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

Favorite Features in Family Tree Maker

Posted on January 9, 2014 in Family Tree Maker

I use Family Tree Maker every single day.  There are many reasons why I love it.  I can move around my tree without having to wait for web pages to load with each new click.  I can customize my screen to show me exactly what information I want to see about each person.  I can… Read more

Thanksgivukkah and Family History

Posted on November 28, 2013 in Ancestry.com Site, Collections, Research

Hanukkah began last night.  For the first time since 1888, the Jewish holiday coincides with Thanksgiving here in the United States. Not only that, but Thanksgivukkah will not happen for another 79,000 years.  So, families are finding unique ways to celebrate the two holidays together.  I’ve seen turkey menorahs and fall colored dreidels.  I even… Read more

Top Tips for Beginning Jewish Family History Research

Posted on October 15, 2013 in Ancestry.com Site, Collections, Family History Month, Research

In 1925 more than 3.5% of Americans identified as Jewish. Today it is less than 2%. Do you know all eight of your great-grandparents? Is it possible that one of them was Jewish? Jews have been in America since colonial times. Throughout the 1800s German Jews immigrated to the United States and spread throughout the… Read more

Our Ancestors Who Crossed The Pond

Posted on October 14, 2013 in Ancestry.com Site, Family History Month

America is often referred to as a land of immigrants. More than 95 percent of Americans descend from people who did not live on this continent in the 18th century.  That means that sooner or later most of us will be looking for our ancestors who “crossed the pond.” However, before you try to search… Read more

Major Milestones in Family History

Posted on October 10, 2013 in Ancestry.com Site, Collections, Content, Family History Month, Research Helps

This month we are celebrating Family History Month. I hope you have enjoyed the tips, tricks and insider secrets we’ve been sharing here on the blog, on our Livestream broadcasts, and on our Facebook page. Look forward to even more genealogy goodness as the month continues. In the midst of all this celebrating, I thought… Read more

Ancestry.com and FamilySearch to Make a Billion Global Records Available Online

Posted on September 5, 2013 in Company News, Content, Digitization

The following press release was issued this afternoon by Ancestry.com and FamilySearch. Groundbreaking Agreement to Deliver Valuable Historical Content Over the Next Five Years PROVO, Utah, September 5, 2013 – Ancestry.com and FamilySearch International (online at FamilySearch.org), the two largest providers of family history resources, announced today an agreement that is expected to make approximately… Read more

Browsing Records on Ancestry.com [Video]

Posted on July 25, 2013 in Searching for Records

Did you know that not all records on Ancestry.com are indexed? Even when there is an index available, sometimes it is useful to view an entire set of passenger lists or a whole neighborhood in the census to find the information you need. In this video, we share how to use the “browse” features for… Read more

Genealogy Education in 140 or Less

Posted on June 24, 2013 in Research Helps, Social Media

Every ten days or so I head on over to Tweetchat.com to host a genealogy conversation 140 characters at a time. I usually hang out there for an hour and a half or so, answering questions about a whole variety of topics – research methodologies, how to search effectively, where to find records for a… Read more

First Woman Homesteader Found At Ancestry.com and Fold3

Posted on June 18, 2013 in Ancestry.com Site, Content

Professional genealogist Gail Blankenau recently solved an ongoing mystery: Who was the first woman to secure a homestead in her own right through the Homestead Act of 1862? The answer can now be revealed thanks to family history records available at both Ancestry.com and Fold3: Mary Myers, a widow, of Gage County, Nebraska. Myers applied… Read more

Six Ways to Jump Start Your Family History Research

Posted on May 24, 2013 in Ancestry.com Site, Family Trees, Research Helps, Searching for Records, Social Media

Are you brand new to genealogy and not quite sure where to start? Maybe you’ve been doing this for a while and need some inspiration to help you break through that long standing brick wall. As we head into the long weekend, I plan on spending a little time working on my own family history… Read more