Past Articles

The House on Mulberry Street and Clues to Irish Roots

Posted on December 2, 2014 in Family History

I’ve located my maternal great-grandparents, John and Margaret Ellen (Cunningham) Haffey in Wayne County, Ohio in the 1880 census. I’m trying to locate their births in Ireland. I have their death records, but they didn’t list a specific Irish birthplace. I have found a record in the New York Emigrant Savings Bank for a John… Read more

Finding Your Roots on PBS

Posted on October 30, 2014 in Finding Your Roots

Have you seen the PBS show, Finding Your Roots? If you haven’t then you are missing out on how Henry Louis Gates Jr. takes each celebrity on a journey in discovering the stories of those who came before them and the connection they have to them today. You will see how traditional research and DNA… Read more

13 Spooky Family History Finds

Posted on October 30, 2014 in Family History

Witches, ghosts, murder—researchers from Ancestry found them all and more when they started combing the headlines for spooky facts in some current, and former, celebrities’ pasts. Real Witch Found in Emma Watson’s Family Tree: Muggle actress Emma Watson, famous for playing Hermione Granger, the preternaturally talented witch and ally of Harry Potter, has a real-life… Read more

Uncovering a Free Black Man’s Past: Buying a Slave to Unite His Family

Posted on October 24, 2014 in Family History

My ancestor, Lewis Freeman, was a free Negro who lived in Chatham, North Carolina from at least 1800 until his death in 1845. I would like to know when he was born. – Harold F. _________Dear Harold, When searching for family roots in the South, a researcher might assume his or her African American ancestors… Read more

CNN Roots with Michaela Pereira: Hold on to a Brother

Posted on October 24, 2014 in CNN

“You have your mother’s eyes,” or “Like father like son,” are phrases we commonly compliment or tease family with, yet we take for granted that we know those details—not everyone does. In February of this year in an interview with Essence magazine, Michaela Pereira said, “Like many adopted kids I wondered about my birth parents.… Read more

CNN Roots with Anderson Cooper: Seeing Both Sides

Posted on October 24, 2014 in CNN

At Ancestry, we truly believe that there is a story in every family tree—you just have to find it. Anderson Cooper is one of the rare individuals whose storied ancestors aren’t just known by him, they are known by everyone. As the son of Gloria Vanderbilt, her history is just a Wikipedia article away, so… Read more

CNN Roots with Chris Cuomo: Discovering a New Branch on the Old Family Tree

Posted on October 24, 2014 in CNN

Sometimes the smallest details can add up to the greatest helping of new information in a family tree. “Connecting the dots” within multiple documents was one way we were able to add a new branch to the Cuomo family tree. CNN’s Chris Cuomo already knew a lot about his proud Italian heritage. Our challenge was… Read more

CNN Roots with Don Lemon: An Étouffée of Stories

Posted on October 24, 2014 in CNN

Don’s roots are not unlike the hot plate of étouffée carefully prepared for his return by his mother, Katherine: both Cajun and Creole, a spicy, savory blend of seafood and rice that is decidedly Louisianan. The instigator of the entire Roots series, Don wanted to better understand his deep Louisiana roots and wanted his mom… Read more

CNN Roots with Jake Tapper: Obituary Gold

Posted on October 24, 2014 in CNN

For a family historian, finding a story-rich obituary can be like receiving long lost money from an unknown great-aunt!  We knew that with CNN Chief Washington Correspondent Jake Tapper’s tree, we needed to find some of that “bank roll” to fill in the blanks within his ancestors’ Colonial story. One of the first obituaries we… Read more

CNN Roots with Erin Burnett: Think of Ireland, and Think of Skye

Posted on October 24, 2014 in CNN

Why do our ancestors move around so much or why do they stay put for generations? What was happening in the world around them where they lived and what kind of toils may they have faced? Understanding the historical context of the time in which your ancestors lived can shed light on these kinds of… Read more