January 2017

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Profile of the Day: Jackie Robinson

Posted January 31, 2017 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: Jackie Robinson

Happy birthday, Jackie Robinson! Today would have been the 98th birthday of the legendary baseball player. Jack Roosevelt Robinson was born on January 31, 1919 in Cairo, Georgia. He was the youngest of five children born into a family of share croppers. A natural athlete, Robinson was inspired to pursue his passion for sports by his older brother, Matthew “Mack” Robinson, who won a silver medal in the men’s 200 meters at the 1936 summer Olympics in… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Gene Hackman

Posted January 30, 2017 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: Gene Hackman

Happy birthday, Gene Hackman! Today the start turns 87. Eugene Allen Hackman was born on January 30, 1930 in San Bernardino, California to Eugene Hackman and Anna Lyda Elizabeth Gray. At the age of 16, he left home to join the U.S. Marine Corps and served as a field radio operator. In 1956, he began to pursue an acting career and joined the Pasadena Playhouse in California. It was there that he first became good… Read the full story

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Chinese New Year: The Year of the Rooster

Posted January 28, 2017 by Amanda | No Comment
Chinese New Year: The Year of the Rooster

Happy Chinese New Year! This lunar year welcomes the Year of the Rooster, which begins Saturday, January 28.  Also known as the Lunar New Year or the Spring Festival, the holiday is celebrated across 15 days in many countries around the world. At its core, the holiday is about home and family. Steeped in tradition, symbolism and superstition, Chinese New Year is an important time for families to reunite to honor their ancestors. Multiple generations and extended family… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Posted January 27, 2017 by Amanda | No Comment
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On this day in 1756, composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born in Salzburg, Austria. Mozart was the only surviving son of Leopold Mozart and Anna Maria Pertl. He and his older sister, Maria Anna, were the only two of seven children to survive past infancy. His father had been a composer, conductor and teacher. The year of Mozart’s birth, his father published his famous violin textbook, which was very influential in its day. Mozart was a… Read the full story

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Remembering Mary Tyler Moore

Posted January 26, 2017 by Amanda | No Comment
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Yesterday, beloved TV icon Mary Tyler Moore died in Greenwich, Connecticut at the age of 80. She starred in two classic television shows and helped change the portrayal of women on television. When The Mary Tyler Moore Show first premiered in 1970, it marked the first time a single, never-married, independent career woman was the central character on TV. The show would go on to influence generations of viewers. The Mary Tyler Moore Show / Wikimedia Commons In… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Paul Newman

Posted January 26, 2017 by Amanda | No Comment
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Today we celebrate what would have been legendary actor Paul Newman’s 92nd birthday! Born on January 26, 1925, Newman was the second son of Theresa Fetzko and Aurthur Sigmund Newman. His mother was born in Homonna in the Austro-Hungarian Empire (now Slovakia) and his father was the son of Jewish immigrants from Hungary and Poland. As a child, Newman showed an early interest in theater and participated in school plays. While in college, Newman enlisted in… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Robert Burns

Posted January 25, 2017 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: Robert Burns

Do you have Scottish ancestry? On this day in 1759, Scottish poet Robert Burns was born in Alloway, Scotland. The eldest son of William Burns and Anges Brown, Burns spent his early years working on farms and received little formal education while growing up. However, his parents encouraged him to read and he found his writing to be an escape from the hard labor of farming. In 1786, a collection of Burns’s poems was published for… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Edith Wharton

Posted January 24, 2017 by Amanda | No Comment
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American writer Edith Wharton was born on January 24, 1862 to a prominent New York Family. The youngest child of George Frederic Jones and Lucretia Stevens Rhinelander, Wharton began writing poetry and fictional stories as a young girl. Although she had a thirst for knowledge and desired a greater education, women of her social stature were discouraged from intellectual pursuits. She would pursue her own education and become one of the country’s greatest writers. When World War… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: John Hancock

Posted January 23, 2017 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: John Hancock

It’s National Handwriting Day! Established in 1977, National Handwriting Day is celebrated on the birthday of John Hancock. The American Founding Father is best remembered for his iconic signature on the Declaration of Independence. According to the Gregorian calendar, John Hancock was born on January 23, 1737 in Braintree, Massachusetts. Sometimes his birthdate is displayed as January 12, 1736 in accordance with the Julian calendar. A major figure of the American Revolution, Hancock was the first to… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Buzz Aldrin

Posted January 20, 2017 by Amanda | No Comment
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Happy birthday, Buzz Aldrin! Today the legendary astronaut turns 87. The famous astronaut was born Edwin Eugene Aldrin, Jr. on January 20, 1930 in Montclair, New Jersey. Nicknamed “Buzz” by his sister during his childhood, Aldrin would legally change his first name in 1988. During the Korean War, Aldrin served a jet fighter pilot. He later earned a Ph.D. in astronautics at MIT and wrote his thesis on Manned Orbital Rendezvous. In 1963, Aldrin was… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: General Robert E. Lee

Posted January 19, 2017 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: Robert E. Lee

Do you have any Confederate ancestors? On this day in 1807, General Robert E. Lee was born at Stratford Hall Plantation in Westmoreland County, Virginia. He was the son of Major General Henry Lee III and his second wife, Anne Hill Carter. During the American Revolution, Lee’s father served as a cavalry officer in the Continental Army, where he earned the nickname “Light-Horse Harry” for his horsemanship. Did you know Lee’s family was one of… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: A.A. Milne

Posted January 18, 2017 by Amanda | No Comment
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Did you love reading the stories of Winnie the Pooh growing up? On this day in 1882, author and creator A.A. Milne was born in London, England. Alan Alexander Milne was the youngest of three sons born to school teachers, Sarah Marie Heginbotham and John Vine Milne. During World War I, Milne served in the British Army and was injured at the Battle of the Somme. After recovering from his injuries, he was recruited into… Read the full story

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Geni Turns 10: Celebrate With A Chance to Win A Pro Subscription

Posted January 17, 2017 by Amanda | 50 Comments
Win 1year Pro

When Geni first launched in January 2007, we had one very ambition goal: to create a family tree of the whole world! We invited users to build their family trees and invite their relatives to join them. What began as several smaller family trees naturally led to merging overlapping families, connecting these separate trees into one big tree. Now, thanks to the collaborative efforts of millions of genealogists and family historians, Geni’s World Family Tree has grown to over 112 million profiles! Geni’s… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Betty White

Posted January 17, 2017 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: Betty White

Happy birthday, Betty White! Today the funny actress turns 95. Betty Marion White was born January 17, 1922 in Oak Park, Illinois to Christine Cachikis and Horace White. Her maternal grandfather was born in Greece, while her paternal grandfather was Danish. She got her start in radio and television shortly after graduating high school and by the 1940s, she had her own radio show called The Betty White Show. A pioneer of television, White became one of the first… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Martin Luther King, Jr.

Posted January 16, 2017 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: Martin Luther King, Jr.

“Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into a friend.” Today the U.S. observes Martin Luther King, Jr. Day in honor of civil rights icon Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday. He was born on January 15, 1964 in Atlanta, Georgia to Reverend Martin Luther King, Sr. and Alberta Williams King. A leader of the American Civil Rights movement, King sought to bring an end to racial discrimination through nonviolent civil disobedience. One of the… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Jan van Goyen

Posted January 13, 2017 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: Jan van Goyen

Do you have Dutch ancestry? On this day in 1596, Dutch artist Jan van Goyen was born. A prolific artist, van Goyen (sometimes spelled Goijen) produced about 1,200 paintings and over 1,000 drawings during his lifetime. He was born Jan Josephszoon van Goyen in Leiden, Netherlands. Van Goyen began an apprenticeship at the age of ten and studied painting under the tutelage of several masters. Although he made a modest amount of money from the sale… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Jack London

Posted January 12, 2017 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: Jack London

Do you remember reading White Fang? American author Jack London was born on this day in 1876 in San Francisco, California. He was born John Griffith Chaney to Flora Wellman and William Chaney. His biological father was never a part of his life and his mother would later marry John London, a veteran of the Civil War. At the age of 21, London left for the Klondike to join the thousands of prospectors looking to strike… Read the full story

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Geni Tips: Map Your Relatives

Posted January 11, 2017 by Amanda | One Comment
Geni Tips: Map Your Relatives

Have you checked out your family map lately? If the profiles in your family tree have their birth or current locations entered, you can easily see them displayed on a world map. The map page is also a great way to see if you have any relatives in the family tree that are missing these locations on their profiles. To view the map, click on Family at the top of the page and select Map. Here you… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Alexander Hamilton

Posted January 11, 2017 by Amanda | No Comment
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Founding Father Alexander Hamilton was born on January 11, 1755 or 1757 (the exact day is unknown). Born on the island of Nevis, British West Indies, Hamilton and his older brother James were born out of wedlock to James A. Hamilton and Rachel Faucette, who was still married to another man. While he was still a child, his father left the family, leaving them impoverished. Then in 1768, Hamilton’s mother became ill and died at the… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Rod Stewart

Posted January 10, 2017 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: Rod Stewart

Happy birthday, Rod Stewart! Today the music legend turns 72. Roderick David Stewart was born on January 10, 1945 in Highgate, North London, England to Robert Joseph Stewart and Elsie Rebecca Gilbart. Growing up, Stewart excelled at soccer and had ambitions to become a professional soccer player, but decided to pursue music instead. Before finding success in music, Stewart worked a series of odd jobs, including a short stint working at a funeral parlor. His distinctive… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge

Posted January 9, 2017 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge

Happy 35th birthday to Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge! The eldest of three children, Catherine Elizabeth Middleton was born on January 9, 1982 in Reading, England to Michael and Carole Middleton. Her father’s family had ties to British aristocracy and had even entertained British royalty in Leeds since the 1920s. She first met Prince William while the two were students at the University of St. Andrews. They married on April 29, 2011 in Westminster Abbey as… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Loretta Young

Posted January 6, 2017 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: Loretta Young

On this day in 1913, actress Loretta Young was born in Salt Lake City, Utah. She was born Gretchen Young to John Earle Young and Gladys Royal. When she was two, her parents divorced and she and her two sisters moved to Hollywood with their mother. By the age of three, Young began working as a child extra in silent films. After signing her first film contract, she was given the name Loretta. Over the course… Read the full story

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Genealogy New Year’s Resolutions

Posted January 5, 2017 by Amanda | No Comment
Genealogy New Year's Resolutions

It’s the start of a New Year! Now is the best time to set your genealogy goals for 2017. Check out a few New Year’s resolution ideas to get you started in 2017: Take a DNA test and add your test results to your family tree on Geni Finally break through that troublesome brick wall in your family tree Visit the graves of your ancestors and take photos of their tombstones to add to their profiles Order… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Jane Wyman

Posted January 5, 2017 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: Jane Wyman

Do you remember watching Falcon Crest? On this day in 1917, actress Jane Wyman was born in Saint Joseph, Missouri. She was born Sarah Jane Mayfield to Manning Jefferies Mayfield and Gladys Hope Christian. Shortly after her parents divorced in 1921, her father died unexpectedly. She was taken in by neighbors, while her mother moved to Ohio. During this time, she adopted the surname of her foster parents, Fulks. She began her career in Hollywood during the 1930s… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Jacob Grimm

Posted January 4, 2017 by Amanda | No Comment
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What was your favorite fairy tale growing up? On this day in 1785, Jacob Grimm was born in Hanau, Hesse-Kassel. As one half of the Brothers Grimm, Jacob and his brother, Wilhelm, collected and recorded German folklore, which they would later publish as Grimm’s Fairy Tales. In 1808, Jacob served as royal librarian for Napoleon Bonaparte’s brother, Jérôme, King of Westphalia. Influenced by the growing German Romantic movement, Jacob and Wilhelm spent many years collecting the… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Lucretia Mott

Posted January 3, 2017 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: Lucretia Mott

Today we remember social reformer and abolitionist Lucretia Mott, who was born on January 3, 1793 in Nantucket, Massachusetts. She was born Lucretia Coffin and was the second of eight children born to Anna Folger and Thomas Coffin. Through her mother, Mott had many ancestral ties to several notable early Americans, including Benjamin Franklin, who was her first cousin four times removed. His grandparents, Peter Folger and Mary Morrill, were Mott’s fourth great grandparents. A… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Isaac Asimov

Posted January 2, 2017 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: Isaac Asimov

Are you a fan of science fiction? On this day in 1920, prolific science fiction author Isaac Asimov was born in Petrovichi, Russia. Born Isaak Yudovick Ozimov, the author immigrated with his family to the United States as a child. The family settled in Brooklyn, New York and owned a succession of candy stores. The candy stores sold newspapers and magazines, which Asimov would later claim to have greatly influenced his love of the written word. He… Read the full story