Hard Time: More Escape Stories from Clinton Prison

Posted by Ancestry Team on June 23, 2015 in Family History

New York’s Clinton Correctional Facility — or Dannemora as it’s often known — became a regular part of the national news when two convicted murderers, Richard Matt and David Sweat, escaped using power tools. Though the entire situation seems like a plot straight out of a movie, this isn’t the first time prisoners used tools… Read more

What Your Last Name Tells You About Your Ancestor’s Job

Posted by Ancestry Team on June 12, 2015 in Surnames

If surnames were instituted today, what would yours be? Maybe you’d be Joe Dentist, or Mary Blogger, or Jamie App Developer. Centuries ago, as populations boomed, people started to think, “Hey, we need to a way to differentiate that John from that other John.” So people took on surnames, many of which described their occupations.… Read more

Secrets of Scandinavian Baby Naming Patterns

Posted by Ancestry Team on June 12, 2015 in Surnames

In the Scandinavian countries of old, people often followed a pattern of naming babies based on the order of their birth. They gave Norwegian, Swedish, and Danish babies names from both sides of the family in a predictable order, which is good to know if you’re trying to piece together who’s who in your family… Read more

9 Famous People Who Married Their Cousins

Posted by Ancestry Team on June 12, 2015 in Family History

In many cultures around the world, it is frowned upon to marry your cousin (and in some countries even illegal), but that hasn’t stopped people throughout history from doing it. From presidents like Martin Van Buren and John Adams to royals like Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, historical figures have often engaged in this practice.… Read more

10 Irish American Surnames Explained

Posted by Ancestry Team on June 10, 2015 in Surnames

Over four million Irish immigrants came to the United States between 1820 and 1930. Their surnames are still common around the country, especially in historic enclaves in the Northeast. Many originally had a tell-tale “O” before the name, which meant “descendant of” in Gaelic, but it has largely been dropped. With or without the O,… Read more

African Americans Have Tools to Trace Their Own Roots

Posted by Ancestry Team on June 9, 2015 in Family History

African Americans increasingly turn to Ancestry to research their family history. In recent years, digitized records and advanced DNA tests have made it possible to trace your roots to slave plantations, armies, and even African regions of origin. Since their ancestors usually came to the United States on slave ships — without immigration records —… Read more

How Popular Are These 10 Old Baby Girl Names?

Posted by sdalton on May 29, 2015 in Family History

The popularity of baby names comes and goes, and often a name will make a major comeback decades after it was first popular. Here are 10 baby girl names that were popular in the early 20th century, and how they rank among today’s baby girl names.   Popularity: Number of Babies per 1M | MooseRoots… Read more