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Genealogy Blog

6 November 2013

New WWI Mystery Unearthed: Women Dressed As Soldiers Puzzle

A project to identify photographs of World War I soldiers from photographic plates found in a Wellington studio has unearthed a new mystery. Among the male soldiers, a couple of women in uniform have also been discovered. Researchers at Te Papa now want to identify who they were, and why they were dressed as soldiers.

Te Papa history curator Michael Fitzgerald said it was hoped members of the public might help shed some light on their identities.

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Argentina Finds Archives Belonging To The Military Dictatorship

Argentina Defense Minister Agustín Rossi announced on Monday the finding of a vast quantity of archives belonging to the military dictatorship that ruled Argentina from 1976-83, including minutes that document 280 secret meetings held by the Armed Forces in those crucial years.

Speaking at a specially-convened press conference, Rossi revealed that around 1500 files had been found last Thursday in the basement of the Condor Building, the headquarters of the Argentine Air Force.

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30 October 2013

Designer of the Bayeux Tapestry Identified

New research has identified the man who designed the Bayeux Tapestry, one of the most important artworks of the Middle Ages. Historian Howard B. Clarke believes that this was Scolland, the abbot of St.Augustine’s monastery in Canterbury, and that it was made around the year 1075.

Clarke, professor emeritus at University College, Dublin, first presented his ideas at the 2012 Battle Conference, which was held at the French town of Bayeux, and now published in the journal Anglo-Norman Studies.

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21 October 2013

England: Remains of York's 'Lost' Church Revealed

The remains of one of York's "lost" medieval churches have been revealed to the public for the first time in about 450 years. The precise location of the 12th Century St John the Baptist church in Hungate was never recorded before its demolition in the 16th Century.

But York Archaeological Trust (Yat) staff, using old maps, have worked over the summer to reveal the church. Arran Johnson, from Yat, said the find was "an archaeologist's dream".

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18 October 2013

Study Finds Modern Relatives of Otzi Alive And Well In Austria

A team of researchers from Innsbruck Medical University has found 19 modern humans living in Austria with the same genetic defect as the ice-man Ötzi, the APA News Agency is reporting. The ice-man was found by German tourists and is believed to have lived approximately 5,300 years ago.

Ötzi, named for the region in the Alps where his remains were discovered, has enjoyed worldwide fame since his discovery, owing to his well preserved remains.

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Two Unknown Soldiers From WWI Discovered In The Alps

The black stain on the ice was instantly recognisable. The technician checking a tarpaulin stretched over a section of the Presena Glacier in the Italian Alps—an experimental attempt to slow the melting— quickly called in a rescue party.

The block of ice was airlifted to the nearby city of Vicenza. Inside were two soldiers who had fallen at the Battle of Presena in May 1918 and were buried in a crevasse. Their uniforms and their location indicated that they could well have been Kaiserschützen, specialised mountain troops who fought on behalf of the Austro-Hungarian Empire to defend these mountains from their Italian equivalent, the Alpini.

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14 October 2013

Amelia Earhart Plane Search to Resume Next Year

The search for Amelia Earhart's long-lost aircraft will resume next year in the waters off Nikumaroro, an uninhabited island in the southwestern Pacific republic of Kiribati where the legendary pilot may have died as a castaway.

Starting about the middle of August 2014, the 30-day expedition will be carried out by The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery (TIGHAR), which has long been investigating the last, fateful flight taken by Earhart 76 years ago.

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Brocton WWI Model Battlefield Excavation Completed

Archaeologists have completed the excavation of a scale model of a World War I battlefield in Staffordshire. The mock-up of the village and surrounding area of Messines in Belgium was built in Brocton on Cannock Chase as a training aid for soldiers.

It was also maintained as a memorial to soldiers who died in the Battle of Messines Ridge in June 1917. County Council archaeologists have now begun photographing and using a laser-scanner to make a 3D computer model.

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12 September 2013

Civil War General's Medal of Honor Discovered Inside Book At Church Sale

A Medal of Honor awarded to a Civil War general has been returned to a Maine town after it was found inside a book at a church fundraising sale.

The Times Record of Brunswick, Maine reports Civil War Gen. Joshua Chamberlain's original Congressional Medal of Honor has been verified as authentic after it was sent anonymously in July to the Pejepscot Historical Society in Brunswick.

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11 September 2013

Mysterious Civil War Diary Turns Up In Arlington

A diary found about 25 years ago in an old house northeast of town describes life during the Civil War through the eyes of a Union soldier, Sgt. Jesse Hyde.

From Jan. 6, 1862, to July 6, 1864, Hyde chronicled the daily actions of the 1st Kentucky Infantry, Company H, as they marched and fought their way through Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee.Hyde's 158-page dairy includes entries about rebel troops and the taking of prisoners, gambling and drunkenness among Union soldiers in camp, the execution of a deserter, the soldiers who died from heat exhaustion and those who walked barefoot in the snow.

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10 September 2013

Traces Found From 24,000 Books Lost When Canadian Parliament in Montreal Burned Down

Archaeologists have uncovered a reminder of the heritage items lost by the destruction of Canada's pre-Confederation parliament in Montreal. The charred remains of seven books have been recovered from a dig at the Old Montreal site since last Friday.

They are hardly recognizable as books and appear, in colour and consistency, like a cross between charcoal and bitumen. About 24,000 books and documents—some of them dating back to the original colony of New France—were destroyed in an 1849 fire.

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4 September 2013

Declassified Spy Photographs Reveal Lost Roman Frontier

Declassified spy photography has uncovered a lost Roman Eastern frontier, dating from the second century AD. Research by archaeologists at the Universities of Glasgow and Exeter has identified a long wall that ran 60 kilometers from the Danube to the Black Sea over what is modern Romania.

It is considered the most easterly example of a man-made frontier barrier system in the Roman Empire. Built in the mid-second century AD, 'Trajan's Rampart' as it is known locally, once stood 8.5m wide and over 3.5m high and included at least 32 forts and 31 smaller fortlets along its course.

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27 August 2013

Archaeologists To Extract Lincoln Castle Sarcophagus

Archaeologists are preparing to extract a sarcophagus discovered at Lincoln Castle and thought to contain "somebody terribly important". The stone sarcophagus, believed to date from about AD900, was found alongside the remains of a church which was previously unknown.

Archaeologists have been on site for almost a year and their work came to an end this week. They believe the sarcophagus could contain a Saxon king or bishop. Archaeologist Cecily Spall said: "There's lots of careful planning to do in the next few weeks but as I say we do hope to get it out and have a look inside.

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30 July 2013

Signs of Stranded Amelia Earhart in Old Photos?

This aerial view of a remote island could be one of the last sights Amelia Earhart saw as a pilot when she flew over the Pacific Ocean on July 2, 1937 in a record attempt to fly around the world at the equator.

Taken 18 months after the legendary aviator's disappearance, the photo shows a patch of the coast of Nikumaroro, an uninhabited tropical atoll in the southwestern Pacific republic of Kiribati, which is believed to be Earhart's final resting place by researchers of The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery (TIGHAR).

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29 July 2013

200-Year-Old Railway Discovered Along Banks of River Tyne in England

The discovery of a wooden railway more than 200 years old on the banks of the Tyne has been hailed as a find of international importance. The 25-metre stretch of waggonway from the end of the 18th Century is the earliest surviving example of the standard gauge railway.

Now used for over half of the world’s railway systems, it originated in the network of waggonways which served the collieries of south east Northumberland and Tyneside.

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