The “Strange” Past of Benedict Cumberbatch

Benedict Cumberbatch. It’s a strange name with an even more strangely alluring man behind it. Dubbed “The Internet’s Boyfriend,” Mr. Cumberbatch has legions of fans dedicated to Cumbergazing (a quick search of the hashtag #cumberwatch yields over 7,000 results). The actor, who stole millions of hearts in his role of Sherlock on the BBC before becoming a major Hollywood star, is Read More

5 Things You Really Didn’t Know About Marilyn Monroe

Marilyn Monroe is one of the most fascinating names in Hollywood history. And the tidbits of her life’s story have long intrigued audiences. But if you think you know everything there is to know about the most famous Marilyn in history, think again. Here are five facts about the blonde bombshell that just might surprise you. 1. Read More

Donald Trump’s Ancestry: How His Immigrant Family Made It In America

Whatever you may think of real-estate mogul-turned-presidential-candidate Donald Trump’s politics, you can’t deny his many ups and downs are entertaining. As he continues to make the subject of immigration one of his talking points, his own origins tell an interesting tale of ambitious young people crossing the ocean to make something of themselves in this Read More

Charlie Chaplin’s Most Touching Film

Charlie Chaplin. The name is synonymous with the earliest Hollywood motion pictures. Everyone recognizes the mustache-sporting, bowler-wearing character that Chaplin so frequently portrayed. But fewer people associate Chaplin with a different description: that of an immigrant. Let’s take a look at Sir Charles Chaplin’s rags-to-riches life and the memorable 1917 film, The Immigrant that was inspired Read More

Can You Guess How These Celebrities’ Ancestors Made Their Living?

Most European surnames come from one of seven sources, including occupations. The last name “Bloom” (as in Orlando Bloom), for example, was the occupational name for a metal worker. Like many Hollywood celebrities, many of us have European surnames. What meaning and historical occupation does your last name reveal? Now it’s quiz time! Can you match Read More

Was Ron Burgundy’s Historical Look-Alike a British Drunkard?

Matthew McConaughey, Nicolas Cage, Orlando Bloom, Conan O’Brien, Ellen DeGeneres: they’ve all be linked to old photos of historical look a-likes. A researcher at Ancestry came across the next entry in the historical doppelgänger sweepstakes—only this one looks like the long-lost ancestor of fictional anchorman Ron Burgundy. Unlike most twins lost over time, we know something Read More

Captain America Star Chris Evans’ Surprising Ties to the Civil War

The star of Captain America: Civil War, Chris Evans, has some surprising family ties to the U.S. Civil War. A look through Ancestry’s records shows two of his close relatives ultimately gave their lives on opposite sides of the devastating war. Confederate Connection Evans’ fourth great-grandfather (his great-great-great-great-grandfather), Daniel Cryer, served as a soldier in the Read More

Prince’s Family Secrets: A Peek into the Icon’s Family Tree

With seven Grammy Awards, nineteen Top 10 songs, and an Oscar for best original song score, Prince (born Prince Rogers Nelson) will go down in history as one of the most successful musical artists of the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Many recall his dispute with his record label and subsequent name change in 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