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Genealogy Blog

30 April 2014

Genealogy Software Updates of the Week

Ancestral Sources 4.0.1 (Transcriptions & Indexes - Windows - Freeware)

• Improved how some of the controls scale when a larger font or windows DPI is used.
• The informant name was unticked initially until reset. This has now been fixed.
• Updated the pre-1812 burial auto-text template to correct a formatting issue and to add occupation and residence information.
• The check-box for residence and birth place now updates autotext correctly.

RootsMagic 6.3.1.0 (Full Featured - Windows - Purchase)

• New: Added option to backup to Dropbox or Google Drive.
• New: Added "Save to Dropbox" command to upload the current database to Dropbox for the RootsMagic Apps to access.
• New: Added option to narrative reports to start new paragraph after 1)each fact, 2)each fact that has a note, 3)none.
• New: Notes and media file names print for place details in Reports > Lists > Place list when those options are selected.
• New: Importing descendants from FamilySearch Family Tree now follows all lines of descent.
• New: Report titles for group sheets and individual summary can now include the couple or person's name(s).
• New: Added Gilbert, Arizona and Fort Lauderdale, Florida LDS temples.
• Fixed: A number of small bugs.

Irish Census: Northern Ireland Documents Among 'Lost' Records

Thousands of Irish census documents, many dating back to the early 19th Century, have been made available to the public online for the first time. The vast majority of pre-1922 records were destroyed by a fire at the Public Record Office in the Irish Civil War.

But some of the documents that survived the fire, and others held elsewhere, have now been collated and put online. They include partial census records from 1821 to 1851, a substantial amount from counties now in Northern Ireland.

Source & Full Story

Lost Medieval Village Discovered in Scottish Borderlands

An archaeological team working in southern Scotland have uncovered the remains of a village that existed between the 14th and 16th centuries.

The discoveries were made during a Scottish Water project to lay a new water main on the outskirts of Selkirk. The archaeologists uncovered the foundations of stone built structures, cobbled farmyards and the foundations of walls, buildings and hearths.

Source & Full Story

29 April 2014

Rare Medal Sale Reveals Story of Soldier Who Became Professional Footballer After Standing on Bomb To Save Comrades

The astonishing story of how a soldier stood on a bomb to save his comrades and recovered enough to go on to play professional football has emerged after his medals were sold.

Lance Corporal James Collins was advised to have his lower right leg amputated after being seriously injured in the blast in the trenches on the Western Front. But the talented footballer refused to allow medics to remove the limb and instead underwent 14 operations over the next two years to save his foot.

Source & Full Story

28 April 2014

Slave Girl Who Changed History

Earlier this year, the film 12 Years A Slave — a searingly brutal account of the helplessness of 19th-century slaves in America’s Deep South — swept the 'best picture' category at the leading Hollywood award ceremonies.

Now, a new film made in Britain will tell the story of the remarkable relationship that may have lain at the heart of the abolition of slavery on this side of the Atlantic. It centres on the 1st Earl of Mansfield, the most influential Lord Chief Justice of the 18th century, and the woman he helped to raise — Dido Elizabeth Belle, the daughter of a black slave woman.

Source & Full Story

The Western Front in France and Belgium - From Muddy Hell to Stunning Beauty

Passing through the serene, colourful countryside of northern France, it’s almost impossible to fathom the horror that came a century before.

Bright yellow, blooming canola fields and immaculate green fields line the winding roads, masking the bloodshed from World War I that will always be connected to these lands. The Western Front in France and Belgium, where 46,000 Australians died between 1914 and 1918, was once a picture of carnage, a battleground of trench warfare described as a “muddy hell” by those who fought there.

Source & Full Story

Irish in Space! The Top 10 Astronauts With Roots in Ireland

Ireland, part of the European Space Agency, does not have its own space program. But it sure can lay claim to some of the most famous and accomplished astronauts, of history and today.

Born and raised in Ohio, Armstrong was also of Scottish and German descent. Prior to joining NASA he served in the U.S. Navy and Air Force. Armstrong died in 2012; there were widespread tributes throughout Ireland and Northern Ireland.

Source & Full Story

China Releases Previously Confidential Japanese WWII Documents on 'Comfort Women'

The Chinese government has made public what was previously a confidential trove of Japanese wartime documents, including some that give detail women who were forced into sex slavery by the Japanese Imperial Army during World War II, this according to the country’s state-backed media.

The publication of these documents comes during a time when Chinese courts have allowed individuals and groups to pursue lawsuits of war-related compensation from the Japanese government and some Japanese companies.

Source & Full Story

Wales' National Library Launches Plan One Year After Fire

The National Library of Wales' chief executive has set out new plans for the institution a year after a fire destroyed archives there. Aled Gruffydd Jones launched a three-year strategy twelve months after the fire caused £5m of damage to the library's roof.

Proposals include leading a debate on establishing a National Archive for Wales. It also aims to develop projects with the public sector. Mr Jones told staff the plan gave them a chance "not only to look back", but also an opportunity "to look forward".

Source & Full Story

What's Your Ancestor Score?

How to know how complete your family tree is?

This question may sound strange. What should we talk about? Quantity or quality?

Randy Seaver gives us a simple solution in a blog post entitled "What's Your Ancestor Score?".

Here's how to easily calculate your Ancestor Score with Geneanet.

Continue reading...

25 April 2014

SS City of Chester, Sunken 1888 Shipwreck, Found Near Golden Gate Bridge

A steamship that sank with 16 passengers aboard in 1888 has been located again under the Golden Gate Bridge, leading to the release of new sonar images of the boat sitting upright, covered in mud.

James Delgado, director of maritime heritage for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Marine Sanctuaries, called the rediscovery of the passenger ship the "City of Chester," which was first located more than 100 years ago, quite remarkable. And not just because it was the Bay Area’s second most deadly shipwreck.

Source & Full Story

15 Veteran Cemetery Markers Found Roadside in Zanesville, Ohio

When Bobby Kimes was picking up empty soda cans with his daughter Elizabeth last Friday, he never expected to find what he did. Thrown on the side of Crock Road were 15 bronze cemetery markers, the kind used to mark the graves of armed forces veterans.

Kimes then examined the medallions, noticing some were decorated with World War I, Gulf War and Vietnam War inscriptions. Others had their inscriptions ground off, he said, but most remained in good condition.

Source & Full Story

24 April 2014

Genealogy Software Updates of the Week

MacFamilyTree 7.1.6 (Full Featured - Mac - Purchase)

• Several fixes and improvements handling databases.

MobileFamilyTree 7.1.2 (Mobile - Purchase)

• Several fixes and improvements handling databases.

Soundex Calculator 1.0 (Mobile - Freeware) NEW!

• Soundex Calculator is a utility designed to calculate the Soundex code for a given family name.

The Family Tree of Family for Android 1.9.2 (Mobile - Purchase)

• Update entry forms.

Skeletons Found in Suffolk, England, Water Pipe Dig

Nine human skeletons have been found by archaeologists excavating land to be used for a water pipeline in Suffolk. Eight of them, found together near Barnham, are believed to date back to about AD300. Two of the bodies had been buried with a brooch and a knife.

The other skeleton was discovered at Rougham. Anglian Water, which is installing a new pipeline to serve Bury St Edmunds, said items from the dig would be "kept in a secure museum archive".

Source & Full Story

Unlocking the Secrets to Sweden’s Holy King

Researchers in Sweden have opened the casket of King Erik IX, and hope to analyze his bones to understand more about the health of the twelfth-century ruler and to even make sure these remains are his.

King Erik IX ruled Sweden from 1155 to 1160 and was murdered, allegedly by an assassin working for a rival noble family or for a Danish claimant to his throne. Within a few years his remains were being revered as holy relics, and Uppsala Cathedral was built on the site where he was killed.

Source & Full Story

Woman Finds Love Letter 6 Decades Old and Tracks Down Soldier Who Wrote It

A couple of years ago, Sandi Blood of Murrells Inlet, S.C., purchased a pile of paperbacks at a used bookstore in the next town. When she opened one of her “fictional beach reads,” she said a letter slipped out. For years, it had been lost inside the pages.

The yellowed envelope was dated November 1951. It was one of those red, white and blue air-mailed envelopes, she said, with an Army/Air Force Postal Service postmark and a 6-cent stamp still stuck to the corner. And it was sent from a "G. LeBlanc."

Source & Full Story

UK Mobilizes Crowdsourcing Army To Analyze Massive Archive of World War I Info

British historians are raising an online army of amateur history buffs to help tackle a massive archive of World War I photos, diaries and documents.

Operation War Diary — a joint effort by the British National Archives, the Imperial War Museum and the crowdsourcing website Zooniverse — aims to make previously inaccessible data available to academics and amateur historians alike, creating a formidable “hive mind” concept to offer fresh perspectives on World War I.

Source & Full Story

23 April 2014

This is How the Vatican Will Digitize Millions of its Documents

Digitizing the Vatican's 40 million pages of library archives will take 50 experts, five scanners and many, many years before the process comes to a close.

The Vatican Library was founded in 1451 and has around 82,000 manuscripts, some of which date back about 1,800 years. It will work in tandem with NTT Data, a Japanese IT firm, to convert the first batch of 3,000 manuscripts. It is expected to take four years to digitize the initial round, though some of those documents will be online toward the end of 2014.

Source & Full Story

22 April 2014

Inside The Mundaneum

On the night of June 1, 1934, a Belgian information scientist named Paul Otlet sat in silent, peaceful protest outside the locked doors of a government building in Brussels from which he had just been evicted.

Inside was his life’s work: a vast archive of more than twelve million bibliographic three-by-five-inch index cards, which attempted to catalog and cross-reference the relationships among all the world’s published information.

Source & Full Story

Amelia Earhart Wreckage: Real or Not?

Underwater video shot four years ago in a remote South Pacific island doesn’t show the wreckage of the airplane flown by Amelia Earhart on her fateful round-the-world flight of 1937, say experts retained by an aircraft preservation group.

Stating that the video does not provide evidence for an aircraft debris field, the reports were filed in court this week by expert witnesses for The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery (TIGHAR), which has long been investigating Earhart's fate.

Source & Full Story

Houghton Library: New Digitization January-March 2014

Here are the complete works and collections the Houghton Library have digitized in the last three months.

Highlights include one of their most spectacular medieval manuscripts, the Emerson-White Hours, a 17th century manuscript on magic tricks, a sonata by Handel, and a 19th century book of paper dolls.

Source & Full Story

College Student Fought Dutch Bureaucrats To Obtain Justice for Amsterdam Holocaust Survivors

Charlotte van den Berg was a 20-year-old college student working part-time in Amsterdam's city archives when she and other interns came across a shocking find: letters from Jewish Holocaust survivors complaining that the city was forcing them to pay back taxes and late payment fines on property seized after they were deported to Nazi death camps.

Following her discovery four years ago, Van den Berg waged a lonely fight against Amsterdam's modern bureaucracy to have the travesty publicly recognized. Now, largely due to her efforts,

Source & Full Story

Michigan Moves Digital Archive Records to Cloud

The Archives of Michigan is using a state-of-the-art and inexpensive option — the Internet — to store and preserve a growing collection of digital records that includes everything from 40 years' worth of election results to an index of thousands of proposed designs for the state's quarter released 10 years ago.

The move to the cloud is expected to bolster a plan to help the public easily access some historical records without having to trek to the Archives' facility in Lansing.

Source & Full Story

World War II Dog Tags Found in Saipan May Solve 70-Year-Old Mystery

Old and battered dog tags found in a cave in the South Pacific may crack a 70-year-old mystery. The dog tags are those of a 31-year-old Army infantryman from New York named Bernard Gavrin.

He was reported missing in action during the battle of Saipan in World War II and never found. His 81-year-old nephew David Rogers, of West Delray, Fla., said the family never knew what happened.

Source & Full Story

National Archives of Australia Battle To Preserve Nation's 'Birth Certificates'

Australians have the chance for a relatively rare glimpse of some of the most important documents in the country's history, with the nation's "birth certificates" on show at the National Archives.

Three of the seven precious documents that changed Australia's relationship with Britain are so fragile that their dark covers are taken off only for occasional viewing by the public, including the Easter and Anzac Day long weekends.

Source & Full Story

21 April 2014

The Geneanet Ancestry Book

GeneaNet offers a very attractive Ancestry Book.

This Ancestry Book is available for every GeneaNet member and it can show up to 10 generations.

Every GeneaNet member can also export the Ancestry Book in PDF file format.

Continue reading...

19 April 2014

Are You Related to Ashley Judd?

Ashley was born as Ashley Tyler Ciminella on April 19, 1968, in Granada Hills, California. She is the daughter of Naomi Judd, a country music singer and motivational speaker, and Michael Charles Ciminella, a marketing analyst for the horseracing industry.

Ashley's elder half-sister, Wynonna, is also a country music singer. Her paternal grandfather was of Irish descent, and her paternal grandmother was a descendant of Mayflower pilgrim William Brewster.

Ashley Judd's Family Tree

18 April 2014

The Uplifting Story Behind a Blunt Obituary

Stig Kernell had specific and strong wishes for his own obituary notice. He told his local undertaker in Tranås, southern Sweden that he wanted the notice simply to state his name and the words "I Am Dead", along with the place and date of his death.

"He was a special man with a very particular sense of humour and a twinkle in his eye," Kernell's son, Lars-Åke, told tabloid Expressen. He added: "He was crass, too, and that has helped us deal with our loss, since he did not fear death in the least."

Source & Full Story

17 April 2014

Genealogy Software Updates of the Week

Branches for iPad 1.2 (Mobile - Purchase)

• Expanded help instructions.

Genealone 1.1.2 (Web Publishing - Windows, Mac, Linux - Purchase)

• Several bugs fixed.
• Several design improvements.
• Added German translation.
• New: New color scheme.
• New: New Timeline option.

My Family Tree 3.0.15.0 (Full Featured - Windows - Freeware)

• Added Danish translation.
• Added option to specify the birth order of siblings.

The Family Tree of Family for Android 1.9.1 (Mobile - Purchase)

• Added ability to select more than one parent.
• Added same-sex marriages.

Transcript 2.4.1 build 100 beta (Transcriptions & Indexes - Windows - Freeware)

• Fix: Needed to check for GlobalSettings being initialized at startup or might get a crash in certain rare cases.
• Fix: Words consisting only of accented characters are handled wrong by the standard Windows RichEdit control.
• Fix: Highlighter zoom and brightness were reset after moving to another image.
• Fix: Silence a few warnings in the code.

WWI Soldier's Love Letters Found Hidden Behind Attic Wall

A bit of history and romance has been found during a home renovation in Indiana -- love letters sent to a woman from a soldier during World War I were found behind a wall.

The letters were discovered after the homeowners hired a contractor to redo their bathroom. The contractor found letter after letter hidden in the attic wall. They dated back to July 1918 from a man named Clement to his love, named Mary.

Source & Full Story

16 April 2014

Severe Scurvy Struck Christopher Columbus's Crew

Severe scurvy struck Columbus's crew during his second voyage and after its end, forensic archaeologists suggest, likely leading to the collapse of the first European town established in the New World.

In 1492, Christopher Columbus crossed the Atlantic, beginning Europe's discovery of the New World. Two years later on his second voyage, he and 1,500 colonists founded La Isabela, located in the modern-day Dominican Republic.

Source & Full Story

Scotland Gets Ready To Celebrate Battle of Bannockburn's 700th Anniversary

Music, culture, ancestry, food, drink and fight re-enacting will make the 700th anniversary of the Battle of Bannockburn a memorable one.

Bannockburn Live on June 28-29 will see hundreds of artists and clan members unite for a festival at the Stirling battlefield where Robert the Bruce’s army annihilated the English, led by Edward II, and paved the way for Scottish independence.

Source & Full Story

British Pathé Publishes Archive On YouTube

Film archive British Pathé has released its entire collection to YouTube, making more than 85,000 rare 20th Century videos available to the public.

History enthusiasts are now able to browse more than 3,500 hours of some of the most significant moments of the last century. British Pathé says the films, which span from 1896 to 1976, cover every aspect of global culture and news.

Source & Full Story

DNA, Digital X-Rays Used To ID Remains Found at Dozier School for Boys in Tampa, Florida

A researcher from the University of South Florida said Tuesday that a team of forensic experts is using DNA, skeletal analysis and digital X-rays to identify the remains from a former reform school on the Panhandle.

Erin Kimmerle and Hillsborough County Sheriff David Gee met with U.S. Sen Bill Nelson to share what they have found at the Arthur G. Dozier School for Boys. So far, Kimmerle said, DNA has been fully analyzed on 12 sets of remains.

Source & Full Story

15 April 2014

Boy's Head Found in Home of Pakistani Cannibals Who Had Dug Up More Than 100 Corpses from the Local Graveyard and Eaten Them

A convicted cannibal has been rearrested in Pakistan after a young boy's head was discovered in his home.

The gruesome discovery of a three-year-old's head was made in the house of Mohammad Arif, 35, and his brother Mohammad Farman, 30. The pair, from the small town of Darya Khan in the country's interior, had previously served two years in jail for cannibalism and were only released last year.

Source & Full Story

British Library Endangered Archives: New Online Collections

Four new collections are now available online:

- EAP408: From the brink: identifying, collecting and digitising records of the Turks and Caicos Islands after the destruction of Hurricane Ike,
- EAP450: Manuscripts of the Sri Lankan Malays,
- EAP570: Digital documentation of Dongkala, Chizing, Dodedra and Phajoding temple archives,
- EAP596: Safeguarding Anguilla's heritage: a survey of the endangered records of Anguilla.

Source & Full Story

Database of UK Surnames Has Reached 45,000 Entries Dating Back to the Middle Ages

The ‘Family Names of the United Kingdom Project’, which is being carried out by a team at University of the West of England – Bristol, has reached a key milestone with the completion of the first phase of the database with 45,000 surnames researched and explained. The full dictionary of surnames is due to be published by Oxford University Press in 2016.

Professor Patrick Hanks and Professor Richard Coates have led a team of researchers which includes historical linguists, medieval historians, lexicographers and expert advisers on Irish, Scottish, Welsh, and recent immigrant names.

Source & Full Story

Government of Canada Announces Appointment to Library and Archives Canada

Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages Shelly Glover today announced the appointment of Guy Berthiaume as Librarian and Archivist of Canada for a term of five years, effective June 23, 2014.

"Having a person of Dr. Berthiaume's calibre leading Library and Archives Canada will be a solid asset to the organization. His extensive experience in the management of large cultural organizations and his strong leadership are important qualifications for this position." said Shelly Glover, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages.

Source & Full Story

All Russian World War I Documents Available Online

More than 300,000 documents from Russian military archives on World War I have been made available online, a senior archivist said Monday.

The archival military records have been digitized and entered into a database on the website of the Military Historical Archive, said Andrei Artizov, head of the Federal Archive Agency. "Not a single record is being kept secret," Artizov said, Interfax reported. "Access it from Paris, Vilnius, Warsaw — wherever you want."

Source & Full Story

Are You Related to Elizabeth Montgomery?

Elizabeth Montgomery was born on April 15, 1933, in Los Angeles, California, the daughter of actor Robert Montgomery and his wife, Broadway actress Elizabeth Bryan Montgomery (née Allen).

She had an older sister, Martha Bryan Montgomery, who died as an infant (named after her aunt Martha-Bryan Allen) and a brother, Robert Montgomery, Jr. (1936 - 2000). She attended Westlake School for Girls (now Harvard-Westlake School in Holmby Hills). After graduating from Spence School, she attended the American Academy of Dramatic Arts for three years.

Elizabeth Montgomery's Family Tree

14 April 2014

Rosa Parks Archives Remain Unsold in Warehouse

At a time when interest in civil rights memorabilia is rekindled, a lifetime’s worth of Rosa Parks’ belongings — among them her Presidential Medal of Freedom — sits in a New York warehouse, unseen and unsold.

Parks’ archives could be worth millions, especially now that 50th anniversaries of the civil rights era are being celebrated and the hunt is on for artifacts to fill a new Smithsonian museum of African-American history. But a years-long legal fight between Parks’ heirs and her friends led to the memorabilia being taken away from her home city of Detroit and offered up to the highest bidder.

Source & Full Story

French Resistance Veteran's Ashes Buried in German Cemetery

The ashes of a French Resistance veteran were interred on Friday near the mass grave of a former German concentration camp following his wish to be laid to rest near his fellow detainees.

Louis Bertrand, who died aged 90 last June, had years ago expressed a wish to be buried alongside his comrades in a cemetery near the former camp in northern central Germany. Bertrand's ashes were interred on the anniversary of the liberation of the camp, Langenstein-Zwieberge near Buchenwald, by US forces on April 11, 1945.

Source & Full Story

Marching Into Digital Age at Tasmanian Archive and Heritage Office

Crowds line the street waving flags and cheering as an army band marches down a road in Deloraine. The band is followed by a parade of men with rifles, trucks, tanks and motorbikes.

The sight is one you would probably expect to see on Anzac Day, but instead this is from a video circa 1941 that has recently been uploaded online by the Tasmanian Archive and Heritage Office, which is part of LINC Tasmania.

Source & Full Story

GeneaNet: Download And Print A Very Attractive Ancestry Chart For Free!

On GeneaNet, you can download (in PDF) and print a very attractive ancestry chart for free!

There are 7 themes available and you can change the content: font, date format, on a single page/on multiple pages, etc.

Offer a beautiful ancestry chart to your family and friends!

Continue reading...

11 April 2014

Earliest Evidence of Human Presence in Scotland Found

Archaeologists have uncovered the earliest evidence of the presence of humans in Scotland it was announced today. An assemblage of over 5,000 flint artefacts was recovered in 2005-9 by Biggar Archaeology Group in fields at Howburn, near Biggar in South Lanarkshire, and subsequent studies have dated their use to 14,000 years ago.

Prior to the find, the oldest evidence of human occupation in Scotland could be dated to around 13,000 years ago at a now-destroyed cave site in Argyll.

Source & Full Story

Toyota Helps Preserve Historic Documents Through $100,000 Gift to National Archives

Millions of people who visit Washington each year go to see its famous monuments or view the historic records, which chronicle significant events in the nation’s history. Toyota is helping preserve a portion of that history through a $100,000 gift to the Foundation for the National Archives.

More than 10 historic documents, from Congressional passage of the Bill of Rights in 1789 to President Nixon’s letter of resignation in 1973, will be part of the notable records that Toyota will help protect.

Source & Full Story

10 April 2014

Genealogy Software Updates of the Week

CatroGenea 1.1.0 (Mobile - Purchase) NEW!

• CatroGenea is a family tree edtion tool running on Android. Support French and English. Allows manual creation of individual and family, as well as the import of GEDCOM files. Works with UTF8 character set.

Families (Legacy Family Tree) for iPhone and iPad 2.1.1 (Mobile - Purchase)

• Fix exception when adding ToDo item.
• Fix problem switching views on iPad 1.
• Show chris/buried on Family View if no birth/death dates.

GEDexplorer 1.0 (Mobile - Purchase) NEW!

• GEDexplorer is a browser for genealogy data contained in GEDCOM files, running on Android. Scrollable and zoomable tree view for showing a person's ancestors and/or descendants. Supports links to pictures, web pages and maps. Supports notes written in HTML. Support English and Swedish.

Here & Then from the British Newspaper Archive 1.0.4 (Mobile - Freeware) NEW!

• View fascinating articles, images and adverts from the British Newspaper Archive for free on your iPhone. Read daily stories from over 200 years of historical newspapers, learn what happened on this day in history, discover reports reflecting today’s news and enjoy amusing snippets dating back to the 1700s.

MobileFamilyTree 7.1.1 (Mobile - Purchase)

• Issue corrected that prevented filtering the families list.
• Issue renaming databases corrected.
• Font sizes in the built-in help viewer fixed on iPhone.
• Localization improvements.

Second Site 5.2 Build 0 (Web Publishing - Windows - Purchase)

• Added the Item Class property to the Custom Index User Item so that Custom Indexes may be added as content on Custom Pages.
• The List based on Last Edited date of the Custom Index User Item now includes options to define the starting date by subtracting days, weeks, or months from the date the site is made.
• Added the Exhibits per Page property to the Exhibit Gallery User Item; when the number of exhibits exceeds the Exhibits per Page value, the Exhibit Gallery will be split into multiple pages.
• Bug fixes.

Canada: Was Someone on Your Street Killed During WWI’s Battle of Vimy Ridge?

It’s been 97 years since the First World War Battle of Vimy Ridge, which began with a Canadian attack on April 9, 1917. The battle was a milestone for Canada, marking the first time that all the Canadian divisions in France had fought together as an independent formation.

In the larger picture, Vimy Ridge was part of a pattern of events that showed Canada’s growing independence from Britain, something that took place gradually over decades.

Source & Full Story

Top Secret MI5 Files of First World War Go Online

The National Archives of the UK is making over 150 top secret MI5 files available online for the first time. This forms part of The National Archives' First World War 100 programme of digitised releases and events to mark the centenary.

The files contain a wealth of material about organisations and individuals involved in espionage or under surveillance during the period of the First World War. They are part of the wider security service personal file series (file reference KV 2) held by The National Archives.

Source & Full Story

9 April 2014

Japan: Lost 1890 Imperial Rescript on Education Is Found

Linked with prewar militaristic education in Japan, the original 1890 Imperial Rescript on Education issued by Emperor Meiji (1852-1912) has been found about half a century after going missing, the education ministry said Tuesday.

The document, which was badly damaged in the 1923 earthquake that struck the Kanto region, disappeared after being was put on display at an exhibition in Tokyo in 1962.

Source & Full Story

8 April 2014

Message in Bottle Arrives After 101 Years

A message in a bottle tossed in the sea in Germany 101 years ago and believed to be the world's oldest has been presented to the sender's granddaughter, a museum said on Monday.

A fisherman pulled the beer bottle with the scribbled message out of the Baltic off the northern city of Kiel last month, said Holger von Neuhoff of the International Maritime Museum in the northern port city of Hamburg. "This is certainly the first time such an old message in a bottle was found, particularly with the bottle intact," he said.

Source & Full Story

7 April 2014

Developers and Preservationists Find Historic Common Ground in Miami

When an archaeologist unearths a significant find on the site of a multimillion-dollar development, it rarely ends with smiles and handshakes. But at Miami's Met Square development, where archaeologist Robert Carr recently discovered the remnants of a an ancient Tequesta Indian village, that's exactly what has happened.

Last night, the Miami City Commission approved an agreement hammered out in mediation last week between MDM Development Group and several private and governmental preservationist parties, and all sides agree that the solution is as historic as the site it preserves.

Source & Full Story

New Hampshire To Digitize Historic Records, Photos

Civil War nurse Sarah Low met Abraham Lincoln on April 20, 1864, writing in her diary that the president shook hands with everyone at a crowded White House reception. One year later, the Dover woman would see Lincoln again, this time as he lay in state in the rotunda of the U.S. Capitol.

"The flowers on the coffin that had been beautiful the day before were faded and it seemed forlorn that they had not been replaced by fresh ones," she wrote on April 20, 1865. "Lincoln's face looked very thin and shrunken, the face was dark and it seemed to me that he looked like a murdered man."

Source & Full Story

More Than 100 Headstones Vandalized, Some 'Irreplaceable' at Woodlawn Cemetery in Zanesville, Ohio

The names Clarence and Ernest are barely legible on one edge of the elaborately sculpted granite pillar that forms the Brush family headstone at Woodlawn Cemetery.

Clarence, who died at 2 years old, and Ernest, who died at 11 months, were both dead before the Civil War was over. Their father, the Rev. G.W. Brush, was buried on the same plot in 1865. The top of the Brush headstone now lies in the mud after it was vandalized Thursday night, along with more than 100 others, in an act Mayor Jeff Tilton called “unbelievable — unforgivable.”

Source & Full Story

Did Adolf Hitler Marry a Jewish Woman? DNA Tests 'Show Eva Braun Associated with Ashkenazi Jews'

Eva Braun, Adolf Hitler’s long-term lover who married the Nazi leader hours before their joint suicide in his Berlin bunker, may have had Jewish ancestry, ground-breaking DNA testing has found.

DNA analysis of hair samples from a hairbrush claimed to belong to Braun suggests that the fascist dictator responsible for the murder of millions of Jews may have unwittingly married a woman of semitic descent, in one of his final acts as the Third Reich crumbled.

Source & Full Story

Mystery Solved of Confederate Soldier in Beaufort National Cemetery, South Carolina

The answer to one of Beaufort County's oldest mysteries will be officially unveiled next month, along with a new gravestone for the only unknown Confederate soldier buried in Beaufort National Cemetery. The soldier is no longer unknown.

Pvt. Haywood Treadwell of North Carolina has received a new marker -- this one with his name on it, according to the Historic Beaufort Foundation. A ceremony for the public unveiling of the new gravestone will be May 10, part of a two-day symposium recognizing Confederate soldiers buried in the national cemetery.

Source & Full Story

Mission To Trace Descendants of WWI Soldier from New Zealand

A gift given by a New Zealand soldier fighting in World War 1 to a young English schoolgirl has not been forgotten, nearly a century on. And now the daughter of that schoolgirl is hoping to track down relatives of that soldier.

The Wanganui Chronicle was recently contacted by Christine Jermey, who lives in Norfolk, England. Mrs Jermey is looking for relatives of Private Mack Wereta, a soldier from Waitotara, who sent Mrs Jermey's mother, Violet Fryer, a little booklet in 1918.

Source & Full Story

National Archives of India Notified Recruitment for 15 Archival Assistant

National Archives of India, New Delhi under Ministry of Culture, Government of India issued notification inviting application for filling up 15 posts of Archival Assistant on contract basis for the period up to 31 March 2015 for the project on "Survey and Inspection of Records/ Records Rooms, Appraisal and Transfer of Public Records from various Ministries/ Departments/ Offices etc."

Interested candidates should send their applications, in the prescribed format, to the NIA office within 15 days from the date of publication of this advertisement in Employment News i.e. till 12 April 2014 as the advertisement was published in Employment News dated 29 March 2014 – 4 April 2014.

Source & Full Story

New on Geneanet: Sponsor a Friend or Family Member, and Get a Club Privilege Extra Month Free

On Geneanet, you can now sponsor a friend or family member, and get a Club Privilege extra month free!

Select the 'Contacts > Sponsor a friend or family member' item in the drop down menu at the top right of the screen.

Enter the Geneanet username of the persons you want to sponsor (click here to search the username of a member by name).

When you have sent 5 invitations, you must wait for them to be accepted or to expire (45 days) to gain new sponsor rights.

Sponsored persons will be invited to try the Geneanet Club Privilege free for one month.

If they subscribe to the Club Privilege during the free trial, the remaining free weeks will be added to their 1-year or 2-year membership, and you will get an extra month free!

>>> CLICK HERE TO SUBSCRIBE TO THE GENEANET CLUB PRIVILEGE <<<

5 April 2014

Are You Related to Bette Davis?

Ruth Elizabeth Davis, known from early childhood as "Betty", was born on April 5, 1908 in Lowell, Massachusetts, the daughter of Ruth Augusta "Ruthie" (née Favor) and Harlow Morrell Davis, a patent attorney; her sister, Barbara "Bobby", was born October 25, 1909.

The family was Protestant, of English, French, and Welsh ancestry. In 1915, Davis's parents separated and Betty and Bobby attended a Spartan boarding school called Crestalban in Lanesborough, which is located in the Berkshires.

Bette Davis' Family Tree

4 April 2014

Priceless Tapestry Which Depicts Victory Over French by Winston Churchill’s Ancestor the First Duke of Marlborough Is Restored for First Time in 300 Years

A priceless 300-year-old tapestry depicting the ‘finest hour’ of Winston Churchill’s most illustrious ancestor has undergone a major restoration for the first time. The work of art hangs at Blenheim Palace and tells the story of the 1st Duke of Marlborough’s victories over the French in the War of the Spanish Succession.

The Duke, John Churchill, was a brilliant military strategist and much like Winston Churchill two centuries later, led an Allied force to victory in Europe.

Source & Full Story

French Colonial Houses Discovered in St. Louis, Missouri

Archaeologists from the Missouri Department of Transportation are ecstatic over a discovery beneath the Poplar Street Bridge in St. Louis. They’ve uncovered the first physical evidence dating to when the French founded St. Louis in 1764.

The findings help confirm written documentation of St. Louis’ earliest European settlers and shed new light on the people who live here. Michael Meyer is an archaeologist with MoDOT and the principal investigator of the department’s work in St. Louis.

Source & Full Story

The Bravest Street in England: Cul-de-Sac Where 161 Men Joined Up for WWI - and 50 Gave Their Lives for Their Country

On the eve of the First World War it was just another ordinary British street - a nondescript cul-de-sac of 60 terrace houses, home to dozens of hard-working blue-collar families.

But by November 1918, some 161 residents of Chapel Street in Altrincham had stepped up to serve their country in the trenches of the Great War. Of those 29 were killed in action while a further 20 would succumb to their injuries on their return. Such was its sacrifice that King George V called Chapel Street the 'bravest little street in England' for having provided so many volunteers.

Source & Full Story

Utah Prisoners Do Mormon Genealogy Research From Jail

William J. Hopkins already knew a bit about genealogy work when he arrived at the Utah State Prison in 1994, an interest that was sparked in his teens by an aunt who is a family historian.

Hopkins, 40, now spends two to three hours a day working on family history projects — his own and that of others — at the Family History Center at the prison’s Wasatch unit. He is an arbitrator; someone who reviews duplicate data entered by various indexers to ensure the information corresponds and then enters one copy into a database. Hopkins also tutors fellow inmates on how to do family research.

Source & Full Story

Swedes Find 200-Year-Old Gravestone in Living Room

A Swedish family renovating their living room was shocked to find a gravestone from the 1800s under the floorboards. The Nilsson family found the hefty gravestone tucked in under the floor. It measured almost two metres in length and was some 10 centimetres thick.

The family looked up the three names engraved on the headstone and found they belonged to people who'd likely owned the property in Fuglie, southern Sweden, in the late 1800s. The stone had the names of two men and one woman who died in 1843, 1851, and 1884 respectively.

Source & Full Story

3 April 2014

Genealogy Software Updates of the Week

Branches for iPad (Mobile - Purchase) NEW!

• Branches for iPad is the best and most unique family tree viewer available. No other viewer can do what Branches for iPad does. It is like Apple Maps™ for your family history and genealogy. You can see your entire family tree in a global view. Just zoom in to see all the "street level" details like relationships, events, photos, sources, notes and documents.

2 April 2014

Diaries Reveal New Details About Gas Attack on Irish Soldiers in 1916

Hundreds of Irishmen fighting for the British Army in World War 1 perished in a horrific German gas attack as their countrymen battled to end British rule in Ireland.

The National Archives in Kew has this week released war diaries from the 8th Battalion of the Royal Dublin Fusiliers, which reveal details of the deadly German attack that left 500 Irish soldiers dead.

Source & Full Story

Skolt Sámi Archives Candidate for UNESCO List

The National Archives Service of Finland and the Sámi Archives have proposed including the Skolt Sámi archives in the UNESCO Memory of the World Register. Only 301 items have been listed in the register so far.

The archives from Suonjel, Pechenga, are the most significant body of documentation in the cultural heritage of the Skolt Sámi. The oldest document in the archives dates to 1601 and the most recent document to 1775.

Source & Full Story

Library and Archives Canada Moves To Outsource National Catalogue

Library and Archives Canada is outsourcing AMICUS, the venerable free national catalogue that lists and describes its holdings and those of more than 1,300 libraries across Canada.

LAC proposes to use a sole-source contract to hire U.S.-based Online Computer Library Centre Inc. (OCLC), the world’s largest library co-operative, to replace the outdated system. Library and Archives signalled the long-anticipated move by publishing a detailed advance contract award notice on the government’s tender website last week.

Source & Full Story

1 April 2014

Tombstone Discovered at Tyler, Texas, Construction Site Given To Descendants

A tombstone that was discovered beneath an East Texas construction site has been given to a relative. Ron and Nelda Swinney claimed the stone Monday from the City of Tyler's Engineering Department.

The stone was found in January by crews working on the site of the Fair Plaza Parking Garage. City officials believe the site used to belong to a marble yard and that's why the stone was found along Elm and Broadway.

Source & Full Story

Rare and Important Declaration of Independence on Offer at Bonhams New York

Bonhams sale Treasures from The Caren Archive on April 7 will feature a rare and exceedingly important early newspaper printing of the Declaration of Independence as published in The New England Chronicle (Powars and Willis) on July 18, 1776 (est. $50,000-70,000).

The 4-page newspaper tied with Gill’s Continental Journal as the first Boston appearance of the Declaration of Independence. One can easily imagine the excitement among the city’s residents as they absorbed the enormity of the news contained therein.

Source & Full Story

Open Access Maps at New York Public Library

The Lionel Pincus & Princess Firyal Map Division is very proud to announce the release of more than 20,000 cartographic works as high resolution downloads. We believe these maps have no known US copyright restrictions.

To the extent that some jurisdictions grant NYPL an additional copyright in the digital reproductions of these maps, NYPL is distributing these images under a Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication. The maps can be viewed through the New York Public Library’s Digital Collections page, and downloaded, through the Map Warper.

Source & Full Story

Meet the Photo Detective: Maureen Taylor

Maureen Taylor owes her path in life to something many people have trouble pronouncing. It’s called a daguerreotype, a kind of shiny metal image that hallmarked the beginnings of modern-day photography.

Taylor, who will serve as keynote speaker at the Saturday, April 26, segment of the Lancaster Family History Conference, sponsored by the Lancaster Mennonite Historical Society, literally fell in love with something that conveyed an impression of people stepping out of the past.

Source & Full Story

The Man Who Owns A Magna Carta

David Rubenstein, the private equity billionaire and philanthropist, slips easily into the role of learned scholar as he strolls down Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.C., on his way to the National Archives.

The 64-year-old co-CEO of the Carlyle Group is carefully attired in a pin-striped suit and blue and white-polka-dot tie. He mentions the hidden river that runs under the pavement and lectures on the area’s transformation from a virtual ghetto to an awe-inspiring site of federal offices and monuments.

Source & Full Story

New on Geneanet : Send your GEDCOM File by Phone

We are proud to launch a new service for Geneanet members who are not familiar with computer.

You will be soon able to send your GEDCOM file by phone: just call our new service and say the content of the file.

Your file will be imported to your account so you can have a Geneanet family tree without having to perform computer tasks.



April Fool's Day