Genealogy Blog

30 April 2012

Rob Lowe's Learns He Is a Descendant of European Soldier Who Fought Against American Independence

Most Americans probably would be shocked to learn their ancestors fought on the wrong side of the Revolutionary War, but Rob Lowe took the news in stride on Who Do You Think You Are? The actor traced his ancestors back to Germany and their role in the American Revolution during Friday night's episode of the NBC show.

Lowe's journey took him from the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) archives to a small church in Marburg, Germany. Rob had hoped to find out if his relatives were patriots during the American Revolution but he got a big surprise.

Source & Full Story

Are You Related to Orson Welles?

Welles was born on May 6, 1915 in Kenosha, Wisconsin, son of Richard Hodgdon Head Welles (1873, Missouri – December 28, 1930, Chicago, Illinois) and Beatrice Ives (1882 or 1883, Springfield, Illinois – May 10, 1924, Chicago, Illinois).

Despite his parents' affluence, Welles encountered many hardships in childhood. In 1919, his parents separated and moved to Chicago. His father, who had made a fortune as the inventor of a popular bicycle lamp, became an alcoholic and stopped working. Welles's mother, a concert pianist, played during lectures by Dudley Crafts Watson at the Chicago Art Institute to support her son and herself.

Orson Welles' Family Tree

Some GeneaNet Changes and New Options

Here are the latest GeneaNet changes and new options:

- The 'Online Family Tree > Configure' and 'Online Family Tree > Privacy' menus have changed
- A new 'Family Tree Owner' option has been added
- The number of attached archival records & pictures in your family tree has been added to the 'Quick Access' section
- A new link has been added to the 'My GeneaNet' menu and to the 'Online Family Tree' tab to easily and quickly access your Public Online Family Tree (GeneWeb)

Continue reading...

27 April 2012

Reunite 3.2 Update Released

Organization - Research - Windows, Mac - Purchase

Reunite 3.2 has been released.


• Fixed Import Directory records (broken in version 2.5).
• Improved overall speed.

MacFamilyTree 6.2.10 Update Released

Full Featured - Mac - Purchase

MacFamilyTree 6.2.10 has been released.


• More Fan Chart configuration options added.
• Database Maintenance improved.
• Many Tree Chart fixes.
• Fixes in the Family Quiz.
• GEDCOM Importer compatibilty improved.

Families for Android 1.5.2 Update Released

PDAs and Handhelds - Purchase

Families for Android 1.5.2 has been released.


• Bug fixes.

Families for Legacy Family Tree 1.5.1 Update Released

PDAs and Handhelds - Purchase

Families for Legacy Family Tree 1.5.1 has been released.


• Display MRIN in Marriage View.
• Bug fixes.

GEDitCOM II 1.7 build 3 Update Released

Full Featured - Mac - Purchase

GEDitCOM II 1.7 build 3 has been released.


• The book preparation script was improved to have better wording for some events and to optionally include tree charts in the book.
• A new format called "Generations Book Preview" displays individuals in a style similar to book export and lets you edit data to optimize the book.
• You can now control click on a family tree cell with an inappropriate picture and set that individual to not have a portrait.
• A new script called "Four Gen Chart" produces a simple, one-page, four generation pedigree chart.
• The "US-UK-Canadian Census Report" script was updated to include the 1940 US census in the table.
• All known bugs were fixed.

Brother's Keeper 6.5.9 Update Released

Full Featured - Windows - Purchase

Brother's Keeper 6.5.9 has been released.


• GEDCOM export, new option (combobox) to exclude data for anyone born recently, whether living or not.
• Fix the 'subscript out of range' error if sorting a family with over 30 children.
• On the Birthday report, it would sometimes change the name of a female to the last name of a fiancee. Fixed.
• Added button to 'open with default picture program' to source picture screen.
• On the new 6th generation for the Ancestor chart display, it sometimes did not have the correct numbers. Fixed.
• On the Group sheet report, if printing Ancestors, it would sometimes not print the first person. Fixed.
• On the Group sheet, instead of just Husband or Wife, it will print Partner or Fiancee.

Aberdeen Presentation Sisters Working to Digitize Records

When Sister Kathleen Bierne received a recent call, she was surprised to hear that it was a former student of hers. "She said, 'I don't remember you, but my mother does.' And I had this image of a hovering mother over my shoulder," Bierne said with a laugh.

Bierne's student had used sister search on the Presentation Sisters' website to get in touch with her. It was added in 2008 as a part of a larger move by the convent to create a stronger digital presence. The sisters have about 120 years of archives.

Source & Full Story

Unlikely Heroes Keep Veterans' Names Alive in Hamilton County, Ohio

Thousands of old soldiers can rest easy tonight. Their names will not fade away. Their tombstones may crumble. Weeds may cover their graves. Records on film may turn to dust.

But Hamilton County veterans who fought for their country in every conflict from the Revolutionary War to World War I will not be forgotten. Their names and the exact location of their graves are now online.

Source & Full Story

25 April 2012

New York City History in 870,000 Images, All Online

The two men were discovered dead at the bottom of an elevator shaft in a 12-story Manhattan building, as if dumped there, one man sprawled on top of the other. The rare crime scene photograph from Nov. 24, 1915, is one of 870,000 images of New York City and its municipal operations now available to the public on the Internet for the first time.

The city Department of Records officially announced the debut of the photo database Tuesday. A previously unpublicized link to the images has been live for about two weeks.

Source & Full Story

24 April 2012

The National Archives of the UK Marks the Centenary of Inheriting COPY 1 Records

A commemorative event at Stationers' Hall today marks 100 years since The National Archives inherited the collection of photographs and artwork which makes up the COPY 1 record series.

The National Archives' collections will be exhibited and reunited with earlier records from the Stationers' Hall for the first time in a century. The collection includes more than 150,000 commercial posters and labels and over 250,000 photographs dating from the middle of the 19th century to the early 20th century.

Source & Full Story

Oldest Written Documents in Estonia Uploaded

A project to digitize the oldest parchment documents in the country is now complete. The State Archives, Tallinn City Archive and History Museum led the effort, which started in 2010.

The documents contain information valuable to studying the history of settlement and agriculture in medieval and post-Renaissance Estonia as well as political, military and cultural history, said the institutions.

Source & Full Story

16th Century Grave Boasts Malabar's Columbus Connection

Other than being his original destination, the only nostalgic connection India might have with Christopher Columbus is an eroded gravestone currently lying abandoned in the compound of the Murals Museum here.

A team of researchers who deciphered the inscriptions on it have discovered that it was the grave of Filipe Perestrelo da Mesquita, a vicar and schoolteacher, who died in 1595 at Kodungallur, a well-known European settlement in the Malabar coast.

Source & Full Story

Archives Digitize 19th Century Materials for 21st Century Access

The Victorian era has become ridiculously popular in the new millennium. Between costume drama in film and steampunk in print and video games, the dawn of the the modern technological age has captured the popular imagination. It has captured the scientific imagination as well, however, as two recent events indicate.

Gale/Cenage, publisher of research resources for libraries, schools and businesses, has announced the launch of Nineteenth Century Collections Online, a multiyear global digitization program.

Source & Full Story

Portrait of WWI Digger Back in the Frame After 25 Years Missing in Action

It has been missing in action for more than 25 years, but this historic portrait of an Australian soldier couldn't have resurfaced at a better time. Dressed in a World War One uniform, this photograph would make a beautiful addition to its' owners mantle piece in time for Anzac Day.

The only problem is, no one knows who the man is or who the photograph belongs to. "A gentleman just walked in one day and asked for a quote to restore it and he never came back for it,'' Hollywood Studios owner Ray Schembri said.

Source & Full Story

Genes Reveal Secrets of Ancient Peruvian Families

Genetic analyses of individuals buried in funereal monuments near a volcano in southern Peru have revealed the family relationships and burial traditions of ancient Peruvians that lived before Christopher Columbus sailed to the Americas.

The ancient Peruvians buried their dead in "chullpas," structures resembling vertical tombs, which can be up to 6.5 feet high. Researchers hadn't known how the individuals buried within one chullpa were related.

Source & Full Story

Are You Related to Uma Thurman?

Thurman was born on April 29, 1970, in Boston to Nena von Schlebrügge and Robert Thurman, and grew up mostly in Amherst, Massachusetts and Woodstock, New York.

Thurman's father, Robert Alexander Farrar Thurman (b. August 3, 1941), was born in New York City, to Elizabeth Dean (Farrar), a stage actress, and Beverly Reid Thurman, Jr., an Associated Press editor and United Nations translator.

Uma Thurman's mother, Nena von Schlebrügge, was a model born in Mexico City in 1941. Thurman's maternal grandfather was Colonel Baron Friedrich Karl Johannes von Schlebrügge, a German military officer.

Uma Thurman's Family Tree

23 April 2012

Some New GeneaNet Online Family Tree Options

Some new options have been added to your GeneaNet Online Family Tree:

- Some new display options have been added: Display day of week in events date, Add an icon to identify Sosa-Stradonitz (Ahnentafel) numbered individuals on family tree pages, and Display individual in the list of siblings
- The 'Edit' menu now contains options to easily edit your genealogy data
- A new 'Edit Individual' icon has been added
- A new 'Archive' section has been added to the 'History of Updates'
- The 'Archival Record' upload form is now auto-filled.

Continue reading...

20 April 2012

World War I Veteran’s Tombstone “Dug Up” from Jonesboro, Arkansas, Cemetery

Once a month, Bobbie Hindman tends to the gravesite of her uncle, a World War I veteran who died 56 years ago. Claud Hindman received a bronze-plated monument denoting his service, but his niece discovered it missing from the Strawfloor Cemetery while recently paying her respects.

"It makes me feel better just to go out there and know that they're there and everything," Bobbie Hindman said. "When I went out there and found out his tombstone was gone, I was disappointed. I really wanted to cry, and I thought that wouldn't do no good. That won't bring it back."

Source & Full Story

Genealogy Tool Kit Published by Foundation for the National Archives (U.S.)

The Foundation for the National Archives announces the publication of the Genealogy Tool Kit: Getting Started on Your Family History at the National Archives, written by National Archives genealogy archives specialist John P. Deeben.

This 160-page step-by-step guide was published by the Foundation and launched in April 2012 to coincide with the celebration of the National Archives' release of the 1940 U.S. Census.

Source & Full Story

WWII Spitfire Pilot Sgt William Smith Laid To Rest

The body of an Australian World War II Spitfire pilot whose remains were found in a French field last year has finally been buried in northern France. Sgt William Smith was buried with full military honours at a service near Cassel attended by his 84-year-old brother Bert and other family members.

It was thought Sgt Smith, who was based in Surrey, was shot down over the Channel off Dover by an enemy pilot. But his remains were discovered in a French field by a Sussex historian.

Source & Full Story

Use of QR Code Tombstone Technology Is Expanding

Monument companies across the United States are starting to add the option for QR code tombstone technology to their offerings, changing the products available in that industry in a meaningful and significant way for the first time in many years.

For example, the Allen Monument Company in Crawfordsville, Indiana is now offering a patented form of QR code headstone called “Making Everlasting Memories”, which allows a family to use mobile technology to share the stories of their loved ones in a way that is comparable to social media.

Source & Full Story

19 April 2012

Obama's Father Among Secret Files on Kenyan Students

US officials complained Kenyan students were becoming "anti-white" in the year Barack Obama's father enrolled at university, previously secret files released at the National Archives in Kew reveal.

US President Barack Obama wrote with pride of his Kenyan father's studies in the US in his memoir Dream From My Father.

Source & Full Story

British Colonial Files Released Following Legal Challenge

Secret files from British colonial rule - once thought lost - have been released by the government, one year after they came to light in a High Court challenge to disclose them. Some of the papers cover controversial episodes: the Mau Mau uprising in Kenya, the evacuation of the Chagos Islands, and the Malayan Emergency.

They also reveal efforts to destroy and reclassify sensitive files. The Foreign Office says it is now releasing "every paper" it can. But academics say the Foreign Office's "failure" to deliver the archive for decades has created a "legacy of suspicion".

Source & Full Story

VGedX 1.07 Update Released

GEDCOM Tools - Windows - Freeware

VGedX 1.07 has been released.


• Changed MAP.LAT to MAP.LATI.

Transcript 2.4.1 build 89 beta Update Released

Transcriptions & Indexes - Windows - Freeware

Transcript 2.4.1 build 89 beta has been released.


• Support for multipage TIF images.
• Better Ghostscript (pdf) error handling and messages.
• Added info about multiple monitors if present to the About Info and crash Info.
• Fixed some bugs in the graphics library mostly concerning seldom used image formats.
• Better exception handling when loading images and give better warning messages when we can't load an image (out of memory, invalid or unsupported file format, etc.).

Second Site 4.2.2 Update Released

Web Publishing - Windows - Purchase

Second Site 4.2 has been released.


• Added the Search User Item, a search facility you can build-in to your site that will work on both online and CD/DVD/flash media.
• Added the One Person Script checkbox property; when checked, Second Site adds a script to each person page to make the page operate as if the site was configured for one person per page.
• Added the Find Items... button to search User Item titles and return a list of the titles that contain a match; you can edit the items via the list using F7, and leave the list visible while you work in the main window.

Continue reading...

LTools 1.3.27 Update Released

Other Tools - Windows - Freeware

LTools 1.3.27 has been released.


• Save/Restore Tags – new deluxe LTool which saves any of Legacy’s 9 individual tags to another location, virtually doubling the number of individual tags in Legacy.
• Advanced Tagging – Tag Living – added code to exclude individuals with blank first or last names, first or last names of ‘Unknown’, last names that include a ‘?’, and last names that are enclosed in parentheses.
• Run Raw SQL – permit ‘ALTER’ verb.
• Run Raw SQL – added canned UPDATE query “To-Do’s – Tag Ind’s with Closed To-Do’s”.
• Add To-Do’s – allows addition of ‘closed’ To-Do’s.

Legacy Family Tree Update Released

Full Featured - Windows - Purchase

Legacy Family Tree has been released.


• Census List Tool - A few more refinements.

DNA Tests Aim to Identify 17th Century Swiss Hero - and Killer - Jürg Jenatsch

Archaeologists have reopened a grave in Switzerland to see if DNA testing can confirm it contains the body of 17th century Swiss hero - and killer - Jürg Jenatsch.

Jenatsch is believed to be buried under the flagstones of Chur Cathedral in eastern Switzerland. A body purporting to be his was already exhumed in 1959 by the anthropologist Erik Hug, who identified him on the basis of the clothing and the large blow to the skull.

Source & Full Story

18 April 2012

Waltham Forest, England - History Group Criticises Cemetery Charges

The Waltham Forest Family History Society has raised concerns about "extortionate" council fees to look up burial records at the borough's cemeteries.

The organisation was shocked when one of its members asked a member of staff for help locating a grave and was told they would have to pay £38, even though they had a date of death and death certificate.

Source & Full Story

Lionel Richie's Ancestor Born to a Slave

Singer Lionel Richie was left awestruck after discovering his great-grandfather was born to a slave and her white plantation owner while tracing his family history on U.S. show Who Do You Think You Are on Friday.

Richie was blown away by the findings as he travelled back to his hometown of Tuskegee, Alabama to trace his roots on the documentary programme. The star's great-grandfather John Lewis Brown was born to a servant named Mariah and her white Cumberland River plantation owner, Morgan W. Brown.

Source & Full Story

U.S. Marks Second Victory Over British in War of 1812

A parade of naval vessels and square-rigged sailing ships made their way on Tuesday up the Mississippi River to New Orleans under threatening skies, kicking off a national bicentennial commemoration of U.S. victory in the War of 1812.

Often called the second War of Independence, the conflict is best known because much of Washington, including the White House, was burned by the British before the United States prevailed.

Source & Full Story

Company Using New Tombstone Technology

Randy Allen says in the 17 years that he's owned the Allen Monument Company in Crawfordsville, Indiana, the business of memorializing loved ones hasn't changed much. Until now."We're now using the QR codes, and it's a way for the family to share their loved ones' stories," Allen said.

Allen said his is the only monument company in the state authorized to install these new QR codes on headstones, working with technology patented by "Making Everlasting Memories " that makes the memorial almost like a form of social media.

Source & Full Story

New Document Rekindles Debate About Samuel de Champlain's Birthplace

Canadian historians say the discovery of French explorer Samuel de Champlain's baptism certificate helps solve in part the mystery surrounding the birth of the navigator know as the Father of New France.

French genealogist Jean-Marie Germe recently found documents that he believes prove that Champlain was baptized in La Rochelle, France, on Aug. 13, 1574. He found the information in the protestant registry of the Saint Yon temple in La Rochelle.

Source & Full Story

Research Suggests 'Dracula' May Have Been Inspired by Bram Stoker's Irish Ancestry

The historian, Fiona Fitzsimons, has been studying the Dublin-born author's family tree since November, ahead of the centenary of his death on Friday. She has traced and documented Stoker's direct descent from Manus "the Magnificent" O'Donnell - an Irish clan leader who led a rebellion against Henry VIII in the 16th century.

The O'Donnell family is one of Ireland's oldest and most powerful families, dating back to the 11th century. Ms Fitzsimons says her research shows that Stoker himself knew of these family connections and was influenced by them when he wrote his best known novel.

Source & Full Story

Study Reveals 'Extraordinary' DNA of People in Scotland

The DNA of people living in Scotland has "extraordinary" and "unexpected" diversity, according to a new study. The Scotland's DNA project, led by Edinburgh University's Dr Jim Wilson, has tested almost 1,000 Scots in the last four months to determine the genetic roots of people in the country.

The project discovered four new male lineages, which account for one in 10 Scottish men. It also found that actor Tom Conti is related to Napoleon Bonaparte.

Source & Full Story

17 April 2012

Update from Ireland Genealogy Projects Archives

Ireland Genealogy Projects Archives has tweaked its search engine to facilitate easier searching of its extensive website. As a result, researchers can now make a search of a specific county from each County's Table of Contents page. It is also possible to search headstones from the Headstone Table of Contents from each county.

Additionally, either of these searches, or a full site search, can be made from a new dedicated search page. And some files have been added in the first half of this month.

Source & Full Story

A Listed WWI Hangar in Wiltshire, England, Is To Be Demolished

An "exceptionally rare" WWI hangar at a former RAF base in Wiltshire has been approved for demolition by the council. The grade II* listed building at RAF Yatesbury was due to be restored as part of a £3m scheme in 2008.

Development was stopped due to "funding issues" and after partially collapsing, it is in an "exceptionally poor state", said English Heritage. In a letter to the council it said demolition was "clearly contrary to the existing permission".

Source & Full Story

Service Held for Rediscovered WWII Diggers

A memorial service has been held in Sydney for two World War II soldiers whose identities remained a mystery for nearly 70 years. Lieutenant Scobbell McFerran-Rogers and Private John Whitworth were members of the Z Special Unit, a special forces unit made up of allied soldiers.

The pair died in June 1945 while on a mission to rescue two United States airmen whose plane went down in the Netherlands East Indies, now Indonesia. The body of a Timorese interpreter named Roestan who worked with the unit has also been identified.

Source & Full Story

16 April 2012

The Real Titanic Love Story

Though the grave of a real J. Dawson exists, and has proved boundless spectulation for Titanic history buffs, one Titanic passenger had a similar real-life love story to the fictionalized character Jack Dawson in James Camerons' movie.

Emilio Portaluppi was an Italian artist who changed his travel plans to join the Titanic at the last minute. He traveled as a second class passenger, according to new archival research into the elusive Titanic survivor.

Source & Full Story

Pittsburgh Iron and Steel Heritage Collection Now Online

Carnegie Library is unveiling the Pittsburgh Iron and Steel Heritage Collection -- a large digital archive of historic documents related to the city's steel, iron and coal production industries.

The collection, at, includes more than 500,000 pages of documents -- books, maps, photos, government documents, journals, sheet music and more. Some date to the 1880s.

Source & Full Story

Box at National Archives of Canada Yields High-Level Telegrams Sent after Ship’s Sinking

New bits and pieces of RMS Titanic’s story of heroic love, tragedy and enduring mystery have surfaced from an old cardboard box at the National Archives of Canada.

A series of parched telegrams from then-prime minister Robert Borden, the governor general and the British colonial office, among others, tell of the sorrow and controversy in the days and weeks following the great ship’s collision with an iceberg off Newfoundland 100 years ago last night.

Source & Full Story

Rare Paul Revere Print Rediscovered

A donated collection of books once belonging to a member of the Brown University Class of 1773 included a piece of history tucked inside one of the volumes: an exceptionally rare engraved print by Paul Revere. Brown’s copy of the print, depicting Jesus and John the Baptist in the Jordan River, is one of only five known to exist.

Leafing through a donated collection once belonging to physician Solomon Drowne, Class of 1773, Marie Malchodi of the University Library’s Preservation Department was finding signs of previous ownership everywhere

Source & Full Story

Bodleian and Vatican Digitise 1.5 Million Ancient Texts

Oxford's Bodleian Libraries and the Vatican's Biblioteca Apostolica plan to digitise 1.5 million ancient texts to make them available online. The two libraries announced the four-year project after receiving a £2m award from the Polonsky Foundation.

Dr Leonard Polonsky said his aim was to ensure researchers and the public have free access to historic and rare texts. Greek manuscripts, 15th Century printed books and Hebrew early printed books and manuscripts will be digitised.

Source & Full Story

Ancestors of Michelle Obama in the 1940 Census

By Megan Smolenyak: "When it comes to the 1940 census that was launched online a couple of weeks ago, some of us are luckier than others when we spot our family members, and that's certainly the case with First Lady Michelle Obama.

Mrs. Obama has classic, Great Migration roots extending to at least 11 states, and three of them are represented in one house in the 1940 census in Chicago. In fact, three generations of her family can all be seen living together in a home that was roughly a decade old at the time."

Source & Full Story

Are You Related to Shirley Temple?

Shirley Jane Temple was born on April 23, 1928, in Santa Monica, California. She is the daughter of Gertrude Amelia Temple (née Krieger), a homemaker, and George Francis Temple, a bank employee. The family was of German, Dutch, and English ancestry.

She had two brothers, George Francis, Jr. and John Stanley. Mrs. Temple encouraged her infant daughter's singing, dancing, and acting talents, and in September 1931 enrolled her in Meglin's Dance School in Los Angeles, California. About this time, she began styling Shirley's hair in ringlets similar to those of silent film star Mary Pickford.

Shirley Temple's Family Tree

GeneaNet 'Guest' and 'Admin' Access Rights

'Guest' and 'Admin' Access Rights are available in your GeneaNet Public Online Family Tree (GeneWeb).

- Private data in your family tree is available (read only) to members with 'Guest' Access Rights.

- Members with 'Admin' Access Rights can edit your genealogy data.

Continue reading...

13 April 2012

Historical Exhibition Handed Over to Seychelles National Archives

The Seychelles historical exhibition, Les Seychelles: des isles... des homes, has been officially handed over to the Seychelles Archives department. The exhibition, put together by the French author, Richard Touboul, after extensive research works in the French Archives, is now part of the historical documents of the Seychelles National Archives.

The official handing over of the exhibition’s official documents was made by the French Ambassador to the Seychelles, Mr. Phillipe Delacroix to the Seychelles Minister responsible for Tourism and Culture Mr. Alain St.Ange.

Source & Full Story

Date Finder 1.1 Update Released

PDAs and Handhelds - Purchase

Date Finder 1.1 has been released.


• Fixed bug in Date/Age Picker.

12 April 2012

Timeline 0.5 Update Released

Timeline - Windows, Mac, Linux - Freeware/Open Source

Timeline 0.5 has been released.


• Fixed: Issues with linkification.
• Added: Better Twitter error handling.

RootsMagic Update Released

Full Featured - Windows - Purchase

RootsMagic has been released.


• New: Added option to disable automatic thumbnail generation in Media Gallery.
• New: File > Data Tools > Reindex now removes phantom children and phantom events.
• Fixed: Switching between filters in "Who Was There" report sometimes didn't clear the previous people.
• Fixed: Unmarking "Living" checkbox on Add Person screen sometimes didn't carry over to Edit Person.
• Fixed: Tab key in Media Properties screen doesn't skip description field anymore.
• Fixed: Prefix and suffix now show in Media Tag list now.

Legacy Family Tree Update Released

Full Featured - Windows - Purchase

Legacy Family Tree has been released.


• Sources - Fixed a problem with the 1940 source template.

Geves 2.1.1 Update Released

Full Featured - Windows - Purchase

Geves 2.1.1 has been released.


• Standard Edition is now available as a free unlimited download.

GedView 3.2.6 Update Released

PDAs and Handhelds - Purchase

GedView 3.2.6 has been released.


• Reports now use a Sans-Serif font.
• Support _Contact as used by Genopro.
• Download limit over mobile/cell network increase to 50 Meg.
• Fixed gedcom export error with addresses where only a city, state, country were entered + handle importing such errors.

Bee Docs' Easy Timeline 1.3 Update Released

Timeline - Mac - Purchase

Bee Docs' Easy Timeline 1.3 has been released.


• New: Share > iBooks Author Widget allows you to create an interactive widget to use within custom e-books.
• Improved: Images added to events are now stored at a higher resolution (max size 1808 x 1010 pixels)
• Improved: Improvements to support HiDPI display settings.
• Fixed: Crashing bug during save in pre-Lion versions of Mac OS X.
• Fixed: Event notes and titles with certain special characters now display properly in web export.

Canada - Battle of Vimy Ridge Marked 'The Birth of a Nation'

The Battle of Vimy Ridge marked "the birth of a nation" for Canada, says the Governor General. David Johnston, a Canadian delegation of politicians and 5,000 students gathered at the Canadian National Vimy Memorial in France Monday afternoon to commemorate the 95th anniversary of the surprising and striking victory for Canada's military.

The brutal Easter Monday battle killed more than 3,500 Canadians and wounded scores more but was a turning point for the Allies in the First World War and a key moment in Canada's military identity.

Source & Full Story

French WWII Resistance Hero Raymond Aubrac Dies Aged 97

One of the leading figures of the French resistance against the Nazis, Raymond Aubrac, has died aged 97, his family says. His daughter said he had died at Val de Grace military hospital in Paris on Tuesday evening.

Raymond Aubrac and his late wife Lucie became important members of Jean Moulin's underground Resistance movement in 1942. Aubrac was arrested in June 1943 with Moulin, who died after torture.


10 April 2012

Bones Flesh Out Catalina Island's History

The curator of the Catalina Island Museum opened the door to a musty backroom a few weeks ago hoping to find material for an upcoming exhibit on the World War II era. Closing the door behind him, he trudged down a narrow aisle lined with storage boxes and bins filled with gray photocopies of old letters, civic records, celebrity kitsch -- and dust.

"No luck," curator John Boraggina muttered. The images, Boraggina soon realized, came from a time 90 years ago that many on Santa Catalina Island had forgotten -- or tried to forget.

Source & Full Story

Newly-Discovered Picture Taken by Amateur Photographer, 15, Shows Gleaming Liner Leaving Southampton on Fateful Journey

The 'Unsinkable Ship' setting sail for her fateful maiden voyage a century ago is an image those who waved her off will never forget. But while the enduring memory of the Titanic is of the famous liner sinking into the North Atlantic, one man captured a rare snapshot of the moment she set off on her one and only journey.

Sailing smoothly through the waves just off Southampton, this 100-year-old photograph shows the doomed boat taking to the icy seas on April 10th, 1912. It was captured by then 15-year-old Elliot Brown.

Source & Full Story

Photo in Ad Solves Civil War Mystery

Karen Thatcher knew when she saw it that a photograph of a tintype of a young Confederate soldier was of David Miller Thatcher, her husband Larry Thatcher’s great-great uncle, who died in the Civil War in 1863.

“It was the hands,” she said, looking at an array of 10 tintypes of Civil War soldiers that appeared in an ad for the Library of Congress in the March 4 edition of The Washington Post.

Source & Full Story

The New York Public Library Digitizes Thousands of Early American Historic Documents

Thousands of historical documents at The New York Public Library – including material handwritten by George Washington and Thomas Jefferson and papers from authors such as Mark Twain – will soon be accessible to the public online, thanks in large part due to a generous gift of $500,000 from The Polonsky Foundation.

The project, which began in January and will continue through 2014, will digitize documents from the Thomas Addis Emmet Collection, located within the Manuscripts and Archives Division, and almost all the papers of several major American authors.

Source & Full Story

Are You Related to David Letterman?

Letterman was born on April 12, 1947, in Indianapolis, Indiana. His father, Harry Joseph Letterman (April 1915 – February 1973), was a florist of British descent; his mother Dorothy Letterman (née Hofert, now Dorothy Mengering), a Presbyterian church secretary of German descent, is an occasional figure on the show, usually at holidays and birthdays.

Letterman lived on the north side of Indianapolis (Broad Ripple area), not far from Speedway, IN, and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

David Letterman's Family Tree

9 April 2012

The GeneaNet 'Email Alert by Individual'

GeneaNet has a powerful feature called 'Email Alert by Individual'.

Club Privilege members can receive accurate emails that aggregate the latest entries by name (with alternate spelling), first name (with alternate spelling), place, year, occupation and spouse.

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

Continue reading...

6 April 2012

Messiah College’s Murray Library (Grantham, Pennsylvania) to Receive $.5 Million Grant to Digitize Documents

Messiah College’s Murray Library recently announced that they are in the final stage of receiving a $500,000 grant to digitize some of the library's archives.

The college applied for the grant through Pennsylvania’s Office of Commonwealth Libraries, with a proposal focusing on “digitizing early documents surrounding the founding of the denomination and several of its institutions, including Messiah College, overseas missions, and the Evangelical Visitor,” an 1880's Christian magazine.

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Singapore To Drive Road Through Historic Cemetery

Bukit Brown is the kind of place that could be easily missed in skyscraper-filled Singapore. Bordered by a major highway and several major roads, this 90-year-old cemetery sits in a peaceful, green pocket almost in the centre of the bustling city state.

Believed to be the largest Chinese cemetery outside China, it hosts about 100,000 graves - many belonging to Singapore's pioneering immigrants and war heroes. But now the place of repose is in the spotlight. The government wants to build an eight-lane road through a part of it.

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American Digital Public Library Promised for 2013

An American digital public library of over two million books will be in place by next April, according to scholar, author and Harvard University librarian Robert Darnton.

Professor Darnton, speaking at Columbia Law School earlier this week, made the public promise that the Digital Public Library of America, a non-profit initiative first dreamed up in October 2010, "will be up and running by April 2013, and its initial holdings will include at least two million books in the public domain".

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Canadian Town with Most Titanic Graves Still Feels the Pain

Among the graves of Fairview Lawn Cemetery, there is one that was a magnet for bouquets and weeping girls in the 1990s. The name on the tombstone: J. Dawson.

Jack Dawson, you will recall, is the name of the character played by Leonardo DiCaprio in the 1997 film “Titanic.” And this cemetery is the final resting place of more victims of the Titanic than any other.

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5 April 2012

Solved: Mystery of Ashes Washed Up in an Urn on U.S. Coast and the English Master Gardener Who Came to America in 1922

The mystery of a 90-year-old urn filled with ashes found washed up on a beach may have been solved - and descendents may have been found. The large, dented copper urn, engraved with 'William George Kennedy 1870-1925', was found on the Oregon coast by a 17-year-old.

Alex Reed, who made the discovery while climbing over rocks along the seafront, contacted an Astoria funeral director to ask for help. Now they believe they have traced a great granddaughter of Mr Kennedy living in England who is 'thrilled' with the discovery, ABC News reported.

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How Many Soldiers Died in the US Civil War?

A study suggests a previously widely accepted death toll of the US Civil War may actually be way under the mark. How many did perish in this conflict, fought before the era of modern record-keeping and DNA identification?

Now, it appears a long-held estimate of the war's death toll could have undercounted the dead by as many as 130,000. That is 21% of the earlier estimate - and more than twice the total US dead in Vietnam.

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The Next Generation of Genealogy Sitebuilding 9.0.2 Update Released

Web Publishing - Windows, Mac, Linux - Purchase

The Next Generation of Genealogy Sitebuilding 9.0.2 has been released.


• Branches: Names on the page showing which people belonged to the selected branch were being abbreviated (fixed).
• Cemeteries: The rounded corners on the map were not showing properly in some browsers (fixed).
• Cemeteries: Cemetery notes displayed as part of map bubbles were sometimes malformed (fixed).
• Citations: The form used to locate sources when adding a new ciatation would not work if the user pasted in the search criteria and then submitted the form (fixed).
• Export: The proprietary Zoom and Place Level values will now be exported with a full-tree export.

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Your Family Tree 1.9 Update Released

PDAs and Handhelds - Freeware

Your Family Tree 1.9 has been released.


• You can preview each issue before purchase.
• Minor performance enhancements.
• You can now print via AirPrint.

Transcript 2.4.0 build 88 Update Released

Transcriptions & Indexes - Windows - Freeware

Transcript 2.4.0 build 88 has been released.


• Added an option to hide all toolbars including menu to maximize the working area.
• Added an optional image highlighter/ruler which can be turned on/off from menu View, Show highlighter. Only available in the Pro version.
• Zoom in/out for images now centers the zoom around the mouse cursor.
• Added superscript and subscript buttons to the editor toolbar.
• Change editor background color when editor is in readonly mode.
• Finnish translation of the gui.
• Some fixes.

The Complete Genealogy Reporter 2012 beta build 110403 Update Released

Family Books - Windows - Shareware

The Complete Genealogy Reporter 2012 beta build 110403 has been released.


• Fixed: Grammar in PDF Bookmarks tree of German reports (now "Indirekte Beziehungen" instead of "Indirekte beziehungen").
• Fixed: When importing using "Default Media Folder" the images are now correctly found in the specified folder.

The Complete Genealogy Builder 2012 beta build 110403 Update Released

Full Featured - Windows - Shareware

The Complete Genealogy Builder 2012 beta build 110403 has been released.


• Fixed: When importing using "Default Media Folder" the images are now correctly found in the specified folder.

Shoebox 1.2.3 Update Released

PDAs and Handhelds - Freeware

Shoebox 1.2.3 has been released.


• Improves reliability of uploads.

MobileFamilyTree Pro 1.1.5 Update Released

PDAs and Handhelds - Purchase

MobileFamilyTree Pro 1.1.5 has been released.


• Performance improved.
• Several user interface improvements.
• GEDCOM import and export vastly improved.
• Tree chart improved.
• Several crash bugs fixed.

MacFamilyTree 6.2.9 Update Released

Full Featured - Mac - Purchase

MacFamilyTree 6.2.9 has been released.


• Fixed a bug preventing images to show up correctly.

4 April 2012

LTools 1.3.26 Update Released

Other Tools - Windows - Freeware

LTools 1.3.26 has been released.


• Data Bridge – added: – World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918 (commissioned by Jay Wilpolt)
• Data Bridge – placeholders in the form {?…?} will prompt the user to enter a substitution value.
• Find Unattached Multimedia – for multimedia files that exist in multiple folders, error message will now read “Possible Duplicate” instead of “Wrong Folder”.

Legacy Family Tree Update Released

Full Featured - Windows - Purchase

Legacy Family Tree has been released.


• Census List Tool - We needed to add a new tabbed interface for all of the new features and options we have added. Lot's of work has been done and and we think you will love all the new features and options. Enjoy.
• Census List Tool Webinar - If you missed the live webinar please take the time to watch a recording of the Census Tool Webinar (click here to watch it).
• Book Reports - Title Pages - The border lines now match the Page Setup settings. Fixed.
• Book Reports - When adding Special Text Entries, the Title of the entry now shows in the Contents List (instead of just "Special Text Entry:"). Fixed.
• Chart Reports - Record Selection setting (for example: print all records for a Focus Group) was reset to the individual after printing the report. Fixed.
• County Check Report - There was an error when saving the report options. Fixed.
• Family Group Record - When using the Page x of y numbering format, the Bibliography should be numbered with it. Fixed.
• FamilySearch - Changed the 95 year rule to be 110 years as requested by FamilySearch. Fixed.

Families for Android 1.5.1 Update Released

PDAs and Handhelds - Purchase

Families for Android 1.5.1 has been released.


• Bug fixes.

Brother's Keeper 6.5.8 Update Released

Full Featured - Windows - Purchase

Brother's Keeper 6.5.8 has been released.


• (changed) It can show 6 generations on the screen for ancestor chart if 1024 by 768 or larger.
• (fixed) On the Edit screen, if adding a spouse in place of a 'not entered' spouse, and you pick an existing person, it was adding the marriage events to the first spouse not the current spouse.
• (changed) When you create a gedcom file, the program will also make a file called BKGedcomPicMedia.TXT with a list of needed pictures and media files.
• (fixed) In the utility to compare two databases, the right side was not showing the "primary" spouse if one was designated.
• (fixed) When you add a child's last name using CTRL+Enter the program will move the cursor to end of name.
• (changed) The Source select screen and the source edit screen are larger if you are using 1024 by 768 screen size.

All Ancestors Report 2.1.14 Update Released

Other Tools - Windows - Freeware

All Ancestors Report 2.1.14 has been released.


• Changes to aar2.css and aar.xsl to display images with a border and shadow.
• Other maintenance changes.

Agelong Tree 4.3 build 25.03 Update Released

Full Featured - Windows - Shareware

Agelong Tree 4.3 build 25.03 has been released.


• A few bugs have been fixed.

Historians Find Rare Photo of Black Soldier

Illinois historians have obtained a photograph that looks ordinary but is extremely rare, the image of an African-American man who fought in the Civil War. The picture shows Nathan Hughes decades after the war, when he was a respected farmer in northern Illinois.

The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library announced the find Tuesday. The library has only one other photo of a black Civil War soldier, and his name is a mystery. The faded photo of Hughes was taken around 1900.

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Ireland’s Earliest Police Records from 1724 Go Online

Irish police records dating back from 1724 have been digitized and are now available online. The records are from the parish of St. John’s in Dublin and have been made available by the Church of Ireland's Representative Church Body (RCB) Library.

The records are comprised of two account books dating from 1724-1785 and seven registers dating from 1765 to 1780. They offer details of crimes committed in the area and the sentences handed down, as well as the names of constables and watchmen.

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3 April 2012

The Exotic Down and Outs of Victorian London Captured on Camera in the 1870s

In the frantic pace of modern life, it is often easy to forget what life was once like for those who built the world we now live in. These fascinating black and white pictures taken by photographer John Thompson show the reality of existence in the 1800s when photography was in its infancy.

In 1876 he set out with writer Adolphe Smith and together the pair spoke to people and the shots were later published in magazine, Street Life in London. The pictures, now stored at the Bishopsgate Institute, capture the lives of street beggars, chimney sweeps, street doctors and market sellers among many others.

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Interest in 1940 US Census Paralyzes National Archive Website, with Millions of User 'Hits'

Interest in the newly released 1940 U.S. census is so great that the government website with the information was nearly paralyzed shortly after the records became available to the public for the first time.

Miriam Kleiman, spokeswoman for the U.S. National Archives, told The Associated Press that the site registered more than 22 million hits in just four hours on Monday, from almost 2 million users.

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2 April 2012

Possible 16th Century Chapel Unearthed in Marlow, England

Historical detectives may have uncovered evidence of a 16th century chapel at a public park in Marlow. Members of the Marlow Archaeological Society, excavating Rookery Park, have found a chalk block wall at the site which may date back to the 1500s.

The group set out primarily to find out more about a 'significant' 18th century farm – which may actually date back much further – and a house built in 1850 and demolished in the 1960s.

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Forgotten Photographs Give a Rare and Fascinating Insight into 19th Century City Life in Britain

A curious photo archivist from Newcastle stumbled on an amazing treasure trove of street photographs which capture the city's Victorian residents going about their daily lives. Aaron Guy, who works at Newcastle's Mining Institute, discovered the 300-image collection of early glass negatives after peering into a long-forgotten box.

He was moving some old furniture for the Society of Antiquaries when the innocuous container caught his eye.

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1940 Census Release Is 'Super Bowl For Genealogists'

A sort of national treasure is scheduled to be revealed Monday: In April 1940, 120,000 census takers spread out across America to take an inventory of its residents. Now that the legally mandated 72 years have passed, we finally get to see the names, addresses, jobs and salaries of all the people who were counted.

This lifting of the veil takes place every 10 years, but William Maury, chief historian at the U.S. Census Bureau, says this census offers some particularly interesting information.

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Are You Related to Bette Davis?

Ruth Elizabeth Davis, known from early childhood as "Betty", was born on April 5, 1908, in Lowell, Massachusetts, the daughter of Ruth Augusta "Ruthie" (née Favor) and Harlow Morrell Davis, a patent attorney; her sister, Barbara "Bobby", was born October 25, 1909.

The family was Protestant, of English, French, and Welsh ancestry. In 1915, Davis's parents separated and Betty and Bobby attended a Spartan boarding school called Crestalban in Lanesborough, which is located in the Berkshires. In 1921, Ruth Davis moved to New York City with her daughters, where she worked as a portrait photographer.

Bette Davis' Family Tree

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

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

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

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

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