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Genealogy Blog

21 November 2013

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.

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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

28 October 2013

Are You Related to Bill Gates?

Gates was born on October 28, 1955 in Seattle, Washington, to William H. Gates, Sr. and Mary Maxwell Gates. His ancestry includes English, German, and Scots-Irish.

His father was a prominent lawyer, and his mother served on the board of directors for First Interstate BancSystem and the United Way. Gates's maternal grandfather was JW Maxwell, a national bank president. Gates has one elder sister, Kristi (Kristianne), and one younger sister, Libby. He was the fourth of his name in his family, but was known as William Gates III or "Trey" because his father had the "II" suffix.

Bill Gates' Family Tree

21 October 2013

Search for WWI Soldier Private David Kerr's Family

A transatlantic search has been launched to find the family of a Scottish World War I soldier to reunite them with their ancestor's medal. Donald Bennett, who lives in Toronto, Canada, is attempting to find the descendants of Private David Kerr, believed to be from Cardenden in Fife.

Mr Bennett was given Pte Kerr's 1914-15 Star by his grandfather. Pte Kerr was killed at the Battle of Loos in France in September 1915. He served with the Scottish Rifles.

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Irish Roots: Why Can't You Find Your Ancestors?

Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. Which is to say that trying to explain why you can’t find your ancestor is akin to collecting water in a sieve. But here are a few possibilities anyway:

At the precise moment the National Library was microfilming the parish register page with your ancestor on it, a tiny wink of light crept through the blackout curtains and fell on just the last few letters of the surname, creating a small overexposure and making the name eternally illegible.

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Are You Related to Carrie Fisher?

Fisher was born on October 21, 1956 in Beverly Hills, California, the daughter of singer Eddie Fisher and actress Debbie Reynolds. Her father was Jewish, the son of immigrants from Russia, and her mother was Protestant, of Scots-Irish and English ancestry.

Her younger brother is producer and actor Todd Fisher, and her half-sisters are actresses Joely Fisher and Tricia Leigh Fisher, whose mother is the singer and actress Connie Stevens.

Carrie Fisher's Family Tree

14 October 2013

Are You Related to Lillian Gish?

Gish was born on October 14, 1893 in Springfield, Ohio, to 18-year-old Mary Robinson McConnell (1875-1948) (an Episcopalian) and James Leigh Gish (1872-1912) (who was of German Lutheran descent). She had a younger sister, Dorothy.

The first several generations of Gishes were Dunkard ministers. Her great-great-great-grandfather came to America on the ship Pennsylvania Merchant in 1733 and received a land grant from William Penn. Her great-great-grandfather was in the American Revolutionary War and is buried in a cemetery in Pennsylvania for such soldiers.

Lillian Gish's Family Tree

4 October 2013

Are You Related To Susan Sarandon?

Susan Abigail Tomalin was born on October 4, 1946 in Jackson Heights, Queens, New York City. She is the first of nine children born to Lenora Marie (née Criscione) and Phillip Leslie Tomalin.

Her father was of English, Irish, and Welsh ancestry, his English ancestors being from Hackney in London and his Welsh ancestors being from Bridgend. On her mother's side, she is of Italian descent, with ancestors from the regions of Tuscany and Sicily. Sarandon grew up in Edison, New Jersey, where she graduated from Edison High School in 1964.

Susan Sarandon's Family Tree

27 September 2013

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. 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

26 September 2013

Find Tools For Researching Your Irish Family History at New York’s The Genealogy Event

Did your family come from the mountains of Mourne or Killarney’s lakes so blue? Are you baffled by Irish spelling of names? Did your ancestors come through Ellis Island or another US port? What insights about your ancestors’ daily lives can you learn from the 1901 and 1911 census information?

Irish and Irish-American family historians and genealogists will be on hand to help answer your questions on November 2, at The Genealogy Event, at the Metropolitan Pavilion, 125 West 18th Street (bet 6th and 7th Avenues, from 10:00 am to 8:00 pm).

Source & Full Story

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