Past Articles

5 Amazing Facts You Never Knew About the American Cowboy

Posted on February 20, 2015 in Family History

Though there were cowboys both before and after, the golden age of the American cowboy, really started in 1866. The Civil War had just ended, the Union Army had exhausted the supply of beef in the North, and a steer that was worth $4 a head in Texas—where millions ran wild—could bring $40 in the… Read more

​7 Famous Sons of the American Revolution

Posted on February 17, 2015 in Family History

A person’s heritage can influence so much in their life, from the kinds of foods they prepare to the groups they associate with. The Sons of the American Revolution (SAR) is a lineage society made up of men who can prove their descent from a Patriot ancestor. The organization’s earliest iteration started in 1876 as… Read more

7 Facts You Didn’t Know about the D-Day Invasion at Normandy

Posted on February 7, 2015 in Military Records

D-Day, or June 6, 1944 —the day the Allied troops invaded the beaches at Normandy, France— was the largest seaborne invasion in history and the first time since 1688 that an invading army successfully crossed the English Channel. The D-Day landings led to the liberation of France from Nazi control and have been called the… Read more

7 Perks From the Golden Age of Aviation We Wish We Still Had Today

Posted on February 5, 2015 in Family History

 When commercial aviation got off the ground in the 1940s, air travel epitomized glamor. Passengers dressed to the nines, stretched out their legs, and waited for the well-stocked bar cart to make another round. As airfares have become cheaper, perks have steadily been reduced. (Peanuts and soda, anyone?) In that spirit, here are seven reasons we… Read more

Baby Name Trends: What A Difference a Century Makes

Posted on February 5, 2015 in Uncategorized

Elizabeth and William — two strong, Anglo-Saxon names. A current queen and a future king. They’re also the only two baby names to appear in the top 10 for both 1914 and 2013, a span of 100 years. For today’s American babies, traditional names like Charlotte and Benjamin are nearly as popular as more trendy… Read more

Beyond Corleone: Italian Place Names as Surnames

Posted on January 27, 2015 in Surnames

It’s a famous scene in cinema: In “The GodfatherPart II,” 9-year-old Vito Andolini arrives at Ellis Island and, being unable to tell the clerk his name, becomes Vito Corleone, the town of origin listed on his paperwork. While the scenario of an Ellis Island clerk changing immigrant’s names on a whim isn’t historically accurate, it’s… Read more

10 Baby Boy Names That Used to Be Popular

Posted on January 22, 2015 in Family History

Names — they can be as timeless as some found in the Bible (John, David, James) or as trendy as a celebrity’s kid (North, Sparrow, Brooklyn). Every parent understands the complexity of choosing a name, because while some names never fall out of favor, others can stop being in vogue in just a few generations.… Read more

Calling James Smith! 10 Most Common First and Surname Combinations

Posted on January 20, 2015 in Surnames

If you look up when someone says “James Smith,” you’ve got plenty of company. That’s the most popular first and last name combination in the United States, according to a study conducted last year by a retired university professor. So as you research your family background, you might find some spouses or distant cousins with… Read more

Why Your Great-Grandmother’s Life Was Totally Awesome

Posted on January 14, 2015 in Family History

When you think about someone born circa 1894, or right around the turn of the century, your mind probably jumps to the fact that they had no refrigerators to keep their leftover Chinese food in (and worse, no Chinese food delivery), which sounds pretty terrible. But while she probably faced plenty of hardships in her… Read more

Head of the Class: Do Certain Surnames Indicate Nobility?

Posted on January 12, 2015 in Surnames

Do you think your family originated from the top 1 percent? According to a new study of unique last names from around the world, moving in or out of the upper class doesn’t take just a few generations — it takes centuries. Measuring not just income and wealth but also occupation, education, and longevity, researchers… Read more