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Genealogy Blog

31 October 2013

Genealogy Software Updates of the Week

Family Get-To-Gether 1.1.5 (Applications pour mobiles - Mobile - Purchase)

• Spanish language is added.
• Enhanced GEDCOM files import (larger files are now supported).
• Unicode support for GEDCOM files export.
• Miscellaneous enhancements.

GEDCOM Validator 1.0.9.0 (GEDCOM Tools - Windows - Freeware)

• Small number of minor fixes, improvements and documentation corrections.

iFamily for Leopard 2.888 (Full Featured - Mac - Purchase)

• OSX 10.9 Mavericks Compatibility.
• Repaired Depersonalization of Marriage events when exported to GEDCOM.
• Database Compare: Introduced new error traps to search routines, Repaired comparison bug in Compare_Person routine, Repaired comparison bug in Compare_Personal_Events routine.

My Family Tree 3.0.7.0 (Full Featured - Windows - Freeware)

• Small number of improvements and minor fixes.

The Complete Genealogy Reporter 2013 build 131023 (Family Books - Windows - Shareware)

• Improved: Maximum number of ancestral generations increased fro 180 to 200.
• Fixed: Hyperlinking errors which were linking to maternal ancestry sections instead of to maps.
• Fixed: In certain situations the round-up logic could cause an unexpected program error.

The Family Tree of Family for Android 1.8.9 (Applications pour mobiles - Mobile - Purchase)

• Update Import GEDCOM.

TreeDraw 4.1.2 (Charts and Diagrams - Windows - Shareware)

• Fixes problems using Undo/Redo.
• Fixes crashes in charts which have joined lines.

WP Family Tree for WordPress 1.0.4 (Web Publishing - Windows, Mac, Linux - Freeware)

• Bug fix: Added jquery to list of included scripts.

National Archives in Washington To Display Trove of Iraqi Jewish Books; Conflict Over To Whom They Belong

The tattered Torah scroll fragments, Bibles and other religious texts found in a flooded Baghdad basement 10 years ago testify to a once-thriving Jewish population that’s all but disappeared from Iraq.

Recovered from the Iraqi intelligence headquarters and shipped to the United States for years of painstaking conservation was a literary trove of more than 2,700 books and tens of thousands of documents that are being digitized and put online. A sample of that treasure is being displayed for the first time this fall at the National Archives in Washington.

Source & Full Story

30 October 2013

Designer of the Bayeux Tapestry Identified

New research has identified the man who designed the Bayeux Tapestry, one of the most important artworks of the Middle Ages. Historian Howard B. Clarke believes that this was Scolland, the abbot of St.Augustine’s monastery in Canterbury, and that it was made around the year 1075.

Clarke, professor emeritus at University College, Dublin, first presented his ideas at the 2012 Battle Conference, which was held at the French town of Bayeux, and now published in the journal Anglo-Norman Studies.

Source & Full Story

Are You Related to Grace Slick?

Best known as one of the lead singers of the rock groups The Great Society, Jefferson Airplane, Jefferson Starship, and Starship, Grace Barnett Wing was born October 30, 1939 in Evanston, Illinois, to Ivan W. Wing (1907–1987), of Norwegian and Swedish descent, and Virginia (née Barnett; 1910–1984), the latter a direct descendant of passengers of the Mayflower.

She attended Palo Alto Senior High School before switching to Castilleja High School, a private all-girls school in Palo Alto. Following graduation she attended Finch College in New York from 1957–58, and the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Florida, from 1958–59.

Grace Slick's Family Tree

29 October 2013

Sherlock Holmes And The Mysterious Case Of His 'Killer' Ancestor: Newly Uncovered Records Show Benedict Cumberbatch's Great-Great Uncle Was Tried For Murder At 14

‘The Romsey Stabbing Case’ sounds like it could be a Sherlock Holmes mystery. And in a way, it is. For the story comes from the past of the actor who plays the detective, Benedict Cumberbatch. Newly uncovered records have revealed that the actor’s great-great maternal uncle Henry was tried for murder when he was only 14.

Henry Ventham, a farm hand, was accused of stabbing to death his friend, Frederick Betteridge. The story appeared in the Hampshire Advertiser on Saturday, 18 November 1893, with the headline The Romsey Stabbing Case.

Source & Full Story

28 October 2013

Lee Harvey Oswald’s Wedding Band Goes For $108,000 At Auction

Lee Harvey Oswald’s gold wedding band, which he left in a cup on a dresser the morning he assassinated President John F. Kennedy, sold at auction for $108,000 in Boston on Thursday.

The ring was among nearly 300 items linked to the former president, who was shot on Nov. 22, 1963, that were auctioned by RR Auction, The Associated Press reported. The auction house said Oswald’s ring, which has a tiny hammer and sickle engraved on the inside, was sold to a Texas buyer who wished to remain anonymous.

Source & Full Story

Are You Related to Bill Gates?

Gates was born on October 28, 1955 in Seattle, Washington, to William H. Gates, Sr. and Mary Maxwell Gates. His ancestry includes English, German, and Scots-Irish.

His father was a prominent lawyer, and his mother served on the board of directors for First Interstate BancSystem and the United Way. Gates's maternal grandfather was JW Maxwell, a national bank president. Gates has one elder sister, Kristi (Kristianne), and one younger sister, Libby. He was the fourth of his name in his family, but was known as William Gates III or "Trey" because his father had the "II" suffix.

Bill Gates' Family Tree

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24 October 2013

Enigmatic Dickinson Revealed Online

The manuscripts of Emily Dickinson have long been scattered across multiple archives, meaning scholars had to knock on numerous doors to see all the handwritten drafts of a poet whose work went almost entirely unpublished in her lifetime.

The online Emily Dickinson Archive, to be inaugurated on Wednesday, promises to change all that by bringing together on a single open-access Web site thousands of manuscripts held by Harvard University, Amherst College, the Boston Public Library and five other institutions.

Source & Full Story

23 October 2013

Genealogy Software Updates of the Week

Ancestral Quest 14.15 (Full Featured - Windows - Purchase)

• Sources: If you attached an object other than a picture to a citation (such as a document, audio clip, web page), the path/URL of this object will now be displayed where the thumbnail.
• Web Page Creation: If the image to a source is located on the Internet rather than on your system, the link to the image was not created properly. Fixed.

Billion Graves 3.3 (Applications pour mobiles - Mobile - Freeware)

• Updates for iOS 7.
• Bug fixes.

Family Get-To-Gether 1.1.3 (Applications pour mobiles - Mobile - Purchase)

• German & Dutch languages are added.
• Press 'Options' button and select 'Language' option to change the app language.
• New separate date & place fields for birth and death information.
• Miscellaneous quality enhancements.

MacFamilyTree 7.1 (Full Featured - Mac - Purchase)

• Completely new Web Site Export.
• Configureable Themes.
• Live preview.
• Direct FTP upload (secure connections supported).
• Includes Videos, PDFs and Audio Media.
• Improved user interface .
• And much more.

AncestorEbooks Announces the 14th Annual Czechoslovak Genealogical Society International Genealogical & Cultural Conference

AncestorEbooks.com, an online company dedicated to the creative sharing of family history materials through personalized EBooks, announces the 14th annual Czechoslovak Genealogical Society International Conference Oct 23-26.

The Czechoslovak Genealogical Society International Genealogical/Cultural Conference of 2013 (CGSIG) will be held in Westin, IL from October 23 through October 26. Many activities and sessions have been planned to include not only genealogy and research information, but also important sessions relating solely to the research and preservation of Czechoslovak ancestors and the cultural heritage.

Source & Full Story

22 October 2013

Rare Copy of First Ever Printed British Newspaper Which Includes Article on Bubonic Plague Death Toll Is Up For Sale

A rare copy of the first ever newspaper printed in Britain is to be auctioned nearly 350 years after it came off the press. The Oxford Gazette was published on November 7, 1665, at a time when London was in the grip of the devastating bubonic plague.

It was the first newspaper in the world to be printed in English.The two-page first edition contained an eclectic mix of news including military and naval engagements, debates in the House of Commons and overseas dispatches.

Source & Full Story

European Court Rebukes Russia for WWII Massacre of Polish Soldiers

The European Court of Human Rights declined Monday to rule on the key points of a claim against Russia by relatives of victims of the 1940 Katyn massacre, but did rebuke Russia for refusing to hand over all of its files on the incident.

The court said it did not have the authority to rule on whether Russia had deprived the victims of their right to life because the World War II massacre happened before Russia joined the European Convention on Human Rights.

Source & Full Story

SpongeBob SquarePants Tombstones Honoring Slain Soldier Taken Down By Cemetery

The parents of a slain 28-year-old Ohio soldier honored their daughter with special SpongeBob SquarePants tombstones — until the cemetery removed them.

After the death of Sgt. Kimberly Walker — allegedly killed by her boyfriend — the soldier's parents decided to honor their daughter the best way they knew how. SpongeBob was Kimberly's favorite cartoon character. Even as an adult, she owned many SpongeBob items, including shower curtains.

Source & Full Story

Google Cameras Capture A Walk Through Arlington National Cemetery

The walk through Arlington National Cemetery on a beautiful October day was being captured by Google for anyone to experience with a few keystrokes or the swipe of a smartphone screen.

Google on Sunday began its project to map the cemetery by collecting millions of photos and stitching them together to re-create the feeling of strolling the iconic burial ground of presidents and soldiers. Online users will be able to zoom in close enough to read some grave markers.

Source & Full Story

21 October 2013

15th-Century Manuscript Sheds Light On Richard III's Relationship With York

An original manuscript dating back almost 600 years is offering a fascinating glimpse of Richard III and his relationship with the city that claims him as its own.

York is currently embroiled in a row over whether the remains of the medieval monarch, rediscovered last year, should be interred there or in Leicester, where the skeleton was found. And the manuscript reveals how York flamboyantly prepared for his state visits, wrestled with rumours of treason and ultimately what the city leaders felt about the King’s death in 1485.

Source & Full Story

England: Remains of York's 'Lost' Church Revealed

The remains of one of York's "lost" medieval churches have been revealed to the public for the first time in about 450 years. The precise location of the 12th Century St John the Baptist church in Hungate was never recorded before its demolition in the 16th Century.

But York Archaeological Trust (Yat) staff, using old maps, have worked over the summer to reveal the church. Arran Johnson, from Yat, said the find was "an archaeologist's dream".

Source & Full Story

Search for WWI Soldier Private David Kerr's Family

A transatlantic search has been launched to find the family of a Scottish World War I soldier to reunite them with their ancestor's medal. Donald Bennett, who lives in Toronto, Canada, is attempting to find the descendants of Private David Kerr, believed to be from Cardenden in Fife.

Mr Bennett was given Pte Kerr's 1914-15 Star by his grandfather. Pte Kerr was killed at the Battle of Loos in France in September 1915. He served with the Scottish Rifles.

Source & Full Story

Mata Hari's Netherlands Birthplace Destroyed In Fire

The house in the Netherlands in which exotic dancer and WWI spy Mata Hari was born has been destroyed in a fire. One person was killed by the fire on Saturday evening as it engulfed several buildings in Leeuwarden, about 140km (87 miles) north of Amsterdam.

Local media said the victim was thought to be a 24-year-old man who had lived in a flat in the buildings. Mata Hari was born Margaretha Geertruida Zelle in August 1876, to a shopkeeper and a Javanese mother.

Source & Full Story

Irish Roots: Why Can't You Find Your Ancestors?

Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. Which is to say that trying to explain why you can’t find your ancestor is akin to collecting water in a sieve. But here are a few possibilities anyway:

At the precise moment the National Library was microfilming the parish register page with your ancestor on it, a tiny wink of light crept through the blackout curtains and fell on just the last few letters of the surname, creating a small overexposure and making the name eternally illegible.

Source & Full Story

Are You Related to Carrie Fisher?

Fisher was born on October 21, 1956 in Beverly Hills, California, the daughter of singer Eddie Fisher and actress Debbie Reynolds. Her father was Jewish, the son of immigrants from Russia, and her mother was Protestant, of Scots-Irish and English ancestry.

Her younger brother is producer and actor Todd Fisher, and her half-sisters are actresses Joely Fisher and Tricia Leigh Fisher, whose mother is the singer and actress Connie Stevens.

Carrie Fisher's Family Tree

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Match your family tree with just one click or select the Advanced mode to get full access to all settings.

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18 October 2013

'We Stabbed Each Other, Strangled Each Other, Went For Each Other... Like Mad Dogs': Haunting Interviews With WWI Veterans From Both Sides of The Trenches To Be Heard For The First Time To Commemorate Centenary

Never-before-seen interviews with First World War soldiers revealing the true horror of going 'over the top' in battle are to be shown on television for the first time.

In the heart-wrenching footage the former soldiers tell the true story of life in the trenches, and the emotions that went through the minds of the young men who gave their all in the deadly conflict. In one poignant clip, to be shown on the BBC as part of a series of programmes commemorating the Great War, one unnamed German veteran asks: 'What was it, that we soldiers stabbed each other, strangled each other, went for each other, like mad dogs?'

Source & Full Story

Great Escape Hero Who Helped Dispose of Soil From Famous Tunnel Dug by Prisoners at Nazi War Camp Stalag Luft III Dies Aged 91

One of the few remaining British survivors of a German prisoner of war camp immortalised in The Great Escape film has died aged 91.

Royal Air Force gunner Frank Stone, of Hathersage, Derbyshire, was taken to Stalag Luft III in Zagan as a teenager during the Second World War after his bomber crashed in Mannheim in 1940. He was in hut 104, home to 76 airmen who tried to escape via a 348ft tunnel in 1944. But the alarm was raised before Mr Stone, who had helped dispose of soil from the tunnel, could join them.

Source & Full Story

Study Finds Modern Relatives of Otzi Alive And Well In Austria

A team of researchers from Innsbruck Medical University has found 19 modern humans living in Austria with the same genetic defect as the ice-man Ötzi, the APA News Agency is reporting. The ice-man was found by German tourists and is believed to have lived approximately 5,300 years ago.

Ötzi, named for the region in the Alps where his remains were discovered, has enjoyed worldwide fame since his discovery, owing to his well preserved remains.

Source & Full Story

Arlington Cemetery Will Allow Small Mementos

Arlington National Cemetery is relaxing its policies to allow family members of those buried in its section for those who died in Iraq and Afghanistan to leave behind small mementos and photos to honor those soldiers, a spokeswoman said Wednesday.

Section 60 is the part of the cemetery that is home to most of those killed in recent fighting. Families in that section had been leaving stones, photos and other mementos at their loved ones' gravesites, even though cemetery policy strictly regulates such impromptu memorials.

Source & Full Story

University of Birmingham WWI Archive Is Digitised For The Centenary

Thousands of photos from WWI held by the University of Birmingham are being digitised so they can be used in a series of exhibitions to mark the war's centenary. The Great Hall in the university was used as a hospital during the conflict.

The university now has one of the largest war studies departments in the country. Susan Worrall, director of the university's Cadbury Research Library told the BBC's Cath Mackie that people are still bringing them archive material from the war.

Source & Full Story

London's Coolest Gravestones

"When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life," memorably proclaimed Samuel Johnson. Whereupon that man -- presumably -- is buried in London. Lucky him (or her). The city has some of the best, most atmospheric, cemeteries in the world.

Luminaries from Karl Marx (Highgate Cemetery) to the suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst (Brompton Cemetery) to Johnson himself (Westminster Abbey, which is really not your everyday resting place) are buried here.

Source & Full Story

Two Unknown Soldiers From WWI Discovered In The Alps

The black stain on the ice was instantly recognisable. The technician checking a tarpaulin stretched over a section of the Presena Glacier in the Italian Alps—an experimental attempt to slow the melting— quickly called in a rescue party.

The block of ice was airlifted to the nearby city of Vicenza. Inside were two soldiers who had fallen at the Battle of Presena in May 1918 and were buried in a crevasse. Their uniforms and their location indicated that they could well have been Kaiserschützen, specialised mountain troops who fought on behalf of the Austro-Hungarian Empire to defend these mountains from their Italian equivalent, the Alpini.

Source & Full Story

17 October 2013

State Archives Online Catalog To Be Unveiled at Rhode Island College

Rhode Island historical public records, dating as far back as 1638, will soon be available online, making it easier for the general public, educators, students, historians, researchers and journalists to immediately access the information they need. Among the holdings are images of original letters from Thomas Jefferson and John Hancock.

Tomorrow Secretary of State A. Ralph Mollis will launch the new State Archives Online Catalog during an official unveiling at Rhode Island College at 8:30 a.m. in Alger Hall 110.

Source & Full Story

Texas State Archives Exhibiting Gov. Connally’s Clothing When He Was Shot With JFK In 1963

Your eyes instinctively seek the holes in the vintage 1960s black wool men’s business suit. The white cotton dress shirt with now-faded blood stains more vividly illustrates the horror of a half century ago.

Emergency room staff at Dallas’ Parkland Memorial Hospital removed the clothing from seriously wounded Texas Gov. John Connally, in the rush to save his life from the same burst of gunfire that also had left President John Kennedy mortally wounded.

Source & Full Story

Stunning Color WWII Photos Give Rare Glimpse Into Nazi-Occupied Poland

Until the German invasion in 1939, the Polish capital of Warsaw was a vibrant center of Jewish life, home to some 350,000 Jews and the second-largest Jewish community in the world.

But on Oct. 12, 1940, the German occupier issued a decree ordering all Jewish residents of the capital and surrounding towns to move into an area of 1.3 square miles, closed off by a 10 feet high wall. Estimates suggest more than 400,000 people were locked in the ghetto, according to the U.S. Holocaust Museum, making for an average of 7.2 persons living per room in the area.

Source & Full Story

16 October 2013

Genealogy Software Updates of the Week

Arlington National Cemetery Explorer 1.0.5.31 (Mobile - Freeware)

• Added compatibility for iOS7.

GedTreeFree 0.9.13 (Mobile - Freeware)

• Marriages are now shown in the long-click popup.
• The number of generations shown is now configurable.
• Different codecs supported (utf-8, ascii, latin_1, ansel).
• .GED files can now be opened with the internal file browser too.

Genota 5 (Organization - Research - Windows - Purchase)

• Genota 5 is nearing completion and is expected to be released early November 2013.
• It will include: a new, simpler to use interface, a new Transcriber module, a new mapping facility, an updated locations module with geolocation, a simple date calculator, the ability to add Notes, Sources, Categories, Locations and Contacts from the main menu without accessing the individual modules.

Legacy Mobile 1.1.1 (Mobile - Freeware)

• Changes to handle modifications from FamilySearch.

MacFamilyTree 7.0.14 (Full Featured - Mac - Purchase)

• Crash issue when editing families or persons fixed.
• FamilySearch issue fixed handling burial events.
• Date parsing improved.

MobileFamilyTree 7.0.13 (Mobile - Purchase)

• Downloading marriage events from FamilySearch fixed.
• Hourglass chart now displays correct kinships with grandchildren-in-law.
• Error interpreting multiple spouses on FamilySearch fixed.

Absurd Secret Police Photos Show the Campy Side of Communist Spy Games

Simon Menner’s new book Top Secret: Images from the Stasi Archives examines the vast collection of information and photos once gathered by the East German secret police. While coincidental, the timing couldn’t be better as news about the NSA surveillance program continues to dominate headlines.

During the Communist era, East Germany employed 300,000 spies to observe its own citizens; more per capita than any other totalitarian government in recent history.

Source & Full Story

Welsh Soldier's Relatives Back WWI Memorial

The Canadian descendants of a First World War soldier from Bala have backed a campaign to build a memorial in Flanders for Welsh veterans. Campaigners have launched a £90,000 appeal to build a monument or cromlech of a dragon on rocks to be erected in Langemark near Ypres in Belgium.

The Passchendaele Society has already built a memorial to Scottish soldiers who were among the total of 250,000 Allied troops who fell at the battlefield between July and November 1917.

Source & Full Story

15 October 2013

New GeneaNet Family Tree Browser

We are proud to announce a new browser which display your family tree in a graphical way.

You can now browse your family tree with a great looking and intuitive browser.

Try the new GeneaNet family tree browser!

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University of Hawai Library Welcomes New Additions To Hawai‘i Newspaper Archive

New additions have been added to Hamilton Library’s open-access archive of 19th and 20th century Hawai‘i newspapers that will allow students, faculty and community members to get a glimpse into the lives of Hawai‘i residents.

“Hamilton Library has been a part of the National Digital Newspaper Program since 2008, and we have been digitizing newspapers since then,” Hawai‘i Digital Newspaper Project manager Jennifer Beamer said.

Source & Full Story

14 October 2013

Amelia Earhart Plane Search to Resume Next Year

The search for Amelia Earhart's long-lost aircraft will resume next year in the waters off Nikumaroro, an uninhabited island in the southwestern Pacific republic of Kiribati where the legendary pilot may have died as a castaway.

Starting about the middle of August 2014, the 30-day expedition will be carried out by The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery (TIGHAR), which has long been investigating the last, fateful flight taken by Earhart 76 years ago.

Source & Full Story

Brocton WWI Model Battlefield Excavation Completed

Archaeologists have completed the excavation of a scale model of a World War I battlefield in Staffordshire. The mock-up of the village and surrounding area of Messines in Belgium was built in Brocton on Cannock Chase as a training aid for soldiers.

It was also maintained as a memorial to soldiers who died in the Battle of Messines Ridge in June 1917. County Council archaeologists have now begun photographing and using a laser-scanner to make a 3D computer model.

Source & Full Story

Forgotten Civil War Monument Discovered In Idaho Cemetery

Early in December, Elaine Johnson was at the Rose Hill Cemetery searching for the grave of her great-great-grandfather, a veteran of the Civil War. Along the way, she found something else.

Johnson stumbled across the only known Civil War monument in eastern Idaho. The monument was installed in 1911 by local members of the Grand Army of the Republic to commemorate Civil War soldiers buried in the cemetery.

Source & Full Story

Are You Related to Lillian Gish?

Gish was born on October 14, 1893 in Springfield, Ohio, to 18-year-old Mary Robinson McConnell (1875-1948) (an Episcopalian) and James Leigh Gish (1872-1912) (who was of German Lutheran descent). She had a younger sister, Dorothy.

The first several generations of Gishes were Dunkard ministers. Her great-great-great-grandfather came to America on the ship Pennsylvania Merchant in 1733 and received a land grant from William Penn. Her great-great-grandfather was in the American Revolutionary War and is buried in a cemetery in Pennsylvania for such soldiers.

Lillian Gish's Family Tree

11 October 2013

KGB Archives Set To Open Up To Finnish Researchers

How did the Soviet Union affect president Urho Kekkonen’s career? Why was the Porkkala peninsula handed back to Finland early? These questions and more could be answered as the Finnish national archive negotiates access to KGB archives from the crucial 1953-56 period.

Russian archives are usually sealed for fifty years, and even after that period has elapsed a special decision is needed to open them up.

Source & Full Story

Genealogy Software Updates of the Week

MacFamilyTree 7.0.13 (Full Featured - Mac - Purchase)

• Downloading marriage events from FamilySearch fixed.
• Hourglass chart now displays correct kinships with grandchildren-in-law.
• Error interpreting multiple spouses on FamilySearch fixed.

Reunion for iPad 2.0.1 (Applications pour mobiles - Mobile - Purchase)

• Corrected some minor issues with iOS 7.

RootsMagic 6.3.0.4 (Full Featured - Windows - Purchase)

• New: Labels for shared events on group sheets are now FactType-Role instead of just Role (so "Census-Spouse" instead of just "Spouse").
• New: Supports direct import of latest Legacy files which changed their file format.
• Improved: Sped up loading of FamilySearch Share Data screen for people with large amounts of data.
• Improved: Sped up AutoMatch with FamilySearch Family Tree.
• Bug fixes.

10 October 2013

George Washington’s 1789 Proclamation Establishing Thanksgiving Heads To NYC Auction

President George Washington’s 1789 proclamation establishing the first Day of Thanksgiving is set to be auctioned in New York City. The document will be sold Nov. 14 at Christie’s. The only other known copy of the proclamation is at the Library of Congress, the auction house said.

The proclamation, which set the first national day of thanksgiving for Thursday, Nov. 26, 1789, is estimated to sell for $8 million to $12 million. It’s being sold by a private American collector.

Source & Full Story

Mummified Head May Not Belong to King Henry IV

A mummified head identified as that of the French king Henry IV three years ago may not belong to the monarch after all.

In 2010, researchers used digital facial reconstruction on the head, which had been in the hands of private collectors, to identify it as the "good King Henry," who ruled France from 1589 to 1610. The king, according to historical legend, was exhumed and posthumously beheaded in 1793 during the French Revolution.

Source & Full Story

Violin That Was Played To Calm Passengers As Titanic Sank Undergoes CT Scan To Prove Authenticity Before Going To Auction

The violin played by the bandmaster of the Titanic as the ship was sinking is finally being auctioned for an estimated £400,000. The historic instrument, which underwent a CT scan to prove it is the real deal, is expected to make a world record sum for a piece of Titanic memorabilia at the British auction, which is attracting huge international interest.

The wooden fiddle has been forensically proven to be the one used by Wallace Hartley as his band famously played on to help keep the passengers calm during the disaster.

Source & Full Story

Century-Old Delaware City Records Headed Online

The final year the Delaware City Fire Department employed a horse-drawn unit -- the department budget allowed for $500 to be spent on maintaining the stables and purchasing horse feed.

In the late 1800s, the city was responsible for the public library and had a committee that oversaw its budget and operations. The Delaware sewer and water utility departments paid daily wages of 75 cents to workers in October 1903.

Source & Full Story

South Carolina: Clemson Yearbook Archives Go Digital

Clemson University's special collections library has digitized the complete run of Clemson's yearbook, Taps, from the first volume in 1899 through 2012.

Through a partnership with the Internet Archive, the Taps were scanned cover-to-cover in full color. Online visitors can page through volumes, search the full text, download PDFs and view them on Kindles.

Source & Full Story

DNA Test Solves 80-Year Family Mystery

They sat at DFW Airport, the site of comings and goings, happy hellos and sad goodbyes. With nerves, they waited. "The way I felt about it, this day was never gonna happen," said Patrick "PJ" Holland. He was in the final 60 minutes of an 80-year wait.

"This is what we call a 'countdown,'" he said with a laugh, after asking yet again when his guests would be arriving.

Source & Full Story

Archiving Tennessee's Civil War Documents Through Digitization

The goal is preserving Civil War artifacts through digital technology. It's a rare opportunity to document Tennessee's Civil War History through the use of digitization. And it's all part of Tennessee's Civil War 150th Sesquicentennial.

The goal is to share the history of the Civil War in Tennessee with everyone in the nation. Many of Tennesseeans showed up Wednesday some with full bags in hand of artifacts dating back to 1840s.

Source & Full Story

9 October 2013

Cleanup in Arlington National Cemetery’s Section 60 Upsets Families of War Dead

Elizabeth Belle walked toward the grave of her son carrying a canvas bag full of miniature pumpkins, silk leaves and other decorations for his headstone.

Then she noticed the changes. Section 60 of Arlington National Cemetery, where more than 800 Iraq and Afghanistan war dead are buried, had been stripped bare. The photographs of young soldiers were gone. The balloons, too, and love letters, the sonograms and worry stones, the crosses and coins.

Source & Full Story

First Nations Delegation Visits The National Archives of The UK

A delegation from the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations (FSIN) in Canada visited The National Archives yesterday to view documents connected to the Royal Proclamation of 1763.

The Royal Proclamation by King George III on 7 October 1763, 250 years ago, established government for Quebec, East Florida, West Florida and Grenada and is viewed as an important moment in the relationship between First Nations and the Crown.

Source & Full Story

8 October 2013

Cymru’n Cofio Wales Remembers 1914-1918

The 'Cymru’n Cofio Wales Remembers 1914-1918' is the official website for the latest information, news and events on how Wales will commemorate the centenary of the First World War.

The Commemoration Programme for Wales is being developed by the Welsh Government in partnership with key organisations from Wales and will be launched in the autumn of 2013. The programme will be published on this site and will set out some of the key events that are planned for the commemoration period from 2014 to 2018.

Cymru’n Cofio Wales Remembers 1914-1918

7 October 2013

70 Years After Stealing Photograph, World War II Soldier Returns It To Its Owner

Jim Williams, World War II soldier, stole a framed portrait from a girl he went on a date with in 1943 and took it with him when he went fight in the South Pacific. 70 years later, a 92-year-old Williams returned the portrait to the also 92-year-old Ruby Hazen.

Jim Williams of Springfield, Ill., says he went dancing with the young woman who was then Ruby Ruff in 1943 in Portland, Ore. They were both 22; he was in the Coast Guard.

Source & Full Story

Online Genealogy: Your Family Tree, Your Family Pictures and Your Archival Records on GeneaNet

There are many genealogy websites where you can upload and share your family tree, your family pictures and your archival records.

But the question is: what's happening to your personal data and documents?

Here is how GeneaNet works.

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4 October 2013

British Soldiers' World War I Letters And Wills Go Online

It is the soldier's handwriting that draws the reader in - smooth, steady, well-written cursive rarely seen in today's age of social media and text messaging. But the letter is nearly 100 years old. The author: A rank-and-file British service member, who managed enough composure to pen a neat, often-thoughtful letter and will to loved ones - just before heading to the front lines of World War I.

"It is very frightful to see great big men fainting in the ranks, it makes one lose heart when he sees this," soldier Joseph Ditchburn said in a letter to his mother, dated August 6, 1914.

Source & Full Story

Are You Related To Susan Sarandon?

Susan Abigail Tomalin was born on October 4, 1946 in Jackson Heights, Queens, New York City. She is the first of nine children born to Lenora Marie (née Criscione) and Phillip Leslie Tomalin.

Her father was of English, Irish, and Welsh ancestry, his English ancestors being from Hackney in London and his Welsh ancestors being from Bridgend. On her mother's side, she is of Italian descent, with ancestors from the regions of Tuscany and Sicily. Sarandon grew up in Edison, New Jersey, where she graduated from Edison High School in 1964.

Susan Sarandon's Family Tree

3 October 2013

Genealogy Software Updates of the Week

Billion Graves for Android 2.3 (Applications pour mobiles - Mobile - Freeware)

• The BillionGraves camera app for Android has now moved to a new home.
• Fixed a few major bugs.
• The app should now work on newer phones like the Galaxy S4 and older phones where the camera view was scrambled.

MacFamilyTree 7.0.12 (Full Featured - Mac - Purchase)

• FamilySearch issue fixed regarding gender information.
• Sorting in the person merge sheet works correctly now.
• Hang fixed that could occur in the person edit section.
• Rare crash fixed when using FamilySearch.

MobileFamilyTree 7.0.12 (Applications pour mobiles - Mobile - Purchase)

• FamilySearch issue fixed regarding gender information.
• Hang fixed that could occur in the person edit section.
• Rare crash fixed when using FamilySearch.

Lost Portrait of Britain's Wealthiest Woman Aquired by National Portrait Gallery

A lost portrait of one of the UK's earliest feminists has been bought by the National Portrait Gallery. The portrait, which is of Lady Anne Clifford by William Larkin and was painted in 1618, was recorded only in Clifford's diary entries until it was discovered eight years ago in a German private collection by gallerist Mark Weiss.

The Gallery bought the portrait for £275,000, £70,000 of which was given by the Art Fund and more than £45,000 from private donations.

Source & Full Story

2 October 2013

Report Lists Oldest Scottish Family Firms

Scotland's 25 oldest family firms have clocked up more than 3,700 years in business between them, according to new research. A report by Family Business United and Close Brothers Asset Management (CBAM) found the companies had been trading for an average of 148 years each.

It named Fife-based John White & Son Ltd as Scotland's oldest family firm. The company, which operates from Auchtermuchty, started producing weighing machines in 1715.

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Call To Rethink Cases of French WWI 'Coward' Soldiers

A panel of French historians has called for the records of soldiers who were shot for cowardice and desertion in World War I to be rewritten. The historians' report, commissioned by the government, called for the cases of 650 men shot during the war to be reconsidered.

Many of them are "worthy and deserving of moral, civic and public-spirited rehabilitation", the report says. Veterans' minister Kader Arif has promised to consider the issue.

Source & Full Story