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Genealogy Blog

30 March 2015

King Richard III's Monumental Tomb Unveiled

King Richard III finally got his monumental burial this morning, 530 years after his death in battle. A 2.3-ton tombstone was lowered overnight into place, sealing the king beneath and marking Richard’s place of honor in Leicester cathedral.

Coming from a quarry in North Yorkshire which Richard would have owned as the Duke of York, the Swaledale fossil stone sits on a slab of dark Kilkenny marble, inscribed with the king’s name, dates, motto and coat of arms.

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23 March 2015

Thousands Witness King Richard III’s Final Journey

Richard III’s mortal remains were transported in a cortege procession on a 22-mile journey through the county and city before arriving at Leicester Cathedral – in stark contrast to his undignified end at Bosworth 530 years ago.

The events of a momentous day started with a dawn vigil at around 5am at Fenn Lane Farm – alongside the field where archaeologists believe Richard lost his life in battle – and ended 13 hours later when Richard III’s coffin was officially received at the Cathedral gates for an evening service.

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18 March 2015

Richard III's Remains Sealed Inside Coffin at Leicester University

Richard III's remains have been sealed inside a coffin for the first time since his death more than five centuries ago.

The former king's skeleton was found buried under a car park - the site of a former chapel - in Leicester in 2012. At a private ceremony on Sunday, his bones were sealed in a lead-lined inner casket which was then placed inside an oak coffin.

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Thousands of Bodies Could Be Exhumed from Guildford, England, Graveyard

An international dispute has erupted as thousands of bodies could be exhumed from a Guildford graveyard and reburied in a shared grave to make way for a new community centre and car park.

When proposals were first put forward by St John’s Church, to sell off its west graveyard, on the other side of Stoke Road, Guildford, it was thought approximately 200 graves would be dug up. The number is now thought to be in the thousands and plans to build a multimillion pound community centre in the east graveyard could mean moving many hundred more.

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12 March 2015

'Bedlam' Graveyard Excavation May Reveal Thousands of Skeletons

Archaeologists could pull thousands of skeletons out of the ground in London over the next few weeks as they dig up the 450-year-old Bedlam graveyard to make room for a new train line.

London's Liverpool Street station is under construction so that it will be able accommodate a new east-west train line, dubbed Crossrail. The tracks will be laid deep underground, about 130 feet (40 meters) below the city's current street surface.

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3 March 2015

200 Bodies Found in Mass Grave Beneath Paris Supermarket in France

More than 200 bodies have been found laid out in neat rows in a communal grave beneath a supermarket in central Paris.

The site was formerly the cemetery of a hospital that functioned from the 12th to the 17th century but it was believed the corpses had been moved in the 18th century to the Paris Catacombs which house the bones of six million people transferred from the city's cemeteries 200 years ago.

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2 March 2015

Coffin-Within-a-Coffin Opened at Richard III Grave

A mysterious lead coffin found close to King Richard III’s grave beneath a parking lot in Leicester, England, contained the skeleton of an elderly woman, archaeologists at Leicester University announced.

Featuring an inlaid crucifix, carefully soldered on all sides but with feet sticking out of the bottom, the lead coffin was discovered inside a larger limestone sarcophagus in August 2013 . The discovery came one year after the battle-scarred remains of the last Plantagenet king of England — the family ruled vast areas of Europe — were unearthed.

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26 February 2015

Pictures of the Vignacourt British Cemetery, Vignacourt, France, Now Available on Geneanet

When the German advance began in March 1918, Vignacourt was occupied by the 20th and 61st Casualty Clearing Stations. It also became a headquarters of Royal Air Force squadrons. The cemetery was begun in April and closed in August, and the burials reflect the desperate fighting of the Australian forces on the Amiens front. Six burials made in the communal cemetery between October 1915 and March 1918 were brought into the cemetery after the Armistice. (Source: CWGC)

Click here to access this new collection (322 indexed pictures).

'Unique' Roman Tombstone Found in Cirencester, England

A "unique" Roman headstone is the first of its kind unearthed in the UK, experts believe. The tombstone was found near skeletal remains thought to belong to the person named on its inscription, making the discovery unique.

Archaeologists behind the dig in Cirencester, Gloucestershire, said they believed it marked the grave of a 27-year-old woman called Bodica. The bodies of three children were also found in the "family burial plot".

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18 February 2015

Thousands of African-American Graves Found Beneath Philadelphia Playground

Days after archaeologists on Maryland’s eastern shore uncovered what they believe to be the oldest settlement of African-Americans in the United States, another team in Philadelphia unearthed what may be the resting place of nearly 3,000 others under a playground in the city’s Weccecoe Park.

Underneath the swing sets of an urban playground in the Queen Village neighborhood of South Philadelphia are the forgotten remains of an estimated 3,000 African-Americans.

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16 February 2015

Experts Explore Identities of 5,000 Buried in Bedlam Psychiatric Hospital Graveyard in London, England

Officials building a huge cross-London underground railway are starting to publish the identity of some of the thousands of people buried 400 to 500 years ago in Bedlam cemetery.

After researching parish records, the Crossrail project has released a fascinating database online giving names, occupations and causes of death. The graveyard, which dates back to 1569, was found in 2013 during excavations to construct the 13-mile high-speed Crossrail tunnel under Central London.

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11 February 2015

Winchester Cathedral's 'Royal Bones' Chests Analysed

Six chests thought to contain the remains of some of the early Royal Families of Wessex and England are being recorded and analysed.

The project is part of an initial assessment of Winchester Cathedral's Renaissance mortuary chests. The remains of three bishops and other artefacts are also believed to be contained inside. Some of the remains have already been radiocarbon-dated to the late Anglo-Saxon and early Norman periods.

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10 February 2015

Pictures of the Pont du Cens Cemetery, Nantes, France, Now Available on Geneanet

The Pont du Cens communal cemetery was started in 1939 to supplement the ten other burial grounds within the boundaries of the commune.

There are now over 100, 1939-45 war casualties commemorated in this site. Some were moved into the cemetery from isolated graves at Vivonne, Les Rochelles and near Vertou, and others from Tours (La Salle) Communal Cemetery, St. Brevin-les Pins Communal Cemetery, St. Pere-en-Retz Communal Cemetery, Bougenais Communal Cemetery. (Source: CWGC)

Click here to access this new collection (103 indexed pictures).

6 February 2015

Replica of Lincoln Coffin on Display at Arlington Cemetery

In observance of Presidents Day, a replica of Abraham Lincoln’s coffin will be on display in the Williamsburg Chapel of Arlington Cemetery and Toppitzer Funeral Home, 2900 State Road in the Drexel Hill section of Upper Darby.

The Lincoln coffin at Arlington is one of five replicas constructed 10 years ago by craftsmen at Batesville Casket Co. in Indiana, said Buss. Four are lent to funeral homes nationwide for display and one is part of the permanent collection of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield, Ill.

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Old Cemetery Found in central Copenhagen, Denmark

Archaeologists from the Museum of Copenhagen are digging under the cobblestones and unearthing skeleton upon skeleton in what was once an old cemetery, reports Berlingske.

So far, more than 100 skeletons have been found, and according to Jacob Mosekilde, one of the archaeologists, they are from before the 1800’s, though they haven’t been precisely dated yet. “The most interesting thing about them is the fact that they do not have holes in their teeth,” Mosekilde tells Berlingske. “And that means that they are from a period where we had not traded sugar from the colonies.”

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