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Genealogy Blog

1 March 2013

The Women Who Fought As Men: Rare American Civil War Pictures Show How Females Disguised Themselves So They Could Go Into Battle

To his comrades in the Union cavalry, Jack Williams was definitely one of the boys - a hard-drinking, tobacco-chewing, foul-mouthed son of a gun. Outstanding on horseback, he was as deadly with a sword as he was around the poker table - just the sort of fella you would want by your side when the going got rough.

And for Jack it frequently did. By the end of a distinguished military career, he had fought in 18 battles, been wounded three times and taken prisoner once.

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Death On The Mississippi: The Maritime Tragedy That Cost More Lives Than The Titanic

It remains the worst maritime tragedy in US history, and cost more lives than the sinking of the Titanic, but the Sultana disaster is a story history has largely forgotten.

In April 1865, at least 1,700 people, mostly Union soldiers returning home after the end of the Civil War, lost their lives when the riverboat exploded on the Mississippi.

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19 February 2013

Mystery of Henri IV's Missing Head Divides France

Richard III may have had an ignominious resting place under a Leicester car park, but spare a thought for Henri IV. First the French monarch was disinterred from the royal sepulchre by revolutionaries and thrown into a mass grave. Then his head was cut off and – allegedly – turned up in the attic of a retired tax inspector.

Worse, while British experts have confirmed that the deformed skeleton found in Leicester is "almost certainly" that of Richard, bearing signs of fatal wounds he suffered during the battle of Bosworth, French scientists are still fighting over the disputed remains of Henri.

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11 February 2013

Historic Football Match Between British and German Troops at Christmas To Be Recreated in 2014 To Mark The Centenary of First World War

An historic football match between British and German troops on Christmas Day in 1914 is to be recreated under plans to mark the centenary of World War One.

There will be six state occasions, school trips to battlefields and exhibitions backed by historians and the government who have set aside £50million for the commemorations. A number of debates about the reasons why the war started have also been planned. Almost a million British soldiers lost their lives in the four-year conflict.

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8 February 2013

Names of 140 Black Civil War Veterans to be Added to Cleveland's Soldiers & Sailors Monument

Officials who oversee the Soldiers and Sailors Monument in downtown Cleveland have announced that they have verified the service of 140 black Civil War veterans, and will begin adding their names to the monument's wall.

The monument, which was opened in 1894 to honor locals who fought in the Civil War, is located on Public Square. The 125-foot column is topped with a statue of the Goddess of Freedom.

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4 February 2013

Victims of Nazi Anatomists Named

Liane Berkowitz was just 19 years old when she was executed by the Nazis.

She was arrested by the Gestapo in 1942 when they caught her putting up posters that displayed messages of protest against an exhibition of Nazi propaganda. She was pregnant at the time of her arrest, but this just led to her execution being postponed until after the birth of her child.

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22 January 2013

The Shifting Secrets Of Our Genealogies – In Pictures

Each family history is woven with hidden threads, unspoken secrets which run through genealogies from generation to generation. The historian Deborah Cohen has been delving into unseen archives to examine how attitudes to privacy have changed over the last 200 years, to explore what families have tried to hide and why.

Here she charts the shifting continents of shame with portraits of lives shaped by untold stories.

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15 January 2013

Lee Harvey Oswald Apartment Complex in Dallas Bulldozed

A handful of history buffs and curious onlookers watched Monday as a bulldozer tore through the walls of a dilapidated apartment building where Lee Harvey Oswald lived a few months before the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

The bulldozer ramming through the walls started with the side where Oswald lived. Police blocked off Elsbeth Street and the sidewalk in front, but let onlookers grab bricks from the side of the building.

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14 January 2013

The Greatest Nurses Of The First World War

They overcame insurmountable odds, endured gender-based prejudice, and helped a constant barrage of wounded soldiers under enemy fire. Each of these courageous women, though patriots of different countries, were ultimately devoted to the true calling of nursing- saving human life.

Some stood firmly at their posts while bombs exploded around them, while other did it through administration and coordination. One of them was even executed by a German firing squad after being caught helping allied troops.

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9 January 2013

Swiss Court Relieves Farmer of 655-Year-Old Debt

A Swiss court has wiped the slate clean for a farmer and his family, relieving them of an annual debt to a Catholic church dating back to 1357.

The court in the northeastern canton of Glarus ruled that the farmer and his family no longer needed to pay some 70 Swiss francs (£47) a year to keep the sanctuary lamp of the Naefels Catholic church burning. The debt dated back to 1357, when a certain Konrad Mueller killed a man named Heinrich Stucki.

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4 January 2013

Haunting Pictures of the Belgian 'Car Graveyard' Where U.S. Soldiers Hid Beautiful Vintage Motors After WWII

This is the haunting sight of a 'car graveyard' nestled in a Belgian forest, where vintage motors sit rusting among the fronds. The old-fashioned vehicles are thought to have been left in the wood near the village of Chatillon by U.S. soldiers who were stationed in southern Belgium during World War II.

When the war ended, military troops were sent home, but could not afford to ship the cars they had bought and hid them in the forest. Since then, other cars have been added to the cemetery, many by soldiers stationed in the area after the war.

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20 December 2012

10 Greatest Nurses of the American Civil War

The two thousand women who volunteered as nurses during the American Civil War came from all walks of life to play a vital role in the war effort. When war broke out, the country’s male-dominated nursing profession was in its infancy and still relatively primitive.

The huge escalation in the need for medical personnel during the conflict broke down the barriers preventing women from entering nursing.

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19 December 2012

Reconstructing the Site of Richard III’s Last 'Resting Place' Before Bosworth

A team from the University of Leicester has reconstructed models of the Blue Boar Inn -- reputed to have housed King Richard III before the battle of Bosworth -- following the discovery of a notebook in a private collection containing a measured survey of the iconic local timber framed building.

The survey was made shortly before the inn was demolished in 1836 by Henry Goddard, but was never drawn up and has remained forgotten for over 170 years.

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17 December 2012

Scottish Battlefields: Inventory Recognises 39 Historic Sites

Thirty-nine sites of violent clashes on Scottish soil have been officially recognised in Scotland's Inventory of Historic Battlefields. The database has been put together by Historic Scotland to give greater protection to the sites and to act as a guide to planning authorities.

It includes famous battles such as Bannockburn, Culloden and Killiecrankie. Less well known Alford and Skirmish Hill also feature. Work started on the inventory about four years ago with the public consulted on battlefields suggested for inclusion.

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7 December 2012

An Interactive Map of The Blitz: Where And When The Bombs Fell On London

The terrible density of bombs that fell on London during the Blitz — the prolonged Nazi bombing campaign that lasted from September 1940 to May 1941, and killed 40,000 civilians nationwide — is well-known. The city endured, at one point, 57 consecutive nights of air strikes.

To really appreciate the scope of the attacks, though, you must explore the Bomb Sight Map, a project that plots the records of the Bomb Census Survey on a digital map of London.

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