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Genealogy Blog

21 November 2014

Welsh Songwriter Gruff Rhys Follows Ancestor's 18th Century Trek to America for Documentary

The final scenes of Gruff Rhys’s documentary, American Interior, are of a joyful New Orleans-styled funeral march in the mountains near Waunfawr in Wales.

Shot in beautiful black and white, the scene shows a guitar-slinging Rhys in an elaborate Davy Crockett-styled wolf-themed head covering, followed by a brass band and child singers.

Source & Full Story

20 November 2014

Are You Related to Duane Allman?

Duane Allman was born on November 20, 1946 in Nashville, Tennessee. He was the eldest son of Willis Allman, a career United States Army sergeant, and Geraldine (née Robbins). His younger brother Gregg Allman was born in late 1947.

While the family were living near Norfolk, Virginia, his father was murdered by a fellow veteran hitchhiker. In order to retrain as an accountant, Geraldine "Mama A" Allman sent Duane and Gregg to Castle Heights Military Academy in Lebanon, Tennessee, which they both disliked intensely. In 1957, the family moved to Daytona Beach, Florida where the boys attended Seabreeze High School.

Duane Allman's Family Tree

10 November 2014

New Project Hopes To Find Out How Many Irishmen Died in the First World War

The Irish War Memorial Records, which list the names of 49,400 men who died in the first World War, are to be updated. The Government is to combine with Google and the In Flanders Fields museum in Ypres to update the records, which were first created in 1922. They hope the project will give a more accurate picture of how many Irishmen died in the war.

The records represent an attempt to catalogue all those who died, but they include non-Irish soldiers who died in Irish regiments and exclude many Irishmen who died in non-Irish regiments. There are also many double entries and errors.

Source & Full Story

9 November 2014

Are You Related to Mary Travers?

Mary Travers was born on November 9, 1936 in Louisville, Kentucky, to Robert Travers and Virginia Coigney, both journalists and active organizers for The Newspaper Guild, a trade union. In 1938, the family moved to Greenwich Village in New York City. Travers attended the Little Red School House there, but left in the 11th grade.

While in high school, Travers joined the Song Swappers, who sang backup for Pete Seeger when Folkways Records reissued a union song collection, Talking Union, in 1955.

Mary Travers' Family Tree

6 November 2014

Are You Related to Sally Field?

Sally Field was born on November 6, 1946 in Pasadena, California. Her father, Richard Dryden Field, was an Army officer, and her mother Margaret Field (née Morlan) was an actress. Her parents divorced in 1950; her mother later married actor and stuntman Jock Mahoney.

Field attended Portola Middle School, followed by Birmingham High School in Van Nuys, where she was a cheerleader.

Sally Field's Family Tree

29 October 2014

Bursary To Expand Archive of Irish in first World War

A bursary scheme to allow Irish university students to research Ireland’s involvement in the first World War was announced yesterday by Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Heather Humphreys in the Flemish town of Ypres, as representatives of more than 80 countries gathered in Flanders to commemorate the war.

The scheme, which will begin next year and run until 2018, will allow five university students from Ireland to spend the summer months at the In Flanders Fields Museum in Ypres.

Source & Full Story

27 October 2014

Are You Related to John Cleese?

Cleese was born on October 27, 1939 in Weston-super-Mare, Somerset, England, the only child of Reginald Francis Cleese, an insurance salesman, and his wife Muriel Evelyn (née Cross). His family's surname was originally Cheese, but his father had thought it was embarrassing and changed it when he enlisted in the Army during World War I.

Cleese was educated at St Peter's Preparatory School, where he received a prize for English studies and did well at cricket and boxing. When he was 13, he was awarded an exhibition at Clifton College, an English public school in Bristol.

John Cleese's Family Tree

21 October 2014

Are You Related to Kim Kardashian?

Kimberly Noel Kardashian was born in Los Angeles, California on October 21, 1980, to parents Robert and Kris (née Houghton). She has an older sister Kourtney, a younger sister Khloé, and a younger brother Rob. Their mother is of Dutch, English, and Scottish ancestry, while their father was a third-generation Armenian American.

After their parents divorced in 1991, Houghton remarried to the 1976 Summer Olympics decathlon winner Bruce Jenner in 1991. Through their marriage, Kardashian gained step-brothers Burton "Burt", Brandon, and Brody; step-sister Casey; and half-sisters Kendall and Kylie Jenner.

Kim Kardashian's Family Tree

10 October 2014

Are You Related to Tanya Tucker?

Tucker was born born October 10, 1958, in Seminole, Texas, the youngest of four children born to Jesse "Beau" and Juanita Tucker. Her father was a heavy equipment operator, and the family moved often as he sought better work.

Tanya's early childhood was spent primarily in Willcox, Arizona, where the only radio station in town played country music. The Tuckers attended concerts of country stars such as Ernest Tubb and Mel Tillis, and Tanya's sister LaCosta was praised in the family for her vocal abilities. At the age of eight, Tanya told her father that she also wanted to be a country singer when she grew up.

Tanya Tucker's Family Tree

9 October 2014

Are You Related to John Lennon?

Lennon was born in war-time England, on October 9, 1940 at Liverpool Maternity Hospital to Julia (née Stanley) and Alfred Lennon, a merchant seaman of Irish descent, who was away at the time of his son's birth.

His parents named him John Winston Lennon after his paternal grandfather, John "Jack" Lennon, and then-Prime Minister Winston Churchill. His father was often away from home but sent regular pay cheques to 9 Newcastle Road, Liverpool, where Lennon lived with his mother, but the cheques stopped when he went absent without leave in February 1944.

John Lennon's Family Tree

6 October 2014

In the United Kingdom, Relatives of Adopted Adults Now Able To Trace Family Tree

Children, grandchildren and other relatives of adopted adults can now trace back through their ancestors’ lives - helping them to unearth their family history, discover more about their medical background and reach out to long-lost relatives under new rules introduced today.

Previously, only the person adopted and their birth relatives were able to use specialised adoption agencies to help shed light on their family history and make contact with their biological family members.

Source & Full Story

Grandsons of Tenth President John Tyler Are Still Alive and Were Born 140 Years After Their Grandfather

John Tyler, the tenth president of the United States, was born in 1790. He grew up on a Virginia plantation, became a lawyer, and went on to the White House after the death of his predecessor, William Henry Harrison in 1841.

In the years leading up to his presidency, horse-drawn carriages were the mode du jour, Arkansas, Michigan, Maine, and Missouri became states, and across the sea, Napoleon Bonaparte was conquering Europe. But it has been revealed that two of the president’s grandsons are still alive – and were born nearly 140 years after their grandfather was.

Source & Full Story

29 September 2014

WWI Canadian Soldiers' Remains Identified

Nearly a century after they died in battle, the remains of unidentified Canadian soldiers who fought in the First World War are still being found in Europe. Today the Department of National Defence released the names of four who died during the Battle of Amiens in August 1918.

Their resting place was discovered in 2006 by then 14-year-old Fabien Demeusere, while digging in his back garden in Hallu, France, 120 kilometres north of Paris.

Source & Full Story

27 September 2014

Are You Related to Avril Lavigne?

Avril Ramona Lavigne was born on September 27, 1984 in Belleville, Ontario. Her father, Jean-Claude Joseph Lavigne, named her "Avril" after the French word for the month of April.

At the age of two, she began singing church songs with her mother, Judith-Rosanne "Judy" (née Loshaw). Judy recognized her two-year-old daughter's talents after hearing her sing "Jesus Loves Me" in church. Lavigne has an older brother, Matthew, and a younger sister, Michelle, both of whom teased her when she sang. "My brother used to knock on the wall because I used to sing myself to sleep and he thought it was really annoying." Her father is of French descent and her mother has English, Scottish, and German ancestry.

Avril Lavigne's Family Tree

22 September 2014

Monument to First Lady Michelle Obama’s Ancestor Melvinia Shields Dedicated in Kingston, Georgia

Melvinia Shields, the great-great-great-grandmother of First Lady Michelle Obama, helped deliver William Hill.

Now 86, Hill still remembers the woman who brought him into this world, and who for decades was buried in an unmarked grave behind Queen Chapel Methodist Church in Kingston. Hill joined some 150 others Saturday morning at the Kingston church for the dedication of a monument to Shields. Born a slave in 1844 and later emancipated, Shields moved to Kingston and stayed some 50 years.

Source & Full Story

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