Genealogy Blog

30 June 2011

Tombstone Technology: Passing Information on Generation After Generation

Imagine being able to find out everything you need to know about a long lost relative - pictures, video and complete life story - equipped with nothing but a smart phone.

"The possibility that many people can make sure that your story, the story of your life and your contributions and your ancestors, lives on is huge,” says Curt Witcher the Manager of Allen County’s Genealogy Center."

Source & Full Story

Old Graffiti at Alamo Intrigues Historians

Alamo officials have discovered a clue to the building's mysterious past, right over the doorway some 3 million visitors pass through each year. Experts believe "1802" might have been scratched into the wall when the Alamo was a mission under Spanish rule, or perhaps decades later, after the U.S. Army added a second floor and roof in the mid-1800s.

Or, as Alamo historian and curator Bruce Winders suggests, it could have been left by an Alamo defender who kept watch from a ledge by a window during the 1836 siege and decided to mark the year of his birth.

Source & Full Story

29 June 2011

ScionPC 7.6 Update Released

Full Featured - Windows - Freeware

ScionPC 7.6 has been released.


• New - Tool to find and relocate missing attachments.
• New - Tool to add a "deceased" fact to people likely to be dead.
• New - Select fact places from a list of existing place names.
• New - Thumbnails of people/families displayed on main data pages.
• New - Personal Summary reports optionally including ancestors or descendants.
• New - Copy personal/family summaries to the clipboard as text.
• New - "Drag-n-drop" to re-order on-screen display of personal/family facts.
• Updated - Optionally remember default sort-order of List of People.
• Updated - Improved documentation of book-style reports.
• Updated - Improved support of repositories.

MagiKey Family Tree 2.3.20 Update Released

Full Featured - Windows - Purchase

MagiKey Family Tree 2.3.20 has been released.


• Preserve the image aspect ratio when previewing images attached to an individual or family.
• Fixed several potential crashing bugs when opening Legacy or RootsMagic generated GEDCOM files.
• Fixed several potential crashing bugs.
• Fixed FamilySearch place normalization.
• Handle Legacy files which use a value for QUAY which is not defined in the GEDCOM specification.
• Improved source and repository index searching.

Families for Legacy Family Tree 1.2.0 Update Released

PDAs and Handhelds - Purchase

Families for Legacy Family Tree 1.2.0 has been released.


• Fix bug in display following detail source deletion.
• Fix bug in unlinking from parents where there is more than one set of parents.
• Support bookmarks.
• Support text attributes (bold etc) in Master and Detail Source View text and comments fields.
• Support AKA sources.
• Enhance picture caption display.
• Extend range of supported date formats.
• Support long press on Family View for selecting alternative spouse and parents.
• Support long press on Pedigree View for selecting alternative spouse.
• Add sibling selection to Pedigree View.
• Display photos for all individuals in Family View on iPad

See also: 70+ Genealogy Apps for PDAs and Handhelds

New Genealogy App: MobileFamilyTree Pro

PDAs and Handhelds - Purchase

MobileFamilyTree Pro is the first full-fledged mobile genealogy application on the market. Intuitive yet powerful. Digital genealogy from beginner to expert.

The next generation of mobile genealogy on iOS - MobileFamilyTree Pro brings the powerful features of MacFamilyTree as a standalone application to your iPhone or iPad.

See also: 70+ Genealogy Apps for PDAs and Handhelds

MacFamilyTree 6.1 Update Released

Full Featured - Mac - Purchase

MacFamilyTree 6.1 has been released.


• Keep Mobile, Desktop Macs, iPhones and iPads in total sync.
• Supports syncing across different Macs.
• Improved Charts & Reports.
• New bundle format for databases.
• Much improved load and save times for databases with many media entries.
• Merge function added for merging persons.

Kate Middleton and Jane Austen are Distant Cousins

Kate Middleton has been revealed as a distant relation of British novelist Jane Austen. The newest member of the Royal family, and the novelist are 11th cousins, six times removed. They share a common 15th century ancestor: Henry Percy, who was the 2nd Earl of Northumberland.

Born in England in 1775, Jane Austen is one of the best-known novelists and social satirists in the world with works like 'Pride and Prejudice', 'Emma' and 'Persuasion.' She never married.

Source & Full Story

Ottawa: City Unveils New Central Archives Building

With a fresh and modern building that opened on Monday, the City of Ottawa Central Archives aims to encourage greater use. "The archives is now a public facility, a public institution, because of this building," said City of Ottawa project manager Christopher Wanczycki. The goal is "to have citizens of Ottawa come and understand that this is theirs."

The $38.6-million building is located at 100 Tallwood Dr. at the corner of Woodroffe Avenue on the city's west side. It is called the City of Ottawa Archives and Ottawa Public Library Materials Centre because it includes the library's collection management and distribution services, which were previously located downtown.

Source & Full Story

28 June 2011

World War II Veteran's Diary Left on Train

A cherished wartime diary chronicling the experiences of a 95-year-old army staff sergeant who served in World War II has been lost on a train. The handwritten journal gives a deeply personal insight into Jim Bowles' time in the Royal Army Ordnance Corps.

It was left on the Bristol Parkway to Penzance train at Redruth by a relative who was transcribing it. The bag was not handed in and British Transport Police said it was now treating the matter as theft.

Source & Full Story

Spanish Civil War 'Drew 4,000 Britons' to Fight Fascism

Hundreds more Britons went to fight fascism in the Spanish Civil War in the 1930s than had previously been thought, newly released files show. MI5 recorded the names of about 4,000 people from Britain and Ireland suspected of travelling to join the war, National Archives files show.

The previous estimate stood at about 2,500. Many volunteers were communists and of interest to MI5. One name on the list is Eric Blair, better known as author George Orwell. His experiences in the Spanish Civil War were documented in his book Homage to Catalonia.

Source & Full Story

Botswana's Bushmen Refuse to be Counted in Census

Botswana's Bushmen plan to boycott the country's upcoming census in protest at the government's refusal to provide them with a polling station during the last election, a spokesman said Monday.

Jumanda Gakelebone, spokesman for the Bushmen living in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve (CKGR), said they were still bitter at their exclusion from the 2009 elections.

Source & Full Story

27 June 2011

Are You Related to Diana Spencer, Princess of Wales?

Diana Spencer was born on July 1, 1961. She was the third child born to John Spencer, 8th Earl Spencer, Viscount Althorp, and Frances Ruth Burke Roche, Viscountess Althorp (later known as Frances Shand Kydd). The Spencer family is one of Great Britain's oldest and most important families. They have been closely allied with the royal family for over five hundred years. Since they were initially expecting a boy, they had no name when she was first born. A week later they settled on Diana Frances, after a Spencer ancestress and her mother.

Diana Spencer's Family Tree

The Forgotten British Soldiers of Italian WWI Battle

Many tourists visit northern France and Belgium to see the cemeteries where soldiers killed in World War I are buried, but other British WWI war graves are less well-known or remembered, as army chaplain Andrew Martlew observes.

If the soldiers who lie in the British military cemetery at Granezza had died a few months earlier, their graves would have had a constant stream of visitors and their memorials at Tyne Cot or the Menin Gate would have been part of our national folklore.

Source & Full Story

Preview of the New Public Online Family Tree Pages

The public Online Family Tree (GeneWeb) pages will be updated in August 2011.

Here are some preview screenshots (some text is in French but the final version will be translated into English).

Continue reading...

24 June 2011

Origin of Woman's Gravestone Found in St. Paul, Minnesota, Eludes Genealogist

The mystery of a headstone found near St. Paul's Wabasha Street Caves deepened Thursday as one local genealogist tried to track down the "Marie Olsen" whose name is inscribed on it.

Jay Fonkert, a professional genealogist, saw an article in Thursday's Pioneer Press about the headstone. It said a passer-by found the heavy gravestone Sunday in the 300 block of South Wabasha Street, and police recovered it and are trying to find out where it belongs. Other than Olsen's name, the headstone says only "1879-1932."

Source & Full Story

23 June 2011

World War II Mystery Solved in a Few Hours

As Tuesday dawned, what we knew about an anonymous photo album by a Nazi photographer was only what could be inferred from its 214 pictures (all but one uncaptioned). We could see he had amazing access: taking portraits of Russian and Jewish prisoners one month, standing just a few feet from Adolf Hitler the next.

We now know that the photographer was Franz Krieger, a native of Salzburg, Austria, who lived until 1993. And we know that the woman was Frieda Krieger, his wife. She was killed on Nov. 17, 1944 — as was their 2-year-old daughter, Heidrun — when America’s 15th Air Force bombed Salzburg.

Source & Full Story

Pentagon Identifies Remains of 5 Servicemen Missing from WWII

The remains of five U.S. Army Air Force servicemen whose plane crashed in the Philippines during WWII have been identified, the U.S. Department of Defense announced today. The Pentagon said the men went missing on April 3, 1945, after taking off in a B-25J Mitchell bomber from Palawan Field, Philippines.

Although some witnesses later claimed to have seen the plane crash in a swampy area and remains were found, the evidence was not substantial enough to discern their identities. The remains were exhumed from unmarked graves three times since the crash in an effort to identify the men.

Source & Full Story

Nottinghamshire's medieval records published online

A register of medieval court rolls, surveys and maps, has been released online for the first time. Information about 200 Nottinghamshire manors is accessible to the public thanks to the county council's archives team.

"Manorial documents are the earliest records for any local community," said archivist Mark Dorrington. Manors were agricultural estates compromising a village whose inhabitants would work the land for the estate's lord. The manorial documents, which pre-date Parish records started in 1538, include such details as the hanging of a thief, men accused of sheep theft and a fight in 14th century Mansfield.

Source & Full Story

Nazis 'Planned Gas Attack' During UK War Invasion

Germany planned to use chemical and biological attacks during a wartime invasion of Britain, according to documents from the National Archives. Aircraft adapted to spray gas or foot-and-mouth disease, and even anthrax shells, were seen as possibilities.

The Nazis were "rapidly preparing" by March 1941 and would not hesitate to attack, say the papers. Gas attacks on troops were viewed as most likely, but attacks on the public were also predicted.

Source & Full Story

Archaeological Evidence Reveals That Half of Britons Have German DNA

Geneticists have revealed that according to archaeological evidence, 50 per cent of Britons are German. It may shock those who take pride in quoting a world cup triumph and the outcome of two wars as signs of British superiority.

It is already known that tribes from northern Europe invaded Britain after the Romans left in around 410AD. But scientists now say that around half of Britons have German blood gushing through their veins.

Source & Full Story

Jewish Bodies Found in Medieval Well in Norwich, England

The remains of 17 bodies found at the bottom of a medieval well in England could have been victims of persecution, new evidence has suggested. The most likely explanation is that those down the well were Jewish and were probably murdered or forced to commit suicide, according to scientists who used a combination of DNA analysis, carbon dating and bone chemical studies in their investigation.

The skeletons date back to the 12th or 13th Centuries at a time when Jewish people were facing persecution throughout Europe.

Source & Full Story

Genealogist Unravels Mystery of 1800s Ring

A professional genealogist from Utah has helped find the rightful heirs to a 1800s gold ring found buried in the sands of a local beach in what he is calling an "almost unheard of" turn of events. The descendants live as far away as Virginia and North Carolina, but in a striking coincidence, they happen to be in New Hampshire this week for a family member's funeral.

Danny Hall, "The Gentleman Genealogist" from Salt Lake City, Utah, heard the "unique" story of the engraved ring, as told in recent stories in the Portsmouth Herald. "I've never seen anything close to this before," said Hall, who specializes in solving family mysteries and reuniting relatives. "This is almost unheard of."

Source & Full Story

New Virginia Website Traces Ancestor's Movements on Civil War Battlefields

Visiting a Virginia Civil War battlefield can be a profoundly moving experience, especially for visitors who have an ancestral connection to those battles. More than two million soldiers fought in the American Civil War and more of them fought in Virginia than in any other state. It follows that millions of Americans today are descendants of Civil War soldiers who fought in Virginia. Now for the first time visitors can track the movements of a soldier or regiment with the new Walk In Their Footsteps program at

Source & Full Story

22 June 2011

Mysteries of a Nazi Photo Album

There are certainly many photo albums of Nazi leaders and many photo albums of the Nazis’ victims. But it’s hard to imagine many albums depicting both, just a few pages apart.

At least one does, however, and it has surfaced in New York City. Its creator was able — apparently within weeks — to photograph Hitler as he warred on Russia and also to photograph some of the earliest victims of that brutal campaign, known as Operation Barbarossa, which began 70 years ago Wednesday.

Source & Full Story

RootsMagic Update Released

Full Featured - Windows - Purchase

RootsMagic has been released.


• Source report (and some others) would sometimes print a repository twice.
• GEDCOM export could crash when encountering a corrupt date field in the database.
• Handle the incorrect FTM 2008-2011 GEDCOM CONC tag handling.
• Some ordinances for people w/o death facts wouldn’t print in LDS report.
• Fixed address issues during GEDCOM import.
• ToDo list would sometimes print an incorrect repository for items with no repository.

Branches Update Released

Full Featured - Windows - Purchase

Branches has been released.


• Improved spacing of second husbands, for readability.

Canada: Old Film Treasures Preserved in Federal New Archives Building

Some of Canada’s oldest films and photographs, recorded on deteriorating and highly combustible cellulose nitrate, now have a safe home. Library and Archives Canada unveiled its new $14.7-million preservation facility for nitrate film on the government’s Shirleys Bay campus Tuesday.

The new building now houses 5,575 reels of nitrate film dating back to 1912. Famous titles include Back to God’s Country (1919), the oldest existing Canadian feature film, and Churchill’s Island, the first Canadian film to win an Oscar (in 1941). There are also almost 600,000 nitrate photograph negatives.

Source & Full Story

21 June 2011

Thousands Stop To See Emancipation Proclamation

Thousands have turned out at a Detroit-area museum to see the original Emancipation Proclamation during a free, around-the-clock display.

The historic document went on display Monday evening. Henry Ford Museum in says it's the first time the Emancipation Proclamation has visited Michigan since 1948. The display runs through Wednesday morning.

Source & Full Story

Darwin's Library, Annotations Go Digital

Cambridge University has digitized Charles Darwin’s personal library and put online all his annotations and notes in the margin on Tuesday. The digitization also includes 330 of the most heavily annotated books already posted online for universal access.

People can now easily search for a keyword within Darwin's annotations, rather than trawl through hundreds of thousands of pages for his relevant thoughts, Techradar website reported. Darwin had over 1,480 books in his personal library, of which 730 have comprehensive notes scribbled in the margins. All the annotated books in his personal library will end up in the online database.

Source & Full Story

How Black Men and Women Risked Their Lives by Going Undercover During the Civil War

Confederate officers thought slaves were powerless and oblivious - they were dead wrong. Leaders in the South would openly discuss troop movements and battle plans and leave important documents right under their noses, without any fear they would comprehend and relay the information.

Who would they tell? They were just butlers, deckhands on a rebel sympathiser's steamboat, or field workers. But some weren't just slaves - they were also spies working undercover as Union intelligence officers. 'The chief source of information to the enemy,' General Robert E Lee, commander of the Confederate Army, said in May 1863, 'is through our negroes.'

Source & Full Story

20 June 2011

Records of Early Cape Settlers Donated to Sturgis Library

The Unitarian Church of Barnstable has donated its early records to the Sturgis Library in the hopes that one day the library can make the hand-written ledgers and notebooks of daily colonial life available to the public. The records contain the births, deaths, marriages, taxes on pews and business dealings of early settlers.

If nothing else, the records should be a reminder of how comfortable life is today compared to 1646, when the first meeting house in the parish was built. Separate seats were assigned for "Indians" and "Negroes," according to a historical booklet by church historian Scott Allan.

Source & Full Story

Iron Age settlement found on one of Europe's most inhospitable islands

Archaeologists have discovered evidence of a settlement which could date back to the Iron Age on one of Europe's most inhospitable islands. It had been thought that no people had ever lived on the St Kilda island of Boreray, 40 miles west of the Outer Hebrides in the Atlantic Ocean.

Inhabitants of nearby Hirta island used to visit Boreray only in the summer to hunt birds and gather wool, a practice which ended in the early 20th century. But the new discovery suggests that people may have lived on the steep slopes of the island as far back as prehistoric times.

Source & Full Story

British Library Makes Google Search Deal

Thousands of pages from one of the world's biggest collections of historic books, pamphlets and periodicals are to be made available on the internet. The British Library has reached a deal with search engine Google about 250,000 texts dating back to the 18th Century.

It will allow readers to view, search and copy the out-of-copyright works at no charge on both the library and Google books websites. The library gets more than a million visitors a year.

Source & Full Story

University of Strathclyde Archives

The catalogue is a searchable database of descriptions of the archives held at the University of Strathclyde. The collections include:

- The archives of the University dating back over 200 years to the founding of Anderson's Institution in 1796.
- The archives of Jordanhill College of Education and its antecedents dating back to the Glasgow Infant School in 1828.

Many other collections of archives on subjects as diverse as education, science, politics, town planning, investigative journalism, shipping, the iron and coal industries, asbestos and sculpture.

University of Strathclyde Archives

Historic Marker Mistakenly Identifies Hollywood Hotel

The sign at "Hollywood Historic Site No. 38" has its facts wrong, Brian Christie says. And he ought to know, he says, because Hollywood's first "modern" luxury hotel was his great-grandfather's doing. If the historical record can be believed, Christie has rich family roots.

The 52-year-old West Hills resident has traced them back to 1740, when Capt. John Christie was born in Scotland and later migrated to the United States where he fought in the Revolutionary War. The captain's son was captured by Native Americans in what is now Pennsylvania and held for 18 months until he was released for ransom, Christie said.

Source & Full Story

Are You Related to Rosemary Clooney?

Clooney was born in Maysville, Kentucky, to Andrew Joseph Clooney and Frances Marie Guilfoyle, both of whom were Roman Catholics of Irish and German ancestry. When Clooney was fifteen, her mother and brother, Nick, moved to California. She and her sister, Betty, remained with their father.

Rosemary Clooney's Family Tree

Obituaries Australia

Obituaries Australia is a digital repository of obituaries published in newspapers, journals, magazines and bulletins. Here you will find the life stories of Australians from the earliest times to the present.

This site is hosted by the National Centre of Biography at the Australian National University, which also produces the award-winning Australian Dictionary of Biography. While the ADB focuses on the lives of notable Australians, Obituaries Australia offers a sample of the Australian experience by reproducing, in a convenient online format, published obituaries relevant to the history of Australia.

Obituaries Australia

City Archives of Jakarta, Indonesia, in a State of Neglect

People may not need old archives in their everyday activities, but finding much needed documents in an emergency could be troublesome if one is not well organized. The capital is experiencing rapid development, and the institution charged with archiving and recording the changes is the Jakarta Library and Archives Agency, also known as Arsip Jayakarta.

The archive’s pale green building on Jl. Cikini Raya 73 in Central Jakarta is rarely visited. The fireproof archive room is badly arranged, with several boxes scattered across the floor and others placed on shelves.

Source & Full Story

New GeneaNet Feature: The 'Individual Alert'

Every GeneaNet member can receive a weekly email that aggregates the latest entries by name, place and year. These are the 'Favorite Searches'.

GeneaNet Club Privilege members can now receive more accurate emails that aggregate the latest entries by name (with alternate spelling), first name (with alternate spelling), place, year, occupation and spouse. These are the 'Individual Alerts'.

Continue reading...

17 June 2011

Rare 15th-Century Reference Work Acquired by Law Library of Congress

The Law Library of Congress has acquired two volumes of an extraordinarily rare 1478 edition of the "Casus breves" of Johannes de Turnhout (c. 1446-1492), printed by the Brotherhood of the Common Life at their Brussels press, Te Nazareth Gheprint.

Only 13 copies of the 1478 edition of "Casus breves"—the oldest—are known to exist in the world. With this acquisition, the Law Library of Congress’s edition will be the only copy in the United States. It is made available through the generosity of Julie Chrystyn Opperman, in honor of her husband, Dwight D. Opperman.

Source & Full Story

16 June 2011

The Complete Genealogy Reporter 2011 beta build 110613 Update Released

Family Books - Windows - Shareware

The Complete Genealogy Reporter 2011 beta build 110613 has been released.


• Fixed: Further errors in the French GUI translation.
• Improved: Matching of entries in the Places description file with maps created by the Google Map capability of The Complete Genealogy Builder.
• Improved: Minor revisions to Slovak report translations.

The Complete Genealogy Builder 2011 beta build 110613 Update Released

Full Featured - Windows - Shareware

The Complete Genealogy Builder 2011 beta build 110613 has been released.


• Fixed: Specification of latitudes and longitudes with N/S/W/E followed by a negative coordinate are now rejected as invalid.
• Fixed: Saved maps (Google Maps capability) are now named correctly; previously, rounding errors could result in a mismatched filename.

MacFamilyTree 6.1 Public Beta 15 Update Released

Full Featured - Mac - Purchase

MacFamilyTree 6.1 Public Beta 15 has been released.


• Several fixes syncing Macs.
• GEDCOM importer improvements.
• Localization updates.

GRAMPS 3.3.0 Update Released

Full Featured - Linux - Freeware/Open Source

GRAMPS 3.3.0 has been released.


• Many translation updates.
• New “person name” dialog and workflow with better (or new!) support for nickname, complicated multiple surnames, patronymic as surname, family nickname, and name format preferences.
• Gramplet bottombar and sidebar per view, with new gramplets such as details view and image metadata viewer/editor.
• Ability to tag objects; this is the next version of what used to be called “markers” in previous versions of Gramps.
• Geography view now uses osm-gps-map.

Family Tree PHP 1.1.1 Update Released

Web Publishing - Windows, Mac, Linux - Purchase

Family Tree PHP 1.1.1 has been released.


• On descendants pages, when the number of generations was limited, the last generation was listed twice.
• The person links in the xml sitemaps were not correct (they redirected to the correct links though, but Google likes to have the correct links).
• A few minor bugs.

Billion Graves 1.1 Update Released

PDAs and Handhelds - Purchase

Billion Graves 1.1 has been released.


• Cannot Use Camera Without Accurate GPS Fix.
• Cemetery Map Improvements.
• User Email is displayed in dashboard.
• More Accurate GPS Settings.
• Improved Photos View.

See also: 70+ Genealogy Apps for PDAs and Handhelds

Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada: Students to Unveil 250th Gravestone Project

Last fall students from Arcadia Consolidated School discovered on a trip to the Chebogue Cemetery that history was alive around them. On Thursday, June 16, they’ll be sharing their experience, and what they learned beyond their normal classroom setting, during a public unveiling of their gravestone project display at the school at 1 p.m.

The project is the school’s contribution to Yarmouth’s 250th celebrations. Last October, the Grade 5 students went to the cemetery – commonly referred to as the Town Point Cemetery – armed with supplies and their curiosity.

Source & Full Story

15 June 2011

Secret Archive Reveals how Russia Showed Huge Support for 'Christian Crusader' Nazi Invaders

An extraordinary secret archive has revealed for the first time how thousands of Soviet citizens collaborated with Nazi invaders during World War II. The cache of documents, some retrieved from the files of the KGB, shows how many viewed the Germans as Christian liberators – and their own masters as godless Communists.

This view was reinforced when the soldiers of the Third Reich opened up 470 churches in north-western Russia alone and reinstated priests driven from their pulpits by Stalin. In turn, the clergy co-operated closely with S.S. death squads in betraying Communist officials, Jews and partisan resistance groups.

Source & Full Story

Foundation for the National Archives Receives $13.5 Million Gift from Philanthropist David M. Rubenstein

The Foundation for the National Archives has received a $13.5 million gift from philanthropist David M. Rubenstein to enhance and expand the museum offerings at the National Archives. This gift, the largest single contribution ever received by the Foundation for the National Archives, will help create a new permanent exhibition gallery as well as a visitor orientation plaza at the Archives' flagship building in Washington, DC.

Source & Full Story

America's Most Endangered Historic Places

A Civil War fort, a Colonial-era farm and a 1,000-square-mile swath of northwestern New Mexico. What could such disparate destinations have in common? Sadly, their one shared characteristic is that they all made the latest edition of America’s 11 Most Endangered Places, released Wednesday from the National Trust for Historic Preservation (NTHP).

Now in its 24th year, the annual list shines a light on the nation’s architectural, cultural and natural heritage by focusing on places that are at risk of destruction or damage, be it by way of neglect, development, age or natural causes. By publicizing their plights, NTHP hopes to rally support to preserve them.

Source & Full Story

14 June 2011

Are You Related to Paul McCartney?

McCartney was born on June 18, 1942, in Walton Hospital in Liverpool, England, where his mother, Mary (née Mohan), had worked as a nurse in the maternity ward. He has one brother, Michael, born 7 January 1944. McCartney was baptised Roman Catholic but was raised non-denominationally: his mother was Roman Catholic and his father James, or "Jim" McCartney, was a Protestant turned agnostic.

Paul McCartney's Family Tree

Volunteers Preserve Precious Photos Damaged by Tsunami

In the town of Yamamoto in Miyagi Prefecture, heavily devastated by the tsunami on March 11, college students were handling photos salvaged from the rubble and carefully cleaning them, one by one.

The photos showed images of wedding ceremonies, "Shichi-Go-San" rite-of-passage ceremonies for children and scenes from trips. Many had faded in color and had mold growing on them. Beside the students, photographers were taking digital pictures of the images, because the photographs may undergo further deterioration during rainy season.

Source & Full Story

Birthplace of Mercedes-Benz Founder Carl Benz Discovered

In the year of the 125th anniversary of the automobile, an important gap has now been closed in the life story of Carl Benz, and therefore also in the corporate history of Daimler AG. The latest historical research suggests that the inventor of the automobile was born in a guesthouse at Rheinstrasse 22 in the Mühlburg district of Karlsruhe.

The place of his birth had remained previously unknown. However, the house no longer exists, having been knocked down in the 1950s to allow for the widening of Rheinstrasse. The site is today occupied by a department store with adjoining car park. It is planned to erect a small memorial to the inventor in the direct vicinity of the site.

Source & Full Story

US Identifies Remains of Soldier Missing Since 1951

Sixty years after vanishing on the battlefields of the Korean War and 20 years after being shipped back in a coffin, the remains of a US soldier have been identified using DNA testing.

The Pentagon said Monday it had identified Corporal A.V. Scott, who went missing in 1951 at age 27 and was sent back in one of 208 coffins bearing the remains of 200 to 400 soldiers returned between 1991 and 1994.

Source & Full Story

13 June 2011

GeneaNet Public Online Family Tree Themes Updated

Some GeneaNet Public Online Family Tree (GeneWeb) themes have been updated:

- The theme 'A' doesn't exist anymore and it has been replaced by the theme 'B' plus a 3-generation family chart.
- The theme 'B' has been replaced by the theme 'C' plus a 3-generation family chart.

If you were using one of these themes, your configuration has been modified.

Other themes didn't changed.

Continue reading...

10 June 2011

WWI Underground: Unearthing the Hidden Tunnel War

Archaeologists are beginning the most detailed ever study of a Western Front battlefield, an untouched site where 28 British tunnellers lie entombed after dying during brutal underground warfare. For WWI historians, it's the "holy grail".

When military historian Jeremy Banning stepped on to a patch of rough scrubland in northern France four months ago, the hairs on the back of his neck stood up. The privately-owned land in the sleepy rural village of La Boisselle had been practically untouched since fighting ceased in 1918, remaining one of the most poignant sites of the Battle of the Somme.

Source & Full Story

GedStar Pro for Android 1.7.2 Update Released

PDAs and Handhelds - Freeware

GedStar Pro for Android 1.7.2 has been released.


• Fix Dropbox/Google Docs support for file names containing spaces.

See also: 70+ Genealogy Apps for PDAs and Handhelds

Pocket Genealogist 4.03A03 Public Beta Update Released

PDAs and Handhelds - Purchase

Pocket Genealogist 4.03A03 Public Beta has been released.


• Initial support for The Master Genealogist Version 8.

See also: 70+ Genealogy Apps for PDAs and Handhelds

Headstone Mystery: Veteran has Spent Years Searching for Dead Woman's Family

A First Coast veteran dying of cancer is determined to find the answer to a more than 20-year-old mystery. Years ago, a heavy reminder of one woman's life and death showed up right outside Earnest Luttrell's door and time to return it to its rightful owner is ticking away."It's stuck with me and stuck with me," he said. "No answers whatsoever."

It's a headstone for a Mattie L. Metcalf, born June 8, 1872, died October 19, 1930.

Source & Full Story

8 June 2011

Hitler's Earliest Letter Which Reveals His Plans to Exterminate Jews Goes on Display for the First Time

It would be two decades before he dreamt up his twisted Final Solution. But even in 1919 - at the age of just 29 - Adolf Hitler was already thinking about how to get rid of the entire Jewish population. The earliest letter illustrating Hitler’s anti-Semitism has gone on show for the first time making clear the depth of his hatred for the Jews.

In the note he calls for a for a strong government that could handle the ‘Jewish threat’ and bring about the ‘removal of the Jews altogether’. He also claims that Jews have been ‘inbreeding’ for thousands of years and that are ‘the racial tuberculosis of the nations.’

Source & Full Story

Cyndi's List Announces a Newly Upgraded Web Site

From an announcement by Cyndi Ingle Howells: "Cyndi's List is proud to announce a newly upgraded web site. With improved navigation, a custom database, and a custom administrative interface, the upgrade means that everything will be quicker and easier for both visitors and for the site's owner and administrator, Cyndi Ingle Howells. The upgrade has been done by fusionSpan of Maryland. Their staff worked closely with Cyndi to make improvements and to implement new technology and new ideas designed specifically for Cyndi’s List and for the genealogical community."

Source & Full Story

Danish Local History Archive Now Available On Europeana

Fascinating 100 year-old newspapers, images, music and ephemera from Roskilde in Denmark are now available worldwide thanks to their inclusion in the European cultural database Europeana.

Roskilde is the 12th biggest region in Denmark with 80,000+ inhabitants on the island of Zealand. Roskilde Local History Archive uses Axiell's Calm collection management technology which makes it possible to display its cultural history on the web.

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7 June 2011

The Complete Genealogy Reporter 2011 beta build 110605 Update Released

Family Books - Windows - Shareware

The Complete Genealogy Reporter 2011 beta build 110605 has been released.


• Improved: When a page break occurs in the description of an index entry, the ""Subtitle (Continued)" heading is repeated on the new page.

The Complete Genealogy Builder 2011 beta build 110605 Update Released

Full Featured - Windows - Shareware

The Complete Genealogy Builder 2011 beta build 110605 has been released.


• Fixed: Possible incorrect maintenance of "Referenced by" back-links from events. (These links will be recreated automatically the first time this build is run.)

MacFamilyTree 6.1 Public Beta 14 Update Released

Full Featured - Mac - Purchase

MacFamilyTree 6.1 Public Beta 14 has been released.


• Several fixes resolving conflicts.
• Fixes syncing Macs.
• Improved sorting exporting web sites.
• Minor user interface improvements.

Legacy Family Tree Update Released

Full Featured - Windows - Purchase

Legacy Family Tree has been released.


• Book Reports - If a comma came right after a bolder portion of text, the comma alone might wrap to the next line. Fixed.
• Chart Reports - The color text and boxes options were not being saved. Fixed.
• Child List - The labels for Child Status, Relationship to Father, and Relationship to Mother now show if a source has been attached.
• Chronology Options - Timelines in color option and Cause of Death option are now saved.
• Descendant View - Error 94 'Invalid use of Null' and missing descendant's grid. Fixed.
• Family Group Records - Fixed some event field overwriting problems.

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On Thursday June 9th, 2011 it is #AskArchivists Day on Twitter

To get more attention for archives on Twitter there will be a Twitter event #AskArchivists on 2011 June 9th. This Twitter event is managed by Charlotte S H Jensen of the National Museum (National Museet) in Copenhagen (Denmark) & Anneke van Waarden-Koets of the Zealand Archive (Zeeuws Archief) in Middelburg (the Netherlands). The Twitter event is an international happening, so every archive and archivist in the world can take part. The name of the Twitter event is: Ask Archivists. The hashtag (#) for the Twitter event is: #AskArchivists.

Source & Information

FamilyTreeFactory Update Released

Charts and Diagrams - Windows - Purchase

FamilyTreeFactory has been released.


• At the GEDCOM import, objects of the type Photo, which have another format than bitmap or JPEG file, are imported as documents of the type Image. This change was not reported in the conversion log, even if the Log Contents and Level of Detail was set to 3 or higher. This bug has been fixed.
• At the Combination of Multiple Trees, under very rare conditions the function Snap Free Image Object to Grid could fail. This bug has been fixed.
• Selecting a child in the Personal Data dialog, Partners and Children tab, could cause an integrity error under certain conditions. This bug has been fixed.
• Moving boxes manually can cause clearing the box column to the right and new dimensioning of the whole graphic. In this case the Graphic Margin Right has been set to a minimum value, even if a larger value has been set in the Treeview Options. This bug has been fixed.
• The disturbed behavior of simple message dialogs with buttons like Yes/No/Cancel under Windows Vista and Windows 7 has been corrected.
• The function Export Records As Text File now leads to a dialog to configure the export widely. In the export dialog included persons and data fields as well as the separating character can be selected.
• In the Select Person dialog sorting by different maiden names has been improved.
• In the Treeview Options dialog, Graphic Content tab, Tree Structure, Relatives in descendant trees, the output of partners can be limited to partners with children.
• Numerous small improvements and corrections.

Family Transforms 1800s Cemetery From a Jungle Into a Garden

When your father tells you he wants to be buried next to his parents, it can pose a problem if the family graveyard has disappeared.

“This cemetery was so overgrown you couldn’t see it from the street,” photographer Doug Yancey said one morning, wielding a chain saw on some fallen trees at the South Bend Cemetery in southeast Atlanta, near the federal penitentiary. “My family had a plot here for 100 years, but we couldn’t find it, we couldn’t drive into it.”

Source & Full Story

Lost Archives Returned to Brooklyn Court

It’s a mystery how and when the Kings County Surrogate’s Court lost its earliest records of guardianships in Brooklyn. Perhaps they were stolen a century ago. But last week, they came home, via a train from Philadelphia. “It’s not just court documents — this is our history, part of a legacy,” said Surrogate Diana A. Johnson of the surprising, recent discovery.

The record books, Brooklyn’s “Bonds of Guardianship, Vol. 1 through 4,” date back to 1830 and record the details of guardianships through 1852. The historic volumes were found last year at a used bookstore in Philadelphia by professional genealogist Sandra Hewlett.

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New Website Launched to Find Long-Lost Cuban Birth Certificates

A new company is charging $495 to help people who are desperate to find long-long Cuban legal documents. By Frances Mario Alvarez spent several years and many dollars looking for yellowing documents in Cuban archives so he could write his family history.

Like other Cuban genealogy enthusiasts and people who need birth certificates or death records to marry, drive or apply for citizenship, he encountered a tangled maze of red tape. Experts say the setbacks start in Washington, at Cuba’s consulate.

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6 June 2011

Website Offers ‘A Little Million’ Haskell Descendants

There is a Haskell genealogy in some libraries which is rather short of dates and places. Much more information is available on the website of the Haskell Family Association, kept by Richard Haskell, at

Haskell is one of those old New England names that really does trace back to “three brothers” — Roger, William and Mark, who came from Charlton-Musgrove, Somerset, England, to Massachusetts in the 1630s. Gloucester, Mass., and Deer Isle are two locations known for lots of Haskells.

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Are You Related to Johnny Depp?

The Depp family in the United States began with a French Huguenot immigrant, Pierre Deppe or Dieppe, who settled in Virginia around 1700, part of a refugee colony situated above the falls on the James River. The actor has also surmised that he is part Native American, saying in 2011, "I guess I have some Native American [in me] somewhere down the line. My great-grandmother was quite a bit of Native American, she grew up Cherokee or maybe Creek Indian. Makes sense in terms of coming from Kentucky, which is rife with Cherokee and Creek."

Johnny Depp's Family Tree

National Archives of the US Hires Professional Wikipedia Contributor

Acknowledging the important place Wikipedia has established in the world of information, the National Archives has hired its first “Wikipedian in Residence.” Dominic McDevitt-Parks, 24, is a graduate student in history and archives management at Simmons College in Boston.

A self-described “history buff, a word nerd, a news junkie and an occasional pedant,” McDevitt-Parks has contributed to Wikipedia for the past seven years, beginning when he was in high school. Most of his contributions have been in the area of Latin American history.

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New GeneaNet Option: Hide Living Individuals in your Online Family Tree

You can now hide some selected living individuals in your GeneaNet Online Family Tree.

These individuals will stay hidden every time you import a new GEDCOM file to update your family tree.

We hope this will help you with privacy issues...

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1 June 2011

GEDCOM2WIKI alpha Update Released

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

GEDCOM2WIKI alpha has been released.


• Each character is now poperly separated by a pipe "|".
• Each person gets properly abbreviated and then defined at the end of the row where their box appears.