7 British Firsts from World War I

Posted by Paul Rawlins on July 8, 2015 in Military Records

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

10 Baby Girl Names Making a Comeback

Posted by Paul Rawlins on July 8, 2015 in Baby Names

Naming a baby represents the culmination of an intensely personal decision-making process, but a newborn’s name also forms one tiny part of a larger pattern. The selected name might reflect widespread cultural forces — like the lasting popularity of Mary or John — or reflect more narrow subcultural or ethnic influences. It might reflect larger… Read more

The Geographical Origins of Popular English Surnames

Posted by sdalton on July 8, 2015 in Surnames

Many of us have surnames passed down to us from ancestors in England. Last names weren’t widely used until after the Norman conquest in 1066, but as the country’s population grew, people found it necessary to be more specific when they were talking about somebody else. Thus arose descriptions like Thomas the Baker, Norman son of… Read more

10 Baby Boy Names That Used to Be Popular

Posted by Paul Rawlins on July 7, 2015 in Baby Names

Names — they can be as timeless as some found in the Bible (John, David, James) or as trendy as a celebrity’s kid (North, Sparrow, Brooklyn). Every parent understands the complexity of choosing a name, because while some names never fall out of favor, others can stop being in vogue in a generation. Of course,… Read more

Are More Men Taking Their Wives’ Last Names?

Posted by Ancestry Team on July 2, 2015 in Surnames

For genealogists today, or those just interested in researching their family trees, surnames are a vital link between present and past, a line of breadcrumbs that guides us down the corridors of our family histories. But surnames can be a source of tension, especially when they involve gender relations. When actress Zoe Saldana revealed in… Read more

Did Kate Middleton Come From…Middleton?

Posted by Paul Rawlins on June 29, 2015 in Celebrity

Our surnames often hold clues from our family’s past. English surnames came about in the Middle Ages as populations grew and people found they needed a way to distinguish William the blacksmith from William the cooper when telling a story about one of the their neighbors, or the taxman wanted to make sure both John… Read more

What Is the Real Story Behind Hillary Clinton’s Ancestry?

Posted by Ancestry Team on June 26, 2015 in Celebrity

Hillary Rodham Clinton has been First Lady, Senator from New York, and Secretary of State. Next year, she hopes to add another title to her resume: President of the United States of America. Clinton is the early front-runner to win the Democratic Party’s nomination in the 2016 presidential race, and if she makes it to… Read more