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Genealogy Blog

2 September 2013

U.S. National Archives Project Secures Iraq’s Jewish Past

A trove of waterlogged treasures from Baghdad’s Jewish past is being conserved at the National Archives for a return to Iraq next year. The material, found when U.S. troops invaded Iraq a decade ago, includes a 400-year-old Hebrew Bible and a 200-year-old Talmud from Vienna.

There is also a small, hand-inked 1902 Passover Haggada, a colorful 1930 prayer book in French and a beautifully printed collection of sermons by a rabbi made in Germany in 1692. The National Archives plans to open a major exhibit of some of the items on Oct. 11.

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26 August 2013

Notarial Archives: ‘Malta’s National Monument of Shame’

The Notarial Archives in Valletta were today described as "Malta's national monument of shame," by the archive's resources council founder member Joan Abela.

During a visit by the Prime Minister Joseph Muscat, finance minister Edward Scicluna and parliamentary secretary for justice Owen Bonnici, Abela said the notarial records which are found in a dilapidated building in St Christopher Street in Valletta was the "mother of all archives."

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23 July 2013

Rare Bible Rescued From Trash Provides Missing Family History

An old Bible rescued from the garbage more than 40 years ago recently emerged as a priceless family history treasure for one California couple.

Elder Ed Jones and his wife, Sister Dawna Jones, serve as family history missionaries and directors of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints FamilySearch Library in San Diego. While going about his regular duties one hectic Monday morning, Ed Jones received a phone call that has greatly blessed his life.

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22 July 2013

Schindler's Actual List To Be Auctioned On eBay For $3 Million

An original copy of Schindler’s list -- not the movie, but the actual list of Jewish refugees that German businessman Oskar Schindler is credited with saving from the Nazis -- will be available on eBay Friday evening, the New York Post reports.

The document, which is 14 pages long and contains the names of the 801 “highly specialized munitions Jews laborers" Schindler saved, was typed out on April 18, 1945, right before the end of World War II, according to CNN. Schindler bribed officials to let him keep more than 1,000 workers and set up a factory in Czechoslovakia, according to

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England: Barnardo's Archive 'Up For Grabs' or Destruction

One of the oldest, extant, dedicated photographic archives in the world, the Barnardo's photographic archive, currently housed in Barkingside, East London is under significant threat of destruction following its digitisation.

Over the next few months, Barnardo's will be having its entire photographic archive digitised in Manchester. Due to space issues at Barnardo's, the organisation will then destroy the original images unless an archive or museum can be persuaded to save these important historic documents. The material consists of about of shelving around fifteen feet in length holding archival boxes about 8 inches deep and about 20 inches high.

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11 July 2013

Paris Mansion Hotel Lambert Seriously Damaged By Fire

A fire has damaged the landmark 17th-Century Hotel Lambert in Paris. Dozens of firefighters tackled the blaze, which broke out overnight on the roof of the riverside mansion in the centre of the French capital.

The building was being renovated after its purchase by a Qatari prince in 2007. Located on the World Heritage-listed Seine embankment, the mansion was once home to the 18th Century philosopher Voltaire.

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Historic WWII Murals Arrive in Honolulu from Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge

Six wall-sized original paintings that formerly hung in a World War II-era theater on Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge arrived by ship in Honolulu on Wednesday.

The murals will be on loan for at least four years to the Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor, preserving and making them available for the general public to enjoy for the first time in their history.

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10 July 2013

Deadwood, South Dakota, Adds To City’s Historic Archives, Artifacts

Deadwood City Commissioners recently approved the purchase of four historic artifacts from Dakota Plains Auction totaling $8,512, which were acquired during Wild Bill Days at the Old West Firearms and Collectibles auction.

The purchases, which include a McDonald Deadwood saddle bag for $3,100, a Henry Frawley Office docket from 1894 to 1898 for $450, an original 1898 map of Northern Ore District $550 and rare 1877 D.T. reward poster for $3,500 will be paid for from the acquisition line item in the Historic Preservation budget.

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9 July 2013

Lac-Mégantic Casualties Include Quebec Town’s History

The chair of the board of Lac-Mégantic’s only library was in the final stages of preparing to move the library’s 60,000 books and precious archival documents from the two-floor location downtown to a bigger facility, where the townspeople would have easier access to the documented history of their community.

It was the result of nearly five years of negotiations and countless grant applications. Everything was in place, and Roy was pleased. But then on Saturday, a train carrying crude oil derailed downtown, causing massive explosions that obliterated many buildings, including the library.

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Hidden Treasures Found In Historical Archives of Lake County, Illinois

Pieces of Lake County’s history in all manner of sizes, shapes and variety occupy Lake County Discovery Museum’s archive space. Thousands of documents and photographs are stored neatly in file cabinets and hundreds of objects are stored by function in carefully controlled storage rooms.

“It’s normal for museums to have only 10 percent of their collection on display at a time,” collections coordinator Diana Dretske said. The majority of the museum’s collection came from donations of all sorts, she said.

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8 July 2013

New Ipswich 1700s Barn And Homestead A Site Of History And Family Memories, On The Market For $2.5m

The farmhouse and barn available at 214 Appleton Road are meant for the buyer looking for that perfect fixer-upper project, one that has a healthy dose of character and history thrown in to the mix.

The home has been on the market for the last year under a 12-person trust, all relatives of the family that last lived in the home in 1909. The farmhouse, barn and whopping 383 acres were once used as a blueberry farm and are being sold for $2.5 million.

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WWII Pilot's Letters Returned To Children After Year-Long Search

The letters of a World War II pilot were returned to the man's children after a year-long nationwide search. Salt Lake City native, Roy Gee, was a fighter pilot during World War II and during his years of service he chronicled his experiences in letters home to his mother.

Gee flew fighter planes in the Pacific before eventually being shot down by enemy guns. He was awarded the Navy Cross and the Navy Marine Corp Medal. Gee died in 2009 at the age of 89. The letters ended up in the West Valley home of a distant relative, Kathleen Duran.

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1 July 2013

Vietnam War Veteran Reunited With Long-Lost Arm

A former North-Vietnamese soldier has been reunited with his arm after more than 40 years. Nguyen Quang Hung, a Vietcong soldier during the Vietnam war, had his arm amputated by US army doctor Sam Axelrad in 1966 after his arm caught gangrene.

Dr Axelrad kept the bones of the arm as a reminder of the good deed he had performed by treating an enemy soldier. He began a quest to track down the owner of the arm in 2012, meeting Mr Hung on Monday to return his bones.

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26 June 2013

Lost Letters Sent By U.S. Soldier During World War II End Up In Son's Hands Nearly 70 Years Later

Two letters sent by a U.S. soldier nearly 70 years ago during World War II never made it to his wife, but now their son has the treasures in his possession. California resident Chuck Kunellis is thrilled to have the letters his father Chris sent to his mom in 1944, thanks to the kindness of a stranger.

Chuck Kunellis was in fact a newborn when his father sent the letters from Italy to his wife's home in Arlington, Va. And if it wasn't for some good fortune, he never would have seen them.

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Boston Marathon Memorial Moved To City Archives

The memorial to remember and honor the victims of the Boston Marathon bombing was moved Tuesday morning. Many people came to Copley Square to pay their last respects before the memorial was taken down.

“I wanted to see it, I wanted to say a prayer,” said Debra Basile. Crews carefully moved the flowers, cards, sneakers and more to City Archives.

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