About Crista Cowan

Crista has been doing genealogy since she was a child. She has been employed at Ancestry.com since 2004. Around here she's known as The Barefoot Genealogist.Google Twitter

Past Articles

The New Facts View: Make Sure You Are Climbing YOUR Family Tree and Not Someone Else’s

Posted on June 8, 2015 in Ancestry.com Site, Site Features

Have you seen the new Facts View on your Ancestry online tree?  If you haven’t let me tell you what you are missing.  Just like before, you will find the facts you’ve discovered and entered about the life of a person in your tree running down the page like a timeline.  You will also find… Read more

Ancestry LifeStory: The Life Lived in the Dash

Posted on June 2, 2015 in Ancestry.com Site, Site Features

As a genealogist, I love putting the puzzle of the family tree together.  I love the process of reasonably exhaustive searches and analysis and correlation of evidence. I love how one genealogical question leads to another and those questions lead to records that lead to more questions.  It’s exciting to share that “thrill of the… Read more

The Greatest Funeral in the History of the United States

Posted on April 21, 2015 in In The Community, Moments in Time

In the early morning hours of April 15th, 1865, President Abraham Lincoln died due to a fatal gunshot wound received the night before at Ford’s Theater. Later that morning, an honor guard arrived at the Petersen Boarding House, where Lincoln was taken to be treated. There, six young men picked up the body of the… Read more

Leaving a Legacy: Sojourner Truth

Posted on February 23, 2015 in Ancestry.com Site

When learning about the lives of extraordinary individuals – whether it’s famous women in history or someone from my own family tree – I’m always curious about their childhood.  What experiences did they have that formed them into the human being they became.  What things did they see, what choices did they make in their… Read more

The Indian Removal Act of 1830

Posted on November 12, 2014 in Research

Humanity has often wept over the fate of the aborigines of this country and philanthropy has long been busily employed in devising means to avert it, but its progress has never for a moment been arrested, and one by one have many powerful tribes disappeared from the earth. … But true philanthropy reconciles the mind… Read more

Upcoming Ancestry Events: November 2014

Posted on November 4, 2014 in Events, Webinars

There is snow on the mountains here in Utah.  Hard to believe that fall is already winding down and winter is on its way.  The good news is that many of us will now be spending more time indoors.  And what better indoor activity than curling up with your laptop and doing a little family… Read more

Immigration in the 1600s

Posted on October 7, 2014 in Family History Month, Research

We probably all remember the little school room ditty about how, in 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue. Columbus was not the first and he would not be the last. Exploration of the New World had been happening for a while by then. It would continue for several more decades before the first permanent European… Read more

Upcoming Ancestry Events: October 2014

Posted on October 1, 2014 in Events, Family History Month, Webinars

Here in the U.S., it is officially National Family History Month.  Fall is in full swing.  Crisp air.  Crunchy leaves.  The perfect weather for taphophiles (also known as cemetery enthusiasts).  We hope you’ll join us this month for our FindAGrave Community Day on October 18th. We’ve also got some great webinars, tweetchats, and family history… Read more

Upcoming Ancestry.com Events: August 2014

Posted on August 1, 2014 in Events

Summer is heating up!  Think it’s too hot to spend time outside?  Me, too.  So, join us for a month full of webinars and events that you can enjoy from the air conditioned comfort of your home.  And, don’t forget to tune in to Who Do You Think You Are? on TLC every Wednesday night.… Read more

The Beehive State: Utah State Research Guide

Posted on July 25, 2014 in Research

This week marks 167 years since the Mormon Pioneers entered the Great Salt Lake Valley. Here are five things you might not know about Utah: 1. The original inhabitants of Utah were Gosiute, Southern Paiute, Ute, Shoshone, and Navajo tribes. 2. Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (more commonly called “Mormons”)… Read more