Genealogy Blog

15 December 2014

A Genealogist Who Spent His Life Building a Cherokee Archive Retires

When Tom Mooney started working as a genealogist and archivist for Cherokee Heritage Center on December 6, 1976, he had one filing cabinet to store items.

After 38 years, Mooney has retired from the Cherokee Heritage Center, leaving behind a vast collection of more than 400,000 historical documents and items that fill hundreds of square feet of space at the museum.

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12 December 2014

Railwaymen Gravestone Project Wins National Recognition in Bromsgrove, England

The work restoring two world-famous gravestones in memory of two railwaymen has been commended at a national awards ceremony.

All those involved with the works on the memorials, which have stood for more than 170 years in St John’s Church Graveyard, in Bromsgrove, were thrilled to walk away with The Supporters Award.

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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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11 December 2014

Genealogy Software Updates of the Week

HuMo-gen (Web Publishing - Windows - Freeware)

• New editing (dragging) features.

Irish Roots Magazine for iPhone and iPad (Mobile - Freeware)

• iOS 8.
• New home interface screen feature larger latest edition cover.

LiveHistory for iPhone and iPad 1.2.3 (Mobile - Purchase)

• Bugfixes and internal updates.
• Improved GEDCOM import.

MacFamilyTree 7.3.2 (Full Featured - Mac - Purchase)

• Stability improvements using FamilySearch integration.
• Issue displaying the correct name format resolved.
• Stability issue when adding photos from iPhoto resolved.
• Further smaller bugs fixed.

RootsMagic (Full Featured - Windows - Purchase)

• New: Info button in File Compare source copy now brings up citation edit screen.
• New: File Compare now takes Unique ID into account (and displays %match in blue for UniqueID matches).
• Fixed: Long delays could occur after editing a person in very large databases.
• Fixed: Updating large groups in large databases could take a very long time.
• Fixed: Cancelling during File Compare works properly now.
• Fixed: Memory leak when searching or selecting by criteria for a person's name.
• Fixed: Numerous minor bug fixes.

Lute Manuscripts Uploaded to Cambridge Digital Library

A "remarkable" collection of lute manuscripts dating back to the 16th Century has been put online by the University of Cambridge.

The 650 pieces include handwritten scores by John Dowland, Francis Cutting and other early modern composers. John Robinson of the Lute Society said the collection was "invaluable", with many works being lost over centuries.

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Parchment's Hidden Stories Revealed

Millions of documents stored in archives could provide scientists with the key to tracing the development of agriculture in the British Isles over the last 700 years, according to new research at the University of York and Trinity College Dublin.

But the crucial information the documents hold is not contained in their texts but the parchment on which it is written. Researchers in Dublin and York used the latest scientific techniques to extract ancient DNA and protein from tiny samples of parchment from documents from the late 17th and late 18th centuries.

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10 December 2014

Meter Television Are Searching For Americans With Swedish Ancestry For a Reality TV-Show

After the major success of the 4 seasons of the nominated TV-series Allt för Sverige - Great Swedish Adventure (The American title of the show), Meter Television are now casting for season 5. The deadline to apply is February 15, 2015, and the show will be shooting in the summer 2015.

In the years 1846-1930, 1.3 million Swedish people immigrated to America to build a better life for their families. Today, more than 4.8 million Americans have Swedish heritage.

To apply for the show, go to:

9 December 2014

Viking Women Colonized New Lands, Too

Vikings may have been family men who traveled with their wives to new lands, according to a new study of ancient Viking DNA.

Maternal DNA from ancient Norsemen closely matches that of modern-day people in the North Atlantic isles, particularly from the Orkney and Shetland Islands. The findings suggest that both Viking men and women sailed on the ships to colonize new lands.

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British Library Endangered Archives: New Online Collections

These collections come from Bolivia, Ukraine, Mali and Nicaragua.

'EAP160' digitised records relating to the indigenous population of Bolivia during the 19th century; 'EAP220' was a pilot project that searched for and catalogued all archival material from the archaeological studies carried out at the ancient Russ hillfort Rajki in Ukraine; 'EAP449' digitised the archives of two professional photographers from Mali, Abdourahmane Sakaly and Mamadou Cissé; 'EAP571' digitised newspapers from Nicaragua dating from the first half of the 20th century.

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8 December 2014

1890 Census Records for Waterville, Maine, Gets Reprinted as New 284-Page Book

You may know that 99 percent of the 1890 U.S. Census was destroyed by fire years ago, leaving an unfortunate gap between the 1880 and 1900 censuses.

Some communities have put together a kind of “substitute census” using other local records, but in Waterville, there remains a copy of the 1890 Census — the real thing. Thanks to the efforts of Taconnett Falls Chapter of the Maine Genealogical Society, “Waterville, Maine Census of 1890” has been reprinted.

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The Ring of Remembrance: The Names of 579,606 Soldiers Who Lost Their Lives During World War I

The Ring of Remembrance has been inaugurated by French president François Hollande on November 11, 2014 to pay tribute to those who died in northern France during World War I. The names of 579,606 soldiers are presented without any reference to nationality.

Geneanet offers to find your ancestors: the 500 sheets of bronzed stainless steel have been photographed and all the names have been indexed.

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Are You Related to Jim Morrison?

James Douglas Morrison was born on December 8, 1943 in Melbourne, Florida, the son of Clara Virginia (née Clarke) and future Rear Admiral George Stephen Morrison.

Morrison had a sister, Anne Robin, who was born in 1947 in Albuquerque, New Mexico; and a brother, Andrew Lee Morrison, who was born in 1948 in Los Altos, California. His ancestors were Scottish, Irish, and English. In 1947, Morrison, then four years old, allegedly witnessed a car accident in the desert, in which a family of Native Americans were injured and possibly killed.

Jim Morrison's Family Tree

5 December 2014

Skeletons Found In Ancient Cemetery Still Have Shackles On Their Necks

Archaeologists working in southwest France have discovered hundreds of Gallo-Roman graves dating to the second half of the 2nd century AD, with some of the skeletons featuring shackles still strapped around their necks and ankles.

The site, which may have been part of an important Gallo-Roman necropolis, is situated near the amphitheatre of Saintes. The Romans dominated the area during the first and second centuries AD.

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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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Poland Unearths One of WWII's Darkest Secrets

Anastasia carefully digs through the earth with her trowel. Bit by bit, a human skeleton emerges, piled on top of more bones. She removes them with care, slipping them gently into a plastic container.

Was it an Italian soldier? Or a Soviet? Identifying the bodies, while possible, is tricky. What is known is the man died in one of numerous stalags (German prisoner-of-war camps) where Red Army and Allied troops -- including Italians after Italy switched sides from the fascist camp -- were interned.

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