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Genealogy Blog

24 October 2014

Melting Antarctic Snow Has Revealed the Notebook of Captain Robert Scott’s Official Expedition Photographer

Melting Antarctic snow has revealed the notebook of Captain Robert Scott’s official expedition photographer. Researchers found George Levick’s journal outside the 1911 Terra Nova base in the heart of the Antarctic following this year's annual thaw.

Despite thaws in previous years, this is the first time the notebook has been seen in more than a century. The notebook is called Wellcome Photographic Exposure Record and Diary 1910 and was discovered by New Zealand’s Antarctic Heritage Trust.

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21 October 2014

13th Century Note Etched on Bark Found in Russia

The note, from father to son, was the sort of routine shopping list that today would be dashed off on a smartphone. In 14th century Russia, it was etched into the bark of a birch tree and curled into a scroll.

"Send me a shirt, towel, trousers, reins, and, for my sister, send fabric," the father, whose name was Onus, wrote to his son, Danilo, the block letters of Old Novgorod language, a precursor to Russian, neatly carved into the wood with a stylus. Onus ended with a bit of humor. "If I am alive," he wrote, "I will pay for it."

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17 October 2014

Evidence of Medieval Church Found in North Yorkshire, England

Archaeologists have unearthed ancient human remains and evidence of a medieval church on the site of a new extra care scheme.

The discovery in Leyburn, North Yorkshire, has been described as an "intriguing conundrum" by experts. Tests and further digging is now underway to learn more about the finds in a field being developed by Broadacres housing association.

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15 October 2014

Richard III Archaeologists Now Search for King Harold To See If He Survived Battle of Hastings

Archaeologists will this week test if the Bayeux Tapestry correctly depicts Harold II’s death, when they scan a graveyard to investigate whether he in fact survived the Battle of Hastings.

The same survey team used to find the remains of Richard III under a Leicester car park is now searching for the remains of England’s last Saxon king in the grounds of Waltham Abbey Church in Essex.

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13 October 2014

Remains of Alexander the Great's Father Confirmed Found

A team of Greek researchers has confirmed that bones found in a two-chambered royal tomb at Vergina, a town some 100 miles away from Amphipolis's mysterious burial mound, indeed belong to the Macedonian King Philip II, Alexander the Great's father.

The anthropological investigation examined 350 bones and fragments found in two larnakes, or caskets, of the tomb. It uncovered pathologies, activity markers and trauma that helped identify the tomb's occupants.

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Slave Photo Discovered from Robert E. Lee's Home

The National Park Service has acquired a rare Civil War-era photograph of an enslaved woman who helped save Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee's home in Arlington, Virginia.

The previously unknown photograph depicts Selina Gray, the head housekeeper to Lee and his family, along with two girls. The photograph was unveiled Thursday at the Arlington House plantation overlooking the nation's capital that was home to Lee and dozens of slaves before the Civil War.

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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.

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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.

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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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