Past Articles

My Small Family Tree Became a Towering Redwood With Ancestry DNA

Posted on January 21, 2016 in AncestryDNA

This post originally appeared on GeekDad.   For many families, knowing your relatives is a priority. In other families, knowing your aunts, uncles, cousins, even ancestors isn’t as important. My immediate family falls into the second category. My parents didn’t make an effort to maintain relations with their families or keep records regarding their grandparents.… Read more

Joining Your Family’s Native American Tribe

Posted on January 12, 2016 in American Indian

Many Americans believe they have at least one Native American ancestor. More than 900 nations, peoples, tribes, and bands (the terms are interchangeable) once lived on the North American continent, and more than 560 are recognized by the federal government today, with an additional 24 being recognized by states. However, an estimated 80 percent of… Read more

Were Leonardo DiCaprio’s Ancestors Mountain Men? His Last Name May Hold a Clue

Posted on January 12, 2016 in Surnames

Leonardo DiCaprio makes a pretty convincing mountain man in The Revenant. In the movie, he plays American legend Hugh Glass, who barely survived a grizzly attack only to be left for dead by his companions. (Spoiler alert: he survived.) Oddly enough, DiCaprio’s roots may include a close family association with animals—though nothing quite as lethal… Read more

What to Do When You Discover a New Sibling

Posted on January 6, 2016 in AncestryDNA

Think about this: What is the most surprising phone call you could get in your life? How about this one: Out of the clear blue, a complete stranger is claiming that you have a brother you’ve never met. In fact, you had no idea he even existed. That was the call Bridgette got on March 16,… Read more

Maxes Run in the Zuckerberg Family

Posted on January 6, 2016 in Baby Names, Celebrity

When CNN Money called Ancestry to see if there might be a family story behind newborn Maxima “Max” Chan Zuckerberg’s somewhat unusual (for a girl) first name, their researchers decided to take a look. As it turns out, Ancestry found at least two former Maxes in little Max’s past: Max Zuckerberg and Marcus “Max” Hollander. Both… Read more

Who Knew? Jennifer Lawrence and Jeremy Renner Are Family

Posted on December 2, 2015 in Celebrity

Jennifer Lawrence got an unexpected invitation to Thanksgiving dinner this year from her cousin Jeremy Renner:     The offer was unexpected because Lawrence and Renner had no idea they were related until Ancestry and People released the story a few days before. The two were costars in 2013’s American Hustle, and this year, both… Read more

Tom Bergeron: A Family Under Siege

Posted on September 21, 2015 in Celebrity, Who Do You Think You Are

Whenever we research the family history of a celebrity for Who Do You Think You Are? there is always the concern that there may not be adequate records to build a full family tree. Fortunately, when the assignment came to research Tom Bergeron, known to be of French Canadian ancestry, we were confident that we… Read more

50 Years After Being Stolen and Sold, Baby Reunited with Birth Mother

Posted on September 9, 2015 in AncestryDNA

The stork didn’t deliver Kristie Hughes to her adoptive parents’ door: they bought her from a Georgia doctor. Now AncestryDNA and Nightline have helped Kristie find the family she was taken from 51 years ago. The story of the “Hicks Babies” broke almost 20 years ago when a researcher discovered that between 1950 and 1965, a… Read more

Bryan Cranston Uncovers Mysteries In His Family Tree

Posted on September 3, 2015 in Celebrity, Who Do You Think You Are

We all have mysterious ancestors in our past, even the most famous among us. Actor Bryan Cranston is no exception. With the help of Ancestry, Bryan recently traced the many dubious men in his family tree and discovered just such an ancestor: Joseph H. Cranston, his 2nd great-grandfather. Not only was his name recorded incorrectly… Read more

AncestryDNA Tests 1 Millionth Customer

Posted on July 27, 2015 in AncestryDNA

Popular family history website Ancestry just hit a huge milestone. AncestryDNA has now genetically tested one million people to help them discover more about themselves and their family story. The AncestryDNA database has more than doubled in the last year, and so far they have delivered 99 million connections of 4th cousins or closer. That means… Read more