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Genealogy Blog

31 January 2014

Burials ‘In Between Graves’ at Osu Cemetery, Accra, Ghana

With an average of 120 burials per month, the Osu Cemetery appears stretched beyond its capacity. Rumours that dead bodies are exhumed and burned behind the Cemetery were quashed by the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA), but it came to the fore that new graves are being dug in between old ones.

“We have never exhumed any body and burnt it, and we will never allow it,” said Dr Simpson Anim Boateng, the Director of Health at the Assembly.

Source & Full Story

Melting Glaciers in Northern Italy Reveal Corpses of WW1 Soldiers

At first glance Peio is a small alpine ski resort like many others in northern Italy. In winter it is popular with middle-class Italians as well as, increasingly, Russian tourists. In summer there’s good hiking in the Stelvio National Park.

It has a spa, shops that sell a dozen different kinds of grappa, and, perhaps, aspirations to be the next Cortina. A cable car was inaugurated three years ago, and a multi-storey car park is under construction.

Source & Full Story

30 January 2014

Genealogy Software Updates of the Week

Ancestral Quest 14.18 (Full Featured - Windows - Purchase)

• Sorting: If you sort by Custom ID on the Name List screen or the Custom Report, purely numeric IDs should sort as numbers and IDs that are not purely numeric should sort alphabetically. AQ had a bug wherein if an ID was a number of more than 5 digits, the number was sorted alphabetically. Fixed. All numeric IDs now sort numerically.

GEDCOM Lexer Plugin for Notepad++ 0.1.0-r15 (GEDCOM Tools - Windows - Freeware/Open Source) NEW!

• Enhances Notepad++ text editor's handling of GEDCOM files.
• View GEDCOM files with syntax highlighting of: level, xref id, tag, pointer, value and escape tokens. Customize coloration and font styles. Grammar errors are also highlighted.

GRAMPS 4.0.3 (Full Featured - Linux - Freeware/Open Source)

• Fix copy via context menu on Views into Charts Category.
• Fix Tab sequence in Name Editor.
• Fix citations gramplet into media view.
• Fix unhandled exception when inspecting media.
• Fix Citation sidebar filter for python3.
• Fix add link to a “Html code” note.
• And more...

Legacy Family Tree (Full Featured - Windows - Purchase)

• Legacy Family Tree is now available in the Italian language.

My Family Tree 3.0.11.0 (Full Featured - Windows - Freeware)

• Small number of improvements and minor fixes.

The Next Generation of Genealogy Sitebuilding 10 (Web Publishing - Windows, Mac, Linux - Purchase)

• TNG 10 will be available soon! RootsTech attendees will be able to buy TNG10 in a special presale.

TreeDraw 4.2.0 (Charts and Diagrams - Windows - Shareware)

• Adds the ability to set default formatting styles based on the current selection.
• Adds the ability to set visual import styles based on the current selection.
• Adds the ability to set the vertical snap-to-grid spacing based on the current selection.
• Removes inapplicable commands from the Drawing Area popup menu.
• Fixes missing Format | Font default settings after selecting multiple text elements.
• Fixes mis-match between Format | Text alignment setting in main menu and popup menu.

TreeHopper 1.1.10 (GEDCOM Tools - Windows - Freeware) NEW!

• Explore and view your family tree with TreeHopper.
• This is the first Windows 8 App that can read in a GEDCOM file (v5.5.1 or earlier) directly from your device and display the results to give an accurate and easy to use method to browse your family information.
• Available in English and Spanish.

Black Death and Justinian’s Plague Were Caused By The Same Pathogen, Scientists Find

Two of the world’s deadliest pandemics – Justinian’s Plague and the Black Death – were caused by the same pathogen. These findings were revealed yesterday in an article published in the journal Lancet Infectious Diseases.

The researchers, who include scientists from McMaster University in Canada, the University of Sydney and Northern Arizona University, were able to gather minuscule plague DNA fragments from the 1,500-year-old teeth of two victims of Justinian’s plague, buried in Bavaria, Germany.

Source & Full Story

Europeana 1914-1918 Website Relaunched!

Europeana 1914-1918 now brings together resources from three major European projects each dealing with different types of First World War material. That means that national collections from libraries now sit alongside personal stories and treasures as well as important film archives.

Together, this creates a unique perspective of the First World War, showing it from every side of the battle lines and with insights from every point of view. Over time, even more material will be added to this archive so please keep coming back!

Source & Full Story

29 January 2014

Genealogist Baffled By Surprise Hidden in Antique Present

An intrigued genealogist is hoping readers can put her in the picture after discovering decades-old film tucked inside her birthday surprise.

Michala Hulme, from Tabley, was shocked when her fiancé Gavin presented her with a 1930s box camera from Knutsford Antiques on December 24, instead of the CD or video game she usually receives. But what was hidden inside the camera came as an even bigger shock –film from the WWII-era - and the 31-year-old has spent the past month trying to unravel the story behind the lens.

Source & Full Story

Forgotten Images From the Western Front: Negatives Discovered in a Rusty Metal Box Reveal Devastation of French Battlefields at The End of The First World War

This astonishing collection of photographs was discovered in a rusty metal box by Peter Berry Ottaway, 71, in the home of his late grandfather, Hubert Ottaway, who was a sapper (or combat engineer) in the Territorial Army between 1914 and 1919.

He captured the rare images while he was stationed in northern France. He worked with the Light Engineers Railway Companies who were tasked with supplying communication lines towards Belguim and upgrading trenches. Hubert's pictures provide a unique glimpse into life on the Western Front in the final 18 months of the Great War.

Source & Full Story

28 January 2014

Pink Floyd's Roger Waters Locates Italian Battlefield Where Father Died During World War II

For years, music legend Roger Waters, co-founder of Pink Floyd, tried to locate the place where his father was killed in Italy during World War II.

Waters was five months old when his father, Lt. Eric Fletcher Waters, died in the countryside near Anzio in early 1944. His body was never recovered. All Waters had to remember him was a black and white photograph portraying the family: Waters on the knees of his mother, his father in Army clothes holding older brother John.

Source & Full Story

New York City Commissioner: My Ancestors Were Slaves of Benedict Cumberbatch's Family

She is the grand-daughter of Caribbean immigrants to America who has just been appointed to a top job by Bill de Blasio, New York's new mayor. He is the dashing British actor who stars as Sherlock Holmes in the hit television series on both sides of the Atlantic and plays a plantation owner in the Oscar-nominated film 12 Years A Slave.

Despite their very different backgrounds, Stacey Cumberbatch and Benedict Cumberbatch apparently do not just share a distinctively English-sounding surname.

Source & Full Story

Churches Can Use Ancient Law To Demand Cash From Householders

Four Anglican churches in North Lincolnshire have taken advantage of a 475-year-old law that gives them the right to demand money from home and land owners to help pay repair bills.

All Saints' at Winterton, St Mary's at Wrawby, St Nicholas' at Searby and St Hybald's at Scawby have so far registered 29 homes or plots of land as carrying liabilities to pay. Letters informing owners of their liabilities, which date back to the reign of Henry VIII, have been sent out by the Land Registry, which manages the list.

Source & Full Story

Save Photo Discover The Earliest Surviving Original Photographs of Sir Winston Churchill

Save Photo Limited have discovered what may be the earliest surviving original images of Winston Churchill. They were discovered in the Hills and Saunders Harrow Collection, which they were contracted to digitise, conserve and catalogue for the private owner.

The collection was found in poor condition in the dairy barn of a farm outside Cirencester in 2012. The private owner and Save Photo rescued the collection and relocated it to a secure and climate controlled storage at Save Photo’s headquarters in Warwickshire.

Source & Full Story

27 January 2014

Despite DNA Test, Woman Still Claims Grandmother Was Long-Lost Titanic Survivor

A Florida woman still insists her grandmother was a long-lost passenger aboard the doomed Titanic - despite recent DNA evidence indicating otherwise. "We regret that the recent irresponsible release of information to the world will cause a great deal of unnecessary confusion for many," Debrina Woods said.

Woods, 61, says that in April 2012, on the eve of the sinking's centennial, she discovered a trove of letters and legal documents in a suitcase — which had not been opened in 75 years — belonging to her late grandmother Helen Kramer.

Source & Full Story

Swastika on Austrian Tombstone Defies Ban

The marble tombstone looks like others dotting the main cemetery of Graz, Austria's second city - but only at first glance. Carved into it are a swastika and the inscription: "He died in the struggle for a Great Germany."

Footsteps away, another gravestone is marked with the SS lightning bolts proudly worn by the elite Nazi troops who executed most of the crimes of the Holocaust. Austrian law bans such symbols, and those displaying them face criminal charges and potential prison terms.

Source & Full Story

Ex-'Comfort Woman' for Japanese in WWII Dies At 90, Bringing Number of Living South Korean Sex Slavery Survivors To 55

Hwang Kum-ja, a former 'comfort woman' forced into sexual slavery by the Japanese during World War II, died at age 90. The total number of living South Korean victims of the practice during Japan's colonial rule of Korea is now 55.

Hwang was born in 1924, forced into a glass factory at age 13 and later sent to China for sexual slavery at 16, according to Yonhap. After the war, she returned to Korea and lived alone for the rest of her life. Hwang earned money by collecting garbage and receiving various government subsidies, Yonhap reported.

Source & Full Story

Suresnes American Cemetery and Memorial Tombstones Available on GeneaNet

Do you have ancestors and relatives who died during both World Wars?

Tombstones of the Suresnes American Cemetery and Memorial have been pictured by volunteer members and are now free to browse and search on GeneaNet!

Click here to access this new collection.

If you want to join the Collaborative Indexing Project, please click the 'Click here to add some Listed Persons' link below any picture of tombstone.

Continue reading...

26 January 2014

Are You Related to Ellen DeGeneres?

DeGeneres was born on January 26, 1958 in Metairie, Louisiana, the daughter of Elizabeth Jane DeGeneres (née Pfeffer), a speech therapist, and Elliott Everett DeGeneres, an insurance agent. She is of French, English, German, and Irish descent.

She has one brother, Vance DeGeneres, who is a producer and musician. DeGeneres was raised as a Christian Scientist until the age of thirteen. In 1973, DeGeneres's parents filed for separation and were divorced the following year.

Ellen DeGeneres' Family Tree

24 January 2014

France's Oldest Factory, Dating Back More Than 500 Years, To Close

What is believed to be the oldest factory in France, dating back to 1478, is set to close its doors. The Docelles paper mill employs 161 people, and while its Finland-based owner UPM is open to the sale of the mill’s machinery and property, the workers will lose their jobs.

Minister for industry, Arnaud Montebourg, has said he will look to help find a buyer, while the workers themselves have spoken of setting up a co-operative to protect some jobs.

Source & Full Story

Megan Smolenyak, The Roots Detective, Takes a Look at Jimmy Fallon’s Irish Side

Since even Jimmy’s Irish roots are quite diverse, exploring a chunk at a time will make his ancestry easier to follow, and his only American-born great-grandparents, William and Mary Fallon, provide a logical place to dive in.

Departing the old country in sporadic bursts between 1841 and 1883, William and Mary’s parents and grandparents were the first of Jimmy’s ancestors to make their way to the United States. Launching the immigrant parade were William Fallon’s grandparents, Henry and Mary (née O’Brien) Stickevers, who alighted with an infant son on July 17, 1841.

Source & Full Story

Troy, New York: More Than 100 Headstones Damaged in Oakwood Cemetery

Troy Police are investigating a case after more than 100 headstones at a cemetery were damaged. According to Bernard Vogel, 108 headstones in total were damaged at the historic Oakwood Cemetery. Cemetery workers found the headstones on Monday as they were prepping for an internment. The headstones were around 100 years old.

Cpt. Daniel DeWolf with the Troy Police Department said "It's terrible; it's just a total lack of respect, for the deceased and for their families."

Source & Full Story

British National Archives Reveals Conscription Appeals of World War I Middlesex Men

Charles Rubens Busby, a butcher from Cricklewood who asked to avoid conscription so that he could continue to run his shop during the First World War, had an unwelcome note of caution added to his appeal letter: writing anonymously, a local resident called Busby "a proper rotter of a man" and a "rotten shirker".

The Middlesex Appeal Tribunal was swayed by the critic, who questioned why Busby should stay while "married men have had to shut up their shop and go".

Source & Full Story

1918 Flu Pandemic That Killed 50 Million Originated in China, Historians Say

The global flu outbreak of 1918 killed 50 million people worldwide, ranking as one of the deadliest epidemics in history.

For decades, scientists have debated where in the world the pandemic started, variously pinpointing its origins in France, China, the American Midwest, and beyond. Without a clear location, scientists have lacked a complete picture of the conditions that bred the disease and factors that might lead to similar outbreaks in the future.

Source & Full Story

23 January 2014

Genealogy Software Updates of the Week

Build Your Family Tree 6.0 (Mobile - Purchase)

• Revised for iOS 7.

Historypin for iPhone & iPad 2.4 (Mobile - Freeware)

• Added Drafts feature - if an upload fails the app will automatically save the pin and metadata to a list for later use.
• Fixed repeats functionality.
• Fixed augmented reality.
• Fixed problems with My Channel, Pins list.

Pocket Genealogist 4.09A02 Public Beta (Mobile - Purchase)

• Support for Legacy v8 (8g).
• Fix to TMG v8 import to prevent hang when role has a sufficiently large number of role labels.

22 January 2014

First World War Killed One Million More Soldiers Than Records Show

One million more soldiers may have died in the First World War than first believed while survivors left with crippling shell-shock were also severely underestimated, leading academics said today.

Antoine Prost, Professor Emeritus of History at the University of Paris, says that in the chaos after the Great War governments, including Britain's, produced conservative death figures. Professor Prost also says errors in casualty lists and the vast number of missing soldiers means ten million probably perished in trench warfare between 1914 and 1918, not nine million as first thought.

Source & Full Story

A Wellcome Trove of Images

The highly regarded Wellcome Library in the United Kingdom has released a new web site with over 100,000 digital images for viewing, and in some cases, downloading. The images include “manuscripts, paintings, etchings, early photography and advertisements,” as well as contemporary images.

Unlike most web sites that provide access to digital or digitized images, the Wellcome Library is upfront about whether a given image is “rights-managed” or not, and any image that is not can be downloaded in full.

Source & Full Story

First English Book on Women's Rights From 1632 To Sell at Bonhams

The first book in English to compile laws on the rights of women is to be sold at Bonhams on 5 March as part of the sale of rare and historic European law books from the collection of the Los Angeles County Law Library.

The book, entitled The Lawes of Resolutions of Women’s Rights: or the Lawes, Provision for Women, was compiled by Thomas Edgar and sold by John Grove in 1632. Estimated at £2,000-3,000 it is the earliest work in English on the laws and rights applicable to women including issues such as divorce, polygamy, promises of marriage and rape.

Source & Full Story

The Allies at Anzio: Rare Photos From WWII’s Italian Campaign

On January 22, 1944, six months after the Allied invasion of Sicily, American and British troops swarmed ashore at Anzio, roughly 30 miles south of Rome.

The brainchild of Winston Churchill and dubbed Operation Shingle, the attack caught German troops stationed along the Italian coast largely by surprise; but after the initial onslaught, the Germans dug in. The next four months saw some of the fiercest, most prolonged fighting in World War II’s European Theater, as the Allies battled German troops for control of the region.

Source & Full Story

21 January 2014

Smithsonian Archives Preserve Lost and Dying Languages

Daryl Baldwin learned about the Smithsonian’s National Anthropological Archives when he was trying to find out more about his Native American heritage and the language of his tribe, the Miami of Oklahoma.

He was 28 and working construction in Ohio when he came across some Miami words his late grandfather had written in his personal papers. Baldwin knew nothing of the language except some ancestral names, but the words piqued his interest. There were no Miami speakers left, but a friend mentioned the archives, an immense hoard of recorded voices, documents and other materials describing more than 250 languages from all over the world.

Source & Full Story

20 January 2014

Museum Uncovers 100-Year-Old Diaries of WWI Soldier But Has No Idea What They Say Because They're Written in Shorthand

Two diaries written by a soldier during the First World War have been unearthed by a museum with curators puzzling about what they could contain because they are written in shorthand. York Castle Museum came across the books in boxes of World War One archive material before Christmas, after they were donated by the East Riding Yeomanry Old Comrades Association.

Curators at the museum are excited about finding the 100 year-old diaries, but are equally frustrated that they cannot understand what they say, as it seems closer to Pitman shorthand than written English.

Source & Full Story

Londonderry, Northern Ireland: Six Brothers and The First World War

Local man David Jenkins has been researching his family history and in the process has uncovered a fascinating tale of bravery, coincidence and tragedy. The story of Samuel, John James, Albert, Austin, Thomas and William Jenkins’ involvement in the ‘Great War’ is one that shows the devastating scale of the First World War and its impact on families throughout Ireland and Britain.

His grandfather, Samuel and five of Samuel’s brothers fought in different regiments and battalions in the war but all six are likely to have witnessed unthinkable horrors as they fought bravely for their country.

Source & Full Story

Lost Child Of The Titanic And The Fraud That Haunted Her Family

It has been described as the Titanic’s last mystery and involves one of the most tragic of all tales connected to the sinking. Loraine Allison, then aged two, had been travelling on the liner with her family when it sank.

Initial reports said that she had died, along with her parents, but no body was ever found. In the years that followed, though, a sensational twist saw a woman, Helen Kramer, come forward claiming to be the child, and apparently able to provide details thought to be known only to the family.

Source & Full Story

Hiroo Onoda, Japanese Soldier Who Spent 29 Years Unaware World War II Had Ended, Dies At Age of 91

Onoda was discovered in March 1974 living secretly in the Philippines island of Lubang. He surrendered when his former commander arrived to confirm the war was really over and reverse his original orders to remain on th eisland as a spy.

Onoda died Thursday at a Tokyo hospital after a brief stay there. Chief government spokesman Yoshihide Suga on Friday expressed his condolences, praising Onoda for his strong will to live and indomitable spirit.

Source & Full Story

Are You Sure That You Don't Have Any Errors In Your Family Tree?

Are you sure that you don't have any errors in your family tree?

No individual whose date of marriage is later than date of death? No woman whose date of death is before the date of birth of their child?

GeneaNet offers Club Privilege members to automatically and instantly check their family tree for errors.

And you may be surprised!

Continue reading...

18 January 2014

GeneaNet Ranks #7 on Top 100 Genealogy Websites for 2014

GenealogyInTime Magazine has released the 2014 list of the Top 100 Genealogy Websites from around the world. The list is the end product of an extensive and exhaustive evaluation of thousands of genealogy websites. It is the most comprehensive list available on the genealogy industry.

GeneaNet ranks #7 (GeneaNet was ranked #8 last year).

We thank all of our members for their support and we will continue to develop tools and services to improve your genealogy research.

Top 100 Genealogy Websites for 2014

17 January 2014

WW1 Soldiers' Writing Unearthed in Somme Tunnels

Archaeologists have uncovered a labyrinth of World War One tunnels left untouched for nearly 100 years and found poems and the signatures from three soldiers from a Cumbrian regiment. But who were those men and what does this find tell us about their experiences?

Under the site of the 1916 Battle of the Somme in northern France lie hundreds of artefacts, including ammunition and discarded food tins. And on the walls are perfectly legible signatures and poems written in pencil.

Source & Full Story

Ireland: New Digital Archives Store Tales of 1916 Rising Volunteers

Details on 3,200 men and women who signed up to fight for Irish freedom have been recorded in a new digital archive as part of centenary commemorations of the foundation of the State.

The first tranche includes more than 10,000 files on members of the Irish Volunteers, Citizen Army, Hibernian Rifles, the Irish Republican Army, Cumann na mBan, Na Fianna Eireann or National Army between 1916 and 1923.

Source & Full Story

British Government Accused of 'Social Engineering' Over WW1 Plans

Ministers have been accused of “social engineering” over their plans to mark the centenary of the First World War, by downplaying the role of Australian and New Zealand soldiers in favour of the contribution from New Commonwealth nations.

Critics claim the government is focusing on black and Asian servicemen from other parts of the British Empire, such as India, as well as Caribbean and West African nations, at the expense of the Anzac forces, along with those from Canada and South Africa. They have accused British ministers of “political correctness” and a “whitewashing” of history.

Source & Full Story

Are You Related to Michelle Obama?

Michelle LaVaughn Robinson was born on January 17, 1964, in Chicago, Illinois, to Fraser Robinson III, a city water plant employee and Democratic precinct captain, and Marian (née Shields), a secretary at Spiegel's catalog store.

Her mother was a full-time homemaker until Michelle entered high school. The Robinson and Shields families can trace their roots to pre-Civil War African Americans in the American South. Specifically, she is descended from the Gullah people of South Carolina's Lowcountry region. Her paternal great-great grandfather, Jim Robinson, was an American slave on Friendfield Plantation in the state of South Carolina, where some of her paternal family still reside.

Michelle Obama's Family Tree

15 January 2014

Genealogy Software Updates of the Week

Families (Legacy Family Tree) for Android 2.0.3 (Mobile - Purchase)

• Support Legacy Family Tree 8.0.

Genota 5.0.2.19 (Organization - Research - Windows - Purchase)

• The issue causing the Research, Correspondence, Documents and People only being recorded when REPORTS > ALL NOTES is selected has been resolved.

MacFamilyTree 7.1.3 (Full Featured - Mac - Purchase)

• Sharing reports using OS X Share Sheets improved.
• Date reformatting issues fixed.
• Crash issue fixed using search in the to do or sources edit section.
• Problem adding associated persons fixed.
• Problem displaying reports on OS X Mavericks 10.9.1 fixed.

The Family Tree of Family for Android 1.9.0 (Mobile - Purchase)

• Updated to Android 4.4.2.

World Family Tree 1.1.0 (Mobile - Purchase)

• Support iOS 7.

New Digitised Newspapers On Trove

The National Library of Australia is pleased to announce the following newspapers which have issues that have been newly added to Digitised newspapers and more on Trove. Many of these newspapers are currently being added to Trove and further issues will become available shortly.

Balmain Observer and Western Suburbs Advertiser (NSW : 1884 - 1907), The Bathurst Daily Argus (NSW : 1909), The Bombala Times (NSW : 1912 - 1938), Bombala Times and Manaro and Coast Districts General Advertiser (NSW : 1899 - 1905), Camden News (NSW : 1895 - 1954), Construction and Real Estate Journal (Sydney, NSW : 1930 - 1938), Dungog Chronicle : Durham and Gloucester Advertiser (NSW : 1894 - 1954), and much more...

Source & Full Story

Tyler, Texas: Site Where Baby's 19th Century Tombstone Was Discovered Was Once a Marble Company

Tyler city officials say historical maps show that a marble company was once located at the site where the parking garage is being built. Therefore, it is very possible that the gravestone found this morning was made by the company but never moved to a grave site.

Self proclaimed history buff and relic hunter Rick Garrett discovered something special. Rodney Kinard, with L&L Asphalt, called him while digging with a track hoe during work on the new parking garage at Elm Street and Broadway Avenue and said he found something Garrett needed to see.

Source & Full Story

Italy’s Melting Glaciers Contain the Preserved Bodies of WWI Soldiers

In one of the strangest consequences of global warming yet, glaciers far north in the Italian Alps are slowly melting to reveal the frozen corpses of soldiers killed during World War I.

How did the ice-preserved bodies get to the small Alpine village of Peio? They were casualties of the White War, an obscure part of WWI. In May 1915, a newly united Italy decided to join the war on the side of the Allies, opening up a front on the northern border of the country which abutted the enemy Hapsburgs, part of the Central Powers.

Source & Full Story

14 January 2014

New Homeowner Removes Baseboard in Her House and Gets a 100-Year-Old Surprise

When you buy an old home, most surprises found inside the walls during a remodel are unwelcome: dead animals, asbestos, knob and tube wiring. The reaction of a Minnesota woman when she popped off a baseboard in her recently purchased 1910 Cape Cod kitchen was no different. Then she took a closer look.

“When I first pulled off the baseboard I thought, ‘ewwww…someone’s nasty stuff is back here,’” Amanda Reddy told. Then, she started pulling out post cards dating back to 1907 and 1909 along with a few other possessions.

Source & Full Story

Revealed: Black Watch Hero's Diaries Provide Eyewitness Account of WWI Attacks on Enemy Lines From France To North Africa and Middle East

A black Watch hero’s World War I diaries were opened for the first time yesterday. Lieutenant Colonel John Stewart, of the 9th Battalion, ordered that his personal memoirs only be revealed in 2014.

When experts at the Black Watch regimental museum in Perth unsealed the records, they discovered bundles of letters and diaries from WW1, giving eyewitness accounts of key battles. Museum archivist Richard McKenzie said it was an exciting find.

Source & Full Story

Diary of First World War Hero To Be Blogged 100 Years After Each Day's Entry Was Written

Private Arthur Linfoot volunteered for the Royal Army Medical Corps when he was 25 in 1915 and kept a diary of his experiences in the trenches of France. His diary, written in Pitman shorthand, chronicled January 1 1914 to December 31 1918 and have been decoded by his 82-year-old son Denis.

Mr Linfoot, from Canterbury in Kent, learnt the old form of shorthand so he could read his father's diaries and spent months looking at the journals.

Source & Full Story

Volunteers Unearth Mass Graves of Russia's Fallen WWII Soldiers

At the close of the Second World War, around 4 million Soviet soldiers were missing in action. Almost all had been killed in battle and their bodies were often left where they had fallen.

Now, teams of volunteers across Russia are working to locate and identify the remains, in the hope that the soldiers' families can finally lay them to rest.

Source & Full Story

Britain's World War I Diaries Go Online

Britain is recruiting an army of amateur historians to sift through more than 1.5 million pages of diaries written by World War I army officers, published online for the first time 100 years after the conflict began.

Spanning the whole of the 1914-18 conflict, the diaries are the official record of the war by British army units - but deeply poignant testimony can be found among the battalions' day-to-day accounts of their movements.

Source & Full Story

Remains of WWII British Soldier Found in Eastern Libya

The remains of what seems to be a british soldier who died during WWII was found near the eastern city of Tobruk by a Libyan family. The remains were found in Al-Ghaara area east of the Tobruk city on Sunday.

The family which found the remains informed the archeological office in Tobruk of the remains which sent experts to the place to investigate the case. Ihab al-Misalati, of the archeological team, told the Solidarity news agency that the remains are believed to be of a British soldier who died during the Second World War.

Source & Full Story

13 January 2014

Old Graveyard Found in New Glen Allen, Virginia, Subdivision

Archeologists found an old graveyard in Henrico's West End, halting construction on a new development in the area. Nearly 2 dozen graves were found on land where some half-million dollar homes are being built in Glen Allen's Stable Hill subdivision off Nuckols and Holman Ridge Roads.

According to circuit court documents, the graveyard has been abandoned for over 50 years. The graves have no markers and the area was overgrown with vegetation.

Source & Full Story

19th Century Cholera Strain From Philadelphia Genetically Sequenced

A deadly cholera outbreak gripped Philadelphia and other metropolises along the Eastern seaboard in early 1849, the second in 20 years.

About 1,000 of the city's residents died as result of infection with the water-borne pathogen that year, a figure that might have been considerably higher were it not for a programme to wash the city's filthy streets with clean reservoir water. Now DNA isolated from the preserved 165-year-old intestine of a victim has yielded a complete genome sequence of the bacterium responsible — the first from a nineteeth-century strain of Vibrio cholerae.

Source & Full Story

Saving Relics, Afghans Defy the Taliban

Every piece of antiquity that is restored to the halls of the bombed, pillaged and now rebuilt National Museum of Afghanistan sends a message of defiance and resilience.

These are messages to the Taliban, who in 2001 smashed every museum artifact that they could find that bore a human or animal likeness. But these are messages for others as well: to the warlords who looted the museum, some of whom are still in positions of power in Afghanistan; to corrupt custodians of the past who stood by while some 70,000 objects walked out the door.

Source & Full Story

Rare Fungus May Have Arrived on WWI Soldiers' Boots

A rare fungus discovered near a former Edinburgh war hospital may have been unwittingly brought to the area by World War One soldiers. The fungi Clavulinopsis cinereoides - rarely seen in Europe - has been spotted for the first time in Scotland.

Ecologist Abbie Patterson made the discovery on a lawn at Napier University's Craiglockhart Campus. She said soldiers' boots may have picked up spores while tramping the fields of Flanders.

Source & Full Story

Death Records of 49,000 Irish in WWI Now Available Online

The Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore says that the digitisation of the records of 49,000 Irish men and women who died in World War I is “making up for lost time”.

The project, undertaken by Google, the In Flanders Fields Museum, Eneclann and the Department of Foreign Affairs sees an attempt made for the first time to make the details of the Irish who died in The Great War available to the public.

Source & Full Story

How To Start Your Family History

So you have decided to start your family history. Good idea!

The first task is to collect basic information about your close family members.

Ask your relatives about names, dates and places, photograph or scan family pictures and papers, and search online databases.

Continue reading...

10 January 2014

Missing Dog Tag of Hudson WWII Vet Found In Italy

Nearly 70 years after Hudson native and World War II decorated veteran Alfred T. Cabral was severely wounded in the Alsace-Lorraine region of France, his dog tag has been found by a man walking on a beach in Nettuno, Italy.

Now residing at Autumn Village in Worcester, the decorated World War II veteran awaits its return to him. A 1943 graduate of Hudson High School, Cabral said he was only 18 years old when he was wounded, and was called "the junior Yankee from Boston" by his fellow soldiers.

Source & Full Story

9 January 2014

Family Discovers Insemination Switch after Tracing Genealogy

A couple who underwent artificial insemination at a Utah clinic finds out the husband's sperm had been switched with someone else's. After a difficult search, the couple discovered who their daughter's biological dad was, that part of the story is even more jaw dropping.

The family who we will call Paula, Jeff and Ashley thought it would be fun to do DNA testing, but when Paula got the results she was shocked, " I felt my stomach just drop," says Paula, who, when she opened the results on her computer found that her husband did not have any DNA matches with the couple's daughter.

Source & Full Story

DNA Shows Irish People Have More Complex Origins Than Previously Thought

Research into Irish DNA and ancestry has revealed close links with Scotland stretching back to before the Ulster Planation of the early 1600s. But the closest relatives to the Irish in DNA terms are actually from somewhere else entirely!

The earliest settlers came to Ireland around 10,000 years ago, in Stone Age times. There are still remnants of their presence scatter across the island. Mountsandel in Coleraine in the North of Ireland is the oldest known site of settlement in Ireland - remains of woven huts, stone tools and food such as berries and hazelnuts were discovered at the site in 1972.

Source & Full Story

Genealogy Software Updates of the Week

Ancestral Author 2.9o (Family Books - Windows - Purchase)

• A new GEDCOM option has been added to control the treatment of CONT text records.
• Increased maximum number of images that can be embedded in the PDF document from 1000 to 5000.
• Added support for the GEDCOM RESI tag. Residence information is now output for each individual in the report.
• Added support for the GEDCOM ADDR tag. Residence, Census, and other GEDCOM attributes will now include address information.
• A bug related to date formats has been fixed.
• Several additional bugs have been fixed.

Families (Legacy Family Tree) for iPhone and iPad 2.0.1 (Mobile - Purchase)

• Bug fixes.

GEDCOM Validator 1.0.10.0 (GEDCOM Tools - Windows - Freeware)

• Improved detection of malformed GEDCOM lines.
• Improved detection and reporting of illegal characters.
• Grammar corrections.

Historypin for iPhone & iPad 2.3 (Mobile - Freeware)

• iOS 7 Compatibility.
• Fixed Login problems.
• Fixed Uploading of photos.

iScrapbook 4.1.0 (Family Pictures - Mac - Purchase)

• Improved printing/exporting so that images only get downsampled once which slightly improves image quality.
• Fixed problem printing/exporting images with special effects applied that would sometimes result in blurry images.

My Family Tree 3.0.10.0 (Full Featured - Windows - Freeware)

• Added support for family sources and restrictions.
• Added support for editing places and addresses in Places view.
• Fixed places list issue.
• Style fixes.

After 68 Years, Daughter of Anne Frank's Classmate Finally Gets Her Chance To Thank the British Officer Who Saved Her Mother From Nazi Concentration Camp

The daughter of a Jewish classmate of Anne Frank rescued from the horrors of Bergen Belsen concentration camp has met the British officer who saved her mother's life. Grateful Elizabeth Kahn, 59, flew to Israel to meet Major Leonard Berney, 93, from Plymouth, Devon, and present him with a special silver platter paid for by the family in recognition of his heroics.

Jewish Leonard, of the British 11th Armoured division, was one of the first army officers through the gates of Belsen when the camp was liberated on April 15, 1945.

Source & Full Story

Are These Bones Victims of the Body Snatchers? Five Skeletons Found Behind Scottish Townhouse May Be Victims of 19th Century Murderers William Hare and William Burke

They were the real-life bogeymen whose murderous trade in bodies for medical research led to their names going down forever in infamy. Now, bones from five skeletons found in a shallow grave behind an upmarket townhouse in Edinburgh are thought to be linked to the period of 'resurrectionists' William Burke and William Hare.

Archaeologists have determined that the five bodies - four adults and one child, which were found in Grove Street in the Haymarket area of the capital - date back to the early 19th century.

Source & Full Story

Franklin County, North Carolina: State-Led Destruction of Town Archives Leaves Historians and Citizens Devastated

Franklin County citizens expressed their frustration and anger during a town hall meeting on Monday over the decision to incinerate newly-discovered town records dating back from the 1840's.

When the documents were discovered in a long-sealed room under the Franklin County Courthouse by a "Clerk of Court" in North Carolina in May, the residents were delighted. Diane Taylor Torrent of the Heritage Society of Franklin County, NC detailed the timeline of events on her must-read Facebook post. She said that "a quick investigation of the records revealed boxes from most every department of the Franklin County government."

Source & Full Story

8 January 2014

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

After the major success of the 3 seasons of the nominated TV-series Allt för Sverige - Great Swedish Adventure (The American title of the show) we are now casting for season 4.

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 “Allt för Sverige”

Click here to apply for the show

National Library of Scotland Announces Retirement of Martyn Wade as National Librarian and Chief Executive

After 11 successful years, Martyn Wade is to retire from his post as National Librarian and Chief Executive of the National Library of Scotland (NLS).

Mr Wade joined NLS, one of Scotland's premier cultural institutions, in 2002 and led a significant period of innovation that widened public access to its world class collections. Mr Wade's tenure has seen many significant developments at NLS.

Source & Full Story

British Red Cross Awarded Grant To Digitise First World War Documents On Volunteering

The charity will recruit 100 volunteers to create an online archive of Voluntary Aid Detachment index cards of civilians who contributed to the war effort.

The British Red Cross has been awarded an £80,000 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund to conserve and digitise historic documents detailing the work of volunteers during the First World War. As part of the project to commemorate the centenary of the war, the BRC will recruit 100 volunteers to create a free and publicly available online archive of 244,000 Voluntary Aid Detachment index cards.

Source & Full Story

7 January 2014

Letter From 1913 That Reveals That Vienna Planned WWI Presented

Plans for the start of the World War I existed 13 months before Sarajevo assassination and 14 months before the Austro-Hungarian declaration of war on Serbia, according to so far hidden letter, which was presented today in Andricgrad by the Director of the Archives of Serbia, Miroslav Perisic.

This letter was sent by the Governor of Bosnia and Herzegovina Oskar Potiorek to the Minister of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy Biliński on May 28 1913, and a copy was presented today in the Department of the History of Kamengrad.

Source & Full Story

6 January 2014

Author of Mystery Letter To Lincoln Identified

The author of a fragmented letter found in a mouse’s nest inside the wall of the Lincoln Home more than 25 years ago has been identified.

Workers repairing the home found part of the mystery letter, as well as other fragments, inside the north kitchen wall. Although stained and damaged by mice, the letter clearly had been sent to the future president in 1846. But by whom? The author of the letter, which has a Quincy dateline of March 10, 1846, has been misidentified at least once.

Source & Full Story

Hidden Canberra Archives Reveals Its Historic Treasures

Thousands of motorists driving through a busy Canberra tunnel each day may be surprised to learn a few metres above is a secret building containing historic treasures.

More than 30 years ago a hidden bunker was constructed above the Parkes Way tunnel on the Australian National University (ANU) campus. ANU archivist Maggie Shapley says the two-storey structure disguised inside the hill includes the Noel Butlin Archives Centre.

Source & Full Story

National Archives of India To Collaborate with Turkey, Oman

The National Archives of India is collaborating with the State Archives of Turkey and National Records and Archives Authority (NRAA) of Oman to access ancient documents, and work towards the digitisation of records, said an official statement Friday.

NAI director general V. Srinivas had met Ugur Unal, director general, State Archives of Turkey in Istanbul Jan 2, and NRAA's chairman Hamad Mohd Al Dhawiani in Muscat in December 2013.

Source & Full Story

Are You Related to Phil Everly?

Phil Everly, one half of the rock and country duo the Everly Brothers, has died Jan. 3, in California at the age of 74.

He was born on January 19, 1939 in Chicago, Illinois. Don and Phil father, Ike Everly, was a musician and had a show on KMA and KFNF in Shenandoah, Iowa, in the 1940s, with his wife Margaret and two young sons. Singing on the show gave the brothers their first exposure to the music industry. The family sang together and lived and traveled in the area singing as the Everly Family.

Phil Everly's Family Tree

Top 10 GeneaNet Blog Posts of 2013

GeneaNet wish you a Happy New Year!

2013 has gone by. It was a great year for genealogy and for GeneaNet.

In its 17th year, GeneaNet has evolved to help genealogists with their family history research, to provide more effective tools and to reach as many people as possible.

As we look towards the new year, let's take a moment to have a look to the top 10 GeneaNet blog posts of 2013.

Continue reading...

4 January 2014

Are You Related to Patty Loveless?

Patty Lee Ramey was born on January 4, 1957, the sixth of seven children to John and Naomie Ramey outside of Pikeville, Kentucky. Although born in Pikeville, the family lived in Elkhorn City, Kentucky where her father was a coal miner.

Patty Ramey's interest in music started when she was a young child. In 1969, when she was twelve, the Ramey family moved to Louisville, Kentucky in search of medical care for John Ramey, who was afflicted with "Black Lung Disease" (Coalworker's pneumoconiosis).

Patty Loveless's Family Tree

3 January 2014

Son Fits QR Code on War Hero Father's Gravestone

A son has fitted a barcode on his war hero father's gravestone in Bridgend so that visitors can learn about his life. The QR (quick response) code can be scanned using smart phones to access a webpage about Charles Davies.

The former merchant seaman, who died last year aged 91, took part in the Arctic convoys during WW2. Known as the "journey to hell", more than 3,000 men died on the convoys which took supplies to the Soviet Union from 1941 to 1945.

Source & Full Story

Over 150 Records Open To the Public For the First Time at Jersey Archive

On 1st January 2014 Jersey Heritage opened over 150 new records to the public for the first time. The records have been closed to public access for periods of 30, 75 and 100 years and include admission registers from the General Hospital and details of individuals applying to become medical practitioners prior to the Second World War.

The records are all stored at the Jersey Archive and are now freely available for members of the public to consult.

Source & Full Story

Ohio’s Libraries Creating ‘Digitization Hubs’ To Preserve Historical Materials

The Columbus Metropolitan Library has landed $188,219 in federal and state grants to buy equipment for a statewide effort creating a network of “Digitization Hubs” to preserve historical materials.

The money is coming from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, a federal agency that distributes funding to libraries nationwide. It’s sending $760,421 to Ohio to upgrade digitization equipment and software at the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County, the Toledo-Lucas County Public Library, the Cleveland Public Library and Columbus Metropolitan Library, according to a press release.

Source & Full Story

2 January 2014

Genealogy Software Updates of the Week

Agelong Tree 4.7 (Full Featured - Windows - Shareware)

• Multi-coloured lines (optional) if there are many parallel lines in the tree.
• Text wrapping a photo is optional now.
• A new tree Compact style is available.
• There are shortcut keys for each tree style.
• All events connected with a place can be shown in Information about the place.
• Life dates of family members are shown in lineage lists.
• Bug fixes.

Brother's Keeper 6.6.13 (Full Featured - Windows - Purchase)

• Fixed a problem that started 2 weeks ago with Gedcom Import of notes. It was making blank lines in the grid, or causing an error message.

Families (Legacy Family Tree) for Android 2.0.2 (Applications pour mobiles - Mobile - Purchase)

• Support Legacy Family Tree 8.0.

Families (Legacy Family Tree) for iPhone and iPad 2.0.0 (Mobile - Purchase)

• Support iOS7.
• Support Legacy Family Tree 8.0.

Family Get-To-Gether 1.1.8 (Mobile - Purchase)

• A new 'Log' page is added to list all changes.
• Italian language is added.
• Miscellaneous quality enhancements.

Genota 5 (Organization - Research - Windows - Purchase)

New features:

• Support for Legacy versions 3 through 8.
• New interface.
• New transcription module which will assist users in extracting information from documents, especially with the ability to automatically extract text from PDF files.
• Multiple Notes cam be opened at once to enable comparative analysis of content, or to simply cut and paste information between them.

iScrapbook 4.0.9 (Family Pictures - Mac - Purchase)

• Fixed problem that could sometimes cause images to appear blurry on screen and when printed/exported.

GeneaNet wish you a Happy New Year!

We wish you a Happy New Year!

Many thanks to all of you for supporting GeneaNet!

Now, it's time to set some genealogy goals for the upcoming year and we hope that 2014 will bring you many new ancestors and lost relatives!