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Genealogy Blog

28 March 2014

Richard III Expert: The Skeleton in the Car Park May Not Be the Missing Monarch After All

Such was the certainty with which a twisted skeleton found in a Leicester car park was identified last year as the remains of Richard III that a High Court battle is being fought over the right to decide where to bury the fallen monarch.

But confirmation “beyond reasonable doubt” that the hunchbacked king demonised by Shakespeare was found has been challenged by two leading academics, who claim there can be no confidence that the bones belong to Richard. They suggest an inquest-type hearing should now be held to examine the evidence.

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17 March 2014

England: Northampton Project Angel Reveals Town's Medieval Past

Three "star finds" have been discovered by archaeologists at a dig on the site for Northamptonshire County Council's forthcoming new £43m headquarters. The excavation in Fetter Street, Northampton, has revealed the remains of a medieval bread oven, an early 13th Century well shaft and trading tokens.

Jim Brown, from the Museum of London Archaeology, said the 12th Century oven suggested "a settlement nearby". Excavation on the 1,400 sq m site continues until the end of August.

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Man Finds Letters from a WWI Soldier Under His Bertmount Ave. Porch in Leslieville, Canada

On a cold Saturday in France a few days before Christmas, Leslie George Currell wrote a letter home to his sister, Gertrude, on Bertmount Ave. in Toronto. It was a cold winter in 1917, the frost on the trees an inch thick, the ground coated with snow.

“I can hardly realize that Tuesday is Xmas,” wrote the 24-year-old private in the Canadian Expeditionary Force fighting in World War I. “We were just talking about it today, the ground was white with snow but still it did not seem like the time of year it is. I presume you are all busy getting ready for it, tonight. I would like to be home for the day.”

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12 March 2014

Ancient Egyptian Soldier's Letter Deciphered After 1,800 Years

A newly deciphered letter home dating back around 1,800 years reveals the pleas of a young Egyptian soldier named Aurelius Polion who was serving, probably as a volunteer, in a Roman legion in Europe. In the letter, written mainly in Greek, Polion tells his family that he is desperate to hear from them and that he is going to request leave to make the long journey home to see them.

Addressed to his mother (a bread seller), sister and brother, part of it reads: "I pray that you are in good health night and day, and I always make obeisance before all the gods on your behalf. I do not cease writing to you, but you do not have me in mind," it reads.

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10 March 2014

How Germany Was Crucified in the First World War: Hidden for 100 Years, the Astonishing Photos by 16-Year-Old Soldier Shows How his Brothers-in-Arms Would Forever Be Haunted by the Spectre of Defeat

They lay forgotten in a dank cellar for almost a century. But these remarkable photos, published for the first time, give a rare and uncensored view of the horrors of the First World War from behind enemy lines.

They were taken by Walter Kleinfeldt who joined a German gun crew in 1915 and fought at the Somme aged just 16. As his haunting pictures, taken with a Contessa camera, make all too clear, life in the trenches was a harrowing experience. The images provide an insight into the epic machinery of war – and capture the darkest moments of battle, with bodies strewn among the rubble.

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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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