May 2016

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Profile of the Day: Walt Whitman

Posted May 31, 2016 by Amanda | No Comment
whitman

On May 31, 1819, Walt Whitman, one of America’s most influential poets, was born in West Hills, New York. The second of nine children, Whitman was nicknamed “Walt” to distinguish him from his father, Walter Whitman, Sr. His parents held great admiration for their country, even naming three of Whitman’s brothers after American leaders: Andrew Jackson, George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. Whitman stopped his formal schooling at the age of 11 and took on a series… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: James “Wild Bill” Hickok

Posted May 27, 2016 by Amanda | One Comment
Profile of the Day: James "Wild Bill" Hickok

Do you have roots in the Old West? Wild Bill Hickock, one of America’s most legendary gunslingers, was born on this day in 1837. Born and raised on a farm in rural Illinois, James Butler Hickok lived a life filled of adventures. During the American Civil War, Hickok served as a scout and spy for the Union army. He also worked as a stagecoach driver and lawman. A gifted marksman from an early age, the legend… Read the full story

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Come See Geni at SCGS Jamboree 2016

Posted May 26, 2016 by Amanda | No Comment
jamboree2016_poster(1)

We’re excited for the 47th Annual Southern California Genealogy Jamboree taking place on June 3-5, 2016 at the Los Angeles Marriott Burbank Airport Hotel. Jamboree has always been one of the most fun genealogy events of the year. A short drive from the Geni office, Jamboree is a great opportunity to reunite with old friends and meet new faces. This year’s theme is “Giving to the Future by Preserving the Past.” Presentations will be held on a… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: John Wayne

Posted May 26, 2016 by Amanda | No Comment
wayne

Do you have a favorite Western film? On this day in 1907, legendary icon John Wayne was born in Winterset, Iowa. Although he was born Marion Robert Morrison, he preferred to be called by his nickname, “Duke.” He was a gifted athlete and even landed a football scholarship to the University of Southern California. Wayne got his start in film with small parts in low budget Westerns. His big break came when he was cast in… Read the full story

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Queen Victoria: The Grandmother of Europe

Posted May 24, 2016 by Amanda | No Comment
victoria_mourning

Do you have royal blood? On this day in 1819, Queen Victoria was born in Kensington Palace in London. One of the longest reigning monarchs in British history, Victoria’s strategic marriage of her nine children to royal and noble families across Europe earned her the nickname, “the Grandmother of Europe.” Image: Library of Congress In honor of her birthday, here are some interesting facts about Queen Victoria: 1. She was the daughter of Prince Edward, Duke… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Samuel F.B. Morse

Posted May 24, 2016 by Amanda | No Comment
morse

“What hath God wrought?” This was the message Samuel F.B. Morse sent from the Old Supreme Court Chamber in the United States Capital to his assistant, Alfred Vail, in Baltimore, Maryland, to inaugurate the first telegraph line on May 24, 1844. Morse was born on April 27, 1791 in Charlestown, Massachusetts to Jedediah Morse, a pastor and geographer, and Elizabeth Ann Finley Breese. Morse had established a career as a painter when a tragic event would pull… Read the full story

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Funny and Unusual Names in the Family Tree

Posted May 20, 2016 by Amanda | No Comment
Funny and Unusual Names in the Family Tree

Have you found any funny or unusual names during your genealogy research? Naming trends change and evolve over time, so what may seem odd-sounding to us today, may not have been so strange at the time. Nevertheless, we still get a good chuckle when we come across one of these names as we think to ourselves, “what were they thinking?” Check out some funny and unusual names we found in Geni’s World Family Tree! 1. Experience Bliss 2. Fanny Rash 3. Honest… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: James Stewart

Posted May 20, 2016 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: James Stewart

Today we remember actor James Stewart, who was born on this day in 1908. The son of  Alexander Maitland Stewart and Elizabeth Ruth Jackson, Stewart was the eldest of three children. He got his first taste of performing while a student at Princeton University. Although he would earn a degree in architecture, Stewart ultimately chose to pursue an acting career after graduating college. He had started to find some success in film, but when World War II began,… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Anne Boleyn

Posted May 19, 2016 by Amanda | No Comment
boleyn

On this day in 1536, Anne Boleyn, the second wife of Henry VIII of England, was beheaded for charges of treason and adultery. Her marriage to Henry VIII was scandalous from the start and plunged the country into political and religious upheaval. Denied an annulment for his first marriage to Catherine of Aragon by the Roman Catholic Church, Henry VIII broke away from the Church to establish the Church of England under the control of the… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Jacqueline Cochran

Posted May 18, 2016 by Amanda | No Comment
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Who are the fascinating women in your family tree? On this day in 1953, pioneering aviator Jacqueline Cochran became the first woman to break the sound barrier. She was born Bessie Lee Pittman and grew up in a small town in Florida. After divorcing her first husband, Robert Cochran, she began using the name Jacqueline or “Jackie.” Cochran moved to New York where she landed a position at the prestigious Saks Fifth Avenue salon. It was… Read the full story

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Geni Tips: Tag Multiple Profiles to a Document

Posted May 17, 2016 by Amanda | 2 Comments
Geni Tips: Tag Multiple Profiles to a Document

As any genealogist will say, documents are vital to doing good genealogy research. It’s important to remember to upload your documents to your family’s profiles on Geni and add sources to ensure the family tree is as accurate as possible. What happens when you have a document with multiple people in it? Records such as the census or passengers lists may hold the names of entire families. Instead of uploading the document to every profile, you can simply tag… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Haakon VII of Norway

Posted May 17, 2016 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: Haakon VII, King of Norway

Today Norway celebrates its Constitution Day, referred to simply as syttende mai (seventeenth May) by Norwegians. The national holiday is observed each year to commemorate the signing of the Constitution of Norway at Eidsvoll on May 17, 1814. The constitution declared Norway to be an independent nation in an attempt to avoid being ceded to Sweden after Denmark-Norway’s defeat in the Napoleonic Wars. The Crown Prince of Denmark-Norway, Christian Frederik, was named the first king of Norway,… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Douglas Fairbanks, Sr.

Posted May 16, 2016 by Amanda | No Comment
fairbanks

Did you know that the first Academy Awards ceremony was held on May 16, 1929? The ceremony’s first host was none other than the Academy’s first president, actor Douglas Fairbanks, Sr. Long before it would become Hollywood’s biggest night, the first Academy Awards were handed out at a dinner party for around 270 guests at the Roosevelt Hotel in Los Angeles, California. The ceremony lasted just 15 minutes and honored the best films of 1927… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Bea Arthur

Posted May 13, 2016 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: Bea Arthur

Do you remember watching The Golden Girls or Maude? Today, we remember star Bea Arthur on what would have been her 94th birthday. She was born Bernice Frankel on May 12, 1922 in New York City, New York. Before beginning her career as an actress, Arthur worked as a truck driver and typist in the United States Marine Corps Women’s Reserve during World War II. After the war, she found success in theater and earned a Tony Award… Read the full story

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Video: Everyone Who’s Immigrated to the U.S. Since 1820

Posted May 12, 2016 by Amanda | No Comment
Heres Everyone Whos Immigrated to the U.S. Since 1820   Metrocosm (2)

Do you have immigrant ancestors? Here’s an interesting video from Metrocosm depicting immigration to the United States from 1820 to 2013. Watch the changing immigration patterns in the U.S. over a period of nearly two centuries. The data comes from the Department of Homeland Security’s Immigration Office. In this colorful animation, the country’s brightness corresponds to its total migration to the U.S. at any given time, while each dot represents 10,000 individuals. It’s interesting to see how immigration patterns have… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Florence Nightingale

Posted May 12, 2016 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: Florence Nightingale

Have you found your connection to the “Lady with the Lamp”? On this day in 1820, Florence Nightingale was born in Florence, Italy. A nursing pioneer, Nightingale is remembered as the founder of modern nursing. Nightingale was born to an affluent and elite British family. Growing up, she felt uncomfortable among her family’s social circles and preferred to spend her time helping the poor and ill near her family’s estate. By the age of sixteen, she knew… Read the full story

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Genealogy Conferences: NGS 2016 Recap

Posted May 10, 2016 by Amanda | No Comment
Geni.com at NGS 2016

We had a great time meeting everyone at the NGS 2016 Family History Conference in Fort Lauderdale, Florida! Between May 4-7, genealogists and family historians from all around the country gathered at the Greater Fort Lauderdale/Boward County Convention Center to enjoy a fascinating array of genealogy lectures and learn more about what’s going on in the world of genealogy. The Geni booth at NGS 2016 before opening day At the Geni booth, we welcomed many people interested in… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Fred Astaire

Posted May 10, 2016 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: Fred Astaire

117 years ago, legendary actor Fred Astaire was born in Omaha, Nebraska. Considered one of the greatest entertainers of Old Hollywood, Astaire dazzled audiences on the stage and screen with his charisma and energy. He was the son of Johanna Geilus and Frederic Austerlitz and had an older sister Adele, who proved to a natural dancer and singer. Together, the siblings developed a vaudeville act as children and became quite popular thanks to their father’s salesmanship. His… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: George Clooney

Posted May 6, 2016 by Amanda | No Comment
clooney

Happy birthday, George Clooney! Today the star turns 55. Clooney has an interesting pedigree. Not only is he the nephew of famous actress Rosemary Clooney, but his fourth great grandmother, Mary Ann Whitehouse (Sparrow), is the half sister of Nancy Lincoln, the mother of President Abraham Lincoln. That makes Abraham Lincoln his first cousin five times removed! After small parts on television, Clooney finally hit it big with a starring role in the hit drama ER. Since then,… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Ann B. Davis

Posted May 5, 2016 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: Ann B. Davis

Do you remember watching The Brady Bunch? On this day in 1926, actress Ann B. Davis was born in Schenectady, New York. Best known for playing the beloved and hilarious housekeeper Alice Nelson on the popular 70s sitcom, Davis was a longtime veteran of the stage and screen. She caught the acting bug in college, where she had originally planned to study medicine. After her breakout hit on the 1950s sitcom The Bob Cummings Show, for which she won two… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Audrey Hepburn

Posted May 4, 2016 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: Audrey Hepburn

Do you have a favorite Audrey Hepburn movie? Today marks what would have been the 87th birthday of the legendary actress. Hepburn was born Audrey Kathleen van Heemstra Ruston on May 4, 1929 in Brussels, Belgium. Her mother, Baroness Ella van Heemstra, was a Dutch aristocrat and after divorcing Hepburn’s father, raised her alone as a single mother. She studied ballet and quickly became a “star pupil.” The Nazi’s occupation of the Netherlands during World War II had… Read the full story

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After 100 Years, Family Welcomes Its First Girl

Posted May 3, 2016 by Amanda | One Comment
itsagirl

It was reported recently that a Northern Idaho family has finally broken their 100 year old streak – the Underdahl family finally welcomed their first baby girl after 101 years. The record was finally broken when Scott and Ashton Underdahl welcomed Aurelia Marie Ann on April 12. The couple have a son, Archer, and had been hoping to finally bring a girl into the family. After a century-long streak of boys, baby Aurelia was born at 8lbs 3oz…. Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Catherine the Great

Posted May 2, 2016 by Amanda | No Comment
Catherine_II

On this day in 1729, Catherine the Great was born. Catherine the Great reigned over Russia from 1762 until her death in 1796 at the age of 67. She was born Sophie Friederike Auguste von Anhalt-Zerbst-Dornburg on May 2, 1729. Her father belonged to the ruling German family of Anhalt, but held the rank of a Prussian general. After converting to the Russian Orthodox Church, she received the new name Catherine. On August 21, 1745,… Read the full story