May 2017

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Profile of the Day: Clint Eastwood

Posted May 31, 2017 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: Clint Eastwood

Happy birthday, Clint Eastwood! Today the actor turns 87. He was born on May 31, 1930 in San Francisco, California to Clinton Eastwood, Sr. and Ruth Runner. A hefty baby at birth, Eastwood weighed 11 lb 6 oz and was nicknamed “Samson” by the nurses at the hospital. His family had been in North America for many generations. In fact, Eastwood is a direct descendant of Mayflower passenger William Bradford, who is his 10th great grandfather…. Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Joan of Arc

Posted May 30, 2017 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: Joan of Arc

On this day in 1431, Joan of Arc was burned at the stake for heresy by an English tribunal. A peasant girl from France, Joan of Arc was the daughter of poor tenant farmers Jacques d’ Arc and Isabelle Romée. At the age of 16, she claimed to hear the voices of the Archangel Michael, Saint Margaret, and Saint Catherine of Alexandria, which told her to help Charles VII recapture the French throne and help lead… Read the full story

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10 Things You May Not Know About John F. Kennedy

Posted May 29, 2017 by Amanda | One Comment
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Today marks what would have been John F. Kennedy’s 100th birthday! The 35th President of the United States was born on May 29, 1917 in Brookline, Massachusetts to Joseph “Joe” Kennedy and Rose Elizabeth Fitzgerald. Image: John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum In celebration of John F. Kennedy’s centennial, here are 10 interesting things you may not know about the beloved U.S. President: 1. He was named after his maternal grandfather. John Fitzgerald Kennedy was… Read the full story

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Honor Your Military Ancestors This Memorial Day

Posted May 26, 2017 by Amanda | No Comment
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As we enter Memorial Day weekend, we take the time to remember the men and women who have died while serving in the country’s armed forces. Image: Warshaw Collection of Business Americana – Civil War, Archives Center, National Museum of American History Originally called Decoration Day, the tradition of the holiday was born after the Civil War. On Decoration Day, the graves of Civil War soldiers were decorated with flowers. However, after the devastation of World… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Sally Ride

Posted May 26, 2017 by Amanda | No Comment
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Today we remember astronaut Sally Ride, who was born on this day in 1951. In 1983, Ride became the first American woman in space when she flew into orbit aboard the space shuttle Challenger. Born in Los Angeles, California, Ride held a keen interest in science from a young age. As she was finishing her Ph.D. in physics at Stanford University, Ride saw an article in the school’s newspaper advertising that NASA was seeking astronauts, and for… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: George Lucas

Posted May 25, 2017 by Amanda | No Comment
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Today marks the 40th anniversary of Star Wars! Created by George Lucas, the epic story set in a galaxy far, far away would become a worldwide phenomenon and be beloved by audiences across generations. Since its initial release, the series has expanded into one of the largest franchises of all time. George Lucas was born and raised in Modesto, California to Dorthy Ellinore Bomberger and George Walton Lucas, Sr. He developed a passion for film and cinematography… Read the full story

Genealogy Research »

10 Tips to Decipher Hard-to-Read Handwriting

Posted May 24, 2017 by Amanda | No Comment
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Have you had trouble making heads-or-tails of an old, handwritten document? Poor penmanship is a common issue you may encounter while doing your genealogy research. But with a little patience, you may be able to figure out just what was written on the page all those years ago. Here are 10 tips to help you decipher hard-to-read handwriting: 1. Read the entire document Try reading through the document a few times to see if what you can… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Queen Victoria

Posted May 24, 2017 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: Queen Victoria

Have you found your connection to the British royal family? On this day in 1819, Queen Victoria was born in Kensington Palace in London, England. She was the daughter of Prince Edward, Duke of Kent and Strathearn, who was the fourth son of King George III. At the time of her birth, she was the fifth in the line of succession. While she was still an infant, her grandfather and father died within a week of each… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Roger Moore

Posted May 23, 2017 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: Roger Moore

After a short battle with cancer, James Bond star Roger Moore has died at the age of 89. Moore was born on October 14, 1927 in Stockwell, London, England. He was only child of Lillian “Lily” Pope and George Alfred Moore, a policeman. At the end of World War II, Moore was conscripted for national service with the Royal Army Service Corps at the age of 18. Before taking on the role of 007, Moore found fame… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Posted May 22, 2017 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: Arthur Conan Doyle

Sherlock Holmes author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was born on this day in 1859. Doyle was born in Edinburgh, Scotland to Charles Altamont Doyle and Mary Foley. Supported by wealthy uncles, Doyle studied medicine at the University of Edinburgh. It was during this time that he began writing short stories. In 1887, he published his first Sherlock Holmes story. Doyle partially based the character of Holmes on his former university teacher, Joseph Bell, for his impressive… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Anne Boleyn

Posted May 19, 2017 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: Anne Boleyn

Today we remember Anne Boleyn, who was executed on this day in 1536 for treason and adultery. The marriage between Anne and King Henry VIII had been scandalous from the start. The union plunged the country into political and religious upheaval, resulting in breakage from the Roman Catholic Church and the establishment of the Church of England. Soon after becoming Henry VIII’s second wife, Anne gave birth to a daughter, the future Queen Elizabeth I. After two… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Nicholas II

Posted May 18, 2017 by Amanda | One Comment
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Are you related to the last tsar of Russia? On this day in 1868, Nicholas II was born in St. Petersburg, Russia. The eldest son of Emperor Alexander III and Empress Maria Feodorovna of Russia, Nicholas succeeded his father as emperor after his death in 1894. With little government experience, Nicholas’s rule saw one of the greatest powers in Europe fall into economic and military ruin. He took command of the Russian army during World War I… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Edward Jenner

Posted May 17, 2017 by Amanda | No Comment
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On this day in 1749, English physician and scientist Edward Jenner was born. Jenner is best remembered for pioneering the vaccine for smallpox. Edward Anthony Jenner was born on May 17, 1749 in Berkeley, Gloucestershire, England. His father was the vicar of Berkeley and believed firmly in a strong education. A country doctor, Jenner was familiar with local folklore that milkmaids who had contracted cowpox, a mild disease, often never contracted smallpox. Intrigued, Jenner set out… Read the full story

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Highlights from NGS 2017

Posted May 16, 2017 by Amanda | No Comment
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We’re back from Raleigh, North Carolina where we had the pleasure of attending the National Genealogical Society 2017 Family History Conference. The city was named after Sir Walter Raleigh, who established the lost Roanoke Colony in what is today Dare County, North Carolina. Between May 10-13, genealogists and family history enthusiasts gathered at the Raleigh Convention Center in downtown Raleigh. On the first day, we were greeted by large crowds of excited genealogists eager to learn more about… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Henry Fonda

Posted May 16, 2017 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: Henry Fonda

Remember watching Henry Fonda on the big screen? On this day in 1905, the Hollywood legend was born in Grand Island, Nebraska. Henry Jaynes Fonda was the son of William Brace Fonda and Elma Jaynes. His Fonda ancestors were among the first Dutch people to settle in what is now update New York and founded the small village of Fonda. It was named after Douw Fonda, a Dutch settler who was killed in 1780 during an Indian raid. In… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Florence Nightingale

Posted May 12, 2017 by Amanda | No Comment
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Happy International Nurses Day! Today honors nurses all around the world on the anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s birth. Florence Nightingale was born on May 12, 1820 in Florence, Italy to a rich, upper-class British family. From a young age, she felt it was her calling from God to devote her life to the service of others. Despite her family’s strong objects, Nightingale worked hard to educate herself in nursing. During the Crimean War, Nightingale was commissioned… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Salvador Dali

Posted May 11, 2017 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: Salvador Dalí

On this day in 1904, surrealist painter Salvador Dalí was born in Figueres, Spain. Salvador Felipe Jacinto Dalí i Domènech was born nine months after the death of his older brother, who was also named Salvador. At the age of five, his parents took him to his brothers grave where they told him that he was his brother’s reincarnation. He would come to believe it to be true and would embed images of his late… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Bono

Posted May 10, 2017 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: Bono

Happy birthday, Bono! Today the U2 frontman turns 57. He was born Paul David Hewson in Dublin, Ireland. The second son of Bob Hewson and Iris Rankin, Bono lost his mother at the age of 14 when she died of a brain aneurysm after collapsing at her father’s funeral. While still in high school, he joined the band U2 and was nicknamed “Bono Vox,” which means “good voice” in Latin. It wasn’t until the band… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: James Barrie

Posted May 9, 2017 by Amanda | No Comment
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On this day in 1860, author James Barrie was born in Kirriemuir, Scotland. Today, he is best remembered as the creator of Peter Pan. James Matthew Barrie was the ninth of ten children born to David Barrie, a weaver, and Margaret Ogilvy. As a child, Barrie and his mother often entertained each other by telling stories. The character of Peter Pan first appeared in the novel, The Little White Bird, in 1902. By 1904, Barrie… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Melissa Gilbert

Posted May 8, 2017 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: Melissa Gilbert

Remember watching Little House on the Prairie? Today star Melissa Gilbert turns 53. Gilbert was adopted a day after her birth by comedian Paul Gilbert and actress Barbara Crane, daughter of The Honeymooners creator Harry Crane. With a showbiz family, it was no surprise that Gilbert would also enter the entertainment industry. In 1974, she was cast as the star of the period drama television series Little House on the Prairie, based on Laura Ingalls Wilder’s widely successful book series…. Read the full story

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Come See Geni at NGS 2017

Posted May 5, 2017 by Amanda | No Comment
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We’re hitting the road again next week for the National Genealogical Society 2017 Family History Conference in Raleigh, North Carolina. Between May 10-13, genealogists from all over the country will come together for four exciting days of genealogy fun. Attendees will have the opportunity to choose from over 175 sessions designed to help beginners and advanced genealogy researchers and family historians. If you can’t make it, NGS will be live streaming several sessions. The Geni team will… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Benito Juárez

Posted May 5, 2017 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: Benito Juárez

Happy Cinco de Mayo! The holiday commemorates the Mexican Army’s unlikely victory over French forces at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862. In honor of the holiday, were highlighting Benito Juárez, who was at the time the President of Mexico. After the Mexican-American War, Mexico faced a civil war known as the Reform War that left the country bankrupt. In 1861, Juárez suspended all foreign debt repayments. In response, France, Spain, and Britain sent their naval… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Audrey Hepburn

Posted May 4, 2017 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: Audrey Hepburn

Today we remember actress Audrey Hepburn on what would have been her 88th birthday. Born in Brussels, Belgium, Hepburn was the daughter of Joseph Victor Anthony Ruston and Ella van Heemstra, a Dutch baroness. After her father left the family, her mother raised Hepburn on her own as a single mother. Her maternal grandfather, Aarnoud Van Heemstra, was the mayor of Arnhem and later served as Royal Governor of Suriname. During her youth, Hepburn studied… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Niccolò Machiavelli

Posted May 3, 2017 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: Niccolò Machiavelli

On this day in 1469, Italian Renaissance historian and philosopher Niccolò Machiavelli was born in the Republic of Florence. Today, he is remembered as one of the fathers of modern political theory. He was born during a tumultuous era when Italy was still divided into city-states. A strong proponent of a unified Italy, Machiavelli served for many years as a senior official for the Florentine Republic and dealt with diplomatic and military affairs. However, after falling out… Read the full story

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Genealogy Conferences: NERGC 2017 Recap

Posted May 2, 2017 by Amanda | No Comment
Genealogy Conferences: NERGC 2017 Recap | Geni

We’re back from the New England Regional Genealogical Consortium 2017 conference in Springfield, Massachusetts. We had a great time meeting Geni users and introducing Geni to genealogists and family historians who were still unfamiliar with the World Family Tree. This year saw a record number of registrants, while the exhibit hall was also open and free to the public. The Geni booth at NERGC 2017 The conference took place at the MassMutual Convention Center, where… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Catherine II

Posted May 2, 2017 by Amanda | No Comment
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Russian Empress Catherine II, also known as Catherine the Great, was born on this day in 1729. She was born Sophie Friederike Auguste and was the daughter of a poor German prince. In 1745, she married Peter III, who was the heir to the Russian Empire. After the death of Empress Elizabeth in 1762, Peter III succeeded the throne as Emperor. However, his reign would last a mere 6 months. Following a coup d’etat, Peter was… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Calamity Jane

Posted May 1, 2017 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: Calamity Jane

On this day in 1852, American frontierswoman and folk hero Calamity Jane was born near Princeton, Missouri. Calamity Jane’s early life is a mystery. Much about what is known comes from an autobiographical booklet from 1896. The booklet, dictated by Calamity Jane, was written for publicity purposes, and thus, some of the information was likely exaggerated or false. What is known is that she was born Martha Jane Canary and that by the age of… Read the full story