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Genealogy Blog

30 January 2015

Cervantes Searchers Find Casket With His Initials

Experts searching for the remains of Miguel de Cervantes said Monday that they found wooden fragments of a casket bearing the initials "M.C." with bones in and around them in a crypt underneath the chapel of a cloistered convent in Madrid.

The "Don Quixote" author was buried in 1616 at Convent of the Barefoot Trinitarians in Madrid's historic Barrio de las Letras, or Literary Quarter. But the exact whereabouts of his grave within the convent chapel were unknown.

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27 January 2015

More Union Writing Discovered at Brandy Station's Graffiti House in Virginia

A conservator working this week at the historic Graffiti House in Brandy Station has for the first time uncovered Civil War-era writing on the ground floor of the structure.

The newest uncovered writing appears to be from Union soldiers, apparently during the period the house was used as part of the headquarters of Union Gen. Henry Prince, said Foundation President Jim McKinney.

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25 January 2015

First World War Officer's Time Capsule Found Tucked Away in Storage at School History Department

The immaculate uniform, trench maps and belongings of a First World War officer have been discovered in his 'time capsule' trunk nearly 100 years after they were last folded away.

The set of items includes the neatly folded uniform of Lieutenant Howard Hands, his officer's cap, belts, cigarette case, photographs, newspapers and even his bedpan. His own trench maps showing a network of secret tunnels and mine galleries that ran under enemy positions on the Western Front were also found in the stash.

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22 January 2015

15th-Century Irish Town Found Near Medieval Castle

The medieval Dunluce Castle, located on the craggy rocks of Northern Ireland's coast, is neighbors with a mysterious stone settlement, according to a recent excavation.

The castle dates back to the 15th century, and once housed the powerful MacQuillan family, which controlled a large amount of territory in Northern Ireland. On a recent dig, the Northern Ireland Environment Agency planned to uncover part of the lost 17th century town of Dunluce near the castle.

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15 January 2015

132-Year-Old Rifle Found Leaning on Tree in Nevada Park

A 132-year-old rifle was the last thing Great Basin National Park officials were expecting to wander across.

There are still a lot of questions around the discovery of a Winchester Model 1873 Rifle recovered by Great Basin National Park archaeologists in November 2014. The rifle had been "exposed to the sun, wind, snow and rain" and was found leaning against a tree in the park.

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8 January 2015

1795 Time Capsule Opened, Centuries After Revere and Adams Buried It

More than 200 years after Samuel Adams and Paul Revere first buried it in Boston, it took an hour to remove all the objects crammed inside a tiny time capsule.

Onlookers anxiously watched the unveiling Tuesday, worrying the items might not have weathered the years very well.

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16 December 2014

Newspapers of Turkish WWI Prisoners Tell Their Own Story

It has been recently discovered that there have been dozens of newspaper printed to distribute to Ottoman soldiers that were captured prisoners in the First World War to keep up their morale.

The soldiers, named Mehmetcik in Turkish were held captive in the camps of Egypt published magazines like Nilufer, Ocak, Hilal, Turk Varligi and Light, which were among 23 different newspapers, and those held in camps in Russia, India, Tatarstan and Siberia published newspapers such as “Puskullu Bela, Kopuk, Niyet, Altay, Ne Munasebet” with a few others bringing the newspaper count to 10.

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15 December 2014

Czech Home Owners Find Hidden Jewish Artifacts from WWII

House owners rebuilding their attic in the Czech town of Terezin have found photos, shoes and other possessions of Jews forced into a ghetto there under Nazi rule, a heritage project said.

Terezin (Theresienstadt), a fortress and garrison town built at the end of the 18th century, was used by the Nazis as a transit camp for Jews rounded up in Czechoslovakia and deported from elsewhere in Europe. They were held in the ghetto until they could be transported to camps farther east.

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12 December 2014

Revolutionary War-Era Time Capsule Found in Massachusetts State House

Crews worked carefully on Thursday to remove a time capsule dating back to 1795 from the granite cornerstone of the Massachusetts statehouse, where historians believe it was originally placed by Revolutionary war luminaries Samuel Adams and Paul Revere among others.

The time capsule is believed to contain items such as old coins and newspapers, but the condition of the contents was not known and the Massachusetts secretary of state, William Galvin, speculated that some could have deteriorated over time.

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5 December 2014

Poignant Letter Unearthed from World War I Christmas Day Truce Between British and German Soldiers

It is one of the most iconic moments of the 20th century – when British and German troops put down their weapons to play football on the Western Front.

And now a remarkable letter has revealed a British general’s reluctance to fraternise with the enemy during the 1914 Christmas Day truce of the First World War.

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2 December 2014

Slave Wharf Remnants Found at African American Museum Site

Surveying crews found remnants of Gadsden's Wharf on the proposed site for the International African American Museum in Charleston, South Carolina.

Gadsden's Wharf was built in 1767 and served as one the largest wharf's during the 18th and 19th century. Historians estimate 40% of enslaved Africans came to America through Charleston. Three separate trenches were found by workers on the 1.23-acre site near the Cooper River. Centuries-old timber and bricks were found seven feet below the surface.

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28 November 2014

Rare First Shakespeare Edition Found in French Library

A copy of William Shakespeare's First Folio, the first-ever compilation of the Bard's plays published in 1623, has been discovered in the library of an ancient port town in northern France.

One of the world's most valuable and coveted books, the First Folio was uncovered when librarian Remy Cordonnier dusted off a copy of Shakespeare's works dating to the 18th century for an exhibition on English literature in the town of Saint-Omer near Calais.

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25 November 2014

A Belfast Soldier Secretly Photographed World War I

When Belfast photographer George Hackney was called to fight in World War I in October of 1915, he brought his camera with him. He defied his chiefs and risked facing court martial to document life on the front line.

His incredible collection is a testimony to life behind the scenes in a war that saw over 37 million soldiers killed – where the men laugh, write letters home, huddle for warmth and read the newspaper.

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24 November 2014

WWII Mementos Found in Suitcase at Thrift Store

Relics of a soldier's past are now back with his family after ending up at a thrift store.

Brenda Monson, a history teacher at West Lake Junior High School, bought the old, locked suitcase at a Deseret Industries store over the summer. She recently shared the contents of the suitcase with her students during a Veterans Day lesson.

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19 November 2014

New 1906 San Francisco Earthquake Photos Discovered at Flea Market

For the past 40 years, Bob Bragman has spent most of his Sunday mornings combing through flea markets looking for historical photos and other vintage treasures. Recently Bragman, a contributor at SFGate.com, came across an unassuming Ziploc bag full of old black-and-white images.

"I picked it up and saw that the first one was an '06 quake photo. The vendor said that they were just cutouts from a magazine. She was asking $5.00 for them. I saw that, at the very least, the first one was a real photo. I made the purchase."

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