Genealogy Blog

30 November 2009

Numerous Documents Belonging To The Library And Archives Canada Collection Have Been Copied To Microfiche And Microfilm

Numerous documents belonging to the Library and Archives Canada collection have been copied to microfiche and microfilm. Some items from this collection are being digitized for access over the Internet. These digitized microforms are available on the Browse by Title page. Please note that this is not a database, therefore the images are not searchable by keyword.

Once you have selected the specific microform series you wish to access, you will be presented with links to the digitized images for that set of records. This online access to microforms attempts to duplicate the experience of going to a reading room. Use these links as you would an actual reel or fiche of microform. Each digitized reel or fiche is presented in sequence from beginning to end.

Source & Full Story

Former Deputy Prime Minister Of The United Kingdom John Prescott Learns Of Incest Among His Welsh Ancestors

Former Deputy Prime Minister Of The United Kingdom John Prescott has been given evidence his three times great-grandfather fathered children with his own daughter.

Mr Prescott, who was born in Prestatyn, Denbighshire in 1938, makes the discovery in a BBC Wales programme.

Genealogists traced his Welsh ancestry back 300 years.

He is moved to tears when he learns his great-great grandmother, Athaliah Parrish, bore four children while living with her widowed father, Thomas.

Mr Prescott's family moved from Wales to Yorkshire when he was aged five.

Source & Full Story

Merging Individuals In Your GeneaNet Online Family Tree

You may create some duplicate entries when uploading a GEDCOM file or manually entering a lot of data in your GeneaNet Online Family Tree.

You can automatically merge these duplicates and all of their information into a single individual.

For example, two entries have been created for the same person: John Doe.

The first entry contains information about the birth of John Doe: born on 22th december, 1910 in London, England.

The second entry contains information about the death of John Doe: deceased on 15th april, 1950 in New-York, USA.

Log in to your family tree as "Wizard", select a John Doe then click "Update - Individual, family, media".

Then click "Merge".

The software automatically finds individuals that match but with some different available information.

Select "John Doe" then click "Ok".

The two entries are automatically merged into a single one that contains all of the information about John Doe.

29 November 2009

Founding Fathers Of The United States Papers Go Online

More than 200 years after they were written, some 5,000 previously unpublished documents of the founders of the United States — including Thomas Jefferson, John Adams and James Madison — are at long last available to the public at no cost.

The Documents Compass group of the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities at the University of Virginia has spent much of the last year proofreading and transcribing thousands of pages of letters and other papers.

The documents are now available online for free at the University of Virginia Press' digital imprint called Rotunda.

Source & Full Story

US Army Heritage and Education Center Unveils Digitized Collection Of Civil War Photos

Earlier this month, the Army Heritage and Education Center unveiled a digitized collection of some 23,000 vintage photographs from the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States from the Massachusetts Commandery.

This collection is considered by historians the single best Civil War photograph collection in the world, said Molly Bompane, AHEC’s photo curator. “Not only have we preserved this collection for future generations, we have made it much more accessible to many researchers and enthusiasts around the globe.”

Jack Giblin is director of visitor and education services at AHEC. He said the MOLLUS collection is significant because of its complexity and completeness.

Source & Full Story

28 November 2009

Scientist Finds Traits Of A Killer In His Clan

Jim Fallon recently made a disquieting discovery: A member of his family has some of the biological traits of a psychopathic killer.

Three years ago, as part of a personal project to assess his family's risk of developing Alzheimer's disease, Dr. Fallon collected brain scans and DNA samples from himself and seven relatives. At a barbecue soon thereafter, Dr. Fallon's mother casually mentioned something he had been unaware of: His late father's lineage was drenched in blood.

An early ancestor, Thomas Cornell, was hanged in 1673 for murdering his mother. That was one of the first recorded acts of matricide in the Colonies. Seven other possible killers later emerged in the family tree. The most notorious was distant cousin Lizzie Borden of Fall River, Mass. In 1892, she was accused and then controversially acquitted of killing her father and stepmother with an ax.

Source & Full Story

27 November 2009

Dressing Up A Piece Of Family History

It is more than 130 years old, smells of mothballs and tends to bring the rain – but at least eight women have walked down the aisle in it.

The antique French silk hooped wedding dress was worn by Anne Whithair after she came to Canterbury from Britain in 1875, but the family suspect it could have been worn by her mother.

Since then it has been passed down through the generations to her great-great-grandchildren and may yet be worn again.

The dress had brought bad weather on every wedding day it had featured at and the veil was lost after it got caught on a farm fence in 1961.

Source & Full Story

Renowned Historian Angers Scottish World War II Veterans

In his latest book, ‘D-Day – The Battle for Normandy’, Antony Beevor quotes a Canadian major as saying the 51st Highland Division threw down their weapons and fled.

He also cites a memo from Field Marshal Montgomery stating the division was not battle worthy during a critical moment in the invasion of France.

But surviving veterans said they were “disgusted” by the interpretation and accused Mr Beevor of “lazy research” by relying on secondary sources rather than their recollections.

Dr Tom Renouf, a Black Watch veteran who served in Normandy, is the secretary of the 51st Highland Division Veterans Association, which is demanding Mr Beevor make a formal apology.

Source & Full Story

Rare Book Reveals Dark Time In Chinese Immigration To The United States

A discovery recently made at the National Archives in New York City which turned up documents that were found as part of a narcotics arrest made on Stuyvesant Avenue in Lyndhurst nearly 70 years ago sheds light on the plight of Asian, specifically Chinese, immigrants to the United States at the time and highlights what strides have been made in the acceptance of Asians into the community.

"When you’re going through the records, some things just jump out at you," said Patrick Connelly, a researcher at the National Archives. This was one of them. He knew immediately that this was a very unique document they had on their hands.

What they found was a small, fragile book of browning paper containing what are called "coaching documents" used by the Chinese to gain entrance into the U.S. To understand what these documents are and why their survival is a rarity, one has to understand the history of Asian immigration into the United States at the time.

Source & Full Story

Nightmarish Memories Of Nazis' Sobibor Death Camp

John Demjanjuk is due to stand trial in Germany accused of helping to murder more than 27,000 Jews at the Nazi death camp of Sobibor in occupied Poland. The BBC's Steve Rosenberg returns to the site of the camp with one man who survived its horrors.

In the Jewish cemetery in the town of Izbica, 84-year-old Philip Bialowitz shows a battered gravestone among a tangle of bushes.

"This is the place where I was shot," he tells me. "I was brought here with a group of people and we were shot with machine-guns."

The Nazis murdered 4,000 Jews in the cemetery. Philip's mother was killed here. But her son had a remarkable escape. Lined up with other Jewish prisoners by the side of a freshly dug grave, he jumped in as soon as the bullets started to fly.

Source & Full Story

26 November 2009

Preview of The Master Genealogist 8

Full Featured - Windows - Purchase

Announcement for the preview of The Master Genealogist 8:

Bob Velke will be the featured speaker at the Dec 12th meeting of the Roots Users Group of Arlington, Virginia (Arlington RUG).

If you're in the area, you'll want to attend because Bob will use that occasion to make the first public demonstration of The Master Genealogist v8! This upcoming new release includes a new report writer engine (including support for 64-bit operating systems) and many other exciting new features.

Following the meeting, a feature list and screen shots will be made available through the company's web site. A release date for TMG v8 has not yet been announced.

For information about the meeting time/place, please visit:

Georgetown, Texas, USA, Couple Discover Double Surprise In Pilgrim Ancestry

Patricia and Mike Nichols knew their rich family histories intertwined with the founding of Texas and the founding of the Mormon Church.

Not until Patricia probed deeper, however, did she learn that not only did her ancestry trace back to a passenger on the Mayflower, but Mike's also traced back to another of the Pilgrims who established a colony in Plymouth, Mass., in 1620 and celebrated the first Thanksgiving in 1621.

The Nicholses, of Georgetown, are numbers 2,320 and 2,321 in the official registry of the Mayflower Society of Texas, which includes 2,730 Texans who can prove that they are descendants of the Mayflower Pilgrims. They are numbers 73,265 and 73,266 of the relatively select 81,800 members in the national Mayflower Society registry. Various experts in genealogy, including the Mayflower societies, estimate that anywhere from 10 million to 30 million Americans have links to the historic voyage's 51 passengers who survived their first winter in the New World.

Source & Full Story

24 November 2009

Rare Gold Rush Shipwreck Found

Archaeologists in Canadas Yukon have found whats believed to be the only untouched shipwreck from the Klondike Gold Rush, made famous by writers Jack London and Robert Service.

Underwater video, taken with a remote operated vehicle, shows the remarkably intact remains of the A.J. Goddard.

The small iron stern-wheel steamboat sank during an Autumn storm in Lake Laberge in 1901.

Three crew members drowned, while 2 others were saved, found floating and clinging to the ships small pilot house, which broke off when it sank.

Source & Full Story

Google To Digitise Iraq Museum Archives

US Internet giant Google will soon begin digitising artefacts and documents at Iraq's National Museum, its chief executive said in Baghdad on Tuesday.

Eric Schmidt, on the last day of a three-day tour of the country, told reporters that some 14,000 digital images taken at the museum would be freely available online from the beginning of next year.

"Google's mission all over the world is to make information available to everyone," he said. "There's a tremendous amount of information in the Arab world that is neither understood nor broadly available to everyone else."

He added: "More than 14,000 images that we've taken, plus a few surprises, will be available to everyone in the world, early next year."

Source & Full Story

Adopted Son Discovers Charles Manson Is His Father

Like many adopted children, Matthew Roberts set about finding his biological parents with a mix of nerves and excitement.

In particular, he hoped that discovering his father's identity would help him to work out what made him the man he had become.

But nothing could have prepared him for being told his dad was... serial killer Charles Manson.

Matthew, 41 - who bears a haunting resemblance to his father - sank into depression after discovering his identity.

Source & Full Story

Rare Darwin Drafts Go Online

Darwin is going digital. To celebrate the 150th anniversary of the publication of Charles Darwin's "On the Origin of Species," the manuscripts detailing the theory of natural selection are being placed online.

On Tuesday, Darwin Manuscripts Project ( will upload about 10,000 high-quality images of Darwin's scientific manuscripts and notes.

These pages include 34 of the 36 known and located draft leaves of "Origin," gathered together for the first time since Darwin wrote his seminal book, which was published on Nov. 24, 1859.

Source & Full Story

23 November 2009

Second Site 3.1 build 1

Web Publishing - Windows - Purchase

Second Site 3.1 build 1 has been released.


• Fixed a problem with the new Show Place Comment option of the Map Events dialog.

MyBlood 1.0

Full Featured - Windows, Mac - Purchase

MyBlood 1.0 has been released.


• Full production version.

LongFamilyHistory 3.0.1

Full Featured - Windows - Purchase

LongFamilyHistory 3.0.1 has been released.


• At the starting of the program it checks the associated files, which can take several seconds. The operation has been speeded up.
• If an album contains a lot of pictures, it took a long time to open the album. The operation has been speeded up.
• After the opening of the Statistics window had to wait too long. The operation has been speeded up.
• Some new Themes have been added to the program.
• Some bugs have been fixed in the Export and in the Album functions as well as in Persons datasheets.

GEDitCOM II 1.2 build 2

Full Featured - Mac - Purchase

GEDitCOM II 1.2 build 2 has been released.


• New start screen alerts use of a new version and helps new users get started.
• On-line tutorials are available and menu commands in GEDitCOM will open the web sites.
• Cross links in Ahnentafel reports were changed from "original appearance" to providing the number for the linked appearance.
• New option for "Abbreviated" GEDCOM words in dates.
• A new menu command can open the current format in the GEDitCOM Editor.
• Portuguese added to the "Default Format".
• Minor bug fixes: a. Same-sex couples in descendants family trees fixed; b. parents families scripting property returned to finding primary parents only; c. Typos in new language options in the "Default Format".
• Fixed minor bugs in "Create Web Site" script and added option to hide personal information for individuals marked as "privacy" records.

Brother's Keeper 6.3.35

Full Featured - Windows - Shareware

Brother's Keeper 6.3.35 has been released.


• GEDCOM export and import works with UTF-8 for Central Europe character set 238 now.
• GEDCOM export made some changes for UTF-8 characters with ascii values from 128 to 159.


• Fixed some things on the Edit screen, Note tab for the text box if using the Central Europe characters set.
• For a new user, the program was not setting the default to add the 'Married' event when you clicked Add Spouse.
• Fixed a problem on the Edit screen if adding sources to two different family Media files.
• GEDCOM import was sometimes not showing the option to import picture or media files (when there were picture or media file names in the gedcom file.)

Man Hopes To Preserve Indiana Home Of Obama's Family

Barack Obama's family roots reach deep into central Indiana and soon an old farm house near Kempton in Tipton County may serve as a living tribute to the President's ancestors.

The President's mother, Ann Dunham, was born and raised in Kansas, but her grandfather moved there from Indiana and a historic preservationist is now at work reconstructing some of the Obama family history here.

Shawn Clements loves showing off the Dunham house, a 19th century farmhouse that he purchased in 2004 with the idea of preserving it so that he could live here. When a neighbor told him to research the home's ownership he got big surprise. He found a copy of a land grant that shows the property was settled by Jacob Dunham in 1840. Jacob Dunham was Barack Obama's great-great-great-great grandfather. He is one of 11 Obama ancestors buried in the Kempton Cemetery.

Source & Full Story

Historic Letters To Robert Burns Club Displayed In Scotland

Thousands of letters hand written by people such as Charles Dickens, Sean Connery and Winston Churchill will go on display this week in Ayrshire, Scotland.

Some of the letters of acceptance of honorary membership of the Irvine Burns Club date back to 1828 and many have not been seen in public since.

The letters are being shown as part of Homecoming Scotland's Finale Weekend.

It celebrates the 250th anniversary of the birth of Robert Burns, widely regarded Scotland's national poet.

Source & Full Story

Diary Reveals Great Escape Plot

Coded plans for "The Great Escape" have been found in the diary of a World War II airman from Greater Manchester.

Ted Nestor was a prisoner of war (POW) at the camp where 77 Allied officers managed to dig a tunnel and escape.

His journal includes stories of camp life, cartoons and even a coded reference to the mass breakout.

Now, 20 years after his death, his daughter Sharon Cottam has visited Stalag Luft III in Poland and learned that her father was a war hero.

Source & Full Story

World At War Captured In Aerial Photographic Archive

It is a landscape unseen for more than 60 years, wartime Germany captured from the cockpits of British pilots during treacherous aerial reconnaissance missions.

Sitting in freezing temperatures, at altitudes of more than 30,000ft for hours at a time the crew risked fierce anti-aircraft fire to bring back the vital images.

The result of the successful sorties remain today in a wealth of high-quality images of what the world looked like during the Second World War.

Now the The Aerial Reconnaissance Archives (Tara) have been opened to the public. It now holds more than 10 million photographs and is growing as more images are declassified.

Source & Full Story

Historic Photographs Found Dumped Under Fort Worth, Texas, USA, Bridge

A treasure trove of priceless photographs were recently found dumped under a bridge in South Fort Worth, Texas, USA.

Among the found photographs were images of President John F. Kennedy's motorcade just moments before his assassination, a young President George H. W. Bush and Gwendolyn Brooks, the first African American to win a Pulitzer Prize.

The photographs were found underneath Interstate 20 and Oak Grove in South Fort Worth by the Code Compliance iIllegal dumping team. The location is a well-known dumping ground monitored by the department.

Whoever tossed the pictures away apparently had no idea they were throwing away history.

Source & Full Story

GeneaNet Launches 'Learn The Origin Of Your Surname' Facebook App

GeneaNet launches 'Learn The Origin Of Your Surname' Facebook App which display the geographical distribution of your name thanks to the searches of 2 millions members worldwide!

Your name won't appear in some areas of the map if no record has been indexed by the GeneaNet users. But it doesn't mean that your name doesn't exist actually!

You can search for another surname, publish the map to your wall and invite friends to join.

Click the image below to go to the 'Learn The Origin Of Your Surname' application then log in to your Facebook account:

We hope that you will enjoy using our new Facebook app!

22 November 2009

Break-In Suspect Caught Through Brother's DNA

A man who pleaded guilty to two car break-ins in Denver, Colorado, USA, was caught in a unique way -- through his brother's DNA.

Police investigating a vehicle break-in in February found blood at the scene. The DNA profile was submitted to Denver's local DNA database, but there was no exact match.

However, the sample was also run through a familial search software program, specially designed by the Denver' District Attorney's Office, and the Denver Police Crime Lab, the district attorney's office said. The computer program found that the blood was a close match to someone in the system -- likely a close relative or a sibling.

Source & Full Story

Personal Ancestry Writer II 90

Full Featured - Mac - Freeware

Personal Ancestry Writer II 90 has been released.


• An error in GEDCOM import introduced in version 88 was corrected. It caused all text to run together.

Argentina Forces Dirty War Orphans To Provide DNA

Valuing truth over the right to privacy, Argentina's Congress has authorized the forced extraction of DNA from people who may have been born to political prisoners slain a quarter-century ago — even when they don't want to know their birth parents.

Human rights activists hope the new law will help find about 400 people stolen as babies, many from women who were kidnapped and gave birth inside clandestine torture centers during the 1976-1983 dictatorship. Thousands of leftists disappeared in what became known as the "dirty war" against political dissent.

Others see the new law as unacceptable government intrusion, legalizing the violation of a person's very identity. And as written, it could have much broader implications, enabling DNA to be sought from anyone whenever a judge determines the evidence to be "absolutely necessary."

Source & Full Story

21 November 2009

Museum Finds Astronomer Galileo's Lost Body Parts

Two fingers and a tooth belonging to famed astronomer Galileo Galilei have been found more than 100 years after going missing, a museum in Italy says.

A collector bought the items, lost since 1905, at auction and gave them to Florence's History of Science Museum.

The museum said it had no doubt about the authenticity of the items.

Scientists cut the parts - plus another finger and a vertebrae - from Galileo's body in 1737, almost 100 years after he died.

The items will go on display at the museum in 2010, once renovation work is completed.

Source & Full Story

New Zealander Antiques Dealer Claims Harry Potter Castle

A Napier (New Zealand) antiques dealer has claimed that his family are the rightful heirs to one of Britain's most famous dynasties, which owns the castle used in the Harry Potter movies.

Kevin Percy, 74, believes his family was cheated out of inheriting the Earl of Northumberland's massive estate, now conservatively valued at $685m.

He has started a bold bid asking British authorities, including the Queen, to exhume the bodies of two suspected relatives for DNA tests, which he says would prove or disprove his claim. The two men died in 1560 and 1716.

His bid targets one of Britain's most celebrated noble families, which dominated the Middle Ages. The earldom owns nearly 50,000 hectares of land in Britain.

Source & Full Story

20 November 2009

WWII Bomber Pilot's Victoria Cross Fetches Record Price

A Victoria Cross awarded to a 21-year-old World War II bomber pilot has sold at auction for £335,000.

The VC, which was presented to Flight Lieutenant Bill Reid in 1944 by King George VI, was bought by an anonymous bidder, setting a new record price.

Flt Lt Reid, from Crieff in Perthshire, was given the VC for his part in a bombing raid on Germany in 1943.

He flew his Lancaster bomber 200 miles towards its target over Düsseldorf despite being wounded in two attacks.

Source & Full Story

Personal Ancestry Writer II 89

Full Featured - Mac - Freeware

Personal Ancestry Writer II 89 has been released.


• The application's bundled info.plist file was revised. The visible effect is to display the floppy disk icon for exported GEDCOM files and the appropriate version number for the application.
• The exported GEDCOM extension .GED is now lowercased to .ged.
• Abbreviations in some of the text entries in the place popup menus in the Person and Family windows were not being expanded but now are.

People Prefer Partners With Similar Ancestry

The study shows that Mexicans mate according to proportions of Native American to European ancestry, while Puerto Ricans are more likely to settle down with someone carrying a similar mix of African and European genes.

For the research, Neil Risch, from the University of California, San Francisco, and his team studied the effects of ancestry on partner choice in Mexicans and Puerto Ricans living in their own countries or in the USA.

The subjects came from The Genetics of Asthma in Latino Americans (GALA) study, conducted by Risch’s UCSF colleague, Esteban Gonzalez Burchard.

Source & Full Story

Lincoln's Letter To Boy On Sale

A letter written by former US President Abraham Lincoln to a schoolboy nearly 150 years ago is to go on sale for $60,000 (£36,000) in Philadelphia.

George Patten was with his journalist father when both met the commander-in-chief.

The 16th US president wrote in 1861 after the eight-year-old was mocked by his disbelieving classmates. The handwritten, signed note confirms the pair met and was sent two weeks after the Lincoln's inauguration.

The letter reads: "Whom it may concern, I did see and talk with master George Evans Patten, last May, at Springfield, Illinois. Respectfully, A Lincoln."

Source & Full Story

19 November 2009

Trove Of Papers Donated To Holocaust Memorial Center

A photo of the infamous lamp shade thought to have been made from human skin, photos of the bodies of Nazi concentration camp victims and hundreds of pages of documents from the World War II War Crimes Tribunal have a new home, thanks to a Waterford man who donated them to the Holocaust Memorial Center.

The center received the trove of artifacts from the Dachau War Crimes Tribunal from Andy Woodiwiss, a grandson of a U.S. Army major who oversaw the World War II war crimes trials. Woodiwiss discovered the artifacts in 1997 while he was cleaning out his grandparents' Lewiston home.

Several years ago, he was offered seven figures for the collection but turned down the money from an eBay buyer when he discovered the winning bid was from a neo-Nazi group.

Source & Full Story

Second Site 3.1

Web Publishing - Windows - Purchase

Second Site 3.1 has been released.


• Map-related enhancements
- Added numbered markers (1 to 30) and colored markers to the Map Editor and Map Events dialog
- Added drag/drop functionality to resequence items in the Map Editor item list
- Added arrow buttons to resequence items in the Map User Item's list of events
- Added the Show Place Comment option to the Map Events dialog
• Added a Sort option to the Exhibit Gallery that allows the items to be sorted by the Exhibit Topic
• Added a Comment option to DNA Grid User Item that controls the display of the Comment field associated with DNA test results
• Added a new Theme, Carla's Old Ships
• Added an "Ignore" choice to the Person Entry Chart List pull-down menu in the Format section


Continue reading...

18 November 2009

New Software: RootsMagic Essentials

Full Featured - Windows - Freeware

RootsMagic, Inc. announced the immediate availability of RootsMagic Essentials, free desktop genealogy software based on their award-winning RootsMagic 4 system.

RootsMagic Essentials contains many core features found in its namesake that allow the public to easily start tracing their family trees.

RootsMagic Essentials shares many of the same features with the full RootsMagic software including clean and friendly screens, the ability to add an unlimited number of people and events, pictures and media management, the SourceWizard to write your source citations for you, powerful merging and clean-up tools, dozens of reports and charts, support for international character sets, FamilySearch integration, and the ability to share data with other people and software programs.


Full Featured - Windows - Purchase

RootsMagic has been released.


• Added “Use standardized place” button when editing a place from the master place list.
• Streamlined NFS features.


• Source list now prints all occurrences of multiple citations of the same source for the same fact.
• Fixed a problem with longitude sometimes having the wrong E, W designator.
• Fixed problem with non-admin, non-power users getting a “Can’t save application settings” when exiting from RootsMagic.
• Importing a GEDCOM with more than 2 addresses for a person doesn’t hang anymore.
• Merging doesn’t put — MERGED NOTE — when one record has a note but the other doesn’t.
• Record number doesn’t print for the spouse of children in narratives anymore.
• Nickname delimiter (parens vs quotes) honored in website narratives.

Brazil Man Appears At Own Funeral

A 59-year-old Brazilian man has surprised his family by turning up at his own funeral, local media report.

Relatives of Ademir Jorge Goncalves, a bricklayer, had identified him as the victim of a car crash in southern Parana state the previous day.

Police told O Globo newspaper that relatives had trouble identifying the corpse because it was badly disfigured.

It emerged that Mr Goncalves had spent the night drinking a rum-like liquor called "pinga" with his friends.

Source & Full Story

Gravestone Rules Could Be Abolished In Totnes, Devon, UK

Grieving parents could soon have the right to place a favourite teddy on their child's grave following moves to sweep away cemetery regulations in Totnes, Devon, UK.

Gravestone photographs could also be allowed as councillors consider doing away with rules which have been in force for decades.

It follows a protest earlier this year from town councillor Pruw Boswell who condemned the cemetery in Plymouth Road as 'bland and boring'.

Source & Full Story

Rare Books A Top Draw For Georgia Archives' Book Sale

You never know what treasures may be buried among the 25,000 books that go on sale Thursday at the Georgia Archives in Morrow, USA.

Volunteers at the state’s repository for historic documents have amassed an assortment of volumes from around the country that just may include a few hidden gems.

"There is usually a small section of rare books, but it’s an odd assortment," said the Stone Mountain resident. "You might find exactly what you want; you may find nothing at all. I always look for genealogy books or anything about Atlanta, and I love mysteries, so I buy lots of paperbacks that are very cheap – about $1. No matter what you’re looking for, it’s best to go early."

Source & Full Story

The Complete Genealogy Reporter 2009 build 91118

Family Books - Windows - Shareware

The Complete Genealogy Reporter 2009 build 91118 has been released.


• Fixed: Media items associated with sources were not included in the report. They are now reported correctly.

The Complete Genealogy Builder 2009 build 91118

Full Featured - Windows - Shareware

The Complete Genealogy Builder 2009 build 91118 has been released.


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

MacFamilyTree 5.6.6

Full Featured - Mac - Purchase

MacFamilyTree 5.6.6 has been released.


• Several fixes and improvements for the coordinate lookup for the Virtual Globe.
• Crash issue fixed for Mac OS X 10.5.
• Database migration issue fixed for older Version 4 databases.


Charts and Diagrams - Windows - Purchase

FamilyTreeFactory has been released.


• Fixed bug: A saved telepfone number was not displayed in the Personal Data dialog, Contact tab. Instead a perhaps saved country was displayed in the data field of the telephone number. Saving the telephone number was not involved in this bug.
• The functions Search and Replace of the Import Pre-processor and of the Export Post-processor of the GEDCOM Converter can manage multiple lines now. For line breaks the characters \n are used.
• In the Import Pre-processor and in the Export Post-processor of the Gedcom Converter variable data can now be managed using a data placeholder (characters \*). Complex changes are possible including shifting data between lines in a tag combination. In the manual the sections Import-Pre-processor and Export Post-processor demonstrate the usage of data placeholders in examples.
• While loading a treeview file, that is not linked to the current family file, now the error message mentions the names of all involved files. By this the message is better to understand.
• The maximum count of godparents per person and witnesses per marriage increased from 5 to 9.
• Relatives trees could include not more than 625 descendant trees till now. This limit was increased to its square 390625.
• The function Restore Gedcom Options to Factory Default Settings in the Tools menu has been removed. Instead the GEDCOM Options dialog now contains a button for this function.
• The function Restore Program Options to Factory Default Settings in the Tools menu has been removed. Instead the Program Options dialog now contains a button for this function.
• Some small improvements and corrections.

17 November 2009

Gothic Couple Have Their Wedding Blessed In A Cemetery

A gothic couple have become the first in the UK to have their wedding blessed in a graveyard.

Samantha Smyth, 25, and husband Paul Adams, 33, had originally planned to marry at the unlikely venue but realised it would mean their marriage was not legally recognised.

They later decided to fulfil their dream by having a blessing in their local cemetery eight months after their ’legal wedding’ in a traditional registry office.

Source & Full Story

Former SS Member, 90, Charged Over Nazi Massacre

German prosecutors on Tuesday charged a 90-year-old former SS soldier with 58 counts of murder for the killing of Jewish forced labourers in the final weeks of World War II.

With Allied forces fast overrunning Germany, the man, named in media reports as Adolf Storms, was accused of hatching a plot on March 28, 1945 with other SS and members of the Hitler Youth, to slaughter Jewish prisoners.

The 90-year-old, a former member of the fifth SS Tank Division "Viking", now lives in the west German industrial city of Duisburg near Cologne. In December, police raided his residence, seizing documents.

Source & Full Story

Kingston, Massachusetts, Grave Rampage Paused When Teen Recognized Relative's Headstone

Four teens accused of going on a vandalism spree and toppling 92 gravestones at a local cemetery on the eve of Veterans Day stopped what they were doing when one of them realized that a stone belonged to his family, police said.

Glenn Cadose, 17, of Kingston, one of four charged with the vandalism, told officers that they picked up the stone and replaced it on its base, then went on to damage more graves at Evergreen Cemetery.

Cadose pleaded innocent Monday in Plymouth District Court to 92 counts of vandalizing a gravestone and to a single count of trespassing. A 15-year-old boy and two 14-year old boys, also of Kingston, face the same charges.

Source & Full Story

Digging Into the Science of That Old-Book Smell

If you have torn yourself away from the virtual library that is the Internet long enough to visit a real library, you know that the smell of old books — musty, slightly acidic, even grassy — is instantly recognizable. But is it quantifiable? And if so, might old-book odor prove useful to librarians and conservators charged with preserving collections?

Matija Strlic, a researcher with the Center for Sustainable Heritage at University College London, thinks it might. With colleagues in Slovenia and with the assistance of the National Archives of the Netherlands, he has published proof-of-concept research that shows that it is possible to understand both the composition and condition of old paper by analyzing the volatile organic compounds they emit.

Source & Full Story

Red Cross Sells Pieces Of History To Cut Deficit

Rose Percy has a long history with the American Red Cross. Complete with an extensive wardrobe and her own Tiffany jewelry, this 23-inch wax doll was first sold for $1,200 back in 1864 to benefit the U.S. Sanitary Commission — the precursor to one of best-known U.S. charities.

Now, Rose Percy, is on the auction block again.

On Tuesday, Percy will be sold in one of the first rounds of an extensive sale of treasures the American Red Cross has amassed over the decades. The current bid online: $5,000. The Red Cross also is selling a rare four-faced Cartier clock lamp, nurse uniforms from World War I and what could be the last Civil War-era flag of the forerunner U.S. Sanitary Commission.

Source & Full Story

8th European Conference On Digital Archiving, 28-30 April 2010

Announcement: The 8th European Conference on Digital Archiving will be held in Geneva from 28-30 April 2010. It will follow in the footsteps of the European Conferences on Archives of recent decades. By emphasizing digital elements and archiving as a function instead of the archive as an institution, however, it aims to take a new approach. The future will be digital, but we want to preserve the analogue tradition: the archive of the future must be a safe place for the analogue and digital traces of the past - this is our responsibility.

We are already confident that you will enjoy an attractive and varied programme. Further information is available at:

Source & Full Story

Collection Of Franklin D. Roosevelt Papers Soon To Become Public

The last great archives of Franklin D. Roosevelt's presidency may soon be available to researchers and the public -- 14 boxes of handwritten notes, gifts and correspondence, including a letter from Italian dictator Benito Mussolini congratulating him on his 1933 inauguration.

The House on Monday approved a bill to clear the way for the memorabilia to be donated to Roosevelt's presidential library and museum in Hyde Park, N.Y.

The boxes have been sitting sealed at Roosevelt's presidential library since July 2005, tied up in an ownership dispute between the government and a private collector.

Source & Full Story

The National Archives Of Australia Will Close Its State offices In Adelaide, Darwin And Hobart

The National Archives of Australia has announced it will close its State offices in Adelaide, Darwin and Hobart in a bid to cut costs.

Director General of the Archives, Ross Gibbs said the offices would be closed over the next two-and-a-half years as building leases expired. "The decision to close these particular offices was difficult, but is, I believe, a responsible one," Mr Gibbs said. "Canberra will bear budget cuts to achieve the savings, and there would naturally be a flow-on to all State offices."

"The decision to close the Adelaide, Darwin and Hobart offices was based on the knowledge that they could not endure any more budget cuts while still maintaining the high level of service that they are known for."

Source & Full Story

16 November 2009

New Software: MobileTree For iPhone And iPod Touch

PDAs and Handhelds - Purchase

MobileTree 1.0 has been released.

With MobileTree, FamilySearch customers can access their FamilySearch data directly on their iPhone or iPod Touch!

MobileTree has completed all of the requirements communicated by the FamilySearch organization and has been certified as an approved access application.

Customers may use MobileTree to research content around their family tree including details to identify:

• An individual ancestor. What events are recorded for this individual including birth, death and burial?
• A family record. Can you identify an ancestor's siblings? Who is the youngest child; who lived the longest? Where are they buried?
• Your pedigree record. Use MobileTree to see an ancestor's parents, and grandparents using existing and available content.

MobileTree is available on the iPhone AppStore for $4.99 (3,99 €).

Scotland: Glencoe Massacre Orders Displayed

A 300-year-old document which led to one of the most infamous episodes in Scottish history is to go on display.

The signed order for the Massacre of Glencoe will form the centrepiece of an exhibition to mark the end of the Year of Homecoming.

It will be among nine cultural treasures which will be displayed in the National Library of Scotland from this week.

Thirty eight members of the MacDonald clan were killed in the massacre.

Source & Full Story

Australia Apologies For Kids Shipped From Britain To Colonies

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd issued a historic apology Monday to thousands of impoverished British children shipped to Australia with the promise of a better life. But his government ruled out paying compensation for the abuse and neglect that many suffered.

The British government has estimated 150,000 British children may have been shipped abroad between 1618 and 1967, most from the late 19th century onward. After 1920, most of the children went to Australia through programs run by the government, religious groups and children's charities.

The programs, which ended 40 years ago, were intended to provide the children with a new start - and the Empire with a supply of sturdy white workers. But many children ended up in institutions where they were physically and sexually abused, or were sent to work as farm laborers.

Source & Full Story

FamViewer 2.1.2

PDAs and Handhelds

FamViewer 2.1.2 has been released.


• Fixed a bug that was preventing FamViewer from running properly on iPhone OS 2.2.1.

Deleting Duplicate People In Your GeneaNet Online Family Tree

When merging a GEDCOM file to your GeneaNet online family tree, you may create some duplicate people. To eliminate duplicates, you can delete one of them.

Online Family Tree (GeneWeb)

A duplicate entry has been created for Susan Leech, spouse of John Baxter.

Click the "Wizard Access" link in the left sidebar then enter your GeneaNet username and password to log on as "Wizard".

Enter the surname and name of the duplicate individual in the search form, select "first name/name", then click "OK".

Both Susan Leech are shown in the search results list.

The first one is the duplicate we want to delete and the second one is the spouse of John Baxter.

Click the first Susan Leech link.

Click the "Update - Nidividual, family, media" link.

Verify that this is the right person (not the spouse of John Baxter) then click the "Delete" link to delete this duplicate.

14 November 2009

US Probes Arlington Cemetery After Remains Misplaced

The US Army on Friday announced an investigation into possible botched record-keeping at Arlington National Cemetery after revelations that remains were buried in a grave site already in use.

Army Secretary John McHugh said the probe by the army's inspector general would focus on the accountability of operations and allegations of poor record-keeping at the cemetery, where hundreds of thousands of military veterans and fallen soldiers from the country's wars are buried.

"As the final resting place of our nation's heroes, any questions about the integrity or accountability of its operations should be examined in a manner befitting their service and sacrifice," McHugh said in a statement.

Source & Full Story

LDS Genealogy Program Marks 115 Years

115 years ago today in Mormon church history. Mormon church president Wilford Woodruff oversaw the establishment of the Genealogical Society of Utah. Today, the LDS Church plays an integral part in world-wide genealogical research, hosting the largest genealogy organization in the world.

How did the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day saints become front and center in the world of genealogy?

In the early 1840s, Mormon prophet Joseph Smith introduced "baptisms for the dead" allowing Mormons to be baptized by proxy for their deceased relatives. After this he introduced Eternal Marriage where wives were sealed to their husband, and the Endowment, an ritual enacting the steps toward salvation.

Source & Full Story

Arlington Burial Service Held For Soldier Whose Remains Were Stolen

Norbert Otto Schmidt, a retired Army colonel who died in August, was honored at Arlington National Cemetery on Friday with a burial service befitting a decorated veteran of the Korean War.

The ceremony featured all the Army's Old Guard solemn pomp: a tri-folded U.S. flag, a horse-drawn caisson, rifle volleys and a bugler sounding taps.

The only thing missing was the brass urn containing the ashes of the deceased. The urn, stolen Thursday from a van parked near the Mall, hasn't been found. So Schmidt's family went ahead with the Arlington service without their loved one's remains -- a burial service without a burial.

Source & Full Story

Rare Doll Inspires Interest Among WWII History Buffs

When Bob Enright first showed Kevin Corbett a small doll a sailor took off a Japanese kamikaze pilot whose plane struck a ship in World War II, he knew it was special.

"Bob said people had given him advice, saying sell the doll," Corbett said. "He asked me what I thought and I told him not to listen to anyone; it was something special, something culturally significant."

Enright, an Olathe historian and collector of historical items, had thought about giving some of his large collection to the city. Corbett, city director of parks and recreation, and Susan Sherman, assistant city manager, had met with Enright several times, but never came to an agreement on what Enright would donate.

Source & Full Story

13 November 2009

World’s Oldest Woman Lives In Turkey’s Diyarbakır

Halim Solmaz, a resident of Diyarbakır’s Beşiri district, is purportedly 125 years old, which if true would make her the oldest known person on the face of the earth.

İrfan Ertaş, the head of the local birth registry directorate, confirms the record of Solmaz’s age, saying: “According to our records Halim Solmaz was born in 1884 and is still alive. She lives in [Beşiri’s] Bismil [neighborhood].” Solmaz’s identification card says she was born on July 1, 1884, and according to reports she had seven children (four sons and three daughters) and is grandmother to 54 and great-grandmother to 150.

Source & Full Story

Five Ghanaian Tribes submit DNA for Ancestoral Clues

The Sankofa Project was launched at the Public Records and Archives Administration in Ghana on October 30, 2009. Several hundred Ghanaians from the Ewe, Ga, Fante, Nzema and Asante tribes participated in the genealogy and DNA workshop in hopes to discover their distant relatives in the Diaspora. CAAGRI Communications Director, Greg Russell noted that the organization’s efforts are unique and the first of its kind. "We are a non-profit organization that is committed to restoring the legacies of our African ancestors and this is our effort towards that end. This kind of outreach has never been done before and we are just very humbled to be able to make a contribution to history."

In addition to the possibilities of reconnecting families, the project will also help researchers better understand human migration patterns which in turn will verify true tribal origins. CAAGRI’s founder and CEO, Paula D. Royster said "there are no guarantees that any DNA matches will occur". However, Royster continued, "this is a first step in a long process to identify geographic regions, tribal affiliations and then true genetic matches."

Source & Full Story

Two Japanese Subs Sunk After World War II Found

After 60 years in a watery Hawaiian grave, two World War II-era Japanese attack submarines have been discovered near Pearl Harbor, marine archaeologists announced today.

Specifically designed for a stealth attack on the U.S. East Coast--perhaps targeting Washington, D.C., and New York City--the "samurai subs" were fast, far-ranging, and in some cases carried folding-wing aircraft, according to Dik Daso, curator of modern military aircraft at the Smithsonian's Air and Space Museum.

When World War II ended in 1945, the U.S. Navy seized the Japanese fleet in the Pacific, including five samurai subs, as they're called in the new film. The subs were later sunk, to keep the technology out of the hands of the Soviet Union.The military didn't record where the boats had been laid to rest, thinking no one would want to know.

Source & Full Story

12 November 2009

JFK Investigation Photos Now Online

Photographs taken by Dallas police and used as evidence in the criminal investigation following the assassination of President John F. Kennedy are now available for public viewing.

The University of North Texas Libraries' Digital Projects unit placed the photographs in its Portal to Texas History.

UNT recently received a grant from the Summerlee Foundation to digitize 404 images taken by the Dallas Police Department during the week following Kennedy’s assassination. The Dallas Municipal Archives, a division of the City of Dallas City Secretary’s Office, possesses all of the original investigation files except for those that have been transferred permanently to the federal investigation collection held at the National Archives.

Click here to launch the JFK photos site

Source & Full Story

11 November 2009

Catholic Documents In Oldest US City Preserved

Sister Catherine Bitzer slowly opened a file box and carefully removed a brittle page, scarred by years of neglectful storage, mold and insects. At 415 years old, the marriage record written by a Roman Catholic priest is still readable and is one of the oldest known European records from the United States.

It's among thousands of artifacts detailing the lives of the Spanish soldiers, missionaries and merchants who settled St. Augustine, the nation's oldest permanent city. The church kept the only official records, a role that today is filled by government.

Dated Jan. 24, 1594, and handwritten by Father Diego Escobar de Sambrana, the record held by Bitzer details the marriage of soldier Gabriel Hernandez to Catalina de Valdes in St. Augustine, some 26 years before the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock.

Source & Full Story

Tracing Your Family's Military Past

The horrors of previous wars are even more personal to those whose own families took part, in conflicts such as the nightmarish trench warfare of World War I.

And according to Anthony Richards, archivist at the Imperial War Museum of England, interest in researching family military history is now more popular than ever. A major aspect of genealogy is often the involvement of family members in one or other of the two world wars.

"Considering the global scale of both conflicts, it is quite rare to find a family that did not have at least one relative involved," says Mr Richards. "Whether it was as a member of the armed forces, medical services, civil defence or perhaps even as a schoolchild evacuated to the countryside."

Source & Full Story

US National Archives Launches New Online Reservation System

For the first time, the US National Archives today launches a new online reservation system to make it easier for individuals, families, and large groups alike to visit National Archives. By simply going online, visitors can reserve their choice of dates and times in a matter of minutes. While reservations are not required to visit the National Archives and admission is free, this new system will eliminate the long lines and often lengthy wait.

"This important step will simplify the vacation planning process for our visitors and provide an opportunity for easy access to the National Archives Experience," said Acting Archivist Adrienne Thomas. Reservations will be handled through the National Recreation Reservation Service (NRRS).

Starting today, November 11, visitors to the National Archives Experience can make reservations online at, from the NRRS website at

Source & Full Story

The Complete Genealogy Reporter 2009 build 91108

Family Books - Windows - Shareware

The Complete Genealogy Reporter 2009 build 91108 has been released.


• Improved: Bottom margin spacing on PDF reports when default printer is "print to edge".

The Complete Genealogy Builder 2009 build 91108

Full Featured - Windows - Shareware

The Complete Genealogy Builder 2009 build 91108 has been released.


• Fixed: Errors in processing changes via the "Validate / Individual Names" menu item. In some situations, some names might not have been changed and the list of individuals may not have been appropriately updated.
• Incorporates changes to reporter module; see revision history for The Complete Genealogy Reporter.

GEDitCOM II 1.2 build 1

Full Featured - Mac - Purchase

GEDitCOM II 1.2 build 1 has been released.


• Version tested and verified to work in Snow Leopard.
• Many features of the user interface formats were improved:
- The "Default Format" and "Pedigree Format" now divide the window into "Panes" or "Tabs" where each pane has related data (e.g., details, events, multimedia, notes and source, etc.). In addition, the format was improved in many (mostly minor) ways.
- The previous "Default Format" with a single pane for all data is still included and it is called "Default One Pane Format."1834. Alternatively, you can see use the "All" pane in the new "Default Format."
- French and Spanish translations added to "Default Format" (both versions) and to the "GEDCOM Tab View" format.
- The "Book Format" was rewritten (although appearance is not changed much).
- A new "Basic Format" was written for those that want their own user interface formats. This formats handles all the behind-the-scenes work letting you to concentrate on appearance of the data. This format is not include in the download, but is now available on the user interface formats downloads page.

Continue reading...

Brother's Keeper 6.3.34

Full Featured - Windows - Shareware

Brother's Keeper 6.3.34 has been released.


• For Event Notes, it shows correct character set for Central Europe and Hebrew.
• GEDCOM Import some programs use tag ALIA for alias or also known as name so Brother's Keeper will look for ALIA tag and import it as an also known as name.
• GEDCOM Export was not using UTF-8 character set for notes attached to pictures.

10 November 2009

To Preserve Their History, Families Are Turning To Documentary Makers

Type the words “family history” into any internet search engine, and you will be presented with more than 240 million online pages devoted to one of our favourite hobbies. The whole world, it seems, is busy discovering its past. Some families, though, are going a step further than most to ensure that family history is kept for future generations.

When 75-year-old Sydie Bones from Axminster was planning her son’s 50th birthday celebrations, she wanted the day to be marked by more than just snapshots for the family album.

“When we look back at old photos we have no idea of what these people were really like,” Sydie says. “Were they lively, funny, or reserved, shy? How did they speak to each other, were they close, did they josh and joke with each other?”

Source & Full Story

Distant Relatives of U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama Eager to Meet Her

Two distant white relatives of U.S. first lady Michelle Obama say they are proud to be a part of her heritage and hope someday to meet her.

Debbie Shields, who has blonde hair and blue eyes, looks nothing like the first lady but they share a common lineage -- Shield's great, great grandfather is Obama's great, great, great grandfather, the television program "Inside Edition" reported Monday.

Obama's great, great, great grandmother was a slave named Melvinia, who was 6 years old when she was sent to live on a 200-acre farm in Rex, Ga. At age 15, Melvinia became pregnant by a white man presumed to be Charles Marion Shields.

Source & Full Story

Bellevue Cemetery Vandalized (Texas, USA)

The city of Bellevue, Texas, USA, is looking for the vandals who defaced grave stones at the cemetery. Clay County Sheriff Kenny Lemons suspects that at least four to five people trespassed onto the cemetery grounds Nov. 8.

"These folks have family members that have lived here their whole lives," Lemons said. "These are folks they take care of - their loved ones - this is their final resting place. For somebody to do this, they have absolutely no respect for anyone here or themselves."

The culprits knocked head stones to the ground, cracking some in half. Although Lemons said this criminal mischief is not unprecedented, catching the people behind it could be difficult.

Source & Full Story

9 November 2009

Digital Library of Georgia Brings 3 Georgia Historic Newspapers Online

The Digital Library of Georgia announces the free online availability of three historic Georgia newspapers: the Macon Telegraph Archive, the Columbus Enquirer Archive, and the Milledgeville Historic Newspapers Archive. Each extensive archive provides historic newspaper page images that are both full-text searchable and can be browsed by date. Zooming and printing capabilities are provided for each page image (via a DjVu browser plug-in).

The Macon Telegraph Archive ( offers online access to weekly, daily, and semi-weekly issues under various titles spanning the years 1826 through 1908, and includes over 51,000 page images.

The Columbus Enquirer Archive ( provides online access to weekly, daily and tri-weekly issues under various titles spanning the years 1828 through 1890. The archive includes more than 32,000 page images.

The Milledgeville Historic Newspapers Archive ( offers online access to eleven historic newspaper titles spanning the years 1808 through 1920 (including the Civil War years when Milledgeville was the state capitol). The archive includes over 49,000 page images.

The Visible Archive: Mapping the National Archives of Australia Collection

The Visible Archive is a research project on the visualization of the huge museum collection currently held by the National Archives of Australia.

As archives are increasingly digitised, so their collections become available as rich, and very large, datasets (the Archives, for instance, contain more than 18.2 million images). Individual records in these datasets are readily accessible through traditional search interfaces. However, it is more difficult to gain any wider sense of these cultural datasets due to their sheer scale. Conventional text-based displays are unable to offer us any overall impression of the millions of items contained in modern museum collections.

Source & Full Story

Daily Telegraph Helps Launch Campaign For UK National War Cemetery

Mothers of dead servicemen have told The Daily Telegraph that it was "crazy" Britain had no central military graveyard where troops could be buried alongside their brother soldiers similar to the American cemetery in Arlington, Virginia.

But there has been a surge of support from serving and veteran troops for a new cemetery to be built in a central location that would have national prominence.

The demand for the cemetery, which could be placed next to the National Memorial Arboretum outside Birmingham, is growing at a time when increasing numbers are dying on operations with seven killed this week.

Source & Full Story

Four US Veterans Receive Legion Of Honor For Service During World War II

Four proud old men gathered yesterday at Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall and Museum to receive France's highest award, the Legion of Honor, for helping to liberate that country from the Nazis 65 years ago.

Felix Cistolo, 88, of Ellwood City; Martin Tougher, 87, of Forest Hills; Francis Culotta, 91, of Whitehall; and Ross DiMarco, 87, of Uniontown; were ordinary young men caught up in the greatest maelstrom of the 20th century.

Each rose to the occasion, advancing field by field and house by house across the French countryside, forcing the Germans back to the Fatherland and destroying Hitler's Thousand-Year Reich.

Source & Full Story

Digitization Is Not A Long-Term Solution

The euphoria that opportunities in the field of digitization generate is great. However, Dr. Martin Luchterhandt, senior archives councillor at the National Archives Berlin, warns about considering digitization to be a universal remedy.

Mr. Luchterhandt, the blessing of digitization is praised by many and especially by libraries. You tend, however, to take a somewhat more sceptical view towards it. Why?

In the case of digital media the norm is: everything that is not regularly updated becomes at some point obsolete. All the money put into digitization is lost if we do not constantly invest in additional expenditure to uphold the level achieved. If you, for example, scan in a document today, you are using standards that will in 20 years be outdated. In order to still be able to view the document in 20 years you must have the right hard and software at your disposal. Continual up-grades are necessary. And, if you miss just once, damage will occur. For instance, this can be seen by looking at the technical problems the Birthler authorities are confronted with when they want to use old, electronic recordings from the “Stasi” (former East German Intelligence Service).

Source & Full Story

Numbering The Ancestors In Your GeneaNet Family Tree

An Ahnentafel is a list of the ancestors of a person, numbered in such a way that the starting person is number 1, the father 2, mother 3, paternal grandfather 4, paternal grandmother 5, maternal grandfather and so on. It is also known as the Sosa-Stradonitz Method, for Jérôme de Sosa, the Spanish genealogist who popularized the numbering system in 1676 and Stephan Kekulé von Stradonitz, the German genealogist who published his interpretation of Sosa's method in 1898.

Set Your Family Tree Root

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

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

Clicking the Sosa number of any person will open a window that shows you a descendancy list.

Remove Your Family Tree Root

If needed, you can deactivate the numbering system. Select the "Online Family Tree - Manage - Expert Options" menu item then click "Remove the family tree root". Note that this will not remove the individual in your family tree!

8 November 2009

ScanRobots For Mass Digitisation – Even For Delicate Books

Dr. Markus Brantl, who runs the Munich Digitisation Centre, explains in this interview how modern mass digitisation works in the Bavarian State Library (BSB).

Mr Brantl, in July 2007 the Bavarian State Library started a mass digitisation project funded by the German Research Community (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft). Within two years almost 37 000 printed works in German with a total of over 7.5 million pages from the period between 1518 and 1600 are to be digitised.

Source & Full Story

7 November 2009

FamilyTree Painter 1.0.2

Charts and Diagrams - Windows, Mac, Linux - Freeware

FamilyTree Painter 1.0.2 has been released on 23 September 2009 but I just heard about this new software.


• With new version it is not anymore necessary to upload GEDCOM family data to server. However it is still possible.
• The application can now be started using "Try" link on front page or with "Launch" link on "My family trees" page. If you are not logged in and you are using "Try" link on front page, the "SPECIMEN" text is printed to all family tree pages.
• If you are using the "Try" or "Launch" links for starting the application, there is now also "Open" button which you can use to open GEDCOM file which is on your own computer.

The Complete Genealogy Reporter 2009 build 91106

Family Books - Windows - Shareware

The Complete Genealogy Reporter 2009 build 91106 has been released.


• Improved: The name prefixes "van ‘t", "van't", "van de", "in’t", and "in 't" are now recognized as a name prefixes when they are included as part of the last name.
• Fixed: Incorrect formatting of ancestry charts when an individual appears more than once in either chart, or appears more than twice within both charts.

The Complete Genealogy Builder 2009 build 91106

Full Featured - Windows - Shareware

The Complete Genealogy Builder 2009 build 91106 has been released.


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

Personal Ancestry Writer II 88

Full Featured - Mac - Freeware

Personal Ancestry Writer II 88 has been released.


• This is the first version of PAWriter that is a universal binary compilation, and its file name is changed to PAW2U. It reads and writes the same data files used by PAW2 and PAW2X. Much internal re-coding was necessarily accomplished in this move to the universal binary version. Universal binaries run on both PowerPC Macs and Intel Macs without Rosetta.
• This universal binary version should run well on G3s, G4s, G5s and Intel Macs under MacOS 10.3.x (Panther), 10.4.x (Tiger), 10.5.x (Leopard), 10.6.x (Snow Leopard without Rosetta) and future versions of the MacOS. (I’ve alpha tested it on Intel iMacs running Leopard and on a G4 eMac running Panther.) I believe this version of PAWriter runs significantly faster than previous versions on any of the above-named platforms.
• The About PAWriter Help and the PAWriter Reference Guide menu items were moved to a new Help menu.
• The Reference Guide is now part of the PAW2U file (it’s "bundled"). You can click on the Reference button in the main window or choose Help menu > PAWriter Reference Guide or press command-' in major windows to launch the Reference Guide in Safari. The Reference Guide now displays with two panes in the browser window: a table of contents in the left pane and the selected entry in the right pane. The contents of the guide has been reviewed and revised as necessary with all new images included.
• The creator for HTML files was changed to "udog" in order to launch Safari. Of course, you can change the default brower in Safari preferences or in an HTML file's Get Info window.
• Many subordinate windows such as alerts and various dialogs were made into "sheet" windows, which drop down within the containing window.
• You can now control-click (right-click with most mice) anywhere in notes and the Edit menu will popup, with all of its relevant menu items available for selection.
• Possible problems in notes and any linkage problems are now completely listed in new scrolling windows.
• Notes in family group sheets for parents are not duplicated in multiple marriages.
• "Faster open and save dialogs" and their preference item were removed.
• A few obscure errors that had gone undetected prior to this version were corrected.
• Since there have been numerous complaints about the previous default background color of turquoise, the default has been changed to the more neutral crayon color named Silver (a light gray). A suggested compatible highlight color option in the system preference Appearance panel is Graphite. But feel free to change the background color in PAWriter preferences and/or the highlight color in system preferences to whatever is pleasing to you.

MacFamilyTree 5.6.5

Full Featured - Mac - Purchase

MacFamilyTree 5.6.5 has been released.


• Improved date handling and fixed caching algorithm which could lead to wrong sorting of events.
• Date format pane crash bug fixed.
• Russian localization added.
• Minor user interface improvements.

LongFamilyHistory 2.6.2

Full Featured - Windows - Purchase

LongFamilyHistory 2.6.2 has been released.


• Now you can save the charts in JPEG format too.
• When viewing the album images it is possible to zoom in and change the brightness and the contrast as well.
• New main tab page: 'Source repositories'.

Cem-Editor 2.1.0005b

Transcriptions & Indexes - Windows - Purchase

Cem-Editor 2.1.0005b has been released.


• This is an update to the installation file to install the OVSViewer which allows viewing of both CemEditor and ObitEditor data. The installed version 2.1.0005 is not changed.

Brother's Keeper 6.3.33

Full Featured - Windows - Shareware

Brother's Keeper 6.3.33 has been released.


• On the All Relatives report, changed maximum name length from 40 to 60 characters.
• On the All Relatives report, if you ask for relatives of spouses, it will also include the other spouses of the spouse of the starting person.
• On the All Relatives report, sometimes the non-English version would print 'options' or 'printer font' instead of the word 'of'.
• When you pick Help, How to Register, there is a new button there to go to the online store on the Internet.
• On the Register Book report, if you asked for the names of living people to be changed to 'living' and if you also asked for the lineage back to the starting person after each name, it would sometimes show the name of an ancestor that was living in the lineage.

6 November 2009

Collector Finds Unseen Charlie Chaplin Film In Tin Sold For £3.20 On eBay

Morace Park was footling around on eBay looking for antiques when he stumbled on an item that was listed casually as an "old film" – and even then he was really more interested in the tin it was in.

"It had a lovely look to it," said Park. But the contents of the battered container, which he bought for the princely sum of £3.20, have turned out to be a previously unknown film by Charlie Chaplin.

Park – who, when he is not buying and selling antiques as a hobby, runs a company that develops products with inventors – bought the film "from someone else who deals in bits and bobs". When his parcel arrived, he didn't even bother to open it for a while. But when he did, he unfurled a little of the film and saw the title: Charlie Chaplin in Zepped. "I Googled it," he said, "and then my interest was pricked. I couldn't find any sign of it on the internet."

Source & Full Story

UK Kids Think Hitler 'Was German Football Coach'

One in 20 British children think Adolf Hitler was Germany's national football coach, while six percent believe the Holocaust was a celebration at the end of World War II, according to a new poll.

One in five also mixed up Hitler's propaganda chief Joseph Goebbels with Anne Frank, the young Jewish girl who wrote a diary of her time hiding from the Nazis in an attic.

The results of the multiple choice poll, published by a war veterans' charity, reveal that while a majority of children have basic knowledge about the two world wars, a significant minority have no clue.

The survey of 2,000 children was published ahead of Remembrance Day on November 11, when many western nations celebrate the signing of the armistice that ended World War I.

Source & Full Story

Face To Face With The 'Lost' 85 Diggers Of The French Battlefield Of Fromelles

For the first time two Australian researchers have painstakingly pieced together the stories of the dead from a French battlefield. Paola Totaro reports.

He calls her Marples and she affectionately refers to him as Sherlock. He's a determined, quiet cop with a forensic background; she's a chatty grandmother with degrees in social research and 30 years' genealogy experience.

They live vastly different lives but West Australian Sandra Playle and Victorian Tim Lycett are united by a singular passion: to give identities to the men buried in the shadow of Fromelles' tiny Pheasant Wood. These men, even boys, died on July 19-20, 1916, in what the Australian War Memorial calls Australia's ''worst 24 hours''. In a battle intended in part as a diversion to the Battle of the Somme, 80 kilometres to the south, Australians saw their first action on the Western Front; 5533 of them were killed, wounded or captured.

Source & Full Story

Early English Laws

Early English Laws is a project to publish online and in print new editions and translations of all English legal codes, edicts, and treatises produced up to the time of Magna Carta 1215. The research questions, problems, context, and method driving the project are discussed in Project Description.

It is supported by a collaboration between the Institute of Historical Research at the University of London and the Centre for Computing in the Humanities at Kings College London. The AHRC has provided initial funding for the first three years of the project (2009–2011).

UK: Digitisation Of GRO's Births, Marriages And Deaths Records

The digitisation of GRO's births, marriages and deaths records is moving forward and a new project, called the Digitisation and Indexing (D&I) Project, has been initiated.

The new project covers the digitisation of the records themselves together with indexing and upgrading the online certificate ordering process.

Until such time as it is able to provide an online index, GRO will continue to make a full set of the GRO indexes freely available in microfiche format at several libraries and record offices across England and Wales. Further information on the current location of the microfiche indexes can be found on the Directgov website.

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Iconic Photo Of JFK Assassin Oswald Was Not Faked, Professor Finds

Dartmouth computer scientist Hany Farid has new evidence regarding a photograph of accused John F. Kennedy assassin Lee Harvey Oswald. Farid, a pioneer in the field of digital forensics, digitally analyzed an iconic image of Oswald pictured in a backyard setting holding a rifle in one hand and Marxist newspapers in the other.

Oswald and others claimed that the incriminating photo was a fake, noting the seemingly inconsistent lighting and shadows. After analyzing the photo with modern-day forensic tools, Farid says the photo almost certainly was not altered.

"If we had found evidence of photo tampering, then it would have suggested a broader plot to kill JFK," said Farid, who is also the director of the Neukom Institute for Computational Science at Dartmouth.

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5 November 2009

Archaeologists Track Infamous Conquistador Through Southeast North America

Archaeologists at Atlanta's Fernbank Museum of Natural History have discovered unprecedented evidence that helps map Hernando de Soto's journey through the Southeast North America in 1540. No evidence of De Soto's path between Tallahassee and North Carolina has been found until now, and few sites have been located anywhere.

Fernbank's Curator of Native American Archaeology, Dennis Blanton, has amassed an impressive collection of objects that reveal a probable stop in today's Telfair County, Geogia, USA, a location important not only for its critical mass of de Soto-era artifacts but also for its position off the previously predicted route. He'll present a scholarly paper before colleagues at the Southeastern Archaeological Conference on November 5 in Mobile, Alabma, USA.

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ProQuest Offers Online Access to More than 90 Years of the Detroit Free Press (1831‐1922)

News from the Motor City — from before statehood to the American Civil War to the birth and growth of the automotive industry — is now available in ProQuest Historical Newspapers, the definitive digital archive offering cover-to-cover, full-text, and full-image articles for significant newspapers dating back to the 18th Century.

The Detroit Free Press (1831‐1922) provides one of the deepest historical files and comprehensive coverage of the social, political and economic development of the Midwest, and offers new avenues into understanding the history of Detroit and Michigan.

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4 November 2009

Scottish Amateur 'Stunned' After £1m Find

An Iron Age treasure hoard unearthed by a metal-detecting amateur has been unveiled.

The four gold Iron Age neck ornaments, or torcs, date from between the 1st and 3rd Century BC and are said to be worth an estimated £1m.

They were discovered in September by "first-time" metal-detector enthusiast David Booth in a field in Stirlingshire, Scotland.

The find is the most important hoard of Iron Age gold in Scotland to date.

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Fort Wayne, Indiana, USA, To Help Fund Library Lincoln Collection

Fort Wayne, Indiana, USA, will likely spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to protect the Lincoln Foundation Collection at the Allen County Public Library.

Tuesday night, city council passed a proposal out of committee to provide $250,000 to support the collection.

The money will come from Community Economic Development funds. The "Friends of the Lincoln Foundation Collection" requested the financial help.

The money will be used to make collection items available on the Internet and pay staff members.

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The Story Of The Abandoned 'Rainbow Baby'

When just a few days old, David Stevenson was abandoned outside a flat in London. Forty-nine years later, he's trying to piece together what happened on that fateful day in 1960.

Taking a deep breath, David Stevenson felt like he was opening his life story and about to read the first page.

Inside the red-brick mansion building in front of him, in the winter sunshine, lay the clues to his true identity.

He imagined being carried through those front doors in his mother's arms, 38 years before, then her leaving empty-handed, never to see her son again.

This was his first visit, in 1998, to the flats in north London where he was abandoned as a newborn baby.

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Sisters Who Married On The Same Day After Outbreak Of World War Two Celebrate 140 Years Of Wedded Bliss

Two sisters who were married on the same day in 1939 are celebrating a combined 140 years of wedded bliss.

Doris and Margaret Wiles married their husbands in a double wedding 70 years ago, just after Britain declared war on Germany on September 3 1939.

The girls, terrified they or their partners would be killed, tied the knot on October 21 at a Manchester chapel, convinced that however uncertain their futures, they wanted to marry their sweethearts.

The sisters have since lived rich and happy lives, and now have seven children, 24 grandchildren and 34 great-grandchildren between them.

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Family Name To Be Preserved At Former St Edmond's Hospital Site In Northampton, England

A room in the former St Edmond's Hospital site will be named after the great-grandfather of a woman from Northampton who has desperately tried to keep her family name alive.

Jenny Cotton-Howells, aged 47, of Abington, Northampton, has won the recognition for George Cotton, a Northampton surgeon in the 18th century.

He helped many people at the Northampton Union Workhouse, the former St Edmond's Hospital site in Wellingborough Road, and was known to not eat until the poor had eaten first.

The Cotton name has been passed down through generations. Jenny's father was also George Cotton.

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IS&T Archiving Conference 2010

The first IS&T Archiving Conference was held in 2004. Currently, the conference location alternates between the US and Europe.

Since the first meeting, Archiving has continued to offer a unique opportunity for imaging scientists and those working in the cultural heritage community (curators, archivists, librarians, etc.), as well as in government, industry, and academia, to come together to discuss the most pressing issues related to the digital preservation and stewardship of hardcopy, audio, and video.

Next Archiving Conference:

Dates: June 1 - June 4, 2010
Location: Den Haag, The Netherlands

The latest information for the next Archiving conference is found at

GenQueries: The Online Database of Genealogy Queries

Dick Eastman has launched, The Online Database of Genealogy Queries. is a free service that provides an online database for genealogy queries for individuals as well as advertisements for societies, professional and amateur genealogy researchers, authors, publishers, genealogy web sites, adoptee searches, and more.

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3 November 2009

ITV's Sale Of Friends Reunited Could Breach Competition Law

ITV was told today that it might not be allowed to sell Friends Reunited, even for a £145 million loss.

The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) ruled that ITV’s attempt to sell Friends for £25 million to the owner of two genealogy sites could breach competition law.

ITV must now convince the Competition Commission to allow it to sell off Friends, which the broadcaster bought for £170 million and once hoped would make a viable British competitor to Facebook before its profits collapsed. Friends’ most successful property is its Genes Reunited genealogy site, but because Brightsolid, the prospective buyer, owns and 1911 the OFT is worried about the reduction in the number of players in that sector.

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Tennessee Tombstone Found Under Ohio Home

Residents of a small Ohio town have discovered an old tombstone but cannot find the grave it is supposed to mark.

The tombstone was found under a mobile home in Goshen, Ohio, but records indicate that it belongs in Saint Joseph, Tennessee.

The name inscribed is Lester Gaston Sr., a salesman from Tennessee who died in 1922.

From his death certificate, Goshen city officials believe he was buried in the Saint Joseph Cemetery, but they cannot find his grave or a record of burial.

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2 November 2009

AGeneDb 0.4.01-alpha

PDAs and Handhelds - Freeware/Open Source

AGeneDb 0.4.01-alpha has been released.


• Updated import GEDCOM.

Protect the Privacy of Living People in your GeneaNet Family Tree

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

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

GeneaNet - Gestion des contemporainsShow/Hide Living Individuals

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

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

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

Remove living persons from your online family tree

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

Expert Options - Advanced Access Rights

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

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

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

1 November 2009

Rare Books Don’t Always Live in Glass Cases

STANDING among the 10,000 rare books in the stacks of the Linda Hall Library in Kansas City, Bruce Bradley, the director of the history of science special collections, pulls out a copy of “The Starry Messenger,” the revelatory book in which Galileo detailed his astronomical observations made with his own “spyglass” — the instrument that would later be known as the telescope.

“Treat it with care,” Mr. Bradley said as he gently handed me the library’s first edition, one of the more than 500 initially printed in Latin as “Sidereus Nucius.” The library paid $38,000 for the book in 1988 — at the time the costliest book the library had ever bought. But it’s hardly the only jewel in a collection of 500,000 books, journals and pamphlets that make this private library among the largest science libraries in the world. Also in its stacks are Isaac Newton’s “Principia,” the 1687 book that presented his laws of gravity, and Copernicus’s 1543 “On the Revolutions of the Celestial Spheres,” among other noteworthy works.

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