December 2013

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A Look Back at 2013

Posted December 31, 2013 by Amanda | 2 Comments
Happy New Year NASA Theme

As we prepare to welcome in the new year, we thought it would be fun to reflect on some of the amazing things we have accomplished in the last 12 months. We’re proud of the many exciting new features we introduced this year to help you research your family history. While we all work together to build the largest and most accurate family tree of the world, genealogy research on Geni has never been faster or… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: John Denver

Posted December 31, 2013 by Amanda | No Comment
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Today we remember John Denver, who was born December 31, 1943 in Roswell, New Mexico. The folk musician was born Henry John Deutschendorf, Jr. to Erma Louise and Lt. Col. Henry John, Sr., an Air Force officer who set three speed records in the B-58 Hustler bomber and earned a place in the Air Force Hall of Fame. An avid environmental activist, Denver spent much of the later years of his life focused on humanitarian… Read the full story

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Monday Recap for December 30, 2013

Posted December 30, 2013 by Amanda | No Comment
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We hope everyone had a very happy holiday! Before we start the new year, check out some interesting articles from around the web: Image: O’Connor Family Photo/Masslive.com The Genealogy Sphere Family Tree: Memories of Christmases past help document genealogy (Masslive.com) – Sharing a lifetime of Christmas memories Century-old cremains create Modesto mystery (Modbee.com) – A corner tries to find the family of a woman who died in 1906 Trove of Information From the 1930s, Animated by… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Rudyard Kipling

Posted December 30, 2013 by Amanda | No Comment
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Do you remember reading The Jungle Book? This day in 1865, author Rudyard Kipling was born in Bombay, in the Bombay Presidency of British India. His experiences in India, as both a young child and years later as a young adult, highly influenced much of his writings. Regarded as a major innovator in the art of the short story, today Kipling’s children’s books are regarded as enduring classics of children’s literature. He was awarded the… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: President Harry S. Truman

Posted December 26, 2013 by Amanda | No Comment
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Today we remember President Harry S. Truman, who died on December 26, 1972 at the age of 88. Truman was born in Larmar, Missouri and spent most of the early years of his life on a farm. He succeeded to the presidency on April 12, 1945, when President Franklin D. Roosevelt died after months of declining health. Under Truman, the U.S. successfully concluded World War II. President Truman is connected to over 70 million people in Geni’s… Read the full story

Fun with Genealogy »

Looking Back: Yes, Virginia, There Is a Santa Claus

Posted December 24, 2013 by Amanda | No Comment
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Do you remember writing letters to Santa Claus? As a child, many of us believed in the jolly man from the North Pole. If we were good children, Santa would bring us presents on Christmas day. But there were always those who would shed doubts in our belief. One of the most famous editorials ever to be published is the story of a young Virginia O’Hanion and her quest to know if there really was… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Natalie Wood

Posted December 24, 2013 by Amanda | No Comment
Miracle 34 street

Do you remember watching a young Natalie Wood in Miracle on 34th Street? At the tender age of eight, Natalie won the hearts of audiences as Susan Walker, the little girl who comes to believe in Santa Claus. Within a few months of the film’s release, she became so popular that Macy’s invited her to appear in the store’s annual Thanksgiving Day parade. Today the film is still a Christmas favorite. Does the movie make… Read the full story

Monday Recap »

Monday Recap for December 23, 2013

Posted December 23, 2013 by Amanda | No Comment
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Get into the holiday spirit with these great articles from around the web! Image: BBC The Genealogy Sphere Bristol Airport lost teddy bear family is identified (BBC News) – The family of a lost teddy bear found in Bristol Airport with a photograph dated 1918 has been identified 5 Fun Ways to Record Family Memories (ParentInformer.com) – Great tips on how to record your family memories Why Was My Black Ancestor Listed as a Slave Owner?… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Bing Crosby

Posted December 23, 2013 by Amanda | No Comment
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Ranked as one of the best Christmas songs of all time, Bing Crosby’s “White Christmas” is a holiday staple for most families. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, Bing’s version is the best-selling single in history, with an estimated 100 million copies sold worldwide. He first performed the song live Christmas Day in 1941. The single was later featured in the 1954 classic White Christmas, starring Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney and… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: James Stewart

Posted December 20, 2013 by Amanda | No Comment
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What’s your favorite holiday film? On this day 67 years ago, the Christmas classic It’s a Wonderful Life premiered in New York City. Starring James Stewart as George Bailey, the film has become a must-see event for many every Christmas. Did you know the movie was Stewart’s first starring vehicle after returning from World War II? He would earn his third Academy Award nomination for what many consider one of the defining roles of his career…. Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Emily Brontë

Posted December 19, 2013 by Amanda | No Comment
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Today we remember author Emily Brontë, who died December 19, 1848. The fifth child of Reverend Patric Brontë and his wife, Maria Branwell, Emily was not the only creative one in the family. Her two sisters, Charlotte and Anne, enjoyed literary success as well. She published her defining work Wuthering Heights under the pseudonym Ellis Bell in 1847. It would be her first and only published novel. She died a year later of tuberculosis at the… Read the full story

Fun with Genealogy »

Crafty Ways to Bring a Little Family History to Your Holiday

Posted December 18, 2013 by Amanda | No Comment
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The holidays are always a fun time to share with your family. It’s also the perfect time to share your ancestors stories with your relatives. Check out some crafty ways to spice up your holiday decor with some family history memories. Wrap It Image credit: Sweet Paul Do you have old family photos at home? Scan your photos to create homemade wrapping paper for your relatives. Sweet Paul Magazine offers a quick tutorial to turn… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Brad Pitt

Posted December 18, 2013 by Amanda | No Comment
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Happy birthday Brad Pitt! Can you believe the star is turning the big 5-0? Pitt was born in Shawnee, Oklahoma and grew up in Springfield, Missouri. He attended the University of Missouri as a journalism major, but felt a love for film that he couldn’t ignore. Just two credits shy of graduating, Pitt left Missouri and headed to Hollywood to become an actor. Today he is one of Hollywood’s most recognizable stars and actively involved… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Charles Dickens

Posted December 17, 2013 by Amanda | No Comment
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Do you remember Charles Dickens‘ Christmas classic A Christmas Carol? On this day in 1843, Dickens’ novella was published for the first time and since then, the comforting story has never been out of print. Over the years, the story of Ebenezer Scrooge’s transformation after his spiritual visits from the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Yet to Come has been adapted multiple times into a variety of mediums including stage, television and film. The… Read the full story

Monday Recap »

Monday Recap for December 16, 2013

Posted December 16, 2013 by Amanda | 2 Comments
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Start your week with some interesting articles from around the web: What Kids Learn From Hearing Family Stories – The Atlantic (cdnsure/Flickr) The Genealogy Sphere What Kids Learn From Hearing Family Stories (The Atlantic) – Sharing family tales from the past has great education benefits for children Potter’s Field Records and Genealogy Research (a3Genealogy blog) – Tips on how to find Potter’s Field burial records Have We Found the Lost Colony of Roanoke Island? (National… Read the full story

Profile of the Day »

Profile of the Day: Peter O’Toole

Posted December 16, 2013 by Amanda | No Comment
O'Toole, Peter

Today we remember Peter O’Toole, who passed away this weekend, at the age of 81. He was born in 1932, with some sources giving his birthplace as Connemara, Ireland while other’s report Leeds, England. Even O’Toole himself wasn’t sure of his birthplace or date, noting that while he accepted August 2 as his birthdate, he had a birth certificate from each country, with the Irish one giving a June 1932 birthdate. One of Hollywood’s most… Read the full story

Community »

Old Photographs: Hidden Mothers

Posted December 13, 2013 by Amanda | No Comment
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Since the camera was first invented, people have always desired to capture special moments in time to remember for years to come. Capturing the perfect family photo can often be difficult, especially when you have very young children. Even at the best of times, trying to get a baby to hold still for a photo can be an almost impossible task. But in today’s world, you have the luxury of taking multiple digital photographs until… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Dick Van Dyke

Posted December 13, 2013 by Amanda | No Comment
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Happy birthday Dick Van Dyke! Today the lovable actor turns 88. He was born in West Plains, Missouri, but grew up in Danville, Illinois. During World War II, he enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps where he became a radio announcer, later transferring to the Special Services entertaining troops. Over the course of his long and impressive career, he has starred in many memorable roles on both the small and big screen, including the films… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Frank Sinatra

Posted December 12, 2013 by Amanda | No Comment
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Are you a fan of Ol’ Blue Eyes? On this day in 1915, Frank Sinatra was born in Hoboken, New Jersey. The only child of Sicilian immigrants, Sinatra knew he wanted to be a singer at a very young age. From his early days crooning in night clubs to his award-winning performances on the big screen, Sinatra became one of the most popular entertainers of the 20th century. The epitome of cool, Sinatra was considered… Read the full story

News »

MyHeritage Adds Millions of Nordic Records

Posted December 11, 2013 by Amanda | Comments Off
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Researching your Nordic heritage? We’re excited to announce millions of digitized records from Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland have been added to MyHeritage’s burgeoning collection of historical records. Spanning from as early as the 1600s, these records are available now through MyHeritage’s SuperSearch™ and will be matched to your Geni profiles using MyHeritage’s powerful Record Matching technology. These collections contain over 90 million names and include birth, death, marriage and baptism records as well as census… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Edward VIII, Duke of Windsor

Posted December 11, 2013 by Amanda | No Comment
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This day in 1936, Edward VIII abdicated the English throne in order to marry Wallis Simpson. His relationship with the twice-divorced socialite was controversial from the start and the announcement of the couple’s engagement caused a constitutional crisis only months into his reign. The British government, the Church of England and the public widely condemned his desire to marry Simpson. As the King and the titular head of the Church of England, Edward VIII was… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Melvil Dewey

Posted December 10, 2013 by Amanda | No Comment
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Do you remember using the Dewey Decimal Classification system at the library? 162 years ago today, the mastermind behind the library cataloging system, Melvil Dewey, was born in Adams Center, New York. Dewey’s system forever changed the cataloging of books and library materials, and made it easy for patrons and librarians to find any particular book and return it to its proper place on library shelves. The system is currently used in at least 135… Read the full story

Monday Recap »

Monday Recap for December 9, 2013

Posted December 9, 2013 by Amanda | No Comment
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Wet your genealogy appetite with these great stories from around the web: The Soldier Who Just Refused to Give Up / DailyMail UK The Genealogy Sphere The Soldier Who Just Refused to Give Up (DailyMail UK) – The inspiring story of a World War I hero’s loss and struggle for survival Uncovering records that link the slaveholder and enslaved (Examiner.com) – Robin Foster shares what clues you can follow to untangle the link between slaves… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Kirk Douglas

Posted December 9, 2013 by Amanda | No Comment
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Today we celebrate actor Kirk Douglas‘ 97th birthday. He was born Issur Danielovitch to poor, Russian Jewish immigrants in Amsterdam, New York on December 9, 1916. He grew up as Izzy Demsky, a surname the family adopted in the United States, and changed legally changed his name to Kirk Douglas before entering the Navy during World War II. After the war, he pursued a career in acting and discovered work on the stage before finding… Read the full story

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Remembering Nelson Mandela

Posted December 6, 2013 by Amanda | No Comment
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Today we remember former South African president and freedom fighter Nelson Mandela, who passed away yesterday at the age of 95. Devoted to ending apartheid, Mandela served as an inspiration to many for his message of reconciliation and forgiveness, and a peaceful end to years of segregation.  “No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Roy Orbison

Posted December 6, 2013 by Amanda | No Comment
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Do you remember the hit song “Oh, Pretty Woman”? Today we remember music legend Roy Orbison, who passed away on December 6, 1988 in Hendersonville, Tennessee. Growing up in Texas in a working-class family, Orbison showed an interest in music early in life. For his sixth birthday, we was given a guitar that would make music a part of his life forever. Considered one of the most influential musicians in history, Orbison was inducted into… Read the full story

Genealogy Research »

The End of Prohibition

Posted December 5, 2013 by Amanda | No Comment
Evil spirits be gone! Prohibition shut down St. Louis Breweries but didn't stop the flow of alcohol

Eighty years ago today, Prohibition ended in the United States, lifting the national ban of alcohol throughout the nation. Between 1920 – 1933, the production, sale and transportation of alcoholic beverages was prohibited across the country. Although the motivation to pass the 18th Amendment to the U.S. constitution was to curb the adverse effects of drinking on society, the Prohibition had the unintended consequence of stimulating a rampant underground of organized and widespread criminal activity. The… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Martin Van Buren

Posted December 5, 2013 by Amanda | No Comment
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Do you know who was the first U.S. President to be born a United States citizen? Martin Van Buren, the 8th President of the United States, was born December 5, 1782 in Kinderhook, New York. Before President Van Buren, all previous presidents were born in the British colonies before the American Revolution, and therefore were British subjects. His third great grandfather, Cornelis Maessen van Buren came to the Americas in 1631 from what is today… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Jeff Bridges

Posted December 4, 2013 by Amanda | No Comment
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Happy birthday to The Dude! Today Jeff Bridges turns 64. He was born on December 4, 1949 in Los Angeles, California to a showbiz family. His father was actor Lloyd Bridges and his mother was actor and writer Dorothy Bridges. He began his career as an infant, with parts on both film and television. Bridges has since taken on challenging roles in an array of films, including The Big Lebowski, The Last Picture Show, and… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Marlon Brando

Posted December 3, 2013 by Amanda | No Comment
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“Stella!” On December 3, 1947, Marlon Brando cried his famous line for the first time in the Broadway debut of Tennessee Williams‘ play A Streetcar Named Desire at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre. Starring a 23-year old Brando as Stanley Kowalski, the drama stunned the audience, who sat in silence once the curtain fell before erupting in applause that lasted 30 minutes. The play turned Brando into a star and he would go on to reprise his role in… Read the full story

Monday Recap »

Monday Recap for December 2, 2013

Posted December 2, 2013 by Amanda | No Comment
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We hope everyone had a great holiday weekend! Here’s a quick roundup of some interesting articles you may have missed: Image: Mabel’s War: Diaries of World War I nurse / Daily Mail UK The Genealogy Sphere A life remembered: Ninety years later, marker placed on infant’s grave (Ohio.com) – After ninety years, a gravestone is finally placed on an infant’s grave Mabel’s War: Diaries of World War One nurse reveal lives of horrifically injured soldiers… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Britney Spears

Posted December 2, 2013 by Amanda | No Comment
Britney_Spears

Happy birthday Britney Spears! Today the pop icon turns 32. Born in Kentwood, Louisiana, Britney showed her talent at a very young age. She got her start on the ’90s revival of The Mickey Mouse Club, which featured many future music and film stars. Her career skyrocketed shortly after when she released her first album …Baby One More Time. Although she has experience her share of controversy in the past few years, today she is… Read the full story