Genealogy Blog

7 April 2015

Contract Worker at National Records Center in St. Louis County Fired for Mishandling Draft-Card Information

An employee of who was working at the federal records center in north St. Louis County was fired for allegedly throwing out draft-card information, a federal administrator said.

Bryan McGraw, director of the National Personnel Records Center, said Friday that his staff recovered all the papers, some of them from a trash can. The incident on March 12 prompted the federal agency to halt contract work by Ancestry Inc., which operates as, at St. Louis and four other sites.

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Gertrude Weaver Dies Aged 116, Just 5 Days After Becoming World's Oldest Person

Just days after becoming the world’s oldest documented person, 116-year-old Gertrude Weaver died on Monday in Arkansas.

Weaver became the oldest person in the world after the death of a 117-year-old Japanese woman last week, according to records kept by the Los Angeles-based Gerontology Research Group. Weaver was born in 1898.

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1,000 Irish Died with American Army in WWI

Almost 1,000 Irish-born soldiers died serving with the United States army in World War I, three times higher than previous estimates, a genealogist has discovered.

Speaking to the Sunday Independent, Megan Smolenyak, the genealogist who traced Barack Obama's roots to Moneygall, Co Offaly, says previous research "significantly understated" the real losses of Irishmen in the Great War.

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Secret Special Operations Australia WWII Commando Training Captured in Rare, Colour Footage

The Australian Story episode Into the Lion's Den showcases some rare, colour footage of Special Operations Australia commandos training in secret during World War II.

Shot in the remote bush of Fraser Island in Queensland, well away from the public gaze, it is a glimpse into the world of espionage and the art of killing as taught more than 70 years ago. The commandos were being trained for operations behind the Japanese lines throughout South-East Asia.

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Teenager Attracts Thousands of Fans To His Website on Historic Bishop Auckland

A teenager who set up a website on his home town in his spare time three months ago is hoping to meet the thousands of fans of his work from around the globe.

Alex Tighe, 17, of Etherley Dene, near Bishop Auckland, set up the History of Bishop Auckland Facebook page at the start of the year. The teenager, who has autism, uses the site to list photos and messages from people about Bishop Auckland’s history.

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Graffiti by 1,800 WWI Soldiers Found in Underground Quarry

The graffiti, written in a French chalk quarry and dating back almost 100 years, is plain and stark. "HJ Leach. Merely a private. 13/7/16. SA Australia," reads one inscription. "HA Deanate, 148th Aero Squadron, USA. 150 Vermilyea Ave, New York City," another says. "9th Batt Australians, G. Fitzhenry, Paddington, Sydney, N.S.W., 1916 July; Alistair Ross, Lismore, July," reads a third.

They were World War I soldiers, four of almost 2,000, whose writings have recently been found underneath battlefields near Naours, France, about 120 miles north of Paris.

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6 April 2015

3 Tips for Creating and Viewing Your Geneanet Email Alerts

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 create your Email Alerts by Last Name?
- How to create your Email Alerts by Individual (Premium members)?
- How to view your Email Alerts?

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Are You Related to Merle Haggard?

Haggard's parents, Flossie Mae Harp and James Francis Haggard, moved to California from their home in Checotah, Oklahoma, during the Great Depression, after their barn burned in 1934. They settled with their children, Lowell and Lillian, in an apartment in Bakersfield, while James Francis Haggard started working for the Santa Fe Railroad.

A woman who owned a boxcar, which was placed in Oildale, a nearby town north of Bakersfield, asked Haggard's father about the possibility of converting it into a house. He remodeled the boxcar, and soon after moved in, also purchasing the lot, where Merle Ronald Haggard was born on April 6, 1937.

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3 April 2015

Hudson, New York: Stone Plaque for City’s Original Universalist Church Found

A recent discovery of a large, inscribed stone plaque from 1817 hearkens back to a religion that flourished in Hudson’s first full century but has disappeared entirely from the local landscape.

The weighty plaque, measuring about 4 feet wide by 2 feet high, is inscribed, in an oval within the rectangular stone, “This House, erected by the first society of Universalists in the City of Hudson in the year of our LORD 1817.”

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Canada: Ottawa Museums and Archives Go Digital

Ottawa’s history is going online with the launch of the Ottawa Museums and Archives virtual collections catalogue.

The virtual catalogue includes digitized records and artifacts ranging from old military gear to letters to old bylaws and maps. So far it has 34,000 records active on the website, and it will continue to grow.

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2 April 2015

Genealogy Software Updates of the Week

HuMo-gen 5.1.1 (Web Publishing - Windows - Freeware)

• Russian interface added.
• Many improvements.

MacFamilyTree 7.3.4 (Full Featured - Mac - Purchase)

• GEDCOM import issues fixed.
• Duplicate search improved.

Shoebox for iPhone and iPad 3.1 (Mobile - Freeware)

• Bug fixes.

The Complete Genealogy Builder 2015 build 150329 (Full Featured - Windows - Shareware)

• New: Control key shortcuts for Open Project (Ctrl+O), New Project (Ctrl+N), Save Project (Ctrl+S), and Exit (Ctrl+Q).
• New: A new item under the Tools menu which will adjust the order of children within families where the order of the children recorded in the project is inconsistent with the order of their birth dates.
• New: A new item under the Tools menu which will adjust the order of partners of individuals where the order of the partners recorded in the project is inconsistent with the order of their marriage dates.

The Complete Genealogy Reporter 2015 build 150329 (Family Books - Windows - Shareware)

• New: Control key shortcuts for Open GEDCOM File (Ctrl+O) and Exit (Ctrl+Q).
• New: The ability to specify addition spacing before each of the main segments (Media references, Notes, Citations, Family details) of a narrative entry.
• New: The ability to restrict the Index of Places, Index of Dates and Index of anniversaries to include only Births and Deaths, or only Births, Marriages and Deaths.
• New: The ability to insert descriptions in the Index of Places for places that do not specifically appear in the data.
• Improved: The hierarchical order of the Index of Places has been improved such that "France" will now appear before "France, Paris", which will appear before "France, Paris, Montmartre".
• Improved: For media items are assigned only to sources, these will appear in the same order as the sources appear in the Sources section.
• Improved: The specification of the width of thumbnail images previously provided a selection from 0.25 inches to 2 inches in 0.25 inch increments. This is now 0.2 inches to 2 inches in 0.1 inch increments.

Your Genealogy Today for iPhone and iPad 4.9.76 (Mobile - Purchase)

• New app interface.
• Improved download speeds and performance.
• Restore purchases fix.
• Share now available.

English Manor Rolls Go Online at Harvard Law School

Historical & Special Collections is pleased to announce that we have begun a multi-year project to conserve and digitize our collection of English manor rolls.

The rolls came to Harvard over a century ago, purchased in 1892 and 1893 by Harvard Professor William James Ashley (1860-1927) from London bookseller James Coleman. In 1925 the College Library transferred the collection to the Harvard Law School Library.

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Queen Stunned by Inventory of historical Royal Gifts

The Queen is said to have been 'stunned' by the beauty of royal gifts given to her forebear George III after setting eyes on them for the first time.

Her Majesty, who was attending the launch of a new digitised archive of Georgian royal papers at Windsor Castle, joked with guests that 'you don’t get gifts like that any more.'

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Bodies of Japanese WWII Soldiers Believed To Have Been Found in Palau Cave Sealed Off for 70 years

The bodies of six soldiers, believed to be Japanese troops who fought in World War II, have been discovered in a reopened cave in the tiny Pacific nation of Palau.

The site — one of around 200 sealed caves on the island of Pelileu — was recently opened again for the first time in nearly 70 years. The caves were used when US and Japanese forces fought a fierce battle on the island's beaches in September 1944.

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1 April 2015

David Cameron Reveals He Is Related to Kim Kardashian

David Cameron has said he is related to Kim Kardashian-West, the reality TV star. The Prime Minister said he was thirteenth cousin of the celebrity, who is married to rapper Kanye West.

Asked by Heat magazine whether he watched the television show Keeping Up With The Kardashians, featuring Kim and her family, Mr Cameron volunteered: "No, but I'm related to them. Did you know I'm 13th cousins with them?"

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