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

How American Dollar Princesses Changed British Nobility

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the Old World and the New came together in the form of “Dollar Princesses,” a phenomenon that captivated the public’s attention then and still does today. A Dollar Princess referred to an American heiress, often from newly wealthy families, who married a title-rich but cash-poor British nobleman. Read More

Maxes Run in the Zuckerberg Family

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

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

The Amazing Story of Demi Lovato’s War Hero Grandfather

International singing star Demi Lovato has fought a few battles of her own. That fighting spirit may run in the family. Even though her father, Patrick Lovato, died estranged from his daughter in 2013, he left her a legacy that places her family in the crucible of at least two wars. Military and other records Read More