Past Articles

10 Truly Strange Pets Owned by Famous People

Posted on June 25, 2014 in Celebrity

Michael Jackson and Justin Bieber may have gotten attention for their pet monkeys (among other things), but the King of Pop and Biebs aren’t the only famous people with a tendency for unusual animal companions. Here are just a few fascinating, exotic, and just plain weird pets from history. 1. Bloodthirsty Roman eels Lucius Licinius… Read more

Did You Know “Twilight” Star Robert Pattinson Has a Real-Life Vampire Ancestor?

Posted on June 25, 2014 in Celebrity

Robert Pattinson sparkled as the fictional vampire star of the Twilight film franchise, and now historians say the London-born actor is related to a legendary vampire in real life, too. Pattinson, 28, is a distant cousin of Vlad III Dracula, the 15th-century Transylvanian nobleman whose bloodthirstiness inspired the legend of Count Dracula. Styling himself a… Read more

8 Truly Weird Deaths in History

Posted on June 25, 2014 in Death Records

Though it may seem morbid, death fascinates us all. Whether it’s a dramatization of a murder case on television, or just a routine examination of newspaper obituaries, stories about how people died always inspire curiosity. Death records are often the most important part of genealogical research, and Ancestry.com offers many ways to explore this trove… Read more

Moving Memoirs Tell the Story of America

Posted on June 23, 2014 in Family History

Did your ancestors live in a very different place or time? An evocative memoir can give you a feel for what it was like to nurse a glass of sweet tea on a languid afternoon, play in a rustling cornfield, or travel on a train (or wagon!) for hours to visit relatives. Memoirs chronicle everything… Read more

You Betcha! Sarah Palin Has Royal Blood in Her Ancestry

Posted on June 23, 2014 in Celebrity

There’s something about royalty that gets Americans excited. Perhaps it’s because our country never had a royal family, or it could just be the pageantry and opulence that come with being part of a one. But when we hear that a famous American has royalty in the family, our ears prick up. When Ancestry.com took… Read more

Guess How Many Presidents Mitt Romney Is Related to?

Posted on June 23, 2014 in Celebrity

Anyone who has watched Mitt Romney over the years knows that the former Massachusetts governor always had a presidential air about him. Is that a quality born or bred? It’s still hard to know for sure, but Ancestry.com found out that, at least in Romney’s case, he may have had a little genealogical help. The… Read more

8 Ways to Use Pinterest for Genealogy Research

Posted on June 16, 2014 in Family History

Pinterest is a free social media tool with a twist, and it’s one that can be used for genealogy in some interesting ways. Everybody’s Pinning these days, but if you’re not one of the 70 million people on board with Pinterest yet, know that it’s a visual discovery tool. You gather photos (with a link… Read more

You’ll Never Guess Which President Is Related to Billionaire Warren Buffett

Posted on June 14, 2014 in Celebrity

  Money and politics go hand in hand, so it’s no surprise that billionaire Warren Buffett has presidential blood in his veins. When the genealogists at Ancestry.com decided to trace the lineage of the “Oracle of Omaha,” they found a president in his extended family tree. And not just any president, mind you — it… Read more

24 Ways to Research Your German Stammbaum (Family Tree)

Posted on June 13, 2014 in Family History

Almost 50 million people in the U.S. claim German ancestry. Researching your own German family tree comes with some challenges (like reading old Fraktur script!), but you’re in luck. There are plenty of resources out there that can make your research much easier. You might start by consulting a Deutsche Schrift (German writing) “cheat sheet”… Read more

It’s All His Fault! Traditions Behind Your Family’s Weird Names

Posted on June 12, 2014 in Surnames

“That’s so unusual – is it a family name?” Anyone with an out-of-the-ordinary moniker hears this question often. However, a little research may reveal a family tree peppered with even more unusual names and the reasons behind them. Here are some common naming traditions that may help unlock the mystery behind your family’s weird names.… Read more