All things history and genealogy.

All things history and genealogy.

Category: History

Hitler’s descendant, living on Long Island, says he dislikes Trump | Business Insider

We tracked down one of Hitler’s last living family members on Long Island and found he likes Merkel and dislikes Trump
Three brothers living on Long Island, New York, are believed to be the last living family members of Adolf Hitler.The brothers rarely share details about their family or give interviews to the press.

A reporter from Bild tracked down the brothers and spoke with one of them, learning that he approves of German Chancellor Angela Merkel and dislikes US President Donald Trump.

There’s an American flag raised in the front yard of brothers Brian and Louis’ place. It’s a typical sight for this neighborhood on Long Island, New York. One difference, however, is that a 6-foot-high wooden wall, painted white, almost completely surrounds the property.

The men who live here have a secret. They are the last Hitlers.

In the town of 20,000 people, hardly anybody knows about this. The brothers keep their secret to themselves.

The family changed its name in 1946 – first to “Hiller,” later to an English double name. Brian and Louis are the great nephews of the German dictator.

Read on . . .

Source: Hitler’s descendant, living on Long Island, says he dislikes Trump | Business Insider

A leading Holocaust historian just seriously compared the US to Nazi Germany | Vox

“If the US has someone whom historians will look back on as the gravedigger of American democracy, it is Mitch McConnell.”

Usually, comparisons between Donald Trump’s America and Nazi Germany come from cranks and internet trolls. But a new essay in the New York Review of Books pointing out “troubling similarities” between the 1930s and today is different: It’s written by Christopher Browning, one of America’s most eminent and well-respected historians of the Holocaust. In it, he warns that democracy here is under serious threat, in the way that German democracy was prior to Hitler’s rise — and really could topple altogether.

Browning, a professor emeritus at the University of North Carolina, specializes in the origins and operation of Nazi genocide. His 1992 book Ordinary Men, a close examination of how an otherwise unremarkable German police battalion evolved into an instrument of mass slaughter, is widely seen as one of the defining works on how typical Germans became complicit in Nazi atrocities.

So when Browning makes comparisons between the rise of Hitler and our current historical period, this isn’t some keyboard warrior spouting off. It is one of the most knowledgeable people on Nazism alive using his expertise to sound the alarm as to what he sees as an existential threat to American democracy.

Browning’s essay covers many topics, ranging from Trump’s “America First” foreign policy — a phrase most closely associated with a group of prewar American Nazi sympathizers — to the role of Fox News as a kind of privatized state propaganda office. But the most interesting part of his argument is the comparison between Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Paul von Hindenburg, the German leader who ultimately handed power over to Hitler.

Here’s how Browning summarizes the history . . .

Read on . . .

Source: A leading Holocaust historian just seriously compared the US to Nazi Germany

A primer on cemetery research to find ancestors.

I’ve always loved gravestone and cemetery research to find ancestors.

Although I do most of my genealogical research via the internet, and in a very small amount via snail mail, there is something visceral about visiting the actual graves of our ancestors and recording the information about them (and their families if in family plots).

In previous posts, I related the story of my family’s genealogical driving tour of Nova Scotia a few years ago. The first was about our exploring a community cemetery and the other was regarding our experience taking the Fort Anne graveyard tour.

When you’re working on researching distant generations of ancestors, cemetery research is one of the most satisfying, hands on forms of genealogical exploration you can do. It’s one way to connect with a tangible reminder of particular ancestors, which is often an elusive feeling.

Finding a tombstone or other sign of the resting place of an ancestor can give you insights into who they were.

Is their tombstone humble or grand?

Does it contain an inscription that speaks of a simple life, of one that hints at a great love story, or a somber and religious disposition?

What dates are inscribed?

The information source is rich, yet locating cemeteries and navigating the research process isn’t always straightforward. Here’s how to get started with genealogical cemetery research.


What can I expect to learn from a cemetery? and Updates and Additions to 22 Aug 2015.


It’s important to note that cemeteries and grave markers can be excellent sources of information about the deceased. While they are not primary information sources, they can clarify details such as:

  • an ancestor’s name, including obscure details like maiden names and middle names or even occasionally pet names;
  • date of birth;
  • date of death;
  • names of family members including parents, spouses, and children;
  • religion;
  • military service; and
  • fraternal order membership.

Cemeteries are a wonderful source of information that can confirm what you’ve learned from earlier research. In other cases, you’ll garner information that you didn’t know.

For example, there may be symbolism on a tombstone suggesting that your ancestor was a member of the Masonic Lodge or perhaps they are buried in a Catholic burial ground. Each of these small clues can open up new avenues for research and exploration.


How to find out where someone is buried?


There are many ways to find where your ancestors are buried.

The first is to look at any records associated with their death, including certificate of death, obituaries, church notices, and other funerary documents. Consulting similar information for spouses, siblings, children, and parents can also sometimes lead you to the right information.

If you know your ancestor’s religious affiliation, it’s possible to find out if there’s a church or community cemetery. Consult local records and histories.

Finally, there are a number of cemetery guides online that can help you locate an ancestor’s gravesite.

You might also want to try and They can be very helpful in locating family members and their information.


Making the most of a cemetery visit.


Whether you’re already near a cemetery where an ancestor is buried or you’re making a special trip, there are several things you’ll want to do to make the most of your visit.

The first is to bring a copy of any information you have about the ancestors, such as names and dates of birth. If you have a map or details of the cemetery, bring those as well, as large burial grounds can be difficult to navigate.

To document as much information as possible, bring paper and writing implements or electronic devices to record information and make any notes.

Consider bringing a digital camera with you to document the cemetery, individual headstones, and the relationship between specific stones that may be useful later.

Avoid taking grave rubbings, if possible. It’s a source of conflict but most people today feel that the risk of damage to the stone is too high. A high resolution camera now yields a wonderful degree of detail.

A final note on the logistics of cemetery visits: dress appropriately for being outdoors, and think ahead to things like bug spray and sunscreen. Wear a hat, and bring plenty of water as your visit may be a lengthy one.

If the cemetery you’re visiting is on private property, get permission first.

If the cemetery in question has a caretaker and you’re able to find them, spend a moment saying hello and explaining your mission. They may have valuable information.

Finally, if you’re headed into a cemetery that’s overgrown, isolated, or in an unknown area, consider bringing a companion for both company and safety.

A professional genealogist can help you with all types of genealogical issues, from completing all your research to answering specific questions about cemetery research.


Jillynn Stevens is a writer and researcher. She is the Director of Digital Content Marketing for Be Locally SEO where she enjoys helping clients expand and improve their businesses through articles, blogs, website content and more.

Does an exception clause in the 13th amendment still permit slavery? | HISTORY

The 13th amendment, which officially abolished slavery in the United States in 1865, includes a loophole regarding involuntary servitude.
The year the Civil War ended, the U.S. amended the Constitution to prohibit slavery and involuntary servitude. But it purposefully left in one big loophole for people convicted of crimes.

The 13th Amendment, ratified in 1865, says: “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.” Scholars, activists and prisoners have linked that exception clause to the rise of a prison system that incarcerates black people at more than five times the rate of white people, and profits off of their unpaid or underpaid labor.

“What we see after the passage of the 13th Amendment is a couple of different things converging,” says Andrea Armstrong, a law professor at Loyola University in New Orleans. “First, the 13th Amendment text allows for involuntary servitude where convicted of a crime.” At the same time, “black codes” in the south created “new types of offenses, especially attitudinal offenses—not showing proper respect, those types of things.”

After the Civil War, new offenses like “malicious mischief” were vague, and could be a felony or misdemeanor depending on the supposed severity of behavior. These laws sent more black people to prison than ever before, and by the late 19th century the country experienced its first “prison boom,” legal scholar Michelle Alexander writes in her book The New Jim Crow . . .

Read on . . .

Source: Does an exception clause in the 13th amendment still permit slavery? | HISTORY

Think of each generation as a single swing of the pendulum of time.

This article was originally published September 6, 2018. There is an update following this article. Check it out.
Each generation is a single swing of the pendulum of time, where over time the extremity of reaction is diminished until a balance is reached.
Throughout history, the faults, foibles and mistakes of living experienced by one generation were over-compensated for by the following generation.

This effect appears to happen because of the “hindsight is 20/20” syndrome. We fail to see the mistakes we are making until we are presented with the end result when looking at it from the next generation.

The last 100 years are the most extreme because of the rapid rise of industry, invention and technology.

It’s impossible to measure the effects, whether negative or positive until a clear pattern can be examined.

The best example of this is the way we raise and feed our families.

I grew up in the 60’s and 70’s, at a time when our parents weren’t as well off as we are now. Then, and in the post-war period of the 50’s, every family was the same. Since we did not have the technology and electronics of today, we were very active as kids.

Unfortunately, the only way to stretch a budget to feed the larger families of the time was to include a lot of heavy carbs and cheap, sweetened products. A treat was to go to the nearest drive-in for cheap burgers, fries and a soda. There was no such thing as salads.

Sixties family out for dinner.

It was expensive for us to eat fresh vegetables except in the autumn during corn season, when we lived on corn boils (carbs again).

I can remember, as a child, the best treat ever was to follow behind the trucks hauling pea bushes to the local cannery and pick up the stragglers that blew off onto the side of the road. To this day, I love to eat raw peas.


Today, we are bombarded with constant media coverage about the evils of obesity and pressure to lose weight.

Believe me, I’ve been a yo-yo dieter. Once I lost weight, I would gain even more back. I honestly believe that if I hadn’t started that very first diet, I’d be nowhere near as heavy as I am now.

The ballooning population of obese people?

To me, it seems the majority are the baby boomers, as well as some of the following generation just before it became apparent our eating habits were causing problems.

After watching yet another infuriating bit of coverage about obesity on television, I realized that I know numerous obese or overweight people.

But, do you know what else I noticed?

Although I know several overweight or fat people, I don’t know a single obese person whose kids are fat.

Not one.

The past one or two generations are eating much better and had the advantages of all the opportunities for scheduled, regular sports and activities. They are of a more normal weight because their diets have improved as a result of the change in financial health, circumstances and our increasing knowledge of the effects of foods and diet.

That swinging pendulum of passing generations does, over time, educate us and enable us to modify our lifestyles accordingly.

In the meantime, we need to stop tormenting those who are living with the ill effects of the time in which they grew up.

With all this said, we cannot ignore the negative effects of the way we live. As long as we recognize them and change the way we raise our own children, we are doing the right thing.

In my case, my metabolism is totally shot as a result of my early dietary habits and if I had been left alone and not judged and reprimanded all the time because of my size, I’m sure I wouldn’t have dieted and I’d be a lot smaller.

We need to stop paying attention to the media as it applies to our own lives, simply because it’s impossible for us to know the honest from the dishonest, or the real from the fake.

We need to return to governing our own lives the way people did prior to the last century – with plain old common sense and learning from our own mistakes and experience.


Over two weeks after writing this article, I noticed a post on Facebook about an MSN article on a similar topic. I commented and reposted.

Here is the post.
Here is the link to the original MSN article.
Everything you know about obesity is wrong.

Finally! Validation!

A little common sense can go a long way and have a life-long effect.

How ancient DNA is transforming history | IT

Over the past 10 years, a new field has emerged which is revolutionizing our understanding of human history and anthropology. Ancient DNA, the analysis of DNA from human remains, is beginning to unravel some of the mysteries of the past, like the migration of people and the spread of culture, through periods of time from hundreds to tens of thousands of years.

Until recently, our reconstruction of the past relied on archaeology and tentative hypotheses, but now the hard science of genetics is beginning to take a leading role in understanding the population patterns we see across the globe today. At Trinity College Dublin, Prof Dan Bradley is a world leader in this emerging field – he has been trying to understand the human past from DNA for the past 25 years.

“For years, we had been looking at modern genetic data and trying to understand how population patterns may have come about,” he says. “But compared to ancient human DNA, the problem with modern data is that it can only bring us so far.”

Bradley explains it was the case of Ötzi the ice man, one of the first ancient Europeans to have their genome sequenced, which made him realize the power of ancient DNA.

Read on . . .

Source: How ancient DNA is transforming history

Archaeologists find ancient ‘comics’ decorating Roman tomb in Jordan |

Archaeologists in Jordan have uncovered a Roman-era tomb decorated with spectacular frescoes that include rudimentary “comics” – which were written in Aramaic using Greek letters. The drawings provide extraordinary testimony to the diverse and cosmopolitan environment in the Hellenistic border towns of the Roman empire.

Like other wondrous archaeological discoveries, the nearly 2,000-year-old burial was unearthed by chance in late 2016 during roadworks, in this case in front of a school in the Jordanian village of c, just north of Irbid.

Since then a team of local and international researchers has been studying the find, which they believe to be part of a necropolis in the ancient Greco-Roman settlement of Capitolias, reports the CNRS, France’s National Center for Scientific Research.

The 52-square-meter tomb is divided into two burial chambers and contains a large basalt sarcophagus, all in very good condition considering that there are indications the tomb has been looted in the past, says archaeologist and epigraphist Julian Aliquot.

It likely dates to the early days of the city, which was founded in the late 1st century C.E., Aliquot says, according to the CNRS report.

Read on . . .

Source: Archaeologists find ancient ‘comics’ decorating Roman tomb in Jordan – Archaeology –

Transcription: Sarah Biddle (Shreve), Last Will and Testament of 31 Aug 1807.


[. . .]

Sarah Biddle’s Will.

Be it remembered that I, Sarah Biddle of the township of Springfield, in the County of Burlington, and State of New Jersey, widow, being in a weak state of body, but, through Divine favour, of sound mind and memory do make and publish this for my last will and testament, hereby revoking all others – First to my dear and affectionate daughter, Beulah Sansom, I give and bequeath all my wearing apparel – I also give to my said daughter the use of my household goods during the term of her natural life, and at her decease the same to my nephew James Shreve his heirs and assigns – Second, I bequeath to my executors and the survivor of them, her or his executors and administrators, two thousand pounds, Intrust nevertheless to loan out the same, at interest in this State on good and sufficient land security at their discretion and to pay the interest thereof coming due, annually to my aforesaid daughter during her life, and at her decease, if she leaves issue, I give to such issue the said principal sum of two thousand pounds, to be paid to him, her or them, as the case may be, together with whatever interest shall have arisen thereon after the decease of my said daughter; when he she or they shall arrive to lawful age; but in case there shall not be ssue of my said duaghter living to lawful age as above siad to receive the same I dispose of it in the following manner – To my two nephews Alexander Shreve and Charles Shreve, and to my four nieces Theodocia Earl, Leah Burr, Sarah Hulme and Rebecca Hulme, I give and bequeath

Sarah Biddle (Shreve): Her Last Will and Testament. Pg 387.
Sarah Biddle (Shreve): Her Last Will and Testament


eighteen hundred pounds, that is three hundred pounds to each of them and to my nephew James Shreve, I give two hundred pounds, which alltogether covers the said two thousand pounds, and should there be interest that has arisen thereon after the decease of my said daughter and before a division of the principal may take place, my will is that such interest shall be divided in the same proportions as is directed for the principal – Third, all the residue of my estate which I estimate at about three thousand pounds, after payment of my debts and funeral expenses I give and devise to my aforesaid nephew James Shreve on the following conditions: – during the lifetime of my aforesaid daughter, he my said nephew is to pay to her annually six per cent interest on the appraised value thereof, and at her decease to pay to his brother Alexander Shreve, one hundred pounds – to Sarah Biddle Hulme, the daughter of his sister Sarah Hulme, one hundred pounds, and in case the last named legatee shall not have arisen to the age of eighteen years at the decease of my said duaghter, I direct that her legacy be paid into the hands of her mother who is to have the use and profit of the same during her said child’s minority, at the end whereof her said child is to receive the said one hundred pounds to her own use – And to such person or perso s as the monthly meeting of friends held at Upper Springfield in the County of Burlington shall by a minute of said meeting certified by their Clerk authorize to receive the same on their behalf, the sum of fifty pounds; The said meeting to hold it in trust and to distribute the same at their discretion or at the discretion of a committee occasionally appointed thereby for the purpose in sums not exceeding five pounds to one individual amongst the aged or infirm members of said meeting who are not chargable to the said monthly meeting for a maintenance – Fourth In case that any or either of the legatees in perpetuity herein named should die befoer me, the legacy or legacies of such is not to lapse, but to descend to his, her or their heirs in the same way as it would have descended had such legatee been in possession thereof and died intestate – Lastly, I appoint my aforesaid dughter Beulah Sansom, executrix, and my aforesaid nephew James Shreve, executor of this my testament and last will – In witness whereof  have hereto set my hand and seal this thirty first day of the eighth month in the year one thousand eight hundred & seven.

Sarah Biddle {SEAL}

Signed, sealed, published and declared by the said Sarah Biddle to be her testament and last will in the presence of us XXXX The word “Sarah”

Sarah Biddle (Shreve): Her Last Will and Testament
Sarah Biddle (Shreve): Her Last Will and Testament Pg 388.


The complete original scans of the documents clips above can be accessed by clicking the images.

To access sources, data, images and documents for these and other individuals, search the Blythe Genealogy database site using the surname search link and the ‘All Media‘ search link, both in the top menu.

It is recommended to search using both methods as the results do sometimes differ. All data on this site is available for free access and download.

Don’t whitewash history | Sundre Roundup

I chose to publish an excerpt to this letter to the editor of the Sundre Roundup because of how well the author described exactly how I feel.

Removing statues, plaques and other commemorations of historical figures makes it too easy to forget mistakes of the past, in addition to remembering the true achievements. 




Don’t whitewash history


SEP 19, 2018

Re: “Statues are symbols, not history” on page 4 of the  Aug. 28 Sundre Round Up

Claiming that removing statues of historically controversial figures is not removing reminders of our history is frankly, highly disingenuous.

Removing a statue whitewashes the subject. Without statues, what would remind people to look up a person’s history.

Who would know that as soon as John A. Macdonald’s parents could afford to, they sent him to a residential (boarding) school, as it provided a better education than he could receive in a rural area.

We cannot judge historical figures by today’s standards; every famous person from more than 60 years ago held at least one idea we would find repugnant today.

If you want people to be educated, put a plaque outlining the person’s accomplishments, both good and bad, in front of the statue. Don’t whitewash it so that we forget it . . .

Read on . . .

Source: Don’t whitewash history | Sundre Roundup

Likely birthplace of Henry VII found in Pembroke Castle | The Guardian

A dig in the castle’s grounds has uncovered the walls of a ‘showy’ late medieval house.
Archaeologists believe they have identified the exact site of Henry VII’s birth in 1457 after excavations in the grounds of Pembroke Castle in Wales uncovered the remains of a massive medieval mansion worthy of one of the most famous kings of England.

Just days into an initial dig, archaeologists have uncovered up to half a metre of the building’s walls – and they are yet to reach the main floor levels. One wall is a metre thick.

They have also unearthed so many slates and tiles that they are concluding it had a slate roof. Green-glazed ridge tiles have also been found, which suggest a particularly imposing building, while other finds include a curving stair from a spiral staircase.

James Meek, who is heading the excavation for the Dyfed Archaeological Trust, said such finds are already suggesting “a fairly showy building” inside of the outer walls of the castle . . .

Read on . . .

Photograph types can help date relatives.

We often have to identify and date old family photographs by examining the materials they were made from.
Here are some of the earliest types of photographs.

The daguerreotype was invented by Louis Daguerre in 1839, and made use of a thin metal plate, usually copper, which had been coated with a polished silver solution.

The plate was treated with chemical fumes to make it light-sensitive. It was then exposed in a large camera.

The resulting image was fixed and stabilized with mercury fumes.

The daguerreotype images were mirror-like, and could look positive or negative, depending on the angle viewed. Because their surface was very delicate, daguerreotypes were kept in protective leather or wooden cases with a glass covering and often a lid.

They were most popular from 1839 to 1860.

The ambrotype was an improvement on the photographic process.

Rather than a metal plate, it used a piece of glass coated with a light-sensitive material called collodion. When exposed in a camera the resulting image was a glass negative and it had to be backed by black varnish or a black mat to appear positive.

Some ambrotypes used purple, blue, or red glass. Like daguerreotypes, ambrotypes were delicate and had to be kept in small cases to protect them.

They were most popular from 1854 to the mid-1860s . . .

Read on . . .

13,000 year old brewer discovered in Israel | Ancient Origins

A new study published in the Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports suggests beer brewing practices existed in the Eastern Mediterranean over five millennia before the earliest known evidence, discovered in northern China .

In an archaeological collaboration project between Stanford University in the United States, and University of Haifa, Israel, archaeologists analyzed three stone mortars from a 13,000-year old Natufian burial cave site in Israel. Their analysis confirmed that these mortars were used for brewing of wheat/barley, as well as for food storage.

“This accounts for the oldest record of man-made alcohol in the world,” said Li Liu, PhD, Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures, Stanford University, USA.

“Alcohol making and food storage were among the major technological innovations that eventually led to the development of civilizations in the world, and archaeological science is a powerful means to help reveal their origins and decode their contents,” said Li Liu.

“We are excited to have the opportunity to present our findings, which shed new light on a deeper history of human society.”

Oldest beer making in the world.

The earliest archaeological evidence for cereal-based beer brewing even before the advent of agriculture comes from the Natufians, semi-sedentary, foraging people, living in the Eastern Mediterranean between the Paleolithic and the Neolithic periods, following the last Ice Age. The Natufians at Raqefet Cave collected locally available plants, stored malted seeds, and made beer as a part of their rituals.

“The Natufian remains in Raqefet Cave never stop surprising us,” said Prof. Dani Nadel, Zinman Institute of Archaeology, University of Haifa, Israel, who was also an excavator of the site. “We exposed a Natufian burial area with about 30 individuals; a wealth of small finds such as flint tools, animal bones and ground stone implements, and about 100 stone mortars and cupmarks. Some of the skeletons are well-preserved and provided direct dates and even human DNA, and we have evidence for flower burials and wakes by the graves.

“And now, with the production of beer, the Raqefet Cave remains provide a very vivid and colorful picture of Natufian lifeways, their technological capabilities and inventions.”

A team of Stanford University and Israeli archaeologists stand in the entrance to Raqefet Cave, where they found evidence for the oldest man-made alcohol in the world. From left, Dani Nadel, Li Liu, Jiajing Wang and Hao Zhao . . .

Read on . . .

Source: Nomads Set Up the World’s Oldest Brewery in Israel 13,000-years-ago | Ancient Origins

‘I can feel my ancestors…’ says Lorna Dyck of the Papaschase Band.

How the Papaschase band is fighting to be recognized as an official First Nation.

For Mill Woods homeowner Lorna Dyck, the history of Papaschase First Nation is all around her.

Eighty pages outlining her family tree, dating back to the 1700s, sit on her living room table, along with a pamphlet from the First Nation that lists the names of some of the earliest band members.

Her ancestor, Catherine L’Hirondelle, a medicine woman, is the earliest example of her ties to the First Nation that used to live on the land that is now Mill Woods.

“I am proud to be from Papaschase and proud to be Métis,” Dyck said.

She has spent decades searching for family connections to the band, a role she has taken over from her parents, who were both Papaschase descendants.

Like many other band members, that family history can be difficult to track.

The Mill Woods area was once part of the land occupied by the Papaschase First Nation, after they signed an adhesion to Treaty 6 in 1877.

Many band members scattered after their land was taken away a decade later, according to Chief Calvin Bruneau. But some remained in Edmonton, including Dyck, who has lived in Mill Woods for 42 years.

She said it was important for her to stay in the area her ancestors once called home. Stories passed down to her recall a time when her great-grandparents picked berries in what is now Mill Woods, a memory she has cherished over the years.

“I have really good feelings [about the area]. If I’m feeling down, I can go for a walk or take a drive and I can feel my ancestors around me,” she said . . .

Read on . . .

Source: CBC News

Historical research tips for historians researching family trees | History Extra


Establish some research questions

Conducting historical research will be much easier if it is directed towards some clear and realistic objectives. One way to define these objectives is to establish some questions that your research will help answer.

These questions can take different forms, but they should narrow your field of vision and provide you with a clear purpose.

Good examples will:

  • direct your attention towards certain problems;
  • be achievable with the resources you have available; and
  • encourage an original contribution to the field of study.
(Image by Getty Images)

Consider a researcher who is interested in the history of a political party. They could be interested in many aspects of the organisation, but they cannot hope to investigate them all. So, some questions that draw attention to particular chronological periods and problems will be useful. These questions could, for instance, explore a particularly important moment in the party’s history:

  • Why did the British Labour party win the 1945 general election?
  • Did the Second World War change political attitudes?
  • What were the political consequences of the 1945 election?

All of the above questions are closely related and will narrow the researcher’s focus . . .

Read on . . .

Spanish Civil War Victims Discovered – Archaeology Magazine

In a town outside Valencia, forensic archaeologists have unearthed four fractured skulls from the site of a mass grave that is thought to hold the remains of some 100 prisoners who were buried just after the Spanish Civil War ended in April 1939.

Sky News reports that the skeletons lay beneath caskets that were buried later.

It is estimated that some 114,000 victims of the Spanish Civil War were interred in mass graves, and efforts to recover and identify these people have accelerated in recent years.

Read more…

Genealogy: Children learn about their ethnicity, history and culture.


Genealogy is an ideal way for children to learn about their ethnicity, history and culture.


By researching their own ancestry, they will learn about the times, locations, circumstances and eras in which their ancestors lived.


A nomad yearns for roots.


archaeology, genealogy and science teach about our past and history.I was a military ‘brat’.

There’s no malice or insult intended in this word as it was the way we did and still do refer to ourselves.

As a result of living in a military family, we relocated frequently and were not able to get to know our extended family.

What a surprise it was to learn how much a part of Canadian history both my mother’s and father’s branches were.


Acadian ancestry.


As I’ve posted about several times in the past, my mother comes from the Melanson family.

Original Acadian settlers, they came over on ships from France in the 17th century.

They used their knowledge of agriculture to make lives for themselves in the Atlantic provinces and a few even married and had families with MiqM’aq Indians.


Métis ancestry.


My father’s family were original French settlers who proceeded further along the St. Lawrence River into Quebec.

His direct line descends from Abenaki Chief Roch Abenaki Manitouabeouich and his children.

They were his son Étienne whose daughter married a French settler, and Roch’s daughter, Marie Olivier Sylvestre Pigarouic, who also married a French settler.


Welsh Quakers.


My husband’s paternal branch originates from Welsh Quaker settlers, pioneers of the New World in Pennsylvania, New York, Rhode Island, etc.


Swedish ancestry.


Mark’s maternal branch were Swedish immigrants who came to the United States in the late 19th century.

They subsequently took advantage of land offers in Canada for settlers and relocated to Saskatchewan to farm in the early 20th century.


Genealogy: a love of our own history.


Prior to my taking up genealogy, my historical knowledge comprised only of what I learned in school or picked up from television.

Let’s face it, most of us spent our youth watching ‘entertaining’ shows and not ‘historical’ or ‘educational’ shows.

As I’ve progressed through documenting our genealogy, it has become a regular point of discussion in our household.

I frequently tell Mark and the kids about my latest discovery, whether it be about honor, scandal, valour, tragedy, wealth or poverty. Our family through history has experienced all of these.

I’ve also found common ground when things come up in every day conversation or on television related to someone we are related to.

Whether direct or distant, I mention the connection and how it affected history and our family. It has become a natural part of our conversation.

The most recent story that related to our genealogy was that of the man who killed Richard III. He was Rhys ap Thomas, a distant ancestor to Mark and our children.

This followed earlier excitement about the discovery of the remains of Richard III in a Leicester parking lot – and his re-interment.


Families take up arms.


It’s interesting to note that some of my husband’s Welsh and British ancestors included some who participated in the expulsion of the Acadians in order to claim the land they had worked so hard to cultivate.

These same ancestors also included some who took up arms against the French in the French and Indian Wars. They also fought against upper and lower Canada (and some Acadians) in the War of 1812.


A lasting legacy.


Children learn about their ethnicity, history and culture.
By researching their own genealogy, children learn about their ethnicity, history and culture – and learn that we’re all immigrants in one way or more.

Although I wondered for a while if any of what I was relating to my kids was having an affect on their knowledge and understanding, it soon became apparent it was.

They both chose their own ancestral cultures for school social studies and history projects.

It was rewarding to see how much more personal these projects became because they were about their own family history.

Over twenty years of research have gone into the invaluable genealogy I now have to pass on to them.

This legacy includes almost forgotten photographs; documents such as military records and war diaries that provide deep and profound  explanations of events that led to deaths and injuries; a library of published materials and books about various aspects of our families’ histories; as well as some artifacts.

All of this material is organized, sourced and detailed in my extensive database.

I intend to give them copies of everything, but my one hope is that one or both of them will carry on to research further as more and more information, documents, and photos became available over time.

(Images at top right: War of 1812: clockwise, from top: damage to the US Capitol building after the Burning of Washington; mortally wounded Isaac Brock spurs his troops on at the Battle of Queenston Heights; USS Constitution vs HMS Guerriere; death of Tecumseh at the Battle of the Thames; Andrew Jackson leads the defence at the Battle of New Orleans.)



The image above links directly to the original document. You can access sources, data, images and documents for these and other individuals, by clicking on the name link, or searching the Blythe Genealogy database site using the surname search link and the ‘All Media‘ search link in the left sidebar.


It is recommended to search using both methods as the results can differ greatly due to a glitch in the software that doesn’t connect all images from the bio.


All data for this and numerous others on this site is available for free access and download.



Transcription: Last Will and Testament of Sarah Ambler.


The following is my transcription of the last Will and Testament of Sarah Ambler, wife of Joseph Ambler, aunt of Edward Ambler and sister-in-law of Edward’s father John Ambler. She was also the daughter of Joseph Ambler and Ann Williams.


Will of Sarah Ambler

late of Montgomery Dec.

Be it Remembered That I Sarah Ambler of Montgomery Township in the County of Montgomery and state of Pennsylvania, Widow, being far advanced in years, but of sound disposing mind memory and understanding do make my last Will and Testament in writing as follow to wit.

First. I do direct that all my just debts and (if any there should be) and my funeral expenses be carefully paid.

Second. It is my will that in case the remainder of the debt due to Grace Rogers after she shall have received her dividend out of my son John’s Estate

Last Will and Testament of Sarah Ambler


will not hold as a lien upon the estate of my late husband Joseph Ambler deceased and to be paid in equal proportions by all his heirs, That the said Remainder of said debt to Grace Rodgers shall be paid out of my Estate before the residue thereof is divided as hereinafter directed.

Third. I give unto my daughter Sarah my best bed with the highpost bed steads curtans and best coverlet also a pair of sheets and blankets and half a dozen pewter plates.

Fourth. I give unto my daughter Mary my cow, pig the case of drawers, standing up stairs, The rush bottom arm chair and the half dozen common chairs of the like kind, also my silver tea spoons and sugar tongs – Also my best looking glass, and tea kettle.

Fifth. I give unto my son David my eight day clock.

Sixth. I give unto my three grand sons Mahlon, Watson and Isaac Ambler the sum of ten dollars each as a remembrance of my affection for them and under the impression upon my mind that owing to the great and sudden change in the value of property that has lately taken place, they will have receided such a proportion of their Grandfather’s estate, as places them fully on equal footing with the rest of the heirs.

Seventh. It is my will that my Wearing Apparel be equally divided (between my two daughters) between all his children And it is also my Will that my said daughter Mary shall hold in trust for the same purposes and subject to the same final division, all the movable property which I lately purchased for the use of my said Son John his home now. Further it is my will that if my son John’s wife should survive him, she shall enjoy the use and profits of one half of the remainder of the above trust during her life or widowhood.

Eighth. It is my will and I direct that the resideu of my estate be divided into two equal parts and one of those parts I give unto my son David and the other these equal parts I give and devise unto my daughter Mary & heirs & assigns in trust & in full confidence that she or they will apply the use or profits thereof to the aiding & ad???ting and for the entire lawful of my son John & his family and in case of the decease of my said son John it is my will that ?????? shall remain belonging to said trust be equally divided.

Lastly. I do hereby nominate constitute and appoint my son David and daughter Mary Executors of this my last Will and testament hereby revoking all and any others by me heretofore made.

In Witness Whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this eighteenth day of the ninth month in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and twenty one.

Sarah Ambler {SEAL}

Signed Sealed and declared to be her last Will and testament by the said Testator in our presence who have hereunto subscribed our names as witnesses
George Roberts Jr.
Cadw. Foulke
Montgomery County S.S.

On the 2nd day of November 1831 personally appeared before me Benjamin Powell Deputy Register in and for said County Edward Ambler who being duly affirmed according to law saith that he was well acquainted with Cadwallader Foulke one of the subscribing witnesses to the said will that he is now deceased and that he this affirmant believes that the signature Cadw. Foulke is the proper handwriting of the said Cadwallader Foulke and further that he is well acquainted with the handwriting of Sarah Ambler the within Testator and believes that the signature Sarah Ambler is in the proper handwriting of the

Last Will and Testament of Sarah Ambler


said Sarah Ambler
Edward Ambler

Affirmed and subscribed before
Ben Powel D.R.

And on the same day above written also appeared George Roberts Jr. the other subscribing witness to the within Will who being duly affirmed saith that he signed his name in the presence of the said Sarah Ambler the within testator and in the presence of the said Cadw. Foulke as witness, and that he saw and heard the said Sarah Ambler sign seal publish and declare the within Instrument of writing as and for her last Will and Testament, and at the time of so doing she was of a sound disposing mind memory and understanding to the best of his knowledge and belief

Ben Powell D.R.

Be it Remembered, that on the 2nd day of November A.D. 1831, the foregoing will of Sarah Ambler deceased was proven in due form of law and letters Testamentary thereon granted unto David Ambler and Mary Forman Executors therein named they having been duly affirmed well and truly to execute the same to file an Inventory of all the goods & chattels, Rights & Credits which were of the said dec’d. and to sender an account according to law – Also to diligently and faithfully regard and well and truly comply with the provisions of the act of Assembly Relating to Collateral Inheritances.
Ben Powell D.R.

Last Will and Testament of Sarah Ambler


Transcription: Last Will and Testament of John Ambler.


The following is my transcription from digital images of the Last Will and Testament of John Ambler of Montgomery Township, Pennsylvania.
You will note I have included the word ‘memory’ scratched out as I believe it may be an indicator of John Ambler’s mental state at the time.
It seems he was not confident in declaring he had good or sound memory, so chose to use the term understanding to illustrate that he had not lost his faculties.
John was the father of Edward Ambler, brother of Joseph Ambler Jr. (Joseph Jr. was married to Sarah Ambler) and son of Joseph Ambler and Ann Williams.



Will of John Ambler

Late of Montgomery Township

Be it Remembered That I John Ambler of Montgomery Township in the County of Montgomery and state of Pennsylvania, Farmer being far advanced in years and in a declining state of health but of sound mind and memory understanding do think proper to make and put in writing this my last will and testament in manner and form following that is to say I will and direct that all my funeral expenses shall be paid by my executors hereinafter names as soon after my decease as it can reasonable by done. I hereby nominate constitute and appoint my two sons in law namely Jess Jenkins and Silas Walton and the survivor of them executors of this my last will and Testament. And I do order and direct my said executors to sell at public sale as soon after my decease as it can reasonably be done all my moveable effects except my wearing apparel and also my two shares of Turnpike Stock and I also to see in the same manner my messuage and farm situate in said township of Montgomery adjoining lands of John Todd and others containing about one hundred and four acres of land adjoining the aforesaid farm and land of Cyrus Collum and others containing about thirty five acres of land. And I do hereby authorize and empower my said executors and the survivor of them to sign seal and deliver good and sufficient deeds of conveyance for the premises with the appurtenances respectively belonging thereto to the purchasers thereof.

Item. I give and bequeath unto my son Naylor Ambler and

Ambler, John; Will 1


his legal representatives the sum of one hundred and fifty dollars.

Item. I give unto my son Charles Ambler and his legal representatives the sum of one hundred dollars.

Item. I give and bequeath unto my son Solomon Ambler and to his legal representatives the sum of One hundred dollars All of which said bequests are intended as a compensation for services rendered and as an equivalent for the advancements made to my daughter, and after the payment of all my debts and expenses of the settlement of my estate and the aforesaid legacies I give and bequeath all the residue and remainder of my estate including my wearing apparel unto my four sons and three daughters namely Naylor Job Charles and Solomon and Priscilla who married Silas Walton, Mary who married Jesse Jenkins, and Lydia who married Thomas Bancroft and their respective legal representatives share and share alike. And my will is that the account of the three hundred dollars for which I stand Surety for my xon Job with the interest which I have paid thereon and which my estate shall become liable for shall be deduted out of the share of my said son Job. And I do hereby nominate constitute and appoint my said son in law Jesse Jenkins and Silas Walton Trustees to have the care and charge of the shares of said sons Job and Solomon and I do order and direct that the amount of the said shares whall be placed out at interest on good security and the interest arising these from to be paid to their respective legal representatives or in such manner as it shall be by them respectively bequeathed after their decease And my will is deficiency which unnavoidably may occur in the percentage of interest or losses which shall happen in the execution of the trust But my will is that if at any time circumstances shall in the judgment of said Trustees render it advisable they shall pay to my said sons either of them such parts or the whole of said share or shares as said Trustees or the surivor of them shall determine to be right and proper leaving it entirely to their descretion to pay or withhold payment of the whole or any part or any part of the said share or shares.

And I do hereby revoke and make void all will or wills by me heretofore made declaring this written on this and the preceding page to be my last Will and Testament.

In Witness Whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this sixth day of the fifth month in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and thirty five 1835

John Ambler {SEAL}
John Ambler {SEAL}

Signed Sealed published and declared by John Ambler the testator in our presence as and for his last will and testament who in his presence and at his request in the presence of each other have written our names hereto as witnesses.

Charles F. Jenkins
Evan Jones

Registers Office May 28th, 1838.

Before me N. B. Boileau Register for the probate of Wills and Granting letters of Administration personally appeared the within

Ambler, John; Will 2


named Jesse Jenkins and Evan Jones subscribing witnesses to the within instrument of writing purporting to be the last will and testament of John Ambler and being duly affirmed did depose and say that they were present and saw the said John Ambler sign his name to the said instrument of writing and heard him pronounce it to be his last Will and Testament and requested them to sign their names as witnesses thereto and that he was of sound mind and memory at the time of his so doing.

Registered May 28, 1838
N. B. Boileau Regr.

Same day probate granted and Letters Testamentory issued to excrs in the will named they having been first qualified according to law.

Transcription: Last Will and Testament of Edward Ambler.


Featured image: 

The Joseph Ambler Inn, Wales, Pennsylvania.

The land on which the hotel now stands was originally part of a large expanse owned by William Penn. In 1682, William Penn granted 1,000 acres to Richard Pearce. In 1711, 50 acres were sold to William Morgan. Morgan built the original section of the Farmhouse, which consisted of a ground floor where meals were prepared, and a small upstairs sleeping chamber. When Morgan died, the property was sold to Joseph Ambler. Fun fact: Joseph Ambler’s profession as a wheelwright inspired the use of the carriage in our logo.

The house remained in the Ambler family until 1825 when the property was acquired by squire John Roberts who married an Ambler daughter. It was Roberts who built the middle section of the farmhouse, adding the living room and dining room.

Edward Ambler, the Testator, was the son of John Ambler and grandson to Joseph Ambler and Ann Williams.


The following is my transcription of the last will and testament of Edward Ambler of Montgomery Township, Montgomery, Pennsylvania, dated the first day of the eighth month, 1835, including two following codicils.



Will of Edward Ambler

Be it remembered that I Edward Ambler of Montgomery Township in the County of Montgomery and state of Pennsylvania Yeoman growing in years and infirmities increasing but of sound mind memory and understanding, have thought necessary to make and ordain this my last will and testament in manner following that is to say first I will that all my just debts and funeral charges be first paid and discharged.

I give and bequeath unto my two sons William and Edward all my wearing apparel to be equally divided between them, share and share alike ITEM I give unto my son Edward my desk and an Inventory of effects amounting to two hundred and thirty six dollars and seventy five cents and a further sum of two hundred dollars current lawful money of Pennsylvania ITEM I give and bequeath unto my grand-daughter Hannah Shoemaker $80 current lawful money as aforesaid ITEM I give and bequeath unto my son Andrew two hundred dollars ITEM I give unto my daughter Anna bed and bedstead with a good supply of bed clothes such as she may choose and her choise of two looking glasses and dining table ITEM I now hold a bond against my son William of two hundred dollars and my will is at my decease that said shall be void and of none effect ITEM I give and bequeath unto my three sons and two daughters all my books share and share alike.

ITEM I do hereby constitute and appoint my three sons William, Andrew and Edward executors of this my last will and testament and I will and direct them to selling plantation situate in Montgomery Township where I now dwell as soon as may be convenient after my decease containing ninety acres be it more or less and I do hereby authorize and empower my executors or the survivors to make and execute firm and indisputable lotte in conveyance for said land and premise when sold unto the purchaser in fee simple as fully, largely and authentickly as I myself might or could do were I personally present. ITEM I give and bequeath unto my two sons William and Edward all the residue and remainder of my estate after the payment of all my just debts and the legacies aforementioned to be eually divided between them share and share alike. Finally I do hereby revoke and make void all other wills by me heretofore made satisfying and holding for good this and this only for my last. In Testimony Whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this twenty fourth day of the tenth month in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and thirty one.

Edward Ambler


Signed Sealed Published and declared by the said Testator Edward Ambler as and for his last Will & Testament in the presence of us who at his request subscribed our names as witnesses hereunto. Evan Jones – Israel Childs

I Edward Ambler the Testator of the within written will and testament do by these presents declare this present writing to be a codicil to my said testament and will, and direct the same to be taken and stand as fast thereof. I give and bequeath unto my son William and his legal representatives the sum of two hundred dollars in addition to his specific legacies mentioned in said will not intending to impair the bequest of residue given to him. ITEM I also give and bequeath unto my grand daughter Hannah Shoemaker the sum of two hundred dollars in addition to the sum of eight dollars mentioned in said will, And I do hereby appoint my son Edward Ambler Trustee to have care and charge of

Last will and testament of Edward Ambler.
Last will and testament of Edward Ambler.


the said legacies, and my will is that the same be placed at interest on good security and the principal sum with the interest accrued therein be paid to her when she arrives at the age of twenty one years or at the time of her marriage whichever shall first occur, but if she shall die in her minority without having lawful issue, then in that event I give and bequeath the said sum of two hundred dollars with interest accrued the sum unto my son William and his legal representatives and said sum of eighty dollars with interest accrued ???? I give and bequeath unto my said son Edward Ambler and his legal representatives, And having full confidence in the integrity of said Trustee, my will is that he shall not be held liable nor chargeable on account of any deficiency of percentage or losses which shall occur in the execution of the Trust.

In Witness Whereof I Edward Ambler the testator have to these presents set my hand and seal this thirty first day of the eighth month in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and thirty five
Edward Ambler

Sealed published and declared by the said Testator as and for a codicil to be annexed to his last Will and Testament in our presence who at his request have signed the same as witnesses. Evan Jones Evan G. Lester

Montgomery County S.S.

Before me the subscriber on the 17th January 1838 personally appeared Evan Jones and Israel Childs who being duly affirmed according to law did depose and say that they were personally present and saw and heard Edward Ambler the testator sign seal publish pronounce and declare the foregoing instrument of writing as and for his last Will and Testament and that at the time of his so doing he was of sound disposing mind memory and understanding to the best of their knowledge and belief. At the time personally appeared Evan Jones and Evan G. Lester who being duly affirmed according to law, did say that they were personally present and saw and heard Edward Ambler the Testator, sign, seal publish and declare the foregoing and annexed Codicil as part of his last will and testament and that at the time of so doing he was of sound mind memory and understanding to the best of their knowledge & belief L.L. Boileau D.R.

Same day probate granted and Letters Testamentuary issued to the executors in the will named, they being first affirmed according to law.

Last will and testament of Edward Ambler.
Last will and testament of Edward Ambler.

Transcription: Dictionary of National Biography entry for Baron Hugh de Lacy, Lord of Meath.

The following is my transcription of the Dictionary of National Biography entry for Baron Hugh de Lacy, Lord of Meath, died 1186.

Featured image: Trim Castle, stronghold of Hugh de Lacy, 1st Lord Meath.

Baron Hugh de Lacy, Lord of Meath (d. 1186) was 25th great grandfather to my children.


Page 375

Transcription: Dictionary of National Biography entry for Baron Hugh de Lacy, Lord of Meath; page 375.
Transcription: Dictionary of National Biography entry for Baron Hugh de Lacy, Lord of Meath; page 375.

Lacy, Hugh de, fifth Baron Lacy by tenure, and first Lord of Meath (d. 1186), one of the conquerors of Ireland, was no doubt the son, and not, as has sometimes been stated, a younger brother, of Gilbert de Lacy (cf. Dugdale, Mon. Ang. vi. 135).

Gilbert de Lacy (fl. 1150), fourth baron Lacy, was son of Emma, daughter of , first baron Walter de Lacy [q.v.] His father’s name is not known. After the death of his uncle, Hugh de Lacy, the family estates were taken into the royal hands, but Gilbert assumed the name of Lacy. In the reign of Stephen he at first supported the Empress Matilda, in whose behalf he attempted to capture Bath in 1138 (Gesta Stephans, iii. 38, Rolls Series). But by 1146 he had gone over to the king, perhaps because the empress kept Joce de Dinan in possession of Ludlow Castle. So far as there is any truth in the early part of the ‘Romance

Transcription: Dictionary of National Biography entry for Baron Hugh de Lacy, Lord of Meath; page 376.
Transcription: Dictionary of National Biography entry for Baron Hugh de Lacy, Lord of Meath; page 376.

Page 376

of Fulk Fitzwarine,’Gilbert, and not his grandson Walter, must be the hero. That Joce and Gilbert were opponents is an historical fact. Gilbert appears to have obtained the favour of Henry II, and recovered his uncle’s lands ; in 1158 he was excused the domain to the king. A ittle later he joined the knights of the Temple, and went to the Holy Land. There he became preceptor of his order in the county of Trioli, in which capacity he engaged in Geoffrey of Angoulême’s successful expedition against Noureddin in 1163 (William of Tyre, xix, 8). He gave the templars’twelve hides of land, and one virgate in Guttinges, and also five burgages in Winchcombe. He is described as a prudent man and skilful soldier.

Hugh de Lacy is said to have had a dispute with Joce de Dinan as to certain lands in Herefordshire in 1154 (Weight, Hist of Ludlow, p. 54). He was in possession of his father’s lands before 1163, and in 1165-6 held fifty-eight and three-quarters knight’s fees, and had nine tenants without knight service (Eton, Shropshire, v. 253). In October 1171 he went over to Ireland with Henry II, and early in 1172 was sent to receive the submission of Roderic, king of Connaught. Before Henry’s departure about the end of March Lacy was granted Meath by the service of fifty knights and with almost royal authority; he was also put in charge of Dublin Castle. Later in the year Lacy arranged a meeting with Tiernan O’Rourke to take place at Tlachtgha, now called the Hill of Ward, near Athboy in Meath. The meeting ended in a quarrel, which both parties attributed to the treachery of the other; Tiernan was slain, and Hugh only escaped with difficulty. Lacy seems to have left Dublin in charge of Earl Richard de Clare by the king’s orders, and to have commenced securing Meath by the erection of castles. Among these was the castle of Trim, which was put in charge of Hugh Tyrel. After this Lacy went back to England (Regan, ll. 3152-3238). On 29 Dec. 1172 he was at Canterbury, where, according to a story preserved by Giraldus, he reproved Archbishop Richard for his boastful langmacge (Opera, vii. 69). Next year he was fighting for Henry in France, and held Verneuil against Louis VII for a month; but at the end of that time the town was forced to capitulate. Hugh de Lacy is mentioned as one of those who were sent by the king with his treasure to Jerusalem in May 1177 (Gesta Henrici, ii. 159). Another version names Henry de Lacy, and in any case it cannot be our Hugh, who was at the same time sent over to Ireland as procurator-general, Richard de Clare having died shortly before. The grant of Meath was now confirmed, with the addition of Offelans, Offaly, Kildare, and Wicklow (ib. ii. 161, 163-4 ; Geraldus, v. 347).

As governor of Ireland Lacy secured Leinster and Meath by building numerous castles, while he maintained peace and good order by making it his first care to preserve the native Irish in possession of their lands. by his liveral and just conduct he won the hearts of the Irish; but his friendly relations with the native chiefs soon led to an accusation that he intended to seize the sovereignty of the island for himself (ib. v. 352-358, 356(. The author of the ‘Gesta Henrich’ however, says that Lacy lost his favour with Henry in consequence of complaints of his injustice by the Irish (ii. 221). In 1181, he was recalled from his government for having married the daughter of Roderic, king of Connaught, without leave (ib ii. 270). But in the following winter Hugh was sent back, though with a condjutor in the person of one of the royal clerks, Robert of Shrewsbury. When, early in 1185, Henry sent his son John over to Ireland, the young earl complained to his father that Hugh would not permit the Irish to pay tribute. This led to fresh disgrace, but Hugh remained in Ireland, and occupied himself as before with castle-building. He had erected a castle at Durrow, in what is now King’s County, and on 25 July 1186 had gone out to view it, when ‘one of the men of Teffia, a yought named Gilla-gan-inathar O’Meyey, approached him, and with an axe severed his head from his body’ (Four Masters, iii. 73). The murderer was a foster-son of Sinnach O’Caharny, or ‘the Fox,’ chief of Teffia, by whose instigation he is said to have done the deed. A later story described him as one of the labourers on the castle, but there does not appear to be any authority for this older than Holinshed (ib. iii. 73-5 n.) William of Newburgh says that Henry was very glad at Hugh’s death, and repeats the story that he had aspired to obtain the crown of Ireland for himself (Chron. Stephen, Henry II, &c. i. 239-40, Rolls Ser.). Certainly Lacy had made himself formidable to the royal authority, and Earl John was promptly sent over to Ireland to take possession of his lands (Gesta Henrici, ii. 350).

Lacy was buried at Durrow, but in 1195 his body was removed to the abbey of Bective in Meath, and his head to St Thomas’s Church at Dublin. Afterwards a controversy arose between the canons of St Thomas and the monks of Bective, with ended in 1205 in the removal of the body to Dublin, where it was interred, together with the head, in

Transcription: Dictionary of National Biography entry for Baron Hugh de Lacy, Lord of Meath; page 377.
Transcription: Dictionary of National Biography entry for Baron Hugh de Lacy, Lord of Meath; page 377.

Page 377

the tomb of De Lacy’s first wife (Rag. St. Thomas, Dublin, pp. 848-50).
Giraldus describes Lacy as a swarth man, with small black sunken eyes, a flat nose, and an ugly scar on his check; muscular in body, but small and ill-made. he was a man of resolute character; for temperance a very Frenchman, careful in private affairs, and vigilant in public business. Despite his experience in military matters he sustained many reverses in his campaigns. He was lax in his morality, and avarisious, but eager beyond measure for honour and renown (Opera, v. 34). Hugh was a benefactor of Lanthony Abbey, and also of many churches in Ireland, including the abbey of Trim.
Hugh’s first wife was Rose or Roysya de Monemne (Monmouth); by her he had two sons, Walter (d. 1241) and Hugh, both of whom are noticed separately, and also a daughter, Elayne, who married Richard de Beaufo. By the daughter of Roderic O’Connor whose name is also given as Rose, he had a son William (called Gorm or ‘Blue’), who acted in close connection with his half-borthers. William de Lacy took a prominent part in the resistance to William Marshal in 1224, and was killed fighting against Cathal O’Reilly in 1233 (Four Masters, iii. 269 ; Hennessey Book of Fenagh, pp 72-7). He married a daughter of Llewelyn, prince of North Wales. Pierce Oge Lacy, the famous rebel of Elizabeth’s time, was eighteenth in descent from him, and from him also descend the Lynches of Galway Four Masters, iii. 75 n. ; Reg. St. Thos. Dublin, pp. 7, 419-20 ; Shirley, Royal and Historical Letters, i. 223-4, 499, 500-2, Rolls Ser.). Hugh had another son, Gilbert, who was alive in 1222 (Cal. Rot. Claus. i. 527 b), and two daughters, one married ot Geoffrey de Marisco [q.v.] Matt. Paris, ii. 277), and the other to William FitzAlan (Eyton, v. 240), but by which wife is not clear. The daughter of the king of Connaught was alive in 1224; whe had at least two other sons, Thomas and Henry, whose surname is given as Blund. Since William de Lacy is also sometimes called LeBlund, they may have been brothers of the whole blood (Shirley, u.s. i. 502).

Massive family tree sheds light on war, culture, longevity | AAAS

Online genealogies are helping researchers analyze population-level genetic trends. | MyHeritage


Taking advantage of an online public database shared by genealogy enthusiasts, researchers have created a massive, crowd-sourced family tree. It tracks the births, marriages and deaths of millions of people, shedding light on the impacts of war, culture and disease over the last several centuries.

The results are featured in a study in the March 2 issue of Science.

Many people enjoy constructing their own family trees, digging deep into their roots to understand their ancestors. Looking at the connectivity between people can also be helpful for researchers examining genetic and cultural patterns.

In 2010, Yaniv Erlich was leading a group of researchers at Whitehead Institute when he read about using pedigrees, essentially family trees, as a means to study genetics. He was already passionate about using family trees, having submitted his own data to one of the largest online public genealogy databases, “Being a Geni user for some time, I thought that Geni can be a wonderful alternative to traditional methods for collecting family trees that do not scale well,” explained Erlich, who now works as the chief science officer of MyHeritage (the Geni parent company) and is an associate professor at Columbia University.

With permission, he and his colleagues analyzed 86 million publicly available profiles from the website, which mostly reflect the histories of people in Europe and North America. They cross-referenced the family tree they created with publicly available death records from Vermont to confirm that the tree accurately reflects participants’ histories.

The family tree they assembled shows the darker moments in recent human history; for example the massive waves of death during the American Civil War, World War I and World War II. But the tree also shows a reduction in child mortality during the 20th century, likely reflective of medical advances.

One of the analyses that Erlich and his team performed using the data focuses on the heritability of longer lifespans. Previous studies looking at families and genetics have estimated that the heritability of longevity is roughly 25%. By analyzing the data, Erlich found that heritability of longevity is substantially lower, at 16%.

Read on . . .

Source: Massive Family Tree Sheds Light on War, Culture, Longevity | AAAS – The World’s Largest General Scientific Society

Archive of 150,000 historical documents reveals life in a Victorian lunatic asylum – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

The history of our families is an allure that is becoming increasingly accessible as mountains of historical documents are digitized and made public.
But while uncovering the secrets of your family heritage may surprise and even impress, there are some dark corners our great-grandparents may have preferred to have kept hidden.


In a time before brain scans and cognitive therapy, the mentally ill were often labelled as lunatics and consigned to the concrete floors of 19th century asylums.

A century later and almost 150,000 historical records including patient registers, newspaper clippings, photos and even suicide notes, have been collected and digitized by the genealogy website Ancestry.


An insight into forgotten family histories.


Black and white photo of large 19th century mental asylum


Content Acquisition Manager for Ancestry Jason Reeve said his team worked with the Public Records Office of Victoria to access and digitize almost 50,000 records and 97,000 images from 15 institutions.

“This means 50,000 individuals,” Mr Reeve said.

“The record sets that do come to light and what you find in them that you’re not expecting to find, makes every bit of information so precious.”

Mr Reeve said while the records taken from 1853 to 1940 were generally “not cheerful”, they offered critical information that would be otherwise left unnoticed.

“When you’re looking at family history, it’s not just about the good things, the good stories, the fun stories, there’s also the challenges that families had,” he said.

“When you look back a couple of generations you start to find that people didn’t talk about family history generally, let alone challenges in their family history.

Old black and white photo of Mont Park Asylum dining room with three nurses


“So something like asylum records can bring to light challenges families had or where relatives were at a particular time that might not have been discussed.”

Mr Reeve said the records shed light on how far common understandings of mental health have progressed.

“There are some records that pertain to people being in those institutions which in the modern world, they wouldn’t be there.

“It also helps us appreciate where we are today.”

Records were collected from Victoria’s institutions in Ararat, Ballarat, Belmont, Cloverdale, Kew, Lara, Merton, Mont Park, Mt Ida, Northcote, St Helens, Yarra Bend and ‘the Tofts’ in Frankston.  Read on . . .

Source: Archive of 150,000 historical documents reveals life in a Victorian lunatic asylum – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Incredible journeys of Loyalist settlers given new life in digital map. | CBC News


A digital mapping project created by librarians and students at the University of New Brunswick lets you follow the lives of Loyalist men and women, revealing the fascinating journeys of some of New Brunswick’s earliest settlers.


New Brunswick Loyalist Journeys is the result of two years of research using historical documents in the Harriet Irving Library.


Using geographic information system (GIS) mapping technology with archival material, the site tells the stories of ordinary Loyalists who settled in York County after the American Revolution.

Leah Grandy, a library assistant in the microforms department, spearheaded the project. She said it started off as a biographical project.

As the research progressed, it became clear there was a significant geographic component to each Loyalist’s story because they’d been all over the world, she said.

“We thought using maps would be a great way to show how wide-ranging they were and the variety of their experience,” said Grandy.

The map blends GIS-mapping technology with archival material, such as this copy of the determination of Abraham Vanderbeck’s Loyalist Claim by the British Crown, dated March 6, 1787. (New Brunswick Loyalist Journeys/University of New Brunswick )

Each Loyalist’s biography has its own map and is divided into sections depending on where they were at the time.

“It really shows that life journey that they went through, first through American colonies throughout the war, and then resettlement in York County,” Grandy said.

The project showcases Loyalists from a variety of backgrounds, including Moses Simpson, a black man who escaped slavery and earned his freedom after enlisting in the British army.

Read on . . .


Source: Incredible journeys of Loyalist settlers given new life in digital map – New Brunswick – CBC News

300 mysterious skeletons in mass grave: An ancient Viking army that died together?

The massive graveyard of a suspected ancient Viking army that invaded England in the late ninth century was accidentally unearthed in a church garden more than 30 years ago. But scientists couldn’t date the bones age, which meant they couldn’t figure out who the 300 skeletons had belonged to. A new technology has changed this and the results are finally in.In a study published online in Antiquity, a team of researchers led by Cat Jarman, a professor of archaeology and anthropology at University of Bristol, used a new type of carbon dating to accurately date the skeletons.Many researchers believed these bones belonged to members of the Viking “Great Army,” which began their invasion of England in 866, but proving this has been difficult. Past carbon dating of the bones put different skeletons dying in different centuries. Jarman told Newsweek that a large number of the bones had carbon dates that put them dying in the 9th, 8th, and 7th centuries, suggesting that the skeletons had been slowly deposited in the graves over several thousand years.

In the new study, the team used a form of carbon dating that took into account the large number of “old carbon” that the individuals may have consumed as a result of a high seafood diet.

Read on . . .

Source: 300 Mysterious Skeletons Found in Mass Grave Likely Belonged to Ancient Viking Army That Died Together