New DNA Tests Offer More Answers for African Americans

New discoveries around culture, identity, and family history reveal African Americans are their own “melting pot,” with an average of three or more African regions as part of their family history. New Science Leads to New Discoveries Thanks to cutting-edge genetic science, African Americans are making new discoveries about their ethnic origins. Genetic scientists at Read More

The Real Solomon Northup: Documents from the Slave Years

Solomon Northup was born a free person of color in New York in 1808. This was the year the 1807 Act Prohibiting the Importation of Slaves, which banned the trans-Atlantic slave trade to the United States, took effect. A somewhat ironic fact, considering what happened next. In 1841, Northup was lured to Washington, D.C, with Read More

Stephen Colbert Is Canadian – And So Can You!

Ancestry discovers the roots of Colbert’s passion for hockey. He’s accused Canada of cheating at the Winter Olympics. He’s referred to Canadians as “Godless” and “Syrup Suckers.” He believes Canada is Obama’s America and supports an American-based Ontario Hockey League team, claiming a war of Good vs. Evil between his beloved Saginaw Spirit and their Read More

President Obama’s Irish Roots

Maybe it should be President O’Bama? Researchers at Ancestry trace the Irish branches in Barack Obama’s family tree back to Falmouth Kearney, Obama’s third great-grandfather. More than a century and a half ago, 19-year-old Falmouth Kearney sailed from Ireland, landing in New York harbor on March 20, 1850. Settling in Ohio among Irish relatives, Falmouth Read More

Postcards from Prison

Having a great time. Wish you were here! We send postcards (or we used to) to show others where we’ve been. Or we collect them to remember where we’ve been ourselves. Vendors print and sell them so we can do both. Which begs the question: Exactly when did prisons and penitentiaries become tourist attractions? To Read More

Life Imitating Art in Monuments Men

Featuring Hollywood heavyweights George Clooney, Cate Blanchett, and Matt Damon, the film Monuments Men brings to the screen the true story of an unlikely platoon of soldiers brought together to save priceless pieces of art from being destroyed by the Nazis during World War II. Now researchers at Ancestry have turned up some unlikely family Read More

Do Downton Abbey’s Stars Belong Upstairs or Down?

Where do you belong, upstairs or down? Family history experts have revealed the real-life ancestry of several of the biggest stars of the hit TV show Downton Abbey. The findings indicate that • In real life Elizabeth McGovern’s family would much more likely be “upstairs” dining with the Crawleys than would fellow actress Sophie McShera. Read More

Postcards from Hell (and Other U.S. Hotspots)

Greetings from Hell! Stories of exactly how Hell, Michigan, got its name vary. Some say it was the farmers’ wives way of describing their husbands’ visits to Geroge Reeves’ grist mill and distillery. Others put it down to a comment made by a German tourist about a sunny day (“So schön hell!”). Either way, the name’s been on the books and Read More