Walking With My Enslaved Ancestors

Jason Atwater* was on a mission: to discover the names of his enslaved ancestors. He never dreamed his research would lead him to the Virginia plantation where his ancestor’s legacy lives on to this day. What Were Their Names? After taking an AncestryDNA test, Jason became curious about his African ancestors who had been enslaved. Read More

Does Longevity Run in Your Family?

I have always wondered if the secret to long life is actually just genetics. My grandmothers are about to celebrate their 93rd and 92nd birthdays, respectively – so what does the mean for me? Is the secret to long life in genetics? Or is there more to longevity than just DNA? A Supercentenarian’s Secret On April Read More

5 Things to Talk About Around the Holiday Table Besides Politics

In this era of divisive modern politics, family holiday get-togethers can be a nerve-wracking time. Disparate generations and outlooks can clash all too easily over Grandma’s dinner table. But your differences don’t need to ruin your holiday celebrations. Here are five topics to discuss over the holidays that aren’t likely to lead to mashed potatoes Read More

My Dad Went From Being an Only Child to One of Five

For most of my life, I thought my family was small. Beyond my brother and me, there was my mom, her brother and sister, her sister’s two kids, and her parents. On my dad’s side, there was just him and his mom. Or so I thought. Family history research revealed my dad was actually one Read More

The Untold Lives of British Convicts Sold to America

Many know that Australia was once a colony of convicts hailing from Britain. But have you heard about America’s very own convict past? One Australian scholar (and Ancestry member) set out to tell their story. Settlers at Jamestown When we think about some of America’s first settlers, the Mayflower landing in 1620 often comes to Read More

5 Steps to The Perfect Dia de los Muertos Altar

Known in Spanish as “El Día de los Muertos,” Day of the Dead is celebrated throughout Mexico largely on November 1st and 2nd. It’s deeply rooted in tradition that goes back generations. There are many ways to show your respect for those who’ve passed, but the most common by far is to build an altar, Read More

One Man’s Quest to Find the Names of His Enslaved Ancestors

Jason Atwater* was on a mission: to find the names of his slave ancestors. His quest led him to a bigger discovery than he imagined. An Unexpected Clue Slave record research can be difficult, as slaves were not always listed by name, but rather as property, simply by age and gender. Yet Jason was determined. Read More

Were These GoT Actors Born to Play Their Roles? Ancestry Research Revealed

On Game of Thrones, lineage is powerful and perilous. Family ties can get you killed. Now in its 7th season, the show continues to reveal secrets of its characters’ identities. It turns out, the actors on the show are descended from fascinating figures themselves, according to new research from Ancestry. These GoT actors have real-life Read More

How School Was Different in The 1800s

Every fall, children across the United States complain about returning to school. Little do they know how easy they have it. Things were a lot tougher for our ancestors in the 1800s. Here’s what it was like. A fireplace blazed in the winter. With no central heating, schoolhouses relied on fireplaces and, later, wood stoves Read More

What Was Life Like For Your Poorest Ancestors?

Much of the history we learned about in school — and in all those epic movies and miniseries since then — is the story of the ruling class and the wealthy. If your ancestors weren’t among those lucky few, as far as history books are concerned, it’s almost as if they didn’t exist. And if Read More