Thank you GenealogyBank!

We get letters all the time from ecstatic genealogists who broke through their brick walls in GenealogyBank. Grateful letters that say – “Wow – I finally found him” in GenealogyBank … thank you, thank you.

Tonight I received a “Wow – I finally found him” note from Jane Giavelli Lauhon. She wrote:

Thank you so much for your hard work and dedication by maintaining your website.


Since 1980 (when I began my genealogy search) I have been trying to find a connection to Italy for my Dad’s Giavelli side.
Our Giavelli ancestor’s have been a huge, huge challenge because they were affiliated with The Ravel’s (a circus group from France). I have been researching Ravel’s hoping to find information about my 2nd great grandfather, Leon Giavelli and his wife, Harriet Wells.

Today I was finally able to find the connection and am very, very happy.

I knew this family originated in Italy; I just didn’t know it until today when one of your articles connected us to Giavelli’s in Italy.

My mother’s father, Guissepe Manno, is Italian and I have been wondering how much Italian ancestry I have. Now I can say I am 1/2 Italian!

Thank you again and I am going to keep searching your site to see what other goldmine’s I can find.

Sincerely,
Jane Giavelli Lauhon

This is what Jane found – what will you find?
Give GenealogyBank a try right now click here and sign up.

Wild Bill Obama

May 27th was Wild Bill Hickok’s day – I wrote about how easy it is to find newspaper articles about him in GenealogyBank.

Wild Bill Hickok is in the news again – when Barack Obama mentioned his family tradition that he was a distant cousin to Wild Bill – James Butler Hickok (1837-1876).

(Photo: Texas Observer Blog 27 Feb 2007)

Don’t you love it when politicians talk about their genealogy!

The New England Historic Genealogical Society does and issued a statement yesterday verifying Obama’s family tradition:

Obama and Hickok are sixth cousins, six-times removed. Their common ancestor is Thomas Blossom, who came to Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1629 from Leiden, Holland. Obama’s 4th great-grandfather, Jacob Dunham, was 6th cousins with Wild Bill. Obama’s mother, Stanley Ann, is also a Dunham.

“The ancestry of Wild Bill Hickok was published by NEHGS some years back, which showed he descended from the Blossom family of Cape Cod, an early family written up in one of our scholarly publications,” said Child. He added, “Since we had also recently done the ancestry of Senator Obama, finding this connection was a little easier.”

Click here to see the Obama – Hickok family tree – Wild Bill is related to Obama through his mother Polly Butler.

It’s Wild Bill Hickok’s Day ….

Wild Bill Hickok – James Butler Hickok – was born on May 27, 1837 in Troy Grove, Illinois.

Famous in movies, films and hundreds of newspaper articles – he is central to the legends of the Old West.

Newspapers serialized his story and pictured him fighting bears, outlaws and Confederate agents. Images by Van Ben.



Newspapers reported the high moments and the low ones – like the time he mistakenly killed a friend – Special Deputy Marshall Mike Williams.
(Aberdeen (SD) American – 10 Jan 1908).


They called him a hero and a coward (Columbus Daily Enquirer – 11 May 1899).


But the real coward was his killer Jack McCall who shot him – in the back – in 1876.

He was shot in the back and killed by Jack McCall in 1876 in Deadwood, SD.

GenealogyBank has over 3,400 newspapers packed with historical articles about the Old West right up to today. Give it a try right now.