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Genealogy Blog

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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25 June 2014

Spanish Documents Suggest Irish Arrived in America Before Columbus

While Christopher Columbus is generally credited with having discovered America in 1492, a 1521 Spanish report provides inklings of evidence that there were, in fact, Irish people settled in America prior to Columbus’ journey.

“Researchers feel certain that there was a colony of Irish folk living in what is now South Carolina, when Christopher Columbus “thought” he had discovered the New World,” writes Richard Thornton for The Examiner.

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20 June 2014

Dracula's Tomb Found in Italy? Er...Not Really

Has the tomb of Vlad III the Impaler, the historical Dracula, been found in the center of Naples in Italy? Not really. Experts and bloggers are now debunking the claim that circulated late last week, saying it’s not rooted in real history but rather resembles a Da Vinci Code conspiracy novel.

According to a report in the Italian daily Il Mattino, the remains of the 15th century Romanian prince upon which Bram Stoker's gothic novel "Dracula" is based, lie in a cloister in the Santa Maria La Nova church in Naples.

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10 June 2014

'Incredibly Important' Medieval Find in Wales

Archaeologists says they have discovered an "incredibly important" medieval convent, cemetery and Tudor mansion in Ceredigion. The location of Llanllyr nunnery in the Aeron Valley had been a mystery until now.

The convent, founded by Lord Rhys ap Gruffudd in 1180, was a daughter house of the Strata Florida abbey, a former Cistercian monastery which was of immense importance to Wales during the Middle Ages.

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9 June 2014

10th-Century Viking king May Have Been Discovered in Scotland

In 2005 archaeologists working in eastern Scotland came across the skeleton of a warrior buried in a saint’s cemetery. A historian now believes these might be the remains of Olaf Guthfrithsson, King of Dublin and Northumbria from 934 to 941.

The remains were uncovered in the village of Auldhame, East Lothian, which is home to an Anglo-Saxon church and cemetery.

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5 June 2014

Oldest Known Pair of Pants Unearthed

The world’s first-known pants were recently excavated from tombs in western China, reports a new study.

The pants, which date from 3,000 to 3,300 years ago, are tattered, but are surprisingly stylish, combining attractive form with function. Made out of wool, the trousers feature straight-fitting legs and a wide crotch. The pants were discovered in an excavation led by archaeologists Ulrike Beck and Mayke Wagner of the German Archaeological Institute in Berlin.

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2 June 2014

Remains of Five World War I Soldiers Found in France

The remains of five French soldiers who fought in World War I have been found along with their weapons in a wood in the country's east, a man behind the discovery said on Sunday.

The skeletons were discovered along with Lebel rifles, the basic weapon of the French infantry during the Great War, in a forest near the town of Luneville, Philippe Sugg told AFP. One of them had his identity tag and was a 27-year-old from an area near the southern city of Perpignan, he said.

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Medieval Skulls Found in Coventry's Old Grammar School

Fragments of medieval skulls and bones have been found during the restoration of a 12th Century building in Coventry. The bones found in the Old Grammar School are believed to date back to some time between the 12th and 16th Centuries.

The excavation of the Grade I listed building is part of an £8.5m scheme to restore the building and extend the neighbouring Transport Museum. Experts described the finds as "surprising".

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Unique Silk Cloth Found in Emperor Henry VII's Coffin

A unique silk cloth has been found in the tomb of German king and Holy Roman emperor Henry VII of Luxembourg (1275-1313), among bones and what remains of his boiled head, Italian researchers announced this week.

Resting in Pisa Cathedral, the remains of Henry VII were exhumed last fall with the aim of getting more insights into the emperor’s physical features and cause of death. The research is still ongoing, but the opening of the sarcophagus has already revealed a medieval treasure trove.

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30 May 2014

Trenches used for WWI training unearthed in Iowa

Archaeologists hired to dig at World War I training trenches on the Iowa National Guard Base at Camp Dodge have uncovered several artifacts dating to when the United States entered the war: rifle shell casings, a machine gun suppressor from the era and non-exploding grenades.

Excavation began last week in Johnston and continued Wednesday with the team working to learn more about the trench systems, which were used for training U.S. soldiers before they were shipped out to Europe.

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27 May 2014

Remains of 40 Confederate Soldiers Discovered in Virginia Cemetery

Their remains sat, unmarked, in shallow graves at the Old City Cemetery in Lynchburg, Va., for decades. Now, two centuries after the Civil War, the bodies of 40 Confederate soldiers discovered over the past two months will receive a proper memorial.

"It's been very meaningful to us to find these spots, identify these soldiers and bring closure to families," said Ted Delaney, the cemetery's assistant director, who, along with a team of archaeologists, uncovered the exact resting place of some 40 Confederate soldiers as well as the plots where Union soldiers were once buried and later exhumed.

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