Genealogy Blog

19 March 2015

Apparent Remains of Don Quixote Writer Cervantes Found

Spain said this week it had unearthed the apparent remains of a literary giant, "Don Quixote" author Miguel de Cervantes, in a Madrid convent almost 400 years after his death.

Researchers said they were "convinced" that among crumbling remains in a crypt they had found Cervantes, hailed by academics as the father of the modern novel.

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16 March 2015

World's Oldest Pretzel Found in Germany

German archaeologists announced this week they have discovered what could be the world’s oldest pretzel.

Unearthed during a large excavation on the “Donaumarkt” in Regensburg, an area nearby the Danube which was destroyed in the 1950-60s, the charred pretzel fragments are believed to be 250 years old. They were recovered beneath a floor in a structure long known to be a bakery.

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2 March 2015

Founding Father Samuel Chase's Birthplace Identified in Somerset County, Maryland

For more than a century there been a mystery in Somerset County linked to the legacy of Samuel Chase, a signer of the Declaration of Independence and a U.S. Supreme Court judge.

Mark Tyler, of The Capt. John Smoot Chapter of the Maryland Society Sons of the American Revolution, has been looking for the site of Chase's birthplace for the past two years. He has spent so much time researching the background of the former Somerset County resident that he calls the historical figure "Sam Chase."

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23 February 2015

Cambridgeshire Church Plague Graffiti Reveals 'Heartbreaking' Find

"Heartbreaking" graffiti uncovered in a Cambridgeshire church has revealed how three sisters from one family died in a plague outbreak in 1515.

The names Cateryn, Jane and Amee Maddyngley and the date were inscribed on stonework in Kingston parish church. It was found by Norfolk and Suffolk Medieval Graffiti Survey volunteers. Archaeologist Matt Champion said the project had shown church plague graffiti was "far more common than previously realised".

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WWI Trench System Unearthed in Cork, Ireland

Archaeologists at a military camp in North Cork have discovered one of the largest and best preserved First World War underground bunker and trench systems ever built in Britain and Ireland.

Details of the find by a team from Queen’s University Belfast, revealed exclusively to the Irish Examiner, show the underground bunkers, built around 1915, could have accommodated sleeping quarters for up to 300 troops.

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17 February 2015

Medieval Battle Site Yields UK’s Oldest Cannon Ball

A lead ball found at a medieval battle site could be the oldest surviving cannonball in England, an expert says.

The damaged ball was found at the site of the Battle of Northampton fought during the War of the Roses. Medieval artillery expert Dr Glenn Foard said: "It is highly likely the projectile was fired during the battle [10 July 1460]." It will be revealed to the public at a Northampton hotel in Eagle Drive close to the battlefield on Thursday night.

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16 February 2015

Archaeologists To Explore Waterloo Battlefield

An international team of battlefield experts, led by the University of Glasgow’s Dr Tony Pollard, will start work at farm buildings of Hougoumont in April 2015.

The research is being undertaken as part of Waterloo Uncovered, which is launching today and aims to transform our understanding of the battle that created modern Europe and ended the Napoleonic era.

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Mystery Photo Unseen for 30 Years May Be the Only Existing Image of a Submerged Civil War Gunship

Archaeologists with the Army Corps of Engineers are searching for what may be the sole photograph of Civil War-era ironclad CSS Georgia as they salvage its remains from the Savannah River.

So far, the only person able to verify details about the photo is the man who found it at a yard sale in Georgia in the 1980s - John Potter. Potter said he was looking through a collection of antiques at a home in Waycross when he stumbled upon a picture frame that caught his eye.

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Ancient Graveyard in Italy May Yield Clues on Cholera's Evolution

Ancient graveyard in Italy may help archaeologists and other researchers yield clues on cholera's evolution.

The researchers are excavating the graveyard surrounding the abandoned Badia Pozzeveri church in the Tuscany region of Italy. The site contains victims of the cholera epidemic that swept the world in the 1850s, said Clark Spencer Larsen, professor of anthropology at The Ohio State University.

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13 February 2015

First-Known Footage Found of 1915 Chicago Boating Tragedy that Killed 844 Passengers

Almost a century on, footage has surfaced of a freak boating disaster that killed 844 people traveling to a company picnic in Chicago.

On the morning of July 24, 1915 the SS Eastland capsized while it was still docked in around 20ft of water. Many of the victims were children and teenagers, who drowned while wearing their Sunday best. Two newly-discovered grainy black and white clips of the incident show workers trying to right the luxury vessel, with survivors huddled together shivering in blankets.

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Richard III Killed by Sword Thrust Upwards Into Neck

King Richard III was killed by a sword thrust from the base of the neck all the way up into his head, according to researchers at the University of Leicester who have located a major injury in the interior surface of the skull.

Guy Rutty of East Midlands Forensic Pathology Unit, based at the University of Leicester, spotted the fatal wound while examining the skull of the last Plantagenet king.

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12 February 2015

Urban Explorer Who Ventured Into Derelict Home To Take Eerie Photographs Finds $7,000... and Then Tracks Down the Owner To Hand It Over

A photographer who went into an abandoned house to take pictures of its antiques found almost $7,000 in bundles of cash - and was then able to reunite it with its rightful owners after tracking them down.

The man only known as Dave, of Freaktography came across the derelict property in Ontaria, Canada after being tipped off by a friend and was desperate to go inside and capture images.

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16th Century Silver Extraction Pollution Found in Peruvian Ice Cap

In the 16th century, during its conquest of South America, the Spanish Empire forced countless Incas to work extracting silver from the mountaintop mines of Potosí, in what is now Bolivia—then the largest source of silver in the world.

The Inca already knew how to refine silver, but in 1572 the Spanish introduced a new technology that boosted production many times over and sent thick clouds of lead dust rising over the Andes for the first time in history.

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German Crew’s Rotterdam WWII Destruction Film Discovered

The German Federal Archive has found video images of the destruction of Rotterdam and Middelburg which was filmed by a German film crew in August 1940, a few months after the bombing, NOS reports.

Rotterdam was the first city to be redesigned after the total destruction the bombing caused and German planners were very interested in the process. Shortly after the bombing the German government architect Otto traveled to Rotterdam to discuss the plans with mayor Oud and city architect Witteveen.

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9 February 2015

Forgotten Edition of Magna Carta Found in Kent Council Archive

An edition of the Magna Carta, which is estimated to be worth up to £10 million despite severe damage, has been found after it lay forgotten in a council’s archives.

The document – that established the principle of the rule of law and protection of civil liberties in 1215 was found in the files of the history department of Kent County Council. The charter, which was originally drafted by the then-Archbishop of Canterbury and agreed by King John of England to make peace with rebel barons, was kept in archives in Maidstone but belongs to the seaside town of Sandwich.

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