April 2016

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Profile of the Day: William Randolph Hearst

Posted April 29, 2016 by Amanda | No Comment
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Are you related to a media tycoon? On this day in 1863, American newspaper publisher William Randolph Hearst was born in San Francisco, California. Hearst was the only son of wealthy mining magnet George Hearst and his wife, Phoebe Apperson Hearst. He entered the publishing business after receiving control of The San Francisco Examiner from his father. Before long, Hearst used his vast wealth to acquire more and more newspapers and magazines across the country. His vast media… Read the full story

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Join Geni at the NGS 2016 Family History Conference

Posted April 28, 2016 by Amanda | No Comment
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Next week Geni is heading to Fort Lauderdale, Florida for the NGS 2016 Family History Conference. From May 4-7, genealogists and family historians from all around the country will come together at the Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward County Convention Center to learn more about the latest in genealogy. Attendees will have the opportunity to choose from over 150 lectures on a wide range of topics. The theme to this year’s conference is “Exploring the Centuries: Footprints… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Hertha Marks Ayrton

Posted April 28, 2016 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: Hertha Marks Ayrton

Today marks the 162nd birthday of British engineer and inventor Hertha Marks Ayrton. A pioneering scientist, Ayrton was the first woman to read her own paper before the British Royal Society. She presented her work on electric arcs and ripples in sand and water, and brought a scientific explanation for this simple observation, “when a wave washes over sand, ripples will appear.” She was awarded the society’s prestigious Hughes Medal for her work. Ayrton was born Phoebe Sarah… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Coretta Scott King

Posted April 27, 2016 by Amanda | No Comment
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On this day in 1927, American civil rights activist Coretta Scott King was born in Marion, Alabama. Although best known as the widow of Civil Rights icon Martin Luther King, Jr., Coretta also made significant contributions to the Civil Rights movement both before and after her husband’s death. Coretta Scott was the third child born to Obadiah Scott and Bernice McMurray. Her father was the first black person in their neighborhood to own a vehicle,… Read the full story

Fun with Genealogy »

The Life of William Shakespeare

Posted April 26, 2016 by Amanda | No Comment
shakespeare

While the world celebrated the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death on April 23, today marks the day the Bard was baptized. Image: Wikimedia Commons Although the exact date of William Shakespeare’s birth is unknown, we do know the day he was baptized thanks to his baptism records. He was baptized at the Holy Trinity Church in Stratford-on-Avon on April 26, 1564. Since a child’s baptism generally takes place just a few days after birth, it is… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Carol Burnett

Posted April 26, 2016 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: Carol Burnett

Happy birthday, Carol Burnett! Today the beloved comedic actress celebrates her 83rd birthday. Born on April 26, 1933 in San Antonio, Texas, Burnett caught the acting bug at a young age. After her parents divorced in the late 1930s, she was sent to live with her grandmother in a boarding house in Hollywood, California. In the second grade, she briefly invented an imaginary twin sister named Karen and found enjoyment in fooling the other boarders. Though she found steady… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Ella Fitzgerald

Posted April 25, 2016 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: Ella Fitzgerald

Love listening to the sound of Jazz? On this day in 1917, Jazz legend Ella Fitzgerald was born in Newport News, Virginia. From her earliest days as a small child, the Queen of Jazz was passionate about music and spent hours listening to Jazz records her mother brought home. After the death of her mother when she was 15, Ella was sent to live with her aunt in Harlem. She suffered many hardships during this time, including a… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: John Muir

Posted April 22, 2016 by Amanda | No Comment
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This Earth Day, we highlight the profile of naturalist and advocate John Muir, who was instrumental in preserving the wilderness of the United States. Muir was born on April 21, 1838 in Dunbar, Scotland and immigrated with his family to the United States when he was eleven years old. The family settled in Wisconsin, where Muir developed a fascination and wonder for the natural world. Muir devoted much of his later life to the preservation of… Read the full story

Fun with Genealogy »

Remembering Prince (1958-2016)

Posted April 21, 2016 by Amanda | No Comment
prince

We were shocked to hear of the sudden padding of legendary musician Prince today. A musical genius and innovator, Prince was one of the most significant figures in the music industry. A pioneer of Minneapolis sound, Prince combined multiple genres – rock, R&B, jazz, funk, pop, disco, soul, hip hop, and psychedelia – to create his unique sound. Image: Penner, Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0)  In honor of his memory, we look back on some interesting… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Elizabeth II

Posted April 21, 2016 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: Elizabeth II

Today Queen Elizabeth II celebrates her 90th birthday! She was born on April 21, 1926 in the home of her maternal grandfather’s house in London. On May 29, she was christened at Buckingham Palace and named Elizabeth after her mother, Alexandra after King George V’s mother who had died a few months before, and Mary after her paternal grandmother. At the time of her birth, no one expected that she would one day become queen…. Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Daniel Chester French

Posted April 20, 2016 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: Daniel Chester French

Have you visited the Lincoln Memorial? On this day in 1850, sculptor Daniel Chester French was born in Exeter, New Hampshire. French was the son of Henry Flagg French, who worked for the U.S. Department of Treasury as the Assistant U.S. Treasury Secretary. After his family moved to Concord, Massachusetts, French became neighbors and friends with poet Ralph Waldo Emerson and author Louisa May Alcott’s family. It was under the influence and teachings of her sister Abigail May that… Read the full story

Featured Project »

American Revolutionary War Genealogy Project on Geni

Posted April 19, 2016 by Amanda | No Comment
American Revolutionary War Genealogy Project | Geni.com

Are you searching for your American Revolutionary War ancestors? You may want to check out the American Revolutionary War genealogy project on Geni! Image: Library of Congress Collaborate with others in Geni’s friendly and knowledgable community of researchers to discover the Patriots in your family tree. The Shot Heard ‘Round the World On April 19, 1775, battle broke out at Lexington as British forces and American colonial militias fought for the first time, marking the beginning of… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Doris Roberts

Posted April 19, 2016 by Amanda | No Comment
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Yesterday, news broke of the passing of actress Doris Roberts. She was perhaps best remembered for her role on the hit sitcom Everybody Loves Raymond. Roberts was born Doris May Green on November 4, 1925 in St. Louis, Missouri. When she was 10, her father left the family. She would later take on her stepfather’s name Roberts as her own. Roberts discovered acting at an early age and dropped out of college to pursue acting full time…. Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: William Dawes

Posted April 18, 2016 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: William Dawes

As British forces prepared to march onto Lexington and Concord on April 18, 1775, two patriots set out on horseback to warn American colonists of the British advancement. While everyone may know the story of Paul Revere’s midnight ride, the story of William Dawes’s ride is often forgotten. Revere and Dawes embarked on different routes across Massachusetts in the event one was be captured. Dawes was assigned to warn John Hancock and Samuel Adams that they were in danger of… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Leonardo da Vinci

Posted April 15, 2016 by Amanda | No Comment
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Do you have a “Renaissance Man” in your family tree? On this day in 1452, Leonardo da Vinci was born in Vinci in the Republic of Florence. A gifted an extremely talented individual, da Vinci’s genius ranged from science, arts, mathematics, engineering, astronomy, architecture and much more. Some of his greatest artistic masterpieces include the Mona Lisa, The Last Supper, and the Vitruvian Man. Did you know da Vinci wrote in neat mirror writing? One… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Anne Sullivan

Posted April 14, 2016 by Amanda | No Comment
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On this day in 1866, Anne Sullivan, teacher to Helen Keller, was born in Feeding Hills, Massachusetts. Born Johanna Mansfield Sullivan, Anne was the child of Irish immigrants who came to the U.S. during the Great Potato Famine. At the age of 8, she contracted trachoma, which made her nearly blind. She excelled as a student at the Perkins School for the Blind. Upon her graduation at the age of 20, Arthur Keller hired her… Read the full story

Community »

Your Stories: Tackling the Welsh Medievel Tree

Posted April 12, 2016 by Amanda | No Comment
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We love hearing about stories from the Geni community about their journeys to uncover their family history. Today we’d like to share Anne Brannen’s story. A recent addition to Geni’s team of dedicated volunteer curators, Anne shares her family stories and the path that led her to tackle the medieval lines of the World Family Tree. After 22 years of working in Pittsburgh teaching at Duquesne University, Anne is now living a semi-retired life while… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Yuri Gagarin

Posted April 12, 2016 by Amanda | No Comment
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On this day in 1961, Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin became the first human to travel into outer space. Yuri Alekseyevich Gagarin was born on March 9, 1934 in the village of Klushino in Russia. The son of a carpenter and milkmaid, Yuri was the third of four children. As a young man, Yuri learned to fly while volunteering for weekend training as a Soviet air cadet at a local flying club. He later joined the… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Napoleon Bonaparte

Posted April 11, 2016 by Amanda | No Comment
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On this day in 1814, Napoleon Bonaparte was exiled to the Mediterranean island of Elba. As the Emperor of France, Napoleon established a hegemony over most of continental Europe. Often regarded as one of the greatest military commanders in history, Napoleon was able to establish a large empire through a series of military campaigns that would become known as the Napoleonic Wars. In 1812, Napoleon launched a disastrous invasion of Russia. The existing continental powers… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Pablo Picasso

Posted April 8, 2016 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: Pablo Picasso

Famous painter Pablo Picasso died on this day in 1973. Named one of the greatest and most influential artists of the 20th century, Picasso proved to be an immensely successful and prolific artist during his lifetime. He was baptized Pablo Diego Jose Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno Maria de los remedios Cipriano de la Santisima Trinidad Ruiz y Picasso, a series of names honoring various saints and relatives. Picasso was born on October 25, 1881… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: William Wordsworth

Posted April 7, 2016 by Amanda | No Comment
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Do you enjoy reading poetry? On this day in 1770, English Romantic poet William Wordsworth was born in the Wordsworth House in Cockermouth, England. Although orphaned by the age of 13, Wordsworth’s parents encouraged his education. He would write his first pieces of poetry while in grammar school and go on to study at Cambridge, but left before finishing his last semester. Wordsworth’s The Prelude is generally considered to be his greatest masterpiece. A semi-autobiographical… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Matthew Henson

Posted April 6, 2016 by Amanda | No Comment
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Does your family tree have an adventurous streak? On this day in 1909, explorers Matthew Henson and Robert Peary were the first men to reach the North Pole. Matthew Henson was born on August 8, 1866 to freeborn black sharecroppers on a farm in Nanjemoy, Maryland. In 1887, Henson met Peary and was recruited to join Peary’s surveying expedition to Nicaragua. Soon Henson became Peary’s “first man” on expeditions. Henson holds the distinction of being… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Spencer Tracy

Posted April 5, 2016 by Amanda | No Comment
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On this day in 1900, actor Spencer Tracy was born. Considered one of the biggest stars of Hollywood’s Golden Age, Tracy captivated audiences with his impressive range and his frequent collaborations with fellow Hollywood legend Katharine Hepburn. Spencer Bonaventure Tracy was born on April 5, 1900 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. A rambunctious child, Tracy was place in the care of Dominican nuns at the age of 9 in the hopes of transforming his behavior. At the… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Robert Downey, Jr.

Posted April 4, 2016 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: Robert Downey, Jr.

Happy birthday, Robert Downey, Jr. Today the star turns 51. Born into a creative household, the Iron Man star grew up in New York City’s Greenwich Village. As a child, he was exposed to drugs by his father, filmmaker Robert Downey, Sr. He would eventually overcome his drug addiction, but not before he spent several months in prison for drug related charges. As an actor, he has won great praise for his work. In 1992, he earned his… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Debbie Reynolds

Posted April 1, 2016 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: Debbie Reynolds

Remember watching the dynamic team of Debbie Reynolds and Gene Kelly in Singin’ in the Rain? Today Reynolds celebrates her 84th birthday! Born Mary Frances Reynolds, she is the daughter of Maxine Harmon and Raymond Francis Reynolds, who was a carpenter for the Southern Pacific Railroad. A proud supporter of scouting, Reynolds was once a Girl Scout herself and a troop leader. Today, a scholarship is offered in her name to high school age Girl Scouts. After… Read the full story