Crista Cowan

Crista has been doing genealogy since she was a child. She has been employed at Ancestry.com since 2004. Around here she's known as The Barefoot Genealogist. Twitter

Ireland, Italy, or Germany? Oh, My!

Posted by Crista Cowan on May 9, 2018 in Heritage Travel, ProGenealogists

Put 28 people that all have Irish ancestors on a bus with a driver from Limerick.  Add three professional genealogists and a tour guide from Belfast.  Then, spend ten days touring Ireland.  That’s what I did for a week and a half in April. Ancestry ProGenealogists has partnered with Go Ahead Tours for Heritage Travel Read More

Timeless: A Trip That Took JFK 115 Years to Make

Posted by Crista Cowan on April 15, 2018 in Entertainment, Research

Right this minute, I’m in Ireland on an Ancestry ProGenealogists Heritage Tour, sitting in the Harbor Hotel overlooking Galway Bay.  I’ve spent the last week and a half making a clockwise tour of the island.  And, it seems that every time we come around another corner someone reminds us about the time in June 1963 Read More

Timeless: Taxi Drive to NASCAR

Posted by Crista Cowan on March 18, 2018 in Entertainment, Research

One of my favorite things about family history is uncovering the stories of ordinary people.  People who lived their lives in unassuming ways but still managed to do pretty incredible things.  All too often, though, those stories get lost to time in the face of bigger and brighter personalities.  Family history is a way to Read More

Timeless, Marie Curie, and WWI

Posted by Crista Cowan on March 10, 2018 in Entertainment, Women in History

Here at Ancestry, the Research and Editorial Team (of which I am a part) loves the TV show, Timeless.  It makes sense.  The show centers around a group of time travelers.  And, what family historian do you know that doesn’t wish they could travel back in time to the places their ancestors lived? (If you Read More

Quick Tips for Breaking Through Your Genealogy Bricks Walls

Posted by Crista Cowan on July 28, 2016 in Research

We all have them.  Those ancestors who just refuse to be found.  In genealogy, we call them “brick walls.”  Whether you are brand new to the family history game or you have been doing this for decades, the strategies for climbing over, going around, or breaking through those brick walls are the same.  In this Read More

Ancestry LifeStory: The Life Lived in the Dash

Posted by Crista Cowan on June 2, 2015 in Site Features, Website

As a genealogist, I love putting the puzzle of the family tree together.  I love the process of reasonably exhaustive searches and analysis and correlation of evidence. I love how one genealogical question leads to another and those questions lead to records that lead to more questions.  It’s exciting to share that “thrill of the Read More