Posted by on 18 October 2011 in Family Tree Maker, General has launched an improved and expanded version of the world’s No. 1-selling family history software Family Tree Maker® 2012.

With its new TreeSync™ capabilities, Family Tree Maker 2012 enables family history enthusiasts to sync their desktop family trees and their online trees at With TreeSync now you can access and update your tree wherever you are, whether it’s through Family Tree Maker,, or using the Ancestry iPhone or iPad apps. Sharing your tree is also easier than ever. Simply email invitations to family and friends and they can view your online tree and work on it with you.

Other improvements in Family Tree Maker 2012 include:

Easy-to-understand combined family view. The family group view has a new “blended families” option that lets you display all of a couple’s children in one location, including step-children and adoptees. An icon next to a child’s name lets you see at a glance whether he or she is the child of the father, the mother, or both parents.

Simplified interface for new users. When you install Family Tree Maker 2012, the software detects whether you are upgrading from a previous version of Family Tree Maker (version 16 or earlier). If you are, Family Tree Maker will display a simplified user interface that looks more like the older versions of Family Tree Maker.

Improved Smart Stories. More content-generation and editing options to help you create engaging stories about family members.

New and improved reports. The Notes Report has been enhanced so you can display a person, research, relationship, or fact notes you’ve entered for individuals. A new Index of Individuals Report lists every individual in your tree and their birth, marriage, and death dates in an easy-to-understand format. In addition, you can customize the descriptive sentences used in genealogy reports and Smart Stories.

More chart options. The Descendant Chart has a new option that lets you show the relationship between two people you select. You can also display generation labels (such as parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents) in charts to highlight the relationship between the primary person in the chart and other family members. And you can now personalize charts by adding your own free-form text boxes.

New and updated Help and tutorials. Learn how to do more — like creating trees and using features—with new and improved tutorials accessible in the software and on

To learn more about the 2012 release, please visit the What’s New page on To purchase Family Tree Maker 2012, visit our shop; the software is also available at Dixons,, and other select retailers. For those of you interested in Family Tree Maker for Mac, a new version with TreeSync capability is to be released by the end of 2011.

To celebrate the launch of Family Tree Maker® 2012, we are giving away THREE Platinum versions of the UK’s best-selling family history software, each one includes six months Premium membership to

To enter the prize draw, all you need to do is leave a comment below telling us what your favourite family history discovery is, and why? Terms and Conditions apply*.


*By leaving a comment, you agree to accept these terms and conditions. The Promoter of the prize draw is Europe S.à r.l., 31 of rue Philippe II, L-2340 Luxembourg, Grand-Duchy of Luxembourg. The prize draw is open to UK residents aged 18 or over except employees or agents of the Promoter or its group companies. Only one entry per person. Closing date is midnight GMT on 20 October 2011. No responsibility can be accepted for comments that are not correctly posted or received for whatever reason. Three (3) winners will be drawn at random after the closing date. The prize for each winner is one copy of the Platinum edition Family Tree Maker 2012 software.  The winners will be notified by e-mail within 14 days of the closing date. If a winner cannot be contacted within 4 weeks of being notified, the Promoter reserves the right to award the prize to an alternate winner. The Promoter’s decision is final and binding. No cash alternatives to the prizes will be offered, and the prizes are not transferable. The Promoter reserves the right to modify the prize draw terms and conditions at any time without notice. Any personal information received by the Promoter in connection with this prize draw will be used solely in accordance with the Promoter’s Privacy Statement and you also consent to the Promoter using your name for administrative and promotional purposes relating to the prize draw. For details of the winners, write to the Promoter at 3rd Floor, Waterfront Building, Hammersmith Embankment, Chancellors Road, Hammersmith, London, W6 9RU.


Jean Abbs 

My Favourite family history discovery is the of my father first marriage and his children still have to discover how to find my half brother and sister

18 October 2011 at 3:11 pm
Sylvia Corteen 

I had never met my father , he died before i was born.But thanks to ancestry I found a relative who game me a “Sixpence” my dad had in his hands the day he died.He wa s waiting for his evening paper.

18 October 2011 at 3:19 pm
wendy mathias 

I think my favourite discovery was finding out that three of my great grandfathers served in the first world war, and finding their papers online from when they enlisted. I know one came home with shell shock. There is also a real feeling of connection to the past.

18 October 2011 at 3:26 pm
David Hall 

Being able to connect my mother Marjorie, to her penpal and lost cousin in the USA. They used to write regularly during WW2 and Doris’ family used to send parcels of food and clothing to my Mom. Doris sadly passed within a few weeks of my mom’s first letter to her in more than 60 years, but I heard from her daughter that she had been delighted to receive it and had remembered everything about my mother, however she had been in very poor health and had been unable to reply.

18 October 2011 at 3:27 pm
Sarah Chaney 

We had traced every one of great great grandfathers children and their lines, but one had emigrated to America and was last heard of in 1949. Using Ancestry alone we managed to trace her and her husband to the 1910 20 & 30 census,which gave us the children’s names, we found naturalisation records, and eventually using the telephone directories we found her great grand daughter alive and well. We have since corresponded on numerous occasions and become very good friends. She has updated us with what happened to her great grandmother and we have exchanged some family photos.

18 October 2011 at 3:34 pm

My favourite discovery was amongst my very first – what originally set me off on researching my family tree was a chance remark from my Mum a couple of years before she died. She just happened to say one day, ‘I wonder what happened to uncle Bill?’ Her uncle Bill was a complete mystery to me, and when I asked her what she meant, she said he’s been taken to Canada as a youngster, and ended up in the Canadian merchant navy in WW2, but one day didn’t arrive back for a visit as expected – hence the query about what happened to him. This set me off on a new hobby, when I discovered that Bill and hs brother had become what we now know as British Home Children, back in 1908. I’ve been priviledged to learn such a lot about their lives, and deaths, met new family members, and as well as an obsession with my family history have developed a strong interest in the social history of WW1

18 October 2011 at 3:37 pm
Tracey Ford 

I actually discovered that my great aunt waaayyy down the line, married Charles Dickens.. also discovering that my very straight laced Nanna was actually born in a brothel… made me laugh.. I use FTM2005 and am about due an update i think.. I’ve been tracing my family tree since 1988 when my father died x

18 October 2011 at 3:39 pm
Neil Fisher 

My favourite discovery is a World War 1 diary written by my Great Uncle, a stoker in the Royal Navy, whilst he was on HMS Falmouth. It was given to me by my aunt, I didn’t know it existed. The insight it gives into his daily life and the sheer horror of war is just amazing.

18 October 2011 at 3:39 pm
Nigel Greaves 

I recently discovered through Ancestry that a 3x great granduncle had emigrated to Ohio from Blyth in England. After 14 years in the States he joined the 2nd Regiment, Ohio Cavalry and became part of the Civil War. He paid the ultimate price the following year, 1865.

While it was sad that Alfred lost his life from a family history point of view it made me realise the depth of the bonds between my English ancestors & their new country.

The discovery of Alfred has led me to find many of his relatives who, even today, are American citizens but still a part of my English family tree.

18 October 2011 at 3:39 pm
Caroline Gurney 

My favourite family history discovery was making contact with a 3rd cousin in Canada – via Ancestry – and discovering she had family documents dating back to the 18th century. They included beautiful photographs of my Scottish 3x great grandparents, born in 1781 and 1790. Every time I look at their pictures I am amazed that I can see the faces of my direct ancestors from 5 generations back, born nearly 200 years before me.

18 October 2011 at 3:43 pm

I never realised how many relatives were in WW1. One of my first discoveries was the medal card of my 2x Great Grandfather and I was really pleased to be able to use this to trace his war grave and obtain a photo of it for my Grandad before he passed away.

18 October 2011 at 3:46 pm
Bob Marshall 

My favourite family history discovery WILL BE when I discover that family Tree Maker is, finally, available for Apple computer users!

18 October 2011 at 3:51 pm
Carole Trevett 

My favourite family history discovery is my great aunt’s son who was chief crime reporter for the Daily Express and was involved in the trial of Dr Bodkins Adams, it was relation who helped him being released without charge.

18 October 2011 at 4:07 pm
Dave Newson 

Throughout his life my grandfather Leonard George Roberts Newson (1890 – 1986) never knew why his 3rd forename was Roberts. I found out his father Leonard Newson was born Leonard Roberts and his name was changed after his father William died tragically young and his mother Jane married Albert Newson in 1872. My father was amazed!

18 October 2011 at 4:30 pm
Claire Bradley 

My favourite discovery was a chance comment by my grandmother than her father in law had attended a small presbyterian school in Dublin. I rang them to ask if they had school registers from 1895 – 1910. They did and were able to give me the details of my great-grandfather who enrolled in the school in the very same week as the 1901 census! I was able to go straight to the address (before it was online) and opened up a whole new area of research.

18 October 2011 at 4:38 pm
amy watson 

making contact with a living relative, the other side of the world. neither of us knew about the other person, until we got “a possible match hint” come up. we have been in contact since.

18 October 2011 at 4:40 pm
Sarah Graham 

My favourite family history discovery (so far!) was finding the portion of my husband’s ancestry that came from Wales over to the US, quite an exodus due to some religious conversions. It put me onto a section of history that I had no idea about, and found absolutely fascinating when I started researching some more.

18 October 2011 at 4:41 pm
Jacky Clark 

My favourite discovery is the latest one. I have a huge family tree and every snippit of information I find is exhilerating.

18 October 2011 at 4:42 pm
Denise Strong 

The best discovery for me was finding a second cousin I knew nothing about. She is researching too and two heads have definitely been better than one:)

18 October 2011 at 4:44 pm
Barry gavin 

For me it is finding so many cousins all over the world from as far off as the uk to new zealand (one of which is only 2 weeks younger than myself) as I have always had very little in the way of family growing up.

18 October 2011 at 4:46 pm
Susan Hurry 

I found the unmarked, common grave of my great grandfather by looking through the grave registers at a local cemetery, and also buried with him was his son who died when he was 18m old. Wouldn’t have known of his existance as he doesns’t appear on any cenuses. Now when I drive past the cemetery, i always say, “hello little thomas, at least someone today knows you existed”

18 October 2011 at 4:48 pm
Linda Larner 

My Favourite Family History Discovery is finding my Grandfathers brothers son and actually meeting him after he came over from New Zealand with his Wife, He and my Mother are the only two left in the family.

18 October 2011 at 4:49 pm
sue knight 

I have only been working a week on my family tree but my favourite family history discovery do far was finding a relative who was taken the the old bailey in the 17th cen and charged with embezzlement it took me onto looking at the history of the old bailey and what happened to criminals back in that time. It is fascinating. Needless to say my great great great grandad was acquitted. I suppose every family has a naughty relative or two 😉

18 October 2011 at 4:50 pm
Suzanne Bessent-Rothwell 

I don’t drive so I love the ability to search from home. I like spotting the connections in the census..who married the girl next door or the lodger that sort of thing but finding out about a suicide of someone who couldn’t cope with losing anymore family in the first world war really brought the reality home to me of the hardships and loss suffered and has been the most touching and unexpected discovery and is in a funny way my favourite.

18 October 2011 at 4:51 pm
A. Golding 

In 1911, a photograph of my grandmother aged one, was sent to her (much older) half-sister as a Christmas card. Soon after, the family separated and my grandmother grew up never knowing that she had half-siblings. But the photograph was kept, cherished and passed down. This year, the granddaughter of that half-sister contacted me through Ancestry. She was able to send me a copy of the precious photograph of my late grandmother exactly 100 YEARS after it was sent to HER grandmother. One of genealogy’s magic moments for me!

18 October 2011 at 4:52 pm

My favourite discovery came when Ancestry introduced the “Find relationship to me” function. Imagine how surprised I was to find that my wife is in fact my 1st cousin removed x7!!! We share the same Great Grandfather x 7 despite the fact that I am from Wales and my wife is from Hampshire…..all those years ago we both originate from Cornwall

18 October 2011 at 4:53 pm
Anne Coney 

I love using ancestry. I have found several relatives in my husband family. I also discovered his great grandfather was born in Bangalore India, his GG Grandfather was in the army and got married and had 3 children who were born in India. My husbands family name is Coney,i have traced them from Surrey to Monmouth in Wales we are back to 1770.

18 October 2011 at 4:58 pm
Tom Thompson 

My favourite family history discovery was that my 5x great uncle John Small 1761-1850, served in the Royal Navy and fought in the American War of Independence and got taken prisioner by American rebel prisoners and held captive in Havana. After the war he returned home, got discharged from the navy and became a highway man, got caught and was sentanced to death but this was commuted to 7 years penal servitude and he became a “first fleeter” sailing aboard the Charlotte.

18 October 2011 at 4:59 pm
Trevor Bolton 

I had two brothers who died before I was born. They were six months an eleven months when they died. Mum never talked about them much unfortunately, only that they were called Billy and Jim. Through ancestry, I have been able to trace my brothers records and learned of there full names and how and where they died. This has brought comfort now knowing a great deal more of the brothers I never knew. Thanks Ancestry.

18 October 2011 at 5:01 pm

I was excited to learn that a famous local plant hunter, George Forrest, was a distant cousin of mine. To add to the fun of the discovery, I found that there was a memorial walk to George, created in the University that I was attending during the time I found his link to my family. Having a love of plants myself, I was happy to learn that there is a depository of his archives at the Botanical Gardens in Edinburgh, and interestingly, several of his wealthy family members left detailed wills; all of which further fuelled my interest in George and his legacy.

18 October 2011 at 5:02 pm
marion king 

mine would be the fact, that for all my life(i’m 63) iv’e never known anything about my grandads first years, you see he was put in barnado’s at a very young age, this and being sent to cananda as a farmers help at 14, he was born in 1870, and very lucky i suppose to be in BARNADO’S in those days. through checking different sites out and going through barado’s records my older cousin did all the ground work. we pieced to together a very sad story. grandad’s parent’s were poor his mum died, and his father re married, but, the lady was a constant drunk,she had even more kids my great gandad couldn’t cope and tried to commit suicide BY STABBING HIMSELF in the chest!! grandad and his sister were taken from them, hense barnado’s. whilst he didn’t enjoy it they did save him from this. shipped of to canada they were not much more than slaves to these familys. grandad being small they thought him worthless, he ran away several times. returning to uk, we don’t how.he met nan and then it slowly got better despite the boar war and others and the first world war HE SURVIVED !!! had several kids and grand kids too before he died at age 79 !!!.i love this because despite adverstasty he made something of his self and we are a VERY BIG family now such determination i could only dream of

18 October 2011 at 5:03 pm

Without doubt when I first made contact with a first cousin – who along with 5 other siblings had all been raised in childrens homes seperate to each other and in this particular cousins case unaware of the others existence. This lady flew over from Australia where she now lives & met for the very first time her elder brother after 68 years of not knowing of each other

18 October 2011 at 5:03 pm
Volha Liudvikouskaya 

I hope that family history software will help me to make my best family history discovery because I really like my family!!!

18 October 2011 at 5:03 pm
Rob Clay 

I was thrilled to find out that my grumpy old Great Uncle Albert had been given three medals after serving in the entire theatre from 1914-1918 of the First World War. He was also cited for bravery at Passchendaele for risking his own life to save injured colleagues. It made me see him in an entirely different light. As a kid, I stood by him at the memorial cross in the town on Rememberance Day and saw tears roll down his face, but was too young to understand the horrors he must have seen, and why he was crying.

18 October 2011 at 5:05 pm
Rowena Riley 

My favourite discovery is Finding my cousin Sharlene in Canada, through Ancestry.I never met my nana Nellie, but was told that her and her sisters were orphaned young, and that her sister Elsie ran away with an American Solider, turned out that infact her sister had been sent as a child migrant to Canada through Barnardo’s home, after years of searching for Aunt Elsie i found her through the ship records on Ancestry and the members section, Me and Sharlene who is Elsie Gt grandaughter are very glad we found each other, and it feels like we have been together all our lives.

18 October 2011 at 5:07 pm
Rachel Knapp 

I really enjoyed finding out about the paternal side of my family tree. My father was adopted when he was a baby so I knew nothing of where my ancestral roots were. I found that most of them were from the south-east of England (Kent and London). I found that my British grandfather was already married in Canada with 2 daughters when he came back to the UK. He then had a relationship with my grandmother and fathered 3 more children. He then returned to Canada to his wife and I believe that this is probably why my grandmother was unable to keep my father as she was unmarried with 3 children and he was the youngest. I have no idea whether the other 2 children were adopted out but that is my next challenge.

18 October 2011 at 5:07 pm

My favourite family history discovery is some correspondence in the National Archives relating to my grandfather’s application for naturalisation. It includes a copy of a letter he wrote, giving a brief history of his life: his birth in Hong Kong in the 1880s, his service on various ships in the early 1900s, the confectioners shops that he ran in the 1920s, and his work as a chef in the 1930s. I would never have known so much about his life if I hadn’t found these documents.

18 October 2011 at 5:07 pm
ronnie manning 

My favourite discovery is the fact that some of my ancestors come from somewhere else, other than Battersea, London! Found some in Cornwall/Devon, so glad to know that we moved about the country and now need to find out why, thats the exciting part!!

18 October 2011 at 5:09 pm

My grandmas’ first husband was Irish and at the time they married, they lived in Bristol, where he worked on the railways. I couldn’t find anything about them and the four children they subsequently had. I knew that my aunt had been born in Pontypridd but still couldn’t trace them. Then I discovered their surname had been entered without the apostrophe: and in 1911 they lived in South Wales, where Patrick was now working as a miner. Sadly, he was on the ill-fated Titanic and perished, leaving Grandma with 4 young children.

18 October 2011 at 5:09 pm

Favourite discovery is when I found that my 4 x Great Grandfather was one of the best-known and well loved figures in London Chartism. He also wrote poetry, and I now have some of his poems. There has been quite a lot written about him, and all say what a lovely man he was. Knowing he was so well thought of, and how kind he was, makes me very proud that I have such a wonderful ancestor.

18 October 2011 at 5:10 pm
Mary Taylor 

To be able at last to discover who Parmenas Logan was. My grandmother used to write to him in Australia, but my mother had no idea how he was connected to the family. All she knew of him was his unusual name, which she didn’t even know how to spell. Thanks to Ancestry, we were able to discover he was our grandmother’s cousin who emigrated to Australia as a young man, with his sister Priscilla. We discovered that his mother was a previously unknown older sister of our grandmother’s maternal grandmother, and we have now been in e-mail contact with his grandchildren!

18 October 2011 at 5:16 pm
Toni Smith 

My favourite family history discovery was discovering that my great grandmother Margaret Ward lived in Wade street Whitechapel London, in the ‘Jack the ripper’ era, she was only a young lady at the time, but would have been aware of the gruesome goings on and must have been terrified of going out alone.

18 October 2011 at 5:22 pm

My favourite discovery is learning about the history of my great nan. Always thinking she was adopted I was amazed to find out she was in fact living with relatives and she was brought up as a sister to her mother. It was an amazing find and something that’s enabled me to go back some 200 years from her family and find out who new branches of my tree.

18 October 2011 at 5:26 pm
Rosie Northage 

I began my Ancestry journey looking for my Great Granny because my Grandpa had been adopted. My journey has been long and exciting,meeting many other’travellers’ along the way. My most eciting discovery – my husband and therefore my son are distantly (very) related to Thomas Jefferson, President of the U.S.A.

18 October 2011 at 5:27 pm
Phil Taylor 

My favourite discovery is that three different sets of my ancestors were landlords & landladies of three of my favourite pubs in Yorkshire that I’d sat in & enjoyed many times over the years & never knew. It makes the beer taste even better now but I’ve not managed to get a free drink out of the current landlords yet!

18 October 2011 at 5:28 pm

I could say my greatest discovery is how much I enjoy playing sleuth digging into the roots of my family tree. However being able to prove that my mums cousin was the love child of brother and sister inlaws who later married when their spouses died 5 years before it was legal to do so.

18 October 2011 at 5:31 pm
Carol Owens 

My amazing discovery was that the name of the ship my dad (born 1913) travelled home from Canada, at the age of 20, was the Letitia. He was put in care after his mother passed away and was sent up to Scotland away from his family and then off to Canada (probably 1919)
I am still trying to find the name of the Ship that he sailed in from Scotland and also where he stayed in Canada & Scotland. Sadly there is no one left to ask so my quest continues.

18 October 2011 at 5:32 pm
Janet Taylor 

My favourite family history discovery has been all the distant cousins I’ve found but most importantly my great uncle who we had lost touch with. I wouldn’t say that this is my ‘favourite’ discovery but it has answered a medical mystery for me in that I am the third female on my mother’s paternal side if the family to have Multiple Sclerosis. My Great Aunt and a second cousin had it. Quite emotional but maybe proof that it does run in families!

18 October 2011 at 5:33 pm
Richard Case 

Finding out that an ancestor was instrumental in the development of the career that I have…. That was spooky!

18 October 2011 at 5:42 pm
John Thatcher 

After years of researching my ancestors, my favourite find is the name of my great, great, great, great grandfather’s apprentice master. Somehow, it renders so many of the cold facts and dates into a more human chapter of the story.

18 October 2011 at 5:47 pm
Ian Salthouse-Thornton 

Using I was researching my wife’s family tree and when we entered a correct date of birth for her relative, not only did we get a hit on their details, we also got a hit on another distant relative’s public tree, we also scored a hit on eight other relatives we didn’t know existed! What a fantaztic result

18 October 2011 at 5:53 pm
Fiona Gayther 

My Great Great Grandfather, Samuel Scott, was an engineer with the Royal Navy on a steam ship. He married a lady in Yorkshire and they had a daughter. After their daughter was born he met my Great Great Grandmother, Charlotte Beck, and married her in Malta (without bothering to get divorced first!). They had a son, Albert, (my Great Grandfather). Then Samuel’s first (and legal) wife had another daughter (busy man!). Perhaps to escape being charged with bigamy, he and his “second family” moved to India where he died at the age of 33. Charlotte subsequently remarried and I couldn’t find anything else about her. I assumed she had died in India. But then, on the off chance she had moved back to England, I did a search for her here and found her in London! She had three more sons and eventually died in Stonehouse, Gloucestershire, which turns out to be about three miles from where I now live! My family have moved around, from India, to Africa and Australia. I moved here from Australia, only to find out I lived down the road from where my Great Great Grandmother (and one of her sons) had lived nearly 100 years ago.

18 October 2011 at 6:03 pm
Debbi Robinson 

I found out that I was related to someone famous and it was great to prove the family story that I had heard over and over again during my childhood.

I have since traced ancestors and descendants of this man and submitted his tree to his surviving daughter.

18 October 2011 at 6:10 pm
Kelli Stachurski 

My favorite discovery started back in 1991. My 5 year old daughter was very ill and in need of a bone marrow transplant. Part of the process was tissue typing the parents. A few days after I gave blood, I was asked to come back and give more blood. I did of course but asked why. The answer I got has sent me on a hunt for the last 20 years. They found that I was 20% Navaho Indian and Jewish. Which was interesting because all my life I was told I was Irish. I had no irish in my blood at all. When I asked my grandmother about this, she flat out denied any indian or jewish relitives. To bring everyone up to this date and time…My grandmother passed in 2010 leaving behind all her secretes of ancestry. BUT, while cleaning out her house, we found a big family bible tucked away with loads of photograghs. In it we found birthdates,marriages, deathdates but mention of an indian relitive. But in the photographs we found one picture of striking young women named laura that was very deffinatly an indian. From what we could find out, she was from the New Mexico area and ran away from the reservation when she was very young to Louisanna where she met and married my great grandfather.They lived out their days back in New Mexico where she dies at the age of 105. We have no documents tieing any of this as fact. I have tried going through the Indian censes but without more info I have not been able to find any real proof. I am not giving up though. Oh, and just incase you are wondering, My little girl passed April of 1991.

18 October 2011 at 6:11 pm
Paul Amey 

I have found 2 cousins I never knew existed, one remembered me as a baby, also located my Great Uncle’s details of his death in WW1 and visitited his grave in Ypres this year.

18 October 2011 at 6:17 pm
Ginette Hobbs 

The best thing for me is to actually discover all of my ancestors on both sides of my family and to discover what different lives they all led with their occupations and where they lived. The most exciting thing for me is to be able to start to trace my Irish line on Ancestry with the new records and to discover that my great nan had more children than what we first thought.

I have also been lucky enough to contact distant cousins and hear their stories and be able to put together the family history from many generations.

18 October 2011 at 6:27 pm
Maureen Lister 

My favourite discovery was meeting up again with my mother’s cousin. She was able to give me a postcard sent to my grandmother from her brother, whom I only met once when I was about three years old. I also remembered going to the cousin’s wedding and she was able to tell me that she wasn’t married by Father Christmas, as I used to think, but by a Cardinal.

18 October 2011 at 6:36 pm
Mark ashdown 

I was pleased to find out i was related to lee alexander mcqueen the world renowned fashion designer , i really had no idea of a family connection .

18 October 2011 at 6:39 pm
Wendy Partridge 

My greatest find is the record for my gt grandfathers will.When I sent for it here was so much information on my family lots of brick walls came tumbing down.

18 October 2011 at 6:44 pm
Cheryl Bowman 

My favourite moment so far has been finding out the correct name for my g/grandmother. No wonder I could never find her!

18 October 2011 at 6:50 pm
Eileen Westlake 

My dad didn’t know his dad or any of his family. It was really nice to be able to find out about them, especially his uncle who died in WW11 in India. We didnt know where, and I have found where he was buried in India and now have a photo of his grave. Telling my dad (now 80 years young) about his family and showing him the photo brought tears to his eyes. This made all the research worth while.

18 October 2011 at 6:53 pm
Alan B 

My favourite discovery was that my Granddad had a half brother that no one in my family knew about. This gentleman found my family tree on the internet and contacted me right out of the blue stating who he was. Although he knew a little bit about my mother and her sisters, we knew nothing about him, we didn’t even know he exsisted. I knew via my mother that her Granddad had left the family and although he didn’t get divorced as his wife refused to do it, he started living as man and wife with another lady and had a relationship with someone else and that is how this gentleman was born. Knowing this has made me want to find out as much as I can now about my mothers Granddad as it seems there is a lot we just don’t know about him.

18 October 2011 at 6:57 pm
Sally Hyde 

My favorite moment so far was the discovery that two previous members of my family had emigrated to New Zealand from the UK before me. I came in 1985 and have settled here with my daughter all other family are in the UK. About a year ago I discovered my great uncle and and my g great uncle came in 1885 and 1859, I found one in a passenger list the other I still am searching for his passage record. I have since found their graves in Christchurch. I felt much less alone after this discovery 🙂

18 October 2011 at 7:00 pm
David Pacey 

Too many discoveries to just pick one !!!

18 October 2011 at 7:02 pm
Shirley Flieth 

I have family tree for years and like it. Shirley

18 October 2011 at 7:03 pm
James R Wilson 

My favourate moment was when i linked my tree to others in the USA & Australia & managed to contact distant cousins who share the same name as me. but also when i found an old storry of a gg’grandfather who sat atop a hill watching the battle of Falkirk. it realy brings history to life when you think that during the wars their where still little kids running around watching the battle. lol

18 October 2011 at 7:04 pm
Pat Crawford 

Finding my Mum’s ‘original’ Birth Certificate, then tracing her Mum, Brother & Sister, then Grand & Great Grandparents

18 October 2011 at 7:06 pm

My magic moment was when my dad met his long lost cousin I traced 70 years after they last met as kids playing in the back yard of their house in Canning Town

18 October 2011 at 7:10 pm

I think one of the best things was connecting with a relative through the Public Tree search on Ancestry. Through him I learned one of my grandmother’s cousins was alive and well in Derbyshire and I have since been able to put them back in touch. They are delighted, having not communicated since the end of World War II, during which my grandmother sent parcels (from Australia) to help with the rationing in the UK.

18 October 2011 at 7:13 pm
Lynne McCubbin 

A fellow researcher in Canada sent me a photograph of my grandmother, her parents and many siblings, taken in the early 1900s Scotland. I was adopted and am tracing my birth family, so to find a a photo of my blood line was absolutely brilliant! It was even more special as for the first time ever I could see that I looked like my relatives, and my son is the double of my grandmother!! The photo is now hanging on my living room wall 🙂

18 October 2011 at 7:15 pm
Catherine Collison 

My favorite so far is a discovery I made last year with the help of a cousin(also found while doing family history). My GG Granddad Frederick Handel NEWTON was something of a rouge.He gave my GG Gran 2 children(one my Great Gran)& Even before one of the children had seen their first Christmas Frederick H.had deserted the family only to set up & have 2 more with another woman.She was also deserted & in Aug of 1889 he went to far & attacked a 18 old girl who was the daughter of minor cannon of Southwell,Nottinghamshire.He got to fifteen year’s penal servitude & end up in Parkhurst prison,Isle-of-White, Hampshire,but died after 10 years in 1899.All this was kept quiet in the family for over a hundred years,those that kept quiet must be spinning in their graves

18 October 2011 at 7:20 pm
Russell Roe 

My favourite family history discovery is my Gran’s 2nd cousin who lives in America, she is related to me through my mum’s family in the Czech Republic. I knew that her grandfather had emigrated to America in the 1920s but we lost contact with their family after World War Two. The great thing is she is married to a TV celebrity in America called “Dr Drew Pinsky” which makes the find more interesting! Thank you Ancestry for helping me to find my family!

18 October 2011 at 7:38 pm
Wendy Barwick 

Finding out that my Maternal Great Grandfather had a wooden leg which eventually caused his death, not gangrene or an infection like you would think back in 1916 BUT it caused him to fall off a ladder onto a cart and a plough whilst thatching at the age of 76.

18 October 2011 at 7:43 pm
Nellena Ellen 

I had always known that my father had spent some time in New Zealand as a teenager.
Imagine my surprise to find On THE NEW YORK PASSENGER LISTS 1820-1957 that as a 17 years old he was in the Merchant Navy employed as a Galley Boy on ship named Australind. On New Years eve 30/12/1936 he deserted ship at Wellington, New Zealand and never completed the voyage to New York.
Now we know how he got there !!!!
Sadely my father died in 1970 so can never tell us the whole story.

18 October 2011 at 7:46 pm
linda sweetman 

My family split up when I was very young because of divorce. I am now back in touch with Mums brother and his family and my Brother after 50 yrs thanks to I also found out that my granddad and his brother both won the military medal in ww1

18 October 2011 at 7:47 pm
Denise Gold 

All my discoveries have been great I have a few trees on the go, one was for a work colleague and i traced her family back to the 1500 and discovered Part of her family owned most of Bexleyheath I was able to tell her mum all about her family before she sadley passed away, and for a friend I discovered family she never knew she had living in Canada some of them have now been over here and met the english family seeing the faces of the friends I have helped is a great reward, finally finding my own past and still discovering more each day fab….x

18 October 2011 at 7:57 pm
Maurice Irwin 

My greatest pleasure was finding my mother’s cousin still alive age 93 years old living in Canada,sad though my Mum died 2 years before we found her.she did know that she she had cousins still alive. I also found her auntie was murdered at the age of five in 1893 along with her young playmate who was 7 years old. My great granddad found her body in the river next day.

18 October 2011 at 7:59 pm
Claire Thompson 

Finding out that I’m related to Grace Darling, the heroic lifesaver from Bamburgh, Northumberland. Many years before tracing my ancestry, I visited Bamburgh and instantly felt that I had come home…now I know why!

18 October 2011 at 8:09 pm
Jeanette Durston 

My favourite discoveries so far is confirming a family myth about my maternal grandfather’s mother who passed as a result of the flu pandemic, having given birth to her daughter, his baby sister, who also died only days apart in 1918 – my grandfather only being five years old at the time. Also discovering that my maternal grandmother’s parents shared the same blood link to one member of the family – my grandmother’s g-g-g grandfather (through her mother’s family line) was also her g-grandfather (through her father’s family line due to a second marriage). On my paternal grandfather’s family tree discovering that his mother’s first two children (my grandfather being one of them) were raised separately but still within the family by his uncles. Discovering the tragedies, skeletons and strong family bonds, which makes us who we are – I just find this absolutely fascinating.

18 October 2011 at 8:14 pm

It has to be meeting one of the men who dived on the wreck of the Port Kembla, and holding the bell and some of the dinner plates raised from her.My grandfather was a merchant seaman in WWI and was on this ship when she hit a mine laid by the German mine layer Wolf off the coast of New Zealand. Fortunately there was no loss of life.It was pure chance that turned on the news just as a report on the group who dived on her was shown. I heard the words Port Kembla and imediately dropped everthing to listen. Pure serendipity.

18 October 2011 at 8:31 pm
Matthew Anderson 

Asking to state just one is not possible as all genealogists should agree because all our findings hold stories of equal importance to that of any other. Thanks to Ancestry I have unlocked a wealth of memories for many of my ancestors and that of my wife from relatives all over the world that range from simple things in life, child geniuses, murder and to bravery in World War One which I can now pass on to all my descendants and those who are related no matter how distant.

18 October 2011 at 8:34 pm
Helen Arrand 

So far in my family history search there’s not been any startling discoveries, it’s all the little things I find so fascinating, such as the fact my GGG Grandad was a pilot in 1871 and to see copies of papers my ancestors have actually signed (their sign up papers for WW1)

18 October 2011 at 8:35 pm
Debbie Richardson 

My favourite discovery is finding my Mum’s cousin, who we didn’t know existed. Her dad was my gran’s half brother – gran never knew of his existence either. He was left in the workhouse after my great grandmother remarried and spent all his life looking for his family. Unfortunately he died in the 1970’s, before the age of internet research, so never realised he had a massive extended family.

18 October 2011 at 8:44 pm
Miriam O'Reilly 

I started doing my fathers family tree a few years ago. made it easy but there were two relatives missing. My Dads aunt had died in her 30’s before my Dad was born. She had 2 sons and Dad never knew what happened to them. He longed to know, so I kept up my search for a long time for them. One day I thought I would look on facebook thinking they might have children or grandchildren as they would be in their 80’s at this stage. I found a man with the same name so I emailed him but I got no reply. One year later I got a message on facebook. It was the man I had emailed a year previous. He was one of the sons I had been looking for! He had only learned how to use the computer when he was 80 and had only seen my message now. He was so thrilled to hear from me and very excited about talking to Dad. He had a harsh upbringing after his mother died and had longed for a family. He now lived in Spain were he emigrated in his 40’s. He hadnt seen his brother since he was 21. He had been looking for him in Australia. He knew he had a son and knew his name so I searched for him also on facebook and lo and behold, there he was! Unfortunetly his father had died a few years before but at least they were able to find the rest of the family. Dad went to meet his cousin in Spain just last month. It was a really lovely and emotional time.

18 October 2011 at 8:46 pm
Ian Wallace 

My favourite find is that my mothers family, Clarks, are related to the Northumberland Border Reiver Robson Clan – love it!

18 October 2011 at 9:01 pm
Judith Timms 

I started using in January this year. I have been lucky to connect with distant family members who have helped me get my family tree together.

18 October 2011 at 9:12 pm
Tim Mander 

My grandfather served on the early submarines. After investigating further I found that he served on the ill fated M1 sub. which went down with all hands, the heavy gun having been dislodged from its mountings after being struck by the SS Vidar. Luckily my grandfather was hospitalised at the time of the accident so he survived to continue his career in the Navy. My family tree would have been a few members less had fate not been on his side.

18 October 2011 at 9:22 pm
Gary Waghorn 

My favourite discovery was my nan’s 1901 census record. Tracing a family with surname of Brown was never going to be straightforward. Finding four generations in the same house was a huge boost.

18 October 2011 at 9:31 pm
Kristina Hook 

My most interesting discovery is my great grandfather on my mother’s side. My mum thought he had died at sea and possibly during World War I. I was able to find out he was a ship’s cook on the Canadian Hospital Ship HMHS Llandovery Castle that was torpedoed by a German U-Boat with the loss of all but 24 in 1918 (survivors were shot in the water). He left a wife who was pregnant with my grandfather who was named after him.

18 October 2011 at 9:36 pm

Best part was finding how to claim my dad’s WW2 medals, get them engraved and give them to my mum, who gave them back to me, then to be able to get his war record. Now need to find my grandad’s W
W1 navy records.

18 October 2011 at 9:53 pm
Jeanette McDonald 

My Main Discovery was that My Nan and Granddad on my Mum’s side were always a mystery and kept everything private they would never tell my Mum anything about their lives before my Mum was born or when she was growing up, researching my Nan & Granddad I have found out a lot of information about their past, some good but an awful lot was very, very sad made me cry and my Mum also to think my Mum never knew much about her own parents even though she lived with them both until they both passed away.

18 October 2011 at 9:54 pm
Elaine Jones 

Finding out I am descendant from African Americans who lived in Boston USA and finding my great great grandfather on the USA 1870 census and the UK 1871 census. Sadly haven’t found that illusive immigration record yet!I’d love to know what bought him to the UK when the rest of his family stayed in America

18 October 2011 at 10:15 pm
sue tod 

My favourite would be researching and finding out my family history especially on my mums side of the family as I beleive I was related to Roger Mortimer who bedded Queen Alexander and was hung drawn and quartered, just not been able to afford to do it.

18 October 2011 at 11:19 pm
Gillian W 

There have been many wonderful discoveries but one I treasure greatly is a Victorian photograph album, generously given to me by a 3rd cousin, containing photographs of our common gg-grandparents. Unfortunately, few of the photographs were marked and most have still to be identified.

18 October 2011 at 11:32 pm
Margaret Easter 

I recently discovered through Ancestry that my grandmother and Sir Adrian Boult the conductor were 5th cousins. My husband and I have wonderful memories of the many concerts we went to which he conducted and we have lots of his recordings on CD. Our son is a gifted musician. Music is obviously in the genes. I telephoned my cousin to give him the news and and he was delighted; he too is an organist like our son. It has been a great thrill to discover one is related to a musician one has held in such high regard for many years.

19 October 2011 at 12:03 am
Lorraine Phillips 

I knew nothing of my fathers side of the family only he was the eldest of 4 brothers and since starting Ancestry not only have I found ancesters going back to the 1600s but I found his younger brothers daughter who is still alive and we have been to see her and her family in Braintree and she has come and seen us, she is 69 so it has been the most wondefull experience to find each other before time ran out for us and when we 1st met it was as though we had known each other all our lives. I will always be grateful to Ancestry for making this possible. I always felt incomplete as if something was missing not knowing anything about my fathers side and now I have a real treasured 1st cousin and another side of my living family. More than I could ever have wished for.

19 October 2011 at 1:00 am
Christine hall 

I started my tree after my mother died 15 years ago, she was always sad that she didn’t t know her fathers family and was sure they were ‘posh’! She knew he was well travelled and had been to several countries in his working life well I have never found him on any census anywhere but what a delight when the passenger lists arrived there he was on several, he was an engineer travelling to India, Argentina, Africa working for a big mining company! Sadly I have not been able to find a family but still look every day for clues and have over four thousand relatives on my tree to date.
I have also met a first cousin who lives in Australia who has been searching for hin too, plus lots of other relations from branches of our trees.
I hoping that the next census will show me my grandfather so a way to go yet!!!

19 October 2011 at 6:51 am
Doug Stewart 

Every link in the chain that I find, going in all directions, is a favourite when I find it because it almost always leads me on to some new discovery.

19 October 2011 at 10:18 am
Joyce Sinclair 

I was looking for the date of marriage for my in-laws. My mum-in-law died in 1974 at which time her name was Sinclair so I knew they had married. I knew the date of birth of their eldest son was 1945 so I started looking a year prior to this and checked every quarter of every year going forward. I eventually found they had married the week after we had – in April 1972.
I remember my mum-in-law telling me, before I was married, that the marriage certificate belonged to the woman and that it was to be treasured. When I found that at the time of saying it she was herself unmarried I understood.

19 October 2011 at 1:47 pm
Angela Donovan 

Finding out that my Great Great Uncle Tom Jones who was born in Wales and lived in Boston USA and finding him on the USA 1920 and 1930 census. I’d love to know what made him leave the UK when most of the rest of his family stayed in America! I also thought it was fascinating that one of our welsh family was adopted by a relative, again living in Boston and she went on to become a Nun!

19 October 2011 at 2:03 pm
Wendy Davies 

Every discovery is a favourite — discovering my 3xGreat Granddad was a tightrope walker and never married my 3xgreat grandmother – tracking one of their sons to Canada (my 2xgreat granddads brother) – the subsequent tracking down of cousins from 3xgreat granddads first marriage — including a Barnado’s boy who was a home child (to Canada) and his escapades – now in close contact with his children & grandchildren (they live in California) – organizing a ‘reunion’ for this branch (legitimate & illegitimate) of the family and finally getting a headstone on the grave of 3xGreat Granddad (buried with his father) with help from many of his discovered descendants… 🙂

19 October 2011 at 2:55 pm
Michelle Grant 

My favourite discovery was that my Great Grandfather served in the First and Second World Wars! After being gassed and surving the First, he signed up as a volunteer in the second, lying about his age, so that he could join. A true patriot, and a brave man!

19 October 2011 at 3:14 pm
John Todd 

I found out my maternal grandfather was an army deserter after being found unshaven on parade in 1910.

19 October 2011 at 5:35 pm

I get a thrill from discovering that I’ve found anyone from my family tree that I didn’t know about. I’ve always known that Charles Dickens was related to me, but have got unstuck trying to find who my great-great grandfather was as he was some Lord or something who had his fun with a worker of the house (apparently very common back in the day). Also found out that another relative is Charles Talbot, the 15th Earl of Shrewsbury (now where Alton Towers theme park is). I’d most like to find the descendents of my maternal grandfathers brother who emigrated to Canada, also my maternal grandmother’s descendents as apparently there was a family rift and my mother didn’t know them either. I found one distant relative on my father’s side who now lives in Australia, and was so thrilled just to find one person

20 October 2011 at 12:42 am
Steve Bosley 

My favourite family history story has to be the one about Grandad Sydney Hankey which demonstrates how tenuous the circumstances can be that form the branches of a family tree.
Sydney was shot in the leg in WW1 at the Somme and unable to move. A German soldier happened upon him but instead of shooting him he comforted him and they exchanged souvenirs – the German giving Sydney a postcard from his family – which I have to this day.
Later that day one of Sydney’s mates found him and dragged him to the road, where he accosted a French cart full of wounded soldiers and convinced them they had room for one more.
Consequently Sydney survived the rest of the war and married my grandmother 6 years later.
As a postscript, I saw just last week (in the 15 collections in 15 days promotion) that Ancestry are part way through adding the Bavarian war records. I just had to look up the German soldier to see if he too survived the war – unfortunately, as he was in the 47 reserves I will have to wait a little longer … but I do hope so – so I can try to find a way to say thank you.

20 October 2011 at 11:26 am
Peter Mason 

Finding out that some of my aunts and uncles are only half aunts and uncles because I have found out that they were fathered by a different partner my grandmother had, after who I thought was my grandfather died. Established this by confirming who was living with my grandmother on the UK Electoral Register as her partner which proved my grandfather was no my grandfather

22 October 2011 at 12:36 am

Well I have not actually done much of my family tree, however I found a “Family Bible” which belonged to my late granddad which informs us we had ancestors who moved to India and the mother and 4 children died from an epidemic of cholera leaving the father and 2 children behind.

I can’t wait to get started to find out about these possible ancestors…

23 October 2011 at 4:33 pm
Sean Brown 

My greatest ‘eureka moment’ (still not surpassed) was the first time I visited a local parish church, opened its original leather bound parish record book and discovered my grandfather’s baptismal record. I would advise everyone to follow up their online research and to go to parish churches and see the actual documents for themselves. They are living history.

29 October 2011 at 11:40 am

Some years ago, after a weeks researching in Aberdeen’s Spital cemetery and on the day I was due to go home, I found a family grave with inscriptions on it revealing a wealth of information regarding my Scottish ancestors. This last minute discovery made my whole journey up to Aberdeen most worthwhile.

30 October 2011 at 3:19 pm