Bizarre but True Facts: Canada in WWII

Posted by Paul Rawlins on March 4, 2015 in Military Records

From the Holocaust to the famous Christmas Eve armistice, war tends to bring out the worst and the best in people, and it sometimes takes decades before those stories are ever told. Here are some crazy (but completely true) facts you may never have heard about Canadians in World War II. Canadians voted for conscription… Read more

Decoding History: Ancestry of Benedict Cumberbatch Revealed

Posted by Paul Rawlins on February 11, 2015 in Celebrity, Military Records

New research reveals that actor Benedict Cumberbatch is related to revolutionary code breaker Alan Turing, whom he portrays in the newly released biographical thriller, The Imitation Game. Researchers from Ancestry were able to crack Cumberbatch’s ancestral cipher and identify that both men share a common ancestor in John Beaufort, the Earl of Somerset, making them 17x… Read more

7 Facts You Didn’t Know about the D-Day Invasion at Normandy

Posted by Ancestry Team on February 7, 2015 in Military Records

D-Day, or June 6, 1944 —the day the Allied troops invaded the beaches at Normandy, France— was the largest seaborne invasion in history and the first time since 1688 that an invading army successfully crossed the English Channel. The D-Day landings led to the liberation of France from Nazi control and have been called the… Read more

6 Facts That Prove Canada Dominated in World War I

Posted by Paul Rawlins on January 21, 2015 in Military Records

With superpowers like Britain, Germany, and France as the star players in the First World War, the role of Canada—then still a part of the British Commonwealth—is often overlooked. However, Canadians were critical players in the Allied victory in the Great War. Here are 6 facts that prove Canada was one of the great, underrated… Read more

10 Big Facts You Didn’t Know About WWI

Posted by Ancestry Team on January 6, 2015 in Military Records

  It’s been a hundred years since Archduke Franz Ferdinand was assassinated in Sarajevo in 1914. That, of course, set off the chain of reactions and events that led to “the Great War,” as people called World War I at the time. By now, you’d think we know everything there is to know about “the… Read more

4 British WWII Heroes You’ve Never Heard Of

Posted by Paul Rawlins on December 31, 2014 in Military Records

Anyone can spout off Winston Churchill and King George VI as prominent Englishmen in the Second World War, but they certainly weren’t the only Brits of wartime significance. Here’s a look at four, fascinating English men and women whose stories of heroism in WWII went relatively untold for decades. Eileen Nearne Topping the list is… Read more

The Civil War’s Biggest Killer? Lack of Good Medical Care

Posted by Ancestry Team on August 21, 2014 in Military Records

When the U.S. Civil War started in 1861, medical knowledge was still primitive. Battlefield doctors didn’t understand infection or the importance of sterile conditions during surgery. In fact, the country was just coming out of a period when doctors used bloodletting, purging, and blistering to cure ailments. So it’s no wonder Civil War soldiers were… Read more

10 Strange But True Facts About the Revolutionary War

Posted by Ancestry Team on August 13, 2014 in Military Records

For a war about taxes, the American Revolution sure wasn’t boring. Tales of the scrappy Colonists’ rebellion against King George III made many of us history buffs back in elementary school. (Even as adults, some of us still geek out over Revolutionary War records on Ancestry.) But those textbooks didn’t teach us everything there is… Read more

Using People as Pixels: How World War I Took Supporting Our Troops to New Heights

Posted by Ancestry Team on June 4, 2014 in Military Records

When you watch a heartwarming YouTube video of a soldier’s surprise homecoming, you likely don’t think of World War I. But if it weren’t for the way the government and military rallied the country around the troops during the “war to end all wars,” those viral videos may not exist today. The patriotism programs during… Read more

Philadelphia News Anchor Dawn Timmeney Discovers Civil War Past

Posted by Ancestry Team on May 29, 2014 in Military Records

Philadelphia newscaster Dawn Timmeney discovered that celebrities who appear on the popular TV show Who Do You Think You Are? aren’t the only people with surprises in their past. Timmeney got her own dose of “wow” when Ancestry experts uncovered some astonishing facts about her great-great-grandfather Vincent Hess and his rather unexpected combination of professions:… Read more