What I Learned About My Family When I Tried Ancestry

I’ve always considered myself Latina, since both my parents were born in Colombia before immigrating to the United States in 1963. But I’ve also known, like many Latinos, that my extended family contains the ethnic diversity reflected throughout the Caribbean and Latin America. As I’ve begun thinking about the diversity that flows in my veins, Read More

You Can’t Clone Celebrities From a Lock of Hair But DNA Can Unlock Your Past

Forget cloned dinosaurs — will the real tourist attraction of the future involve cloned celebrities? From literary giants to rock legends, celebrities’ locks are a sought-after commodity by certain types of collectors. In February 2016, a man paid $35,000 for a 4-inch lock of John Lennon’s hair, a keepsake of the Beatles’ frontman that a Read More

Don’t Know Who to Vote For? Maybe This Surname Analysis Will Help.

Election season continues to heat up. The field of candidates is narrowing, and before we know it, the presidential general election will be upon us. Regardless of where you fall along party lines, taking a look at the meaning of each of the current candidates’ names can give you a glimpse into their family’s origin Read More

What You Can Learn About the Meaning of Your Last Name

To learn more about your family history, the natural place to start is the most obvious marker of your family: your surname. And the natural place to learn about your surname is a free Last Name Meanings and Origins search on Ancestry. The origins and meaning of your last name can reveal a surprising amount Read More

How American Dollar Princesses Changed British Nobility

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the Old World and the New came together in the form of “Dollar Princesses,” a phenomenon that captivated the public’s attention then and still does today. A Dollar Princess referred to an American heiress, often from newly wealthy families, who married a title-rich but cash-poor British nobleman. Read More

What Immigration Records Can Tell You About Your Family History

The United States, as many like to point out, is a nation of immigrants. For people interested in learning more about their family history, a journey over an ocean or across a river can both pose a challenge when it comes to finding ancestors and provide a rewarding source of stories about overcoming adversity. The Read More

Why Your Ancestors’ Life Expectancy Matters to You

A death in the family can be tragic, but the passing of ancestors and distant relatives can also be a rich source of information for anyone trying to understand their family history and their own place in it. The Family Facts page on Ancestry gives you another helpful starting point for your search into your Read More

Queens Native Trades Lederhosen for Kilt After DNA Test

Growing up, Kyle Merker believed he was German. His parents told him he was German when they dressed him in children’s lederhosen for his Germanic dance performances, and they told him he was German when they fed him schnitzel. For 50 years, Merker believed his ancestors were German. So imagine his surprise when a genetic test Read More

DNA Reveals the Surprise Origins of the Irish

With a vial of saliva and a little cutting-edge science, AncestryDNA can tell you if you’ve got any Irish heritage in your genes. And with a lot of cutting-edge science, researchers in December 2015 published a study telling the world where that Irish heritage first originated. By studying the 5,000-year-old remains of a female farmer Read More

DNA Solves a Family Mystery, but Not in the Way You’d Think

For her entire life, Julie Martini had considered herself German-American, even though she had been born with an Italian family name. Looking to learn more about her family history, Julie joined Ancestry to find records that would uncover her Old World roots in Germany or, perhaps, Italy. Documents and family links Julie found on Ancestry Read More