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Genealogy Blog

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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4 December 2014

Genealogy Software Updates of the Week

GEDexplorer for Android 1.14 (Mobile - Purchase)

• Bug fixes.

Genealone 1.4.2 (Web Publishing - Windows, Mac, Linux - Purchase)

• Several bugs have been fixed.
• CSS has been improved. Different page types can be formatted differently, now.
• New feature: Photograph in the gallery can be replaced with a new file.

The Complete Genealogy Reporter 2014 build 141128 (Family Books - Windows - Shareware)

• Fixed: "Suppress repetition of individual's name" was not suppressing the name for death events.
• Improved: Translations for German and Portuguese (Brazil) reports.

Remains of 818 Korean War Dead Enshrined

The remains of more than 800 South Korean soldiers killed in action during the 1950-53 Korean War were enshrined at a national cemetery in Seoul on Thursday, the government said.

A total of 818 troops recovered this year in 27 areas across the country were laid to rest in a ceremony at the Seoul National Cemetery, according to the Prime Minister's Secretariat. The bodies will then go through an identification process.

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Historic Films from Russian State Archives To Be Released Worldwide

The home movies of the last of the Romanov emperors, shot before revolution changed Russia forever, are housed alongside footage recording the Gulag prison camps of the 1930s, the wartime siege of Leningrad, scenes from Gagarin's epic space flight, Bolshoi Ballet performances and rarely seen images of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, and thousands of other priceless film footage cared for by the Russian State Archive.

Housed in a guarded nondescript industrial building on the outskirts of Moscow, the Archive is an immense treasure trove of film and video documenting the history and culture of the country from the time of the tsars to the break-up of the Soviet Union.

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3 December 2014

Richard III's DNA Throws Up Infidelity Surprise

Analysis of DNA from Richard III has thrown up a surprise: evidence of infidelity in his family tree. Scientists who studied genetic material from remains found in a Leicester car park say the finding might have profound historical implications.

Depending on where in the family tree it occurred, it could cast doubt on the Tudor claim to the English throne or, indeed, on Richard's.

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2 December 2014

The Secrets of Irish Parishes Will Be Online Soon

If you want to know more about your parish, then a new project from the National Library will help you out.

It has set about working on its most ambitious digitisation project to date – putting its entire collection of Catholic parish register microfilms online for free by summer 2015.

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Slave Wharf Remnants Found at African American Museum Site

Surveying crews found remnants of Gadsden's Wharf on the proposed site for the International African American Museum in Charleston, South Carolina.

Gadsden's Wharf was built in 1767 and served as one the largest wharf's during the 18th and 19th century. Historians estimate 40% of enslaved Africans came to America through Charleston. Three separate trenches were found by workers on the 1.23-acre site near the Cooper River. Centuries-old timber and bricks were found seven feet below the surface.

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1 December 2014

Japanese Newspaper Prints Apology for Using the Term ‘Sex Slaves’

The Yomiuri Shimbun, the conservative newspaper that is the largest-circulation daily in Japan, has apologized for using the term “sex slaves” to refer to the women many historians say were coerced into working in a sprawling network of brothels supervised by the Japanese military during World War II.

In a challenge to the view held by those historians, as well as by the governments of South Korea and China, the newspaper said it was “inappropriate” to suggest that the women had been recruited against their will. Writing “as if coercion by the Japanese government or the army was an objective fact” was incorrect, it said.

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