July 2016

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Profile of the Day: Sir Francis Drake

Posted July 29, 2016 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: Sir Francis Drake

On this day in 1588, English forces led by Lord Charles Howard and Sir Frances Drake defeated the Spanish Armada. Once referred to as the “Invincible Armada,” the defeat of the once-unbeatable Spanish force made England a dominating power in the world. During the late 1580s, tensions between Spain and England had greatly escalated. Queen Elizabeth I dispatched Drake to raid major Spanish ports to great success, which prompted Philip II of Spain to invade England. As… Read the full story

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5 Things You May Not Know About Beatrix Potter

Posted July 28, 2016 by Amanda | No Comment
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Today marks the birthday of Beatrix Potter. Many people grow up reading her beloved stories featuring the mischievous Peter Rabbit. Image: Internet Archive, Flickr She was born Helen Beatrix Potter on July 28, 1866 in Kensington, London, England. She first published The Tale of Peter Rabbit in 1902 and found instant success. Since the book’s initial publication, it has become one of the best selling books of all time. Today readers around the world continue to enjoy her story… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis

Posted July 28, 2016 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis

Today we remember former First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis on what would have been her 87th birthday. Before she marrying John F. Kennedy, Jacqueline worked as an inquiring photographer at the Washington Times-Herald. The couple was introduced by a mutual friend, journalist Charles L. Bartlett, at a dinner party in 1952. They married on September 12, 1953 at St. Mary’s Church in Newport, Rhode Island. Their wedding was considered the social event of the season with 700 guests… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Bob Hope

Posted July 27, 2016 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: Bob Hope

Do you remember watching Bob Hope onscreen? The comedian died on this day in 2003 at the age of 100. He was born Leslie Townes Hope on May 29, 1903 in Eltham, London. He was the fifth of seven sons born to William Henry Hope, a stonemason, and Avis Townes, an amateur opera singer and cleaner. In 1908, the family emigrated to the United States on board the SS Philadelphia and passed through Ellis Island before settling in Cleveland, Ohio…. Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Mick Jagger

Posted July 26, 2016 by Amanda | No Comment
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Happy birthday, Mick Jagger! Today the Rolling Stones singer turns 73. Michael Philip Jagger was born on July 26, 1943 in Dartford, Kent. His father, Basil Fanshawe Jagger, and his grandfather, David Ernest Jagger, were both teachers. His mother, Eva Ensley Mary Scutts, was a hairdresser. From a young age, Jagger loved to sing. He was classmates with Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards, who shared Jagger’s love of the blues. For over 50 years, Jagger has… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: James VI of Scotland

Posted July 25, 2016 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: James VI of Scotland

On this day in 1603, James VI of Scotland was crowned king of England, bringing the Kingdom of England and the Kingdom of Scotland into a personal union. James VI was born on June 19, 1577 in Edinburgh Castle, Scotland. He was the son of Mary, Queen of Scots, and a second great grandson of Henry VII. At just 13 months, he succeeded to the Scottish throne after his mother was compelled to abdicate in favor… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Emma Lazarus

Posted July 22, 2016 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: Emma Lazarus

“Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled Masses yearning to breathe free” – Emma Lazarus, “The New Colossus” These are the iconic lines inscribed on a bronze plaque at the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty. The words were written by American poet Emma Lazarus in 1883 in her sonnet “The New Colossus.” The poem was originally written to help raise funds for the construction of the statue’s pedestal, but was forgotten until it was rediscovered… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Robin Williams

Posted July 21, 2016 by Amanda | No Comment
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Today we remember actor Robin Williams on what would have been his 65th birthday. He was born Robin McLaurin Williams on July 21, 1951 in Chicago, Illinois. A quiet child growing up, Robin joined the drama department at school to help overcome his shyness. As a student at Julliard, Robin became friends with fellow actor Christopher Reeve. The pair shared a close friendship until Reeve’s death in 2004. Robin began his career as a stand-up comic… Read the full story

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Amazing! 86-Year-Old Woman Welcomes her 86th Great-Grandchild

Posted July 19, 2016 by Amanda | No Comment
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For her 86th birthday, Marie Frey got an extra special gift – her 86th great-grandchild! Recently, the Today Show shared Marie’s amazing celebration. The family welcomed Blakely Grace Frey on June 23. Blakely is the fifth child born to Marie’s grandson, Kenny. Being one of seven children, Marie had lots of experience growing up in a large family. She and her husband Gerald were married for nearly 60 years before he passed at the age of 83…. Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Edgar Degas

Posted July 19, 2016 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: Edgar Degas

Does your family tree have any painters? Today marks the 182nd birthday of French painter Edgar Degas. He was born Hilaire-Germain-Edgar De Gas on July 19, 1834 in Paris, France and was the eldest child Augustin De Gas, a banker, and Marie-Celestine Musson, an American from New Orleans, Louisiana. Her father, Germain Musson, had fled his home in Haiti in 1804 and made a small fortune in Louisiana cotton. As a child, Degas showed a talent… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Nelson Mandela

Posted July 18, 2016 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: Nelson Mandela

Today we remember inspirational figure Nelson Mandela on what would have been his 98th birthday. Nelson Mandela was born on July 18, 1918 in the village of Mvezo in Umtata, South Africa. He was given the name Rolihlahla, a Xhosa term meaning “troublemaker.” In his 20s, Mandela became actively involved in the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa. He spent 27 years of his life in prison after he was convicted of conspiracy to overthrow the state…. Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Rembrandt

Posted July 15, 2016 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: Rembrandt

Today marks the 410th anniversary of the birth of Dutch painter Rembrandt van Rijn. The 17th century painter was born on July 15, 1606 in what is today the Netherlands. The ninth child born to Harmen Gerritszoon van Rijn, and Neeltgen Willemsdochter van Zuijtbrouck, Rembrandt showed an early talent for the arts. He trained as an artist under two masters before beginning to practice as a professional portrait artist himself. In his early years, he found… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Ingmar Bergman

Posted July 14, 2016 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: Ingmar Bergman

Do you have Swedish ancestry? On this day in 1918, Swedish director Ingmar Bergman was born in Uppsala, Sweden. A powerful and creative filmmaker, Bergman is often considered one of the most accomplished and influential directors of all time. Bergman was born Ernst Ingmar Bergman on July 14, 1918 to Erik Bergman and Karin Åkerblom. His father was a Lutheran minister and chaplain to the King of Sweden. He grew up in a strict household under… Read the full story

Geni User Tips »

Geni Tips: Navigate the Family Tree Faster

Posted July 13, 2016 by Amanda | 5 Comments
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If you have tried to navigate around a very large tree, chances are you may have encountered some fatigue while dragging your cursor across the screen. It’s possible you may have even gotten a bit lost as you followed a line from one branch to another. Did you know there are other ways to move around the family tree without having to drag it across the screen? Queen Elizabeth II’s family tree Here are a few options you may have overlooked to help you make your… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Harrison Ford

Posted July 13, 2016 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: Harrison Ford

Happy 74th birthday, Harrison Ford! He was born on July 13, 1942 in Chicago, Illinois to Christopher and Dorothy Ford. His maternal grandparents, Harrison Nidelman and Annie Lifshitz, were Jewish immigrants from Minsk, Belarus. While his paternal grandparents, John Fitzgerald Ford and Florence Niehaus, were of Irish and German ancestry. Ford was working as a carpenter before he finally found success as an actor. His career has spanned decades and has included some of the… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Kevin Bacon

Posted July 8, 2016 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: Kevin Bacon

Today actor Kevin Bacon celebrates his 58th birthday! The actor and musician was born on July 8, 1958 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to Edmund Norwood Bacon and Ruth Holmes. His father was a prominent architect and served as the Executive Director of the Philadelphia City Planning Commission. Sometimes called the “Father of Modern Philadelphia,” the elder Bacon’s vision helped shape much of today’s Philadelphia. Bacon made his film debut in the comedy Animal House, but his… Read the full story

Genealogy Research »

Genealogy Research: 5 Common Mistakes to Avoid

Posted July 7, 2016 by Amanda | 4 Comments
Genealogy Research: 5 Common Mistakes to Avoid

Whether you’re just getting started researching your family history or have been doing genealogy for years, everybody makes mistakes. But if you have them in mind, you can take steps to make sure you don’t make some of the common mistakes that befall genealogists at some time or another. Here are five common genealogy mistakes for you to avoid: 1. Making assumptions One of the easiest and most common mistake to make is to make assumptions about… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Nettie Stevens

Posted July 7, 2016 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: Nettie Stevens

Today we celebrate the 155th birthday of geneticist Nettie Stevens. The pioneering geneticist changed the way the world looked at the human chromosome. Stevens is recognized as the first researcher to discover that sex is determined by X and Y chromosomes. She was born on July 7, 1861 in Cavendish, Vermont. A brilliant student, Stevens graduated at the top of her class and studied at Stanford University, before obtaining her Ph.D at Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania. In 1905,… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Richard III

Posted July 6, 2016 by Amanda | No Comment
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On this day in 1483, Richard III was crowned the King of England. Born on October 2, 1452, Richard was the last king of the House of York and the last of the Plantagenet dynasty. When his elder brother, Edward IV, died in 1483, Edward’s 12-year-old son, Edward V, was to succeed to the throne and Richard named Lord Protector of the realm. However, before Edward’s coronation could take place, his father’s marriage to his mother… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: P.T. Barnum

Posted July 5, 2016 by Amanda | No Comment
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Do you enjoy the circus? On this day in 1810, showman P.T. Barnum was born in Bethel, Connecticut. A successful promoter, Barnum made a name for himself promoting weird and odd curiosities. He founded the famous “Barnum & Bailey Circus” and toured the country with his band of performers. He was one of the first to move his circus by train. Named the “Greatest Show on Earth,” the Barnum & Bailey Circus featured acts such as the… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Olivia de Havilland

Posted July 1, 2016 by Amanda | One Comment
DeHavilland

Happy birthday, Olivia de Havilland! Today the actress turns 100. She was born on July 1, 1916 in Tokyo, Japan to English parents, Walter Augustus de Havilland and Lilian Augusta Ruse. De Havilland moved to California as a child with her mother and sister, Joan Fontaine, after her parents’ divorced. The sisters never got a long as children and as adults, their rivalry became one of the most famous and long-lasting feuds in Hollywood. De… Read the full story