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The History of Halloween

Posted October 31, 2014 by Amanda | No Comment

Happy Halloween! A yearly celebration in many countries, Halloween is a fun holiday filled with candy, costumes and parties. But do you know where these Halloween activities originated? From Samhain to Halloween The origin of Halloween dates back the Celtic harvest festival Samhain, which was annually celebrated on November 1. During this time, it was believed spirits or fairies could more easily come into our world. Bonfires were lit and offerings of food and drink were left in… Read the full story

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Photos: Halloween Costumes from the Past

Posted October 29, 2014 by Amanda | No Comment

In just a few days, millions of children and adults will celebrate Halloween. For those looking for a scare, haunted houses and hayrides are frightening and fun activities to partake in. With costumes of all shapes and sizes, families get to enjoy trick-or-treating for candy, costume parties and pumpkin carvings. It wasn’t until the 1930s that Halloween costumes were mass-produced and sold to consumers. Before then, costumes were made by hand. Do you remember what costumes you wore on Halloween? If you’re still… Read the full story

Monday Recap »

Monday Recap for October 27, 2014

Posted October 27, 2014 by Amanda | No Comment
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Ready for Halloween? Check out this week’s roundup of articles to get you pumped for the upcoming week! Image: The Secret in Abraham Lincoln’s Pocket Watch / Mashable The Genealogy Sphere The 16th Century Dance Plague (mental_floss) – Have you heard of the dance plague that may have afflicted our 16th century ancestors? How MyHeritage Uses DNA to Track Family History (Bloomberg) – Watch this interview with MyHeritage CEO Gilad Japhet announcing MyHeritage’s new partnership with… Read the full story

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Halloween Postcards

Posted October 25, 2014 by Amanda | No Comment
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Do you have old postcards in your collection of family history mementos? Before email and texts, postcards were a perfect way to send short messages to family and friends. Because of this, postcards often hold wonderful anecdotes of family memories written in the hand of your relative. Whether your relative was traveling or just sending well wishes during the holidays, postcards bring us an intimate connection with your family’s past. With Halloween season upon us, check out… Read the full story

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Your Stories: Photographing Cemeteries in Malaysia

Posted October 23, 2014 by Amanda | 2 Comments

Earlier this month, we shared some great ways to celebrate Family History month. One suggestion was to plan a trip to the cemetery, a fun activity to explore the outdoors and to take in some family history. To help inspire your next cemetery field trip, Geni user Georgette Tan shares her experiences photographing cemeteries in her country of Malaysia. Born in Sarawak in East Malaysia, Georgette works as a journalist with the local English daily,… Read the full story

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Monday Recap for October 20, 2014

Posted October 20, 2014 by Amanda | No Comment

Ready for this week’s roundup of articles? Check them out below! Image: Rare photo shows Robert E. Lee’s slave, Selina Gray – the hero of Arlington House / The Washington Post The Genealogy Sphere Rare photo shows Robert E. Lee’s slave, Selina Gray – the hero of Arlington House (The Washington Post) – An incredible find! Rare photograph discovered on Ebay has been acquired by the National Park Service In defense of family history (The Guardian)… Read the full story

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The London Beer Flood of 1814

Posted October 17, 2014 by Amanda | No Comment

When doing genealogy research, you may come across significant disasters that occurred during your ancestors’ lifetime. These significant incidents can include fires, such as the Great Chicago Fire in 1871 or natural disasters, such as the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. One of history’s more bizarre disasters occurred 200 years ago today when over 323,000 gallons of beer flooded the streets of the London parish of St. Giles. The date was October 17, 1814 in the parish of St. Giles, London,… Read the full story

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Global Family Reunion: Hangout with AJ Jacobs

Posted October 14, 2014 by Amanda | One Comment
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We’re excited to announce our upcoming Hangout On Air with best-selling author AJ Jacobs! AJ Jacobs is throwing the world’s largest family reunion in history and he’s inviting every one of his 7 billion cousins to the party! Come hangout with AJ as he shares the latest Global Family Reunion updates and answers questions from the community. Joining AJ will be GFR Cousin Coordinator Eowyn Langholf and a few Geni Curators to discuss the successes and challenges… Read the full story

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Monday Recap for October 13, 2014

Posted October 13, 2014 by Amanda | No Comment

Did you get any genealogy work done over the weekend? Kickstart the new week with these interesting articles from around the web! Image: George Spencer Millet: The Boy Who Was Kissed to Death / Slate The Genealogy Sphere Trench Life Explained in this Interactive Graphic ( – A great interactive graphic explaining life inside the trenches of World War I How Iceland’s Genealogy Obsession Leads to Scientific Breakthroughs (The Atlantic) – Iceland’s knack for family history… Read the full story

Genealogy Research »

Unusual Terms for Your Family Tree

Posted October 10, 2014 by Amanda | No Comment

In many languages, what we call our family members is dependent on age and gender and can get pretty complicated to the non-native speaker. In comparison, the English words we use can seem pretty straightforward. Typically, English uses mom and dad, brother and sister, aunt and uncle, grandma and grandpa, etc. And words such as ‘cousin’ are used generally and can refer to a male or female cousin from your maternal or paternal line. Seems pretty easy right? But… Read the full story

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