Genealogy Blog

26 March 2011

Tiny Missouri Village of Plato Named U.S. Population Center

Village officials in Plato, Missouri are trying to figure out how to make the most of being declared by the U.S. Census Bureau as the population center of the United States. The village, which is so small that its employees are volunteers and the town board meets in the bank basement, will create a 12-inch Missouri stone marker to celebrate its census distinction.

Each decade, the Census Bureau calculates the mean center of population, determined as the place where an imaginary, flat, weightless and rigid map of the U.S. would balance perfectly if all 308,745,538 residents were of identical weight.

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National Historic Ships Photography Competition

After a successful first year last year, ClassicBoat announces the National Historic Ships Photography Competition 2011.

Competition categories: A: Historic vessels on the National Register or National Archive of Historic Vessels (NRHV / NAHV). B: Traditional Maritime Skills in Action. C: Your local historic vessel or seascape. D: Classic Boat favourite.

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11 March 2011

Academy for Undertakers Offers 'Recession-Proof' Job Training

German trainee undertakers are being put through their paces at Europe's only "funeral school" in Münnerstadt - anything but a dying business in the fast-ageing continent. The training course at this north Bavarian town lasts three years, involving both schooling and on-the-job practical apprenticeships.

In addition to learning how to dig a grave, students at the Theo Remmertz Academy are taught how to deal with grieving families, how to properly cement a vault, how to prepare bodies for the funeral, and even how to write out death notices.

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10 March 2011

WWII-Era Letter Delivered to Camp Roberts in February is Finally Headed to Right Person

A letter postmarked in 1944 that mysteriously arrived in the mail at Camp Roberts last month is now on its way to the person intended to receive it decades ago. The letter was addressed to “Miss R. T. Fletcher, American Red Cross, Station Hospital, Camp Roberts, California.”

Those looking for the recipient or author were left with few clues. A historical museum now stands where the station hospital once stood. And the return address portion of the envelope had been torn. The abbreviation “Ala.” was all that remained.

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8 March 2011

Romanian Woman Who Became a Granny at 23 Claims to Be World's Youngest

A 25-year-old Romanian woman could be the world's youngest grandmother. Rifca Stanescu gave birth to her first child, Maria, at age 12, a British tabloid, The Sun, reported Monday. She urged her daughter not to follow in her footsteps, but the girl also gave birth to a child before reaching her teen years.

Maria reportedly gave birth to her son, Ion, two years ago - when she was just 11 - making mother Stanescu a grandmother at 23. "I am happy to be a grandmother but wished more for Maria," Stanescu said.

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3 March 2011

New Zealand 2011 Census Cancelled Due to Quake

The census set for early March has been cancelled and will not be held this year. Government statistician Geoff Bascand made the announcement today saying a large part of the census operation was run from Christchurch and had been badly damaged in the quake.

The quake had also left people displaced and their futures unclear which made the March 8 census difficult, he said. The census was also cancelled in 1931 due to the depression and in 1941 during the war.

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25 February 2011

Long-Lost Childhood Friends Separated During WWII Reunited by Chance 60 Years Later

A pair of childhood friends separated during WWII were reunited after finding themselves lying side by side in a hospital ward 60 years later. Best friends Peter Butcher and Donald Gooding, both now aged 86, first met as teenagers and became firm friends.

But they eventually lost contact when Peter volunteered as a flight engineer for the RAF aged 18, while Don later joined the armoured corps. Both tried several times to trace each other over the years, but their efforts were in vain, until an extraordinary chance encounter in hospital reunited them over 60 years later.

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21 February 2011

The World's Biggest Family: The Man with 39 Wives, 94 Children and 33 Grandchildren

He is head of the world's biggest family - and says he is 'blessed' to have his 39 wives. Ziona Chana also has 94 children, 14-daughters-in-law and 33 grandchildren. They live in a 100-room, four storey house set amidst the hills of Baktwang village in the Indian state of Mizoram, where the wives sleep in giant communal dormitories.

Mr Chana said: 'Today I feel like God's special child. He's given me so many people to look after. 'I consider myself a lucky man to be the husband of 39 women and head of the world's largest family.'

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19 December 2010

Expert on Coats of Arms Becomes First Woman in UK to be Appointed a Herald

A centuries-old institution that oversees Scottish heraldry and coats of arms has appointed its first woman to a leading role. Elizabeth Roads, 59, from Edinburgh, is the first female herald at the Court of the Lord Lyon following a 35-year career at the official heraldry office for Scotland.

She is the first woman in the UK to hold the role of herald. The equivalent body in England - the College of Arms - has never had a female in the post. Roads started work at the court in 1975.

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17 November 2010

Association of Professional Genealogists Announces Election Results

The Association of Professional Genealogists (APG®) announced today the results of its 2010 election of new board members and committee members. In a general election voted upon by APG members, 10 board members were elected for two-year terms, 2011 –2012. Two nominating committee members were chosen for the 2011 term.

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27 October 2010

WWII Bombs Found on Galapagos Islands

Fishermen have found a dozen bombs believed to be from World War II buried on the Galapagos Islands, a local government official said. The bombs were found on Bartolome Island, one of the Galapagos group about 960km off South America's north-western coast.

The islands are a province of Ecuador, which let the United States set up a military base on one, Baltra Island, during World War II due to its strategic location south-west of the Panama Canal.

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25 October 2010

Woman in Taiwan Plans to Marry Herself

A Taiwanese woman feels she is under pressure to get married, but hasn’t yet met a man she wants to spend the rest of her life with, so she decided she will marry herself.

Chen Wei-yih, a 30-year-old office worker from Taipei, has posed for photos in white gown, hired a wedding planner and rented a banquet hall where she will celebrate with 30 friends and family members on November 6.

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Thousands Evacuated in France for Second World War Bomb Disposal

Thousands of people were evacuated from their homes following the discovery of a series of bombs from the Second World War in the French city centre of Rennes.

Sixty five years after the unconditional surrender of Nazi Germany, the city in Brittany was closed as engineers worked to defuse a 550lb RAF device. It was one of thousands dropped on northern France in 1944 as Allied troops prepared to invade.

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20 October 2010

Class Separated by War Reunites Each Year

On a June night more than 65 years ago, Ralph Watts missed his high school graduation ceremony. At the time, he was more than 1,000 miles away in Texas, training in the Air Force, preparing to fight in the European theater of World War II.

He and seven of his classmates and their spouses held their 65th reunion at The Millheim Hotel earlier this month. They’ve been getting together for the past 11 years.

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14 October 2010

Mom's Babies Born on 8-8-08, 9-9-09, 10-10-10

Unlike many moms, Barbara Soper never gets her kids' birthdays confused. That's because her first was born on Aug, 8, 2008, her second on Sept. 9, 2009 and her most recent on Oct. 10, 2010.

Yes, that's 8-8-08, 9-9-09 and 10-10-10. The Rockford, Mich., mom and husband Chad weren't thinking about dates when their children were born.

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