Ancestry Blog The official blog of Ancestry Sat, 22 Nov 2014 19:40:28 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Welcome to the Cotton State! Alabama Research Guide Sat, 22 Nov 2014 13:00:36 +0000 Anne Gillespie Mitchell Read more]]> Sometimes known as the Cotton State, Alabama actually has no official nickname.

Library of Congress, “Scenes from Alabama…,” digital TIFF file, Carol M Highsmith, 2010

Library of Congress, “Scenes from Alabama…,” digital TIFF file, Carol M Highsmith, 2010

Five things you may not have known about Alabama:

  1. Huntsville is known as the rocket capital of the world.
  2. Workers in Alabama built the rocket that put the first man on the moon.
  3. Sequoyah, a Alabama resident, created the Cherokee phonetic, written alphabet.
  4. A prehistoric skeleton of a man was found in Russell Cave.
  5. Baseball players Henry Louis “Hank” Aaron and Willie Howard Mays, as well as boxer Joe Louis are all natives of Alabama.

Our new free state guide, Alabama Research Guide: Family History Sources in the Cotton State, has an overview and timeline of the state, along with resources to explore when searching for your Alabama ancestors. Guides for other states are also available in the Learning Center under Free State Research Guides.

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What We Are Reading: November 21st Edition Sat, 22 Nov 2014 04:15:47 +0000 Amy Johnson Crow Read more]]> Thanksgiving is quickly approaching here in the U.S. I had to travel for business yesterday and the airports were filled with families flying home for the holiday. I hope none of them were trying to get to Buffalo, where they just had 6 feet of snow! I also hope that everyone takes some time this holiday to record some of the family stories.

Library of Congress, Thanksgiving dinner at the house of Earle Landis, 1942.

Library of Congress, Thanksgiving dinner at the house of Earle Landis, 1942.

Though it’s a busy time, it’s important to slow down and take a break every once in awhile. So put down those pecans that you’re measuring for that pie. Take a few minutes and enjoy some of what we’ve been reading this week.

We’ve all gone down the wrong street. But not all of us have done that and ended up face-to-face with a mural featuring our family members. That’s what happened to Joan Taylor and her husband. Read about it in “Stop! That’s Your Family!” on the Cairns & District Family History Society Inc blog.

They say that a good way to get kids interested in history is to get them involved. That’s why officials at the Glamorgan Archives invited a bunch of schoolchildren to work there for a day.  Jessica Flynn has their reaction to working with old documents on WalesOnline.

Thinking about skipping over the clues in a family tree because there aren’t any sources? Harold Henderson wants you to re-think that in “How I Learned What To Do With Undocumented Family Trees” on the Midwestern Microhistory blog.

With Thanksgiving coming up, we had to read something about the Pilgrims. We didn’t read about just any ol’ Pilgrims.  We read about some naughty ones. You can, too, in Vera Marie Badertscher’s “My Bassett Ancestors – Naughty Pilgrims” on Ancestors in Aprons.


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New AncestryDNA Technology Powers New Kinds of Discoveries Thu, 20 Nov 2014 19:26:44 +0000 Anna Swayne Read more]]> Matching_option2

Finding evidence that you’re a descendant of a particular ancestor is one of the powerful applications of DNA testing. AncestryDNA has created a groundbreaking new way to make those kinds of powerful discoveries. We call it DNA Circles and it’s currently available in BETA for AncestryDNA customers.

DNA Circles re-imagines what matching can do. It goes beyond finding a common ancestor with your DNA matches and can link you to additional AncestryDNA members with the same common ancestor thus creating a Circle of people who are all related.

Once a DNA Circle is created, a new kind of discovery will appear on your DNA results page. Here is an example.

DNA homepage

Each circle is based on a common ancestor. As you click through to the Circle for an ancestor, if you have an Ancestry membership, you can see all the members in the Circle, how they are related to your ancestor, and who else they have in their family tree. This is where DNA Circles really shines. Being able to see a collection of your DNA matches centered around a common ancestor all at once gives you a new tool to do more with your new-found cousins. It makes it easier to exchange photos, stories, and other new information to add to what you all know about your ancestor. In short, it makes collaborating with your new extended family easier than ever.

DNA circles group peeps

Here is an example of a DNA Circle with William Grey as the common ancestor. It includes nine members who all have William Grey in their family tree and have also taken a DNA test.

DNA Circles can potentially uncover new relatives that DNA matching alone would not have found. Because you inherit only fractions of DNA from your distant ancestors (read more about genetic inheritance), you may have inherited different parts of your ancestors’ DNA than many of your cousins. By finding the interconnected people, it’s very possible that there will be people in your DNA Circle with whom you are not a direct genetic match with, but who do match others in the group and share the same ancestor in their family tree. It’s like meeting a friend of a friend—or in this case a cousin of a cousin. The more people who take the test, the bigger your group can get.

Exploring the links to each of the other members in the Circle will provide you with a side-by-side comparison of the connection you have and give you another look into the research.

match comparison dna

Take some time to dive into this new feature and explore all the new things you can learn. Revisit your DNA Circles often because as the database grows you can get a DNA Circle at any time.

So, How Does it Work?

DNA Circles starts with well-proven DNA matching technology to find your distant cousins among other AncestryDNA members. Then we look at all of the matches together to find people that are interconnected.

This is where the power of having an Ancestry tree connected to DNA comes into play. Using family trees, we look for an ancestor shared across this group of DNA-related people. When AncestryDNA finds one, a DNA Circle is created.

connection with dna

The good news is that we’ve trained the computer to do the hard stuff like DNA matching, tree comparisons, and triangulation for you. You then get to focus on taking this discovery and building on it to make a few more of your own. You can learn more about DNA circles and read the white paper by clicking on the help link on your DNA homepage. To access the help link, select one of your DNA Circles and click the question mark in the top right hand side.

What If You Don’t Have a DNA Circle, Yet?

Not every AncestryDNA member will have a DNA Circle. Here are some important details about how DNA Circles are created that can help explain why you might not have one.

  1. Have a “public” family tree linked to your DNA results. If you don’t have a family tree, it’s free to start one. If you have a tree, make sure it’s linked to your DNA results, set to be shared publicly, and goes back to the most distant ancestor you know. You can use research tools on Ancestry to help. I would strongly encourage linking your DNA results to a tree, even if that tree has limited information. DNA can be the tool to unlock your family discoveries and having even a small tree will help get you on the path without delay. (Standard privacy rules still apply for DNA Circles.)
  2. A DNA Circle requires three or more people. To form a DNA Circle we need at least three separate family units. (Units consist of first cousin and closer.) Three or more people  who are second cousins or more distantly related need to be tested and have the same common ancestor in their public tree to make a Circle. Mom, Uncle Joe, and you will not make up a DNA Circle, but having additional extended family members can increase your DNA Circle connection strength or potentially extend your reach, since they might have inherited the DNA to link you to another Circle.
  3. Reach out to second cousins or more distant family members. Having more people in your family tested will increase the likelihood that you will be in or create a Circle, and will make the Circle more powerful in terms of its potential reach.
  4. DNA Circles go back seven generations (six generations back, plus you). If you have matches that could be in a Circle but share a common ancestor past seven generations, they will not show up in a Circle. They will still show up as matches to you in your regular list, but the cut off for Circles is seven generations. Early analysis showed that more distant relationships were less reliable and may form DNA Circles around inaccurate data. Since DNA Circles is in beta, we are being a little more conservative to have more confidence in the results. This is something we will continue to analyze and may change over time.
  5. You must be an active subscriber (any level) to view DNA Circles.  Having a membership is not a guarantee that you will have DNA Circles, but if you do have DNA Circles, an Ancestry membership will allow you to view them.

DNA Circles Will Continue to Grow

DNA Circles is in beta, so please give us feedback on your experience. And don’t worry if you don’t have a circle yet; not everyone will have one immediately. But as the database grows and as you expand your tree, you will have more chances to get a DNA Circles.



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The Big Reveal: Century Chest Opened at Oklahoma Historical Society Thu, 20 Nov 2014 15:00:22 +0000 Jessica Murray Read more]]> Every family historian dreams of the day we discover a perfectly cared for time capsule which holds treasures and artifacts from the past.

In 2013, the Oklahoma Historical Society revealed a Century Chest, a throwback to what life was like in Oklahoma City in 1913. The chest was put together by volunteers as a creative way to raise money for a new organ at the First Lutheran Church of Oklahoma City. The local ladies societies took months carefully selecting what would be added to the chest and community members could participate by providing a donation and signing the guest book.

Chad Williams, Director of Research for the Oklahoma Historical Society, took us on a personal tour of the Century Chest exhibit and shares some unique stories and items that were included in the Century Chest, watch the video below.

To learn more about the Century Chest exhibit at the Oklahoma Historical Society visit this link.

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DNA Matching Just Got Better Wed, 19 Nov 2014 18:44:33 +0000 Anna Swayne Read more]]> Matching_option1

We’re excited to tell you about some major improvements we’ve made to help you find your possible relatives with AncestryDNA.

AncestryDNA scientists have innovated new and better ways to identify family relationships by comparing DNA between AncestryDNA members. Now, AncestryDNA is almost 70x more likely to find distant relatives, and all existing AncestryDNA members will see improved results.

What this means for you:

  • More accurate — Each of your DNA matches will be more accurate and is more likely to be related to you. You can feel confident that you share a recent ancestor (up to 5–10 generations).
  • Less is more — Because DNA matching is more accurate, some people who you matched before will no longer be on your list. So you’ll see fewer matches, but each of the ones you have will be more likely to result in a new family discovery.
  • This innovative way of DNA matching lays a foundation for new DNA features.
  • Best part — you don’t need to provide a new sample. We simply compare your DNA results again to everyone in the database using our new matching algorithms and give you an improved, higher-confidence list of DNA matches.
  • Check out your matches and see more detail around the confidence levels for each match.

Here are a few of the ways we were able to improve DNA matching:

Separating What Makes Us Human from What Makes Us Related

Now that AncestryDNA has more than 500,000 DNA samples, the science team has been able to identify patterns in DNA matches that only become apparent with a unique data set like this. One of those patterns is something people call “pile-ups” for lack of a better term. The basic description of a “pile-up” is an area in DNA where there are hundreds and sometimes thousands of people sharing the same genetic code. Ken Chahine describes this in a recent blog post where he says, “When you take a step back, matching isn’t as simple as it might first appear.  After all, we are all 99% identical. In other words, determining which parts of our genome make us ‘human’ and which make us ‘recent cousins’ is tricky…”

This tends to happen when people share an ethnicity or traits, but not a recent common ancestor. These kind of matches won’t appear in your results anymore because they aren’t relevant to family history research.


AncestryDNA not only uses sophisticated mathematical models to identify DNA matches, we are also one of the few autosomal DNA tests to apply a technology called “phasing” in order to better identify the strands of DNA you inherited from each of your parents. While this can’t necessarily separate your matches by which side of the family they come from, it does improve the ability to find possible relatives who share DNA by keeping the strands of DNA you inherited from each of your parents intact.


The AncestryDNA science team continues to validate the new matching algorithms and techniques and evolve the technology to help AncestryDNA customers make new and exciting  discoveries.

We’ve shared lots more details on how DNA matching at AncestryDNA works. Check out our white paper for the full details. To view the white paper, go to your DNA homepage, click View all DNA matches, and then click the help question mark in the upper-right corner. That will give you access to all the help content for matching and the white paper.


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Can DNA Help You Find Your Birth Parents? – Part II Wed, 19 Nov 2014 15:00:41 +0000 Read more]]> By Henry Louis Gates Jr. and Jake Byrnes, Ph.D., Population Genomics Technical Manager for AncestryDNA

“I am adopted and have NO clues about my birth except a sort of “fake” birth certificate from when I was born in Texas. No family name. No known blood relatives. Would the DNA test be a good option for me anyway? What will I learn about my family from taking a DNA test?” —Rita M

Dear Rita,

As we said in our last post, DNA testing can sometimes provide truly miraculous results for adoptees wishing to pursue information about their birthparents. Below we detail one such story kindly provided to us by an employee and his brother-in-law. Before jumping in to the story, we need to understand just how DNA analysis actually works to help us find out where did I come from and to whom am I related? Here’s how:

Consumer genetics tests provide an incredible genealogy entry-point for adoptees. Most tests on the market today provide two key results. The first is an estimate of where in the world your ancestors likely lived 10 to 20 generations in the past. Many of us have some idea of the countries from which our immigrant ancestors arrived in America, but if you are adopted, these tests provide an answer to the ubiquitous icebreaker question, “where are you from?” Even for individuals with a solid knowledge of their family history, these genetic ethnicity results can be enlightening and sometimes quite surprising. Most African Americans, for example, contain significant percentages of European ancestry, even if they don’t look like they do!

The second result is a list of individuals with whom you share long stretches of identical DNA. Your list of genetic matches constitutes the set of all your biological relatives who have also taken the same test. This list will include not only your closest relatives such as children and parents, but also more distant relatives such as fourth cousins (relatives with whom you share great-great-great-grandparents).

What never fails to surprise test takers (and us!) is the sheer number of genetic relatives these tests can reveal. A rough estimate from the AncestryDNA database of currently 500,000 customers shows that the average test taker is likely to find thousands of genetic relatives—with whom any genealogy buff (or novice) can connect to exchange stories, pictures, and insights about shared family.

And sometimes, among those thousands of relatives, is the one person who holds the key to discovering your biological family tree—as we share in the true story below.

In December 2012 an employee at gave his adopted brother-in-law Lehan, now in his 60s, our DNA test to help him learn more about his roots.

More recently, another employee was describing the test to a potential investor and suggested he take the test to experience it. He did, and when his test results came back he was surprised to discover he was related to Lehan through a grandfather or great-grandfather. He did not recognize Lehan and when he shared the results with his father Greg, Greg was inspired to take the test as well. Greg’s results indicated that Lehan was a possible first cousin, and so he sent him a message.

In May of 2014 (less than two years after taking his own test), Lehan received that letter from Greg. They eventually confirmed that they were half-brothers. While Greg’s father was Lehan’s father as well, Lehan’s birth mother was in her early 20s when she was pregnant with Lehan and had not informed Lehan’s father. Within days of Greg’s letter, Lehan discovered he had a half-brother and half-sister that he had never met.

Unfortunately, both Lehan’s biological parents have since passed away. But instead, Lehan has now connected with his half-siblings Greg and Carole, and their families—and has said that he’s had the most heartwarming embrace from his new brother, sister and their kids. According to Lehan, this has opened a new chapter in his life—and it is a most welcome “life interruption.” They will be meeting in person in December 2014.

For adopted individuals like Lehan, genetics often provides the only way to begin learning more about our biological families. But even for those of us who know more of our genealogy, DNA testing still has something to tell each of us about the fascinating story of our biological origins.

Do you have a mystery in your own family tree? Or have you wondered what family history discoveries you could make with a DNA test? Send Henry Louis Gates, Jr and his team of Ancestry experts your question at

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How Old Family Photos Can Be Easily Time-Dated By Fashions Tue, 18 Nov 2014 15:41:26 +0000 Read more]]> This is a guest post by Betty Kreisel Shubert.

Shortly after I began writing my now award winning book, Out-of-Style: A Modern Perspective of How, Why and When Vintage Fashions Evolved, I met the late Caroline Rober, past president of the Southern California Chapter of the Association of Professional Genealogists.

Caroline sent me a family picture to date for her. It showed two women wearing tailor-made suits with gently shaped jackets, ankle-length, A-line skirts and large brimmed hats. From these style clues I concluded the photo was taken between 1912 and 1914.

Wide brimmed hats excerpted from the book "Out-of-Style"

Large brimmed hats excerpted from the book “Out-of-Style”

Here is how I came to that conclusion. Tailor-made suits (a.k.a., tailor-made costumes in England) first became popular in the 1880s.  They continued in popularity to the 1920s in various proportions and silhouettes. By 1909, tailor-made suits outnumbered dresses in Sears, Roebuck & Co. catalogs.

Suits became mainstays in women’s wardrobes because different shirtwaist styles could change outfits from plain to dressy, as needed.  Worn with or without their jackets, suits could span the seasons.

From 1900-1909, suit jackets which fitted over fashionable S-curve corsets, produced the S-curve silhouette (a.k.a., the pouter pigeon look).  Shirtwaist blouses, which bloused over the tops of waistlines, are primary clues of those years.

After 1909, styles dramatically changed. Paul Poiret, a French designer, had revolutionized women’s fashions with a high-waisted, natural silhouette and a shorter skirt that showed the ankle:  The distortion of corsets was now passé for women.  Suits now had gently shaped mid-length jackets; skirts were A-line and shorter, showing the shoe and hats were larger.

Since suits could be worn for a long time and were expensive, an outfit could be quickly updated for the price of a new hat, so the best way to date suits in those years is to recognize the changing shapes of millinery, That is how I came to the conclusion that Caroline’s picture was taken sometime between 1912-1914.

Next, Caroline sent me another picture to date for her:  This time it was a wonderful example of high-style vintage fashion. The woman in the picture was wearing a narrow-skirted gown with a short fitted jacket: long, upholstery fringe edged the draped apron overskirt which ended in drooping back bows over a mermaid train.  Her hair was long in back, narrow at the sides, piled high on top with feathery bangs.  This outfit and hairstyle could only have been worn between 1878 and 1883, but the woman thought to be in the picture had died in 1872. That meant the wrong ancestor was being traced, both disappointing and exciting news to a genealogist.

Mermaid train from "Out-of-Style"

Mermaid train excerpted from the book “Out-of-Style”

One of my favorite case histories came to me from a reader of my Ancestry Magazine columns. The picture showed three women, two standing and an older lady who was seated.  I could tell by the erect, vertical sleeve caps that the picture was taken between 1888 and 1892 (probably 1890-1892, because the women in the picture were not avant garde fashion types).

Mourning fashions from "Out-of-Style"

Mourning fashions excerpted from the book “Out-of-Style”

After 1892, vertical sleeve caps lowered, widened and mutated into leg-o’mutton sleeves (developing into their most extreme proportion between 1895 and 1898).

I first saw the photo in question on my computer screen, but once printed out, I now saw that all three women were wearing first phase mourning crepe on their dresses.  This meant that someone close to them had died that year.

The older woman, who was seated, was obviously the widow because her skirt was made with a broad band of mourning crepe across it, plus more on her bodice.  The other women had dresses made with somewhat less mourning crepe on their sleeves, collars and skirts.

An entire industry had developed in England for heat crinkling dull black, silk gauze into a rough textured fabric (like exaggerated crepe paper).  The European spelling was English Crape.  This unexpected information provided an estimated date of death of the husband of the older woman sitting in the center of the picture.

OUT-OF-STYLE has over 700 of my own sequential illustrations which reveal the style clues that time-date clothes worn by men, women and children in the 19th through 21st centuries. Although it is filled with fascinating gems of social history, it can be used like an encyclopedia to match your photograph to a particular time frame.

Betty Kreisel Shubert: Costume Designer/Fashion Historian/Author-Illustrator of the book Out-of-Style: A Modern Perspective of How, Why and When Vintage Fashions Evolved. Named to Kirkus Reviews Best Books of 2013, by Family Tree Magazine UK, OUR TOP CHOICE and Finalist 2014 USA Best Book Awards: Performing Arts Theatre – Film category.

Another version of this article  first appeared in Family Chronicle Magazine  and was later reprinted by permission of the author in the FGS Forum.

Illustrations excerpted from the book OUT-OF_STYLE: A Modern perspective of How, Why & When Vintage Fashions Evolved ©copyright 2013, Betty Kreisel Shubert which can be found on or by visiting

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What Native Culture and Storytelling Means to Former Chief of the Seminole Nation of Oklahoma Mon, 17 Nov 2014 23:42:40 +0000 Jessica Murray Read more]]> We sat down with Enoch “Kelly” Haney, a full blooded Seminole Creek Indian and former chief of the Seminole Nation of Oklahoma as well as a former Oklahoma State Senator. Kelly has dedicated his life to advocating on behalf of Seminole Nation and expanding awareness of Native American culture through art.

Kelly shares the importance of storytelling to tribal culture and the priceless knowledge handed down to younger generations through oral history.

Learn how Kelly’s art has been influenced by his family history and Native American traditions in the video interview below:

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WWI Honour Roll – Guest post by Archivist Karyn Stuckey from the Institution of Mechanical Engineers Mon, 17 Nov 2014 10:24:26 +0000 Brian Gallagher Read more]]> Authored by Karyn Stuckey, Archivist at the Institution of Mechanical Engineers


After the guns had fallen silent, thoughts turned to how to honour the dead. Faced with the dilemma of how to commemorate the dead, many organisations created Honour Rolls or memorials. The Institution of Mechanical Engineers created an ornate board, recording the names of its war dead, which is still hung on the first floor landing of One Birdcage Walk. 1,270 Institution members and 8 staff members went on active service: 7.1% of members died; and 12.5% of staff died.

All the membership records for the war period are available online – UK, Mechanical Engineer Records, 1847-1930. The Government requested members names to be put forward for the Engineering Unit of the Royal Naval Division, the Royal Garrison Artillery and then for munitions contracts. In 1916 the Institution’s Council decided that any man on active service who was approaching the age of, or over the age of 28 could apply for Associate Membership without having to sit an examination.

Our Headquarters building also did its bit: almost immediately, the top floor of the ‘new’ wing was taken over by the Prince of Wales’ National Relief Fund; then rooms on the third floor were occupied by the Office of Works for the Explosives Department (Ministry of Munitions), who soon spread to the fourth floor; next the meeting hall was occupied; and in June 1915 the whole of the building was given over to the Office of Works. It was not returned until 1919.

The honour roll has been fully researched and all the stories of those who died have been recorded. There were two others added who had been omitted because they were civilian casualties who had gone down with the Lusitania. Each is listed by name and date of death. Under each name are their membership dates, their professional post at time of joining, their service posting and any details of their death or medals awarded to them. Where they exist, a contemporaneous obituary can also be read. Stories to commemorate the men will be posted here. Membership information is taken from our application forms, service and death information from their official service records. Where contradictions exist for example, on date of death these have been left unless there is clear evidence as to which piece of information is correct.


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Sir H. Frederick Donaldson (Image reproduced by courtesy of Institution of Mechanical Engineers, London)

Amongst those who died: were an ex-President, Sir Hay Frederick Donaldson, 5th June 1916, who went down on the HMS Hampshire with Lord Kitchener and another member; Leslie Stephen Robinson/Robertson when she was stuck en route to Russia; William Martin-Davey, 7th May 1915, who went down alongside member Colin Stanley Fenton on RMS Lusitania when she was torpedoed by a German submarine. There were those who died at home or on their way home including, Charles Lysaght Bruce Hewson, 12th April 1918, who fought in the Cameroons Campaign and died on the voyage home having been invalided with fever from Nigeria; and those from/working abroad including, Gordon Porter Cable, 2nd January 1918, an Indian national and Captain, Indian Army, Indian Army Reserve of Officers, Jaipur Transport Corps.



  • You can also learn more about collaborative exhibit between the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Civil Engineers and the Institution of Engineering and Technology on their dedicated portal.


  • Engineers’ records from ICE, IMechE and IET can be searched via Ancestry


Follow Ancestry on Facebook and  Twitter and share your thoughts with us.





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Why do we wear the poppy? Sat, 15 Nov 2014 09:31:51 +0000 Brian Gallagher Read more]]> London Team at Tower Hill

 The Ancestry team at the Tower of London

Remembrance Day has passed and many of you observed a moment of silence to honour the memory of those that sacrificed so much so that we would know peace. Memorials and monuments were attended in vast numbers. The crowds that gathered to remember were bonded in collective appreciation for the brave men and women who had paid the ultimate price in their service to their country.

People of every creed and race gathered together to remember. Among the crowds there was one common feature, one common symbol – the poppy. During World War One the battlefields were scarred and devastated. It seemed as though nature had given up in the face of such tragedy. The landscape was littered with the bodies of the fallen.

It was here in the seemingly barren earth that the poppy flourished. To the soldiers they must have symbolized the blood of their brothers and friends. It may have offered hope to those brave men who wondered if they may ever return to their families; a sign that new life is possible no matter the circumstances.

In 1915, Lt Col John McCrae, after losing his friend at Ypres, wrote the now famous poem In Flanders Fields.

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die

We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

To mark the centenary of World War One, the Tower of London created an installation of 888,246 ceramic poppies. The installation Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red was created in the moat area and each poppy represents a British fatality during World War One. We at the Ancestry London office went to see this installation. When faced with the stark reality of so many lives lost, so many families missing loved ones, we were deeply moved by the reality of what war means for so many.

That is why we wear the poppy.

Lest we forget.

Follow Ancestry on Facebook and  Twitter and share your thoughts with us.

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