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

7 British Firsts from World War I

War has a tendency to hasten progress and inspire invention. After all, necessity is said to be the mother of invention, and wartime is a period of prolonged, urgent necessity. The radar, the computer, duct tape, and Twinkies all owe their invention or improvement to World War II. Here’s a list of more innovations you Read More

The Surprising Roles Women Played in the Civil War

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

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

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

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

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

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

7 Stunning Facts You May Not Know About World War II

Most of us know the larger story of World War II and have a sense of its horrors: 70 million people fought in the war, which lasted from 1939 to 1945, killed millions, and drastically changed our world and its nations, economies, and lives. But here are some stunning facts about World War II you Read More

7 Suprising Facts About the French & Indian War

Did you know that the failed diplomatic efforts of a 21 year old precipitated the French and Indian War (1756-1763)? The dispute between Britain and France was over control of the area in the upper Ohio River Valley, where the Monongahela and Allegheny rivers meet (located near modern-day Pittsburgh and valuable for transporting goods). When Read More