Genealogy Blog

29 February 2012

Mount Peace Historic Cemetery in Lawnside, New Jersey, Needs Help

A local cemetery that serves as a burial place for African American civil war veterans is in dire need of money and maintenance. “A lot of people say that if you don’t know where you came from you won’t know where you’re going.”

That’s the message Ray Fussell of the Lawnside Historic Society is trying to spread in order to help save an important piece of history in danger of being lost forever.

Source & Full Story

The Who's Who of Criminals from 1909... and not a Hoodie in Sight: Police Scrapbook of Smartly Dressed Rogues Up for Sale

Moustache immaculately waxed, George Archibald Hewitt looks every inch the Edwardian gentleman ... but he had his stiffly-starched collar felt for using a false cheque. Then there is bowler-hat-wearing Ernest Bell, whose catalogue of crime included the theft of a bicycle, pigeons and ‘jellies’.

Theirs are just two of the portraits in a rogues’ gallery from a century ago which, sartorially, puts today’s hoodie-wearing thugs to shame. In all, 65 convicts feature in a scrapbook compiled by a Manchester policeman between 1909 and 1912.

Source & Full Story

Galileo's Heresy Trial and Henry VIII's Divorce Plea: Vatican Secret Archives on Display

Parchment documents relating to Galileo's heresy trial, the execution of Mary Queen of Scots and Henry VIII's divorce will go on display today in an unprecedented exhibition of 100 documents from the Vatican Secret Archives.

The archives, jealously guarded by popes and cardinals for centuries and kept under lock and key, contain one of the world's richest collections of historical papers, spanning more than 1,000 years, from the 8th century until modern times.

Source & Full Story

'Band of Brothers' Soldier Lynn Compton Dies Aged 90

Lynn D. "Buck" Compton, a veteran whose Second World War exploits were depicted in the HBO TV series "Band of Brothers," has died aged 90. Compton died on Saturday in Washington state after having a heart attack last month, the family said.

In January, nearly 200 guests, including actors from the Second World War miniseries, attended his 90th birthday party, the Skagit Valley Herald said. "To us he wasn't really a war hero, he was just a hero, period," Tracy Compton told the Herald.

Source & Full Story

28 February 2012

Ancestral Sources 3.0 Update Released

Transcriptions & Indexes - Windows - Freeware

Ancestral Sources 3.0 has been released.


• Now supports Marriage, Census & Baptism records.

Repair of Old Building of National Archive Department of Azerbaijan to Cost Millions

Expenditures have been called for continuation of work on repair and restoration of old building of National Archive Department of Azerbaijan located in Baku on 3, Z.Buniyadov avenue. The Agency for Rehabilitation & Reconstruction of the Territories of Azerbaijan (ARRA) is dealing with selection of the contractors on conducting work.

Source & Full Story

27 February 2012

Unknown No Longer - Virginia Historical Society

This database is the latest step by the Virginia Historical Society to increase access to its varied collections relating to Virginians of African descent. Since its founding in 1831, the VHS has collected unpublished manuscripts, a collection that now numbers more than 8 million processed items.

Within these documents are numerous accounts that collectively help tell the stories of African Americans who have lived in the state over the centuries. Our first effort to improve access to these stories came in 1995 with publication of our Guide to African American Manuscripts.

Unknown No Longer

UN War Crimes Archive 'Should Be Open to Public'

A British academic is calling on the government to obtain and make public a vast but little known United Nations archive documenting 10,000 cases of possible second world war crimes.

The cases range from a Japanese commander accused of incitement to rape – which would not be recognised as a war crime for another half century – to a Gestapo officer who drowned hundreds of Jewish prisoners in a sewage pond in the gardens of the Buchenwald concentration camp.

Source & Full Story

Are You Related to Glenn Miller?

Miller was born on March 1, 1904, on a farm in Clarinda, Iowa, to Lewis Elmer Miller and Mattie Lou (née Cavender). He went to grade school in North Platte in western Nebraska. In 1915, Miller's family moved to Grant City, Missouri.

Around this time, Miller had finally made enough money from milking cows to buy his first trombone and played in the town orchestra. In 1918, the Miller family moved again, this time to Fort Morgan, Colorado, where Miller went to high school.

Glenn Miller's Family Tree

Hide Living Individuals in your GeneaNet Online Family Tree

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

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

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

Continue reading...

25 February 2012

TMG Utility 7.2 Update Released

Other Tools - Windows - Freeware

TMG Utility 7.2 has been released.


• Added the Filter by sentence option to the Make P1 Male feature.
• Added more date formats to the Add Events feature including support for partial dates; as part of this change, some localized date formats are no longer supported.
• Removed the Export Sentences, Import Sentences, Rename Role, and Rename Language features; these duplicate features in TMG 8 and/or were invalidated by database changes in TMG 8.
• Changed the name of the "compatability.ini" file to "compatibility.ini" to reflect the proper spelling of the word.
• Moved the log files to the My Documents\TMG Utility Logs folder.
• Fixed a bug where Change Citation Parts would refuse to modify a field if the result was a single character.

24 February 2012

Pocket Genealogist 4.05A02 Public Beta Update Released

PDAs and Handhelds - Purchase

Pocket Genealogist 4.05A02 Public Beta has been released.


• Support for direct import of Legacy require re-import and synchronization of data.

Legacy Family Tree Update Released

Full Featured - Windows - Purchase

Legacy Family Tree has been released.


• FamilySearch - In "Quick Mode" we added some text on the main screen of LFS to indicate that they are in that mode and they can only view the current person.
• PAF Import - Overflow occuring on large files. Fixed.
• Pictures - Pictures on main views now honors Untagged Preferred and Tagged Preferred settings.
• RTF Reports - Picture filenames to be added to the document were not complete. Fixed.
• RTF Sources on Events on Reports - First citation has extra codes showing. Fixed.
• Reports - FSID on names wasn't holding on a couple reports and on the search settings screen. Fixed.
• Reports - Fixed the report problems that have been reported like the missing Font's issue.
• Reports - Refined the Report Options saving and loading.
• Search - Detailed search for a master source was only returning males if the source is attached to a marriage. Fixed.
• Sources - From the Name List, Sources tab if you add a new source that includes multimedia the source was not being added. Fixed.
• Sources - From the Name List, Sources tab if you copy a source to the clipboard the clibboard buttons were not enabled (turned blue). Also cleaned up some other clipboard issues on the Name List like the tooltip info and showing/hiding some of the clipboard buttons depending on the current tab selected.
• Sources - On the source Detail Screen the Today's Date button wasn't showing for the Date Accessed field. Fixed.

iFamily for Leopard 2.532 Update Released

Full Featured - Mac - Purchase

iFamily for Leopard 2.532 has been released.


• Correction of the short version of Birth Marriage and Death (from c,n,e to b,m,d).
• Correction of the syntax when displaying multiple spouses.
• Correction of the marriage syntax for siblings.

HuMo-gen 4.8 Update Released

Web Publishing - Windows - Freeware

HuMo-gen 4.8 has been released.


• Revised and sophisticated new source system.
• Merging of GEDCOM files.
• Exporting part of trees to GEDCOM.
• Importing geocodes from GEDCOM files.

GedStar Pro for Android 2.2.1 Update Released

PDAs and Handhelds - Freeware

GedStar Pro for Android 2.2.1 has been released.


• Redesigned Person and Family Views for large tablets, showing more data about significant events.
• Fix crash bug in V2.2.0 release.
• Minor fixes.

GeneaStar: Latest Famous Genealogies

The following genealogies have been added to GeneaStar:

Edward Hutton, Mort Walker, Hawley Harvey Crippen, Erskine Childers, Abner Doubleday, Cornelius Vanderbilt, Consuelo Vanderbilt, William Henry Vanderbilt, William Kissam Vanderbilt, George Washington Vanderbilt, Frederick William Vanderbilt, Clarence Birdseye, Sylvanus G. Morley, Learned Hand, Frank Gifford, Arthur Godfrey, Jim Harbaugh, Bob Smith, Randolph Scott, Edwin Dickinson, Ernest Borgnine, John Huston, Jeffrey Dahmer, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Mickey Rooney , Vincent Price, Ben Elton, Olivia Newton-John, Lewis Cass, Jeff Conaway, Cliff Robertson, Mitt Romney, Walter Cronkite, Cliff Arquette, George Armstrong Custer, Billy Ray Cyrus, Sally Struthers, Ted Danson, David Carradine, Harry Chapin, Bob Barker, Orson Bean, Lionel Barrymore, Hugh Beaumont, Doyle Brunson, Robert Carlyle Byrd, Michael Douglas, Taylor Swift, Richard Jordan, David Arquette, Muhammad Ali, Tony Dow, Justin Vernon, Paul Giamatti, Barry Goldwater, John Hancock, Frank James, Jeff Goldblum, and Geena Davis.

Thanks Tim Dowling

Tate's National Photographic Archive 'Rescued from Skip' After Internal Tipoff

Art historians have been disturbed by allegations that the Tate was about to dump its invaluable photographic archive in a skip when another institution realised its importance and rescued it, and that the Victoria & Albert Museum has already destroyed its own thematic archive. Curators, who consider such resources vital, were not consulted.

The archives were full of photographs of artworks from their collections and beyond – crucial visual histories, invaluable for comparative research and for studying any deterioration as a result of time or restoration.

Source & Full Story

23 February 2012

Incredible Photos of Captain Scott's Terra Nova Quest in Great White South at ATLAS Gallery

Nearly a century since they were last in the public eye, Herbert G Ponting’s rare antique polar photographs of the Terra Nova expedition are on public display for all to see again. The original 1913 carbon prints are in exceptional condition, and many remain in their original Edwardian frames.

Known as one of the most renowned photographers of his day, Ponting was recruited as “camera-artist” to the British Antarctic (Terra Nova) Expedition. This exhibition marks the centenary of the death of Captain Scott and his men.

Source & Full Story

Lithuanian Archive Releases Names of KGB Collaborators in Transparency Drive

Lithuania’s government has released the names of 238 citizens who were reservists for the KGB when their country was ruled by the Soviet Union, and said Wednesday it plans to identify scores of people who have refused to disclose their relations with the security agency.

All this information, including interrogation techniques the KGB used in Lithuania, is contained in thousands of Soviet files held by Lithuania’s official Genocide and Resistance Research Center and are slated to be released soon.

Source & Full Story

Digitizing Endangered Historical Documents in India

I was in Mizoram as a part of a four-member pilot-project under the Endangered Archives Programme (EAP), a global rescue mission for the world's most endangered historical documents.

Administered by the UK's British Library and funded by Arcadia, EAP researchers have in the past seven years fanned out across the globe, armed with little more than high-resolution digital cameras and strong stomachs.

Source & Full Story

Mormon Temple in Dominican Republic Fuels Controversy by Posthumously Baptizing Holocaust Victim Anne Frank, Says Ex-Church Member

Anne Frank — the most famous of all Holocaust victims — has been posthumously baptized at a Mormon temple, fueling the growing controversy over the bizarre practice. The rite was conducted Saturday in a Mormon temple in the Dominican Republic, according to Helen Radkey, an excommunicated church member turned whistleblower.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints practices proxy Baptism — converting Jews, Christians and Muslims to the faith years after they died by ritually dunking a stand-in for the deceased.

Source & Full Story

22 February 2012

National Archives Announces Website for Free 1940 U.S. Census Release Online on April 2, 2012

Today the National Archives, with its partner, launched its new website in preparation for its first-ever online U.S. census release, which will take place on April 2, 2012, at 9 a.m. (EST).

The public is encouraged to bookmark the website now in order to more quickly access the 1940 census data when it goes live. No other website will host the 1940 census data on its April 2 release date.

Source & Full Story

20 February 2012

National Archives Releases Catalogues of Acquired Digital Persian and Arabic Manuscripts

Vice-President M Hamid Ansari released three catalogues - the Descriptive Catalogue of Manuscripts; the Descriptive Catalogue of Manuscripts of Fort William College; and Fascimile copies of Rozmnama, Tarikh – i-Alfi and Ilajut Tuyur - brought out by the National Archives of India at a function here yesterday.

These catalogues have been translated into Persian and published in English as well as in Persian.

Source & Full Story

Girl in Iconic March on Washington Photo Identified

When Americans celebrate Black History, especially when it has anything to do with the March on Washington, it's often an innocent girl's face they see — in textbooks, on calendars, on brochures.

The photo of this little girl was taken by a freelance photographer working for the U.S. government. The original is stored in the National Archives, where for decades its caption identified the girl simply as a "young child in March on Washington."

Source & Full Story

Are You Related to Tex Avery?

Frederick Bean "Tex" Avery was born on February 26, 1908, to George Walton Avery (b. June 8, 1867 - d. January 14, 1935) and the former Mary Augusta "Jessie" Bean (1886–1931) in Taylor, Texas.

His father was born in Alabama. His mother was born in Buena Vista, Chickasaw County, Mississippi. His paternal grandparents were Needham Avery (Civil War veteran) (October 8, 1838 - after 1892) and his wife Lucinda C. Baxly (May 11, 1844 - March 10, 1892). His maternal grandparents were Frederick Mumford Bean (1852 - October 23, 1886) and his wife Minnie Edgar (July 25, 1854 - May 7, 1940).

Tex Avery's Family Tree

New GeneaNet 'Search by Alternate Spelling of Name' Option

The GeneaNet Search by Alternate Spelling of Name is a powerful feature that will help you find your ancestors.

You can add your own alternate spellings of name in the GeneaNet database so they will automatically apply in your future searches.

This feature is reserved for GeneaNet Club Privilege members.

Continue reading...

17 February 2012

MobileFamilyTree Pro 1.1.4 Update Released

PDAs and Handhelds - Purchase

MobileFamilyTree Pro 1.1.4 has been released.


• GEDCOM Import and Export improved.
• Several Sync issues with MobileFamilyTree Pro corrected.
• Memory usage reduced.
• State is now correctly shown in the Person Report.
• Several fixes for Mac OS X Lion.
• Minor user interface improvements.

MacFamilyTree 6.2.5 Update Released

Full Featured - Mac - Purchase

MacFamilyTree 6.2.5 has been released.


• GEDCOM Import and Export improved.
• Several Sync issues with MobileFamilyTree Pro corrected.
• Memory usage reduced.
• State is now correctly shown in the Person Report.
• Several fixes for Mac OS X Lion.
• Minor user interface improvements.

GeneaStar: Latest Famous Genealogies

The following genealogies have been added to GeneaStar:

Roger Williams, Joseph Wheeler, Allen Ludden, Josiah Whitney, Bill Walton, General Tom Thumb, Charles Scribner I, Charlie Rose, Aaron Rodgers, Alan Field Shugart, Jack Northrop, William Doud Packard, E. Townsend Mix, Bob Knight, Conrad Hilton, Wild Bill Hickok, Glenn Miller, Tex Avery, Carl Hayden, Dawn Wells, Dick Van Patten, Mo Udall, Steven Tyler, Louis Comfort Tiffany, Alan Ladd, Benjamin Spock, Sam Houston, John S. Pillsbury, William Tecumseh Sherman, Boz Scaggs, Gene Roddenberry, Mickey Mantle, Norman Rockwell, Nelson Rockefeller, Nelson Aldrich, Tim Robbins, Harry Reid, Jason Sudeikis, Chynna Phillips, Donny Osmond, George Wendt, James Brolin, Gregg Allman, Ashton Kutcher, Blair Underwood, Steve Allen, Mae West, Henry Cabot Lodge, William A. Wellman, Stewart Udall, Morrison Waite, and Dean Martin.

Thanks Tim Dowling

MI5 Drew a Blank on Finding Charlie Chaplin Birthplace

Newly released files show that an investigation by MI5 failed to determine where the silent film star Charlie Chaplin was born. The inquiry was requested by the US in 1952 when it was trying to prove Chaplin was a communist sympathiser.

MI5 found that Chaplin, who grew up in London before moving to the US, had left-wing sympathies but nothing more. At the time, Chaplin had been refused entry back into the US after attending a film premiere in London.

Source & Full Story

Florence Green: Funeral Held for Last WWI Veteran

The funeral of a woman thought to be the last person to serve in the armed forces during the WWI has taken place in west Norfolk. Florence Green, 110, from King's Lynn, served as a mess steward at RAF Marham and RAF Narborough in 1918.

She died on 4 February at Briar House care home, King's Lynn, 15 days before she was due to celebrate her birthday. The funeral was held at Mintlyn Crematorium, Bawsey, and marked with a flypast by a Tornado from RAF Marham.

Source & Full Story

World War Two: Air Ace in an Unmarked Grave Found

The body of a decorated flying ace who was killed in his first week of war has been found in an unmarked grave in France after 71 years. Flying Officer Derek Allen crammed more aviation heroics into eight days than many RAF comrades did in six years of the Second World War.

The 22 year-old saw frenetic fighting almost every day in his short career. He was shot down twice and credited with four outright and three shared enemy kills.

Source & Full Story

The Next Generation of Genealogy Sitebuilding 9.0.1 Update Released

Web Publishing - Windows, Mac, Linux - Purchase

The Next Generation of Genealogy Sitebuilding 9.0.1 has been released.


• Cemeteries: Entering a place name would not populate the other corresponding fields on the page upon leaving the place name field (fixed).
• Citations: When searching for a source from the Add Citation dialog, the search field did not automatically receive the focus (fixed).
• Citations: Searching for sources on the Add Citation page would not find or display some sources if those sources lacked either a "long" title or a "short" title (fixed).
• GEDCOM: The GEDCOM tab was showing on some pages when it wasn't supposed to be showing (fixed).
• Geocoding: The geocoding feature would throw an error on installations using PHP 4 (fixed, but the geocoding will not work with PHP 4).
• Maps: Pins on and next to the maps would not work if they contained address data or line feed characters (fixed).
• And much more...

The Complete Genealogy Reporter 2012 beta build 110213 Update Released

Family Books - Windows - Shareware

The Complete Genealogy Reporter 2012 beta build 110213 has been released.


• Fixed: Unexpected Program Error when the number of media items exceeds 32,000.

16 February 2012

The Complete Genealogy Builder 2012 beta build 110213 Update Released

Full Featured - Windows - Shareware

The Complete Genealogy Builder 2012 beta build 110213 has been released.


• Fixed: Merge was not correctly importing the merge ged file in some circumstances.

My Family Tree Update Released

Full Featured - Windows - Freeware

My Family Tree has been released.


• Added Backup and share tool.
• Added research link manager.
• Added On this day tool.
• Added Chinese Traditional language.
• Added support for high DPI modes (125% - 120 DPI and 150% - 144 DPI).
• Added support for screen sizes down to 800x600 pixels.
• Added support for Windows 8 Developer Preview.
• Added support for .Net 4.5 Framework Developer Preview.

Legacy Family Tree Update Released

Full Featured - Windows - Purchase

Legacy Family Tree has been released.


• FamilySearch - Added option to start Legacy FamilySearch with only the current person. The icons on each person on the Family View or Pedigree View opens FamilySearch with only the current person. This saves time loading the entire file or filtered list. A third option for quick open current individual was added to the main toolbar FamilySearch popup menu.
• Export - Added a Check All button to the Privacy tab to make it easier to include all privacy settings.
• Geo Location Database - It will now return "United States" instead of "USA" when selecting a location from the USA.
• Create Web Pages - The background color as body bgcolor had doubled quotes. Fixed.
• Forms Center - 1940 US Federal Censuses - Fixed the errors in form headings.
• Reports - Fixed the problem with a name suffix being added twice on some reports.
• Reports - Table of Contents - Problems with wrapping lines when Long Title Prefixes and Suffixes are used.

GedStar Pro for Android 2.1.1 Update Released

PDAs and Handhelds - Freeware

GedStar Pro for Android 2.1.1 has been released.


• Optimized photo display sizing on all devices (requires converter V4.3.3).

GedStar Pro 4.3.3 Update Released

Other Tools - Windows - Purchase

GedStar Pro 4.3.3 has been released.


• Support for improved photo display on Android device (with Android app 2.1.1).

Family Tree PHP 1.2e Update Released

Web Publishing - Windows, Mac, Linux - Purchase

Family Tree PHP 1.2e has been released.


• Installation failed on some servers.
• The HTTP headers sent with images and other multimedia files where not completely valid.
• Some minor bugs.

Denbighshire, Wales, Archive Restores 19th Century Prisoners Photo Books

Rare 19th Century books containing photos of habitual criminals are among archives being restored in north Wales. The pictures, taken between the 1860-90s, were used by the Denbighshire Constabulary to keep check on repeat offenders.

Other documents being preserved at Denbighshire council's archive service include 500-year-old wills from notable Welsh family, the Mostyns. The items will go on show, some for the first time, once the work is completed.

Source & Full Story

15 February 2012

Digitization Challenge: Handwritten Menus from 1800s

The New York Public Library may evoke 19th century Manhattan, but the Beaux-Arts landmark is at the forefront of one of the biggest challenges of the 21st century: how to digitally store information forever.

“We were the first to take it on, on this scale” says Canadian Barbara Taranto, managing director of the New York Public Library Labs. It’s a tricky undertaking even for this data-systems whiz with her degrees in computer science and digital information science. But by pairing technology with volunteer know-how, the library has scored huge successes.

Source & Full Story

Lee Harvey Oswald Gravestone Wanted Back from Roscoe Museum

A tombstone doesn’t typically come with a title or a deed of ownership, which is too bad in the case of Lee Harvey Oswald, because one could have helped settle a brewing lawsuit.

The infamous assassin’s gravestone has been on display since 2009 at Historic Auto Attractions, a private museum in Roscoe. But David Card of Dallas says the artifact rightly belongs to his family. Card is determined to bring the tombstone back to Texas and is preparing to sue the museum for ownership. He also intends to sue his stepcousin, Holly Ragan, for selling it.

Source & Full Story

Families for Android 1.4.1 Update Released

PDAs and Handhelds - Purchase

Families for Android 1.4.1 has been released.


• Bug fixes.

14 February 2012

GedView 3.2.5 Update Released

PDAs and Handhelds - Purchase

GedView 3.2.5 has been released.


• Fixes duplicate children when exporting a GEDCOM.
• Fixes crash when exporting a gedcom with more than a few hundred media files (photos etc.)

Rare Film Archive Returned to Canada

A rare collection of Hudson's Bay Co. (HBC) films has been returned to Canada from England. The silent films are being added to the permanent holdings of the Hudson's Bay Co. Archives (HBCA) in Winnipeg, Culture, Heritage and Tourism Minister Flor Marcelino announced Monday.

"These extraordinary films bring to life records already held at the Hudson's Bay Co. Archives and help create a more complete picture of HBC's long history in the Canadian North," said Marcelino.

Source & Full Story

Archivists Discover Rare Love Letters at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, England

Love letters from botanists and explorers, thought to be over 150 years old, have been discovered at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

The letters were found within the Directors' correspondence collection and personal papers written by botanical collectors and explorers in the 19th and early 20th centuries.

Source & Full Story

WWI Letter Found in Hastings Reveals Kent Man's Heroism

It was 1915 when the World War I vessel HMS Hythe sank in Turkey while on operations. And a letter recently uncovered by a historian, who stumbled across it in a militaria shop in Hastings, Sussex, details the bravery of the ship's captain.

The document describes how Capt Reggie Salomons, from Kent, died while trying to save his men. The letter from an eyewitness to Col Sir David Lionel Salomons, a wealthy baronet from Tunbridge Wells, explains how the colonel's only son refused to leave a sinking ship.

Source & Full Story

Mormon Church Apologizes for Baptisms of Wiesenthal’s Parents

An LDS Church member last month posthumously baptized the parents of Simon Wiesenthal, a Holocaust survivor and Jewish rights advocate, and the Los Angeles center named for him is incensed.

"We are outraged that such insensitive actions continue in the Mormon temples," Rabbi Abraham Cooper, the Wiesenthal Center’s associate dean, said in a statement on the group’s website. "Such actions make a mockery of the many meetings with the top leadership of the Mormon church."

Source & Full Story

Initiative Aims to Find Lost Grave Sites of Slaves in Mississippi

For decades, the stretch of grassy land in an elbow of the Mississippi River held no trace of the people buried underneath. No signs, markers or tombstones pointed to the more than 300 African-American former slaves buried in two cemeteries about 20 miles west of New Orleans.

Only a handful of people knew they ever existed, despite their being listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Now, the Army Corps of Engineers, which owns the land, and local historians are reaching out to descendants of the deceased and planning a memorial at the grave sites commemorating the lives and deaths of those buried.

Source & Full Story

Meryl Streep's British Ancestor 'Helped Start War With Native Americans'

In her best actress acceptance speech at the Baftas, Meryl Streep disclosed that she was always destined to play The Iron Lady because - like Margaret Thatcher - she had strong Lincolnshire roots.

What the US actress didn’t reveal, however, was that one of her ancestors was directly involved in starting one of the bloodiest conflicts in American history. Streep, who was born in New Jersey, is known to have historic family ties to Pennsylvania and Rhode Island.

Source & Full Story

13 February 2012

Mesa Man Digitizes Historic Arizona Images

It is often said that a picture is worth 1,000 words. But Mesa resident James Tanner has thousands of images on glass negatives that are invaluable to the history of Arizona and the families who transformed it from a territory to a state a century ago.

They are from the photographic collection of his great-great grandfather, Charles Godfrey DeFriez Jarvis, and great grandmother, Margaret Jarvis Overson, who took the bulk of the pictures as professional photographers in St. Johns and Apache County during the late 1800s to the early part of the 20th century.

Source & Full Story

South Dakota State Historical Society’s Archives Going Digital

The South Dakota State Historical Society’s Archives has gone digital. The State Archives, in the Cultural Heritage Center in Pierre, collects, preserves, and makes available manuscript collections, South Dakota state, county and local government records, photographs, maps and other archival materials which have permanent historical and research value.

Now, the South Dakota Digital Archives, an online resource that went live in January, makes these collections more accessible to the public, as well as to protect the originals.

Source & Full Story

Turkish Slaves' Cemetery Discovered in Malta

Roadwork excavations in Marsa have revealed the archaeological remains of a Muslim cemetery dating back to 1675, confirming historians’ belief of the existence of a Turkish slave cemetery in the area.

The find is being documented and excavated by the Superintendence of Cultural Heritage and an archaeologist specialising in documentation of human remains is closely following the investigation.

Source & Full Story

Oscar-Winning Actress Marisa Tomei Solves Mystery of Grandfather's Murder on Who Do You Think You Are?

It sounds like the plot of one of her films but when Oscar-winner Marisa Tomei travelled to Italy to investigate a murder mystery, the blood-letting and treachery turned out to be very real.

Tomei, 47, made the journey to look into the death of her great-grandfather, as part of NBC's Who Do You Think You Are?, which gives celebrities a chance to trace their ancestry.

Source & Full Story

Discovered by Chance 94 Years On: Bodies of 21 German Soldiers in Perfectly-Preserved First World War trenches

They were meant to be digging a new road but journeyed instead into a dim and grim past. Stunned workers stumbled upon an underground shelter – and inside were the bodies of 21 German soldiers killed in the First World War.

Many were found in the position they died when an Allied shell hit their tunnel and caused it to cave in 94 years ago. A large number of personal possessions – preserved by the lack of air and light – were also found in the 300ft tunnel near the small town of Carspach in the Alsace region of France.

Source & Full Story

On Ellis Island, Examining Those Who Arrived Before and After

Officials of Ellis Island estimate that as many as one in three Americans can trace their ancestry to immigrants who landed there from overseas.

Now, the officials are focusing on the other roughly 200 million newcomers who arrived in the United States before Ellis Island opened its doors or after it stopped becoming a portal for immigrants. The national historic site in New York Harbor is halfway through a transformation into a more inclusive National Museum of Immigration.

Source & Full Story

Are You Related to Ernest Shackleton?

Ernest Shackleton was born on February 15, 1874, in Kilkea near Athy, County Kildare, Ireland, about 30 miles (48 km) from Dublin. Shackleton's father, Henry, and mother, born Henrietta Letitia Sophia Gavan, were of Anglo-Irish ancestry. Ernest was the second of their ten children and the first of two sons; the second, Frank, would achieve notoriety as a suspect, later exonerated, in the 1907 theft of Ireland's Crown Jewels.

In 1880, when Ernest was six, Henry Shackleton gave up his life as a landowner to study medicine at Trinity College, Dublin, moving his family into the city. Four years later, the family moved again, from Ireland to Sydenham in suburban London.

Ernest Shackleton's Family Tree

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

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

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

Continue reading...

10 February 2012

Launch of the Library and Archives Canada Podcast Series

Library and Archives Canada (LAC) is pleased to announce the release of the new podcast series, Discover Library and Archives Canada: Your History, Your Documentary Heritage.

Developed and produced by the Resource Discovery Sector at LAC, the series showcases treasures from our vaults and explores topics such as Aboriginal peoples, transportation, immigration, genealogy, government, as well as military and peacekeeping.

Source & Full Story

Daughter's Grief As She Visits Mother's Grave in Cemetery… and Finds Someone Else Being Buried in Same Plot

A grieving daughter has told how she stumbled across cemetery workers burying another person in her mother's grave. Carol Stone, 49, desperately halted a funeral with the hearse just yards from the plot after spotting a large funeral party gathered at her mother Joyce's graveside.

Heartbreakingly, she had gone to the cemetery to mark the second anniversary of her mother's death when she spotted the the mix-up.

Source & Full Story

RootsTech Conference Shows Technology’s Impact on Genealogy

A unique combination of young, old, international and innovative people joined together in Salt Lake City to contribute to the ongoing work of family history. Participants at this weekend’s RootsTech Conference had the opportunity to learn about the immense impact technology can have on genealogy.

The staff, who registered participants throughout the conference, estimated more than 4,300 people attended the event — double last year’s number. Twenty-four countries were represented at the conference. This is the largest family history conference in North America.

Source & Full Story

The Complete Genealogy Builder 2012 beta build 110208 Update Released

Full Featured - Windows - Shareware

The Complete Genealogy Builder 2012 beta build 110208 has been released.


• New: Media file specifications may now be exported with relative paths (relative to the path of the exported GEDCOM file).

LTools 1.3.22 Update Released

Other Tools - Windows - Freeware

LTools 1.3.22 has been released.


• Advanced SSDI Retrieval – allow users to reorder columns via drag-n-drop. The reorder is not “sticky”.
• Advanced SSDI Retrieval – added tooltip to ZIP Code column.
• Advanced SSDI Retrieval – now logs the reasons for not processing tagged RINs to the internal log.
• All primary dialogs – made sizing and positioning of the windows “sticky”.

9 February 2012

GedStar Pro 4.3.2 Update Released

Other Tools - Windows - Purchase

GedStar Pro 4.3.2 has been released.


• Use file name as photo caption for GEDCOM records without a specific TITL tag.
• New option to ignore invalid GEDCOM lines instead of handling them as a fatal error.

GEDitCOM II 1.7 Update Released

Full Featured - Mac - Purchase

GEDitCOM II 1.7 has been released.


• Place Records - this version introduces place records.
• A new "Place Advisor" window gives you access to a large data base of information on places specially designed for genealogy research.
• Book Style Records - this version introduces book style records that help you automate the process of running the Generations LaTeX book.
• New Application Support Folders - GEDitCOM II has always had two folders for application support files.
• Family tree charts were improved to allow portraits to be either to the left of the text or above the text.
• You can sort multimedia objects by their date in individual or family records.
• Two new menu commands let you copy and paste events between records.
• And more...

GeneaStar: Latest Famous Genealogies

The following genealogies have been added to GeneaStar:

Steve Young, Steve Forbes, J. A. Folger, Carlton Fisk, John Wooden, Paul Kantner, Frank Wiziarde, Warren Zevon, Frank Lloyd Wright, Hugh Hefner, Mariel Hemingway, Jon Huntsman, Grover Cleveland, Franklin Pierce, James Buchanan, Andrew Johnson, Millard Fillmore, Zachary Taylor, James Polk, George Gallup, Lyndon B. Johnson, Robert Frost, Tennessee Ernie Ford, Ralph Fiennes, Calvin Coolidge, Warren G. Harding, Woodrow Wilson, William Howard Taft, Chester A. Arthur, James Garfield, Rutherford B. Hayes, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Timothy Geithner, Rashida Jones, Kevin Bacon, Alec Baldwin, Marisa Tomei and Barbra Streisand.

Thanks Tim Dowling

Brother's Keeper 6.5.6 Update Released

Full Featured - Windows - Purchase

Brother's Keeper 6.5.6 has been released.


• New under File, Utilities, to do a Global sort of marriages. This is useful if you do a gedcom import and the marriages for each person are not in the correct marriage date order.
• Fix error 53 from happening when you are printing reports if some temporary .dta or .dat files were 'read only'
• On the File, Statistics screen, added the number of source citations.
• When doing a Backup, it will create the file BKFileNotFound.txt to show the file names of text or picture or media files that were not found. (Files that are attached to people, but not on the drive where they should have been.)

Agelong Tree 4.3 Update Released

Full Featured - Windows - Shareware

Agelong Tree 4.3 has been released.


• The algorithm of the tree building has been improved.
• The order of the lines have been optimized, owing to which there are less intersections of lines in the tree and trees are more visual.
• In tree type "Direct relatives, brothers, sisters" subtrees of brothers and sisters are shown now too.
• There was added an option "Carry branches to the nearest edge".
• In calendar there have been added a button "Today".
• There has been added Turkish language.

San Fernando Pioneer Memorial Cemetery in Sylmar, California, Seeks Volunteers to Confirm List of Burials

The San Fernando Pioneer Memorial Cemetery in Sylmar seeks knowledgeable volunteer researchers to help solve the mystery of who is actually buried at the cemetery.

The call for volunteers comes after a scientific study using ground-penetrating radar revealed 214 gravesites, which conflicts with an existing roster of 600-plus burials at the cemetery between 1874 and 1939.

Source & Full Story

The National Archives (UK) Is Developing Tools To Interpret Medieval Documents

The National Archives is supplying digital data from its catalogue to an international partnership of historians, archivists and computer scientists to help make historical documents more accessible.

The Charter Excavator (ChartEx) project will use technologies and data management techniques typically used in the sciences to provide historical researchers with new ways to explore medieval and early modern documents relating to the buying and selling of property in England and Wales.

Source & Full Story

Long-Hidden Archives Help Guatemala War Crimes Trials

The secrets from a vault of moldy documents long covered in bat and rat droppings could soon help to put former top Guatemalan officials behind bars, years after the country's brutal civil war ended in 1996.

Clues found in the millions of police documents have lifted a lid on government repression during the 36-year war, and provided enough evidence to start sending cases to trial.

Source & Full Story

8 February 2012

US Presidential Historian Admits Stealing Letters From George Washington And Marie Antoinette

A US presidential historian has admitted stealing dozens of historical documents including letters signed by George Washington, Sir Isaac Newton and Marie Antoinette. Barry Landau, 63, admitted he and an assistant, 24-year-old assistant Jason Savedoff, swiped items from museums across the US, and sold selected documents for profit.

The pair face up to five years in prison for their conspiracy and 10 years for the theft. In Landau's New York apartment, authorities uncovered over 4,000 items traced as being stolen from libraries and museums Maryland, Pennsylvania, New York and Connecticut.

Source & Full Story

'World's Last' WWI Veteran Florence Green Dies Aged 110

A woman thought to be the world's last known surviving service member of World War I has died aged 110. Florence Green, from King's Lynn, Norfolk, served as a mess steward at RAF bases in Marham and Narborough.

She died in her sleep on Saturday night at Briar House care home, King's Lynn. Mrs Green had been due to celebrate her 111th birthday on 19 February. The world's last known combat veteran of World War I, Briton Claude Choules, died in Australia aged 110 in May 2011.

Source & Full Story

7 February 2012

The Next Generation of Genealogy Sitebuilding 9 Update Released

Web Publishing - Windows, Mac, Linux - Purchase

The Next Generation of Genealogy Sitebuilding 9 has been released.

New & Improved:

• Look and Feel: Most page elements have been restyled for a more modern appearance.
• Templates: Three new templates have been added, and several of the older ones have been updated.
• Speed: The introduction of "image sprites" and other techniques should allow most pages to load significantly faster.
• Sharing: Social media icons will now allow visitors to your site to more easily "spread the word" (can be deactivated).
• Timeline: Several improvements to this page will make it an interesting destination for each person in your database.
• Google Maps: TNG is now using the latest Google maps engine (API 3). A developer key is no longer required.
• Geocoding: New places are now automatically geocoded with latitude and longitude info, and existing places can be geocoded in large batches.
• Rich Editing: Histories and other elements can now be composed in an inline "WYSIWYG" content editor.
• Media Sorting: New tools make it easier to organize your images and other media.
• Citations: Sources can now be created from the same screen where you cite them, and a "Copy Last" button allows you to easily re-cite the source you used most recently.
• Living & Private: New user rights allow you to distinguish access rights to these two groups of people.
• Mod Manager: Several upgrades make it a more intuitive process to add or remove third-party customizations.

Southington Library, Connecticut, USA, Preserves Old Newspapers

Technology has allowed the Southington Library to digitize its entire newspaper collection. Now people anywhere can view online the black-and-white pages that date back to the 1800s.

More than a year ago, library administrators decided it would be a good idea to put the library's microfilm collection on the Internet. With help from Southington's Friends of the Library, $10,000 was provided for the project.

Source & Full Story

Iceland Is So Inbred It Needs a Website to Avoid Incest

When your society has inhabited a small, remote island for countless generations and boasts a population of only 300,000, the odds of having sex with a relative are significant. Luckily, Icelanders now have a handy tool to avoid family-sex.

Íslendingabók—meaning "book of Icelanders"—is an online incest avoidance search engine. Plug in your name and that of a potential mate, and the site searches a genealogical database to see how closely you're related.

Source & Full Story

The New National Archives of Ireland Website

The National Archives of Ireland have just given their website,, a welcome facelift. The new design is a model of clarity: easier to read, more intuitive to navigate, and with expanded guides to collections, digital resources and genealogy.

However, the real meat and potatoes of any archival website is the online catalogue. Even where entries consist only of record descriptions and titles, rather than actual records, a database catalogue gives users the power to search much more widely and more precisely.

Source & Full Story

6 February 2012

Plantation Where 14-Year-Old Slave Was Hung To Become Outlet Mall

The site of a Maryland plantation which is renowned by local historians for its connection to Black history and to the Civil War has lost its historical designation and is on its way to becoming an 85-store outlet mall, after an early January vote by the Prince George’s County Historic Preservation Commission.

Salubria is the name of a Maryland plantation, where in 1834, a 14-year-old slave girl—possibly influenced by Nat Turner’s slave rebellion in South Hampton, Va., in 1831—poisoned her master’s children and was later sentenced to death.

Source & Full Story

Exposed... Vultures Who Buy Stolen War Memorials: The Mail Unmasks Money-Grabbing Scrap Metal Dealers Fuelling a Sickening Crimewave

Etched into three brass war memorials were the names of men who had made the ultimate sacrifice for this country in the fight to defend freedom and overcome the rise of dictatorship. But the plaques honouring those who had fallen during two world wars were tossed into an oil-spattered iron bin, on top of a pile of mangled piping and frayed cables.

The memorials that should have been treated as priceless objects of British history — tributes from a nation indebted to those they commemorate — were instead considered mere junk and valued as scrap metal worth less than £30.

Source & Full Story

Are You Related to Jennifer Aniston?

Jennifer Aniston was born on February 11, 1969, in Sherman Oaks, Los Angeles to actors John Aniston and Nancy Dow.

Her father is Greek and a native of Crete. Her mother was born in New York City of Scottish-Canadian and Italian descent. Aniston has two half-brothers, John Melick, her maternal older half-brother, and Alex Aniston, her younger paternal half-brother.

Jennifer Aniston's Family Tree

French Railroad Hands Over WWII-Era Archives

SNCF, the French national railroad, has handed over digital copies of hits World War II–era archives. The documents were transferred to Yad Vashem in Jerusalem, the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington and the Shoah Memorial in Paris, SNCF said Feb. 3 in a statement.

The handover comes a year after SNCF President Guillaume Pepy admitted that the company participated in transferring Jews to Nazi concentration camps. SNCF said in the statement that it is working to adhere to its policy of being transparent about its past.

Source & Full Story

'My GeneaNet' Menu Has Been Redesigned

The 'My GeneaNet' menu has been redesigned to be more intuitive.

You can access this drop-down menu at the top right of every GeneaNet pages.

You have quick access to commonly used features and it now includes a direct access to your Online Family Tree.

Continue reading...

3 February 2012

Restored Magna Carta To Go on Display in Washington

A copy of the Magna Carta, the English royal manuscript setting out the rights of man, is to be displayed at the US National Archives in Washington from February 17, after a year of restoration work.

The Magna Carta enshrined the rule of law in England at a time of disagreements between King John and the English barons. It was first issued in 1215 and confirmed as English law in 1297. The copy in Washington is one of four bearing the seal of King Edward I in 1297. Two others are in Britain and a fourth in Australia.

Source & Full Story

German Computer System Piecing Together Shredded Secret Police Documents

Germany’s “puzzle people” will soon be able to count on a new tool in their Herculean task of re-piecing together thousands of ripped-up former Stasi secret police files.

A computer system which can digitally recreate documents by scanning bits of paper that were shredded or torn by hand as the former East Germany collapsed, is nearing the end of its test phase.

Source & Full Story

2 February 2012

yEd 3.9 Update Released

Charts and Diagrams - Windows, Mac, Linux - Freeware

yEd 3.9 has been released.


• The new SmartFree label models make interactive placement of node labels and edge labels easier than ever.
• Further improvements include support for automatic edge label rotation corresponding to the direction of a label's associated edge segment, and fixed as well as proportional node label alignment with node borders.
• Enhanced GEDCOM import with new support for ANSI, ASCII, UTF-8, and UTF-16 file encodings. A broad range of common GEDCOM data records is imported as custom properties.
• Added a new dedicated layout algorithm for flowchart diagrams.

RootsMagic Update Released

Full Featured - Windows - Purchase

RootsMagic has been released.


• Fixed: When splitting places into place / detail, the notes, lat/long, and pictures now go with the place detail instead of the place.

Legacy Family Tree Update Released

Full Featured - Windows - Purchase

Legacy Family Tree has been released.


• Forms - Added two new census forms for the new 1940 census.
• FamilySearch - New Auto Match feature. Runs through everyone to automatically link them to matches on new FamilySearch.
• FamilySearch - Auto Match individuals are assigned Yellow Arrows to signify they were Auto Matched.
• FamilySearch - Added Auto Match icon to Legend.
• FamilySearch - Added a new person information bar above the tabs.
• FamilySearch - Added filter actions to manage your filtered list- lots of small bugs.
• FamilySearch - Added Gender coloring in individual list.
• FamilySearch - Added the feature to copy marriage events.
• Descendant View - Direct Line ancestors are now bolded like they are on other lists.
• Create Web Pages - Added a new option on the Misc. tab to include custom HTML or Script to the section of each document.
• Information Screen - Rearranged toolbar icons to match Family View order.
• Some fixes.

GeneaStar: Latest Famous Genealogies

The following genealogies have been added to GeneaStar:

Lavinia Warren, Kris Jenner, Dwight Hamilton Baldwin, Barbara Hutton, Rush Limbaugh, Elizabeth Lee Hazen, Drew Brees, Howard Lederer, Abner Peabody, Lum Edwards, Increase A. Lapham, Nathaniel P. Langford, S. C. Johnson, Robert F. Six, Paula Deen, George H. Whipple, Scott Walker, Edie Sedgwick, Christopher Reeve, Howard Hughes, Anthony Perkins, Rachel Miner, Lee Meriwether, Lee Marvin, Jerry Hall, Janet Leigh, Jack Lemmon, David Letterman, Kate Hudson, Mary Steenburgen, Gregory Peck, John Bennett Perry, Reba McEntire, Annie Duke, John Barrymore, L. Frank Baum, Dixie Carter, Jayne Meadows, Francis Scott Key, Byron Kilbourn, Ethel Merman, Duane Allman, Timothy Leary, Robert E. Lee, Carnie Wilson, Denise Richards, John Hinckley, Hal Holbrook, Kelsey Grammer, Amy Grant, Mabelle Gilman Corey, Dana Ashbrook, John Boehner, Mark David Chapman, Dee Hartford, Hilary Swank, Andy Griffith, Stephen Crane, Rob Lowe, River Phoenix, Casey Affleck, Kim Basinger, John Lithgow, Percival Lowell, Spiro Agnew, Tim McGraw and DIna Merrill.

Thanks Tim Dowling

Branches Update Released

Full Featured - Windows - Purchase

Branches has been released.


• Added support for entering 'Other' fields (AKA, Nickname, Cause of Death, etc.)

Treasure Hunter Claims $3bn WWII-Era Find Off US Coast

A Maine treasure hunter says he has discovered a WWII-era shipwreck filled with platinum, now worth $3bn (£1.9bn). Greg Brooks of Sub Sea Research says a wreck sitting 50 miles (80km) off the US Atlantic coast is the SS Port Nicholson, sunk in 1942.

The Port Nicholson, a British merchant ship, was torpedoed by a German U-boat in an attack that killed six people.Some have expressed doubts the wreck holds platinum, and maritime law would complicate ownership claims.

Source & Full Story

Rare List of Prince Edward Island Acadians Intrigues New Brunswick Researchers

Acadian researchers at l'Université de Moncton have discovered a list of 289 names of Acadians who were living on Prince Edward Island in 1763, but they're still trying to reach a consensus about what exactly the rare list was for.

Regis Brun, an archivist at the university's centre d'etudes acadiennes, believes it's a list of Acadians held prisoner by the British at Fort Amherst, now a historic site on the shores of Charlottetown Harbour.

Source & Full Story

Never-Before-Seen Photo of Winston Churchill on Horseback After Daring Boer War Prison Camp Escape in 1899

A previously unseen photograph of Winston Churchill on a horse following his daring escape from a prison camp during the Boer War has emerged for sale. Sitting astride his grey mount in 1899, the 26-year-old future Prime Minister is shown wearing a suit and tie and has on a wide-brimmed hat.

He has a notably slim figure after his 'sixty hours of misery' trying to find his way back to British lines. He had gone to South Africa in 1898 as a newspaper war correspondent and was captured in November the following year.

Source & Full Story

1 February 2012

Isle of Wight Burials List To Go Online

A huge project to list all pre-1858 Isle of Wight burials online is being undertaken by volunteers. Members of the Isle of Wight Family History Society are working with staff from the Isle of Wight Record Office to transfer the entire index to the web.

The project is unlikely to be completed and cross-checked against the original registers before 2014.

Source & Full Story