February 2016

Fun with Genealogy »

Interesting Facts About Leap Day

Posted February 29, 2016 by Amanda | No Comment
Interesting Facts About Leap Day

Today is Leap Day! Why do we have leap days? Because it actually takes about 365¼ days for the Earth to orbit the sun. To account for this, an extra day is added every four years to the Gregorian calendar. This occurs every year divisible by four, with the exception of century years, unless it is divisible by 400. Here are some interesting facts about leap day: 1. You can thank Julius Caesar for leap year. The… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Leonardo DiCaprio

Posted February 29, 2016 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: Leonardo DiCaprio

Congratulations to Leonardo DiCaprio for finally winning his first Oscar! The six-time Academy Award nominee finally took home the coveted prize for Best Actor for his role in the film, The Revenant. The film was inspired by the experiences of American frontiersman Hugh Glass, who had been left for dead by his companions after being mauled by a grizzly bear. Years in the making, DiCaprio earned his first Oscar nomination 22 years ago in 1994. When accepting the award, the audience… Read the full story

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Your Stories: Solving Genealogy Puzzles

Posted February 26, 2016 by Amanda | No Comment
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Since the first grade, Geni Curator Jim Wile knew what he wanted to be when he grew up. With dreams to become a math teacher, Jim was working towards his degree in education when his birth date was called in the military draft lottery. He enlisted in the U.S. Army and was assigned to the 902nd Military Intelligence Group. Despite his three-year detour, Jim went on to achieve his goal to become a teacher of… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Buffalo Bill Cody

Posted February 26, 2016 by Amanda | No Comment
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Do you have cowboys or lawmen in your family tree? On this day in 1846, Buffalo Bill Cody was born in the Iowa Territory. Though born in the U.S., Cody spent much of his childhood growing up in his father’s hometown in Canada before the family moved to the Kansas territory. Buffalo Bill’s life was filled with fascinating adventures, making him a legendary figure of the American Wild West. At the age of 14, he became a rider… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: George Harrison

Posted February 25, 2016 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: George Harrison

Do you have a favorite Beatles song? Today we remember George Harrison, who was born on February 25, 1943 in Liverpool, England. The youngest of four children, much of Harrison’s early life was filled with music. He first joined Paul McCartney and John Lennon at the age of 14 when the group was still called the Quarrymen. Forming the Beatles with the addition of drummer, Ringo Starr, the rock group released their first hit single,… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Wilhelm Grimm

Posted February 24, 2016 by Amanda | No Comment
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Did you enjoy reading fairy tales growing up? Today we remember Wilhelm Grimm, who was born 230 years ago today. Wilhelm Carl Grimm was born on February 24, 1786 in Hanau, Germany. The younger half of the famous Brothers Grimm, Wilhelm began his professional career studying law at the University of Marburg alongside his brother Jacob. The brothers remained close throughout their lives and dedicated many years collecting and documenting German folktales together. They would later… Read the full story

Geni User Tips »

Geni Tips: Resolve Conflicting Data After a Merge

Posted February 23, 2016 by Amanda | No Comment
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After spending time merging duplicates, it’s easy to forget to go back to resolve conflicting data on profiles. Data conflicts arise when two profiles are merged but some of the information on the profiles do not match. Instead of discarding the mismatched information, we allow you to review these conflicts and choose the best data to keep. The information you select will appear on the individual’s profile page. Below we’ll walk you through how to review and… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: W.E.B. Du Bois

Posted February 23, 2016 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: W.E.B. Du Bois

On this day in 1868, civil rights activist W.E.B. Du Bois was born in Great Barrington, Massachusetts. Du Bois is often considered one of the most influential proponents of civil rights during the first half of the 20th century. William Edward Burghardt Du Bois was born on February 23, 1868 to Alfred and Mary Silvina Du Bois. His mother’s family was a part of a small, free black community in Great Barrington and had long… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Drew Barrymore

Posted February 22, 2016 by Amanda | No Comment
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Happy birthday, Drew Barrymore! Today the actress turns 41. Drew Blythe Barrymore was born into the famous Barrymore dynasty of actors. The granddaughter of legendary actor John Barrymore, Drew descends from a long line of performers. John Barrymore’s siblings, Lionel and Ethel, were also renowned stage actors. Not only that, her great grandparents, Maurice Barrymore and Georgiana Drew, were accomplished stage actors as well. Her second great grandparents, John and Louisa Lane Drew, owned and ran their own… Read the full story

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Remembering Harper Lee

Posted February 19, 2016 by Amanda | No Comment
Remembering Harper Lee

Today we mourn the death of brilliant author Harper Lee. She passed away at the age of 89 in her hometown of Monroeville, Alabama. The beloved author of To Kill a Mockingbird was revered by many who grew up reading her classic novel. In honor of her passing, we take a look back at her life. 1. Nelle Harper Lee was the youngest of four children born to Frances Cunningham (Finch) and Amasa Coleman Lee. Her first name was… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: James F. Reed

Posted February 19, 2016 by Amanda | No Comment
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On this day in 1847, the first rescuers reached the surviving members of the Donner Party, a group of American pioneers stranded in the snow in the Sierra Nevada mountains. Leading the ill-fated wagon train to California were George Donner and James F. Reed. In the spring of 1846, parties led by Reed and Donner joined together to head west to California. Along the way, several other families joined the wagon train. After arriving at Fort… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: John Travolta

Posted February 18, 2016 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: John Travolta

Happy birthday, John Travolta! Today the star turns 62. John Joseph Travolta was the youngest of six children born to Salvatore Travolta and Helen Cecilia Burke. He grew up in a family of entertainers and at 16, dropped out of high school to pursue an acting career in New York. He got his first taste of success when he was cast as Vinnie Barbarino on the television sitcom, Welcome Back, Kotter. Just a few short years later, he… Read the full story

Genealogy Research »

Tips to Get Started on Your Family Tree

Posted February 17, 2016 by Amanda | 3 Comments
Back to Basics: Tips to Get Started on Your Family Tree

Learning about your genealogy can be a rich and rewarding experience, but many who are eager to discover more often find they are at a loss on to where or how to begin. Family history research doesn’t need to feel so overwhelming. Check out these tips on how to get started on researching your family tree: 1. Start with what you know The easiest way to begin is to start with the information you already know. As… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Thomas Jefferson

Posted February 17, 2016 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: Thomas Jefferson

On this day in 1801, Thomas Jefferson was elected the third President of the United States over his running mate, Aaron Burr, who also happened to be his 11th cousin. The election of 1800 was one of the most intense and contentious elections in U.S. history and exposed one of the flaws in the original Constitution. The then Vice President Thomas Jefferson had defeated President John Adams, but due to the rules outlined in the Constitution,… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Taylor Swift

Posted February 16, 2016 by Amanda | No Comment
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Congratulations to Taylor Swift, who took home the Grammy award for Album of the Year on Monday night! She is the first woman to win the coveted award twice. In her much buzzed about acceptance speech, Swift took a moment to send an empowering message to young women everywhere. She said, “I want to say to all the young women out there, there are going to be people along the way who will try to… Read the full story

Genealogy Research »

Newspapers: Wedding and Anniversary Announcements

Posted February 12, 2016 by Amanda | No Comment
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Have you found your ancestors’ wedding or anniversary announcements in old newspaper records? These happy announcements can be a wonderful treasure trove of genealogical information. They may also hold stories of the love your relatives shared on their special day. Many of these may even include a photograph of the happy couple! We’ve uncovered a few lovely examples below. Check them out: Sisters married on the anniversary of their parents’ wedding The Ogden Standard, February 14, 1920 A… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Charles Darwin

Posted February 12, 2016 by Amanda | No Comment
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Today marks the 207th anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin. Celebrated as Darwin Day throughout the world, the day commemorates Darwin’s enormous contribution to science. Charles Robert Darwin was born on February 12, 1809 at his family’s home in Shrewsbury, England. His family was wealthy and well known in English society. His paternal grandfather, Erasmus Darwin, was an abolitionist and a key thinker of the Enlightenment movement. While his maternal grandfather, Josiah Wedgewood, was a… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Thomas Edison

Posted February 11, 2016 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: Thomas Edison

“Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.” – Thomas Edison Thomas Edison was born on February 11, 1847 in Milan, Ohio and was the youngest of seven children born to Samuel Ogden Edison, Jr. and Nancy Matthews Elliott. His father was an exiled political activist from Canada and had taken part in the unsuccessful Mackenzie Rebellion of 1837. A prolific inventor,… Read the full story

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RootsTech 2016 Recap

Posted February 10, 2016 by Amanda | No Comment
RootsTech 2016 Recap

We had a fantastic time at RootsTech 2016 in Salt Lake City, Utah! This year’s conference was bigger than ever with an estimated 25,000 people attending and over 150,000 watching classes online. The Geni booth at RootsTech 2016 This year, Geni had an amazing booth with plenty of room to accommodate the crowds of visitors eager to learn more about collaborative genealogy in a single family tree. New users starting their family trees on Geni We loved… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Jefferson Davis

Posted February 10, 2016 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: Jefferson Davis

Do you have ancestors that fought for the Confederacy during the American Civl War? On this day in 1861, Jefferson Davis was notified by telegraph that he had been chosen as the provisional President of the Confederate States of America. Although he was the strongest and first choice to lead the new Confederate States, Davis was reluctant to take the position. He was at his plantation gardening when he received the news that he was unanimously… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: President William Henry Harrison

Posted February 9, 2016 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: President William Henry Harrison

Are you related to a U.S. President? On this day in 1773, President William Henry Harrison was born on a plantation in Virginia. The ninth President of the United States, Harrison was the last U.S. president to be born as a British subject before American Independence. He was the youngest son of Benjamin Harrison V and Elizabeth Bassett and his family were prominent political figures. His father was a member of the Continental Congress and signed… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Laura Linney

Posted February 5, 2016 by Hiromimarie | No Comment
Profile of the Day: Laura Linney

Happy birthday, Laura Linney! Today the Emmy Award winning actress turns 52. Laura Leggett Linney was born on February 5, 1964 in New York. Her father was well known playwright, Romulus Zachariah Linney IV. She graduated from Brown University in 1986 and studied acting at the Juilliard School. Linney started out in minor film and television roles such as Lorenzo’s Oil, Dave and General Hospital. Her big breakthrough was her role in The Truman Show as Jim Carrey’s… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Karen Carpenter

Posted February 4, 2016 by Hiromimarie | No Comment
Profile of the Day: Karen Carpenter

Today we remember singer Karen Carpenter, who died on February 4, 1983. She is best known as the lead singer of the Carpenters – a duo act with her brother, Richard Carpenter. They had two hit singles “(They Long to Be) Close to You” and “We’ve Only Just Begun”. Karen was born on March 2, 1950 in New Haven, Connecticut. In June 1963 her family moved to Downey, California. She attended Downey High School where she… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Elizabeth Blackwell

Posted February 3, 2016 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: Elizabeth Blackwell

Do you have any doctors in your family tree? On this day in 1821, Elizabeth Blackwell, the first female doctor in the United States, was born in Bristol, England. Elizabeth was raised in a liberal household with a strong emphasis on education. In 1832, her father moved the family to United States and when he died in 1838, he left the family in great debt. To help make ends meet, Elizabeth, her older sisters, and her mother opened… Read the full story

Fun with Genealogy »

BFFs Jennifer Lawrence and Amy Schumer Are Related!

Posted February 2, 2016 by Amanda | No Comment
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Recently, actress Jennifer Lawrence and comedian Amy Schumer made headlines with their newfound friendship. The new pals made a splash at the Golden Globes, where they were both up for Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy. Lawrence took home the coveted prize for her performance as the titular character in Joy. But there’s no love lost between the two friends. The duo are reportedly co-writing a screenplay along with Schumer’s sister, where the two actresses will… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: James Joyce

Posted February 2, 2016 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: James Joyce

Have you read Ulysses? On this day in 1882, author James Joyce was born in Dublin, Ireland. James Augustine Aloysius Joyce was born on February 2, 1882 to John Stanislaus Joyce and Mary Jane Murrary. Joyce grew up in an unstable household due to his father’s drinking. A bright child, Joyce taught himself Norwegian so he could read the works of Henrik Ibsen in their original language. Regarded as one of the most influential and important authors… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Frederick Douglass

Posted February 1, 2016 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: Frederick Douglass

To kick off Black History Month, today we celebrate the life of abolitionist Frederick Douglass. Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey was born into slavery in Talbot County, Maryland around February 1818. Although the exact date of his birth is not known, he chose to celebrate it on February 14. Years later, after escaping to the North, he took the surname Douglass. As a child, he secretly taught himself to read and write, believing that “knowledge is a pathway… Read the full story