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Genealogy Blog

31 March 2014

1 in 4 Indians Believe India Fought Against UK in WWI

Over 1 in 4 Indians believe India was fighting the British and against the UK in the First World War.

As part of its commemoration to mark 100 years of the war, the British Council commissioned YouGov to carry out a survey among the adult populations of Egypt, France, Germany, India, Russia, Turkey and the UK to gauge their knowledge surrounding the war.

Source & Full Story

London Skeletons Reveal Secrets of the Black Death

Analysis of twenty-five skeletons uncovered in London’s Charterhouse Square during Crossrail’s construction works in March 2013 have provided evidence of the location of the second Black Death burial ground. It was established in 1348 to take the growing number of dead and is referenced in historical records as being located in what is now modern day Farringdon.

Due to the burial ground’s historical importance to London, exceptional levels of research analysis were carried out on the skeletons to understand the life and death of the inhabitants affected by the Black Death in the 14th and 15th centuries.

Source & Full Story

A Treasure Trove of Silent American Movies Found in Amsterdam

Long-missing comedy shorts such as 1927’s “Mickey’s Circus,” featuring a 6-year-old Mickey Rooney in his first starring role, 1917's "Neptune's Naughty Daughter"; 1925’s “Fifty Million Years Ago,” an animated introduction to the theory of evolution; and a 1924 industrial short, “The Last Word in Chickens,” are among the American silent films recently found at the EYE Filmmusem in Amsterdam.

EYE and the San Francisco-based National Film Preservation Foundation have partnered to repatriate and preserve these films -- the majority either don’t exist in the U.S. or only in inferior prints.

Source & Full Story

Hungarian WWI Soldiers Heroes, Not Only Victims, Says Defence Minister

Hungarian soldiers who fell in World War I were not only victims, but heroes as well, the Hungarian defence minister said in western Hungary on Sunday, at a commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of the war.

The example of these of our heroes, their personal sacrifice as well as their loyalty, are also part of a decision taken in a referendum later in 1923 by the locals in Narda expressing their wish to belong to Hungary, said Csaba Hende in the village located on the border with Austria.

Source & Full Story

Fury Over the National Geographic Channel Historians Digging Up Second World War Graves

For more than a century it has shown its readers exotic locations and revealed exciting cultures. But National Geographic is under attack from archaeologists for a forthcoming series on its television channel about excavating war graves on the Eastern Front from the Second World War.

Called ‘Nazi War Diggers’, the programme is due to be screened in the UK on May 13, and is billed as ‘three war diggers racing against time to save this history from being looted or lost’.

Source & Full Story

28 March 2014

Library and Archives Canada (LAC) Is Launching a Photo Set of Alberta Residential Schools

Library and Archives Canada (LAC) is launching a single portal to provide access to photos related to Residential Schools, taken between 1885 and 1996. Some 150,000 Aboriginal children attended over 130 residential schools located across the country.

The first set of published photos comprises about 65 images associated with the Residential Schools of Alberta. LAC will add photos for the other provinces and territories as they become available. The Residential Schools Photos page will make it easy to select the province or territory of your choice, and save or print the images you wish to view.

Source & Full Story

Richard III Expert: The Skeleton in the Car Park May Not Be the Missing Monarch After All

Such was the certainty with which a twisted skeleton found in a Leicester car park was identified last year as the remains of Richard III that a High Court battle is being fought over the right to decide where to bury the fallen monarch.

But confirmation “beyond reasonable doubt” that the hunchbacked king demonised by Shakespeare was found has been challenged by two leading academics, who claim there can be no confidence that the bones belong to Richard. They suggest an inquest-type hearing should now be held to examine the evidence.

Source & Full Story

Treasures of Family Histories at National Archives Center in Lower Manhattan

After visiting the National Archives and Records Administration in Lower Manhattan, an Italian couple found out that the husband’s grandfather returned to Italy after his arrival in America, so he could get married and bring his wife back to the states.

Volunteer Heather Morrison helped the couple by finding the ship manifests and photos for the trips that Angelo, the man’s grandfather, took between Italy and America. They found that he came alone on the first trip and came back with a wife on the second.

Source & Full Story

Long Lost Burial Chamber Uncovered in St Mary's Graveyard in Hinckley, England

Workmen tackling a leak in the churchyard of St Mary’s uncovered a long lost burial chamber containing human remains.

Two Severn Trent workers were tackling the burst beneath a footpath in the Hinckley graveyard last Thursday morning when they stumbled upon a small brick-lined room under the ground full of water - and when they pumped the hidden chamber dry, they found it contained bones and skulls from multiple bodies.

Source & Full Story

27 March 2014

Genealogy Software Updates of the Week

Branches 1.2.3.5 (Full Featured - Windows - Purchase)

• Corrected a problem in the header portion of an exported GEDCOM file.

Genealone 1.1.1 (Web Publishing - Windows, Mac, Linux - Purchase)

• Several minor bugs fixed.
• Several design improvements.
• French translation improved.
• New background image option.
• New gallery options.
• New custom CSS option.

MobileFamilyTree 7.1 (Mobile - Purchase)

• Completely new iOS 7 inspired user interface.
• AirPlay Video support.
• Completely new Interactive Tree.
• Improved data entry.
• Statistic Maps.
• Mark Persons, Events, Families or Sources as private.
• Exclude private information from charts, reports and GEDCOM export.
• FamilySearch improvements.

DNA Traces Relatives of Cpl Francis Carr Dyson Back to David Dyson of Minster of Sheppey

A 100-year-old First World War mystery has been solved with the help of a Minster man’s DNA. David Dyson was notified last week that his second cousin, Cpl Francis Carr Dyson, is one of 15 soldiers whose remains were discovered during construction work near the French village of Beaucamps-Ligny five years ago.

DNA samples provided by surviving relatives led to 10 of them being formally identified at a meeting at Endcliffe Hall in Sheffield.

Source & Full Story

Historic Gravestones Found Discarded in Frisco Dumpster

The Dare County Sheriff’s Office is asking for the public’s help to identify the person or persons who may have discarded several gravestones into a dumpster in the Frisco area. The Sheriff’s Office says they received a report of the discarded gravestones on March 21st.

The gravestones date from the late 1800s and early 1900s and had been broken into many pieces. Authorities are looking for any information as to who the grave stones belong to or where their graves may be located.

Source & Full Story

Are You Related to Mariah Carey?

Mariah Carey was born on March 27, 1969 or 1970, on Long Island, in Huntington, New York. Her father, Alfred Roy, was of African American and Venezuelan (including Afro-Venezuelan) descent, while her mother, Patricia (née Hickey), is of white Irish descent.

The last name Carey was the product of a name-change by her Venezuelan grandfather, Francisco Nuñez, after emigrating to New York. Patricia's father died while she was young; however, she inherited his passion for music.

Mariah Carey's Family Tree

26 March 2014

Project To Digitize Library Archives of India

National Library is tying up with British Library for a unique digitization project. The two heritage institutions will digitize, archive and exchange surrogate copies of early Bengali printed material dating from 1778 till 1914. Roly Keating, chief executive of British Library, is currently in the city "shaping the ambitious project and defining its first phase".

Talking to TOI, 18 months after taking charge of the world's second largest library and helping it reinvent itself, Keating said, "A digitization programme between the two libraries has been on the cards since 2011.

Source & Full Story

25 March 2014

Photos of Slave Descendants Donated To Smithsonian

A "time capsule" of photographs documenting the descendants of slaves on a long-isolated island off the South Carolina-Georgia coast will have a new home at the Smithsonian's African-American history museum.

Bank of America, which has a vast art collection it lends to museums, donated a collection of 61 photographs by Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe, the wife of the late tennis player Arthur Ashe, to the museum on Monday. Officials tell The Associated Press the bank will also give $1 million to help build the $500 million museum. This is the bank's second $1 million donation.

Source & Full Story

Dustman Saves 5,000 Rare First World War Photos From Rubbish Dumps

A former dustman has amassed one of the Britain's best collections of First World War photographs after spending decades rescuing them from rubbish tips and bins. Bob Smethurst spent 36 years working as a refuse collector and began saving the remarkable pictures during the 1970s.

He believes as soldiers from the conflict grew old and passed away a lot of their remarkable pictures and memorabilia was often thrown out especially in the 1970s and 1980s.

Source & Full Story

24 March 2014

French Say First Australian To Die in WWI Was Sydney’s Lieutenant William Malcolm Chisholm

French authorities believe they have identified the first Australian to have died during World War I as they prepare to honour the sacrifice made by the then “young nation” from the other side of the world.

The Australian War Memorial has long listed the first Australian fatalities of the Great War as being sailors from the Australian Navy and Military Expeditionary Force during the landing on German New Guinea in September 1914.

Source & Full Story

Soldiers Killed During WW1 Named Via DNA From Relatives

Ten soldiers who died in World War One and whose bodies were found in France five years ago have been named after DNA analysis of samples from relatives. Since the discovery of the bodies in 2009 the Ministry of Defence (MoD) has been tracking down potential relatives in the hope of identifying them.

The remains were spotted during construction work near the French village of Beaucamps-Ligny. They were found alongside five other bodies which are yet to be named.

Source & Full Story

Book Scanner Preserves Volumes of History in Pittston, Pennsylvania

Pittston's history being preserved for digital access. With the push of a foot pedal and the click of two digital cameras, Mike Lizonitz can preserve Pittston City Council minutes from the early 20th century. "So many people are going to be excited by this," he said.

He takes books of handwritten meeting minutes, tax assessments and all of the written records of the city to his Hughestown home and places them on the steel and aluminum book scanner in his basement.

Source & Full Story

UAS Mapping of Cemeteries in the Czech Republic

The largest Czech unmanned aerial systems (UAS) company, UPVISION, in cooperation with Brno City Hall (the second largest city in the Czech Republic), conducted a project to capture images of adjacent cemeteries and integrate the data into a GIS system for the administrators of city cemeteries.

For this project, unmanned aerial vehicles were used to create high-resolution orthophotos and the subsequent vectorization of grave sites with the possibility of adding raster data (orthophotos) as well.

Source & Full Story

Upload Family Pictures to your Geneanet Family Tree

If you have family pictures, you can easily upload them to your Geneanet family tree.

1. Click the box of a person in your family tree,
2. Click "Add Family Picture" in the menu bar at the top of the screen,
3. Select the image file in your personal computer,
4. Click "Submit".

If you have pictures with multiple people, type in the name of all the persons and the picture will be automatically added to each of them.


>>> VIEW AND EDIT YOUR FAMILY TREE <<<

21 March 2014

Historic Taiwan Feminist Archive Moves To TKU

New Taipei City-based Tamkang University’s Chueh-sheng Memorial Library signed an agreement March 17 to take over the archive of the Awakening Foundation, a pioneering Taiwan women’s rights nonprofit organization.

The foundation’s digital archive and the hard copies of the books, journals, magazines and other materials collected over more than 30 years, which systematically document the progress of the women’s rights movement in Taiwan, will be transferred to the university and made available for public viewing.

Source & Full Story

Island in the Pacific Is Home to Countless WWII Relics

The small island of Mili in the southeast corner of the Marshall Islands is now populated by only 300 people, and was once under Japanese Imperial Army control during World War II. Time has passed but the artifacts of war remain and make the island a virtual military museum with remains of the past still to be discovered.

The locals have made use of some of the artifacts in their everyday lives. Anet Maun, pounds dried panadanus leaves with an old projectile. Maun uses the leaves for weaving and said, “This works really well and gets the work done much faster. The leaves flatten very nicely.”

Source & Full Story

Vatican To Digitize Ancient Archives and Put Them Online

The Vatican library began a project on Thursday to digitize thousands of historical manuscripts, dating from the origins of the Church to the 20th century, and make them available online.

Working with the Japanese technology group NTT Data, the library intends to scan and digitally archive about 1.5 million pages from the library's collection of manuscripts, which comprises some 82,000 items and 41 million pages. The initial project will take four years and may be extended.

Source & Full Story

Armenia’s National Archives to Compile List of Genocide Victims

The Armenian National Archive will compile a list of the names of Armenian Genocide victims, director Amatuni Virabyan told the press on Thursday.

“The Jewish people have collected the names of six million victims and three million photos. In our case the number will be small, as the initiative is too belated,” Director of the National Archive Amatuni Virabyan told reporters today. The National Archive is also preparing to publish a book in Russian titled “The Participation of Armenians in the First World War,” which will most probably be released in Moscow.

Source & Full Story

19th Century Convict Graves Found Near Portsmouth, England

The bodies of four 19th century prisoners have been rescued off the coast of Portsmouth. A team of soldiers injured in Afghanistan, working on the foreshore of an area known as Burrow Island, responded to an emergency call when a member of the public alerted police to human remains exposed by severe weather conditions.

Better known locally as Rat Island, the site has not been used by the armed forces for more than 40 years, despite its position near Her Majesty's Naval Base and the mighty warships of HMS Victory and HMS Excellent.

Source & Full Story

20 March 2014

The Mysterious Genealogy of Russian President Putin

Russian president Vladimir Putin was a mystery almost for everyone during the moment of his election. He seemed to be a man with no past, inspired with the symbol of the new epoch, but deprived of historic roots. The research, which was conducted by journalists from the Russian city of Tver, became a sensation. As it became known, the parents of the Russian president came from the Kalininsky area of the Tver region.

The president’s family tree is not traced after Putin’s grandfather Spiridon Putin, who left the Tver governor for St.Petersburg at the age of 15. Vladimir Putin’s grandfather was a serious, reserved man of immaculate honesty. Spiridon Putin became a good cook.

Source & Full Story

Genealogy Software Updates of the Week

Europeana Open Culture 2.0 (Mobile - Freeware)

• Supports image download.
• Automatic query and result translation.
• In-theme filters to narrow down search results.
• Continuously refreshed scrolling.
• Improved object display and interaction.
• New sharing option: Pinterest.

Genealone 1.1 (Web Publishing - Windows, Mac, Linux - Purchase)

• New: Relationship calculator.
• New: Global timeline.
• New: Graphical logo.
• New: Any document can be uploaded and linked with persons.
• New: Contact form.
• New: Several webmaster tools including Google Analytics.

LiveHistory 1.2.1 (Mobile - Purchase)

• Solved an issue with the "Done" button experienced by some users.

The Complete Genealogy Reporter 2014 build 140318 (Family Books - Windows - Shareware)

• Fixed: Unexpected program error could occur when creating an Associated Individuals section of the report.

Stanford Libraries Online Archive Expands Access to French Revolution Treasures

Participants, spectators and critics produced scores of historical documents during the French Revolution. These items are now available in the French Revolution Digital Archive, a digital collection recently released by Stanford Libraries.

FRDA brings together two foundational sources for French Revolution research: the Archives parlementaires, a day-to-day record of parliamentary debates and discussions held between 1789 and 1794, and Images de la Révolution française, a vast visual corpus from the collections of the Bibliothèque nationale de France.

Source & Full Story

Are You Related to Spike Lee?

Spike Lee was born on March 20, 1957 in Atlanta, Georgia, the son of Jacqueline Carroll (née Shelton), a teacher of arts and black literature, and William James Edward Lee III, a jazz musician and composer. When he was a child, the family moved to Brooklyn, New York. During his childhood, his mother nicknamed him "Spike." In Brooklyn, he attended John Dewey High School.

Lee enrolled in Morehouse College, a historically black college, where he made his first student film, Last Hustle in Brooklyn. He took film courses at Clark Atlanta University and graduated with a B.A. in Mass Communication from Morehouse.

Spike Lee's Family Tree

19 March 2014

Historian Travels from Australia To Visit Abandoned Horton Cemetery, in Epsom, England

A woman exploring the death of her grandfather travelled across the world from Australia to visit an abandoned cemetery where he is buried. Kath Ensor, 63, who lives in Melbourne, visited Epsom, towards the end of last year, to pay her respects at Horton Cemetery, off Hook Road.

The cemetery contains 8,000 bodies of those who died at Horton Hospital and others in the Epsom cluster of mental hospitals, which closed in the 1990s. Horton was a war hospital during the World Wars and a number of soldiers are believed to be among the dead in its overgrown and uncared for cemetery.

Source & Full Story

Charlotte, North Carolina: City Hopes To Preserve Slave Cemetery Uncovered in South End

Just outside the edge of construction and brand new apartment complexes, a slave cemetery was rediscovered in South End.

Over the weekend, volunteers filled black trash bags with brush and debris they cleared from the site at the corner of Youngblood Street and Remount Road. Charlotte's code enforcement first got a call about the overgrown lot in the fall. Southwest Service Area Code Leader Eugene Bradley said their first step was to try to find the property owner.

Source & Full Story

18 March 2014

Good News for Fans of Medieval Maps at the British Library

A new British Library collaboration called the Virtual Mappa project is well under way, using digital images of a selection of medieval world maps - mappaemundi - and some excellent new annotation software (more on that at a later date).

High-resolution images of these maps will be available online for public use, with transcribed and translated text, notes, links to outside resources and other tools for understanding these marvellous mappaemundi. I'm the BL intern charged with annotating the maps and organising all this extra data.

Source & Full Story

Last Casualties of the Korean War: Burial for the 400 Chinese Soldiers Found in Peninsula Who Were Part of Massive and Ill-Equipped Red Army

The remains of over 400 Red Army soldiers who fought and died in the Korean War will finally be returned to China for burial - 60 years after the end of the conflict. These extraordinary pictures show Chinese government officials observing the remains of 437 Chinese soldiers at a cemetery in Paju, South Korea - all of whom were killed in the Korean War.

Communist China sent troops to fight alongside North Korean soldiers during the 1950-53 conflict - which was the primary result of the political division of the country following the Second World War.

Source & Full Story

17 March 2014

England: Northampton Project Angel Reveals Town's Medieval Past

Three "star finds" have been discovered by archaeologists at a dig on the site for Northamptonshire County Council's forthcoming new £43m headquarters. The excavation in Fetter Street, Northampton, has revealed the remains of a medieval bread oven, an early 13th Century well shaft and trading tokens.

Jim Brown, from the Museum of London Archaeology, said the 12th Century oven suggested "a settlement nearby". Excavation on the 1,400 sq m site continues until the end of August.

Source & Full Story

Auschwitz Acquires Stamps Used To Tattoo Prisoners

Rare metal stamps used by the Nazis to tattoo prisoners at the infamous Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp have surfaced in Poland. A donor insisting on anonymity handed over the stamps to the memorial museum at the site of the World War II-era camp in Oswiecim, southern Poland.

"We obtained the stamps a couple of weeks ago and have confirmed their authenticity," Bartosz Bartyzel, a spokesman for the museum, told AFP on Thursday. "There are five stamps including one zero, two threes and two sixes or nines," he said, adding that Auschwitz was the only Nazi German camp to use tattoos to identify prisoners.

Source & Full Story

Man Finds Letters from a WWI Soldier Under His Bertmount Ave. Porch in Leslieville, Canada

On a cold Saturday in France a few days before Christmas, Leslie George Currell wrote a letter home to his sister, Gertrude, on Bertmount Ave. in Toronto. It was a cold winter in 1917, the frost on the trees an inch thick, the ground coated with snow.

“I can hardly realize that Tuesday is Xmas,” wrote the 24-year-old private in the Canadian Expeditionary Force fighting in World War I. “We were just talking about it today, the ground was white with snow but still it did not seem like the time of year it is. I presume you are all busy getting ready for it, tonight. I would like to be home for the day.”

Source & Full Story

German Soldier's Kindness Denied Tommy War Grave

A dying soldier's last wish for a photo he was found holding to be returned to his family was fulfilled by the German who killed him, as personal stories marking the centenary of World War One emerge.

Sergeant Percy Buck clutched the black and white photo of his wife Bertha and young son Cyril as he lay fatally wounded in a shell hole on the Western Front in 1917. On the back, he had written his address and asked for whoever found the photo to post it to his loved ones in the event of his death.

Source & Full Story

Scottish Hero of Great War Buried with Honours After 98 Years

Private William McAleer died amid the choking poison gas, screams and machine-gun fire of the Battle of Loos on September 26, 1915. But only yesterday, 98 years later, he was finally laid to rest with full military honours in a Commonwealth War Graves Commission Cemetery.

Private McAleer, aged just 22, was one of nearly 60,000 British and Commonwealth soldiers who fell during the battle in northern France. The Royal Scottish Fusilier’s body was placed in a forgotten mass grave.

Source & Full Story

How To Export a GEDCOM File from your Personal Genealogy Software?

Already have your family tree in a personal genealogy software? No need to build it from scratch on Geneanet! Just export a GEDCOM file from your genealogy software and import it to Geneanet.

GEDCOM (an acronym standing for GEnealogical Data COMmunication) is a specification for exchanging genealogical data between different genealogy software. It was developed by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church).

Most genealogy software supports importing from and/or exporting to GEDCOM format. Here are some screenshots to explain how to export a GEDCOM file from your genealogy software.

Continue reading...

15 March 2014

Glenn Edward McDuffie, Who Long Claimed To Be Sailor in Iconic Times Square 'Kiss' Photo at End of WWII, Dies

The Texas man who made headlines for his repeated claims to being the sailor who randomly kissed a woman in Times Square, leading to one of the most iconic photographic images of World War II, has died.

Glenn Edward McDuffie passed away at age 86 on Sunday in Texas after suffering a heart attack at a casino earlier in the day, his daughter told the Daily News. McDuffie claimed for years he was the strapping sailor who planted one on the lips of the swooning woman on August 14, 1945. He said it was a spontaneous act of unbridled euphoria sparked by the announcement of Japan’s surrender.

Source & Full Story

Are You Related to Eva Longoria?

Eva Jacqueline Longoria was born on March 15, 1975 in Corpus Christi, Texas, the youngest of four daughters born to Tejano parents, Enrique Longoria, Jr. and Ella Eva Mireles. Her mother was a special education teacher and her father was in the Army. She was raised Roman Catholic. She worked at a Wendy's restaurant for three years while in high school.

Longoria received her Bachelor of Science degree in kinesiology at nearby Texas A&M University-Kingsville. During this time, she won the title of Miss Corpus Christi, USA in 1998.

Eva Longoria's Family Tree

14 March 2014

Australia's First Banknote Uncovered in Scotland Goes Under Hammer

The only known specimen of the first official banknote issued in Australia, uncovered in Scotland, is expected to fetch at least Aus$250,000 (US$224,000) at an auction in Sydney this month, officials said Wednesday.

The ten shilling note, issued on the order of New South Wales governor Lachlan Macquarie in 1817 by the Bank of New South Wales (now called Westpac) on the day it opened, is expected to attract bids from collectors around the world.

Source & Full Story

Richard III: Does It Matter Where He Is Buried?

King Richard III's distant relatives hope to win another stage of their legal battle over his burial place this week. If they win, the dispute is set to last longer than his actual reign. Why has the argument gone on so long and are we at risk of getting bored?

Few monarchs have fascinated the public as much as Richard, whose battle-scarred remains were exhumed from beneath a Leicester car park almost 19 months ago. At 26 months, he had one of the shortest reigns in English history, ending when he was killed at the Battle of Bosworth in 1485.

Source & Full Story

13 March 2014

Genealogy Software Updates of the Week

Brother's Keeper 6.6.15 (Full Featured - Windows - Purchase)

• (changed) Added 'legal name change' to: Utilities, global event sort.
• (fixed) Fixed some problems when jumping from Family Edit back to Edit.
• (changed) Custom Lists will make default BK number column width 7 if database is over 1 million names.
• (fixed) Custom Lists were only printing 30 characters for Ref Number even if it was longer.
• (new items or items fixed by 6.6.14 are below).
• (fixed) Descendant report, when printing 'children of' it now will remove [ ] from names.
• (fixed) Gedcom import would sometimes give error 'input past end of file' reading some FTM gedcom files.

LiveHistory 1.2 (Mobile - Purchase)

• Enhanced Person Index search: name, year-of-interest, max age, min age, gender (m/f/u).
• Selectable Index views: by name, by birth/naming date, by birthday (month & day).
• Visual updates, iOS 7 enhancements.

LTools 1.3.40 (Other Tools - Windows - Freeware)

• Get estimated birth date from children in 'Advanced Set Living++'. Fixed. • Error in 'View Legacy Tables'. Fixed. • LTools tries to open last used database when in 'reminder' mode. Fixed.

MacFamilyTree 7.1.5 (Full Featured - Mac - Purchase)

• Fixed an issue where MacFamilyTree appeared to be hanging while creating an automatic backup.

World Digital Library Collection Grows To 10,000 Items with Manuscripts from Baltimore Museum

The World Digital Library led by the Library of Congress is reaching a milestone of 10,000 items with the addition of ancient manuscripts from the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore.

Officials say Thursday that the World Digital Library now holds more than 10,000 digitized manuscripts, maps, books, prints, photographs, films, sound recordings and other cultural items. The growing collection is a collaborative project that includes contributions from 102 institutions in 46 different countries.

Source & Full Story

WWI Diaries Tell How Dummy Troops Fooled the Germans

As shells rained down on No Man’s Land and poisonous gas swirled into the trenches, a company of British soldiers stood firm. They were the timber Tommies of the First World War and they proved a vital tool in the battle to keep the Germans guessing.

The wooden cut-outs made to resemble live soldiers on the move were positioned above the trenches to trick the enemy into concentrating their defences in one area, or provoking them to open fire while an attack was launched from another direction.

Source & Full Story

U.S. National Archives Plans Closure of Alaska Facility

The National Archives and Records Administration plans to close its facility in Anchorage this year, and aims to move the millions of pages of documents housed there to Seattle.

The closure, expected to be announced Tuesday, comes as part of a cost-cutting effort that the agency says will save more than $1 million annually, and includes consolidating other facilities in Philadelphia and Fort Worth, Tex.

Source & Full Story

12 March 2014

WW1 German Soldier Recalls Moment He Bayoneted Foe To Death

The German Army of the Kaiser consisted of 800,000 conscripts. There were hardly any professional soldiers. Amongst these 800,000 men they had ten thousand who were called One Year’s Volunteers. That means mostly students and men with higher certification of education.

The medical students had to serve only for half a year with the Infantry. And then, after they were qualified the next half year as doctors, as Medical Officers.

Source & Full Story

Ancient Egyptian Soldier's Letter Deciphered After 1,800 Years

A newly deciphered letter home dating back around 1,800 years reveals the pleas of a young Egyptian soldier named Aurelius Polion who was serving, probably as a volunteer, in a Roman legion in Europe. In the letter, written mainly in Greek, Polion tells his family that he is desperate to hear from them and that he is going to request leave to make the long journey home to see them.

Addressed to his mother (a bread seller), sister and brother, part of it reads: "I pray that you are in good health night and day, and I always make obeisance before all the gods on your behalf. I do not cease writing to you, but you do not have me in mind," it reads.

Source & Full Story

British National Archives Puts First World War Diaries Online with MongoDB

MongoDB's open source document database has helped various archives and data systems to digitize Britian's history including The National Archives First World War diaries. The documents have now been made available digitally to the public through The National Archives' Discovery Platform allowing more people to explore the diaries.

The archive scales to many terabytes of data and will continue to grow as more is digitized and made available to the public. MongoDB's built-in horizontal scalability enables the Platform to scale to meet these demands and uses the rich querying capability of the database for search and filtering.

Source & Full Story

11 March 2014

Fire Damages 500 Headstones at Chattanooga (Tennessee) Cemetery

For the second time this year, a fire has damaged hundreds of headstones at the Chattanooga National Cemetery. Fire officials told WRCB-TV that they were called to a report of a grass fire Sunday morning and arrive to find heavy smoke.

Windy conditions fueled-the 1-acre blaze, which was quickly put out. Despite firefighters' efforts, about 500 headstones at the cemetery were damaged. A 5-acre grass fire in January damaged about 1,800 headstones at the cemetery.

Source & Full Story

Tennessee Archivists To Record Civil War Artifacts in Cleveland

State archivists will be on hand this week at the Museum Center at Five Points to digitally record Civil War memorabilia presented by local residents.

"The Civil War was a major event in our state's history, so we need to take appropriate steps to make sure these treasures are properly preserved for future generations," Secretary of State Tre Hargett said in a recent announcement.

Source & Full Story

10 March 2014

How Germany Was Crucified in the First World War: Hidden for 100 Years, the Astonishing Photos by 16-Year-Old Soldier Shows How his Brothers-in-Arms Would Forever Be Haunted by the Spectre of Defeat

They lay forgotten in a dank cellar for almost a century. But these remarkable photos, published for the first time, give a rare and uncensored view of the horrors of the First World War from behind enemy lines.

They were taken by Walter Kleinfeldt who joined a German gun crew in 1915 and fought at the Somme aged just 16. As his haunting pictures, taken with a Contessa camera, make all too clear, life in the trenches was a harrowing experience. The images provide an insight into the epic machinery of war – and capture the darkest moments of battle, with bodies strewn among the rubble.

Source & Full Story

Rediscovered Trenches Bring World War I To Life in England

Two lines of trenches face off across No Man's Land. A soldier marches, rifle in hand, along a ditch. These are instantly familiar images of World War I - but this is Britain, a century on and an English Channel away from the battlefields of the Western Front.

This overgrown and oddly corrugated patch of heathland on England's south coast was once a practice battlefield, complete with trenches, weapons and barbed wire. Thousands of troops trained here to take on the German army.

Source & Full Story

The Forgotten Indian Soldiers of WWI’s European Battlefields

Thousands of kilometres from home, on First World War battlefield in France, an Indian soldier composed a letter. “There is no telling whether the war will be over in two years or in three, for in one hour 10,000 men are killed. What more can I write?”

His name, like the names of so many other Indian soldiers on those battlefields, has disappeared from public memory. But his despondency, amid a war that he was dragged into, survived in his letter.

Source & Full Story

Unmarked Graveyard Unearths Mississippi's Past

Amid a grove of trees, buried beneath the grass and dirt, Mississippi's past is colliding with its future. Surveyors last month discovered dozens of neat, tight rows of coffins just feet below the ground at the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson.

Sure, there were stories that there was a cemetery somewhere on the grounds of the medical center that today sits where the Mississippi State Lunatic Asylum once stood.

Source & Full Story

Geneanet Club Privilege Pricing Is Changing

Geneanet Club Privilege pricing changes will take effect on March 19, 2014: 1-year membership will go to 45.00 Euros and 2-year membership will go to 82.00 Euros.

13 years after its launch, the Club Privilege pricing is changing so Geneanet can pursue its mission of helping genealogists.

Since its founding, Geneanet offers a free service which allow genealogists to share their family tree. Information provided by the Geneanet members are free for everyone. This free-of-charge service has a cost for the Geneanet growing organization. Since 2001, this cost is almost entirely borne by the Club Privilege members.

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Are You Related to Edie Brickell?

Brickell was born on March 10, 1966, in Oak Cliff, Dallas, Texas. She attended high school at the Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts in Dallas. She attended Southern Methodist University until she joined a band and could no longer focus on anything but songwriting.

Her father, Eddie Brickell, "the Fort Worth Southpaw", was inducted into the Texas State Bowling Association Hall of Fame in 1988.

Edie Brickell's Family Tree

7 March 2014

6 Jewish Gravestones Vandalized in Polish Cemetery

Vandals destroyed six tombstones in a Jewish cemetery in the Piasek district of Myslowice, a city in southern Poland. The identity of the vandals, who knocked down the nineteenth-century gravestones on Monday night, remains unknown.

Last year, a group of local residents organized a cleaning of the cemetery, grubbing trees and bushes and cleaning the gravestones.

Source & Full Story

6 March 2014

Genealogy Software Updates of the Week

Ancestral Quest 14.19 (Full Featured - Windows - Purchase)

• Simplified the process of downloading and installing non-English language modules, and made it possible for AQ to alert users of these modules when updates to the language modules have been posted.
• AQ has a feature that allows a user to password protect its files on a machine, so that if grandchildren are allowed to explore their grandparent's work, they will only be able to view the data, and not change it.

BegatAll Genealogy Chronicles 1.0 release 9 (Full Featured - Windows - Purchase)

• GEDCOM bug fix (surname).
• Adds Image import (up to 5 images per person in the project),
• Much faster search experience.

DNAMatch4iPad (Mobile - Purchase) NEW!

• DNAMatch for the iPad is a powerful and easy to use alternative to the use of conventional spreadsheets for the processing of autosomal DNA data.
• Importing of CSV files from 23andMe, FTDNA, and DNAGEDCOM.COM.

Legacy Family Tree 8.0.0.414 (Full Featured - Windows - Purchase)

• FamilySearch - Added Merging.
• FamilySearch - Added Discussions.
• FamilySearch - Working on Sources still and once this is done we will have full FamilySearch Tree Share+ Certification.

In the Basement of the Masonic Library in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, There's a Hidden Treasure

In the basement of the Masonic Library in Cedar Rapids, there's a hidden treasure that few people know about.

"We have almost anything that you'd ever look for," said Charlene Hansen with the Linn County Genealogical Society. She's been helping people track down deceased relatives, birth records, and old pictures since the early 1970's. Most of it was given to the Society by Linn County.

Source & Full Story

Forever Accessible Archives? Michigan Moves Its Records To The Cloud

Since 1974, archivists in Michigan have been looking for ways to preserve the state’s electronic records in such a way that they could both last for hundreds of years and always be easily searchable by government officials and the public at large. But until very recently, there simply wasn't an available system that would allow that vision to be realized.

Archivist Mark Harvey said that over the years the state figured out piecemeal ways to preserve data, such as storing files on network drives, CDs, DVDs and other portable media.

Source & Full Story

Brill Publishers (Leiden, Netherlands) and the Bibliotheca Alexandrina to Conduct an Arabic Texts Digitization Workshop

Next week, in the framework of celebrating the 400th anniversary of the Leiden chair of Arabic, Brill Publishers and the Bibliotheca Alexandrina (BA) will conduct a training workshop on digitization of Arabic texts.

In the year 1613, Leiden University established one of Europe's very first chairs of Arabic Language and Culture. Its first occupant, Thomas Erpenius (1584-1624), laid out the rationale in his inaugural lecture 'Arab culture has a world of wisdom to teach'. This has defined the guiding principles of the study of Arabic at Leiden University ever since.

Source & Full Story

Boy Scouts' 'Founding Papers' Digitized by Brigham Young University Library

Among all of the artifacts found in the archives at British Scouting headquarters, one handwritten document caught a historian’s curiosity and ultimately brought together the British Scouting Association and Brigham Young University.

The rough draft of “Scouting for Boys,” written by scouting founder Robert Baden-Powell, contains literary excerpts from authors Alexander Dumas, James Fenimore Cooper and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Although these excerpts didn’t make it into the version that was published as the first scouting handbook, BYU history professor Paul Kerry says stories of adventure were one of many ways Baden-Powell sought to create a community of common ground and mutual respect.

Source & Full Story

5 March 2014

Native American Cahokia Was The Country’s First 'Melting Pot'

Researchers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered new evidence that establishes a Native American city as America’s first “melting pot.”

The team found that Cahokia, a pre-Columbian city that sat between the Missouri and Mississippi rivers, hosted a large population of immigrants. Previously, researchers believed this city consisted of a homogenous, stable population drawn from the area. However, new studies have revealed a different scenario.

Source & Full Story

Vietnam Veterans Trying To Save Bronx Community College's Damaged Relics from World War I, Civil War

Three historic cannons and a British naval deck gun that have languished for decades at a Bronx college campus need to be protected, two Vietnam veterans say.

Brothers Kevin and Bill Farrell, both 61, are trying to secure $200,000 to restore two World War I-era German cannons, a Civil War Dictator Mortar cannon and a gun that has been rusting away outside since the 1920s.

Source & Full Story

4 March 2014

More Than a Century of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Archives Now Available to the Public Online

The staff of the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Archives has digitized more than a century of The Polytechnic student newspaper. The Poly archive is available online through the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Digital Collections, and can be searched by date or keyword.

The archive offers a window into the way Rensselaer students saw themselves and their Institute through history. The earliest editions of The Poly include challenging math problems, news from other universities in the Northeast including Harvard, Yale, and Cornell, short fiction, poems, alumni news, athletic scores, and social news.

Source & Full Story

Suitcase Full of WWII Love Letters Finds it Way Back To Family

A suitcase full of lost love letters written during Word War II have found their way home to a North Carolina woman. The suitcase of letters was found in a storage unit in Reno. A man gave the suitcase to a police officer at the VA Medical Center.

That officer opened some of the letters and discovered that they were love letters from a Major Lamont Haas to his wife Betty Lou. Haas had left medical school to enlist in 1951. He was lost in a mid-air collision over France during the war.

Source & Full Story

3 March 2014

Scottish Soldiers’ Wills To Go Online

The wills of 26,000 Scottish soldiers who died in the Great War are to be made available by the National Records of Scotland via ScotlandsPeople.

In May 2014 these poignant historical records will go online for the first time as part of commemorations of the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War. The release has been announced on 24 February by the First Minister, Alex Salmond, at Portlethen near Aberdeen.

Source & Full Story

A Story of Love Revealed in WWI Soldier's Letters To Home

When Joan Nash was clearing out her mother-in-law’s house, the last thing she expected to find was a casket of love letters from her teenage sweetheart, who died in World War One.

Mrs Nash, 80, from New Inn, stumbled upon the love letters wrapped up in the bottom drawer of an old fashioned wardrobe in her mother-in-law Rose Nash’s house in Abersychan. The collection of over 100 letters were from Rose’s war time boyfriend, Will O’Brien, who fought in the 5th Battalion of the Grenadier Guards.

Source & Full Story

Australian World War I Dead To Be Honoured in Light Spectacular

The names of each of the 62,000 Australians who died in World War I will be emblazoned, one by one, onto the stones of the Hall of Memory at the Australian War Memorial over the next four years.

The projection of each of the names will be visible all the way down Anzac Avenue and across Lake Burley Griffin, and descendants will be advised when their fallen relative will be commemorated in light. Each name will be projected for 30 seconds on 19 occasions over the next four years, the war memorial's director, Brendan Nelson, says.

Source & Full Story

New on your Geneanet Family Tree: The Timeline

A chronological listing of all facts in an individual's life is now displayed in both the new Geneanet family tree software and the non-graphic family tree pages.

In the new Geneanet family tree software, the timeline is displayed whatever the number of facts is.

Geneanet now offers the opportunity to tell your family history in a new way!



In the non-graphic family tree pages, the timeline is displayed if there are facts in addition of the birth, baptism, marriage, death and burial.


>>> VIEW AND EDIT YOUR FAMILY TREE <<<

2 March 2014

Are You Related to Karen Carpenter?

Carpenter was born on March 2, 1950 in New Haven, Connecticut, the daughter of Agnes Reuwer (née Tatum) and Harold Bertram Carpenter. When she was young, she enjoyed playing baseball with other children on the street.

On the TV program This Is Your Life, she stated that she liked pitching. Later, in the early 1970s, she would become the pitcher on the Carpenters' official softball team. Her brother Richard developed an interest in music at an early age, becoming a piano prodigy. The family moved in June 1963 to the Los Angeles suburb of Downey.

Karen Carpenter's Family Tree