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

RootsTech 2012 Has Come and Gone

Posted on February 9, 2012 in Events, Social Media

I absolutely LOVE genealogy conferences. I love meeting new people and running into old friends. I love attending classes to learn new things. And, I love teaching classes where I get to watch people’s eyes light up with discovery. I love spending time in the Ancestry.com booth where I’m able to help people break through… Read more

International Holocaust Remembrance Day

Posted on January 27, 2012 in Content, World Archives Project

Today, January 27th, is the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau. As such, the United Nations has designated this day, each year, as International Holocaust Remembrance Day. This year, in particular, the theme is Children and the Holocaust. Over 1.5 million Jewish children, and tens of thousands of other children were murdered during the Holocaust.… Read more

Got Pennsylvania Ancestors?

Posted on January 26, 2012 in Ancestry.com Site, Ancestry.com Wiki, Content, Research Helps, Social Media

Did you catch this week’s Ancestry LIVE broadcast? We talked about Pennsylvania Vital records. We had over 400 people who joined us live in the broadcast and the chat afterwards. And, at last check, over 2,000 of you have watched the archived video on our YouTube channel. I guess Pennsylvania records are pretty important to… Read more

Five Steps to Doing Genealogy Research Like A Pro

Posted on January 20, 2012 in Ancestry.com Wiki, Research Helps, Searching for Records

If you caught my Ancestry LIVE broadcast on Thursday morning you know that the topic of the week is Research Like a Pro. (If you haven’t watched it yet go ahead. We’ll wait for you.) I’ve been doing genealogy research professionally for almost a decade now. When clients are paying you by the hour, you… Read more

Five Genealogy Goals For The New Year

Posted on January 6, 2012 in Ancestry.com Site, Family Tree Maker, Family Trees, Stories

The first week of the new year is now behind us. I know it took me a few extra days to recover from the holiday. In fact, my mom just flew home yesterday. We had a wonderful December full of family and food and fun. I hope you did, too. Now life is now back… Read more

Echoes From Pearl Harbor

Posted on December 6, 2011 in Stories

I’m not sure why I am surprised by how many of you were there or had family who were there. I have read every one of your stories as they have streamed in over the past week. Those first hand accounts help us remember the living history of pivotal events in the world. You remind… Read more

My Genealogy Gratitude List. What’s Yours?

Posted on November 23, 2011 in Ancestry.com Site, Stories, World Archives Project

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving. By this time next week I expect I will be overstuffed on turkey, overloaded on football and overjoyed at spending a long weekend with my extended family.  I will also have spent the entire month posting (almost) daily status updates on my personal Facebook profile about the things I am grateful for. … Read more

Day of the Dead

Posted on October 31, 2011 in Social Media, Stories

I’ve always loved Halloween. The candy. The silly costumes. The candy. The great Autumn decorations. Did I mention the candy? Maybe I love Halloween because my birthday is the very next day. Maybe it’s because I’ve always had a fascination with dead people. I was raised in California where many of our Mexican friends and… Read more

Births, Marriages and Deaths. Oh My!

Posted on October 21, 2011 in Content, Searching for Records

Did you notice what happened this week here at Ancestry.com? We released over 50 databases containing indexes to millions of vital records from all over the United States. Some of these records date all the way back the 1600s and the most recent of them are from last year. (You can find the complete list… Read more

The First World Memory Project Collection Now Available In Search

Posted on August 11, 2011 in World Archives Project

Three months ago, Ancestry.com and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum launched the World Memory Project. Since that time almost 2000 community contributors have indexed over 395,000 records across 15 different record collections.  These records contain information about victims and survivors of the Holocaust and Nazi-era persecution. We are proud to announce that this generous community… Read more