The Surprising Roles Women Played in the Civil War

Posted by Ancestry Team on April 13, 2015 in Military Records

The Civil War tore the nation in two, pitted state against state and brother against brother, and led to the death of over 625,000 soldiers. But the Civil War didn’t just change the lives of men who fought in it — it transformed the lives of women, too. Women served on the battlefield in various… Read more

Revealed: 1-in-3 British Naval Heroes Were Underage

Posted by Paul Rawlins on March 20, 2015 in Military Records

Analysis of over 380,000 digitised historic naval records reveals that nearly a third of the sailors who helped Britain achieve naval supremacy in World War I were ‘underage’ volunteers. The Royal Navy Registers of Seaman’s Services, 1900-1928, now available on Ancestry, detail each sailor’s name, birthdate, birthplace, vessels served on, service number, and other service… Read more

How to Find the Story of Your Civil War Ancestors

Posted by Paul Rawlins on March 11, 2015 in Military Records

More Medal of Honor winners came from this war than any other—and more Americans lost their lives. Women disguised themselves as men to join the fight. After almost two years, black men were allowed to join the fight for freedom. These are just a few of the stories that came out of America’s bloodiest conflict.… Read more

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