Genealogy Blog

24 February 2015

Library of Birmingham, England, Photo Archive 'Still at Risk'

The Library of Birmingham's renowned photographic archives remain at risk despite a council U-turn on proposed budget cuts, it has been claimed.

The influential Royal Photographic Society says it remains concerned for the future of the nationally recognised archives and four specialist staff. Archivist roles were among 100 jobs at the landmark library placed at risk when a £1.5 million package of cuts to its £10 million-a-year running costs was proposed in December.

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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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Denmark's Largest Digital Archive Opens Today

Denmark's largest digital photo album with nearly two million images will open to the general public today at 4pm.

Danes will have access to the online database at, which includes 1,841,254 documents such as photos, diaries, letters, and sound and video recordings. Since the late 1980s, all items from the country's more than 550 archives have been recorded electronically, and today a large portion of them becomes freely available to the public.

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3 Tips for Using Geneanet #1

As much as possible, we will post blog notes to answer your most frequently asked questions about using Geneanet.

Tips of the week are:

- How to change your email address?
- How to unsubscribe from the Geneanet newsletter?
- How to add a family picture to your Geneanet family tree?

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22 February 2015

Are You Related to Drew Barrymore?

Barrymore was born on February 22, 1975, in Culver City, California, to American actor John Drew Barrymore and Jaid Barrymore (née Makó), an aspiring actress.

Barrymore's mother was born in a Displaced persons camp in Brannenburg, West Germany, to Hungarian World War II refugees. Barrymore's father was of English, Irish, and German ancestry. Her parents divorced in 1984, when she was nine years old. She is one of four children with a half-brother, John Blyth Barrymore, who is also an actor, and two half-sisters, Blyth Dolores Barrymore and Jessica Blyth Barrymore (Brahma).

Drew Barrymore's Family Tree

20 February 2015

Genealogy Software Updates of the Week

Families (Legacy Family Tree) for Android 2.2.3 (Mobile - Purchase)

• Fix font size problem on Family View.
• Fix exception when bookmark referencing a deleted individual or couple is accessed.

Family Get-To-Gether for Android 1.3.2 (Mobile - Purchase)

• New fields (‘Census’ & ‘Property’) are now supported.
• Photos referenced in events and family GEDCOM records are now imported.
• 3rd party file explorer apps (or Google Drive app) can now be used to directly pick up the GEDCOM file to import.
• German translation is now more complete.
• Arabic translation is added.
• New options to share & rate the app are added.

iScrapbook 5.0.2 (Family Pictures - Mac - Purchase)

• Fixed issues related to preview images for pages.
• Fixed issue with dashed outline in placeholders.
• Fixed issue where placeholder backgrounds in old templates would sometimes appear blank.

Pocket Genealogist 4.09A05 Public Beta (Mobile - Purchase)

• Support for Legacy v8.

19 February 2015

Edinburgh Team To Create Visual Archive of UK Tower Blocks

Social and architectural historians from Edinburgh College of Art are behind the project, described as a "Domesday Book" of the UK's post-war reconstruction.

Entitled 'Tower Blocks - Our Blocks!', it will also include images of tower blocks demolished over 30 years ago. The project is to receive a £52,900 grant of Heritage Lottery funding.

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Man Gets 10 Years for Stealing Priceless 12th-Century Manuscript in Spain

A Spanish court sentenced a man on Wednesday to 10 years in prison for crimes including the theft of a priceless medieval document considered the first guidebook to Spain's Saint James pilgrimage trail.

Police recovered the unique 12th-century manuscript in July 2012, a year after it was found to have gone missing from a safe in the famous cathedral of the northwestern city of Santiago de Compostela.

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British Library Digitises 4M Photos from Endangered Archives

A pioneering initiative from the British Library has seen over four million images from endangered archives all over the world digitised and put online.

The Endangered Archives Programme has been running since 2004 and has funded 246 projects in 78 countries. Some projects have seen the digitisation of medieval manuscripts that date back as far as the 12th century.

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18 February 2015

Thousands of African-American Graves Found Beneath Philadelphia Playground

Days after archaeologists on Maryland’s eastern shore uncovered what they believe to be the oldest settlement of African-Americans in the United States, another team in Philadelphia unearthed what may be the resting place of nearly 3,000 others under a playground in the city’s Weccecoe Park.

Underneath the swing sets of an urban playground in the Queen Village neighborhood of South Philadelphia are the forgotten remains of an estimated 3,000 African-Americans.

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Immigrants Made Up 1% of the Population in Medieval England, Researchers Find

About one out of every hundred people in late medieval England was an immigrant, according to researchers at the universities of York and Sheffield. They have also launched a new database that offers details about 65,000 immigrants who lived in England between 1330 and 1550.

The England’s Immigrants project was created by these universities with support from the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC). It is led by Mark Ormrod, of the University of York’s Centre for Medieval Studies.

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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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Why British People Are Looking for Ancestors in India Decades After the Raj Ended

In the middle of 2013, an odd piece of news hit the international pages of Indian newspapers.

DNA-testing showed that Prince William of the United Kingdom had some Indian ancestry on his maternal side around eight generations ago. The British, who had so long ruled India, were now set to be ruled by someone who had Indian blood.

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Are You Related to Hal Holbrook?

Holbrook was born on February 17, 1925, in Cleveland, Ohio, the son of Aileen (Davenport) Holbrook, a vaudeville dancer, and Harold Rowe Holbrook, Sr.

After being abandoned by his parents at age two, he and his two sisters were raised by his paternal grandparents, first in South Weymouth, Massachusetts, and then in the Cleveland suburb of Lakewood. He graduated from the Culver Academies and Denison University, where an honors project about Mark Twain led him to develop the one-man show for which he is best known, a series of performances called Mark Twain Tonight.

Hal Holbrook's Family Tree

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