July 2014

Genealogy Research »

Genealogy Research: Obituaries

Posted July 31, 2014 by Amanda | One Comment
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While researching your genealogy, you will come across lots of records that will help you solve the puzzle of your family history. One of the best resources for family history information are obituaries. Obituaries can contain a wide range of information for the deceased, including: First and last name Maiden name Birth and death dates Cause of death Names of family members Birth and death location Place of burial Religious affiliation In many cases, obituaries… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: J.K. Rowling

Posted July 31, 2014 by Amanda | One Comment
J._K._Rowling

Happy birthday to J.K. Rowling! Today the “Harry Potter” author turns 49. She was born Joanne Rowling in Yate, England on July 31, 1965. Rowling adopted the pen name “J.K.” after her publishers asked her to use two initials, rather than her full name, anticipating that the target audience of young boys might not want to read a book written by a woman. She chose “K” as the second initial of her pen name from her… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Jesse Tyler Ferguson

Posted July 30, 2014 by Amanda | No Comment
Jesse_Tyler_Ferguson

Are you a fan of the television show Modern Family? Tonight star Jesse Tyler Ferguson learns more about the life of his great grandfather, Jesse Wheat Uppercu, and his journey on the Alaskan trail in 1898. Uppercu had assembled a group of 65 men for an expedition to the Alaskan Klondike in search for gold. Along the way, Ferguson also discovers a shocking crime in his family. Did you know his Modern Family sibling is also… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: King James VI of Scotland and I of England

Posted July 29, 2014 by Amanda | No Comment
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On July 29, 1567, James VI was crowned King of Scotland at the age of 13 months. In 1603, he succeeded Elizabeth I as King of England and Ireland, reigning as James I. His mother Mary, Queen of Scots’s reign was marred by scandal. Her unpopularity intensified after the death of James’s father, Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley. Only months after Lord Darnley was found murdered, Mary married James Hepburn, 4th Early of Bothwell, who was widely… Read the full story

Monday Recap »

Monday Recap for July 28, 2014

Posted July 28, 2014 by Amanda | No Comment
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Did you have fun researching your genealogy this weekend? Keep the fun going by checking out these articles from around the web. Image: Child Migrants Have Been Coming to America Alone Since Ellis Island / Mother Jones The Genealogy Sphere Old days in S.F. not so good (SF Gate) – San Francisco historian recounts how life in “good old days” were not so good in old San Francisco Tour the Beautiful Cemetery Where New York’s… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Beatrix Potter

Posted July 28, 2014 by Amanda | No Comment
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Do you remember reading The Tale of Peter Rabbit? On July 28, 1866, author Beatrix Potter was born in Sawrey, England. From a young age, she had developed a love of nature and animals, often sketching her favorite subjects as she roamed the countryside with her brother, Bertram. Her artistic talents were recognized early on, and she was encouraged to develop them with private art lessons. In 1902, she published The Tale of Peter Rabbit and it… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Jack London

Posted July 25, 2014 by Amanda | No Comment
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Do you remember reading The Call of the Wild? On this day in 1897, author Jack London set sail for the Klondike. At the age of 21, London embarked on this perilous trek to join the hundreds of thousands of prospectors looking to strike gold. He stayed in the Klondike for almost a year, living for a time in the frontier town of Dawson City. However, the harsh, cold climate of the Klondike left London… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Brigham Young

Posted July 24, 2014 by Amanda | No Comment
brigham young

Happy Pioneer Day! On July 24, 1847, Brigham Young led the first group of Mormon pioneers into Utah’s Salt Lake Valley. Seeking religious and political freedom, Young and his fellow pioneers made the long 17 month journey west. Upon setting eyes on the valley, Young declared, “This is the place.” The first group of pioneers instantly made preparations for the thousands of Mormon migrants that would follow, thus establishing the foundations of what would become Salt Lake… Read the full story

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Global Family Reunion: A.J. Jacobs Explains How the World is Related

Posted July 23, 2014 by Amanda | 3 Comments
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The Global Family Reunion is only a year away and A.J. Jacobs has been busy spreading the word to all his cousins. AJ recently sat down with Caroline Modarressy-Tehrani on HuffPost Live’s Thrive on Live to discuss his quest to hold the largest family reunion in history and the importance of knowing our genealogy. He is joined via video chat by Mike Mallin, MyHeritage’s Chief Product Officer, and genealogists Thomas MacEntee and Jen Baldwin. AJ is… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Cynthia Nixon

Posted July 23, 2014 by Amanda | No Comment
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Tonight the popular genealogy show Who Do You Think You Are? returns with actress Cynthia Nixon as she uncovers a surprising mystery about her family history. Best known for her role in the HBO series Sex and the City, Nixon has received multiple awards, including Emmy, Grammy and Tony awards. In tonight’s episode, she discovers her third great grandmother Martha Mary Curnutt was once incarcerated in the Missouri State Penitentiary. In fact, Curnutt was only the second… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Wiley Post

Posted July 22, 2014 by Amanda | No Comment
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Do you have aviators in your family tree? On this day in 1933, aviator Wiley Post became the first person to fly solo around the world. He accomplished this feat in 7 days, 18 hours and 49 minutes. Post was instantly recognizable by the patch he wore over his left eye, which he injured in an oil field accident. Today, he is remembered for making the first major practical advances in pressurized flight. In 1934,… Read the full story

Monday Recap »

Monday Recap for July 21, 2014

Posted July 21, 2014 by Amanda | No Comment
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Start the week with these interesting articles from around the web! Image: Time Travel Vacations Using Stereographs / FamilyTree Magazine blog The Genealogy Sphere 11 Childcare Inventions from 1900′s (ViralNova) – Oh my! These “helpful” childcare inventions from the early 20th century are a little scary Couple Married 63 Years Dies on the Same Day (The Huffington Post) – The bittersweet story of a couple married for 63 years and died within hours of each… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: James Garner

Posted July 21, 2014 by Amanda | One Comment
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Today we remember James Garner, who passed away July 19 at the age of 86. Garner was born in Norman, Oklahoma on April 7, 1928 and was the youngest of three children. Near the end of World War II, he joined the United States Merchant Marine at just 16 years old. However, he suffered from chronic seasickness and was soon back at school. Later, he served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War. He… Read the full story

Community »

Early Board Games

Posted July 18, 2014 by Amanda | No Comment
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Do you love playing board games with your family? Most cultures and societies have been playing board games throughout history. From ancient Egypt and Rome to our homes today, board games have been a staple of entertainment for families all around the world. Here’s a brief history of some early board games, some of which we still play today: The Mansion of Happiness The Mansion of Happiness / Library of Congress The first board game… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: John Glenn

Posted July 18, 2014 by Amanda | No Comment
john glenn

Happy 93rd birthday, John Glenn! The legendary space pioneer was born in Cambridge, Ohio on July 18, 1921. An original member of the Mercury Seven, Glenn was one of the first people ever in space and the first American to orbit the Earth. After retiring from NASA,  he entered politics and represented Ohio in the U.S. Senate for 24 years. On October 15, 1998, Glenn made history yet again by becoming the oldest person in space…. Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall

Posted July 17, 2014 by Amanda | No Comment
Camilla,_Duchess_of_Cornwall

Happy birthday to Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall! She was born Camilla Rosemary Shand on July 17, 1947 in London, England. She is the eldest child of Major Bruce Shand, an officer in the British army and wine merchant, and the Honorable Rosalind Cubitt, who was the daughter of the 3rd Baron Ashcombe. In 2005, Camillia and Prince Charles were married in a civil ceremony attended by her son from her first marriage and Prince… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Ginger Rogers

Posted July 16, 2014 by Amanda | No Comment
Ginger_Rogers_(early_1930s)

Are you a fan of old fashioned Hollywood musicals? Today we remember Ginger Rogers, who was born Virginia Katherine McMath on July 16, 1911 in Independence, Missouri. She started her career in vaudeville after a win at a Charleston dance contest earned her a spot with a traveling vaudeville act. Ginger would become most famous for her musical and dance partnership with Fred Astaire. Together, they made ten films and revolutionized the Hollywood musical, introducing dance… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Clement Clarke Moore

Posted July 15, 2014 by Amanda | No Comment
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Do you remember reading the poem “A Visit from St. Nicholas”? On July 15, 1779, author Clement Clarke Moore was born in New York City. The famous poem was first published anonymously in the Troy, New York, Sentinel on December 23, 1823. It wasn’t until years later that Moore acknowledged that he was the poem’s author. Did you know “A Visit from St. Nicholas” is largely responsible for our conception of Santa Clause today? The poem… Read the full story

Monday Recap »

Monday Recap for July 14, 2014

Posted July 14, 2014 by Amanda | No Comment
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Get your genealogy news fix with these family history articles from around the web. Image: Before and After: 30 of the Most Creative Recreations of Childhood Photos / BoredPanda The Genealogy Sphere Genealogy research reveals blood feud between local families (Tbo.com) – A local Tampa man researching his genealogy learns of an old family blood feud Mystery haunts woman left on doorstep as baby (NorwalkReflector.com) – A woman who discovered she was abandoned on a doorstep… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Woody Guthrie

Posted July 14, 2014 by Amanda | No Comment
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Today we remember folk singer Woody Guthrie on what would have been his 102nd birthday. He was born Woodrow Wilson Guthrie on July 14, 1912 in Okemah, Oklahoma. His parents named him after Woodrow Wilson, who had become the Democratic candidate for president just weeks before his birth.  The Great Depression hit his family hard. In 1935, he join the thousands of “Okies” migrating West in search for work. Much of his music was inspired by… Read the full story

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MyHeritage: Search World War I Military Records for Free

Posted July 11, 2014 by Amanda | No Comment
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This year marks the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of World War I. On July 28, 1914, the Austro-Hungarian Empire invaded Serbia, beginning a war unlike any others. The devastating war would last 4 years and see the deaths of more than 9 million soldiers. Do you have ancestors who served in the Great War? From now until the end of July, MyHeritage is offering free access to the following military record collections: Silver War Badge… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Alexander Hamilton

Posted July 11, 2014 by Amanda | No Comment
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On this day in 1804, Vice President Aaron Burr mortally wounded Alexander Hamilton in a duel. Burr and Hamilton were long time political enemies. Tensions were high during the 1800 presidential elections when Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr were running mates for the Democratic-Republican party. At the time, presidents and vice presidents were voted for separately by the House of Representatives. Although Burr was always intended to be Jefferson’s vice president, the vote resulted in… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Bernardo de Gálvez

Posted July 10, 2014 by Amanda | No Comment
BernardoGálvez

This week legislation was introduced to honor American Revolutionary War hero Bernardo de Gálvez. Two-hundred years after his death, the Spanish general may be posthumously granted honorary American citizenship for his invaluable support to the 13 American colonies both before and after Spain’s official entry into the Revolutionary War. Gálvez successfully defeated the British at the Siege of Pensacola, which significantly diluted the British’s strength in the south. The Continental Congress formally declared their gratitude to… Read the full story

Genealogy Research »

Video: Your Family Tree Explained

Posted July 9, 2014 by Amanda | One Comment
Your Family Tree Explained — CGP Grey

One of the best things about Geni’s World Family Tree is the ability to discover how we’re all related to each other and to historical figures and celebrities. While you are finding these new connections, you may see relationships such as “second cousin once removed” or “sixth cousin twice removed.” With all the talk about “cousins” and “removes,” do you ever wonder, “What exactly does this mean?” This short video created by CGP Grey gives… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Kevin Bacon

Posted July 8, 2014 by Amanda | No Comment
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Happy birthday, Kevin Bacon! Today the star turns 56. Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Kevin was the youngest of six children born to architect Edmund Bacon and Ruth Holmes, a teacher and social activist. From a young age he showed a spark for acting, earning a full scholarship to attend the Pennsylvania Governor’s School for the Arts at 16. Throughout his career, he’s tackled a wide variety of roles across multiple genres in both film and… Read the full story

Monday Recap »

Monday Recap for July 7, 2014

Posted July 7, 2014 by Amanda | One Comment
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Did you have an excellent 4th of July weekend? Kickstart the new work week right with these family history articles from around the web. Image: Many English Last Names Began as Nicknames – Here are their Original Meanings / Business Insider The Genealogy Sphere Calculating age at death – and why (Vita-Brevis.org) – A good explanation of how early colonial America calculated the deceased’s age in years, months and days for tombstone engravings Many English… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Ringo Starr

Posted July 7, 2014 by Amanda | No Comment
Ringo

Happy birthday, Ringo Starr! The Beatles drummer was born Richard Starkey in Liverpool, England on July 7, 1940. When the Beatles first formed in 1960, Starr was a member of another Liverpool group, Rory Storm and the Hurricanes. After achieving moderate success with them, he was asked to join the Beatles to replace their drummer, Pete Best. Soon after, Starr was on the fast track to fame in what would become one of the biggest… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Nathaniel Hawthorne

Posted July 4, 2014 by Amanda | No Comment
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On July 4, 1804, American novelist Nathaniel Hawthorne was born in Salem, Massachusetts. Throughout his lifetime, Nathaniel published several short stories and novels, including The House of Seven Gables and The Scarlet Letter. His third great grandfather, William Hathorne, was the first of his ancestors to arrive in the New World in 1630. He became an important member of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, where he held many political positions including magistrate and judge, becoming infamous for his harsh… Read the full story

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Watch as the U.S. Center of Population Heads West

Posted July 3, 2014 by Amanda | No Comment
Mean Centers of Population  1790 to 2010   Geography   U.S. Census Bureau

The United States Census Bureau has created this amazing map that details the movement of the country’s mean center of population over the last 220 years. The data is from the U.S. census records from 1790 – 2010. What is the mean center of population? According the the U.S. Census Bureau, the mean center of population is “the point at which an imaginary, flat weightless, and rigid map of the United States would balance if… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Tom Cruise

Posted July 3, 2014 by Amanda | No Comment
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Happy birthday Tom Cruise! He was born Thomas Cruise Mapother, IV on July 3, 1962 in Syracuse, New York. After making notable appearances in the films Taps  and The Outsiders, Cruise went on to star in two highly successful films Risky Business and Top Gun, cementing his status as a major Hollywood superstar. Since then, Cruise has headlined numerous blockbusters and earned three Oscar nominations. What’s your favorite Tom Cruise movie? Tom Cruise is connected to over… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Lyndon B. Johnson

Posted July 2, 2014 by Amanda | No Comment
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Fifty years ago today, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964 into law in a nationally televised ceremony at the White House. Hundreds of guests were invited to the historic signing, including civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. During his presidency, President John F. Kennedy fought for a strong civil rights bill to give all Americans equal rights and opportunities. Five days after Kennedy’s assassination, President Johnson urged lawmakers “to… Read the full story

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Genealogy in the Classroom

Posted July 1, 2014 by Amanda | No Comment
students_on_Geni

It is always rewarding when we can introduce younger generations to the wonders of genealogy. Fostering that early interest in one’s family history is essential to preserving the stories of our family heritage. For the last few months, the history class of West Valley Middle School in Knoxville, Tennessee have been using Geni and our sister site WorldVitalRecords for their family history project. Spearheaded by their teacher, John Martin, this budding group of genealogists used Geni… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Princess Diana

Posted July 1, 2014 by Amanda | No Comment
Diana

“Carry out a random act of kindness, with no expectation of reward, safe in the knowledge that one day someone might do the same for you.” Today we remember Diana, Princess of Wales on what would have been her 53rd birthday. Fondly known as the People’s Princess, Diana was one of the most adored members of the British royal family. Diana was born into an aristocratic English family on June 1, 1961 in Sandringham, England. In 1981,… Read the full story