Genealogy Blog

28 February 2013

Revolutionary War Generation Lives In Photos! Follow Maureen Taylor As She Uncovers Their Stories In A New Film

Maureen Taylor: "At some point in our lives we have all studied the American Revolution.. For most of us it seems long ago and far away, but it doesn’t have to...

Ten years ago, I was presented with an old photograph and asked to analyze it. Suddenly, I realized that I was looking into the face of someone who was a young adult during the Revolutionary War! While it may seem surprising, many of our founding countrymen and women lived into the photographic age…and I discovered that more than 200 years later, I could look directly into their faces."

Source & Full Story

Atlas Digitization Project Completed At The McPherson Public Library

With the recent upload of two new digital resources, the McPherson Public Library has completed a project to digitize its collection of atlases and make them available for use by the public on the library website.

The latest digital additions are a 1969 McPherson County Atlas and a 1937 McPherson County property ownership map. Other McPherson County atlases in the digital collection are from the years of 1884, 1903, and 1921.

Source & Full Story

Swindon, England: Online Photographic Project Gives A Fascinating Bird’s Eye View of History

One day in 1920, a large biplane passed low over the Railway Works and a man leaned bravely out with an unwieldy camera whose ‘film’ was a glass plate about five inches square.

What he couldn’t have known was that the images he shot would eventually be preserved with thousands of others in one of the buildings below, and made available to the whole world.

Source & Full Story

27 February 2013

Genealogy Software Updates of the Week

Brother's Keeper 6.6.7 (Full Featured - Windows - Purchase)

• There is a new option to exclude data for living people on the descendant Tree chart.
• Fixed a problem on Group Sheets with all pictures at the end, where it would sometimes print a blank page after a full page of pictures.
• When you are adding a new person on Edit and it creates the default events, the cursor will be blinking in the Date field for the first event.

The Family Tree of Family for Android 1.7.3 (Mobile - Purchase)

• Updated the video album.

XHTML Family Tree Generator 2.3.11 (Charts and Diagrams - Linux - Freeware/Open Source)

• This release has bugfixes, and is serializing in a platform-independent way.

Have Bones of Cleopatra's Murdered Sister Been Found?

A Viennese archaeologist lecturing in North Carolina this week claims to have identified the bones of Cleopatra's murdered sister or half-sister. But not everyone is convinced.

That's because the evidence linking the bones, discovered in an ancient Greek city, to Cleopatra's sibling Arsinoe IV is largely circumstantial. A DNA test was attempted, said Hilke Thur, an archaeologist at the Austrian Academy of Sciences.

Source & Full Story

Door County, Wisconsin: Historic Newspapers Now Available Online

It isn’t often a librarian gets several shout-outs, but Door County adult services librarian Laura Kayacan won praises from Door County Board members Tuesday after her presentation.

Kayacan has been mining a gold mine of local historic information by digitizing every edition of Door County’s newspapers published between 1862 and 1923, beginning with the Door County Advocate of March 22, 1862.

Source & Full Story

2013 Announced As Ireland’s "Family History Year"!

Tourism Ireland announced that 2013 is to be Ireland’s “Family History Year”, in a bid to encourage people in Britain and elsewhere around the world to find out more about their Irish ancestry.

Hundreds of clan gatherings, as well as genealogy and local history events, are planned all over Ireland this year, as part of The Gathering Ireland 2013.

Source & Full Story

26 February 2013

Commonwealth War Graves Commission: Site Sought For Memorial To WWI's 'Forgotten Soldiers'

There are still some soldiers who died in World War I for whom there is no memorial. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission is trying to find a place in the Somme for a new memorial with thousands of names that have been missed.

Speaking to Today presenter Justin Webb, Terry Denham co-founder of the In From The Cold Project, - the initiative established to find a place for the soldiers to be remembered - explained "the bureaucracy of the day did not keep up with the events... and names just got forgotten."

Source & Full Story

Coral Gables, Florida: Pioneer Day To Honor Early Settlers Buried At Historic Cemetery

"Pioneers! O, Pioneers!" wrote Walt Whitman of the intrepid folks who pushed ever westward when the nation was young. But brave souls ventured far south, too, into a vast, mosquito-infested swampland.

More than 200 of those pioneers are remembered and honored every year at the oldest cemetery south of the Miami River – indeed, one of the oldest historical sites in Coral Gables: Pinewood Cemetery at 7220 SW 47th Court.

Source & Full Story

25 February 2013

'I Have No Friends Of My Own': Last Desperate Letters of 19th Century Mass-Poisoner Known As The Black Widow Before She Was Executed

A set of desperate letters penned by a 19th Century poisoner known infamously as the 'Black Widow' before she was executed will be sold at auction next week. Serial killer Mary Ann Cotton was hanged in March 1873 for murdering her seven-year-old stepson Charles with arsenic.

Cotton, who married four times, was suspected of poisoning 21 people in total, including her own children, husband, lovers and mother. At the time of her death, three other murder charges and an accusation of bigamy were left to lie on file.

Source & Full Story

New Agreement with Jewish Records Indexing – Poland

On 15 February 2013 the General Director of the State Archives, professor Władysław Stępniak, signed a new agreement for co-operation by and between the Polish State Archives and an international group of genealogists associated by the Jewish Records Indexing – Poland seated in Montreal.

The event was preceded by signing the said document by the Head of JRI-Poland, Mr. Stanley Diamond, at the Polish Consulate in Montreal. The signed agreement opens another stage of co-operation between the two partners dating back to 1997.

Source & Full Story

Edinburgh WWI Trenches Suffer Flood Defence Damage

Part of the Capital’s historic First World War trenches have been damaged by botched flood defence works. A channel was dug through one of the training trenches at Redford Woods in Colinton to provide an outlet for water from a nearby stream.

The works also saw a manhole covered up, resulting in the blocked drain discharging into the Braid Burn against SEPA regulations. It comes amid a campaign backed by the Evening News to see the nearby Dreghorn trenches, which are part of the same network, preserved.

Source & Full Story

Black Celebrities Trace Slave Ancestors

Samuel L. Jackson is amongst the personalities whose ancestry is discovered in a new series of the US programme Finding Your Roots.

The American version of the popular British show Who Do You Think You Are?, Finding Your Roots premieres in the UK this Sunday (February 24) and episode one traces the ancestral backgrounds of Jackson, along with former US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Ruth Simmons, president of America’s prestigious Brown University.

Source & Full Story

Build Your GeneaNet Family Tree Template

GeneaNet offers to build your family tree template.

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

You can specify the information you want to be displayed in each section (Basic, Extended, Full, With Pictures) and you can choose a family tree preview theme (3-Generation Family Tree Chart, 3-Generation Family Tree Chart + Family pictures, 4-Generation Family Tree Chart (Vertical), 3-Generation Family Tree Chart (Horizontal)).

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22 February 2013

Ghosts of Crimean War Return as French Cemetery Uncovered

The din of machinery mingled with the echo of the 19th century Crimean War when an excavator bucket stumbled upon the yellowed remains of long-dead French soldiers at a construction site in a southern Ukrainian port city.

The haunting find at Sebastopol's Cane Bay beach in December revealed the site of a large cemetery of French soldiers who died in the war against the Russian Empire during the 1854-1856 Crimean War.

Source & Full Story

Archives Reveal: Our Grandparents Took Better Photos Than We Do

"Looking through the photos the first thing I noticed is how good looking everyone is. I’m not just talking about physical beauty in the genetic sense; I mean they are dressed well, their hair is combed, and they are posed thoughtfully for the camera.

There are no ratty sweatshirts here or duck lips. Just lovely happy people, posing in clean tidy clothes with the attitude that if someone wants to take their photo then by gosh they should present their best side with enthusiasm."

Source & Full Story

Rare Photos Show Civil War Life

Rare Civil War images of African American life and battlefield scenes appear in the new exhibit, "The Civil War in Photographs: New Perspectives from the Robin Sanford Collection."

The exhibit, at Southern Methodist University’s DeGolyer Library, runs through February, African American History month, and ends on March 15.

Source & Full Story

21 February 2013

Genealogy Software Updates of the Week

23andMe for iPhone & iPad 1.4 (Mobile - Freeware)

• Bug fixes.

GedTreeFree 0.9.10 (Mobile - Freeware)

• The number of generations shown is now configurable.
• Different codecs supported (utf-8, ascii, latin_1, ansel).

Legacy Family Tree (Full Featured - Windows - Purchase)

• GEDCOM Import - Lots of Gedcom improvements for better support of various genealogy programs.
• GEDCOM Export - Location of new Use Double Dating option.
• GEDCOM Export - Uses Double Dates when turned off and resets double dates in options.
• Reports - Ancestor and Descendant Books - Source Citations Indented more for each Generation.
• Reports - Multiple Lines of Descent - Multi-page Table of Contents had a page numbering problem.
• Reports - Picture Scrapbook - "Include the date printed" option was not saved when Legacy is closed.

LTools 1.3.32 (Other Tools - Windows - Freeware)

• Data Bridge – Added a context menu (right-click) on the main window. Menu items available are Untag Individual and Launch Individual in Data Source.
• Run Raw SQL – Added Load Query from File to the context menu (right-click over the SQL text area).

MacFamilyTree 6.3.6 (Full Featured - Mac - Purchase)

• Media Gallery performance improved.
• Several memory leaks fixed.
• Bug fixed that could cause MacFamilyTree to crash.

Saving Memories Forever for iPhone & iPad 1.0.1 (Mobile - Freeware)

• Minor text changes to better explain how the app works.

The Complete Genealogy Builder 2013 build 130220 (Full Featured - Windows - Shareware)

• Fixed: Unexpected Program Error when importing a UTF-8 GECDOM file created on a Macintosh computer.
• Improved: Exports with Embedded Objects may now be encoded using the TCGB or GEDCOM methods.

The Complete Genealogy Reporter 2013 build 130220 (Family Books - Windows - Shareware)

• Fixed: Unexpected Program Error when importing a UTF-8 GEDCOM file created on a Macintosh computer.

The Family Tree of Family for Android 1.7.0 (Mobile - Purchase)

• Personal Genealogical Map

The Next Generation of Genealogy Sitebuilding 9.1.2 (Web Publishing - Windows, Mac, Linux - Purchase)

• Albums: When adding media to an album, pagination in the listed media did not work (fixed).
• Anniversaries: The pagination links always showed page 1, even after going to a new page, and the "Next" button always went to page 2 (fixed).
• CSS: Style sheets references will now be appended with the current version number to cut down on the amount of cache clearing needed during upgrades.
• Maps: Event pins were sometimes not displayed (fixed).
• Media: Default media icons had an unwanted drop shadow around the perimeter (fixed).
• And more.

Your Family Tree 3.1.3 (Mobile - Freeware)

• Free Subscription Trials.
• Improved Layout & Navigation.
• Prime focus on the latest issue.
• Clear Section Headings .

20 February 2013

Hundreds of British War Graves in Indian City Face Being Dug Up To Make Way For New Railway Line

British war graves in India are in danger of being dug up to make way for a new metro rail line. Some of the 2,000 graves in Lucknow, the Uttar Pradesh state capital, could be destroyed as part of plans by the city’s authorities to build a railway line.

The graves are those of British troops who were trapped inside the Lucknow Residency during the uprising of 1857 known as the Indian Mutiny or India's First War of Independence.

Source & Full Story

New App Provides Information on Britain’s WWI Cemeteries and Memorials

A new smartphone app released on Tuesday allows people to find information about cemeteries across Britain that provide final resting places for those who died in World War I, which ranged from 1914 to 1918, the Duke of Kent said.

More than 100 information panels have been placed at cemeteries and memorials across the country as part of a project launched ahead of the centennial of the start of the war by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

Source & Full Story

10 Of The World's Most Beautiful Cemeteries

To some, it may sound like a strange way to spend a vacation. But for many visitors, the carefully manicured grounds of cemeteries can provide beautiful moments to remember history's fascinating figures.

St. Louis No. 1, New Orleans. New Orleans is situated below sea level. Early in its history, each time there was a flood, the dead would literally rise. Residents soon learned that bodies shouldn't be buried in the ground.

Source & Full Story

19 February 2013

Eighteenth Century Graves Found At Charleston, South Carolina, Construction Site

Workers have found at least 27 graves at the site of a construction project in downtown Charleston. The city is spending $142 million to renovate Gaillard Auditorium. But now workers have discovered more than two dozen graves and have more areas to search.

Officials are puzzled by the graves since there is no record of a cemetery at that location. Archaeologist Eric Poplin says it appears the pits date to at least 1780, the time of the American Revolution.

Source & Full Story

DNA Tests Reveal Last Medici May Not Have Died Of Syphilis As Believed

In 1743, the last member of the family that had ruled Florence for almost 300 years died a slow and painful death. Historical documents suggest that Anna Maria Luisa de’ Medici suffered from syphilis or breast cancer. But a first look at samples of her bone suggests that syphilis may not have killed her.

In 1966, the tombs of the Medici family were swamped in mud during severe flooding of Florence, which many feared had damaged the bodies. But Anna Maria Luisa's skeleton was found to be mostly intact when it was exhumed last October.

Source & Full Story

Mystery of Henri IV's Missing Head Divides France

Richard III may have had an ignominious resting place under a Leicester car park, but spare a thought for Henri IV. First the French monarch was disinterred from the royal sepulchre by revolutionaries and thrown into a mass grave. Then his head was cut off and – allegedly – turned up in the attic of a retired tax inspector.

Worse, while British experts have confirmed that the deformed skeleton found in Leicester is "almost certainly" that of Richard, bearing signs of fatal wounds he suffered during the battle of Bosworth, French scientists are still fighting over the disputed remains of Henri.

Source & Full Story

Historic Property Records Unveiled at Nova Scotia Archives

Nova Scotians who want to join the Canada-wide celebration of Heritage Day can explore a new heritage property resource at the Nova Scotia Archives. For the first time, records and photos of pre-1914 built homes, churches, railway stations, bridges and other community structures are available.

"What better way to celebrate this year's Heritage Day theme, Heritage Homes and Neighbourhoods, than to unveil such a spectacular record of Nova Scotia's built history," Communities, Culture and Heritage Minister Leonard Preyra said in a news release.

Source & Full Story

New Jersey's Deep Sea Train Graveyard: Locomotives Lost In The 1850s Found Preserved 90 Feet Under Water

Archeologists have discovered a train graveyard off the coast of New Jersey, where two rare locomotives from the 1850s lay preserved under 90 feet of water. It remains a mystery how the two steam engines were sunk. There is no historical record of them ever being built and no record of them being lost.

Explorers believe that the engines were lost in a storm five miles off the coast of Long Branch, New Jersey, as they were being transported from Boston to the Mid-Atlantic.

Source & Full Story

18 February 2013

A Hoard of 16th And 17th Century Children’s Toys

An entire hoard of children’s toys, found at Market Harborough parish church, England. A charming stash of the everyday playthings of sixteenth or seventeenth century children, the hoard throws a rare spotlight on the material culture of children in the archaeological record.

The hoard was revealed when construction workers unblocked an old disused stairwell at the church and discovered that the space had been stashed with over 200 toys. Staff at Harborough Museum dated the collection to the late Tudor and early Stuart era (1570-1630).

Source & Full Story

2 Mount Kisco, New York, Moms Restore Revolutionary War-Era Cemetery

Two village moms are teaming up to tidy and repair a historic Mount Kisco cemetery that played a role in the Revolutionary War.

The St. George’s/St. Mark’s Cemetery sits on about an acre across the street from Leonard Park and is home to about 430 graves dating from 1773 to 1940, many of which bear locally significant names such as Kirby and Sarles.

Source & Full Story

WWII Soldier's True Bravery Revealed After Memoirs Found In Picnic Basket In His Attic Show He Was A Founding Member of SAS

The family of Cecil Leyland Riding already knew he was a war hero. He had, after all, been awarded the Military Cross for gallantry during World War Two. But what they didn't know was the true extent of his exploits, until now - thanks to the contents of a picnic basket found in his attic.

The hamper, full of medals, coded maps, memoirs and photographs, has revealed that Captain Riding was in fact a founding member of the SAS. The documents show how, just days after D-Day, the 28-year-old was parachuted behind enemy lines into Nazi-occupied France - with a carrier pigeon strapped to his chest.

Source & Full Story

DNA Testing Helps With Family Histories

As she swabbed the inside of his cheek, Patt Heise assured her 84-year-old father that she wasn't crazy, just curious.

She mailed off the saliva sample and waited for results. Her dad died a month later, too early to find out what DNA testing had revealed — a list of potential relatives from all over the world and a migration chart dating back to Adam.

Source & Full Story

Battered Suitcase Unlocks Story of British World War One Nurse Who Cared For German Soldiers While Her bBrother Lay Dying On The Battlefield

The previously unknown story of a compassionate WWI nurse who cared for wounded Germans despite her own brother dying on the battlefields has emerged for the first time.

Little was known about nurse Margaret Maule until a battered suitcase containing her mementos was discovered at the back of a cupboard at the University of Abertay, in Dundee.

Source & Full Story

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15 February 2013

First Images of Tomb Where Richard III Could Finally Be Laid To Rest After His Remains Were Found In A Leicester Car Park

His first burial was an undignified one - dumped in a shallow grave with no coffin or shroud following the Battle of Bosworth in 1485.

But after its discovery under a Leicester car park, the body of Richard III will finally be laid to rest in surroundings fit for a king, as the first pictures of his potential tomb are revealed.

Source & Full Story

Texas Woman Resurrects Long Lost Cemetery

Sue Spears noticed some grave markers near her Austin, Texas home 15 years ago when she used to see children play in a dirty overgrown lot near a school.

When she took a closer look, Spears noticed there was something special hidden under the weeds. “You could see maybe one of the stones at the front,” said Spears. “But I had no idea there was six acres of graves here.”

Source & Full Story

California Couple Reunited With Their Stolen WWII Love Letters

Lloyd and Marian Michael, now 89 and 88, thought the missives of their love were gone forever until a stranger came to their aid just in time for their 70th wedding anniversary.

World War II era newlyweds captured the pangs of long distance love, amplified by fear of enemy fire, in a series of love letters that they cherished dearly for decades - before someone stole them.

Source & Full Story

14 February 2013

Genealogy Software Updates of the Week

Branches (Full Featured - Windows - Purchase)

• Added European date format to preferences.
• Improved multimedia handling during GEDCOM export.
• Fixed problem when showing concentrations of individuals.

Build Your Family Tree 5.30 (Mobile - Purchase)

• Minor interface improvement.

GedStar Pro for Android Version varies with device (Mobile - Freeware)

• Full support for Action Bar on Android V4.
• Simulated Action Bar for Android V2-3.
• Action Bar tabs for view navigation.
• Swipe between views on Android V4.
• Updated and sharpened graphics.

Legacy Family Tree (Full Featured - Windows - Purchase)

• GEDCOM Import - Lots of Gedcom improvements for better support of various genealogy programs.
• GEDCOM Export - Location of new Use Double Dating option.
• Publishing Center - Additional Tab - Table of Contents Start on an odd page setting was not staying set.
• Reports - Ancestor and Descendant Books - Source Citations Indented more for each Generation.
• Reports - Multiple Lines of Descent - Multi-page Table of Contents had a page numbering problem.
• and more...

Our Family Book 6.6.5 (Family Books - Windows - Purchase)

• During every start of the program, before the Main Screen shows up, the program now checks, if an update check is overdue.

Reunion for iPhone & iPod Touch 2.0.2 (Mobile - Purchase)

• Fixed a crash on startup that several users were experiencing.
• People list - fixed "Birthdays in the next week" option.
• People list - fixed a crash when searching on person ID.
• Relatives list - capitalized some of the subtitles.

The Complete Genealogy Builder 2013 build 130211 (Full Featured - Windows - Shareware)

• Improved: Very large images are now not cached in order to avoid unexpected program errors.

The Family Tree of Family for Android 1.6.8 (Mobile - Purchase)

• New Fields - Email, telephone.
• Geocoding and geolocation.

Fargo, North Dakota, Woman Uncovers WWII-Era Love Letters in Abandoned House

The wooden box was stained from age and covered with tattered canvas that gave no hint of the forgotten secrets it held. At first glance, Kerry Conlin thought the plywood box was covering electrical wiring in the abandoned house in Kathryn that she and her husband, Paul, had bought to rescue from ruin.

When she opened the lid it quickly became apparent that the box had been carefully placed in a corner of a bedroom closet for safekeeping by someone long ago. The old box was a time capsule stuffed with letters, photographs and family albums dating back to the 1930s and 1940s.

Source & Full Story

Austin, Texas, First African-American Cemetery Under Repair

Black civil war veterans, former slaves, and other early East Austin residents rest at Bethany Cemetery. "The stories must be told about the ancestors in this community," Travis County Commissioner Ron Davis said.

Davis contacted the Travis County Sheriff's Office for help in restoring the historical burial ground months ago. "This was truly an eyesore in this community for many, many years," Davis said at a press conference Wednesday at Bethany Cemetery.

Source & Full Story

13 February 2013

Are You Related to Tennessee Ernie Ford?

Born on February 13, 1919 in Bristol, Tennessee, to Clarence Thomas Ford and Maud Long, Ford began his radio career as an announcer at WOPI-AM in Bristol, Tennessee.

In 1939, the young bass-baritone left the station to study classical singing at the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music in Ohio. First Lieutenant Ford served in World War II as the bombardier on a B-29 Superfortress flying missions over Japan.

Tennessee Ernie Ford's Family Tree

Library and Archives Canada: Immigrants from China

The Government of Canada created documents specifically for new arrivals from China. This research tool provides access to 98,361 references to Chinese immigrants who arrived in Canada between 1885 and 1949. The names were extracted from three different series of records.

Access to the Database

Homeless Serbian Man Lives In Abandoned Cemetery For 15 Years

There's no place like home, and for Bratislav Stojanovic, his home is in a tomb. The homeless Serbian man has been living in an old, seemingly abandoned, cemetery in the southern city of Nis for about 15 years.

"I was afraid in the beginning, but I got used to it in time," Stojanovic told Reuters. "Now I am more afraid of the living than of the dead." Stojanovic settled in the garbage-filled tomb after his home burned down in a fire that also killed his father over two decades ago.

Source & Full Story

Shelby County, Indiana: How To Save 30 Million County Public Records

As Shelby County continues plans to digitize decades of county documents, the most recent step in that direction came last month when Shelby County Commissioners considered a draft resolution that would permit the the county to seek proposals for the job.

Superior Court II Judge David Riggins, working with an ad hoc committee, has been tackling the storage project since being appointed as judge by Gov. Mitch Daniels in 2011.

Source & Full Story

12 February 2013

Pueblo, Colorado: It's A Slow Process To Convert Archives Dating Back To 1867

The official record of Pueblo's history can't be found with the click of a button. That says a lot in this day of digital accessibility, but such is the case for the office of Pueblo County Clerk and Recorder, which maintains 1,526 volumes of land records that date back to 1867.

And that's just land records. That doesn't touch the minutes of county commissioner meetings and other documents held by the clerk and recorder. "We have Kit Carson's will," Gilbert "Bo" Ortiz, the county clerk and recorder, said as he stood waiting for a vault to open at the Pueblo County Courthouse.

Source & Full Story

11 February 2013

Are You Related to Jennifer Aniston?

Jennifer Aniston was born on February 11, 1969 in Sherman Oaks, Los Angeles, to actors John Aniston and Nancy Dow. Her father is Greek and a native of Crete, while her mother was born in New York City.

One of her maternal great-grandfathers was an Italian immigrant, and her mother's other ancestry is Scottish, Irish, and a small amount of Greek. Aniston has two half-brothers, John Melick, her maternal older half-brother, and Alex Aniston, her younger paternal half-brother.

Jennifer Aniston's Family Tree

The Forgotten Grave of Mr Selfridge: Tombstone To Mark Burial Place of Famous Shop Owner Left in a Dilapidated and Sorry State

The sleepy Dorset village of Highcliffe is a million miles away from the hustle and bustle of London's Oxford Street, but here lies one of its most famous traders. The simple grave of Harry Gordon Selfridge at St Mark's Churchyard contains no clues about the lavish lifestyle the man who revolutionised shopping once led.

Selfridge was the American entrepreneur behind Selfridge's, London’s famous department store, a self-made millionaire who turned retail on its head because he understood what women wanted and gave it to them in style.

Source & Full Story

Historic Football Match Between British and German Troops at Christmas To Be Recreated in 2014 To Mark The Centenary of First World War

An historic football match between British and German troops on Christmas Day in 1914 is to be recreated under plans to mark the centenary of World War One.

There will be six state occasions, school trips to battlefields and exhibitions backed by historians and the government who have set aside £50million for the commemorations. A number of debates about the reasons why the war started have also been planned. Almost a million British soldiers lost their lives in the four-year conflict.

Source & Full Story

Withhold Living Individuals in your GeneaNet Family Tree

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8 February 2013

Genealogy Software Updates of the Week

iScrapbook 4.0.4 (Family Pictures - Mac - Purchase)

• Added ability to save new templates directly to special built-in locations.
• Added compatibility with Mac App Store version of iScrapbook 4.
• Significantly improved speed of software when page includes cropped images.
• Removed the Print column from the Layers Pane since it was causing some confusion (layers now always print if visible).
• Fixed multiple problems where pages could export/print with blank backgrounds.
• etc.

ViewGene NEW! (GEDCOM Tools - Windows - Freeware)

• ViewGene is a family tree viewer that lets you easily view and investigate your ancestry. This application displays your ancestors in a convenient layout so that you can see how many descendants you have on each branch of your tree, allowing you to see where to focus your investigations.

MN Woman Discovers Heritage in Swedish Reality Show

If you've ever heard a good "Sven and Ole" joke, you can credit that to the large Scandinavian population that settled in Minnesota. Nearly 10 percent of our population has Swedish ancestors. According to the 2000 Census, 586,000 Swedish-Americans have settled in Minnesota.

For Minnesotans tracing their heritage back to their home country can be a daunting task. But a Swedish reality television show could help. It aims to do the genealogy leg-work and fly contestants to Sweden to meet their relatives.

Source & Full Story

Names of 140 Black Civil War Veterans to be Added to Cleveland's Soldiers & Sailors Monument

Officials who oversee the Soldiers and Sailors Monument in downtown Cleveland have announced that they have verified the service of 140 black Civil War veterans, and will begin adding their names to the monument's wall.

The monument, which was opened in 1894 to honor locals who fought in the Civil War, is located on Public Square. The 125-foot column is topped with a statue of the Goddess of Freedom.

Source & Full Story

U.S. National Cemetery Review Finds Remains in Wrong Places, Other Problems

The Department of Veterans Affairs announced Thursday that a review of every grave in the national cemetery system found 15 sets of remains buried in the wrong spots and nearly 800 other problems.

Most of those other issues were unmarked or mismarked graves. The department’s announcement came shortly after its inspector general released a report critical of how the VA initially accounted for the final resting place of generations of veterans and their families.

Source & Full Story

7 February 2013

Crippled by Sandy, Ellis Island Sends Archives Packing

Tens of thousands of archival papers. Nineteen thousand artifacts. The thousands of donated items, carefully chosen by immigrants to bring to America—from Bibles to pasta makers to musical instruments.

In all, one big packing job for the Ellis Island Immigration Museum. The magnificently restored 113-year-old building, where the story of America’s great immigration is told, is now largely empty, its walls stripped of exhibits of passports, steamship posters, immigrant manifests and much more.

Source & Full Story

Are You Related to Laura Ingalls Wilder?

Laura Elizabeth Ingalls was born February 7, 1867, seven miles north of the village of Pepin, in the "Big Woods" of Wisconsin, to Charles Phillip Ingalls and Caroline Lake (Quiner) Ingalls. Her siblings were Mary Amelia, who went blind; Caroline Celestia, Charles Frederick, who died in infancy, and Grace Pearl.

Her birth site is commemorated by a log cabin, the Little House Wayside. Her life here formed the basis for the book Little House in the Big Woods.

Laura Ingalls Wilder's Family Tree

6 February 2013

Slippers of Napoleon's Sister Found

A delicate pair of slippers that had been sitting unnoticed in a Scottish university's collection for more than a century may have actually belonged to Napoleon Bonaparte's sister, Princess Pauline Borghese, researchers say.

The narrow silk and leather shoes, which measured just 1.5 inches (40 millimeters) across the toes and about 4 inches (10.2 centimeters) long, were marked on the sole "Pauline Rome."

Source & Full Story

Richard III's Face Revealed

Advanced CT scans and wax modeling have revealed the face of King Richard III. Showing a hint of a smile, a prominent chin, and slightly arched nose, the facial reconstruction is based on a skull found along with other bones just 2 feet beneath a car park in Leicester, UK, last September.

The reconstruction follows confirmation that the skeleton was that of the king killed in battle more than 500 years ago.

Source & Full Story

Historical Documents Discovered in Quakertown, Pennsylvania, High School Basement

For decades, hundreds of tattered scrapbooks, faded black-and-white photos and one-room schoolhouse ledgers lay tucked away in the corner of the Quakertown Community High School basement.

Items that may have once been labeled as junk are a new treasure for local historians. A $60 million high school renovation project begins in June, and the basement is first on the list to be gutted. Frank Licapoli of Quakertown has gained permission from district officials to do a little treasure hunting.

Source & Full Story

Arlington National Cemetery Expansion Stalled in Hopes of Saving Old Trees

Plans to expand Arlington National Cemetery were stalled at least temporarily following a public uproar over the potential removal of 900 Civil War-era trees, forcing officials to reconsider plans for the future of the nation's premier resting place.

The Army Corps of Engineers released a report in December that recommended removing 890 trees to make room for 31,000 additional grave sites on a 30-acre tract near Arlington House. The expansion would allow the burial of military personnel at the cemetery through 2050.

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Battle of Midway Hero Jim Muri Dies At 93

Jim Muri, a Montanan whose legendary flying prowess saved his stricken bomber and crew during the Battle of Midway in World War II, died Sunday at age 93.

Muri earned national recognition and became the subject of a popular song for his exploits during the battle, June 4-6, 1942. He piloted a twin-engine B-26 bomber, one of dozens of land-based aircraft that attacked a massive Japanese invasion fleet on the opening morning of the battle.

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Student Genealogy Grant Announced

Do you know a young genealogist who could use $500 toward their family history education and free registration to the Southern California Genealogy Jamboree in June 2013?

The Suzanne Winsor Freeman Memorial Grant Committee is pleased to announce that applications are now being accepted for the 2013 Student Genealogy Grant. In addition, SCGS Jamboree will once again provide the recipient with free three-day registration.

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Are You Related to Ronald Reagan?

Ronald Wilson Reagan was born on February 6, 1911 in an apartment on the second floor of a commercial building in Tampico, Illinois, to Jack Reagan and Nelle Wilson Reagan. Reagan's father was a salesman and a storyteller, the grandson of Irish Catholic immigrants from County Tipperary while his mother had Scots-English ancestors.

Ronald Reagan's Family Tree

5 February 2013

Georgia Archives Supporters Press for More Funding

Supporters of the Georgia Archives want to set the record straight: the governor’s proposed $4.3 million budget doesn’t add any new positions to the archives staff. Nor does it provide for additional hours the Morrow facility is open to the general public.

Things are as they have been, limited to three days a week. “The confusion comes from showing the five employees in the records center,” said Karen Quigley, an Emory archivist and a member of The Coalition to Preserve the State Archives.

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Indiana University Digitizes Archives Of 19th Century Literary Society

From the African Languages Club to the Progressive Librarians’ Guild, Indiana University now counts more than 750 official student organizations. But in the mid-nineteenth century the school had only two.

They were rival literary societies that each wanted to prove their members were the most cultivated and articulate on campus. IU is digitizing its archives for one of them, the Athenian Society.

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After Richard III, Archaeologists Set Their Sights On Alfred the Great

Following the discovery of Richard III’s skeleton under a Leicester car park, archaeologists are now turning their attentions to locating another lost king, Alfred the Great.

His remains are believed to lie in an unmarked grave in Winchester and a team is reportedly applying for permission to dig up the spot at St Bartholomew’s Church. It is thought Alfred’s skeleton could be found among a collection of bones there.

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Richard III To Be Re-Interred in Major Ceremony at Leicester Cathedral

King Richard III, the last English king to die in battle, will be re-interred in a major ceremony at Leicester Cathedral after DNA tests confirmed his skeleton has been found under a council car park in the city.

The Society of Friends of Richard III Society, who had previously called for the body to be buried in York, also said they were happy for him to be interred in Leicester.

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It's Him: Richard III Rises From Grave

The discovery of remains of Richard III almost never took place because a plumber came within inches of destroying the skeleton during construction of public lavatories, archeologists disclosed yesterday.

It is being called one of the most significant finds in archaeological history, shedding new light on a king’s last resting place and solving a 500-year-old mystery over his death. A skeleton found in a Leicester car park was yesterday confirmed by DNA tests to be the missing remains of Richard III.

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Are You Related to Barbara Hershey?

Barbara Herzstein was born on February 5, 1948 in Hollywood, California. She is the daughter of Melrose (née Moore) and Arnold Nathan Herzstein. Her father, a horse racing columnist, was Jewish (his parents emigrated from Hungary and Russia) and her mother, a native of Arkansas, was a Presbyterian of Irish descent.

The youngest of three children, Barbara always wanted to be an actress. Her family nicknamed her "Sarah Bernhardt". She was shy in school and so quiet that people thought she was deaf.

Barbara Hershey's Family Tree

4 February 2013

India : 150-Year-Old Odia Magazines, Newspapers Digitized

Old timers looking to relive fond memories of cozy afternoons curled up with their favourite magazines and historians and researchers endeavouring to delve deeper into the rich literary heritage of Odisha can now access a host of old Odia magazines and newspapers online.

Srujanika, a voluntary organization working towards promotion of science and digitization of rare books and documents, has accomplished a herculean task of digitizing several rare magazines and documents, over 150 years old.

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Victims of Nazi Anatomists Named

Liane Berkowitz was just 19 years old when she was executed by the Nazis.

She was arrested by the Gestapo in 1942 when they caught her putting up posters that displayed messages of protest against an exhibition of Nazi propaganda. She was pregnant at the time of her arrest, but this just led to her execution being postponed until after the birth of her child.

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State Archives of North Carolina Offers Assistance for Document Preservation

Many items in North Carolina’s nearly 1,000 cultural and historical repositories are at risk as a result of normal deterioration, environmental damage, negligence or improper handling. The State Archives of North Carolina can help through its Traveling Archivist Program (TAP).

The TAP encourages best practices in collection preservation and access by providing onsite, hands-on assistance to institutions that preserve North Carolina’s history and culture.

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How Canadian DNA Is Helping Solve The Mystery of King Richard III’s Bones

Researchers in Leicester, England, are hoping they have finally solved a 500-year-old mystery thanks to modern technology and some Canadian-born DNA.

On Monday, a team at the University of Leicester is set to reveal the results of DNA tests on a skeleton found underneath a local parking lot last summer. The bones are believed to be those of King Richard III, who died in 1485 during a battle roughly 25 kilometres away in Bosworth Field.

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Match Your GeneaNet Family Tree

Club Privilege members can automatically match their family tree with the complete GeneaNet database. This feature will automatically search for new ancestors in your family tree.

Match your family tree with just one click or select the Advanced mode to get full access to all settings.

Non-Club Privilege members can automatically match surnames & places (not the first names) in their family tree with the complete GeneaNet database.

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1 February 2013

Priceless Timbuktu Manuscripts Escape Burning

The majority of Timbuktu’s manuscripts is safe, according to experts involved in the preservation of the ancient texts.

After French-led forces on Sunday recaptured Timbuktu, the northern city of Mali on the edge of the Sahara desert, the city’s mayor Hallé Ousmane Cissé made a shocking announcement. He reported that fleeing Islamic militants had set on fire several buildings, reducing thousands of priceless manuscripts kept inside the structures to a pile of ashes.

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Canada: Halifax Theft Probe Turns Mounties Into Antique Appraisers

The house at the end of the snow-covered cul-de-sac in an isolated neighbourhood seemed an odd place for a museum.

But that’s what police officers found inside — hundreds of antiques, rare books, pieces of art carefully displayed, part of a trove that included a suit of armour, a large oil painting of a seascape, old marriage certificates and papers associated with the historic schooner, the Bluenose.

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Are You Related to Lisa Marie Presley?

Lisa Marie Presley was born on February 1, 1968 at Baptist Memorial Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee, exactly nine months after her parents' wedding. She lived at Graceland, Elvis' Memphis estate, until her parents separated in 1972.

Following their separation and subsequent divorce, she divided her time between living at Graceland with her father and in Beverly Hills with her mother. This arrangement continued until her father died on August 16, 1977, after which she lived exclusively in Beverly Hills.

Lisa Marie Presley's Family Tree