Can Your Fingerprints Tell Us Anything About Your Ancestry?

The following excerpt is from the September 28, 2015 edition of Newsweek.com.

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Each individual’s fingerprints are unique—the tiny loops, ridges and whorls on the epidermis are even more distinctive than a person’s DNA and are one of the best ways we have of identifying a person today. New research has found these tiny etchings, known as dermatoglyphics, can also serve as way to trace an individual’s ancestry.

For some time, anthropologists and forensic scientists have used fingerprints to learn more about identity, but the two disciplines tend to focus their analyses on different details. Anthropologists examine what’s known as Level 1 details, a close look at the pattern types and ridge counts. Forensic scientists focus on Level 2 details, fingerprint “minutiae,” or the specific variants of fingerprints like the shape and direction of ridges and where they split, known as bifurcation.

Read the full article.

Rare Triplets Born in New York

Triplets

The following is from the September 17, 2015 Fox5NY website.

NEW YORK (FOX5NY) – The Fenley brothers of Brightwaters, Long Island: Owen Michael, Noah Charles and Miles John, were introduced to the world Thursday by their proud parents, Jason and Kelli. What makes their births extra special is the fact that they are identical triplets, a 1 in 50 million occurrence!

The babies, who were born on July 1 at Winthrop-University Hospital, had birth weights of: Owen Michael, 2 lbs. 14 oz., Noah Charles, 2 lbs. 15 oz., and Miles John, 2 lbs. 12 oz.

Jason and Kelli were anticipating twins earlier in Kelli’s pregnancy when her physician confirmed they were having three babies, conceived naturally.

Read the full article.

Snail Mail Arrives 74 Years Later

The following teaser is from an article posted April 17, 2014 at the abc.go.com website.

Sunny Bryant is seen delivering a postcard to Charleen Brown in this undated photo. Courtesy of Charleen Brown
Sunny Bryant is seen delivering a postcard to Charleen Brown in this undated photo. Courtesy of Charleen Brown

A postcard mailed in 1940 and delivered this week gives new meaning to the phrase “snail mail,” but also to the Post Office vow that the mail must go through – eventually.

The card, addressed to Florence Marion, was finally delivered to her great-grandson Alan Marion 74 years late.

Records show the postcard was mailed on Feb. 20, 1940 – with a once cent stamp – from Portland, Ore. The card arrived at the Butte Falls, Ore., post office July 2013 and was uncovered by Sunny Bryant, a new USPS employee.

“I was overwhelmed with the job at that point, so to come across the postcard was just a shock,” said Bryant. “My first response was what am I supposed to do with this?”

Bryant held on to the letter until later that summer when she overheard a member of the Rogue Valley Genealogical Society, Charleen Brown, discussing her work at the post office. Sunny Bryant decided to approach Brown and showed her the relic.

Read the full article.

100-Year Old Message in a Bottle Found in the Baltic Sea

The following excerpt is from an article by Scott Neuman, posted in the April 8, 2014 edition of npr.org:

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On a nature hike along Germany’s Baltic Coast in 1913, 20-year-old Richard Platz scrawled a note on a postcard, shoved it into a brown beer bottle, corked it and tossed it into the sea.

Where it traveled, no one knows for sure, but it was pulled out of the Baltic Sea by a fisherman last month not far from where Platz first pitched it.

It’s thought to be the world’s oldest message in a bottle.

Read the full article.

The Extinction of Some Given Names?

Given names rise and fall in popularity. Modern culture, as well as the cultures in time past all have their effect on the use of given names. The following teaser is from an article that has a British flavor, but is universal in its concepts.

Names including Gertrude, Bertha, Willie and Cecil are at risk of dying out, while others such as Cyril and Mildred are becoming less popular, a new study has revealed.

An analysis of millions of birth records from 1905 revealed that some forenames have virtually disappeared, with many others being increasingly ignored.

The report by family history website Ancestry.co.uk showed the most “endangered” names included Gertrude, Bertha and Blodwen for girls and Willie, Cecil and Rowland for boys.

Norman, Horace, Leslie, Doris, Hilda and Edna were among the most popular names in 1905, but have become much less popular over the years, said the report.

Read the full article.

Dallas Genealogical Society Announces 2013 Writing Contest with Cash Prizes

The following was received from the Dallas Genealogical Society:

Dallas, TX, May 20, 2013 – The Dallas Genealogical Society is pleased to announce its 2013 Writing Contest for original material on topics of interest to genealogists and family historians. The contest is open to members and nonmembers of the DGS. Hobbyists, transitional, and professional genealogists are welcome to submit entries. Submissions may include genealogies, family histories, and case studies that demonstrate use of genealogical methodology, techniques, and sources.

While the DGS has a goal of preserving Dallas area history, subject matter for the competition is not limited to the local geographic area except as defined in the contest Rules and Guidelines.

Entries will be judged on accuracy, clarity of writing, and overall impact and interest. They may not have been previously published. The submission deadline is August 31, 2013. Winners will be announced at the DGS Annual Awards Luncheon in December 2013. Among the judges will be J. Mark Lowe, a professional genealogist, author and lecturer.

First prize is $500, second prize is $300 and third prize is $150.

Complete Rules and Guidelines are available at: http://www.dallasgenealogy.org/Info/Guidelines.pdf

“This is an opportunity for genealogists and family historians to preserve some of their family history and to achieve recognition for their work,” said Marianne Szabo, Director of Publications Content. “The contest offers a unique venue for researchers to tell part of their story.” The winning articles from the 2012 contest will appear in the premiere issue of Pegasus: Journal of the Dallas Genealogical Society.

For an entry form and information about the DGS or the contest, visit www.dallasgenealogy.org.

About DGS
The Dallas Genealogical Society was formed in October 1954 when 22 people met at the downtown Dallas YMCA to discuss having a society with goals to preserve heritage and records. It was chartered as a non-profit corporation in November 1955.

The Society’s mission is to educate by creating, fostering, and maintaining interest in genealogy; to assist and support the genealogy section of the J. Erik Jonsson Central Library in Dallas, Texas; and to collect, preserve, copy, and index information relating to the Dallas area and its early history. The genealogy collection at the Central Library has been recognized as one of the Top 10 research libraries for genealogists in the United States.

DGS conducts general meetings on the first Saturday of each month except June, July, and August with local speakers. DGS also hosts a Lecture Series with nationally recognized speakers for a full-day workshop each spring and fall, and a 2-day Institute during the summer.

DGS is a member of the National Genealogical Society (NGS) and the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS).

The DGS is organized and operated as a non-profit tax-exempt Section 501(c)(3) as defined by the Internal Revenue Service and eligible to receive tax-deductible contributions in accordance with Code section 170. For more information about DGS or the contest, visit www.dallasgenealogy.org.

Have a Whopper & Fries on the Way to the Burial

The following teaser is from the January 28, 2013 edition of GlobalPost.com:

David Kime Jr. wanted a burger and fries at Burger King – his favorite fast food joint.

The World War II veteran, who died on Jan. 20 at 88, was buried with a “Whopper Jr.” from Burger King, said the New York Daily News.

He had requested his funeral procession pass by the restaurant for a meal on its way to the cemetery.

Each mourner purchased a burger for the road, with an extra for the deceased man.

His burger was placed on his coffin during the ceremony.

Read the full article.

Another article with more pictures at the New York Daily News site.

Tunes Now Available to the Dearly Departed

This is what we’ve all been waiting for. It seems you can now have a sound system that plays music in one’s coffin from now into eternity… I note that the touchscreen is built into the headstone however, and is not within easy reach of the departed.

The following teaser is from a December 18, 2012 article at simcoe.com:

SWEDEN – So much for resting in peace.

Fredrik Hjelmquist has invented the CataCombo Sound system, a built-in stereo system for your coffin, the Scotsman reports.

It allows people to create their own playlist before they die so their favourite music can be piped into their grave.

The £18,500 system allows relatives to update the playlist via a CataTomb app using a touch screen built into the headstone.

Read the full article.

Genealogical Resolutions for 2013?

Mika Bartroff has some good suggestions for your genealogical resolutions of 2013. Following is Mika’s opening paragraph.

Another year has come and gone. How did you do with your family research this year? And where do you want to focus on in the coming year? Now’s a great time for reflecting on what you’ve accomplished and what you still have left to do.

Read the full article in the January 1, 2013 edition of the examiner.com.

Cyndi Howells, of cyndislist.com, sues Barry Ewell, owner of mygenshare.com

It’s been known for some time that Cyndi Howells had serious copyright issues with another online genealogy site – and I posted about it on November 5, 2012. On December 30, Dick Eastman posted that “On December 21, 2012, Cyndi Howells filed a lawsuit against Barry J Ewell, owner of Mygenshare.com, in Washington Western District Court, Tacoma, Washington, for violation of copyrights.” Read more at Dick’s site.

200 Years of Grimm’s Fairly Tales

The following exceprt is from a fascinating article in the November 26, 2012 edition of National Post about the Grimm brothers and their collection of folklore, published today as Grimm’s Fairy Tales.

…Two-hundred years ago, two German brothers with an interest in language published the first edition of a folktale collection they had gathered from around the German states — Germany not yet being a unified country. Published in a volume called Kinder-und Hausmarchen (Children and Household Stories) but better known as Grimm’s Fairy Tales, this first edition of 86 stories was followed by a number of other editions in which stories were added or subtracted until a seventh appeared in 1857, containing 211 tales. To date there have been countless editions and 160 foreign translations of the Grimms’ collected stories. With Martin Luther’s German translation of the Bible, Grimm’s Fairy Tales is the most widely read German book of all time.

The appearance of Grimm’s Fairy Tales is a story in itself. Jacob (1785-1863) and Wilhelm (1786-1859) Grimm came by their major fame almost accidentally. Raised in the city of Hanau, Hesse, the brothers Grimm attended university in the city of Marburg, where they developed a fascination with the idea of forging a common German identity through shared language, of which they felt folklore was an integral part. A nation’s folklore, they and others believed, is representative of national identity and should be preserved.

Read the full article.

Scary Names From the Old Records

The following snippet is from a short article posted in the October 25, 2012 edition of Coventry Telegraph.

Mary Scary, Fran Pire and Frank N Stein are among the peculiar names unearthed by a family history website.

Ancestry.co.uk said a study of names on its site going back hundreds of years, ranging from school registers and marriage records to phone books, revealed some unusual entries.

Read the full article.

Countess Erzsébet (Elizabeth) Báthory de Ecsed – The Blood Countess

The following excerpt is from the October 15, 23012 edition of the Mother Nature Network and printed here to get you ready for Halloween:

For those who like to get their Halloween spooks by way of dark horror stories and tales of utterly demonic crime, let us introduce you to Countess Erzsébet (Elizabeth) Báthory de Ecsed.

Fondly remembered as “The Blood Countess,” the Hungarian noblewoman is considered the world’s most prolific, not to mention most sadistic, female serial killer. Her ties to Transylvania lore and her alleged taste for blood make her the perfect candidate for the Queen of Halloween, if not Creepiest Chick in History.

Born in 1560 to the famed noble Hungarian Báthory family, she was raised with the utmost privilege — but that also came with a long family history of savagery and derangement. From early childhood she suffered tremendous fits and extraordinary rage that historians suggest may have indicated a neurological disorder or epilepsy. And the help may not have been a very good influence either. Her childhood nurse, Ilona Joo (a later accomplice), was said to practice black magic that depended on the sacrifice of children for their bones and blood.

Read the article.

We Got Spammed

After operating GenealogyBlog.com for nearly 9 years, I finally got spammed bad enough to take our site down. We use WordPress to write the blog, and various plugin tools to catch the spam, and delete it – and overall, it’s working pretty well. However, sometime on Sunday we got hit with sufficient garbage that our web hosting service (Bluehost) disabled our site as of around midnight, fearing that the spam would cause havoc for other users of the shared commercial server.

Since I had to be on a flight to Cincinnati this morning, Patty went into the admin side of GenealogyBlog, and found a total of about 50 spams residing on the server, and deleted them. To me that seems like very little, as I clean out an average of probably several hundred a day from the Spam box – as well as another twenty or so that slide through (asking for my okay before being posted), and I have to manually remove them.

Anyway, the site is back up again, and I’m about to go in and add some additional spam filtering recommended by Bluehost.

I find it astonishing how many idiots there are in this world who seem to have nothing better to do than cause other folks harm… Thank God that 99.9% of folks aren’t like that. Now back to work.