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Genealogy Blog

30 December 2013

Are You Related to Del Shannon?

Del Shannon was born Charles Weedon Westover on December 30, 1934, in Grand Rapids, Michigan and grew up in nearby Coopersville. He learned ukulele and guitar and listened to country and western music, including Hank Williams, Hank Snow, and Lefty Frizzell.

He was drafted into the Army in 1954, and while in Germany played guitar in a band called The Cool Flames. When his service ended, he returned to Battle Creek, Michigan, and worked as a carpet salesman and as a truck driver in a furniture factory.

Del Shannon's Family Tree

18 December 2013

Are You Related to Katie Holmes?

Holmes was born on December 18, 1978 in Toledo, Ohio. She is the youngest of five children born to Kathleen (née Stothers), a homemaker and philanthropist, and Martin Joseph Holmes, Sr., an attorney.

She has three sisters and one brother: Tamera, Holly Ann, Martin Joseph, Jr., and Nancy Kay. Holmes was baptized a Roman Catholic and attended Christ the King Church in Toledo. She graduated from the all-female Notre Dame Academy in Toledo (also her mother's alma mater), where she was a 4.0 student.

Katie Holmes' Family Tree

13 December 2013

Are You Related to Taylor Swift?

Taylor Alison Swift was born on December 13, 1989 in Reading, Pennsylvania. Her father, Scott Swift, is a Merrill Lynch financial adviser. Scott was raised in Pennsylvania and is the descendant of three generations of bank presidents. Her mother, Andrea (née Finlay), is a homemaker who previously worked as a mutual fund marketing executive. Andrea spent the first ten years of her life in Singapore, before settling in Texas.

She attended preschool and kindergarten at the Alvernia Montessori School, run by Franciscan nuns, and was later educated at the Wyndcroft School, a co-ed private school.

Taylor Swift's Family Tree

8 December 2013

Are You Related to Jim Morrison?

James Douglas Morrison was born on December 8, 1943, in Melbourne, Florida, the son of Clara Virginia (née Clarke) and future Rear Admiral George Stephen Morrison.

Morrison had a sister, Anne Robin, who was born in 1947 in Albuquerque, New Mexico; and a brother, Andrew Lee Morrison, who was born in 1948 in Los Altos, California. His ancestry included English, Scottish, and Irish.

Jim Morrison's Family Tree

27 November 2013

Are You Related to Jimi Hendrix?

Jimi Hendrix was born on November 27, 1942 in Seattle, Washington, USA. He was of a mixed genealogy that included African American, Irish, and Cherokee ancestors.

His paternal great grandmother, Zenora, was a full-blooded Cherokee from Georgia who married an Irishman named Moore. In 1883, they had a daughter whom they named Zenora "Nora" Rose Moore, Hendrix' paternal grandmother. The illegitimate son of a black slave woman named Fanny and her white overseer, Jimi's paternal grandfather, Bertran Philander Ross Hendrix (born 1866), was named after his biological father, a grain dealer from Urbana, Ohio, and one of the wealthiest white men in the area at the time.

Jimi Hendrix's Family Tree

25 November 2013

Burglars Steal A Laptop Holding Family History

A chauffeur has branded those responsible for stealing a laptop containing his family’s history “scum of the earth”. Richard Arrandale discovered his home in Oxford Road, Kidlington, had been burgled when he returned home from work.

Thieves had taken the family’s washing machine, dishwasher, two televisions, a stereo system and a DVD player. Also stolen was the laptop which contained a 12-year family history project which his father, Bryan Arradale, aged 87, had been working on.

Source & Full Story

23 November 2013

Are You Related to Miley Cyrus?

Destiny Hope Cyrus was born on November 23, 1992, in Nashville, Tennessee, to Letitia Jean "Tish" (née Finley) and country singer Billy Ray Cyrus. Her name was derived from her parents' belief that she would accomplish great things with her life, and was given the nickname "Smiley", later shortened to "Miley", because she often smiled as an infant.

Against the advice of her father's record company, Cyrus's parents secretly married a month after Cyrus's birth on December 28, 1992.

Miley Cyrus' Family Tree

21 November 2013

Signature of Reagan's ancestor found on 1841 census

Hidden among tens of thousands of signatures on the 'largest farewell card' in the world was a link to the future US president.

In spindly letters on the Morpeth Roll, Thomas Reagan – the great-great-grandfather of the late US president Ronald Reagan – from Ballyporeen, Co Tipperary, signed his name in 1841. He was one of 160,000 Irish people who wanted to thank the outgoing chief secretary of Ireland, reforming Whig George Howard, Lord Morpeth, for his work towards improving conditions.

Source & Full Story

The Mother Who Gave Away Three Babies By Knocking On The Doors of Total Strangers And The Astonishing Heartwarming Story of How The Siblings Were Reunited After 60 Years

No one will ever know what went through the young mother’s mind as she knocked on doors, begging strangers to take her three-month- old daughter.

It was the summer of 1946 in the Potteries village of Bucknall. She was turned down twice before the third stranger agreed to take her baby in. At which point Rosemary, then 28, promptly disappeared to fetch the baby’s few belongings from her lodgings around the corner.

Source & Full Story

19 November 2013

Irish Surnames Explained - The Meaning Behind The Top Ten Clan Names

Irish and Irish-Americans alike tend to be immensely proud of their surnames. Many a Irish family proudly declare their Irish roots by displaying the crest of their clan in their homes.

But which last names win in the battle of Irishness? IrishCentral took a look at the list of the most common surnames in Ireland in order to come up with a top 10 list. Smith and Murray are two of the most common, but one is of British origins and the other’s Scottish, so they didn’t make the cut.

Source & Full Story

Are You Related to Jodie Foster?

Alicia Christian Foster was born November 19, 1962, in Los Angeles, California. She is the youngest of four children born to Evelyn Ella "Brandy" (née Almond) and Lucius Fisher Foster III.

Her father, a decorated U.S. Air Force lieutenant colonel turned real estate broker, came from a wealthy background and left his wife before Foster was born. Foster has two older sisters, Lucinda "Cindy" Foster (b. 1954) and Constance "Connie" Foster (b. 1955), and an older brother, Lucius Fisher "Buddy" Foster (b. 1957), who was also a child actor. Evelyn supported her children by working as a film producer.

Jodie Foster's Family Tree

6 November 2013

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

4 November 2013

Mark Twain’s Ancestor Was 'Witchfinder General' in Northern Ireland

Witchcraft ‘detective’ Dr Andrew Sneddon has unearthed evidence that one of Mark Twain’s ancestors was the ‘witchfinder general’ in the infamous 18th century Islandmagee Witch Trial.

With echoes of horror actor Vincent Price’s malevolent and gory role in the cult classic movie Witchfinder General, Dr Sneddon discovered that Edward Clements was Ulster’s own main witch hunter during the 1711 Islandmagee trial. The History of the Islandmagee Witches & Ireland’s Only Witchcraft Mass Trial, Dr Sneddon digs deep beneath the accepted facts about the case of eight innocent old women found guilty of bewitching 18-year-old Mary Dunbar.

Source & Full Story

30 October 2013

Are You Related to Grace Slick?

Best known as one of the lead singers of the rock groups The Great Society, Jefferson Airplane, Jefferson Starship, and Starship, Grace Barnett Wing was born October 30, 1939 in Evanston, Illinois, to Ivan W. Wing (1907–1987), of Norwegian and Swedish descent, and Virginia (née Barnett; 1910–1984), the latter a direct descendant of passengers of the Mayflower.

She attended Palo Alto Senior High School before switching to Castilleja High School, a private all-girls school in Palo Alto. Following graduation she attended Finch College in New York from 1957–58, and the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Florida, from 1958–59.

Grace Slick's Family Tree

29 October 2013

Sherlock Holmes And The Mysterious Case Of His 'Killer' Ancestor: Newly Uncovered Records Show Benedict Cumberbatch's Great-Great Uncle Was Tried For Murder At 14

‘The Romsey Stabbing Case’ sounds like it could be a Sherlock Holmes mystery. And in a way, it is. For the story comes from the past of the actor who plays the detective, Benedict Cumberbatch. Newly uncovered records have revealed that the actor’s great-great maternal uncle Henry was tried for murder when he was only 14.

Henry Ventham, a farm hand, was accused of stabbing to death his friend, Frederick Betteridge. The story appeared in the Hampshire Advertiser on Saturday, 18 November 1893, with the headline The Romsey Stabbing Case.

Source & Full Story

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