Past Articles

What Does Your Last Name Say About You?

Last names weren’t widely used in England until after the Norman conquest in 1066. But as the population grew, people adopted surnames to help tell folks apart.

Five Myths About Your Surname

Our last names can tell us so much about ourselves. They provide a way to connect our present to the past and give us more insight into how our families formed, moved and experienced what they did. While there’s a lot about our last names we do know, there are certain myths and legends that Read More

The Secret to Finding Long Lost Relatives is in Your Family’s DNA

Go back a few generations in most American families, and you’ll find roots abroad. And even in this country, most of us have branches of our family with which we’ve lost touch over the years. With AncestryDNA, a simple test can help you discover family you never new you had. Whether it’s a cousin in Chicago or an a relative in Germany, it’s never Read More

What Your Father’s Last Name Can Tell You

There’s an old saying that no father could ever be sure that his child was truly his genetic offspring. Today of course we have DNA testing, but for many years, what men did — and continue to do —  is to give children their names. In many cultures, men give not just their family name to Read More

What 2 Million People Learned When They Took DNA Tests

Millions of people around the world are taking DNA tests. What drives them? They want to learn more about themselves. They’re looking to feel more connected to their families – and make surprising discoveries about their past. Meet just a few of the 2 million people who have already taken AncestryDNA tests. AncestryDNA test takers are finding new family members Read More

6 Wild Things You Can Discover About Your Family’s Past

Ever wonder what life was like back in the old days? What was your family up to back then? Ancestry has some handy tools that let you take a quick peek into the past to uncover old family photos, precious documents, and other family history gems. Here are 6 wild things you can find out about your family’s Read More

The Departure Gates: How Your Ancestors Came to America

For many European immigrants to America, the transatlantic crossing was just part of a long journey. First, they had to travel to their point of departure. The passenger lists on Ancestry show that many traveled hundreds of miles before they ever set foot on a ship. Immigrants crowded into rail cars or local boats to Read More

What Happened to the Last Queen of Hawaii — and Her Furniture, Too?

Abigail Kawananakoa wants to know where her great-grand-uncle’s bed is. His royal bed. The bed that David Kalakaua, the last king of Hawaii, slept in. When the royal family of Hawaii was deposed in 1894, King Kalakaua’s 19th century ebony and gilt bed was sold off, along with many of the palace’s other contents. Today, Read More

Left in Cardboard Boxes, Sisters Find Each Other 50 Years Later

People Magazine featured the story of sisters abandoned in cardboard boxes as infants being reunited after 50 years and then finding their birth mother. This is their story.  In 1948 a baby girl named Abbie Green was born and then given up for adoption that same day. Growing up she was always curious about who her “real” Read More

What Does Your German Surname Say About You?

German-Americans are the largest single ethnic group in the U.S. If you are one of 46 million Americans with German ancestry, your surname could yield some interesting clues to your family history.