Genealogy: Most Popular Articles
Find the meaning and origin of your last name in this free online dictionary of surname meanings, including surnames of English, Irish, German, French, Italian, Spanish, Polish, English, Canadian, Australian, and Jewish origin.
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Explore the German and Scottish ancestors of New York City entrepeneur, Donald Trump.
Uncover the meaning of your Italian last name with this free guide to Italian surname meanings and origins.
This free family tree chart records the ancestors from whom you directly descend in a graphical family tree format, suitable for sharing or even framing. Best of all, it can be completed in your computer browser and then saved or printed.
Fill in your family tree and share it right online or save to your computer with this free, four-generation, interactive pedigree chart. It can also be printed and filled in by hand. Page 2.
Learn the meaning and origin of the Dutch last name van den Berg, plus find genealogy and family trees for the Vandenberg surname.
Can testing your DNA help you learn more about your ancestors and heritage? Absolutely! Learn how to identify which ancestral DNA test is most appropriate for your situation and which company you should test with.
Learn how to find the meaning of your last name and trace your surname's origin back through history. Describes the different ways in which surnames developed and tips for tracing last name meanings and origins.
Display your family tree in style with this free, printable genealogy fan chart. It displays five generations of ancestors in a beautiful fan style, complete with vining roses. Available for free download and printing. Page 3.
Learn the meaning and origin of the Dutch last name Janssen, plus find genealogy and family trees for the Janssen surname.
List of most common Australian surnames, with information on population statistics, plus the meaning and origin for each common Australian surname.
Whether you live in a Manhattan brownstone apartment or a castle in France, your home may be harboring a fascinating history. Learn how to uncover the history and genealogy of a house or other building with this step by step guide.
What to ask when you get a chance to quiz your relatives about their lives and their family history.
View, download, save and print a variety of free family tree charts and forms. Some of the free family tree charts are even interactive - meaning that you can type in the fields online before saving locally to your computer or printing for family members. The interactive forms require only the free Adobe Reader to use.
Free genealogy records online in the Historical Records section of FamilySearch include more than 5.3 billion names in 2000+ collections from countries all over the world. Learn how to mine this massive resource to help answer questions in your family tree!
Explore one hundred of the best free genealogy databases and free surname search sites on the Net - these free genealogy databases combined include billions of names!
New genetic findings have recently re-opened the acrimonious nature vs nurture debate. Read scientific studies and viewpoints to support each side of the nature theory versus nurture theory.
Learn the meaning and origin of the Dutch last name Jansen, plus find genealogy and family trees for the Jansen surname.
Learn the meaning and origin of the Dutch last name van Dijk, plus find genealogy and family trees for the van Dijk surname.
Research online in these historic newspaper collections from around the world. Most include digital images of the actual newspapers as well as a searchable index.
Learn about the system of double Spanish surnames, along with the meanings and origins of the most popular Spanish surnames with this free guide. Includes links to related Spanish, Mexican, Cuban, Portuguese, and Puerto Rican genealogy resources.
Why pay to search the Social Security Death Index - SSDI - when you can use and search the SSDI for free? These online sites offer up-to-date, current versions of the US SSDI database with free online search for everyone.
What are the most common last names in the United States? From a search area sample consisting of 7.2 million census records, the US Census Bureau compiled this list of the most commonly occurring surnames in America. Is your surname on the list? Learn what it means and where it originates.
Learn how to find people online in a wide variety of databases - both public and private. Includes people search strategies and tips.
Uncover the meaning of your English surname with this free guide to English surname meanings and origins. Includes a list of 100 of the most popular English surnames, plus links to resources for researching English ancestors.
Discover your ancestors in these free online marriage databases and indexes.
Try these search tips to improve your chances of finding historical articles, obituaries, marriage announcements and more in Google News Archive - many of them free in online digitized format!
Learn what a genealogy GEDCOM file is, how GEDCOM works, how to create a GEDCOM file, how to read a GEDCOM file that someone sends you and more. Page 2.
Easy to understand guide to DNA and genealogy includes an introduction to the differences between Y-line and mtDNA testing, a guide to home DNA genetics tests, and tips for organizing a DNA surname study.
Determine the state in which a Social Security number was issued using the following chart.
Discover the meaning of your German last name with this free guide to German surname meanings and origins. Includes links to related German genealogy resources.
List of most common Danish surnames, with information on population statistics, plus the meaning and origin for each common Danish last name.
New to researching your family tree? Try this step by step introduction to family tree research and learn more about your ancestors and your roots. Family tree research is easy and fun!
Whether you're looking for a blank family tree chart, a hand-crafted intricate family tree design, or a more modern rendition of your family tree, these custom family tree chart printers and designers are a good place to start.
While tracing your ancestry back as far as possible is fun, it's even better when you can present the findings in a handsome family tree chart. From hand drawn charts to computer generated trees, learn about the different ways to display your family tree.
Uncover the meaning of your French last name with this free guide to French surname meanings and origins. Includes links to related genealogy resources for researching French ancestry.
What is an autosomal DNA test? What will it tell me about my ancestors? Where can I have it done? What do my results mean? Get the answers to these and other questions about the use of autosomal DNA for ancestral testing.
The FamilySearch website offers FREE access to millions of digitized historical records. Some are easy to find, but others are hidden where you might not expect them. Learn how to really dig into the FamilySearch website to find new records you might otherwise have missed!
Uncover the meaning of your Scottish surname with this free guide to Scottish last name meanings and origins. Includes a list of 100 of the most popular Scottish surnames, plus links to related Scottish genealogy resources.
Learn which genealogy Web sites and databases provide the most information in return for your time and or money with this guide to the genealogy resources that professional genealogists return to over and over.
Start the search for your birth family with these step-by-step suggestions for locating birth parents, children, and other adoptees. Includes tips for researching adoptees in your family tree.
A number of different companies offer DNA tests for ancestral testing and ethnic origins. This checklist helps you to determine which company will best help you meet your DNA goals and provide the most bang for your buck.
Create your own treasured heirloom ornament with these step-by-step instructions for using clear glass balls and photocopied photos to make beautiful Christmas photo ornaments.
Because death records are the least privacy-sensitive of the vital records of birth, marriage and death, you actually have a decent chance of finding death information for your ancestor online. Check this list for some of the best sites for death certificates and obituary notices online.
Locating information on your family tree is easier than ever with thousands of new records being placed online daily. Learn how to tap the vast resources of the Internet to locate your ancestral roots with these ten simple steps.
Uncover the meaning of your Polish last name with this overview of the origins of Polish surnames, along with meanings for fifty of the most common last names of Poland.
Learn the meaning and origin of the last name Garcia, plus find genealogy and family trees for the Garcia surname.
Learn how to request and obtain a copy of Form SS-5, Application for Social Security Number, for any deceased individual from the US Social Security Administration. The Social Security Application form includes extensive details about an individual, including name, date and place of birth, parent's names and the applicant's signature.
One of the most helpful tools when beginning a search into your family history is the obituary. Beyond just the place and date of death, you may also learn the birthplace, final resting place, occupation, religious affiliation, community activities, street address, the names of friends and relatives, and other details which can help you learn a great deal about the people from your past.
Discover the meaning of your Irish last name, and find where in Ireland these Irish surnames are most commonly found.
Your Irish parents, grandparents or even great-grandparents may make you eligible for Irish citizenship by descent, giving you the right to apply for an Irish passport.
Except for a few individual exceptions from some parts of Eastern Europe, there is no such thing as a coat of arms for a surname. Learn why the coats of arms you see in the store and on the Internet probably have nothing to do with your family history.
Yes, the research is the fun part. Writing a family history book just seems too daunting to be fun. But when the relatives start nagging, try these 10 easy steps for making your family history book a reality.
Connect with seldom-seen family members, meet new ones and celebrate your heritage with these steps for organizing a memorable family reunion.
America's official immigration center from 1892 to 1954, Ellis Island welcomed over 12 million immigrants to New York. Learn about the history of immigration to Ellis Island, and search for your ancestors in the database of Ellis Island passenger lists and manifests.
Give one of these 10 fun family history activities a try at your next family reunion to get people talking, sharing and having fun.
What is a Y-DNA test? What will it tell me about my ancestors? Where can I have it done? What do my results mean? Get the answers to these and other questions about the use of Y-DNA for ancestral testing.
Learn how to research your Native American ancestors with this guide to Indian records, free online databases, and historical timelines and resources. Plus, how to determine if your Indian ancestry qualifies you for membership in the tribe of your Indian ancestors.
Want to put your family history on the Web to share with family, friends and relatives? These Web sites and online publishing options include the tools you need to put your family tree online, along with pedigree charts, photos and more. Some offer additional features such as chat, message boards and password protection. Many of these online genealogy publishing options are free, while some incur a one-time software fee, or charge for additional storage space and upgraded features.
These 10 top UK genealogy websites are a great starting point for researching British ancestry, packed with original records and genealogy databases.
Research your German family tree online in this collection of online German genealogy databases and records. Available resources include German birth, death and marriage records, as well as census, immigration and other genealogy resources. While many German records are not available online, these German genealogy databases are a good place to start researching your German family tree.
Research your German ancestors with this guide to accessing records of birth, marriage and death in Germany.
Access the online historical and genealogical records collections and searchable online holdings catalogs and finding aids for each of the 50 state archives in the United States.
Explore the ancestors of Presidents George Bush, his father, George Herbert Walker Bush, and his grandfather Prescott Bush in this extensive family tree. Includes connections to President Harrison Pierce, Senator John Kerry, Princess Diana and other royalty.
Learn the meaning and origin of the last name Jones, plus find genealogy and family trees for the Jones surname.
Learn how to search and use the free US Social Security Death Index to find information on your deceased ancestors. The Social Security Death Index is a database containing names, birth and death dates for over 72 million Americans. Learn how to use the Social Security Death Index and where to search the SSDI online for free.
The two most commonly used forms used by genealogists to record information on the family tree are the pedigree chart and the family group sheet. Learn how to use these forms in your genealogy research, plus download a free, interactive family group sheet and pedigree chart for your own use.
Learn what it means to be a professional genealogist, how to become a certified genealogist, and if genealogy is the right profession for you.
Plot your ancestors locations and travels on a map and experience a new way of looking at your family history. Google Maps and other free tools make this a fun, easy project for any genealogist.
Everything you want to know about the last name Williams, including its genealogy and family trees.
List of most common US surnames from the 2000 census, with information on population statistics, plus the meaning and origin for each common us surname.
Encourage your family members to record their memories for posterity with one of these wonderful memory books full of thought-provoking questions and space for recording the sure-to-be-cherished answers.
Got stacks of slide carousels loaded up with old family photos? Save these memories for future generations by digitizing and burning them to DVDs.
Death records may include a wealth of genealogical information beyond just date and place of death. Learn what else a death certificate or death record may be able to tell you about your ancestors.
Browse this free listing for downloads of historical map overlays ready for you to import directly into Google Maps or Google Earth.
Wondering if someone has ever died in your house? Learn how to find out, using public records and online resources and databases.
America's first official immigration center, Castle Garden welcomed over 10 million immigrants to New York from 1830 to 1892, the year Ellis Island opened. Learn about the history of immigration to Castle Garden, and search for your ancestors in the database of passenger lists.
American immigration immediately brings to mind Ellis Island, the nation's largest federal immigration station. But not all immigrants to America came through Ellis Island - not even those who immigrated to New York. Learn about the many popular American ports of entry and how to research those records
Many Irish genealogy databases offer valuable data for researching Irish ancestry in the form of extractions, transcriptions and digitized images. Try these Irish genealogy Web sites first when researching your Irish family tree.
If you're searching for Canadian ancestors online, these databases and Web sites are the best place to start. Best of all, most are free!
How can we match up nicknames with first names? While it isn't always a straightforward process, this list can help you to identify possible given or first names that match up with some of the most common nicknames.
Stroll back through the romantic heritage of your ancestors with this timeline of love, marriage, and dating customs throughout history.
Learn the meaning and origin of the last name Long, plus find genealogy and family trees for the Long surname.
Searching for witches in the family tree with this guide to the history of witchcraft in Europe and Colonial America, and records of the witch trials.
Learn about the deep African and American roots of Barack Obama. His African roots stretch back for generations in Kenya, while his American roots connect to Jefferson Davis.
What is an mtDNA test? What will it tell me about my ancestors? Where can I have it done? What do my results mean? Get the answers to these and other questions about the use of mtDNA for ancestral testing.
Tips to help you dig details on your ancestors out of just any digitized online newspaper collection.
Learn how to use old photos, memorabilia, and memories to create a historical and visual scrapbook of your family history and heritage.
Over 10 million digitized historic American newspaper pages are available online through Chronicling America. Learn how to used advanced search features and other tips to make the most of this free research website.
Search indexed vital records online or browse actual digitized images of certificates of birth, death and marriage online. This listing directs you to vital records online for the United States, organized by state. The majority of these online vital records can be accessed for free. Those that require a fee to search or view are clearly indicated.
Can't find the maiden name of your female ancestor? These ten records and resources are often good sources for maiden names.
Learn the meaning and origin of the last name Smith, plus find genealogy and family trees for the Smith surname.
Find out how to order a copy of a birth certificate, and what a birth certificate can tell you about your family members and ancestors.
Learn the meaning and origin of the last name Johnson, plus find genealogy and family trees for the Johnson surname.
Search indexed historical newspapers online or browse the actual digitized pages of hundreds of digitized historical newspapers online. This listing directs you to historical newspapers online for the United States, organized by state.
Criminal ancestors in the family tree may be less than ideal, but the records of their conviction and imprisonment can often be a gold mine of information. As part of your convict research, don't miss the wealth of historical prison records and inmate records available online.
How and where to get birth certificates, death certificates and other vital records in each of the US states and territories, including free online vital records databases and indexes.
Trace your German roots back to the old country and beyond with the steps outlined in this German genealogy guide. Takes you step by step through the process, from gathering information on your family, to locating your ancestor's German hometown, to accessing vital records, passenger records and church records in Germany.
Before you start researching your family tree online, check out this article to learn how to spot and avoid five common genealogy scams, including the popular family inheritance scam.
Funeral home records or undertaker records can be a valuable source of family history information. Learn where to find them and how to use them to add new facts to your family tree.
Advance preparation for your visit to the Family History Library in Salt Lake City can save you hours of time to spend on more research. Before you make the trek to the Family History Library, read these tips for a successful visit.
Learn how to use your scanner and a basic graphics editing software program to repair, restore, and preserve your old family photos. Includes tips for getting good scans, repair cracks or faded photos, and storing the completed digital photos on a CD or using them to create a digital scrapbook or slide show. Page 1 of 4.
Genealogists love images---photos of their ancestors, historical maps, digitized documents, historic photos of places and events. But can we legally use the fabulous photos that we find online in a published family history? A genealogy blog? A research report?
Learn how to locate ancestors in the Canadian census, a valuable source for information on individuals who lived in Canada since 1666.
Research Polish ancestry online with this collection of Polish genealogy databases and indexes from Poland, the United States and other countries.
There are numerous genealogical and historical resources and databases online for genealogists researching their Jewish ancestors. Most of these Jewish genealogy databases are even free!
Create your own personalized, printable calendar with these step-by-step instructions and ideas for designing and printing family photo calendars. Includes links to calendar creator software, calendar templates, and calendar clipart.
Learn the meaning and origin of the last name Brown, plus find genealogy and family trees for the Brown surname.
Read a review of the online US census collection available through Heritage Quest Online and learn it stacks up against other online subscription sites offering US census images.
Learn the meaning and origin of the last name Sanders, plus find genealogy and family trees for the Sanders surname.
Lists of people accepted between 1898 and 1914 by the Dawes Commission as members of the Cherokee, Creek, Choctaw, Chickasaw and Seminole Indian tribes.
Learn how to quickly determine cousin relationships(first cousins, second cousins), degrees of removal (once removed, twice removed) and even double cousins, with this easy guide to determining cousin relationships.
How and where to access deeds, mortgages, and other property records online, for genealogical research, title searches, or for the purpose of oil, gas, or shale property leasing.
Learn how to research your family tree at a Mormon Family History Center near you, with tips for locating a FHC and requesting genealogical records from Salt Lake City.
Learn the meaning of the last name Garfield and browse related Garfield surname resources.
Am I related to someone famous? A movie star, bank robber, queen, or hero of the Wild West? If you suspect a famous ancestor in your family tree, try these research steps and techniques to help you prove (or disprove) the famous connection.
Native American ancestry is a fairly common family story, and one which may actually turn out to be true. But there really isn't such a thing as a Cherokee princess...
Explore France genealogy records online, including French birth, marriage and death records ( actes etat civil ), French census records ( recensements de population ) and French parish registers ( registres paroissiaux ). Most of these French genealogy records are online for free.
Dearch databases and browse digitized images of a variety of online historical land records from across the United States, including land grants, deeds, homestead applications, bounty land warrants and plat maps.
Learn about many of the genealogical records available for the locations your ancestors lived with the Family History Library Catalog online.
You've decided to dig into your family history but aren't sure where to begin? These 10 basic steps will get you started on the fascinating journey into genealogy and your past.
Determining the birth place of your immigrant ancestor is the key to the next branch in your family tree. Learn what and where to search to find your immigrant ancestor's country, town or village of origin.
Learn how and where to obtain birth, marriage, and death records from Ireland, including information on available records, and links to online Irish civil registration records of birth, death and marriage, where available.
Access digitized versions of historic land ownership maps and landowner atlases online.
Learn the meaning and origin of the Dutch last name Mulder, plus find genealogy and family trees for the Mulder surname.
Get started researching your Italian roots with this guide to researching Italian ancestors in Italy. Includes an overview of major Italian genealogical records, how to access these records, Italian surnames and their meanings, Italian naming patterns and further resources for Italian genealogy research.
Tips for choosing a genealogy software program, including genealogy software reviews and ratings of the most popular family tree software options.
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The General Land Office Records site of the Bureau of Land Management hosts a huge database of federal land records, including patents, surveys, and grants, plus over 3 million digitized images. Learn how to harness and use the massive resources of this free government website in your search for historical or genealogical sources.
Solving the mystery faces and places in your old family photographs requires knowledge of your family history, combined with good old fashioned detective work. When you're ready to take on the challenge, these five photo identification tips will get you started in style.
Find online databases and records for researching ancestors in British India, the territories of India under the tenancy or sovereignty of the East India Company or British Crown between 1612 and 1947.
City directories can be used to not only place an ancestor in a particular time and place, but also to follow their occupations and residences, and even identify marriages and deaths. Learn how to use city directories to help build your family tree, as well as where you can access city directories online.
Dearch databases and browse digitized images of a variety of online historical land records from around the world, including land grants, deeds, and property maps.
Learn where and how to access U.S. census records online, including digitized census images, plus how to access most of them for free. Also included, are online resources for U.S. special census schedules, such as mortality, agricultural, and slave schedules.
Preserve your precious family memories by transferring them from bulky, deteriorating videotapes onto DVDs. This guide walks you step by step through the process, from the necessary hardware and software to capturing and editing your video and burning the results onto DVD.
Submit your genealogy question to Ask a Genealogist and get free advice and answers
Learn the meaning and origin of the last name Nguyen, plus find genealogy and family trees for the Nguyen surname.
Flood or water damaged photos, papers and other family valuables can often be saved by following these few, simple steps.
Learn how and where to obtain birth, marriage, and death certificates and records in Alberta, Canada, including the dates for which civil registration records are available in Alberta, where they are located, and links to online Alberta vital records databases.
Learn the meaning and origin of the last name Perez, plus find genealogy and family trees for the Perez surname.
Learn the meaning and origin of the last name Miller, plus find genealogy and family trees for the Miller surname.
Your library card could be the key that unlocks your family tree. Learn how to find and access genealogical databases for free through your local library - both at the library and from the comfort of home.
The mandatory draft for World War II left behind records of the millions of American men who registered. From them you can learn
Read a review of Family Tree Maker 11 and see how it stacks up against its competition in the genealogy software market. By professional genealogist, Kimberly Powell.
Learn the meaning and origin of the last name Cook, plus find genealogy and family trees for the Cook surname.
Each of these genealogy and family history oriented blogs is outstanding for excellent writing and timely updates, and because they each bring something special to the world of genealogy blogging.
Literally hundreds of thousands of genealogies, local histories and other items of genealogical interest can be search, viewed and downloaded online for free! Learn where to search and what to expect.
Learn how to plat a piece of property from the deed description with this free land platting tutorial, complete with instructions and illustrations. Especially useful for genealogical or historical land research, or for placing a particular property on a map.
Search for your family surname and make genealogy connections in these ten, free lineage-linked databases, together containing over 650 million surnames.