Shinseki. "It will simplify and enhance the experience of many who visit our national cemeteries."

The original gravesite locator -- -- online since April 2004, continues to help Veterans' families and others find the cemeteries where relatives, ancestors or friends are buried. The new Web site - -- is enhanced for viewing and browsing on "smart phone" devices.

Source & Full Story

Maps Revolutionised By 3D System

A new way of producing maps with lasers to create three-dimensional images has been tested in Bournemouth, England.

Ordnance Survey has used the system to produce a detailed computerised map of the town centre.

The map is the result of a three-year trial and the agency says it could revolutionise the way maps are produced and used.

Every metre of the town was captured using land-based and aerial surveys with high-accuracy lasers.

The lasers, which use 700 million points of light, plot detail including terrain, vegetation and buildings. The road network and aerial imagery were added to complete the maps.

Here's a video of the 3D map of Bournemouth.

Source & Full Story

Swedes Discover British WWI Sub in Baltic Sea

The wreck of a British naval submarine lost for more than 90 years has been found in the Baltic Sea off the coast of Estonia.

HMS E18 - with its complement of three officers and 28 ratings - went out on patrol in May 1916 and was never seen again.

E18 left its base in the Russian port of Reval - now Tallinn, the capital of Estonia - on the evening of 25 May 1916 and headed west.

The following day she was reported to have engaged and torpedoed a German ship. A few days later, possibly 2 June, she is believed to have struck a German mine and sunk with all hands.

Source & Full Story

Bee Docs' Timeline 2.9.3

Timeline - Mac - Purchase

Bee Docs' Timeline 2.9.3 has been released.


• Movie export times improved.
• Keynote movie export at 1024x768 with Motion Blur was very slow and glitchy. Fixed.

22 October 2009

Lost Marine Found Deep in the Ground in China

Billy Lynch left Dorchester 72 years ago, and they’re pretty sure they’ve finally found him, a long way from home, deep in the ground in China.

Staff Sergeant Billy Lynch was a Marine. He grew up on Victory Road, and if you go to the corner of Victory and Neponset Avenue, you’ll see the black street sign with the gold star that commemorates William Joseph Lynch Square. It is a place of honor for a Marine who disappeared 67 years ago.

He left Neponset for the Marines in 1937, right out of high school, and never came back. He was stationed in China when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, and then went to the Philippines and was there when the Japanese invaded. After the battle of Corregidor in 1942, the Japanese took him prisoner.

Source & Full Story

21 October 2009

The First Men And Women From The Canary Islands Were Berbers

Researchers from the University of La Laguna (ULL), the Institute of Pathology and Molecular Immunology from the University of Porto (Portugal) and the Institute of Legal Medicine from the University of Santiago de Compostela (USC) have studied the Y chromosome from human dental remains from the Canary Islands, and have determined the origin and evolution of paternal lineages from the pre-Hispanic era to the present day. To date, only mitochondrial DNA has been studied, which merely reflects the evolution of maternal lineages.

Rosa Fregal, the principal author of the recently-published study in BMC Evolutionary Biology, and a researcher from the Genetics Department of the ULL, explains to SINC that "whereas aboriginal maternal lineages have survived with a slight downward trend, aboriginal paternal lineages have declined progressively, being replaced by European lineages".

Source & Full Story

A High-Tech Hunt for Lost Leonardo da Vinci’s Painting

If you believe, as Maurizio Seracini does, that Leonardo da Vinci’s greatest painting is hidden inside a wall in Florence’s city hall, then there are two essential techniques for finding it. As usual, Leonardo anticipated both of them.

First, concentrate on scientific gadgetry. After spotting what seemed to be a clue to Leonardo’s painting left by another 16th-century artist, Dr. Seracini led an international team of scientists in mapping every millimeter of the wall and surrounding room with lasers, radar, ultraviolet light and infrared cameras. Once they identified the likely hiding place, they developed devices to detect the painting by firing neutrons into the wall.

“Leonardo would love to see how much science is being used to look for his most celebrated masterpiece,” Dr. Seracini said, gazing up at the wall where he hopes the painting can be found, and then retrieved intact. “I can imagine him being fascinated with all this high-tech gear we’re going to set up.”

Source & Full Story

Washington University Libraries Receive Grant To Digitize Pre-War Slave Lawsuits

Washington University Libraries has received a $376,426 National Leadership Grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services for "The St. Louis Freedom Suits Legal Encoding Project"—one of the largest grants the University Libraries have ever received.

The University Libraries will partner on the project with the Missouri History Museum and several internal partners, including the Humanities Digital Workshop, the Law School Library, and the American Culture Studies Program. The project will focus on pre-Civil War suits brought by enslaved persons against slaveholders in the St. Louis Circuit Court. In addition to transcribing the records, the project will develop a standard for encoding the legal function of the documents, which will provide a model for similar archives.

The two-year project begins December 1, 2009.

Source & Full Story

Guy Ritchie, The Mockney With A King In The Family

Guy Ritchie has desperately cultivated a tough guy image complete with mockney accent and obsession with the underworld.

But the true extent of Guy Ritchie's privileged background has been revealed - showing he is actually descended from royalty.

The 41-year-old, whose family fortune is worth more than £20million, is a distant descendent of Edward I according to documents found by ancestry website

The site claims information on the 1911 census, which has been published online for the first time, also shows he is the great, great grandson of renowned Major General Edward McLaughlin who lived in stately home Byron Hall in Worthing.

Source & Full Story

Jude Law 'descended from a family of bakers'

The details of the Alfie star's family history are revealed in the 1911 Census, which is being published online for the first time.

The 36-year-old, who stars as Dr Watson in the forthcoming Sherlock Holmes film, is the great-grandson of William Law, who is recorded in 1911 as a master baker. He lived with his wife, five children and two servants in a nine-bedroom house in Brixton, south London.

Meanwhile, the true extent of Guy Ritchie's background is revealed on the website The 41-year-old ex of Madonna is the great-great grandson of retired Major-General Edward McLaughlin and his wife Annie.

Source & Full Story

WWII 'Lady of the Air Force' Dies

A Tasmanian woman whose portrait remains in the Australian War Memorial's collection as an official image of the Women's Auxiliary Australian Air Force (WAAAF) in World War II has passed away.

Gloria Gwendolyn Grace served as a corporal in the Second World War after enlisting in New Norfolk in 1943.

Ms Grace died in her aged care home in Melbourne on Tuesday, at the age of 88.

Family friend, Tasmanian Ron Ruthven, says official Australian war artist Harold Freedman went to great lengths to find Ms Grace to paint her. Mr Ruthven says Freedman passed her in a train station and decided she would become the face of the WAAAF.

Source & Full Story

20 October 2009

FamViewer 2.1

PDAs and Handhelds

FamViewer 2.1 has been released.


• Now display submitter information in the GEDCOM file info view.
• Speed improvements to the index.
• New history feature keeps a list of all persons visited in the tree.
• Users can type %20 to represent a space character in filenames to be downloaded from the Downloads view.
• Several bug fixes that improve the stability of the application.

Simple Family Tree 1.32

Full Featured - Windows - Freeware

Simple Family Tree 1.32 has been released.


• Fixes bug that doesn't re-initialize individual's flags when highlighting new individual.

Brother's Keeper 6.3.30

Full Featured - Windows - Shareware

Brother's Keeper 6.3.30 has been released.


• On the 'All Relatives' report if a person had both a unmarried partner and then a spouse, it will not say 'second' wife or husband, it will jut say wife or husband.
• The Edit screen can also show Hebrew in the Spouse combo box.

LDS: Digitizing Arkansas Marriage Records

Arkansas marriage records from 1837 to 1957 are part of a volunteer project to put them in a free online database with a searchable index linked to digital images of the original certificates.

The collection includes 442,058 records linked to 199,431 digital images of the original marriage certificates. The records represent the counties of Ahsley, Baxter, Boone, Chicot, Clay, Crittenden, Desha, Crew, Fulton, Jackson, Johnson, Lee, Logan, Madison, Monroe, Montgomery, Nevada, Perry and Pike.

The first fruits of the effort can be searched at by clicking on Search Records, then on Record Search pilot.

Those interested in volunteering to help with the Arkansas project need Internet access and can do so at

Source & Full Story

New York University: All Bobst Holdings Will Be Digitized

With the financial backing of Abu Dhabi, New York University is planning to digitize Bobst Library.

This will be perhaps NYU Abu Dhabi's most visible change for the university's Washington Square campus. A digital database of all the holdings in Bobst would serve to connect Abu Dhabi and New York's research materials.

Initially, New York University students will only have access to NYU's current online resources. But the new, degree-granting satellite campus in the United Arab Emirates has its sights set on a complete digitization.

New York University currently has no time frame for when the project will start. The university's libraries have a combined 5.1 million volumes.

Source & Full Story

19 October 2009

190,000 Welsh Wills Online - Free to View

The National Library of Wales has good news for family historians, social historians … and the inquisitive! Over 190,000 Welsh wills (some 800,000 pages) have been digitised and are now available on the Library’s website or direct on their online catalogue and are free to view.

Wills which were proved in the Welsh ecclesiastical courts before the introduction of Civil Probate on 11 January 1858 have long been deposited at The National Library of Wales. An online index and an opportunity to view digital images of these wills within the Library building has been available for sometime, however, from today remote users will also be able to view the digital images.

Amongst the collection is the will of Twm Siôn Cati alias Thomas Johnes, Fountaine Gate, Caron (SD1609-20), this year being the 400th anniversary of his death. The will of Howell Harris, the famous Welsh religious reformer can also be seen (BR1773-51).

Source & Full Story

Book Scanning Prompts Review Of EU Copyright Laws

The European Commission said Monday it may revise copyright law to make it easier for companies like Google Inc. to scan printed books and distribute digital copies over the Internet.

Such changes would likely include ways to more easily compensate authors and publishers, possibly through a statutory license in which a company would automatically get rights to scanning and would pay royalties to a collective pool. Money from that pool would then get distributed to copyright holders.

Under Europe's current patchwork of copyright laws, rights are now managed separately in each of the European Union's 27 nations, making it difficult to seek permission to republish or digitize content, especially when the rights holder is hard to find.

Source & Full Story

Japan's High-Tech Graveyard

According to the cost of an average burial plot in the US is around $4,000. In Japan, traditional burial plots are even more expensive, costing tens of thousands of dollars.

So, some people in Japan are turning to a cheaper, high-tech alternative: It’s a building where the ashes of the dead are stored instead of being buried underground.

In this multi-storied graveyard, ashes of the dead are kept in urns on shelves in a vault, with a robotic arm to retrieve them for remembrance ceremonies.

Visitors touch a panel and a screen pulls back to reveal a black marble gravestone; in the middle of which, the requested urn appears. In front of the gravestone is a small water fountain and photos of the deceased on an electronic photo frame.

Source & Full Story

GeneaNet: The Cross-Database Search

The Cross-Database Search is an exclusive and powerful GeneaNet feature that automatically compares your family tree with the complete GeneaNet database index.

You first need to complete the form below to describe your search:

Club Privilege Options

GeneaNet Club Privilege members can limit the search to their Sosa-Stradonitz (Ahnentafel) numbered individuals and compare their direct line with the GeneaNet database, ignore unknown places and limit the search to the GeneaNet Online Family Trees.

Search Criteria

You can limit the search to the entries that fit your family tree places and dates.

Results Display Mode

The search result list can be displayed in HTML or plain text mode. Plain text mode generates a delimited text file that can be imported in any spreadsheet.

Automatically Compare Your Family Tree With Another One

GeneaNet Club Privilege Members can also automatically compare their online family tree with the one of another GeneaNet user.

You can access this powerful feature from the user Page Contact.

Cross-Database Email Alert

You can subscribe to the Cross-Database Email Alert to receive a periodical email aggregate of the latest entries. Email Alerts have expanded options for recurring weekly, twice-weekly and monthly.

All of your Cross-Database Email Alerts are saved and you can read the archive at any time!

18 October 2009

Iraq Accuses Neighbours Of Stealing Archives

Iraq on Sunday accused its neighbours of stealing vast sections of its national archives, including documents dating back centuries, after the 2003 US-led invasion of the country.

Some 60 percent of the archives, amounting to tens of millions of documents, were missing or had been damaged and destroyed as a result of water leaks and a fire at a storage centre in Bab al-Muatham in Baghdad's old quarter.

"Historic documents to do with Iraq's relations with its neighbours have been taken -- they were either bought from smugglers, or recovered them from various political factions," National Archives director Saad Iskander said.

Source & Full Story

17 October 2009

Anger Of WWI Veteran's Family After Binge-Drinking Student Is Pictured Urinating On War Memorial

The image of a drunk student urinating on a war memorial has provoked a furious backlash from relatives who had laid wreaths of poppies in tribute to their loved ones.

John Ievers, the grandson of a World War I soldier who died in 1917, branded student Philip Laing, 19, a 'drunken idiot' for desecrating the memorial in Baker's Pool, Sheffield, UK.

Mr Ievers placed the tribute - a solitary wooden cross with poppy decoration - to his grandfather on the memorial on Remembrance Day last November. Edwin Ievers was 32 when he was killed in France in October 1917.

The youth was one of 2,000 university students taking part in an organised seven-hour pub crawl in Sheffield, during which many familiar scenes of debauchery were seen.

Source & Full Story

The British Library of the UK Has Received £33m To Save The World's Greatest Newspaper Collection

The British Library of the UK has today received a commitment of £33m from the Government to preserve and make accessible the world's greatest newspaper collection.

The money was announced by the Prime Minister today as one of a number of capital projects for the cultural and creative industries.

The British Library collects a copy of every local, regional and national newspaper published in the UK, plus 250 international titles. This unparalleled newspaper collection is an unique resource of over 750 million pages and is used for research by 30,000 people - genealogists, local historians and researchers from the creative industries - every year. The collection is used as source material for countless new books, newspapers, television programmes, films, documentaries, academic papers, local history projects and family trees in the UK every year, making a vital contribution to the UK economy.

Source & Full Story

Spanish Poet Federico Garcia Lorca Civil-War Grave To Be Opened

Authorities in southern Spain said Friday they are ready to open a mass grave that could contain the remains of Spanish poet Federico Garcia Lorca, although his relatives oppose any exhumation.

Garcia Lorca was shot by supporters of General Francisco Franco during Spain's 1936-39 civil war and is believed to have been buried in the grave at Alfaca, near Granada.

"Our aim is to look for him," said the minister of justice for the Andalucia region, Begona Alvarez, as she signed agreements to undertake the work.

The grave thought to contain the remains of Garcia Lorca and three other people shot along with him is one of six believed to be in Alfaca. Four of them will be dug up first.

Source & Full Story

16 October 2009

Glasgow Building Where Canada's First Prime Minister John A. Macdonald Grew Up To Be Demolished

In a grimy lane in central Glasgow stand an abandoned brothel and a boarded-up saloon. Partners in hopelessness, they face the dismal thoroughfare. The building that houses them, like all its neighbours, is slated for demolition, and standing there you think: the sooner the better.

Yet from this doomed street in 1820, a failed businessman began a journey that ended in the creation of a country. He left his place of work in Brunswick Lane for the last time. A ship was waiting in the River Clyde, and he boarded with his family. Among them was his eldest surviving son, a 5-year-old.

The boy was John A. Macdonald.

Source & Full Story

Computerised Age-Regression Photo Shows George Washington's Wife Martha As Twentysomething Woman

In an age of television makeovers, it is perhaps inevitable that eventually Martha Washington's turn would come.

A team of historians, curators and forensic anthropologists have concluded that the first first lady - imagined by Americans for more than 200 years to be a dowdy, double-chinned and dowager-capped matron - may have actually been hot.

A computerised age-regression portrait was commissioned to peel away the age and wrinkles and reveal the slim and lively brown-haired woman in her 20s who captivated a future revolutionary hero and president.

Source & Full Story

EU Bookshop Digital Library Goes Live

Scanning 12 million pages makes more than 110 000 EU publications available free of charge for download in the EU Bookshop Digital Library. It offers all publications ever edited by the Publications Office on behalf of the EU institutions, agencies and other bodies since 1952.

The EU Bookshop is a valuable information source for citizens, journalists, education professionals, students, librarians, publishers, and anybody interested in Europe, in 50 languages, including the possibility of ordering printed copies.

Source & Full Story

£10.5m Archive Centre Vandalised in Scotland

Vandals have caused damage running to thousands of pounds at the new Highland Archive and Registration Centre in Inverness, Scotland.

The £10.5m building which will house and preserve historical documents is due to open a week on Monday.

Police said windows at the centre at the Bught were broken sometime between Wednesday and Thursday.

The building has specialist atmospheric and environmental controls to preserve ancient parchments. The archive service at Inverness Library is relocating to the new building.

Historical documents from Highland presbyteries and Kirk sessions are also to transfer from Edinburgh to the centre, along with documents relating to the Highland Clearances and other papers dating from before the Battle of Culloden and a Highland photographic archive, containing 150,000 images.

Source & Full Story

15 October 2009

How Ireland Was Mapped

Wild wolves, fearsome chieftains, forts, castles and sea monsters - one could be forgiven for thinking this a fairytale. But it isn't - this was the serious business of State map making - four centuries ago. Today, for the first time, The National Archives of the UK is launching a digitised collection of Early Irish maps (c.1558 - c.1610) from the 'State Papers Ireland'.

The collection comprises more than 70 different maps , amongst the earliest cartographic representations of Ireland, depicting plantations, fortifications and townships during the reigns of Elizabeth I and James I.

Attractive and colourful, these maps include the famous 1567 map of Hibernia by John Goghe, and are normally held in our safe room. But now, as a result of our digitisation programme, these valuable treasures are accessible to millions globally.

Source & Full Story

Bess Truman Letters to Husband Harry Revealed to Public

Eight letters, revealed this week to the media for the first time ever by Truman's eldest grandson, Clifton Truman Daniel, shed insight into the intimate and close relationship shared by the Truman couple, who met at Sunday school when Harry was 6 and Bess was 5.

Twenty-nine years later, while overseas after the end of World War I, Truman implored Bess to marry him.

"Please get ready to march down the aisle with me just as soon as you decently can when I get back," he wrote on Feb. 18, 1919.

"I haven't any place to go but home and I'm busted financially but I love you as madly as a man can and I'll find all the other things. We'll be married anywhere you say at any time you mention and if you want only one person or the whole town I don't care as long as you make it quickly after my arrival," he wrote.

Source & Full Story

Love Letter Sent During World War II Is Finally Delivered - 64 Years Late

A letter sent by a British soldier during World War II has arrived at its destination over 64 years late, after it was delivered by Royal Mail to an RAF base.

The letter, hand-written on American Red Cross paper, was posted by Serviceman Charles Fleming to a woman identified only as 'my dearest', on March 20 1945.

It was found by staff at the RAF Lakenheath near Brandon, in Suffolk inside a new envelope, after the original was damaged and lost, along with a note from Royal Mail with the words 'found loose in post please direct if possible.'

Source & Full Story

Atiz Spotlights Powerful, Affordable Book Scanner at ARMA International Conference and Expo in Orlando, Florida

Atiz Innovation, Inc., the leader in content digitization, will showcase its latest book scanning solution, BookDrive Pro, this week at the ARMA International Conference and Expo in Orlando, Florida. From deeds to books to legal documents, BookDrive Pro addresses the difficulties associated with records and information management by using a simple scanning method to digitize important documents. Additionally, BookDrive Pro's affordable price point lowers the barrier of entry for many of those tasked with digitizing bound content.

A powerful, cost-effective book digitization solution, BookDrive Pro combines digital SLR cameras with a unique v-shaped book cradle that is gentle on books and eliminates curvature problems to produce high-resolution scans at up to 700 pages an hour.

Source & Full Story

Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum Launches Facebook Profile

The museum of the World War II-era Nazi German Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp has launched its profile, "Auschwitz Memorial", on the Facebook social networking website, a museum spokesman said Thursday.

"If, in keeping with our mission, we want to educate youngsters, to teach them to be responsible for the world they live in, we must use the modes of communication young people themselves use," Auschwitz-Birkenau museum spokesman Pawel Sawicki told AFP.

"Our Facebook profile is addressed to those across the globe who want to learn the history of the camp and the actual situation of the museum, to discuss it or to pay homage to the victims of Auschwitz-Birkenau," he added.

Source & Full Story

Sheridan Libraries At Johns Hopkins University, USA, Awarded $20 Million

The Sheridan Libraries have been awarded $20 million for data curation from the National Science Foundation (NSF).

The award, which was announced last Thursday, will provide funding towards the Data Conservancy project.

The principal investigator on the project was Sayeed Choudhury, an associate dean at the library and the Hodson Director of the Digital Research and Curation Center, who called the award "an opportunity to define a blueprint for research libraries in the digital age."

The project will be developed over the next five years to create an infrastructure that will better manage digital information.

Source & Full Story

Historic Graves Under Supermarket At Lutzen, Germany

Archaeologists believe they have traced a mass grave of soldiers who fought in a 17th Century battle in Germany under a modern-day supermarket.

Scots - many of them Highlanders - were among the ranks of Protestant soldiers fighting Catholic forces at Lutzen, a key clash during the 30 Years War.

Culloden expert Dr Tony Pollard has been involved in an international team's investigations at Lutzen.

Protestants claimed victory at Lutzen in 1632.

Thousands died, including the triumphant army's leader, the Swedish king Gustavus Adolphus.

Source & Full Story

Town To Study Digitizing Windsor Beacon Archives (Colorado, USA)

The Windsor, Colorado, USA, Town Board has directed staff to study the process and costs associated with digitizing the archives of the Windsor Beacon newspaper.

The topic came up for discussion during Saturday’s special budget work session when board member Robert Bishop-Cotner suggested the project to the board.

The Windsor Beacon is the town’s oldest newspaper, dating back to 1886. Its name changed to the Beacon in the 1950s; prior to that it was known as the Windsor Leader and The Poudre Valley.

Source & Full Story

Oscar-Winning Actress Tilda Swinton's Family History Goes On Display

The family history of Oscar-winning actress Tilda Swinton is to go on show in the Capital as part of the Famous Scots exhibitions in the ScotlandsPeople Centre.

On Saturday, 24 October, there will be a special opportunity to find out about her Edinburgh connections as part of the open day at the ScotlandsPeople Centre.

Research revealed the actress is a direct descendant of Robert the Bruce on both sides of her family, and among her ancestors on her mother's side are some famous figures from Edinburgh's past.

These include her maternal great-great-grandfather, John Hutton Balfour (1808-1884), a professor of botany and keeper of the Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh, as well as geologist James Hutton (1726-1797), whose influential theories on the origins of the Earth laid the foundations for modern geology.

Source & Full Story

Mussolini Worked For MI5 Agents

Benito Mussolini may be among history's most notorious fascist dictators, but evidence suggests he worked for British secret services during World War I.

Historian Dr Peter Martland says MI5 records show it paid "Il Duce" £100 per week, about £5,000 today,to spread pro-war propaganda via his newspaper.

The Cambridge University academic made the discovery while studying the papers of former agent Sir Samuel Hoare MP.

Mussolini's socialist publication, Il Popolo d'Italia, carried a key voice because it served the factory workers of Milan whose output was essential for the war effort.

Source & Full Story

14 October 2009

The Next Generation of Genealogy Sitebuilding (TNG) 7.1.2

Web Publishing - Windows, Mac, Linux - Purchase

The Next Generation of Genealogy Sitebuilding (TNG) 7.1.2 has been released.


• Living individuals were sometimes showing on the PDF charts (fixed).
• The wrong zoom value was sometimes being used on the Google map on the individual page (fixed).
• Double quotes were not always handled correctly when using the UTF-8 character set (fixed).
• Sources were not showing properly on the individual PDF chart (fixed).
• Improperly formatted dates on the RSS page were preventing it from loading in some environments (fixed).
• Some timeline "duration" events did not work properly (fixed).
• The GEDCOM export utility was not sorting ID numbers properly, resulting in early termination if the export had to be resumed (fixed).
• The Backup and Restore functions were not compatible with PHP 5.3 (fixed).
• Source information was sometimes being withheld even if the user had rights to view it (fixed).
• Place notes were not being displayed on the Google Maps in some circumstances (fixed).
• Media links attached to events that contained special characters were sometimes broken when the data was re-imported (fixed).
• Deleting notes would sometimes delete the wrong note if you had multiple trees and people with the same IDs (fixed).
• New timeline events could not be added on some systems (fixed).
• The link to the Bookmarks page did not work after bookmarking a page in a subdirectory (fixed).
• Various other minor problems were also fixed.

Reunion 9.0b

Full Featured - Mac - Purchase

Reunion 9.0b has been released.


• Snow Leopard (Mac OS 10.6) - fixed cosmetic glitch that appeared in some lists.
• GEDCOM Import - fixed a problem introduced in Reunion 9.0a that prevented structured source fields from being imported properly.
• Charts - fixed display and printing issues with graphic images on charts.

Stolen Out-of-State Grave Marker May Return Home

They were dividing up his late brother's belongings when Lou Rheims agreed to one of those family compromises that always seems more reasonable in the moment.

Long story short, Rheims really wanted his brother's fancy Victorian-era women's boots but he also had to take the stolen tombstone, a relative insisted.

"They were the kind with about 40 eyelets up each side," he said of the footwear. "In order for me to get the boots, I had to take the headstone."

Somewhere along the way, someone built a wooden stand for the headmarker. Rheims put it on the front porch next to the flower pots and has lived with its words each time he walks by -- George Thomas Fairall, born Oct. 2, 1851, died July 4, 1858.

Source & Full Story

Coming Soon: Legacy Family Tree 7.5

Full Featured - Windows - Purchase

Legacy Family Tree 7.5 will soon be released.

Legacy Family Tree has received official certification from FamilySearch.

Legacy Family Tree version 7.5 will add new tools to help researchers collaborate, backup, and optionally synchronize their Legacy family files with the data in the FamilySearch databases. These new tools should encourage better research collaboration and prevent research and ordinance duplication.

Levy Foundation Grant Helps Philharmonic and Others Digitize Archives

The National Park Service found the original deed from 1695 for the homestead in Virginia where George Washington was born and copies of John Peter Zenger’s New-York Weekly Journal from 1735 reporting on his landmark trial affirming freedom of the press. The Center for Jewish History discovered the 1944 document in which Raphael Lemkin coined the term genocide.

Those are among the nearly two dozen institutions that have received grants from the Leon Levy Foundation since 2007 to identify, preserve and digitize their archival collections and to make them available online to scholars and to the public.

The foundation’s archives and catalogs program has awarded more than $10.3 million, including two grants this week: $3.5 million to the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, N.J., to collect and conserve the papers of its present and former scholars, including George F. Kennan, J. Robert Oppenheimer and Albert Einstein; and $2.4 million to the New York Philharmonic, where archivists will digitize 1.3 million pages, including a 1909 Mahler score for his First Symphony originally marked up by the composer and further annotated 50 years later by Leonard Bernstein.

Source & Full Story

13 October 2009

LongFamilyHistory 2.6.0

Full Featured - Windows - Purchase

LongFamilyHistory 2.6.0 has been released.


• Now you can create photo albums in the LongFamilyHistory program.

iScrapbook 2.1.2

Family Pictures - Mac - Purchase

iScrapbook 2.1.2 has been released.


• Fixed a rare issue that caused a crash when starting the application.

iRemember 2.5

Family Pictures - Mac - Purchase

iRemember 2.5 has been released.


• Snow Leopard - Compatible with Mac OS X v10.6.
• Edit Content Mode - Double click a shape to directly rotate, scale and postion images quickly.
• Direct Rotation - Quickly rotate shapes without using the Inspector.
• Group/Ungroup - Combine multiple shapes for easier editing.
• Right Triangle - The right shape makes corners a snap.
• PDF Export - Built-in conversion to PDF saves a trip to the Print dialog.
• Shadow Color - Your shapes can cast shadows in any color.
• Resolution Quality - Insures high quality by providing the DPI readout during image scaling.
• Zoom To Fit - Quickly resize the page to fit your screen.
• Goto Page - Fast navigation of large scrapbook files.

Brother's Keeper 6.3.24

Full Featured - Windows - Shareware

Brother's Keeper 6.3.24 has been released.


• New report under Other called 'All Relatives'. This report will compute all relatives of a person, including relatives of the spouse, and relatives of those relatives.
• On the GEDCOM Export, the special fields of Last Name and Sort Name were sometimes not converted to the correct character set.
• On the Group Sheet, if the alternate name does not fit on the first line, it will be moved to the second line.

Ages! 1.53

Full Featured - Windows - Shareware

Ages! 1.53 has been released.

New Features:

• Edit Person: hovering over father or mother will now show yellow hints with more data
• Edit Person: The number of known children is now displayed
• Find Duplicates: You can now hide items from the list of possibly duplicate persons.
• Output: New user defined field for "all events"
• Output: additional "line feed" for "events in this source"
• Output: Descendant Outline: change indentation
• Output: You can now print a persons calculated age at an event (e.g. Death)
• Output: Cross-reference connectors now have arrows pointing towards the other end
• Output: Cross-reference connectors can now be used to jump to the other end (navigation-mode only)
• Other: Windows 7 (Preview) Detection


Continue reading...

First Android Genealogy App: AGeneDb

PDAs and Handhelds - Freeware/Open Source

AGeneDb is the first Android Genealogy app.

AGeneDb allows you to view the contents of GEDCOM files and shows the individuals, families and family tree.

Future plans:

• Add creating individuals and families.
• Add multimedia to individuals and families.

Bruce Springsteen, Born In The USA But With Irish Roots

A new book has confirmed what his legion of Irish fans have always suspected – Bruce Springsteen is one of our own.

Despite his surname which is of Dutch extraction, Springsteen has Irish ancestry through his paternal grandmother Martha O’Hagan. She married Springsteen’s grandfather Antony Springsteen in 1899.

Her grandmother in turn was Ann Garrity who came from outside Mullingar. She crossed the Atlantic for the Promised Land of the US in 1852.

Further back Springsteen has Farrell, McNicholas, Sullivan, O’Hagan and McCann ancestry.

Source & Full Story

Bee Docs' Timeline 2.9.2

Timeline - Mac - Purchase

Bee Docs' Timeline 2.9.2 has been released.


• New: During a search, matching items are automatically selected.
• Improved: Select All only selects items matching current search.
• Improved: Movie exports are now 5% to 15% faster.
• Improved: NetNewsWire importer now uses new 3.x icon.
• Fixed: German localization corrections.

12 October 2009


Full Featured - Windows - Purchase

RootsMagic has been released.


• Added blank reports (pedigree chart, group sheet, cemetery record log, correspondence log, research log)
• Added Print button to the Count Trees screen
• Added Print button to the Relationship Calculator screen
• Added option to display birth year in side list index
• Added option to display record number in side list index
• Marriage list report can now print marriage rec# with any sort order (as an option)
• Any events which don’t fit on a printed calendar print on an overflow page at the end of the calendar
• Double clicking a fact in RM Explorer now opens the edit screen to that fact in edit mode
• Added “Edit Family” button to problem list
• Added RootsMagic Launcher to manually start RM on flash drive since Vista now disables autorun on removable drives
• Installer will warn if you try to install on a removable drive (use RM to go instead)
• Added Oquirrh Mountain temple to LDS temple list


Continue reading...

Unseen Henry VIII's warship, Mary Rose, Relics Unveiled

Carefully preserved relics revealing what life was like on board Henry VIII's warship, the Mary Rose, have been revealed for the first time.

A Tudor fiddle and a leather "manbag" are just a few of the items the Mary Rose Trust has allowed to be filmed.

The move marks the launch of the Mary Rose 500 appeal to raise the remaining £4m needed to build the £35m museum at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard.

The Mary Rose sank on 19 July 1545 with the loss of more than 400 lives, after 34 years of service.

Source & Full Story

17th Century Aberdeenshire Castle In The Pink After Facelift

A two-year £500,000 facelift to return a 17th Century Aberdeenshire castle to its original look has been completed.

The National Trust for Scotland's Craigievar Castle, near Alford, now has a traditional lime-based alternative to concrete-based harling.

Experts believe it has returned the castle to what would have been its original shade of pink.

Project manager Ian Davidson said: "It would be fair to say that visitors to the castle will notice a change."

Source & Full Story

German Chancellor Angela Merkel Criticizes Google For Copyright Infringement

German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Saturday criticized the efforts of Google Inc to build a massive digital library, saying the Internet should not be exempt from copyright laws.

"The German government has a clear position: copyrights have to be protected in the Internet," Merkel said, adding there are "considerable dangers" for copyright protection in the Internet.

"That's why we reject the scanning in of books without any copyright protection -- like Google is doing. The government places a lot of weight on this position on copyrights to protect writers in Germany."

Source & Full Story

The Only Sisters To Fly Spitfires In World War II Are Reunited With Iconic Aircraft

This was the forgotten army of women who broke through male-dominated barriers to pilot the aircraft – and to deliver them for service in the front line.

It was a job that perfectly suited the Attagirls, as they became known, and not just because they boosted the war effort with such pluckiness and enthusiasm.

Yesterday the only two sisters to fly Spitfires during the war turned the clock back seven decades to recall those heady days – after being reunited with one of the aircraft that gave them ‘such a thrill’.

Joy Lofthouse, 86, and Yvonne MacDonald, 88, joined the ATA in 1943 after spotting an advert in a flying magazine.

Source & Full Story

British Library Acquires Eva Figes Archive

The archive of experimental author Eva Figes, including her correspondence with the Booker prize-winning writer John Berger, has been acquired by the British Library for £20,000.

Figes, whose German Jewish family fled Germany for England in 1939 after her father was temporarily imprisoned in Dachau concentration camp, is the author of novels including the Guardian fiction prize-winning Winter Journey, the story of an old man dying alone in a council house first published in 1967.

Source & Full Story

The University Of Michigan Press Is Joining With HathiTrust Digital Library

The University of Michigan Press is joining with HathiTrust Digital Library to open electronic content for free online access. U-M Press plans to have 1,000 or more titles available for full viewing by the end of this year.

Launched in 2008, HathiTrust is a digital preservation repository and research management tool for the world's great research libraries, focused on providing scholars in the digital age with the largest collection of electronic research material this side of Google Book Search and large-scale, full-text searching and archiving tools to manage it.

List of free-view U-M Press titles in HathiTrust

Source & Full Story

GeneaNet: New Features In The Search Results List

Some new features have been added to the GeneaNet search results list:


Moving the mouse pointer over a username in the search results list will now open a tooltip which shows:

- The full name of the user
- The user online family tree latest update
- If the user is in your Address Book
- If you already have contacted this user

This new feature is available to the GeneaNet Club Privilege Members.

Email Alert

You can now subscribe to/unsubscribe from the email alert without leaving the search results list by clicking the link below the list. This is really more convenient!

This new feature is available to all of the GeneaNet users.

11 October 2009

Stumbling Blocks to Remembrance

Gunter Demnig, a performance artist from Cologne, first thought of the idea of a literal stumbling block in 1993. History all too often reduces its victims to numbers, with so many million killed here and so many million reduced to ashes there. What he wanted to do was to create something that would enable ordinary Germans to remember ordinary Germans – something far more personal and immediate than a number, a name. So was born a project in which those long since disappeared and dead were to be remembered, literally under the feet of the general public.

What started as a relatively small project has grown organically but insistently since the first small exhibition in 1994. The incumbent priest of the Antoniter church in Cologne was one of the first to encourage the project and Demnig began to place the stumbling blocks – such as the ones above – around the city, with a further set in Berlin – all without permission.

Source & Full Story

10 October 2009

Was This Man The First Terrorist Of The Modern Age?

On February 12, 1894, a young intellectual anarchist named Emile Henry went out to kill. And, in doing so, he arguably ignited the age of modern terrorism.

As he had looked down on Paris from near his miserable lodgings in the plebeian 20th arrondissement on the edge of Paris, he vowed war on the bourgeoisie. His specific goal was to avenge the execution of Auguste Vaillant a week earlier.

Now, armed with a bomb hidden under his coat, Henry walked up the Avenue de l'Opera, pausing at several elegant cafes, but he moved on because they were not full enough. He entered the Cafe Terminus, which is still there, near the Gare St Lazare, ordered two beers, and a cigar.

Source & Full Story

WWII Codebreakers Recognised

Men and women who worked in top secret to break Nazi Germany's military codes during WWII have been publicly honoured 60 years on.

Some of the surviving veterans gathered at Bletchley Park, Buckinghamshire, to receive commemorative badges from Foreign Secretary David Miliband.

Mr Miliband said: "The people of Bletchley Park helped win the war... we must never forget."

Many historians agree the codebreakers' efforts shortened the war by two years.

Source & Full Story

Suffragette March Marks Centenary in Edinburgh, Scotland

Up to 4,000 women, men and children are to take part in a parade in Edinburgh, Scotland, marking a key suffragette demonstration which took place 100 years ago.

Participants are planning to carry banners and dress in historic costumes in Saturday's re-enactment of the original march in the capital in 1909.

The movement was a fight for women's rights which lasted almost 60 years.

At the time hundreds of people took banners and flags to join a rally along Princes Street on 10 October 1909.

Source & Full Story

Children Uncover 'Treasure' in Village Graveyard

Three children's search for conkers turned out to have all the hallmarks of an Enid Blyton adventure when they discovered what they thought was treasure in a village near Ripon.

Georgia Kitching, nine, and her brother Ethan, eight, along with their friend, Natasja Hodgkinson, nine, were looking in the graveyard of St Mary's Church, in Wath, when their pet dogs, Harry and Rascal, uncovered the find.

The three youngsters, who all attend Burneston Primary School, near Bedale, investigated and discovered a horde of items from the 1920s, including opera glasses, old games in fine walnut casings, and a small beaded metal purse.

Source & Full Story

9 October 2009

Harvard, National Library of China Embark on Digitization Project

One of the most extensive collections of rare Chinese books outside China will be digitized and made freely available to scholars worldwide as part of a six-year cooperative project between the Harvard College Library (HCL) and the National Library of China.

Nancy Cline, the Roy E. Larsen Librarian of Harvard College, and Furui Zhan, director of the National Library, signed an agreement detailing the project today (Oct. 9).

Among the largest cooperative projects of its kind ever between China and U.S. libraries, the project will digitize Harvard-Yenching Library’s entire 51,500-volume Chinese rare-book collection. Harvard-Yenching is the largest university library for East Asian research in the Western world. When completed, the project will have a transformative effect on scholarship involving rare Chinese texts, Harvard-Yenching Librarian James Cheng predicted.

Source & Full Story

Ben Affleck and Matt Damon: Keepin’ it in the family!

We know that Matt Damon and Ben Affleck are BFFs, but as it turns out, they’re actually related!

The New England Historic Genealogical Society yesterday revealed that the Cambridge homeys are actually 10th cousins once removed. They share a common 10th great-grandfather, William Knowlton of Ipswich, a bricklayer who died in 1655.

“We suspected they might be related since both of them had ancestry going back to colonial New England,” said geneologist Chris Child, who did the research with colleague Rhonda McClure.

Source & Full Story

Vandals Damage Historic Belmont County Cemetery, Ohio, USA

Police are searching for the vandals who have repeatedly damaged tombstones at a historic Belmont County cemetery, Ohio, USA.

The vandalism at Salem Cemetery in Kirkwood Township started in April 2008 then stopped for a while, but started back up again in recent weeks.

The cemetery contains several tombstones that belong to Revolutionary War veterans. Some have been split in half and others were completely toppled over. Police said vandals have even smashed grave markings on the road.

"It happens all the time. Kids go down there and knock over the tombstones. Why? I don't know," said Brian Arigoni, a township resident. "(They) get drunk and decide to tear stuff up."

Source & Full Story

Van Gogh's Letters Go Online

A collection of Vincent van Gogh's letters have been made available to read online, offering an insight into the life of the famous artist.

The collection covers the years from 1872 and 1890, when van Gogh killed himself aged just 37 and has been put online to mark a new exhibition at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam.

There are 902 letters in the exhibition, 120 of which can be seen on the web, and show the artist to have been a "literary giant", according to researchers.

The majority of the letters are written by van Gogh himself and most were sent to his younger brother, Theo, though some are to other significant artists of the age such as Gaugin.

Source & Full Story

8 October 2009

Genotype Analysis Identifies the Cause of the British "Royal Disease"

The British "Royal Disease," a blood disorder transmitted from Queen Victoria to European royal families, is a striking example of X-linked recessive inheritance. Although the disease is widely recognized to be a form of the blood-clotting disorder hemophilia, its molecular basis has never been identified, and the royal disease is now extinct.

We identified the likely disease-causing mutation by applying genomic methodologies (multiplex target amplification and massively parallel sequencing) to historical specimens from the Romanov branch of the royal family. The mutation occurs in F9, a gene on the X chromosome that encodes blood coagulation Factor IX, and is predicted to alter RNA splicing and lead to production of a truncated form of Factor IX. Thus, the royal disease is the severe form of hemophilia, also known as hemophilia B or Christmas disease.

Evgeny I. Rogaev, Anastasia P. Grigorenko, Gulnaz Faskhutdinova, Ellen L. W. Kittler, Yuri K. Moliaka

Source & Full Story

Search Begins for Last Lost Woman Pilot of WWII

The fog rolled in from Santa Monica Bay just after noon on Oct. 26, 1944, just three hours before Gertrude Tomkins Silver opened the hatch of her fighter plane, a P-51 Mustang.

The plane left from a little strip called Mines Field, today known as the Los Angeles International Airport, bound for a three-day journey to New Jersey, where it would be placed on a cargo vessel and shipped to Great Britain to fight World War II's final battles in Europe.

The pilot, Silver, a 34-year-old New Jersey native nicknamed Tommy, had spent more than 500 hours in the air and had a reputation for being able to handle fighters like the P-51s, some of the Army's fastest aircraft.

Source & Full Story

Yale Library Gets Grant to Create Virtual Gallery of Islamic Manuscripts

Yale University Library and the University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) have received a joint grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) in the United Kingdom to create a virtual gallery of Islamic manuscripts.

The project, which will be known as the Yale-SOAS Islamic Manuscript Gallery, will improve access to trans-Atlantic collections of manuscripts and manuscript catalogues and dictionaries held by Yale and SOAS, creating a digital archive that will be accessible to researchers in the fields of Arabic and Middle Eastern Studies. This one-year grant of approximately $240,000 continues the Yale Library’s current Arabic digitization efforts, which have been in development since 2001.

Source & Full Story

Holocaust Memorial Inaugurated In Romania

A monument dedicated to the memory of Holocaust victims in Romania was inaugurated on Thursday in Bucharest, in the presence of survivors and government officials.

The memorial designed by Romanian sculptor Peter Jacobi consists of an austere concrete structure, a column bearing the inscription "Remember" in Hebrew, a star of David and a wheel, symbolizing the Roma community, itself a victim of persecutions and deportation during World War II.

"By inaugurating this memorial, Romania reaffirms its determination to assume its past," President Traian Basescu said during the ceremony.

Source & Full Story

American History in Video

American History in Video provides the largest and richest collection of video available online for the study of American history, with 2,000 hours and more than 5,000 titles on completion. The collection allows students and researchers to analyze historical events, and their presentation over time, through commercial and governmental newsreels, archival footage, public affairs footage, and important documentaries. This release now provides 1526 titles, with new videos from California Newsreel and PBS, equalling approximately 528 hours.

Free trial ends November 15, 2009.

American History in Video

Radio Host Seeks Pardon For Executed South Carolina Ancestors

Nationally syndicated radio host Tom Joyner is asking South Carolina to posthumously pardon two of his great-uncles — black landowners executed in 1915 after being convicted of murdering an elderly Confederate Army veteran.

Joyner learned the fate of farmers Thomas and Meeks Griffin during filming of the PBS documentary "African American Lives 2," which first aired in February 2008 and was based on research by Harvard scholar Henry Louis Gates Jr.

The program traces the lineage of 12 people, including Joyner. The host of "The Tom Joyner Morning Show" said he was stunned to learn of his South Carolina roots and two great-uncles he didn't know existed.

Source & Full Story

World Monuments Fund 2010 Watch List:Carlisle Memorial Methodist Church (Belfast, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom)

On the edge of inner-city Belfast, Carlisle Memorial Methodist Church serves as a sober reminder of the city’s architectural legacy and its troubled past. Designed in the Gothic Revival style by noted architect W. H. Lynn and completed in 1875, the church was home to one of the largest Methodist congregations in Belfast. The sandstone and limestone exterior of the building was renovated in 1966, but the church ceased to be used as a place of worship by 1982, a consequence of the declining congregation and its location at a major interface between Catholic and Protestant populations. Previous plans to convert the church to public housing did not come to fruition. Now derelict for close to 20 years, Carlisle Memorial has suffered extensive physical degradation, and the need for action is at hand.

Despite its religious associations, the building is now perceived as neutral territory in a deeply polarized area and holds symbolic potential for North Belfast in particular and the city as a whole. This public perception and the church’s interface location lend credence to renewed proposals for the adaptive reuse of this shared heritage resource. Such a project would foster significant civic engagement with stakeholder communities and deepen the successes of the Northern Irish peace process.

World Monuments Fund 2010 Watch List

World Monuments Fund 2010 Watch List:Edimburgh Historic Graveyards (Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom)

In Edinburgh, Scotland, five historical burial grounds are scattered around the city’s center, calm amid the surrounding urban storm. Greyfriars Kirkyard, Canongate Kirkyard, St. Cuthberts Kirkyard, Old Calton Burial Ground, and New Calton Burial Ground form a collection of graveyards that provide a window into the history, culture, and society of Scotland from the early 17th to late 19th century. Among the weathered, decaying headstones of lawyers, poets, smiths, tailors, philosophers, and others that formed the fabric of Edinburgh’s society, histories and legacies weave stories of the transition of Edinburgh from medieval town to Enlightenment city to the “second city of the Empire.” Economist Adam Smith, poet Robert Fergusson, inventor Robert Stevenson, and philosopher David Hume rest among the city’s departed, testament to Edinburgh’s cultural and academic transformations.

Years of exposure to the elements, vandalism, and neglect have led to deterioration throughout the five graveyards. Headstones that have been removed or become dislodged from the ground lie flat, decaying and eroding with each passing year. Paths have become overgrown, dissuading visitors from entering the grounds that evoke such significant memories of the history and importance of Edinburgh in the development of the country and Europe as a whole.

World Monuments Fund 2010 Watch List

World Monuments Fund 2010 Watch List:Hôtel de Monnaies (Villemagne L’Argentière, France)

Hôtel de Monnaies, an abandoned merchants’ building, is tucked away in the narrow streets of Villemagne L’Argentière in the renowned Languedoc region. The medieval building’s façade and exceptional portal sculptures welcomed Catholic pilgrims and visitors for workshops, storage of goods, and accommodations during the economic prosperity of this region in the 13th century. The area flourished from visiting pilgrims and the exploitation of local mines. A recent technical study uncovered unique wall paintings under layers of more recent paint, providing additional clues to the history of the building and its decoration. The town was attacked during the Protestant Reformation in the 16th century, and then again during the French Revolution, at the end of the 18th century, when the monks in Villemagne L’Argentière were expelled.

The city of Villemagne L’Argentieè took possession of the Hôtel de Monnaies in 1996, and stabilization work was completed to avoid any further damage or collapse. In 2005, a proposed plan of for protecting, preserving, and reusing the building was drawn up. There are hopes to restore the building for use as the Mayor’s office, post office, library, and tourist office, and to reinstate cultural activities at the Hôtel de Monnaies.

World Monuments Fund 2010 Watch List

World Monuments Fund 2010 Watch List: St. Louis Cemetery No. 2 (New Orleans, Louisiana, United States)

Opened in 1823, St. Louis Cemetery No. 2 is located in the Faubourg Tremé, a neighborhood developed in the early 19th century by and for the city’s “free people of color.” Preceded by the smaller St. Louis Cemetery No. 1, built in 1789, the second is the largest early Creole cemetery in New Orleans. Above-ground tombs dot the urban setting following European Enlightenment ideals and architecture prominent in both France and Spain. St. Louis Cemetery No. 2 is one of the finest collections of antebellum mortuary art arranged in an orthogonal grid. Tomb design, carved sculpture, and the ironwork surrounding the tombs and cemetery offer a glimpse into the artistic and cultural hybrids of the Creole community. Notable architects such as James Gallier and J. N. B. de Pouilly designed some of the grave sites, and those interred include significant jazz musicians and local war heroes.

Vandalism and natural elements have critically damaged many of the tombs throughout the cemetery. Water lines linger, reminders of the destruction and flooding caused by Hurricane Katrina in 2005. St. Louis Cemetery No. 2 is a vital symbol of Creole history and community, and requires open and thorough dialogue regarding its preservation in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

World Monuments Fund 2010 Watch List

Sylvester Stallone Has Breton Blood

Hollywood star Sylvester Stallone has Breton blood coursing through those bulging veins.

His mother, Jackie Stallone, has been in Brest researching the family history of the Rambo and Rocky actor. The 86-year-old was trying to get details of her mother – who she thought was born in Brest - and grandfather, who was said to have been the mayor.

However, when municipal employees checked their records they discovered Louis-Victor Clérec had not been the mayor of Brest but only a clerk in the mairie. They did manage to confirm that both he and Stallone’s grandmother, Jeanne Clérec, were born in Brest.

Stallone joins a list of famous Bretons – and even Finistériens – alongside Madonna, whose family were from Ploujean, and Céline Dion, who has Ploudiry family connections.

Source & Full Story

Video: An Exploration of Michelle Obama's Roots

An exploration of Michelle Obama's roots by genealogist Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak. Learn about her Native and Irish heritage, free and enslaved ancestors, 10 states that claim a piece of Michelle's past, and which relative invented a marble shooter!

The Family Tree of Michelle Obama, the First Lady

Revelations have emerged recently from the research of Megan Smolenyak, a genealogist, and from reporting by Rachel L. Swarns and Jodi Kantor of The New York Times.

View the family tree - You can help to complete the family tree!

Source & Full Story

In First Lady’s Roots, a Complex Path From Slavery

In 1850, the elderly master of a South Carolina estate took pen in hand and painstakingly divided up his possessions. Among the spinning wheels, scythes, tablecloths and cattle that he bequeathed to his far-flung heirs was a 6-year-old slave girl valued soon afterward at $475.

In his will, she is described simply as the “negro girl Melvinia.” After his death, she was torn away from the people and places she knew and shipped to Georgia. While she was still a teenager, a white man would father her first-born son under circumstances lost in the passage of time.

Melvinia Shields, the enslaved and illiterate young girl, and the unknown white man who impregnated her are the great-great-great-grandparents of Michelle Obama, the first lady.

Source & Full Story

7 October 2009

A Former US Soldier Has Returned Two Historic Books He Took As "Souvenirs" During WWII

Robert Thomas handed over the two books, both 400 years old, to the German ambassador during a ceremony at the US national archives in Washington.

The texts were taken from a salt mine in western Germany, where they were being kept safe during allied bombing.

The 83-year-old former soldier said they were in a similar condition to when he had discovered them.

"I kept them in two boxes in the darkest and coolest place at my house," Mr Thomas said.

Source & Full Story

Unknown Civil War Soldier Will Be Buried With Soil From 18 States

Back in May, the shovels of archaeologists revealed the bones of a soldier buried alone one day sometime in 1864 along Columbia Avenue in Franklin, Tennessee, USA.

On Saturday, he'll return to the earth still a mystery man. But he won't go without fanfare. Re-enactors will give him a full military burial, lay him to rest under a marker made of limestone columns and scatter the soil of other Civil War battlefields into his grave.

Those soil samples come from 18 states that have significant sites represented by Union or Confederate troops in the Battle of Franklin. They were collected by volunteers who want to mark the occasion by remembering the lives and homes of all the soldiers who fought in the battle, as well as Franklin's mystery man.

Source & Full Story

Is France Doing Enough to Save Its Historic Buildings?

Voltaire once called it a home fit for a king. And for a few hundred years, it was. Since the Hotel Lambert was built in 1639 on Paris's Ile Saint Louis by architect Louis Le Vau, who also designed the Chateau de Versailles, the mansion has played host to French nobility, exiled Polish princes and members of the Rothschild family. But for Qatari Prince Hamad bin Abdullah al-Thani, who bought the property from the Rothschilds in 2007 for $88 million, the welcome has been far from regal.

The Prince's plan to restore the mansion to its 17th century glory while also adding elevators, air-conditioning and an underground parking lot has run into opposition from historical preservationists, who say the $60 million renovations would be "disastrous." But critics are even angrier that the French Ministry of Culture approved the plan in the first place, the latest example of what preservationists say is the government's disregard for the protection of France's architectural treasures.

Source & Full Story

David Ferriero Confirmation Hearing as U.S. Archivist

On October 1, the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs held a hearing to consider the nomination of David S. Ferriero to be the next Archivist of the United States.

The hearing was presided over by Senator Thomas Carper (D-DE), Chairman of the Subcommittee on Federal Financial Management, Government Information, Federal Services, & International Security.

As part of the confirmation hearing to become Archivist of the United States, David Ferriero provided responses to an extensive pre-hearing questionnaire prepared by the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs.

The questions and answers can be accessed by clicking here (pdf)

Source & Full Story

6 October 2009

Edgar Allan Poe Finally Getting Proper Funeral

For Edgar Allan Poe, 2009 has been a better year than 1849. After dozens of events in several cities to mark the 200th anniversary of his birth, he's about to get the grand funeral that a writer of his stature should have received when he died.

One hundred sixty years ago, the beleaguered, impoverished Poe was found, delirious and in distress outside a Baltimore tavern. He was never coherent enough to explain what had befallen him since leaving Richmond, Va., a week earlier. He spent four days in a hospital before he died at age 40.

Poe's cousin, Neilson Poe, never announced his death publicly. Fewer than 10 people attended the hasty funeral for one of the 19th century's greatest writers. And the injustices piled on. Poe's tombstone was destroyed before it could be installed, when a train derailed and crashed into a stonecutter's yard.

Source & Full Story

National Genealogy Society Newsletter Competition

The National Genealogy Society Newsletter Competition is aimed to recognize the hard work, long hours, and creativity that editors devote to their newsletters.

• Major Genealogical and/or Historical Societies
• County/Local Genealogical and/or Historical Societies
• Family Associations

• The winning society or association in each of the three categories will receive a complimentary one-year organizational NGS membership.
• Feature in the NGS Magazine

Submissions deadline: 31 December 2009

Source & Information

Military Genealogy Magazine Issue No.1 has released the issue no. 1 of their Genealogy Magazine gives.

"Our Genealogy Magazine gives you an insight into how to research military records and other interesting articles of worth. In the coming months we will cover just about every aspect there is to researching military genealogy."

Magazine Issue No.1 - How to obtain and research your ancestors Second World War Army records.

Mojave Cross Memorial to WWI Dead 'Violates First Amendment'

The Mojave Cross stands among the Joshua trees on top of a rocky outcrop in the middle of the Californian desert desert, serving as a memorial to the men who fell during the First World War.

But the simple cross which has been in place for 75 years is at the heart of a bitter constitutional battle which will reach the US Supreme Court on Wednesday.

In a case with ramifications for war memorials across the United States, judges will consider whether, as an overtly religious symbol, the Mojave Memorial Cross violates the First Amendment which provides for a separation of church and state.

Source & Full Story

Scottish Catholic Archives Launches

First Minister Alex Salmond will be joined by the head of the Roman Catholic Church in Scotland to launch a new national archive.

Cardinal Keith O'Brien will be in Edinburgh as the Scottish Catholic Archives go online.

They contain information about the births, baptisms and burials of Scottish Catholics between 1703 and 1908.

Source & Full Story

Vote for GeneaNet Genealogy Blog for Family Tree Magazine’s 40 Best GenealogyBlogs!

Many thanks to all of our readers for having nominated the GeneaNet Genealogy Blog for Family Tree Magazine’s 40 Best GenealogyBlogs!

The voting is done by category with the following categories being listed:

• All-around: These bloggers give you a little (or a lot) of everything: news, research advice, their own family stories, photos, opinions and more.
• Personal/Family: These blogs primarily cover the blogger's (or, in a case or two or more, bloggers') own research and ancestors.
• Local/Regional: Most posts in these blogs cover resources, genealogy events and history for a city, town, state or region.
• Cemetery: These blogs focus on cemetery research, gravestone photos and the like.
• Photos/Heirlooms: Content on these blogs is primarily about sharing, researching and preserving family photos and/or heirlooms.
• Heritage: Here, blog content focuses on a particular heritage group, such as African-American, Jewish or Irish.
• News/Resources: Blogs in this category deliver a range of genealogy news and information about new resources.
• How-to: These blogs have instructional content on genealogical resources and methodology.
• Genealogy Companies: Blogs in this category are written on behalf of a genealogy company, and contain helpful information on the company’s products.
• Genetic Genealogy: Blogs that are primarily about genetic genealogy and family health history.

Voting takes place from Oct. 5 to Nov. 5, and you can vote more than once.

The GeneaNet Genealogy Blog is listed in the News/Resources category.

Click here to get voting!

Last Letter of Mary Queen of Scots Goes on Display

The last letter of Mary Queen of Scots, written on the eve of her execution, is going on display at the National Library of Scotland, Reuters reports.

Mary, once queen of France, wrote the letter to her brother-in-law, the king of France after she was told that she would be executed for treason against her cousin, Queen Elizabeth I of England.

Mary was overthrown from the Scottish crown and fled to England in 1568, at the mercy of the English queen. As a Catholic, she was considered a threat to the Protestant Elizabeth, as Catholics in England thought she had a stronger claim to the English throne.

Mary was beheaded in 1587. Her remains lie in Westminster Abbey.

Source & Full Story

5 October 2009

Ancient Rome's Real Population Revealed

The first century B.C. was one of the most culturally rich in the history of the Roman Empire — the age of Cicero, Caesar and Virgil. But as much as historians know about the great figures of this period of Ancient Rome, they know very little about some basic facts, such as the population size of the late Roman Empire.

Now, a group of historians has used caches of buried coins to provide an answer to this question.

During the Republican period of Rome (about the fifth to the first centuries B.C), adult male citizens of Rome could be taxed and conscribed into the army and were also given the right to vote. To keep track of this section of the population (and their taxable assets), the Roman state conducted periodic censuses.

Source & Full Story

Tombstone Tours: Check out These Famous Boneyards

Even if you don't believe in ghosts, walking through a graveyard can be a little spooky — especially in autumn as the trees lose their leaves, flowers wither away and light fades in the late afternoon.

But cemeteries can make fascinating destinations. Sometimes a few words on a tombstone can suggest a whole life story; sometimes you can find a famous name, a beautiful work of art, or landscaping worthy of a botanical garden.

Here is some information about interesting cemeteries in Boston, New York, Indianapolis, Cleveland, New Orleans, Los Angeles and Paris. Some host tours about their history or landscapes, and some offer themed events around Halloween.

Source & Full Story

National Archives Of India Opens Manuscripts To Schoolkids

School children will get a rare opportunity to see and read old manuscripts and the letters of great Indian leaders, some dating back to 1748, with the National Archives of India Monday opening its doors to young students.

The National Archives, the custodian of the permanent records of the Indian government, has decided to allow school children to see and read these valuable papers Oct 5-9 to mark its yearly celebrations.

Organised in collaboration with the Delhi-based NGO Delhi International Art Festival, during the celebrations the visiting children will be taken on a conducted tour around the archives centre.

Source & Full Story

GedView 2.2

PDAs and Handhelds - Purchase

GedView 2.2 has been released.


• More fixes for accented characters.
• User Reference are now displayed for individuals and families.
• _UID is now supported to help when merging GEDCOM files back into your desktop application.
• Gender now displayed with a coloured globe.
• Individuals will not appear multiple times if they have multiple birth/death events.
• Settings added under the main settings on your device.
• Section order on details and family pages can now be changed.
• The prefix for about dates can be changed from ABT to c (for circa), this requires a fresh import.
• Fixed crash when importing some invalid GEDCOM files.
• Fixed crash with maps under OS 3.1.

MobileFamilyTree 2.0.1

Full Featured - PDAs and Handhelds - Purchase

MobileFamilyTree 2.0.1 has been released.


• Fixes for larger databases containing many pictures/media files.

Our Family Book 6.1.1

Family Books - Windows - Purchase

Our Family Book 6.1.1 has been released.


• Button "User Guides" replaced by "Update" via Internet.

Kith and Kin Pro 3.0.6

Full Featured - Windows - Shareware

Kith and Kin Pro 3.0.6 has been released.


• Improved the appearance of some dialogs on systems using "Large fonts" (DPI setting).
• Importing a text file into Customise Timeline ignored the last line. Fixed.
• Up-to-date timelines for Australia, Canada, New Zealand, UK and USA included.

FamilyInsight 2009.9.29.0

Other Tools - Windows, Mac - Purchase

FamilyInsight 2009.9.29.0 has been released.


• Fixed several bugs that would cause a crash or other unpredictable behavior.
• Fixed an issue with handling of ordinance submissions that were done via TempleReady.

Scientists Search for WWI Munitions in District of Columbia, USA

The biggest mortars were fired from the concrete gun emplacement that still sits in the underbrush beside the driveway of Robert Herzstein's elegant home near American University in Northwest Washington.

Smaller rounds would fly over what is now Woodway Lane and go as far as Sedgwick Street. The four-inch mortars could reach as far as the future Tilden Street. And the fat eight-inch Livens shells, whose firing tubes were steadied in the concrete, could loft across what would become Dalecarlia Parkway into the woods beyond.

That flight path is what brought geophysicists Ryan Coolbaugh and Lynelle Brode and their weird red metal detector there one day last week in the ongoing quest for buried World War I munitions.

Source & Full Story

The Gelman Library System Receives Grant To Digitize Its Collection Of Literature On The US Middle East

The Gelman Library System was awarded a $400,000 grant to digitize its special collection of literature on the Middle East, a library administrator said last week.

Gelman holds a joint collection of Middle Eastern works with Georgetown's Lauinger Library. Both libraries will work together to digitize the collection, said Martha Whittaker, head of technical services at Gelman.

The digitization will be a two-year process and employ the work of students and library staff of both libraries. Staff from Gelman's special collections will do the bulk of the work, Whittaker said.

Source & Full Story

Backup Your Data Before It's Too Late!

'I'm too busy to backup my data', 'I don't know how to backup data', 'My hard drive won't crash'...

But how would you feel if you lost years of genealogy research, your address book, your emails, and your digitized family pictures and documents?

So backup your data before it's too late!

There are many ways to backup your data according to your needs:

USB Flash Drive

USB Flash Drives are cheaper than many other backup systems, simple to use, small and convenient, but it is also easy to lose these small devices. Storage capacities can range from 64 MB to 256 GB, and some have 10-year data retention.


The lifetime of a CD-ROM may vary from 2 years to 20 years depending of its quality and the storage conditions. A standard 120 mm, "700 MB" CD-ROM can hold 737 MB with error correction. In comparison, a single-layer DVD-ROM can hold 4.7 GB of error-protected data, more than 6 CD-ROMs.

External Hard Drive

External Hard Drives are a secure and long-term data storage solution. Unfortunately, they are too expensive for most of us. Find here the CNET review of external hard drives.

Online Backup Services

This is the most secure way to backup your data because they also backup their servers in their data center! Find here a list of free online service providers to determine what online computer backup solutions are suitable for you.

I highly recommend to use an online backup service to store your data!

Export your GeneaNet Online Family Tree

If you have manually entered your GeneaNet Online Family Tree, you may need to export it to your computer.

To do so, simply go to My GeneaNet : Online Family Tree : Save then select a file format.

You can also export the ancestors or the descendants of any individual in your family tree.

4 October 2009

Indiana's State Archives Are at the Mercy of Nature

Indiana's state archives, original and irreplaceable paperwork documenting the people's business since before statehood, got rained on a few weeks ago -- for the third time this year.

A fourth time seems inevitable.

The building that houses them, built nearly four decades ago by RCA as a warehouse for eight-track tapes, has a leaky roof. And while Indiana's Department of Administration has scheduled some patch-up work in the coming days, people familiar with the building say the roof surely will leak again -- as it has for the past decade, despite repeated repairs.

The recent soaking -- 30 boxes of House and Senate bills from the 1960s -- was discovered promptly, and the documents were dried out and saved. They've been returned to their shelves and covered by sheets of clear plastic.

Source & Full Story

Lewis Chessmen Will Tour Scotland

Some of the Lewis Chessmen which were found on a beach in the Western Isles more than 150 years ago are being reunited for a tour of Scotland.

A total of 30 of the 93 pieces will go on display at locations including the island of Lewis, where they were found.

They are thought to have belonged to a 12th Century merchant who visited Lewis as he journeyed from Ireland to Norway.

The exhibition will open at the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh in May next year.

Source & Full Story

US National Archives to Facilitate Return of 16th Century Books to Germany

During World War II German cultural institutions stored their cultural property – including works of arts, archives, and books – in at least 1,500 repositories to protect them from the ravages of war. Many of these priceless objects were placed in salt mines in Germany – the most famous of which was Merkers mine.

As General Patton's army advanced eastward through Germany in early April 1945, an 18-year old soldier with the 358th Infantry Regiment inspecting recently captured areas stumbled upon a mine and entered it. He returned to headquarters to report on what he had found and took with him two 16th century books. After the war, the soldier took home the two books he had removed from the mine. More than 60 years later, the veteran contacted the National Archives, seeking information about the circumstances surrounding the books. Archivist Greg Bradsher traced the general provenance of the volumes, located the mine from which they were removed, and determined both when the two items were placed in the mine, and when they were uncovered by the soldier. In supplying the information to the veteran Dr. Bradsher suggested that the books be returned. The veteran readily agreed. This event marks the return of these precious books to the German government.

Source & Full Story

3 October 2009

Obama Researcher Reveals How She Found President's Irish Roots

Chief Family Historian for Ancestry Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak got the assignment of a lifetime when it was discovered in 2007 that future President of the U.S. Barack Obama had Irish roots. Smolenyak's job? To find out where in Ireland Obama's family came from.

They had established that Obama was part Irish, and that his third great-grandfather on his mother's side, Fulmoth Kearney, is his most recent connection to the Emerald Isle.

Naturally, the Irish wanted to know more. Not since John F. Kennedy had the Irish been so excited to learn about a U.S. president's Irish heritage.

Smolenyak's first task in tracing Obama's precise link to Ireland was finding Fulmoth Kearney on the U.S. census and back-tracking his journey to the States. Luckily for the historian, Obama's relative's name was fairly unique, compared to say, a "Patrick Kelly."

Source & Full Story

Read also:
Barack Obama's Irish Ancestors Reformed 19th Century Health Care
'Lost Tomb of Obama' Found In Ireland
Researchers Say Obama Has German Roots
Barack Obama's Ancestor Left 12 Pence in Will

Love Between German and Pole Survives Iron Curtain

For five decades, she kept his picture in her wallet — a black-and-white snapshot of a handsome young Polish man with brooding eyes.

The unlikely love story of Elvira Profe and Fortunat Mackiewicz began in the chaotic aftermath of World War II, as Poland's borders were redrawn by the victorious Allies and millions of Germans were expelled.

It blossomed even as their people seethed with mutual hate and endured some of the past century's most tortured upheavals, and survived the Cold War that drove them apart. Now, in this 70th year since World War II broke out, and 20th year since the Cold War ended, they are married in a love affair that has triumphed against all odds.

Source & Full Story - Picture

Half a Century of British Design Launched Online

Four thousand images from the Design Council Slide Collection have been launched online today, providing a unique insight into the history of British design and its promotion by the UK government from the 1940s to the early 1990s.

The Design Council was established in 1944 and is the UK’s national strategic body for design. The images relate closely to the changing scope and policies of the Council over a period of almost fifty years, providing valuable visual evidence of the ways in which design has been evaluated and promoted throughout this period.

Design Council Slide Collection - See all of the VADS collections

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Houston Oral History Project

The Houston Oral History Project is an effort to record and preserve the dynamic history of Houston through the stories and experiences of its residents. It is a collaboration among the Mayor’s Office, the Houston Public Library and the University of Houston. The Project consists of several parts:

• The Mayor Bill White Collection: Mayor White commissioned 100 initial interviews, directing that it include well-known political, business and civic leaders as well as witnesses to the events that shaped our city.
• The Neighborhood Voices tapes: In the summer of 2008 citizens came to Houston Public Library locations throughout the city to record their own brief recollections about life in Houston.
• HMRC Oral Histories: The Houston Metropolitan Research Center of the Houston Public Library recently digitized more than 200 oral histories from the 1970's and 1980's.

Houston Oral History Project

Resources From Two LDS Church Libraries Go Hand In Hand

A couple of misconceptions persist regarding the Church History Library, opened in June by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

It's not a relocation of the church's Family History Library.

And while the Church History Department enjoys its own separate building, the new library is not the sole, end-all location of all LDS matters historical.

In fact, the Church History Library -- with its reading and research rooms, conservation and storage areas and accompanying array of department offices -- is the central facility of several related assets benefiting not just the historical department itself but the LDS Church as a whole.

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Is Colleen Fitzpatrick The World's Greatest DNA Detective?

Colleen Fitzpatrick, who drives a dented Camry and rocks a pet parrot to sleep each night, is not one to brag. But if pressed, she'll tell you, over lemonade and bananas from her tree, "I can find anybody in the world."

When the U.S. military found a severed arm from a 1948 plane crash, they called Fitzpatrick. When Titanic experts exhumed the remains of the Unknown Child, they too called Fitzpatrick.

She once tracked down a homeless woman in Buenos Aires; a widow in Estonia; and a whistle-blower from the 1920s Teapot Dome Scandal who'd changed his name and moved to Australia. And died.

Finding people is her thing.

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Yale University Book Digitalization Project Derailed

Four months after Microsoft abruptly terminated its multi-million dollar book digitization deal with Yale University, campus officials said they will have to wait for donations or grants to come in before they start another major book scanning project.

The University still has some plans to continue digitizing materials held in its libraries and museums that are unique to Yale. Whether those materials will end up on the Internet, however, remains unclear.

That contribution would have been much larger, of course, had all of the 100,000 volumes that were originally part of the Microsoft deal — which the technology giant called off when it decided to focus its search efforts more narrowly — been digitized. Instead, just about 30,000 books from the agreement have been scanned, and Yale does not yet know how it will disseminate those materials online.

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Marek Edelman, Last Surviving Leader of WWII Warsaw Ghetto Uprising Dies at 90

Marek Edelman, the last surviving leader of the ill-fated 1943 Warsaw ghetto revolt against the Nazis, died Friday at the age of 90. Edelman died of old age at the family home of his friend Paula Sawicka, where he had lived for the past two years.

Edelman was born Jan. 1, 1919 in Homel, which was then in eastern Poland and is now in Belarus. His family soon moved to Warsaw.

When the Nazis invaded Poland on Sept.1, 1939, Edelman was member of Bund, a Jewish socialist organization that later masterminded plans for resistance against the occupying Germans.

The Nazis "wanted to destroy the people and we fought to protect the people in the ghetto, to extend their lives by a day, or two or five," Edelman said.

The ghetto fighters inflicted heavy losses on the Germans, but eventually succumbed. More than 55,000 people were killed or deported to Nazi concentration camps when the uprising failed.

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2 October 2009

The African Film Library

The African Film Library is an M-Net initiative showcasing the best of the African film industry – making the movies easily accessible for movie aficionados around the world.

The African film industry is one of the oldest – with its roots in Ain el Ghezel (The Girl of Carthage), which was produced in Tunisia by Chemama Chikly in 1924. M-Net has spent the last three years negotiating the rights to almost 600 works in English, French, Arabic and Portuguese and digitally remastering them.

The library forms an important archive of the continent’s cultural cinematic heritage, and also, for the first time, makes the African artists’ works easily accessible by a wide viewership around the globe – creating a new audience for existing and emerging filmmakers.


1 October 2009

Beatle's Essay Found 50 Years On

An essay written by Sir Paul McCartney as a 10-year-old has been found after lying undiscovered in Liverpool's Central Library for more than 50 years.

Years before the Beatles received their MBEs, he beat hundreds of other school children to win a prize for his 1953 essay marking the Queen's coronation.

In neat handwriting, he refers to "the lovely young Queen Elizabeth".

In 2013, the library will display the essay - found in a scrapbook - to mark the 60th anniversary of the coronation.

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Project Funded To Add Features To A Million Books At The Internet Archive

The Center for Intelligent Information Retrieval at UMass Amherst, the Perseus Digital Library Project at Tufts, and the Internet Archive are investigating large-scale information extraction and retrieval technologies for digitized book collections. The National Science Fondation (NSF) has awarded a grant of $2.7 million for a project to apply advanced OCR, topic modeling and metadata extraction techniques to over one million books at the Internet Archive.

To provide effective analysis and search for scholars and the general public, and to handle the diversity and scale of these collections, this project focuses on improvements in seven interlocking technologies: improved OCR accuracy through word spotting, creating probabilistic models using joint distributions of features, and building topic-specific language models across documents; structural metadata extraction, to mine headers, chapters, tables of contents, and indices; linguistic analysis and information extraction, to perform syntactic analysis and entity extraction on noisy OCR output; inferred document relational structure, to mine citations, quotations, translations, and paraphrases; latent topic modeling through time, to improve language modeling for OCR and retrieval, and to track the spread of ideas across periods and genres; query expansion for relevance models, to improve relevance in information retrieval by offline pre-processing of document comparisons; and interfaces for exploratory data analysis, to provide users of the document collection with efficient tools to update complex models of important entities, events, topics, and linguistic features. When applied across large corpora, these technologies reinforce each other: improved topic modeling enables more targeted language models for OCR; extracting structural metadata improves citation analysis; and entity extraction improves topic modeling and query expansion.


East London Lives 2012 - A Digital Archive Project

Today sees the launch of the East London lives 2012, a digital archive project which aims to document some aspects of change in the lives of East Londoners towards the hosting of the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. This archive hosts content from research projects based at the University of East London and other contextualising material about London, some of which is historical. The UEL research team carrying out work specifically for the archive focused on five London boroughs: Greenwich, Hackney, Newham, Tower Hamlets and Waltham Forest with the objective of documenting the outcomes of two of the Olympic bid promises: social regeneration, and health and wellbeing. As time goes on, content will be added to this resource, making it a ‘living archive’. We hope it will become a valuable resource for students at UEL and for the wider community.

This archive project is funded by HEFCE's Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) as part of the Enriching Digital Resources programme, a strand of the digitisation programme.

East London lives 2012