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Genealogy Blog

29 October 2014

Amelia Earhart Plane Fragment Identified

A fragment of Amelia Earhart's lost aircraft has been identified to a high degree of certainty for the first time ever since her plane vanished over the Pacific Ocean on July 2, 1937, in a record attempt to fly around the world at the equator.

New research strongly suggests that a piece of aluminum aircraft debris recovered in 1991 from Nikumaroro, an uninhabited atoll in the southwestern Pacific republic of Kiribati, does belong to Earhart’s twin-engined Lockheed Electra.

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Civil War Time Capsule Found During Street Repairs in Richmond, Indiana

Sometimes street repairs can reveal unexpected things.

With South E Street being dug up for major changes, Thomas Owens, owner of the former firehouse on the southwest corner of South Ninth and E streets, decided it was necessary to protect an important asset — a monument marking the site as the location of the Civil War-era Camp Wayne.

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28 October 2014

WWII Pilot Found Buried in Italian Corn Field

The remains of an Italian WWII pilot who died in a dogfight with U.S. pilots 70 years ago have finally been unearthed -- still sitting on the parachute in the cockpit.

Found 13 feet underground with the wreckage of his crashed plane, a Macchi C.205 Veltro, the pilot was identified as being Lieutenant Guerrino Bortolani. His plane literately disappeared in the Padua countryside in northern Italy, planting itself deep in the bank of a ditch as it crashed on March 11, 1944.

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WWI Trenches Discovered in Kent, England

A forgotten First World War trench system which was part of Britain’s home defences has been discovered. The fortifications stretched for more than 11 miles on the Isle of Sheppey in Kent and protected the Thames Estuary against German invasion.

It became known as Barbed Wire Island and was a restricted area with residents given identity cards dubbed the Sheppey Passport. To leave the island locals had to get the document signed by police with checkpoints in place at the bridge and the railway station.

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27 October 2014

MI5 Spied on Leading British Historians for Decades, Secret Files Reveal

MI5 amassed hundreds of records on Eric Hobsbawm and Christopher Hill, two of Britain’s leading historians who were both once members of the Communist party, secret files have revealed.

The scholars were subjected to persistent surveillance for decades as MI5 and police special branch officers tapped and recorded their telephone calls, intercepted their private correspondence and monitored their contacts, the files show. Some of the surveillance gave MI5 more details about their targets’ personal lives than any threat to national security.

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24 October 2014

Melting Antarctic Snow Has Revealed the Notebook of Captain Robert Scott’s Official Expedition Photographer

Melting Antarctic snow has revealed the notebook of Captain Robert Scott’s official expedition photographer. Researchers found George Levick’s journal outside the 1911 Terra Nova base in the heart of the Antarctic following this year's annual thaw.

Despite thaws in previous years, this is the first time the notebook has been seen in more than a century. The notebook is called Wellcome Photographic Exposure Record and Diary 1910 and was discovered by New Zealand’s Antarctic Heritage Trust.

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21 October 2014

13th Century Note Etched on Bark Found in Russia

The note, from father to son, was the sort of routine shopping list that today would be dashed off on a smartphone. In 14th century Russia, it was etched into the bark of a birch tree and curled into a scroll.

"Send me a shirt, towel, trousers, reins, and, for my sister, send fabric," the father, whose name was Onus, wrote to his son, Danilo, the block letters of Old Novgorod language, a precursor to Russian, neatly carved into the wood with a stylus. Onus ended with a bit of humor. "If I am alive," he wrote, "I will pay for it."

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17 October 2014

Evidence of Medieval Church Found in North Yorkshire, England

Archaeologists have unearthed ancient human remains and evidence of a medieval church on the site of a new extra care scheme.

The discovery in Leyburn, North Yorkshire, has been described as an "intriguing conundrum" by experts. Tests and further digging is now underway to learn more about the finds in a field being developed by Broadacres housing association.

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15 October 2014

Richard III Archaeologists Now Search for King Harold To See If He Survived Battle of Hastings

Archaeologists will this week test if the Bayeux Tapestry correctly depicts Harold II’s death, when they scan a graveyard to investigate whether he in fact survived the Battle of Hastings.

The same survey team used to find the remains of Richard III under a Leicester car park is now searching for the remains of England’s last Saxon king in the grounds of Waltham Abbey Church in Essex.

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13 October 2014

Remains of Alexander the Great's Father Confirmed Found

A team of Greek researchers has confirmed that bones found in a two-chambered royal tomb at Vergina, a town some 100 miles away from Amphipolis's mysterious burial mound, indeed belong to the Macedonian King Philip II, Alexander the Great's father.

The anthropological investigation examined 350 bones and fragments found in two larnakes, or caskets, of the tomb. It uncovered pathologies, activity markers and trauma that helped identify the tomb's occupants.

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Slave Photo Discovered from Robert E. Lee's Home

The National Park Service has acquired a rare Civil War-era photograph of an enslaved woman who helped save Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee's home in Arlington, Virginia.

The previously unknown photograph depicts Selina Gray, the head housekeeper to Lee and his family, along with two girls. The photograph was unveiled Thursday at the Arlington House plantation overlooking the nation's capital that was home to Lee and dozens of slaves before the Civil War.

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17 September 2014

Forgotten Ghost Ships Off Golden Gate Revealed

A team of NOAA researchers today confirmed the discovery just outside San Francisco's Golden Gate strait of the 1910 shipwreck SS Selja and an unidentified early steam tugboat wreck tagged the "mystery wreck."

The researchers also located the 1863 wreck of the clipper ship Noonday, currently obscured by mud and silt on the ocean floor.

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15 September 2014

500 Child Skeletons Found in Workhouse Mass Grave Tell of Struggles During the Irish Great Hunger

Skeletons of over 500 children who died during the Great Hunger were found seven years ago buried in a mass grave within what was once the Kilkenny Union Workhouse. With over three years of research on their bones, bio-archaeologists have been able to uncover the children's harrowing stories and medical secrets.

The new study, funded by the Irish Research Council, is based upon the "skeletal manifestation of stress in child victims of the Great Hunger."

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12 September 2014

Black Death Skeletons Unearthed in Peterborough, England

Developers building houses in Peterborough have unearthed a fascinating glimpse of the city's past.

They've discovered a huge burial ground in Midland Road containing the skeletons of at least 70 people. It's thought the remains could be victims of the Black Death. For centuries they lay undisturbed while above them life went on for successive generations of Peterboreans.

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In Search of the Spanish Armada Off the Irish Coast

The Invincible Armada had been navigating its way through the wilderness of the North Atlantic.

On the dawn of September 7, 1588, the Duke of Medina Sidonia, captain of the San Martín and the commanding officer of the vast fleet Philip II had created to invade England, scanned the horizon. Low on water and provisions, he now faced the task of returning to Spain with 112 badly damaged vessels carrying around 3,000 wounded by sailing round Scotland, and then the west coast of Ireland.

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