Genealogy Blog

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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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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