Genealogy Blog

31 March 2010

Madonna And Ellen DeGeneres Have Family Ties

How about a family reunion with both Madonna and Ellen DeGeneres? Turns out the pop star and newest American Idol judge are related -- they're eleventh cousins, according to researchers.

Family history experts traced the lineage of the two stars and found a common 10th great-grandfather -- a Frenchman named Martin Aucoin. According to the geneology experts, in the early 1600s Aucoin's daughters Jeanne and Michele left their native country of France to settle in Nova Scotia, which spawned the families that would trickle down to produce both of the celebrities.

Source & Full Story

MobileTree 1.2

PDAs and Handhelds - PDAs and Handhelds - Purchase

MobileTree 1.2 has been released.


• Fixed problem with media center not working when installed over previous version.
• Pedigree view now loads much faster.
• Minor bug fixes

The Complete Genealogy Builder 2010 build 100329

Full Featured - Windows - Shareware

The Complete Genealogy Builder 2010 build 100329 has been released.


• Fixed: Some Catalan and German GUI phrases were not being translated correctly.

The Complete Genealogy Reporter 2010 build 100329

Family Books - Windows - Shareware

The Complete Genealogy Reporter 2010 build 100329 has been released.


• Fixed: Some Catalan and German GUI phrases were not being translated correctly.

Pocket Genealogist 3.43A04 (Public Beta)

PDAs and Handhelds - PDAs and Handhelds - Purchase

Pocket Genealogist 3.43A04 (Public Beta) has been released.


• Swedish update.
• Change to the open dialog processing for 'view logs' and the sounds on the options screen to better support Windows 7.

MacFamilyTree 5.7.1

Full Featured - Mac - Purchase

MacFamilyTree 5.7.1 has been released.


• Bug fixes for the Family Group Report.
• Bug fixes for Video and Audio Recording.
• Fix for an registration/unlocking error some customers experienced.
• Several other minor bug fixes.

Genota Forms

Other Tools - Windows - Purchase

Genota Forms has been released.


• No available release notes.

Get My Ancestors 2010.3.27.0

Other Tools - Windows, Mac - Freeware

Get My Ancestors 2010.3.27.0 has been released.


• Major update.
• Changes were made to connect with new FamilySearch website when they update their site in late March 2010. When the new FamilySearch website makes these changes, previous versions of Get My Ancestors will not work.

FamilyInsight 2010.3.29.0

Other Tools - Windows, Mac - Purchase

FamilyInsight 2010.3.29.0 has been released.


• Major release for connection to New FamilySearch.
• Limited search results to avoid long searchs on people with common names and not much information.
• Modified FamilyInsight so that it would connect to new FamilySearch when they make changes to the new FamilySearch website in late March 2010. Previous versions of FamilyInsight will not be able to connect due to the changes made to the new FamilySearch website.
• Added a confirm dialog.
• Added Get My Ancestors to the Tools menu with additional file saving options.
• Fixed various crashes.

Ancestral Quest 12.1.23

Full Featured - Windows - Purchase

Ancestral Quest 12.1.23 has been released.

For users who work with New FamilySearch (NFS), this is a critical update, as it allows you to continue to work with NFS after the changes that were implemented by FamilySearch on 3/29/2010. Users who do not access NFS will find a couple of minor enhancements – like the addition of the display of Age at Marriage and Age at Death on the Family View. This is a free upgrade for all users of AQ 12.1 – simply download and install the new build.

This new release of Ancestral Quest (AQ) takes advantage of new methods provided by FamilySearch for AQ to work with NFS, so that users will find that most functions are now faster. One exception to this is working with notes and sources – users of AQ will still be able to view the notes and sources stored in the NFS records as they have in the past, but FamilySearch slowed this part of the process down in order to speed up everything else. AQ also allows users to transfer their notes right out of their PAF or AQ database directly into the records of NFS.

30 March 2010

Looking Back: The Civil War In Tennessee

To commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Civil War (2011-2015), the Tennessee State Library and Archives is sending teams of archivists and conservators to communities across Tennessee.

Individuals may schedule an appointment, and we will digitally copy and assist in the preservation of your Civil War era manuscripts, artifacts and photographs.

Digital copies of these items, representing the rich Civil War heritage of Tennessee families, will become part of a virtual exhibit commemorating the 150th anniversary of the war in Tennessee.

Source & Full Story

29 March 2010

British Library Adds Extra 1 Million Pages To Online Newspaper Resource

The British Library’s 19th Century Newspapers project, developed in partnership with JISC and Gale, part of Cengage Learning, offers researchers greatly enhanced access to a vast archive of socially, culturally and historically important collections previously only available in the Library’s London-based reading rooms. Providing highly illustrated materials on topics as diverse as the war in the Crimea to ladies fashion, the new additions both widen and deepen this unique resource, offering users a broader cross section of British society in the 19th century.

# Freely accessible to UK further and higher education institutions – this latest addition takes the total number of pages of 19th Century Newspapers available online to over 3 million –

Source & Full Story

GRAMPS 3.2.0

Full Featured - Linux - Freeware/Open Source

GRAMPS 3.2.0 has been released.


• In the Help Menu -> Menu Status, all available plugins are visible. All plugins can be hidden, saving resources and hiding options you do not need.
• Many under the hood improvements have occurred that should improve performance enormously. New features are implemented as plugins that can be hidden.
• Performance improvement example: Insertion of a new person in a family tree with 30000 people previously took 4 seconds on a 1.4GHz PC running Gramps 3.1, but now takes milliseconds.
• There are new views, and some existing views have been greatly improved.
• People view can now be sorted on the columns.
• A Place treeview is present, nicely grouping your places under country groups.
• GeoView has left it’s beta status behind and shows your data on an online map (OpenStreetMap or Google Maps, a fast internet connection is required).
• Help Menu -> Extra Reports/Tools open a webpage with downloadable views.
• Styled Notes now in most output formats that support styles.
• New languages.
• Select language in which report should be created (not yet available in all reports).

How To Reach The GeneaNet Technical Support

GeneaNet offers various technical support options.

Within The GeneaNet Forums

The GeneaNet Forums are designed to post questions and engage in discussions related to GeneaNet specifically and genealogy in general.

GeneaNet Team members frequent the forum everyday. The following icon is shown in all of the GeneaNet Team members posts.

Before starting a new topic, we suggest that you search the forums because your question or suggestion may already have been discussed.

The GeneaNet Forums are available to anyone and there's no need to create a GeneaNet account to post a message.

You can also access the GeneaNet Forums from the left sidebar of the website.

Within The Tickets Contact

Tickets Contact let you send an email to the GeneaNet staff to have a private talk.

They are available to GeneaNet Club Privilege Members only.

Tickets Contact are the best way to contact GeneaNet Technical Support in the cases of issues, ident/password loss, Club Privilege subscription and online orders.

GeneaNet don't answer letters, except in some exceptional cases.

27 March 2010

A 160-Year-Old Photographic Mystery

The photograph, captured some 160 years ago, reveals the outline of an owl and three smaller birds.

In the years since his death in 1865, a few historians praised the Rev. Levi L. Hill as the unacknowledged inventor of color photography. (A Scotsman, James Clerk Maxwell, is generally credited with producing the first successful color photograph, in 1861.) Most, however, concluded that Hill was a hoodwinker.

Hill was a Baptist minister in West Kill, a tiny town in the foothills of New York’s Catskill Mountains, when he began experimenting with daguerreo­types, an early form of photography. In February 1851, Hill made an astonishing claim: “I now have forty-five specimens, all of which present the several colors, true to a tint, and with a degree of brilliancy never seen in the richest Daguerreotype,” he boasted in a letter to the Daguerreian Journal, the first commercially produced photography magazine.

Source & Full Story

New Genealogy App: MobileTree Lite

PDAs and Handhelds - PDAs and Handhelds - Purchase

MobileTree Lite 1.1 has been released.

The lite version of MobileTree provides all of the same names and dates available through the service. Users of the lite version who wish to add their own media content will need to acquire the full version of MobileTree.

WWII Plaques Stolen In New Britain

Police in New Britain are looking for the vandals who pried brass plaques from a war memorial. The plaques held the names of local men who served in World War II.

Two of the six plaques were pulled from the granite of the monument that was constructed shortly after the end of the war.

Officials are hoping the plaques can be found because, while they can be replaced, officials said it might be tough coming up with the names that were on them.

The plaques were made of bronze or brass and are of minimal value in terms of money, but priceless in what they represent.

Source & Full Story

26 March 2010

Legacy Family Tree

Full Featured - Windows - Purchase

Legacy Family Tree has been released.


• Added FamilySearch tools (only effects those with a account)
• Added FamilySearch status icons to Family and Pedigree views (this option can be enabled/disabled at Options > Customize > General tab > FamilySearch > Integrate with FamilySearch
• You can now manually add or change a FamilySearch ID (Person identifier) in the Individual's Information screen.
• The yield temple icon now means that ordinance work is reserved or in progress
• Added an Advanced Search button to the Possible Matches tab
• New temple icon - the temple icon with a red X indicates that more information is required for ordinance work. There is also a new filter for "ordinances needing more information"
• Added a Reload button in the main toolbar with three options: 1) Reload Legacy database. 2) Reload current person (use this if you've made changes to a person and want to "refresh" their information in LegacyFS. 3) Refresh FamilySearch information (this will check the refresh ordinance status for all linked persons to get the most up-to-date status.
• BIC is now correctly showing on Ordinance Status tab
• Added "Suppress Living" option to the list of names
• Added a Legend tab in the lower left giving illustrated explanations of what the various icons represent
• DNA - added the DYS635 and Y-GATA-A10 markers for Ancestry's Advanced Paternal Lineage Test (Y-Chromosome 46).
• File Maintenance - added a few more checks for locations and temples relating to some of the newer LDS fields (like initiatory and confirmation)
• LDS - added Oquirrh Mountain temple to the master temple list


Full Featured - Windows - Purchase

RootsMagic has been released.


• Added “Online map” button to Edit Place Details form
• Added “LDS facts” button to edit screen when LDS features are enabled
• Calendar tool allows you to type in the year now
• Better handling of shared events in group sheets
• Individual Summary now includes shared events
• Source list report includes shared events in citation list now
• Direct Legacy import reads New FamilySearch links
• Numerous spelling and corrections to source templates
• AutoMatch feature added to New FamilySearch support
• WebSearch doesn’t require user to re-login to sites when popup windows occur
• Doesn’t add ‘Note: ‘ to place detail notes when importing from GEDCOM
• Doesn’t hang when importing some GEDCOM filess created by FTM 2005 with illegal tags
• Place details are now included in group sheet websites
• People sharing an event are now included in narrative index if they are printed in report
• Mapping events for a person (Tools > Mapping) now uses the place detail if it has lat/long entered
• Father/Mother label on family view now reflects the settings chosen by user for the family
• Merge screen now shows record number for the two individuals
• “Primary photo” and “Include in scrapbook” checkboxes no longer appear on non-image media items
• Outline, Henry, and D’Aboville reports now print marriage info before the spouse paragraph
• Married children in Ancestor+Children narrative report don’t have their paragraphs abbreviated anymore
• Deleting last item in a media album doesn’t cause crash anymore
• Suffix and Prefix now print in relationship chart if there is room
• Numerous bug fixes and performance enhancements for new FamilySearch features
• Merging preserves the FamilySearch ID

Personal Ancestry Writer II 92

Full Featured - Mac - Freeware

Personal Ancestry Writer II 92 has been released.


• The draft window has been replaced by launching Safari with a properly formatted draft as it would appear in an HTML report.
• The draft notes window has been replaced by launching Safari with a properly formatted draft of notes as they would appear in an HTML report.
• The timeline window has been replaced by launching Safari with a formatted timeline.
• The Reference Guide was updated to illustrate these new Safari windows.

Wales: DNA To Solve Origins Of Anglesey Shipwreck Survivors

DNA analysis is being used to help solve the 18th Century mystery of the origins of an Anglesey (Wales) medical family.

Two boys were sole survivors of a 1745 shipwreck and experts want to find out where in the world they were born.

One of the boys was a brilliant manipulator and healer of bones, and started a family of doctors who helped develop orthopaedic medicine.

Now DNA has been taken from a direct male descendant and scientists hope the mystery will finally be solved.

At the time of the shipwreck the boys were rescued off the Skerries by a smuggler called Dannie Lukie.

Source & Full Story

Irish Soldier Describes World War I Hell In Newly Discovered Letter

Irishman Captain Billy Richards describes the hellish experience of fighting during the first World War for the British Army at Suvla Bay in Gallipoli on August 10th, 1915. His letter has come to light the same time as Irish president Mary McAleese is making a visit to Turkey and Gallipoli.

Richards served with the 6th Battalion of the Dublin Fusiliers and wrote the letter for his father, he was also an uncle of novelist Jennifer Johnston.

"We have been fighting for four days and I am sorry to say may have lost most of the battalion,"

"We were doing fatigues for the first two days and only lost about 10 men but yesterday morning about 3am, we were called up to stop a counter- attack. In about two hours we lost 12 officers and about 450 men. How I got through I shall never understand, the shrapnel and bullets were coming down like hail."

Source & Full Story

25 March 2010

Italy Orders DNA Tests To Identify WWII Victims

Italy has ordered DNA tests on 12 unidentified victims killed by Nazi troops in one of the deadliest massacres during World War II.

The tests were ordered Wednesday by Defence Minister Ignazio La Russa to identify the 12 among 335 Italians killed in the infamous Ardeatine Caves massacre of March 24, 1944. Though the identity of the others were known, the names of the 12 have never been known.

La Russa gave the order during a ceremony to mark the 66th anniversary of the massacre.

The 12 bodies have until now remained in unmarked graves at a mausoleum in Via Ardeatina.

Source & Full Story

24 March 2010

DNA Identifies New Ancient Human

Scientists have identified a previously unknown type of ancient human through analysis of DNA from a finger bone unearthed in a Siberian cave.

The extinct "hominin" (humanlike creature) lived in Central Asia between 48,000 and 30,000 years ago.

An international team has sequenced genetic material from the fossil showing that it is distinct from that of Neanderthals and modern humans.

Details of the find, dubbed "X-woman", have been published in Nature journal.

Source & Full Story

Rare Manuscripts To Be Auctioned

A collection of manuscripts previously owned by kings, bishops and members of the aristocracy is expected to fetch up to £16m when it is sold at auction.

Prayerbooks belonging to King Francois I of France and Elizabeth de Bohun, great-grandmother of King Henry V, are part of the collection.

The Arcana Collection: Exceptional Illuminated Manuscripts And Incunabula, will be sold at Christie's in July.

The manuscripts are owned by an anonymous collector in the US.

Source & Full Story

Nirvana Legend Kurt Cobain's Roots Traced To County Tyrone, Northern Ireland

The rolling hills of Tyrone may not scream rock legend to the average person but one family’s journey into their ancestry has uncovered a little piece of musical history.

The roots of Kurt Cobain, lead singer of cult band Nirvana, have been traced back to the small village of Inishatieve near Pomeroy in the Red Hand county, Northern Ireland.

Fionnola O’Reilly was moved to delve into her family tree after an American relative hinted that there may be a connection to the famous rock singer dating back to the 1800s.

After nearly six years of ploughing through family records Fionnola and her sister Maeve Erwin confirmed that their long-lost cousin was indeed the legendary Nirvana frontman.

They discovered that Kurt’s ancestors Samuel and Letitia, whose surname was originally spelt Cobane, left their humble farm five generations ago bound for Canada before settling and working as shoemakers in the state of Washington in the US.

Source & Full Story

Massachusetts Records Closed To 1841?

Do you have Massachusetts ancestry? Barbara J. Mathews, CG, President of the Massachusetts Genealogical Council, alerts us to Massachusetts Senate Bill 820, which will close all vital records after 1841. Yes, that is not a typo: 1841.

S820 states that only the person named in a vital record or his parent, guardian, or attorney can look at a record or get a certified copy of a record. This law applies for records all the way back to 1841, that is, to all the birth and marriage records for the last 169 years.

The bill's text eliminates the current section that closes out-of-wedlock births and replaces the entire section with text that closes all births and marriages. Proposed by Patricia D. Jehlen of the Second Middlesex District, the last sentence states, "The provisions of this section shall not apply to such records, returns or notices recorded or filed prior to January first, eighteen hundred and forty-one or to such copies thereof.”

Source & Full Story

MobileTree 1.1

PDAs and Handhelds - PDAs and Handhelds - Purchase

MobileTree 1.1 has been released.


• Use MobileTree to create pictures, stories, video and audio.
• Share pictures, stories, audio interviews and video clips with others in your family.
• Bug fixes.

The Complete Genealogy Reporter 2010 build 100323

Family Books - Windows - Shareware

The Complete Genealogy Reporter 2010 build 100323 has been released.


• Fixed: A few issues relating to Catalan GUI language.

The Complete Genealogy Builder 2010 build 100323

Full Featured - Windows - Shareware

The Complete Genealogy Builder 2010 build 100323 has been released.


• Fixed: A few issues relating to Catalan GUI language.

Our Family Book 6.2.2

Family Books - Windows - Purchase

Our Family Book 6.2.2 has been released.


• GEDCOM Conversion 2.5.3.

LTools 1.2.24

Other Tools - Windows - Freeware

LTools 1.2.24 has been released.


• General - allow LTools to run using an alternate config file. See "Command Line" in the Help file.
• Main Window - display name of config file on Title bar.
• Tidy Legacy HTML - fixed a few glitches with the launch index.htm* logic.


Organization - Research - Windows - Purchase

Genota has been released.


• Release notes not available.

Family Tree 6.x-2.0-beta1

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

Family Tree 6.x-2.0-beta1 has been released.


• Middle name incorrectly displayed in family group list in some cases.
• Time displays 00:00:00 for children.
• Father/Mother reversed.

23 March 2010

The Connected History Project Collects Historical Resources

A search engine is being created to help historians find useful sources.

The Connected History project will link up currently separate databases of source materials. Once completed the search engine will index digitised books, newspapers, manuscripts, genealogical records, maps and images that date from 1500-1900.

Currently 12 institutions have signed up to contribute their collections but more are expected to join in the future. The initial partners include the University of Sheffield, the Institute of Historical Research, the University of Hertfordshire and King's College, London.

The first phase of the Connected History project should be completed by March 2011.

Source & Full Story

Documents Of Auschwitz Death Camp Doctors Found

Food coupons for some of the notorious Nazi doctors at the Auschwitz death camp — including perhaps the sadistic Dr. Joseph Mengele — have been found in the attic of a nearby house, where they had lain unseen for decades.

Also found in the attic were other documents relating to the lives of Nazi officials, including death certificates and a map.

The documents — almost 300 in total — were found in the attic of a house being renovated in the town of Oswiecim, where the Nazis built the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp.

The homeowner, who has requested anonymity, made them available to historians at the Auschwitz museum on Friday, museum officials said. They believe the house was used by an SS officer during the war, but it is not clear which one.

Source & Full Story

Schindler's List Goes On Sale For $2.2 Million

The famous Schindler's List of Jews saved from the Nazi Holocaust during the World War Two is being offered up for private sale for $2.2 million.

The list of 801 Jewish men, women and children, which belongs to the family of Oskar Schindler's right-hand man, Itzhak Stern, is one of only five known to exist.

Being sold through the website, the old and tattered manuscript dated from the 18/04/1945, is being handled on a first come first served basis.

The Stern family, whose patriarch, Itzhak was played by Ben Kingsley in the Oscar winning Spielberg epic 'Schindler's List', have been in negotiation with for over two years.

Source & Full Story

22 March 2010

Sartre’s Gravestone Mystery Solved

A marble plaque from French philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre’s grave has turned up in Colombia after having gone missing 30 years ago.

The plaque disappeared from Sartre’s grave in the Parisian graveyard Montparnasse shortly after his death in 1980.

Now it appears that the plaque was stolen by Colombian poet Arnulfo Valencia.

The poet told his friend, author William Ospina, what he had done, but he did not believe him. When Valencia died recently, he told his daughter on his deathbed that he had the plaque. Valencia’s relatives want to auction the 20x30-centimetre marble stone, which has broken into 4 pieces, and give the proceeds to a fund for Colombian poets.

Source & Full Story

Century-Old Document Found; Returned To Family

For anyone who's ever traced their family tree, the process is both rewarding and time consuming.

You can just imagine John Clisby's reaction when he was delivered an empty Priority Mail tube which should have contained 17 pages of family genealogy prepared by his great-great-uncle in the early 1900s.

"I was sickened, disheartened by the loss," said Clisby who lives in Birmingham, AL. "The document is irreplaceable. The people who put the family tree together have been gone for many years. This information could never be assembled again."

Source & Full Story

Soviet-Era Electronic Secret Archives Presented to Kyiv-Mohyla Academy

The National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy received a digital copy of the historical declassified documents of the Soviet era (1918 to 1991) from the Archives of the Security Service of Ukraine (SSU – СБУ) at a presentation ceremony which took place on March 18. The transfer of previously secret NKVD-KGB (People's Commissariat for Internal Affairs – Committee for State Security) files is regarded as a remarkable event and illustrates the need for transparency and the search for a shared historical narrative.

The official ceremony took place at the National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy, with the participation of Volodymyr Vjatrovych – former Director of the Archive of the Security Service of Ukraine (SSU), Serhiy Kvit – President of the National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy, Tetiana Yaroshenko – Director of Kyiv-Mohyla Library, renown academics Volodymyr Panchenko and Roman Mycyk, and many researchers, faculty members and members of the media.

Source & Full Story

GeneaNet: 'Wizard' And 'Friend' Access Rights

These options are only available in the Expert Family Tree mode (GeneWeb).

- Wizard Access Right allows your family and friends to view and modify all of your online family tree.
- Friend Access Right allows your family and friends to view all of your online family tree but not to modify it.

When registering on GeneaNet, your password is automatically assigned to your 'Wizard' and 'Friends' accounts but they can be changed later.

Every GeneaNet user can create as many 'Wizard' and 'Friend' accounts as they want.


You can log in as 'Wizard' or 'Friend' from your online family tree sidebar...
...and from any individual page of your online family tree.

You can log out by clicking the link on the top right of your online family tree homepage. You will not being logged out from your GeneaNet account!


'Wizard' and 'Friend' access rights can only be created/modified/deleted by the family tree owner.

Select the 'Online Family Tree > Manage > Access Rights" option.

You can create as many access rights as you want.

Access rights are very useful for free collaborative family tree and private network for families to share.

21 March 2010

DNA Experts Reveal China's Ancient Open Door To West

For four millennia their secrets lay hidden beneath the desert sands, the final resting place of a mysterious civilisation. And since their discovery in 1934, the Tarim mummies in China have perplexed historians and archaeologists.

But a remarkable new study has found that the origins of the inhabitants of the ancient graveyard in the Taklimakan desert north of Tibet lie in Europe.

A team of Chinese geneticists have analysed the DNA of the Bronze Age cadavers and found that they are of mixed ancestry, displaying both European and Siberian genetic markers.

One expert in Chinese history at the University of Edinburgh said the tests revealed a "fascinating development". Professor Paul Bailey said the findings confirmed long-held suspicions that they had travelled to the autonomous region of Xinjiang from the West, well before the opening of the Silk Road in the 2nd century BC.

Source & Full Story

Many Ancestors Detained In Ellis Island Hospital

Ellis Island was either an "island of hope" or an "island of tears" depending of whether an immigrant received a chalk mark on his or her clothing.

The chalk mark meant officials suspected a medical problem that required further study, a problem that could lead to deportation or perhaps a lengthy stay in the Ellis Island Hospital.

Perhaps many a Mormon ancestor spent time in that facility, which is actually a set of 22 buildings on two small islands.

Lorie Conway has documented the hospital's history ( and shared it with the audience gathered at the Immigration Family History Expo 2010 Thursday.

Source & Full Story

19 March 2010

Italian Town Commemorates World War II Tragedy

For American forces fighting their way north to Rome, it was the site of a heroic but hopeless stand, where only eight men out of two Ranger battalions escaped German troops.

For the Italians caught in the fighting, it was the place where they lived underground for months before being sent on a forced march north by the Germans.

On Friday, the anniversary of the roundup in 1944, this town between Anzio and Rome held its annual commemoration of the bloody events of World War II with ceremonies held beside a monument to victims of all wars and school children visiting the grottoes where their grandparents took shelter from the bombing.

Source & Full Story

Student Charged With Stealing Rare Documents

An alleged theft of more than two dozen historical documents has shaken a New Jersey university where students are granted access to the artifacts.

FBI agents arrested William Scott, 18, on March 14, and accused him of stealing more than 27 documents from the United Methodist Archives. Among them: letters from President Abraham Lincoln, President Franklin Roosevelt and Madame Chaing Kai-Shek.

The archive, on the campus of Drew University in Madison, is the official repository for all artifacts and documents pertaining to the Methodist faith, notably the letters of John and Charles Wesley, the founders of Methodism.

Source & Full Story

The Complete Genealogy Reporter 2010 build 100318

Family Books - Windows - Shareware

The Complete Genealogy Reporter 2010 build 100318 has been released.


• Fixed: Front page caption (Reporter instead of Builder)
• Minor maintenance updates.

The Complete Genealogy Builder 2010 build 100318

Full Featured - Windows - Shareware

The Complete Genealogy Builder 2010 build 100318 has been released.


• New: "Switch View" button in the Individual and Family frames to toggle between grand-relations lists and events lists.
• Incorporates changes to reporter module; see revision history for The Complete Genealogy Reporter.

Pocket Genealogist 3.43A03 (Public Beta)

PDAs and Handhelds - PDAs and Handhelds - Purchase

Pocket Genealogist 3.43A03 (Public Beta) has been released.


• Fixed program termination when syncing large notes. (Related to fix in 3.43A02)

17 March 2010

Sir Walter Scott's Stolen Waterloo Souvenir Returned

A stolen souvenir from the Battle of Waterloo has been returned to the Borders home of Sir Walter Scott.

The silver bowl, known as a quaich, was taken from Abbotsford House near Melrose in 1994.

However, it was spotted late last year in a French antiques market by silver expert Wynyard Wilkinson who identified it and arranged for its return.

The Waterloo Tree Quaich, one of many historic relics collected by Scott, will go on public display this weekend.

Source & Full Story

Mormon Church Gives First Lady Michelle Obama Volume Of Family History

For the second time in less than a year, leaders of the LDS have presented a member of the first family with a family history.

First lady Michelle Obama received five volumes on her genealogy Wednesday morning from Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve and Sister Julie B. Beck, general president of the Relief Society of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., a Mormon, also participated in the presentation.

In July, President Thomas S. Monson joined Elder Oaks and Reid in presenting the U.S. president with his family history.

Source & Full Story

Tribute To WWII French Resistance Taking Shape In Kearns, Utah, USA

Each time Stan Watts' sledgehammer fell on the ceramic mold, pieces broke off and more of Daniel Nevot's bronze, youthful face was revealed.

Nevot, a Frenchman now living in St. George, is nearing his 90th birthday and is one of the last living members of the Free French Forces who served during World War II.

The statue Watts is creating -- piece by piece, which will then be welded together -- in his Kearns warehouse-studio will memorialize Nevot, as a tribute to the "common" and "unsung heroes" of the French resistance after the country's leaders had reached an armistice with Germany.

Source & Full Story

Hundreds Of WWII Artillery Shells Found In Moscow

Dozens of people were evacuated from their homes in Russia's capital Wednesday after maintenance workers uncovered hundreds of rusty World War II-era artillery shells beneath a road.

Sappers removed 916 field artillery shells of various caliber after workers expanding a road in west Moscow stumbled upon the cache. Residents of two nearby buildings were evacuated immediately, and the road was closed to traffic.

At least 28 of the shells were armed, said Igor Chernego, the chief of the district office of the Emergency Situations Ministry for northwestern Moscow. But he downplayed the danger they posed.

Source & Full Story

Ancestry Magazine: What a Project!

Think researching your own family history can be a challenge? Imagine researching the histories of a whole slew of people who aren’t even related to you. But people do it all the time. And often their goals are anything but ordinary.

This downloadable feature (pdf) from the March/April 2010 issue of Ancestry Magazine follows three projects that showcase how genealogy is being used to expand on textbook history. By focusing on families who were there when history happened, our trio of modern-day researchers is uncovering stories of the everyday that give us all a better understanding of how lives and history intertwine.

Source & Full Story

FinFamily 420

Other Tools - Linux - Freeware/Open Source

FinFamily 420 has been released.


• Improved adding new languages.
• Init id Text values of notice tags at init phase.
• Changed relations to single selct mode.
• If parent already exists ask confirmation if another parent is suggested to child.

Weird Ways To Be Buried - #8: Ecological burial

The method behind ecological burial is crystal-clear, easy to grasp and accept. It is based on a new combination of tried-and-tested techniques that prepare the corpse for a natural process of decomposition. The procedure is justifiable in terms of ethical, moral, environmental and technical considerations, and does not subject the body to violent or destructive handling.

The method is based upon preserving the body in a biological form after death, while avoiding harmful embalming fluid. Then it can be returned to the ecological cycle in a dignified manner as a valuable contribution to the living earth.

An important part of the solution is to remove that which is least important; the water that makes up 70 percent of a normal-sized body. Technically speaking, this is done using an entirely closed individual process in which the corpse is freeze-dried in liquid nitrogen.

Promessa - Ecological burial

DNA Tests Fail To Identify Unknown WWI Soldiers

Families of British soldiers lost in action during World War I who thought their bodies had at last been found have had their hopes dashed.

Relatives of the soldiers thought to have been killed in the 1916 battle of Fromelles gave DNA samples after the bodies were exhumed last year.

But it has not been possible to identify all the 250 Allied soldiers found buried in the mass grave.

It has only been possible to say that three of the soldiers were British.

Source & Full Story

Australia Shows Its Earliest Surviving Film

Australia's earliest surviving film -- a 1896 movie known as "Patineur Grotesque" or "Humorous Rollerskater" -- was shown in the country for the first time Wednesday, Arts Minister Peter Garrett said.

The comedy, which shows a cigar-smoking, top-hatted man rollerskating before a crowd with a white hand mark on the seat of his trousers -- is thought to have been filmed in Melbourne by French cinematographer Marius Sestier.

While the one-minute movie, which features some of the earliest images of Australia caught on film, was shown overseas over a century ago, Wednesday's screening is believed to be the first time it has been shown Down Under.

Source & Full Story

Can Local Genealogists Link School Lunch Burgers And Chicken Sandwiches To Middle-School Obesity?

When Sacramento genealogists chart genograms, which are family medical histories down through the generations, what do they see as a common link? It's childhood obesity that runs in the family. And what's the link related to? That's where genealogy comes it. It's not only a nutritionist, but also a genealogist that can journal junk food lunches as family habit or tradition. But how healthy, really, are middle-school lunches locally? And do the kids really demand those menus? Or is it all about family habits through the generations? What do the latest studies show as links, but not actual causes of childhood obesity?

Can Sacramento genealogists predict better than nutritionists what local Sacramento schools serve kids for lunch and link the family history records to obesity by middle-school age?

Source & Full Story

16 March 2010

51 Headless Vikings in English Execution Pit Confirmed

Naked, beheaded, and tangled, the bodies of 51 young males found in the United Kingdom have been identified as brutally slain Vikings, archaeologists announced Friday.

The decapitated skeletons—their heads stacked neatly to the side—were uncovered in June 2009 in a thousand-year-old execution pit near the southern seaside town of Weymouth.

Already radio-carbon dating results released in July had shown the men lived between A.D. 910 and 1030, a period when the English fought—and often lost—battles against Viking invaders.

But until now it hadn't been clear who the headless bodies had belonged to.

Source & Full Story

Snapshots In Time Are Just A Click Away In Irish Digital Archive

A new link to our past is now just a few clicks away. The National Library of Ireland yesterday launched its enhanced online service, which has 34,000 photographs recording almost 100 years of Irish history.

"The library holds the world's largest collection of photographs relating to Ireland," said National Library director Fiona Ross.

The 34,000 photographs of Ireland, all relating to the period 1860 to 1954, can be viewed online at

Source & Full Story

Weird Ways To Be Buried - #7: Portraits From Ashes

Would you like a special reminder of someone who has passed? You'll have them with you always in a portrait drawn using their ashes.

Portraits with Ashes are hand drawn memorial portraits using human or pets cremains (ashes).

Portraits From Ashes

Briton Is Recognised As World's First Officially Genderless Person

Norrie May-Welby, 48, was born a man but had a sex change operation in 1990, at the age of 28.

After becoming unhappy as a woman, May-Welby decided to become a "neuter". The 48-year-old is now officially recognised as a person of no specific gender.

May-Welby emigrated to Australia at the age of seven after being born in Paisley, Renfrewshire.

There's no "Genderless" option in my genealogy software :-(

Source & Full Story

DNA Quest To Identify First World War Heroes Buried Without A Name

For 94 years the bodies of 249 British and Australian soldiers lay forgotten under a field in northern France. But tomorrow some of the anonymous dead in the mass grave at Fromelles are expected to regain their identities.

In the largest such endeavour yet attempted, the British and Australian governments are to announce the first results of a project aimed at pairing bones with DNA samples given by soldiers’ living descendants.

Eighty-six British families with relatives thought to be in the grave have given DNA. They await news of relatives, many of whom still occupy a hallowed place in family memory.

Source & Full Story

One In Five Britons 'Descended From Aristocracy'

Millions of us have blue blood in our veins, it has been claimed, with as many as one in five Britons descended from the aristocracy.

Genealogists believe that the upper class were so philandering in their ways that many more of us are related to them than previously thought.

The claims have been made as part of a joint project by the National Trust the online genealogy website to help members trace their roots.

The Trust hopes that many Britons will discover they are descendants of earls and dukes who once inhabited its various stately homes - and therefore feel obliged to make a visit.

Source & Full Story

Bee Docs' Timeline 2.11

Timeline - Mac - Purchase

Bee Docs' Timeline 2.11 has been released.


• Movie exports now work up to ~500 events depending on your computer (up from ~75)
• Events with second values now display the correct date label.
• Registration panel no longer requires an open document
• Adding ability to register via link

The Next Generation of Genealogy Sitebuilding 7.1.3

Web Publishing - Windows, Mac, Linux - Purchase

The Next Generation of Genealogy Sitebuilding 7.1.3 has been released.


• The mass thumbnail generation utility did not work when it was asked to regenerate path names if the files didn't exist (fixed).
• The GEDCOM export was not reporting the Notes total correctly if the "resume" feature was invoked (fixed).
• The people who upgraded from a previous version, the scriptaculous.js library was trying to include files that didn't exist (fixed).
• Some internal issues that could have affected searching were fixed on the Sources and Repositories pages.
• The numbers next to each child on the PDF family group sheet were sometimes showing only as boxes (fixed).
• Sources on the PDF charts were sometimes being improperly formatted (fixed).
• The PDF pedigree chart was showing living data in some cases (fixed).
• In situations where TNG could send email, the resulting error message was being improperly delivered (fixed).
• The Places page would not display if a place name in the top 30 included a double quote (fixed).
• A few numeric fields in the media table were causing trouble for the import and backup operations when no values were included (fixed).
• Some living information was being displayed on the Register page when viewed by a user assigned to a different branch (fixed).
• Searches using the "+/-" years criteria for dates did not always show the "+" sign on the results page (fixed).
• The GEDCOM import expected the 2 TYPE declaration to immediately follow 1 EVEN. If it instead came later, then the TYPE was not identified (fixed).
• Some special characters were not being properly displayed on the RSS page (fixed).
• The RSS page was using a function that only worked in PHP 5 (fixed).
• Searching for a repository from the Admin/Repositories page did not work (fixed).
• Links included in the text of some notes were not being properly converted to live HTML links (fixed).
• One of the pedigree links (on the Ancestors tab) was missing an important argument (fixed).
• Large amounts of text following the EVEN tag will now be imported as a "note" for the event instead of the event title.
• Some internal logic was added to enhance compatibility with Joomla and other CMS packages.
• The Restore operation introduced in 7.1.2 had some issues with large tables (fixed).
• Some maps were showing the wrong zoom level (fixed).
• Some formatting issues relating to special characters in place names and Google map bubbles were fixed.

The Complete Genealogy Reporter 2010 build 100315

Family Books - Windows - Shareware

The Complete Genealogy Reporter 2010 build 100315 has been released.


• Improved: Possessive expressions in French language reports (e.g., "Père d'Arthur" instead of "Père de Arthur".)
• Fixed: Formatting errors in Catalan language reports (spurious special characters).

The Complete Genealogy Builder 2010 build 100315

Full Featured - Windows - Shareware

The Complete Genealogy Builder 2010 build 100315 has been released.


• Improved: Marriage dates and birth dates are now shown in the Individual and Family frames.
• Improved: Source, Note and Repository lists are now sortable by column (e.g., they can be sorted by title/text.)
• Incorporates changes to reporter module; see revision history for The Complete Genealogy Reporter.

Legacy Family Tree

Full Featured - Windows - Purchase

Legacy Family Tree has been released.


• Edit Individual - With the last build the User ID and Ancestral File Number fields were being changed to upper case letters. The FamilySearch ID is supposed to be all upper case letters and will continue to change what you enter to upper case letters.
• File Maintenance - Added a few more checks for Locations and Temples relating to some of the newer fields like Initatory and Confirmation.
• File Maintenance - Fixed a problem where the Purge all unused Locations was removing a location that was still being used by a Confirmation which was marked as a living confirmation.
• Merge - When the right field being copied to the left persons record the sources get copied but the new style source details were being lost. Fixed.
• Merge - On the pictures tab when copying an attached document from the right person to the left person and then doing the merge the link was not being done right. Fixed.
• Popup Info Boxes - Fixed the resizing of the popup info boxes when the main Legacy screen gets resized.

Family Tree 6.x-1.2

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

Family Tree 6.x-1.2 has been released.


• Change to permissions: "Family Association" will no longer appear on profile page when set to "private" (unless the user role has the appropriate permissions).

Brother's Keeper 6.4.1

Full Featured - Windows - Purchase

Brother's Keeper 6.4.1 has been released.


• Fixed a bug on the Register Book report which only happened if three things were set a certain way. It would print the wrong first name of the descendant before the death date if you were printing only Basic events, and you had the option turned on to print Alternate names, and you had the option turned off to print separate paragraphs for husband and wife. This bug started happening in January.

15 March 2010

Weird Ways To Be Buried - #6: Carbon Copies

Pencils made from the carbon of human cremains. 240 pencils can be made from an average body of ash - a lifetime supply of pencils for those left behind.

Each pencil is foil stamped with the name of the person. Only one pencil can be removed at a time, it is then sharpened back into the box causing the sharpenings to occupy the space of the used pencils. Over time the pencil box fills with sharpenings - a new ash, transforming it into an urn. The window acts as a timeline, showing you the amount of pencils left as time goes by.

Carbon Copies

GeneaNet: Upload Records And Attach Them To Your Online Family Tree

Did you know that you can attach digitized records to your online family tree? Not only yours, but also records uploaded by any GeneaNet user!

Upload Records

Go to "My GeneaNet : Online Records : Upload" then select the type of record you want to upload (Parish Record, BMD Register, Notarial Record, Other Record).

Terms of Use and Privacy Policy: Users will not upload materials that violate rights of privacy and copyright, users will not upload materials that contain any reference to persons who were born less than 75 years ago, screenshots are not allowed and will be automatically removed.

Then, fill in the form by entering the source of the record (archive, library, Internet, etc.), the place and date of the event, some notes and your personal reference.

Attach A Record To Your Family Tree

Go to your online family tree, log on as "wizard", select an individual, then click on "Add Record/Register".

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

To attach a record indexed to another surname or a record uploaded by another GeneaNet user, you can make a new search from this pop-up window.

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

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


14 March 2010

World War II Propaganda Posters Go Under The Hammer in Lewes, East Sussex, England

A treasure trove of 200 World War II propaganda posters is being auctioned after being found in an old printing factory.

The posters, with famous slogans such as Keep Calm And Carry On and Careless Talk Costs Lives, were described by the Imperial War Museum as a ‘once in a lifetime’ find.

They lay gathering dust until an employee took them home. ‘They are quite a find and as minty as can be. I can remember seeing quite a few of them myself during the war,’ said Roy Butler, from auctioneers Wallis & Wallis in Lewes, East Sussex, England.

The A1 and A3- sized posters are expected to fetch up to £160 per lot of four on March 23.

Source & Full Story

Tracking Down Relatives, Visiting Graves Virtually

Anne Cady spends her Saturdays at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia, searching for tombstones of people she never met. She admits that most people don't understand her hobby.

"Some people think it is kind of ghoulish," she says. "Others totally understand that it is just very peaceful. I've always enjoyed being out in cemeteries and mixing that with my love of puzzles. You know, there couldn't be anything better."

Cady is one of thousands of people who volunteer to take photos of tombstones for the Web site The site links up people from across the United States — all over the world even — who want a photo of a tombstone but don't have the cash to get there and take the photo themselves.

Source & Full Story

Statistical Atlas Of The Ninth US Census (1870) Now Available Online

Statistical atlas of the United States based on the results of the ninth census 1870 with contributions from many eminent men of science and several departments of the government Comp. under the authority of Congress by Francis A. Walker, M. A., superintedent of the ninth census.

The atlas is available page-by-page from the Library of Congress, but you can download it in bulk here:

- All 54 Maps and Charts as 96-dpi JPG files (55 MB) — displays at actual size on most screens.
- All 54 Maps and Charts as 300dpi JPG2000 files (263 MB), identical to the files posted individually by the Library of Congress.
- The Atlas also included 53 pages of scholarly discussions of the population and geography of the country. The articles are mainly of historical interest, but you can download all 53 text pages as 300dpi JPG2000 files (253 MB) if you'd like, or go to the Library of Congress for individual pages.

Weird Ways To Be Buried - #5: Alkaline Hydrolisis

Your body would be dissolved in lye and turned into a brownish, coffee-colored syrupy residue, in what is clearly a very environmentally friendly technique. The liquid has the texture of motor oil and spreads a strong ammonia (urine-like) smell, but it is sterile and can be poured down the drain. In US, animal carcasses have been melted using this method for the past 16 years.

The process requires large stainless-steel cylinders resembling pressure cookers to achieve 300o C heat and 60 pounds (27 kg) of pressure per square inch (6.25 square cm). In US, these cylinders are made by BioSafe Engineering (Brownsburg, Indiana). At the moment, only two U.S. medical centers (the University of Florida in Gainesville and the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota) employ this technique on human bodies, while the procedure itself is legal in Minnesota and New Hampshire. 40 to 50 other centers employ alkaline hydrolysis for human medical waste, animal carcasses or both.

Alkaline Hydrolisis

13 March 2010

Ireland's First Graveyard Wedding To Be Held

A Northern Irish couple is planning Ireland's first graveyard wedding. The request has been made to hold the service in the Ballyclare cemetery in Antrim so they can exchange vows near a recently deceased relative.

The local Newtownabbey Borough Council is still considering the request.

"A request has been made to the council for approval for a marriage ceremony to take place in Ballyclare Cemetery. The council can make a decision on the request after the 21 days," the local authority said.

Ulster Unionist councilor Vera McWilliam said she had "no problem whatsoever" with the request.

Source & Full Story

Weird Ways To Be Buried - #4: Memorial Spaceflights

Leaving Earth to touch the cosmos is an experience few have ever known, but many have often dreamed of Celestis makes it possible to honor the dream and memory of your departed loved one by launching a symbolic portion of cremated remains into Earth orbit, onto the lunar surface or into deep space. Missions into space that return the cremated remains to Earth are also available.

Memorial Spaceflights are easy to arrange and very affordable. Arrangements may be made directly with Celestis, or we can work with the funeral services provider of your choice.

Celestis - Memorial Spaceflights

The Memory Project Gives WWII Canadians Veterans The Chance To Record Their Stories

As a pilot of the famous Spitfire fighter planes, Brian MacConnell knows he had one of the more exciting gigs in the Second World War. MacConnell can regale any eager youngster with tales of dive-bombing and shooting down enemy aircraft.

But even he can appreciate the challenge facing high school history teachers trying to make the war interesting to today’s wired teens.

MacConnell is one of more than 700 Second World War veterans across the country who have participated in The Memory Project: Stories of the Second World War, a growing digital archive of veterans’ personal stories and memorabilia.

Source & Full Story

12 March 2010

National Archives Of India Celebrates Its 110th Foundation Day

The National Archives of India, an attached office of Ministry of Culture, Government of India, celebrated its 110th Foundation Day on 11th March 2010. To commemorate the event, a Foundation Day Lecture on the topic ‘What are the Archives for?’ was delivered here today by Prof. Sabyasachi Bhattacharya, a renowned historian, who till recently was also the Chairman, Indian Council of Historical Research.

The Chief Guest of the function was Shri Jawhar Sircar, Secretary, Ministry of Culture, who, in his inaugural address, stressed upon the need to liberalize access rules of National Archives of India. Emphasising the importance of the archival wealth as the memory of the nation, Shri Sircar announced the new initiative taken by the Ministry of Culture of providing technical and financial support to all the State Archives with a view to bringing them at par with the best professional practices in the field.

Source & Full Story

Weird Ways To Be Buried - #3: LifeGem

The LifeGem is a certified, high-quality diamond created from the carbon of your loved one as a memorial to their unique life, or as a symbol of your personal and precious bond with another.

LifeGem diamonds are molecularly identical to natural diamonds found at any high-end jeweler. To qualify as diamonds, they must have the exact same brilliance, fire, and hardness (the hardest substance known) as diamonds from the earth, and of course, they do!

LifeGem diamonds are created individually from your specific carbon source.


Six Generations Card Games

Fyodor Soloview's Six Generations Card Games, a uniquely developed product with museum quality artwork and genealogically and historically interesting mechanic, is a pleasant example of information coupled with entertainment, challenging the valuation of the card system of “Standard Decks” with Kings, Queens and Jacks.

This innovative pack contains a set of 72 cards with pictures of six generations of immigrants belonging to a family who came to the United States from sixteen European nations in the first half of the nineteenth century. The latest generation consists of the siblings Emily and Jacob, currently living in the United States; and the other five generations represent their ancestors.

As a genealogical and historical gift product, "Six Generations" has perfect usage in education, arts, museums, and homes.

Six Generations Card Games

11 March 2010

Actress Glenn Close Has Genome Mapped

Glenn Close has played a manipulative aristocrat, a Dalmatian-skinning mastermind and is now best known as a high-stakes litigator. She writes a blog about celebrity dogs, is on her third marriage and roots for the New York Mets.

That's probably more than you'd care to know about Glenn Close, but scientists now know a whole lot more than that: The actress has become the first identified woman to have her entire genomic sequence decoded.

Close's genome shared a 95 percent similarity with genomes that have already been fully mapped. It also offered up 379,000 new DNA variations, called SNPs, for researchers to analyze.

Source & Full Story

Weird Ways To Be Buried - #2: Eternal Reefs

Eternal Reefs, Inc. creates permanent living legacies that memorialize the passing of a loved one. For families and individuals that choose cremation, Eternal Reefs offers a new memorial choice that replaces cremation urns and ash scattering with a permanent environmental living legacy.

Families and friends are invited and encouraged to participate in the creation of their loved one's memorial reef. From placing your handprint in the damp concrete during the casting, making a rubbing of the bronze plaque during the viewing ceremony, or placing a flag on your loved one's memorial reef during our military honors ceremony, all Eternal Reefs' activities provide peace of mind for everyone involved.

Eternal Reefs

10 March 2010

Weird Ways To Be Buried - #1: Heavens Above Fireworks

Heavens Above Fireworks celebrates the life of a partner, relative or friend.

"We arrange special fireworks displays which include a number of unique fireworks designed or modified to incorporate cremation ashes, allowing for a spectacular memorial event and happier farewell.

We offer a variety of professional fired displays. These are planned to meet specific client requests and can be supported by other activities. We also offer other services including rockets for self firing incorporating funeral ashes and these can be supported by other fireworks to create your own mini display and we can provide the service for pets ashes too."

Heavens Above Fireworks

Meryl Streep Learns She's Related To Pal Mike Nichols On TV

Meryl Streep was left stunned by a TV study of her family tree - because it uncovered her family links to moviemaker Mike Nichols, who is one of her closest friends.

The actress agreed to be part of top U.S. genealogist Henry Louis Gates, Jr's new documentary Faces of America - but she had no idea his research would suggest she and Nichols are cousins.

Ironically, Streep and Nichols have worked on four films together.

After learning the news during the taping of the upcoming special, Streep shrieked and said, "This is ridiculous!"

Source & Full Story

Google, Italy Agree Massive Book Scanning Project

Google said Wednesday it had reached agreement with the Italian culture ministry to scan up to a million books housed in the national libraries of Rome and Florence.

The move comes as publishers and tech companies battle for dominance in the fast-growing digital e-book market, with Google positioning itself as a go-to place on the Internet for potential book buyers.

The agreement regards out-of-copyright books published before 1868, including writings by Italian physicist Galileo Galilei and German mathematician and astronomer Johannes Kepler.

Google will also provide the libraries with digital copies of the books to post on their own websites.

Source & Full Story

Old Skull Found At Hobart School, Australia

Police say a human skull was found at the Albuera Street Primary School during excavation works.

The Sandy Bay school lies partially on an abandoned 19th century graveyard, and it is believed the remains are historical.

The school's principal says she is not surprised by the find.

Kerry McMinn says it is the second time human remains have been discovered at the school.

Source & Full Story

Pocket Genealogist 3.43A02 (Public Beta)

PDAs and Handhelds - PDAs and Handhelds - Purchase

Pocket Genealogist 3.43A02 (Public Beta) has been released.


• Added "Info" to the "Tools", "Device" menu (on device). This will display the platform name and CE Version.
• Fix to how dialogs are positioned on the tabbed displays for Windows Mobile 6.5.3 devices.

LTools 1.2.22

Other Tools - Windows - Freeware

LTools 1.2.22 has been released.


• Tidy Legacy HTML - added checks in the pre-processor to insure that the Source and Destination folders exist before proceeding.
• Options|Preferences - added the default text for the optional LTools link in Tidy Legacy HTML to Options/Preferences.
• Options|Preferences - changed XmlConfig.dll to save LTools.xml using Windows-1252 encoding so that special characters used by international users can be entered and saved in the Tidy Legacy HTML section of the Options|Preferences dialog.

Kith and Kin Pro 3.0.7

Full Featured - Windows - Shareware

Kith and Kin Pro 3.0.7 has been released.


• Person and family selection lists now retain the selected record.
• Improved the appearance of some dialogs on systems using non-standard DPI settings.
• The "Cascade" function now starts aligning open forms at the top-left of the Tree Area.
• Opening some pictures from the search results list did not set the width and height fields correctly. Fixed.
• The file date in exported GEDCOM headers now conforms to GEDCOM format.
• Dropping a file onto the Kith and Kin Pro icon removed the name of the last-used database. Fixed.

GENP 3.04

Full Featured - Windows - Purchase

GENP 3.04 has been released.


• There are 8 new themes. These themes are based on the existing themes but without music.
• New standard query for Attribute Types.
• Improve More dialog when editing the Late Date.
• Improve response of Tasks Wizard on Windows 7.
• Improve installer process when update - no longer have to backup and restore system tables.
• GEDCOM Import Wizard and New GenBase Wizard indicate that Themes are optional.
• Query Manager now ensures that there is at least one Search Field from a group repesented in the Exported Fields list.
• Fix date validation when adding a Burial Attribute.

Brother's Keeper 6.3.41

Full Featured - Windows - Purchase

Brother's Keeper 6.3.41 has been released.


• Fixed a problem on Group sheets. The recent 6.3.40 version which fixed one problem for making HTML files for Range of Numbers, happened to cause a different problem for HTML files where some pages were missing when there were multiple marriages. This problem has been fixed now.

9 March 2010

Finally, RootsTelevision Will Not Close!

Megan Smolenyak has posted the following announcement:

OK, you convinced me! After getting inundated with emails, tweets, and Facebook postings and messages about the closing of (RTV), I’ve decided to keep it going. I honestly had no clue how valued it was by the genealogical community, and I agree with the many of you who pointed out that it serves a somewhat different purpose than the prime time programming that’s on TV at present (much as I’ve been enjoying that!). At the same time, I think many had not realized that RTV is a one-person company, but one that’s not inexpensive to provide.

Thanks very much to all you who reached out to share your thoughts and experiences. Although I haven’t been able to respond to all of you, I hope you realize that your comments made all the difference in the world. Thanks also to the more than 20 individuals, organizations and companies that contacted me to explore the notion of adopting RTV. It’s refreshing to know how many were willing to step in and help. I also need to thank Brightcove, the video platform used by RTV, for working with me to find viable solutions.

Source & Full Story

The Graveyard Gone Mobile

The Graveyard is a very short game. You play an elderly woman who visits a cemetery. She walks down a straight path towards a bench in front of a chapel. She is old and has trouble walking. So it takes a while to get there. During the difficult walk, we pass by the neatly arranged rows of concrete tombs embedded in a lush atmosphere of sun, clouds, trees, shrubs and animals who found a home in this place. When she finally arrives at the bench, the woman sits down and listens to a song. It's a pensive moment, a quiet pause. When the song is done, she gets up and walks back to the gate. In the full version of the game, there is a chance that she dies while sitting on the bench.

The Graveyard can be downloaded via Or directly from the App Store:

Source & Full Story

Ulysses S. Grant's Collected Papers Now Accessible Online

With the digitization process now complete, the 31 volumes of Ulysses S. Grant's collected papers now are available online through the Mississippi State University Libraries.

The volumes contain thousands of letters written by and to the 18th U.S. president and former Civil War general and Union Army hero. Also including military documents, other materials and numerous photographs, the collection may be viewed free via the Ulysses S. Grant Association's Web site,

In its physical form, the complete Grant collection of about 350,000 items spans some 15,000 linear feet of traditional storage.

Source & Full Story

8 March 2010

Belmont, Lancashire, England, Archives To Go Online

The lives and times of the people of Belmont, Lancashire, England, over the last 150 years are being revealed in project by members of St Peter’s Church.

Every page from the baptisms, marriages and burials registers has been photographed by George Skinner, a retired university lecturer.

The information is being uploaded to the Lancashire Parish Clerks website allowing free access for people.

George’s wife Valerie, a headteacher until her recent retirement, has completed all the 1,255 individual records of burials from 1850 to 1992.

Source & Full Story

Lord Baden Powell Invited To Meet Hitler, MI5 Files Show

Records also show that the founder of the Scout Movement, Lord Baden-Powell, was invited to meet Adolf Hitler.

Despite the invitation there is no evidence Baden-Powell met Hitler, although he did meet with some members of the Nazi hierarchy.

Lord Baden-Powell met Hartmann Lauterbacher, chief of staff of the Hitler Youth and Joachim von Ribbentrop, to London 19 November 1937.

Von Ribbentrop, who arranged the meeting for Baden-Powell, was Germany's ambassador to Britain at the time and became Hitler's foreign minister the following year.

Source & Full Story

The Mystery Of Hitler's 'Spyclists'

Summer 1937. What could be more fitting in the cool afternoon of an English country lane than a group of cycling tourists steadily pedalling their way from one historic site to another, stopping to camp overnight in fields along the way.

The only problem was, that summer, some of those groups of teenage boys were Hitler Youth.

In an era without satellite photography, when detailed ordnance survey maps could be hard to come by and when tension in Europe was rising, MI5 were worried that this innocent cyclo-tourism was a cover for spying.

MI5 had been told that Hitler Youth groups visiting abroad were asked to complete a detailed questionnaire, including questions on terrain, population, and political views of the population.

Source & Full Story

US Women Pilots From World War II To Be Honored

When World War II beckoned, she was a 24-year-old mother of two daughters, ages 4 and 2. Her husband was a draftsman for Lockheed in Southern California, and her brother became an Army Air Forces pilot.

Carol Brinton longed to become a pilot herself -- "My husband had bad eyes so he couldn't get in, and I've always had a hard time letting my brother get ahead of me in anything," she said -- but the U.S. military had other ideas.

"They kept saying women couldn't fly anything bigger than a Piper," she said.

In 1942, with a shortage of male pilots and a desperate need to muscle up for war, the military changed course.

Source & Full Story

What About Writing Articles For The GeneaNet Genealogy Blog

What about writing articles for the GeneaNet Genealogy Blog and sharing on the topics you are interested in.

It can be news, events, genealogy research (tips, terms, etc.), family history societies, archives, genetic genealogy, software, books, onomastics, coats of arms, etc.

To submit an article (a note), click "Submit a Note" in the right sidebar of the GeneaNet Genealogy Blog.

Then, you just have to type in your article. You can add links and images but there's no need to format the content.

(You can select any of the listed topics, this is not really important.)

Click the "Preview Note" button, then click "Edit Note" to modify it or "Submit Note" to validate.

If you can read the French, you can translate any article or part of article from the GeneaNet GeneaWiki into your language!

7 March 2010

Major East-West Division Underlies Y Chromosome Stratification Across Indonesia

The early history of Island Southeast Asia is often characterized as the story of two major population dispersals: the initial Paleolithic colonization of Sahul ~45 thousand years ago and the much later Neolithic expansion of Austronesian-speaking farmers ~4,000 years ago. Here, in the largest survey of Indonesian Y chromosomes to date, we present evidence for multiple genetic strata that likely arose through a series of distinct migratory processes. We genotype an extensive battery of Y chromosome markers, including 85 SNPs/indels and 12 Y-STRs, in a sample of 1,917 men from 32 communities located across Indonesia.

We find that the paternal gene pool is sharply subdivided between western and eastern locations, with a boundary running between the islands of Bali and Flores. Analysis of molecular variance reveals one of the highest levels of between-group variance yet reported for human Y chromosome data.

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6 March 2010

New Jersey ‘genealogical gold’ is available in Belvidere, Flemington

A treasure trove of genealogical data labeled “ye Colonial Kinsmen From Plymouth Rocke to York Towne” has been discovered and is offered to the public by both the Warren County Historical Society in Belvidere and Hunterdon County Historical Society in Flemington.

The genealogical study is presented on eight 2-foot by 3-foot charts documenting about 200 immigrants of Plymouth, Massachusetts and New Amsterdam (present day New York City) and tracing their families through six generations. In total, over 3,000 individuals, all related by blood or marriage, are included, providing many genealogical connections for current New Jersey residents. The material was compiled in 1978 by Joseph N. Kearney of the Roadmaps-Thru-History Association in Los Angeles.

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Lost Jewish Tribe 'Found In Zimbabwe'

The Lemba people are easy to distinguish from most other Zimbabweans - they wear skull caps, pray in a language which is a mixture of Hebrew and Arabic, and put the Star of David on their gravestones.

Their oral traditions claim that their ancestors were Jews who fled the Holy Land about 2,500 years ago.

It may sound like another myth of a lost tribe of Israel, but British scientists have carried out DNA tests which confirm their Semitic origin.

These tests back up the group's belief that a group of perhaps seven men married African women and settled on the continent.

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Historical Monuments Monitored From A Distance

A team of engineers from the University of Seville (US) has created a system for monitoring historical monuments by remote control and detecting possible damage. Five years ago the researchers placed various sensors on the Giraldillo, the sculpture that crowns the Giralda, and now they are publishing the results in the journal Structural Health Monitoring.

"The system has been connected to the Giraldillo to register different variables associated to the mechanical response of this sculpture, such as meteorological actions or conditions that it is subjected to, but it could be used to monitor other historical monuments," says Mario Solís, main author of the study and professor at the Escuela Técnica Superior de Ingenieros (Advanced Technical College for Engineers) of the US.

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5 March 2010

The Diary Of A WWI Jersey Soldier Has Been Discovered

Clarence Percy Ahier was from Jersey, born in 1892 and served as an artilleryman at the Somme and Ypres in the Great War.

Many of those serving during the war recorded their memories, some became famous accounts, and others were locked away in cupboards and lofts. The war diary of Clarence Ahier falls into the second category.

This everyman's tale of an artilleryman serving in horrific conditions was donated to the Societe Jersiaise. It was discovered in a loft in Jersey and was handed to the Societe in a plastic carrier bag.

The diary, telling his story from first enlisting in 1915 through to the return to his island home in 1919 is a typically understated British tale.

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Library of Michigan, Facing Cuts, To Drop Genealogy and Federal Documents

The Library of Michigan, transferred last year to the Michigan Department of Education, is facing the reality of severely tightened budget, focusing on its core mission of statewide library services and service to state government, but beginning the difficult task of finding new homes for two major programs: support for the Genealogy Collection and the Regional Federal Depository Program and Federal Documents Collection.

"We are committed to working with constituents that hold them dear and get those stakeholders to help identify what the needs are and who might be new stewards," State Librarian Nancy Robertson told LJ. "We’re hoping to work with genealogy community and find a solution by October 1."

However, she acknowledged that the documents collection poses an even greater challenge. "It’s trickier to find someone to take it— it’s vast, 1.7 million items," she said. "It takes up a lot of footprint of our space, and space is very expensive for the state."

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New Jersey Senate Panel Approves Bill Unsealing Adoptee Birth Records

Adopted adults would gain access to their original birth certificates and family medical history under a bill a Senate panel approved today.

The bill in one form or another has been before the Legislature since the 1980-81 session. Religious leaders, anti-abortion activists and the New Jersey chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union have successfully lobbied against it, asking lawmakers to protect birth mothers, who believed they had anonymity when they gave up their children.

But open-records advocates continue to argue that knowing their family history is a civil right.

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Popular Science Puts Entire Scanned Archive Online, Free

Popular Science partnered with Google to offer their entire 137-year archive for free browsing. Each issue appears just as it did at its original time of publication, complete with period advertisements.

Aside from bringing back memories for longtime readers, as a whole the archive beautifully encapsulates over a century of PopSci's fascination with the future, and science and technology's incredible potential to improve our lives. Tracing our dreams and visions of the future back through time, you'll see that not a lot has changed. Some things we projected with startling accuracy, and others remain today what they were then--dreams.

Popular Science Archive

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4 March 2010

Ancestral Puebloan mtDNA In Context Of The US Greater Southwest

Ancient DNA (aDNA) was extracted from the human remains of seventy-three individuals from the Tommy and Mine Canyon sites (dated to PI-II and PIII, respectively), located on the B-Square Ranch in the Middle San Juan region of New Mexico. The mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) haplogroups of 48 (65.7%) of these samples were identified, and their frequency distributions were compared with those of other prehistoric and modern populations from the Greater Southwest and Mexico.

The haplogroup frequency distributions for the two sites were statistically significantly different from each other, with the Mine Canyon site exhibiting an unusually high frequency of haplogroup A for a Southwestern population, indicating the possible influence of migration or other evolutionary forces. However, both sites exhibited a relatively high frequency of haplogroup B, typical of Southwestern populations, suggesting continuity in the Southwest, as has been hypothesized by others. The first hypervariable region of twenty-three individuals (31.5%) was also sequenced to confirm haplogroup assignments and compared with other sequences from the region. This comparison further strengthens the argument for population continuity in the Southwest without a detectable influence from Mesoamerica.

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The US National Archives Hosts 6th Genealogy Fair, April 14-15, 2010

The US National Archives will host its sixth annual Genealogy Fair: The World of Genealogy on April 14 and 15, 2010, from 9:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. This year's two-day program will showcase the diversity of Federal records located at the National Archives as resources for family history research. Speakers include National Archives staff, historians, and genealogy professionals. The fair will provide information and guidance for experienced genealogy professionals and novices alike. The fair is free and open to the public, and presented in partnership with the Foundation for the National Archives.

Sessions include workshops on records relating to minority and ethnic groups including African Americans, Chinese, German, Irish, Japanese, Native Americans, and women, as well as a session on DNA genealogy testing, and an evening program on the new genealogy-based TV series "Who Do You Think You Are?" National Archives staff will demonstrate how to use databases including the Archival Research Catalog (ARC) and Access to Archival Databases (AAD). Staff at the "Help! I'm Stuck" table will be available to assist researchers.

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3 March 2010

LTools 1.2.20

Other Tools - Windows - Freeware

LTools 1.2.20 has been released.


• Tidy Legacy HTML - added a check to prevent the user from entering a Destination HTML Folder which is the same or a sub-folder of the Source HTML Folder.
• Tidy Legacy HTML - tweaks to the code that appends an LTools link to the Legacy footer.

FamViewer 2.2

PDAs and Handhelds - PDAs and Handhelds - Purchase

FamViewer 2.2 has been released.


• New Notes feature allows users to add a note to each individual in the database and then email all of the New Notes to themselves. New Notes can be emailed as a simple text message or all the New Notes can be included in a GEDCOM file.
• Display of adopted children has been improved. If a person in the database has multiple sets of parents you can switch between display of these multiple sets of parents in a way similar to the way multiple spouses are displayed.
• Repository information is now displayed in the Sources view.
• Multiple names are displayed for individuals on the Person view. Each name included in the database for an individual is displayed on its own line in the Person view.
• Parsing of names has improved so all prefix, suffix, and nicknames will be displayed correctly.
• Parsing and display of Address information has been improved.
• If an imported file fails to import due to a 'bad file format' error the start of the offending file is displayed in the error dialog to help diagnose the error.
• Numerous GEDCOM parser improvements and performance improvements have been made.
• Display of some Notes and Sources has been improved.

TreeDraw 3.2.4

Charts and Diagrams - Windows - Purchase

TreeDraw 3.2.4 has been released.


• Using "Edit | Update text" did not always use the most up-to-date K&KPro data. Fixed.
• When zoomed out, dragging the selection marquee past the edge of the window made the marquee origin jump. Fixed.

Pocket Genealogist 3.43A01

PDAs and Handhelds - PDAs and Handhelds - Purchase

Pocket Genealogist 3.43A01 has been released.


• Fixed issue where notes greater than 31983 characters in size may have been imported incorrectly.
• Fixed issue with target location drop down list on synchronization screen with 64-bit Vista.

Our Family Book 6.2.1

Family Books - Windows - Purchase

Our Family Book 6.2.1 has been released.


• The update function now checks also the availability of new user guides.

Brother's Keeper 6.3.40

Full Featured - Windows - Purchase

Brother's Keeper 6.3.40 has been released.


• (updated) When importing a Gedcom file, if the gedcom file is missing sources that should be in the file, there is an option to stop the warning message about the missing sources.
• (fixed) Fixed problem on Group sheet. When excluding data for living people, it would sometimes list blank events for Baptized, Christened, Occupation for children.
• (updated) The ALT+F2 popup for characters works on the Location Details now.
• (updated) On the Lists, Sources screen, if you click to show which person this source is attached to, it will also show which event it is attached to.
• (fixed) On the Group sheets, if printing a range of numbers with Husband at top of the page, it would sometimes put the Wife at the top of the page (in cases where that wife had a previous 'not entered' spouse.)
• (updated) On Group sheet and Ancestor chart, if making HTML files, there is a Browse button to select the background picture.
• (new) On the Edit screen, when you click Options, there is a new option there to switch to the Events tab if you double click a Child name.
• (fixed) Ancestor Chart, if option set for Ref Number and making RTF file, it was not showing the Ref Number in the RTF file.
• (fixed) On Gedcom Export, it would sometimes not export more than one alternate name for a person. (If for the options you did ask for sources and did not ask for Notes and did ask for pictures.)
• (fixed) On the Indented Book report, if showing which spouse the child belongs to, and if the child has sex 'unknown', it will say 'child of' and not 'daughter of' or 'son of'.

The National Archives at New York City is Moving

Annoucement by The National Archives at New York City:

The National Archives at New York City is pleased to announce that within the next two years we will move our office to the Alexander Hamilton U.S. Custom House at One Bowling Green in New York City. Our new home will be located in the same building as the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of the American Indian. The building is currently known as the Custom House building, designed by Cass Gilbert in the Beaux Arts style and listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

After extensive renovation, our new space will be ready in the fall of 2011.We will announce the exact dates of the move as soon as possible.

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2 March 2010

Earhart Exhibit Showcases World’s Largest Display On Pioneer Aviator

Purdue Libraries’ Division of Archives and Special Collections (Indiana, USA) has opened a display for the world’s largest collection of papers, memorabilia and artifacts related to Amelia Earhart, the pioneer pilot who paved new paths for women at the university and in society.

“Amelia Earhart: The Aviator, the Advocate, and the Icon” opened Monday (March 1) and will be shown through May 28 in the Virginia Kelly Karnes Archives and Special Collections Research Center on the fourth floor of the Humanities, Social Science and Education Library in Stewart Center. The display is free and open to the public from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. each weekday. Beginning May 10, shortened summer hours will be in effect.

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Why are Americans Mad about Genealogy?

Family: we spend holidays wishing that we could avoid them, and then, for many Americans, the rest of our time trying to hunt them down. Genealogy is, depending on who you consult, either the fastest growing hobby in the U.S., the most popular pastime in the U.S., or just so hot right now.

Two new TV shows are banking on the last. In "Faces of America with Henry Louis Gates, Jr.," the final episode of which airs this Wednesday on PBS, Gates turns Godlike while unveiling the genetic ties and secret heredity of, among others, Meryl Streep, Malcolm Gladwell, and Stephen Colbert. In a tense television smackdown, "Faces" will shortly be joined by the near-mimic British import "Who Do You Think You Are?," set to air on NBC starting March 5th, which promises to do the same for the likes of Sarah Jessica Parker and Spike Lee. The latter has also spawned an eponymous book, "Who Do You Think You Are: The Essential Guide to Tracing Your Family History," written by Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak (cutely abbreviated on the dust jacket to Megan Smolenyak2) who describes herself as "Chief Genealogical Consultant".

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1 March 2010

Canadians want to represent Ireland in Olympics

A number of Canadian athletes, who have Irish ancestry, have told the Olympic Council of Ireland they would like to compete on the country’s behalf at the next Winter Olympics in Russia in 2014.

Jack McGouran, spokesman for the Olympic Committee, said the popularity of the Irish team in Vancouver’s Olympic Village is such that many Canadians have shown interest in joining it, today’s Mail on Sunday reported.

“The Irish team have been remarkably popular here because of the close links between our country and Canada,” he told the Mail, adding, “They want to help Ireland become a bigger nation in winter sports.

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University of North Carolina Yearbooks From 1890 To 1966 Now Available Online

Students can now access the hairstyles and favorite quotations of the students who preceded them with the click of a mouse.

University Libraries posted yearbooks from 1890 to 1966 online in February, offering the University of North Carolina community a resource to reflect on student life from more than a century ago.

The digitization of the Hellenian and Yackety Yack yearbooks kicked off a string of projects conducted by the North Carolina Digital Heritage Center to provide online access to photographic collections, scrapbooks and pictures of museum artifacts.

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Do You Know 'GeneaNet All Relatives'?

GeneaNet All Relatives can help you stay in touch with family and friends while doing your genealogy research.

Your GeneaNet personal inbox is a great way to connect with other members who have ancestors in common with you and share discoveries.

GeneaNet All Relatives allows you:
- to organise your address book,
- to see if you have been added in a GeneaNet user address book and to manage your authorizations,
- to view your family and friends on Google Maps,
- to manage your contact groups and to use the color tool to spot them,
- to write private notes.

Your GeneaNet All Relatives home page provides a snapshot view of the latest news from your network of family and friends.