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Genealogy Blog

19 November 2013

Did Minneapolis Man Order Nazi-Led Attack That Killed Dozens Of Civilians?

A retired Minnesota carpenter, shown in a June investigation to be a former commander in a Nazi SS-led unit, ordered his men to attack a Polish village that was razed to the ground, according to testimony newly uncovered by The Associated Press.

The account of the massacre that killed dozens of women and children contradicts statements by the man's family that he was never at the scene of the 1944 bloodshed.

Source & Full Story

15 November 2013

1st-Century Roots of 'Little Red Riding Hood' Found

Folktales can evolve much like species do, taking on new features and dropping others as they spread to different parts of the world.

One researcher in the United Kingdom tested this analogy quite literally, using analytical models that are typically used to study the relationships between species to create an evolutionary tree for "Little Red Riding Hood" and its cousins.

Source & Full Story

12 November 2013

Killed in WWI, French Soldier Finally Laid To Rest

A French soldier killed in action during World War I was finally laid to rest in his hometown Monday just months after his remains were discovered by chance by German tourists.

Jean Caillou was 41 when he was gunned down in March 1916 near Verdun in the northeast, the scene of one of the bloodiest battles in the devastating 1914-18 war that claimed the lives of 1.4 million French people.

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The Last Widow of the Great War: Devoted Wife Pays Tribute To Hero Husband Whose Remarkable WWI Story Inspired War Horse

Dorothy Ellis, 93, the last surviving widow of a soldier from the First World War, laid a wreath in memory of her late husband, Wilfred, who died in 1982, at a ceremony commemorating the Armistice in Staffordshire this morning.

Wilfred Ellis survived being shot, gassed and left for dead in the mud of northern France to return home to eventually marry Dorothy, who was born three years after the end of the war.

Source & Full Story

22 October 2013

European Court Rebukes Russia for WWII Massacre of Polish Soldiers

The European Court of Human Rights declined Monday to rule on the key points of a claim against Russia by relatives of victims of the 1940 Katyn massacre, but did rebuke Russia for refusing to hand over all of its files on the incident.

The court said it did not have the authority to rule on whether Russia had deprived the victims of their right to life because the World War II massacre happened before Russia joined the European Convention on Human Rights.

Source & Full Story

21 October 2013

15th-Century Manuscript Sheds Light On Richard III's Relationship With York

An original manuscript dating back almost 600 years is offering a fascinating glimpse of Richard III and his relationship with the city that claims him as its own.

York is currently embroiled in a row over whether the remains of the medieval monarch, rediscovered last year, should be interred there or in Leicester, where the skeleton was found. And the manuscript reveals how York flamboyantly prepared for his state visits, wrestled with rumours of treason and ultimately what the city leaders felt about the King’s death in 1485.

Source & Full Story

18 October 2013

'We Stabbed Each Other, Strangled Each Other, Went For Each Other... Like Mad Dogs': Haunting Interviews With WWI Veterans From Both Sides of The Trenches To Be Heard For The First Time To Commemorate Centenary

Never-before-seen interviews with First World War soldiers revealing the true horror of going 'over the top' in battle are to be shown on television for the first time.

In the heart-wrenching footage the former soldiers tell the true story of life in the trenches, and the emotions that went through the minds of the young men who gave their all in the deadly conflict. In one poignant clip, to be shown on the BBC as part of a series of programmes commemorating the Great War, one unnamed German veteran asks: 'What was it, that we soldiers stabbed each other, strangled each other, went for each other, like mad dogs?'

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16 October 2013

Welsh Soldier's Relatives Back WWI Memorial

The Canadian descendants of a First World War soldier from Bala have backed a campaign to build a memorial in Flanders for Welsh veterans. Campaigners have launched a £90,000 appeal to build a monument or cromlech of a dragon on rocks to be erected in Langemark near Ypres in Belgium.

The Passchendaele Society has already built a memorial to Scottish soldiers who were among the total of 250,000 Allied troops who fell at the battlefield between July and November 1917.

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2 October 2013

Report Lists Oldest Scottish Family Firms

Scotland's 25 oldest family firms have clocked up more than 3,700 years in business between them, according to new research. A report by Family Business United and Close Brothers Asset Management (CBAM) found the companies had been trading for an average of 148 years each.

It named Fife-based John White & Son Ltd as Scotland's oldest family firm. The company, which operates from Auchtermuchty, started producing weighing machines in 1715.

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Call To Rethink Cases of French WWI 'Coward' Soldiers

A panel of French historians has called for the records of soldiers who were shot for cowardice and desertion in World War I to be rewritten. The historians' report, commissioned by the government, called for the cases of 650 men shot during the war to be reconsidered.

Many of them are "worthy and deserving of moral, civic and public-spirited rehabilitation", the report says. Veterans' minister Kader Arif has promised to consider the issue.

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12 September 2013

Those Magnificent Ladies in Their Flying Machines

In the early days of human flight, a new word entered our lexicon: "aviatrix," the female version of "aviator."

These women were true pioneers, although if you asked them, they would probably tell you they were just adventurous and loved flying -same as the men who took to the air in those days. Or even today, for that matter. But for a woman to drive one of the newfangled flying machines in the early 20th century took a can-do attitude that wasn't normally encouraged in women.

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10 Snapshots of British Schoolchildren During World War II

World War II had a huge impact on the daily lives of the people of Britain, but soldiers and grieving widows weren’t the only ones whose lives were irrevocably altered by the war.

Young schoolchildren in cities across Britain found themselves evacuated to the relative safety of the countryside, separated from their families and identified by nothing more than a brown paper tag.

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5 September 2013

The British WWI Prisoner of War Who Returned To Captivity

A British officer captured during World War I was granted leave to visit his dying mother on one condition - that he return, a historian has discovered. And Capt Robert Campbell kept his promise to Kaiser Wilhelm II and returned from Kent to Germany, where he stayed until the war ended in 1918.

Historian Richard van Emden told the BBC that Capt Campbell would have felt a duty to honour his word. It also emerged that Capt Campbell tried to escape as soon as he returned.

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27 August 2013

Your Ancestors Didn’t Sleep Like You

Ok, maybe your grandparents probably slept like you. And your great, great-grandparents. But once you go back before the 1800s, sleep starts to look a lot different. Your ancestors slept in a way that modern sleepers would find bizarre – they slept twice.

The existence of our sleeping twice per night was first uncovered by Roger Ekirch, professor of History at Virginia Tech. His research found that we didn’t always sleep in one eight hour chunk. We used to sleep in two shorter periods, over a longer range of night.

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29 July 2013

Secret Code wWthin WWII POW's Letters Cracked 70 Years Later

Thousands of British servicemen were captured during World War II. They endured life in German prison camps, but a few managed to send coded letters with vital military intelligence back home.

The secret messages of one such prisoner are being revealed 70 years later. The evacuation of British and Allied troops from Dunkirk early in World War II was either a military disaster or a strategic withdrawal. Winston Churchill called the rescue of more than 300,000 troops hemmed in by the Nazi advance a miracle.

Source & Full Story

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