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Genealogy Blog

28 February 2011

Frank Buckles, Last World War I Doughboy, Is Dead at 110

Frank Buckles, who drove an Army ambulance in France in 1918 and came to symbolize a generation of embattled young Americans as the last of the World War I doughboys, died Sunday at his home in Charles Town, W. Va. He was 110.

He was only a corporal and he never got closer than 30 or so miles from the Western Front trenches, but Mr. Buckles became something of a national treasure as the last living link to the two million men who served in the American Expeditionary Forces in France in “the war to end all wars.”

Source & Full Story

The GeneaNet 'Individual Match'

The GeneaNet 'Individual Match' allows you to automatically search for individuals that could match with any of your ancestors in the GeneaNet Online Family Trees!

This powerful feature is reserved for GeneaNet Club Privilege members.

You can click the 'Individual Match' button at the top right of any individual page in your Online Family Tree (GeneWeb). This will open a new window with the list of the individuals that match with your ancestor.

Continue reading...

27 February 2011

Our Ontario

Our Ontario is a unique partnership with cultural and heritage organizations of all shapes and sizes, designed to make their digital content discoverable to a global audience. They are part of Knowledge Ontario, a not-for-profit collaborative that offers programs and services addressing the information and learning needs of Ontarians in the digital environment.

Their goal is to help Ontarians of all ages discover the extraordinary stories contained in the digital collections of their culture and history organizations and communities.

Our Ontario

Decades Old Records Get Digital Look in Travis County, Texas

Paper records and documents in Travis County , some of which have been preserved for more than a century, are now being forever immortalized in a digital format. “Everyone is trying to get away from paper,” said records services manager Shawn Malone. “It is expensive, slower and less powerful than digital information.”

But for information that has been recorded on paper for decades, it means millions of documents a year will be scanned and recorded digitally. A projected 4.75 million papers will be sent through a scanner and placed in a computer file in 2011.

Source & Full Story

Diggers at Play Frozen in Time

A treasure trove of World War I photographs of soldiers relaxing away from the front has been found in France, Ross Coulthart reveals. Thousands of photographs of Australian Diggers and other allied soldiers taken during World War I have been discovered in France, in a find hailed as "wonderful and thrilling" by military historians.

More than 3000 candid and often delightfully informal pictures of Australian, British, Canadian, US and other allied troops have been found in the attic of a dilapidated farmhouse in the Somme valley.

Source & Full Story

25 February 2011

Long-Lost Childhood Friends Separated During WWII Reunited by Chance 60 Years Later

A pair of childhood friends separated during WWII were reunited after finding themselves lying side by side in a hospital ward 60 years later. Best friends Peter Butcher and Donald Gooding, both now aged 86, first met as teenagers and became firm friends.

But they eventually lost contact when Peter volunteered as a flight engineer for the RAF aged 18, while Don later joined the armoured corps. Both tried several times to trace each other over the years, but their efforts were in vain, until an extraordinary chance encounter in hospital reunited them over 60 years later.

Source & Full Story

Wartime Notes of Bletchley Park's Alan Turing Saved

The wartime notes of Alan Turing, the Bletchley Park code breaker, have been saved for the nation after a successful public fund-raising campaign. The collection of handwritten papers chronicle the work of the mathematician dubbed “the father of modern computer science”.

Campaigners stepped in when the papers were put up for auction, raising the possibility that they would be bought by an overseas collector and a crucial piece of British wartime history would be lost. But a last minute donation of £200,000 from the National Heritage Memorial Fund has saved the papers of the computing genius.

Source & Full Story

Peru's National Library to Close in the Wake of Thefts

Peru’s national library, whose Spanish acronym is BNP, will be closed for three months after a wave of thefts have resulted in the disappearance of at least 663 valuable objects over the past decade, El Comercio reported today.

Certain books published during the fifteenth and nineteenth century are quite valuable, selling for more than $50,000 on the black market, ex-BNP director Hugo Neira said. The library contains about 150,000 of these old volumes. In total, the BNP contains more than 7 million titles.

Source & Full Story

US Returns Stolen Archive Documents to Russia

A trove of historic archive documents dating back to Catherine the Great that were stolen after the Soviet breakup were returned to Russia by the U.S. on Friday.

The 21 documents include decrees issued by historical figures such as Czar Nicholas II and Soviet Marshal Georgy Zhukov. Among them are a top secret paper on the reconstruction of Russian military airfields in the 1930s; and Catherine the Great's decree to divide command of forces in Poland during the 18th century partitions of the country.

Source & Full Story

RootsMagic 4.1.1.0 Update Released

Full Featured - Windows - Purchase

RootsMagic 4.1.1.0 has been released.

Changes:

• Kinship list would sometimes display incorrect relationships.
• Henry, D’Aboville, and Outline numbering in narrative reports handles children from multiple spouses correctly.
• Fixed a problem with the place list sometimes crashing from the edit screen on a few systems.
• Fixed a problem with the family list (Search > Family List) crashing on a few systems.
• Fixed link to FAQs (Knowledge base) under the Internet menu.
• Legacy import converts formatting codes in source detail text and comments now.
• PAF import preserves source detail date now.
• Added Internet > Learning center to take you online for tutorials / webinars.

iScrapbook 3.1.1 Update Released

Family Pictures - Mac - Purchase

iScrapbook 3.1.1 has been released.

Changes:

• Fixed problem quitting the software by manually closing the main window.
• Fixed problem with image placeholders not drawing correctly.

24 February 2011

Library Ireland Week 2011

Library Ireland Week 2011 will take place from 7 – 13 March 2011. This will be the 6th year of Library Ireland Week. The Library Association of Ireland sees this week as an opportunity to promote libraries and librarianship across all sectors.

The theme for Library Ireland Week 2011 is: Smart People use Smart Libraries. We want to show how technology is being used in libraries throughout the country to maximize access to and use of resources.

Further details at www.libraryirelandweek.ie.

DNA Ancestry Portrait: From Saliva in Your Mouth to Wall Art

What would you do with a giant QR code—you know, the kind of URL you can scan with your phone—of your DNA ancestry? When I was asked this question, I didn't know the answer. Does anyone really have a need or want for a huge QR code that lets people see details about your family history? And for $440 (or more) a pop?

Balk at the price all you want, but someone is apparently buying these things. The company behind them, DNA 11, creates a number of different personalized portraits (some of which Ars has given away in the past, in fact), including standard DNA portraits, fingerprint portraits, and kiss portraits.

Source & Full Story

23 February 2011

The Czech National Library to Digitise Half a Million Items

The Czech National Library (NK) will have half a million books and periodicals from the 16th to 21st centuries digitised within two large projects that have been launched, NK director Tomas Boehm told journalists yesterday.

One of the projects has been supported by the European Union with 255 million crowns, the other will be carried out in cooperation with Google firm, Boehm said. He said the library will buy special robotic scanners for the purpose within a tender.

Source & Full Story

National Archives (US) Hunts for Missing Treasures with Recovery Team

Among the Civil War buffs wandering through the tables of muskets and faded daguerreotypes of Union soldiers for sale here are four federal agents. One raids houses and carries a gun. But right now he's handing out innocuous-looking brochures to the relic hunters walking by, as the sweet smell of glazed nuts wafts from a concession stand.

"Does that document belong in the National Archives?" the brochure asks. The agents have flown to a fairground outside Nashville to the country's biggest Civil War show to hunt for stolen treasure - robbed right from the nation's attic.

Source & Full Story

Polygamy Hurt 19th Century Mormon Wives' Evolutionary Fitness, Scientists Say

Polygamy practiced by some 19th century Mormon men had the curious effect of suppressing the overall offspring numbers of Mormon women in plural marriages, say scientists from Indiana University Bloomington and three other institutions in the March 2011 issue of Evolution and Human Behavior.

Simply put, the more sister-wives a Mormon woman had, the fewer children she was likely to produce. "Although it's great in terms of number of children for successful males to have harems, the data show that for every new woman added to a male's household, the number each wife produced goes down by one child or so," said IU Bloomington evolutionary biologist Michael Wade.

Source & Full Story

Dozens of Thomas Jefferson's Books Found at Washington University in St. Louis

Dozens of Thomas Jefferson's books, some including handwritten notes from the nation's third president, have been found in the rare books collection at Washington University in St. Louis.

Now, historians are poring through the 69 newly discovered books and five others the school already knew about, and librarians are searching the collection for more volumes that may have belonged to the founding father. Even if no other Jefferson-owned books are found, the school's collection of 74 books is the third largest in the nation after the Library of Congress and the University of Virginia.

Source & Full Story

22 February 2011

Grave of 'Nosferatu' Discovered

Max Schreck, the German actor who set the standard for movie vampires everywhere with his legendary portrayal of Nosferatu, has been honoured with a new gravestone commemorating his place in cinematic history.

“Schreck's grave was supposedly in Munich, where he died” some 75 years ago, said Stefan Eickoff, the author of biography about the actor. Only by coincidence did a journalist researching Berlin's cemeteries discover "Nosferatu" was actually buried just south of the German capital's city limits.

Source & Full Story

Washington the ‘Blackest’ Name in America

On the eve of George Washington's birthday, Associated Press writer Jesse Washington investigates why the founding father's surname now belongs predominantly to African-Americans. The 2000 U.S. Census counted 163,036 people with the last name Washington, 90 percent of whom were black — a far higher percentage than any other name. Writes Washington: The story of how Washington became the "blackest name" begins with slavery and takes a sharp turn after the Civil War, when all blacks were allowed the dignity of a surname.

Source & Full Story

100 Years Later, the Roll of the Dead in a Factory Fire Is Complete

In the Cemetery of the Evergreens on the border of Brooklyn and Queens, there is a haunting stone monument to the garment workers who died in the Triangle shirtwaist factory fire of 1911 but were never identified.

It contains the bas-relief figure of a kneeling woman, her head bowed, seemingly mourning not only the deaths, but also the fact that those buried below were so badly charred that relatives could not recognize them.

Source & Full Story

21 February 2011

Japan Digs Up Site Linked to World War II Human Experiments

Japan has started its first investigation into Unit 731, the germ and biological warfare programme where prisoners of war were allegedly experimented on during World War II. Excavations began on Monday at a former army medical school to search for human remains in a sign that the government is open to the possibility of facing its long-kept wartime secrets.

Unit 731’s activities have never been officially acknowledged by the government even though historians and participants have documented them. Yesterday’s evacuation follows a former nurse’s revelation that she helped bury body parts there as American forces began occupying Tokyo at the end of the war.

Source & Full Story

World War I Postcard Arrives in Norwich 94 Years Late

There is a mystery surrounding a postcard sent from a British soldier training for WWI, which arrived at its destination 94 years later.

Lauren Bleach and partner Jill Liversidge from Norwich, were surprised when the card, which depicts a cartoon soldier and dates from 1916, arrived through their letterbox last year.

Source & Full Story

Kith and Kin Pro 3.1.2 Update Released

Full Featured - Windows - Shareware

Kith and Kin Pro 3.1.2 has been released.

Changes:

• Bug-fix release.
• Fixes the "List index out of bounds" error when exporting a GEDCOM file.

Visiting the Famous in Hong Kong's Cemeteries

Founders of the organisation, Walter Ng, Chow Chung-Wah and Venus Leung, are cemetery buffs. They did some in-depth research on the Happy Valley cemeteries and found that the graves are a Who's Who of Hong Kong's political and cultural development since 1842.

Reflecting the situation of the living, Hong Kong's dead rest in close proximity to other religions -- Muslims, Christians, Jews, Hindus, Parsee and Buddhists lie side by side.

Source & Full Story

Agelong Tree 4.0 build 21.02 Update Released

Full Featured - Windows - Shareware

Agelong Tree 4.0 build 21.02 has been released.

Changes:

• A few bugs have been fixed,
• Arabic, Czech, Hungarian and Latvian interface languages have been added.

The World's Biggest Family: The Man with 39 Wives, 94 Children and 33 Grandchildren

He is head of the world's biggest family - and says he is 'blessed' to have his 39 wives. Ziona Chana also has 94 children, 14-daughters-in-law and 33 grandchildren. They live in a 100-room, four storey house set amidst the hills of Baktwang village in the Indian state of Mizoram, where the wives sleep in giant communal dormitories.

Mr Chana said: 'Today I feel like God's special child. He's given me so many people to look after. 'I consider myself a lucky man to be the husband of 39 women and head of the world's largest family.'

Source & Full Story

Florence Green, the Last Great War Veteran in Britain, Turns 110

Florence Green, from King's Lynn, Norfolk, was 17 years old when she joined the Women's Royal Air Force, in the late summer of 1918. Come the 11th day of the 11th month, she was working as a waitress at RAF Marham, when the pilots greeted news of the German surrender by clambering into their planes and bombing nearby RAF Narborough airfield with bags of flour. Narborough, not to be outdone, retaliated with their own daring raid, this time dropping bags of soot.

Yesterday the Air Force marked Mrs Green's birthday with the delivery of a rather more traditional nature: a cake. At 110, Mrs Green joins a highly exclusive club of "supercentenarians" – only around one in 1,000 of those with a letter from the Queen on the mantelpiece push on to this next landmark.

Source & Full Story

Preview of the New GeneaNet Website

GeneaNet is redesigning and restructuring its website.

The new GeneaNet website will launch on March 21, 2011.

We invite you to take a look at some screenshots of the new design...

Continue reading...

19 February 2011

Geocoding and Family History: Tracking your Photos

Add geocoding to the list of technologies that can make personal family history easier. On Feb. 11 at RootsTech, a new family history and technology conference, Chris Bair discussed the technology that allows users to keep track of important information such as when and where a picture was taken.

"It helps you organize your images better and keep track of where you've been, and it’s a better way to show your images, too," Bair said. Along with the latitude and longitude of pictures, geocoding tracks date and time, camera settings, keywords, thumbnails for previewing the pictures, copyright information and descriptions to be imbedded within the digital images.

Source & Full Story

Irish Medieval Fishing Site 'Will Be Washed Away'

One of the finest examples of a medieval fish trap in Europe is going to be washed away before its secrets can be recorded, scientists have claimed. A 700-year-old giant wooden weir, once used by monks and to keep local lords in Co Clare trading, cannot be fully preserved because it is exposed to the forces of nature.

And with budget cuts hitting the Heritage Council there is no money to properly analyse and record the huge structure.

Source & Full Story

Amelia Earhart Spit Samples to Help Lick Mystery?

Amelia Earhart's dried spit could help solve the longstanding mystery of the aviator's 1937 disappearance, according to scientists who plan to harvest her DNA from envelopes. Using Earhart's genes, a new project aims to create a genetic profile that could be used to test recent claims that her bones have been discovered.

Right now, "anyone can go and find a turtle shell and be like 'I found Amelia Earhart's remains,'" said Justin Long of Burnaby, Canada, whose family is partially funding the DNA project.

Source & Full Story

18 February 2011

The Complete Genealogy Reporter 2011 beta build 110214 Update Released

Family Books - Windows - Shareware

The Complete Genealogy Reporter 2011 beta build 110214 has been released.

Changes:

• Improved: Users of Custom language files may now specify text string replacements.

Scotland’s Buried Heritage Looted by Treasure Hunters

Scotland's rich archaeological heritage is being plundered by treasure hunters who fail to declare their finds in the national interest, authorities have warned. A new report by Crown officials raises concerns over “serious under-reporting” by the lucky few who stumble across buried artefacts.

Professor Ian Ralston, chairman of the Scottish Archaeological Finds Allocation Panel, said: “If you look at the amount of stuff found in Northumberland and Cumbria compared to the south of Scotland, there has to be a suspicion that there is a significant number of undeclared finds.”

Source & Full Story

My Heritage 0.1.4 Update Released

PDAs and Handhelds - Freeware

My Heritage 0.1.4 has been released.

Changes:

• Can select a representative photo of each individual. (Requested permission to use camera).
• Supports Polish.
• UI and Performance improvements.
• Bug fix.

See also: 70+ Genealogy Apps for PDAs and Handhelds

LTools 1.3.9 Update Released

Other Tools - Windows - Freeware

LTools 1.3.9 has been released.

Changes:

• Changed various URLs to point to the new website.

Kith and Kin Pro 3.1.1 Update Released

Full Featured - Windows - Shareware

Kith and Kin Pro 3.1.1 has been released.

Fixes:

• "Visit Web site" button added to repository in sources form.
• Several problems fixed in Family/Source/SQL querying.
• GEDCOM export did not include a source where births/deaths/marriages had date but no place data. Fixed.
• Printed Tree Layout formatting fixed when including only surnames and dates.
• Web Export - improved indexing of surnames. Now regional language dependant.

Finding a Hidden Africa in 1780s Maryland Orangery

Excavations by University of Maryland archaeologists at the 1785 Wye “Orangery” on Maryland’s Eastern Shore – the only 18th century greenhouse left in North America – reveals that African American slaves played a sophisticated, technical role in its construction and operation. They left behind tangible cultural evidence of their involvement and spiritual traditions.

Frederick Douglass, who lived there as a young man, made it famous through his autobiography, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave (1845). But the team concludes he failed to appreciate the slaves’ full contribution.

Source & Full Story

iFindmypast 1.04 Update Released

PDAs and Handhelds - Freeware

iFindmypast 1.04 has been released.

Changes:

• Foundation subscription sign-in fix.

See also: 70+ Genealogy Apps for PDAs and Handhelds

GedView 3.0.3 Update Released

PDAs and Handhelds - Purchase

GedView 3.0.3 has been released.

Changes:

• Improved speed / memory usage of reports, the descendants report benefits from this greatly.
• Handle the GEDCOM error of missing out the main NAME tag seen in a number of files.
• Handle broken notes of the form @@N1234@@ by still linking if the note exists rather than correctly showing as the plain text.
• Added a new sort order for individual details of Events ,Parents, Family, Facts, Media, Notes.
• Family groups that only contain a single individual as a spouse will now display correctly on the individual details page.
• Fixed bug with exported GEDCOMs not including FAMS/FAMC tags

See also: 70+ Genealogy Apps for PDAs and Handhelds

All Ancestors Report 2.1.9 Update Released

Other Tools - Windows - Freeware

All Ancestors Report 2.1.9 has been released.

Changes:

• Changed various URLs to point to the new website.

Chicago Population Sinks to 1920 Level

A larger-than-expected exodus over the past 10 years reduced the population of Chicago to a level not seen in nearly a century. The U.S. Census Bureau reported Tuesday that during the decade ended in 2010, Chicago's population fell 6.9% to 2,695,598 people, fewer than the 2.7 million reported back in 1920.

After peaking at 3.62 million people in 1950, Chicago underwent a half century of decline that ended only when the 1990s boom years produced a small gain in the 2000 count. At that time, the city loudly celebrated its comeback.

Source & Full Story

17 February 2011

U.S. Government Printing Office and Library Of Congress to Digitize Historic Documents

The U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO) and Library of Congress (LOC) are collaborating to digitize some of our nation's most important legal and legislative documents after receiving approval from the Joint Committee on Printing (JCP).

The digitization project will include the public and private laws, and proposed constitutional amendments passed by Congress as published in the official Statutes at Large from 1951-2002. GPO and LOC will also work on digitizing official debates of Congress from the permanent volumes of the Congressional Record from 1873-1998.

Source & Full Story

Unknown WWI NZ Soldier Buried in France

Just a day after our latest military death, a New Zealand soldier who was killed in World War I 95 years ago has been buried in France. The remains of the soldier, whose identity is unknown, were discovered 14 months ago in a ploughed up field by retired French sailor M R Blyr.

"I was walking in the area and I noticed some remains in the field and on closer inspection I noticed they had a New Zealand badge," Blyr said. The collar badges are the only clue to the soldier's identity, and show that he fought in the Auckland regiment.

Source & Full Story

16 February 2011

Vikings Navigated the Seas on Cloudy Days Using 'Sunstone' Crystals

They were feared as the greatest, and bravest, sailors of their age. Now the mystery of how Viking warriors and tradesmen navigated their way across the high seas centuries before the first compasses reached Europe may have been solved.

Scientists today said the Norsemen used special crystals called 'sunstones' to reveal the location of the sun even when it was hidden by fog and cloud. The crystals, which are common in Scandinavia, detect the way sunlight is scattered when it hits the Earth's atmosphere.

Source & Full Story

Roman Child's Footprints Found in North Yorkshire

Two thousand-year-old footprints left by a Roman child playing by the side of a road have been found in North Yorkshire. Archaeologists made the remarkable discovery while excavating a muddy area of a former Roman settlement on the A1 near Leeming.

Helen Maclean of archaeology firm AECOM described the find as very rare. "I'm not aware of many other footprints being found, everybody was quite amazed by it," she said. Photographs show a right footprint clearly visible in soft ground followed by two left prints - suggesting that the boy or girl who made them was hopping or skipping.

Source & Full Story

Nazi 3D Films from 1936 Discovered

James Cameron and his team of minions may have produced the high watermark for 3D technology in the 21st century, but it seems the Nazis got there first. The Australian film-maker Philippe Mora says he has discovered two 30-minute 3D films shot by propagandists for the Third Reich in 1936, a full 16 years before the format first became briefly popular in the US.

The first of the films, titled So Real You Can Touch It, features shots of sizzling stereoscopic bratwursts on a barbecue while the second, named Six Girls Roll Into Weekend, features actors Mora believes were probably stars from Germany's top wartime studio, Universum Film.

Source & Full Story

University of Glasgow Library receives Scottish Library Excellence Award

Helen Durndell, Director of Library Services, was recently presented with the Scottish Library Excellence Award for Services to Users at the Scottish Parliament.

This was awarded to the University of Glasgow Library in recognition of their achievement as National Student Survey Winner with the highest score in Scottish HE Libraries.

Source & Full Story

Man Wants Ashes Buried in Kissimmee Statue, Florida

An Osceola County man said he wants his ashes to be buried inside a World War II statue when he dies, but that's against city code. The city has to change an ordinance to let the man be buried in the statue.

Initially, the man wanted to make the statue's base a tomb and have his ashes stored here. He said he got a big "no" to that, but he's still not giving up on his dream. The World War II memorial is a popular spot at Lakefront Park in Kissimmee. When people go in there in the future, they may also end up visiting Menandro de Mesa.

Source & Full Story

15 February 2011

The Great Swedish Adventure: Nationwide Casting Search

Meter Television are searching for Americans with Swedish ancestry for a new reality TV-show, set to be filmed in Sweden! 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.

The Producers of the Swedish version of “American Idol” and “Minute to win it” are coming to the U.S. to find fun, outgoing Americans with Swedish ancestry to participate in their new reality television series “The Great Swedish Adventure.”

Source & Full Story

New Maps of Edinburgh and Lothians now Online

New documents that shed light on the history of our ancestors – such as the names of clock and watch owners in the late 18th Century and 18,000 maps and town plans dating back to the 1580s – have just gone live online.

They’ll join a treasure trove of material on the Scotland’s Places website, www.scotlandsplaces.gov.uk, which now brings together records from three of Scotland’s national archives: the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland (RCAHMS) the National Archives of Scotland (NAS) and the National Library of Scotland (NLS).

Source & Full Story

Japan's PM Vows to Find Remains of 12,000 Soldiers Still Missing from the Battle of Iwo Jima

Japan's prime minister vowed at a memorial ceremony Tuesday to find the remains of the estimated 12,000 soldiers who are still missing from the battle of Iwo Jima, one of the bloodiest and most symbolic campaigns of World War II.

Naoto Kan, who has set the ongoing search for Iwo Jima's dead as a top government priority, made the comments at a ceremony to inter 822 sets of remains recovered last year — the largest annual figure in four decades.

Source & Full Story

14 February 2011

World's Oldest Wedding Cake Made in 1898 Survived World War II Bomb Blast

Most wedding cakes barely survive the big day, with maybe just one slice being popped in a box to be preserved for posterity. This one, however, is still intact after 113 years, making it what is thought to be the world’s oldest complete wedding cake.

The ornately decorated confection was made in 1898, during Queen Victoria’s reign, and is still in one piece despite a large crack in the icing caused by a Second World War bomb blast. Once white, it has browned with age. But despite this, the rich fruit cake inside is said to be still moist.

Source & Full Story

The First Map of the United States, Created in 1784, Has Been Purchased by Washington Philanthropist David M. Rubenstein

The first map of the United States, created in 1784, has been purchased for the record price of $1.8 million by Washington philanthropist David M. Rubenstein, who is lending it to the Library of Congress. The Abel Buell map, named after the Connecticut cartographer who created it, has been a missing link in the library's vast collection of maps.

Rubenstein, the co-founder and managing director of the Carlyle Group, bought the map at an auction at Christie's in December. He was attracted to the map's historic pedigree, he says. "This is the first map copyrighted, the first one to have the American flag and the first one made after the American Revolution. And it was the first one printed in the U.S.," Rubenstein said.

Source & Full Story

Family Bee 1.23 Update Released

PDAs and Handhelds - Purchase

Family Bee 1.23 has been released.

Changes:

• Attempt to address user complaints about blank screen on start-up.

See also: 70+ Genealogy Apps for PDAs and Handhelds

ScionPC 7.5 Update Released

Full Featured - Windows - Freeware

ScionPC 7.5 has been released.

Changes:

• New - Optional display of personal thumbnails in Enhanced Tooltips.
• New - Specify the surname appearance as upper-case, initial capital, or as-entered.
• New - Add multiple attachments to multiple people/families in one step.
• New - Quickly insert people's names into attachment details.
• New - Optionally strip names on "privatisation" of database.

Continue reading...

Ancestral Author 2.9b Update Released

Family Books - Windows - Purchase

Ancestral Author 2.9b has been released.

Changes:

• Maximum number of hyperlinks has been increased from 150,000 to 1.5 million; and the page limit has been increased from 12,000 to 24,000.
• File names in AA scripts can now be stored in relative format, so all files can be moved to another folder, another drive, or another computer without having to change file names in the script. Press OPTIONS, then select the FILE PATHS tab.

Automatically Compare Your GeneaNet Online Family Tree With Another One

GeneaNet Club Privilege Members can automatically compare their online family tree with the one of another GeneaNet user. You can access this feature from the user Page Contact.

We hope that it will help you finding a lot of new connections in your genealogy research!

Continue reading...

12 February 2011

RootsMagic 4.1.0.0 Update Released

Full Featured - Windows - Purchase

RootsMagic 4.1.0.0 has been released.

Changes:

• Notes for alternate names now print for group sheet and individual summary.
• Record # button didn’t work on Select People screen until you highlighted someone in the list.
• Sentence templates for user defined roles are supported in GEDCOM now.
• Alternate names are handled in the various Fact Lists (Private facts, Facts w/o sources, etc).
• Privacy works properly for alternate name facts in individual summary now.
• WebSearch works properly for names with accented characters now.
• [xUpline] was showing up in websites for privatized people with no events.
• Fixed SQLite error 21 when printing todo list for single repository sorted by repository.
• Added option to support New FamilySearch on Macs running CrossOver (Tools > File options > FamilySearch).
• Adding a new fact on the edit screen and pressing Alt+V would sometimes show incorrect data in the list.
• Can search / select on FamilySearch ID in selection screen now.
• Custom reports support printing and sorting by FamilySearch ID.
• Unicode characters in names and places transfer properly from RM to NFS.
• Fixed a few list issues.

GeneaNet is Listed #21 on the ProGenealogists '50 Most Popular Genealogy Websites for 2011'

ProGenealogists has compiled the list of the '50 Most Popular Genealogy Websites for 2011'.

GeneaNet is number 21 and it's the only French genealogy website to be listed.

These rankings were determined in January 2011 and they are based on the popularity of websites as measured by four major ranking companies.

Many thanks to all of our members for supporting GeneaNet!

Abraham Lincoln 'Wanted to Deport Slaves' to New Colonies

A new book on the celebrated US president and hero of the anti-slavery movement, who was born 202 years ago on Saturday, argues that he went on supporting the highly controversial policy of colonisation.

It was favoured by US politicians who did not believe free black people should live among white Americans, and had been backed by prominent abolitionists like Henry Clay as far back as 1816.

Source & Full Story

Whaling Shipwreck Linked to 'Moby-Dick' Discovered

Marine archeologists off Hawaii have found the sunken remains of a 19th-century whaling vessel skippered by a captain whose ordeal from an earlier shipwreck inspired the Herman Melville classic "Moby-Dick."

Iron and ceramic scraps from the Nantucket whaling ship Two Brothers were located in shallow waters nearly 600 miles from Honolulu in the remote chain of islands and atolls that make up the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands.

Source & Full Story

11 February 2011

GEDitCOM II 1.6 build 2 Update Released

Full Featured - Mac - Purchase

GEDitCOM II 1.6 build 2 has been released.

Changes:

• Python Modules - a powerful feature of Python is its abilty to use modules that contain libraries of useful functions and classes. You can write your own modules or download those written by others. GEDitCOM II now provides a "Modules" folder in it's application support folder where it will always look for modules when running Python scripts. In addition:
- GEDitCOM II comes with a new GEDitCOMII.py module that provides many convenience methods and classes to help when writing Python scripts.
- You can download a Lifelines.py module that turns GEDitCOM II into a platform for emulation of programs written for the old genealogy program called Lifelines.

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Massachusetts Archives Retrieves Revolutionary War Letter

A 1775 letter announcing the victory at Fort Ticonderoga was spotted in an auction catalog and returned to the Massachusetts state archives six decades after it disappeared. State archivists spotted the letter from Joseph Warren in a Sotheby's catalog of Revolutionary War manuscripts, and the state negotiated its return, Massachusetts Secretary of State William Galvin said.

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10 February 2011

WWII Spitfire Lost in France Headed for Australia

A World War II Spitfire which became the tomb of an Australian pilot missing for almost seven decades is expected to be transferred to Melbourne's Point Cook RAAF Museum. Shot down by anti-aircraft fire on June 11, 1944, the plane was discovered late last year and recovered from the muddy waters of the River Orne, near Caen, in northern France.

The chance find - it was discovered when a French couple saw part of the plane poking above the water at low tide late last year - also confirmed the fate of Flight Lieutenant Henry ''Lacy'' Smith from Sans Souci, south of Sydney.

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DNA Could Solve 170-Year-Old Mystery Of Fate Of Central Texas Pioneer

Experts from the Smithsonian institution will spend Thursday and Friday taking DNA samples from remains found in a grave in a slave cemetery in Falls County that’s believed to be the final resting place of early Texas Ranger and Central Texas pioneer James Coryell.

This week, Texas Historical Commission archaeologists excavated the grave to unearth the remains from which the DNA samples will be taken. They’ll be compared to DNA samples from some of Coryell’s collateral relatives, who were found living outside of Texas.

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National Archives (UK) Seeks Public Help to Identify Empire-Era Pics

Kew curators put unique collection of more than 10,000 images from Colonial Office on website and Flickr. Like most of the images in a unique collection of photographs, including some of the earliest ever taken in Africa, dating from the 1860s, it came without any caption. It is about to be loaded on to the archives' website and the photosharing site Flickr, along with 10,000 more from the continent, in the hope that members of the public may be able to help.

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Rare Archive Film of Herefordshire Goes on Show

Rare archive films of Herefordshire in the early 20th century is to be screened across the county. It's the result of the work of 13 volunteer film archivists, who have catalogued hitherto unviewed footage from the Huntley Film Archives.

They've uncovered early material shot by Hereford-born photographic innovator, Alfred Watkins. This includes film showing volunteers marching out of Hereford in 1914 to fight in World War 1.

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British Library Returns 900-Year-Old Religious Manuscript to Italy

A 900-year-old religious manuscript which was looted in Italy during the Second World War has been returned by the British Library to its rightful owners in the southern Italian town of Benevento after a decade-long legal battle.

A British lawyer who acted for the archdiocese of Benevento, handed back the manuscript personally. The codex was written on parchment around 1100. "The return of the missal had become highly symbolic for Benevento and its cathedral, so they were absolutely delighted to have it back," Jeremy Scott, the lawyer, said.

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Clock is Ticking for Magna Carta Viewing

History buffs have only a few days left to look at the Magna Carta, the foundation of English law, at the National Archives before it is taken off display for one year. The 1297 document is being removed, the Archives announced, to prepare it for a new encasement. The last day for current viewing is March 1.

When the document returns in March 2012, there will be some new bells and whistles. A new display case will have an interactive exhibit and visitors will be able to read the Latin document through a translation feature. The display will also have materials about the connections between the Magna Carta and American history.

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9 February 2011

Thousands Of Sinatra And Other WWII Vinyl Records Discovered At Army Base

Thousands of pieces of history was discovered at the 'Old Madigan Hospital' complex during renovation efforts at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington. Officials say more than 8,000 vinyl records were found hidden between a narrow 16-inch wall space. The vinyl recordings were dated from 1942 to 1960.

They contained popular music and programming recorded by the Armed Forces Radio Service and the War Department. JBLM Cultural Resources Manager Dale Sadler says, "They're obviously in great shape. We were lucky they stayed in a heated building you didn't have the hot, cold warping, water damage, mold, very clean, their all in sleeves with a very complete card catalog."

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Getting Started in Digital Preservation - Glasgow - 28th February 2011

Following on from the very successful 'Decoding the Digital' conference, the British Library Preservation Advisory Centre and the Digital Preservation Coalition are delighted to invite you to the second of four events designed to raise awareness of digital preservation issues, increase involvement with digital preservation activities.

Where and when? 28th February 2011 (1030-1600), Wolfson Medical Building, Glasgow University, University Avenue, Glasgow G12 8QQ.

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The Complete Genealogy Builder 2011 beta build 110207 Update Released

Full Featured - Windows - Shareware

The Complete Genealogy Builder 2011 beta build 110207 has been released.

Changes:

• Corrections to the management, import and export of Preserved (unknown) tags.

TreeDraw 3.2.5 Update Released

Charts and Diagrams - Windows - Purchase

TreeDraw 3.2.5 has been released.

Changes:

• Importing a picture from Kith & Kin Pro where the image file was missing gave an error. Fixed.
• Default page size and orientation for new charts was not correctly set by "Preferences | File settings | Save settings". Fixed.

Exhibition of 19th-Century British Photographs from the National Gallery of Canada

Until April 17, the National Gallery of Canada (NGC) presents 19th-Century British Photographs from the NGC, a fascinating exhibition of some of the national collection’s key holdings, including some that have rarely been shown. The exhibition traces the development of photography in Britain over the course of the Victorian era, from early, salted paper prints, to daguerreotypes, to magnificent turn-of-the-century platinum prints.

From the portraits of family and friends, small, familiar and domestic scenes, to grand and exotic scenes, the photographs in 19th-Century British Photographs from the National Gallery of Canada present a great range of subjects.

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Legacy Family Tree 7.5.0.56 Update Released

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Legacy Family Tree 7.5.0.56 has been released.

Changes:

• FamilySearch - Several fixes and some speed improvements have been made to our FamilySearch integration tool.
• Web Pages - Includes sources on individual page would sometimes get an error 53. Fixed.

National Library of Finland launched the e-programme Digitalkoot with Microtask

The National Library of Finland has launched a national e-programme for the digitisation of Finland’s historical documents and material. The first of its kind in Europe, the e-programme Digitalkoot (Digital Volunteers) harnesses the power of crowdsourcing to mobilize people to help digitise millions of pages of archive material.

The e-programme technology provider is Microtask, whose automated platform splits dull repetitive tasks into tiny microtasks and distributes them over the internet. Once carried out by interested microworkers around Finland or around the world, Microtask puts the results back together into a completed assignment.

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GenoPro 2011-2.5.3.8 Update Released

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GenoPro 2011-2.5.3.8 has been released.

Changes:

• Fixed crashing bug updating toolbar icons when your family tree contains a rare color pattern. If you see random crashes, upgrade GenoPro.

National Archive of Armenia to Purchase new Digitization Equipment

In 2011, the National Archive of Armenia (NAA) plans to purchase new digitization equipment in England, Germany or Russia, allowing to significantly speed up paper archives digitization process, completing it within 10 years, the NAA director stated.

As Amatuni Virabyan told a news conference in Yerevan, the USD 40 000 funding for the equipment purchase was provided by former Prime Minister Armen Sargsyan. A present, NAA contains 350 million documents. 41,711 cases were donated to the archive for eternal safekeeping; 30 000 provided for 50-year safekeeping.

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GedStar Pro 4.1.5 Update Released

Other Tools - PDAs and Handhelds - Purchase

GedStar Pro 4.1.5 has been released.

Changes:

• Fix for random "SQLite Disk I/O Error" failures caused by interference from certain anti-virus software.
• Photos were not being converted from GEDCOM file if the file was encoded as UTF-8 and the file path contained non-English characters.

Ahnenblatt 2.63 Update Released

Full Featured - Windows - Freeware

Ahnenblatt 2.63 has been released.

Changes:

• Several bugs fixed.
• New languages Norwegian and Portuguese.
• Improved multilingualism (setup and more).
• Runs under all Windows versions from Win95 on again.

8 February 2011

UK's Ancient Secrets May be Buried with Old Bones

Top British archaeologists are urging the government to rethink a law requiring human remains be reburied, warning it risks undermining years of research into the island's ancient peoples and study of their DNA.

The row stems from the reinterpretation of a law introduced in 2008 by the Ministry of Justice. The rule states human bones discovered in England and Wales since that time, regardless of their age, must be re-interred after two years.

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USA: Cost to Build Digital Archive could hit $1.4 Billion, Federal Auditors Say

The cost of building a digital system to gather, preserve and give the public access to the records of the federal government has ballooned as high as $1.4 billion, and the project could go as much as 41 percent over budget, government auditors reported Friday.

The Government Accountability Office blames the cost overruns and schedule delays on weak oversight and planning by the National Archives, which awarded a $317 million contract to Lockheed Martin six years ago to create a modern archive for electronic records.

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7 February 2011

Bee Docs' Timeline 2.11.7 Update Released

Timeline - Mac - Purchase

Bee Docs' Timeline 2.11.7 has been released.

Changes:

• Fixed a bug related to special characters in v3 registration e-mails.

France Evacuates 6,000 Parisians After Unexploded World War Two Bomb Discovered

The 1000lbs device – half of which was made of high explosive – was found on land in France owned by carmaker Renault in Boulogne-Billancourt. It was originally dropped 69 years ago in a hugely successful mission involving a then record 223 aircraft who did everything possible to avoid killing civilians.

Military experts worked from around 8am to noon to diffuse it, with the all clear being given early in the afternoon. Men, women and children were led from their homes in the morning by some 400 policemen.

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Anthropologists Discover Earliest Cemetery in Middle East

Anthropologists at the University of Toronto and the University of Cambridge have discovered the oldest cemetery in the Middle East at a site in northern Jordan. The cemetery includes graves containing human remains buried alongside those of a red fox, suggesting that the animal was possibly kept as a pet by humans long before dogs ever were.

The 16,500-year-old site at 'Uyun al-Hammam was discovered in 2000 by an expedition led by University of Toronto professor Edward (Ted) Banning and Lisa Maher, an assistant professor of anthropology at U of T and research associate at the University of Cambridge.

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Behold 0.99.18 beta Update Released

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Behold 0.99.18 beta has been released.

Changes:

• Add a more complete set of FTW TEXT tag definitions to use for validation.
• Change the icon for "Up To Ancestors" from a "U" to an upside-down "A" which will be more easily identifiable.
• Use SmartSort for sorting file names in FindFiles.
• Add information about the Program, GEDCOM, Dest, Char and BOM for each GEDCOM listed in the Find Files results.
• Add the new version of Family Tree Maker to the internal list of programs that handles the CONC tag incorrectly.

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Historical Documents now Available on Florence-Lauderdale Public Library's Website

A small portion of records long sought by historians and genealogists is now available on the Florence-Lauderdale Public Library's website. A Lauderdale County Circuit Court record book, covering the years 1843-50, has been digitized for viewing via the Internet.

It contains a record of court proceedings through the years, including the case of Irish-born Ellen M. Weakley becoming a United States citizen, and future governor Edward A. O'Neal being sued for not paying a debt. “This is a huge step in making this material available,” library Director Nancy Sanford said.

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GeneaNet: Join Us on Facebook and Follow Us on Twitter

Join us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter to access the latest GeneaNet and genealogy news!

Join a community of genealogy enthusiasts to comment and share about GeneaNet, your family history research and genealogy in general.

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4 February 2011

The Complete Genealogy Reporter 2011 beta build 110202 Update Released

Family Books - Windows - Shareware

The Complete Genealogy Reporter 2011 beta build 110202 has been released.

Changes:

• Improved: Ancestor charts font size will reduce to accommodate long names, thus preserving the layout.
• Improved: Translation of "Having become engaged" in German reports.

LTools 1.3.8 Update Released

Other Tools - Windows - Freeware

LTools 1.3.8 has been released.

Changes:

• Registration - remove leading and trailing whitespace from fields.
• Global Text Search - new deluxe LTool which will search all text fields in your Legacy database for a specific string.

Legacy Family Tree 7.5.0.49 Update Released

Full Featured - Windows - Purchase

Legacy Family Tree 7.5.0.49 has been released.

Changes:

• FamilySearch - Several fixes and improvements have been made to our FamilySearch integration tool.
• Address Report - Pictures were not printing. Now they are.
• Index/Descendant Views - Fixed a problem with the columns changing sizes. They now remain how you set them.
• Web Pages - Individual format with a person with an unknown spouse, was not including the children. Fixed.
• Web Pages - Notes on Descendant Web pages were not showing their sources. Fixed.
• Web Pages - Private marriages on Pedigree style pages were being included without option selected. Fixed.

HuMo-gen 4.6 Update Released

Web Publishing - Windows - Freeware

HuMo-gen 4.6 has been released.

Changes:

• Added timeline report.
• Added full UTF-8 support
• Added Spanish end-user and admin interface
• Added full html 4.01 validation.

GenoPro 2011-2.5.3.6 Update Released

Full Featured - Windows - Purchase

GenoPro 2011-2.5.3.6 has been released.

Changes:

• Toogling of toolbar buttons for medical conditions (one click to add a disease, and one click to remove a disease)
• Fixed performance issue with toolbar buttons for large family trees (over 100,000 individuals)
• Fixed bug where GenoPro would display text at random locations (and sometimes crash) after changing the display color depth (typically from a screensaver or playing a game)
• Built in feature to send a .gno document directly "GenoPro" without requiring an acount and/or password. This feature is useful for technical support by phone where a user has a problem with his/her family tree.
• More descriptive error messages when sending .gno files to invalid email addresses.
• Fixed bug in the Account Recovery dialog where the user would receive an error message when entering multiple email addresses.

Family Bee 1.22 Update Released

PDAs and Handhelds - Purchase

Family Bee 1.22 has been released.

Changes:

• Fixed sending of Family Bee notes.

See also: 70+ Genealogy Apps for PDAs and Handhelds

Viking Ancestry Explored on the Isle of Man by Researchers

Researching your family tree can only go back so far in time before records become patchy. Now genealogists from the University of Leicester are using DNA tests to trace Manx ancestry back to the Viking era.

Local men with popular Manx surnames are being asked to give a DNA sample to help researchers explore the links between Y chromosomes, surnames and common ancestry. The investigation starts on Saturday, 19 February 2011 at the Manx Museum.

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Ancestor+ 3.28 Update Released

Full Featured - Linux - Purchase

Ancestor+ 3.28 has been released.

Changes:

• Improved graphics charts, now also includes 'hourglass' charts and 'bloodline only' charts.
• Direct import of GEDCOM.
• New functions to renumber records in the file so that record numbers can approximate the natural order of the people.
• Database has been re-structured to make it more robust and eliminate previous problems with 'soft' links between people.
• A partner can now be removed from a family group without breaking up the whole family.
• Chart 'Layout' files more fully supported and remain correct even after database sorting.
• 'Pedigree' charts can now be up to 7 generations and be tiled to A4 if necessary.
• The 'User definable' fields now each have an associated date to make recording of dated events easier.
• Individual people can now be removed from a chart where they are not relevant.
• User can choose the font used in charts.

Agelong Tree 4.0 Update Released

Full Featured - Windows - Shareware

Agelong Tree 4.0 has been released.

Changes:

• Building a family tree containing all relatives of the chosen person (in Agelong Tree 3 it was only possible to display close relatives).
• Extended settings, print and tree saving options.
• Convenient to view the tree: smooth scrolling, quick zoom using the mouse wheel, switching between units using keyboard arrows, search, switch quickly to favourites and to the root.
• A dynasty table has been added with the possibility of uploading a dynasty emblem;
• Hierarchical table of places on a tab is displayed in the main window, it is possible to add photographs and display place coordinates.
• Search for the place on Google by coordinates (if shown) or by name.
• Faster program launch and search in tables due to table data cache.
• Unicode encoding support for exporting and importing Gedcom files.
• Possibility to add different types of custom fields: text, logical, integral, links to a place, URL, e-mail.
• Improved interface, correct display of interface elements when increasing screen fonts.
• There has been created a foundation for the program's continued development and new capabilities which will appear in future versions.

3 February 2011

Genetic Study Uncovers New Path to Polynesia

The islands of Polynesia were first inhabited around 3,000 years ago. The most commonly accepted view, based on archaeological and linguistic evidence as well as genetic studies, is that Pacific islanders were the latter part of a migration south and eastwards from Taiwan which began around 4,000 years ago.

But the Leeds research -- published February 3 in The American Journal of Human Genetics -- has found that the link to Taiwan does not stand up to scrutiny. In fact, the DNA of current Polynesians can be traced back to migrants from the Asian mainland who had already settled in islands close to New Guinea some 6-8,000 years ago.

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City of Eau Claire, Wisconsin, Cemetery Records now Available Online

Until recently, the City of Eau Claire kept genealogical records in paper books at each of its cemeteries. Now, anyone can access that information online including exactly where someone is buried, their birth date and the date they died. There are also options to add obituaries, stories and pictures.

You can find all the cemetery records on the city's website.

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Scottish 1911 Census - Coming Soon

The Registrar General for Scotland has announced that the 1911 census will be released on Tuesday 5 April 2011. This census details information collected from more than 4.7 million Scots – marking a century since the data was first gathered.

The records will include the name, address, age, occupation, birthplace and marital status of everyone counted in the 1911 census, as well as details about their children. For the first time, the census data will be presented in full colour rather than black and white.

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Ancient Bog Girl's Face Reconstructed

"Moora" stares across millennia, thanks to a digital reconstruction based on the Iron Age girl's fragmented skull—one of several interpretations released January 20.

Along with the nearly complete corpse of the teenager, peat bog workers found her 2,600-year-old skull bones—mangled by peat-harvesting machinery—in Germany's Lower Saxony state (map) in 2000.

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Four in Five Irish Americans Have Traced their Roots

Results of the second reader survey of IrishCentral.com:

Over four in five (84%) have tried to trace their Irish Ancestry. The majority (40%) have gone online to undertake the search, while more than one-quarter (28%) travelled to Ireland to undertake the research. 4 in 5 (80%) have a strong interest in Irish American history, with the topics of music and art of highest interest.

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1 February 2011

America's Last Surviving WWI Veteran Turns 110

Frank Woodruff Buckles, Jefferson County’s most famous living citizen and the last surviving World War I doughboy, turns 110 years old Tuesday.

Buckles, who lives with his daughter, Susannah Buckles Flanagan, at Gap View, the family farm off old W.Va. 9, has been the subject of wide media and congressional attention in recent years.

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England: Bath Abbey Archaeologists Discover Cathedral Remains

Archaeologists at Bath Abbey have unearthed the remains of a Norman cathedral, thought to be the first ever built on the site. The foundations, which stand 3m to 4m high (9ft to 13ft), have been buried for several hundred years. Archaeologists believe that they may have also found what is left of a medieval abbot's lodgings nearby.

A series of digs are taking place which aim to discover the best way to develop the venue in the future. Bath Abbey is an active Christian church, located in the heart of the city, and was founded in 1499.

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Indian Labourers Find Missing WWII Gold

Indian labourers have unearthed gold bars from a British cargo ship that blew up killing hundreds of people while docked in Mumbai during World War II, a report said on Tuesday.

The Mumbai Mirror newspaper said that workers discovered gold bars from the SS Fort Stikine late on Monday while digging a new dock in the port city. Further dredging would now be conducted to see if more can be found, it added.

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New Orleans Archdiocese to Publish Online Baptism, Marriage Records of Slaves

The Archdiocese of New Orleans says it will unveil Tuesday a new online database containing records of baptisms, marriages and deaths in colonial New Orleans — including those of African slaves, who until now have been nearly invisible to genealogical research.

Although the church released few details on the database, which is scheduled to go live Tuesday, the church’s brief description outlines a powerful new tool for scholars and ordinary genealogists, particularly for those searching for slave ancestors, a New Orleans historian said.

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World's Oldest Woman Eunice Sanborn Dies at 114

The world's oldest woman, Eunice Sanborn, has died in Texas, US. The US Census Bureau records that her birth was in 1896, making her 114 years old. But she insisted she had been born the previous year, meaning she could have been 115 when she died.

The title of the oldest living woman now goes to 114-year-old Besse Cooper of the US state of Georgia, according to the Gerontology Research Group.

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