October 2015

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Spooky Spirit Photos

Posted October 30, 2015 by Amanda | No Comment
hope_2b

Do you believe in the paranormal? During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, spirit photography became incredibly popular. Many came to believe that spirit photographers could capture images of a deceased loved one’s ghost or spirit within a photograph. Taken by William H. Mumler, c.1871 / Wikimedia Commons In the aftermath of the American Civil War, many people were still grieving the loss of family and friends. Seeing an opportunity for profit, spiritualists and mediums sprang… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Henry Winkler

Posted October 30, 2015 by Amanda | No Comment
winkler

Remember watching Happy Days? Today star Henry Winkler turns 70! A graduate of the prestigious Yale School of Drama, the classically trained actor got his big break when he was cast as Arthur “Fonzie” Fonzarelli on the classic sitcom Happy Days. Although the Fonz was originally meant to be a minor character, Winkler immediately became an audience favorite. Did you know initially he was not allowed to wear his signature leather jacket? Executives believed it would make his character appear to… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Sir Walter Raleigh

Posted October 29, 2015 by Amanda | No Comment
raleigh

On this day in 1618, explorer Sir Walter Raleigh was executed for treason by King James I. One of the most prominent figures of the Elizabethan era and a favorite of Queen Elizabeth I, Raleigh was instrumental in the English colonization of the New World. He was granted a royal patent to explore the new lands and invested in expeditions across the Atlantic to establish a colony on Roanoke Island. Today, the famed settlement is known as the… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Julia Roberts

Posted October 28, 2015 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: Julia Roberts

Happy 48th birthday to Julia Roberts! Actress Julia Roberts was bon on October 28, 1967 in Smyrna, Georgia. The youngest of three children, Julia grew up in a highly creative household. Her parents were actors and co-founded a workshop for aspiring actors and writers in Atlanta. In 1989, she earned critical praise for her performance in the film Steel Magnolias, in which she co-starred alongside acting legends Sally Field and Shirley MacLaine. Her performance earned Julia… Read the full story

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Are Big Families Better?

Posted October 27, 2015 by Amanda | No Comment
Are Big Families Better?

Do you come from a large family? In the past, it was typical to find families with three or more children. However, these days, statistics show couples who have more than two children are on the decline. Image: National Library of Ireland / Flickr Changes in culture, healthcare and technology have led to changes in what is considered the ideal family size. Starting in the 1930s, the U.S. has seen a shift from the ideal number of children… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Theodore Roosevelt

Posted October 27, 2015 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: Theodore Roosevelt

On this day in 1858, Theodore Roosevelt, the 26th President of the United States, was born in New York City. He was the second of four children born to Theodore Roosevelt, Sr., a glass businessman and philanthropist, and Martha Stewart “Mittie” Bulloch, a socialite and southern belle thought to be one of the inspirations for the character Scarlett O’Hara in Gone With the Wind. Nicknamed “Teedie,” Roosevelt spent much of his childhood indoors due to illness… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Maureen O’Hara

Posted October 26, 2015 by Amanda | No Comment
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Today we remember legendary film actress Maureen O’Hara, who passed away this weekend. She was born Maureen FitzSimons on August 17, 1920 in Ranelagh, Ireland. Starting from a young age, O’Hara dreamed of becoming an opera singer and stage actress like her mother, but she was convinced by actor Charles Laughton to try her hand at film. Her first major movie was Alfred Hitchcock’s Jamaica Inn. Her performance in that film led to her casting as the… Read the full story

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Hardworking Centenarian Still Going Strong

Posted October 23, 2015 by Amanda | One Comment
frotundo

Here’s a story that may put your work ethic to shame. In an interview with local Buffalo news station WGRZ, New Yorker Felimina Rotundo revealed that at the age of 100, she is still keeping busy working 11 hour days, six days a week at a local laundromat. Image: WGRZ Born in 1915, Felimina was a teen during the Great Depression and remembers it well. At 15, she got her first job working at a shoe factory… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Johnny Carson

Posted October 23, 2015 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: Johnny Carson

Do you remember watching The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson? Today we celebrate what would have been host Johnny Carson’s 90th birthday. John William Carson was born on October 23, 1925 in Corning, Iowa to Homer Homer Lloyd “Kit” Carson and Ruth Hook. As a child, Carson developed his entertainment skills by performing magic for his family and friends. He called himself “The Great Carsoni” and by the age of 14, began performing at county fairs… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Sarah Bernhardt

Posted October 22, 2015 by Amanda | No Comment
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Do you have any actors in your family? On this day in 1844, stage and early film actress Sarah Bernhardt was born. Once called “the most famous actress the world has ever known,” Sarah Bernhardt was one of the most in demand actresses in Europe and the Americas. She rose to fame in the 1870s on the stages of France and with the advent of film, she became one of the first actors to appear in… Read the full story

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It’s Back to the Future Day!

Posted October 21, 2015 by Amanda | No Comment
It's Back to the Future Day!

Great Scott! Today is Back to the Future Day! The future has finally arrived as Back to the Future fans around the world celebrate the arrival of Marty McFly and Doc Brown on October 21, 2015. In the film, Back to the Future – Part II, Doc, Marty, and his girlfriend Jennifer, leave 1985 behind and travel 30 years into the future in Doc’s DeLorean time machine to help the couple’s future children. Twenty-six years later, the second installment of the Back… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Carrie Fisher

Posted October 21, 2015 by Amanda | No Comment
fisher

Happy birthday, Carrie Fisher! Today the star turns 59. The daughter of actors Eddie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds, Fisher seemed destined to follow her parents into show business. In 1977, she skyrocketed to international fame when she was cast as Princess Leia in the original Star Wars trilogy. Despite also becoming a best-selling author and screenwriter, and taking on memorable supporting roles in films such as When Harry Met Sally…, Fisher remains most recognized for her role… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Bela Lugosi

Posted October 20, 2015 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: Bela Lugosi

Do you like scary movies? On this day in 1882, horror film legend Bela Lugosi was born. He was born Béla Ferenc Dezső Blaskó to Paula de Vojnich and István Blaskó, a banker, in Lugos, Hungary. Around the age of 11, he left home and took on odd jobs to support himself in his travels. It was during this time that he began acting on stage and was soon accepted into Hungary’s Academy of Performing Arts. As… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: General Charles Cornwallis

Posted October 19, 2015 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: General Charles Cornwallis

Did your ancestors fight in the American Revolutionary War? On this day in 1781, British General Charles Cornwallis surrendered at Yorktown, Virginia, effectively bringing an end to the American Revolution. During his early days in the war, Cornwallis had successfully driven George Washington’s troops out of New Jersey. In 1779, Cornwallis became a leading figure in the British “southern strategy” to gain control of the southern colonies. Although Cornwallis had generally been successful in his battles, including his notable victory… Read the full story

Fun with Genealogy »

6 Unusual Wills and Testaments

Posted October 16, 2015 by Amanda | No Comment
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Have you used wills as a resource in your family history research? When a person dies, they will often leave their possessions and money to their family and thereby, giving you more clues about other relatives in your family tree. Occasionally, you may come across a few odd requests made by the deceased. Here are some notable, unusual last requests: 1. Harry Houdini Image: Library of Congress In the 1920s, legendary illusionist Harry Houdini spent much… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Angela Lansbury

Posted October 16, 2015 by Amanda | No Comment
lansbury

Happy 90th birthday to Angela Lansbury! The Murder, She Wrote actress was born in London, England on October 16, 1925 to Edgar Lansbury, a politician, and stage and film actress Moyna Macgill. When she was nine, her father died from stomach cancer. She has stated that his death was a defining moment of her life. At the onset of the Blitz in 1940, her family immigrated to the United States. She studied acting while in New York City… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: A.A. Milne

Posted October 14, 2015 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: A.A. Milne

Remember Winnie the Pooh? On this day in 1926, author A.A. Milne published his children’s book Winnie-the-Pooh, a collection of stories following the adventures of the honey-loving teddy bear and his friends. Milne’s real life inspiration for his characters came right from his home. The character Christopher Robin was named after his son, Christopher Robin Milne, and the character Winnie the Pooh was named after his son’s teddy bear. The rest of his son’s stuffed toys were incorporated into Milne’s… Read the full story

Geni User Tips »

Geni Tips: Add Events to Timelines

Posted October 13, 2015 by Amanda | No Comment
timeline-profile_blog

As relatives are added to the family tree, we will often enter the usual basic information, such as names, birth and death dates and location, etc. But did you know you can enhance your relatives’ profiles even further by adding life events to their Timelines? The Timeline is a great way to visualize the events that occur throughout a person’s life. For your convenience, the Timeline is automatically populated with information that may have already been added to a profile. This includes information… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Marie Osmond

Posted October 13, 2015 by Amanda | No Comment
osmonds

Happy birthday, Marie Osmond! Today the the singer turns 56. Born Olive Marie Osmond on October 13, 1959 in Ogden, Utah, Marie shares her birthday with her father, George, who was born in 1917. She was the only girl out of nine children. Growing up, her brothers sang and performed on television as the Osmond Brothers. During the 1970s, she followed her brothers into show business and entered the country music scene. Her first single… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Christopher Columbus

Posted October 12, 2015 by Amanda | No Comment
columbus

Today is Columbus Day in the U.S. Established as a federal holiday in 1937, the day commemorates Christopher Columbus’ voyage to the New World in 1492. Columbus set sail from Spain across the Atlantic with his ships, the Niña, the Pinta and the Santa Maria. Although not the first to arrive to the American continent, Columbus’ expeditions played a significant role in Spain’s colonization of the New World. Celebration of the holiday has changed over time…. Read the full story

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Remembering John Lennon

Posted October 9, 2015 by Amanda | No Comment
Lennon-McCartney

Today we remember music icon John Lennon on what would have been his 75th birthday. As one-fourth of the musical phenomena The Beatles, John rose to worldwide fame and went on to become a vocal anti-war activist and supporter of peace. His song “Imagine” became the best selling single of his solo career. Though he died in 1980 at the age of 40, his legacy continues to endure and inspire new generations. Image: Library of Congress In honor… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Charles X of France

Posted October 9, 2015 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: Charles X of France

Have you found your connection to French royalty? On this day in 1757, Charles X was born at the Palace of Versailles. Named Charles Philippe, he was made Count of Artois at birth by his grandfather, King Louis XV. As the youngest son of the Dauphin Louis and his wife, the Dauphine Marie Josèphe, Charles was never expected to inherit the throne. At the outbreak of the French Revolution, he fled France. He returned in 1814 when the… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Matt Damon

Posted October 8, 2015 by Amanda | No Comment
damon

Happy birthday, Matt Damon! Today The Martian star turns 45. He was born Matthew Paige Damon on October 6, 1970 in Cambridge, Massachusetts to Kent Damon, a stockbroker, and Nancy Paige, an early childhood education professor. At the age of ten, he met his longtime friend, Ben Affleck. Together, the childhood friends catapulted to Hollywood stardom after co-writing the screenplay for the Academy Award winning film, Good Will Hunting. The duo took home the coveted statue for Best Original Screenplay…. Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Edgar Allan Poe

Posted October 7, 2015 by Amanda | No Comment
poe

Are you a fan of the spooky tales written by Edgar Allan Poe? 166 years ago today, the famous poet and writer died in Baltimore, Maryland at the age of 40. Born in Boston, Massachusetts on January 19, 1809, Poe was orphaned as a young child. He was taken in by John Allan, a successful merchant, and his wife. Considered the inventor of detective fiction, Poe is best known for his tales of mystery and… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Carole Lombard

Posted October 6, 2015 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: Carole Lombard

Today we remember actress Carole Lombard, who was born on this day in 1908. She was born Jane Alice Peters in Fort Wayne, Indiana and was the third child and only daughter of Frederick and Elizabeth Peters. Discovered by a director while playing baseball with friends, Lombard made her first film appearance at the age of 13. She went on to star in more than 20 silent films and is best remembered for her roles… Read the full story

Fun with Genealogy »

Video: 100 Years of Wedding Dresses

Posted October 5, 2015 by Amanda | No Comment
Video: 100 Years of Wedding Dresses

Recently, the story of a woman who became the 11th bride to wear a 120-year-old heirloom wedding dress made headlines. Now a new video created by Mode.com shows how wedding dress fashions have changed over the last 100 years. It’s amazing watching how styles have changed over the last ten decades. Perhaps the video may even help you date some old wedding pictures! Watch the video below: Do these wedding gown fashion trends resemble the wedding dresses in your… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Robert Goddard

Posted October 5, 2015 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: Robert Goddard

In the last few months, NASA has discovered fascinating new details about Mars and Pluto. These exciting revelations in space exploration may not have been possible without the pioneering work of physicist and inventor Robert Goddard, who was born on this day in 1882 in Worcester, Massachusetts. Known as the father of modern rocket propulsion, Goddard is credited with creating, building, and launching the world’s first liquid-fueled rocket.  Despite his groundbreaking work, Goddard received very little public support for his… Read the full story

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Family History Month: Get the Kids Involved

Posted October 2, 2015 by Amanda | No Comment
Postcards_and_magnifying_glass

October is Family History Month! What better time to introduce your children to your family’s heritage than the month dedicated to it? Take some time to spark your children’s interest in your family’s history and they will love it and appreciate it as they get older. Here are some fun activities to get your budding genealogists active in learning about your family’s roots: Become a Family Detective Image: Anna, Wikimedia Commons Have a little Sherlock Holmes or Nancy Drew on your hands?… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Groucho Marx

Posted October 2, 2015 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: Groucho Marx

Happy 125th birthday, Groucho Marx! The master comedian was born Julius Henry Marx on October 2, 1890 in New York City, New York. He was the third of five sons born to Samuel “Frenchie” and Minnie Marx. As the family struggled financially, Groucho’s mother sought to guide her sons’ talents into a prosperous career in show business. By the 1920s, the Marx Brothers became one of the biggest comedic acts in the country. Groucho’s signature glasses, bushy… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Julie Andrews

Posted October 1, 2015 by Amanda | No Comment
j_andrews

Happy birthday, Julie Andrews! Today the actress turns 80. The Sound of Music star was born Julia Elizabeth Wells on October 1, 1935 in Surrey, England. Her mother and stepfather were performers and she occasionally joined them on stage. After finding work on the London stage, Andrews moved to the U.S. In 1956, she appeared on Broadway in My Fair Lady, starring as Eliza Doolittle, and received her first Tony Award nomination for her performance. Although the decision to replace her with Audrey… Read the full story