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Genealogy Blog

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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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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