December 2011

News »

A Look Back at 2011

Posted December 30, 2011 by Amanda | 27 Comments

With the New Year upon us, we thought this would be the perfect time to reflect on some of the great things Geni has accomplished in the past year. 2011 in Retrospect We spent the first couple of months of 2011 further enhancing and refining popular features. Enhancements to documents, sourcing and projects have really helped to make it easier to share and collaborate with other users. As the year progressed, we pursued features to… Read the full story

Profile of the Day »

Profile of the Day: Rudyard Kipling

Posted December 30, 2011 by Amanda | No Comment
Rudyard Kipling

On December 30, 1865, English poet and author Rudyard Kipling was born in Bombay, India. Kipling was an innovative story teller and best remembered for his adventure novel The Jungle Book and his poems, Gunga Din and If. In 1907, Kipling received the Nobel Prize for Literature. Rudyard Kipling is connected to over 60 million profiles in Geni’s World Family Tree. How are you related?   View Rudyard Kipling’s Geni Profile  

Profile of the Day »

Profile of the Day: Jon Voight

Posted December 29, 2011 by Amanda | No Comment
Jon Voight

On December 29, 1938 actor Jon Voight was born. Voight rose to fame in the late 1960s with his role in Midnight Cowboy and found continued success in the films Deliverance and The Champ, for which he won the Academy Award for Best Actor. Did you know he is also the father of actress Angelina Jolie? Jon Voight is connected to over 60 million profiles in Geni’s World Family Tree. How are you related?  … Read the full story

News »

Site Maintenance

Posted December 28, 2011 by Amanda | 4 Comments

Update: We’re back! (6:02pm PST) We’ll be down for scheduled maintenance for approximately 1 hour beginning at 5pm PST tonight. Thanks for your patience.

Profile of the Day »

Profile of the Day: Woodrow Wilson

Posted December 28, 2011 by Amanda | No Comment
Woodrow Wilson

On December 28, 1856, Woodrow Wilson was born in Staunton, Virginia. He was the 28th President of the United States who led the country through World War I. Wilson helped shape the Treaty of Versailles, which marked the end of the war. Wilson also helped create the League of Nations, an international governmental organization whose principal mission was to maintain world peace. In 1919, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Price for his peace-making efforts… Read the full story

Profile of the Day »

Profile of the Day: Charles Darwin

Posted December 27, 2011 by Amanda | No Comment
Charles Darwin

On December 27, 1831, Charles Darwin set sail on the HMS Beagle, beginning a five-year survey expedition of the southern Atlantic and Pacific oceans.  His discoveries during his voyage led him to form the basis of his theories in evolution. In 1859, he published On the Origin of Species, his groundbreaking piece of scientific literature which laid out his theories of evolution through natural selection. Charles Darwin is connected to over 60 million profiles in Geni’s World… Read the full story

News »

Play the Geni Celebrity Quiz on Facebook

Posted December 23, 2011 by Amanda | No Comment
Geni celebrity quiz

We’re excited to announce the Geni Celebrity Quiz on Facebook! Have fun as you discover surprising celebrity cousins while testing your knowledge of celebrity trivia. Challenge your friends on Facebook and see who can achieve the highest scores. We’re kicking off our Celebrity Quiz with five trivia games: Academy Award Winners Child Stars Stars of the Small Screen Kings of Comedy Who Said It? Be sure to check back each week as we add even… Read the full story

Profile of the Day »

Profile of the Day: Charles Dickens

Posted December 22, 2011 by Amanda | No Comment
Charles Dickens

In 1843, English novelist Charles Dickens published one of his best known novels, A Christmas Carol. To this day, the novel has never been out of print and has been adapted into films, the stage and other media. The story follows the transformation of the stingy Ebenezer Scrooge after the spiritual visits of the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Yet to Come. It is said that Dickens’ novel redefined the spirit and importance of Christmas… Read the full story

Profile of the Day »

Profile of the Day: James Stewart

Posted December 21, 2011 by Amanda | No Comment
James Stewart

In 1946, actor James Stewart starred in the Christmas classic, It’s a Wonderful Life. Although it was considered a box office flop when it was first released, today the film is a staple of Christmas television around the world. It has since been recognized by the American Film Institute as one of the 100 best American films ever made. James Stewart is connected to over 60 million profiles in Geni’s World Family Tree. How are… Read the full story

Community »

Happy Hanukkah!

Posted December 20, 2011 by Amanda | No Comment
Happy Hanukkah! featured image

Today at sunset marks the beginning of Hanukkah. Known as the Festival of Lights, Hanukkah is an eight day Jewish celebration commemorating the re-dedication of the the Second Temple in Jerusalem and the triumph over religious persecution. The holiday is celebrated over the eight days with the lighting of the menorah, traditional foods, prayers, games and gifts. In the second century BCE, Antiochus IV Epiphanes issued a decree that outlawed Jewish religious practices and ordered an alter to Zeus… Read the full story

Profile of the Day »

Profile of the Day: Judas Maccabeus

Posted December 20, 2011 by Amanda | No Comment
Judas Maccabeus

Sunset this evening marks the beginning of the Jewish holiday, Hanukkah. Today we highlight Judas Maccabeus, who lead the Maccabean revolt against the Seleucid Empire. The festival of Hanukkah was instituted to commemorate Maccabee’s victory and the rededication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem. Judas Maccabee is connected to over 60 million profiles in Geni’s World Family Tree. How are you related?   View Judas Maccabeus’s Geni Profile  

Monday Recap »

Monday Recap for December 19, 2011

Posted December 19, 2011 by Amanda | No Comment

Here are some interesting genealogy articles from last week. Enjoy! The Genealogy Sphere Woman searches for rightful owner of family memories (Bakersfieldnow.com) – A woman finds a suitcase full of photos and letters Unlocking decades of family histories (Portside Messenger) – A woman unlocks the genealogy of more than 200 Aboriginal families in SA Are We Going to Lose the Social Security Death Index (SSDI)? (Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak) – Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak’s thoughts about the… Read the full story

Profile of the Day »

Profile of the Day: Rosemary Clooney

Posted December 19, 2011 by Amanda | No Comment
Rosemary Clooney

In 1954, Rosemary Clooney starred alongside Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye and Vera-Ellen in the holiday classic film, White Christmas. The musical has become a holiday staple and according to the Guinness Book of World Records, its most notable song, “White Christmas,” is the best-selling single of all time, with an estimated 50 million copies sold worldwide. Did you know that Rosemary Clooney is Academy Award winning actor George Clooney‘s aunt? Rosemary Clooney is connected to… Read the full story

Profile of the Day »

Profile of the Day: Philip K. Dick

Posted December 16, 2011 by Amanda | No Comment
Philip K. Dick

On December 16, 1928, science fiction writer Philip K. Dick was born. Dick was the first science fiction writer to be included in The Library of America series, which is dedicated to preserving America’s literary heritage by publishing the authoritative editions of America’s best and most significant writing. Many of his stories have been adapted to film, including Blade Runner, A Scanner Darkly and Minority Report. Philip K. Dick is connected to over 60 million profiles in Geni’s World… Read the full story

News »

Geni’s 12 Days of Christmas – Get 25% Off a Geni Gift Membership!

Posted December 15, 2011 by Amanda | 57 Comments
holiday_gift

Looking to make the most out of your family gatherings this holiday season? Geni is celebrating the holiday season with our exclusive 12 Days of Christmas promotion. For the next 12 days, we’re giving you the chance to give a Geni gift membership to anyone on your tree for 25% off! A Geni gift membership is the perfect opportunity to get your family to help you with your research and fill in the blanks on… Read the full story

Profile of the Day »

Profile of the Day: James Madison

Posted December 15, 2011 by Amanda | No Comment
James Madison, Fourth President of the United States of America

Today, December 15, is Bill of Rights Day in the U.S. On this day in 1791, the United States Bill of Rights was ratified, and thus becoming one of the most important and influential documents in history and remains a vital symbol of freedom and liberty. Today we highlight its key author, James Madison, who first introduced the Bill of Rights to Congress in 1789. Today, Madison is remembered as the “Father of the Constitution” for his pivotal role… Read the full story

Fun with Genealogy »

Genealogy Activities for the Holidays

Posted December 14, 2011 by Amanda | 5 Comments
Christmas Scene

Christmas is the perfect time of year to share your love of genealogy with your family. Do you have any activities planned for your relatives? Here are a few interesting ideas on how to incorporate genealogy into your holiday festivities! Decorate your tree Make decorating your Christmas tree a family activity. This year decorate your tree with family photos of your living relatives and ancestors. You can purchase ornaments that allow you to insert the… Read the full story

Profile of the Day »

Profile of the Day: Nostradamus

Posted December 14, 2011 by Amanda | No Comment
Nostradamus

On December 14, 1503, French astrologer Nostradamus was born in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, France. Nostradamus believed he could predict the future and documented his predictions in his book, The Prophecies, which has become famous worldwide. To this day, many people believe the prophecies in his book predict major world events that have or will come true. Do you believe in Nostradamus’s prophecies? Check out Nostradamus’s family tree on Geni! View Nostradamus’s Geni Profile  

Profile of the Day »

Profile of the Day: Elizabeth Taylor

Posted December 13, 2011 by Amanda | No Comment
Elizabeth Taylor

Today, the jewelry collection of legendary actress Elizabeth Taylor will go up for auction at Christie’s auction house in New York. The collection consists of 269 pieces of jewelry, including a 33.19-carat, emerald cut diamond ring Richard Burton once gifted her. The sale is estimated to fetch over $30 million and the proceeds will go towards The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation, which she established in 1991 to assist those living with HIV and AIDS. Elizabeth Taylor is connected to… Read the full story

Monday Recap »

Monday Recap December 12, 2011

Posted December 12, 2011 by Amanda | One Comment

Here’s a recap of some interesting articles in the world of genealogy from last week. The Genealogy Sphere The Good News About Taxes: Finding and Using Tax Records in your Genealogy Research (Archives.com) – Tips on using tax records in your genealogy research Monday Memories: Create a heritage cookbook! (Examiner.com) – Create a heritage cookbook to share your knowledge of family history Distribution of land after death creates wealth of documents (Citizen-Times.com) – Using land… Read the full story

Profile of the Day »

Profile of the Day: Sir Edmund Hillary

Posted December 12, 2011 by Amanda | 2 Comments
Sir Edmund Hillary

Yesterday, December 11, was International Mountain Day. It was designated by the United Nations as a day to create awareness of the role mountains play to life and highlight the importance of sustainable mountain development. In honor of International Mountain Day, today we highlight explorer and mountaineer Sir Edmund Hillary. On May 29, 1953, Hillary and Nepalese Sherpa mountaineer Tenzing Norgay became the first climbers known to reach the summit of Mount Everest. Sir Edmund… Read the full story

Fun with Genealogy »

Look Who’s Related: Mitt Romney and Jon Huntsman

Posted December 9, 2011 by Amanda | One Comment
Parley P. Pratt

Tension is building in the Republican race for the presidential nomination as we get closer and closer to the beginning of the primaries. While the GOP candidates duke it out in the debate field, we thought it would be fun to look into how two Republican presidential nominee hopefuls are related. Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney is Jon Huntsman’s third cousin once removed! Their common ancestor is Parley P. Pratt, an early leader of the Latter… Read the full story

Profile of the Day »

Profile of the Day: Newt Gingrich

Posted December 9, 2011 by Amanda | 2 Comments
Newt Gingrich

Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich‘s sudden surge in the polls has gained lots of press coverage recently. As the Republican primaries draw near, all eyes are set on tomorrow night’s presidential debate in Des Moines, Iowa. Gingrich will duke it out against fellow GOP candidates Mitt Romney, Rick Perry, Michele Bachmann, Ron Paul and Rick Santorum. Newt Gingrich is connected to over 60 million profiles in Geni’s World Family Tree. How are you related? View Newt… Read the full story

Profile of the Day »

Profile of the Day: Mary, Queen of Scots

Posted December 8, 2011 by Amanda | One Comment
Mary, Queen of Scots

On December 8, 1542, Mary, Queen of Scots was born. Mary was the only legitimate child of King James V of Scots. When she was just six days old, her father died and thus, she ascended to the throne. Queen Elizabeth I saw Mary as a threat to her crown and had her imprisoned for nearly twenty years. She was later tried and executed for treason for her involvement in a plot to assassinate Queen… Read the full story

Community »

Remembering Pearl Harbor

Posted December 7, 2011 by Amanda | 3 Comments
The battleship USS ARIZONA sinking after being hit by Japanese air attack on Dec. 7,1941.

Today marks the 70th anniversary of the bombing of Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. On December 7, 1941, the Imperial Japanese Navy struck the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor in a surprise military attack. Over 2,400 people were killed and more than 1,000 others were wounded on that day. The attack came as a shock to the American people and led directly to the United States’s entry into World War II. In President Franklin D…. Read the full story

Profile of the Day »

Profile of the Day: Noam Chomsky

Posted December 7, 2011 by Amanda | No Comment
Noam Chomsky

On December 7, 1928, linguist Noam Chomsky was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Considered the “father of modern linguistics,” Chomsky’s work has influenced a wide range of fields, including computer science, mathematics and psychology.   View Noam Chomsky’s Geni Profile

Community »

St. Nicholas Day

Posted December 6, 2011 by Amanda | 3 Comments
Saint Nicholas

On December 6, many countries across Europe celebrate St. Nicholas Day, a festive holiday in remembrance of Saint Nicholas, the patron saint of children, mariners and merchants. The Catholic holiday is celebrated in many countries, including France, Germany, Switzerland, Netherlands and the countries of Central Europe. Also called Nikolaos of Myra, Saint Nicholas was born to a wealthy family in Lycia, Asia Minor and became Bishop of Myra. During his lifetime, Saint Nicholas was known… Read the full story

Profile of the Day »

Profile of the Day: Ashton Kutcher

Posted December 6, 2011 by Amanda | No Comment
Ashton Kutcher

The star-studded movie New Year’s Eve opens this Friday. Today we highlight one of the many celebrities in the film, Ashton Kutcher. Last night the Two and a Half Men star and the rest of the film’s all-star cast walked the red carpet at the Hollywood premiere. Did you know Ashton Kutcher has a twin? His fraternal twin brother, Michael, suffers from cerebral palsy and is a spokesperson for the advocacy organization Reaching for the… Read the full story

Monday Recap »

Monday Recap for December 5, 2011

Posted December 5, 2011 by Amanda | No Comment

Last week’s links in the world of genealogy: The Genealogy Sphere Not Your Grandmother’s Genealogy Hobby (The Wall Street Journal) – Geni was featured in this Wall Street Journal article! Pocahontas wedding site traced (News24) – Archaeologists discover the location where Pocahontas was married 10 Questions to Ask a Research Facility Before You Visit (About.com) – Kimberly Powell’s tips on what to ask before visiting a research facility A Point of View: A convert to… Read the full story

Profile of the Day »

Profile of the Day: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Posted December 5, 2011 by Amanda | No Comment
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

On December 5, 1791, composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart died at the age of 35. Considered one of the most influential composers of the Classical era, Mozart composed over 600 pieces and remains one of the most popular classical composers today. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart is connected to over 60 million profiles in Geni’s World Family Tree. How are you related?     View Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Geni Profile  

Profile of the Day »

Profile of the Day: Princess Alice of Battenberg

Posted December 2, 2011 by Amanda | No Comment
Princess Alice of Battenberg

Tomorrow, December 3, is International Day of Persons with Disabilities. Promoted by the U.N. since 1992, it’s an international day of observance to promote awareness and understanding of disability issues. In honor of International Day of Persons with Disabilities, today we highlight Princess Alice of Battenberg, who was the mother of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. She was congenitally deaf but could speak and lip-read in three different languages. She devoted most of the remaining years of… Read the full story

Featured Project »

Gravestone Photo Exchange

Posted December 1, 2011 by Amanda | 7 Comments

One of the greatest benefits of Geni projects is the collaboration and assistance from other passionate and knowledgeable users. We thought it would be great to bring some attention to one of Geni’s earlier projects, the Gravestone Photo Exchange project. Gravestones hold a wealth of information for the genealogy researcher. Many genealogists trek through cemeteries hunting for their relatives graves, some traveling far and wide to find that new bit of information. However, in many instances, people… Read the full story

Profile of the Day »

Profile of the Day: Rosa Parks

Posted December 1, 2011 by Amanda | No Comment
Rosa Parks

On December 1, 1955, Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama to a white passenger. The incident resulted in her arrest and sparked the Montgomery Bus Boycott. Her act of defiance became an important symbol of the U.S. Civil Rights movement and made Parks an international icon of resistance to racial segregation.   View Rosa Parks’s Geni Profile