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Genealogy Blog

31 May 2013

World War I Truce: Newly-Discovered Letters Reveal Many British Troops Wanted To Shoot Germans Not To Play Football

Newly discovered letters have revealed that many British troops did not want to play ball when it came to the Christmas Day truce of 1914. Previously unpublished messages from the Western Front describe how an entire regiment refused to take part in the festive ceasefire with the enemy.

Instead, the ­Scottish Seaforth Highlanders threatened to shoot Germans who tried to “fraternize”. The First World War truce saw more than 100,000 British and German soldiers lower their weapons and leave trenches to exchange gifts.

Source & Full Story

30 May 2013

Genealogy Software Updates of the Week

Behold 1.0.5 (GEDCOM Tools - Windows - Purchase)

• Add an "Ancestral Loops" section to the Everything Report just before the File Information, to display all the loops and all the people in them parent to child with birth and death dates and messages that will help identify and fix the problem. There must be at least one loop for the section to display.
• Enlarge the Find Files file reading buffer that reads the HEAD record from 512 bytes to 2048 bytes so that less information from longer HEAD sections gets missed.
• Provide a message when there are extra spaces in the GEDCOM between date parts.
• Add option to not display an individual's sources sorted by source title, but to instead display them in the order they were in the GEDCOM file - requested by user Nick Jackson.

GedStar Pro 4.4.7 (Other Tools - Windows - Purchase)

• Support database changes in Legacy Family Tree V8.x. Earlier versions of GedStar will crash when converting an 8.x database.
• Workaround for changes in roles that were introduced in TMG V8.07. Basic roles should appear correctly, but user-defined roles will not be displayed.

GRAMPS 3.4.5 (Full Featured - Linux - Freeware/Open Source)

• Ability to keep custom filename on output.
• Book report: Sub reports forget/overwrite their settings when trying to re-configure them.
• End of Line Report options window – changing Output Format cause change active tab to “report options”.
• Various updated translations: de, es, fr, nb, nl, pl, sk.

MacFamilyTree 7.0 (Full Featured - Mac - Purchase)

• New User Interface.
• iCloud support.
• Rewritten FamilySearch integration.
• New Edit Mode.
• New Virtual Globe.
• New Virtual Tree.
• New Name Distribution Chart.
• New Plausibility Report.
• Support for Associated Persons.
• GEDCOM Import and Export vastly improved.
• Improved Source editing.
• Source Repositories.
• New Backup Manager.
• Countless bug fixes and smaller improvements.

MobileFamilyTree 7.0 (Mobile - Purchase)

• Incorporation of iCloud that enables you to sync your family trees on all iCloud-capable devices.
• More streamlined and modern interface.
• New reports.
• Better FamilySearch integration.

Newly Discovered Prisoner Journal Donated To Auschwitz by Widow of US Lieutenant Clifford Hensel

Auschwitz-Birkenau museum said on Wednesday it had acquired a newly discovered journal written and illustrated by Polish prisoners of the former Nazi German death camp in southern Poland.

The three inmates' hand-made memoirs, which include poems and pen-and-ink and watercolour drawings of gas chambers and a hanging, were donated by the widow of a US war veteran, museum spokesman Bartosz Bartyzel told AFP.

Source & Full Story

The Mortsafe: Or How to Protect Your Loved Ones from the Bodysnatchers

Medical students in the United Kingdom of the nineteenth century faced a quandary. They had been accustomed to using the corpses of executed criminals to study anatomy.

The use of the corpses of the convicted to discover the secrets of human anatomy dates back to the 4th century BC, when Herophilos and Erasistratus of Alexandria were given permission to perform live vivisections.

Source & Full Story

US National Archives Goes Google

Following the lead of other public-sector agencies, the protector of the United States government’s most important documents has turned to the cloud for email services and records storage.

The U.S. National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) successfully moved its 5,300 email accounts to Google Apps for Government. The system went live on April 22 and includes a series of tools to help NARA employees better communicate and collaborate with their peers.

Source & Full Story

AfricanAncestry.com Rolls Out New and Improved myDNAmix Admixture Test as Part of its 10th Anniversary Celebration

African Ancestry, Inc., the pioneers of genetics-based ancestry tracing for people of African descent, today announced new product enhancements to its myDNAmix Admixture product offering.

myDNAmix determines various ancestries included in one's genetic make-up from five distinct populations: Indigenous Americas (Native American), East Asia, West Sub-Saharan Africa, West Europe and India Subcontinent.

Source & Full Story

Amelia Earhart's Plane Revealed in Sonar?

A grainy sonar image captured off an uninhabited tropical island in the southwestern Pacific republic of Kiribati might represent the remains of the Electra, the two-engine aircraft legendary aviator Amelia Earhart was piloting when she vanished on July 2, 1937 in a record attempt to fly around the world at the equator.

Released by The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery (TIGHAR), which has long been investigating Earhart's last, fateful flight, the images show an "anomaly" resting at the depth of about 600 feet in the waters off Nikumaroro island, some 350 miles southeast of Earhart's target destination, Howland Island.

Source & Full Story

29 May 2013

Long-Lost Dog Tag Returned To NY WWII Vet Who Lost It in France; It Was Found in Barley Field

Irving Mann has been in business long enough to be skeptical of out-of-the-blue offers that seem too good to be true.

So the founder of Mann's Jewelers in Rochester was cautious but intrigued when an email arrived at his store from a woman wondering if he could possibly be the Irving Mann whose military tag she said she'd found a day earlier in her barley field in France.

Source & Full Story

'The First Chinese American' is chronicled in first biography

A new book by Washington, DC author Scott D. Seligman traces the life and times of Wong Chin Foo (1847-1898), an early Chinese American journalist, lecturer and political activist.

Just released by Hong Kong University Press, The First Chinese American: The Remarkable Life of Wong Chin Foo fills in a forgotten chapter in the struggle for equal rights in America.

Source & Full Story

India: Punjabi Sahitya Akademi Digitizing Old Manuscripts For Online Archival

Punjabi Sahitya Akademi Reference Lab has been digitizing 150 years old manuscripts since May 2012 and has scanned and saved around 1,000 manuscripts, stone-printed scripts, poetry books on computer hard discs, reports Times of India, adding that the digitized editions will be available across the globe through the internet.

Speaking to the publication, P.S.Bajaj, Director of Punjabi Sahitya Akademi Reference Lab said that the Akademi has undertaken the digitization process to preserve these manuscripts, some of which date back to 1889, in a bid to spread awareness about calligraphy to future generations.

Source & Full Story

28 May 2013

250 WWII Letters Found in Hatbox Returned to Soldier’s Family

It was 15 years in the making, but as of Saturday afternoon, 250 handwritten letters from World War II finally made their way home to the family of the two soldiers, also brothers, who wrote them.

"Oh, it was just the perfect way to spend our Memorial Day weekend," said Teri Winnett, 58, of Kingsland, Texas. Winnett and her brother, Mike Harvill, are the children of Eural Harvill, one of the soldiers who penned the sentimental letters as correspondence with his family from 1940 to 1946.

Source & Full Story

QR Codes Bring New Technology To Old-Fashioned Gravestones Industry

Memorial Day is a day to remember those who died while serving in the military. It’s also a day that many people go to visit the graves of loved ones.

Tombstones traditionally have the person’s name, date of birth and when they died, but now some gravestones are going high tech. And you can learn a whole lot about the person buried there.

Source & Full Story

US Soldier’s WWI Diary Returned To Sweetheart

A diary written by an American soldier killed during the Second World War has been reunited with the high-school sweetheart who gave it to him almost 70 years ago.

Laura Mae Davis Burlingame, 90, was visiting the National World War II Museum in New Orleans when she saw the gift to her 22-year-old machine-gunner boyfriend, which had been recovered after he died and eventually donated to the museum.

Source & Full Story

27 May 2013

Newly Discovered Samuel Knibb Clock That Survived Great Fire of London Shows Its Face At Bonhams

A previously unrecorded architectural table clock made circa 1665 by the famed horologist Samuel Knibb, just before the Great Fire of London (1666), has been discovered by the Clock Department at Bonhams.

One of only five such gems of the clock trade known, the 350-year old timepiece is estimated to sell for £150,000 to £200,000 at the upcoming Fine Clocks sale on 9th July at Bonhams, New Bond Street.

Source & Full Story

Fragments of Dead Sea Scrolls Up For Sale

Parts of the Dead Sea Scrolls are up for sale -- in tiny pieces. Nearly 70 years after the discovery of the world's oldest biblical manuscripts, the Palestinian family who originally sold them to scholars and institutions is now quietly marketing the leftovers -- fragments the family says it has kept in a Swiss safe deposit box all these years.

Most of these scraps are barely postage-stamp-sized, and some are blank. But in the last few years, evangelical Christian collectors and institutions in the U.S. have forked out millions of dollars for a chunk of this archaeological treasure.

Source & Full Story

England: New National Archive Files Are 'Absolutely Candid'

A set of secret files is released by the National Archives in Kew today, mostly covering the period from the outbreak of war in 1939 to 1951 and covering the activities of the secret services.

Among them are files from what are known as the cabinet secretaries' "miscellaneous papers" - long-buried and away from public view.

Source & Full Story

Teaching History Through Family Treasures

It’s a novel way to teach history. More than 350 students in 21 “welcoming classes” in nine Montreal schools were asked to bring to school an object they considered a family treasure. The youngsters, all about 13 years old and newly arrived in Canada from more than 100 different countries, threw themselves into the project.

They brought photographs, musical instruments, jewelry, the Koran, a painted Russian chess set, a carved Syrian alphabet, a traditional Pakistani dress, a Diabolo juggling toy, and the ability to dance salsa.

Source & Full Story

Picture Archive: American Soldiers, 1860s to 1940s

Memorial Day is not a 20th-century tradition. Its beginning dates back to the Civil War; the first observance was on May 30, 1868. Originally conceived as Decoration Day—meant for bedecking the burial sites of fallen soldiers—flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery.

But the Civil War proved divisive long after the last drop of blood was shed. By 1890 all of the northern states celebrated the holiday at the end of May, but southerners honored their dead on different dates until after World War I.

Source & Full Story

New Menu Bar In Your GeneaNet Family Tree!

A new menu bar has been added to your GeneaNet family tree pages.

This menu bar replaces links which were displayed everywhere on the screen.

Making your family tree becomes even easier with GeneaNet!

Continue reading...

26 May 2013

Are You Related to Helena Bonham Carter?

Bonham Carter was born on May 26, 1966 in Golders Green, London, England. Her mother, Elena (née Propper de Callejón), is a psychotherapist.

Her father, Raymond Bonham Carter, who came from a prominent British political family, was a merchant banker and served as the alternative British director representing the Bank of England at the International Monetary Fund in Washington, D.C. during the 1960s.

Helena Bonham Carter's Family Tree

24 May 2013

King Richard III Found in 'Untidy Lozenge-Shaped Grave'

An academic paper on the archaeology of the Search for Richard III reveals for the first time specific details of the grave dug for King Richard III and discovered under a car park in Leicester.

The paper reveals: Richard III was casually placed in a badly prepared grave -- suggesting gravediggers were in a hurry to bury him; he was placed in an 'odd position' and the torso crammed in; the grave was 'too short' at the bottom to receive the body conventionally; someone is likely to have stood in the grave to receive the body -- suggested by the fact the body is on one side rather than placed centrally; there is evidence to suggest Richard's hands may have been tied when he was buried.

Source & Full Story

Library and Archives Canada and Early Exploration Photographs in Canada at the National Gallery of Canada From May 24 to September 29, 2013

On Friday, May 24, the National Gallery of Canada (NGC), in partnership with Library and Archives Canada (LAC), will present Early Exploration Photographs in Canada, the first in a series of installations that will be on display at the NGC over the next three years.

Made possible by a recent agreement between the two institutions, this series is dedicated to making LAC's rich documentary heritage more accessible to the public.

Source & Full Story

22 May 2013

Genealogy Software Updates of the Week

FamilyInsight for Windows 2013.5.13.0 (Other Tools - Windows - Purchase)

• Improved handling Roots Magic 6 files.
• Improved handling of Family Tree Maker files.
• Fixed crashes.
• Improved media handling.
• Removed Separate and AncestorSplit feature because of changes on new FamilySearch.
• Added ability to save to earlier Family Tree Maker files that we open.

GRAMPS 4.0.0 (Full Featured - Linux - Freeware/Open Source)

• Conversion to GTK 3 and use of gobject introspection.
• Support for python 3.
• Code reorganization.
• Autotools is no longer used for building Gramps, distutils is used.
• Completely reworked localization handling.

MacFamilyTree 6.3.9 (Full Featured - Mac - Purchase)

• Fixed saving editable charts.
• Fixed saving editable reports.
• Stability improvements.

The Next Generation of Genealogy Sitebuilding 9.2.1 (Web Publishing - Windows, Mac, Linux - Purchase)

• Ahnentafel/Register: Child links on these pages did not go to the right place (fixed).
• Calendar: The cross icon used to indicate a death has been replaced with a headstone icon.
• Calendar: The names of living and private individuals were being displayed on the calendar when the user did not have rights to see that information (fixed).
• Cemeteries: Headstone pagination links for cemeteries were not working (fixed).
• Citations: When creating a new source while adding a new citation, the dropdown of repositories was not being restricted to the current tree (fixed).
• And much more...

1,000 Year Old African Coins Could Rewrite Australian History

Five copper coins and a nearly 70-year-old map with an ‘‘X’’ might lead to a discovery that could rewrite Australia’s history. Australian scientist Ian McIntosh, currently Professor of Anthropology at Indiana University in the US, plans an expedition in July that has stirred up the archaeological community.

The scientist wants to revisit the location where five coins were found in the Northern Territory in 1944 that have proven to be 1000 years old, opening up the possibility that seafarers from distant countries might have landed in Australia much earlier than what is currently believed.

Source & Full Story

Fake Graveyard Built To Scare Away Homeless People Has Real Tombstones

A Texas man fed up with homeless people sleeping in his front yard set up a fake graveyard to scare them away. But the downtown Houston resident was himself shocked when told that the trio of tombstones had actually been made for real dead people.

The unnamed man put up a fence and installed the "scarecrow graveyard" around his property, which stands in the shadows of Houston's skyscrapers, last year.

Source & Full Story

21 May 2013

'Whodunnit' of Irish Potato Famine Solved

An international team of scientists reveals that a unique strain of potato blight they call HERB-1 triggered the Irish potato famine of the mid-nineteenth century.

Phytophthora infestans changed the course of history. Even today, the Irish population has still not recovered to pre-famine levels. "We have finally discovered the identity of the exact strain that caused all this havoc," says Hernán Burbano from the Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology.

Source & Full Story

The Best and the Worst of Genealogy Home Offices

By Scott Phillips, genealogical historian and owner of Onward To Our Past genealogy services: "Many of us who love and labor over our family histories, ancestry, and genealogy do so from a home office.

In my case, early in my career I worked for decades in many different corporate offices for various companies and organizations. Now, for the last dozen or so years, I have found myself working from a home office. I can easily see that each has its own merits and sets of 'pros' and 'cons'."

Source & Full Story

Brazil, China To Cooperate on Digitalization of Historical Archives

Brazil and China will exchange information on the digital preservation of historical archives, state news agency Agencia Brasil said on Monday.

Jaime Antunes, director-general of Brazil's National Archive, and Rong Hua, chief of the Tianjin Municipal Archive, reached an agreement Monday on the matter, the agency said.

Source & Full Story

Plague Helped Bring Down Roman Empire

To help solve this mystery, scientists investigated ancient DNA from the teeth of 19 different sixth-century skeletons from a medieval graveyard in Bavaria, Germany, of people who apparently succumbed to the Justinianic Plague.

They unambiguously found the plague bacterium Y. pestis there.

Source & Full Story

Medieval Church Found Beneath Lincoln Castle in England

A previously undiscovered church, thought to be at least 1,000 years old, has been found beneath Lincoln Castle. It is believed the stone church was built in the Anglo-Saxon period, after the Romans left Britain and before the Norman conquest of 1066.

Lincolnshire County Council said the find was unexpected and will increase its knowledge of uphill Lincoln. Human skeletons were also found in the same area three metres (9.8 ft) below the surface.

Source & Full Story

Eight Generations of Farming and Family History

One of Australia's oldest farming families welcomed a new member to their clan this week, marking eight generations of farming and family history. The Otton's were one of the very first families to settle in south-east NSW, at Popes Hole, in Bega.

The Otton dynasty dates back to the early 1800s, when the first Otton, John Thomas Otton, was shipped out to Australia as a convict in 1837. Richard Otton, from the 5th generation, is now one of the country's newest great granddads.

Source & Full Story

Romanov's Final Days Seen in Recovered Photos

Anastasia Romanov, the youngest daughter of the last Russian Tsar, was already smoking at the age of 15, encouraged by her proud father Nicholas II.

The anecdote about the Grand Duchess, a key figure in the conspiracy theories that followed the gunshot and bayonet murders of the Romanovs, has been revealed by a series of photographs found in a remote museum in the Urals.

Source & Full Story

Mysterious Minoans Were European, DNA Finds

The Minoans, the builders of Europe's first advanced civilization, really were European, new research suggests.

The conclusion, published today (May 14) in the journal Nature Communications, was drawn by comparing DNA from 4,000-year-old Minoan skeletons with genetic material from people living throughout Europe and Africa in the past and today.

Source & Full Story

Reading the Unreadable: 'Unopenable' Scrolls Will Yield Their Secrets to New X-Ray System

Pioneering X-ray technology is making it possible to read fragile rolled-up historical documents for the first time in centuries. Old parchment is often extremely dry and liable to crack and crumble if any attempt is made to physically unroll or unfold it.

The new technology, however, eliminates the need to do so by enabling parchment to be unrolled or unfolded 'virtually' and the contents displayed on a computer screen.

Source & Full Story

The National Archives of the UK: Fifth Tranche of Colonial Administration Records Released

The fifth tranche of colonial administration records is now available to view in the reading rooms at The National Archives. This release contains records from Ceylon, Kenya, Malta, Mauritius, New Hebrides, Nigeria, Northern Rhodesia, Nyasaland, Palestine, Sierra Leone and Singapore.

Also contained within the records on Mauritius are papers relating to Princess Margaret's visit to Mauritius, September to October 1956 (catalogue reference: FCO 141/12043).

Source & Full Story

All Europeans Are Related If You Go Back Just 1,000 Years, Scientists Say

A genetic survey concludes that all Europeans living today are related to the same set of ancestors who lived 1,000 years ago. And you wouldn't have to go back much further to find that everyone in the world is related to each other.

"We find it remarkable because it's counterintuitive to us," Graham Coop, an evolutionary biologist at the University of California at Davis, told NBC News. "But it's not totally unexpected, based on genetic analysis."

Source & Full Story

20 May 2013

Opening The Mystery of 250 WWII Letters Found in Old Hat Box

Purchased for just $1 at an Oklahoma estate sale 15 years ago, an old hatbox contained a mystery decades in the making: an estimated 250 letters from two brothers during their time as soldiers in WWII.

Pamela Gilliland, who was unaware of the letters when she first bought the hatbox, just last week enlisted the help of a history buff, Doug Eaton, to find out more about them.

Source & Full Story

Records Show Japanese Slaves Crossed the Pacific to Mexico in 16th Century

The first documentation of Japanese people crossing the Pacific Ocean has been discovered by researchers amongst the Inquisition records in the General Archives of the Nation in Mexico. Three names were found in the document, not written in Japanese but with the word “xapon” (Japan) written after their names.

Lucio de Sousa, a special researcher at University of Evora in Portugal, and Mihoko Oka, an assistant professor at the Historiographical Institute, University of Tokyo found the rare document showing that the three, believed to be slaves owned by a Portuguese merchant named Perez.

Source & Full Story

10 European Colonies in America That Failed Before Jamestown

The Jamestown settlement in Virginia, which officially was started on May 14, 1607, was one of the first European colonies to last in North America, and was historically significant for hosting the first parliamentary assembly in America.

But Jamestown barely survived, as recent headlines about the confirmation of cannibalism at the colony confirm. The adaption to the North American continent by the early Europeans was extremely problematic.

Source & Full Story

UK Announces Search for Families of 74,000 Indian Soldiers Who Died Fighting in World War I

Families of Indian soldiers, who sacrificed their lives fighting for Britain in the first World War, will finally get the recognition they deserve.

The UK foreign office has announced an open plea to help them identify families of Indian soldiers who died fighting for England so that they could be brought to London and felicitated for their sacrifice as part of the government's plan to commemorate the forthcoming centenary of the 1914 to 1918 conflict.

Source & Full Story

Horse Thief's Gravestone Recovered in Glasgow, Montana

It’s a story right out of an old Western movie. A stolen horse, a chase, a shootout and a death. The story fairly leaps off the crisp, folded pages of the coroner’s inquest, stored for nearly 100 years in a narrow metal box in the depths of the District Court vault.

But the story would not have come to light again if Clem Lemieux hadn’t torn down a storage shed on May 5. The shed was attached to a garage on his property on Division Street on the south side of U.S. 2. When he removed a corner post, he discovered the cornerstone it was standing on was actually a gravestone.

Source & Full Story

World War I Sacrifices of the 'Swansea Pals' Recalled in Newly Digitised Archive Records

Officially, they were men from Swansea and surrounding towns including Neath and Port Talbot who made up the 14th (Service Battalion), The Welsh Regiment, part of the Welsh 38th Division during World War I.

And the 1,200-strong “Swansea Pals” battalion found itself in one of the deadliest battles of the war, Mametz Wood, in which almost 100 of them were killed and 300 more injured.

Source & Full Story

Code in Letters Sent Home By British PoW in WWII To Help Allies Is Revealed After 70 Years

The letters sent back home by Sub-Lieutenant John Pryor from a German prison camp seemed innocent enough. They often started with 'My Dear Mummy & Daddy' and talked about mundane things such as gardening and a 'vegetable patch'.

But the British wartime letters actually contained hidden messages, which have only now been deciphered by academics. It is also the first time the captured serviceman's family has been able to understand the secret messages.

Source & Full Story

Love Letters From Wartime Affair Published By Daughter

Hundreds of love letters revealing a passionate wartime affair between a doctor and a nurse have been published by their daughter. Swansea-born Brian Thomas, 34, fell in love with Katie Walker, 23, in Austria at the end of World War II.

When Dr Thomas returned to Britain, the pair wrote ardent love letters to each other every day. Publishing the letters, Loraine Fergusson said it was "wonderful to hear their voices again".

Source & Full Story

Historic New Zealand Images Sold To US

Fairfax Media - which owns The Whangarei Leader, The Bay Chronicle, The Northern News and The Dargaville and Districts News as well as national and regional newspapers - plans to start shipping its old photos to Rogers Photo Archive next week. Prints will go first with negatives to follow later this year.

The company, based in Little Rock, Arkansas, specialises is restoring, scanning and ''monetising'' photo archives. It will send digital versions of the photos back to New Zealand but will retain the originals.

Source & Full Story

Haunting Relic of History, Slave Cabin Gets a Museum Home in Washington

The floors creaked. The walls swayed in a strong breeze. Rot and termites had destroyed parts of the rickety structure built before the Civil War.

But when curators from the Smithsonian’s new African-American history museum in Washington visited this marshy island last year, they found exactly what they were looking for: an antebellum slave cabin that captured the stark life of plantation workers before emancipation.

Source & Full Story

Danish Court Sends 2 Men in Prison For Stealing WWII Documents From National Archives

Two Danish men have been sentenced to prison after confessing to stealing World War II documents from Denmark's national archives.

The Copenhagen City Court on Friday gave sentences of two years to one man and 21 months to the other for stealing 1,045 documents between 2009 and their arrests in late 2012.

Source & Full Story

Baptism Record That Solved Mystery of Samuel de Champlain’s Birth Arrives in Canada for 400th Anniversary Exhibit

A time-yellowed, 439-year-old baptismal registry from 16th century France, recently found to contain long-sought clues about the birth and family history of the famed New World explorer Samuel de Champlain, has arrived in Canada to help mark a major milestone in this country’s own birth.

The document that appears to solve a centuries-old mystery about when the founder of New France was born is to be publicly displayed for the first time later this month at the Canadian Museum of Civilization in Gatineau, Que., directly across the Ottawa River from Parliament Hill.

Source & Full Story

Relatives of Ned Kelly Gather for Family Reunion in County Tipperary, Ireland

The genetic links of one of Australia’s most notorious and controversial outlaws - Edward ‘Ned’ Kelly - is the focus of the Kelly Clan gathering in County Tipperary, Ireland.

Two hundred Kellys from Australia, Britain, America, Ireland and even an eleventh generation Kelly from Guatemala are attending the event in Dundrum House Hotel, Thurles. Guests include Junior Minister, Alan Kelly and former GAA President, Sean Kelly, MEP.

Source & Full Story

Archaeologists Discover Revolutionary War Carr's Fort in Georgia

Archaeologists with the LAMAR Institute discovered the location of Carr's Fort, a significant frontier fortification that was attacked on February 10, 1779.

The discovery was funded through grants from the National Park Service American Battlefield Protection Program, Kettle Creek Battlefield Association, and The LAMAR Institute.

Source & Full Story

Are You Related to Cher?

Cher was born Cherilyn Sarkisian on May 20, 1946 in El Centro, California. Her father, John Paul Sarkisian, was Armenian American and worked as a truck driver.

Her mother, Georgia Holt (born Jackie Jean Crouch in Sharp County, Arkansas on June 9, 1927), an aspiring actress and occasional model, is of Cherokee, English, and French descent.

Cher'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 sent to a personalized home page of your GeneaNet family tree.

If they are in your GeneaNet family tree, the family link will be displayed on the home page.

If there's no family link between you and them, their ancestry will be displayed on the home page.

Continue reading...

13 May 2013

GeneaNet: Have You Uploaded a Picture of the Tombstone of Your Ancestors?

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

On GeneaNet, 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 the 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.

Continue reading...

11 May 2013

The National Archives of the UK: 19th Century Immigrants' Records Released Online

The records of thousands of 19th century immigrants to Britain are now available to search and download online.

The collection, which covers the period 1801 to 1871, includes records relating to more than 7,000 people who applied to become British citizens under the 1844 Naturalisation Act, as well as a small number of papers relating to denization, a form of British citizenship that conferred some but not all the rights of a British subject.

Source & Full Story

10 May 2013

15,000-Year-Old Words?

Mother, bark and spit are just three of 23 words that researchers believe date back 15,000 years, making them the oldest known words.

The words, highlighted in a new PNAS paper, all come from seven language families of Europe and Asia. It’s believed that they were part of a linguistic super-family that evolved from a common ancestral language.

Source & Full Story

Students Uncover Scottish Soldier Behind Mystery World War I Medal

A class of Canadian schoolchildren who unearthed the Scottish story behind a mystery World War I medal are appealing to find the family of its owner. The service medal, which bears the name of Pte Andrew Gibson, was found at the bottom of a box of junk by a member of staff at the school in Vancouver.

After an international hunt, the students traced his name to the Scottish regiment, the Black Watch. The pupils are now looking for Pte Gibson's relatives to return the medal. Pte Gibson, from Clackmannanshire, died in fighting in Mesopotamia in 1917, near Basra in modern day Iraq.

Source & Full Story

Genomics Recapitulates History in Europe

Most of us know our families back a few generations but, beyond that, have little idea who our ancestors were or where they lived. Jumping further back, all of us alive today likely share most of our ancestors from 3,000 to 4,000 years ago.

What happened between then and now? We've pieced together a broad picture of human kinship based on disciplines from archeology to linguistics to history. In Europe, for example, several relatively recent migrations have helped shape links and gaps amongst today's populations.

Source & Full Story

Remains of William Taylor White (1837-1852) Donated To Smithsonian With His Coffin and Clothing

The Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History recently acquired the remains, clothing and coffin of William Taylor White, a 15-year-old boy who was buried in Washington, D.C. in 1852.

His coffin was unearthed in Washington’s Columbia Heights neighborhood in April 2005 during a construction project at an apartment building. White, who was a student at Columbian College from Accomack County, Va., died of pneumonia and complications from a mitral heart defect.

Source & Full Story

‘Family Tree’ Brings Christopher Guest’s Mockumentary Style to HBO

Over the last few decades, the mockumentary format has become almost totally synonymous with Christopher Guest, the writer/director (and often actor) best known for films such as This Is Spinal Tap, Best in Show, Waiting for Guffman, A Mighty Wind, and For Your Consideration.

Each film—to varying success—mined the documentary format for laughs, setting up its eccentric characters as the butts of the joke ... or the only ones in on it.

Source & Full Story

Genealogy Software Updates of the Week

GedFamilies for Android 1.1.0 (Mobile - Purchase)

• Fix screen update issue after editing marriage data.
• Don't generate GIVN tag with blank data.
• Support file transfer via cloud and email.
• Support video.

GedFamilies for iPhone & iPad 1.1.0 (Mobile - Purchase)

• Support file transfer via cloud and email.
• Support video.
• Accept long-format month names in date input.

iScrapbook 4.0.6 (Family Pictures - Mac - Purchase)

• Added better error reporting to Share feature when a problem or error occurs.
• Improved speed of Template Chooser when large numbers of templates are present.
• Image placeholders now work like shape placeholders: when a photo is dropped on the placeholder, it's automatically cropped to the placeholder bounds.
• iPhoto libraries can now be selected when using the "Choose Aperture Library" command (since Aperture can also open iPhoto libraries).
• Bug fixes.

Legacy Mobile 1.1 (Mobile - Freeware)

• Bug fixes.
• Improvements to the Tree View page.

Second Site 5.0 Build 5 (Web Publishing - Windows - Purchase)

• Extended the Tag Label Translation facility to support translation of role labels so that advanced users can modify role labels that are not optimal for publishing.
• SDF files with Language.HTML Character Set set to "iso-8859-1" will be changed to "windows-1252" which is the recommended value for HTML5 documents created under MS Windows that are not using UTF-8.
• Bug fixes.

The Complete Genealogy Reporter 2013 build 130503 (Family Books - Windows - Shareware)

• Improved: Norwegian reports now report upwardly removed cousins as, for example, parent's second cousin instead of third cousin's parent. (This improves clarity when there is no third cousin.)

The Family Tree of Family for Android 1.8.7 (Mobile - Purchase)

• Update for larger screens.

TreeDraw 4.1.0 (Charts and Diagrams - Windows - Shareware)

• Added Database Link command to drawing area popup menu.
• More informative "Invalid format" error messages in "Preferences | Import fields".

Valuation Northern Ireland Revision Book Search, 1864 to 1933

This application provides a fully searchable placename index to the Valuation Revision Books (VAL/12/B) covering counties Antrim, Armagh, Down, Fermanagh, Londonderry and Tyrone between the years 1864 to 1933.

In total, c.3,900 volumes were digitally captured, with over 440,000 images now available to view online. The digital application is searchable by Placename (City, County, Parish, Townland) or PRONI Reference.

Source & Full Story

The National Archives of Ireland: Calendars of Wills and Administrations 1858 - 1920

Wills and testamentary records are of assistance to genealogists as evidence of the date of a person’s death and for other information which they may contain concerning the dead person’s family, place of residence and property.

You can search the Calendars (aphabetical indexes) of Wills and Administrations for the years 1858 – 1920. You can search pdfs for those from 1922 to 1982 on the main National Archives website.

Source & Full Story

7 May 2013

Colonial Settlements That Failed: Photos

Established in 1607, Jamestown, the first permanent English settlement in the Americas, may have helped the British gain a foothold in the New World, but it came at a high cost, as evidenced by recent research from the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History.

Fossil evidence shows that the earliest settlers resorted to cannibalism in order to survive the brutal conditions of what was known as the "starving time."

Source & Full Story

6 May 2013

King Richard III's Teeth and Jaw Reveal Monarch's Anxious Life and Violent Death

Researchers say the skull and jaw of last English monarch to die in battle were badly damaged, lending support to reports that the blows that killed him were so heavy that it drove the king’s crown into his head.

They also conclude that Richard III may have been as anxious and fearful as William Shakespeare portrayed him – he ground his teeth with stress. Researchers also found that the king had suffered severe tooth decay, perhaps as a result of his privileged position and a sweet tooth.

Source & Full Story

Port Macquarie, Australia: Parish Registers Give Fascinating Insight Into Port's Early History

St Thomas’ Anglican Church early parish registers give a fascinating insight into early settler and convict society, a family history society says. Those records will be available in a user friendly publication produced by Port Macquarie & Districts Family History Society.

The publication, Church of St Thomas Port Macquarie - Early Parish Registers of Baptisms 1824-1864, Marriages 1824-1856 and Burials 1824-1876, records baptisms, marriages and burials, not only at Port Macquarie, but also in the Hastings, Macleay and Manning River valleys.

Source & Full Story

The GeneaNet 'Individual Matches'

The GeneaNet 'Individual Matches' allows you to automatically search the GeneaNet database for individuals that may match with 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...

3 May 2013

82,000-Manuscript Collection Vatican Library Goes Online

Little things slow down the process of putting 40 million pages of ancient manuscripts in the Vatican Library online: gold or silver in the illuminations, bindings that disintegrate if you open them, getting the synergy right.

“It is important to realize if there is gold or silver in a manuscript. That requires a very particular process because the light will be different,” said Luciano Ammenti, who is in charge of IT at the Vatican and the project to digitize the storied library’s 82,000 manuscripts.

Source & Full Story

Mystery of 200-Year-Old British Soldier Found in the Dunes of Holland

The 200-year-old body of a British Coldstream Guards soldier was found in sand dunes in the Netherlands. Who was he? For more than two centuries, the remains of a soldier lay undisturbed on a windy beach in the northern Netherlands.

But in March 2011, birdwatchers discovered bones and metal artefacts among sand-dunes that had once been covered in asphalt. The find was near an area known as the "Bonehole" because of the number of historic remains that had previously been unearthed.

Source & Full Story

Lewisburg, Pennsylvania: Bucknell Archives Reveal Rare Photo of First Chinese American

A black braid hangs thick over his shoulder, trailing down his traditional Chinese garb and past his slippered feet to the floor. The brim of his hat reaches toward the ceiling. His gaze trails just to the right of the camera.

No photographs of Wong Chin Foo — the man who, records indicate, was Bucknell University's first Chinese and second international student — were thought to exist until this one was located last year in the University Archives by Curator of Special Collections/University Archives Isabella O'Neill.

Source & Full Story

2 May 2013

Genealogy Software Updates of the Week

Branches 1.2.3.1 (Full Featured - Windows - Purchase)

• Re-designed source citation, note, family view and merge screens to fit on computers with a maximum resolution of 1024 X 600 pixels.

Discover Your Ancestors 4.9.10 (Mobile - Purchase)

• Improved read whilst downloading including faster downloads and iPad 1 compatibility.
• Bug fixes including 'fetching data' fix, missing covers on coverflow, audio and video fixes.
• Performance improvements including iPad 1 stability.

Families for Android 1.8.2 (Mobile - Purchase)

• Fix further relationship bugs.
• Improve cloud transfer.

Families for Legacy Family Tree 1.8.1 (Mobile - Purchase)

• Accept long-format month names in date input.
• Fix missing sources for marriage events.
• Fix further relationship bugs.

Family History and Genealogy Records 1.3 (Mobile - Purchase)

• Bugs fixed.
• Improved.

GedTreeFree 0.9.12 (Mobile - Freeware)

• Marriages are now shown in the long-click popup.
• The number of generations shown is now configurable.
• Different codecs supported (utf-8, ascii, latin_1, ansel).
• .GED files can now be opened with the internal file browser too.

Iron Mountain, Michigan: Old Local Photos Now On Library Website

Hundreds of historical photographs are now available to view on the Dickinson County Library's website.

Photographs convey an immense amount of information and historical photographs give us a glimpse into our past which cannot be equaled in words, says local historian William J. Cummings, who is in charge of the project.

Source & Full Story

Library and Archives Canada: Release of a New Version of the Census of Canada, 1881 Database

Library and Archives Canada is pleased to announce the release of a new version of the Census of Canada, 1881 database. This second general census covered the seven provinces and one territory that were then part of Confederation: British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and the Northwest Territories.

Source & Full Story

Richard III Dig May Turn Up Medieval Knight

The lost English church where the body of King Richard III was discovered may still yield more treasures, researchers say. Archaeologists at the site in Leicester are preparing to expand their dig in the hopes of opening the grave of a possible medieval knight.

Richard III's battle-scarred bones were exhumed last year from underneath a parking lot that had been covering the ruins of the medieval Grey Friars Church. Researchers found three other tombs during their search for the king, including a 600-year-old lead-lined stone coffin that may contain the body of Sir William Moton.

Source & Full Story

Anne Bronte's Grave Error Corrected

Author Anne Bronte, the sister of Charlotte and Emily, has been given a new gravestone after 164 years to correct an error on the original. Anne, who wrote Agnes Grey and The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, died in Scarborough in 1849 after succumbing to tuberculosis at the age of 29.

But her headstone in St Mary's Churchyard gave her age as 28. A new plaque on her grave has been officially unveiled during a service of dedication. Anne is the only member of the famous literary family who is not buried at their home in Haworth, West Yorkshire.

Source & Full Story

Jamestown Colonists Resorted to Cannibalism

The first permanent British settlers in North America turned to cannibalism to survive harsh conditions, finds an analysis of human remains with sharp cuts and chopping blows.

Excavated last year from a dump at James Fort in Jamestown, Va., the fragmented remains belonged to a 14-year-old girl and date back to the “starving time” winter of 1609-1610, when three-quarters of the colonists died.

Source & Full Story

America's Founding Fathers Were Essex Boys, According To Claims

A rival claim to the Mayflower by the port town of Harwich states that the ship's crew were from Essex and only set foot briefly in the West Country before starting their transatlantic voyage.

The claim has taken on extra significance as the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower's voyage in 2020 nears - Plymouth has already sent an invitation to whoever is the President of the United States in seven years' time.

Source & Full Story

1 May 2013

Are You Related to Rita Coolidge?

Coolidge was born on May 1, 1945 in Lafayette, Tennessee. She is of Scottish and Cherokee ancestry. Coolidge is a graduate of Florida State University. She became known as "The Delta Lady" and inspired Leon Russell to write a song of the same name for her.

Coolidge married Tatsuya Suda (mistakenly referred to as "Sudaon" by the Chicago Tribune) on June 19, 2012 in the Cook Islands. Coolidge was married to Kris Kristofferson from 1973–1980.

Rita Coolidge's Family Tree