11 Unbelievable Items from the Sears Catalog

Published from 1888 to 1993, the Sears catalog featured everything from sewing machines, clothes, and sporting goods to cars, houses, and livestock. The Sears catalog is a great chronicle of our country’s history, as told through everyday items sold to ordinary people. But, looking back, many of its pages were far from ordinary. Here are Read More

8 Celebrity Pictures from Our Yearbook Archive

The searchable collection of more than 50,000 U.S. school yearbooks on Ancestry includes a celebrity gallery, where you can see the likes of Madonna dancing with her high school classmates and Jake Gyllenhaal getting smooched by a couple of seventh-grade fans. It’s fun to see where someone famous went to school, what they looked like Read More

80-Year-Old Mystery Solved By a Simple DNA Test

Angelina Jolie unwittingly unlocked a mystery that an 80-year-old man had been trying to solve his entire life. Along with a friend, aspiring New York actress Cathryn Mudon took a DNA test after hearing Jolie was screened for the breast cancer gene. “We just did it on a whim,” she later told Dallas television station Read More

12 Stunning Civil War Facts

The Civil War was the bloodiest war in our country’s history. It is often called “the first modern war” because of efficient and deadly weapons that became available for the first time. Just how terrible was this war that pitted brother against brother? Consider these 12 jaw-dropping facts: 1. More soldiers died in the Civil Read More

Are You a Child of the ’90s — the 1890s?

There were a lot of great leaps forward in the 1890s, or the “gay ’90s” as they are sometimes nostalgically called: exciting new forms of transportation (rail, steamboat, electric street car, bikes and even the start of the “horseless carriage”); department stores and mail-order catalogues made lots of new goods available; and new forms of Read More

14 Fascinating Professions From History

Have you ever pondered what kind of job you would have had if you lived a hundred or more years ago? There wasn’t a big call back then for IT professionals, auto repair shops, or neurosurgery. But there was still plenty to do in order to keep society running smoothly — even if that sometimes Read More

15 Fascinating Facts From Famous Death Records

From the king who ate himself to death to the comedian whose audience didn’t know his death wasn’t a joke, many high-profile people have left this world in unusual ways. Even many perfectly ordinary endings are fascinating because of coincidence, timing, or plain old bad luck. Here are some interesting facts about the deaths of Read More

8 Athletes with Irish Connections

Nearly 35 million Americans claim Irish heritage, and among them are titans of sport. Athletes in basketball, football, hockey, boxing, tennis, and more boast an Irish ancestry, no matter their race (no, we haven’t found evidence that this includes Shaquille O’Neal, despite his lilting last name). Here’s a sample of Irish-American athletes, past and present. Read More