Genealogy Blog

30 July 2011

Remains of 12 WWII Servicemen Identified

The Pentagon has identified the remains of 12 World War II servicemen. The military said Thursday they died in a plane crash in Papua New Guinea on Oct 27, 1943. Their remains will be buried Monday at Arlington National Cemetery.

They are Army Air Forces 1st Lt. Jack Volz of Indianapolis; 2nd Lt. Regis Dietz of Pittsburgh; 2nd Lt. Edward Lake of Brooklyn, N.Y; 2nd Lt. Martin Murray of Lowell, Mass.; 2nd Lt. William Shryock of Gary, Ind.; Tech. Sgt. Robert Wren of Seattle; Tech. Sgt. Hollis Smith of Cove, Ark.; Staff Sgt. Berthold Chastain of Dalton, Ga.; Staff Sgt. Clyde Green of Erie, Pa.; Staff Sgt. Frederick Harris of Medford, Mass.; Staff Sgt. Claude Ray of Coffeyville, Kan.; and Staff Sgt. Claude Tyler of Landover, Md.

Source & Full Story

MobileFamilyTree Pro 1.0.1 Update Released

PDAs and Handhelds - Purchase

MobileFamilyTree Pro 1.0.1 has been released.


• User interface improvements.
• Several bugfixes.

See also: 70+ Genealogy Apps for PDAs and Handhelds

29 July 2011

LTools 1.3.13 Update Released

Other Tools - Windows - Freeware

LTools 1.3.13 has been released.


• Help – converted more LTools to Wiki Web Help.
• Help – added the ability to use both standard Windows HTML Help or Wiki Web Help. The default will be Wiki Web Help. To change this, go to Options | Preferences and change UseWikiWebHelp (under Behavior) to False. Please note that the standard MS HTML Help will no longer be maintained. All new LTools will come with Wiki Web Help only, and changes to existing LTools will only be reflected in the Wiki Web Help.

Continue reading...

Family Trees 1.3.1 Update Released

PDAs and Handhelds - Purchase

Family Trees 1.3.1 has been released.


• Compatibility with Family Trees Lite.

See also: 70+ Genealogy Apps for PDAs and Handhelds

FamilyInsight 2011.7.27.0 Update Released

Other Tools - Windows, Mac - Purchase

FamilyInsight 2011.7.27.0 has been released.


• Legacy files now work with FamilyInsight
• Added community log in ability for new FamilySearch
• Added continuous place checking until completed when first starting a new FamilySearch mode if you are not searching individuals.
• Added continueous status checking until complete on linked records when first starting Full Synchronization or Simple Update modes if you are not searching individuals.

Continue reading...

Ancestral Quest 12.1.32 Update Released

Full Featured - Windows - Purchase

Ancestral Quest 12.1.32 has been released.


• Skins/Color Themes: Four (4) new skins were added. One of these is called, "Classic" and approximates the default color scheme from earlier builds of AQ.
• Color: A new preference was added to the Color selection screen that allows you to select high contrast tabs on the main views. In build 31, basic color schemes had high contrast tabs. The new default for this setting is to NOT have high contrast tabs. If you like the tabs to be more bold, turn on this setting.

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Shakespeare Wedding Clues 'Might be in Billesley Crypt'

Clues as to where Shakespeare was married could be revealed when a crypt is opened in a Grade I listed church in Warwickshire, a charity has claimed. The Churches Conservation Trust (CCT) is opening the crypt later on Thursday in All Saints in Billesley to inspect the state of the church floor.

It said it was possible a marriage licence could be found there offering proof of where he wed Anne Hathaway. The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust said a licence was unlikely to have survived.

Source & Full Story

Spain Starts Search for Lost Bones of Cervantes

Spanish archaeologists have started the search for the remains of Don Quixote author Miguel de Cervantes. The author's bones are believed to lie somewhere within a convent in Madrid and will help unlock clues as to how Cervantes died.

They will also allow forensic teams to reconstruct his face, finally showing the world exactly how he looked. Only one painting of Cervantes exists, and was painted more than 20 years after his death.

Source & Full Story

Obama Thanks Genealogists for Tracing his Roots

Eneclann genealogists were acknowledged by President Obama in the speech he made in College Green, Dublin during his trip to Ireland. ‘Eneclann were delighted to be given VIP tickets to the reception in College Green, along with Megan Smolenyak, the American genealogist who first made the connection between the President’s family and Ireland,’ explains Fiona Fitsimon. ‘We weren’t really expecting an acknowledgement, so to hear him thank the genealogists who had worked on his family history was fantastic.’

Source & Full Story

28 July 2011

Remains of Genghis Khan’s Nephew Found?

Russian archaeologists have unearthed what they say are remains of a nephew of the founder of the Mongol Empire, Gengis Khan. The remains of Isunke Khan were discovered during excavation in Russia’s East Siberian region of Transbaikalia, which were earlier initiated by the Russian Far Eastern Federal University.

The remnants’ DNA testing is yet to be implemented.

Source & Full Story

Tomb of St. Philip the Apostle Discovered in Turkey

A tomb believed to be that of St. Philip the Apostle was unearthed during excavations in the ancient Turkish city of Hierapolis.

Italian professor Francesco D'Andria said archeologists found the tomb of the biblical figure -- one of the 12 original disciples of Jesus -- while working on the ruins of a newly-unearthed church, Turkish news agency Anadolu reported Wednesday.

Source & Full Story

Historic Vermont Newspapers Get New Lease on Life Online

The Vermont Digital Newspaper Project last week added its first batch of digitized newspaper pages to a national database dedicated to providing searchable digital copies of historic newspapers from all over the nation.

Tom McMurdo, the project librarian for the state effort, said there are currently 25 states involved in the National Digital Newspaper Project along with Washington, D.C. Vermont’s addition last week added the database’s oldest available pages, some from 1836, the earliest year within Vermont’s range of funding.

Source & Full Story

27 July 2011

Section of 'Hitler's Wall' Sent to WWII Museum

The gray, concrete, heavily scarred slabs that arrived at the National World War II Museum this week are more than just chunks of an old wall to historians.

The slabs are part of Nazi Germany's Atlantic Wall, a string of defenses ordered by Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler in 1940. The defenses, also known as "Hitler's wall," stretched 3,200 miles from France to Norway and were designed to stop, or at least slow, the Allies from advancing inland during an invasion.

Source & Full Story

Bail Set for Historian in Maryland Historical Society Document Theft Case

A presidential historian charged with stealing millions of dollars in documents from the Maryland Historical Society has had his bail set at $500,000. Hearings for 63-year-old Barry Landau and his assistant, 24-year-old Jason Savedoff, both of New York City, were held Tuesday in Baltimore Circuit Court. Savedoff's bail was set at $750,000.

Investigators say they found 60 historical documents, many of them signed out by Landau, inside a locker Savedoff was using at the library. They include papers signed by President Abraham Lincoln worth $300,000 and presidential inaugural ball invitations and programs worth $500,000.

Source & Full Story

University of Connecticut Scanning Rare Puerto Rican Historical Documents into Digital Archive

The University of Connecticut is digitizing thousands of historical Puerto Rican documents to help make them available to researchers. Library officials said Tuesday the 5,000 fragile documents they are scanning date as far back as 1844 and detail court disputes over slaves, land and livestock.

The documents were acquired by the university's Thomas J. Dodd Research Center in 2000. The scanning began in June with a $15,000 grant from the Chicago-based nonprofit Center for Research Libraries.

Source & Full Story

Forgotten Titanic Teen To Get Headstone

The forgotten teenager who plunged to his death while building the Titanic is to get a gravestone at last.

Samuel Scott (15) was the first person connected with the tragic vessel to die after he fell on the construction site. His body has lain in an unmarked grave in Belfast City Cemetery but a new headstone will be unveiled on Saturday.

Source & Full Story

Mystery Tombstone Has Residents Searching For Answers

Residents in Sherman Oaks are scratching their heads after a mysterious tombstone popped up in a dog park last week. Nobody knows just when it arrived, but some say the marble headstone appeared around July 18 in an open area in front of a condominium complex on the 13000 block of Moorpark Street.

It reads: "Loving Husband Father and Physician Jeffrey Lang, 1976-2012." "It says the person died in 2012 and it's not 2012 yet, so I think it's some sort of joke about the end of the world," resident Dafna said.

Source & Full Story

26 July 2011

The National Archives of the UK Brings Web Archiving to Local Authorities

The National Archives of the UK is working with local authorities to pilot a web archiving model which will ensure important online information is preserved for future generations.

Currently, The National Archives works in partnership with the Internet Memory Foundation (IMF) to archive central government websites but its remit does not extend to cover all the local government or community websites.

Source & Full Story

Age-Old Documents Found at Ravenshaw University, India

The Ravenshaw university authorities have stumbled upon some rare documents of the ancient college, which was founded in 1868, in the record room. The authorities have managed to dig out files more than a hundred years old from the record room of the college and have started measures to preserve these age-old documents by digitizing them.

"Once the records are digitized, we will be in a better position to access these rare documents. These age-old records are of much importance as they provide a lot of information of historical value." said Umankant Mishra, professor of history at the varsity.

Source & Full Story

First WWII Victoria Cross to be Auctioned

The family of World War II hero Ted Kenna say they have mixed emotions about putting his Victoria Cross up for auction. Kenna's medal, earned for single-handedly taking out a Japanese machine gun post, will be the first WWII VC to be sold publicly.

The VC is the centrepiece in a 10-medal collection estimated to be worth $900,000. His son Rob Kenna says he and his siblings were honouring their father's wish in selling the medal but he admits to "mixed feelings".

Source & Full Story

25 July 2011

'Love letters' from the Civil War

The "Love letters" being shared by the Missouri History Museum may not have the drama of, say, a Civil War battle re-enactment, but we're captivated by the romance between a St. Louis soldier and his beloved "dear girl" unfolding on the "History Happens Here" blog.

Here's a sample of the lovely prose, written by new Union recruit James E. Love to his sweetheart Molly Wilson, as he leaves the city in June 1861: "We are at present near St. Charles & en route for Jefferson City. I shall write you again from there at present I have only time to say how much I love you. All my hopes of Heaven & earth depend on you..."

Source & Full Story

Historians Seek 1944 Port Chicago Blast Survivors

Historians are seeking sailors and civilians who lived through the Port Chicago explosion that killed 320 mostly African American men in California during World War II.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports University of California, Berkeley researchers will be at the annual Port Chicago memorial near Concord on Saturday in hopes of meeting survivors willing to tell their stories.

Source & Full Story

Plaques for War Soldiers Unveiled in Manchester Cemetery

Plaques to honour six men who risked their lives in military action in the 19th and 20th centuries have been unveiled in Manchester. The brass plaques have been put on display at Philips Park Cemetery.

One honours William Jones who was awarded the Victorian Cross for his part in Rorke's Drift during the Anglo-Zulu war in 1879. Another honours George Stringer who was given the same medal for his actions at Mesopotamia in World War I.

Source & Full Story

The genealogist vs. the Daughters of the American Revolution

Wayne Witt Bates did not set out to take on the Daughters of the American Revolution. But he is not used to being challenged on his genealogy. A short list of his credentials: researcher for the Bates Family of Old Virginia (300 members and counting), coordinator of the Bates Family DNA project and, for 15 years, editor of the family newsletter, the Bates Booster.

"I am surprised DAR wants to fight me about the Bateses," said Bates, 88, of Centreville, Va., who has been researching his family tree since retiring as a Pentagon employee in 1974. "I know more than anyone wants to know."

Source & Full Story

Long Lost Sweethearts Reconnect at Archives and History Center

Most people come to the Plant City Photo Archives and History Center, Florida, to see some old pictures or reminisce. For Vonell Purvis Browning, a trip to the center at 106 S. Evers St. ended with a rekindled romance – and matrimony – with a former sweetheart she had scarcely seen since World War II.

Her love story began about a year ago when she came into the gallery where I am secretary/receptionist with several family members to view our current exhibit as well as visit. During her stay, Vonell looked through several photos albums and mentioned names of people that she knew in the past.

Source & Full Story

Emotional Ashley Judd Discovers she is a Descendant of English Coloniser who Arrived in U.S. on Historic Mayflower Ship

Hollywood actress Ashley Judd found out she is a descendant of one of the famous English colonisers who arrived in the U.S. on the Mayflower ship in the 1620s. The Double Jeopardy star cried as she made some 'absolutely life-changing' discoveries in the latest episode of the U.S. version of Who Do You Think You Are?

An advocate for human rights and social justice, she was astonished to find out she is related to one of the religious separatists who escaped persecution in England to start a new life in the U.S. - and found New England.

Source & Full Story

Are You Related to Henry Ford?

Ford was born July 30, 1863, on a farm in Greenfield Township (near Detroit, Michigan).

His father, William Ford (1826–1905), was born in County Cork, Ireland, of a family originally from western England, who were among migrants to Ireland as the English created plantations. His mother, Mary Litogot Ford (1839–1876), was born in Michigan; she was the youngest child of Belgian immigrants; her parents died when Mary was a child and she was adopted by neighbors, the O'Herns. Henry Ford's siblings include Margaret Ford (1867–1938); Jane Ford (c. 1868–1945); William Ford (1871–1917) and Robert Ford (1873–1934).

Henry Ford's Family Tree

The GeneaNet Cross-Database Search & Alerts

The GeneaNet Cross-Database Search is a powerful feature that automatically compares your family tree with the entire GeneaNet database.

GeneaNet Club Privilege members can limit the search to their Sosa-Stradonitz (Ahnentafel) numbered individuals to compare their direct line with the GeneaNet database.

The GeneaNet Cross-Database Alert is a weekly email that aggregates the latest entries (Reserved for Club Privilege members). You can also view the history of your Cross-Database Alerts in the last three months.

Continue reading...

22 July 2011

Only US Copy of Magna Carta Treated at US Archives

A painstaking conservation effort to remove old patches and repair weak spots in a 714-year-old copy of the Magna Carta has revealed that the full text of that English declaration of human rights remains intact even though some words are faded and illegible to the eye, the National Archives said Tuesday.

A $13.5 million gift from philanthropist David Rubenstein — owner of the handwritten document — is funding the conservation effort as well preparations for an upcoming exhibit.

Source & Full Story

21 July 2011

Iran Unveils Documents on WWII

Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has attended a ceremony unveiling a five-volume book series which includes documents on the occupation of Iran during the Second World War.

“These documents lay bare the face of plunderers,” IRNA quoted Ahmadinejad as saying on Wednesday. The Iranian president called on researchers and historians to gather documents dating back to World War I despite all odds.

Source & Full Story

French Soldiers Weighed Down by Armour at Agincourt

France may have lost the battle of Agincourt because their soldiers’ armour was so heavy it left them breathless, researchers have claimed. Wearing a full suit of armour doubled the amount of energy used in battle, according to a new study in which volunteers dressed as 15th century knights were made to run on a treadmill.

The exertion of carrying the steel plate armour, which weighed between 30 and 50kg, (66-110lb), would have placed additional weight on each limb and hampered the wearer’s breathing, making them weaker in a fight.

Source & Full Story

Descendant 'Awed' by Photo Album Returned in Mail

Stanley Young III got a visit from his ancestors earlier this month. Bundled in a parcel that arrived on his doorstep was an old photo album that depicted his great-grandmother and great-granduncle, along with various other relatives, in all their finery.

The family album, portions of which dated to the late 1800s, was accompanied by a family tree put together by a total stranger, a Maryland genealogist who researched the photo album as a side venture to her business.

Source & Full Story

Christchurch, New Zealand: Generations of Family History Lost

A Christchurch heritage landmark has been lost, taking with it the irreplaceable memories of almost 50 New Zealand families.

The category-one heritage-listed Fisher's building on the corner of Hereford and High streets, which was built in 1880, was razed last week after it was badly damaged in the February 22 earthquake.

Source & Full Story

20 July 2011

The Real French Ancestry of J.K. Rowling

Very interesting genealogy research by Kimberly Powell: "When I initially researched the French ancestry of author J.K. Rowling, I began with the man that she identified as her maternal great-grandfather, Louis Volant, a Legion d'honneur recipient. This World War One hero was also discussed in depth in this UK Telegraph article in February 2009. While I have yet to receive confirmation on the exact source of this information, it appears to have been a story passed down through the family, and I had no reason to doubt it (my first mistake!)."

Source & Full Story

RootsMagic Update Released

Full Featured - Windows - Purchase

RootsMagic has been released.


• This minor update mainly fixes issues with RootsMagic freezing when trying to access New FamilySearch.

Pocket Genealogist 4.03A04 Public Beta Update Released

PDAs and Handhelds - Purchase

Pocket Genealogist 4.03A04 Public Beta has been released.


• Support for Legacy 7 mtDNA

See also: 70+ Genealogy Apps for PDAs and Handhelds

Legacy Family Tree Update Released

Full Featured - Windows - Purchase

Legacy Family Tree has been released.


• DNA - Added DNA Tribes 27 Marker Test.
• DNA - Added FamilyTreeDNA Y-DNA 111 Marker Test.
• DNA - mtDNA reports can now be printed.
• FamilySearch - Improved the loading time of reading Legacy database files in LegacyFS at startup. Fixed.
• FamilySearch - Made a few changes to the "Refresh" button on the Ordinance Status Tab. Fixed.
• FamilySearch - Fixed the "Refresh" button on the Ordinance Status Tab to update FS IDs for all people found in Temple Cards. Fixed.
• LDS - Fixed the problem where a LDS button was being displayed on the Individual Information screen and Marriage Information screen even if the option for LDS info was turned off. Fixed.

Brother's Keeper 6.4.29 Update Released

Full Featured - Windows - Purchase

Brother's Keeper 6.4.29 has been released.


• If you were printing a Book report and not using the English version of BK, and if you were using the new Custom Wording for marriage events, then if a couple did not have a marriage date or location, it would sometimes print "Married" in English. Fixed.
• If you were printing a Descendant Box Chart and you had the option turned on for Pictures and also the option turned on for show which spouse produced which children, the picture would sometimes overwrite the spouse number. Fixed.

Branches Update Released

Full Featured - Windows - Purchase

Branches has been released.


• Added shaded boxes around events, source citations, multimedia links and notes for improved readability.
• Improved zooming of photos and scanned images on the main screen.
• Added support for source quality, when entering source citations.

Fromelles Diggers Honoured, 95 Years After Battle

Another 14 soldiers who died during the Battle of Fromelles in World War I have found their final resting places. The Veterans' Affairs Minister, Warren Snowdon, is due to unveil 14 newly marked headstones at the Fromelles Military Cemetery in France this morning, 95 years after the bloody battle.

The remains of nine soldiers from NSW, three Victorians and one each from Queensland and South Australia were among 250 fallen Australian and British soldiers recovered from mass graves at Pheasant Wood in 2009. They were formally identified this April.

Source & Full Story

19 July 2011

An Invitation to a Hoarder's Fantasy at the National Library of Ireland

Only one per cent of the National Library’s eight million items – including rare books, etchings and maps – is properly stored. But a massive restoration project called Clean Sweep plans preserve 50,000 titles and the public is invited to watch.

In the musty west wing of the National Library, nicknamed “the chimney” for its potential to go up in flames, a crisis quickly becomes apparent. There’s not enough storage space, many books are filthy or falling apart and there is plenty of back-catalogue work still to be done.

Source & Full Story

Nazi Doctor Mengele's Diaries Up for Sale

The diaries of feared Nazi war criminal Josef Mengele, the so-called "Angel of Death" who carried out gruesome medical experiments on prisoners at Auschwitz, will be auctioned in the United States.

The diaries, written after World War II once Mengele had fled from the Allies to Latin America, contain his philosophical reflections, autobiographical stories and poems penned between 1960 to 1975.

Source & Full Story

QR Codes Everywhere - Even on Grave Markers

When Edouard Garneau died last August, his wife of 53 years ordered a bench-style tombstone. That wasn't all: Several months later, the monument maker added a high-tech innovation — a small, square image known as a quick response or QR code, affixed alongside the big letters spelling out Garneau.

People scanning the code with their smartphones are taken to a website that includes Garneau's obituary and a photo gallery highlighting the Seattle-area businessman. In the future, more photos and stories from family and friends can be added.

Source & Full Story

3 Missing World War II Soldiers Identified

The Defense Department on Monday said that remains of three soldiers killed in World War II have been identified, and they will be buried Wednesday at Arlington National Cemetery. The remains of Army Pfc. Lawrence N. Harris of Elkins, W.Va.; Cpl. Judge C. Hellums of Paris, Miss.; and Pvt. Donald D. Owens of Cleveland will be buried in a single casket, officials said.

The soldiers, assigned to the 773rd Tank Battalion, were fighting their way east to France’s eastern border in fall 1944, clearing German forces out of Parroy Forest near Lunéville.

Source & Full Story

18 July 2011

New Digital Archive Will Preserve Historic Images, Documents of Virginia Indian Tribes

The Virginia Foundation for the Humanities (VFH) will receive a grant of $150,000 from energy company, Dominion Resources to build the Commonwealth's only online historical and cultural archive about Virginia's Indian communities.

The grant matches an additional award from the Mary Morton Parsons Foundation of $75,000. Virginia Indian Heritage Online will be a collaborative project between two programs at the VFH—the Virginia Indian Heritage Program and Encyclopedia Virginia. It will create a comprehensive record of Virginia Indian history, interpreted and delivered, which anyone can access at any time.

Source & Full Story

British Library Eyes Ancient Cuthbert Gospel

The British Library has launched a major fundraising campaign to buy the St. Cuthbert Gospel, a remarkably preserved survivor from seventh-century Britain. The British branch of the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits) has agreed to sell the book for 9 million pounds ($14.5 million), and the library already has commitments for 5 million pounds.

The small book — 96 mm (3.8 inches) by 136 mm (5.4 inches) — fits easily in the palm of a hand. Its elaborately tooled leather cover, and the text of the Gospel of John in Latin, is complete. The book comes from the time of St. Cuthbert, who died in 687, and it was discovered inside his coffin at Durham Cathedral when it was reopened in 1104.

Source & Full Story

Archives Wants to Put 1940 Census Online

The National Archives is seeking industry input on a plan to create a searchable database of 1940 U.S. census information when it becomes publicly available in 2012.

By law all census information must become public 72 years after it is collected. This time, instead of simply making images of the census available for checkout on microfilm, the Archives plans to also make scans of the census schedules and maps searchable online and available for download, according to a request for information from the agency.

Source & Full Story

The Hiroshima Atomic Bomb Archive on Google Earth was Launched

What is“The Hiroshima Atomic Bomb Archive”? “Hiroshima Archive” is a pluralistic digital archive using the digital virtual globe "Google Earth” to display on it in a multilayered way all the materials gained from such sources as the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, the Hiroshima Jogakuin Gaines Association, and the Hachioji Hibakusha (A-bomb Survivors) Association.

Official website (English and Japanese)

Source & Full Story

Are You Related to Ernest Hemingway?

Hemingway was born on July 21, 1899, in Oak Park, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago. His father Clarence Edmonds Hemingway was a physician, and his mother, Grace Hall-Hemingway, was a musician.

Both were well educated and well respected in the conservative community of Oak Park. Frank Lloyd Wright, a resident of Oak Park, said of the village: "So many churches for so many good people to go to". When Clarence and Grace Hemingway married in 1896, they moved in with Grace's father,

GeneaNet: Upload and Share Pictures of Headstones & Memorials

You can now upload and share pictures of headstones, memorials and commemorative plaques, and index the names found on them.

You can upload several pictures of the same headstone or memorial, for example a general view and some closer views to read the writings.

Continue reading...

15 July 2011

Bee Docs' Timeline 3D 3.1 Update Released

Timeline - Mac - Purchase

Bee Docs' Timeline 3D 3.1 has been released.


• Stability improvements for very large movie exports.

Legacy Family Tree Update Released

Full Featured - Windows - Purchase

Legacy Family Tree has been released.


• GenealogyBank - Added GenealogyBank toolbar button and searching options.
• DNA - Genetree DNA tests have been added.
• DNA - Legacy now supports mtDNA tests.
• Narrative Reports - Added the option to use "have" and "has" instead of "had" in narrative reports. eg: John and Mary have two children. Martha has a child.

Continue reading...

17th Century Plague Cure Goes on Show at Cheshire Record Office Open Day

An early 17th Century medical recipe book containing a panacea for the ‘Pestilence' or Plague is among an exhibition of priceless treasures being staged by the Cheshire Record Office. The tiny tome, lists a family's home-spun remedies for conditions ranging from the ‘tooth-ache', the ‘running gout that burneth', and a ‘sore legge' to a ‘treacle to destroy all manners of poisons' between 1620 and 1760.

The Record Office is to hold an open day at its Duke Street headquarters in Chester from 10am to 4pm on Saturday, July 23rd.

Source & Full Story

Queen to Unveil Bletchley Tribute

The Queen is to pay tribute to the codebreakers who worked at Bletchley Park, the secret cypher base in WWII which broke the German Enigma codes. She will visit the site in Milton Keynes with Prince Philip, and unveil a memorial to the men and women who worked there.

Some historians estimate that breakthroughs made there shortened the war by two years. Some of the surviving codebreakers will be present for the event. Though the role codebreaking played in the war is now widely celebrated in films such as Enigma, for 30 years after the end of the war Bletchley Park's role remained a secret.

Source & Full Story

Wales: Gravestone Rubble and Church Documents Found Dumped in Field

Broken gravestones and orders of service have been found dumped in a field. Mystery surrounds how rubble and paper, including an order of service from a funeral held last month, were found piled up on land near Ffynnon y Cyff, Lixwm.

Saltney Mold Junction councillor Klaus Armstrong-Braun made the discovery while walking on Sunday and described the disposal of the waste as “insensitive”. He said: “People’s bereavement documents have been dumped in the middle of a field. There was a lot of rubble. There were flagstones, gravestones and service booklets from a very recent service from June.”

Source & Full Story

13 July 2011

Sisters Discover they Mourned Mother at Wrong Site for 20 Years After Cemetery Blunder

Two sisters are suing a cemetery in New Jersey for $25 million after discovering that they had been visiting the wrong grave for the past 20 years to mourn their mother's death. Evelyn Edwards and her sister Hortense learned of the blunder after contacting Rosehill Cemetery to complain about the condition of their late mother's gravesite.

However, after a employee looked up the file, he informed the siblings that their mother was indeed buried in another plot 90 feet away.

Source & Full Story

Second Site 4.0 Update Released

Web Publishing - Windows - Purchase

Second Site 4.0 has been released.


• Added the Tag Groups facility
• Added the Flag Events facility which supports adding content to person page entries based on flag values
• Added the Virtual Witnesses facility
• Added the ability to group person page files into subfolders to reduce the number of files in single folder; see the Use Person Page Groups property in the Page Sizes section

Continue reading...

LTools 1.3.12 Update Released

Other Tools - Windows - Freeware

LTools 1.3.12 has been released.


• Find Missing Information: revamped the screen to make it a little more logical ; added Address and Multimedia to the fields that are used to determine whether or not a primary event is missing ; fixed the DataGridView’s Sort method to display a WaitCursor ; added the And/Or option for the primary event fields that are searched ; recompiled MyDataGridView.dll for x86.

iScrapbook 3.3.0 Update Released

Family Pictures - Mac - Purchase

iScrapbook 3.3.0 has been released.


• Added Mac OS X 10.7 Lion compatibility.
• Added support for importing Smart Template Packs.
• Updated handle icon for locked graphics from an "x" to a single lock.
• Fixed problem with minimum canvas size when resizing the window or sidebars.

HuMo-gen 4.6.4 Update Released

Web Publishing - Windows - Freeware

HuMo-gen 4.6.4 has been released.


• Timeline report.
• Full UTF-8 support.
• Spanish end-user and admin interface.
• Full html 4.01 validation.

Brother's Keeper 6.4.28 Update Released

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Brother's Keeper 6.4.28 has been released.


• Fixed a problem on GEDCOM Export in cases where you had something in the Last Name field, and there were words in the name field after the last name. It could cause the last letter in the name field to not be included in the words after the last name. For example if the name was JOHN SMITH THE GREAT and if SMITH was in the Last Name field, then the gedcom export might leave off the last T in GREAT. This was only happening in the previous two version updates.

Ancestral Quest 12.1.31 Update Released

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Ancestral Quest 12.1.31 has been released.

General Enhancements:

• Skins/Color Themes: You will now have a choice of keeping your current color scheme for the Pedigree and Family View, or of choosing from several predefined color schemes called 'Skins'.
• Gender Icons: On the Family view, you can choose to show gender icons for each person shown. If you don't show the gender icons, you will see 'M' or 'F' gender indicators next to each child.
• Text on Pedigree/Family Views: Additional refinements were made. If you want to adjust the text size, go to Preferences in the 'Tools' menu. (You can use the "Default" button to set the font to the new default.)

Continue reading...

The National Archives (US) wants Wikipedia Volunteers to Help Digitize Documents

The National Archives and Records Administration wants help from Wikipedia and its thousands of “Wikipedian” volunteers.

NARA and the online public encyclopedia are sponsoring the new WikiProject NARA calling for wiki-savvy volunteers to help type, index, validate, proofread and catalog a treasure trove of the archives’ original historic documents being made available online for the first time.

Source & Full Story

Personal Historian 2 Beta Testing

RootsMagic, Inc. is looking for people, from a variety of backgrounds and experience, who are interested in beta testing the next version of Personal Historian writing software.

Testers will be expected to test the software and report problems, bugs, and suggestions. Active testers will receive a free download copy of the software upon release. To apply, fill out this form. If selected, you will be contacted by e-mail with further instructions.

Drop Dead Gorgeous: Fashion Design for Deceased

It was when fashion designer Pia Interlandi was preparing her beloved grandfather for his funeral, complete in his best suit and leather shoes, that she realised her calling was in death wear. "Doing up his leather shoes...I was just like 'where is he going to be walking?' Really. He doesn't need shoes," the quietly-spoken, black-clad 26-year-old said.

The experience helped prompt Interlandi to create her "shroud" clothing, hemp and silk garments designed to wrap the body and head, which she hopes can provide personalised and sympathetic coverings for the dead.

Source & Full Story

12 July 2011

Woman Works to Restore Historic Graveyard

Nestled next to Terra Alta's Volunteer Fire Department and behind Hillcrest chapel sits the Shaw graveyard. It was once the town's first main graveyard, but after being closed for more than 100 years, it's been in rough shape.

Terra Alta native Audrey Miller is working tirelessly to help restore the graveyard. Years of neglect and vandalism leaves many of the head stones unidentifiable and many others have been destroyed.

Source & Full Story

Toronto Online Book Archive Forced to Fire 75% of Staff

If they had a million dollars, they’d buy more time. But a vast online library doesn’t have that kind of cash, so it is drastically reducing its devoted workforce. Internet Archive Canada, a small non-profit company, fired 35 of its 47 employees on Wednesday due to a massive drop in donations. Most will leave Aug. 12 unless a white knight appears soon.

“It was one of the worst days of my life,” said Gabe Juszel, director of the Canadian operation, one of 26 offices worldwide, who will stay on. Internet Archive’s website is the granddaddy of digitization. The San Francisco-based company has converted millions of books into bytes, and is now doing the same with audio, video and even microfiche.

Source & Full Story

Rare Charlie Chaplin Film Found in Junk Shop

An unemployed man has discovered a rare Charlie Chaplin film among a junk shop job lot.

Brian Hann, 40, found the 35mm nitrate film at the Second Time Around shop in South Shields. The seven-minute footage is part of a first world war propaganda movie titled Zepped which Chaplin filmed in 1917 in an effort to help defuse the terror inspired by Zeppelin bombing raids over London. Last week, what was believed to be the only copy went on sale at Bonhams auction house in London for £100,000.

Source & Full Story

Are You Related to Lizzie Borden?

Lizzie Andrew Borden was born on July 19, 1860. She was a New England spinster who allegedly killed her father and stepmother with a hatchet on August 4, 1892, in Fall River, Massachusetts, in the United States. The murders, subsequent trial, and ensuing trial by media became a cause célèbre. Although Lizzie Borden was acquitted, no one else was ever arrested or tried and she has remained a notorious figure in American folklore. Dispute over the identity of the killer or killers continues to this day. The fame of the incident has endured in American pop culture and criminology.

Lizzie Borden's Family Tree

11 July 2011

GeneaNet: Upload Archival Records and Attach Them to Your Online Family Tree

Did you know that you can upload Archival Records and attach them to your Online Family Tree?

And you can also attach Archival Records uploaded by other GeneaNet members.

Continue reading...

8 July 2011

Codex Calixtinus Manuscript Stolen from Santiago de Compostela

A priceless 12th-century illustrated manuscript containing what has been described as Europe's first travel guide has been stolen from the cathedral at Santiago de Compostela in northern Spain.

The Codex Calixtinus, which was kept in a safe at the cathedral's archives, is thought to have been stolen by professional thieves on Sunday afternoon. Archivists did not notice its disappearance, however, until Tuesday, when the cathedral's dean was told it was missing.

Source & Full Story

Lost Byron Memorial Found in Church Sale Returns to UK

A book picked up at a church bring and buy sale in America has been identified as a lost memorial to Lord Byron. Marilyn Solana, who bought the book for $35 (£22) in Savannah, Georgia, in 2008, has now returned it to the UK.

After online research, she contacted experts at the National Library of Scotland. A curator realised it was the memorial book from Byron's family vault in Nottinghamshire, where he was buried after his death in Greece in 1824.

Source & Full Story

VietNam: Teens Bury Themselves in Online Cemetery

“I have made a lot of mistakes. I built this tomb for myself to wish for parents’ forgiveness. I will not be in this life for long,” one wrote on his tombstone in the online cemetery. On their own tombstones, youngsters expressed their standstill and negative thought, which originated from pressures from studies, family break-down and their parent’s neglect.

The most impressive tomb of this kind, is member Wolahh’s tomb, which was made in April 2010. According to the tombstone, the owner was born in 1994 and he experienced tense and hard day before his “death”.

Source & Full Story

7 July 2011

MacFamilyTree 6.1.2 Update Released

Full Featured - Mac - Purchase

MacFamilyTree 6.1.2 has been released.


• Database migration fixes from previous versions.
• Soundex calculation improved.
• Several other bugfixes.

Brother's Keeper 6.4.27 Update Released

Full Featured - Windows - Purchase

Brother's Keeper 6.4.27 has been released.


• When making HTML files for group sheets it was not showing family picture for the spouse if the spouse did not have individual picture. Fixed.
• Fixed problem of extra space on Register Book lineage if showing only first name, and the person had something in the Last Name field.
• The Numeric Display and Alpha Display can show Russian, Baltic, Hebrew, and characters from Central Europe. Fixed.
• Changed MEDI tag in gedcom to be 3 MEDI below 2 CALN instead of 2 MEDI
• On the Source screen, if NO non-blank field is checked, warn the user that nothing will print on a footnote.
• When adding a new person, it looked for Alternate names ONLY if there was at least 1 person with that as the main name. Now there is an option to show matching alternate names even if no one has that for the main name.
• If you happen to have any names that are only one word and that same word is in the Last Name field, it can cause error 5 on some book reports or gedcom export. For example the full name is only SMITH and you have SMITH in the last name field. Fixed.

All Ancestors Report 2.1.12 Update Released

Other Tools - Windows - Freeware

All Ancestors Report 2.1.12 has been released.


• Corrected display of version info in page footers. Also changed footers to display date in long format.
• Include child status on non-terminal children.

Long-Lost Relatives Meet for First Time

It began as a local history project – but culminated in a family reunion for relatives who previously hadn’t even known each other existed. In April, the village of Sessay, near Thirsk, North Yorkshire, held an archive exhibition as part of the history project and 500 people attended from across Yorkshire.

Among them were Mark and Jean Williams, from Skipton, Judith Hanley, from Scarborough, and Ian and Marion Moverley, from Richmond. And as they chatted over tea and cakes about their links with the village, they realised they were all longlost relatives.

Source & Full Story

‘Star Spangled Banner’ Fragments Bring $65,000+ to Lead Heritage Auctions

Two superbly documented fragments from "The Star Spangled Banner," the very flag that flew over Ft. McHenry in Baltimore, MD on Sept. 13, 1814 and inspired Francis Scott Key to pen the words to America’s national anthem, sold for $65,725 as part of Heritage Auctions’ $1,361,858 June 25 Signature® Arms & Militaria Auction.

“The Star Spangled Banner is the most famous example of America’s most potent symbol,” said Dennis Lowe, Director of Civil War and Militaria Auctions at Heritage, “and these mere fragments of that important flag brought a final price realized quite in line with that significance.”

Source & Full Story

6 July 2011

Otto von Habsburg who saw end of empire dead at 98

Otto von Habsburg saw the crumbling of the empire his family had ruled for centuries and emerged from its ashes as a champion of a united and democratic Europe.

The oldest son of Austria-Hungary's last emperor fought Nazism and Soviet communism during his long decades of exile from his homeland, and was lionized by leaders across the continent as "a great European."

Source & Full Story

Son of German Officer whose Men Killed French WWI Captain Reunites Family with his Possessions

The son of a German officer whose men killed a French captain in hand-to-hand fighting in the First World War has traced the relatives of the dead man nearly 100 years later. A yellowing troop newspaper led the son of Johannes Richter to the family of Captain André Vacquier who died in 1918 in the Vosges region of France.

Helmut Richter, 78, is proud to have discovered and befriended the family of the man his father met in combat, he told Germany's Der Spiegel magazine this week. The newspaper article was among the possessions of his father. A military correspondent described how Lieutenant Richter's platoon came across a French outpost in a wood in southern Alsace in the summer of 1918.

Source & Full Story

Vatican's Secret Archives on Display in Rome Exhibition

An appeal by the English Parliament asking the Pope to annul Henry VIII's marriage to Catherine of Aragon will be among 100 priceless documents from the Vatican's Secret Archives to go on display in an unprecedented exhibition in Rome.

The parchment document, which bears the red wax seals of more than 80 English lords, cardinals and bishops, was sent to Pope Clement VII in 1530 but failed to resolve the dispute, which eventually led to religious schism and the founding of the Church of England.

Source & Full Story

5 July 2011

Will Your Family History Be Sold on eBay?

"I frequently comb the pages of eBay in search of local history and was surprised recently when I discovered that a deed to a plot at the San Lorenzo Cemetery was up for auction.

I had visited that forlorn cemetery, years before, during an elementary school field trip taken with my son. As he and his friends played hide and seek behind the tall monuments, I studied the smaller headstones, and wondered about the families who had lived so long ago."

Source & Full Story

Rare Revolutionary War Era Book Found in Austin College Archives

Austin College has made a rare discovery in their book archives. A pamphlet that dates back to and comments on the revolutionary war. And, it's not just the historical value that makes this book so significant, It's what it represents.

In early June Banks was going through the school's rare books vault when he found an original copy of an essay written by Cambridge History professor and classical scholar John Symonds. The pamphlet was printed in London in 1778.

Source & Full Story

4 July 2011

Could Shakespeare's Bones Tell Us if He Smoked Pot?

A South African anthropologist has asked permission to open the graves of William Shakespeare and his family to determine, among other things, what killed the Bard and whether his poems and plays may have been composed under the influence of marijuana.

But while Shakespeare's skeleton could reveal clues about his health and death, the question of the man's drug use depends on the presence of hair, fingernails or toenails in the grave, said Francis Thackeray, the director of the Institute for Human Evolution at the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, who floated the proposal to the Church of England.

Source & Full Story

Are You Related to Tom Hanks?

Hanks was born in Concord, California. His father, Amos Mefford Hank, was a distant relative of President Abraham Lincoln, through Lincoln's mother, Nancy Hanks. His mother, Janet Marylyn (née Frager), was a hospital worker; she is of Portuguese ancestry.

Hanks's parents divorced in 1960. The family's three oldest children, Sandra (now Sandra Hanks Benoiton, a writer), Larry (now Lawrence M. Hanks, PhD, an entomology professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) and Tom, went with their father, while the youngest, Jim, now an actor and film maker, remained with his mother in Red Bluff, California. Afterwards, both parents remarried.

Tom Hanks' Family Tree

The GeneaNet 'Individual Match'

The GeneaNet 'Individual Match' allows you to automatically search for individuals that could match with any of your ancestors in the GeneaNet Online Family Trees!

This powerful feature is reserved for GeneaNet Club Privilege members.

You can click the 'Individual Match' button at the top right of any individual page in your Online Family Tree (GeneWeb). This will open a new window with the list of the individuals that match with your ancestor.

Continue reading...

1 July 2011

Personal Ancestry Writer II 99 Update Released

Full Featured - Mac - Freeware

Personal Ancestry Writer II 99 has been released.


• Changed to Real Studio 2011 Release 1.1. Technical change only.
• Add bug version to Credits if non-zero. Not visible in released versions. Technical change only.
• Deleted the Swap method and the File Manager class, and added the SwapFiles method using the MoveFilesTo method. Technical change only.
• Trimmed leading spaces from web site "Notes Pedigree Descendants Images" text in SiteGlobal module.
• RTF reports and PDFs generated from them are the primary means in PAWriter of publishing genealogical research.
• RTF reports contain a bookmark for each entry in Registers, Ahnentafels, Lineages and Dictionaries.
• RTF reports contain hidden controls for indexing people’s appearance in the reports.
• RTF reports contain hidden controls for creating a table of contents from major section headings in the reports.

I Buried My Mother 15 Years Ago... But Now She's Turned Up Alive

A woman who thought she had buried her mother 15 years ago got a shock when the old woman turned up alive and in Florida. Grace Kivisto, 56, from Knox County, Illinois, had been told human remains found in a local brickyard in 1996 belonged to her mother, who disappeared over 40 years ago.

But investigators using DNA analysis last week told her family the remains were not those of their missing relative. Then, yesterday, detectives told Mrs Kivisto her missing mother had been found, alive and well, in Jacksonville, Florida.

Source & Full Story

Amazing Pictures of Titanic Captain Edward Smith's Bathtub Intact on the Bottom of the Ocean

This amazing picture of Titanic Captain Edward Smith's private bathtub is among a series of spectacular images that have been shown for the first time during a court case into the salvage rights.

The porcelain tub, which has intricate plumbing for both freshwater and seawater, has sat in the captain's cabin at the bottom of the ocean for almost 100 years. Captain Smith went down with his ship on April 14,1912. He was one of an estimated 1500 people who lost their lives in the tragedy.

Source & Full Story

Ukraine Releases on Parole Student who Cooked Fried Eggs on WWII Memorial

A Ukrainian court on Thursday released on parole a nationalist student arrested for frying eggs on an eternal flame commemorating soldiers who died in World War II, All-Ukrainian Union Svoboda political party said on its website.

Bratstvo (Brotherhood) nationalist party member Anna Sinkova, 20, was arrested in March after she fried eggs and sausages in Kiev's Park of Glory in protest against the large sums spent by the government to maintain the monument.

Source & Full Story