History

Sandy on August 24th, 2014

On August 25, 1835, the first in a series of six articles announcing the supposed discovery of life on the moon appears in the New York Sun newspaper. Known as “The Great Moon Hoax,” the articles were supposedly reprinted from the Edinburgh Journal of Science. The byline was Dr. Andrew Grant, described as a colleague […]

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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 […]

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Sandy on November 16th, 2012

Well, maybe. I’ve just come across a different kind of article. As the title suggest the author believes that the Sudoku puzzle is a good way to develop your genealogical skills—an interesting idea. If you’re not good at math don’t worry, don’t let the numbers fool you. You don’t need to be great at arithmetic. […]

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Origins.net offers access to exclusive British and Irish record collections dating back to the 13th century . As stated in their most recent newsletter, Origins has some of the most complete and accurate data on the Internet. The latest addition to the National Wills Index is the Lancashire Wills Index (1457-1748 & 1793-1812) and Surrey […]

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Magherafelt District Council has launched a new interactive website which includes a new online genealogy resource to provide accurate historical information both textual and photographic. The council opened a Tourist Information office 15 years ago and receives daily genealogy inquiries from all over the world so the goal is to have uploaded photographs and maps […]

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The 33rd Annual Texas Hispanic Genealogical and Historical Conference: Los Caminos del Rio is schedule to take place on South Padre Island, Texas, from October 11-14 and from the Agenda promises to be a great event. The event will feature informative speakers, tours, sightseeing and plenty of networking functions. The conference is held in a […]

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Documents classified “secret and confidential” usually makes us want to learn more. This is especially so with military records. Fold3 has confidential correspondence of the Navy from 1919-1927. That’s an interesting time-frame. Now you can review these formerly classified communications of the U.S. Navy during World War I, the immediate postwar years, and the first […]

Continue reading about U.S. Naval documents classified as confidential now available at Fold3 online

Fifty years ago today, movie actress Marilyn Monroe died in her home in Los Angeles. She was found on her bed lying nude face down, with a telephone in one hand.  There have been varies theories as to how she died. Some believe she was murdered and others believe she over-dozed on medication prescribed to […]

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The following is a news release from Ancestry.com: “Research Connects First African-American President to First African Slave in the American Colonies PROVO, UTAH – July 30, 2012 – A research team from Ancestry.com (NASDAQ:ACOM), the world’s largest online family history resource, has concluded that President Barack Obama is the 11thgreat-grandson of John Punch, the first […]

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William Laughton Lorimer, was born in 1885. His lowland Scots translation of the New Testament, written when he retired in 1955 at age 70, is considered to be one of the finest works in the language. Although Lorimer himself wasn’t religious, he was born into an intellectually distinguished family of several generations of clergymen.  He […]

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Sandy on July 26th, 2012

Wartime leader Sir Winston Churchill was one of the greatest leaders of the 20th Century. Not only are his books eloquently written they are also interesting and notably readable. At the end of World War II, Winston Churchill was forced to resign as British prime minister following the Conservative party’s electoral defeat by the Labor […]

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Sandy on July 25th, 2012

Thanks to the Manchester and Lancashire Family History Society who provided the information, Findmypast.co.uk (subscription or pay-as-you-go) has newly published the following two sets of WWI records: Oldham Employers’ Roll of Honour 1914-1920 Search records for more than 1,900 men who had enlisted in His Majesty’s Armed Forces and who were employed by companies in […]

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The American Civil war and its devastating consequences were not confined to the United States. The conflict also had repercussions in the cotton districts of North West England, where there was a dependency on supplies of raw cotton from our southern states. When the supply was interrupted there was real hardship. This situation led to […]

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If you’re have a vacation planned in Scotland in August or early September there’s a free exhibition being held at the Scottish Parliament called ‘Special Delivery: The William Wallace Letters‘. William Wallace was a legendary hero to generations of Scots long before the movie Braveheart. Although I enjoyed the great movie starring Mel Gibson, I […]

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As most of us know New York City is the Big Apple of the Northeast. This wasn’t always the case. About 500  years ago (1500 and 1530) when Europeans were starting to visit the New World, a new settlement the size of Manhattan was established in Canada on the North Shore of Lake Ontario in […]

Continue reading about ‘Mantle’ Site, ancient Manhattan sized settlement found on Lake Ontario shore.

Sandy on July 9th, 2012

One hundred and thirty-five years ago the All England Croquet and Lawn Tennis Club began its first lawn tennis tournament at Wimbledon, England. Although  a total of  22 people registered to play in the Gentlemen’s Singles tournament only 21 amateurs competed on the July 9, 1877 the first day of the tournament. The prize was […]

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Handwritten letters from the first President of the United States have gone on display at the National Library of Scotland. The following is a press release from the National Library of Scotland. The press release is as follows:  “The road to American independence is being mapped out at the National Library of Scotland (NLS) in […]

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The following is a news release from Ancestry.com clearly illustrating the continued popularity of genealogy and family history research:   “PROVO, Utah, July 2, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Ancestry.com (Nasdaq:ACOM), the world’s largest online family history resource, has added its two-millionth active current subscriber. The milestone recently was reached when Yvonne Ocheltree, of Collierville, Tenn., […]

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The National Genealogical Society (NGS) is in celebration of the July 4 weekend with an announcement of attractive member benefit. Fold3 is offering NGS members a great price-break when they purchase a Fold3 Annual Membership: “The National Genealogical Society is proud to announce a partnership with Fold3, the premier military history website. NGS has worked […]

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Gone with the Wind, one of the best-selling novels of all time and the basis for the blockbuster 1939 movie was published June 30, 1936 Serious injuries forced Mitchell to quit her job as a reporter at the Atlanta Journal. Living in a small apartment with her second husband John R. Marsh,  Margaret found she […]

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Sandy on June 28th, 2012

During the last ice age, the sea level of our planet dropped and uncovered a vast land bridge between Asia and America This likely permitted the first bands of people to migrate from the Russian far east into what is now Alaska. When the glaciers receded, the new arrivals drove south to the Great Plains […]

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Sandy on June 26th, 2012

Findmypast has just published 2 million new Welsh parish registers as follows: “These new records follow the first release of Welsh parish registers earlier this year. This is the first time that the complete Welsh parish baptism, marriage and death records have been made available online. You can now search 5,924,611 records of Church in Wales parish […]

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The inspiration for some of Shakespeare’s greatest work in the form of rare artefacts will be on display in a major new exhibition at the British Museum. There will be 190 exhibits in the showing, which include important paintings  from national and private collections The huge exhibit will feature The blockbuster show will feature 190 […]

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Sandy on June 25th, 2012

Ancestry.com says: “Recent research from Oxford University shows a wide range of genetic influences throughout the British Isles, hinting at a long history of invasions and settlement by groups from across the European continent throughout history. Now where have we heard that before? Oh, that’s right! AncestryDNA™ has seen similar results in the data from our […]

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Sandy on June 20th, 2012

Given our history, it’s really not hard to imagine that African Americans have a significant line-up European ancestors. However, it’s a lot more interesting and enlightening for each individual who is actually able to learn who they are through actual research and evidence of their family roots. Given the availability of research materials online it’s […]

Continue reading about Michelle Obama’s roots: The ties that bind

The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) has recently published an updated Open Government Plan for 2012-2014 designed to guide their efforts “in transparency, participation, and collaboration”. Although I can’t agree with the transparency, participation, and collaboration mantra for all government organizations, I believe that NARA always puts its best foot forward. Unlike some other […]

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Sandy on June 15th, 2012

Here’s a timely reminder from Ancestry about free access  to War of 1812 records at Fold3: “On June 18, 1812, the United States declared war on Great Britain officially launching the War of 1812. In the 200 years since, it has become a forgotten war, perhaps best remembered by school children as when The Star-Spangled Bannerwas written. […]

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Sandy on June 15th, 2012

Prisoner of War records for WWI and WWII are now available for research at Findmypast as follows: “Search for your ancestors in new WWI and WWII Prisoner of War records published today on findmypast.co.uk These records hold vital information about men taken prisoner of war during both World Wars. Naval and Military Press provided findmypast.co.uk […]

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I very recently added a post to SpittalStreet.com about the sale of a vampire-slaying kit and decided to further the paranormal experience with a tale about ghost hunters in Barnstable, Massachusetts. Most people have had an unusual experience at least once in their lives and although I have never seen a ghost, I’m willing to […]

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The American Revolution Center, a non-partisan organization, owns an amazing collection of manuscripts, rare books, paintings, sculpture, textiles and weapons has now unveiled plans to build The Museum of the American Revolution, where the collection will be displayed as a living memorial. The collection is currently highlighted on their website listed below. The most recent […]

Continue reading about Independence Hall, the Liberty Bell and now The Museum of the American Revolution unveiled in Philadelphia

Sandy on June 12th, 2012

FamilySearch.org says: “One of the most often used and impressive features ofFamilySearch.org is the massive collection of genealogy records. FamilySearch has the largest collection of genealogical collections in the world with billions of records available to the public free of charge. FamilySearch has recently released two new videos that discuss this massive collection of genealogical records. The […]

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Sandy on June 11th, 2012

It’s amazing what fear of the unknown can conjure up. About to be put up for auction in Britain is an 1890s vampire-slaying kit described as “almost complete and in good condition” and expected to fetch up to $2,000. The vampire-slaying tools are housed in a blue velvet lined mahogany box with the inner cover […]

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Arlington National Cemetery will soon be the first national burial site to go digital via a smartphone app due to be on the market in the fall. With the power of GPS technology visitors will be able to more easily find loved ones buried in the cemetery. Also included is an online component which will […]

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More than 7,500 new parish records for North West Kent are available at  findmypast.co.uk as follows: “Anyone with Kent ancestors will be keen to search the records for new details to add to their family tree. The North West Kent Family History Society provided findmypast.co.uk with these records, in association with the Federation of Family […]

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Shares of Ancestry.com rose today after a news report that the company is looking for a buyer. I’m not surprised—this is probably the best time to consider selling. According to the consistently reliable Bloomberg Ancestry.com “is weighing a sale and is working with Frank Quattrone’s Qatalyst Partners LLC to find buyers.” Although Ancestry is declining […]

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The Southern California Genealogical Society Jamboree has gained in popularity during  the past four years. This year the conference is scheduled to take place in Burbank, from Friday, June 8th through Sunday, June 10th. There are two Pre-events scheduled on Thursday June 7, one Family History Writers Conference and two, the Tech-Track. They look like terrific events […]

Continue reading about Free SCGS Jamboree sessions streamed free of charge June 9 and 10

FamilySearch.org has reached a milestone with their 1940 Census project. To date 51.88% of the census has been indexed. It doesn’t mean that 50% of the census has a searchable index. Unfortunately end users won’t see that for a while. It has taken 2 months to reach the current status thanks to the legion of […]

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Fold3 is a subscription website that provides convenient access to US military records, including the stories, photos, and personal documents of the men and women who served. It’s a very useful site for Historians, Family Historians, Researchers, Teachers and much more. For my readers who live outside the U.S. the Fold3 names is derived from […]

Continue reading about Fold3 opens War of 1812 records for free until June 30th

The following press release from Ancestry.com gives details of U.S. Marine Corps activities during World War II and the Korean War. Many iconic celebrities are part of the collection, including: Ted Williams, Bea Arthur, accused JFK assassin Lee Harvey Oswald, Steve McQueen, F. Lee Bailey, Gene Hackman, Dan Rather, Jim Lehrer, Harvey Keitel, Ed McMahon […]

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Sandy on June 1st, 2012

If you’ve ever wondered if any family member worked in the Royal Household or, you’ve heard someone in the know talk about it, Findmypast.co has added royal staff records to their ever growing database. The following news release includes a link where you search free of charge, but transcripts and scanned images of the original […]

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With a name like “Big Ben” one might think we’re talking about a North American grizzly bear. Big Ben is actually a famous clock on top of 320-foot-high St. Stephen’s tower. Those classic pictures of the British Houses of Parliament in London wouldn’t be the same without that famous tower-clock. If you’d been around to […]

Continue reading about Big Ben goes into operation in London 153 years ago today

Sandy on May 30th, 2012

The first million dollar allocation as part of a plan to restore historical monuments around the world is being distributed by American Express in conjunction with The World Monument Fund. The plan is to provide million dollar restoration to six historic landmarks located in Brazil, Mexico, India, New Zealand, Japan and the United Kingdom. Respected […]

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The National Archives at San Francisco officially opened 40,000 case files on immigrants to the United States on May 22, 2012. The research room was dedicated to U.S. Representative Tom Lantos who pushed to have the files re-designated as records of permanent historical value. Transferred from the U.S. Cititzenship and Immigration Servives (USCIS), the files […]

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The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth (UMD) has announced the addition of 14 Portuguese-language newspapers published in California from 1855–1940 to its Portuguese-American Digital Newspaper Collection. As part of a collaborative project with the special collections J.A. Freitas Library, which is a special collections library owned and operated by the Supreme Council of P.F.S.A. in California […]

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A wooden hulled vessel believed to have sunk in an estimated 4000 feet of water about 200 miles off the Northern Gulf Coast shore by ocean researchers who were exploring the depths of the Gulf of Mexico. The shipwreck was laden with artifacts, such as, anchors, navigational instruments, glass bottles, cannons, boxes of muskets and […]

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Sandy on May 21st, 2012

I’ve just read an interesting article posted online by the Irish Times regarding Y-DNA with which I agree. There’s a lot of sales patter and technical jargon out there, but the principle behind genealogical Y-DNA testing is simple and logical. The Y-DNA chromosome is passed along intact from father to son. A random mutation is […]

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The following news release from Ancestry.com and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum World Memory Project marks the first anniversary of their partnership. There are three new collections including information on Poles, Jews, and other victims with more than 1.3 million records indexed from the museum’s archives: “WASHINGTON, DC/PROVO, UTAH, May 10, 2012 — Records […]

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Sandy on May 19th, 2012

When one thinks of Lawrence of Arabia the epic 1962 movie starring Peter O’Toole usually springs to mind. The movie characterizes Lawrence’s experience in Arabia during World War I, in particular his attacks on Aqaba and Damascus, as well as, his involvement in the Arab National Council. Known to the world as Lawrence of Arabia, […]

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Two priceless Catholic collections originally housed in the Blairs Seminary outside of Aberdeen, Scotland, are being returned to the area after 54 years to be housed this time at the University of Aberdeen. This is a big event given the dark history of the Roman Catholic Church in Scotland. In fact, the archives cover some […]

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The British National Archives has made Olympic and Paralympic documents and images available online for the 19th 20th and 21st centuries. This is a first. The new site called The Olympic Record has a timeline, which enables researchers to brows material from summer Olympics from the Athens games in 1896 to the Beijing games in 2008. […]

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If you’d like to learn what records are available and where to look at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), there’s a series of presentations available from archivists, volunteers and other experts who share their knowledge of the NARA records with you. To learn more about the program click on Know Your Records.

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After a run of three years NBC has decided not to renew the Ancestry.com genealogy series Who Do You Think You Are?  The news release from the Ancestry Investor Relations is as follows: “PROVO, Utah, May 13, 2012 (GlobeNewswire via COMTEX) — Ancestry.com Inc. ACOM -11.97% , the world’s largest online family history resource, today commented on NBC’s […]

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On May 11, 1812, Spencer Perceval, Britain’s prime minister was shot to death in the lobby of the House of Commons by John Bellingham, a demented businessman. Bellingham who was enraged at his failure to get government compensation for war debts incurred in Russia immediately gave himself up to the authorities.  Though deemed insane, he […]

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Ancestry.com has released a database containing membership cards with details on women who joined the Cadet Nurse Corps created during WWII as follows: “Historical Background After the United States entered World War II, the military’s needs quickly brought on a nursing shortage. To address the need, federal funding, administered by the Public Health Service, began […]

Continue reading about World War II Cadet Nursing Corps Card Files, 1942-1948 online at Ancestry.com

It’s well-known that Irish genealogy research is difficult and often impossible because of the loss of many important records. I’ve touched on this problem before in my blog post The Lack of Irish Genealogical Records and a look at PRONI. On June 30, 1922 the records of the Irish Chancery were destroyed in an explosion […]

Continue reading about CIRCLE a new major internet resource for Irish Chancery Letters 1244-1509

Benjamin Franklin (1706–1790) was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States of America.  He was what might be called today an all-round success (more like a brilliant all-round success), considering his expertise covered so many different areas. He was a “leading author, printer, political theorist, politician, postmaster, scientist, musician, inventor, satirist, civic activist, […]

Continue reading about How to get what you want in life: 14 lessons from Benjamin Franklin a man who knew how to get things done

The old saying look before you leap applies to all information posted on the web and this even applies to the latest offering from the world’s most popular genealogy site. It’s interesting to see that Ancestry has named their Best Practices board of scientific advisors in the following news release: “PROVO, Utah, May 3, 2012 […]

Continue reading about Ancestry.com launches new affordable DNA test analyzing over 700,000 marker locations

The following is an announcement from the National Archives and Records Administration regarding a new Microfilm Research Room: “A new Microfilm Research Room is scheduled to open on Monday, May 21, 2012, in the Robert M. Warner Research Center in the National Archives Building, Washington, DC. It will house 27 researcher carrels, 5 public use […]

Continue reading about New Microfilm Research Room set to open at the National Archives on May 21

The great military leader of the American Revolution George Washington was inaugurated as the first president of the United States on April 30, 1789, in New York.  He was unanimously chosen by all 69 electors in February 1789. In March of that year the new United States constitution officially took effect and, in April, Washington […]

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Sandy on April 25th, 2012

The following is the latest news release from Ancestry.com: “PROVO, Utah, April 25, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Ancestry.com Inc. (Nasdaq:ACOM) announced today it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Archives.com, a family history website, for approximately $100 million in cash and assumed liabilities. This transaction will enable Ancestry.com to add a differentiated service […]

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New York is an amazing city (an understatement). The newly released collection of 870 archived images actually includes a rare crime scene photographs courtesy of the city Department of Records. Reality at its worst but, you’ll also view spectacular photographs of stately bridges and street scenes that truly capture the essence of New York. The […]

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Sandy on April 24th, 2012

The subscription or pay-per-view website Findmypast.co.uk  has recently published Boer War records as follows: “We have updated our Boer War collection with almost 10,000 new records. The major inclusions in this update are: The complete Queen’s South Africa medal roll for the Coldstream Guards, Irish Guards, 1st battalion Royal Irish Fusiliers and Rundles Scouts The […]

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Wills are a wonderful source of information for family historians and genealogy researchers. They provide an amazing peep into your ancestor’s world. The information found in wills usually includes details, such as, where the person who died lived and the name of the executor who is the person responsible for carrying out the wishes of […]

Continue reading about Researching wills at the UK National Archives including last testaments of the famous

Sandy on April 20th, 2012

If you’re lucky enough to be on vacation or close to a National Park this week you can enjoy free admission to the any of our nation’s 397 national parks. This is an annual celebration and an opportunity to celebrate what we all have inherited as Americans. Can you imagine 84 million acres of the […]

Continue reading about National Park Week April 21 – 29

Hot on the heels of my post today about the Ancestry.com name search indexing project on the 1940 Census, I’d like to share a request from the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) asking for volunteers to help with their Name Search indexing effort. The current problem for many family researchers and genealogists is not […]

Continue reading about Request for volunteers by the National Archives and Records Administration to help create a Name Index for the 1940 Census