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Genealogy Blog

17 September 2014

Forgotten Ghost Ships Off Golden Gate Revealed

A team of NOAA researchers today confirmed the discovery just outside San Francisco's Golden Gate strait of the 1910 shipwreck SS Selja and an unidentified early steam tugboat wreck tagged the "mystery wreck."

The researchers also located the 1863 wreck of the clipper ship Noonday, currently obscured by mud and silt on the ocean floor.

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15 September 2014

500 Child Skeletons Found in Workhouse Mass Grave Tell of Struggles During the Irish Great Hunger

Skeletons of over 500 children who died during the Great Hunger were found seven years ago buried in a mass grave within what was once the Kilkenny Union Workhouse. With over three years of research on their bones, bio-archaeologists have been able to uncover the children's harrowing stories and medical secrets.

The new study, funded by the Irish Research Council, is based upon the "skeletal manifestation of stress in child victims of the Great Hunger."

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12 September 2014

Black Death Skeletons Unearthed in Peterborough, England

Developers building houses in Peterborough have unearthed a fascinating glimpse of the city's past.

They've discovered a huge burial ground in Midland Road containing the skeletons of at least 70 people. It's thought the remains could be victims of the Black Death. For centuries they lay undisturbed while above them life went on for successive generations of Peterboreans.

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In Search of the Spanish Armada Off the Irish Coast

The Invincible Armada had been navigating its way through the wilderness of the North Atlantic.

On the dawn of September 7, 1588, the Duke of Medina Sidonia, captain of the San Martín and the commanding officer of the vast fleet Philip II had created to invade England, scanned the horizon. Low on water and provisions, he now faced the task of returning to Spain with 112 badly damaged vessels carrying around 3,000 wounded by sailing round Scotland, and then the west coast of Ireland.

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5 September 2014

Fluke Discovery of World War I Officer’s Diary Under the Floorboards During a House Renovation

Ripping up floorboards in old houses usually yields nothing more historic than rot and rats. But the State Library of NSW is the richer for what Glen Butler found while renovating his Manly home.

It was a WWI diary penned by Sydney-born military officer Geoffrey Gaden while fighting the Germans in the trenches of France in 1916. The almost pristine diary was secreted under the floorboards of an upstairs bedroom and evidently forgotten before Mr Butler bought the house about three years ago.

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27 August 2014

Royal Canadian Geographical Society's New Hunt On for Lost Franklin Ships

The Royal Canadian Geographical Society is using new technologies to hunt for old shipwrecks: Erebus and Terror, the missing ships of Sir John Franklin’s doomed Arctic expedition.

The two British warships were trapped in ice in 1848, and all 129 men in the expedition died. Now wreck hunters will focus on Victoria Strait, a different area from the places where many previous expeditions have searched.

Source & Full Story

26 August 2014

Black Death Mass Grave Found in Barcelona, Spain

The Basilica of Sant Just i Pastor, in the heart of Barcelona’s historic Gothic Quarter, has been a place of Christian worship since the fourth century.

In recent years it has provided archeologists with rich bounty: Roman remains from the first century, when the colony of Barcino was founded by the emperor Augustus, along with a Visigothic baptismal font, and the chancel from a sixth-century basilica. The latest find is around 120 bodies packed like sardines in a mass grave under the sacristy that could provide new insight into the impact of the Black Death, which devastated Europe in the mid-14th century.

Source & Full Story

25 August 2014

WWI Scottish Regiment Soldier 'May Have Been First Australian-Born Casualty'

New details have emerged indicating Lieutenant Leslie Richmond, born in Victoria, died at the Battle of Mons on August 23, 1914 while serving with the 1st Gordon Highlanders.

Just weeks ago, the Australian War Memorial altered their records to recognise Lieutenant Malcolm Chisholm as the first Australian-born casualty after he was killed in France on August 27. For many years, Seaman William "Billy" Williams and Captain Brian Pockley were honoured as the first Australians to fall after their deaths on September 11, 1914 in the battle of Bita Paka in Papua New Guinea.

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1 August 2014

Scientists: Ship Found Buried at New York's World Trade Center Predates American Revolution

Researchers say a ship unearthed at the site of New York's World Trade Center predates American independence.

Columbia University scientists say they've determined wood used in the ship's frame came from a Philadelphia-area forest in 1773 — three years before the signing of the Declaration of Independence and start of the Revolutionary War.

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28 July 2014

Mystery Poem Found in World War One Kilt

A hidden poem from a Glasgow woman has been found sewn into the folds of a World War One kilt owned by a Southampton academic. Dr Helen Paul discovered the hand-written message when she was removing the packing stitches from the kilt, which has been passed down her family.

The note is a poem with lines including: "If married never mind, if single drop a line". It is signed by Helen Govan, of 49 Ardgowan Street in Glasgow.

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24 July 2014

400-Year-Old Crucifix Found by Canadian Student

It is tiny in size — measuring only 1.1 inches in width — and its top is broken, but a 400- year-old copper crucifix found at Newfoundland's Avalon Peninsula earlier in July has big historical significance, according to historians. It symbolizes an early dream of religious freedom in North America.

The artifact is clearly a Catholic item, featuring a simple representation of Christ on the front and the Virgin Mary and Christ Child on the back. Yet it was found in a predominantly English settlement.

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18 July 2014

British Student Discovers Iconic World War II Bunker Buried More than 70 Years

A World War II air raid shelter buried for more than 70 years has been discovered at a primary school by a pupil — and it was so well-preserved the light bulb still works. The iconic Anderson shelter was unearthed at Stoke Community Primary School, in Medway, Kent.

Youngster Harvey Cotton, 10, had been taking part in a school activity when he saw a block of concrete at the back of what used to be an orchard in the school grounds. School caretaker Chris Poulter was sent to investigate and was amazed at what he found.

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9 July 2014

Mystery of Irishman Who Was WWII Hero Solved After 62 Years

The 62-year mystery of an Irishman whose investigations during World War II helped return millions in stolen art and diamonds has finally been solved.

Eugene Smith, who was born in Lavey, Co Cavan, in 1913 but emigrated to the US as a child, disappeared after his military plane crashed into a glacier in Alaska in 1952. For decades his family, both in America and in Cavan, suspected he had died in the crash, but were never able to recover his body or give Eugene a proper burial.

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8 July 2014

Rare World War II Map Found in Deceased Veteran's Garage

Fifty-two World War II stories that were hidden in a Rehoboth Beach garage will finally be told. In just a few weeks, a World War II museum in Delaware will welcome a new, historic artifact – an enormous map documenting a rear admiral's travels, as well as every U.S. submarine lost in the war.

"I think it’s safe to say that there is no other map like this in the country," Dr. Gary Wray, president of the Fort Miles Historical Association, said.

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7 July 2014

Amelia Earhart's Disappearance: The Answer in Photos?

New forensic imaging techniques might solve the longstanding mystery over the fate of Amelia Earhart, whose plane vanished over the Pacific Ocean on July 2, 1937, in a record attempt to fly around the world at the equator.

At the center of sophisticated imaging techniques are a handful of 1937 pictures of Earhart’s twin-engined Lockheed "Electra." Those were taken in Miami -- the fourth stop on the aviator’s attempt to circumnavigate the globe -- and show a distinctive patch of metal installed to replace a navigational window.

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