January 2018

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Profile of the Day: Justin Timberlake

Posted January 31, 2018 by Amanda | No Comment
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Happy 37th birthday to Justin Timberlake! This year will be a big one for the popular musician. In just a couple of days, his fifth studio album will be released, right before his performance at this year’s Super Bowl halftime show. The former Mouseketeer was born Justin Randall Timberlake on January 31, 1981 in Memphis, Tennessee to Lynn Harless and Randall Timberlake, a Baptist minister. He grew up surrounded by music and was taught to play the… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Franklin D. Roosevelt

Posted January 30, 2018 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: Franklin D. Roosevelt

On this day in 1882, Franklin D. Roosevelt, the 32nd President of the United States, was born in Hyde Park, New York. As the only U.S. President to serve four terms in office, Roosevelt led the nation through the Great Depression and World War II until his death in 1945. Roosevelt was born into one of the oldest and wealthiest families in New York. In 1905, Roosevelt married his distant cousin, Eleanore Roosevelt, at the home… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Oprah Winfrey

Posted January 29, 2018 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: Oprah Winfrey

Happy birthday, Oprah! Today media icon Oprah Winfrey turns 64. After facing considerable hardship growing up, Winfrey has become one of the most successful and influential entrepreneur’s in the world. Although Winfrey was named “Orpah” on her birth certificate, people mispronounced it as “Oprah” so often that the name stuck. Born into poverty in rural Mississippi, she got her start working in radio and by the age of 19, Winfrey was co-anchoring the local evening news. In 1986,… Read the full story

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Australia Day: The First Fleet on Geni

Posted January 26, 2018 by Amanda | No Comment
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Today Australia celebrates Australia Day! The holiday commemorates the day in 1788 when British settlers arrived on the shores of Australia for the first time. Led by Captain Arthur Phillip, the first boats arrived at Sydney Cove on January 26, 1788. On shore, Phillip raised the British flag to signal the beginning of the colony. In honor of Australia Day, we’re highlighting the genealogy projects for the First Fleet! Before the American Revolutionary War, the British, faced… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Wilder Penfield

Posted January 26, 2018 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: Wilder Penfield

On this day in 1891, Canadian-American neurosurgeon Wilder Penfield was born. Penfield is best remembered for his pioneering work mapping the human brain and his groundbreaking discovery to treat epilepsy. During his lifetime, Penfield was called “the greatest living Canadian.” Penfield was born on January 26, 1891 in Spokane, Washington and spent much of his youth growing up in Wisconsin. In 1934, he established the Montreal Neurological Institute at McGill University. It was there that Penfield began his groundbreaking… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Virginia Woolf

Posted January 25, 2018 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: Virginia Woolf

Today we celebrate the 136th birthday of British author Virginia Woolf. A pioneer in the use of stream of consciousness as a narrative device, Woolf is remembered as a central figure of the modernist movement in literature. Woolf was born Adeline Virginia Stephen on January 25, 1882 in London England to Sir Leslie Stephen, a prominent author and mountaineer, and Julia Jackson, a noted philanthropist. She was born into a well-educated, well-connected family with several generations of abolitionists…. Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Neil Diamond

Posted January 24, 2018 by Amanda | No Comment
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Happy birthday to Neil Diamond! Today the “Sweet Caroline” singer turns 77. Diamond was born on January 24, 1941 in Brooklyn, New York to a Jewish family. In high school, Diamond was a member of the Freshman Chorus and Choral Club alongside future music icon Barbra Streisand. The former classmates would later record the hit duet, “You Don’t Bring Me Flowers,” in 1978. He attended New York University on a fencing scholarship intending to study medicine, but… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Camilla Collett

Posted January 23, 2018 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: Camilla Collett

Do you have Norwegian ancestry? On this day in 1813, Norwegian writer Camilla Collett was born in Kristiansand, Norway. Often referred to as the first Norwegian feminist writer, Collett was a passionate advocate of women’s rights and an influential figure in Norwegian literature. Collett was the daughter of Alette Thaulow and Nicolai Wergeland, a priest and politician. Her father was a member of the Norwegian Constituent Assembly at Eidsvoll, which wrote the Constitution of Norway in 1814. Her brother,… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Queen Victoria

Posted January 22, 2018 by Amanda | No Comment
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On this day in 1901, Queen Victoria died at the age of 81. At the time of her death, the Queen had reigned for 63 years, 7 months and 2 days, making her the longest reigning British monarch. It wasn’t until 2015 that her second great granddaughter, Queen Elizabeth II, surpassed her record as the longest reigning monarch in British history. At the time of her birth on May 24, 1819, Victoria was the fifth in the… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Dolly Parton

Posted January 19, 2018 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: Dolly Parton

Today country music superstar Dolly Parton celebrates her 72nd birthday! Parton went from very humble beginnings to become one of the most successful artists in history. Not only has she made her mark in music and film, but she even has her own theme park called Dollywood. Parton was born on January 19, 1946 in Locust Ridge, Tennessee and was the fourth of twelve children born to Robert Lee Parton and Axie Lee Caroline Owens. She… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: A.A. Milne

Posted January 18, 2018 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: A.A. Milne

It’s Winnie the Pooh Day! The day commemorates the birthday of Winnie the Pooh author A.A. Milne, who was born on January 18, 1882 in London, England. In 1926, Milne first published his beloved children’s book Winnie-the-Pooh, a collection of stories following the adventures of the honey-loving teddy bear and his friends. Although he studied mathematics in school, Milne found his passion as a writer. He was writing magazine articles before joining the British Army in World… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Muhammad Ali

Posted January 17, 2018 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: Muhammad Ali

On this day in 1942, boxing legend Muhammad Ali was born in Louisville, Kentucky. An Olympic gold medalist and three-time World Heavyweight Champion, Ali is remembered as one of the greatest athletes in history. He was born Cassius Marcellus Clay, Jr. to Cassius Marcellus Clay, Sr., a painter, and Odessa O’Grady, a domestic helper. He became interested in boxing at the age of 12 after his bike was stolen. He told the police officer, Joe… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Katy Jurado

Posted January 16, 2018 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: Katy Jurado

Today we remember trailblazing Mexican film actress Katy Jurado, who was born on this day in 1924. Considered one of the leading actresses during the Golden Age of Mexican cinema, Jurado was one of the first Mexican actresses to successfully crossover to Hollywood. She was born María Cristina Estela Marcela Jurado García in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico to a wealthy family. Despite the disapproval of her family, Jurado decided to pursue a career as an actress. She… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Martin Luther King, Jr.

Posted January 15, 2018 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: Martin Luther King, Jr.

“The time is always right to do what is right.” Today the U.S. celebrates Martin Luther King, Jr. Day in honor of civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr., who was born on January 15, 1929 in Atlanta, Georgia. An icon of the American Civil Rights movement, King worked to end racial discrimination and inequality through non-violent protest and civil disobedience. In 1963, he helped to organize the March on Washington, where he delivered his… Read the full story

Genealogy Research »

5 Things to Do to Get Started on Your Family Tree

Posted January 12, 2018 by Amanda | No Comment
5 Things to Do When You First Get Started on Your Family Tree

If you’re interested in getting started on your genealogy, but at a loss as to what you need to do first, here are some tips on what to do to begin building your family tree. 1. Keep it simple and start with what you know. The first step is the easiest – simply start with what you know. Begin with yourself and work your way back to your parents, grandparents, great grandparents, etc. This will give you a good… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Charles Perrault

Posted January 12, 2018 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: Charles Perrault

What’s your favorite fairy tale? 390 years ago today, French author Charles Perrault was born in Paris, France. Sometimes referred to as the “father of the fairy tale,” Perrault wrote some of the most beloved and recognizable fairy tale stories in literary history. Perrault was born into a wealthy bourgeois family. He worked in the government before deciding to dedicate himself to his children. He wrote several stories, many derived from pre-existing folk tales, and published them in Tales… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Alice Paul

Posted January 11, 2018 by Amanda | No Comment
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Today we highlight suffragist Alice Paul, who was born on January 11, 1885 in Mt. Laurel, New Jersey. One of the leading women’s rights activist of the 20th century, Paul was a key figure in the campaign to ratify the Nineteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The eldest of four children born to William Mickle Paul I and Tacie Parry, Paul grew up in a prominent Quaker family. After traveling to England to further her education,… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: David Bowie

Posted January 10, 2018 by Amanda | No Comment
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Today we remember legendary musician David Bowie on the second anniversary of his death. Bowie passed just two days after his 69th birthday after an 18-month battle with cancer. Bowie was born David Robert Jones on January 8, 1947 in Brixton, South London, England. He changed his last name to “Bowie” out of fear of being confused with The Monkey’s lead singer, Davy Jones. In 1969, Bowie scored his first hit song, “Space Oddity,” which was… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge

Posted January 9, 2018 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge

Happy birthday to Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge! Today the Duchess turns 36. Catherine Elizabeth Middleton was born on January 9, 1982 in Reading, Berkshire, England to Michael Middleton and Carole Goldsmith. She studied art history at the University of St. Andrews, where she met Prince William in 2001. On April 29, 2011, the couple wed at Westminster Abbey in London. This year, the royal family will have many occasions to celebrate. It was announced this week that their two-year… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Elvis Presley

Posted January 8, 2018 by Amanda | No Comment
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Happy birthday, Elvis! 83 years ago today, Elvis Presley was born in Tupelo, Mississippi in a two-room shotgun house built by his paternal grandfather. Known as the King of Rock and Roll, Presley is remembered as one of the most successful and iconic musicians in history. Sadly, Presley’s identical twin brother was delivered stillborn 35 minutes before his birth. He grew up as an only child and was very close to his parents, especially his mother. At… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: George Washington Carver

Posted January 5, 2018 by Amanda | No Comment
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Today marks the 75th anniversary of the death of botanist and inventor George Washington Carver. Born into slavery, George would rise to become one of the most prominent scientists of his time. He revolutionized the agriculture industry by developing new crop rotation methods to better conserve nutrients in the soil. George was born in Diamond, Missouri in 1864, shortly before the end of slavery. His mother, Mary, was a slave owned by Moses Carver, a German immigrant and… Read the full story

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Genealogy Goals for 2018

Posted January 4, 2018 by Amanda | No Comment
New Year's Goals

What are your genealogy goals for 2018? Get the new year started on the right foot by laying out what you  hope to accomplish this year. Here are a few ideas to get you started: 1. Get your relatives to take a DNA test If you’ve already taken a DNA test for genealogy, make a plan to encourage your relatives to take a DNA test too. This is especially important for your older relatives. Connect their results to the… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Louis Braille

Posted January 4, 2018 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: Louis Braille

Happy World Braille Day! Today the world celebrates the birth of Louis Braille, the man who created a system of reading and writing for the blind and visually impaired. Known simply as braille, the system is still used today by millions all around the world. Braille was born on January 4, 1809 in Coupvray, France to Simon-René Braille and Monique Baron. At the age of 3, Braille injured his eye with an awl while in his father’s… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: J.R.R. Tolkien

Posted January 3, 2018 by Amanda | No Comment
Profile of the Day: J.R.R. Tolkien

On this day in 1892, J.R.R. Tolkien, author of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, was born in Bloemfontein, South Africa. John Ronald Reuel Tolkien was the son of Arthur Tolkien, a bank manager, and Mabel Suffield. After his father died of rheumatic fever in 1896, his mother took her young family to live with relatives in Birmingham, England. Tragedy struck his family yet again 8 years later when his mother died of acute diabetes. During World… Read the full story

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Profile of the Day: Isaac Asimov

Posted January 2, 2018 by Amanda | No Comment
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Today is National Science Fiction Day! The day is celebrated annually on the birthday of renowned science fiction author Isaac Asimov, who was born in Petrovichi, Russia. Although the exact date of his birth is unknown, Asimov celebrated his birthday on January 2. The son of Anna Berman and Judah Asimov, Asimov came to the U.S. as a toddler. A bright child, Asimov taught himself how to read at the age of 5 and graduated from high school at the… Read the full story