Past Articles

Brother Against Brother: The Akune Brothers in World War II

The Akune family had 4 brothers who fought in World War II. But it wasn’t until the war was over that the incredible story, as detailed in records, surfaced. Though they had all fought in the same war, they had not fought on the same side. Two had fought for the U.S. and two for Read More

5 Amazing Things You Can Discover About Your Ancestors Through Newspapers

You know where your ancestors were born, where they died, how many kids they had. But what if you could discover even richer details: How past generations lived, what they cared about, the events that shaped their lives? Newspapers.com, which you can access as part of an Ancestry All Access subscription, helps you explore the past as Read More

272 Slaves Were Sold to Save Georgetown: Meet One of Their Descendants

In 1838, Georgetown teetered on the edge of bankruptcy. 272 slaves were sold to save the school. News of the sale surfaced in headlines last year, sparking heated exchanges on campus and beyond. As Georgetown employee Jeremy Alexander watched the events unfold, he had no idea how close to the story he was. One of his Read More

Clara Brown: Angel of the Rockies

Clara Brown, born a slave, lost her entire family in a slave auction which separated them. Despite all odds, she amassed a small fortune which she used to help others as she held to her dream of one day meeting her family again. Along the way, she also helped so many others, she was dubbed the Read More

Strangely Appropriate Surnames – And What Yours Says About You

Usain Bolt, the eight-time Olympic gold medalist sprinter, could not have a more fitting name. “Bolt” is Old English for arrow. And he is just one of the many people who have aptronyms—names well-suited to their owner. Is it just coincidence or is there a deeper tie between your last name and your life choices? Let’s take a Read More

Sandie’s Story: A Cultural Chameleon Discovers Her True Roots

Meet Sandie. She’s a writer, a mom, and a cultural chameleon – easily mistaken for “whatever the cab driver” in New York thinks is her ethnicity. She took an AncestryDNA test to find out her true origins – and the results were very surprising: Sandie’s always considered herself Latina, since both her parents were born in Colombia. But people Read More

Meant to Be: A Mother and Son Reunited After 30 Years

On December 29, Jen headed to work on what she thought was just another Tuesday. She had no idea that before the day ended, her world would be rocked by a message on Ancestry from the son she had given up for adoption 30 years before. This is the incredible story. Back in 1985 Jen was 17. She had Read More

Genealogy: the Second Most Popular Hobby in the US?

Family history research is the second-most popular hobby in the United States, according to articles in TIME and USA TODAY by author and former LA Times columnist Gregory Rodriguez. How did genealogy get so popular? The advent of the internet certainly helped, making billions of records like census data and passenger lists easily accessible. You Read More

6 Weird But True Facts About DNA

Our DNA is amazing. And over the years scientists have discovered some stunning facts. Here are 6 weird but true facts about DNA. 1. Your DNA could stretch from the earth to the sun and back ~600 times. If unwound and linked together, the strands of DNA in each of your cells would be 6 feet long. With Read More