Category Archives: World War II

Google Plus Family Forest®

For a wealth of free history lessons for you or your children, here’s the simple search formula. Google “Family Forest” + __________  = engaging stories from A People-Centered Approach To History®.

Of course we believe that these stories are much more fun and enriching if you have full access to the Family Forest® National Treasure to follow the curiosity these stories are sure to generate, but these stories are great history starters on their own.

For instance, if you are looking for stories about a history event, like the 4th of July, try Googling “Family Forest” (in quotes) + signer. Or substitute in place of signer a word or phrase such as american revolution, or declaration, or independence, or tea party, or ticonderoga, or inventor.

Other history event suggestions are “Family Forest” (in quotes) + alamo, civil war, gettysburg, world war, world war II, pearl harbor, or flight.

As you can see in the previous examples, you can search for specific places. Try Googling “Family Forest” (in quotes) + a place such as hawaii, hi, texas, tx (or any of the other state names or their two-digit postal abbreviation), america, england, ireland, rome (or many other country names), jamestown, plymouth, big bear, boston, or many other key American and European cities.

You can search for specific historical figures. Try Googling “Family Forest” (in quotes) + constantine, charlemagne, milesius, solomon, longshanks, robert I, wright brothers, rockefeller, george washington, adams, jefferson, abraham lincoln, general grant, kaiulani, macarthur, patton, etc.

You can search for general themes. try Googling “Family Forest” (in quotes) + ancestors, ancestral, ancestry, ancestral history, maps, explore, genealogy, charts, cousins, progeny, heros, veterans, baseball, texas ranger, bible, senator, governor, mayflower, first lady, white house, celebrity, history, congress, obama, kerry, bush, sarah palin, royal, royalty, king, queen, prince william, kate middleton, bill gates, etc.

You can search for Hollywood and entertainment related history. Try Googling “Family Forest” (in quotes) + a word or name such as television, tv, radio, movie, gunsmoke, hollywood, oscar, golden globes, academy awards, saturday night live, tcm, brooke shields, sarah jessica parker, wdytya, ted danson, meryl streep, braveheart, star trek, john adams, tom hanks, tudors, ken burns, marilyn monroe, paris hilton, britney spears, kevin bacon, susan sarandon, julia child, madonna, buffett, etc.

There are also corporate starters to history. Try Googling “Family Forest” (in quotes) + google, yahoo, disney, microsoft, tnt, amazon.com, hbo, cbs, nbc, or imdb.

Every parent who wants to inspire their children to be smarter and do better in school should give them full access to the Family Forest® National Treasure.

The Family Forest® is also inspirational and enriching for the whole family. Here’s a link to some short videos to show some of the possibilities.

Hint: If you do not want to spend time searching use this page http://familyforest.com/archives.html as a starting point, then follow the links in these stories.

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Filed under A People-Centered Approach To History®, Alec Baldwin, American Revolution, Ancestors, Ancestral History, Ancestry, Audie Murphy, Baseball, Boston Tea Party, CBS, Civil War, Cousins, ebooks, education, Excellence, Family Forest National Treasure, Family Forest® Project, Family History, Fourth of July, Genealogy, Golden Globes, Google, Gunsmoke, Hawaii, HBO, history, Hollywood, IMDb, Independence Day, Jack Nicholson, James Arness, John Adams, Julia Child, Kate Middleton, King Robert I of Scotland, Maps, National Treasure, Pearl Harbor, Princess Kaiulani, Sarah Jessica Parker, Sarah Palin, SNL, Susan Sarandon, television, Texas, The Tudors, White House, Who Do You Think You Are, World War II

Journey Back to Pearl Harbor December 7, 1941

Let us never forget what happened on this day 69 years ago at Pearl Harbor. Some of us can only remember it from the history books, the stories we have heard of heroes, and the movies we have seen. For some of our parents and grandparents, it is still a very vivid memory that changed their lives.

Now with the grand opening dedication of the new Pearl Harbor Visitors Center on the 69th Anniversary of the attack, this December 7th 2010 we have another way of honoring these men and women. We can visit there, take a journey back in time with the latest in digital technology, and reflect on what happened on that day in history. 

If you plan to attend here is a listing of the events: http://pacificislandparks.com/2010/11/30/remember-pearl-harbor-events/ 

Watch Pearl Harbor the movie and see how it relates to you. 

Volunteer at the New Visitors center at:http://the-military-guide.com/2010/11/29/construction-tour-of-the-new-uss-arizona-memorial-museums/

Discover a captivating book about individual World War II soldiers and their stories at Everytown USA

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Filed under A People-Centered Approach To History®, Pearl Harbor, World War II

Warrior Genes

Here’s a Veterans’ Day question. What do the most decorated U.S. soldier in World War I and the most decorated U.S. soldier in World War II have in common?

One answer appears to be warrior genes.

According to the recorded history mapped out and networked in the Family Forest®, and summarized in this computer-generated Family Forest® relationship chart, both Sergeant Alvin York and Audie Murphy are descended from Sir Henry “Hotspur” Percy.

According to his Wikipedia profile, Sir Henry Percy “early acquired a great reputation as a warrior.”

Who would have been more surprised? Would it have been Sir Henry Percy to learn that two of his descendants each also acquired a great reputation as a warrior? Or would it have been Sergeant York and Audie Murphy to discover they both shared the same famous warrior ancestor?

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Filed under Ancestral History, Audie Murphy, Family Forest, Family Forest® Project, Family Genes, Genealogy, Sergeant Alvin York, Sir Henry Percy, Veterans Day, World War II

Before there was a U.S.S. Spangler

We recently learned of the U.S.S. Spangler reunion which will be starting on Monday October 25, 2010 in San Antonio, TX.

Prompted by a great visit from Kristine’s cousin Jeannie, both nieces of the Purple Heart recipient the ship was named for, we began reading through a large stack of Uncle Donald’s letters and clippings that were still in the possession of his only living sibling and my outstanding father-in-law, nonagenarian Robert Kent Spangler.

Amid the sorrow of losing so much promise so early, what fun it was! New discoveries led to other new discoveries.

For instance, we found a letter written on the Fourth of July 1943 to Mr. and Mrs. Martin and Myrtle Elizabeth (Blue) Spangler (Donald’s mother, Mrs. Spangler christened the U.S.S. Spangler).

It was from Miss Velma V. Vogelman of Baltimore, MD who knew Donald from his Naval Academy days. She had just learned of his death through LIFE magazine, and she was writing on the anniversary of a significant day.

“On July 4, 1940 he came to Baltimore and spent the day with me and my parents. This day I shall always remember as one of the happiest in my life. He spoke often of his home and parents and how he would have enjoyed spending that particular day with you in Albion, Ind.”

We had never heard of a mention of Uncle Donald in LIFE. So we used Google Books and quickly found it in print in the July 5, 1943 issue on page 21.

We’re looking forward to following up on other discoveries from the letters and clippings. What other interesting insights to history are waiting to be found?

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Filed under Ancestors, Ancestral History, Cousins, Family Forest National Treasure, Family Forest® Project, Fourth of July, Genealogy, history, Independence Day, Reunion, Uncategorized, USS Spangler, Veterans Day, Women's History Month, World War II

Texas Heroes and Google Books

I’d like to share a fascinating ancestral history gem I discovered at Google Books this week. 

It involves early Texas heroes, and the essence of it has now been digitally lineage-linked in the Family Forest® to a more recent national hero from Texas. Literally millions of people, including probably you (I know I am one of them), relate to this story through their own family ties. 

Audie Murphy was a national hero from Texas, the most decorated American soldier in World War II. His biography, No Name on the Bullet, mentions that his family tree included such men as one of his great-grandfathers, John Berry, but gives no identifying details about John Berry or what he did. So I turned to Google Books in search of answers.

I found more than I was hoping for. It was hidden in a book from 1900 by A. W. Sowell titled Early Settlers and Indian Fighters of Southwest Texas. 

Within a six-page section about John Berry’s wife (titled Mrs. Hannah Berry) are details about who he was, what he did, and in particular the noteworthy service he performed for Davy Crockett shortly before the Alamo. But it was a statement about his wife, also an ancestor of Audie Murphy, which caught my attention. 

While she was still alive, Grandma Berry is said to have had “seventy-four grandchildren that she knows of, and one hundred and twenty-four great-grandchildren, and two great-great-grandchildren.” 

We now know what the author A. W. Sowell could not know; a half century later, Grandma Berry would become an ancestor of at least one Hollywood actor, the most decorated American soldier in World War II. 

How many thousands (tens of thousands?) of living descendants might Grandma Berry have now, a full century after she finished her historically eventful and productive life in Texas at the age of 91? How many of her descendants do not yet know of their own family ties to her, the Alamo, and Audie Murphy?

The National Treasure Hunt begins in Texas. See for yourself.

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Filed under A People-Centered Approach To History®, Ancestors, Ancestral History, Ancestry, Audie Murphy, Family Forest National Treasure, Family Forest® Project, Family Trees, Genealogy, Google, history, Hollywood, National Treasure, Texas, World War II

Veterans Day Ancestors-at-a-glance™

Here are some links to new Ancestors-at-a-glance™ charts for Veterans Day 2009. A few were warriors, and the others served or are serving our country in other ways that support American armed forces service people. 

Thomas Jefferson was the main author of the famous document that started it all, the Declaration of Independence. 

Francis Scott Key in the aftermath of a pivotal battle in our nation’s history, gave us the most well-known inspirational song of our nation, The Star-Spangled Banner. 

General Douglas MacArthur and General George S. Patton are probably the two most famous warriors of World War II, and they have both been immortalized in Hollywood films. 

President Franklin Delano Roosevelt steered our nation through World War II and made the tough decisions that impacted all of our lives.

Kristine’s Uncle Donald was killed in action early in World War II and the USS Spangler was named in his honor

Senator John McCain has not only served our country as a warrior and endured the unimaginable horrors of being a POW, he has been a leading spokesman for our nation’s veterans from a number of wars. 

After “Saving Private Ryan,” famous Oscar-winning actor Tom Hanks has also become a prominent figure head for World War II and veterans. He has been involved with the new National World War II Museum which just opened this month in New Orleans. 

The Family Forest® National Treasure Edition honors many of our nation’s veterans by passing along their heritage digitally to future generations in a way I feel certain would make them proud.

Veterans Day 2009 Poster

Veterans Day 2009 Poster

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Filed under Ancestors, Ancestral History, Family Forest, Family Forest National Treasure, Family Forest® Project, FamilyForest, Genealogy, Tom Hanks, Veterans Day, World War II