December 2017

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Profile of the Day: Charles Goodyear

Posted December 29, 2017 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: Charles Goodyear

Do you have inventors in your family tree? On this day in 1800, inventor and chemist Charles Goodyear was born in New Haven, Connecticut. Goodyear invented the process of vulcanization, which revolutionized the rubber industry. Goodyear was the eldest of six children born to Amasa Goodyear and Cynthia Bateman. His third great grandfather, Stephen Goodyear, was one of the founders of the colony of New Haven in 1638. After his family’s hardware store went bankrupt, Goodyear set… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Mary II

Posted December 28, 2017 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: Mary II

On this day in 1694, Mary II, Queen of England, Scotland, and Ireland, died at the age of 32. Her death came just five years after Mary and her husband, William III, jointly became king and queen of England, Scotland, and Ireland following the Glorious Revolution. Mary was born on April 30, 1662 and was the eldest daughter of King James II and VII and his first wife, Anne Hyde. Although her mother bore eight children, only Mary… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Johannes Kepler

Posted December 27, 2017 by Amanda | No Comment
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On this day in 1571, mathematician and astronomer Johannes Kepler was born in Weil der Stadt in what is now Germany. A key figure of the Scientific Revolution, Kepler is best remembered for discovering the three laws of planetary motion. Kepler’s paternal grandfather was a respected craftsman and served as mayor of the city. However, his parents were poor. His father earned a living as a mercenary and left the family when Kepler was young. His mother, Katharina Guldenmann,… Read the full story

News »

A Look Back at 2017

Posted December 27, 2017 by Amanda | No Comment
A Look Back at 2017 (1)

As 2017 comes to a close, we’re taking some time to reflect on this past year on Geni. We celebrated an exciting milestone, introduced new enhancements, met genealogists all around the country, and heard some wonderful stories from our users. Here are our highlights: This year, Geni celebrated our 10th anniversary! Geni first launched in January 2007 with one goal in mind – to create a single family tree of the entire world. Today, Geni’s World Family Tree… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Harry S. Truman

Posted December 26, 2017 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: Harry S. Truman

On this day in 1972, President Harry S. Truman died at the age of 88. He and his wife Bess, who died in 1982, are buried at the Harry S. Truman Library and Museum in Independence, Missouri. Truman was born on May 8, 1884 in Lamar, Missouri to John Anderson Truman and Martha Ellen Young. His middle name was a matter of debate between his parents. His father wanted to give him the middle name… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Beatrix Potter

Posted December 22, 2017 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: Beatrix Potter

On this day in 1943, author Beatrix Potter died at the age of 77. Although best remembered for her beloved children’s book, The Tale of Peter Rabbit, Potter was also an avid conservationist and sheep farmer. She purchased many pieces of land in an effort to preserve the English countryside. At her death, Potter left nearly all of her vast property to the National Trust and today, the land is now included in the Lake District National Park…. Read the full story

Community »

Vintage Holiday Postcards

Posted December 21, 2017 by Amanda | No Comment
Vintage Holiday Postcards

Do you have any vintage holiday cards? It’s an old practice to send holiday cards to friends and loved ones during the holidays. They are also a great find for genealogists. Old postcards can often provide some important clues for your family history and can provide an intimate connection with your family’s past. They may even provide you with a new name or give you a clue as to how someone is related. With the holidays only a few days away, here’s a… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Jane Fonda

Posted December 21, 2017 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: Jane Fonda

Happy birthday to Jane Fonda! Today the actress turns 80. She recently celebrated the exciting milestone with a star-studded fundraiser in Atlanta, where she raised $1.3 million for charity. She was born on December 21, 1937 to legendary actor Henry Fonda and Frances Ford Seymour in New York City. At the age of 12, her mother committed suicide while receiving treatment at a psychiatric hospital. After working as a model, Fonda decided to follow in her… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: James Stewart

Posted December 20, 2017 by Amanda | No Comment
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What’s your favorite holiday movie? On this day in 1946, It’s a Wonderful Life premiered in New York City. The holiday classic starred James Stewart in his first film after taking a break from Hollywood to serve in the U.S. Air Force during World War II. The film was based on the short story, “The Greatest Gift,” written by Philip Van Doren Stern. Stern had self-published the story as a palm-sized booklet and printed about 200 copies to give to friends… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Benjamin Franklin

Posted December 19, 2017 by Amanda | No Comment
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On this day in 1732, Benjamin Franklin’s Poor Richard’s Almanack was published for the first time. The almanac was published annually for 25 years and became one of colonial America’s most popular publications. Remembered as one of the Founding Fathers of the United States, Franklin was also a successful inventor, printer, and writer. He used the pseudonym Richard Saunders to publish the popular almanac, which was composed of a calendar, weather forecasts, poems, proverbs, puzzles, astrological information, practical advice, and more. Most of the… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Steven Spielberg

Posted December 18, 2017 by Amanda | No Comment
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Happy birthday to Steven Spielberg! Today the legendary director turns 71. Known for his blockbuster and award-winning films, Spielberg has directed and produced many of the most popular movies in history. Spielberg was born on December 18, 1946 in Cincinnati, Ohio to an Orthodox Jewish family. His mother, Leah Posner, was a concert pianist and restauranteur, and his father, Arnold Spielberg, worked as an electrical engineer. His paternal grandparents were emigrants from the Ukraine, who settled in… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Gustave Eiffel

Posted December 15, 2017 by Amanda | No Comment
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On this day 1832, French architect and engineer Gustave Eiffel was born in Dijon, France. He is perhaps best remembered for his work to build the Eiffel Tower, which bears his name. Originally constructed for the 1889 Universal Exposition, today the tower has become one of the most recognizable structures in the world and an iconic symbol of France. Eiffel was born Alexandre-Gustave Bönickhausen on December 15, 1832 to Catherine-Mélanie Moneuse and Alexandre Bönickhausen. His ancestors had originally emigrated… Read the full story

Fun with Genealogy »

Meghan Markle’s Roots Connect to Some Surprising Relatives

Posted December 14, 2017 by Amanda | One Comment
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When news of Prince Harry’s engagement to American actress Meghan Markle broke, we shared how the newly engaged couple were related through Geni’s World Family Tree. With excitement still in the air, we thought it would be fun to share a few more of Meghan’s surprising relatives. Recently, our parent company, MyHeritage, shared the news that Meghan was related to William Shakespeare and Winston Churchill through her English roots. This was possible thanks to Geni’s World Family Tree, which connects over 120… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Nostradamus

Posted December 14, 2017 by Amanda | One Comment
Profile of the Day: Nostradamus

On this day in 1503, French astrologer Nostradamus was born in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, Provence, France. Nostradamus believed he could predict the future and documented his predictions in his book, The Prophecies. Since its initial publication, many people have believed that his predictions have come true or will come true in the future. Not much is known about the early years of Nostradamus’s life. He was born Michel de Nostradame and excelled in school where he studied medicine. He spent many… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Mary Todd Lincoln

Posted December 13, 2017 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: Mary Todd Lincoln

On this day in 1818, Mary Todd Lincoln, First Lady of the United States and wife of Abraham Lincoln, was born in Lexington, Kentucky. She was the fourth of seven children born to Robert Smith Todd and Elizabeth Parker and came from a prominent slaveholding family in Kentucky. Her paternal grandfather, Levi Todd, and his two brothers, fought in the American Revolutionary War. Early Kentucky pioneers, Todd and his brothers founded Lexington after the war. In 1839,… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Edvard Munch

Posted December 12, 2017 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: Edvard Munch

On this day in 1863, Norwegian painter Edvard Munch was born in Løten, Norway. He is perhaps best known for his 1893 painting, The Scream, which is often considered one of the most recognizable works of art in modern history. Munch was the second of five children born to Christian Munch and Laura Catherine Bjølstad. In 1868, his mother died of tuberculosis and a few years later, his sister died of the disease as well at the age of 15…. Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Max Born

Posted December 11, 2017 by Amanda | No Comment
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Today we celebrate the 135th birthday of German physicist and mathematician Max Born, who was instrumental in the development of quantum mechanics. In 1954, Born won the Nobel Prize in Physics for his contributions to the field. Born was born on December 11, 1882 in Breslau in what was then a part of the German Empire (now Wroclaw, Poland). He was the son of Gustav Jacob Born, a prominent German histologist and medical author, and Margarethe… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Sammy Davis, Jr.

Posted December 8, 2017 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: Sammy Davis, Jr.

On this day in 1925, legendary singer and actor Sammy Davis, Jr. was born in Harlem, New York. He is perhaps best remembered as a member of the famous Rat Pack, along with his friends, Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin. Davis got his start as a small child in his father’s vaudeville act. He learned to dance and soon became a part of the Will Mastin Trio with his father and performer Will Mastin. While serving in the army during… Read the full story

Featured Project »

Remembering the Attack on Pearl Harbor

Posted December 7, 2017 by Amanda | No Comment
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Seventy-six years ago today, Imperial Japanese Naval Air forces attacked the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor, which left more than 1,100 people wounded and 2,403 people dead. The surprise military attack was a profound shock to the American people and immediately drew the United States into World War II. Pearl Harbor under attack on December 7, 1941 / National Archives and Records Administration In his address to Congress the day following the attack, President Franklin D. Roosevelt famously… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Willa Cather

Posted December 7, 2017 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: Willa Cather

Do you have pioneer ancestors? On this day in 1873, author Willa Cather was born in Winchester, Virginia. Cather is perhaps best remembered for her vivid portrayal of frontier life on the Great Plains in her novels, O Pioneers! and My Ántonia. Wilella Sibert Cather was born on her maternal grandmother’s farm in the Back Creek Valley near Winchester, Virginia. Although most may think of her as a Nebraskan, her family did not move to the frontier… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: William II of the Netherlands

Posted December 6, 2017 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: William II of the Netherlands

Do you have Dutch ancestry? On this day in 1792, William II, King of the Netherlands, was born. He was the eldest son of William I, the first King of the Netherlands, and Wilhelmine of Prussia, the daughter of King Frederick William II of Prussia and William I’s first cousin. In 1816, he married Grand Duchess Anna Pavlovna of Russia, the youngest sister of Alexander I of Russia. Following his father’s abdication of the throne in 1840, William II became… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Martin Van Buren

Posted December 5, 2017 by Amanda | No Comment
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On this day in 1782, Martin Van Buren, the 8th President of the United States, was born in Kinderhook, New York. Did you know that he was the first President to be born a U.S. citizen? All previous presidents were born in the British colonies before the American Revolution, and were therefore British subjects. Van Buren was the son of Dutch parents and although the Van Buren family had been in America for several generations, Dutch was still the primary language… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Jeff Bridges

Posted December 4, 2017 by Amanda | One Comment
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The Dude celebrates his 68th birthday today! Actor Jeff Bridges was born on December 4, 1949 in Los Angeles, California. The Academy Award winning actor made his big screen debut as a baby in the 1951 film, The Company She Keeps. He was born into a Hollywood family; his father was actor Lloyd Bridges and his mother was actress and writer Dorothy Bridges. Growing up, he and his older brother Beau made occasional appearances on their father’s television shows, Sea Hunt… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Rosa Parks

Posted December 1, 2017 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: Rosa Parks

“You must never be fearful about what you are doing when it is right.” 62 years ago today, Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a segregated bus in Montgomery, Alabama. Her act of defiance would become one of the defining moments of the American Civil Rights movement. On December 1, 1955, Parks was riding home from a long day of work on a segregated bus. After the whites-only section was filled, the bus… Read the full story