Genealogy Blog

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, 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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18 November 2014

Unseen World War One Photos Uncovered in Ulster Archives

A startling collection of previously unseen photographs has provided a fresh perspective of life and death in the trenches during World War One.

Belfast man George Hackney, who was an amateur photographer in the years before the outbreak of war, took his camera with him when he was sent off to fight in 1915.

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17 November 2014

Photos Kept in Family for 47 Years Show Che Guevara After He Was Killed by the Bolivian Army in 1967

A man has revealed how photos showing Ernesto 'Che' Guevara's dead body in Bolivia wound up with his family in Spain.

'My uncle brought them when he came to the wedding of my parents, who were married in late November 1967,' Imanol Arteaga told AFP. Arteaga told the wire service his uncle Luis Cartero had been a missionary in Bolivia.

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12 November 2014

Virginia Couple Find Civil War Graffiti in Home

There's an old saying: "If walls could talk." In the case of the house known as Glen Owen, located east of Berryville in Clarke County, architectural historian Maral Kalbian noted, "They really are."

In September, owners William "Biff" and Barbara Genda discovered Civil War-era graffiti on the wall in a stairwell when they removed paint from the area.

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10 November 2014

Aberdeenshire World War I Documents Recovered

Forgotten documents honouring World War One soldiers from Aberdeenshire have been unearthed from the back of an old church cupboard after more than 90 years.

Reverend Brian Dingwall discovered the roll of honour along with other paperwork under the pulpit during a clear out at Lumsden Church, near Alford. Most of the papers had to be thrown out because they were so damp but Mr Dingwall managed to save some of them.

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6 November 2014

19th Century Shipwreck Uncovered Under New Jersey Sand

Work on a coastal steel wall to protect one of the areas hardest hit by Superstorm Sandy has come to a standstill after the discovery of a 19th-century shipwreck about 25 feet underneath the sand.

Mayor John G. Ducey said workers using a specialized drill struck the relic last week. They were doing excavating work for the 3.5-mile long structure, which is intended to shield Route 35 and oceanfront homes in Mantoloking and Brick on the northern barrier island from the catastrophic impact of a future major hurricane or nor'easter comparable to the Oct. 29, 2012, disaster.

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5 November 2014

Wreck of 17th-Century Dutch Warship Discovered

The wreck of a 17th-century Dutch warship has been discovered off the coast of Tobago, a small island located in the southern Caribbean. Marine archaeologists believe the vessel is possibly the Huis de Kreuningen, which was lost during a bloody fight between Dutch and French colonists.

On March 3, 1677, the French Navy launched a fierce attack against the Dutch in Tobago's Rockley Bay. European settlers coveted Tobago for its strategic location; in fact, the island changed hands more than 30 times after Christopher Columbus arrived in the New World.

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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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