Posted by Kristie Wells on September 30, 2013 in Collections, Events, Family History Month, Research


Each October, genealogy enthusiasts come together to celebrate ‘Family History Month’ – a time to focus on inspiring people to discoverpreserve, and share their family heritage while also making new memories with loved ones.

“It is only natural that we want to find out more about our ancestors, and what a better way to bring families closer together than by discovering more about the story of your own family?” – Senator Orrin Hatch of Utah, co-sponsored the Senate resolution

Searching ones ancestral roots can be educational, entertaining and sometimes – when one of them fails to leave a proper paper trail – downright frustrating. We are here to help.

Over the next several weeks we will be sharing tips, best practices and specific tools to aid you in your research – whether you are just getting started or you have been building your family tree for 30 years.

And for those of you who have already started building out your family history, we would love to hear about your own success stories, challenges you overcame (or have yet to) and power tips as well – be share them with us in the comments below or via our feedback form here, and you may be one of our members featured on our blog!


Kristie Wells

Kristie is Ancestry's former Head of Global Social Media and Online Customer Engagement.


  1. P J Evans

    The new add-a-fact screen makes it much harder to add facts – it’s harder to read what’s going in. For one thing, the background color is too damned dark. For another, the boxes are extremely oversized.
    I’m so put off by the new format that I’m thinking about QUITTING trying to add to the tree. (Don’t discourage the experienced, in your eagerness to make things easy for newbies. You’re supposed to WANT people to keep coming back, after all.)

  2. Rodi Smith-Gray

    Never underestimate the census- I know there are some flaws in the info. but it can also be a treasure trove of information. It can help narrow your search to certain geographical areas and lead you to vital records. Also, when info is posted on a tree- don’t just copy it and take it as accurate- try verifying that info first- can save you a lot of time and aggravation. After all, I am not looking for names- I am looking for My family. <3

  3. Wendy Negley

    I was having great difficulty finding any information on my husband’s grandmother prior to her marriage in 1914. I tried many sources and had three different birth places. Then I visited my husband’s cousin who had inherited his mother’s photo collection. Her address book listed “Aunt Mary Collins” of Leatra, Williamstown, Galway, Ireland. I tried to research this name but it is a very common one as well as her son, John Collins. Then one day I was reviewing my notes and I thought where or what is “Leatra”? So I googled it (exactly as above, Leatra, Williamstown, Galway, Ireland). There I found “Collins of Leatra” a family reunion planned in Ireland. I contacted the man organizing the reunion and sent him photos of Mary Collins and her son, John. He e-mailed me “Mary is my grandmother and Johny is my uncle”! I had found the family. He put me in touch with a cousin who was working on the family tree and progress has been made! The lesson is to explore every possible lead and use Google any time you don’t know where or what something is!

  4. Cheri Shewak

    I was certainly amazed when i was able to search and actually find things out about my family and I really feel as though I am quite fortunate.
    I actually found out my father had lived in phoenix, thru the census. iT IS where I live now, and he never talked about being here. This has been a wild ride, and very time i start to search on Ancestry I find out more and more! iit’s never boring!
    People need to know their heritage- it gives one roots and it also helps to instill “belonging” in a family, and that is very important, today.

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