March 2016

Profile of the Day »

Profile of the Day: Johann Sebastian Bach

Posted March 31, 2016 by Amanda | No Comment
bach

Does music run in your family? On March 31, 1685 (N.S.), composer Johann Sebastian Bach was born in Eisenach, Germany. Considered one of the greatest composers of all time, Bach had music in his blood. He came from a family of musicians, stretching back generations. Bach’s second great grandfather, Veit Bach, was a baker, miller and founder of the Bach musical dynasty. He played the cittern and passed on his love for music to his son, Johannes Bach. Johannes would become… Read the full story

Profile of the Day »

Profile of the Day: Vincent van Gogh

Posted March 30, 2016 by Amanda | No Comment
vangogh

Do you have artists in your family tree? On this day in 1853, Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh was born in Zundert, Netherlands. He shared the name Vincent with his paternal grandfather and stillborn brother, who died a year before his birth. Despite his family’s status as an upper-middle class family, van Gogh lived much of his life in poverty in pursuant of his art. Although today he is considered one of the greatest artists in history, van… Read the full story

Genealogy Research »

Spring Cleaning: Organize Your Genealogy Research

Posted March 29, 2016 by Amanda | 2 Comments
cleaning

Now that spring is officially here, it’s the perfect time to do a little genealogy spring cleaning. Take a break from your research to reorganize, refresh and get yourself in the best shape before tackling your next genealogy hurdle. Image: Nationaal Archief, Flickr Here are some quick tips to get started on your genealogy spring cleaning: Time to scan old documents and photos! Do you have a pile of old documents and photos that you’ve been meaning to… Read the full story

Profile of the Day »

Profile of the Day: President John Tyler

Posted March 29, 2016 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: President John Tyler

On March 29, 1790, John Tyler, the 10th President of the United States, was born in Charles City, Virginia. Born to a prominent and influential Virginia family, Tyler was one of the last presidents to hail from Virginia’s elite aristocracy of planters. Tyler’s time at the White House was unique. In 1840, the newly elected President, William Henry Harrison, died of illness only one month into his presidency. Tyler, who was serving as Vice President, then became… Read the full story

Profile of the Day »

Profile of the Day: Reba McEntire

Posted March 28, 2016 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: Reba McEntire

Are you a country music fan? Today American country music singer Reba McEntire turns 61. She was born on March 28, 1955 in McAlester, Oklahoma to Jacqueline and Clark Vincent McEntire. Named after her maternal grandmother Reba Estelle Smith, the music legend learned to sing and play guitar at a young age. Her father and grandfather were both champion steer ropers, so as a child, she would sing at rodeos along with her siblings. During… Read the full story

Genealogy Research »

Women in World War I

Posted March 25, 2016 by Amanda | 2 Comments
factory

World War I was an interesting time for women. As millions of men were off fighting in the Great War, women back home entered the work force in droves. It was the first time in American history that many women began to take on the jobs traditionally held by men. Before the U.S. entered the war, women were relegated to the home or to domestic work. In 1914, when World War I broke out in Europe, the traditional… Read the full story

Profile of the Day »

Profile of the Day: Aretha Franklin

Posted March 25, 2016 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: Aretha Franklin

Happy 74th birthday, Aretha Franklin! The Queen of Soul was born on March 25, 1942 in Memphis, Tennessee. The daughter of Barbara and Clarence LaVaughn Franklin, Aretha was singing ever since she was a small child. She sang in her church choir before making her first gospel recordings at the age of 14. After her initial success in gospel music, Aretha signed on to a major record label which catapulted her career and earned her worldwide fame…. Read the full story

Profile of the Day »

Profile of the Day: Queen Elizabeth I

Posted March 24, 2016 by Amanda | No Comment
elizabethi

Are you related to the Tudors? On this day in 1603, Queen Elizabeth I died at the age of 69. She was the daughter of King Henry VIII and his second wife, Anne Boleyn and succeeded to the throne after the death of her elder sister Queen Mary I. The last of the Tudor monarchs, Elizabeth I’s reign was known as the Elizabethan Era and is regarded as a golden age of English history. Her reign… Read the full story

Profile of the Day »

Profile of the Day: Patrick Henry

Posted March 23, 2016 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: Patrick Henry

“Give me liberty or give me death!” On this day in 1775, Patrick Henry uttered his famous line in a speech made to the Second Virginia Convention. It was Henry’s impassioned words that was said to have convinced the delegates at the convention to pass a resolution that would mobilize arms against encroaching British forces before the start of the American Revolutionary War. Among the delegates in attendance were George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. Considered one of the Founding… Read the full story

Geni User Tips »

Geni Tips: Customize Your Name Preferences

Posted March 22, 2016 by Amanda | 2 Comments
Geni Tips: Customize Your Name Preferences

Did you know you can customize how names are displayed on Geni? Since Geni’s World Family Tree is shared by everyone, it’s important to provide you with ways you can personalize how names are displayed without infringing on the preferences of others. These name preferences apply to the family tree, lists and the rest of Geni. You can customize your name preferences in your account settings. Select Name Preferences to customize how names are displayed on Geni… Read the full story

Profile of the Day »

Profile of the Day: Reese Witherspoon

Posted March 22, 2016 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: Reese Witherspoon

Happy birthday, Reese Witherspoon! Today the actress turns 40. Born Laura Jeanne Reese Witherspoon, Reese grew up in Tennessee and began her career as a child actor. From early roles in Election and Legally Blonde to her Academy Award winning role as June Carter Cash in Walk the Line, Reese has found much success on film in a variety of roles. Reese recently celebrated her 40th birthday with a star-studded bash, which included a private concert from her cousin Taylor… Read the full story

Profile of the Day »

Profile of the Day: Matthew Broderick

Posted March 21, 2016 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: Matthew Broderick

Happy birthday, Matthew Broderick! Today the actor turns 54. Broderick was born on March 21, 1962 in Manhattan, New York to a creative family. His mother, Patricia Blow, was a playwright, actress and painter, while his father, James Broderick, was an actor best known for starring in the television series Family. While researching his ancestry, Broderick discovered that his second great grandfather, Robert Martindale, was a Union Soldier who fought at the Battle of Gettysburg. He… Read the full story

Profile of the Day »

Profile of the Day: Grover Cleveland

Posted March 18, 2016 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: Grover Cleveland

Did you know Grover Cleveland is the only U.S. President to serve non-consecutive terms? He served as the 22nd and 24th President of the United States. Stephen Grover Cleveland was born on March 18, 1837 in Caldwell, New Jersey. The fifth of nine children, he was named Stephen in honor of the first pastor of the First Presbyterian Church of Caldwell, where his father was a pastor at the time. He didn’t begin using the name… Read the full story

Fun with Genealogy »

Celebrities with Surprising Irish Roots

Posted March 17, 2016 by Amanda | No Comment
obamas

It’s St. Patrick’s Day! In celebration of the holiday, we take a look at some famous faces in Geni’s World Family Tree with surprising Irish ancestry. Barack and Michelle Obama Image: Peta Souza / White House The Obamas each have surprisingly deep Irish connections. The President’s Irish ancestry can be traced through his maternal lineage. His third great grandfather, Fulmoth Kearney, was born in Offaly, Ireland in 1830. He would later immigrate to the United States along with… Read the full story

Profile of the Day »

Profile of the Day: Saint Patrick

Posted March 17, 2016 by Amanda | No Comment
stpatrick

It’s St. Patrick’s Day! This Irish holiday marks the anniversary of the death of Saint Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland. On this day, people all around the world come together to celebrate Irish culture and heritage. Captured by pirates as a teen, St. Patrick returned to his home in Ireland a missionary to spread the teachings of Christianity. Many legends surround St. Patrick, including the tale of how he banished all snakes from Ireland…. Read the full story

Profile of the Day »

Profile of the Day: Pat Nixon

Posted March 16, 2016 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: Pat Nixon

Today we remember former First Lady Pat Nixon on what would have been her 104th birthday. Nixon was born Thelma Catherine Ryan on March 16, 1912 in Ely, Nevada. She was given the nickname “Pat” by her father as a reference to her birthdate and Irish ancestry. She later dropped her first name and used “Pat,” and sometimes “Patricia,” though she never legally changed it. She grew up on a small truck farm in California, and by… Read the full story

Profile of the Day »

Profile of the Day: Andrew Jackson

Posted March 15, 2016 by Amanda | No Comment
jackson

Are you related to a U.S. President? On this day in 1767, Andrew Jackson was born near the border of North and South Carolina. The 7th President of the United States, Jackson was born near the end of the colonial era. His parents. Andrew and Elizabeth Jackson, had emigrated from Ireland just two years before Jackson was born. His father died three weeks before his birth. Only 13 during the American Revolution, Jackson worked informally as a militia… Read the full story

Profile of the Day »

Profile of the Day: Albert Einstein

Posted March 14, 2016 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: Albert Einstein

Happy birthday, Albert Einstein! Today marks the 137th birthday of the brilliant physicist. Albert Abraham Einstein was born on March 14, 1879 in Ulm, Germany. His parents were Pauline Koch and Herman Einstein, a salesman and engineer. In 1880, the family moved to Munich where his father and his uncle Jakob founded Elektrotechnische Fabrik J. Einstein & Cie, a company that manufactured electrical equipment based on direct current. In 1905, Einstein completed his PhD in Switzerland while working at a… Read the full story

Profile of the Day »

Profile of the Day: Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley

Posted March 11, 2016 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley

Are you familiar with the story of Frankenstein? On this day in 1818, author Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley first published her best known Gothic novel Frankenstein: or, The Modern Prometheus. Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin was born in London, England in 1797 to Mary Wollstonecraft, a feminist philosopher and writer, and journalist William Godwin.  In 1814, she met poet Percy Shelley. The couple traveled around Europe for some time and struggled with financial difficulties and the death of their… Read the full story

Genealogy Research »

Middle Names in Your Family Tree

Posted March 10, 2016 by Amanda | 6 Comments
middle_name

What’s in a middle name? Not everyone has one and its significance varies between different cultures. If you come across someone with a middle name during your genealogy research, a closer investigation may give you fascinating insights into family traditions, your ancestors or even clues to missing branches. While the concept of a “middle name” has been around since the Middle Ages, it was not until 1835 that the phrase “middle name” first appeared in the Harvard University… Read the full story

Profile of the Day »

Profile of the Day: Chuck Norris

Posted March 10, 2016 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: Chuck Norris

Happy birthday, Chuck Norris! Today the star turns 76. Carlos Ray Norris was born in Ryan, Oklahoma to Wilma Scarberry and Ray Norris, who was a World War II Army soldier. In 1958, Norris joined the U.S. Air Force as an Air Policeman. It was while he was based in South Korea that he began training in martial arts. After he was discharged, Norris rose to fame as a martial artist and opened his own Karate school…. Read the full story

Profile of the Day »

Profile of the Day: Clara Rockmore

Posted March 9, 2016 by Amanda | No Comment
Rockmore_and_Termen

Does anyone in your family play the theremin? Today we celebrate the 105th birthday of master theremin performer Clara Rockmore. She was born Clara Reisenberg on March 9, 1911 in Vilnius, Lithuania, which was then a part of the Russian Empire. A talented violinist growing up, Rockmore was forced to give up the instrument due to health problems caused by malnutrition. After her family fled to the United States, Rockmore met Léon Theremin, inventor of the world’s first electronic… Read the full story

Fun with Genealogy »

International Women’s Day: Inspiring Heroes

Posted March 8, 2016 by Amanda | No Comment
IWD

Today we celebrate International Women’s Day, which recognizes the past and present achievements of women all around the world. In honor of the the day, here are some of the remarkable women throughout history found in Geni’s World Family Tree: Ada Lovelace (1815-1852) Image: Wikimedia Commons A gifted mathematician, Ada Lovelace wrote the world’s first computer program nearly a century before the first computers were built. Lovelace envisioned a day when a single machine could be programed for… Read the full story

Profile of the Day »

Profile of the Day: Anne, Queen of Great Britain and Ireland

Posted March 8, 2016 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: Anne, Queen of Great Britain and Ireland

Do you have royal connections? On this day in 1702, Anne Stuart, sister of Mary II, became Queen regnant of England, Scotland and Ireland. She was the second daughter born to James II and VII and his first wife, Anne Hyde. When Anne’s father was deposed in the Glorious Revolution, her brother-in-law, William III, and her sister, Mary II, became joint monarchs. Although the sisters had been close, they became estranged over the years. After… Read the full story

Profile of the Day »

Profile of the Day: William Penn

Posted March 4, 2016 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: William Penn

Do you have Quaker ancestors? On this day in 1681, Charles II of England granted William Penn a land charter for a large piece of land in America, which would become Pennsylvania. William Penn was the son of Margaret Jasper and English Admiral Sir William Penn. Admiral Penn took part in the restoration of Charles II and was eventually knighted and served in the Royal Navy. In 1861, Charles II granted Penn a large piece of… Read the full story

Genealogy Research »

Uncover the Maiden Names of Your Female Ancestors

Posted March 3, 2016 by Amanda | No Comment
wilson_women2

Are you having trouble searching for your female ancestors? Documentation for women is often difficult to come by in the historical record. Often times, name changes and omissions in favor of male relatives make it difficult to track down your female ancestors. Image: Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library Archives The month of March is designated as Women’s History Month. In honor of the month long celebration, here are some ways you can uncover the maiden names of your… Read the full story

Profile of the Day »

Profile of the Day: Alexander Graham Bell

Posted March 3, 2016 by Amanda | No Comment
bell

Do you have inventors in your family tree? On this day in 1847, inventor and engineer Alexander Graham Bell was born in Edinburgh, Scotland. The inventor of the first practical telephone, Bell’s work was heavily influenced by his life at home. Both his mother and his wife were deaf, while his father, grandfather and brother concentrated their work on elocution and speech. In 1876, Bell received the patent for the telephone with the assistance of… Read the full story

Profile of the Day »

Profile of the Day: Jon Bon Jovi

Posted March 2, 2016 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: Jon Bon Jovi

Happy birthday, Jon Bon Jovi! Today the rocker turns 54. John Francis Bongiovi, Jr. was born on March 2, 1962 in Perth Amboy, New Jersey. His parents, John Francis Bongiovi, Sr. and Carol Sharkey, met while in the Marines. Interestingly, his mother was also a former model and one of the first Playboy bunnies. Jon’s interest in music began when he was young, and by his early teens, he knew he wanted to be a rock… Read the full story

Profile of the Day »

Profile of the Day: Justin Bieber

Posted March 1, 2016 by Amanda | No Comment
bieber

Happy birthday, Justin Bieber! Today the pop star turns 22. Bieber was born on March 1, 1994 in London, Ontario, Canada. From a young age, Bieber showed a special talent for music. Growing up, he learned to play the piano, drums, guitar, and trumpet. At the age of 12, his mother uploaded a video of Bieber performing at a local singing competition to YouTube so their family and friends to see. As she continued to upload more… Read the full story