September 2015

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Do You Share Personality Traits with Your Ancestors?

Posted September 30, 2015 by Amanda | No Comment
Do You Share Personality Traits with Your Ancestors?

When it comes to family resemblances, we often talk about the physical similarities between ourselves and our relatives and ancestors. From a cousin who shares the same eyes of a grandparent to a baby nephew who is the spitting image of his second great grandfather, these similarities are frequently a popular topic of any family get-together. Image: Florida Memory, Flickr But what about personality traits? Has a relative ever commented that you share your grandfather’s sense of adventure? Or perhaps your… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: James Dean

Posted September 30, 2015 by Amanda | No Comment
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Today we remember legendary actor James Dean, who passed away on this day 60 years ago. James Byron Dean was born on February 8, 1931 in Marion, Indiana to Winton Dean and Mildred Marie Wilson. After his family moved to California, Dean’s mother died of uterine cancer. His father, unable to care for him, sent Dean back to Indiana to live with family. He later returned to California and enrolled in UCLA to study theater. Once he… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Jerry Lee Lewis

Posted September 29, 2015 by Amanda | No Comment
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Happy 80th birthday to Jerry Lee Lewis! The rock and roll legend was born on September 29, 1935 in Ferriday, Louisiana. Lewis taught himself the play the piano at an early age and at 14, he made his first public performance. He eventually headed to Memphis, Tennessee and found work with Sun Records. While working as a studio musician, Lewis had the opportunity to play his piano alongside Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash, and Elvis Presley…. Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Alexander Fleming

Posted September 28, 2015 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: Alexander Fleming

On this day 87 years ago, Alexander Fleming discovered penicillin. The accidental find would become one of the most important discoveries in the history of science. Before leaving for a vacation with his family, Fleming left out a stack of unwashed petri dishes containing cultures of bacteria in the sink. On September 28, 1928, Fleming returned to his lab and noticed something unusual. Mold had grown in a petri dish and the staph bacteria around the mold had been killed. After… Read the full story

Genealogy Research »

Tips to Decipher Old Handwriting

Posted September 26, 2015 by Amanda | 4 Comments
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While researching your family history, you may come across many old handwritten records that are hard to read. Although genealogists would love to see clear, easy-to-read penmanship, you’ll find that that is not always the case. From the census enumerator with the sloppy cursive to your ancestors’ flourished writings in old journals, handwritten documents can sometimes feel impossible to decipher. Image: 1912 Catholic Church marriage record from Mexico Time and patience are key to understanding exactly what is written on the page. Check… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Shirley Jones

Posted September 25, 2015 by Amanda | No Comment
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Do you remember watching The Partridge Family? Today, we celebrate the 45th anniversary of the hit sitcom starring Shirley Jones and David Cassidy. The show premiered on September 25, 1970 and ran for four seasons. Jones played the widowed mother of five musically talented children with Cassidy portraying her eldest son. In real life, Jones was married to David Cassidy’s father, Jack. The show was loosely based on The Cowsills, a popular family music group in the 1960s. The… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Jim Henson

Posted September 24, 2015 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: Jim Henson

Beloved Muppet creator Jim Henson was born on this day in 1936. Today we remember him on what would have been his 79th birthday. Henson rose to stardom after showcasing his Muppet creations on the popular 1970′s children’s show, Sesame Street. Henson helped bring to life many of the show’s characters including Ernie, Guy Smiley and Kermit. In 1976, Henson launched The Muppet Show and introduced the world to Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, Gonzo and many… Read the full story

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Top Baby Names 100 Years Ago

Posted September 23, 2015 by Amanda | No Comment
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Choosing a name for your baby can be one of the hardest tasks for soon-to-be parents. Picking out the perfect name can be a lot of pressure. Many parents may look back into their family tree in search for inspiration. Image: Nationaal Archief / Flickr Here’s a look back at the top 5 most popular girl and boy names from 100 years ago according to the U.S. Social Security Administration: Top 5 Female Names of 1915 Mary Helen… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Bruce Springsteen

Posted September 23, 2015 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: Bruce Springsteen

Happy birthday, Bruce Springsteen! Today The Boss turns 66. Springsteen was born on September 23, 1949 in Long Branch, New Jersey to Doug and Adele Springsteen. He was first inspired to pursue music after watching Elvis Presley’s performance on The Ed Sullivan Show in 1956. He skyrocketed to fame in 1975 after releasing his third album, Born to Run. The record sold millions of copies and is often considered to be one of the best rock and roll albums… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Michael Faraday

Posted September 22, 2015 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: Michael Faraday

On this day in 1791, English physicist Michael Faraday was born in Surrey, England. Faraday is credited with In making many discoveries in electricity and magnetism. Faraday was the third child born to James and Margaret Faraday. His family was not well off and could only afford him a basic education. At the age of 14, he began an apprenticeship with a local bookseller and educated himself by reading a wide range of scientific books. Despite his limited… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: H.G. Wells

Posted September 21, 2015 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: H.G. Wells

Are a fan of science fiction? On this day in 1866, author H.G. Wells was born in Kent, England. Herbert George Wells was the fourth and youngest child born to Joseph Wells, a shopkeeper and professional cricketer, and Sarah Neal, a former domestic servant. When he was a child, an accident left Wells bedridden with a broken leg. To pass the time, he immersed himself in books and discovered a desire to craft stories of his… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Greta Garbo

Posted September 18, 2015 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: Greta Garbo

Today we celebrate the life of Hollywood icon Greta Garbo, who was born 110 years ago today. Greta Lovisa Gustafsson was born in Stockholm, Sweden on September 18, 1905 to Anna Lovisa and Karl Alfred Gustafsson. The youngest of three children, Garbo dropped out of school at the age of 13 to care for her ailing father. He would die in 1920 when she was 14. Growing up in poverty, Garbo dreamed of becoming an… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Harriet Tubman

Posted September 17, 2015 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: Harriet Tubman

On this day in 1849, Harriet Tubman escaped from slavery in the South. She would go on to lead many others to freedom along the Underground Railroad. Araminta Harriet Ross was one of nine children born to Harriet “Rit” and Ben Ross. She was born into slavery around 1820 in Dorchester County, Maryland. On September 17, 1849, Harriet escaped to Philadelphia. She would soon return to Maryland to lead her family and many others to… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Lauren Bacall

Posted September 16, 2015 by Amanda | No Comment
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Today we remember Lauren Bacall on what would have been her 91st birthday. Bacall was born Betty Joan Perske on September 16, 1924 in The Bronx, New York. Her mother emigrated from Romania through Ellis Island, while her father was born in New Jersey to Polish parents. Known for her distinctive voice, Bacall catapulted to stardom opposite Humphrey Bogart in the 1944 film, To Have and Have Not. Despite their 25-year age difference, the couple married in… Read the full story

Geni User Tips »

Geni Tips: Customize Your Tree Preferences

Posted September 15, 2015 by Amanda | 10 Comments
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Did you know you can customize the view of your family tree to your own preferences? Geni’s easy to use family tree interface is customizable so you can choose the family tree view that works best for you. Here are a few tips on what you can see: Starting with the view most are familiar with, the Standard tree view will show each profile’s node, picture (if available) and years of birth and death. Click… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Prince Harry of Wales

Posted September 15, 2015 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: Prince Harry of Wales

Happy birthday, Prince Harry! Today the British royal turns 31. The youngest son of Prince Charles and Princess Diana, Harry was born at St. Mary’s Hospital in London of September 15, 1984. He is currently fifth in line to the throne, after his nephew, Prince George, and his niece, Princess Charlotte. After graduating from school, Harry pursued a career in the military and did two tours of duty in Afghanistan. Harry is also involved in numerous charities… Read the full story

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Half Sisters Reunited Through Geni

Posted September 11, 2015 by Amanda | No Comment
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Half-sisters Diana Lee and Yevan Chernoff-Christian were separated for decades until a family friend made a discovery that would bring them together. Image: Yevan Chernoff-Christian and Diana Lee / GlendaleNewsPress A recent article in the Glendale News Press revealed that the sisters were reunited after a friend made a remarkable discovery on Geni. Two years ago, Melanie Kunisch, Yevan’s friend and an avid genealogists, spent some time helping Yevan research her ancestry. After tracing her parents’… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Harry Connick, Jr.

Posted September 11, 2015 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: Harry Connick, Jr.

Happy birthday, Harry Connick, Jr.! Today the talented singer turns 48. Joseph Harry Fowler Connick, Jr. was born on September 11, 1967 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Harry exhibited his musical talents at an early age, learning the piano at the age of three and performing publicly by the age of five. In 1989, he got his big break when he was asked to provide the soundtrack for the romantic comedy When Harry Met Sally. The… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Nathan Hale

Posted September 10, 2015 by Amanda | No Comment
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On this day in 1776, Nathan Hale, a solider in the Continental Army, volunteered to spy behind British lines. Nathan Hale was born in Coventry, Connecticut Colony on June 6, 1755. Educated at Yale, Hale joined the Connecticut militia after the start of the American Revolutionary War. Prior to the upcoming Battle of Harlem Heights, General George Washington called for a volunteer to cross enemy lines to gather intelligence. Hale volunteered for the dangerous mission and… Read the full story

Fun with Genealogy »

Queen Elizabeth II: The Longest Reigning British Monarch

Posted September 9, 2015 by Amanda | No Comment
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Today Queen Elizabeth II achieves a new milestone – not only is she the United Kingdom’s longest lived monarch, but she now holds the distinction of being the longest reigning monarch in British history. She surpasses Queen Victoria’s record of 63 years, seven months and two days on the throne. Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, June 1953 / Library and Archives Canada Just like her second great grandmother, Queen Victoria, Elizabeth II was never… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Hugh Grant

Posted September 9, 2015 by Amanda | No Comment
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Happy 55th birthday, Hugh Grant! Grant was born Hugh John Mungo Grant in Hammersmith, England to a military family. His father was a Captain and served with the Seaforth Highlanders for eight years. His paternal grandfather, Major James Murray Grant, DSO was decorated for bravery and leadership at Saint-Valery-en-Caux during World War II. In 1994, Grant achieved international stardom as the star of hit comedy Four Wedding and a Funeral. He has since continued to… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Peter Sellers

Posted September 8, 2015 by Amanda | No Comment
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Remember watching Peter Sellers as the bumbling Inspector Jacques Clouseau? On this day in 1925, the iconic comedian was born in Portsmouth, England. Born Richard Henry Sellers, his parents called him “Peter” after his elder stillborn brother. Both of his parents were vaudeville entertainers and Peter often accompanied his parents on the variety show circuit. In 1943, he joined the Royal Air Force and traveled with the entertainment troupe to perform for soldiers during World War II. In… Read the full story

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History of Labor Day

Posted September 4, 2015 by Amanda | No Comment
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This Monday, the United States celebrates Labor Day in honor of the contributions and achievements that workers have made. Celebrated on the first Monday of each September, Labor Day was created as a result of the Labor Movement of the late 19th century. Today, the holiday also symbolizes the end of summer and is celebrated with parties, parades and community events. Working in bottling factory / Library of Congress The origins of Labor Day can… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Beyoncé Knowles

Posted September 4, 2015 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: Beyoncé Knowles

Happy birthday, Beyoncé! Today the singer celebrates her 34th birthday. She was born Beyoncé Giselle Knowles on September 4, 1981 in Huston, Texas to Matthew and Celestine “Tina” Knowles. Her first name is a tribute to her mother’s maiden name, Beyincé. Her maternal grandparents were French-speaking Louisiana Creoles and her sixth great grandfather was Acadian leader Joseph “Beausolei” Broussard. A singer from a young age, Beyoncé catapulted to stardom as a member of the female R&B group Destiny’s… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Richard I of England

Posted September 3, 2015 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: Richard I of England

On this day in 1189, Richard I of England was crowned king in Westminster Abbey. Born on September 8, 1157, Richard was the third of five sons born to King Henry II of England and Eleanor of Aquitaine. He was known as Richard the Lionheart for his reputation as a great military leader and warrior. During his reign, Richard spent the majority of his time outside of England. He joined the Third Crusade after the capture… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: J.R.R. Tolkien

Posted September 2, 2015 by Amanda | No Comment
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Have you read The Hobbit or The Lord of the Rings? On this day in 1973, author J.R.R. Tolkien died at the age of 81. John Ronald Reuel Tolkein was born on January 3, 1892 in Bloemfontein, Free State, South Africa. When he was 4, Tolkien’s father died of rheumatic fever, leaving the family without an income. His mother took Tolkien and his brother to live with her parents in England. She died in 1904. During World War… Read the full story

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Your Stories: From an American Revolutionary War Ancestor to the World Family Tree

Posted September 1, 2015 by Amanda | 2 Comments
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We love hearing from Geni users about their experiences in genealogy. Today we want to share the story of Virginia Lee Oldham (Hopper)’s journey uncovering her family history. She was born in Princeton, Kentucky at the family home on Baldwin Avenue. In 1967, Virginia married Billy Joe Oldham and together, had two daughters, Sara Lee and Heather Jo. Between 1979-1989, Virginia was the owner and instructor of a downtown craft supply store. She was the… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Edgar Rice Burroughs

Posted September 1, 2015 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: Edgar Rice Burroughs

Remember the story of Tarzan? On this day in 1875, author Edgar Rice Burroughs was born in Chicago, Illinois. Burroughs was the fourth son of George Tyler Burroughs and Mary Evaline Zieger. His father was a businessman and Civil War veteran. He worked a number of different jobs throughout his lifetime, from a pencil sharpener wholesaler to war correspondent during World War II. In 1912, Burroughs published the first of his Tarzan series, Tarzan of the Apes. The… Read the full story