September 2017

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Profile of the Day: Miguel de Cervantes

Posted September 29, 2017 by Amanda | No Comment
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Do you have Spanish ancestors? Today in 1547, author Miguel de Cervantes was born in Alacalá de Henares, Spain. He was the fourth of seven children born to Rodrigo Cervantes Torreblanca, a barber-surgeon, and Leonor de Cortinas, the daughter of a nobleman. His paternal grandfather, Juan de Cervantes, was a prominent and influential lawyer, while his uncle, Andrés de Cervantes, served as mayor of the city of Cabra. Cervantes led a life filled with adventure. He served… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Ed Sullivan

Posted September 28, 2017 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: Ed Sullivan

Do you remember watching The Ed Sullivan Show? On this day in 1901, Ed Sullivan was born in Harlem, New York City. Edward Vincent Sullivan was the son of Peter Arthur Sullivan and Elizabeth Smith. He was born a twin, but his brother died a few months after birth. Sullivan excelled in sports in school and landed his first job as a reporter after graduating. In 1941, he began hosting his own radio variety program and soon made… Read the full story

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Why Didn’t Our Ancestors Smile in Old Photographs?

Posted September 27, 2017 by Amanda | 3 Comments
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This may be a familiar sight to you – you have old photographs of your ancestors but no one is smiling! It’s not often you will find 19th century photographs of a smiling subject. While photographs provide us with a glimpse into who our ancestors were and what they looked like, don’t assume that no one is smiling because they were perpetually unhappy. c.1885 / Library of Congress Long exposure times? During the 19th century,… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Samuel Adams

Posted September 27, 2017 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: Samuel Adams

Are you related to a Founding Father? On this day in 1722, American Founding Father Samuel Adams was born in Boston in the British colony of Massachusetts. Adams was one of twelve children born to Samuel Adams, Sr. and Mary Fifield and was one of three to live beyond the age of three. After leaving college at Harvard, Adams became a brewer and launched a newspaper before devoting his work to politics. An important political leader… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: William Faulkner

Posted September 25, 2017 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: William Faulkner

Remember reading The Sound of the Fury? Today we remember author William Faulkner, who was born on this day 120 years ago. The author was the first of four sons born to Murry Cuthbert Falkner and Maud Butler. Born in Albany, Mississippi, Faulkner’s experiences growing up in the South greatly influenced his writings. He was named after his great-grandfather, William Clark Falkner, and grew up hearing stories about the “Old Colonel,” who was a successful businessman, writer, and Civil War hero…. Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Michael Faraday

Posted September 22, 2017 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: Michael Faraday

English physicist Michael Faraday was born on September 22, 1791 in Newington, Surrey. Considered one of the greatest scientists of the 19th century, Faraday’s groundbreaking discoveries in electromagnetism was crucial to understanding how electricity can be used in technology. Faraday was the son of James Faraday, a blacksmith, and Margaret Hastwell, a former servant. His father was often ill and was incapable of maintaining steady work. As a result, the family lived in poverty and often had… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: H.G. Wells

Posted September 21, 2017 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: H.G. Wells

On this day in 1866, The Time Machine author H.G. Wells was born in Bromley, Kent, England. Wells was the fourth child born to Joseph Wells and Sarah Neal, both shopkeepers. The family struggled financially and by the age of 14, Wells became an apprentice to a draper. After finishing school, Wells became a science teacher. In 1891, he married his cousin, Isabel Mary Wells, however, the marriage did not last. He ran off with a former… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Billie Jean King

Posted September 20, 2017 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: Billie Jean King

On this day in 1973, top women’s tennis player Billie Jean King defeated Bobby Riggs in the “Battle of the Sexes” tennis match. King’s triumph on the court not only helped legitimized female professional athletes, but also marked a milestone in women’s equality. Once ranked the top women’s tennis player in the country, King won a total of 39 Grand Slam titles over the course of her tennis career and founded the Women’s Tennis Association. A… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Adam West

Posted September 19, 2017 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: Adam West

Remember watching Batman on TV? Today we remember Adam West on what would have been his 89th birthday. The television star was born William West Anderson on September 19, 1928 in Walla Walla, Washington. His father was a farmer and his mother was a former opera singer and concert pianist. While serving in the U.S. Army, West worked as an announcer on American Forces Network television. After getting his start in several small roles on… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Greta Garbo

Posted September 18, 2017 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: Greta Garbo

Do you have Swedish roots? On this day in 1905, Swedish actress Greta Garbo was born in Stockholm, Sweden. She was born Greta Lovisa Gustafsson to Anna Lovisa Karlsson and Karl Alfred Gustafsson. She grew up in poverty and daydreamed about becoming an actor from an early age. At 13, she dropped out of school to care for her sick father, who died in 1920. After getting her start as a hat model in commercials… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Prince Harry of Wales

Posted September 15, 2017 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: Prince Harry

Happy 33rd birthday to Prince Harry! The second son of Charles, Prince of Wales, and Princess Diana, Harry is currently fifth in line to the throne, behind his nephew, Prince George, and his niece, Princess Charlotte. He will soon be bumped to sixth after the birth of his brother’s third child. Harry was only 12 years old when his mother died tragically in a car crash. Recently, the Prince has spoken publicly about how he struggled to come… Read the full story

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New: Create a Branch

Posted September 14, 2017 by Amanda | No Comment
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We’re excited to announce a new feature to help you create an unconnected family tree branch on Geni. If you want to build the family tree for a person not yet on Geni and you don’t know how the person is related, you can now easily start an unconnected branch of the tree and work towards finding its connection to the World Family Tree. There are many times when you may have information about a person or family, but do not yet know… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: William McKinley

Posted September 14, 2017 by Amanda | No Comment
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On this day in 1901, William McKinley, the 25th President of the United States, died eight days after he was shot by an anarchist. Immediately after his death, Theodore Roosevelt was sworn in as the 26th President. McKinley was born on January 29, 1843 in Niles, Ohio to William McKinley, Sr. and Nancy Allison. At the outbreak of the Civil War, McKinley joined the Union Army and found a mentor and lifelong friend in Rutherford… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Milton S. Hershey

Posted September 13, 2017 by Amanda | No Comment
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Love chocolate? On this day in 1857, confectioner Milton S. Hershey, founder of the Hershey Chocolate Company, was born in Derry Township, Pennsylvania. The Hersheys were members of Pennsylvania’s Mennonite community. The future confectioner grew up speaking Pennsylvania Dutch on his family’s small farm and didn’t receive much schooling beyond the 4th grade. By the age of 14, he became an apprentice to a master confectioner with the aim of opening his own candy shop. In… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Jesse Owens

Posted September 12, 2017 by Amanda | No Comment
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104 years ago today, Olympic champion Jesse Owens was born in Oakville, Alabama. The youngest of ten children, James Cleveland Owens was known as J.C. until the age of nine when his family moved to Cleveland, Ohio in search for better work opportunities. When his new teacher asked for his name, he said “J.C.” in a heavy southern accent. The teacher misheard and thought he said “Jesse.” The name stuck and he was known as Jesse for… Read the full story

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Your Stories: Understanding Where Your Family Comes From

Posted September 11, 2017 by Amanda | No Comment
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Carole Forsman was born a twin in Omaha, Nebraska on October 7, the anniversary of the hospital. To celebrate, the hospital gifted the all the mothers who gave birth that day no hospital bill. And she even got her picture in the local newspaper! Carole Forman A writer, a board member for the Danish Cemetery in Omaha, Nebraska and a member of the local Danish Club, Carole’s path to genealogy began after she became interested… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Harry Connick, Jr.

Posted September 11, 2017 by Amanda | No Comment
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Happy 50th birthday to Harry Connick, Jr.! The singer and actor was born Joseph Harry Fowler Connick, Jr. on September 11, 1967 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Both of his parents were prominent lawyers in New Orleans. His father, Joseph Harry Fowler Connick, Sr., was the district attorney of Orleans Parish and his mother, Anita Frances Levy, served as a judge in New Orleans and later a Louisiana Supreme Court justice. They encouraged their son’s early… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Leonard Nimoy

Posted September 8, 2017 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: Leonard Nimoy

It’s Star Trek Day! On September 8, 1966 the iconic science fiction series Star Trek premiered its first episode. In honor of Star Trek Day, we’re highlighting everyone’s favorite Vulcan, Leonard Nimoy. Over 50 years ago, Gene Roddenberry introduced his vision of future exploration and discovery in Star Trek. Cast as the leader of the Starship Enterprise was William Shatner as Captain James T. Kirk and Leonard Nimoy as second-in-command science officer Spock. Although the series was canceled after… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Elizabeth I of England

Posted September 7, 2017 by Amanda | One Comment
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Have you found your connection to the Tudors? On this day in 1533, Elizabeth I of England was born in Greenwich Palace. Elizabeth was the second child of Henry VIII of England and the daughter of Henry’s second wife, Anne Boleyn. She was only 2 years old when her mother was executed by beheading. Just eleven days after her mother’s death, her father married Jane Seymour, who gave birth to a son, Edward VI. She succeeded to the… Read the full story

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FGS 2017 Conference Recap

Posted September 6, 2017 by Amanda | No Comment
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We’re back from the Federation of Genealogical Societies 2017 National Conference in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. From August 30 – September 2, genealogists and family historians from all around the country gathered at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center for a wide variety of sessions held by numerous genealogy experts. The exhibit hall entrance before opening day Many attendees also had the opportunity to visit a wide variety of vendors in the exhibit hall. The Geni booth was the perfect place for… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de Lafayette

Posted September 6, 2017 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de Lafayette

Today we remember French aristocrat and military officer, Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de Lafayette, who was born on this day 260 years ago. Also known simply as Lafayette, the Frenchman was an important figure during the American Revolutionary War and fought alongside the Continental Army against the British. Lafayette was born to a wealthy, aristocratic family in Auvergne, France on September 6, 1757. The Lafayette family had a long and distinguished reputation. His 8th great-grandfather, Gilbert Motier… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Jesse James

Posted September 5, 2017 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: Jesse James

Who are the black sheep in your family? On this day in 1847, American outlaw Jesse James was born in Kearny, Missouri. Jesse Woodson James was the third of four children born to Robert James, a Baptist minister, and Zerelda Elizabeth Cole. When Jesse was 3 years old, his father abandoned his family and traveled to the gold fields of California. During the Civil War, Jesse and his older brother Frank, fought as Confederate guerrilla soldiers. After the… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Louis XIV

Posted September 1, 2017 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: Louis XIV

French monarch Louis XIV died on this day in 1715, just 4 days before his 77th birthday. When he was born on September 5, 1638 in the Château de Saint-Germain-en-Laye, Louis’s parents had already been married for 23 years. His mother had experienced 4 stillbirths throughout the marriage, and so, when Louis was born, his birth was seen as a miracle and gift from God. He inherited the crown at the age of 4 following the… Read the full story