Americans Desire Explorers, Royalty, Mayflower Descendants and Military Heroes in Their Family Tree

Posted by Ancestry Team on July 14, 2015 in Celebrity, Cool Finds, Research

When researching their family history, Americans prefer to find ancestors who were explorers, royalty, Mayflower descendants, and veterans of the Revolutionary and Civil Wars. However, despite such aspirational wishes, Americans more often descend from World War II veterans, immigrants, and entrepreneurs and businessmen. The new findings are part of the second chapter in its Global… Read more

Leaving a Legacy: Hedy Lamarr

Posted by Lou Szucs on February 26, 2015 in Cool Finds, Moments in Time

If you were asked who the most beautiful woman in the world is today, the names of Angelina Jolie, Kate Upton or Monica Bellucci might come to mind. In the 1940s, the person deemed to be “the” most beautiful woman in the world was Hedy Lamarr. The glamorous pin-up girl, who starred in dozens of American… Read more

50 Years of Maple Leaf History

Posted by Kristie Wells on February 15, 2015 in Cool Finds, Moments in Time

Today, February 15, Canada celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Canadian flag. To mark this significant historic anniversary Ancestry researchers surveyed 1,000 Canadians to see how much they really know about their history. They also dug into the family histories of the key figures responsible for the Canadian flag we know today. THE SURVEY FOUND: 70% of… Read more

Mary Christmas, Belle Ringer & Miss L. Toe – Festive names found on Ancestry.

Posted by Brian Gallagher on December 27, 2014 in Cool Finds, Stories, United Kingdom

  We have all discovered interesting names and stories in the course of our family history research. Some more unusual than others. Researchers here at Ancestry took a look through our collections to see if they could find some festive names. Mary Christmas from South Carolina and Mrs. Belle Ringer of West Virginia are just… Read more

13 Spooky Family History Finds

Posted by Ancestry Team on October 30, 2014 in Site, Cool Finds, Holidays

Witches, ghosts, murder—researchers from Ancestry found them all and more when they started combing the headlines for spooky facts in some current, and former, celebrities’ pasts.   Real Witch Found in Emma Watson’sFamily Tree: Muggle actress Emma Watson, famous for playing Hermione Granger, the preternaturally talented witch and ally of Harry Potter, has a real-life… Read more

Happy Birthday to Lots of You!

Posted by Amy Johnson Crow on September 16, 2014 in Cool Finds

Happy birthday! If your birthday is September 16, chances are you know someone else with the same birthday as you. It is the most common birthday in the United States for those born between 1973 and 1999. (If you’re a visual data/infographic geek like I am, check out the heat map that Andy Kriebel put… Read more

Profile: Private Sarah “Lyons” Wakeman

Posted by Paul Rawlins on March 18, 2014 in Cool Finds, Military Records

“I am as independent as a hog on the ice. If it is God’s will for me to fall in the field of battle, it is my will to go and never return home.” That quote comes from a letter Private Lyons Wakeman of the 153rd New York Infantry wrote to family back home in… Read more

Local Histories: Let it Snow

Posted by Lou Szucs on February 23, 2014 in Site, Collections, Content, Cool Finds, Moments in Time, Searching for Records

Being a history lover, I subscribe to a whole lot of paper and online newsletters and magazines. A few weeks back, an item in the Wisconsin Historical Society weekly email caught my eye – reservations were being taken for old-fashioned horse-drawn sleigh rides. How fun would it be to feel, hear, and see what our… Read more

What Would You Put in a Time Capsule?

Posted by Kristie Wells on January 14, 2014 in Cool Finds

In 1913, Virginia Sohlberg, President of the Ladies Aid Society, led a fundraiser where space was auctioned off inside a 100-year ‘time capsule’ in an effort to raise enough funds so her local church could purchase a new Mueller pipe organ. This project was dubbed the ‘Century Chest.’ More than 20 boxes were filled, then buried under a 12-inch slab… Read more

Cool Collection Finds

Posted by Pam Velazquez on December 3, 2013 in Site, Cool Finds digitizes millions of records to make them available online, and we find some really amazing records in the process. The Ancestry team goes through thousands of pieces of paper – turning pages, flipping and scanning, and sometimes, one of our team members will spot someone famous, a historical figure or an important historical… Read more