Past Articles

Vanessa Williams Explains Her Family Tree

Posted on September 26, 2014 in Celebrity

The following appeared in the Los Angeles Times, April 27, 2013. Written by Jessica P. Ogilvie. The world within Vanessa Williams 5 QUESTIONS Most of us are curious about our family lineage. For Vanessa Williams, who recently took part in the show “Who Do You Think You Are” and explored her family’s history, the task… Read more

Kelsey Grammer Researches His Grandmother’s Turbulent Family

Posted on August 21, 2014 in Who Do You Think You Are

“Now there’s all these names alive and sort of flickering in my imagination.” —Kelsey Grammer Cheers and Frasier star Kelsey Grammer grew up with his mother, sister, and mother’s parents: Grandpa Gordon and “Gam,” as he called his grandmother Evangeline. He feels his grandmother’s influence to this day, but he knows little about her—Gam never… Read more

Valerie Bertinelli explores her family’s roots in Italy and England

Posted on August 14, 2014 in Who Do You Think You Are

“They really made my world a better place because of the things that they did.” —Valerie Bertinelli Actress and author Valerie Bertinelli has always identified with her father’s Italian heritage and remembers watching her “Nonni” (grandmother) cook at big family dinners. But that’s about as far back as her history goes. Now Valerie “doesn’t want… Read more

Kayleen and Rachel McAdams Discover the sacrifices Their Ancestors Made

Posted on August 7, 2014 in Who Do You Think You Are

“It’s now this whole new world we have a personal connection to.” —Rachel McAdams Actress Rachel McAdams and her sister Kayleen grew up knowing their father’s large family, but their mother, Sandra Gale’s, side is more of a mystery. They start their journey with Mom’s help and a hand-drawn family tree that goes back to… Read more

Jesse Tyler Ferguson follows the trouble-filled story of his great-grandfather’s life—and draws conclusions about his ultimate legacy.

Posted on August 1, 2014 in Who Do You Think You Are

“To get a blueprint of where you came from definitely starts to color in some questions about yourself.” —Jesse Tyler Ferguson Actor Jesse Tyler Ferguson is part of a quirky family on TV, but his own family was fairly stable and he sometimes longed for drama. He finds plenty in the life of his great-grandfather.… Read more

Cynthia Nixon discovers a woman caught in a desperate situation—and finds a source of her own strength.

Posted on July 28, 2014 in Who Do You Think You Are

“I was amazed to see that this ancestor of mine sort of ran right up against history.” —Cynthia Nixon Award-winning actress Cynthia Nixon has made a career of playing strong women. But she never imagined the sheer will of a female relative she’d find in her own family story. Cynthia grew up with her mother… Read more

What’s Trending

Posted on July 22, 2014 in Family History

What Can Your Last Name Tell You In Western Europe, surnames first came about in Medieval times as civilizations grew larger and it became necessary to distinguish between people. Sometimes, names were based on occupation: a blacksmith may have been “John le Smith” (John the Smith) which became, over the generations, “Smith,” and a person… Read more

Surprising Facts About Ryan Gosling’s Family History

Posted on June 11, 2014 in Celebrity

What do Justin Bieber, Ryan Gosling, Avril Lavigne and Celine Dion have in common? According to, the world’s largest online family history resource, the four Canadian performers are all related, sharing a family connection with some of Quebec’s earliest settlers. Heartthrobs: It’s a family reunion of heartthrobs as Justin Bieber, who’s appeared on the cover of… Read more

North Dakota has the Highest Mix of Scandinavian Ethnicity

Posted on June 9, 2014 in AncestryDNA

The DNA results are in and surprisingly, North Dakota has the largest average percentage of Scandinavian ethnicity across the entire United States. Among North Dakotans, the average amount of ancestry that can be traced back to the Nordic countries of Sweden, Norway, Finland or the Netherlands is almost 30%. Definitely a surprise as the early… Read more

Stick with what you know…

Posted on June 9, 2014 in AncestryDNA

What do large lakes, farming and cold winters have in common? They are all found in Eastern Europe…and also the Midwestern United States. So, when Eastern Europeans came to the US, where do you think they went? Well, lots of them went to Wisconsin and we have the DNA results to prove it: Wisconsin has… Read more