Genealogy Blog

28 February 2010

GeneoTree 3.31

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

GeneoTree 3.31 has been released.


• Compliant with all PHP & MySQL release.

The mtDNA Composition Of Uzbekistan: A Microcosm Of Central Asian Patterns

In order to better characterize and understand the mtDNA population genetics of Central Asia, the mtDNA control regions of over 1,500 individuals from Uzbekistan have been sequenced. Although all samples were obtained from individuals residing in Uzbekistan, individuals with direct ancestry from neighboring Central Asian countries are included.

Individuals of Uzbek ancestry represent five distinct geographic regions of Uzbekistan: Fergana, Karakalpakstan, Khorezm, Qashkadarya, and Tashkent. Individuals with direct ancestry in nearby countries originate from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, and Tajikistan. Our data reinforce the evidence of distinct clinal patterns that have been described among Central Asian populations with classical, mtDNA, and Y-chromosomal markers.

Source & Full Story

Canada's Last WWI Vet Honoured In U.S.

John Babcock, Canada's last known First World War veteran, was being honoured Saturday in a memorial service in his adopted hometown in Washington state.

Babcock died earlier this month in his home in Spokane at the age of 109.

Veterans Affairs Minister Jean-Pierre Blackburn and General Walter Natynczyk, Canada's chief of defence staff, were attending the service in Spokane.

Blackburn was to present Babcock's widow with the flag that flew over Parliament on Feb. 18, the day he died.

Source & Full Story

27 February 2010 Will Close On March 10th

Megan Smolenyak has posted the following announcement:

Dear Viewer,

It's with mixed feelings that I'm sharing the news that I will be closing (RTV) as of March 10th. Back in 2006, RTV was launched to fill a void. As I wrote at the time:

"We've been perplexed for a long time. These days, there's a horse channel, a wine channel, a sailing channel, a poker channel, a guitar channel, and even a shipwreck channel. So why, we wondered, isn't there a channel servicing the millions of people interested in genealogy and family history?"

The good news is that this yawning gap is now being filled. Genealogy is finally going mainstream. Some of you are probably already watching Faces of America on PBS and The Generations Project on BYU. And many, I'm sure, have heard of the imminent launch on NBC of Who Do You Think You Are? (a series I'm proud to be affiliated with, and for which, I wrote the companion book). The non-genealogical world is finally waking up to the long overlooked potential of what we roots-sleuths do on a daily basis, as you can read in this article: Roots TV Becomes New Branch of Reality TV.

Source & Full Story

Haiti: Digital Archivists Work To Save Rare Books, Historical Documents

The rumors traveled urgently from Haiti: Beyond all the death and wreckage, one of the nation's greatest exports -- its cultural scholarship -- was buried that awful afternoon in January.

The three largest heritage libraries and the National Archives -- keepers of much of Haiti's complicated, heroic, rich story -- were reportedly lost to the random nature of earthquakes.

Within days of the Jan. 12 disaster, a university staffer 750 miles away worked frantically to deliver better news: the buildings were shaken but still standing; their precious rare books, manuscripts, newspapers and brochures had been spared. And the people who spend day after day caring for the collections were all safe.

Source & Full Story

26 February 2010

Michelle Obama's Roots: Proving Your Freedom (Over and Over Again)

More about Michelle Obama by Megan Smolenyak:

Not long ago, I wrote about Michelle Obama's family in Henry County, Virginia and shared this document in which her Jumper ancestors indicated that they had been free before Emancipation. In the columns where others listed the names of their last owner, Peter and Dolly Jumper simply said "free."

While this certainly made the Jumpers a distinct minority, many aren't aware that approximately ten percent of African Americans were free prior to Emancipation. This is an important reality for anyone interested in African American genealogy because those of us living today had quite a few ancestors back in the 1860s. Depending on your age and assuming generations of roughly 25 years, you might have had approximately 16, 32 or 64 direct line forebears at the time (two parents, four grandparents, eight great-grandparents, etc.). And with so many branches in your family tree, there's a decent chance that at least one of them was free.

Source & Full Story

1,700 Pairs Shoes Stolen From Mourners At Funerals In South Korea

A hoard of 1,700 pairs shoes have gone on display in South Korea, in the hope their owners will come to reclaim them.

Police believe the suspect, a second-hand shop owner who was arrested earlier this month, stole the shoes from mourners at funerals over a number of years.

Source + Video

Stolen René Descartes Letter Is Being Returned to Its French Home

It was the Great Train Robbery of French intellectual life: thousands of treasured documents that vanished from the Institut de France in the mid-1800s, stolen by an Italian mathematician. Among them were 72 letters by René Descartes, the founding genius of modern philosophy and analytic geometry.

Now one of those purloined letters has turned up at a small private college in eastern Pennsylvania, providing scholars with another keyhole into one of the Western world’s greatest minds.

The letter, dated May 27, 1641, concerns the publication of “Meditations on First Philosophy,” a celebrated work whose use of reason and scientific methods helped to ignite a revolution in thought.

Source & Full Story

Lisa Kudrow On Her Special Bond With The Long-Lost Relative Who Revealed Her Family's Tragic Past

Lisa Kudrow makes a journey to eastern Europe to uncover a story horribly familiar to Jewish families who lived through World War II.

Kudrow travelled to Ilya in Belarus, which had a thriving Jewish community before the war.

There the TV show's researchers uncovered meticulously kept town records showing that Lisa's great-grandmother, Mera Mordejovich, had been 'killed and burned' with 900 Jews in the town.

Visiting Ilya's market square, a possible site of Mera's death, Lisa was shaken. 'The people were stripped, shot and burned,' she says.

Source & Full Story

The Complete Genealogy Reporter 2010 build 100224

Family Books - Windows - Shareware

The Complete Genealogy Reporter 2010 build 100224 has been released.


• Improved: Processing and reporting of date phrases (dates specified as texts within parentheses instead of an actual date).

Cem-Editor 2.1.00006

Transcriptions & Indexes - Windows - Purchase

Cem-Editor 2.1.00006 has been released.


• On previous versions when the large image preview is displaying it would only display new images if one of the image buttons are pressed. The image now updates as the user moves through the records.
• When opening previous version database, if the user chose not to update a dialog displayed stating that the user chose not to update. This dialog is unnecessary and has been removed.
• For compatibility with the UAC in Vista, Windows 7 and above the method of checking has changed to sending the software release date to our server when a user chooses to check for updates. This avoids the UAC disallowing a non administrative user from checking to see if a newer version is available. The only info sent is the software release date of the installed CemEditor. No personal information is sent. This update is compatible with Windows 98 to current versions of Windows.

25 February 2010

German Officer Who Helped Save Bordeaux's Port From Destruction By Nazi Forces In World War II Has Died

A former German officer who helped save Bordeaux's port from destruction by Nazi forces in World War II has died.

Henri Salmide, born Heinz Stahlschmidt, died Tuesday at the age of 92, Alain Moga, the deputy mayor of Bordeaux, said.

The Germans had a plan to blow up the Bordeaux port before they retreated toward the end of the war.

Approximately 4,000 fuses needed for the plan were stored in the Mediterranean city's munitions depot. Salmide, then a junior officer in the German navy, defied his superiors and blew up the depot, rendering the fuses useless and saving the port, Moga said.

Source & Full Story

Alistair Urquhart: The Man Who Refused To Die

They came to think of themselves as the forgotten army - the men who endured years of suffering in Japanese Prisoner of War Camps during World War II.

Alistair Urquhart, then a 22-year-old Gordon Highlander from Aberdeen, became a prisoner of war without firing a shot.

This is a story of almost unimaginable suffering. The POWs were transported deep into Thailand on rice trucks that were more like steel coffins.

He, with hundreds of others, was marched through the jungle to a prison camp. Many died from dehydration and exhaustion on the long march.

Source & Full Story

British Library Warns UK's Web Heritage 'Could Be Lost'

The UK's online heritage could be lost forever if the government does not grant a "right to archive", a group of leading libraries has said.

The British Library, along with other institutions, has been archiving UK websites since 2004 but has only been able to cover 6,000 of an estimated 8m.

Currently, it must ask permission from website owners before archiving them.

The group, which has just made its UK Web Archive available to the public, warned of "a digital black hole".

Source & Full Story

DNA Tests Used to Identify Dead Soldier from Korean War

DNA testing has identified the remains of a South Korean soldier believed to be killed during the Korean War, only the third such case using DNA results in South Korea, the defense ministry said Thursday.

The remains have been identified as belonging to the late Pfc. Yang Son-ho, who was 27 years old at the time, after forensic experts at the defense ministry confirmed his DNA information matching those of his 60-year-old daughter, according to the ministry.

Yang's remains were discovered in 2007 in Gapyeong, roughly 60 km from Seoul, after the government began a project in 2000 to locate and unearth missing military personnel from the Korean War that lasted from 1950 to 1953.

Source & Full Story

National Library of Australia to Digitize 'Missing' Copies of Australian Women's Weekly

The National Library of Australia is committed to preserving Australia's most loved magazines - The Australian Women's Weekly by digitizing the iconic magazine from its first issue on 10th June 1933 to when it changed into a monthly, on 15 December 1982, so it will be available online for future generations to enjoy.

Working together with the Women's Weekly's publisher, Australian Consolidated Press and the State Library of New South Wales, the National Library has called for the public's help to find some missing issues to fill in gaps in the magazine's library collection.

Director-General of the National Library, Jan Fullerton, said the digitization process combined cutting-edge technology with a 76-year-old Aussie icon.

Source & Full Story

Lisa Simpson Researches Her Ancestors

In an episode entitled The Color Yellow (Season 21, Episode 13), Lisa Simpson researches her ancestors for a school project and learns that her Southern forebears helped a slave escape to freedom.

Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4

24 February 2010

389 Years of African-American History Carved in Solid Wood

The election of President Barack Obama has awakened a sense of achievement, purpose and history in America. Sometimes, it is the presentation that brings history into perspective. In ways that are not possible with other mediums, the wood carving traces events in African-American history starting with the arrival of the first slave ship all the way through the election of Barack Obama as President.

Beyond printed pages in a history book, the words are carved in a museum quality piece of art that chronicles the triumphs and tragedy of the African-American experience.

In celebration of Black History month, is offering this carving for sale. Once available only to museums and exhibitions, this carving is suitable and ready for display at home.

Source & Full Story

Online Archive Of UK Science Launches

The British Library has begun a project to create a vast, online oral history and archive of British science.

The three-year project will see 200 British scientists interviewed and their recollections recorded for the audio library.

An advisory board will help the project pick key technological innovators and scientists for the archive.

The interviews will be put online to form a permanent record of the way British science has been practiced.

Source & Full Story

Wireless tombstones communicate from beyond the grave

Tombstone engravings inevitably fade, but Arizona company Objecs says its virtual engravings last for several millennia.

Objecs’ RosettaStones are granite tablets that can be installed into tombstones, and can communicate with cell phones using radio-frequency identification. Each tablet contains up to six symbols, which communicate some basic information about the deceased, such as their home country, occupation and religion. When someone touches an RFID-enabled cellphone to the tablet, the phone instantly calls up an image of the deceased, along with a text description.

RFID, which uses one physical object to automatically call up information when placed near another object, won’t become common on U.S. cell phones until 2012. Phones without RFID can still call up the information through a Web site listed on the tablet.

Source & Full Story

Michelle Obama's Roots: "Colored Persons Cohabiting ... on 27th February, 1866"

President Obama's election was no doubt historic, but in a sense, the presence of Michelle Obama in the White House is even more remarkable. She, daughters Malia and Sasha, and her mother, Marian (Shields) Robinson, are the first descendants of slaves to reside at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue as members of the first family.

Last year, I spent nine months researching Mrs. Obama's ancestry, and some of my findings were shared in the New York Times, including the tale of her great-great-grandfather, Dolphus Shields and his mother, Melvina McGruder.

"First Grandma" Marian's family lived in Chicago, so I don't know whether she ever met her Alabama-based great-grandfather Dolphus, but she would have been 12 years old when he passed away. I mention this because Dolphus was born into slavery, yet lived long enough to overlap the life of a White House-bound descendant.

Source & Full Story

23 February 2010

Generation Maps Announces Release Date For Family ChArtist

Generation Maps today announced the release date for Family ChArtist, an exciting new genealogy chart creation tool. Family ChArtist is a new web application that will make creating and designing beautiful genealogy charts easier and faster than ever before.

Family ChArtist is being showcased this weekend at the Family History Expo in St. George, Utah and will be released to the general public with an all new Generation Maps website at 12 noon Mountain Standard Time on March 8th.

Source & Full Story

22 February 2010

Announcing the Family Tree Magazine 40 Best Genealogy Blogs

Family Tree Magazine announces its 40 Best Genealogy Blogs.

Here are my some of my favorites:

- GeneaBloggers by Thomas MacEntee
- Genea-Musings by Randy Seaver
- The Association of Graveyard Rabbits by several authors
- The Genetic Genealogist by Blaine Bettinger
- Genealogy Guys by George G. Morgan and Drew Smith
- DearMyrtle by Pat Richley-Erickson

Ancient Wall Possibly Built by King Solomon

A section of an ancient city wall of Jerusalem from the tenth century B.C.E. (between 1000 BC and 901 BC), possibly built by King Solomon, has been revealed in archaeological excavations.

The section of wall, about 230 feet long (70 meters) and 19 feet (6 meters) high, is located in the area known as the Ophel, between the City of David and the southern wall of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.

Found in the city wall complex: an inner gatehouse for access into the royal quarter of the city; a royal structure adjacent to the gatehouse; and a corner tower that overlooks a substantial section of the adjacent Kidron valley.

Source & Full Story

National Veterans Foundation Releases Iwo Jima Battle Documentary for 65th Anniversary of Flag Raising

Tuesday, February 23rd will be the 65th Anniversary of the raising of the American flag at the Battle of Iwo Jima. In honor of World War II Veterans and this important date, the National Veterans Foundation (NVF) announces the release of Semper Fi, an historical tribute to the courage, valor, and sacrifice of the U.S. heroes who turned the tide of World War II, and paved the way to victory.

This 20-minute mini documentary uses original battlefield footage shot by the U.S. Military to tell the story of the Iwo Jima battle, during which Marines sustained their heaviest casualties of the war.

The video can be seen in its entirety at

Source & Full Story

The Complete Genealogy Reporter 2010 build 100221

Family Books - Windows - Shareware

The Complete Genealogy Reporter 2010 build 100221 has been released.


• Fixed: Formatting issues with Word document output.

The Complete Genealogy Builder 2010 build 100221

Full Featured - Windows - Shareware

The Complete Genealogy Builder 2010 build 100221 has been released.


• New: Tool to convert all Library Note references to Private Note references.
• New: "Export" preference to include unreferenced Library Notes.

Pocket Genealogist 3.43

PDAs and Handhelds - PDAs and Handhelds - Purchase

Pocket Genealogist 3.43 has been released.


• Desktop/Device: (Advanced) Support for Legacy direct imports.
• Norwegian Language Update.

GenealogyJ 3.0

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

GenealogyJ 3.0 has been released.


• UI: new MDI paradigm with all views in one workbench
• Usability: edit operations available in top level workbench menus
• Usability: reorganization of menu items/easy access (Edit, Tools, Reports)
• Usability: 5 recent files File menu
• Usability: date entry fields understand separator during entry (e.g. typing 5.5.1970)
• Usability: drag&pan in various views
• Usability: various simplifications, ease of use improvements, tweaks of the interface
• Usability: quick lists for references/relationships of persons in editor
• Feature: editor handles multiple media for individuals, events, etc.
• Feature: screenshot to clipboard (tree, timeline)
• Feature: option to print NxM & scale-to-fit
• Feature: removal of rendering file limitations - auto-derive suitable media to render in trees (blueprints)
• Platform: Windows Vista/7 compatible installer
• Platform: Mac compatible Application w/ Mac feel
• Data: option to maintain SURN|GIVN information
• Data: option to maintain AGE information
• Data: option to auto correct names/surnames

21 February 2010

Daughter Discovers A Genealogy Gold Mine In Father's Letters

In the upstairs rec room of her home on Lake Concord, Florida, USA, Joanie Schirm has spread her father's life over a leather-sheathed pool table. Curled black-and-white photographs spill from overstuffed envelopes. There's a stack of home movie canisters, plastic filing boxes with hanging folders of documents, and thick binders with letters written in Czech 70 years ago.

Her father, Oswald Holzer, a Jewish physician, deserted the Czechoslovakian Army in 1939 as Nazi Germany overtook the country and conscripted the army. He ended up in China where, eight days after they met, he married Ruth Alice Lequear on Sept. 20, 1940.

Nearly 60 years later, when Oswald and Ruth died within three days of each other, Schirm and her siblings discovered 534 documents dating back to 1885 and including 392 letters written to her father by 78 different people during World War II.

Source & Full Story

20 February 2010

Bibliothèque Nationale de France Buys Casanova Memoirs For £6 Million

Two and a half centuries after Giacomo Casanova was hounded from Paris, the Venetian adventurer returned to his adopted home when the State acquired his memoirs for £6 million.

The only manuscript of Casanova’s Histoire de ma vie, one of the literary treasures of the 18th century, was bought from the Brockhaus publishing firm in Germany, which had owned it since 1821.

An anonymous “financial enterprise” provided most of the money for the Bibliothèque Nationale de France to buy the 3,700 pages, after two years of negotiations. Frédéric Mitterrand, the Culture Minister, who signed the deal, described it as one of the most spectacular acquisitions ever made by a French library.

Source & Full Story

Salem Ghosts In Sarah Jessica Parker’s Family Tree?

In "Sex and the City," Sarah Jessica Parker bewitched the Big Apple - and as it turns out, the "“Sex" siren may be descended from witches!

The New England Historic Genealogical Society researched SJP’s family tree for a new NBC show "“Who Do You Think You Are?" and discovered her family line "is connected to the Salem Witch Trials of 1692," a Society spokesman said.

Researcher Josh Taylor worked with Parker in Boston last year to trace her roots for the show that takes a peek into the family history of a number of famous faces.

Source & Full Story

Every Picture Tells A Story

A keen genealogist has managed to solve the mystery behind a photograph of a soldier which has had her family baffled for years.

Maxine Speakman, from Great Sankey, Cheshire, England, took up the challenge to find out who the man was in the picture labelled only with the date 'October 1, 1918'.

After four weeks of researching she discovered it was her great grandmother’s uncle.

During her archive research Maxine, aged 32, also found out the grave of the soldier’s father was just around the corner from her.

Source & Full Story

A German Library For The 21st Century

The German Digital Library wants to make millions of books, films, images and audio recordings accessible online. More than 30,000 libraries, museums and archives are expected to contribute their digitized cultural artifacts. The idea, in part, is to compete with Google Books. But will it work?

On a good day this reader gets through as many as 1,216 pages per hour. Hissing quietly, devouring book after book. Now and then it says, "Pffft."

This is a state-of-the-art robot at work. It automatically scans every book placed open in front of it. A slender wedge drops down to the fold, sucks in a page from left and right and lifts the goods. It's photographed and with a gentle puff of air -- pffft -- the robot flips the page.

Source & Full Story

19 February 2010

Australia: Shake Your Family Tree Day – 23 February 2010

To encourage more Australians to unearth personal treasures, the National Archives is hosting a Shake Your Family Tree day in each of our capital city offices.

We have information in our vast collection about many Australian families – possibly your own. If members of your family migrated here in the 20th century, served in the defence forces, or worked for, or had any other dealings with, the Australian Government, we’re likely to have something to interest you.

Each Archives office will offer a range of activities including talks, preservation workshops, demonstrations and introductory research training. With expert family historians on hand, visitors will learn how to locate treasures such as letters, photographs, service records, immigration and citizenship applications, employment records, copyright registrations and other government records.

Source & Full Story

ScionPC 7.3

Full Featured - Windows - Freeware

ScionPC 7.3 has been released.


• "Possible Duplicates" report
• Full support for custom, user-defined fact types
• Option to specify records to display on loading a database
• Facility to merge duplicate people
• Facility to merge identical notes, sources and repositories


• Modern versions of Microsoft Word now understand the pictures in reports
• Narrative-style reports now (optionally) document data source references
• Improved GEDCOM compatibility
• Enhanced Regnal Date Converter
• "Copy and paste" of people now includes evidence
• Enhanced "right-click" navigation in Ancestors dialog
• Minor bug fixes and program enhancements.

England: New Battle of Bosworth Field Site Revealed

The true site of one of the most decisive battles in English history has been revealed.

Bosworth, fought in 1485, which saw the death of Richard III, was believed to have taken place on Ambion Hill, near Sutton Cheney in Leicestershire.

But a study of original documents and archaeological survey of the area has now pinpointed a site in fields about a mile to the south west.

The battle ended decades of civil war, which is now known as the Wars of the Roses.

Source & Full Story

Final Canadian WWI Veteran Dies

The last Canadian veteran of World War I has died at the age of 109.

John Babcock enlisted at the age of 15 after lying about his age. He trained in Canada and England but the war ended before he reached the French frontline.

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper said Mr Babcock was Canada's last living link to the Great War.

Just two other veterans of World War I remain alive: American Frank Buckles, also aged 109, and British-born Australian Claude Choules, who is 108.

Source & Full Story

GedView 2.8

PDAs and Handhelds - PDAs and Handhelds - Purchase

GedView 2.8 has been released.


• New databases can be created without importing files.
• A Passcode can be set to prevent unauthorised access to GedView.
• In app user manual, also exists on the support web site should you wish to print or read on a larger screen.
• Support more broken GEDCOM files.
• Bug fixes.

The Complete Genealogy Reporter 2010 build 100209

Family Books - Windows - Shareware

The Complete Genealogy Reporter 2010 build 100209 has been released.


• New: NMR (number of marriages) and NCHI (number of children) data are now processed and reported for individuals.
• Fixed: The feminine form of "one" is now correctly applied when reporting "they had one daughter".
• Fixed: Multi-volume hyperlinked PDF reports are now created correctly as multiple volumes in a single file

Pocket Genealogist 3.42A01

PDAs and Handhelds - PDAs and Handhelds - Purchase

Pocket Genealogist 3.42A01 has been released.


• Support for Legacy (7K) release.
• Norwegian translation update.


Full Featured - Windows - Purchase

GenSmarts has been released.


• This is the general release of a number of small enhancements and fixes that have been under testing as versions x.1.1.63 through x.1.1.80
• One additional bug was fixed relating to how GenSmarts reacts when a Vista/Win7 user migrates from IE7 to IE8
• Fixed bug where Version was mistakenly labeled

Genealogica Grafica 1.12.7

Web Publishing - Windows - Freeware

Genealogica Grafica 1.12.7 has been released.


• Norsk user interface.

GedSpy 0.7g

GEDCOM Tools - Windows - Purchase

GedSpy 0.7g has been released.


• Added Register report footnotes
• Added Color Coding (not 100% done)
• Added some new Register Report preferences
• Added "Export Notes to Treepad" under Tools
• Ctrl+F4 to close file
• Added Branch context menus to trees

Ezitree 10.99

Full Featured - Windows - Purchase

Ezitree 10.99 has been released.


• Added names of unlinked children, ancestors, etc, without web pages to index in web output.
• Added details field with birth/death information plus included on reports in research diary.

18 February 2010

WWII Hero Joe Beyrle's Possessions Part Of International Exhibit

His life is the stuff of legends; his story, told around the world.

Now it’s time for the late Joseph R. Beyrle’s war artifacts to make the trip overseas — poignant, personal reminders of the unique spot Muskegon’s best-known World War II veteran holds in history.

Beyrle, who was a paratrooper with the 101st Airborne Division’s Screaming Eagles, is thought to be the only American soldier to fight with both the U.S. and Soviet armies during World War II.

On Thursday, a retrospective of his life — a traveling exhibit called “Jumpin’ Joe Beyrle: A Hero for Two Nations” — will open at the Russian State Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia. The exhibit is timed to coincide with Russia’s Defender of the Fatherland Day celebration Feb. 23, honoring that country’s war veterans.

Source & Full Story

Archbishop Tutu is part Bushman, DNA study reveals

Scientists said Wednesday they had sequenced the genome of Bushmen, the longest-surviving lineage of modern humans, expanding our understanding of genetic diversity and inherited disease.

Comparison of DNA provided by a Bushman elder and South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu showed that Tutu is partly of Bushman heritage, they added.

The 78-year-old Nobel winner voiced "astonishment and delight" at the news, a researcher told AFP.

Bushmen is the collective term for linguistically-distinct groups of hunter-gatherers who inhabit the Kalahari Desert, which straddles parts of Botswana, Namibia and South Africa.

Source & Full Story

Longtime Friends Discover They’re Cousins

Rachel Mallon and Suzanne Hadley met 10 years ago when their 4-year-old sons played T-ball together. The mothers instantly bonded. Over the years, the boys and their subsequent siblings shared elementary school classes, celebrated birthdays together and played on the same sports teams. Hadley and Mallon remained dear friends, living mere blocks from each other in Manhattan Beach.

Recently, Mallon decided to re-explore her mother’s side. Since her mother died when Mallon was just 20, many questions were left unanswered. Mallon looked back over the letter her great aunt had sent her 30 years ago. Her great aunt had mentioned her daughter, Nancy, who had two daughters, Suzanne and Libby. After tracking down Nancy’s Wisconsin phone number, Mallon made the call on Jan. 4. Nancy called back that night.

Source & Full Story

17 February 2010

Red Army Soldier Who Helped Raise Russian Flag Over Hitler's Reichstag Dies

A Red Army soldier who appeared in an iconic photograph of a Soviet flag flying from the ruins of Hitler’s Reichstag has died, aged 93.

Abdulkhakim Ismailov had fought all the way to Berlin from the Battle of Stalingrad three years earlier, where the destruction of the German Sixth Army turned the tide against the Nazi regime in the Second World War.

But he was only recognised half a century later as one of three soldiers raising the Hammer and Sickle flag in a picture that was staged by the Tass photographer Yevgeny Khaldei in May 1945, three days after Berlin fell to the Soviet Army.

Source & Full Story

John, Bill And Tom Are Most Popular Names Of Past 170 Years

There have been more than 2million Johns since central records began in 1837, according to a four-year study of 134million birth certificates.

With naming trends influenced by religion and royalty, the most popular names have mirrored those of saints or monarchs.

And while John has reigned supreme for centuries, it could lose its position to William within a decade, as traditional names like Jack and Harry make a comeback.

The most popular girl’s name is Elizabeth, with 1.6million, closely followed by Mary. The data, compiled from the National Archives, also shows the marked difference in life expectancy through the decades.

Source & Full Story

Vatican Secret Archives Documents (1939-1945) Going Online

The Holy See is planning to publish on the Internet, free of charge, several documents from the Vatican Secret Archives in relation to World War II.

The initiatives is partially in response to a petition from Pave the Way Foundation, an organization dedicated to bridging gaps between religions.

The foundation proposed making digital files of, and later publicizing, some 5125 descriptions and copies of documents from the closed section of the Vatican archives, from the period of March 1939 to May 1945.

Source & Full Story

Study Examines Family Lineage of King Tutankhamun

From September 2007 to October 2009, royal mummies underwent detailed anthropological, radiological, and genetic studies (DNA was extracted from 2 to 4 different biopsies per mummy). In addition to Tutankhamun, 10 mummies (circa 1410-1324 B.C.) possibly or definitely closely related in some way to Tutankhamun were chosen; of these, the identities were certain for only 3. In addition to these 11 mummies, 5 other royal individuals dating to the early New Kingdom (circa 1550-1479 B.C.) were selected that were distinct from the supposed members of the Tutankhamun lineage.

The researchers found that several of the anonymous mummies or those with suspected identities were now able to be addressed by name, which included KV35EL, who is Tiye, mother of the pharaoh Akhenaten and grandmother of Tutankhamun, and the KV55 mummy, who is most probably Akhenaten, father of Tutankhamun. This kinship is supported in that several unique anthropological features are shared by the 2 mummies and that the blood group of both individuals is identical. The researchers identified the KV35YL mummy as likely Tutankhamun's mother.

Source & Full Story

Surplus Used Microfilms Offered For Disposal At The National Archives Of The UK

Following the introduction of online access to digital images in the reading rooms at Kew, The National Archives is disposing of the batches of redundant microfilms listed in the following schedule (see PDF).

The films are offered on an 'as seen' basis with no warranty or guarantee offered as to their quality or completeness. They may not be used for digitisation, publication or any commercial re-use. Any copyright restrictions on the films or their content will remain after disposal. Applications are invited in writing only: by email, webform or letter and only requests for whole batches will be accepted.

The films will be allocated by lottery, carrying out a draw using numbered balls, with a separate draw for each batch. This offer opens on 15 February 2010 at 10:00 UK time and closes on 5 March 2010 at 17:00 UK time. Requests will not be accepted before or after these dates.

Source & Full Story

16 February 2010

Putative Skull of Saint Bridget of Sweden Probably Not Authentic

The putative skull of Saint Bridget (Birgitta) of Sweden that has been kept in a shrine in Vadstena Abbey is probably not authentic. A new study conducted at Uppsala University reveals that the two skulls, believed to be from Saint Bridget and her daughter Catherine (Katarina), are not from maternally related individuals. Furthermore, dating shows that the skulls are not from the time period when Bridget and Catherine lived.

Vadstena parish assigned Associate Professor Marie Allen's research group at Uppsala University's Department of Genetics and Pathology the task of examining DNA from both skulls, in order to confirm kinship and authenticity. A sensitive method based on analysis of the maternally inherited mitochondrial DNA was used to analyse the skulls. This method makes it possible to examine very small amounts of DNA, and it is often a successful analysis on aged and degraded material.

Saint Bridget of Sweden lived between 1303 and 1373, and was canonized in 1391.

Source & Full Story

Should We Clone Neanderthals?

If Neanderthals ever walk the earth again, the primordial ooze from which they will rise is an emulsion of oil, water, and DNA capture beads engineered in the laboratory of 454 Life Sciences in Branford, Connecticut. Over the past 4 years those beads have been gathering tiny fragments of DNA from samples of dissolved organic materials, including pieces of Neanderthal bone. Genetic sequences have given paleoanthropologists a new line of evidence for testing ideas about the biology of our closest extinct relative.

The first studies of Neanderthal DNA focused on the genetic sequences of mitochondria, the microscopic organelles that convert food to energy within cells. In 2005, however, 454 began a collaborative project with the Max Planck Institute in Leipzig, Germany, to sequence the full genetic code of a Neanderthal woman who died in Croatia's Vindija cave 30,000 years ago. As the Neanderthal genome is painstakingly sequenced, the archaeologists and biologists who study it will be faced with an opportunity that seemed like science fiction just 10 years ago. They will be able to look at the genetic blueprint of humankind's nearest relative and understand its biology as intimately as our own.

Source & Full Story

Family Tree DNA Announces Family Finder

Family Tree DNA announces Family Finder: "With our autosomal Family Finder test you may extend the power of genetic genealogy to all of your ancestors. Using a test of your own DNA, you can discover connections to descendants of all sixteen of your great-great-grandparents! The Family Finder test will not only open avenues for traditional research but will help you discover the hidden connections that could explain your family’s migrations.

We place you in control. When you take the Family Finder test, your results are compared against our Family Finder database. Your list of matches is designed to be quickly sorted to allow you to focus on your near or distant cousins. Because email addresses are provided for easy communication with your near or distant cousins you will be able to share research easily. We notify you by email when you have new matches. Your raw data file is freely available for download."

FTDNA Family Finder

15 February 2010

A Treasure Trove Of Film From The BBC Archives Goes Online

"I'm in the depths of the vast BBC archive, a collection of 12 million artefacts including 600,000 hours of television content and 350,000 hours of radio.

With its endless shelves of Beta tapes, VHS and DVDs and row upon row of canned film stored together like weights in a gymnasium, this former greetings card factory in an industrial estate near London's Heathrow Airport, is but one of 25 buildings across Britain that house this extraordinary resource. At Caversham in Berkshire there are more than six miles of BBC documents; the contracts, correspondence and expenses claims behind eight decades of broadcasting."

Source & Full Story

AdViews: A Digital Archive of Vintage Television Commercials

AdViews is a digital archive of thousands of vintage television commercials dating from the 1950s to the 1980s. These commercials were created or collected by the ad agency Benton & Bowles or its successor, D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles (DMB&B). Founded in 1929, Benton & Bowles was a New York advertising agency that merged with D'Arcy Masius McManus in 1985 to form DMB&B. Major clients included are Procter & Gamble, Kraft, Schick, Vicks, and Post, among others. Commercials will be added in phased batches over several months in 2009. The commercials are a part of the D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles Archives found at the John W. Hartman Center for Sales, Advertising & Marketing History in Duke University's Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections Library.

Access AdViews

The GeneaNet Collection Has Been Improved

The GeneaNet Collection offers more than 200 million digitized documents to go further in your genealogy research!

The GeneaNet Collection contains:

- Library: Almanacs, military directories, etc. with name index (Club Privilege Members), Monographs, bibliographies, genealogy works, etc. provided by our partners (Pay per View).
- Census: Transcriptions provided by our partners (Club Privilege Members & Pay per View).
- Announcements: Digitized French announcements (Pay per View).

The search engine has been improved so you can now enter many search terms:

You can also browse the Collection by country/county.

12 February 2010

Cuba and Venezuela to Prepare ALBA Archives

"We are included in the ALBA’s Cultural Project, approved by the 2008 Caracas Summit Meeting, and we are training staff from the countries that make up the integrationist mechanism”, declared Martha Ferriol, general director of ANRC, founded on January 28 ,1840.

She announced a joint commitment to create a digital catalogue about the data of all of the most relevant revolutionary processes and revolutions of the region, which will be released on the occasion of the Bicentenary of the Venezuelan Independence Declaration, this coming April 19, 2010.

According to the official, four Cuban experts will travel on Feb 4 to Caracas for 15 days where they will cooperate with their colleagues in the production of this electronic compilation.

Source & Full Story

11 February 2010

National Library of Ireland Appoints New Director

The Chairman and Board of the National Library of Ireland announced today that Fiona Ross has been appointed to serve as Director of the National Library of Ireland.

Commenting on the appointment, the Chairman of the Board of the National Library of Ireland, Gerry Danaher, SC, said: “We are very excited to welcome Fiona Ross as the National Library of Ireland’s new Director. Fiona has excellent leadership skills and has extensive experience in marketing and communications. I have no doubt that her experience, combined with her broadly based academic background, including her honours degree in History and English, will be a considerable asset to the Library in the challenges it faces in a demanding and ever-changing service environment “.

Source & Full Story

10 February 2010

Ancient DNA Points To Additional New World Migration

A 4,000-year-old Greenland man just entered the scientific debate over the origins of prehistoric populations in the Americas.

A nearly complete sequence of nuclear DNA extracted from strands of the long-dead man’s hair — the first such sequence obtained from an ancient person — highlights a previously unknown and relatively recent migration of northeastern Asians into the New World about 5,500 years ago, scientists say.

An analysis of differences, or mutations, at single base pairs on the ancient Greenlander’s nuclear genome indicates that his father’s ancestors came from northeastern Siberia, report geneticist Morten Rasmussen of the Natural History Museum of Denmark in Copenhagen and his colleagues in the Feb. 11 Nature.

Source & Full Story

Wrong Flag Used In Fromelles Burials

The Federal Opposition has revealed that an inaccurate version of the Australian flag was flown at last month's burial ceremony for Australian World War I soldiers in northern France.

The Veterans Affairs Department has confirmed problems with the flag involved one of the stars on the Southern Cross being in the wrong place.

It also had the Union Jack upside down and was a different shape.

The department says the problem is a matter for the Army, which conducted the ceremony in Fromelles.

Source & Full Story

9 February 2010

Bee Docs' Timeline 2.10

Timeline - Mac - Purchase

Bee Docs' Timeline 2.10 has been released.


• Input Managers known to cause conflicts are now blocked.
• Application specific URLs are supported in event links (MailTags, etc...).
• Added new help articles on Movies, PDF, and Keynote.
• Streamline license purchasing process.
• Fixed: Problem with multi-row timelines with hidden tick marks.

Please note that there is a graphics bug in Mac OS X 10.6.2 that negatively impacts the 3D performance of Bee Docs Timeline. They are working with Apple to get this issue resolved.

Film Institute Launches First Digital Archive In Wales

The British Film Institute (BFI) is to launch its first "digital jukebox" in Wales, allowing people to access its archive.

In March, Wrexham Library will be the home of the first ever BFI Mediatheque outside England.

The system allows people to watch films and TV programmes from the national archive free of charge, and there are currently 1,500 titles available.

Wrexham council said it was "proud" to host the first Mediatheque in Wales.

Source & Full Story

Tree to Go 1.0.1

PDAs and Handhelds - PDAs and Handhelds - Freeware

Tree to Go 1.0.1 has been released.


• 1st generation iPod Touch users can now install Tree to Go.
• Fixed a problem with the display of photos in a tree.
• Fixed the most common situation that would cause a crash on startup
• Fixed an issue that could cause a crash while loading a tree.
• Clarified messaging that registering for an account is free.
• Improved messaging for users with trees larger than 2,000 people.

TimelinerPlus! 2

Timeline - Windows - Freeware

TimelinerPlus! 2 has been released.


• Added a comprehensive Research Note viewer.
• Additional filtering capability.

The Complete Genealogy Reporter 2010 build 100208

Family Books - Windows - Shareware

The Complete Genealogy Reporter 2010 build 100208 has been released.


• Fixed: Unexpected Program Error when connecting siblings of parentless families.
• Fixed: Some events not appearing in reports.
• Fixed: Undated events being sorted out of order relative to the defined sequence.

Pocket Genealogist 3.42

PDAs and Handhelds - PDAs and Handhelds - Purchase

Pocket Genealogist 3.42 has been released.


• Desktop/Device: (Advanced) Support for Legacy 7.4 direct imports.
• Device: The 'Edit', 'View' menu will now show a check mark next to the view that is currently selected.
• Device: (Advanced) Better error checking when using the "External Viewer" with images.
• Desktop/Device: (Advanced) With multimedia imports, you can now select if you want images transferred or not. (So you can get all multimedia references, but not the images if you choose)
• Desktop/Device: Norwegian and Danish language updated.

iRemember 2.5.2

Family Pictures - Mac - Purchase

iRemember 2.5.2 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.

8 February 2010

Johnny Cash Was 'Obsessed' With His Family's Scottish Roots

Johnny Cash became "obsessed" with his Scottish roots after discovering his family was connected to King Malcolm IV of Scotland.

Cash found out about his Scottish roots after he sat next to Major Michael Crichton-Stuart, keeper of Falkland Palace, on a flight to America in the 1970s.

Cash mentioned that he had heard that his family originated in Scotland and the keeper told the singer that he knew of farms and streets in Fife that still bore the Cash name.

Cash visited a genealogist and discovered that he was of Scottish descent and that his clan had originated around the 12th century in the Strathmiglo area.

The connection was traced back to when the niece of Malcolm IV (1153-65) - who was named Cash or Cashel - married the Earl of Fife.

Source & Full Story

British Library To Offer 19th Century First Editions For Free Download On Amazon Kindle

The British Library is to make more than 65,000 rare first editions of 19th Century fiction available for the public to download for free from the spring.

Owners of the Amazon Kindle e-book device will be able to view the books, including their original typeface and illustrations, of famous works by Charles Dickens, Jane Austen and Thomas Hardy, as well as thousands of more obscure authors.

As well as classic titles by famous 19th Century authors, many of the downmarket books known as “penny dreadfuls” will also be made available to the public, including Black Bess by Edward Viles and The Dark Woman by J M Rymer.

Around 40 per cent of the British Library’s 19th-century printed books are unavailable in other public libraries and bookshops.

Source & Full Story

GeneaNet Search Preferences Improved

The GeneaNet Search Preferences edit form has been improved.

The Search Preferences allows users to save some settings that will be applied to all future searches.

Click "Account : Search Preferences" in the left sidebar or simply go to

You can enter some GeneaNet Account usernames to exclude from your search results list or you can select a Group of Contacts from your "All Relatives" Address Book.

You can remove any username from the list at any time.

To restrain your search to some country/county, just select it in the list.

To restrain your search to some places, just enter their name or select the most popular places in your Family Tree.

You can remove any place from the list at any time.

7 February 2010

Spray-On Liquid Glass To Treat Stone Monuments And Grave Stones

Spray-on liquid glass is transparent, non-toxic, and can protect virtually any surface against almost any damage from hazards such as water, UV radiation, dirt, heat, and bacterial infections. The coating is also flexible and breathable, which makes it suitable for use on an enormous array of products. The liquid glass spray (technically termed “SiO2 ultra-thin layering”) consists of almost pure silicon dioxide (silica, the normal compound in glass) extracted from quartz sand. Water or ethanol is added, depending on the type of surface to be coated.

The war graves association in the UK is investigating using the spray to treat stone monuments and grave stones, since trials have shown the coating protects against weathering and graffiti. Trials in Turkey are testing the product on monuments such as the Ataturk Mausoleum in Ankara.

Source & Full Story

British National Institutions Call For Removal Of Major Barrier To Mass Digitisation

In a letter published in today's Times, the British Library, Tate, V&A, National Portrait Gallery, BFI, Wellcome Trust, Imperial War Museum, JISC and others are seeking to ensure the safe passage of Clause 42 of the government's Digital Economy Bill, which if passed will provide the UK with the best Orphan Works solution in the world, unlocking vast amounts of collections for the nation.

Perhaps 40% of some of our national institutions' collections are orphan works. Restricting the digitisation of these works limits access and will leave a huge volume of historically important collections ‘in limbo'. A significant proportion of these were never originally intended for commercial use and should not be treated in the same way as commercially produced in-copyright orphan works.

Source & Full Story

5 February 2010

Last Speaker Of Ancient Language Of Bo Dies In India

The last speaker of an ancient language in India's Andaman Islands has died at the age of about 85, a leading linguist has told the BBC.

Professor Anvita Abbi said that the death of Boa Sr was highly significant because one of the world's oldest languages - Bo - had come to an end.

She said that India had lost an irreplaceable part of its heritage.

Languages in the Andamans are thought to originate from Africa. Some may be 70,000 years old.

Source & Full Story

Shackleton's Whisky Recovered From South Pole Ice

Five crates of Scotch whisky and brandy belonging to the polar explorer Ernest Shackleton have been recovered after more than 100 years in the ice.

They were buried beneath Shackleton's Antarctic hut, built in 1908 for a failed expedition to the South Pole.

Some of the crates have cracked and ice has formed inside, which means experts will face a delicate task in trying to extract the contents.

The ice-bound crates were first discovered three years ago.

Source & Full Story

Youngest British World War II Service Casualty Identified

A merchant navy cabin boy from Yorkshire was the youngest British serviceman to have died in the Second World War.

Reggie Earnshaw was just 14 years old when he died for his country and had lied about his age in order to join the war effort.

His story came to light after a shipmate led a four-year quest to find out what happened to his friend.

Source & Full Story (+ Video)

4 February 2010

WWII Historical Imagery In Google Earth

Many of us have heard stories, read books and watched films which show the many impacts of WWII across the world. Today we're giving you another way to understand this period in time - by exploring a new set of historical aerial images, taken over European cities during World War II, via the historical imagery feature in Google Earth. They can now be compared directly to images from the present day.

Images taken in 1943 show the effect of wartime bombing on more than 35 European towns and cities. Imagery for Warsaw, which was heavily destroyed at the time, is available from both years 1935 and 1945. They remind us all of the devastating impact of war on the people in those cities and also the remarkable way in which urban environments are reconstructed and regenerated over time.

Source & Full Story

Darwin Descended From Cro-Magnon Man: Scientists

The father of evolution Charles Darwin was a direct descendant of the Cro-Magnon people, whose entry into Europe 30,000 years ago heralded the demise of Neanderthals, scientists revealed in Australia Thursday.

Darwin, who hypothesised that all humans evolved from common ancestors in his seminal 1859 work "On the Origin of Species", came from Haplogroup R1b, one of the most common European male lineages, said genealogist Spencer Wells.

"Men belonging to Haplogroup R1b are direct descendants of the Cro-Magnon people who, beginning 30,000 years ago, dominated the human expansion into Europe and heralded the demise of the Neanderthal species," Wells said.

Source & Full Story

Magnum Photos Sells Archive To Michael Dell

Michael Dell is buying one of the most valuable modern photographic archives for the university where he started his eponymous computer company in a dormitory room in 1983.

Almost 200,000 original press prints from the New York collection of Magnum Photos, the documentary photo co-operative responsible for some of the defining images of the past seven decades, will be preserved, catalogued and made available to the public at the University of Texas in Austin.

The founder, chairman and chief executive of Dell, who acquired the prints through MSD Capital, his private investment firm, did not disclose what he paid.

The archive has been valued for insurance purposes at well over $100m.

Source & Full Story

Oldest Pharmacy Becomes Museum At The National Archives, In Rabat, Malta

The shelves in a room at the National Archives, in Rabat, Malta, are lined with old bottles of different shapes and sizes, many filled with coloured powder.

Most of the labels are faded, the names of the medicines inside rendered faint by the years. Among them is a bottle of Phenazone, which was used as a painkiller before aspirin was invented. There is also picric acid, a poisonous chemical.

The recently-restored room once housed the oldest pharmacy in Malta, dating back to the late 16th century, the era of the knights, when it was part of the Santo Spirito Hospital. However, for the past two decades it was used as a store.

Source & Full Story (+ Video)

3 February 2010

Historical Photo? Is This Annie Moore Arriving at Ellis Island?

Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak has published some new amazing photographs of Annie Moore and she needs help to prove whether the picture is truly Annie and her brothers:

"About a month ago, I wrote about the recent discovery of photos of Annie Moore, the Irish teenager who was the first to arrive at Ellis Island when it opened on January 1, 1892. On December 29th of last year, the New York Times featured a photo of Annie that had been located by her great-granddaughter, Maureen Peterson. I was delighted that we could all finally see what this symbol of immigration -- and by extension, the American dream -- looked like. It was long overdue.

And now we come to the history mystery that I wrote about previously. Discovered by Annie's great-nephew, Michael Shulman, at the National Park Service's library at Ellis Island, this image appears to be Annie with her brothers on the day of their arrival at Ellis Island itself:

If that's true, this photo is historically significant. I would go as far as to call it iconic. But the question is whether the picture is truly Annie and her brothers.

So here's my plea. If you have expertise in facial recognition, architecture, the history of Ellis Island or the Barge Office that preceded it, or in any area that might contribute to the resolution of this mystery, please post comments here or email me, whether they support the claim or refute it. It was a virtual team of genealogists who restored Annie's place in history back in 2006, so I'm hoping that a similar crowd-sourcing approach will work again. Let's find the truth!"

Source & Full Story

2 February 2010

Green Bay, WI, USA: Officials Believe There May Be An Unmarked Graveyard Behind The Former Brown County Mental Health Center

Buried near the pockets of trees along the gentle slope behind the former Brown County Mental Health Center likely are the remains of residents who died decades ago.

The deceased, lying in unmarked graves, probably were patients at the old Brown County Insane Asylum, built in the 1880s and eventually replaced by the mental health center. Or they were among the county's poorest of the poor, who lived out their final days in the nearby Brown County poor farm, maybe working at the apple orchard and farm to provide food for the asylum residents.

The State Historical Society of Wisconsin researched the area about two decades ago, when work was done on Wisconsin 54/57, according to county officials. At the time, the goal was to make sure no graves were located in the right-of-way.

Source & Full Story

Could A Man Who Died In The 1600s Unlock Your Health Secrets?

More people are now looking up their family trees, eager to learn more about their ancestors. But, in a surprising twist, scientists are using family trees to track disease-causing genes.

They are going back in history, sometimes hundreds of years, to track the person who first produced the faulty genes. They're then tracking down other lines of the family tree, to find the modern-day descendants of this person and to warn them of the health dangers they face.

This genetic genealogy, as the science is known, is being developed as a new approach to preventing - and treating - conditions with a strong genetic link such as breast cancer, osteoporosis and depression, as well as rare syndromes that cause fatal insomnia and an inability to feel pain.

Source & Full Story

The Complete Genealogy Reporter 2010 build 100131

Family Books - Windows - Shareware

The Complete Genealogy Reporter 2010 build 100131 has been released.


• New: Microsoft Word output.
• New: Multiple Volume reports, including a separate file for each volume.
• New: Watermarks.
• New: Cross-referencing (with hyperlinking) from Direct Relations section to Ancestry/Descendant charts.
• New: Media files with internet file specifications (http and ftp URLs).
• New: Numerous new preference options in response to customer requests.
• Improved: Support for Family Historian GEDCOM files.

Pocket Genealogist 3.41A05

PDAs and Handhelds - PDAs and Handhelds - Purchase

Pocket Genealogist 3.41A05 has been released.


• Support for upcoming Legacy 7.4 (7J) release.

Personal Ancestry Writer II 91

Full Featured - Mac - Freeware

Personal Ancestry Writer II 91 has been released.


• Previously, the list of people displayed when the Find Person button is clicked (or command-F is pressed or Person menu > Find Person by Name is chosen) was limited to 30,000 people. Now all people on file are displayed, regardless of how many there are.
• The same is true of the list of tagged people displayed when the Find Tagged button is clicked (or option-command-F is pressed or Person menu > Find Tagged Person by Name is chosen).
• The same is true of the list of names displayed when Edit menu > Copy Name, Tag menu > Tag People whose Names Contain, or Tag Menu > Tag People with a Place Containing is chosen, as well as for the list of citations displayed when Citation menu > Edit Citations is chosen.
• The Reference Guide was updated to remove references to the above list limitations, and to add an explanation of marriage intentions to the topic Basic Data Entry > Dates.
• Titles at the head of HTML reports that contain non-ASCII characters are now displayed correctly.


Full Featured - Windows - Purchase

GenSmarts has been released.


• Added support for free USA Census (1850,60,70,1900,20).
• Added support for "New Search".
• Brand new gedcom import logic, handles sources and Mac GEDCOMs.
• Improved source detection for birth and death events.
• Lots of little bug fixes here and there.

GeneoTree 3.30

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

GeneoTree 3.30 has been released.


• Compliant with PHP 5.3, MySQL 5.1 and GoogleEarth 2.2.


Charts and Diagrams - Windows - Purchase

FamilyTreeFactory has been released.


• Fixed bug: Under Windows Vista and Windows 7 a message "The program might not have installed correctly" could appear after installing and after uninstalling the program.
• Important change: In the GEDCOM Options dialog the new profiles are managed. GEDCOM Options profiles save all options selected on the other tabs.
• Important change: In the Treeview Options dialog the new profiles are managed.
• Because of the introduction of profiles for Gedcom Options and Treeview Options, the Tools menu and the toolbar have been simplified.
• In the Treeview Options dialog, Box Colors tab, Assignment of Ancillary Color Schemes sub-tab, the conditional assignment (dependent on personal data) now can evaluate also source data.
• At the creation of Placeholder records for ancestors, now excluded persons are better taken into account.
• At the creation of treeviews Great-grandparents' Descendant Tree (Parents and grandparents 1x central), now excluded persons are better taken into account.
• In the Treeview menu two new function have been added: Back/Forward in the Selection History.
• If record numbers have been entered for godparents or witnesses in the Personal Data dialog, now a hint window will appear showing the names of the persons, when the mouse points to the data field.
• Some small improvements and corrections.

Brother's Keeper 6.3.39

Full Featured - Windows - Purchase

Brother's Keeper 6.3.39 has been released.


• Updated the Translation program for foreign language translators (see the translation page.) • On the source grid screen, the bottom buttons were too far left when screen size was 640 by 480. Fixed.

1 February 2010

Ambassador or Slave? East Asian Skeleton Discovered In Vagnari Roman Cemetery

A team of researchers announced a surprising discovery during a scholarly presentation in Toronto last Friday. The research team, based at McMaster University in Hamilton, Canada, has been helping to excavate an ancient Roman cemetery at the site of Vagnari in southern Italy. Led by Professor Tracy Prowse, they’ve been analyzing the skeletons found there by performing DNA and oxygen isotope tests.

The surprise is that the DNA tests show that one of the skeletons, a man, has an East Asian ancestry – on his mother’s side. This appears to be the first time that a skeleton with an East Asian ancestry has been discovered in the Roman Empire.

Source & Full Story

Rare Photographs From Mississippi's Civil War History To Be displayed

Rare photographs from Mississippi's Civil War history will be on display at the African American Military History Museum in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, starting today.

The Native Guard: A Photographic History of Ship Island's African American Regiment tells the history of the 2nd Regiment of the Louisiana Native Guards serving on Ship Island in the Mississippi Sound. The collection of 13 photographs is on loan from the Ohr-O'Keefe Museum of Art in Biloxi.

Source & Full Story

Kylie Minogue's Ancestors Lived In Thornbury, England, And Worked On Bristol Trams

Australian pop star Kylie Minogue's roots have been traced all the way back to the town of Thornbury, England, but her relatives were not all quite so well behaved.

The ever-popular singer's great-great grandfather appeared at Thornbury Magistrates' Court 120 years ago on charges of indecent assault, reports in a national newspaper have claimed.

Morgan Riddiford lived in the village in the 1890s, with his widowed mother Sarah and two sisters, according to the genealogy website

Born in 1875, he was brought before the South Gloucestershire court when he was just 16 years old, along with 18-year-old co-defendant William Sainsbury.

Source & Full Story

America's Last Surviving WWI Vet Celebrates 109th Birthday

America's last surviving World War I Veteran and local man Frank W. Buckles turns 109 years-old Monday.

The Charles Town resident was born in 1901 and was 16 when he talked his way into the Army driving ambulances and helping return prisoners of war to Germany.

Later as a civilian, he was captured by the Japanese and spent three years in a prison camp.

Mr. Buckles was born in Harrison County, Missouri.

Source & Full Story

Old Du Quoin Cemetery (Illinois, USA) Board Building Photo Database of Markers

Every now and then somebody just steps up to care.

That’s what’s happening at one of Perry County’s most historic cemeteries--the Old Du Quoin Cemetery--cradle for much of south Perry County’s early history.

It is the very root of Du Quoin itself, a town dragged by oxen in the early 1800s from “Old Town” to where Du Quoin is now.

The Old Du Quoin Cemetery Association held its quarterly meeting on January 12, 2010 in the conference room at the Du Quoin First Pentecostal Church.

Source & Full Story

GeneaNet: Export Images Published In Your Family History Book

You can now export the images from your GeneaNet Family History Book.

Click the 'My GeneaNet : Online Family Tree : Export' link in the left sidebar or simply go to

The images are exported in a ZIP archive file.

Please read 'Write Your Family History' and 'Annotate Pictures in your Family Book' for more about the GeneaNet Family History Book.