Genealogy Blog

31 October 2012

Graveyards in Parking Lots

On Google Sightseeing: "To mark Halloween this year, we’re visiting some unusual burial places. While it is common for cemeteries to have parking lots, you might think it unlikely that the reverse would happen. However, there are a surprising number of graveyards in parking lots across North America."

Source & Photos

Genealogy Software Updates of the Week

Arlington National Cemetery Explorer 1.0.2 (Mobile - Freeware)

• Improved search workflows.
• Bug fixes.
• Updated data.
• Updated to iOS 6.

GRAMPS 3.4.2 (Full Featured - Linux - Freeware/Open Source)

• Some fixes on NarrativeWeb report.
• Some fixes on book report.
• Improvement on database path interface and user’s preferences.
• Better support for media links on Gedcom file format.
• Fix possible incorrect family relations on Gedcom file format.
• Various fixes on citation records.
• Fix and improve places handling on Geography views.

iScrapbook 4.0.0 (Family Pictures - Mac - Purchase)

• New: Overhauled user interface for a more modern look and improved efficiency.
• New: Add text along the path of any shape.
• New: Add customizable reflections to any graphic, shape or text box.
• New: Add movies to scrapbook pages.
• New: Add audio to scrapbook pages.
• New: Social network sharing (Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, etc.).
• New: Save a scrapbook page as desktop wallpaper.
• New: View iPhoto events in built-in photo browser.
• New: Search iPhoto photos by name, keyword, date, rating as a whole instead of independently.
• New: Lion fullscreen support.

TimeFlyer 2.5 (Timeline - Mac - Purchase)

• TimeFlyer no longer uses a fixed one-page-high timeline. Now adds pages to fit the events.
• Performance: far faster with hundreds or thousands of events.
• OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion compatibility.
• Retina icons.
• New app icon.

Historic Markers Destroyed at Old Hillside Cemetery in Laurinburg, North Carolina

This was more than just some Halloween prank, city officials said. Vandals have damaged and destroyed some of the oldest grave stones at Old Hillside Cemetery in Laurinburg.

Discovered last week, the damage to more than five historic cemetery markers is likely irreparable, according to Laurinburg Cemetery Supervisor Rodney Byrd. “Somebody went in there and busted up old tombstones, many of which can’t be fixed or repaired,” Byrd said.

Source & Full Story

Secret Cemetery Discovered In Meridianville, Alabama

Workers make a shocking discovery while digging on the site of the Madison County Executive Airport runway expansion project, unearthing a previously unknown graveyard.

The unnamed cemetery holds the remains of four adults and 11 children, according to experts with the University of Alabama Office of Archaeological Research. The graves were found on a grassy hill near where the Meridianville Bottom Road was being moved to as workers clear way for the runway expansion.

Source & Full Story

National Archives of Malaysia To Recover Country's Pre-1800 Historical Records

The National Archives of Malaysia is on a mission to recover records on the country's history dating back before the year 1800, of which many are currently kept in foreign countries, especially in India.

Its director-general Daresah Ismail said this effort could help to enlighten the people on the history during that era, as the historical records kept by the Naational Archives at the moment were mostly after the year 1800.

Source & Full Story

1st National Monument for War Dogs Honors Four-Legged Pup Soldiers of World War II and Beyond

The act of Congress is in the books, the bills are paid, the sculptures are being cast, and one of the biggest parades in the world will start a glory tour and countdown to dedication.

The first national monument to pay tribute to military dogs will be unveiled in California in just two months. The U.S. Working Dog Teams National Monument will honor every dog that has served in combat since World War II.

Source & Full Story

Are You Related to Lavinia Warren?

The wife of General Tom Thumb, Warren was born October 31, 1841 at Middleborough, Massachusetts as Mercy Lavinia Warren Bump, a descendant of a French Catholic family named Bonpasse, of Governor Thomas Mayhew, and five Mayflower passengers: John Billington, Francis Cooke, Edward Doty, Stephen Hopkins, and Richard Warren — New England families which intermarried many-times over.

Lavinia Warren's Family Tree

30 October 2012

Extremely Rare 110-Year-Old American Motorcycle To Be Auctioned at Bonhams Las Vegas Sale

Bonhams announced the addition of a historic 1902 Rambler Model B from the Indian Motorcycle Museum to its Las Vegas Motorcycle Sale in January.

Manufactured by Colonel Albert Pope’s American Cycle Manufacturing Company of New York, the pioneering Rambler motorcycle is in extremely rare and original, unrestored condition. The motorcycle wears its original paint from 110 years ago.

Source & Full Story

18th-Century French and Spanish Records Shed New Light On United States history

A marathon project is under way in New Orleans to digitize thousands of time-worn 18th-century French and Spanish legal papers that historians say give the first historical accounts of slaves and free blacks in North America.

Yellowed page by yellowed page, archivists are scanning the 220,000 manuscript pages from the French Superior Council and Spanish Judiciary between 1714 and 1803 in an effort to digitize, preserve, translate and index Louisiana's colonial past and in the process help re-write American history.

Source & Full Story

Old Guard Stays on Site at Tomb of Unknowns Through Hurricane Sandy

Arlington National Cemetery has been closed to tourists as Hurricane Sandy approaches, but the Army continues to stand guard over the Tomb of the Unknowns. The Army's Third U.S. Infantry Regiment, known as The Old Guard, is responsible for guarding the tomb.

A spokesman for the regiment, Maj. John Miller, says that when the cemetery closes, the guard continues. But it's not the familiar, choreographed 21-pace guard that the public typically sees.

Source & Full Story

Are You Related to Grace Slick?

One of the lead singers of the rock groups The Great Society, Jefferson Airplane, Jefferson Starship, and Starship, Grace Barnett Wing was born October 30, 1939 in Evanston, Illinois, to Ivan W. Wing (1907–1987) and Virginia (née Barnett; 1910–1984), the latter a direct descendant of passengers of the Mayflower.

Grace Slick's Family Tree

29 October 2012

Are 10,000 Lost Warriors From Battle of Hastings Buried in This Field?

The site of where the Battle of Hastings has been commemorated for the last 1,000 years is in the wrong place, it has been claimed. Ever since the 1066 battle that led to the Norman Conquest, history has recorded the event as happening at what is now Battle Abbey in the East Sussex town.

But although some 10,000 men are believed to have been killed in the historic conflict, no human remains or artefects from the battle have ever been found at the location.

Source & Full Story

Rare WWII Tank Emerges From Mud In Poland

A rare World War II tank has been discovered under mud in the Warta river in eastern Poland. The British-made Valentine is a unique find since there are no other preserved examples anywhere in Europe. The tank which served in the Red Army is thought to have sunk in 1945 while crossing the frozen river.

Source & Full Story

Ned Kelly's Family To Receive Remains

Representatives of Ned Kelly's family will meet the Victorian government and the coroner's office to discuss the handover of the bushranger's remains.

Anthony Griffiths, whose great-grandmother was Kelly's sister, said the way was now clear for Kelly's remains to be returned to the family after an appeals period against their return passed two weeks ago without any appeal being lodged.

Source & Full Story

U.S. National Archives' Treasures Targeted By Thieves

American history is housed in the National Archives. Forty-four of them, spread all over the country. They contain documents, photos, maps, artifacts that go back to our founding fathers.

Every school kid knows about some of them: the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and Bill of Rights; but there are millions of others, from the patent for Michael Jackson's moonwalking shoes, to Benedict Arnold's loyalty oath.

Source & Full Story

Are You Related to Bob Younger?

Robert Ewing "Bob" Younger was a member of the James-Younger gang.

Born October 29, 1853 in Lee's Summit, Missouri, he was the thirteenth of fourteen children born to Henry Washington Younger and Bersheba Leighton Fristoe. He was only 8 when the Civil War broke out in 1861. He saw his father killed by Union soldiers and his home burned to the ground.

Bob Younger's Family Tree

GeneaNet - Did You Upload a Picture of Your Ancestors Headstones?

Did you know that GeneaNet offers you to upload and share pictures of headstones?

You can:

- Upload several pictures of the same headstone, for example a general view and some closer views to read the inscription.
- Index the name and date of persons who appear on it.
- Attach a picture of headstone to any individual in your GeneaNet family tree even if it's not your own picture.
- Search the GeneaNet database for pictures of headstones by name, first name, date and place.

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26 October 2012

Hear Thomas Edison (?) Scream Nursery Rhymes in Rare 1878 Recording

One of the oldest audio recordings of a musical performance — and possibly the oldest ever of an American voice — has been restored and is being heard for the first time publicly since it was recorded 134 years ago.

The audio, recorded on tin foil by Thomas Edison using one of his early phonographs, was made during a 1878 museum demonstration in St. Louis. The audio includes a man and a woman reciting nursery rhymes, bursts of laughter, and a cornet solo.

Source & Full Story

Don't Make Grave Mistakes When Cleaning Tombstones

When Brian Davis walks up to the tombstone of Thomas Barber, who died in 1886 at the age of 85, he knows the simple devices in his hands will make a difference. Barber's stone tablet features a cross near the top and is covered with dirt, lichens and mold in its spot near the treeline.

Davis sprays all sides with water, scrapes off the lichens with a broad Popsicle stick and rubs on the flat surfaces of the stone with a natural-bristle brush. "This is just water and a brush," he emphasizes, as significant dirt is removed.

Source & Full Story

Dysentery Epidemic Killed Many in the 1700s-1800s

In the 1700s-1800s, dysentery was a disease causing many deaths. In fact, in some areas in Sweden 90 percent of all deaths were due to dysentery during the worst outbreaks. A new doctoral thesis in history from the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, presents demographic and medical history of the disease.

Dysentery, or rödsot as it used to be called in Swedish, remains a major problem in developing countries. In the Western world, however, the disease is almost gone. Yet prior to the decline in infectious diseases among causes of death in the 1800s, Sweden was at times struck very hard by the disease, with catastrophic consequences.

Source & Full Story

'Irreplaceable' Nazi-Era Documents Stolen From Danish Archives

Two men have been arrested for stealing irreplaceable Second World War documents, concerning the Nazi occupation of Denmark, from the state archives over a period of several years.

The theft was discovered at the beginning of October and the two were arrested late Wednesday. "We have investigated the theft for about a month, and gained information and identified the two persons," deputy police commissioner Ove Bundgaard Larsen told Danish television.

Source & Full Story

Are You Related to Hillary Rodham Clinton?

Hillary Diane Rodham was born October 26, 1947 at Edgewater Hospital in Chicago, Illinois. Hugh Ellsworth Rodham (1911–1993), was the son of Welsh and English immigrants; he managed a successful small business in the textile industry. Her mother, Dorothy Emma Howell (1919–2011), was a homemaker of English, Scottish, French, French Canadian, and Welsh descent. Hillary grew up with two younger brothers, Hugh and Tony.

Hillary Rodham Clinton's Family Tree

25 October 2012

Are You Related to Richard E. Byrd?

Byrd was born October 25, 1888 in Winchester, Virginia. He was a descendant of one of the First Families of Virginia. His ancestors include planter John Rolfe and his wife Pocahontas, William Byrd II of Westover Plantation, who established Richmond, and Robert "King" Carter, a colonial governor.

He was a pioneering American aviator, polar explorer, and organizer of polar logistics.

Richard E. Byrd's Family Tree

24 October 2012

Genealogy Software Updates of the Week

Bee Docs' Easy Timeline 1.5 (Timeline - Mac - Purchase)

• Fixed: Event images would be lost during saving if original media was moved or deleted before the timeline was saved.

Families for Android 1.7.0 (Mobile - Purchase)

• Fix problem advertising Sync View address with Android 4.0+
• Fix problem with keyword search within Master Location List.
• Fix layout problem on some Android tablets.

Families for Legacy Family Tree 1.7.0 (Mobile - Purchase)

• Support iPhone 5.
• Add support for display and editing of Master Lists.

GedStar Pro for Android 2.4.0 (Mobile - Freeware)

• New side-by-side tree navigation for large tablets.
• Performance improvements.

GedView 3.4.1 (Mobile - Purchase)

• Basic supported added for shared events / facts as used by RootsMagic.
• Fixed support for _PLAC from RootsMagic. GedView will now correctly read the longitude / latitude for places if present.
• Fixed intermittent crash when selecting a tree and the upload server is enabled.
• Fixed pedigree tree crash.
• Fixed details view title position.

Irish Church Records 1.3 (Mobile - Freeware)

• Fixed occasional mixed up placeholders.
• Scroll to refresh with empty results bug fix.

MacFamilyTree 6.3 (Full Featured - Mac - Purchase)

• New: Research Assistant.
• New: Media Gallery.
• Built-In Document Scanning.
• Sandboxed for increased security.
• New Database browser.
• Redesigned Startup Window.
• Share Sheets for Reports and Charts (OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion only).
• Various chart improvements.
• Sources report improved.
• GEDCOM Import and Export improved.
• Several Bugfixes and minor other improvements.

MobileFamilyTree Pro 1.2 (Mobile - Purchase)

• New Research Assistant.
• New Media Gallery.
• GEDCOM Import and Export improved.
• Sources report improved.
• Several Bugfixes and minor other improvements.

Your Family Tree 2.2 (Mobile - Freeware)

• Improved support for iOS 6.
• Support for iPhone 5 display.
• Search for back issues enabled in many magazines.
• Support for new magazine features.
• Additional bug fixes and performance enhancements.

The Greatest Escapist: British Prisoner of War Fled Nazi Camp 200 Times To Meet His German Sweetheart

Like so many captured British soldiers in the Second World War, he tried constantly to escape. But despite crossing the wire over 200 times, Horace Greasley would always creep back in to captivity.

This incredible story of the young PoW sneaking out for snatched moments with his German sweetheart is testament to the enduring power of love amid the hatred and suffering of war.

Source & Full Story

Arlington National Cemetery Has Developed ANC Explorer

Arlington National Cemetery has developed ANC Explorer, an application that is available across common web browsers and on mobile smart phones. This app enables veterans, family members and the public to locate gravesites; generate front and back photos of a headstone or monument; and receive directions to those locations.

ANC Explorer

Historic Dublin Abbey Theatre’s Document Archives Get Published

The Abbey Theatre is partnering with National University Ireland, Galway to make the almost two million items in the Abbey’s archives available online. Digitising the theatre posters, prints, programmes, light, set, and costume designs, and audio files will take between three and four years, according to the Abbey Theatre’s website.

The digitisation process began in September on NUIG’s campus. A multidisciplinary team of NUIG’s researchers, students, archivists are currently working with the 1.8 million objects in the collection.

Source & Full Story

Ancient 'Bronte Chapel' Where Literary Sisters Were Baptised Is Desecrated by Stone Thieves

The 400-year-old chapel in which the Bronte sisters were baptised has been desecrated by stone thieves. Crowbar-wielding looters ripped up two 200-year-old burial slabs from the graveyard, wrenched stones from the chapel walls, and tore up part of the nearby Bronte Way footpath.

It is feared that they will have thrown away the irreplaceable marked gravestones when they realised they were among their haul of valuable York stone.

Source & Full Story

Are You Related to David Nelson?

Nelson was born October 24, 1936 in New York, USA. He was the elder son of bandleader/TV actor Ozzie Nelson and singer Harriet Hilliard and the older brother of singer Eric "Ricky" Nelson. Nelson, along with his brother and their parents, appeared on the long-running sitcom The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet in the 1950s and 1960s.

David Nelson's Family Tree

23 October 2012

Antoni Dobrowolski, Oldest Auschwitz Survivor, Dies

The oldest known survivor of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp has died aged 108 in Debno, north-west Poland, officials say. A teacher, Antoni Dobrowolski was imprisoned for giving secret lessons during Germany's occupation of Poland.

Mr Dobrowolski was arrested by the Gestapo and sent to the Nazi concentration camp in 1942. He was later transferred to the Gross Rosen and Sachsenhausen camps in Germany, before being freed in 1945.

Source & Full Story

Digital Newspaper Archive Hits 5M Pages Online

An effort to digitize the nation's historically significant newspapers is posting its 5 millionth page on a free searchable database online.

As of Monday, the Chronicling America project has posted 5 million pages from more than 800 newspapers in 25 states. The project was launched in 2007 by the Library of Congress and National Endowment for the Humanities with 32 state partners.

Source & Full Story

Are You Related to Johnny Carson?

Carson was born October 23, 1925 in Corning, Iowa to Homer Lloyd "Kit" Carson, a power company manager, and Ruth (Hook) Carson, who was of Irish descent. He grew up in the nearby towns of Avoca, Clarinda, and Red Oak in southwest Iowa before moving to Norfolk, Nebraska, at the age of eight.

At the age of twelve, Carson found a book on magic at a friend's house and immediately purchased a mail-order magician's kit. He debuted as "The Great Carsoni" at fourteen and was paid $3; many other performances at local picnics and country fairs followed.

Johnny Carson's Family Tree

22 October 2012

Six Ounces of Shrapnel Found in WWII Vet's Remains

World War II veteran Ronald Brown of Exeter, England, died last week at 94 and left behind a surprising war memento in his cremated remains: six ounces of metal shrapnel.

Brown was on a mission in France in 1944 when he stepped on a land mine and searing metal shrapnel became lodged in his leg, according to the BBC. The 21-year-old then crawled two miles to find help.

Source & Full Story

Are You Related to Bobby Fuller?

Born on October 22, 1942 in Baytown, Texas, Fuller moved as a small child to Salt Lake City, Utah where he remained until 1956, when he and his family moved to El Paso, Texas.

He was best known for his singles "I Fought the Law" and "Love's Made a Fool of You," recorded with his mid-1960s group, the Bobby Fuller Four.

Bobby Fuller's Family Tree

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19 October 2012

Saved from Dumpster: Amazing Map Collection Makes Librarians Tingle

A Mount Washington home slated for demolition yields a trove of maps, including one from 1592.The acquisition gives the city library one of the country's top five library map archives.

The discovery that real estate agent Matthew Greenberg made when he stepped inside a Mount Washington cottage will put the Los Angeles Public Library on the map. Stashed everywhere in the 948-square-foot tear-down were maps. Tens of thousands of maps.

Source & Full Story

Secrets of Medieval Manor Revealed In Widecombe-in-the-Moor, England

A Dartmoor community got together to uncover the remains of a ruined medieval manor and found evidence that its occupants once travelled as far as Moorish Spain.

More than 50 volunteers gathered in a bid to reveal the lost manor of North Hall in Widecombe-in-the-Moor. The once imposing site has been reduced to an overgrown moat and apple pound but its new owners are attempting to return it to some of its former glory.

Source & Full Story

Orleans County, New York - Vandals Hit Kendall Cemetery

Vandals struck a rural cemetery in Orleans County, toppling more than two dozen headstones over the weekend. Some of the grave markers are so old they are hard to read, but they represent a life lived in the close-knit town of Kendall.

The Beechwood Cemetery is off West Kendall Road in the town of Kendall. The cemetery is owned and maintained by the town and dates from the mid 1800s. Its residents include pioneers to that area of western New York. Sometime last week, vandals toppled 24 headstones, some beyond repair.

Source & Full Story

Are You Related to Buff Cobb?

Patrizia Cobb Chapman was born October 19, 1927 in Florence, Italy, to opera singer Frank Chapman, whose father was the ornithologist and pioneering writer of field guides Frank Michler Chapman, and playwright Elizabeth Cobb, whose father was the author and humorist Irvin S. Cobb.

With then-husband Mike Wallace, she host of one of television's first talk shows.

Buff Cobb's Family Tree

18 October 2012

Memorials for Our times?

Technological developments in the computer age sometimes come so thick and fast that it takes society a while to decide what to do with them.

One such development is the ‘QR’ (quick response) code. If you didn’t know what they were, you’ll certainly have seen them appearing lately on everything from bus shelters to breakfast cereal boxes.

Source & Full Story

Enough With the Famous Cousins Already!

By Megan Smolenyak: "In just the past week, we've been regaled with the supposedly startling revelations that: Halle Berry and Sarah Palin are cousins, Barack Obama and Mitt Romney are related, Justin Bieber, Avril Lavigne, Ryan Gosling and Celine Dion are all cousins.

My reaction to all this can probably best be summed up by this chapter title from my latest book: Barack Obama and Sarah Palin Are Related - *Yawn*"

Source & Full Story

American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee Global Archives - Miles of Documents Now Online

Imagine if the entirety of the Library of Alexandria, once a vast repertory of documents from the ancient world, had been digitized and preserved on the Internet before its destruction. Now imagine the digital collection had a function allowing users to search—and find—a single name.

That's what Georgette Bennett and Leonard Polonsky did. Then they provided a lead gift of $1 million to the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee Global Archives to enable the digitization of 1.8 million historic documents.

Source & Full Story

Are You Related to George C. Scott?

George Campbell Scott was born October 18, 1927 in Wise, Virginia, the son of Helena Agnes (née Slemp; 1904–1935) and George Dewey Scott (1902–1988). His mother died just before his eighth birthday, and he was raised by his father, an executive with Buick.

Scott joined the US Marines, serving from 1945-49. He was assigned to 8th and I Barracks in Washington, D.C., in which capacity he taught English literature and radio speaking/writing at the Marine Corps Institute.

George C. Scott's Family Tree

17 October 2012

Library of Congress To Launch Civil War Blog Featuring Historical Figures In Their Own Words

First-person accounts from the Civil War are being brought to life in a new blog that will feature the voices of Robert E. Lee, Ulysses S. Grant and others.

The Library of Congress announced Tuesday that it will launch the blog from diaries, letters and other writings pulled from its collection. It will chronicle the sacrifices and accomplishments of both North and South to accompany a major new exhibit, “The Civil War in America.”

Source & Full Story

Wath-upon-Dearne, England - Historic Records Displayed At Church

Records of births, deaths and marriages dating back to the middle ages were put on display at a Dearne church as part of a heritage weekend.

Scores of visitors from as far away as Surrey and Staffordshire, came to All Saints Parish Church in Wath to look at records dating back to the 1600s. 
Vicar Sue Hobley said: “We had a great number of people visit to trace their family tree and to look into the history of the area going back centuries.”

Source & Full Story

Georgia Archives Visitors To Be Restricted To 2-Hour Blocks

Starting in November, most visitors to the Georgia Archives in Morrow will have to make an appointment to do their research in two-hour blocks.

On Monday, Secretary of State Brian Kemp released the schedule that will be in effect Nov. 1. The archives will be open by appointment only on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays during the first and second week of each month. It will be closed to the public entirely during the third and fourth weeks of each month.

Source & Full Story

Are You Related to Rita Hayworth?

Hayworth was born October 17, 1918 in Brooklyn, New York as Margarita Carmen Cansino, the daughter of Spanish dancer Eduardo Cansino, Sr. and Volga Hayworth, a dancer of Irish and English descent, who had performed with the Ziegfeld Follies. The Catholic couple married in 1917 and had two boys after Margarita, Eduardo, Jr. and Vernon.

Rita Hayworth's Family Tree

16 October 2012

Grave Thought to Contain Remains of King Richard III Came Within Inches of Being Destroyed by Victorian Builders

The University of Leicester led the search for the Anointed King who died at the battle of Bosworth in association with Leicester City Council and the Richard III Society. The University team dug three trenches under a Leicester car park before their discovery was made.

Now site director Mathew Morris has disclosed that the remains were found just inches below Victorian foundations. Had the 19th century builders dug a little further-no remains would have been found.

Source & Full Story

Internet Archive To Celebrate Milestone

The Internet Archive is hosting a public event on Thursday, Oct. 25, starting at 6:30 p.m. to officially mark the organization reaching an important milestone – 10 petabytes worth of digital material stored. That includes millions of digital books, music, movies and web pages.

The archive is supposed to be “Great Library of Alexandria, Version 2.” But Kahle is well aware that Version 1 couldn’t survive the foibles of humans. “The history of libraries is they are burned,” he said. “That’s what will happen to us. We don’t know when. Hopefully, it is centuries from now.”

Source & Full Story

Are You Related to Tim Robbins?

Robbins was born October 16, 1958 in West Covina, California, and raised in New York City, the son of Mary Robbins (née Bledsoe), an actress, and Gilbert Lee Robbins (1931–2011), a musician, folk singer, actor and former manager of The Gaslight Cafe. Robbins has two sisters, Adele and Gabrielle, and a brother, David.

Tim Robbins' Family Tree

15 October 2012

France Promises to Give Colonial-Era Massacre Archives to Senegal

France is to hand over its archives on a massacre of African soldiers fighting for France in World War II to Senegal, President François Hollande announced on his visit to Senegal on Saturday.

Dozens of African soldiers, known as tirailleurs, were shot dead at Thiaroye, in what is now Senegal, on 1 December 1944 when about 1,300, who had been held prisoner by the Germans, mutinied, demanding that bonuses owing to them be paid and equal treatment with French soldiers.

Source & Full Story

Marietta, Georgia - Territory’s First Tannery Owner in Mound Cemetery

When Ichabod Nye and his family arrived from Massachusetts by boat in Marietta in August 1788, most of their fellow passengers opted to spend the night on board.

Not Nye, who disembarked with his wife, Minerva, and two young children, put everyone on horses and traveled a forest path to the Ohio Company's fort called Campus Martius, about three fourths of a mile from the boat.

Source & Full Story

Nearly 50 Unidentified Kids Buried in Florida Reform School’s Century-Old Secret Graveyard

A forensic team found 18 bodies buried without markers in the woods behind the Florida Industrial School for Boys. Some former students claim administrators were violently abusive and could have killed the boys.

A secret graveyard tucked behind a Florida reform school is home to 31 cross-shaped grave markers, but nearly 50 unidentified bodies. The small cemetery dates back to the early 1900s. Some former students at the Florida Industrial School for Boys in Marianna now say victims of abusive school administrators are buried there, CNN reported.

Source & Full Story

Are You Related to Penny Marshall?

Marshall was born October 15, 1942 in The Bronx, New York City, the daughter of Marjorie Irene (née Ward), a tap dance teacher who ran a dance school, and Anthony Wallace Marshall, a director of industrial films and later a producer.

She is the sister of actor/director/TV producer Garry Marshall and Ronny Hallin, a TV producer. Her father was of Italian descent, his family having come from Abruzzo, and her mother was of English and Scottish descent; her father changed his last name from "Marsciarelli" to "Marshall" before Penny was born.

Penny Marshall's Family Tree

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11 October 2012

Left in France During WWII, Bible Returned to Family 67 Years Later

Nearly 70 years after Private First Class Johnny Roberts left France after WWII, the bible he left behind has found its way home. Roberts was a young man with a wife and two daughters living in Knoxville, TN, when he was shipped off to Brussels to help defeat the German offensive.

He was there for just about a year, often finding refuge from French families grateful for the Americans' help. Somewhere along the way, in one of those French homes, Roberts left his bible and never saw it again.

Source & Full Story

Vandals Destroy Historic Brookeville, Maryland, Cemetery

Vandals recently struck a cemetery dating back more than 200 years, leaving the Boy Scout who had recently restored it filled with rage. For his Eagle Scout project, Justin Stine, 18, wanted to restore the Riggs family cemetery, nestled in the woods off Bordly Drive near his Brookeville home.

Because it had fallen into disrepair, Stine, along with a crew of fellow scouts, friends and family, spent two full days removing dead trees and brush, installing wood chips, restoring a gate and building two benches.

Source & Full Story

Chinese Archives Hold Key To Malacca’s Founding

The Malacca sultanate’s existence is proven only through cross reference with other historical archives from China, Siam, Portuguese, etc. because all archives from the Malacca palace were believed to have been destroyed during the wartime.

Historians are fully aware that China’s Ming dynasty history is the most well documented archives in the world, unlike Malacca’s history which was written a hundred years later.

Source & Full Story

First Digital Resource Explores 1918 Flu Epidemic

The University of Michigan has established the largest digital collection of materials relating to the 1918 influenza epidemic in the United States.

"The American Influenza Epidemic of 1918: A Digital Encyclopedia," created by the Center for the History of Medicine in partnership with the U-M Library's MPublishing, documents 50 diverse communities in the United States during fall 1918 and winter 1919—a period when the effects of influenza caused the deaths of an estimated 650,000 Americans (and 50 million people worldwide).

Source & Full Story

Justin Bieber Is Distant Cousin of Ryan Gosling, Avril Lavigne, Celine Dion

Genealogists at say they’ve discovered teen idol Justin Bieber is a distant cousin of movie star Ryan Gosling and singer Avril Lavigne. Their family link dates back to some of Quebec’s earliest settlers 400 years ago, the Utah-based company said Thursday.

What they say they found was that Bieber and Gosling are 11th cousins once removed, and Bieber and Lavigne are 12th cousins. They share common relatives Mathurin Roy and Marguerite Bire, the researchers said. Both were born in France in the early 1600s, married in 1637, and moved to Quebec, where Roy worked as a master mason.

Source & Full Story

Google Cultural Institute - Bringing History To Life

Today you can discover 42 new online historical exhibitions telling the stories behind major events of the last century, including Apartheid, D-Day and the Holocaust.

The stories have been put together by 17 partners including museums and cultural foundations who have drawn on their archives of letters, manuscripts, first-hand video testimonials and much more. Much of the material is very moving—and some is on the Internet for the first time.

Source & Full Story

Genealogy Software Updates of the Week

Agelong Tree 4.5 (Full Featured - Windows - Shareware)

• The program automatically offers to create a backup copy of the current data file.
• In the "Create a person" menu there are adoptive parents and adopted children options.
• Long relation degrees can be abbreviated (see "Tree options" - "Tree nodes" - "Text" - "Displayed fields" - "Relation degree" - "Edit")
• The program automatically extracts the date when a photo was taken and fills the "Date" field in the document's information when creating a document.
• A few bugs have been fixed.

GDS (General Family Documentation System) 7.0.01 (Full Featured - Windows - Freeware)

• Small corrections.

GedTreeFree 0.9.7 (Mobile - Freeware)

• Support for larger trees by limiting the number of generations shown.
• Support for adopted individuals with multiple parent families.

GedView 3.4 (Mobile - Purchase)

• Support the larger screen of the iPhone 5.

Shoebox 2.2.1 (Mobile - Freeware)

• ShoeBox now supports uploading your photos to
• During the scan workflow, log in with your Ancestry account, choose a family tree, and tag people in the photo.

Are You Related to Eleanor Roosevelt?

Anna Eleanor Roosevelt was born October 11, 1884 at 56 West 37th Street in New York City, the daughter of Elliott Roosevelt and Anna Hall Roosevelt. She was named Anna after her mother and her aunt Anna Cowles; Eleanor after her father, and was nicknamed "Ellie" or "Little Nell". From the beginning, Eleanor preferred to be called by her middle name. She was the niece of President Theodore Roosevelt.

Eleanor Roosevelt's Family Tree

10 October 2012

National Archives of the UK: Further Warwickshire Entries on the Manorial Documents Register

A project recently completed in partnership with Warwickshire County Record Office has almost doubled the number of entries for Warwickshire on the Manorial Documents Register.

The online register now lists over 5,000 entries for Warwickshire, providing users with the location of these specially protected documents. The earliest manorial document located for the county is for Atherstone and dates from 1250.

Source & Full Story

Russia’s Oldest Singing Granny Uses Eurovision Fame To Find Grave of Father Who Died in WWII

To find her father’s World War II grave, Natalya Pugachyova had to become a celebrity. She is one of the Buranovskiye Babushki, a group of singing grandmothers who ended up second at this year’s Eurovision Song Contest with their catchy tune sung in the Udmurt language, a distant relative of Finnish.

Her newfound fame helped her find the grave of her father, who disappeared while fighting the Nazis in 1942. At a press conference she mentioned her father, Yakov Begeshev, who disappeared when she was 6 years old.

Source & Full Story

Jersey Archive Asks Islanders Advice Through National Survey

The Jersey Archive will be taking part in a National Survey of visitors to archives throughout the UK over the next two weeks. The survey is run by the Public Services Quality Group which was established in 1996 as an informal network for archivists interested in best practice and quality issues.

Since 2001 the PSQG Survey of Visitors to UK Archives has been taken every 18 months and it is now the most comprehensive survey of archive user satisfaction and demographics in the world.

Source & Full Story

Are You Related to Chris Penn?

Penn was born October 10, 1965, in Los Angeles, California, the youngest son of Leo Penn, an actor and director, and Eileen Ryan (née Annucci), an actress. His paternal grandparents were Jewish emigrants from Lithuania and Russia, and his mother was a Roman Catholic of Italian and Irish descent.

Chris Penn's Family Tree

9 October 2012

Mitt Romney's Distant English Relatives Surprised by Family Ties to Would-Be President

The Republican candidate's ancestors lived in England's industrial northwest, where they converted to Mormonism before leaving for the United States in 1841. "It's all come out of the blue," says Mitt Romney's fourth cousin Jennie Iveson. The 69-year-old widow says the presidential candidate "looks a bit like my brother."

Mitt Romney's fight to become America's next president has the backing of one enthusiastic group of supporters, although they don't actually have a vote: his relatives in England.

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Montague, Michigan - Almost 100 Years of the Montague Observer Digitized

One would think that the sheer boxed mass of 100 years of the Montague Observer newspaper (1889-1981) might have been beyond anyone’s scope, but the late Henry Roesler, former Mayor of Montague, took on the challenge.

Garry Olson, president of Lakeshore Document Services (that accomplished the digitization of the newspapers) recounts the initial discovery as “Henry told me that he found them in a garage about to be thrown out, so he took them home and put them in the Montague Museum.”

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Are You Related to Lewis Cass?

Cass was born October 9, 1782 in Exeter, New Hampshire, where he attended Phillips Exeter Academy. His parents were Major Jonathan Cass and Molly Gilman. On May 26, 1806, he married the former Elizabeth Spencer.

During the War of 1812, Cass served as a brigadier general and participated in the Battle of the Thames. As a reward for his service, he was appointed Governor of the Michigan Territory by President James Madison.

Lewis Cass' Family Tree

8 October 2012

Shaftesbury Rare Archive Documents 700 Years

Rare archive documenting almost 700 years of a Dorset town's history has been made available to the public for the first time. The newly catalogued archive for Shaftesbury includes royal grants, electoral rolls and court records, and dates back to the 14th Century.

Housed at the Dorset History Centre, Dorchester, in 188 boxes, it is also available to view online. Bridport is the only other town in the county with a similar archive.

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New Twist for Old Plots

A new website with the slightly cheesy name appears to be just another gravestone transcription site, albeit more comprehensive than most, covering graveyards in the Magherafelt area.

Looked at more closely, however, the site is something genuinely new. It is a commercial operation, but the target customer is not the hapless, ever-skint genealogist, but all bodies responsible for maintaining the graveyard.

Source & Full Story

Inside Somme Tunnels Left Untouched for 100 Years

A team of British and French archaeologists have entered a labyrinth of tunnels under the Somme Battlefield in northern France that have been untouched for almost 100 years. The tunnels are the deepest that have been discovered in the area and were dug so that troops could lay explosives below enemy lines.

The BBC's Robert Hall has been given exclusive access to them and is in the village of La Boisselle.

Source & Full Story (Video)

Irish Documentary Capture the Story of the American Civil War’s First Casualty

One of the most asked questions of American Civil War enthusiasts across the States is ‘Who was the first casualty?’ The answer, that ‘it was a Private Daniel Hough from some unknown part of Co Tipperary in Ireland,’ usually comes as a surprise to many.

Although he has long been forgotten in his native land and information on him in the States has always been sketchy, what is known is that after emigrating to the New World in 1849, Hough enlisted in the US Army some months later and was posted at Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbour, South Carolina in April 1861.

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2 Million Digital Images So Far at National Archives of Malta

Parliamentary secretary Clyde Puli said the digitisation of National Archives documents has so far created about two million digital images of documents and now, an electronic infrastructure is being built for some of them to be put online and made accessible to the public.

He was addressing an activity organised for volunteers of the archives. The digitisation is being sponsored by two foreign organisations which provided equipment and paid employees to digitise the antique documents without them leaving the National Archives.

Source & Full Story

Are You Related to Matt Damon?

Matt Damon was born October 8, 1970 in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the son of Kent Telfer Damon, a stockbroker, and Nancy Carlsson-Paige, an early childhood education professor at Lesley University. Damon is of Scottish, English, Finnish, and Swedish ancestry, and is a distant cousin of actors Ben Affleck and Casey Affleck.

Matt Damon's Family Tree

GeneaNet Family Tree Root & Owner

The 'Family Tree Root' is the first person in your Family Tree (Sosa #1). This value is used to add links and marks in your Family Tree pages, and to generate automatic Email Alerts by Individual. The 'Family Tree Root' can be you or any other person in your Family Tree (child, spouse, parent, other).

The 'Family Tree Owner' is you. This value is used to automatically personalize your Family Tree home page with pictures and popular places of your close family members.

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5 October 2012

When $5 Is Worth $300,000… Rare Century-Old Alaska Bill That Was a Gift to a Vice-President To Be Auctioned

A rare $5 bill presented to the U.S. Vice President in 1905 is expected to sell for a cool $300,000 at auction. The historic note was given to Charles Fairbanks - Theodore Roosevelt's No. 2 - by the First National Bank of Fairbanks, Alaska, as a memento from the frontier city named after him.

It was one of only four notes of its kind in the $5 denomination that were issued by the bank, and has been passed down the generations as a treasured family heirloom.

Source & Full Story

Hunslet, West Yorkshire, England, New Cemetery War Memorial Vandalised

A war memorial in a West Yorkshire cemetery has been damaged by vandals who daubed it with noughts and crosses in heavy duty silver paint. Specialist masons had been called in to clean the Cross of Sacrifice at Hunslet New Cemetery in Leeds, the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) said.

Matt Morris, from the CWGC, said the attack was "sad and frustrating". Leeds City Council, which owns the site, said it was making a "significant investment" in the cemetery's security.

Source & Full Story

Gravestones Getting QR Codes

The fabled Viennese fondness for fine funerals and “a schoene Leich” - a beautiful corpse - is about to get a modern twist. Digital technology is about to give Austrian gravestones the potential to speak across time by showing pictures and biographies of the people buried below.

All you need is a smartphone equipped with a scanner to read the so-called “quick response” (QR) codes, the square of squiggles already widely used in advertising campaigns to unlock a trove of information for the curious.

Source & Full Story

Are You Related to Jeff Conaway?

Jeff Conaway was born on October 5, 1950 in Manhattan, New York City, and raised in the Astoria, Flushing, and Forest Hills neighborhoods of the borough Queens. His father, Charles, was an actor, producer and publisher. His mother, Helen, an actress who went by the stage name Mary Ann Brooks, taught music at New York City's Brook Conservatory.

Conaway is best known for his roles in the movie, Grease, and the two US television series, Taxi and Babylon 5.

Jeff Conaway's Family Tree

4 October 2012

Genealogy Software Updates of the Week

GEDitCOM II 1.8 (Full Featured - Mac - Purchase)

• New menu command to empty cache used for Place Advisor display.
• Improved relationship calculations. The calculations are now symmetric between two individuals, and certain relations (that were not really unique) are now removed.
• The method used to control labeling in tree chart view compared to tree outline view has been changed from the previous, cumbersome trick of inserting a special character at the start of the label to a more intuitive pop-up menu under the column name.
• Minor bug fixes in scripts ("Event Place for Window Records" and "Create Web Site") and in one interface format ("Default Format").
• The search panel remains visible now when you switch to a different application.

Irish Church Records 1.2 (Mobile - Freeware)

• iPhone 5 & iOS 6 compatibility.
• Fixed display bug when choosing contacts for email.

iScrapbook 3.3.8 (Family Pictures - Mac - Purchase)

• Improved auto-resizing of large images that are dragged and dropped onto the design canvas.
• Fixed issue dragging and dropping artwork images to the Finder.
• Fixed issue that sometimes caused photos to appear flipped when running under Mountain Lion.
• Fixed problem importing U.S. Letter and A4 Smart Templates so they're not interpreted for use in 12x12" albums.
• Fixed problem dragging cropped paper images to/from the Favorites Bin.
• Fixed clipping issues that occur only under Mountain Lion when dragging images around the design canvas.

The Next Generation of Genealogy Sitebuilding 9.0.4 (Web Publishing - Windows, Mac, Linux - Purchase)

• Albums: When albums without a cover photo were linked to individual events, the layout was not being displayed correctly (fixed).
• Anniversaries: The mouseover preview panes previously seen only on the search results page and What's New page are now available on the Anniversaries page as well.
• Associations: Privacy rights for names were not being correctly determined on the Admin/Associations pages (fixed).
• Branches: If the current user had an assigned branch, it was not visible on the Add New Person/Family screens (fixed).
• Maps: When mousing over a pin on a map, the place name and lat/long data did not have a space between them (fixed).
• Merge/Notes: When two people with notes were merged, the notes from the deleted person were not being deleted (fixed).
• Search: The family search page was throwing an error if no family custom event types were defined (fixed).

Digitised Diary of Mother of a First World War Soldier Preserved Online

A digitised diary written in 1916 offering a candid and poignant insight into the life of families of Irish soldiers during the First World War and the turbulent events of the 1916 Rising has gone live.

The Diary A Family at War: Mary Martin’s Diary, 1 January – 25 May 1916 is an online resource developed and produced by students on Trinity College Dublin’s M Phil in Digital Humanities and Culture, and the Digital Arts and Humanities PhD in UCC, using a manuscript treasure from the collections of the National Library of Ireland.

Source & Full Story

Bodies of WWI Soldiers Discovered in Italy

Glacier melt in Italy's Dolimites has revealed the bodies of two World War I soldiers, renewing concerns in the region about global warming.

The soldiers were members of an artillery unit in the Austro-Hungarian army, according to Italian news agency ANSA. They were trapped in snow and ice for nearly 100 years after being killed in May 1918 in a fierce battle with Italian forces.

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Spokane County, Washington - Detectives Discover Stolen Civil War Papers During Investigation

Investigations by Spokane County Regional Drug Task Force detectives turned up something unexpected: documents dating back to the Civil War-era.

Detectives say they found photographs and letters from the Civil War and World War I eras, along with other heirloom-type documents. Now they’re trying to find the owners.

Source & Full Story

Insects Destroy Idaho County's Historic Documents

Officials in southern Idaho's Lincoln County are taking steps to deal with a rash of paper-eating insects blamed for destroying a collection of historical documents.

Lincoln County Clerk Suzanne McConnell says volunteers discovered the damage as they were working to digitize old, paper records, including court judgments, birth certificates, marriage licenses, land deeds and permits. The records - some dating back to the 1930s - were all kept in the vault below the county courthouse.

Source & Full Story

Are You Related to Buster Keaton?

Keaton was born on October 4, 1895 into a vaudeville family. His father was Joseph Hallie "Joe" Keaton, a native of Vigo County, Indiana. Joe Keaton owned a traveling show with Harry Houdini called the "Mohawk Indian Medicine Company", which performed on stage and sold patent medicine on the side. Buster Keaton was born in Piqua, Kansas, the small town where his mother, Myra Edith Cutler, happened to go into labor.

Buster Keaton's Family Tree

3 October 2012

The Woman Who Saved Downton: How America’s Dollar Princesses Married Into the Crumbling British Aristocracy

Beautiful, vivacious and fabulously wealthy, they were known as the Dollar Princesses. At the end of the 19th century, hundreds of eligible young women turned their backs on America and crossed the Atlantic, with a steely glint in their eyes. The only intention was to snare a member of the British aristocracy.

It might all seem terribly crass but, in fact, these were matches made in heaven. In return for receiving titles, the daughters of US millionaires offered fistfuls of much-needed cash.

Source & Full Story

German WWII Mural Found in Former Guernsey School

A German eagle mural is among items from World War II found during work to convert a former Guernsey school into housing. Forty homes are being built on the site of the former Boys' Grammar School by the Guernsey Housing Association.

Paul Bourgaize, from historical group Festung Guernsey, found the mural behind a cupboard in what was an art room. He said he hoped no further evidence was lost during the development work.

Source & Full Story

Drought Reveals Trove of 400-Year-Old Sunken Treasure at Bottom of Polish River

A trove of sunken treasure from the has been unearthed thanks to a drought that reduced a Polish river to puddles. More than ten tons of ornate marble statues, fountains and palace pillars appeared on the bed of Poland's River Vistula as its waters gradually receded to record lows over the summer.

The haul is believed to have been left behind by marauding Swedish invaders who plundered Poland's rulers in the 17th Century loading the spoils onto barges to transport home.

Source & Full Story

Western Illinois Regional History Documents Available Online

Western Illinois University Libraries' Digitization Unit recently added several local historical artifacts to its Regional History Digital Collection. According to Jeffrey Hancks, archives and special collections unit coordinator, this collection features printed materials documenting the history of West Central Illinois, selected from WIU Libraries' Archives and Special Collections Unit.

Source & Full Story

Upper Marlboro, Maryland - Historical Graves Moved to Build Shopping Center

More than six graves of a prominent Prince George’s County family from the 1850s have been dug up and moved to make way for a shopping center in one of the largest development projects in Upper Marlboro. Some family descendants say they tried to stop the developer to no avail.

Archaeologists excavated the graves of the George W. Hilleary family, buried in the 1850s on the Beechwood Mansion property off Crain Highway last week. “I tried to stop this,” Cecily Hilleary, a descendant said. “I went out there and told them I was not happy.”

Source & Full Story

Connecticut Woman Is Fighting To Clear Her Ancestor Of Witchcraft

Despite the fact her great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandmother was convicted centuries ago of entertaining "familiarity with Satan," Bernice Telian is continuing her fight to clear her ancestor's name.

Mary Barnes and 10 others were convicted of witchcraft and hanged in the gallows between 1647 and 1663 but now their descendants are fighting to get their names cleared, citing the fact that witchcraft isn't actually a crime, according to WilmingtonFAVS.

Source & Full Story

Are You Related to Lindsey Buckingham?

Born on October 3, 1949 in Palo Alto, California, Buckingham was the third and youngest child of Rutheda (née Elliott) and Morris Buckingham. He had two older brothers, Jeff and Greg.

Buckingham's first forays into guitar playing took place on a toy Mickey Mouse guitar, playing along to his brother Jeff's extensive collection of 45s. Noticing his talent, Buckingham's parents bought their son a $35 Harmony guitar.

Lindsey Buckingham's Family Tree

2 October 2012

Are You Related to Carl Hayden?

Hayden was born on October 2, 1877 to Charles Trumbull Hayden and Sallie Calvert Davis in Hayden's Ferry, Arizona Territory (renamed Tempe in 1878). Charles Hayden was a Connecticut-born merchant and freight operator who had moved west due to a lung ailment and homesteaded a claim on the south bank of the Salt River. Sallie Davis was an Arkansas-born schoolteacher who served as vice president of the Arizona Territorial Suffrage Association during the 1890s.

Carl Hayden was the first United States Senator to serve seven terms.

Carl Hayden's Family Tree

1 October 2012

15 Graves in Brunswick Colonial-Era Cemetery Unearthed

Two weeks into excavation, 15 graves have been unearthed at a colonial-era cemetery on the grounds of the old Glynn Middle School. Lifelong Brunswick resident John C. Carter Jr. watched intently Wednesday as the Public Works crew, led by City Manager Bill Weeks, looked for more.

Carter was around when the school was built in 1953, and helped install its electrical wiring. “I don’t remember any bones being dug up back then,” he said, “but I don’t know if they were really looking, to tell the truth.”

Source & Full Story

Bonnie and Clyde Guns Fetch $0.5m in New Hampshire

Guns used by US gangsters Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow, who died in a hail of police bullets in 1934, have sold at auction for $504,000 (£300,000). The guns were part of the RR Auction, entitled American Gangsters, Outlaws and Lawmen, taking place in the US state of New Hampshire on Sunday.

Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow gained notoriety for a string of bank robberies before law enforcement officers ambushed them in Louisiana on 23 May 1934. Items taken from the car in which the couple died, Bonnie Parker's cosmetics case and a host of photographs, were among items up for sale.

Source & Full Story

Are You Related to Bonnie Parker?

Are You Related to Bonnie Parker?

Bonnie Elizabeth Parker was born on October 1, 1910 in Rowena, Texas, the second of three children. Her father, Charles Parker, a bricklayer, died when Bonnie was four. Her mother, Emma Krause, moved with the children to her parents' home in Cement City, an industrial suburb of Dallas, where she found work as a seamstress.

In her second year of high school, Parker met Roy Thornton. They dropped out of school and were married on September 25, 1926, six days before Parker's 16th birthday. Their marriage, marked by his frequent absences and brushes with the law, was short-lived, and after January 1929 their paths never crossed again.

Bonnie Parker's Family Tree

GeneaNet - A Personal Family Tree Home Page for your Family and Relatives

When your family and relatives accept an invitation, they are now sent to a personalized home page of your GeneaNet family tree.

If the invited person appears in your GeneaNet family tree and if this person is your cousin up to 4th removed, the family link between you and the person will be automatically displayed on the home page.

If the invited person appears in your GeneaNet family tree and if there is no family link between you and the person, their ancestry will be automatically displayed on the home page.

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