Past Articles

Quaker Migrations Across the Centuries

Posted on October 23, 2014 in Ancestry.com Site, Family History Month

This is a guest post by Diane VanSkiver Gagel, M.A.  The Society of Friends (Quakers) was founded in the 1640s in the east midlands of England by George Fox. The Quakers quickly expanded in numbers and geography in England. By 1655, Quakers were immigrating to the English colonies in America, partly through religious zeal to… Read more

Five Tips to Discover Your Eastern European Roots

Posted on October 22, 2014 in Ancestry.com Site, Family History Month

This is a guest post by Lisa A. Alzo You’ve just discovered you have Eastern European roots.  Perhaps it was the result of exploring your exotic sounding surname, locating a picture of your Polish great-grandmother, or viewing your Ancestry DNA test results.  Now what?  If you have no idea where or how to begin, or have… Read more

Portrait Studios of Detroit’s Polonia: The Face of Polish Immigration

Posted on October 21, 2014 in Family History Month, Research

By guest blogger Ceil Wendt Jensen The once thriving Polish communities of metro Detroit — on the Eastside, Westside, and in Hamtramck — have dissipated into the suburbs; and the schools and parishes around which life in the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries revolved, have shut their doors. We feel a sense of urgency to… Read more

CNN Roots with John Berman: What’s in a name?

Posted on October 20, 2014 in Celebrity, Research

John Berman remembers walking past a wall in the Boston Public Library that listed the names of famous philosophers throughout history. His father would point to Baruch Spinoza’s name and say, “We are related to him!” It was a strong statement given “Spinoza” is the middle name they both share, after John’s grandmother Grace Spinoza.… Read more

CNN Roots with Christine Romans: Bedstemor’s Tickets

Posted on October 19, 2014 in Celebrity, Research

We all have legends among our family stories. Some are linked to historical celebrities (my 3x great-grandfather rode with Teddy Roosevelt); some to historic events (my ancestors lived through the Great Chicago Fire); and some are inspiringly personal (my 4x great grandmother raised 12 kids on her own). Many family history adventures start when someone… Read more

CNN Roots with Fareed Zakaria: From Bombay, India to Bombings in London

Posted on October 19, 2014 in Celebrity, Research

Many decisions made by our ancestors have had a direct impact on what and where we are today. Sometimes these influential ancestors are not generations away from our memory, but have lived in our recent history, still leaving us a legacy of choices made and stories to share. Fareed Zakara, host of CNN’s “Fareed Zakaria… Read more

CNN Roots with Erin Burnett: Think of Ireland, and Think of Skye

Posted on October 17, 2014 in Celebrity, Research

Why do our ancestors move around so much or why do they stay put for generations? What was happening in the world around them where they lived and what kind of toils may they have faced? Understanding the historical context of the time in which your ancestors lived can shed light on these kinds of… Read more

CNN Roots with Jake Tapper: Obituary Gold

Posted on October 16, 2014 in Celebrity, Research

For a family historian, finding a story-rich obituary can be like receiving long lost money from an unknown great-aunt!  We knew that with CNN Chief Washington Correspondent Jake Tapper’s tree, we needed to find some of that “bank roll” to fill in the blanks within his ancestors’ Colonial story. One of the first obituaries we… Read more

CNN Roots with Don Lemon: An Étouffée of Stories

Posted on October 16, 2014 in Celebrity, Research

Don’s roots are not unlike the hot plate of étouffée carefully prepared for his return by his mother, Katherine: both Cajun and Creole, a spicy, savory blend of seafood and rice that is decidedly Louisianan. The instigator of the entire Roots series, Don wanted to better understand his deep Louisiana roots and wanted his mom… Read more

CNN Roots with Chris Cuomo: Discovering a New Branch on the Old Family Tree

Posted on October 15, 2014 in Celebrity, Research

Sometimes the smallest details can add up to the greatest helping of new information in a family tree. “Connecting the dots” within multiple documents was one way we were able to add a new branch to the Cuomo family tree. CNN’s Chris Cuomo already knew a lot about his proud Italian heritage. Our challenge was… Read more