Genealogy Blog

31 October 2011

Save Library and Archives Canada

On Wednesday, November 2, the Canadian Association of University Teachers will launch its national campaign: “Save Library and Archives Canada”.

The campaign will expose how major restructuring of Library and Archives Canada is undermining the institution responsible for preserving Canada’s history and heritage. “Library and Archives Canada is cutting services and acquisitions. Unless this is reversed, the damage to our country will be enormous,” said CAUT’s executive director James L. Turk.

Source & Full Story

Vandals Damage Kansas City’s New Korean War Memorial

Vandals have defaced Kansas City’s new $400,000 Missouri Korean War Memorial near Union Station. The vandals have struck the memorial several times over the last two weeks, said Debra Shultz, who helped make the memorial a reality.

“They have desecrated a memorial that was built to honor our veterans and those who paid the ultimate sacrifice,” said Shultz, whose father, James, was a Korean War veteran. “It is a travesty.”

Source & Full Story

Are You Related to Eleanor Roosevelt?

Anna Eleanor Roosevelt was the First Lady of the United States from 1933 to 1945. She supported the New Deal policies of her husband, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and became an advocate for civil rights.

She was born at 56 West 37th Street in New York City, the daughter of Elliott Roosevelt and Anna Hall Roosevelt. She was named Anna after her mother and her aunt Anna Cowles; Eleanor after her father, and was nicknamed "Ellie" or "Little Nell". Eleanor Roosevelt died on November 7, 1962.

Eleanor Roosevelt's Family Tree

New: The GeneaNet 'Email Alert by Individual'

GeneaNet has launched a new powerful feature called 'Email Alert by Individual'!

The 'Individual Alert' and the 'Cross-Database Alert' have been merged in a single Email Alert so GeneaNet Club Privilege members can now receive accurate emails that aggregate the latest entries by name (with alternate spelling), first name (with alternate spelling), place, year, occupation and spouse.

And these Email Alerts can be automatically generated from the data in their Online Family Tree!

Continue reading...

28 October 2011

Auschwitz Crimes To Be Reinvestigated by Poland

Polish authorities have reopened an investigation into crimes committed at Auschwitz and its satellite camps during World War II. It is estimated that one million people - mostly Jews and non-Jewish Poles - were killed at the Nazi death camp.

One aim is to track down any Nazi war criminals still living. It is being carried out by the Institute of National Remembrance, a state body that investigates Nazi and communist-era crimes.

Source & Full Story

Royal Society Journal Archive Made Permanently Free to Access

The Royal Society has today announced that its world-famous historical journal archive – which includes the first ever peer-reviewed scientific journal – has been made permanently free to access online.

Around 60,000 historical scientific papers are accessible via a fully searchable online archive, with papers published more than 70 years ago now becoming freely available.

Source & Full Story

Jail for Graveyard Vandal

A 24-year-old man who vandalised historic gravestones at Canberra's oldest church has been jailed. James Dudley March pleaded guilty to damaging 14 headstones in the graveyard beside the Anglican Church of St John the Baptist in Reid in May.

St John's was consecrated in 1845, 70 years before Canberra was named the national capital. One of the headstones March damaged was 150-years-old. March will serve 14 months full-time custody, followed by periodic detention.

Source & Full Story

27 October 2011

My Heritage 0.1.6 Update Released

PDAs and Handhelds - Freeware

My Heritage 0.1.6 has been released.


• Allows to enter the previous years of 1900.
• UI and Performance improvements.
• Bug fix.

See also: 60+ Genealogy Apps for PDAs and Handhelds

The Complete Genealogy Reporter 2011 beta build 111024 Update Released

Family Books - Windows - Shareware

The Complete Genealogy Reporter 2011 beta build 111024 has been released.


• Fixed errors in Portuguese relationship expressions, particularly those relating to removed cousins.

My Family Tree Update Released

Full Featured - Windows - Freeware

My Family Tree has been released.


• Migrated to Microsoft .NET 4.0.
• Performance and stability improvements.
• UI improvements to icons, diagram viewers, new sources view, address and citation editors.
• Added relationship calculator.
• Added support for place coordinates.
• Added people movements feature to place export.
• Added extra tools to timeline view.
• Added new 256bit AES encrypted file format (*.familyxs) for secure storage and sharing of family tree files.
• Added support for Windows 7 taskbar thumb buttons for the audio/video player and to change the application theme.
• Added webcam snapshot tool to make it easy to add photos of living people featured in your tree.
• Some fixes.

26 October 2011

Century-Old Headstones Stolen From Knox County Cemetery

Family members said pieces of their history are now gone! This weekend a number of historical markers vanished from a Knox County cemetery. Some of those headstones are more than one hundred years old.

"Everyone is related, or they lived in the neighborhood," said Jeffery Patterson. Patterson and his family help take care of Hawn Cemetery in Knox County. Many of his relatives are buried there.

Source & Full Story

WWI Soldier Alexander Johnston Buried 93 Years On

A Scots-born Canadian soldier who was killed less than two months before the end of World War I has been buried 93 years after his death in France. Private Alexander Johnston died, aged 33, during the Battle of the Canal du Nord in northern France in 1918.

His remains were discovered near the battlefield in 2008 and his identity established this year using DNA tests. The soldier, born in Coatbridge, was reburied in a Commonwealth War Graves Commission cemetery in France.

Source & Full Story

How Translation Software Helped Crack 'Unbreakable' Code in 1866 Secret Society Manuscript

The Copiale cipher is an 105-page coded document found in an East German archive, and dated to 1866 - but the code used to shield its mysteries has remained unbroken, until now.

The international team that cracked the cipher this year found that automated translation techniques - familiar to most of us from the often-wonky Google Translate - can help to crack encrypted documents by 'guessing' their contents. It works even when they use a cipher as baffling as the Copiale's 90 symbols, and the original language is unknown.

Source & Full Story

25 October 2011

Divers Find Dutch WWII Submarine Off Borneo After 70 Years

Sport divers off the northern coast of Borneo have discovered the wreck of a Dutch World War II submarine, missing for the past 70 years, the Dutch defence ministry said Monday. "The Hr. Ms. KXVI, which has been missing with a crew of 36 since 1941, has been found," it said in a statement released in The Hague.

"It was discovered by Australian and Singaporean sport divers in the waters 'above' the island of Borneo after a tip-off from a local fisherman," the ministry added. It did not state the exact location of the wreck out of respect for the dead crew and their descendants.

Source & Full Story

UK’s Oldest Family Businesses, a History of Longevity

They were all founded between 1535 and 1728, but the UK's 10 oldest family businesses are showing no signs of ageing, such as slowing down. Instead, companies like RJ Balson and Son show impressive levels of stability and longevity, according to a study by the Institute for Family Business.

The research, conducted to mark the 10th anniversary of the IFB, found that the oldest continuously trading family firms in the UK are still successful and have been boosting the country’s economy since they were established.

Source & Full Story

24 October 2011

Extraordinary Story of the Brave Auschwitz Prisoner who Escaped with his Girlfriend by Dressing as an S.S. Officer... Before Reuniting Four Decades Later

This Catholic man holds one of the most incredible concentration camp escape stories of World War Two, after he sneaked his Jewish girlfriend out of Auschwitz in 1944 by dressing up as an S.S. officer.

But it took Jerzy Bielecki, a German-speaking Polish inmate at the same Nazi death camp, 39 years to be reunited with Cyla Cybulska after a chance conversation she had with her cleaner in the 1980s.

Source & Full Story

Australia to Ask Britain to Pardon Two 'Breaker Morant' Soldiers Executed in Boer War

The Australian government is calling on Britain to pardon two of its soldiers executed more than a century ago for war crimes in South Africa.

The intervention comes after the British government rejected in June a petition to pardon Lieutenants Harry 'Breaker' Morant and Peter Handcock, who were killed by firing squad in 1902 for murdering prisoners during the Boer War. They are the only Australian soldiers ever executed for war crimes.

Source & Full Story

On Display After 200 Years: Rare Royal Navy Uniform Worn by Survivor of Battle of Trafalgar (Found in a Plastic Bag in the Attic)

A rare Royal Naval uniform worn by a British survivor of the Battle of Trafalgar has been unearthed after spending decades in the attic of one of the sailor's descendants.

William Hicks became famous for his gripping account of Trafalgar which told how, as a 17-year-old midshipman on HMS Conqueror, he helped British forces crush France and Spain in 1805 to end the threat of an invasion by Napoleon.

Source & Full Story

Are You Related to Bill Gates?

Gates was born on October 28, 1955, in Seattle, Washington, to William H. Gates, Sr. and Mary Maxwell Gates, of English, German, and Scotch-Irish descent. His family was upper middle class; his father was a prominent lawyer, his mother served on the board of directors for First Interstate BancSystem and the United Way, and her father, J. W. Maxwell, was a national bank president.

Gates has one elder sister, Kristi (Kristianne), and one younger sister, Libby. He was the fourth of his name in his family, but was known as William Gates III or "Trey" because his father had the "II" suffix. Early on in his life, Gates' parents had a law career in mind for him. When Gates was young, his family regularly attended a Congregational church.

Bill Gates' Family Tree

New GeneaNet Menu Section

We are working on improving the Online Family Tree access rights and a new section has been added to the GeneaNet menu.

This section contains four items: 'Family Tree Root' to enable/disable the display of the family tree root (Sosa #1) on your family tree home page, 'Places not Mapped' to view/edit places that cannot be geolocated by Google Maps, 'Access Rights' to set some 'Wizard' access rights, and 'Surname Prefix' to display prefix before/after the main part of the name.

Continue reading...

22 October 2011

National Genealogical Society Seeks Nominations for the 2012 Genealogy Hall of Fame

Would your society like to honor a genealogist whose exemplary work lives on today? Perhaps there was a notable genealogist in your state or county whose name should be memorialized in the NGS Hall of Fame.

If so, the National Genealogical Society would like to hear from you. NGS is seeking nominations from the entire genealogical community for persons whose achievements or contributions have made an impact on the field.

Source & Full Story

Jersey City Library Returns Spoils of Civil War, a 220-Year-Old Book of Court Records, to Virginia County

Nearly 150 years after a Union Army captain pilfered a book of court records from a county courthouse in Virginia during the Civil War, the Jersey City Free Public Library has returned the 220-year-old spoil of war to its rightful home.

The leather-bound book has a broken binder and the pages are yellowed, but the exhibits the flawless penmanship of John Fox, a Stafford County deputy court clerk who in 1791 was given the task of transcribing summarized court records covering 1749 to 1755.

Source & Full Story

Gravestone Girls Offer Virtual Tour of Hudson Cemeteries

With Halloween just around the corner, let The Gravestone Girls dig up all the spooky stuff happening in Hudson's cemeteries. On Saturday, Oct. 22, founder Brenda Sullivan will discuss "Welcome to the Graveyard: Focus on Hudson, MA Cemeteries'' at the Hudson Public Library at 3 Washington St.

If you ever wondered about those "winged skull'' designs carved on old headstones, their "virtual tour,'' "Welcome to the Graveyard," will take you from colonial burial grounds into 21st century locations. The audience will learn why we have cemeteries, gravestones and why they look like they do. Pictures from Hudson cemeteries will also be featured.

Source & Full Story

MobileTree Lite 1.6 Update Released

PDAs and Handhelds - Purchase

MobileTree Lite 1.6 has been released.


• Fixed a problem with accessing media that had been stored on the server.
• Fixed a problem with the spouse sometimes getting loaded on initial launch.

See also: 60+ Genealogy Apps for PDAs and Handhelds

21 October 2011

MobileTree 1.6 Update Released

PDAs and Handhelds - Purchase

MobileTree 1.6 has been released.


• Fixed a problem with accessing media that had been stored on the server.
• Fixed a problem with the spouse sometimes getting loaded on initial launch.

See also: 60+ Genealogy Apps for PDAs and Handhelds

GedView 3.2.1 Update Released

PDAs and Handhelds - Purchase

GedView 3.2.1 has been released.


• Fixes import of media items. (images, documents etc.)
• Fixes export when the upload wifi server is enabled.

See also: 60+ Genealogy Apps for PDAs and Handhelds

FamViewer 2.5 Update Released

PDAs and Handhelds - Purchase

FamViewer 2.5 has been released.


• Improved compatibility with iOS 5.

See also: 60+ Genealogy Apps for PDAs and Handhelds

FamilyInsight 2011.10.17.0 Update Released

Other Tools - Windows, Mac - Purchase

FamilyInsight 2011.10.17.0 has been released.


• Fixed a couple of crashes.
• Fixed a problem with the continuous place checking when using Edit Places Mode.
• Fixed a problem saving Ancestral Quest places more than 5 fields deep.
• Fixed a problem saving some GEDCOM notes.
• Fixed Not a Match markings being saved in Roots Magic files.
• Fixed radio button issue in preferences for ignoring specific fields.

Is Canada Neglecting Its Journalistic Past?

This country stores its newspaper archives, stack by stack, in a basement and three old warehouses in Ottawa—with little public access. Paper of Record, Bob Huggins’s ambitious digitization project, would have changed that, but it’s history now.

Bob Huggins thought he had come up with a nearly surefire plan to make some money and secure a legacy for himself. He would make Canada’s historical newspaper records available to anyone with access to a computer and a public library card.

Source & Full Story

Lost Gravesite of Civil War Hero Found

While a number of people have searched for years for the grave of Raynham Civil War soldier Frederick C. Anderson, a Pawtucket, R.I., man found it in just six months. Anderson was a farmer who received the Medal of Honor after heroically capturing an enemy battle flag and its bearer in 1864.

For years, history buffs were unable to locate his grave, which was believed to be in Somerville. But last week it was uncovered in Dighton, thanks to Charles Mogayzel, an 80-year-old Korean War veteran.

Source & Full Story

Are Genealogies Just Social Constructs?

In recent years, interest in genealogy has become a globe-conquering phenomenon; now, with the rise of consumer genetics, we can expect them to become ever more detailed and far-reaching. In Ancestors and Relatives: Genealogy, Identity, and Community, Eviatar Zerubavel, a sociologist at Rutgers, pulls back the curtain on the genealogical obsession.

Genealogies, he argues, aren't the straightforward, objective accounts of our ancestries we often presume them to be. Instead, they're heavily curated social constructions, and are as much about our values as they are about the facts of who gave birth to whom.

Source & Full Story

20 October 2011

Ancient Images of a Mother Giving Birth Found

An international team of archaeologists has unearthed what might be the earliest representation of childbirth in western art, they announced today. Consisting of two images of a woman giving birth to a child, the intimate scene was found on a small fragment from a ceramic vessel that is more than 2,600 years old.

About 1-3/4 x 1-1/4 inches (4 x 3 cm), the fragment was part of a vessel made of bucchero, a typically Etruscan black pottery. The image show the head and shoulders of a baby emerging from a mother. Portrayed with her face in profile and a long ponytail running down her back, the woman has her knees and one arm raised.

Source & Full Story

Soldiers' Remains Found in World War I Tunnel

Twenty-one German soldiers have been discovered in a World War I tunnel in Alsace, France, 93 years after they were buried alive during battle. Under the rich Alsatian soil lies a labyrinth of passageways buried into the Lerchenberg hills. Built nearly 100 years ago, they were used by soldiers to shelter from shelling during the Great War.

In October 2010, construction of a bypass near the town of Altkirch was disrupted by the 125-metre tunnel, which combat engineers had built seven metres under the surface. After a skeletal foot, a camp bed and fragments of a jaw bone were unearthed during digging. work on the road was quickly stopped and archaeologists called in.

Source & Full Story

DNA Solves Mystery of Unknown Scots Soldier

He lay in a single shallow grave on the fringes of a battlefield in northern France for 90 years, his two regimental collar badges among the little remains of the unknown Scots soldier.

No-one had talked much about former Coatbridge man Alexander Johnston over time, the name only rarely coming up in conversation when old photo books were opened up and shared by his family.

Source & Full Story

Scottish Football 'More Than 500 Years Old'

"Organised" football was being played in castle courtyards in Scotland more than 500 years ago, experts have found. Documents show a set of accounts from the court of King James IV indicating he paid two shillings for a bag of "fut ballis" in April 1497.

The world's oldest surviving football dates back to 1540 and was found behind panelling in Stirling Castle. The Scottish Football Museum said it appeared the game evolved rather than was invented.

Source & Full Story

19 October 2011

Child's Gravestone Stolen in Belleau, Lincolnshire

A mother has discovered her young son's gravestone has been stolen from a churchyard in Lincolnshire. Michelle Holness's son Dion died, aged five, 12 years ago and was laid to rest at St John's Baptist in Belleau.

Mrs Holness believes thieves targeted her dead son's granite gravestone because of its unusual design which was shaped in a heart with a gold leaf. Lincolnshire Police want to hear from anyone with information about the disappearence of the stone.

Source & Full Story

A Family’s Hidden History is Revealed after Sale of their Grand Georgetown Estate

The weather for Peter Belin’s flight home from Europe was largely serene. It was early in May 1937, and as touchdown in New Jersey approached, the recent Yale graduate snapped photos of the airport’s three-story hangar, the ground crew, and the stark, oval shadow of his mode of transportation, the Hindenburg zeppelin.

Moments later, after the crew flung down the landing ropes, an explosion rocked the Hindenburg’s rear. Peter grabbed his things — his datebook, his camera — and leapt from the doomed craft. He survived the 30-foot plunge.

Source & Full Story

Family Tree PHP 1.2 beta Update Released

Web Publishing - Windows, Mac, Linux - Purchase

Family Tree PHP 1.2 beta has been released.


• CSS and Javascript optimization for IE9.
• Comments on pages and blog posts.
• When submitting a comment, a user can send a copy to his own email address.
• Urls for addresses and email addresses are clickable now.
• If a multimedia record does not have a TITL tag, the filename is set as title during gedcom import.
• And more…

18 October 2011

Charting Companion 3.0 Update Released

Charts and Diagrams - Windows - Purchase

Charting Companion 3.0 has been released.


• You can embroider two types of charts: Ancestor Fan, and Descendant Fan Charts. Format them in quarter-, half- or full-circle - your choice! The program can render up to 5 generations from your Legacy family file on any one Embroidery Chart and still preserve the legibility of lettering.

Great War Soldier Finds his Final Resting Place in Ottawa

For 90 years, his final resting place was unknown. His service, however was commemorated on the Vimy Memorial near Arras, France, where the names of more than 11,000 other Canadians who have no known grave also appear.

But next week, the remains of Pte. Alexander Johnston, which surfaced when a First World War battlefield became an industrial construction site in 2008, will be buried, with full military honours, at Le Cantimpre Canadian Cemetery in Sailly, France. And his Ottawa-based next of kin will be on hand to see it.

Source & Full Story

Fromelles Shrine to Keep History Alive

The new museum to commemorate the once-overlooked World War I Battle of Fromelles will be a shrine-like, octagonal concrete building dug into a small hill on the fringe of the northern French village.

To be built not far from where almost 2000 Australians were killed in an overnight battle in July 1916, the winning design by Paris-New York firm Serero Architects will be finished in time for the 2014 centenary of World War I.

Source & Full Story

Van Pelt Library Completes Digitization of Medieval Manuscripts

The secrets of the Rare Book and Manuscript Library on the sixth floor of Van Pelt Library have now been revealed on the internet.

A two-year grant funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities has allowed Penn to finish digitizing medieval and Renaissance manuscripts produced before 1601. A second grant was secured in March to digitize manuscripts from 1601 to 1800.

Source & Full Story

The Origins of Tea Drinking in Britain

On September 25, 1660, the great chronicler, Sarnuel Pepys, made the following entry in his diary: ‘And afterwards did send for a Cupp of Tee (a China drink) of which I had never drank before’.

Pepys could not have foreseen then the extent to which this new drink would become a part of British life in the years ahead.

Source & Full Story

Scientists to Unlock the Secrets of Long Life by Unravelling DNA of World's Oldest Woman

Scientists are studying the DNA of a woman who was the world's oldest person until her death at the age of 115, in the belief it could contain the secrets to long life. Dutch woman Hendrikje van Andel-Schipper was born in 1890 and became the word's oldest person in May 2004 before her death in August the following year.

What made her even more remarkable was the fact she remained mentally sharp right up until her death. She showed no signs of Alzheimer's disease which most experts assume would be inevitable for someone of her years.

Source & Full Story

Are You Related to Carrie Fisher?

Carrie Frances Fisher is an American actress, novelist, screenwriter, and lecturer. She is most famous for her portrayal of Princess Leia Organa in the original Star Wars trilogy.

Fisher was born on born October 21, 1956 in Beverly Hills, California, the daughter of singer Eddie Fisher and actress Debbie Reynolds. She was raised Protestant, though her paternal grandparents were Russian Jewish immigrants. Her younger brother is Todd Fisher and her half-sisters are actresses Joely Fisher and Tricia Leigh Fisher. Joely and Tricia's mother is the singer/actress Connie Stevens.

Carrie Fisher's Family Tree

Woman Gets $4 Compensation for Korean War Killing

A South Korean woman has been offered a little over $4 in government compensation for the death of her brother during the 1950-53 Korean War, embarrassing officials who say they were bound by an out-dated law.

The woman was two years old when her brother was killed in combat in 1950, but never knew of his existence until told of his death by a neighbor, local media reported, adding the children's mother has suffered from dementia.

Source & Full Story

17 October 2011

Some Other New GeneaNet Features and Options

A new Online Family Tree (GeneWeb) option lets you display the day of week in the events date (birth, baptism, marriage, death and burial).

Some new features have been added to the Headstones & Memorials database to let you have an easy access to the pictures uploaded by other GeneaNet members, and to improve the editing of your own pictures.

Continue reading...

14 October 2011

Man Accused Of Stealing 142 Veteran Grave Markers

Police say they have arrested a man who has been stealing markers from the graves of veterans and selling them to scrap metal yards. Worcester police say Allan Long Jr., of North Grafton, stole 142 veteran bronze memorial grave markers and 76 brass rods.

Investigators first learned of the scheme last week when several scrap metal yards told them a man was coming in to sell the brass markers for cash. Officers were able to trace one of the markers to a World War I veteran who died in 1954 and another to a woman who belonged to the American Legion and died in 1940.

Source & Full Story

Black Death DNA Unravelled

Scientists used the degraded strands to reconstruct the entire genetic code of the deadly bacterium. It is the first time experts have succeeded in drafting the genome of an ancient pathogen, or disease-causing agent.

The researchers found that a specific strain of the plague bug Yersinia pestis caused the pandemic that killed 100 million Europeans - between 30 per cent and 50 per cent of the total population - in just five years between 1347 and 1351.

Source & Full Story

Philippines: Archives Collection, To Be Preserved, Digitized for Public Use

Researchers, historians and students may soon conveniently access records, documents, manuscripts and records artifacts from the National Archives of the Philippines as the agency migrates its priceless collection into digitalized formats and copies as a strategic move for archival preservation.

According to National Archives executive director Victorino Mapa Manalo, the office’ archival preservation division is entrusted to “prolong the life” of some 13 million Spanish paper documents saved from the 16th century, and approximately 40 to 50 million files from the First Philippine Republic to the present.

Source & Full Story

13 October 2011

Redesigned Europeana Launched

Based on users’ feed­back they’ve been receiv­ing since their launch in Novem­ber 2008, Euro­peana under­went a sig­nif­i­cant makeover. The new Euro­peana is now more visual, inter­ac­tive and eas­ier to use.

Source & Full Story

12 October 2011

Library and Archives Canada: New Version of the 'Home Children' Database

Library and Archives Canada is pleased to announce the release of a new version of the online database Home Children (1869-1930).More than 20,000 names of children, who came to Canada between 1925 and 1932, were added to the extended version. The names were extracted from passengers lists held at Library and Archives Canada.

The database is available at the following address:

Source & Full Story

Celebrating the Women in our Family Trees

The lives of modern-day Canadians are full of examples of the accomplishments that women have made throughout history. This October during Women's History Month, we honour women - in Canadian history and in our family trees - and the contributions they have made to the growth of our nation.

It seems surreal to me that women have only legally been considered "persons" in Canada for a little over 80 years. Looking back at my own family tree, I'm amazed by the accomplishments of my female ancestors, regardless of the challenges and risks they faced.

Source & Full Story

11 October 2011

The Complete Genealogy Reporter 2011 beta build 111008 Update Released

Family Books - Windows - Shareware

The Complete Genealogy Reporter 2011 beta build 111008 has been released.


• Fixed: Unexpected program error when creating the contents list of sources and a source title is a long text with no spaces (e.g., a URL) which needs to be broken across two or more lines.

Ahnenblatt 2.68 Update Released

Full Featured - Windows - Freeware

Ahnenblatt 2.68 has been released.


• File linkage asking for admin rights (if needed).
• New default style 'with all siblings' for ancestor trees.
• Minor fixings for GEDCOM.
• Minor corrections.

LTools 1.3.18 Update Released

Other Tools - Windows - Freeware

LTools 1.3.18 has been released.


• Advanced Tagging – Tag Living – moved Advanced Tag Living from a separate dialog to the 2nd tab of Advanced Tagging.
• Advanced Tagging – Y-DNA – moved DNA Tagging – Y-DNA from a tab under the separate DNA Tagging dialog to the 3rd tab of Advanced Tagging.
• Advanced Tagging – Mito DNA – moved DNA Tagging – Mitochondrial DNA from a tab under the separate DNA Tagging dialog to the 4th tab of Advanced Tagging.

HuMo-gen 4.7 Update Released

Web Publishing - Windows - Freeware

HuMo-gen 4.7 has been released.


• Added Google Maps integration.
• Two new end-user language interfaces were added: Norwegian (Norsk) and Finnish (Suomi).

GedView 3.2 Update Released

PDAs and Handhelds - Purchase

GedView 3.2 has been released.


• iOS 5 and other general fixes.
• Support for more custom GEDCOM tags from other programs.
• The researcher name and notes about a tree can now be changed after creation / import and when creating a tree.
• Pinch to scale font size in notes now requires iOS 4 or above.
• When importing a gedcom file with the same name as an existing tree you no longer need to upload all the media items again (unless you have made changes)

See also: 60+ Genealogy Apps for PDAs and Handhelds

Brother's Keeper 6.5.2 Update Released

Full Featured - Windows - Purchase

Brother's Keeper 6.5.2 has been released.


• Fixed a problem on the Select Person screen when clicking Options, the Options screen was too far to the right.
• When printing the Ahnentafel Book with the option to also print all information for children, it was sometimes printing more than it needed to. Now it will not print details for a child if that child is also an ancestor and is printed elsewhere with the details.
• On Ahnentafel Book, it was sometimes printing the Notes for a spouse even though that same spouse is also an ancestor.
• There is a pop up tooltip for the Comments box on JPG pictures that tells how to turn off the option to show the comment box.
• This verson will shows words like Partner and Fiance instead of just Spouse on the Select Person screen.
• On the ahnentafel book, if using the 4th choice for 'he married' it was not printing a general family source if there was a marriage date.

Ancestral Quest 12.1.33 Update Released

Full Featured - Windows - Purchase

Ancestral Quest 12.1.33 has been released.


• Name Entry: In the Individual Add/Edit screen, you can now swap the order of entering names. By default, you still enter surname then given names, but you can reverse this.
• Internet Search Parameters: Added "FO" (First name only) and "MN" (Married Name) as parameters that you can use when searching Internet databases. The "FO" option will only take the first given name, even if the person has multiple given names. The "MN" option will first try to use the name you may have entered for the person in the "Married Name" field of the Individual Edit's "More" tab. If that field is blank, then for a male, it takes the surname. For a female, it then takes the surname of the first husband if the woman was ever married, and if not, it takes her birth surname.
• Searching FamilySearch has made some changes recently to the method of searching the 1 billion records available on their site. AQ's searching was updated to continue to correctly search these records.

Continue reading...

Billion Graves 1.3 Update Released

PDAs and Handhelds - Freeware

Billion Graves 1.3 has been released.


• Added a new interface to the camera functionality.
• You can now link images together from the camera interface.
• Added facebook and twitter links to the app.

See also: 60+ Genealogy Apps for PDAs and Handhelds

10 October 2011

Bicester Anglo-Saxon Skeletons Re-Interred

Fifteen Anglo-Saxon skeletons unearthed in Oxfordshire last year have been re-interred in a church memorial garden. A requiem mass was held on Saturday before a wicker coffin containing all the remains was buried at the Church of the Immaculate Conception, Bicester.

The Auxiliary Bishop of Birmingham, whose diocese covers Bicester, led the Roman Catholic ceremony. The burial led to a disagreement with the church and local archaeologists, who wanted the bones put in a museum.

Source & Full Story a New Open Source Community

Real-Time Collaboration and Legacy Family Tree have announced the addition of thousands of SourceTemplates and a SourceTemplate model to help standardize the tracking of source materials.

This addition of SourceTemplates and the SourceTemplate model have culminated in a comprehensive resource available for the genealogy community. is also welcomed to the effort to develop a widely supported international model for source citations.

Source & Full Story

Love of Cemeteries

Julie Burns loves cemeteries. To her there's nothing morbid or scary about them. "Cemeteries are places where people are laid to rest and perhaps forgotten but they made a contribution to society," she said.

"What was their story?" That's exactly the sort of question a genealogist would ask. Julie is photographing every gravestone in Mount Isa cemetery, hoping to match up forgotten graves with the names of their occupants.

Source & Full Story

Friends of St Alfege Park’s Chair Apologises for Damage to Gravestones in Greenwich, UK

The Chair of the Friends of St Alfege Park, Tim Delap, has made his first comments since the controversy broke over the damage to headstones.

In the statement, the Chair says he “deeply regrets” the damage caused and goes on to say that the Friends are now “reorganising their… management processes”.

Source & Full Story

Are You Related to Sarah Ferguson?

Sarah Margaret Ferguson was born on October 15, 1959, the second daughter of Major Ronald Ferguson and his first wife, Susan Mary Wright. Sarah's older sister is Jane Ferguson Luedecke, a public relations executive now living and working in Australia.

Sarah once described her family as "country gentry with a bit of old money." She is descended from both the Stuart and Tudor houses. On her father's side, Sarah is a descendant of King Charles II of England via two of his illegitimate sons, Charles Lennox, 1st Duke of Richmond, and James Scott, 1st Duke of Monmouth.

Sarah Ferguson's Family Tree

New: Direct Ancestors Now Marked in the GeneaNet Online Family Tree Search Results List

Some of you were disappointed that the Online Family Tree (GeneWeb) search results list didn't clearly show the direct ancestors of the GeneaNet member.

The direct ancestors are now marked in the search results list so you can easily find them.

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7 October 2011

The First Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) Conference Ready To Be Held

Digital Public Library of America invites interested candidates to participate in the public conference to showcase innovative ideas for the Digital Public Library of America in Washington, DC on October 21, 2011.

According to the organizers, “The first Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) conference will bring together government leaders, librarians, technologists, makers, students, and others interested in building a national digital library to present the vision for the DPLA effort and to create multiple points of entry for public participation in the initiative's work.

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Layton, Utah, Residents Look to Preserve a Piece of History

A piece of Davis County history is now easy for people to miss. But local residents are trying to save it. The city of Layton is looking for help to preserve a century-old train depot, where families saw their loved ones off to war during WWI and WWII. Presently, an old, boarded up building sits by the Layton FrontRunner Station, where those old memories remain.

The old Layton Train Depot was built in 1911. But for people like Ted Ellison, the building is more than just an old train stop. "It's a very important piece of history," Ellison said. "My grandfather's sister and her husband, Murray and Marianne Cowley, were the first depot agents to reside upstairs."

Source & Full Story

Graveyard Up for Sale in Auckland

A cemetery could stand in the way of the sale of a historic church on Auckland's North Shore. The proposed sale has angered locals fighting to the save the graves, who say the move is illegal.

However, the Presbyterian Church maintains it is following proper procedure in selling the prime Devonport real estate. The entire plot, including the church and cemetery, is valued at $3.3 million.

Source & Full Story

ICRC First World War Archives: Preservation Work Leads to Interruption of Research

Progress of the Project of Preservation and communication of First World War archives leads to interruption in research of individual data. By starting the digitization of the archives of the International Agency for Prisoners of war (1914-1919) in late 2010, a definite step has been made towards the preservation of these documents, which are protected by Unesco Memory of the World program and meant to be a memorial to the war prisoners of the First World War.

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Couple Finds Tombstone from 1850's in their Front Yard

One couple's attempt to update their front lawn leads them to unearthing some Niles, Michigan, history from the 1800's. Terry and Judy Truesdell have been walking into their home for more than four decades and unknowingly stepping over a little piece of history each time.

On Tuesday, they happened to turn over a stone and uncover that a piece of marble they had admired over the years had a much bigger story to tell. “There's always been a slab of white marble that we thought was very unique and wonderful,” Judy Truesdell said.

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6 October 2011

Lost Photos of Captain Scott Revealed in New Book

Unseen photographs taken by the famous explorer are revealed in a new book, The Lost Photographs of Captain Scott, published today. Largely forgotten, the photos were taken by Captain Robert Falcon Scott himself in 1912, during the last fateful months of his epic Terra Nova expedition to the South Pole.

A selection of the photos will be on display in the exhibition, Scott's Last Expedition, opening at the Natural History Museum, London, on 20 January 2012. Tickets go on sale today.

Source & Full Story

LTools 1.3.17 Update Released

Other Tools - Windows - Freeware

LTools 1.3.17 has been released.


• Advanced Tagging – Ancestors Plus – New deluxe LTool which allows you to tag ancestors *PLUS* a specified number of generations from the ancestor tree trunk.

FamilyInsight 2011.10.1.0 Update Released

Other Tools - Windows, Mac - Purchase

FamilyInsight 2011.10.1.0 has been released.


• Added ability to read Family Tree Maker 2008 and 2009 files.
• Fixed a couple of crashes.
• Fixed problem opening some Ancestral Quest files.

Families for Legacy Family Tree 1.3.1 Update Released

PDAs and Handhelds - Purchase

Families for Legacy Family Tree 1.3.1 has been released.


• Fix bug in adding source.
• Fix crash in Timeline View.
• Fix crash with circular relationships.
• Performance improvements to relationship calculation.
• Various improvements to Timeline View.

See also: 60+ Genealogy Apps for PDAs and Handhelds

5 October 2011

Huge Archive of Yorkshire Women's History Goes Online

If modern history is unlikely to overlook women's role, there's a great deal of the past to catch up on; so a new initiative from the West Yorkshire archive and Huddersfield university is sure to get plenty of use and appreciation.

It is a website which launches on Friday 7 under the title History to Herstory which has free digital versions of more than 80,000 documents relating to Yorkshire women in the 19th and 20th centuries.

Source & Full Story

Volunteer Opportunity for First World War Project at The National Archives of the UK

The National Archives of the UK will soon start to digitise the WO 95 record series, which consists of unit war diaries from the First World War. The series is one of the most requested in their reading rooms in Kew, and digitising it means that they will be able to make the diaries more accessible by publishing them online.

They are looking for volunteers to help them ensure that the pages within the 5,500 pieces of WO 95 series are in the correct order before they scan them.

Source & Full Story

4 October 2011

Finnish Descendant of Early Mullica Hill Resident Pays a Visit

For 90 years, Asko Vuorinen's ancestors lived in a stately, red farmhouse atop the hill, 400 miles north of Helsinki, Finland, that they called Mulikka. "The original house dated back to 1564, and it is said that nearly everyone from the area goes back to Antti Mulikka, who came there, far inland, and built the house," Vuorinen said.

In time, Vuorinen discovered that Antti Mulikka's great-grandson Eric was banished by the Swedish government to the colony of New Sweden, where he built a house similar to the original farmhouse.

Source & Full Story

Scotland: Forest Plan Reveals Wartime Secret in 'Starfish' Bunker

A project to plant a new forest on moorland above Dumbarton has unexpectedly revealed a wartime secret. The Woodland Trust has unearthed a concrete bunker in the centre of the Lang Craigs site that controlled decoy lights.

These tricked German air crews into dropping their bombs away from population and industrial centres. It was part of a successful campaign of subterfuge which, it was claimed, led to many lives being saved in the Blitz.

Source & Full Story

Nicolas Cage First, Now John Travolta's 1860 Doppelganger Photo on eBay

One photograph collector in Ontario, Canada, claims he has found a picture of John Travolta from a previous incarnation in 1860. The 150-year-old photo of a man who looks remarkably like Travolta has been put up for sale on eBay. The photo is listed at $50,000 or nearest offer, and while it has a large price tag comes with free shipping and gift wrapping.

The listings comes after another antique dealer joked that he has a photo that is proof Nicolas Cage is more than just an a-list actor - he’s also a vampire who lived during the American Civil War. The eBay seller claims to have a 4” by 2.5” carte de visite photo from around 1870 of a man who looks exactly like the 47-year-old star of Con Air, Ghost Rider and The Rock.

Source & Full Story

3 October 2011

New Leadership Role for The National Archives of the UK

From today, the responsibility for archives across England transfers to The National Archives from the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council (MLA).

This is a new beginning for both The National Archives and the archive sector where, working together, we will champion archives by demonstrating the value they offer society, representing the sector's views at government level and influencing policy formulation.

Source & Full Story

Genota Update Released

Organization - Research - Windows - Purchase

Genota has been released.


• Resolved the issue preventing printing of tables embedded in Notes (4.3.5 and later only)
• Fixed an issue causing a block of numbers to appear on reports instead of text.
• Fixed an issue preventing the 'Copy and Paste' function within the Note from being actioned from the keyboard.
• Fixed a bug causing the search routine to execute on the Notebook Manager if the Preference button is clicked when no Notebooks have been created.
• Fixed the issue where the Notebook and Address Book primary screens were not expanding correctly when the window size is increased.
• Fixed a bug preventing the checking for updates.
• Other minor bug fixes.

Canterbury Dig Discovers Medieval Marvels

An archaelogical dig has uncovered medieval marvels and clues to one of Canterbury's biggest wartime tragedies. A team from the Canterbury Archaeological Trust has discovered rare pots and post-medieval clay floors hidden beneath 18th and 19th century buildings while excavating the foundations of Franklyn House in Sturry High Street.

They even dug up a counting token – used by traders instead of currency – minted between 1586 and 1635. This token was made for a man named Hans Krauwinckel in Germany.

Source & Full Story

Australia's First Farmers

The still common assumption is that Aboriginal Australians in 1788 were simple hunter-gatherers who relied on chance for survival and moulded their lives to the country where they lived. Historian Bill Gammage might have driven the last nail into the coffin of this notion.

Rather, Gammage argues, the first Australians worked a complex system of land management, with fire their biggest ally, and drew on the life cycles of plants and the natural flow of water to ensure plentiful wildlife and plant foods throughout the year. They managed, he says, the biggest estate on Earth.

Source & Full Story

Survivor Jacqueline Tanner: 'England Needs Lancastria Memorial'

The youngest survivor of Britain's worst maritime disaster has called for a memorial in England to the victims. About 5,000 people died when World War II ship Lancastria was bombed off the French coast in 1940.

Jacqueline Tanner, 73, from Malvern, Worcestershire, said she wanted to see somewhere in England for people to remember what had happened. Her call came after ceremony in Scotland on Saturday to unveil a memorial to those who died.

Source & Full Story

New Orleans Notarial Archives to Offer Seminars, Tours

In celebration of American Archives Month, the Clerk of Civil District Court's Notarial Archives Research Center will be offering a series of free tours of its collection and seminars on researching New Orleans house histories. The tours are designed to introduce the public to three centuries of real estate records, numbering some 40 million pages.

They also will explore the value these records hold for researchers of topics such as property, architecture, genealogy and history. The research center is a public entity that maintains and provides access to land records and other contracts recorded in Orleans Parish.

Source & Full Story

GRAMPS 3.3.1 Update Released

Full Featured - Linux - Freeware/Open Source

GRAMPS 3.3.1 "The Tenth Anniversary Edition" has been released.


• Translation updates: ca, cs, de, fr, hr, it, nb, nl, pl, pt_br, sk, sl, sv, uk, zh_cn.
• New languages in this release: ja (Japanese), vi (Vietnamese).
• 36 bugs closed since v3.3.0.
• 79 translation commits since v3.3.0.
• 189 code commits since v3.3.0.

Are You Related to Sigourney Weaver?

Sigourney Weaver was born on October 8, 1949, the daughter of Elizabeth Inglis (née Desiree Mary Lucy Hawkins; 1913–2007), an English actress, and the NBC television executive and television pioneer Sylvester "Pat" Weaver (1908–2002). Her uncle, Doodles Weaver, was a comedian and actor.

She began using the name "Sigourney Weaver" in 1963 after a minor character (Sigourney Howard) in F. Scott Fitzgerald's novel The Great Gatsby.

Sigourney Weaver's Family Tree

GeneaNet: New Features in the Headstones & Memorials Database

Some new features have been added to the Headstones & Memorials database.

You can now zoom in and out, rotate the picture and adjust brightness, and you can download and save the original image file.

Headstones and memorials are valuable resources for genealogists so don't hesitate to upload and share your own pictures!

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