Genealogy Blog

5 February 2015

Four Surviving Original Copies of the Magna Carta Will Be Displayed Together for the First Time To Mark 800th Anniversary of Document that Launched Parliamentary Democracy

The four surviving original copies of the Magna Carta have been brought together for the first time since 1215.

Copies of the document - one of the first steps in the journey towards parliamentary democracy - will go on show together at The British Library in central London to mark the 800th anniversary since it was signed. More than 40,000 people entered a public ballot for the chance to see them with 1,215 winning the opportunity to visit the display.

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3 February 2015

Australian Students To Explore World War I in Unique Project

It was through the heroic, horrific sacrifice of its best and brightest in World War I that the federated states and territories of the Great South Land became a nation in spirit as well as name. It is why Anzac Day is now our de facto national day.

With the centenary of that momentous first Anzac Day drawing near, NewsLocal today launches a unique competition for junior high school students to bring to life the impact and experiences the conflict wrought on this young country.

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New Tools Getting Boston Public Library’s Old Treasures Online to Millions

"The True Copie of the Court Booke of the Governor and Society of the Massachusetts Bay in New England" begins in London in 1628, as the founders of the Massachusetts Bay Colony prepare to set off for the New World.

This delicate document, bound in calf hair, handwritten in iron gall ink, documents in real time the doings of the magistrate until 1645, from ship landings to the colony’s first laws.

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Civil War Mural, Obscured for Decades, Resurfaces on a Shelf

A historic Civil War mural that bounced, mislabeled, from museum to museum for several decades has emerged from storage, its identity reclaimed. But because of its size, its owners are still pondering where it can be displayed.

From 1887 to 1958, “The Battle of Resaca,” a 5-feet-by-12-feet oil-on-canvas mural by the Civil War artist James Walker, hung in an imposing brick and granite edifice on the Upper West Side.

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2 February 2015

Spanish Civil War: Rediscovered Photos in Navarra Museum

A museum has opened in the Spanish city of Pamplona that brings together the performing arts, painting, sculpture and one of Spain's largest collection of photographs, dating back to the 19th Century.

The Museum University of Navarra, built by celebrated Spanish architect Rafael Moneo, features previously unseen works by Picasso, Rothko and Kandinsky and also one of Spain's largest collections of photos from the 19th Century.

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Moscow Library Fire Damages One Million Documents and Books in 'Cultural Chernobyl'

A fire that ripped through one of Russia's largest public libraries has been likened to a cultural 'Chernobyl'.

The blaze began late on Friday at the Institute of Scientific Information on Social Sciences in Moscow, which was created in 1918 and holds more than 14 million items. It also contains documents from the League of Nations, UNESCO, and early parliamentary reports dating back as far as 1789.

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A New Home Page for Your Geneanet Archival Documents and Pictures

As promised, some new, simple and effective services now come with the new version of Geneanet to help you grow your family tree.

On Geneanet, you can upload family pictures, archival records, indexes, pictures of headstones and memorials, family letters, postcards, coats of arms, and much more.

A new page is now available to view, edit and add all of your archival documents and pictures.

Click 'Family Tree > Your Archive & Pictures' in the top menu bar of the site, or simply click the following link:


30 January 2015

Meet Ida May Fuller, Recipient of the First Social Security Check Numbered 00-000-001

Seventy-five years ago, the government cut 65-year-old Ida May Fuller a check. It was numbered 00-000-001 - the first Social Security payout.

Fuller, of Ludlow, Vermont, didn't realize it at the time, but her check helped launch the granddaddy of all entitlement programs. She had only paid three years' worth of payroll taxes before retiring but by the time of her death in 1975 at age 100, she collected $22,888.92 from Social Security monthly benefits.

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Earliest Dated Building in Londonderry, Northern Ireland, Revealed

An excavation carried out in Londonderry, Northern Ireland, has brought to light part of a building that is thought to have burned down during the Cahir O’Doherty rising of 1608, whose lands had been confiscated for colonization during the reign of King James I. The structure pre-dates the walled city.

The building, only a very small part of which has survived, had stone foundations and a cellar above which the upper floors were constructed of timber.

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Cervantes Searchers Find Casket With His Initials

Experts searching for the remains of Miguel de Cervantes said Monday that they found wooden fragments of a casket bearing the initials "M.C." with bones in and around them in a crypt underneath the chapel of a cloistered convent in Madrid.

The "Don Quixote" author was buried in 1616 at Convent of the Barefoot Trinitarians in Madrid's historic Barrio de las Letras, or Literary Quarter. But the exact whereabouts of his grave within the convent chapel were unknown.

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Library and Archives Canada: Canadian Directories Online

Library and Archives Canada announces the release of a new version of the online database Canadian Directories. An addition to the page includes full versions of the directories in PDF format, as well as newly digitized directories which are not available through the database.

These 152 new directories are for the Ontario cities of Hamilton, Kingston and London and for the counties of Southwestern Ontario.

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Are You Related to Gene Hackman?

Hackman was born on January 30, 1930, in San Bernardino, California, the son of Lyda Hackman (née Gray) and Eugene Ezra Hackman. He has a brother, Richard.

He has Pennsylvania Dutch (German), English, and Scottish ancestry, and his mother was born in Canada. His family moved frequently, finally settling in Danville, Illinois, where they lived in the house of his English-born maternal grandmother, Beatrice. Hackman's father operated the printing press for the Commercial-News, a local paper.

Gene Hackman's Family Tree

29 January 2015

Scenes From the History of Snow Removal

In some areas, the weather outside is pretty frightful. And since you've no place to go but outside to shovel, get cozy and read about snow removal in the good old days.

For a good stretch of American history, getting rid of snow was of no great concern. In fact, people actually wanted it around. While this might blow the minds of modern Northeasterners and Midwesterners, keep in mind that these were the days of the horse-drawn vehicle, not the Prius.

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Genealogy Software Updates of the Week

GeneaNet pour iPhone & iPad 2.14 (Mobile - Freeware)

• Pictures can now be added to your family tree.
• Added pictures gallery for each individual.
• Minor bug fixes.

HuMo-gen 5.1 (Web Publishing - Windows - Freeware)

• Added improved editor features.
• Added international display settings.
• Added Chinese language version.

Sold as Scrap, Richest Ottoman Archives in Bulgarian Library

For more than a 100 years the Sofia National Library has hosted the culturally rich Ottoman archives. In particular, Ottoman experts and scientists have protected the archives that contain more than 1 million documents and at the same time have provided reading rooms for those who wish to access and study the documents.

These documents at one point in history were sold in the streets of Bulgaria are now protected at the St. Cyril and Methodius National Library in Sofia.

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