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Genealogy Blog

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

16 April 2014

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.

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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.

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14 April 2014

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

7 April 2014

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.”

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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.

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4 April 2014

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.

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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.

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31 March 2014

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

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.

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27 March 2014

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.

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24 March 2014

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.

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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.

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21 March 2014

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.

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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.

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