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Genealogy Blog

10 March 2014

Rediscovered Trenches Bring World War I To Life in England

Two lines of trenches face off across No Man's Land. A soldier marches, rifle in hand, along a ditch. These are instantly familiar images of World War I - but this is Britain, a century on and an English Channel away from the battlefields of the Western Front.

This overgrown and oddly corrugated patch of heathland on England's south coast was once a practice battlefield, complete with trenches, weapons and barbed wire. Thousands of troops trained here to take on the German army.

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5 March 2014

Native American Cahokia Was The Country’s First 'Melting Pot'

Researchers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered new evidence that establishes a Native American city as America’s first “melting pot.”

The team found that Cahokia, a pre-Columbian city that sat between the Missouri and Mississippi rivers, hosted a large population of immigrants. Previously, researchers believed this city consisted of a homogenous, stable population drawn from the area. However, new studies have revealed a different scenario.

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3 March 2014

A Story of Love Revealed in WWI Soldier's Letters To Home

When Joan Nash was clearing out her mother-in-law’s house, the last thing she expected to find was a casket of love letters from her teenage sweetheart, who died in World War One.

Mrs Nash, 80, from New Inn, stumbled upon the love letters wrapped up in the bottom drawer of an old fashioned wardrobe in her mother-in-law Rose Nash’s house in Abersychan. The collection of over 100 letters were from Rose’s war time boyfriend, Will O’Brien, who fought in the 5th Battalion of the Grenadier Guards.

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26 February 2014

800 Years of Irish History Unraveled in Castle Dig

Excavation work has started at Carrickfergus Castle in Co Antrim, Ireland’s best preserved Anglo Norman castle, in a bid to find out more about the 800-year-old fortification.

Archaeologists began test excavations at the site last week as part of the ongoing work by the Department of the Environment to uncover more of the landmark’s history and to help guide future development of the castle to improve visitor experience.

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25 February 2014

Woman Finds Sealed, WWII-Era Letter

Sheila Polk loves anything related to World War II, especially memorabilia. She certainly did not expect to find the intriguing piece that she did recently at the Goodwill Store in Lakeland.

It is a letter dated 1945 and addressed to PFC Helen Rothurmel, 555th WAC Squadron, Love Field, Dallas Texas. The 555th was an African American unit. The letter is from Sgt. Albert C. Alm , Jr. , Army Airfield, Palm Springs, California. It is still sealed.

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200-Year-Old Douche Found Under New York's City Hall

While sifting through a 19th-century trash heap buried below Manhattan's City Hall Park, archaeologists found a dirt-caked tube that was finely carved out of bone and had a perforated, threaded screw cap. Only recently did they discover it was actually a vaginal syringe used for douching.

The feminine hygiene device seems to have been tossed out with the refuse of a pretty good party around the time City Hall was being built 200 years ago.

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24 February 2014

Oldest Fortified Settlement in North America Discovered in Georgia?

In an announcement that could rewrite the book on early colonization of the New World, two researchers today said they have proposed a location for the oldest fortified settlement ever found in North America. Speaking at an international conference on France at Florida State University, the pair announced that they have proposed a new location for Fort Caroline, a long-sought fort built by the French in 1564.

This fort is older than St. Augustine, considered to be the oldest continuously inhabited city in America. It's older than the Lost Colony of Virginia by 21 years; older than the 1607 fort of Jamestown by 45 years; and predates the landing of the Pilgrims in Massachusetts in 1620 by 56 years.

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19 February 2014

Discovery of Lost 200-Year-Old Bible Reveals Family History

The recent discovery of a 200-year-old Bible brought a Kentucky woman to tears. Inside, it holds living proof of a family history that had been lost for generations.

From the Netherlands, to a flea market in Virginia Beach, and back to Lexington: a piece of history makes its journey home. Kathy Clark never fought so hard to open a package, anxious for a family reunion long overdue.

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100 Torah Scrolls Looted From Hungary in World War II Discovered in Russia

One hundred Torah scrolls that were looted from Hungary during World War II were discovered in Russia by a chief rabbi of Hungary.

Rabbi Slomo Koves, executive rabbi of the Unified Hungarian Jewish Congregation, or EMIH, discovered the scrolls and other pieces of Judaica in the Lenin Library in the town of Nizhniy Novgorod. Hungary’s artifacts, among them the famous Calvinist library of Sarospatak in eastern Hungary, were taken from the country by the Russian army during the war.

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Pressed Poppies Picked on the Battlefield by WWI Soldier and Sent Home to Lover Unearthed for First Time

A mysterious scrapbook of pressed flowers that a soldier sent to his sweetheart while he was fighting in the First World War has come to light. The book belonged to a woman named only as Lizzie and was used by her to keep flowers that her soldier boyfriend sent home from the battlefield.

The man, who is referred to as 'Bert' sent the cuttings to the young woman by post while he fought in the war from 1917 to 1919.

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17 February 2014

South Carolina Archeologists Race To Uncover Civil War Prison

Racing against time, South Carolina archeologists are digging to uncover the remnants of a Civil War-era prisoner-of-war camp before the site in downtown Columbia is cleared to make room for a mixed-use development.

The researchers have been given four months to excavate a small portion of the 165-acre grounds of the former South Carolina State Hospital to find the remnants of what was once known as "Camp Asylum." Conditions at the camp, which held 1,500 Union Army officers during the winter of 1864-65, were so dire that soldiers dug and lived in holes in the ground, which provided shelter against the cold.

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14 February 2014

Note From 1916 Discovered Behind a Fireplace Is Finally Delivered to WWI Seaman's Great Granddaughter

A forgotten letter from a mystery First World War sailor has found its way to his granddaughter after almost a century. The note dated 1916 was discovered behind a fireplace in Kirkwall, Orkney, and signed ‘Your Blue Jacket Boy’.

Addressed to the serviceman’s family, it was sealed and stamped but never posted. Staff at Orkney Library hoped to identify the letter writer and launched an appeal on their blog. The hunt spread to Canada, where a distant relative suggested the sailor might be David John Phillips from Llanelli, South Wales.

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13 February 2014

Naval Archivists Discover Trove of Never Before Seen Photographs from Spanish-American Conflict of 1898

Archivists at the Naval History and Heritage Command in Washington DC were going through a backlog of artifacts this week when they came across an unexpected treasure: a wooden box filled with 150 original glass plate photos from the Spanish-American War.

‘The plates were individually wrapped in tissue paper and include full captions and dates, which were likely prepared by the photographer, Douglas White,’ said Lisa Crunk, NHHC's photo archives branch head.

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12 February 2014

New Zealand's First Missionary Station Uncovered

The site of New Zealand's first missionary's station and its first classroom have been discovered by archaeologists after two years of research and fieldwork.

Artefacts from the Hohi Mission Station at Kerikeri have uncovered details about the daily lives of the first permanent European settlers, researchers said. University of Otago Anthropology and Archaeology Associate Professor Ian Smith and Archaeology Honourary Research Fellow Dr Angela Middleton led the excavation team.

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3D Technology Gives Face To Ancient Female Skull

A scattered female skull, which was found during excavations in the Aktopraklık tumulus in Turkey's northwestern province of Bursa’s Akçalar district and determined to have been killed with torture, has been reassembled and its face has been constructed with 3D technology.

Excavations have been carried out in the 8,500-year-old tumulus under the leadership of Istanbul University Prehistory Department member Associate Professor Necmi Karul.

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