September 2016

Genealogy Research »

20 Family History Questions You May Not Think to Ask Your Relatives

Posted September 30, 2016 by Amanda | No Comment
20 Questions You Should Ask Your Relatives

When getting started on your family history research, one of the best places to begin is your family. Your living relatives are an incredible resource for your family’s genealogy. While it’s important to make sure ask basic questions about names, birth dates and locations for the person you are interviewing and for other relatives, it’s also just as imperative to get them to open up with stories about their lives or your family history. Image: Powerhouse Museum, Flickr Some of… Read the full story

Profile of the Day »

Profile of the Day: James Dean

Posted September 30, 2016 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: James Dean

Do you remember watching Rebel Without a Cause? On this day in 1955, actor James Dean died in a car crash at the age of 24. He was born James Byron Dean on February 8, 1931 in Marion, Indiana. He moved to California with his parents and lived there until the death of his mother when he was nine years old. He was sent back to Indiana to live on his aunt and uncle’s farm. Dean later returned… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Miguel de Cervantes

Posted September 29, 2016 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: Miguel de Cervantes

Remember reading Don Quixote? Author Miguel de Cervantes is believed to have been born on this day in 1547. Although not much is known about the early years of his life, Cervantes did live an adventurous one. He enlisted in the Spanish Navy and fought in the Battle of Lepanto, where he was injured after taking three gun shots, two to the chest and one to his left arm. In 1575, he was captured by Barbary pirates as he… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Richard Warren Sears

Posted September 28, 2016 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: Richard Warren Sears

Do you remember browsing through the Sears catalog? On this day in 1914, Sears co-founder Richard Warren Sears died at the age of 50. His father, James Warren Sears, was a successful blacksmith and wagon-maker. After his death, Sears worked to help support his family. He learned telegraphy and started working as a telegraph operator and station agent for the Minneapolis and St. Louis Railway. His life reached a turning point in 1886 when a shipment of… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Johnny Appleseed

Posted September 26, 2016 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: Johnny Appleseed

Remember the story of Johny Appleseed? On this day in 1774, the real Johnny Appleseed was born. He was born John Chapman on September 26, 1774 in Leominster, Massachusetts. His father, Nathaniel Chapman, fought in the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War. In 1776, while his father was away at war, his mother died while giving birth to a son, who also passed short time later. As the folk story goes, Johnny Appleseed wandered barefoot with a tin… Read the full story

Fun with Genealogy »

More Funny Names in the Family Tree

Posted September 23, 2016 by Amanda | No Comment
More Funny Names in the Family Tree

Genealogy can often bring about a good chuckle. Funny names, amusing newspaper articles, unusual census entries can often lead to some amusing discoveries. We’ve previously shared some funny and unusual names found in Geni’s World Family Tree. Now here are a few more funny names to add to the collection of names. Check out the funny names below: 1. Captain Preserved Fish 2. Cookie Baker 3. Happy Card 4. Houston Texas Whitecotton 5. Olive Pitt 6. Ima Hogg 7…. Read the full story

Profile of the Day »

Profile of the Day: Ray Charles

Posted September 23, 2016 by Amanda | No Comment
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Happy birthday, Ray Charles! Today would have been his 86th birthday. Ray Charles Robinson was born on September 23, 1930 in Albany, Georgia. He was the son of Bailey Robinson, a laborer, and Aretha Williams, a sharecropper. Around the age of four or five, Charles began to lose his sight and by the age of seven, he was completely blind. Although the family had little money, Charles was able to attend the Florida School for the… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: George III of the United Kingdom

Posted September 22, 2016 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: George III of the United Kingdom

On this day in 1761, George III was crowned King of the Kingdom of Great Britain at the age of 22. He succeeded to the throne after the death of his grandfather, George II. Just a couple of weeks before his coronation, he married Princess Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, whom he did not meet until their wedding day. Together they were crowned King and Queen at Westminster Abbey on September 22, 1761. In his accession speech, George declared, “Born… Read the full story

Genealogy Research »

9 Tips for Photographing Gravestones

Posted September 21, 2016 by Amanda | No Comment
9 Tips for Photographing Cemeteries

Overtime, the information on gravestones may deteriorate and disappear forever. Taking photographs of these markers now is essential to preserving them for future generations. This fun activity is perfect for genealogists and family historians. Here are some tips to keep in mind for your next adventure to the cemetery: 1. Ask for permission Before taking your first snapshot, make sure you have permission to take photographs in the cemetery. A quick search online for the cemetery’s website or a… Read the full story

Profile of the Day »

Profile of the Day: Bill Murray

Posted September 21, 2016 by Amanda | No Comment
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Happy birthday, Bill Murray! Today the actor turns 66. William James Murray was born on September 21, 1950 in Evanston, Illinois. He is the fifth of nine children born to Lucille Collins, a mail room clerk, and Edward Joseph Murray, II, a lumber salesman. At the age of 20, Murray was arrested at Chicago’s O’Hara Airport for trying to smuggle 10 lbs of cannabis. He was convicted and sentenced to probation. Looking for a new direction, Murray accepted his… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Ferdinand Magellan

Posted September 20, 2016 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: Ferdinand Magellan

On this day in 1519, Portuguese navigator Ferdinand Magellan set sail from Spain to find a better route to the Spice Islands of Indonesia. The voyage would result in the first circumnavigation of world. Magellan was born to a Portuguese noble family around 1480. After the death of his parents, he became a page to Queen Leonor, the wife of John II of Portugal. He studied cartography, astronomy and celestial navigation, which would serve him well… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Julia Louis-Dreyfus

Posted September 19, 2016 by Amanda | No Comment
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Congratulations to Julia Louis-Dreyfus on her fifth consecutive Emmy win! Last night, the Veep star made Emmy Award history by breaking the record for most lead actress wins. She previously held the record in a three-way tie with Candice Bergen and Mary Tyler Moore. It was her sixth win for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy. Five were for her role as Selina Meyer in the HBO comedy Veep. In a hilarious and emotional speech, Julia dedicated her win to her father,… Read the full story

Geni User Tips »

Geni Tips: Resize Photos in the Family Tree

Posted September 16, 2016 by Amanda | 2 Comments
Geni Tips: Resize Photos in the Family Tree

Genealogists love old family photos. It’s great when we can share these photos with loved ones in the family tree. Photographs lets us place a face with the names in the tree. When adding photos, have you ever found yourself a little frustrated when the photograph doesn’t quite appear the way you want? Below we’ll show you how to easily solve this simple problem in the tree. In your family tree, navigate to the person whose photo you… Read the full story

Profile of the Day »

Profile of the Day: H.A. Rey

Posted September 16, 2016 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: H.A. Rey

Do you remember reading the adventures of Curious George? On this day in 1898, illustrator and author H.A. Rey was born in Hamburg, Germany. Curious George is perhaps one of the most recognizable characters in children’s literature. Together with his wife Margaret, Rey brought to life the curious little monkey with his illustrations. Born Hans Augusto Reyersbach, Rey was the son of German Jews. He first met his wife in Hamburg at Margaret’s sister’s 16th birthday party. Years later,… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Agatha Christie

Posted September 15, 2016 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: Agatha Christie

What’s your favorite Agatha Christie novel? On this day in 1890, the crime novelist was born in Torquay, England. She was born Agatha Mary Clarissa Miller to a wealthy upper-middle class family. From a young age, Christie was an avid reader with a vivid imagination. During World War I, Christie joined the war effort as a volunteer for the Voluntary Aid Detachment and worked as a nurse to tend wounded soldiers in the hospital. In 1920, Christie published… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Francis Scott Key

Posted September 14, 2016 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: Francis Scott Key

On the morning after the Battle of Baltimore, lawyer and poet Francis Scott Key was inspired to write the poem “Defence of Fort McHenry,” which would become the lyrics to “The Star-Spangled Banner.” During the War of 1812, Key accompanied Colonel John Stuart Skinner aboard the British ship HMS Tonnant to negotiate the release of prisoners. During the negotiations, the British attacked Fort McHenry, leaving Key and Skinner powerless to do anything but watch the bombardment of… Read the full story

Genealogy Research »

Genealogy Research: Don’t Overlook City Directories

Posted September 13, 2016 by Amanda | No Comment
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Remember receiving the yellow pages on your door step? Now that we have the Internet at our fingertips, we see these books less and less. However, years ago, thick city directories were one of the few ways a person could look up the names and addresses of local businesses and residents. Old city directories provide a snapshot of a time and place, which makes them a perfect resource for genealogy researchers. 1889 Boston, Massachusetts city directory / MyHeritage SuperSearch Directories… Read the full story

Profile of the Day »

Profile of the Day: Roald Dahl

Posted September 13, 2016 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: Roald Dahl

Happy 100th birthday to beloved children’s book author Roald Dahl! Roald Dahl was born on September 13, 1916 in Cardiff, Wales to Norwegian parents, Harald Dahl and Sofie Magdalene Hesselerg. During World War II, Dahl served in the Royal Air Force and became an intelligence officer and wing commander. Dahl rose to fame for his delightful and heartfelt stories and became one of the wold’s best selling authors. Some of his most popular novels include Charlie and… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Leo Tolstoy

Posted September 9, 2016 by Amanda | No Comment
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Have you read Anna Karenina? On this day in 1828, author Leo Tolstoy was born at his family’s estate in Tula, Russia. The Tolstoy family was a prominent family of old Russian nobility. He was the fourth child born to Count Nikolai Ilyich Tolstoy, a veteran of the Patriotic War of 1812, and Countess Maiya Tolstaya. Tolstoy’s parents died while he was young, and so his relatives helped care for him and his siblings. Although he… Read the full story

Featured Project »

Star Trek Turns 50

Posted September 8, 2016 by Amanda | No Comment
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Can you believe it’s been 50 years since Star Trek aired its first episode? On September 8, 1966, the iconic show made its debut and introduced audiences to Gene Roddenberry’s vision of future exploration and discovery. Image: Wikipedia Although canceled after just three seasons, the show’s devoted fanbase kept its spirit alive as a cult classic and eventually, a cultural phenomenon. The groundbreaking show tackled significant social issues of the era, including racism, sexism and war. It broke new ground when it became the first… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Bernie Sanders

Posted September 8, 2016 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: Bernie Sanders

Happy birthday, Bernie Sanders! Today the former Democratic presidential candidate turns 75. Sanders was born on September 8, 1941 in Brooklyn, New York to Jewish parents, Elias Sanders and Dorothy Glassberg. His father immigrated to the United States at the age of 17 from Słopnice, Poland, while his mother’s parents were immigrants from Poland and Russia. Many members of his family back in Poland perished during the Holocaust. He had an interest in politics at an… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Buddy Holly

Posted September 7, 2016 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: Buddy Holly

Today we remember rock ‘n roll legend Buddy Holly on what would have been his 80th birthday. Charles Hardin Holley was born on September 7, 1936 in Lubbock, Texas. He was the fourth child born to Lawrence Odell “L.O.” Holley and Ella Pauline Drake and nicknamed “Buddy” by his mother. Growing up, Buddy wasn’t the only member of the family interested in music. His older brothers performed in local talent shows and taught him how to play the guitar…. Read the full story

Community »

Genealogy Conferences: FGS 2016 Recap

Posted September 6, 2016 by Amanda | No Comment
Genealogy Conferences: FGS 2016 Recap | Geni

In the days just before Labor Day weekend, the Geni team went to Springfield, Illinois for the FGS 2016 National Conference hosted by the Federation of Genealogical Societies. The genealogy conference was held from August 31 – September 3. The home of Abraham Lincoln in Springfield, Illinois It was amazing to spend some time in the “Land of Lincoln” surrounded by so much history with some of the country’s leading family history researchers and genealogists. A big crowd in the… Read the full story

Profile of the Day »

Profile of the Day: Christa McAuliffe

Posted September 2, 2016 by Amanda | No Comment
Christa McAuliffe

On this day in 1948, high school teacher Christa McAuliffe was born in Boston, Massachusetts. McAuliffe made history in 1985 when she became the first American civilian to be selected to go into space. Sadly, she died in the explosion of the space shuttle Challenger in 1986. McAuliffe was selected from more than 11,000 applicants to participate in the NASA Teacher in Space Project. The purpose of the program was to increase public interest in the space program and… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Louis XIV of France

Posted September 1, 2016 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: Louis XIV

After 72 years on the throne, King Louis XIV of France died on this day in 1715, just four days before his 77th birthday. Louis XIV was born on September 5, 1638 to Louis XIII and Anne of Austria. Before his birth, his mother had experienced four stillbirths, and so he was named Louis Dieudonné, which was French for “Gift of God.” When he was four, Louis’s father passed away, leaving the toddle to succeed to the French… Read the full story