March 2015

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Profile of the Day: Gustave Eiffel

Posted March 31, 2015 by Amanda | No Comment
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Today is the 126th anniversary of the public opening of the Eiffel Tower. Have you ever visited the iconic structure? Designed by architect and engineer Gustave Eiffel, the famous tower was originally built for the 1889 Universal Exposition in Paris, France. Critics were initially skeptical about the tower in the early days of its construction. Remarkably, the tower was completed under budget in just two years and with only one fatality during construction. On March 31,… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Céline Dion

Posted March 30, 2015 by Amanda | No Comment
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Happy birthday, Céline Dion! Today the French-Canadian singer turns 47. Céline was born in Charlemagne, Quebec, Canada to a large family. The youngest of 14 children, Céline’s upbringing was always filled with music. She made her first public performance at the age of five, performing with her siblings in her parents’ small piano bar. With dreams to become a singer, Céline signed her first recording contract at the age of 12. By the age of 18, she… Read the full story

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Your Stories: Sharing Family History

Posted March 27, 2015 by Amanda | 3 Comments
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Judith (Judi) Elaine Mckee Burns was born in Bloomington, Indiana. Retired, she spends much of her time these days working on preserving her family history. She first became interested in family history after the movie Roots had come out. “My parents had never talked of the family – but when we would go ‘home’ as they called it [Lyons, Green County, Indiana] there were people always around that seemed to be tightly connected to each… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Juan Ponce de León

Posted March 27, 2015 by Amanda | No Comment
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On this day in 1513, Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de León sighted present-day Florida. The famous explore was the first to lead a European expedition to the peninsula. According to legend, Ponce de León was on a quest for the Fountain of Youth, the mythical water source said to bring eternal youth to those who drank from it. Ponce de León was born in the village of Santervás de Campos, Spain in 1460. Born to a noble family, he sought fame and… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Diana Ross

Posted March 26, 2015 by Amanda | No Comment
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Happy birthday, Diana Ross! Today the singer turns 71. Born in Detroit, Michigan, Diana was the second eldest child of Ernestine, a schoolteacher, and Fred Ross, a former Army soldier. As a teen, she began singing with a group of friends and eventually, they formed the successful music group, The Supremes. The group became the first all-female music group to have a number one selling album on the Billboard charts. The success of The Supremes skyrocketed… Read the full story

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Geni Hits a New Milestone: 150 Million Profiles!

Posted March 25, 2015 by Amanda | One Comment
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Today we’re excited to announce that Geni has reached an amazing milestone – 150 million profiles! From the very beginning, our goal has been to create the definitive family tree of the entire world. Our collection of profiles has grown steadily over the years, with millions of lineages intersecting, overlapping and culminating into a World Family Tree of over 89 million people and their ancestors. Nowhere else will you find such a large, high-quality single… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Elton John

Posted March 25, 2015 by Amanda | No Comment
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Happy birthday, Elton John! What’s your favorite song? The music legend was born Reginald Kenneth Dwight in Pinner, England to Stanley and Sheila Eileen Dwight. Elton began playing the piano at the age of 3 and showed an amazing aptitude in music. He released his first album in 1970, which instantly made him an international star. His over-the-top costumes at concerts became a signature of his live performances. A cultural icon, Elton was inducted into the… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Harry Houdini

Posted March 24, 2015 by Amanda | No Comment
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Are you a fan of illusions? On this day in 1874, the world’s greatest illusionist and escape artist, Harry Houdini, was born in Budapest, Hungary. Born Erick Weisz, he was one of seven children born to Rabbi Mayer Samuel and Cecilia Weisz. Set on becoming a professional magician, Erick changed his name to Harry Houdini, after the French magician, Jean Eugène Robert-Houdini. He became widely known as “The Handcuff King” for his remarkable ability to escape… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Joan Crawford

Posted March 23, 2015 by Amanda | No Comment
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Today we remember actress Joan Crawford, who was born on March 23, 1905. She was born Lucille Fay LeSueur in San Antonio, Texas. From a young age, Crawford loved to dance. With ambitions to become a dancer, she left school to pursue a dancing career. She eventually danced in the Broadway show Innocent Eyes and began appearing on screen for MGM and took the name Joan Crawford. She starred in a string of successful films and won an… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Harriet Beecher Stowe

Posted March 20, 2015 by Amanda | No Comment
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On March 20, 1852, Harriet Beecher Stowe’s anti-slavery novel, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, was published. The second best-selling novel of the 19th century, Stowe’s book is often credited with helping to change public opinion on slavery and fuel the abolitionist cause in the 1850s. It is said that after the start of the American Civil War, Stowe paid a visit to the White House. President Abraham Lincoln reportedly greeted her by saying, “so you are the little… Read the full story

Featured Project »

The Sound of Music: The Real von Trapp Family

Posted March 19, 2015 by Amanda | No Comment
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Fifty years ago, the award-winning musical The Sound of Music premiered on the big screen. Even today, the musical story based on the real von Trapp family, continues to delight and entertain audiences. The real von Trapp family / Library of Congress The film starred Julie Andrews as the governess, Maria, and Christopher Plummer as Captain Georg von Trapp. The filmmakers took some creative liberties with the story, changing some facts to dramatize the family’s eventual flight from… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Glenn Close

Posted March 19, 2015 by Amanda | No Comment
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Happy birthday, Glenn Close! Today the versatile actress turns 68. Close was born on March 19, 1947 in Greenwich, Connecticut to an upper class family with a long history in the United States. She is a descendant of the Taliaferros, one of the earliest families to settle in Virginia in the 17th century. The surname line is believed to trace back to Bartholomew Taliaferro, a native of Venice who settled in London during the 16th century. She had… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Grover Cleveland

Posted March 18, 2015 by Amanda | No Comment
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Are you related to a U.S. President? 178 years ago today, former President Grover Cleveland was born in Caldwell, New Jersey. Born Stephen Grover Cleveland, he was the fifth of nine children born to Ann Neal and Richard Falley Cleveland. Known as “Big Steve” by friends because of his size, Cleveland dropped his fist name and became known as Grover for the rest of his adult life. Fun facts: Moses Cleveland, the founder of Cleveland, Ohio, was… Read the full story

Genealogy Research »

8 Tips to Discover Your Irish Ancestors

Posted March 17, 2015 by Amanda | 3 Comments
8 Tips to Discover Your Irish Ancestors

Are you searching for your Irish ancestors? With millions of vital historical records destroyed and droves of Irish immigrants settled all over the world, many people researching their Irish heritage may find it to be a frustrating and challenging pursuit. In the U.S. alone, there are over 36 million people with Irish ancestry. That’s over eight times the population of Ireland! Here are a few tips to help you with your Irish genealogy research: Talk to your relatives - The… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Saint Patrick

Posted March 17, 2015 by Amanda | 2 Comments
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Happy St. Patrick’s Day! The lively Irish holiday takes place every year on March 17, the traditional day of death for Saint Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland. In honor of St. Paddy’s Day, here are some surprising things you may not know about St. Patrick: He was kidnapped by pirates at the age of 16 from his home in Britain and taken as a slave to Ireland. He lived there for six years before… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: President James Madison

Posted March 16, 2015 by Amanda | No Comment
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James Madison, the fourth President of the United States of America, was born on this day, March 16, 1751. He was born at the Belle Grove Plantation near Port Conway, Virginia and was the eldest of twelve children. His father was a successful tobacco planter and owned thousands of acres of land and dozens of slaves. One of America’s Founding Fathers, Madison was instrumental in drafting the U.S. Constitution and laid the foundation for the Bill of… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Terry Pratchett

Posted March 13, 2015 by Amanda | No Comment
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Yesterday, renowned fantasy author Terry Pratchett died at the age of 66 after a battle with early onset Alzheimer’s. Best known for his Discworld series of about 40 volumes, Pratchett had sold more than 85 million books worldwide in 37 languages. Born in Beaconsfield, England on April 28, 1948, Pratchett was the only child of David and Eileen Pratchett. He developed an early interested in astronomy, however, since he lacked the mathematical skills to become an astronomer, Pratchett… Read the full story

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Global Family Reunion: Help Unite the World and Fight Alzheimer’s

Posted March 12, 2015 by Amanda | One Comment
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The Global Family Reunion is only a few months away! Will you be there? We’re excited to let you know that the Global Family Reunion has launched a crowdfunding campaign with two very important goals in mind: unite the world and battle Alzheimer’s. Throwing the epic family get-together is best-selling author A.J. Jacobs, and he’s inviting all 7 billion of his cousins to come to what will be the largest, most inclusive family reunion in history. The event… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Liza Minnelli

Posted March 12, 2015 by Amanda | No Comment
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Happy birthday, Liza Minnelli! Can you believe she turns 69 years old today? The eldest daughter of legendary actress Judy Garland and director Vincente Minnelli, Liza was destined to become a star. She was born on March 12, 1946 in Los Angeles, California and made her first film performance at the age of three in the musical In the Good Old Summertime starring her mother. She left school to pursue her career on stage and landed her first leading… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Frederick IX

Posted March 11, 2015 by Amanda | One Comment
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Are you related to Danish royalty? Today we remember Frederick IX, King of Denmark, who was born on March 11, 1899 in Sorgenfri Castle, near Copenhagen. Frederick IX was the son of King Christian X and Queen Alexandrine and the fourth Danish monarch of the House of Glücksburg. When he was baptized in April 1899, he had 21 godparents, including his great grandfather Christian IX of Denmark, Nicholas II of Russia, and the Prince of Wales… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Alexander III

Posted March 10, 2015 by Amanda | No Comment
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Do you have Russian roots? On March 10, 1845, Alexander III, tsar of Russia, was born in Saint Petersburg, Russia. The second son of Emperor Alexander II of Russia and Maria Alexandrovna, Alexander became heir apparent when his older brother Nicholas died suddenly in 1865. On his deathbed, Nicholas expressed the wish that his fiancée, Princess Dagmar of Denmark, should marry his successor. Alexander and the Princess wed in 1866, and the union proved to… Read the full story

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New on Geni: Adoption

Posted March 9, 2015 by Amanda | 38 Comments
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Today we are delighted to announce a long awaited new feature on Geni – adoption! We are releasing a great enhancement to the family tree that will allow you to show adoptive, foster and biological parent relationships when viewing your family on Geni. There are three changes you will notice in the tree view: You can now add parents to a profile that already has parents. A profile with multiple sets of parents will now… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Ruth Handler

Posted March 9, 2015 by Amanda | No Comment
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Did you have any Barbie dolls growing up? On this day in 1959, the first Barbie doll made its debut at the American International Toy Fair in New York. The famous doll was created by Ruth Handler, who co-founded Mattel, Inc with her husband in 1945. After watching her daughter, Barbara, play with her paper dolls, Handler noticed that her daughter would pretend that her paper dolls were adults. Realizing a gap in the market, Handler envisioned a plastic, adult-figured… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Gabriel García Márquez

Posted March 6, 2015 by Amanda | No Comment
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Have you read Love in the Time of Cholera? Today we celebrate the life of Colombian novelist Gabriel García Márquez, who was born on this day in 1927. Raised by his maternal grandparents, Márquez grew up listening to his grandmother’s fantastical and magical stories, which were told to him as if they were real. His grandmother’s storytelling style greatly influence his own writing style, which would become known as “magical realism.” Known affectionally as Gabo throughout… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Heitor Villa-Lobos

Posted March 5, 2015 by Amanda | No Comment
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Do you have any Brazilian roots in your family tree? Today we remember one of Brazil’s greatest composers in history, Heitor Villa-Lobos, who was born on March 5, 1887. Described as “the single most significant figure in 20th-century Brazilian art music,” Villa-Lobos has become one of the most well-known Latin American composers to date. He was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil to Raul Villa-Lobos and Noêmia dos Santos Monteiro. His father was an educated man and… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Henry the Navigator

Posted March 4, 2015 by Amanda | No Comment
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Do you have Portuguese ancestors? On this day in 1394, Henry the Navigator was born in Porto, Portugal. The third child of the Portuguese king John I, Henry was noted for his early exploration and expansion of Portuguese trade. At the age of 21, Henry, his brother and father captured the Moorish port of Ceuta in northern Morocco. The site had long been the base for Barbary pirates, who often raided villages on the Portuguese coast… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Jean Harlow

Posted March 3, 2015 by Amanda | No Comment
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Are you a fan of Old Hollywood movies? Today we celebrate the life of Jean Harlow, who was born on this day in 1911 in Kansas City, Missouri. She was born Harlean Harlow Carpenter to Mont Clair Carpenter, a dentist, and Jean Poe Harlow, the daughter of a wealthy real estate broker. The unhappy marriage had been arranged by her maternal grandfather, Skip Harlow. During the 1930s, Harlow had become one of the biggest movie… Read the full story

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Live Long and Prosper: Remembering Leonard Nimoy

Posted March 2, 2015 by Amanda | No Comment
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On February 27, 2015, the world lost beloved actor Leonard Nimoy. He was 83. With a career that spanned over 60 years, Leonard will perhaps always be remembered for his iconic portrayal of Mr. Spock on Star Trek. In honor of his memory, here are some things about his life you may not have known: Image: Wikimedia Commons 1. Leonard was born on March 26, 1931 in Boston, Massachusetts. He grew up in Boston’s West End and sold newspapers… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Dr. Seuss

Posted March 2, 2015 by Amanda | No Comment
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Happy birthday, Dr. Seuss! Today in 1904, beloved children’s book author Theodor Seuss Geisel was born in Springfield, Massachusetts to Theodor Robert, a successful brewmaster, and Henrietta Seuss Geisel. In 1937, he published his first children’s book, And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street, under the pen name Dr. Seuss. And from there, the rest was history. Readers, both young and old, adored his imaginative creatures and playful rhymes. Over the course of his long career,… Read the full story