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Marvel Comics super heroine Dazzler (Alison Blair) is usually associated with the X-Men first appearing in Uncanny X-Men in 1980. As a mutant with the ability to convert sound vibrations into light and energy beams, Dazzler was originally developed as a cross-promotional, multi-media creation between Casablanca Records and Marvel Comics but the association was dropped […]

Continue reading about Marvel Comics Dazzler character’s checkered career—her talent is now a reality

The following press release comes from global family history network MyHeritage announcing a technology breakthrough that turns brick-walls into new leads: “PROVO, Utah & TEL AVIV, Israel–(BUSINESS WIRE)–May 13, 2013– MyHeritage, the popular family history network, today announced the launch of Record Detective(TM), the first technology of its kind to automatically extend the paper trail […]

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Genes make up only 2 percent of the human genome, and researchers have argued in recent years that the remaining 98 percent may play some hidden, useful role. Apparently in the plant world, junk DNA really is just junk. While the findings published in the Journal of Nature yesterday May 12 do concern a carnivorous […]

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I’ve often said during the light-hearted conversation on the subject of eccentricity, “It depends, of course, on ones definition of normal.” Do you have your share of nuts on your family tree? Christopher Guest pioneered the “mockumentary” on film and his latest comedy Family Tree, which starts tomorrow, promises to be entertaining and filled with […]

Continue reading about Christopher Guest’s latest comedy “Family Tree” starts on HBO 5/12

Some up-to-date news from ScotlandsPeople: “The University of Edinburgh is looking to create an online archive that contains stories told by Scots-Italians about Italian emigration to ‘Scozia’.  This exciting project will be organised by Professor Federica Pedriali, who is the director of the ‘Italo Scots Research Cluster’ at the university. Although Scots-Italians are one of the oldest […]

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Sandy on May 5th, 2013

Cinco de Mayo (May 5th) is a considered a minor holiday in Mexico, but in the United States it has evolved into a celebration of Mexican culture and heritage. As part of my after the day job, I taught English as a Second Language (ESL) to adult immigrants. My students loved to discuss the history […]

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Technology affects every aspect of our society and according to the Brookings Institution the most productive periods in the United States occurred during the early 20th century and the Great Depression. Patents are the DNA of inventions, and the most patents (per capita) were registered in 1883, 1885, 1890, 1915, 1916, 1917, 1931, 1932 2010 […]

Continue reading about Best Inventions of the creative years 1833 to 2011

The following is a press release from MyHeritage via Geneabloggers.com: “PROVO, Utah & TEL AVIV, Israel – May 1, 2013: MyHeritage, the popular family history network, today announced that it has added the entire collection of U.S. Federal Censuses conducted each decade from 1790 to 1930 to its growing database of billions of historical records.  […]

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FamilySearch.org made big news last month when it re-launched a new website. The result as in any other upgrade is confusion among many users. This includes its online trees program with an empahsise on the new photo and story uploading features plus very nice looking fan chart. What you might want to consider is Family […]

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Origins.net has an impressive database of wills. Wills are a terrific source of information before the census started in 1841 and make it easy to find your ancestors. They uncover relationships that you may never have thought to look for. See below to understand the potential value of this type of information from Origins.net: “Wills […]

Continue reading about Oxford Wills 1516-1857: Free indexes! View the images online

Ancestry.com says: “Early this morning the World Archives Project community achieved a huge milestone- 100,000,000 records keyed! The record count started in June 2008 and we reached 100,000,000 records early this morning. The 166 indexes created through the World Archives Project are free for anyone to search. If you would like to join our community of contributors and play […]

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Sandy on April 29th, 2013

Deceased Online is a wonderful database with new records added on a regular basis. Unfortunately, as of April 22nd they have had to raise the rates:  “For over 4 years we have managed to keep our document viewing prices fixed at a low rate, even reducing some of them. Unfortunately, due to increased costs, we […]

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The Peace Corps program in the United States was established by an Executive Order issued by President John F. Kennedy on March 1, 1961, and authorized by Congress on March, 1961. Australia, under the heading of “External Affairs”, administered an organization similar to the Peace Corps. As part of this arrangement, Bill Wilson, a member […]

Continue reading about An amazing story of friendship – two peoples joined by mutual experience

Sandy on April 24th, 2013

I’m a huge fan of Superman and recently discovered that he has a fascinating history. The character was created by two Cleveland, Ohio, high school students, writer Jerry Siegel and artist Joe Shuster, in 1933. It was especially interesting to learn that Superman was originally created a bald clairvoyant villain disposed to world domination. The […]

Continue reading about Superman: What you might not know about him

ScotlandsPeople says: All the statutory birth, marriage, and death indexes for 2012 have been made searchable on the ScotlandsPeople website. By law, all births in Scotland have to be registered, and local authority registrars send the original register pages to the National Records of Scotland (NRS) for permanent preservation in paper form. NRS then arranges […]

Continue reading about Statutory indexes for 2012 now available on ScotlandsPeople website

When we think of our ancestors who traveled here to North America and others who journeyed to Australia and New Zealand we are reminded of how brave they were. Although for folks in Scotland and Ireland in the1700s and 1800s the New World was likely worth the risk as well as for good people who […]

Continue reading about Millions of world records added to FindMyPast collection

One of the biggest surprises in the well-known ScotlandsDNA project is the fact that 10 per cent of Scottish men are directly descended from the Picts. The fate of the tribe of fierce and enigmatic people who fought with Rome’s legions has been historically surrounded in mystery and they were assumed to have simply disappeared. […]

Continue reading about Scots are different from English: DNA shows one in ten Scots men descended from Picts

Sandy on April 18th, 2013

First sponsored in 1958, National Library Week is a national observance sponsored by the American Library Association (ALA). I’m a little late with this blog post since National Library Week is usually celebrated during the second week of April. Nevertheless I’d still like to remind everyone of the importance of our libraries as resources for […]

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The latest release from FamilySearch is as follows: FamilySearch has added 2.4 million indexed records and images this week from Brazil, German, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Peru, Ukraine, the United States, and Venezuela. Notable collection updates include the 1,033,852 images from the new Netherlands, Bibliothéque Wallonne Card Indexes from ca. 1500-1858, collection, and the 449,478 images […]

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Sandy on April 17th, 2013

It’s FREE. After completing a successful two-month beta program with power users, MyHeritage Family Tree Builder 7.0 has been released. It’s the latest version of the world’s most popular free genealogy software. This software is used by millions of people around the world and My Heritage says it’s the best version they’ve ever released. Family […]

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Sandy on April 16th, 2013

After announcing the launch of their new website a couple of months ago, the British Society of Genealogists website is now online. The news release is as follows: “The Society of Genealogists website www.sog.org.uk   has been refreshed and rewritten. The Website contains all the information you would expect to find about the SoG and […]

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When it comes to advertisements, there’s a fine line between nuisance and blatant invasion of privacy. When they’re related to something you’re searching you might expect to see ads, but having them follow you around the web is definitely stepping out of line. Yes, your behavior is monitored. They track your behavior on the Web […]

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The latest press release form the United States National Archives and Records Administration regarding the FY 2014 budget is as follows: “Washington, DC April 10,2012, President Barack Obama sent to Congress his Fiscal Year 2014 budget request for the Federal Government, which includes $385.8 million for the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). The requested […]

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Sandy on April 10th, 2013

A little soul in the form of a cat took up residence in our back yard about a month ago. After a several weeks of giving her some tasty morsels, we discovered that she had been declawed, her vocal chords cut and left outside to fend for herself. Definitely abandoned and not feral. Sadly, in […]

Continue reading about Animal rights: ASPCA founded April 10,1866

Although it may sound like the latest publicity trend, suspended coffee is definitely a heartwarming idea  first born in the cafes of Naples, Italy. The idea is for customers to be able to put down coffee money for a homeless person. A customer-in-need can then later ask if there is a “suspended coffee” available and […]

Continue reading about Café customers buy “suspended coffees” for less fortunate patrons

The contents of America’s research libraries, archives, and museums will be launched online on April 18 and 19, 2013, by the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) to all Americans—free of charge. It will eventually become available to the rest of the world. The news release from DPLA is as follows: “New York, NY / […]

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As part of an effort to create a library collection of George Washington’s favorite reading materials, two books belonging to Washington long held at the National Library of Scotland will soon be returned to Mt Vernon. Alex Salmond, the first minister of Scotland, will soon arrive in the United states to return them. The two […]

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On April 4, 1968, shortly after 6 p.m. Martin Luther King Jr. was fatally shot on the second story balcony of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee. Dr. King was in town to support a sanitation workers’ strike and was on his way to dinner when a bullet struck him in the jaw and severed […]

Continue reading about Martin Luther King Jr. fatally shot 45 years ago today

The Public Records Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI) has published the following announcement: “PRONI is pleased to announce the release of a new local and family history digital resource. In conjunction with FamilySearch, PRONI has digitised the Valuation Revision Books, 1864-1933. These are now available on the PRONI website. The application provides a fully searchable […]

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Sandy on March 31st, 2013

Continue reading about Have a Happy Easter!

Sandy on March 30th, 2013

According to the latest reports, there’s a recently published book giving evidence that the Shroud of Turin is not, after all, a medieval forgery. It could, in fact, date from the time of Christ’s death. Scientists at the University of Padua in northern Italy have dated the shroud a few centuries before and after the […]

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Sandy on March 28th, 2013

The following information from British Origins arrived in my inbox today: “Over 389,000 South London (Surrey) burials for the period 1545-1905, with a handful (18) up to 1957 plus one as late as 1980, are available for searching on www.origins.net. The South London Burials Index contains surname and forename, age where given in the register, […]

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By offering a low cost DNA test, Family Tree DNA aims to expand reach of DNA testing to encourage further exciting discoveries about human origins. Today’s press release is as follows: “HOUSTON, March 26, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — Gene By Gene, Ltd., the Houston-based genomics and genetics testing company, announced that a unique DNA sample submitted […]

Continue reading about FamilyTree DNA’s discovery of extremely ancient root to the human Y Chromosome Phylogenetic Tree

Sandy on March 26th, 2013

Passover begins today.  It’s an eight-day festival celebrated in early spring from the 15th though the 22nd of the Hebrew month of Nissan and commemorates the emancipation of the Israelites from a life of slavery in ancient Egypt. The Jewish people celebrate Passover as a commemoration of their liberation over 3,300 years ago by God […]

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Sandy on March 25th, 2013

Google has announced the end of Google Reader. Okay, I know I’m a little late with this one but some people are seriously bummed and growing anxious about a replacement. The reason for shutting it down is probably because of cost and maintenance when the company is busy focusing on their Google+ social network platform, […]

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The history of comic art is clever and fascinating and I have to confess when I eagerly awaited the delivery of my comic books as a small child, it was all about the hero and not so much about the amazingly creative art and storytelling. The famous paintings in the caves at Lascaux, France, are […]

Continue reading about From Cave Painting to Superman, Spiderman and Green Lantern

Genealogical societies in Oklahoma and Georgia are asking for support. Family historians and genealogists who need access to records in these states should think about supporting the efforts of genealogists to keep records available. As reported in the MGC Sentinel, “in Oklahoma, a law enacted in 2011 limited access to all vital records to those […]

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The Federation of Genealogical Societies says: “The Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) has joined the American Library Association, the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the Center for Democracy and Technology, as well as other organizations, in an effort to ensure continued access to records for the genealogy and family history communities. The coalition, in a letter […]

Continue reading about FGS joins coalition urging changes to technology and privacy laws to ensure continued records access

RootsTech is upon us again. Since its inception two years ago it has quickly become the largest paid family history conference in the United States. It is take place once again in theS Salt Palace ConventionCenter in Salt Lake City on Mar 21-23 and this year with an increased focus and appeal to beginners. Attendance […]

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Sandy on March 16th, 2013

Ever since St. Patrick died on March 17, 461 A.D in Saul, Downpatrick, Ireland, many legends have been passed down. As the patron saint of Ireland he is said to have baptized hundreds of people in a day. He explained the Holy Trinity using a three-leafed shamrock. What is known about St. Patrick comes from […]

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Newspapers from the “Land of Song” are now online for researchers free of charge. One of Britain’s most important libraries,The National Library of Wales (NLW), has a new website, launched in beta, featuring Welsh Newspapers Online. You can currently search and access over 250,000 pages from 24 newspaper publications pre-1910. The collection will grow to […]

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The following is a news release from the Federation of Genealogical Societies opening their online registration for their annual conference in Fort Wayne, Indiana” ““Journey through Generations” – A Conference for the Nation’s Genealogists March 8, 2013 – Austin, TX. Online registration is now open for the 2013 Federation of Genealogical Societies Conference, scheduled for […]

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Sandy on March 12th, 2013

Okay this is not historical, but it is hysterical: “CONCORD, N.C. – Pepsi has unveiled the video it shot at Troutman Motors and Philip Morris here in Concord in February. The video, which is promoting Pepsi Max, features NASCAR racer Jeff Gordon in disguise taking a test drive of a new Camaro. Gordon takes the […]

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As readers will see from my blog posts, I’m not a political animal.  Being fully aware of the small reduction percentage resulting from sequestration, is cutting the hours at our National Archives absolutely necessary Mr. President?  Closing the “The People’s House” to visitors too! This line spoken by Marcellus in Shakespeare’s Hamlet seems appropriate, “Something […]

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According to British researchers Stonehenge may have been started as a giant burial ground for elite families around 3,000 B.C. New studies have been made on cremated human remains  indicated that about 500 years before Stonehenge as we see it today, a larger stone circle was built at the same site as a community graveyard. […]

Continue reading about Stonehenge may have been built as a graveyard and venue for mass celebrations

The latest update from FamilySearch.org the world’s best known free website is as follows with images are added to their existing collection: “FamilySearch added an additional 10.5 million indexed records and images in the last two weeks. The largest portion of this update includes the 8,613,673 images added to the New York Probate Records from […]

Continue reading about Images to New York Probate Records from 1629–1971 added to Family Search

I’ve mentioned many times on SpittalStreet.com that the National Library of Scotland (NLS) is an amazing resource for everyone. Although Scotland was just about the poorest country in the western world it led the world in education. Unfortunately, like the rest of the world, women did have to overcome significant obstacle to pursue scientific interests […]

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Sandy on March 5th, 2013

Progeny Genealogy has an interesting lineup of family tree charting software, which gives the ability to create beautiful charts of your family history in records time. Probably the most interesting in the line-up, which includes timeline charts and family maps,  is Progeny 3D Family Tree. It’s the only program with the ability to display your […]

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The following is a news release dated March 1, 2013, from Findmypast.co.uk regarding millions of new Yorkshire, England parish records: “We’re very pleased to announce our project to publish millions of Yorkshire parish baptism, marriage and burial records on findmypast.co.uk Spanning the years from 1538 into the 20th century, the records cover parish church registers […]

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Cece Moore of Your Genetic Genealogist says: “I am so pleased to be able to say that the support for the inaugural independent genetic genealogy conference has exceeded my most ambitious aspirations. My appreciation goes out to Professor Gates, Dr. Wells and all of our wonderful speakers for graciously and enthusiastically accepting my invitation to […]

Continue reading about Professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. joins Dr. Spencer Wells as Headline Speakers for “Family HIstory and DNA: Genetic Genealogy in 2013″

The  satirical shows on late night TV could have a field day with this one. The point of view in an article I’m about to share with you is so blatantly self-serving that it’s almost humorous. Although we have a problem with library budgets in the US, the critic in this case is a best-selling […]

Continue reading about Horrible Historian, Terry Deary says libraries have been around too long

Sandy on February 28th, 2013

FamilySearch keeps getting bigger and better and it all makes life more interesting from the end user’s point of view. The following is the latest news via the FamilySearch blog: “FamilySearch is pleased to announce that TenGenChart.com and Legacy Mobile are the new certified Tree Access applications for February 2013. TenGenChart and Legacy Mobile are […]

Continue reading about Meet FamilySearch new partners at RootsTech

Sandy on February 26th, 2013

There’s a scam out there that has been going on for a surprising number of years—probably around 30. The pitch comes from folks who claim to be following strict heraldic guidelines. For a nominal fee, they will provide detailed research and will mail out your family Coat of Arms or family crest, all with a […]

Continue reading about There is no such thing as a family Coat of Arms. Really?

Another useful and interesting free online resource comes to the web from Edinburgh Library and Information Services. It’s a great way to explore Scotland’s capital city’s past through stories, images and historical maps from the collections of libraries. This aggregate of resources is the largest collection of material about the Scottish capital city in the […]

Continue reading about A new online resource free from Scotland’s Edinburgh Libraries and Information Services

The following is a news release from Ancestry.com regarding an innovative test new available to the general public providing analysis your genetic ethnicity, living relative matches, and further insight into family history research: “(PROVO, Utah) – February 21, 2013–Ancestry.com, the world’s largest online family history resource, today announced the public availability of its AncestryDNA test to U.S. […]

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People of Medieval Scotland is a wonderful free resource that you might want to take a look at if you have Scottish ancestry or an interest in Scottish history. The database holds all information assembled about every individual involved in actions is Scotland from documentation written between the death of Malcolm III on 13 November […]

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After all the buzz, Microsoft is finally removing Hotmail and switching people to Outlook. The migration is expected to be completed by the early summer. Microsoft is hoping that Outlook will blow a hole in Gmail’s market dominance. This is really big considering there are about 350 million people still using Hotmail. Outlook’s myriad of […]

Continue reading about Still got a Hotmail address? Microsoft’s Hotmail to be replaced by Outlook by early summer

Another interesting launch from Findmypast of a new  collection of historical criminal records from England and Wales from 1770–1934 as follows: “Today we launched our ‘Bad Boys’ collection – the largest collection of historical criminal records from England and Wales to be published online, in association with the National Archives (U.K.). Use the promotional code ‘criminal‘ for […]

Continue reading about Online for the First Time at Findmypast 2.5 Million UK Criminal Records

Built at the Continental Iron Works in the Greenpoint section of Brooklyn, New York, the USS Monitor (called the cheese box on a raft) was the first ironclad warship to be commissioned by the United Sates navy during the American Civil War. Her participation in the Battle of Hampton Roads on March 9, 1862, was […]

Continue reading about USS Monitor civil war sailors remains to be interred at Arlington National Cemetery

FamilySearch has added 19 new collections as follows: “Included are 19 new collections: 7 from Napoli, Italy, 7 from the United States, 4 from Germany, and 1 from Netherlands. Among these collections are the United States Draper Manuscript Collection from 1740 to 1960 (more information can be found here), the Germany, Brandenburg, Bernau bei Berlin […]

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The following is the latest release of valuable new records from ScotlandsPlaces: “ScotlandsPlaces has now launched the Perthshire and Sutherland Ordnance Survey name books. Also recently release were the 18th century dog tax, cart tax, and carriage tax. Two more OS name books now available 15th February, 2013: ScotlandsPlaces has just released two more Ordnance […]

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Bill O’Reilly the anchor of The O’Reilly Factor along with Martin Dugard have authored the story of how one gunshot changed our country forever. In the spring of 1865, the bloody saga of America’s Civil War finally came to an end after a series frightening battles. President Abraham Lincoln’s terms for Robert E. Lee’s surrender […]

Continue reading about National Geographic to air “Killing Lincoln” Bill O’Reilly’s historical narrative of heart-stopping events surrounding the assassination of Abraham Lincoln

Although the Catholic church regards the prophecy as a forgery, we are currently living in times where some  see the Irish Saint Malachy’s prophecy as so significant that it’s considered hindsight. St. Malachy was a 12th century Irish Archbishop of Armagh,  who predicted, from a prophetic vision, that the next Pope after Benedict will be […]

Continue reading about Will Pope Benedict’s successor be the last pope—Petrus Romanus?

Sandy on February 11th, 2013

In these days of difficult personal finances, I’ve been on the lookout for interesting free resources for genealogists. You might want to take note for the record that The Google + hangout is becoming increasingly popular and a very informational meeting place and I was very impressed by the amount of digitized newspapers for genealogical […]

Continue reading about Researching online newspapers for genealogy for free