Past Articles

Queens Native Trades Lederhosen for Kilt After DNA Test

Growing up, Kyle Merker believed he was German. His parents told him he was German when they dressed him in children’s lederhosen for his Germanic dance performances, and they told him he was German when they fed him schnitzel. For 50 years, Merker believed his ancestors were German. So imagine his surprise when a genetic test Read More

My Small Family Tree Became a Towering Redwood With Ancestry DNA

This post originally appeared on GeekDad.   For many families, knowing your relatives is a priority. In other families, knowing your aunts, uncles, cousins, even ancestors isn’t as important. My immediate family falls into the second category. My parents didn’t make an effort to maintain relations with their families or keep records regarding their grandparents. Read More

There Are 7 Types of English Last Names – Which One Is Yours?

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 Read More

DNA Reveals the Surprise Origins of the Irish

With a vial of saliva and a little cutting-edge science, AncestryDNA can tell you if you’ve got any Irish heritage in your genes. And with a lot of cutting-edge science, researchers in December 2015 published a study telling the world where that Irish heritage first originated. By studying the 5,000-year-old remains of a female farmer Read More

Joining Your Family’s Native American Tribe

Many Americans believe they have at least one Native American ancestor. More than 900 nations, peoples, tribes, and bands (the terms are interchangeable) once lived on the North American continent, and more than 560 are recognized by the federal government today, with an additional 24 being recognized by states. However, an estimated 80 percent of Read More

Were Leonardo DiCaprio’s Ancestors Mountain Men? His Last Name May Hold a Clue

Leonardo DiCaprio makes a pretty convincing mountain man in The Revenant. In the movie, he plays American legend Hugh Glass, who barely survived a grizzly attack only to be left for dead by his companions. (Spoiler alert: he survived.) Oddly enough, DiCaprio’s roots may include a close family association with animals—though nothing quite as lethal Read More

What to Do When You Discover a New Sibling

Think about this: What is the most surprising phone call you could get in your life? How about this one: Out of the clear blue, a complete stranger is claiming that you have a brother you’ve never met. In fact, you had no idea he even existed. That was the call Bridgette got on March 16, Read More

Maxes Run in the Zuckerberg Family

When CNN Money called Ancestry to see if there might be a family story behind newborn Maxima “Max” Chan Zuckerberg’s somewhat unusual (for a girl) first name, their researchers decided to take a look. As it turns out, Ancestry found at least two former Maxes in little Max’s past: Max Zuckerberg and Marcus “Max” Hollander. Both Read More

Who Knew? Jennifer Lawrence and Jeremy Renner Are Family

Jennifer Lawrence got an unexpected invitation to Thanksgiving dinner this year from her cousin Jeremy Renner:     The offer was unexpected because Lawrence and Renner had no idea they were related until Ancestry and People released the story a few days before. The two were costars in 2013’s American Hustle, and this year, both Read More

Create a Family Heritage Cookbook and Solve 3 Holiday Problems at Once

On the classic television series “The Waltons,” the elderly Baldwin sisters zealously guarded their daddy’s popular “Recipe.” What they didn’t know was that it was actually moonshine! Does your family have family recipes even close to that interesting? This holiday season, make the effort to gather your family’s cherished recipes, maybe some that have been Read More