Genealogy Blog

30 March 2012

Nelson Mandela Digital Archive Launched

An extensive digital archive documenting former South African President Nelson Mandela's life has been launched on the internet. Almost 2,000 entries have been made available for scholars and researchers.

Images of the cell on Robben Island, near Cape Town, in which he spent many of his 27 years in jail are among the material stored on the archive. The plan was announced a year ago with $1.25m (£790,000) in funds from internet firm Google.

Source & Full Story

National Archives of Malaysia to Digitise Collections

The National Archives of Malaysia has targeted to digitise three million of its collections by next year for better public access to information to keep in steps with the changing times. Its deputy director-general (planning and management), Azemi Abdul Aziz said until the end of last year, 400,000 collections had been digitized for public consumption.

Priority is given to old history often cited by researchers, he said, adding that the digitization was being implemented under the National Key Result Areas to familiarise the public with an institution treasuring the country's historical documents.

Source & Full Story

Walters Art Museum in Baltimore Wins Grant to Digitize Medieval Books

The National Endowment for the Humanities is awarding the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore a $265,000 grant to digitize, catalog and distribute 113 medieval Flemish manuscripts, including a collection of prayer books adorned with gold.

The three-year grant announced Tuesday will digitize 45,000 pages of text and over 3,000 pages of illumination from the 13th through the 16th centuries in present-day France and Belgium.

Source & Full Story

Hitler Family Gravestone is Removed Over Fears it Had Become a Shrine for Neo-Nazis

The gravestone of Adolf Hitler’s parents has been removed because it had become a shrine for neo-Nazis. Last year, a vase with the word unforgotten – ‘unvergessen’ – was left on the grave, with one of the letters drawn as the double lightning flashes of the Nazi leader’s dreaded SS regiments.

Another visitor in 2009 hung a plaque on the grave, marked ‘120’, indicating the 120 years since Hitler was born in 1889 in the Austrian village of Braunau-am-Inn.

Source & Full Story

29 March 2012

Meet the Goughs: The Extraordinary Family Who Were Awarded a Record-Breaking Three Victoria Cross Medals in Just Two Generations

A family has been named the most courageous in Britain after being awarded a record breaking three Victoria Cross Medals for acts of bravery in battle. In just two generations of the Gough family, three male members were awarded the VCs for acts of 'extreme gallantry and devotion to duty in the face of the enemy'.

The heroic exploits of the Gough family are detailed in a new guide, which lists all 1,353 recipients of the country's highest military honour for the first time. The online database, by family history website, contains a detailed description of their heroic acts and where they are buried.

Source & Full Story

TreeDraw 4.0.3 Update Released

Charts and Diagrams - Windows - Shareware

TreeDraw 4.0.3 has been released.


• Various installation changes to meet Windows Certification criteria. Some system files have been moved to different folders.
• The TreeDraw_Temp database folder has been moved to Users\\AppData\Roaming\TreeDraw.
• The options file TreeDraw.ini is now stored in Users\\AppData\Roaming\TreeDraw. This means that each Windows user will have their own options settings.
• Fixes the TreeDraw.ini file access issue when logged into Windows without administrator privileges.
• The version 1 chart file conversion utility is now installed as an archive file This is to meet the Windows criteria of not installing 16-bit software.

RootsMagic 5.0.3 Update Released

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RootsMagic 5.0.3 has been released.


• New: New "Who Was There" list prints all people in a selected place at a selected time (see help for details).
• New: "Fix Broken Media Links" now lets you select the starting drive and/or folder.
• New: Media Gallery now lets you sort media by either file name or caption.
• New: Added options to custom reports to shade alternate records or draw lines between records.
• New: Added preparer option to Box Charts.
• New: Added "Living" checkbox to "Add Person screen.
• New: Added option to print detail ref# for citations in Source List report.
• New: Changed 95 year rule to 110 years in New FamilySearch features.
• Some fixes.

MacFamilyTree 6.2.8 Update Released

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MacFamilyTree 6.2.8 has been released.


• Several bugs fixed editing notes and source text.
• Improved behavior saving and closing documents.
• Several other bugfixes.

28 March 2012

iScrapbook 3.3.4 Update Released

Family Pictures - Mac - Purchase

iScrapbook 3.3.4 has been released.


• Fixed launching problem that only occurs under Leopard (Mac OS X 10.5).

GenSmarts Update Released

Full Featured - Windows - Purchase

GenSmarts has been released.


• 1940 US Census Support.
• A minor improvement in place name recognition where no default country is specified.
• Changed the default directory for Tools...Export Place Names.
• Fixed bug in finding suggestions based on TMG flags.
• Fixed bug in finding suggestions based on TMG flags.
• Fixed bug in Family Search MA Births.

GedStar Pro 4.3.4 Update Released

Other Tools - Windows - Purchase

GedStar Pro 4.3.4 has been released.


• Fix character-set bug in image names when converting an ANSI-encoded GEDCOM file and no user-specified name is given for an image.

GedStar Pro for Android 2.2.4 Update Released

PDAs and Handhelds - Freeware

GedStar Pro for Android 2.2.4 has been released.


• Translation to French.

Ancestral Quest 12.1.34 Update Released

Full Featured - Windows - Purchase

Ancestral Quest 12.1.34 has been released.


• Dual Dates: When AQ displayed a dual date, it had been displaying these as two full years, ie, "1750/1751". This was changed to adhere to a standard that indicated that only the changed portion of the second year should show, "1750/1".
• Check/Repair: An adjustment was made to catch and fix another minor issue.
• Advanced Filtering: If you searched for a place name using commas only (",") to separate place names, it worked, but if you used comma-space (", "), then it failed. Fixed.
• Family Group Record: If a Husband's data filled up so much room on a first page that the wife's data was pushed to the second page, then notes that normally would have printed on the 2nd page went unprinted. Fixed.

U.S. Archives to Unveil Material Related to Art Works Stolen by Nazis

The U.S. National Archives is set to unveil newly discovered material related to art works stolen by the Nazis during World War II.

U.S. Archivist David S. Ferriero says the National Archives will announce "a significant discovery which will allow for a more complete view of Hitler's premeditated theft of art and other cultural treasures" on Tuesday morning.

Source & Full Story

Irish Kelly Clan Gathering to Hear of Genetic Links to Australian Outlaw Ned Kelly

The genetic links of one of Australia’s most notorious and controversial outlaws – Ned Kelly – will be the focus of the next Kelly clan gathering in Dundrum, Co Tipperary, in May.

Kelly was born in Australia about 1854 and earned a reputation as both a cold-blooded murderer as well as a freedom- fighting folk hero. He was captured and hanged in Melbourne in 1880 for his crimes.

Source & Full Story

27 March 2012

Old Love Letters Found in Vancouver Returned

The old tin trunk took an unlikely thousand-mile trek when it followed Julie and Phil Hoice from Farmington, N.M. to Vancouver.

Filled with old love letters, baby clothing and a small red crocheted coat owned by Shirley Willis, the case was left behind 24 years ago in an apartment in the predominantly rural New Mexico town.

Source & Full Story

Oswald Tombstone Surfaces in Rural Illinois Auto Museum, Stirs Texan's Anger

Inside Wayne Lensing's auto museum down a remote road from a body shop, visitors can see Elvis Presley's 1972 Lincoln, the Mayberry squad car from "The Andy Griffith Show" and three Batmobiles.

Right around the corner from Richard Petty's 1960 stock car and a few steps from the Cadillac covered in 120,000 coins, the curious also can view a decidedly different artifact: Lee Harvey Oswald's tombstone.

Source & Full Story

26 March 2012

Family Historian 5.0 Update Released

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Family Historian 5.0 has been released.

New and improved features:

• New tool for creating family tree books and booklets.
• Much improved website generation and much improved support for family tree CDs & DVDs.
• New Fan Chart diagrams.
• New ‘flat’ style All-Relatives diagram (much-requested).
• Improved data entry – especially with regard to date-handling and date validation.
• New query for detecting possible errors with dates in existing records.
• Enhanced ‘How Related’ tool shows graphically exactly how people are related.
And much more.

Ancient Texts Saved Forever Thanks To Digitization

Those who value ancient history are on a mission to preserve it in a safe, accessible place: cyberspace. Efforts are under way to digitize ancient Ethiopian sacred texts written on goatskin and Hindu scriptures written on palm leaves.

Using technology to re-create the past is critical, scholars say. "It is hugely important for the study of the ancient world," said Tammi Schneider. She is dean of the School of Religion at Claremont (Calif.) Graduate University.

Source & Full Story

Historian Uncovers Australia's Censored Books

A literary historian has uncovered thousands of banned books buried seven storeys underground in the National Archives of Australia building in Sydney. It's a prude's nightmare but a book collector's dream: Nicole Moore found 793 boxes filled to the brim with books Australians were never allowed to read.

The books were banned by authorities for various reasons between the 1920s and 1980s.

Source & Full Story

30 Indonesian Women Founded Madagascar, Maybe by Accident

The land of freaky animals and amazing biodiversity, Madagascar was also one of the last places to be settled by humans. And new research suggests that didn't happen until about 1,200 years ago.

The colonization might even have been an accident, the researchers say. A small group of Indonesian women settled the island in one fell swoop, possibly making their way there after their trading vessel capsized.

Source & Full Story

Are You Related to Reba McEntire?

Reba Nell McEntire was born on March 28, 1955, outside of Kiowa, Oklahoma, to Jacqueline (née Smith) and Clark Vincent McEntire.

Her father and grandfather were champion steer ropers and her father was a World Champion Steer Roper three times (1957, 1958, and 1961). Her mother originally had plans to become a country music artist but decided not to pursue that professionally and worked as a schoolteacher. Instead, McEntire's mother taught her children how to sing.

Reba McEntire's Family Tree

New: Attach Archival Records & Pictures to your GeneaNet Online Family Tree

You can now attach Archival Records, pages from Archival Registers, family pictures, pictures of headstones and memorials, and coats of arms to your GeneaNet Online Family Tree!

You can also attach documents uploaded by other GeneaNet members.

An easy way to source your genealogy data!

Continue reading...

23 March 2012

India’s Archives: How Did Things Get This Bad?

Why has modern India had such a difficult time preserving its history? Tridip Suhrud, professor who has written extensively on Mohandas K. Gandhi, blamed a lack of historical sensitivity for problems in his state. Gujarat’s local maharajas and business families, he remarked, did not place much importance on keeping records.

Consequently, there has been little interest in creating or patronizing archival institutions. Mr. Suhrud can only count three other scholars currently working at the Sabarmati Ashram Library in Ahmedabad, the principal repository of Gandhi’s personal papers.

Source & Full Story

22 March 2012

Repairing the Damage at India’s National Archives

When he took charge of the National Archives of India in May 2010, Mushirul Hasan inherited a rudderless institution. The job of director general had been vacant for several years, and past directors had been bureaucrats. Mr. Hasan became the first scholar in 30 years to oversee an institution that contained a dazzling array of material from the Mughal, British and post-independence periods of Indian history.

Source & Full Story

Barack Obama Given Irish Ancestry Certificate

US President Barack Obama hosted a party at the White House on Tuesday night at which Taoiseach Enda Kenny gave him a certificate of Irish ancestry. The certificate was awarded for President Obama's links to Moneygall, County Offaly.

He also received a large bowl of shamrock from Enda Kenny. The Taoiseach concludes his five-day visit to the United States today. President Obama thanked Mr Kenny for the gifts and spoke fondly of his visit to Ireland last May.

Source & Full Story

National Library of Ireland Call-Out Answered by Families Bearing WWI Treasures

A capacity crowd turned out to answer the National Library of Ireland’s appeal for first World War memorabilia yesterday. The institution, in conjunction with Oxford University and Europeana – Europe’s digital museum – is building an online archive of private stories and documents from the Great War.

Earlier this month the library asked for memorabilia of which it could make digital copies ahead of the 100th anniversary of the start of the war in July 2014.

Source & Full Story

21 March 2012

Transcript 2.3.3 build 87 beta Update Released

Transcriptions & Indexes - Windows - Freeware

Transcript 2.3.3 build 87 beta has been released.


• Renamed the filename of the default English language file from "Default" to the more logical name "English". Also updated the installer to take this change into account when (un)installing.
• Building the plugins still works, removed unused space around exif list. (Plugins not yet updated on the website and won't work with this version.)
• Move focus back to editor (when that setting is on) when the highlighter is on but mouse is not above the highlighter.
• Bugfix: Ctrl+Alt+Downarrow moves highlighter down even when image is already at the bottom (until highlighter also reaches bottom of image window).
• Added warning when Edit file is in use by another program instead of showing an exception + added translation string for the warning.
• And more...

The Complete Genealogy Builder 2012 beta build 110316 Update Released

Full Featured - Windows - Shareware

The Complete Genealogy Builder 2012 beta build 110316 has been released.


• Fixed: Possible Unexpected Program Error during or after merge process.

MacFamilyTree 6.2.7 Update Released

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MacFamilyTree 6.2.7 has been released.


• New Websites added to the Web Research function.
• GEDCOM Export improved.
• Performance improved.
• Several crash bugs fixed.
• Alignment in the My Tree pane improved.
• Minor UI improvements.

Kith and Kin Pro 3.2.0 Update Released

Full Featured - Windows - Shareware

Kith and Kin Pro 3.2.0 has been released.


• Web page exporting can now include the Tree Layout as a hotlinked PDF file.
• Using "File | Import from file" in the notes editor now displays a warning.
• Using "Edit | Select families" could result in multiple selections of the same family rectangle.
• Fixed the corrupted display in the layers box of the status bar.

20 March 2012

Original Einstein Manuscripts are Going Online for First Time

Albert Einstein's complete archives — from personal correspondence with half a dozen lovers to notebooks scribbled with his groundbreaking scientific research — are going online for the first time.

The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, which owns the German Jewish physicist's papers, is pulling never-before seen items from its climate-controlled safe, photographing them in high resolution and posting them on the Internet — offering the public a nuanced and fuller portrait of the man behind the scientific genius.

Source & Full Story

Secret Files Reveal 9,000 Nazi War Criminals Fled to South America After WWII

Nine thousand Nazi war criminals fled to South America after the Second World War, it has been revealed for the first time. After receiving tip-offs, German prosecutors were recently granted access to secret files in Brazil and Chile that confirmed the true number of Third Reich immigrants.

According to the documents, an estimated 9,000 war criminals escaped to South America, including Croatians, Ukrainians, Russians and other western Europeans who aided the Nazi murder machine.

Source & Full Story

Shropshire Archives Seek 'Army' of Volunteers for Photo Project

In a basement at Shrewsbury's archives library a huge stack of plain brown boxes lay on shelves in rows 24 high. Between them, they contain 45,000 photos, some dating back to the 19th Century and about many of which almost nothing is known.

Head of Shropshire Archives Mary McKenzie said: "A lot of it is a mystery and that's why we need people's help." Project manager John Benson said the photos had come from a wide range of sources, from people's wills to donations from families, groups, businesses and others.

Source & Full Story

19 March 2012

Earliest Christian Burial in UK Found

One of the earliest Anglo-Saxon Christian burial sites in Britain has been discovered in a village outside Cambridge. The grave of a teenage girl from the mid 7th century AD has an extraordinary combination of two extremely rare finds: a ‘bed burial’ and an early Christian artefact in the form of a stunning gold and garnet cross.

The girl, aged around 16, was buried on an ornamental bed with a pectoral Christian cross on her chest, that had probably been sewn onto her clothing.

Source & Full Story

Ireland's Potato Famine Helped to Shape Connecticut

In the last three centuries, there have been hundreds of widespread human tragedies, but only a few of these have left indelible marks on the culture and mind-set of Americans. The short list includes the Holocaust, the African slave trade and the conquest of Native Americans.

Ireland's Great Hunger, known to most as the Irish Potato Famine of 1845, is on this list too, because it sent more than 1 million Irish people to American shores.

Source & Full Story

Are You Related to Sarah Jessica Parker?

Sarah Jessica Parker was born on March 25, 1965 in Nelsonville, Ohio, the daughter of Barbara Parker (née Keck), a nursery school operator and teacher, and Stephen Parker, an entrepreneur and journalist.

Parker's father, a native of Brooklyn, was of Eastern European Jewish background; his family's original surname was "Bar-Kahn" ("son of Kohen"). Parker's mother was of English and German descent; through her mother, Parker is descended from Esther Elwell, one of the accused during the Salem witch trials.

Sarah Jessica Parker's Family Tree

New GeneaNet Feature: Build your Public Online Family Tree Template

A new GeneaNet feature lets you build your Online Family Tree template.

The template is divided into different sections as follows: Individual, Parents, Spouses and Children, Siblings, Relationships, Extended Family, Notes, Sources, and Family Tree Preview.

You can specify the information that you want to appear in each section: Basic, Extended, Full, and with Pictures.

Continue reading...

16 March 2012

National Archives of Australia Unveils Digitisation Strategy

The National Archives of Australia has outlined a plan to reduce the dependency of government agencies on paper records, saving up to $200 million a year in physical storage costs.

The Director General of the National Archives, David Fricker, said he hoped to drive a coordinated and strategic approach to digital information management across the Federal Government.


15 March 2012

The Complete Genealogy Reporter 2012 beta build 110314 Update Released

Family Books - Windows - Shareware

The Complete Genealogy Reporter 2012 beta build 110314 has been released.


• Microsoft Word reports now force left-to-right layout formats. This corrects unusual layout issues that previously occurred when the Windows and/or Word language settings specify a right-to-left language, such as Hebrew.

TreeDraw 4.0.2 Update Released

Charts and Diagrams - Windows - Purchase

TreeDraw 4.0.2 has been released.


• Long children connecting lines are now also joined to the lines at their ends.
• Added image compression/quality option to PDF file exports.
• Chart View Control was not hidden when minimized under Vista/Win7.
• Colour Palette was not hidden when minimized under Vista/Win7.
• Exporting a PDF file with a large number of hi-res images created a blank file.
• The lines in a wheel chart were hidden when "Group tree elements" was selected.
• The ruler no longer sits on top of the magnifier when used.

Shoebox 1.2.2 Update Released

PDAs and Handhelds - Freeware

Shoebox 1.2.2 has been released.


• Small bug fixes.

Reunite 3.1 Update Released

Organization - Research - Windows, Mac - Purchase

Reunite 3.1 has been released.


• Maintenance release.
• Changed upgrade terminology.
• Fixed committee name and address entry fields.
• Misc. Bug Fixes.

Legacy Family Tree Update Released

Full Featured - Windows - Purchase

Legacy Family Tree has been released.


• Census List Tool - Cool new tool to create a search list or print a report of everyone you should look for in a Census. You can find a list of people who were alive at a particular date and location for example during a war or other event where you would like to go search for records of your ancestor.

GEDitCOM II 1.7 build 2 Update Released

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GEDitCOM II 1.7 build 2 has been released.


• Place Advisor coverage now extends to the entire globe down to city, town and village level.
• Places seem to work best if place name is a town with no extra information and no address information (such as street address or church name). The recommendation is to move address information in place names to address fields instead. The method is not hard, but tedious. A new script called "Move Part of Place to Address" makes it easy.
• GEDitCOM II is now 32/64 bit universal app. Running on 64 bit processors should be faster (although not very noticeable for common genealogy computing tasks) and work better with large files.
• And much more.

Families for Legacy Family Tree 1.5.0 Update Released

PDAs and Handhelds - Purchase

Families for Legacy Family Tree 1.5.0 has been released.


• Support iOS 5.1.
• Improve efficiency of relationship calculation.
• Redesign search options and add search by location.
• Support tags for individual and marriage.
• Add settings option for maximum descendant generations.
• Allow selection of alternative parents in Pedigree View.
• Bug fixes.

Bee Docs' Easy Timeline 1.2 Update Released

Timeline - Mac - Purchase

Bee Docs' Easy Timeline 1.2 has been released.


• Pasting multiple events into a timeline, then undoing the operation would create an unstable document.
• Removing an event row in bulk edit mode could create an unstable document.
• Pasting arbitrary text into the background of a timeline could cause a crash.
• Saving is more stable on certain versions of Mac OS X.

13 March 2012

Archaeologists Unearth Slave Burial Ground On the Island of St. Helena

Archaeologists from the University of Bristol have unearthed a unique slave burial ground on the remote South Atlantic island of St Helena. The excavation, which took place in advance of construction of a new airport on the island, has revealed dramatic insights into the victims of the Atlantic slave trade during the notorious Middle Passage.

The tiny island of St Helena, 1,000 miles off the coast of south-west Africa, acted as the landing place for many of the slaves, captured by the Royal Navy during the suppression of the slave trade between 1840 and 1872.

Source & Full Story

Poland - New Documents from the Archives of the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington

The resources of Institute of National Remembrance were enriched by new acquisitions, transferred from the archives of the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington. Obtaining of this collection of documents was made possible due to an updated cooperation agreement, signed between the two institutions on August 22, 2011.

The collection consists of reports and memoirs of the Polish and Jewish nationals living in German-occupied Polish territories. These important sources, which can be categorized as so-called "individual diaries", reveal the fates of Polish citizens, including many aspects of their everyday life in the occupied territories.

Source & Full Story

Geospatial Mapping Enhances Arlington Cemetery Management

Officials at Arlington National Cemetery will use an Army-designed geospatial mapping system to manage cemetery operations, the executive director of the Army National Cemeteries Program said.

Kathryn A. Condon testified before the House Veterans Affairs Committee's disability assistance and memorial affairs subcommitee to provide an update on the progress made in rectifying long-standing management problems at Arlington National Cemetery.

Source & Full Story

National Archives Director Battles to Unlock US Secrets

The man entrusted with America’s documentary heritage - including the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution - learned the value of book collections in a North Beverly, Mass., flower shop called Conte’s.

The shop doubled as the town’s library. Two shelves nestled among the lilies and roses represented the entire book selection. “I can still remember sitting on the floor surrounded by flowers and choosing the books I was going to read,’’ said David Ferriero.

Source & Full Story

12 March 2012

World's Oldest Surviving Charles Dickens Film from 111-Years Ago Found After Going Missing for Half a Century

The oldest surviving film based on the works of Charles Dickens has been discovered. The Death Of Poor Joe, inspired by Bleak House, dates back to March 1901 but lay unnoticed in an archive for decades.

The minute-long clip, made by British film pioneer G.A. Smith, was given to the British Film Institute in 1954 by a collector, but was catalogued under the wrong name and date.

Source & Full Story

Duke of Wellington's Decanters 'from Battle of Waterloo' and Cheque 'To Pay Off Mistress' Found in Box Locked for 75 Years as Owner Didn't Have a Key

A decanter box that belonged to the Duke of Wellington and may have been used during the Battle of Waterloo has been uncovered on the BBC's Antiques Roadshow. The old mahogany box was bought by Edgerton Falconer at an auction in the late 19th century but remained locked for 75 years because he did not have a key for it.

It was not until his grandson, David Falconer, inherited the box that the lock was prised open with a screwdriver and a cheque signed by Wellington found inside, along with 10 glass wine and brandy decanters.

Source & Full Story

Using Web Archives to Preserve the Past

Imagine if there were no council records of community events in the 1940s because no one thought to preserve them. Or if the 1911 census was written in a language people could no longer read. It would leave a gaping chasm in our cultural knowledge, and make it difficult for historians to build an accurate picture of the past. A similar blank spot could face historians of the future when they study life in the early 21st century.

Source & Full Story

GeneaNet - Planned Maintenance: Wednesday, March 14th, 2012

Due to a maintenance operation, GeneaNet Online Family Trees can't be updated (but they will be available for visitors) on Wednesday, March 14th, 2012, in the morning (Paris, France, Time Zone).

Of course, all of the data is backed up, and is safe and secure.

We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

Best regards,

Irish Railway Worker Immigrants Killed in 1832 to Be Re-Buried

The remains of five Irish immigrants killed while building a Pennsylvania railway in 1832 will be re-interred on Friday in a suburban Philadelphia cemetery.

Mr Michael Collins, Ireland's ambassador to the United States (US), is among the dignitaries expected at West Laurel Hill Cemetery in Bala Cynwyd for a funeral service that will include bagpipers and a grave site marked by a 10-foot-high (3.05m) Celtic cross.

Source & Full Story

German Ancestry in U.S. Ranks Close to Hispanic Numbers

The United States, first populated by Native Americans, rediscovered by Europeans and colonized under the flags of the Spanish, English and French, is now filled with Germans.

More than half of the nation's 3,143 counties contain a plurality of people who describe themselves as German-American, according to a Bloomberg compilation of data from the Census Bureau's 2010 American Community Survey.

Source & Full Story

Are You Related to Glenn Close?

Close was born on March 19, 1947 in Greenwich, Connecticut, the daughter of Bettine (née Moore) and William Taliaferro Close, a doctor who operated a clinic in the Belgian Congo.

Her parents came from prominent families. Her father was a descendant of the Taliaferros of Virginia; her paternal grandfather, Edward Bennett Close, a stockbroker and director of the American Hospital Association, was first married to Post Cereals' heiress Marjorie Merriweather Post, making Glenn Close a relative of screenwriter/director Preston Sturges. Close is also a second cousin once-removed of actress Brooke Shields (Shields's great-grandmother Mary Elsie Moore was a sister of Close's maternal grandfather, Charles Arthur Moore).

Glenn Close's Family Tree

GeneaNet: Upload and Share Indexes

Sharing information is second nature to most genealogists and GeneaNet lets you easily upload and share your birth, baptism, marriage, death and burial indexes to help other genealogists in their research.

The uploaded indexes are your property and you can delete them at any time.

Of course, you can also read indexes uploaded by other GeneaNet members.

Continue reading...

9 March 2012

Feds Attempt To Retrieve Presidential Documents That Historian May Have Sold

The man who admitted to stealing hundreds of historical documents from museums up and down the East Coast– including here in Maryland– may have sold some of them. Now, federal investigators are trying to get the priceless pieces back.

Federal investigators are reaching out to collectors and dealers who may have unknowingly bought stolen items from Barry Landau, the disgraced presidential memorabilia collector.

Source & Full Story

Mormon Church Restricts Access to Jewish Names to Stop Members from Performing Baptism Rituals on Holocaust Victims

Mormon leaders have put up a virtual firewall in their massive genealogical database to block out anyone who attempts to access the names of hundreds of thousands of Holocaust victims the church has agreed not to posthumously baptize.

The move comes amid criticism that the Salt Lake City-based Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints hasn't done enough to live up to commitments to stop its members worldwide from performing the baptism ritual on Holocaust victims and other notable Jews.

Source & Full Story

8 March 2012

MagiKey Family Tree 3.1.4 Update Released

Full Featured - Windows - Purchase

MagiKey Family Tree 3.1.4 has been released.


• Added ability to select site to search for a specific census.
• Add the version number of the application which created the GEDCOM to the opening statistics screen.
• Added state censuses for 1855 Kansas, 1855 and 1875 Wisconsin, and 1855 and 1866 Alabama.
• 1940 United States census extraction form.
• 1911 Scotland census extraction form.
• FamilySearch discussion support.
• Better source index searching. • And much more...

iScrapbook 3.3.3 Update Released

Family Pictures - Mac - Purchase

iScrapbook 3.3.3 has been released.


• Fixed a distorted display problem that sometimes occurred when scrolling in the album/page sidebar under Lion.
• Fixed a problem where certain button icons would appear fuzzy.
• Fixed problem that caused a beep to occur between slides in a slideshow.
• Fixed problem with correct page being selected after importing an album.
• Fixed a problem that sometimes caused the page background to appear blank, even if a background image was assigned.
• Moved the iScrapbook Library from the Documents folder to the Application Support folder.

GedStar Pro for Android 2.2.3 Update Released

PDAs and Handhelds - Freeware

GedStar Pro for Android 2.2.3 has been released.


• Fix bug in relationship calculator introduced in V2.2.2.

French Presidential Rivals, Like Partners, Are Cousins

Not only are fierce French political rivals President Nicolas Sarkozy and Socialist candidate Francois Hollande cousins, but so are their romantic partners, a genealogist has revealed.

Sarkozy and Hollande, battling it out ahead of next month's presidential election, share a 17th century ancestor, a peasant named Claude Labully-Burty, said genealogist Jean-Louis Beaucarnot, family tree to hand.

Source & Full Story

Old Maps Online: Discovering the Cartography of the Past

The OldMapsOnline Portal is an easy-to-use gateway to historical maps in libraries around the world. It allows the user to search for online digital historical maps across numerous different collections via a geographical search.

OldMapsOnline has been created by a collaboration between The Great Britain Historical GIS Project based at The University of Portsmouth, UK and Klokan Technologies GmbH, Switzerland.

Old Maps Online

6 March 2012

Malta - Inauguration of the Restoration of Two Gozo Parish Registers

Over the last two months of 2011, work has been carried out on two ancient parish registers which are normally housed at the archives of St George’s Basilica, Victoria.

These two volumes, dating back to the 17th century, were restored and given a new binding cover thanks to the co-financing given to the Historical-Cultural Committee of the Basilica.

Source & Full Story

Vandalized WWII-Era Graves in Libya to Be Restored

Two World War II-era cemeteries that were vandalized over the weekend by armed men in Benghazi will be restored, the Commonwealth War Graves Commission said in a posting on its website.

Hundreds of gravestones marking the bodies of Christian and Jewish soldiers were kicked from their locations, many of them broken, in the Benghazi War Cemetery and the Benghazi British Military Cemetery, the CWGC said. "Both cemeteries will be restored to a standard befitting the sacrifice of those commemorated at Benghazi, but this could take some time because we will need to source replacement stones," the organization said.

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5 March 2012

Dublin Patron Saint's Heart Stolen from Christ Church Cathedral

The preserved heart of Dublin's patron saint has been stolen from the city's Christ Church Cathedral, officials say. The thief would have needed metal cutters to prise open the iron bars protecting the wooden heart-shaped box holding St Laurence O'Toole's heart.

Police believe it happened some time between Friday night and about 12.30 GMT on Saturday. "They specifically targeted this, they wanted the heart of St Laurence O'Toole," a church spokeswoman said.

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Archives of Railway in Wales Brought to Life Online

Historic images of the original architectural drawings of the Britannia Bridge and the Chester and Holyhead railway have been captured for the first time on a new Network Rail virtual archive, bringing together 19th century engineering and 21st century technology.

The website celebrates the heritage of today’s railway infrastructure and provides public access to view a special selection of the Network Rail archive, which holds over five million records.

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Fury Over Attack on British War Graves in Benghazi

Attacks on the graves of British servicemen in Benghazi, Libya, have been described as "horrific" by Foreign Office Minister Alistair Burt. The Foreign Office said 200 graves and a Cross of Remembrance were damaged at the Benghazi British Military Cemetery.

The Benghazi War Cemetery was also targeted. Both cemeteries commemorate British and Commonwealth nationals who died during or after World War II. The Libyan authorities apologised and pledged to catch those responsible.

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Are You Related to Sharon Stone?

Sharon Stone was born on March 10, 1958 in Meadville, Pennsylvania. The second of four children, she is the daughter of Dorothy (née Lawson), an accountant and homemaker, and Joseph William Stone II, a tool and die manufacturer and factory worker.

Stone graduated in 1975 from Saegertown High School in Saegertown, Pennsylvania.

Sharon Stone's Family Tree

View and Analyze Traffic on your GeneaNet Public Online Family Tree

GeneaNet Club Privilege members can view and analyze the traffic data on their Public Online Family Tree (GeneWeb).

The statistics can be displayed by day, week, month and year.

The table shows the number of visits and unique visitors, the average time on website and the bounce rate (percentage of visitors who left the website after one page), by websites, direct entry and search engines.

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3 March 2012

TMG Utility 7.2 Build 8 Update Released

Other Tools - Windows - Freeware

TMG Utility 7.2 Build 8 has been released.


• Added the Grid XSLT Stylesheet to the Sentences option of the Export Data feature; the new Format produces a relatively compact list of roles and sentences.
• Fixed a bug where TMG Utility failed to start on some systems where TMG v8 was not installed.

The Complete Genealogy Reporter 2012 beta build 110225 Update Released

Family Books - Windows - Shareware

The Complete Genealogy Reporter 2012 beta build 110225 has been released.


• Fixed: New "Person Filter" not working correctly with full names.
• Fixed: Long text selection (sources/notes) was not calculating correctly per the selected value.

The Complete Genealogy Builder 2012 beta build 110225 Update Released

Full Featured - Windows - Shareware

The Complete Genealogy Builder 2012 beta build 110225 has been released.


• Fixed: Screen layout incorrect after resize when TreeView Frame is visible.
• Fixed: Macintosh ANSI files were not being recognized.

Shoebox 1.1.2 Update Released

PDAs and Handhelds - Freeware

Shoebox 1.1.2 has been released.


• Improve reliability of scan upload.
• Additional bug fixes.

2 March 2012

Pocket Genealogist 4.05 Update Released

PDAs and Handhelds - Purchase

Pocket Genealogist 4.05 has been released.


• Direct import support for Legacy (new database layout) Requires re-import and synchronization of your databases.

MacFamilyTree 6.2.6 Update Released

Full Featured - Mac - Purchase

MacFamilyTree 6.2.6 has been released.


• Error corrected that prevented some users from saving databases.
• Wrong places count display corrected.
• Several other minor fixes.

LTools 1.3.24 Update Released

Other Tools - Windows - Freeware

LTools 1.3.24 has been released.


• Remove Dead Multimedia Links – new deluxe LTool which checks for the existence of every multimedia file that your database points to. If a file is not found where it is supposed to be, the pointer (or link) to that file in your Legacy database will be removed without prompting.

GedStar Pro for Android 2.2.2 Update Released

PDAs and Handhelds - Freeware

GedStar Pro for Android 2.2.2 has been released.


• Fix display of photos on small screens (e.g., QVGA).
• Fix crash when viewing image list on large tablets.
• Handle out-of-memory condition in relationship calculator.

FamilyTreeFactory Update Released

Charts and Diagrams - Windows - Purchase

FamilyTreeFactory has been released.


• At the Gedcom import, the function Incorrect orders of spouses/Fix to match the dates of marriage could fail if marriage data for civil and religious marriages were stored in the Gedcom file. This bug has been fixed.
• At the Gedcom import of a NAME tag with two slashes positioned directly one after another, a wrong warning has been output and a single slash has been read as surname. This bug has been fixed.

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Brother's Keeper 6.5.7 Update Released

Full Featured - Windows - Purchase

Brother's Keeper 6.5.7 has been released.


• New option on the Collapsed Ancestor Chart to show if the couple was divorced.
• The Compute Relationship Box Chart would sometimes not make the box wide enough if the spouse name was the longest.
• On the Gedcom Export, fixed a problem where it would sometimes split a double wide character between note lines.
• On the Edit screen on the Media tab it will say 'File not found' if it can not find the media file when you try to view it. )

Bee Docs' Easy Timeline 1.1.1 Update Released

Timeline - Mac - Purchase

Bee Docs' Easy Timeline 1.1.1 has been released.


• 3D presentation mode now supports Kensington Presenter remote control.

1 March 2012

GeneaStar: Latest Famous Genealogies

The following genealogies have been added to GeneaStar:

Emmitt Smith, James Packard, John D. Rockefeller, Jr., Willard Rockwell, Pete Rose, Herbert Henry Dow, A. Bartlett Giamatti, Cornelius Vanderbilt Whitney, Henry Wells, Matthew C. Perry, Oliver Hazard Perry, Matthew Perry, John Phillips, Dan Quayle, Charles Alfred Pillsbury, Adlai Stevenson I, Adlai Stevenson II, Adlai Stevenson III, Brad Hall, John Carradine, Charles Dow, Orrin Hatch, Stephen Baldwin, Daniel Baldwin, Eli Whitney, Noah Webster, Daniel Webster, Mark Wahlberg, O.J. Simpson, Donnie Wahlberg, Loudon Wainwright III, Dick Van Dyke, Jerry Van Dyke, Martin Sheen, Emilio Estevez, Ron Paul, McLean Stevenson, and George W. Romney.

Thanks Tim Dowling

National Archives Unveils Fortified Display Case for Magna Carta

The only original copy of the Magna Carta in private hands worldwide has a fancy new display case at the National Archives, where the document goes on display next month.

"This 700-year-old document looks better than ever," said David Ferriero, the archivist of the United States. He said Thursday that the handwritten, fragile parchment will be unveiled February 17.

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