Past Articles

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

DNA Solves a Family Mystery, but Not in the Way You’d Think

For her entire life, Julie Martini had considered herself German-American, even though she had been born with an Italian family name. Looking to learn more about her family history, Julie joined Ancestry to find records that would uncover her Old World roots in Germany or, perhaps, Italy. Documents and family links Julie found on Ancestry 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

What Goes Best With Eggnog? Family History!

We often don’t get around to asking our older relatives about their stories: their childhoods, their grandparents and great-grandparents, their memories, and their family’s traditions. We tend to assume there will always be time. But there’s no better time than now, especially with the holidays coming up. After a huge holiday ham or turkey dinner, Read More

5 Questions to Ask About Your Ancestry at Your Next Holiday Dinner

The holidays bring families together, which means there’s no better time to explore your family tree and learn more about your heritage. Your search can only improve by arming yourself with answers only relatives can provide. So after the dishes are done and you cut a slice of dessert, don’t forget to grab a notebook Read More