July 2015

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Profile of the Day: J.K. Rowling

Posted July 31, 2015 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: J.K. Rowling

Happy 50th birthday to author J.K. Rowling! Joanne Rowling was born on July 31, 1965 in Yale, England to Peter James Rowling, a Rolls-Royce aircraft engineer, and Anne Volant, a science technician. Her great grandfather, Louis Volant was a French soldier in World War I. He was awarded the Croix de Guerre for exceptional bravery in defending the village of Courcelles-le-Comte. A single mother at the time she wrote the first Harry Potter book, Rowling… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Arnold Schwarzenegger

Posted July 30, 2015 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: Arnold Schwarzenegger

Happy 68th birthday to Arnold Schwarzenegger! Arnold Alois Schwarzenegger was born in Thal, Austria to Gustave Schwarzenegger, a local police chief, and Aurelia Jadrny. His father was once a member of the Nazi party and favored his eldest son over Arnold. Struggling with a tough home life, Arnold turned to movies as an escape and dreamed of moving to the U.S. At 15, he began weight training and won the Mr. Universe title by the age of 20…. Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Vincent van Gogh

Posted July 29, 2015 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: Vincent van Gogh

Do you enjoy the artwork of Vincent van Gogh? Today we remember the famous Dutch painter who died on this day in 1890 from a self inflicted gunshot wound. Van Gogh was born on March 30, 1853 to an upper-middle class family. He was born exactly one year after the stillbirth of his parents’ first son, who was also named Vincent. Van Gogh had a close relationship with his younger brother, Theo, who often provided him… Read the full story

Genealogy Research »

Genealogy: WWI Draft Registration Cards

Posted July 28, 2015 by Amanda | No Comment
Genealogy: WWI Draft Registration Cards

Do you have ancestors that fought in World War I? On this day in 1914, the Austro-Hungarian Empire invaded Serbia, beginning a war unlike any other. World War I, also known as the Great War, would last 4 years and see the death of over 9 million soldiers. It wasn’t until April 1917 that the United States would enter the war. Six weeks after the U.S. declared war on Germany, the Selective Service Act was passed,… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis

Posted July 28, 2015 by Amanda | 2 Comments
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Happy birthday, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis! Today, the former First Lady would have celebrated her 86th birthday. Jacqueline Lee Bouvier was born on July 28, 1929 in Southampton, New York. Her father, John Vernou Bouvier III, was a wealthy Wall Street stockbroker whose family had come from France in the early 1800s. Her mother, Janet Norton Lee was a socialite and accomplished equestrian with Irish heritage. In 1961, she became First Lady of the United States when… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Bob Hope

Posted July 27, 2015 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: Bob Hope

Today we remember legendary comedian Bob Hope, who died on this day in 2003 at the age of 100. He was born Leslie Townes Hope in Eltham, London to William and Avis Hope on May 29, 1903. The fifth of seven sons, Bob held a series of odd jobs before landing in vaudeville. With a career that spanned more than eight decades, Bob conquered almost every entertainment medium, from vaudeville and Broadway to radio, television and… Read the full story

Geni User Tips »

Geni Tips: How to Fix Wrong Parents

Posted July 24, 2015 by Amanda | 3 Comments
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Does this sound familiar? “Help! I accidentally added my grandfather’s brother as his son! How do I fix this?” Many people in similar situations have found themselves puzzled at how to correct such a simple mistake. What they don’t realize is that correcting these mistakes is really easy on Geni. Below we’ll walk you through step-by-step to show you how to fix these incorrect parent relationships in your family tree. Let’s take a look at this example below – The focus… Read the full story

Profile of the Day »

Profile of the Day: Amelia Earhart

Posted July 24, 2015 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: Amelia Earhart

Today we remember pioneer aviator Amelia Earhart on her 118th birthday. Amelia Mary Earhart was born on July 24, 1897 in Atchison, Kansas. She was named after her two grandmothers, Amelia Josephine Otis and Mary Wells Earhart. From a young age, Amelia had an adventurist spirit. After Charles Lindbergh’s solo flight across the Atlantic, she knew she wanted to be the first woman to do the same. In 1932, Amelia succeeded in becoming the first woman to fly solo… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Daniel Radcliffe

Posted July 23, 2015 by Amanda | No Comment
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Happy birthday, Daniel Radcliffe! Today the Harry Potter star turns 26. Born in London, England, Radcliffe got his start at the age of 10 in the BBC television film David Copperfield. It was this performance that caught the eye of director Chris Columbus, who was searching for a young unknown actor to cast as the lead in the film adaptation of J.K. Rowling’s beloved Harry Potter book series. At just 11 years old, Radcliffe joined fellow unknown actors Rupert Grint and… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Alex Trebek

Posted July 22, 2015 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: Alex Trebek

Do you watch Jeopardy? Today the longtime game show host Alex Trebek turns 75! George Alexander Trebek was born on July 22, 1940 in Sudbury, Ontario, Canada. His father, George Edward Trebek, had emigrated from Ukraine as a child. His mother, Lucille Lagacé, was French-Canadian. Although he studied philosophy at the University of Ottawa, upon graduation, Trebek decided to pursue a career in journalism. His calm on-screen demeanor soon caught people’s attention and Trebek transitioned his career… Read the full story

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Robin Williams: 5 Things You Didn’t Know About His Family Tree

Posted July 21, 2015 by Amanda | No Comment
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Today we remember comedian and actor Robin Williams, who was born on July 21, 1951. Although the beloved actor passed away nearly a year ago on August 11, the world continues to miss his enthusiasm and warm, infectious spirit. Image: Eva Rinaldi, Wikimedia Commons In honor of his memory, here are some things you may not know about his family tree: 1. Robin’s second great grandfather, Anselm J. McLaurin, was a prominent politician in Mississippi. One of… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Ernest Hemingway

Posted July 21, 2015 by Amanda | No Comment
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Remember reading A Farewell to Arms? On this day in 1899, author Ernest Hemingway was born in Oak Park, Illinois. During World War I, Hemingway enlisted with the Red Cross to become an ambulance driver in Italy. On July 8, 1918, he was seriously wounded by mortar fire and despite his injuries, Hemingway assisted Italian soldiers to safety. He would receive the Italian Silver Medal of Bravery for his actions. While recuperating, Hemingway fell in love with… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Neil Armstrong

Posted July 20, 2015 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: Neil Armstrong

Today, we celebrate the 46th anniversary of Apollo 11′s successful landing on the Moon. Do you remember watching Neil Armstrong take his first steps on the Moon? The momentous occasion was broadcasted on live television to a world-wide audience. Over half a billion people watched as Neil Armstrong took his first steps on the Moon’s surface and say his now-famous words, “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” Buzz Aldrin would join him later as the second… Read the full story

Fun with Genealogy »

Signs You Might Be Addicted to Genealogy

Posted July 17, 2015 by Amanda | 4 Comments
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As anyone delving into their family history will tell you, genealogy can be addictive! Check out the list below to see if you show signs of a genealogy addiction. You might be addicted to genealogy if… You’re more interested in what happened in 1815 than 2015 Your calendar includes the birthdays of your ancestors You talk more to dead relatives than you do the living ones You spend your vacations visiting cemeteries, courthouses and archives You’ve called in… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Phyllis Diller

Posted July 17, 2015 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: Phyllis Diller

Today we remember comedian Phyllis Diller, who was born on July 17, 1917 in Lima, Ohio. The only daughter of Perry Marcus Driver and Frances Ada Romshe, Diller studied the piano for many years but decided against pursing a career in music. In 1939, she eloped with Sherwood Diller and together, the couple had six children (one died in infancy). She got her start in comedy late in life, making her first standup comedy performance in 1955…. Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Rembrandt Van Rijn

Posted July 15, 2015 by Amanda | No Comment
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Do you have Dutch ancestry? Dutch artist Rembrandt van Rijn was born on this day in 1606 in Leiden in the Dutch Republic, now known as the Netherlands. The ninth child born to Harmen Gerritszoon van Rijn and Neeltgen Willemsdochter van Zuytbrouck, Rembrandt was put through school in preparation for a career in the government or ministry. However, by the age of 15, he abandoned his studies to pursue his art. Considered one of the greatest… Read the full story

Community »

History: Bastille Day

Posted July 14, 2015 by Amanda | No Comment
Bastille Day

Do you have French ancestry in your family tree? Today France celebrates Bastille Day to commemorate the storming of the notorious prison fortress. Here are some interesting facts about the French holiday: On July 14, 1789, French revolutionaries stormed the medieval fortress that served as a symbol of the Bourbon monarchy’s tyranny. A few years later, King Louis XVI and his wife, Marie Antoinette, would be executed by guillotine. The event sparked the beginning of the French Revolution…. Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Clyde Tombaugh

Posted July 14, 2015 by Amanda | No Comment
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History was made this morning as NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft made its closest approach to Pluto, a feat that was nine years and billions of miles in the making. Passing within 7,800 miles of the planet, New Horizons is the closest any spacecraft has come to the icy dwarf planet. Along for the ride are the ashes of astronomer Clyde Tombaugh, who discovered Pluto in 1930. Growing up on a farm in Kansas, Tombaugh made his own telescopes… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Patrick Stewart

Posted July 13, 2015 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: Patrick Stewart

Happy 75th birthday to Patrick Stewart! A veteran of the stage and screen, Stewart’s versatile career has spanned from the works of Shakespeare to some of popular culture’s most iconic franchises. Stewart was born on July 13, 1940 in Mirfield, England to Gladys Barrowclaugh, a textile worker, and Alfred Stewart, a Regimental Sergeant Major in the British Army. Growing up in a poor and abusive household, Stewart found solace in acting. He left school at the… Read the full story

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Remembering Hollywood Icon Omar Sharif

Posted July 10, 2015 by Amanda | No Comment
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News broke today that celebrated actor Omar Sharif passed away July 10, 2015 at the age of 83. Known for his roles in Doctor Zhivago and Lawrence of Arabia, Sharif was a Hollywood legend. In honor of his memory, here are some things you may not have known about the international star: 1. He was born Michel Demetri Chalhoub in Alexandria, Egypt on April 10, 1932. In 1955, he changed his name after marring his co-star Faten… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Nikola Tesla

Posted July 10, 2015 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: Nikola Tesla

Happy 159th birthday to Nikola Tesla! Tesla was born on July 10, 1856 in the village of Smiljan in the Austrian Empire (modern-day Croatia) to Serbian parents. His father and his maternal grandfather were Orthodox priests. Although his father wished for him to also enter the priesthood, Tesla was firmly interested in the sciences. After arriving in American in 1884, Tesla worked briefly as an engineer for Thomas Edison to redesign Edison’s direct current generators. According to Tesla, Edison offered… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Tom Hanks

Posted July 9, 2015 by Amanda | No Comment
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Happy birthday, Tom Hanks! Today the popular actor turns 59. Thomas Jeffery Hanks was born on July 9, 1956 in Concord, California. In 1960, his parents divorced and Tom, along with his two oldest siblings, went to live with their father. His youngest brother stayed with their mother. He got his big break when he was cast as the lead in the television sitcom Bosom Buddies. Although the show was canceled after only two seasons, Tom… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: John Pemberton

Posted July 8, 2015 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: John Pemberton

Do you fancy a Coke? On this day in 1831, Coca-Cola inventor John Pemberton was born in Knoxville, Georgia. Pemberton was the son of James Clifford Pemberton, who was the brother of Confederate General John Clifford Pemberton. Like his uncle, Pemberton served in the Confederate Army. During the America Civil War, he was wounded in the Battle of Columbus when he was slashed in the chest by a saber. Like many wounded soldiers of the time,… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Herbert Hoover

Posted July 7, 2015 by Amanda | No Comment
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On this day in 1930, construction began on the Hoover Dam. For five years, over 21,000 men worked to produce what would be the largest dam of its time and one of the largest manmade structures in the world. The idea of the dam had been around for many decades. While serving as Secretary of Commerce in 1921, Herbert Hoover devoted much of his time to the creation of a dam in Boulder Canyon, Colorado…. Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Frida Kahlo

Posted July 6, 2015 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: Frida Kahlo

Do you have Mexican ancestry? On this day in 1907, Mexican painter Frida Kahlo was born. She was born Magdalena Carmen Frieda Kahlo y Calderón in her parents’ house, known as La Casa Azul, in Coyocoán, a town on the outskirts of Mexico City. Her father, Guillermo Kahlo, was born Carl Wilhelm Kahlo in Pforzheim, Germany. A photographer, Frida’s father traveled to Mexico at the age of 19 and changed his name to Guillermo upon arrival. He married… Read the full story

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Independence Day: Fun Facts About July 4th

Posted July 3, 2015 by Amanda | 2 Comments
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On July 4, the United States celebrates Independence Day! On this day, the entire country celebrates the adoption of one of the most important documents the history of the nation, the Declaration of Independence. Drafted by Thomas Jefferson, the document declared the 13 American colonies freedom and independence from the British Empire. As we prepare to celebrate with fireworks, parades and barbecues, check out these fun facts about the holiday: 1. John Hancock, the President of… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Nicholas Winton

Posted July 2, 2015 by Amanda | 2 Comments
Profile of the Day: Nicholas Winton

Today we remember Holocaust hero Nicholas Winton, who passed away yesterday at the age of 106. Nicholas George Wertheim was born on May 19, 1909 in Hampstead, London. Often called the “British Schindler,” Winton was a young stockbroker when he organized the transport of 669 Jewish children out of Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia to Britain in 1939. His actions saved the lives of hundreds Jewish children who would have been destined for Nazi concentration camps. Shortly before Christmas in 1938, Winton had… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Diana, Princess of Wales

Posted July 1, 2015 by Amanda | No Comment
diana

Today we remember Princess Diana on what would have been her 54th birthday. She was born Diana Frances Spencer in Sandringham, England to John Spencer, Viscount Althorp, and Frances Burk Rouche, Viscountess Althorp. Her parents would divorce when she was eight years old. She became known as Lady Diana when her father inherited the title of Earl Spencer in 1975. In 1981, she married Prince Charles in a lavish ceremony at St. Paul’s Cathedral. Over 750 million… Read the full story