January 2016

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Meet the Geni Team at RootsTech 2016

Posted January 29, 2016 by Amanda | No Comment
rootstech-stage

Next week, the Geni team will be heading to RootsTech 2016, the largest family history event in the world. From February 3-6, genealogists and family history enthusiasts from around the country will gather at the Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City, Utah to attend this unique genealogy conference. From the family history novice to genealogy experts, everyone has the opportunity to learn and discover the latest tools and technologies for researching your family history. This innovative… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Tom Selleck

Posted January 29, 2016 by Amanda | No Comment
selleck

Happy birthday, Tom Selleck! Today the popular actor turns 71. Thomas William Selleck was born on January 29, 1945 in Detroit, Michigan. An athlete growing up, Selleck attended the University of Southern California on a basketball scholarship. He studied business administration before shifting his focus to acting. He got his big break when he was cast as the star of the detective series, Magnum, P.I. The show was a big success and earned Selleck an Emmy for Outstanding… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: W.B. Yeats

Posted January 28, 2016 by Amanda | No Comment
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Do you have Irish ancestry? On this day in 1939, renowned Irish poet William Butler Yeats died in Menton, France. W.B. Yeats was born on June 13, 1865 in Dublin, Ireland to John Butler Yeats and Susan Mary Pollexfen. His mother had come from a wealthy merchant family, who owned a milling and shipping business. Yeats grew up in a creative and artistic family; his father had abandoned his studies of law to become an artist… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Lewis Carroll

Posted January 27, 2016 by Amanda | One Comment
Profile of the Day: Lewis Carroll

Remember the story of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland? 184 years ago today, author and photographer Lewis Carroll was born. The eldest son in a family of 11 children, Charles Lutwidge Dodgson spent much of his childhood reading books. He enjoyed entertaining the children of his close friend, Henry George Liddell, and spent much time delighting them with stories of fantastic adventures. Liddell’s daughter, Alice, became the inspiration for Carroll’s most famous character, Alice, and her adventures… Read the full story

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Geni’s World Family Tree Surpasses 100 Million Profiles

Posted January 26, 2016 by Amanda | 13 Comments
Geni’s World Family Tree Surpasses 100 Million Profiles

Today we’re excited to announce that Geni’s World Family Tree now connects over 100 million profiles! Thanks to the collaborative efforts of the entire Geni community, the World Family Tree has quickly become the largest, highest-quality family tree of the world. This significant milestone is the product of the hard work and research done by our dedicated community of users and our trusted team of volunteer Curators. The World Family Tree is the definitive family… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Ellen DeGeneres

Posted January 26, 2016 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: Ellen DeGeneres

Happy birthday, Ellen DeGeneres! Today the beloved comedian and talk show host turns 58. She was born Ellen Lee DeGeneres on January 26, 1958 in Metairie, Louisiana. Ellen got her start in comedy doing stand-up at small clubs and coffee houses. In 1986, Ellen made her first appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson where she became the first female comedian to be invited by the iconic host to join him for an onscreen chat. Today,… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Virginia Woolf

Posted January 25, 2016 by Amanda | No Comment
woolf

Who is your favorite author? On this day in 1882, English author Virginia Woolf was born in Kensington, England. She was born Adeline Virginia Stephen to well-educated and well-connected parents. Her father, Sir Leslie Stephen, was a notable historian, author and mountaineer. Her mother, Julia Prinsep Stephen, was the niece of famous photographer Julia Margaret Cameron and the first cousin of the temperance leader Lady Henry Somerset. Considered one of the greatest modernist writers of… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Lord Byron

Posted January 22, 2016 by Amanda | No Comment
byron

Do you have any poets in your family tree? On this day in 1788, English poet Lord Byron was born in London, England. Regarded as one of the greatest British poets in history, Lord Byron is perhaps just as well known for his amorous escapades as his works of literature. He was born George Gordon Byron on January 22, 1788. He was the son of Captain John “Mad Jack” Byron and his second wife, Catherine… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Louis XVI of France

Posted January 21, 2016 by Amanda | No Comment
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On this day in 1793, Louis XVI was executed for treason by guillotine. Louis XVI was born on August 23, 1754 in the Palace of Versailles. He was the second son of Louis, the Dauphin of France, and thus the grandson of Louis XV. When his brother died at the age of nine, followed by his father’s death in 1765, a young Louis became the next in line to inherit his grandfather’s crown. He ascended to the… Read the full story

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Second Cousins Discovered on Geni

Posted January 20, 2016 by Amanda | 2 Comments
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We love hearing stories from our users when they make fascinating new discoveries. Recently, genealogy blogger Kitty Cooper shared an amazing discovery she made just last week thanks to Geni. Through the power of collaboration, she’s found her long lost second cousins in Germany! Kitty shares that her family has always known of family in Bavaria, but surnames and where they lived remained a mystery. According to family lore, Kitty’s great grandfather, Benedict Reiner, was studying to… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Charles III of Spain

Posted January 20, 2016 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: Charles III of Spain

Have you found your connection to the Spanish monarchy? On this day in 1716, Charles III, King of Spain, was born in Madrid. The third surviving son of Philip V of Spain, but the eldest by his second wife, Charles became the Duke of Parma and Piacenza at the age of 15. As Duke, he conquered the kingdoms of Naples and Sicily and was crowned king on July 3, 1735. He reigned as Charles VII… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Dolly Parton

Posted January 19, 2016 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: Dolly Parton

Happy birthday, Dolly Parton! Today the country superstar turns 70. She was born on January 19, 1946 in Locust Ridge, Tennessee. The fourth of twelve children, Parton grew up in poverty and often sang of her family’s struggles in her music. She began performing as a child and made television appearances by the age of ten. Since scoring her first No. 1 hit, Parton has enjoyed a long, successful career. She’s the most honored female… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Cary Grant

Posted January 18, 2016 by Amanda | No Comment
grant

On this day in 1904, star Cary Grant was born in Bristol, England. He was born Archibald Alexander Leach on January 18, 1904 to Elias James Leach, a tailor’s presser, and Elsie Maria Leach, a factory seamstress. Grant had an unhappy childhood. When he was 9 years old, his father placed his mother in a mental institution and told a young Grant that she had gone away on a “long holiday.” Later, he was told… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Martin Luther King, Jr.

Posted January 15, 2016 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: Martin Luther King, Jr.

Eighty-seven years ago today, civil rights icon Martin Luther King, Jr. was born in Atlanta, Georgia. A middle child, King was named after his father, Martin King. After a trip to Germany in 1934, his father chose to change his name and his son’s name to Martin Luther King in honor of the German Protestant reformer, Martin Luther. As a child, King enjoyed singing with his church choir and even had the opportunity to perform with… Read the full story

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10 Most Common Family Heirlooms

Posted January 14, 2016 by Amanda | One Comment
10 Most Common Family Heirlooms

Family heirlooms are often precious artifacts linking the present to your family’s heritage. They hold stories and memories from the past about the lives of loved ones that are no longer around. Usually passed down from generation to generation, family heirlooms provide us with a greater personal connection to our ancestors, perhaps more so than a census record or death certificate could provide. They often provide a unique insight into your family’s history and hold deep… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Alan Rickman

Posted January 14, 2016 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: Alan Rickman

Today we remember actor Alan Rickman, who has passed away at the age of 69. A versatile actor, Rickman showcased his remarkable talent on both the stage and silver screen. He is perhaps best known for playing Severus Snape in the Harry Potter film franchise as well as his villainous roles in Die Hard and Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. Born on February 21, 1946 in London, England, Rickman was the second son born to working class parents. His father… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Johnny Cash

Posted January 13, 2016 by Amanda | No Comment
cash

On this day in 1968, Johnny Cash performed live at Folsom State Prison. His live album recording At Folsom Prison was a hit and stayed at the top of the charts for weeks. In 1955, Cash first released is single, “Folsom Prison Blues.” He was inspired to write the song from the perspective of the incarcerated after watching the movie, Inside the Walls of Folsom Prison, while serving in the United States Air Force Security Service. Not only had the… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Charles Perrault

Posted January 12, 2016 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: Charles Perrault

Remember reading fairytales growing up? On this day in 1628, French author Charles Perrault was born in Paris, France. Often described as the “father of the fairytale,” Perrault was known for penning some of the most beloved and recognizable stories, including Little Red Riding Hood, Cinderella and The Sleeping Beauty. He derived many of his stories from pre-existing folktales and created the foundations of a new literary genre, the fairytale. He was born on January 12, 1628 to… Read the full story

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Goodbye, Ziggy Stardust: Remembering David Bowie

Posted January 11, 2016 by Amanda | No Comment
bowie

News spread today of the death of iconic singer-songwriter David Bowie after an 18-month battle with cancer. He died on January 10, just two days after his 69th birthday. Herald as an innovator and pioneer, Bowie seemed to reinvent himself for each new generation of fans. Bowie constantly transformed his sound and appearance to the delight and surprise of audiences around the world. In remembrance of Bowie’s extraordinary life, we take a look at a few things… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Alice Paul

Posted January 11, 2016 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: Alice Paul

On this day in 1885, woman’s right activist and suffragist Alice Paul was born. She was born on January 11, 1885 in Mount Laurel Township, New Jersey to William Mickle Paul and Tacie Parry and was the eldest of four children. An influential figure of the women’s right movement, Paul was the leader and strategist of the 1910 campaign for the Nineteenth Amendment, which prohibits sex discrimination in the right to vote. She founded the… Read the full story

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Geni Tips: Invite Relatives to Your Family Tree

Posted January 8, 2016 by Amanda | 16 Comments
Geni Tips: Invite Relatives to Your Family Tree

The traditional, solitary pursuit of genealogy is a thing of the past. Geni’s World Family Tree has made collaboration the easiest, fastest and most exciting way to uncover your family’s heritage. You can collaborate instantly with your relatives by inviting them to join the family tree on Geni. When your relatives join the tree, they can contribute their own knowledge of your family’s history and help research exciting, new branches of your ancestry. As more relatives are invited and the tree expands, you… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Galileo Galilei

Posted January 8, 2016 by Amanda | No Comment
galileo

Italian astronomer Galileo Galilei died on this day in 1642. A pioneer and revolutionary thinker of his time, Galileo’s scientific discoveries would forever change the world’s understanding of the universe. Galileo was born on February 15, 1564 in Pisa, Italy. He was the oldest of six children born to Giulia Ammannati and Vincenzo Galilei, a famous lutenist and composer. As a young man, Galileo considered joining the priesthood before turning his attention to science and mathematics. His work… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Paul Keres

Posted January 7, 2016 by Amanda | No Comment
keres

Do you enjoy a game of chess? Today Estonia celebrates the 100th birthday of famous Estonian chess grandmaster Paul Keres. Keres was born on January 7, 1916 in Narva, Estonia. He showed an aptitude for chess at an early age, first learning about the game from his father and older brother, Harald. His brother would later go on to become a prominent physicist and is considered the father of the Estonian school of relativistic gravitation theory. From the mid-1930s to… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Jedediah Smith

Posted January 6, 2016 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: Jedediah Smith

Do you have explorers in your family tree? On this day in 1799, trapper and explorer Jedediah Smith was born in Jericho, New York. One of the first to explore the West, Smith is often considered one of America’s greatest trapper-explorers. In 1822, he joined William H. Ashley’s fur trading company to explore and trap in the Rocky Mountains. He would come to discover the South Pass through the Rockies, which offered a safer and… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Diane Keaton

Posted January 5, 2016 by Amanda | No Comment
keaton

Happy 70th birthday to Diane Keaton! The actress was born Diane Hall on January 5, 1946 in Los Angeles, California. Her mother was a homemaker and once won the “Mrs. Los Angeles” pageant. Her father, John Newton Ignatius “Jack” Hall, was a real estate broker and civil engineer. After deciding to pursue a career in acting, she took on her mother’s maiden name “Keaton” to avoid confusion with another actress named Diane Hall. After finding success on Broadway, including… Read the full story

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New Year’s Twins Born in Different Years

Posted January 4, 2016 by Amanda | No Comment
twins-newyear

Do you have twins in your family tree? It’s not often you will find a pair of twins with different birthdays. However, for one San Diego couple, that’s just what they got. Not only were their twins born on different days, but they were not even born in the same year! A San Diego mother gave birth to twins, but one was born in 2015, the other in 2016. https://t.co/G7qBusgyDu pic.twitter.com/3so9OwMNz6 — WFMY News 2 (@WFMY)… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Isaac Newton

Posted January 4, 2016 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: Isaac Newton

Today we remember Isaac Newton, who was born on January 4, 1643. Occasionally, his birthday is seen displayed as December 25, 1642, which is the date of his birth according to the old Julian calendar. He was born prematurely at Woolstrhope Manor in Lincolnshire, England, just three months after the death of his father. Small and weak, Newton was not expected to survive. However, Newton would go on to become one of the most influential scientists… Read the full story