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Genealogy Blog

11 February 2014

Oklahoma Woman Discovers Civil War Documents

An Oklahoma woman has discovered a rare historical find in her home. "I found something with some pretty writing on it," Julie Mathis said. Mathis was cleaning out a box to use to move when she uncovered pieces of American history.

"Letters, stamps, writing utensils, locks," said Mathis. "It seemed to be almost a whole bit of history, a whole person's history just wrapped in twine." Among the findings: a handwritten letter from 1866 with a colorful government seal and signed by several Pennsylvania lawmakers.

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10 February 2014

Map Discovered in Drawer Details WWII POW Experience

For six years, the mobile home sat empty on 5 acres, a buffer between Richard White and a deteriorating neighborhood.

Veryl and Norma Orcutt had lived there in the winters since 1990, escaping the Wisconsin snow. But then old age and Veryl's illness put an end to the lifestyle. That and the drugs. "We just couldn't stand all the shady characters who started coming around,'' Norma said. "It soured us on Florida.''

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6 February 2014

German Federal Archives Authenticates Recently Released Himmler Letters

As Germany was invading the Soviet Union in June of 1941, the wife of Heinrich Himmler, who was the chief of the Nazi Gestapo and the SS and also one of the primary orchestrators of the Holocaust, sent him a message: "There is a can of caviar in the ice box. Take it."

At another time, Himmler’s wife, Margarete, received a note from her husband that read: "I am off to Auschwitz. Kisses, Your Heini."

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Remains of Blanche Mortimer Discovered in Lead Coffin

The discovery of a body inside a church memorial has caused amazement in the world of archaeology and surprised experts. Michael Eastham, a conservator of sculpture has been working on the memorial in a Herefordshire Church for nearly two years but was taken aback when a mysterious coffin was discovered jammed inside the tomb-chest.

Blanche was born around 1316 at Wigmore Castle in Herefordshire, and was the youngest child of Sir Roger Mortimer and Joan de Geneville. She became the wife of Peter de Grandison , but died in 1347. They had one son, Otto.

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5 February 2014

Unique Documents Related to US-Dakota War of 1862 Located

Local historians are thrilled about a recent discovery that could lead to previously unknown yet extraordinarily valuable information about life in the area in the run-up to, and aftermath of, the US-Dakota War of 1862.

The excitement comes in the wake of a significant find in the National Archives in Washington, D.C.: a private researcher, funded by a small private grant, last year located about half of the property-loss (or "depredation") claims filed by area residents just after the war.

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3 February 2014

Charlemagne's Bones Are (Probably) Real

German scientists have announced after almost 26 years of research that the bones interred for centuries at Aachen Cathedral are likely to be those of Charlemagne.

Researchers confirmed on Wednesday evening - 1,200 years to the day since Charlemagne died - that the 94 bones and bone fragments taken from the supposed resting place of the King of the Franks and founder of what was to become the Holy Roman Empire came from a tall, thin, older man.

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31 January 2014

Melting Glaciers in Northern Italy Reveal Corpses of WW1 Soldiers

At first glance Peio is a small alpine ski resort like many others in northern Italy. In winter it is popular with middle-class Italians as well as, increasingly, Russian tourists. In summer there’s good hiking in the Stelvio National Park.

It has a spa, shops that sell a dozen different kinds of grappa, and, perhaps, aspirations to be the next Cortina. A cable car was inaugurated three years ago, and a multi-storey car park is under construction.

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29 January 2014

Genealogist Baffled By Surprise Hidden in Antique Present

An intrigued genealogist is hoping readers can put her in the picture after discovering decades-old film tucked inside her birthday surprise.

Michala Hulme, from Tabley, was shocked when her fiancé Gavin presented her with a 1930s box camera from Knutsford Antiques on December 24, instead of the CD or video game she usually receives. But what was hidden inside the camera came as an even bigger shock –film from the WWII-era - and the 31-year-old has spent the past month trying to unravel the story behind the lens.

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Forgotten Images From the Western Front: Negatives Discovered in a Rusty Metal Box Reveal Devastation of French Battlefields at The End of The First World War

This astonishing collection of photographs was discovered in a rusty metal box by Peter Berry Ottaway, 71, in the home of his late grandfather, Hubert Ottaway, who was a sapper (or combat engineer) in the Territorial Army between 1914 and 1919.

He captured the rare images while he was stationed in northern France. He worked with the Light Engineers Railway Companies who were tasked with supplying communication lines towards Belguim and upgrading trenches. Hubert's pictures provide a unique glimpse into life on the Western Front in the final 18 months of the Great War.

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28 January 2014

Save Photo Discover The Earliest Surviving Original Photographs of Sir Winston Churchill

Save Photo Limited have discovered what may be the earliest surviving original images of Winston Churchill. They were discovered in the Hills and Saunders Harrow Collection, which they were contracted to digitise, conserve and catalogue for the private owner.

The collection was found in poor condition in the dairy barn of a farm outside Cirencester in 2012. The private owner and Save Photo rescued the collection and relocated it to a secure and climate controlled storage at Save Photo’s headquarters in Warwickshire.

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20 January 2014

Museum Uncovers 100-Year-Old Diaries of WWI Soldier But Has No Idea What They Say Because They're Written in Shorthand

Two diaries written by a soldier during the First World War have been unearthed by a museum with curators puzzling about what they could contain because they are written in shorthand. York Castle Museum came across the books in boxes of World War One archive material before Christmas, after they were donated by the East Riding Yeomanry Old Comrades Association.

Curators at the museum are excited about finding the 100 year-old diaries, but are equally frustrated that they cannot understand what they say, as it seems closer to Pitman shorthand than written English.

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17 January 2014

WW1 Soldiers' Writing Unearthed in Somme Tunnels

Archaeologists have uncovered a labyrinth of World War One tunnels left untouched for nearly 100 years and found poems and the signatures from three soldiers from a Cumbrian regiment. But who were those men and what does this find tell us about their experiences?

Under the site of the 1916 Battle of the Somme in northern France lie hundreds of artefacts, including ammunition and discarded food tins. And on the walls are perfectly legible signatures and poems written in pencil.

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14 January 2014

New Homeowner Removes Baseboard in Her House and Gets a 100-Year-Old Surprise

When you buy an old home, most surprises found inside the walls during a remodel are unwelcome: dead animals, asbestos, knob and tube wiring. The reaction of a Minnesota woman when she popped off a baseboard in her recently purchased 1910 Cape Cod kitchen was no different. Then she took a closer look.

“When I first pulled off the baseboard I thought, ‘ewwww…someone’s nasty stuff is back here,’” Amanda Reddy told. Then, she started pulling out post cards dating back to 1907 and 1909 along with a few other possessions.

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10 January 2014

Missing Dog Tag of Hudson WWII Vet Found In Italy

Nearly 70 years after Hudson native and World War II decorated veteran Alfred T. Cabral was severely wounded in the Alsace-Lorraine region of France, his dog tag has been found by a man walking on a beach in Nettuno, Italy.

Now residing at Autumn Village in Worcester, the decorated World War II veteran awaits its return to him. A 1943 graduate of Hudson High School, Cabral said he was only 18 years old when he was wounded, and was called "the junior Yankee from Boston" by his fellow soldiers.

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7 January 2014

Letter From 1913 That Reveals That Vienna Planned WWI Presented

Plans for the start of the World War I existed 13 months before Sarajevo assassination and 14 months before the Austro-Hungarian declaration of war on Serbia, according to so far hidden letter, which was presented today in Andricgrad by the Director of the Archives of Serbia, Miroslav Perisic.

This letter was sent by the Governor of Bosnia and Herzegovina Oskar Potiorek to the Minister of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy Biliński on May 28 1913, and a copy was presented today in the Department of the History of Kamengrad.

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