Genealogy Blog

30 September 2011

Archaeologists Uncover 18th Century Artifacts from Lost Town in Virginia Beach

As they dug trenches to reroute storm drains on Princess Anne Road, city crews came up with more than just dirt; they discovered a key part in the history of Princess Anne County, which is now Virginia Beach.

Archaeologist Nick Luccketti said that they have recovered artifacts dating back to the 18th century. They found items used by those living in the long lost town of Kemp's Landing, a part of Colonial Kempsville.

Source & Full Story

Goth Photographers in a Row Over Graves

The banning of taking pictures near gravestones could ruin Goth weekend according to photographers that flock to the town. Goth weekend attracts hundreds of professional and amateur snappers all looking to get the perfect shot of the weird and wonderful outfits on display in a dramatic setting.

It has long been a tradition that Goths visit the grounds of St Mary’s Church where there are legions of photographers looking for pictures for their own portfolios or to sell on. But since the last Goth weekend back in April, signs have appeared in the grounds of St Mary’s Church saying photography on and near gravestones is prohibited.

Source & Full Story

Unmarked Graves Receive New Life in Collins, NY

Most people do not know where the Wheater Road Cemetery in the town of Collins is located unless they have been there before. Nestled at the bottom of a hill curving and twisting through woods, the Wheater Hill Cemetery is home to more than 1,200 individuals who are buried in unmarked graves.

People Inc., along with other volunteers, took on the project to help unearth buried grave markers and help bring new life to the cemetery that housed unmarked graves of patients of the former Gowanda Psychiatric Hospital.

Source & Full Story

Former National Archives Employee Accused of Stealing from Agency that Safeguards US Records

A former employee of the agency that safeguards the nation’s records including the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution has been charged with stealing from the agency over a 10-year period.

Leslie Charles Waffen, who worked at the National Archives and Records Administration for 40 years, was charged Tuesday with theft of United States property. A document charging Waffen says officials seized 955 “sound recording items” from his home in October 2010, though it does not specify what the items were.

Source & Full Story

29 September 2011

New Software: Personal Historian Essentials

RootsMagic has released a new, free edition of Personal Historian named, “Personal Historian Essentials”.

Personal Historian Essentials contains many core features from the Personal Historian software and the two products are fully-compatible with one another. Personal Historian Essentials is available for download at

LTools 1.3.16 Update Released

Other Tools - Windows - Freeware

LTools 1.3.16 has been released.


• Find Missing Information – besides some tweaking of the code, broke Tag into Individual Tag and Marriage Tag, added an “ALL” selection for each Tag, and added the ability to search marriages for missing Secondary Event Types.

Brother's Keeper 6.5.1 Update Released

Full Featured - Windows - Purchase

Brother's Keeper 6.5.1 has been released.


• The Utility to globally change one event name to another event name will work to change Other (with description) to Event (with location) now.
• On the Edit screen on the Picture tab, there is a new button to open the picture with your default picture program.
• Normally when you do a GEDCOM import, the people have new numbers assigned in BK. However, if need to keep the same numbers that people have in the GEDCOM file, then press the F3 key on the gedcom options screen before importing the GEDCOM file.
• When you click a picture on the Edit screen and BK shows it on a separate screen, it can show Comments if there are comments built into the JPG file. To turn off the comments, pick File from the top menu.

Mauritania Insists on Census Despite Death

The government has vowed to pursue the census despite the violence. "The government will ... take the necessary time to allow all Mauritanians to register and get secure documents," Interior Minister Mohamed Ould Boilil said in a radio and television address.

Critics claim the census discriminates against black people, but Ould Boilil insisted it was aimed at giving Mauritania "a modern and trustworthy biometric register." The demonstrator was shot and killed when police tried to disperse people protesting the census in Maghama.

Source & Full Story

WWII Remains of American Repatriated from Bosnia

Almost seven decades after he died in World War II, the remains of Staff Sgt. Meceslaus T. Miaskiewicz are being returned from Bosnia to relatives in Massachusetts. Wrapped in a U.S. flag, his coffin was loaded Tuesday at the Sarajevo airport onto a U.S. C-130.

Miaskiewicz was with the 347th Bomb Squadron. His remains were thought to have been collected along with those of seven other crew members of a B-17 that crashed in 1944 while returning to Italy from a mission in Romania.

Source & Full Story

New Genetic Evidence Links Spanish Americans of Southwest to Jews

A group of researchers in the United States and Ecuador analyzed DNA from two communities who trace back to Spanish colonial times: one in the San Luis Valley of southern Colorado and northern New Mexico, which includes Conjehos County, and one in the Loja Province of southern Ecuador.

The study found “observable Sephardic ancestry” in both communities and calculated Jewish ancestry among the Lojanos at about 5 to 10 percent and among the Spanish Americans, also called Hispanos, at about 1 to 5 percent.

Source & Full Story

Personal Historian 2 Update Released

Family Books - Windows - Purchase

Personal Historian 2 has been released.

New Features:

• Streamlined step-by-step wizards.
• Expanded timelines and memory trigger questions.
• Easy filtering and searching of stories.
• Management of categories, people, and places.
• Improved outlining and writing analysis.
• Wrapping of text around pictures; fonts and text styles.
• More-powerful publishing and output options.

28 September 2011

Korea Vet Clinton Van Gelder First to Be Buried at the New Sampson Veterans Memorial Cemetery

Clinton Van Gelder, an Air Force veteran from Interlaken who served in the Korean War, today became the first person laid to rest at the new Sampson Veterans Memorial Cemetery. About 50 friends and family members turned out for the 40-minute ceremony on a sun-filled morning.

Van Gelder died at age 77 on Jan. 22, 2010. His dying wish had been to be buried at Sampson, where he underwent basic training after joining the Air Force in 1952. His widow, Eva, had his remains stored in a nearby cemetery until that wish could come true.

Source & Full Story

27 September 2011

Library and Archives Canada Digitizes Past Issues of the Canada Gazette (1841-1997)

Today, Library and Archives Canada (LAC) commemorates the 170th anniversary of the Canada Gazette by making accessible the digitized back issues, from 1841 to 1997, on its website dedicated to this official publication.

“Current issues of the Canada Gazette have been available to Canadians at most libraries and through subscription, and the Canada Gazette Directorate has a searchable database on its website of all issues since 1998,” said Daniel J. Caron, Deputy Head and Librarian and Archivist of Canada.

Source & Full Story - Canada Gazette

800-Year-Old Witch Burial Found in Italy

These are the 800 year old remains of what archaeologists believe was a witch from the Middle Ages after seven nails were found driven through her jaw bone.

The grim discovery was made during a dig on what is thought to be a 'witches graveyard' after another woman's skeleton was found surrounded by 17 dice - a game which women were forbidden from playing 800 years ago.

Source & Full Story

First Certificate of Irish Heritage Goes to Fallen FDNY Hero

On a visit to New York last week to speak at the 66th United Nations General Assembly, Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Eamon Gilmore T.D., used the opportunity to present the first Certificate of Irish Heritage to the family of Joseph (Joe) Hunter, a New York fireman who lost his life in the 9/11 attacks.

The Certificate of Irish Heritage aims to recognise those of Irish lineage in an official way, giving greater expression to the sense of Irish identity felt by many around the world who might not otherwise be able to do so.

Source & Full Story

26 September 2011

Wales 1911 Census Goes Online

2.4 million people were recorded living in Wales in the census taken on the night of Sunday, 2 April, 1911. Today, after nearly 100 years, the Welsh census records are available to the public at

Due to public demand for access to the 1911 census, the records have been released as soon as each region’s records have been digitised. Following the initial release of 1911 records in January 2009, the records of people living in Wales in 1911 are being made available today for the first time.

Source & Full Story

Indianapolis Recorder

What began as a two-page church bulletin by co-founders George Pheldon Stewart and William H. Porter, the Indianapolis Recorder is now one of the top African-American publications in the nation. Established in 1897, the Indianapolis Recorder focused on local people and events in Indianapolis but also reported national events.

IUPUI University is pleased to present the Indianapolis Recorder Digital Collection. Providing access to the 1899-2005 run of the Indianapolis Recorder will have an impact on researchers from all walks of life.

Indianapolis Recorder

Tasmanian Archives Online

Tasmanian Archives Online is the Archives Office of Tasmania’s on-line link to information on its publicly available holdings. Searching the database provides descriptive and contextual information on Tasmanian state and local government records and private records from individuals and organisations held by this Office.

The database is structured in a hierarchical manner, providing links between different levels of information – Function, Agency, Series and Item. It is added to, and modified, on a continuing basis.

Tasmanian Archives Online

Ireland: Kerry Local Authorities - Graveyard Records

Over 140 cemeteries are currently either controlled or owned by Kerry Local Authorities. Burial registers contain details of burials in local authority cemeteries and are a useful tool in assisting genealogical research.

The ancestors of many emigrants from County Kerry are interred in these cemeteries. Families regularly wish to view the burial records or locate the appropriate cemetery prior to visiting the County.

Kerry Local Authorities - Graveyard Records

Silver City Vault - The Online Collections of Aberdeen Local Studies

Silver City Vault is the new online collections of Aberdeen Local Studies. The Local Studies Index contains almost 50,000 entries from various sources including Obituaries, Marriages, Pauper Lists, Periodicals and Newspapers. You can also search over 1,000 images of Aberdeen including photographs taken by George Washington Wilson.

Silver City Vault

Exhumed Remains Provide Look at Lives of Past Slaves and Burial Customs

There were eight of them, ranging in age from as young as 7 to as old as 40. Some showed evidence of the hard work they performed throughout their short lives, some had poor teeth, some had childhood diseases. All were Africans or of African descent.

This and much more was learned painstaking moment by painstaking moment by a group of archaeologists, dendochronologists, forensic anthropologists, historians and biochemists in the wake of the discovery of remains at what was once the city's "Negro Burying Ground."

Source & Full Story

Launch of 'Census of Canada, 1871'

The 1871 census marked the first regularly scheduled collection of national statistics, and Library and Archives Canada is now pleased to make its results available online. Researchers can access digitized images of original census returns featuring the name, age, country or province of birth, nationality, religion, and occupation of Canada's residents at the time.

The information covers the four provinces that were part of the Dominion of Canada in 1871: New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Ontario and Quebec. Access to the digitized images of the 1871 census is available at

Source & Full Story

Are You Related to Jimmy Carter?

James Earl Carter, Jr., was born on October 1, 1924, in the tiny southwest Georgia city of Plains, near Americus.

The Carter family had come from southern England (Carter's paternal ancestor arrived in the American Colonies in 1635), and had lived in the state of Georgia for several generations. Carter has documented ancestors who fought in the American Revolution, and he is a member of the Sons of the American Revolution. Carter's great-grandfather,

Jimmy Carter's Family Tree

Armenia’s National Archive Contains 350 Million Documents

Armenia’s National Archive contains 95% of the most important research and historical documents preserved from the Soviet times, said head of archive Amatuni Virabyan. However, only 75% of documents referring to common citizens have been preserved.

The documents of independent Armenia starting from those related to the 1991 referendum and government decisions are also kept in the archive. The total number of archived documents makes 350 million, while 300, 000 out of them (30 million pages) are dossiers of independent Armenia, he added.

Source & Full Story

GeneaNet: Geolocate your Old Postcards on Google Maps

Three weeks ago we released a new feature that allows you to geolocate your pictures of headstones and memorials on Google Maps.

You can now also geolocate your old postcards.

You and other GeneaNet members can search for a postcard and easily view the nearby pictures on Google Maps. You can also view pictures of places where your ancestors lived then and now with Google Street View!

Continue reading...

23 September 2011

Sir Ernest Shackleton's 104-Year-Old Biscuit To Be Sold

A 104-year-old biscuit taken by Sir Ernest Shackleton on his Antarctic expedition in 1907 could fetch up to £1,500 at auction, experts have said. The biscuit, one of those used to sustain men on Shackleton's Nimrod expedition, was made by Reading-based company Huntley & Palmers.

The company had already provided energy biscuits to Captain Scott for his Discovery expedition in 1901. It will be auctioned by Christie's on 29 September. Shackleton had ordered the protein biscuits for his Antarctic journey.

Source & Full Story

Canada's Most Decorated War Hero Gets Monument 81 Years After his Death

A bugler sounded "The Last Post" and two vintage planes and a CF-18 fighter flew overhead as a monument was dedicated to Canada's most decorated war hero Thursday.

Hundreds of people gathered at a cemetery in midtown Toronto to salute Lt.-Col. William Barker more than 80 years after his death. It was an honour that had long eluded the First World War flying ace, who died at age 35.

Source & Full Story

MacFamilyTree 6.1.6 Update Released

Full Featured - Mac - Purchase

MacFamilyTree 6.1.6 has been released.


• Issues entering Additional Names and Married Names fixed.
• Localization updates.

Manchester Prison and Workhouse Archives Go Online

More than one million prison, workhouse and school archives from institutions across Manchester and parts of Lancashire have gone online. Records going as far back as 1700 include baptism and birth registers, cemetery and death records, marriage registers and apprentice records.

Some of the prison records show harsh penalties. People caught in the 1700s stealing a piece of coal would be sentenced to seven days hard labour. A boy aged 10 was given five years detention in 1901 for associating with bad companions and truancy.

Source & Full Story

22 September 2011

U.S. Civil War Took Bigger Toll Than Previously Estimated, New Analysis Suggests

The Civil War -- already considered the deadliest conflict in American history -- in fact took a toll far more severe than previously estimated. That's what a new analysis of census data by Binghamton University historian J. David Hacker reveals.

Hacker says the war's dead numbered about 750,000, an estimate that's 20 percent higher than the commonly cited figure of 620,000. His findings will be published in December in the journal Civil War History.

Source & Full Story

Celebrities Uncover their Hidden Ancestry

When South Africa aired its first season of the local version of Who Do You Think You Are?, Nthathi Moshesh, HHP (real name Jabulani Tsambo), Candice Moodley, Meshack Mavuso and Kurt Schoonraad were just some of the celebrities who went in search of hidden stories in a bid to uncover their ancestry and roots.

As you can guess, the show follows some of America’s most loved celebrities as they go in search of their lineage. The journey on this show is usually long and emotional, as it often uncovers hidden family truths, sometimes scandals or heart-warming inside information.

Source & Full Story

Sri Lanka Lost Era Recalled by British Graves

Just a few hundred metres from the clangour of the Temple of the Tooth - the holiest shrine for Sri Lankan Buddhists - lies a small Anglican graveyard that takes the visitor back in time. Walking up a short lane, you quickly leave the noise behind and have only the monkeys in the trees as company.

Here lies the British Garrison Cemetery, established in 1817 for the British army just after the British takeover of Kandy. The Kandyan kingdom had been the last part of the island, then called Ceylon, to hold out against the colonial power.

Source & Full Story

Holocaust Memorial Center Acquires Historic World War II Railway Boxcar

The Holocaust Memorial Center announced that it has acquired an authentic World War II-era railway boxcar from Germany.

With the cooperation of the German National Railroad and the Technical [Railroad] Museum in Berlin, the 10-ton boxcar is expected to arrive on either Friday, Sept. 23 or Mon., Sept. 26, at the Holocaust Memorial Center, where it will undergo careful conservation. Believed to be one of the last in existence and the only one exported to the United States from Germany, this boxcar will be shown to school children and other visitors and will stand in mute testimony of the horrors of the Holocaust.

Source & Full Story

21 September 2011

Time Capsule Cottage: Left Untouched for Decades, a Unique Snapshot of Rural Life

Peep through the grimy leaded window panes of Fulling Mill Cottage and it looks like a meticulously constructed film set for a period drama. The floor is worn red brick, covered by a layer of dirt and straw. The oak-beamed ceiling appears to be held up by cobwebs. The grubby plasterwork crumbles to the touch.

There is even a Miss Havisham-esque plate rack in the scullery full of cob-webbed dishes that have not been touched for decades. Yet this is a real house — where a reclusive former teacher eked out his lonely and frugal existence for nearly 30 years, surrounded by his books and the memories of his parents and grandparents who lived in the thatched 15th century cottage before him.

Source & Full Story

The Complete Genealogy Reporter 2011 beta build 110919 Update Released

Family Books - Windows - Shareware

The Complete Genealogy Reporter 2011 beta build 110919 has been released.


• Selections of indirect, associated and unconnected individuals are now saved. Subsequent executions of TCGR will now remember previous selections by GEDCOM file name and subject person. See help file ("Operation"/"Report Creation" section) for details.
• After loading a GEDCOM file, memory used by the loading process is immediately released. This improvement will reduce the potential for "out of memory" errors when processing very large amounts of data.

The Complete Genealogy Builder 2011 beta build 110919 Update Released

Full Featured - Windows - Shareware

The Complete Genealogy Builder 2011 beta build 110919 has been released.


• Fixed occasional errors in maintaining record counts correctly between repeated executions of the Reporter module.

Second Site 4.1 Update Released

Web Publishing - Windows - Purchase

Second Site 4.1 has been released.


• Added the RSS Feed User Item which produces a list of entries from an RSS feed and can be used to show blog entries.
• Added the Page Section property to certain User Items to allow placing them in the SideBar or Extra sections of Custom Pages.

Continue reading...

RootsMagic Update Released

Full Featured - Windows - Purchase

RootsMagic has been released.


• When doing Add > Parents, RootsMagic now adds the newly added parents to the side list.
• The place list is now updated when deleting an unused place from the unused place list.
• search works in WebSearch again.
• NFS passwords can have + and & characters now.
• NFS import would sometimes not import descendants correctly.
• Seal to spouse would sometimes print wrong when “Print basic events even if blank” is selected.
• Removed “Use secondary access method” option.

Brother's Keeper 6.5.0 Update Released

Full Featured - Windows - Purchase

Brother's Keeper 6.5.0 has been released.


• The version has been changed to 6.5. The new BK 6.5 manual and CD are available from the online store.
• Fixed a problem with the 'Locations with Events' routine where a custom family event was not showing correctly.

Branches Update Released

Full Featured - Windows - Purchase

Branches has been released.


• Corrected a problem where a multimedia item's title was not being shown.

Genealogical Mystery in Newport News Solved

It took a series of coincidences for the gravestone of William C. Marrow — which probably had been lying in an industrial warehouse for decades — to find its way home. Once the gravestone was discovered last week, a genealogical mystery was solved within days, almost as quickly as an episode of "History Detectives."

To genealogists, who often spend decades painstakingly researching centuries-old documents, the warp speed which everything fell together was amazing. "A lot of things had to happen just the right way," said Jim Sample, a member of the Tidewater Genealogical Society.

Source & Full Story

20 September 2011

Museum of Fine Arts, Houston: Life & Luxury: The Art of Living in Eighteenth-Century Paris

Experience the elegance of a typical day in a Paris town house during the 1700s. Life & Luxury: The Art of Living in Eighteenth-Century Paris re-imagines—through art and material culture—the lifestyle of elite 18th-century Parisians. This sumptuous exhibition offers a glimpse into the conventional activities in the cycle of a single day: dressing, writing, collecting, eating, and evening entertainment.

Life & Luxury brings together some 160 objects, roughly half of them loans from 26 museums and private collections around the world.

Source & Full Story

New collaboration between Wikimedia UK and The National Archives

The National Archives (UK) are working with Wikimedia UK to improve online articles relating to The National Archives, as part of the GLAMwiki (Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Museums) initiative.

Wikipedia is the seventh most popular site on the internet. It is the first place that many people go to find information and it is home to a vibrant community of editors. Around 40,000 people contribute to English-language Wikipedia each month and we want their help, and yours, to share and improve knowledge about our collections across Wikipedia, WikiCommons and Wikisource.

Source & Full Story

Are You Related to Sarah Churchill?

Sarah Millicent Hermione Tuchet-Jesson, Baroness Audley, usually known as Sarah Churchill was a British actress and dancer.

Sarah Churchill was born on October 7, 1914 in London, England, the second daughter of Prime Minister Winston Churchill and Clementine Churchill; she was the third of the couple's five children. Sarah was named after Winston's ancestor, Sarah Churchill, Duchess of Marlborough.

She died on September 24, 1982 in London, England.

Sarah Churchill's Family Tree

The Transformation of Kinship and the Family in Late Anglo-Saxon England

The development of the family into a small unit in which descent was traced almost exclusively through the male line is regarded as a major turning point in medieval European history.

The early stages of the formation of agnatic kinship have usually been connected to strategies designed to preserve and retain control of patrimonies and castles, arising from the breakdown of public order.

Click here to read this article (PDF) - Source

19 September 2011

GeneaNet Favorite Searches, Individual Alert & Cross-Database Alert

The 'Favorite Searches' allow GeneaNet members to receive a weekly email aggregate of the latest entries that contain the surnames and places of their choice. History of the latest entries can be read on the website.

GeneaNet Club Privilege members can 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'.

Club Privilege members can also automatically compare their family tree with the GeneaNet database and receive a periodical email aggregate of the latest entries. Cross-Database Email Alerts are preserved and the archive can be read at any time.

Continue reading...

16 September 2011

The Complete Genealogy Reporter 2011 beta build 110915 Update Released

Family Books - Windows - Shareware

The Complete Genealogy Reporter 2011 beta build 110915 has been released.


• Fixed: The narration "x married his y" is now correctly narrated as "x was the partner of his y" when x and y are recorded as not married.

The Complete Genealogy Builder 2011 beta build 110915 Update Released

Full Featured - Windows - Shareware

The Complete Genealogy Builder 2011 beta build 110915 has been released.


• Improved: The integrity of source and note "Referenced by" back-links when changes are canceled. (These links will be recreated automatically the first time this build is run.)

LTools 1.3.15 Update Released

Other Tools - Windows - Freeware

LTools 1.3.15 has been released.


• DAR Lineage Worksheet – fixed a few minor bugs.
• Help – converted remaining LTools to Wiki Web Help.
• Run Raw SQL – fixed so “DELETE *…” will work correctly.
• Find Unattached Multimedia – fixed to better determine the Root Multimedia Folder.
• Rename Non-Unique Multimedia – new deluxe LTool which will find and optionally rename non-unique multimedia files.

Genota Update Released

Organization - Research - Windows - Purchase

Genota has been released.


• Added head panel to all screens to assist in identifying the function of the screen.
• Reset all fonts to use the parent system font size.
• Where the standard system font is used Genota will correctly display the font associated with the version of the operating system in use.
• Fixed a bug preventing category specific notes to be returned when selecting the Related Notes option within the Category module.
• Added web search capability to Notes by selecting the right mouse button. Search options are: Google, Rootsweb and Family Search.
• Added a Transcription module. This is designed to assist in transcribing from images of pages into text or table formatted information.
• Fixed a bug preventing some global options not being set.

Families for Legacy Family Tree 1.3.0 Update Released

PDAs and Handhelds - Purchase

Families for Legacy Family Tree 1.3.0 has been released.


• Reinstate section index letters in index views.
• Support dates with just month and year.
• Add support for relationships.
• Add Timeline View.

See also: 70+ Genealogy Apps for PDAs and Handhelds

Branches Update Released

Full Featured - Windows - Purchase

Branches has been released.


• Improved GEDCOM export of repository records.
• Improved drawing speed.

15 September 2011

Farmington, Missouri, Woman's Gravestone Missing

Genevieve Austin's engraved grave stone has been sitting on her future cemetery plot in Chestnut Ridge Cemetery for the last 6 years. She bought and placed the stone so that her own children would not have to deal with those kinds of arrangements for her when the time comes. The stone, along with the piece of mind for everyone, is now gone.

Her son, Dale Resinger, is shocked and confused as to why anybody would steal someone else's grave stone. "It's just unbelieveable that somebody would desecrate a graveyard. I don't know if there's a demand fro granite or not. I mean I can't understand what they could use it for. It's got her name on it. It would take quite a bit to take the words off of it."

Source & Full Story

Contractors Discover 168-Year-Old Tombstones During Dig in Lincoln, Maine

Old records, history texts and some forensic deduction helped town officials solve a 168-year-old mystery that was literally unearthed Monday on School Street and slightly delayed a $416,000 construction project.

Subcontractors working for the Lincoln Water District replacing 87-year-old water lines behind Steaks ‘N Stuff discovered the first of three tombstones about six feet below the pavement line at about 11:30 a.m. Monday, said Jeff Day, the district’s assistant superintendent.

Source & Full Story

Secret WWI Documents Surface at Flea Market in Turkish Capital

A total of 4,221 documents from the World War I era have been found at a flea market in Ankara, Anatolia news agency reported Wednesday. Some of the documents bore the mark 'secret' on them while others were entirely encrypted.

The most prominent finds among the documents were ones belonging to Herbert Hoover, who later became the 31st president of the United States, and Spanish King Alphonso XIII. Speaking to Anatolia, collector Fuat Köksal said he was going through a stack of papers at the flea market in 2009 when he came upon letters handwritten in Spanish bearing the date “1915” on them.

Source & Full Story

14 September 2011

Human Bones Scattered in Churchyard by Rabbits

An anglican minister told of his horror yesterday after he discovered human bones scattered in the grounds of a historic Scottish monastery.

The Rev David Fox said he had been confronted by the "stuff of nightmares" when he visited the ancient graveyard at Kinloss Abbey near his home at Forres in Moray. Scattered across the grass on the surface of the cemetery - once a Cistercian monastery - were pieces of skulls, arms, ribs and even teeth.

Source & Full Story

Veterans Cemetery Hid Dead Dog, Deer Bones, Washing Machine

The state Department of Natural Resources learned last year the grounds supervisor at the Southern Wisconsin Veterans Memorial Cemetery near Union Grove in Racine County had been burying all manner of trash on the graveyard's grounds. The supervisor resigned in November after an investigation began.

According to documents The Associated Press obtained through an open records request, the trash included a dead dog, a bag of deer bones, telephone poles, a washing machine, shingles, mattresses, steel fencing, rebar, aerosol cans, bags of personal garbage with the former grounds supervisor's address, a boat bumper and a child's bicycle helmet.

Source & Full Story

13 September 2011

Medieval Skeletons Reveal Fear of the Undead

Two skeletons discovered with large stones wedged into their mouths, were buried in this way around 1300 years ago to stop them rising from their graves to haunt the living , a new documentary featuring the work of archaeologists at IT Sligo will suggest.

Such “deviant burials” are associated with vampires and also with revenants or ghosts who were believed to come back among the living, unless steps were taken to contain them in their graves.

Source & Full Story

A Palo Alto-Based Startup Launches the World Virtual Cemetery

A Palo Alto-based startup, I-Postmortem Limited, today launched two online services: enables people to create virtual memorials for friends and loved ones who are already deceased. is the website that enables living people to build their own virtual memorial, leave posthumous messages and organize their affairs, for the day they depart.

Source & Full Story

Germany, Italy in Court Over WWII Compensation

Germany warned Monday of severe consequences should its immunity as a state be breached if the UN's highest court allows Italian civil courts to rule on compensation for Nazi war crimes. "The consequences would be severe," the director-general for legal affairs in Germany's foreign ministry, Susanne Wasum-Rainer, told judges of the International Court of Justice in the Hague.

Germany and Italy are arguing their cases before the ICJ this week, after Berlin in December 2008 filed an application to ask the court to order Rome to stop its courts from hearing compensation claims for Third Reich war crimes.

Source & Full Story

US Universities Hit with Copyright Infringement Suit

The Authors Guild and writers from Australia, Britain and Canada filed a copyright infringement suit Monday against five US universities and the HathiTrust digital library project. The complaint submitted in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York claims the universities obtained unauthorized scans from Internet giant Google of an estimated seven million copyright-protected books.

It said the universities, through the HathiTrust consortium, plan to allow unlimited downloads by students and faculty members of so-called "orphan" works -- copyright-protected books whose authors cannot be located.

Source & Full Story

12 September 2011

RestingSpot 1.1 Update Released

PDAs and Handhelds - Freeware

RestingSpot 1.1 has been released.


• Fixed a bug preventing some RestingSpots from being added to the database.
• Data entry flow improvements.
• Photos are now saved to your iPhone camera roll.
• Other minor bug fixes.

See also: 70+ Genealogy Apps for PDAs and Handhelds

MobileFamilyTree Pro 1.0.3 Update Released

PDAs and Handhelds - Purchase

MobileFamilyTree Pro 1.0.3 has been released.


• Date parser vastly improved.
• Bug fixed that prevented searching for sources.
• Speed improvements importing GEDCOM files.
• Compatibility to other genealogy apps improved.
• Several other bugs fixed.

See also: 70+ Genealogy Apps for PDAs and Handhelds

MacFamilyTree 6.1.5 Update Released

Full Featured - Mac - Purchase

MacFamilyTree 6.1.5 has been released.


• Slideshow can now be controlled by using the keyboard.
• FamilySearch login problem solved.
• Fixes for the Narrative Report.
• Sync problems solved.
• Date Parser improved.
• Person List Report improved.
• Other minor fixes.

Ned Kelly's Remains Identified After 130 Years

It was one of the longest-enduring and most baffling mysteries to face Australian historians and scientists: what ever happened to the body of famed bush ranger and folk hero Ned Kelly?

But 130 years after Kelly was hanged for the murder of three policemen in Old Melbourne Gaol, the nation has finally got an answer. Researchers from the Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine have announced that, after an exhaustive 20-month search that included testing of more than 30 skeletons and a trip to Argentina, Kelly's remains have been positively identified.

Source & Full Story

Family Trees 1.4 Update Released

PDAs and Handhelds - Purchase

Family Trees 1.4 has been released.


• Printing support for biographies & charts.
• Reduced memory usage when running in background.
• Bugfixes (search, family renaming and facts editing functionality).
• Performance improvement.

See also: 70+ Genealogy Apps for PDAs and Handhelds

Brother's Keeper 6.4.33 Update Released

Full Featured - Windows - Purchase

Brother's Keeper 6.4.33 has been released.


• Ahnentafel book with children, born and died only, if the option was on for full month names, the death date was not the full month. Fixed.
• This version puts the headings in a comma delimited file made from Lists.
• The button shows Partner and Fiancee on the Compare screen instead of just Spouse.

Vernon Manuscript Aims to Inlock West Midlands Accent Origins

Experts at the University of Birmingham are using a 600-year-old medieval manuscript to try to unlock the origins of the West Midlands accent. The Vernon Manuscript, which dates back to about 1400, was written in the region's dialect.

University researchers are asking local people to record parts of the text at a series of events. They can then look at how the dialect has changed over time and what aspects are still used today.

Source & Full Story

Ahnenblatt 2.67 Update Released

Full Featured - Windows - Freeware

Ahnenblatt 2.67 has been released.


• Bug fixed: sometimes marriage dates in trees where too small.
• New option 'Confirm saving HTML formats without privacy policy'.
• Start person option 'last person' is now correctly saved in GEDCOM files.

Are You Related to Stephen King?

Stephen King was born September 21, 1947, in Portland, Maine.

King's father, Donald Edwin King, who was born ca. 1913 in Peru, Indiana, was a merchant seaman. King's mother, Nellie Ruth (née Pillsbury; March 13, 1913 – December 28, 1973) was born in Scarborough, Maine. They were married July 23, 1939, in Cumberland County, Maine.

Stephen King's Family Tree

Teen Spent Summer Righting Toppled Tombstones

"I remember when he came home and was telling us about it," said Anthony's mother, Lavinia. "He said he thought it was pretty cool that there were still decent people."

There certainly are; Anthony is also one of them. Picking up litter, holding doors and sticking up for the smaller kids in school, the do-gooder started "walking" out into the cemetery almost every day for about five weeks, Lavinia said. Anthony estimates he's fixed about 100 headstones. "It was definitely a very active summer for me," Anthony added.

Source & Full Story

Add a Slideshow of Family Pictures and Links to your Favorite Persons in your GeneaNet Online Family Tree

Club Privilege members can add up to 8 pictures that will be displayed in a slideshow in the home page of their Online Family Tree. These pictures can be linked to the page of an individual in the family tree.

Every GeneaNet member can add up to 8 Favorite Persons in the home page of their Online Family Tree to create a quick access to their individual page. Club Privilege members can also create a quick access to the charts and lists, and they can create two groups to organize their Favorite Persons.

Continue reading...

10 September 2011

After Death: 8 Burial Alternatives That Are Going Mainstream

The ancient world is full of examples of burial customs that seem strange now, from Egyptian mummification to bodies dumped in bogs to departed Vikings launched out on ships-turned-crematoriums. But space constraints and environmental concerns are pushing modern man to explore new options for dealing with the dead.

The most recent of these to land on American shores is a process that uses heat, pressure and chemicals to liquefy a body in just a few hours, leaving behind sterile remains that can be poured into the wastewater system.

Source & Full Story

9 September 2011

World War II Flight Nurse Collected Wounded from Okinawa Beaches

Margaret Lucille Covington was born in 1919. Her friends know her as Lou. She is a World War II veteran and will be attending the Flight of Honor to Washington, D.C., with other WWII veterans. Her close friend Myra Dean will accompany her as her guardian.

Many soldiers made it home from foreign battlefields due to flight nurses in the Navy Nurse Corps.

Source & Full Story

Crashed Plane of WWII Pilot from Marshall, Michigan, Uncovered

Like many men of his generation, Marshall native Charles Dobbins Sr. didn't talk much about his part in World War II. But several years after his death, an archaeological find in Florida brought his son and namesake, Chuck, a reminder of the dangers his father faced defending the United States.

On Saturday, Florida archaeologist Kathy Couturier will visit Marshall to share the story of how she found the wreckage of a B-17 crash that Charles Dobbins Sr. survived in 1944. Couturier will give a brief presentation at 9 a.m. at the Marshall Brooks Field Airport as part of the Historic Fly-in and Drive-in.

Source & Full Story

IUPUI Digitizes Indianapolis Recorder Newspaper

A newspaper that's covered Indianapolis' black community since the 19th century has gone digital, making more than a century of black history available free of charge online.

University Library staff members at Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis recently completed digitizing more than 5,000 issues of the Indianapolis Recorder dating from 1899 to 2005.

Source & Full Story

Sediba Human Ancestor Could Shift our Origins to South Africa

At almost 2 million years old, a human-like species from caves at Malapa in South Africa may be the ancestor to the first humans, and may shift the likely location of early human origins from East Africa to South Africa, scientists report in the journal Science.

Two fossil skeletons belonging to a new species Australopithecus sediba were first unveiled in April 2010 by Professor Lee Berger of the University of Witwatersrand, South Africa, and his colleagues.

Source & Full Story

Last Letter Sent from Abraham Lincoln to Sacked Civil War General to Sell for $100,000

A rare letter U.S. President Abraham Lincoln sent to one of his top generals at a turning point in the Civil War is expected to sell for $100,000. The handwritten note on presidential stationary was sent to Major General George B. McClellan on October 29, 1862.

McClellan was removed from his duties a week afterwards for failing to aggressively pursue Confederate General Robert E. Lee after the Battle of Antietam a month earlier.

Source & Full Story

A Database of Names to Trace Slave Ancestry

Scholars at the Virginia Historical Society in Richmond have set out to leaf through eight million documents dating back to the 17th century, seeking the names of slaves. The preliminary results, listing about 1,400 enslaved people and 180 owners, are appearing in a database posted at

“Unknown No Longer: A Database of Virginia Slave Names” is searchable by locations, professions and first and last names, among other keywords. Listings for Thomas Jefferson’s holdings do not yet mention Sally Hemings, but they do include “Thruston the son of Isabel” and “Bec daughter of Minerva.”

Source & Full Story

8 September 2011

1,700-Year-Old Map of Roman Roads Used for Online Journey Planner

A Dutch historian has used a unique 1,700 year old map of Roman roads to create an online journey planner giving the destinations, distances and timings of routes used by ancient travellers in the days of empire.

Routes are based on the Tabula Peutingeriana, a one of a kind chart, which shows an imperial Roman road network, or curses public's, that stretches from Britain to the river Ganges that flows through India and Bangladesh.

Source & Full Story

Michael S. Hart (1947-2011): Project Gutenberg Founder Dies at 64

Michael S. Hart, the founder of Project Gutenberg passed away on 6 September. Hart, born in 1947, started Project Gutenberg in 1971 with the digitisation of the US Declaration of Independence, which Hart made available to other computer users at the University of Illinois.

Project Gutenberg was founded to distribute copyright-free eBooks free of charge. Currently, it offers more than 36,000 eBooks for download in variety of formats. Tens of thousands more eBooks are available through the project's network of national affiliates and other partners.

Source & Full Story

300-Year-Old Farm in Closter, New Jersey, Gets Historic Protection

The governing body voted to designate a 300-year-old farm on Hickory Lane as a historic landmark, protecting it from demolition and other renovations that could change the look of the structure.

The Closter Historic Preservation calls the Resolvert Nagel House, "undoubtedly the most significant house and farm complex within the Borough of Closter," in its Nomination Report. The farm is known as "Brooks Farm."

Source & Full Story

Poor Water Conditions Thwart Retrieval of Possibly 200-Year-Old Cannon from Detroit River

Police divers on Wednesday postponed retrieval of a possibly centuries-old cannon from the Detroit River after strong currents and murky water thwarted efforts to raise it to the surface. The divers were assisted by the U.S. Coast Guard until the operation was shut down, Detroit police spokeswoman Eren Stephens said.

No new recovery date was announced. Dive team members discovered the cannon about 200 feet from Cobo Center in downtown Detroit during a training session in July. It’s the fifth cannon found in the area in three decades.

Source & Full Story

Kirkwood Professor Mapping Iowa’s Pioneer Cemeteries

As cicadas hum and trucks roar past, two figures move about 19th-century gravestones set into a little glade surrounded by farm fields just off Highway 30 and Skillman Road in rural Mount Vernon.

Gail Brown and her grandson, Dylan Kwaiser-Brown, both of Mount Vernon, take GPS readings on each of the tombstones, jotting down notes, calling out instructions or readings and conferring with each other as they struggle to identify the markings on the stones.

Source & Full Story

Beyonce's Classy Genes Revealed

Pop superstar Beyonce Knowles is a cousin of classical music genius Gustav Mahler. The family tie was revealed in a recent book about the composer by Norman Lebrecht.

Mahler, whose music fell into obscurity after his death, has recently been remarked as more important than Beethoven. A number of Mahler's close family moved to the US where one of his family members became linked to Beyonce's family who are from African-American and French creole descent.

Source & Full Story

Personal Ancestry Writer II 100 Update Released

Full Featured - Mac - Freeware

Personal Ancestry Writer II 100 has been released.


• The appearance of the PAWriter application icon was improved.
• The FrameMaker MML report features have been deleted. The Write MML menu item in the File menu and all its submenu items have been removed. FrameMaker for the Mac is an MacOS 9 application and has not been supported by Adobe Systems Incorporated for many years.
• Most of the desktop publishing capabilities of FrameMaker now appear in Nisus Writer Pro (see the Nisus website at, and in some cases the capabilities in Nisus Writer Pro exceed those in FrameMaker. RTF files generated by PAWriter using the Write RTF menu item in the File menu are opened in Nisus Writer Pro by default (as well as being readable by other Mac word processors such as Microsoft Word, Pages, TextEdit, Tex-Edit, AppleWorks and Quick Look).
• A bug in version 99 dated 1 July 2011 which affected the wallet window was fixed by removing the Close Wallet button. A wallet is still closed by clicking on the red close button in the upper left corner of the wallet window, by choosing Close Wallet from the Pictures menu or by pressing command-W.
• PAWriter was compiled using Real Studio 2011 Release 2 — technical change only.
• Tip: You can open the last data file you saved by choosing Apple menu > Recent Items and selecting the data file from the Documents list.

7 September 2011

The Complete Genealogy Reporter 2011 beta build 110902 Update Released

Family Books - Windows - Shareware

The Complete Genealogy Reporter 2011 beta build 110902 has been released.


• Improved: When a citation is to a note, any subordinate details (quality, page, citation note) are now reported.
• Fixed: Occasional omission and misplacement of the subordinate details of a citation and the subordinate details of its source.
• Fixed: Occasional omission of a note is attached to a source record.

The Complete Genealogy Builder 2011 beta build 110902 Update Released

Full Featured - Windows - Shareware

The Complete Genealogy Builder 2011 beta build 110902 has been released.


• When a new citation is added, the library source selection form is automatically opened. This saves the unnecessary mouse action to open the form to specify a library source.

Pocket Genealogist 4.03 Update Released

PDAs and Handhelds - Purchase

Pocket Genealogist 4.03 has been released.


• Added "BMP" option back to Advanced Options to allow synchronizing BMP files (instead of JPG) for devices that don't support JPG. (Windows CE "Core" devices for example)
• Fixed bug when returning from "Tools" menu where the action icons for the selected database aren't properly set.
• Fix to date calculator which could give an incorrect date when subtracting a Y M D value from a date.
• Initial support for The Master Genealogist V8.
• Support for Legacy 7 mtDNA.
• "Tools", "Find", "To Do" changed to merge "by Task" and "by Repository". (You now select the type from the find dialog same as the other "Finds")
• Keep track of last 'type' selected for each Find so that when find is called again, that 'type' will be selected by default in the drop down list.
• Update to Norwegian Translations

See also: 70+ Genealogy Apps for PDAs and Handhelds

WWI British Soldiers Buried in Pargny, Somme, France, and Nearby Cemeteries

Commonwealth War Graves Commission Cemetery Register of the British soldiers who fell in the Great War and are buried in Pargny British Cemetery, the churchyards at Mesnil-Saint-Nicaise, Rouy-le-Grand and Rouy-le-Petit, and the Communal Cemeteries at Voyennes and Nesle, Somme, France.

View the Cemetery Register (Free)

FamilyTreeFactory Update Released

Charts and Diagrams - Windows - Purchase

FamilyTreeFactory has been released.


• If in the Treeview Options dialog, Automatc Width/Height tab, aim Width/height ratio of the graphic, the checkbox Use settings from Printer Page was not checked and an arbitrary values has been entered for the Set Width/Height Ratio, this value could be changed to the value from the Printer Page by performing a Printer Setup or by canceling the dialog. This bug has been fixed.
• In the version, an attempt to start the program once again in a second instance led to a Windows error message Runtime Error xxx. There was no remedy for it. This bug has been fixed.
• In the Treeview Options dialog, Profiles tab, the profile name Default Settings for New Treeviews was misinterpretative. The correct name is Default Settings for New Family Files/Imported Gedcom Files. The name will has been corrected.

Continue reading...

Work Starts on New Southampton War Memorial Wall

Work has begun to create a memorial to commemorate the men and women of Southampton who died in World War I and II, and other conflicts since then. The 1,992 names of the war dead on the city's Portland limestone Cenotaph in Watts Park, unveiled on 6 November in 1920, have started to erode.

The authority is now installing eight new glass panels on each side of it. They will list 3,298 of those who gave their lives serving in the armed forces or Merchant Navy.


6 September 2011

George Washington's 1790 Letter to Jewish Community Endorsing Religious Liberty Belongs on Display

One of the seminal American endorsements of religious freedom - a letter written in 1790 by George Washington - is locked away in storage. Would not the public benefit from the chance to view this national treasure?

Yes, and the Jewish Daily Forward newspaper has mounted a noble campaign to release the document from the vault to be displayed in a proper setting, as are the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.


5 September 2011

Are You Related to Hugh Grant?

Hugh Grant was born the second son of Fynvola Susan (née MacLean; b. Wickham, Hampshire, 11 October 1933; m. Boxgrove, Sussex, 6 July 1957; d. Hounslow, London, July 2001) and Captain James Murray Grant (b. 1929).

William Drummond, 4th Viscount Strathallan and Dr. James Stewart. John Murray, 1st Duke of Atholl (his uncle through William Murray, 2nd Baron Nairne), Heneage Finch, 1st Earl of Nottingham, Rt. Hon. Sir Evan Nepean, and a sister of former British Prime Minister Spencer Perceval, are a few of his notable maternal antecedents.

Hugh Grant's Family Tree

GeneaNet: Geolocate your Pictures of Headstones and Memorials on Google Maps

You can now geolocate your pictures of headstones and memorials on Google Maps.

Just enter the name of the city/town and the street address to automatically geolocate your pictures.

Then, you and other members can search for a picture and easily view the nearby headstones and memorials on Google Maps.

Continue reading...

3 September 2011

Canadiana Discovery Portal Beta

The Canadiana Discovery Portal is a new source for Canada’s documentary heritage, providing access to a huge assortment of historical artifacts from across the country.

The Canadiana Discovery Portal is a free service that enables users to search across the valuable and diverse digital collections of Canada’s libraries, museums and archives. It provides Canadians with access to a wealth of digital material such as books, journals, newspapers, government documents, photographs, maps, etc.

Canadiana Discovery Portal Beta

2 September 2011

London Lives

London Lives is a fully searchable edition of 240,000 manuscripts from eight archives and fifteen datasets, giving access to 3.35 million names.

Although anyone can search London Lives, registration allows you to use a personal workspace to link documents together and create biographies of eighteenth-century Londoners. It also gives you access to advanced search facilities and the Wiki. Registering is free. For example biographies, see the Featured Life on this page and the Lives pages.

London Lives

Polish Jewish Memorial Marking Massacre Vandalised

Vandals in Poland have defaced a monument marking the spot in Poland where hundreds of Jews were massacred during World War II. They wrote on the memorial's walls: "I'm not sorry for Jedwabne" and "They were highly flammable".

Swastikas were also drawn on the monument. The monument remembers the victims of the attack on 10 July 1941, when some 340 Jews were rounded up and led to a barn, which was then set alight.

Source & Full Story

GENP 4 Update Released

Full Featured - Windows - Purchase

GENP 4 has been released.


• Presentation quality Tree Charts. There are thirty six (36) different charts each with many variations. These cover Ancestor, Descendant and Hourglass styles.
• Slideshow Wizard. The Slideshow Wizard enables you to build a slideshow of images. This slideshow is standalone and can be sent to other people to run on their machines.
• Name Selection dialog. It has been enhanced so that there are now three selection methods. Name Select, Name Cloud and Name Manager.
• The Name Select form displays all the individuals in your GenBase giving details such as Birth Date, Birth Place, Death Date and Death Place.

1 September 2011

The Next Generation of Genealogy Sitebuilding 8.1.3 Update Released

Web Publishing - Windows, Mac, Linux - Purchase

The Next Generation of Genealogy Sitebuilding 8.1.3 has been released.


• Associations: Deleting a tree did not delete the associations linked to that tree.
• Branches: The Delete option under Labeling was letting you submit the form without entering a Person ID.
• Calendar: The Calendar page was not displaying the right people if the visiting user was assigned to a tree.
• Cemeteries: Sending a non-numeric cemetery ID to the showmap.php page was causing it to return all non-headstone media.
• Dates: Dates were not being properly internalized if they contained slashes and had less than 4 digits in the year.
• Descendancy: The standard chart would not display properly if both parents in a family with children had the same gender.
• Merge: Merging people was not causing Associations linked to those people to also be merged.
• And many other fixes.

Irene Floods Rip Open Cemetery In Rochester

This town, among the hardest hit in Vermont by Tropical Storm Irene, was still without electricity and phone service on Wednesday. But Rochester also suffered a different kind of nightmare. A gentle downtown brook swelled into a torrent and ripped through Woodlawn Cemetery, unearthing about 25 caskets and strewing their remains throughout downtown.

Many of the graves were about 30 years old, and none of the burials was recent.Yesterday, those remains were still outside, covered by blue tarps. Scattered bones on both sides of Route 100 were marked by small red flags.

Source & Full Story

Remains of Australian Outlaw Ned Kelly Identified

The headless remains of Australian outlaw Ned Kelly have been identified, 130 years after he was hanged for murder, officials have said. His body was dumped into a mass grave, later transferred to another mass grave and again exhumed in 2009.

Although his skull is still missing the body was identified by comparing a DNA sample with that of a relative. Ned Kelly was seen by many as a cold-blooded killer and others as a folk hero of Irish-Australian resistance.

Source & Full Story

Library and Archives Canada: Launch of 'Census of Canada, 1871'

The 1871 census marked the first regularly scheduled collection of national statistics, and Library and Archives Canada is now pleased to make its results available online. Researchers can access digitized images of original census returns featuring the name, age, country or province of birth, nationality, religion, and occupation of Canada's residents at the time.

The information covers the four provinces that were part of the Dominion of Canada in 1871: New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Ontario and Quebec.

Census of Canada, 1871

World's Oldest Person Discovered in Amazon Rainforest

Maria Lucimar Pereira is arguably the world's oldest living person: a member of the Kaxinawá tribe, Pereira lives in the Brazilian Amazon and will be soon celebrating her 121st birthday, according to Survival International.

Pereira has had an official birth certificate approved in 1985 that states her year of birth as 1890, meaning she would have been 24 when World War I broke out, 49 when World War II commenced, and 79 when the first man set foot on the moon.

Source & Full Story