Past Articles

Finding Your Women’s Stories

The women in your past have stories to tell, but sometimes they get overlooked because men often take center stage in the records. Here are some tips for coaxing the stories of your unsung heroines out of hiding. Get a Woman’s Perspective Make a deliberate effort to look at records you have through her eyes. Read More

What You Can Learn About the Meaning of Your Last Name

To learn more about your family history, the natural place to start is the most obvious marker of your family: your surname. And the natural place to learn about your surname is a free Last Name Meanings and Origins search on Ancestry. The origins and meaning of your last name can reveal a surprising amount Read More

How American Dollar Princesses Changed British Nobility

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the Old World and the New came together in the form of “Dollar Princesses,” a phenomenon that captivated the public’s attention then and still does today. A Dollar Princess referred to an American heiress, often from newly wealthy families, who married a title-rich but cash-poor British nobleman. Read More

What Immigration Records Can Tell You About Your Family History

The United States, as many like to point out, is a nation of immigrants. For people interested in learning more about their family history, a journey over an ocean or across a river can both pose a challenge when it comes to finding ancestors and provide a rewarding source of stories about overcoming adversity. The Read More

Why Your Ancestors’ Life Expectancy Matters to You

A death in the family can be tragic, but the passing of ancestors and distant relatives can also be a rich source of information for anyone trying to understand their family history and their own place in it. The Family Facts page on Ancestry gives you another helpful starting point for your search into your Read More

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