Genealogy Blog

30 November 2012

Germany to take WWII missing archive

The Red Cross says it will hand over to German authorities a huge archive of people who were persecuted by the Nazis and who went missing amid the chaos of World War II.

The massive International Tracing Service (ITS) archive created in 1943 to provide answers for millions of families seeking relatives lost during the war would as of January 1 be managed by Germany, the International Committee of the Red Cross said in a statement.

Source & Full Story

Stolen WWI Medals Returned To Family

Two stolen WWI medals have been reunited with their owner. The medals were found as police investigated crime in the Moray, Aberdeen, and Northern areas. After an appeal it transpired the medals were awarded to Elsie Menzies, who was born in 1894 in Craigellachie.

WPC Kate Barnett, of Grampian Police, said: "Elsie's family are very proud of the efforts which saw her receiving these medals and are delighted they have been recovered."

Source & Full Story

Are You Related to Mark Twain?

Samuel Langhorne Clemens was born in Florida, Missouri, on November 30, 1835. He was the son of Jane (née Lampton; 1803–1890), a native of Kentucky, and John Marshall Clemens (1798–1847), a Virginian by birth. His parents met when his father moved to Missouri and were married several years later, in 1823.

Mark Twain's Family Tree

29 November 2012

Armenian National Archive Publishes Genocide Memories

The National Archives of Armenia have published a three-volume collection of Armenian Genocide memories recorded since 1916.

The book includes accounts of Armenian genocide survivors as well as those of Persians, Turks, Assyrians and Greeks, archive director Amatuni Virabyan said at a press conference on Wednesday.

Source & Full Story

Are You Related to Louisa May Alcott?

Best known as author of the novel Little Women, Alcott was born on November 29, 1832 in Germantown, which is now part of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the daughter of transcendentalist and educator Amos Bronson Alcott and social worker Abigail May Alcott.

Louisa May Alcott's Family Tree

28 November 2012

Genealogy Software Updates of the Week

Brother's Keeper 6.6.2 (Full Featured - Windows - Purchase)

• New: The Descendant report has a new option to print names in color based on the flags or on male/female.
• New: Gedcom can export and import flags.
• Fixed: The Box Chart HTML output option was not letting the user change the drive letter or create a new folder.
• Fixed: Sometimes the Descendant Marriage records report left the [ ] characters in a name.

Family Get-To-Gether 1.0.6 (Mobile - Purchase)

• New option to edit member information (name, birth, note, etc.).

Family History 1.0 (Mobile - Freeware)

• The Australian NSW Registry of Births Deaths & Marriages Family History App is the cornerstone of building your New South Wales family tree. Find out more about your ancestors. Where they were born, where they got married, where and when they died.

GDS (General Family Documentation System) 7.0.03 (Full Featured - Windows - Freeware)

• Small corrections.

Pocket Genealogist 4.07A01 public beta (Mobile - Purchase)

• Support for RootsMagic 6.
• Support for Ancestral Quest 14.

The Complete Genealogy Builder 2012 build 121124 (Full Featured - Windows - Shareware)

• Fixed: Unexpected program error when attempting to combine identical notes when there are less than two notes in the project data.

The Complete Genealogy Reporter 2012 build 121124 (Family Books - Windows - Shareware)

• Fixed: French grammar when there are adopted children in a single parent family.
• Fixed: Unexpected program error when attempting to combine identical notes when there are less than two notes in the project data.

The Family Tree of Family for Android 1.5.8 (Mobile - Purchase)

• Updated the list of generations.

Norwegian Police Apologise For Deporting Jews

Norwegian police have apologised for their role in the arrest and deportation of hundreds of Jews in the Scandinavian country during the Second World War. Representatives of the Jewish community welcomed the apology while noting that it was long overdue.

The statement coincided with the 70th anniversary of the 1942 deportation of 532 Norwegian Jews and Jewish refugees on the SS Donau.

Source & Full Story

Are You Related to Anna Nicole Smith?

Born Vickie Lynn Hogan on November 28, 1967 in Houston, Texas, Anna Nicole was the child of Donald Eugene Hogan (July 12, 1947 – September 19, 2009) and Virgie Mae (née Tabers; born July 12, 1951), who married on February 22, 1967 and divorced on November 4, 1969.

Anna Nicole Smith's Family Tree

Historic Jewish Cemetery In Caribbean Fades Away

Headstones are pockmarked, their inscriptions faded. Stone slabs that have covered tombs for centuries are crumbling. White marble has turned grey, likely from the acrid smoke that spews from a nearby oil refinery.

One of the oldest Jewish cemeteries in the Western Hemisphere, Beth Haim on the island of Curacao, is slowly fading in the Caribbean sun. Beth Haim was established in the 17th century and is considered an important landmark even on an island so rich in history that its downtown has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Source & Full Story

"GeneaNet beat out other traditional software"

A message from Neida, member of the GeneaNet Club Privilege (with her authorization):

"After much trepidation, I'm happy to say that I've now fully committed to GeneaNet and trust it to handle all my genealogical work . This is true trust! I have known about GeneaNet for years, but while I've dabbled with it briefly for a bit, I never really took the time to truly explore all its capabilities and functions. I always went back to standalone genealogy programs because in my head that was what was going to do the job. Still, even then, I kept changing programs because each one of them was lacking something or other in terms of functionality. These shortcomings, as usual, would only become apparent after the trial periods were over and I had already purchased them. Most of the demo versions out there have so many limitations that you really don't get to know what the program is really capable of until after you buy it and use it for a while. As a result, this switching around was making my passion for genealogy quite expensive. Then I switched from PC to Mac and the dilemma started all over again. I love my Mac Air but I found out the hard way that there are huge limitations in software for the Mac, especially in the genealogy field. My software of choice is not available for the Mac and I was faced with having to search again, and no doubt spend more money, on a program that I could live with and was also Mac friendly. The obvious online options, Ancestry and My Heritage, for one reason or another, just didn't meet all my needs for online family tree updating and management. I tried other online programs with the same results. I wanted something simple and truly versatile with no frllls and heavy on archives and documentation focus. Then I rediscovered GeneaNet. For me, it all came down to how archival records are handled. Having the ability to attach the same archival record to each applicable person and documenting the people and other information, (including transcript option, within the record's function itself, really clinched it for me. All my records in one place and organized and at the touch of a button on the right person! Just awesome! With hundreds of records that I need to add to my family tree, I have my work cut out for me, but happy to do it and I feel truly at home on GeneaNet."

Book Tells How 18th-Century Newspapers Covered American Revolutionary War

It was the 18th-century version of a tweet: a two-sentence, 25-word dispatch in a London newspaper reporting the American colonies had declared their independence from Great Britain.

The events of the Revolutionary War may seem like ye olde news to today's history students, but they were breaking news to people on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean, and newspapers were the main source of information.

Source & Full Story

WWII Pigeon’s Code Stumps Codebreakers

In 1982, a retired British probation officer named David Martin was cleaning the chimney of his home in Bletchingley, about 20 miles south of London, during a renovation when he discovered the remains of a pigeon among the debris.

But while he was pulling out the bird’s dessicated corpse, he made a surprising discovery. As Martin told the BBC, he realized he had no ordinary bird on his hands when “down came the leg with the red capsule on with a message inside.”

Source & Full Story

Scotland Urged To Refocus On Genealogy Tourism

Whoever they think they are they deserve the red carpet treatment for a new study estimates people searching for their roots will be worth ­­­£2.4 billion to Scotland over the next five years.

The potential of so-called ancestral tourism has been outlined in a report by consultants TNS, which estimates a potential market of 50 million people of Scottish ancestry.

Source & Full Story

Internment Camp Letters, Where 110,000 People Of Japanese Ancestry Lived, Found In Denver Building

Some letters arriving from Japanese-American internment camps during World War II were very specific, asking for a certain brand of bath powder, cold cream or cough drops — but only the red ones. Others were just desperate for anything from the outside world.

The letters, discovered recently during renovations at a former Denver pharmacy owned by Japanese-Americans, provide a glimpse into life in some of the 10 camps where 110,000 people of Japanese ancestry, including U.S. citizens, from the West Coast were forced to live during the war.

Source & Full Story

Unverified Remains Dig Up The Twisted Legacy of England’s Richard III

Tyrant or hero? Rightful monarch or child-killer? Despotic hunchback or brave scoliosis sufferer? Now is the winter of our debate over one of England’s most notorious villains: Richard III.

Underneath a drab parking lot 90 miles northwest of London, archaeologists have unearthed what may become one of this nation’s finds of the century — half-a-millennium-old bones thought to be the remains of the long-lost monarch.

Source & Full Story

27 November 2012

Lincoln's Civil War Document On Sale For USD 900,000

A proclamation signed by former US President Abraham Lincoln on April 19, 1861, that marked the official start of the American Civil War, is up for sale for a whopping USD 900,000.

The one-page document, authorised the blockade of Southern ports, which, under the international law, was an act of war. The Raab Collection in Philadelphia said it is selling the document, which it calls one of the most important in American history, for USD 900,000.

Source & Full Story

Bolivia's Census Omits 'Mestizo' As Category

Bolivia is under a virtual curfew as census-takers count and classify the landlocked Andean nation's population in its first census in 11 years. Stirring controversy was the government decision not to include "mestizo" as a category of ethnicity.

People have the option of declaring themselves members of one of 40 ethnic groups, including Afro-Bolivians. But "mestizo," or mixed-race, is not an option. Critics of President Evo Morales say he is afraid people won't identify themselves with a particular indigenous group, thus delegitimizing the government.

Source & Full Story

Archives Boxed In As Lease-Back Shelves Rejected At The National Archives of Australia

A potential $30 million blowout in costs has prompted a parliamentary committee to reject a plan by the National Archives of Australia to build a new preservation building in Mitchell. The public works committee has also criticised Archives management for providing ''confusing'' information on the proposed $100 million project.

The committee wants the federal government to reconsider the financing model for the project and provide the cash-strapped Archives with enough money to pay in advance for a building fitout.

Source & Full Story

Archives of Michigan Offers Free Census Data Search

The Archives of Michigan says more than 62,000 Michigan state census records from 1884 and 1894 are now available online to search and print for free.

Archivist Jessica Miller from the Archives of Michigan said Monday that the records will help family history researchers track important data, such as more extensive information about women and children. In Michigan prior to 1884, she said only numerical data about women and children was collected.

Source & Full Story

150 Year-Old Bible Makes It Back To Owner

For decades Ann Abbott-Stong has had a hobby of genealogy. Some would even dare to call her hobby an obsession. "For a long time, I have teased her that she spends more time with the dead ancestors than the live ones because she does so much genealogy," Ann's daughter, Christy Blakely, said.

But that hobby came in handy when Ann received an email from a stranger 1500 miles away. Attached in the email were pictures of a bible and the stranger asking if it belonged to her family.

Source & Full Story

On Their Own: Britain's Child Migrants

A new exhibition at the National Archives of Australia in Canberra tells the stories of British child migrants and their journey to reach Australian shores. Around 7,000 British children from poor families were sent unaccompanied to Australia between the early 1900s and 1967.

While the idea was to transport children living in poverty to lives of plenty in the British colonies, many endured childhoods devoid of affection, and in some cases suffered physical and sexual abuse.

Source & Full Story

Are You Related to Jimi Hendrix?

Jimi Hendrix was born on November 27, 1942. He was of a mixed geneaology that included African American, Irish, and Cherokee ancestors. His paternal great grandmother, Zenora, was a full-blooded Cherokee from Georgia who married an Irishman named Moore. In 1883, they had a daughter whom they named Zenora "Nora" Rose Moore, Hendrix' paternal grandmother.

The illegitimate son of a black slave woman named Fanny and her white overseer, Jimi's paternal grandfather, Bertran Philander Ross Hendrix (born 1866), was named after his biological father, a grain dealer from Urbana, Ohio, and one of the wealthiest white men in the area at the time.

Jimi Hendrix's Family Tree

26 November 2012

GeneaNet: New Attractive Ancestry Book

GeneaNet has launched a new attractive Ancestry Book.

This Ancestry Book is available to every GeneaNet member and can display up to 10 generations.

GeneaNet Club Privilege members Every GeneaNet member can also export the Ancestry Book in PDF.

Continue reading...

23 November 2012

Smallpox Virus Detected In 300-Year-Old Siberian Mummy

A team of French and Russian researchers recently found new snippets of smallpox DNA in 300-year-old mummies from Siberia, according to an article in the New England Journal of Medicine released Wednesday.

While in northeastern Siberia in 2004, researchers discovered several burial sites, each containing frozen wooden graves buried in the permafrost. It seemed that most of the burials were individual and involved only one body, but one grave contained five frozen mummies — two children and three adults — which appeared to have been buried shortly after death.

Source & Full Story

GeneaNet for iPhone & iPad 1.1

GeneaNet for iPhone & iPad allows you to view your GeneaNet Online Family Tree. Launch the application then enter your GeneaNet* username and password, and your GeneaNet Online Family Tree will be automatically uploaded.

This new version is faster and more user-friendly, and you can download up to 20,000 individuals instead of 10,000.

GeneaNet for iPhone & iPad is free.

Download on iTunes:

Postcard Mailed In WWII Finally Arrives At Upstate New York Address

A postcard mailed nearly 70 years ago has finally arrived at the upstate New York address it was intended for, but sadly its designated recipients were no longer around to receive it.

The fascinating postcard was sent on July 4, 1943, from Rockford, Illinois, to sisters Pauline and Theresa Leisenring who lived on Bridgman Street in Elmira, near Buffalo.

Source & Full Story

War Memorial Register Searches For WWI Plaque in Louis Vuitton Store

Sydney's Louis Vuitton store is usually an altar to glamour, where fashionistas hunt for the latest in global style. But, according to the newly established War Memorial Register of NSW, the store at 365 George St is also home to a wooden plaque commemorating Australia's WWI diggers.

The only problem? No one seems to be able to find it. Attempts to contact Louis Vuitton regarding the small plaque that should still reside in the store were unsuccessful, which raised the concern some of these priceless relics may have been destroyed.

Source & Full Story

Are You Related to Miley Cyrus?

Cyrus was born November 23, 1992 in Nashville, Tennessee, to Letitia Jean "Tish" (née Finley) and country singer Billy Ray Cyrus.

Against the advice of her father's record company, Cyrus's parents secretly married a month after Cyrus's birth on December 28, 1992.

Miley Cyrus' Family Tree

22 November 2012

Fourth Tranche of Colonial Administration Records To Be Released At The National Archives of the UK

The National Archives is working with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) to transfer and begin releasing colonial administration records, referred to as the 'migrated archives' between April 2012 and November 2013, in accordance with FCO's published timeline on the FCO website.

The fourth tranche will be made available in the reading rooms at The National Archives from Friday 30 November 2012. This release will contain records from Ceylon, Cyprus and Kenya.

Source & Full Story

WWI Letter in South Tyneside Garden Sparks Search for Soldier's Family

The relatives of a World War I soldier whose letter was found in a South Tyneside back garden are being sought. The letter, dated 15 September 1918, describes items the soldier has found on the battlefields.

Two photographs were also found during the garden clear-out by South Tyneside Council at a property in Lake View, Hebburn. The council now wants to find the relatives of the young soldier to return the "treasured memories".

Source & Full Story

Letters Found in Former Denver Pharmacy Show Glimpse Into Life at WWII Internment Camps

Some letters arriving from Japanese-American internment camps during World War II were very specific, asking for a certain brand of bath powder, cold cream or cough drops — but only the red ones. Others were just desperate for anything from the outside world.

The letters, discovered recently during renovations at a former Denver pharmacy owned by Japanese-Americans, provide a glimpse into life in some of the 10 camps where 110,000 people of Japanese ancestry, including U.S. citizens, from the West Coast were forced to live during the war.

Source & Full Story

Woman Makes Obscene Gesture at Arlington Cemetery

A Plymouth woman posed at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington Cemetery making an obscene gesture in front of some of America's most hallowed ground. The picture posted on Lindsey Stone's Facebook page shocked most people who saw it.

“What is wrong with this world and people. I just don't understand,” said one woman. Since the picture surfaced, Lindsey Stone has been suspended from her job at a Hyannis living facility for adults with disabilities. Some of the residents are veterans.

Source & Full Story

Are You Related to Mariel Hemingway?

Hemingway was born November 22, 1961 in Mill Valley, California, the third daughter of Byra Louise (née Whittlesey) Hemingway and Jack Hemingway, a writer.

Her paternal grandparents were Hadley Richards on and writer Ernest Hemingway. She was named after the Cuban port of Mariel—her father and grandfather visited the village regularly to go fishing.

Mariel Hemingway's Family Tree

21 November 2012

Genealogy Software Updates of the Week

Ahnenblatt 2.74 (Full Featured - Windows - Freeware)

• Several corrections concerning import of GEDCOM files.
• Minor improvement in finding duplex persons.

All Ancestors Report 2.1.15 (Other Tools - Windows - Freeware)

• Added "< generations >…< /generations >" and "< birthplace >…< /birthplace >" elements to toc.xml. Users will have to manually change their aartoc.xsl file to make use of these new elements.
• Other maintenance changes.

Genealogy Gems – Your Family History Show 1.18.8 (Mobile - Purchase)

• Minor bug fixes.

iScrapbook 4.0.1 (Family Pictures - Mac - Purchase)

• Bonus: 4 free and all-new iScrapkits (a $13 value).

MobileFamilyTree Pro 1.2.3 (Mobile - Purchase)

• Database Migration issues fixed.
• Localizations updated.
• Performance enhancements.

RootsMagic 6 (Full Featured - Windows - Purchase) New features include:

• Online Publishing – Create beautiful, dynamic websites with pedigree, family and individual views as well as supporting notes, sources, and media.
• Live Timeline View – A live-edit panel on RootsMagic’s timeline view makes this one of the most powerful editing features ever.
• Find Everywhere – With a single search you can now find every record in your file containing the text you want.
• WebTags – Link people, sources, places, and more to websites using RootsMagic 6′s new WebTags.
• CountyCheck Explorer – Look up a county, state, or country from a multi-national database. It can even show you online maps of county boundaries for that date.

The Complete Genealogy Builder 2012 build 121120 (Full Featured - Windows - Shareware)

• New: Backup and Restore capabilities. You may create a backup at any time by selecting "Backup Project" from the File menu.
• New: Datasheets. These are PDF reports which are intended to be used as worksheet forms to complete your research of individuals and families.
• New: "Combine Identical Private Notes to Library" tool to convert identical "private" notes into a singularly referenced Library Note record.

The Complete Genealogy Reporter 2012 build 121120 (Family Books - Windows - Shareware)

• New: Additional A3, A5 and US Legal paper sizes for PDF and DOC reports. See "PDF/DOC Reports" preferences.
• New: Preference option to combine identical notes into a single record.

Your Family Tree 2.2.5 (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.

House of Scotland’s First Settlers Unearthed

During archaeological excavation works carried out in advance of the construction of a new road bridge across the Firth of Forth, a team from Headland Archaeology uncovered the remains of one of the earliest known house structures in Scotland.

A large oval pit was all that remained of the 10,000 year old Mesolithic dwelling (C14 dated to around 8240 BC (cal)) situated in a field at Echline, South Queensferry.

Source & Full Story

Are You Related to Goldie Hawn?

Hawn was born November 21, 1945 in Washington, D.C., the daughter of Laura (née Steinhoff), a jewelry shop/dance school owner, and Edward Rutledge Hawn, a band musician who played at major events in Washington.

She is the mother of actors Oliver and Kate Hudson.

Goldie Hawn's Family Tree

20 November 2012

Are You Related to Edwin Hubble?

Edwin Hubble was born on November 20, 1889 to an insurance executive, John Powell Hubble and Virginia Lee James, in Marshfield, Missouri, and moved to Wheaton, Illinois, in 1900.

He is generally regarded as one of the most important observational cosmologists of the 20th century.

Edwin Hubble's Family Tree

19 November 2012

Authorities Identify Woman’s Skeletal Remains Through Online DNA Database

Nearly 12 years after a woman’s skeletal remains were discovered in a Homestead tunnel, and three years after officials buried them in a North Strabane cemetery, authorities used an online DNA database to finally solve the mystery of the unidentified bones.

Amanda Sue Myers, 22, died sometime in 2000. Family members last saw her that year in January at her daughter’s first birthday party; police found her bones 10 months later by train tracks in a fenced-off tunnel near McClure Street.

Source & Full Story

Family History: It's A Myth That Our Ancestors Didn't Move Far

One of the myths of family history is that "they didn't move far". For reasons of employment, family circumstances and national forces, at one time or another your ancestors will have upped sticks and moved.

Be it the decline of the wool industry in the Stroud Valleys leading to emigration or the building of the railways leading to more opportunities in Yorkshire and the North East, at some time you will need to research areas or countries that initially may not provide easy access.

Source & Full Story

Manchester Cemetery Tours Tell Stories of Famous Residents

The first guided tours to be held in a cemetery in Manchester have taken place. Opened in 1879, Southern Cemetery, Chorlton, is the largest municipal cemetery in the UK.

Many renowned Mancunians are buried there, including British aviator John Alcock, who made history with the first non-stop transatlantic flight in 1919. The cemetery also provides the final resting place for football legends Sir Matt Busby and Billy Meredith.

Source & Full Story

Are You Related to Jodie Foster?

Foster was born November 19, 1962 in Los Angeles, California. She is the youngest of four children born to Evelyn Ella "Brandy" (née Almond) and Lucius Fisher Foster II. Her father, a decorated U.S. Air Force lieutenant colonel turned real estate broker, came from a wealthy background and left his wife before Jodie was born.

Evelyn supported Jodie by working as a film producer. Jodie has an older brother, "Buddy", who was also a child actor, and two older sisters, Lucinda and Constance.

Jodie Foster'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...

16 November 2012

Perfectly Preserved: 21 German Soldiers Found Entombed In A World War One Shelter

Twenty-one German soldiers entombed in a perfectly preserved World War One shelter have been discovered 94 years after they were killed. The men were part of a larger group of 34 who were buried alive when a huge Allied shell exploded above the tunnel, near the small town of Carspach in the Alsace region in France, in 1918 causing it to cave in.

Source & Full Story

Astronomer Tycho Brahe 'Not Poisoned', Says Expert

The 16th-Century Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe is unlikely to have been poisoned, according to a researcher studying his remains. The body was exhumed in 2010 in a bid to confirm the cause of his death.

Brahe was thought to have died of a bladder infection, but a previous exhumation found traces of mercury in hair from his beard. However, the most recent tests have found the levels of mercury were not high enough to have killed him.

Source & Full Story

Hurricane Isaac's Unearthed Coffins And Tombs Continue To Be Examined

A few of Hurricane Isaac's unearthed coffins and tombs continue to line the Mississippi River levee in Plaquemines Parish, some still standing askew near houses or amid woods. By now, though, the majority of the disinterred remains are back in the Braithwaite cemeteries where they once peacefully rested.

About 150 tombs and coffins floated away, some about a mile, from the east bank's cemeteries during Isaac. State and parish crews have worked about two months to bring them home.

Source & Full Story

Irish Documentary Seeks Information On Inishowen 1881 Evictions

The new RTÉ television series ‘The Lost Village’ is looking for anyone with information pertaining to the 13 families evicted from their homes in the small Donegal village of Carrowmenagh, in 1881.

Big Mountain Productions are seeking out this information as part of a four-part bi-lingual series “The Lost Village”. The series will be aired on Ireland’s national broadcaster, RTE, during Seachtain na Gaeilge in March 2013.

Source & Full Story

120 Rarities Have Been Digitized At The National Historical Library of Ukraine

The National Historical Library of Ukraine (NHLU) presented the results of the first stage of the project “Worldwide Access to Historical Heritage of Ukraine through Digitization”.

They have digitized over 120 local history and rare books, half of which are freely available on the library’s website. It is planning to digitize a few hundred books more over the next years.

Source & Full Story

Are You Related to Martha Plimpton?

Plimpton was born November 16, 1970 in New York City, the daughter of actors Keith Carradine and Shelley Plimpton. Her paternal grandfather was actor John Carradine and she is the niece of Robert and the late David Carradine.

She first appeared as Jonsy in the feature film The River Rat (1984) before rising to prominence in the Richard Donner film The Goonies (1985) portraying the character Stef.

Martha Plimpton's Family Tree

14 November 2012

Genealogy Software Updates of the Week

Ahnenblatt 2.73 (Full Featured - Windows - Freeware)

• New option 'check, if date entries are GEDCOM-compatible'.
• HTML website: new option 'only first picture'.
• Some improvements in GEDCOM (e.g. new tag _UIDs).
• Corrections concerning absolute and relative file paths of file attachments.
• Minor corrections in trees.

MacFamilyTree 6.3.3c (Full Featured - Mac - Purchase)

• Critical Database migration issue in OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard fixed.
• Stability improvements.

Confucius' Family Tree Goes Digital

Descendants of ancient Chinese philosopher Confucius have digitized books delineating their family tree, which is believed to be the world's largest, to make it easier to revise.

The original paper collection of the family tree containing a record of all 83 generations of Confucius' offspring of over 2 million people is currently 43,000 pages long and takes up 80 books, but it will be able to fit on a thumb drive after being digitized.

Source & Full Story

Are You Related to Barbara Hutton?

American socialite and debutante, often dubbed "Poor Little Rich Girl" because of her troubled life, Barbara Hutton was born November 14, 1912 in New York City, the only child of Edna Woolworth (1883–1917), a daughter of Frank W. Woolworth, the founder of the successful Woolworth five-and-dime stores. Barbara's father was Franklyn Laws Hutton (1877–1940), a wealthy co-founder of E. F. Hutton & Company (owned by Franklyn's brother Edward Francis Hutton), a respected New York investment banking and stock brokerage firm.

Barbara Hutton's Family Tree

13 November 2012

Love Letters Sent From Nazi Labor Camp Delivered 70 Years Later

Love letters written in a Nazi labor camp during World War II have finally made their way to their intended recipients, 70 years after they were first penned.

The letters were written by Marcel Heuzé, a French toolmaker and turner who was deported in 1942 to Marienfelde, southwest Berlin, to help the Nazi war effort in its Compulsory Work Service.

Source & Full Story

Family Seeks Stolen WWI War Photos

A Cape Breton family is on the hunt for some very special photographs that were stolen from their family home near Gabarus, N.S. on Saturday, the day before Remembrance Day.

Rev. Andrew MacDonald, a minister in Whycocomagh, said wartime pictures of his great grandfather Pte. Murdock Dan MacLeod and his great uncle Pte. John MacLeod were removed during a break-in on Saturday.

Source & Full Story

Online Release of The Irish Army Census 1922

Military Archives is pleased to announce the online release of the Irish Army Census Records of 1922.

The Census collection consists of 10 volumes of Census Returns bound in leather and card and arranged alphabetically by post. In the past access to the collection has been limited by their size and inaccessibility – unless a researcher knew what post a particular soldier served in there was no way to search the volumes without reading each individual entry.

Source & Database Access

12 November 2012

Felon Who Stole Historic Artifacts From The New York State Archives Gets Second Chance At State Military Museum

Daniel Lorello has gotten a second chance to serve at the gateway to New York's heritage. His first chance spanned nearly three decades. That's when he was a $73,800-per year archivist with the State Archives, a well-regarded expert on the Civil War and co-author of a book with noted historian Harold Holzer.

But over the course of several years at that public post, he stole hundreds of documents worth tens of thousands of dollars and sold many of them on eBay, or traded them to collectors.

Source & Full Story

First Polynesian Settlers Arrived In Tonga Over 2,830 Years Ago

Polynesia was one of the last places on Earth to be settled by humans, and new techniques reveal that this settlement first occurred within a 16 year window nearly 3000 years ago.

The research, published November 7 in the open access journal PLOS ONE by David Burley and colleagues from Simon Fraser University, Canada, reveals that the first human settlers lived in a founder colony on the islands of Tonga between 2830 to 2846 years ago.

Source & Full Story

Are You Related to Charles Manson?

Born on November 12, 1934 to an unmarried 16-year-old named Kathleen Maddox, in Cincinnati General Hospital, Ohio, Manson was first named "no name Maddox." Within weeks, he was Charles Milles Maddox. The boy's biological father appears to have been a "Colonel Scott," against whom Kathleen Maddox filed a bastardy suit that resulted in an agreed judgment in 1937.

Charles Manson's Family Tree

The GeneaNet 'Individual Matches'

The GeneaNet 'Individual Matches' allows you to automatically search for individuals in the GeneaNet database that may match with any of your ancestors.

This powerful feature is reserved for GeneaNet Club Privilege members.

Other GeneaNet members can search for 'Individual Matches' in the Archival Records and Indexes but not in the collaborative family trees.

Continue reading...

9 November 2012

New National Archives of Ireland Genealogy Website

On 8 November, Jimmy Deenihan TD, Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, launched the NAI’s new genealogy website. From this site, you can access the Census records for 1901 and 1911, the Tithe Applotment Books for 1823 to 1837 and the Soldiers’ Wills for 1914 to 1917.

The site will have a large number of other genealogical records added to it over the coming years, including: Calendars of Wills and Administrations (1858– 1922); Nineteenth-century census survivals (1821-1851); Valuation Office House and Field Books (1848–1860); Census Search Forms for the 1841 and 1851 Censuses.

Source & Full Story

Genealogist Reveals Royal Scandal

One of Britain's leading genealogists is heading for the Phoenix pub in Abbey Street, Faversham next Wednesday, November 14, with an explosive theory that could rock the aristocracy.

Anthony Adolph's extensive researches have led him to believe Charles I was not father to Charles II or his brother James II. Anthony believes Henry Jermyn, the man who built St James Square in the heart of London, was the royal princes' true father.

Source & Full Story

Are You Related to Gail Borden?

Gail Borden, Jr. was born in Norwich, New York on November 9, 1801 to Gail Borden, a pioneer and landowner, and Philadelphia Wheeler. The details of his childhood are unclear but he did move twice with his family while growing up, first to Kennedy’s Ferry, Kentucky, which became Covington in 1814, and then, in 1816, to New London, Indiana.

He was the inventor of condensed milk in 1853.

Gail Borden's Family Tree

8 November 2012

Cold War Spy Tunnel Under Berlin Found After 56 Years

A section of an ingenious tunnel built by U.S. and British spies to intercept Russian phone conversations in Cold War Berlin has been found after 56 years in a forest 150 kilometers from the German capital.

The 450-meter-long tunnel, built in 1955, led from Rudow in West Berlin to Alt-Glienicke in Soviet-occupied East Berlin. By tapping into the enemy’s underground cables, Allied intelligence agents recorded 440,000 phone calls, gaining a clearer picture of Red Army maneuvers in eastern Germany at a time when nuclear war seemed an imminent threat.

Source & Full Story

Oxford War Graves Cemetery Gets QR Smart Phone Code

A war cemetery in Oxford is using mobile phone technology to give information about people buried there. A panel being installed at the war graves site at Botley Cemetery bears a QR (quick read) code which can be scanned using smart phones.

It marks the start of a project by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) to install similar panels at 500 sites across Europe. About 700 people are expected to mark Remembrance Sunday at Botley Cemetery.

Source & Full Story

Church Archives of Malta Digitised

The archives of the Archbishop and from various old parishes in Malta have been digitised and uploaded on a website for public use. The website,, was inaugurated by Archbishop Paul Cremona this morning. It includes documents from 1531 to date.

The archival collection of the Mdina Cathedral had already been microfilmed by the Hill Museum and Manuscript Library in an exercise which was embarked upon in 1973 and concluded in 1989.

Source & Full Story

First World War Memorial Cross Stolen Two Years Ago Turns Up 400 Miles Away

A 7-ft memorial cross that was stolen from its California desert perch two years ago mysteriously turned up hundreds of miles away in the San Francisco Bay area.

A local sheriff's department was notified Monday that the large cross honoring war dead was tied to a fence post in Half Moon Bay, 400 miles northwest of where it was erected, with an attached note asking its finders to contact authorities. 'This cross is an important historical artifact,' the note read.

Source & Full Story

7 November 2012

Genealogy Software Updates of the Week

Ahnenblatt 2.72 (Full Featured - Windows - Freeware)

• Plausibility check: new option 'check, if date entries are GEDCOM-compatible'.
• HTML website: new option 'only first picture'.
• Some improvements in GEDCOM (e.g. new tag _UIDs).
• Corrections concerning absolute and relative file paths of file attachments.
• Minor corrections in trees.

Ancestral Quest 14.7 (Full Featured - Windows - Purchase)

• Notes Screen: The Notes screen would get locked into full screen mode for many users. A change was made so that the user can stretch the Notes screen larger or smaller, but can no longer maximize the screen. This will keep the screen from locking in maximized position.
• Database Check/Repair: Now fixes a rare problem with an internal ID called a 'GUID'.
• Family Group Report: Depending on how some options were set, a bug caused the program to crash when the FGR was selected. Fixed.
• Dropline Descendant Chart: The option to make all the boxes in a generation be the same height was not working properly. Fixed.

Bee Docs' Easy Timeline 1.5.1 (Timeline - Mac - Purchase)

• Importing event images from "Timeline 3D for iOS" files is more stable.

Brother's Keeper 6.6.1 (Full Featured - Windows - Purchase)

• New Utility to search for Duplicates in the database and help merge them.
• New report Descendant (Marriage records) to show marriages information with spouses, parents of spouse, and children.
• New report Missing Sources to show all events that do not have a source attached.
• The Descendant Box Chart has a new option on the File menu to create an HTML file of the box chart with pictures.
• The Descendant report has an option on the File menu to send the report to an RTF file.

LiveHistory 1.0.2 (Mobile - Purchase)

• New "Quick Select" entries for adding children, parents, household members.
• Performance improvement: smoother scrolling.
• Bugfixes, internal updates.

MacFamilyTree 6.3.3 (Full Featured - Mac - Purchase)

• Stability improvements.
• Localization update.

MobileFamilyTree Pro 1.2.1 (Mobile - Purchase)

• Date parser bug corrected preventing from entering leap year dates.
• Events are now sorted correctly when exporting GEDCOM files.
• Localization updates.
• Other minor fixes.

Medieval Mystery Surrounds Sainted Relics

In summer 2011, archaeologists from John Moore Heritage Services uncovered a lead casket or ‘reliquary’ containing human remains at the site of a 12th century Augustinian priory in the town of Bicester, southwest England.

The crushed lead reliquary which was uncovered below the north transept is thought to be the same one which was displayed within a marble shrine dedicated to the 7th century St. Edburg, patron saint of Bicester. It contained 20% of a human skeleton, but with no pelvis or skull it was impossible to determine the sex.

Source & Full Story

'Human Excrement Was Piled Up Waist-High': Full Horror of Stalingrad Revealed For First Time

A new book has finally laid bare the full horrors of the Battle Of Stalingrad in the words of ordinary Russian soldiers, whose memories were suppressed by the Soviet authorities for 70 years.

The Stalingrad Protocols gathers interviews with hundreds of veterans that Russia had deemed too graphic to publish after the Second World War because only heroism was lauded.

Source & Full Story

6 November 2012

Two-Thirds of Young People Don't Know Year Great War Ended As Survey Reveals Our Shameful Ignorance of History

Nearly two-thirds of young people were unable to say that the First World War ended in 1918, as shown by a new survey. The poll results, released in the run up to Remembrance Day, discovered 54 per cent of the same age range, 16-24, also did not know the war began in 1914.

Astonishingly 12 per cent of young people thought that the battle of Waterloo, fought in 1815 as part of the Napoleonic Wars, was part of the Great War.

Source & Full Story

Are You Related to Maria Shriver?

Shriver was born November 6, 1955 in Chicago, Illinois. A Roman Catholic of German descent through her father and Irish descent through her mother, she is the second child and only daughter of the politician Sargent Shriver and Eunice Kennedy Shriver.

She is is a journalist and author of six best-selling books, and she was formerly First Lady of California as the wife of actor and then-California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Maria Shriver's Family Tree

5 November 2012

Holland Historical Trust: Expansive Archives Tell Holland's History

Holland Historical Trust Archivist Catherine Jung has been asked some interesting questions but the craziest was “does the museum have photos of Bonaire Island?”

A woman in England who runs a parrot rescue mission needed information on one of islands in the Dutch East Indies, calling a museum that focuses on Dutch history just made sense, Jung said.

Source & Full Story

World War Flue: Coded Message Found With Pigeon Remains in Chimney

A coded message dating back to the Second World War has been found with pigeon remains in a chimney. David Martin was renovating his Surrey home when he discovered the bird remains with a large red barrel - containing the message on a piece of paper - still attached to a leg.

"I said 'I wonder if it's a secret message' and it was. After we took the spool off there was a cigarette paper with coded writing on it," he reportedly said.

Source & Full Story

First World War Wills of 9,000 Irish Soldiers Will Go Online

The wills of 9,000 World War I Irish soldiers who fought in the British Army will be posted online this week. Many of the wills are very short said Hazel Menton, an archivist who has worked on the project for three years.

“The information is limited, but it is this very lack of detail that reminds us of a group of men who have been largely forgotten. “The men would simply write in the space provided to whom they wished to leave their effects,” said Menton.

Source & Full Story

Archaeologists Unearth Unrecorded Graves Near University of Virginia Cemetery

Archaeologists working to expand the University cemetery last week unearthed 30 previously unrecorded grave shafts at the site of the cemetery, the University announced Friday.

The identities of those buried in the graves have yet to be determined, but archival evidence suggests the graves once held enslaved African-Americans who helped build the University.

Source & Full Story

Are You Related to Tilda Swinton?

Swinton was born November 5, 1960 in London. Her father, Azland Major-General Sir John Swinton, is Scottish, and her mother, Judith Balfour, Lady Swinton (née Killen), was Australian. The Swinton family is an ancient Anglo-Scots family that can trace its lineage to the Middle Ages.

She has appeared in a number of films including The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Burn After Reading, The Beach and The Chronicles of Narnia.

Tilda Swinton's Family Tree

GeneaNet - Are You Sure That You Don't Have Any Errors In Your Family Tree?

Are you sure that you don't have any errors in your family tree?

No individual whose date of marriage is later than date of death? No woman whose date of death is before the date of birth of their child?

GeneaNet offers Club Privilege members to automatically and instantly check their family tree for errors.

And you may be surprised!

Continue reading...

2 November 2012

Man Builds 60ft-Long World War I Trench In His Back Garden - And Then Invites History Buffs Round for Re-Enactment

Surrounded by barbed wire, sandbags and mud, this 60ft trench is barely distinguishable from those occupied by British soldiers fighting in the First World War almost a century ago.

The enormous dugout has been painstakingly recreated by an ex-history teacher in his back garden in Surrey, and the dedicated 55-year-old even spent 24 hours living in its confines with a team of volunteers as part of his efforts to experience life as a WWI soldier.

Source & Full Story

Are You Related to Warren G. Harding?

The 29th President of the United States, Harding Harding was born November 2, 1865 in Blooming Grove, Ohio. His paternal ancestors, mostly ardent Baptists, hailed from Clifford, Pennsylvania and had migrated to Ohio in 1820. Nicknamed "Winnie", he was the eldest of eight children born to Dr. George Tryon Harding, Sr. (1843–1928) and Phoebe Elizabeth (Dickerson) Harding (1843–1910).

Warren G. Harding's Family Tree