August 2014

Profile of the Day »

Profile of the Day: Ingrid Bergman

Posted August 29, 2014 by Amanda | No Comment
Bergman, Ingrid

Do you remember watching Casablanca? Today we remember star Ingrid Bergman, who was born in Stockholm, Sweden on August 29, 1915. She lost both her parents at a very young age; her mother died when she was 3 and her father passed when she was 13. After her father’s death, she was sent to live with an aunt, who died of heart disease only six months later. At 17, she received a scholarship to the Royal… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Minnie Driver

Posted August 27, 2014 by Amanda | No Comment
MinnieDriver

Tonight’s season finale of the popular genealogy show Who Do You Think You Are? features British actress Minnie Driver. Known for her roles in Good Will Hunting and The Riches, Driver will embark on a journey to learn more about the life of her secretive father. She was born Amelia Fiona Driver on January 31, 1970 to Ronnie Driver, a successful businessman, and Gaynor Millington, a designer and former couture model. Her parents separated when she was 6, but it… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: John Fitch

Posted August 26, 2014 by Amanda | No Comment
fitch

Have you ever ridden on a steamboat? On August 26, 1791, inventor John Fitch was granted a U.S. patent for the steamboat. Fitch was born January 21, 1743 on a farm that is part of present-day South Windsor, Connecticut. He served briefly during the American Revolution, working mostly as a gunsmith for the New Jersey militia. By 1785, Fitch began working on ideas for a steam-powered boat. Two years later, he successfully demonstrated his steamboat… Read the full story

Monday Recap »

Monday Recap for August 25, 2014

Posted August 25, 2014 by Amanda | No Comment
ww2_poland

Make any great genealogy finds this this weekend? Kickstart your week with these family history articles from around the web! Image: Nephew finds WW2 PoW’s grave in Poland after 29 years / BBC News The Genealogy Sphere Still ‘Drinkable’: 200-Year-Old Booze Found in Shipwreck (LiveScience) – Cheers! Researchers discover well preserved bottle of alcohol in shipwreck 15 Century-Old Toys We Still Want to Buy (mental_floss) – Did your ancestors play with any of these toys? Man… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Sean Connery

Posted August 25, 2014 by Amanda | No Comment
Sean_Connery

Happy 84th birthday to Sean Connery! He was born Thomas Sean Connery on August 25, 1930 in Edinburgh, Scotland to Euphemia McBain, a cleaning woman, and Joseph Connery, a factory worker and lorry driver. Before becoming an actor, Connery’s first job was a milkman at the age of 13. Three years later, he joined the Royal Navy. Connery’s big break came in the role of secret agent James Bond in the film Dr. No. The part would prove… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Richard III of England

Posted August 22, 2014 by Amanda | No Comment
King_Richard_III

On August 22, 1485, Richard III of England was killed at the Battle of Bosworth Field. Richard III served as king of England for only two years. He was the last king of the House of York and the last of the Plantagenet dynasty. When his brother Edward IV died, Richard was named Lord Protector of the realm for Edward’s 12-year-old son. However, before the young king could be crowned, his parent’s marriage was declared invalid,… Read the full story

Community »

Your Stories: Connecting with Norwegian Relatives

Posted August 21, 2014 by Amanda | 2 Comments
jorgen_anna_wold

Discovering your family history is one of the most rewarding experiences you can have. We always love to hear stories from our users about their journeys as they research their genealogy. In 2012, Kitty Cooper launched Kitty Cooper’s Blog to keep track of her family’s DNA tests as well as her genealogical research. Written for her relatives with simple step-by-step pictorial explanations, the blog soon became extremely popular for her articles on genetics and genealogy…. Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Patrick Swayze

Posted August 21, 2014 by Amanda | No Comment
Patrick_Swayze

Do you remember watching Dirty Dancing? On this day in 1987, the classic movie starring Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey was released in theaters. A gifted dancer, Swayze had studied ballet for years under the tutelage of his mother Patsy, who was the director of the Houston Jazz Ballet Company. The surprise box office hit instantly established Swayze as one of Hollywood’s leading men. He would go on to star in many more notable films, including Ghost, Point Break and Donnie Darko. Today… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Kelsey Grammer

Posted August 20, 2014 by Amanda | No Comment
Kelsey-Grammer

Do you remember watching Kelsey Grammer as Dr. Frasier Crane on the sitcoms Cheers and Frasier? On tonight’s episode of Who Do You Think You Are?, the star will explore his family heritage. His journey reveals surprising stories and hardships about his grandmother’s family. Along the way, he also discovers his family’s connection to the Oregon Trail, one of the greatest migrations in American history. Did you know Grammer is related to his former Cheers co-star Ted Danson? Ted Danson is his 12th cousin thrice removed! Before… Read the full story

Fun with Genealogy »

The World’s Earliest Photos

Posted August 19, 2014 by Amanda | No Comment
View_from_the_Window_at_Le_Gras,_Joseph_Nicéphore_Niépce

Nothing brings a genealogist more joy than the discovery of old family photographs. These pictures give us faces to the names on our family trees and bring with them stories that help enhance our understanding of how our relatives once lived. Today, we can instantly preserve and share memories with anyone around the world with just a click of a button. However, while it’s hard to imagine now, it hasn’t always been so easy to snap a… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Gene Roddenberry

Posted August 19, 2014 by Amanda | No Comment
gene-roddenberry-2

Do you remember watching the original Star Trek? On August 19, 1921, creator Gene Roddenberry was born in El Paso, Texas. Before finding success as a screenwriter and producer, Roddenberry served in the United States Army Air Force. During World War II, he flew 89 combat missions and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and Air Medal. After the war, he continued to work as a commercial pilot for Pan Am. Roddenberry later moved to Los… Read the full story

Monday Recap »

Monday Recap for August 18, 2014

Posted August 18, 2014 by Amanda | No Comment
ww1

Take a break from your Monday grind with these fascinating articles from the past week! Image: 100 Years On: Uncovering the Identities of Missing WW1 Soldiers / Readers Digest UK The Genealogy Sphere Long-lost family Bible returned to East Vandergrift woman (Triblive.com) – After 40 years, a family Bible is finally returned Heartrending letter exhausted First World War soldier penned to his wife just weeks before he was killed which she carried in her handbag… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Elizabeth Cady Stanton

Posted August 18, 2014 by Amanda | No Comment
Stanton_Anthony

On this day in 1920, the Nineteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified, guaranteeing women the right to vote. The long struggle for women’s equal right to vote began with the Seneca Falls Convention in 1848. Organized by Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lurcretia Mott, the event was the first women’s rights convention of its kind to be held in the U.S. Stanton is credited as one of the founders of the American suffrage movement. It was… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Napoleon I

Posted August 15, 2014 by Amanda | No Comment
Napoleon

Today marks the 245th birthday of French Emperor Napoleon I, also known as Napoleon Bonaparte. Considered one of the greatest military strategists in history, Napoleon established hegemony over most of continental Europe. Napoleon was born on August 15, 1769 to Carlo Maria Buonaparte and Maria Letizia Romolino in his family’s ancestral home, Casa Buonaparte, in the French town of Ajaccio. He gained military and political prominence during the latter stages of the French Revolution. In a coup… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Halle Berry

Posted August 14, 2014 by Amanda | No Comment
Halle_Berry

Happy birthday, Halle Berry! Today the famous actress turns 48. She was born Maria Halle Berry in Cleveland, Ohio to Judith Ann Hawkins, a psychiatric nurse, and Jerome Jesse Berry, a hospital attendant in the same psychiatric ward where her mother worked. Her parents divorced when she was four years old. Before becoming an actress, Berry entered several beauty contests, winning Miss Ohio USA in 1986. She has tackled a wide variety of roles throughout… Read the full story

Genealogy Research »

Remembering a Hollywood Legend

Posted August 13, 2014 by Amanda | No Comment
Bacall, Lauren

Yesterday, Hollywood lost yet another iconic figure, actress Lauren Bacall, who passed away at the age of 89. The husky-voiced actress was considered one of the greatest actresses from Hollywood’s Golden Age. Lauren Bacall was born Betty Joan Perske on September 16, 1924 in the Bronx, New York. She was the only child of Natalie Weinstein-Bacal, who later legally changed her surname to Bacall, and William Perske. Both of her parents were Jewish. Her mother emigrated… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Valerie Bertinelli

Posted August 13, 2014 by Amanda | No Comment
Valerie_Bertinelli

Tonight actress Valerie Bertinelli explores her family history in the newest episode of Who Do You Think You Are?. She is perhaps best known for her roles in the television comedies One Day at a Time and Hot in Cleveland. In tonight’s episode, Bertinelli travels to England where she makes a surprising discovery about her ancestral connections to the British aristocracy. Have you discovered royal connections in your family tree? Before tuning in, explore Valerie Bertinelli’s family tree on Geni… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Robin Williams

Posted August 12, 2014 by Amanda | One Comment
Robin_Williams

Today we remember actor Robin Williams, who passed away yesterday at the age of 63. After rising to fame as the alien Mork on the television series Mork & Mindy, Williams went on to establish a successful film career, earning multiple Oscar nominations and a win in 1997 for Best Supporting Actor for his role in Good Will Hunting. He was born on July 21, 1951 in Chicago, Illinois to Lara McLaurin, a former model, and Robert… Read the full story

Monday Recap »

Monday Recap for August 11, 2014

Posted August 11, 2014 by Amanda | 2 Comments
obits

Kickstart your week with these great articles from around the web! Image: Obituaries from the First World War / The Telegraph The Genealogy Sphere Obituaries from the First World War (The Telegraph) – UK’s The Telegraph shares obituaries of those who fought and survived the Great War Couple who could never forget one another reunited 70 years after their families forced them to break up in China (DailyMail UK) – The amazing story of a couple… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Eunice Kennedy Shriver

Posted August 11, 2014 by Amanda | No Comment
eunice_kennedy

“You are the stars and the world is watching you. By your presence, you send a message to every village, every city, every nation. A message of hope. A message of victory.” Today we remember Eunice Kennedy Shriver, who passed away on August 11, 2009 at the age of 88. A member of the Kennedy family, Eunice was the fifth of nine children born to Joseph P. Kennedy, Sr. and Rose Elizabeth Fitzgerald. A passionate… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Richard Nixon

Posted August 8, 2014 by Amanda | No Comment
nixon_resigns

On this day in 1974, President Richard Nixon announced his resignation from the office of the President in a nationwide television address. In doing so, he became the first president in American history to resign the office. Born in Yorba Linda, California on January 9, 1913, Nixon’s early life was marked by hardship. He later quoted a saying of Eisenhower to describe his childhood, “We were poor, but the glory of it was we didn’t… Read the full story

Genealogy Research »

The Badge of Military Merit

Posted August 7, 2014 by Amanda | No Comment
BadgeofMilitaryMerit

As we learn more about our family history, some of us may have the fortune to discover the military records of our ancestors. One of the oldest military awards still given to members of the U.S. military is the Purple Heart. Did you know that the Purple Heart was originally known as the Badge of Military Merit? On August 7, 1782, George Washington, then commander-in-chief of the Continental Army, ordered the creation of the Badge of… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Louis Leakey

Posted August 7, 2014 by Amanda | No Comment
Louis_Leakey

On this day in 1903, famed paleoanthropologist and archaeologist Louis Leakey was born in Kabete, Kenya. He was born to British Christian missionaries, who had been sent to live among the Kikuyu, Kenya’s largest tribe. Growing up in Africa, Leakey had always had a keen interest in his natural surroundings, amassing a personal collection of natural objects and stone arrowheads and tools. It was this early interest that would spark his lifelong passion towards the study… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Rachel McAdams

Posted August 6, 2014 by Amanda | No Comment
RachelMcAdams

Are you enjoying watching this season’s crop of stars on Who Do You Think You Are? Tonight’s episode features actress Rachel McAdams and her sister Kayleen as they investigate their Canadian roots. Their search reveals an English ancestor who worked as a footman. Rachel McAdams was born on November 17, 1978 in London, Ontario. She is best known for her roles in The Notebook, Mean Girls, and Sherlock Holmes.  Do you have English or Canadian roots?… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Marilyn Monroe

Posted August 5, 2014 by Amanda | No Comment
Marilyn Monroe

On August 5, 1962, actress Marilyn Monroe passed away at the age of 36. She was born Norma Jean Mortenson in Los Angeles, California on June 1, 1926. Soon after her birth, her last name was changed to Baker. After spending much of her childhood in foster homes, Monroe began a career as a model and small parts in film. She soon caught the attention of major studios, and went on to star in films… Read the full story

Monday Recap »

Monday Recap for August 4, 2014

Posted August 4, 2014 by Amanda | No Comment
australian transitions

We hope you had a great genealogy-fun filled weekend! Let’s start off the new week with these family history articles from around the web. Image: Australian transitions 1914-2014 / ABC News Australia The Genealogy Sphere We Are Family: A Family Tree of the Entire Human Race (mental_floss) – Best selling author AJ Jacobs penned this great article about creating the family tree of the entire world and the Global Family Reunoin 10 Heroic Women of World… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: John Venn

Posted August 4, 2014 by Amanda | No Comment
John_Venn

Have you seen today’s Google doodle commemorating the 180th birthday of English philosopher John Venn? He is most famous for inventing the Venn diagram, a useful way to describe logical relationships between sets. Image: Google John Venn was born August 4, 1834 in Kingston upon Hull, Yorkshire to Martha Sykes and Henry Venn, who was the rector of the parish of Drypool. Venn was descended from a long line of church evangelicals, including his grandfather Rev…. Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Calamity Jane

Posted August 1, 2014 by Amanda | No Comment
calamity_jane

Do you have any frontiersmen in your family tree? On this day in 1903, American frontierswoman and folk hero Calamity Jane died in South Dakota. She was born Mary Jane Cannary on May 1, 1852 and was the eldest of six children. Little hard facts are known about her life and much of what was said was likely embellished or fabricated by writers and storytellers of the day. However, it is known that by the… Read the full story