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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
What to ask when you get a chance to quiz your relatives about their lives and their family history.
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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.
Find meanings, orgins, family trees, and search tips for the 100 most common U.S. surnames.
List of most common Australian surnames, with information on population statistics, plus the meaning and origin for each common Australian surname.
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 how to find people online in a wide variety of databases - both public and private. Includes people search strategies and tips.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Discover your ancestors in these free online marriage databases and indexes.
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.
Uncover the meaning of your Italian last name with this free guide to Italian surname meanings and origins.
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.
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!
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.
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.
Free genealogy records online in the Historical Records section of FamilySearch include more than 3.5 billion names in 1500+ collections from countries all over the world. Available records include a mix of indexes and digital document images.
Learn how to analyze the reliability of information contained in a historical or genealogical document in the context of the time and place in which it was created, considering the document's author/creator, purpose and provenance.
Discover the meaning of your Irish last name, and find where in Ireland these Irish surnames are most commonly found.
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.
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.
Uncover the meaning of your Polish last name with this free guide to Polish surnames meanings and origins. Includes links to related Polish genealogy resources.
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.
Determine the state in which a Social Security number was issued using the following chart.
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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.
Voter registration records can be an unexpected source of genealogical and historical information, including date of birth, occupation and, on occasion, the date and place of naturalization. Learn where and how to access historical voter registration records and how they can help you trace your family tree.
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.
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.
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.
Give one of these 10 fun family history activities a try at your next family reunion to get people talking, sharing and having fun.
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.
Connect with seldom-seen family members, meet new ones and celebrate your heritage with these steps for organizing a memorable family reunion.
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.
Research your German ancestors with this guide to accessing records of birth, marriage and death in Germany.
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.
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 it means to be a professional genealogist, how to become a certified genealogist, and if genealogy is the right profession for you.
Can't find the maiden name of your female ancestor? These ten records and resources are often good sources for maiden names.
These 10 top UK genealogy websites are a great starting point for researching British ancestry, packed with original records and genealogy databases.
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.
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.
Submit your personal surname site for a link on About Genealogy
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.
Got stacks of slide carousels loaded up with old family photos? Save these memories for future generations by digitizing and burning them to DVDs.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Learn how to transcribe genealogical documents like a pro, including rules and techniques for creating accurate genealogical transcriptions and tips for handling illegible content.
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.
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.
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.
How popular was your name when you were born? Check out the most popular baby names in America for each year from 1880 through 2001.
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!
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.
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.
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.
Everything you want to know about the last name Williams, including its genealogy and family trees.
Make your genealogy research trip to the courthouse, library or archives as productive as possible with these tips for planning your visit and maximizing your results.
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.
Browse this free listing for downloads of historical map overlays ready for you to import directly into Google Maps or Google Earth.
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.
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.
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 Johnson, plus find genealogy and family trees for the Johnson surname.
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.
Uncover the meaning of your Spanish last name with this free guide to Hispanic surname meanings and origins. Includes links to related Spanish, Mexican, Cuban, Portuguese, and Puerto Rican genealogy resources.
Search for your family surname and make genealogy connections in these ten, free lineage-linked databases, together containing over 650 million surnames.
Stroll back through the romantic heritage of your ancestors with this timeline of love, marriage, and dating customs throughout history.
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.
Learn the meaning and origin of the last name Smith, plus find genealogy and family trees for the Smith surname.
Learn how to locate ancestors in the Canadian census, a valuable source for information on individuals who lived in Canada since 1666.
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.
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.
Submit your genealogy question to Ask a Genealogist and get free advice and answers
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.
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 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.
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.
Learn the meaning and origin of the last name Clark, plus find genealogy and family trees for the Clark surname.
Learn the meaning and origin of the last name Brown, plus find genealogy and family trees for the Brown surname.
Do you have a criminal in your family tree? If so, don't overlook the large number of historical prison records available online for prisons and prisoners across the United States.
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.
Many genealogists, both beginner and advanced, fail in the quest for their ancestors because they don't take the time to search for anything other than the obvious surname spellings and variants. Names changed. Census takers spelled them wrong. It happened! Learn how to find your ancestor no matter how their name was spelled with these quick tips.
Learn the meaning and origin of the last name Jones, plus find genealogy and family trees for the Jones surname.
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.
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.
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.
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!
Learn how to research in US federal public land records, including the types of land records available, a listing of the public land states, and understanding and platting section, township, and range land descriptions. Includes links to free land record databases on the Web.
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.
Flood or water damaged photos, papers and other family valuables can often be saved by following these few, simple steps.
Find famous quotations related to genealogy and family history, including humorous quotes, inspirational quotes and others.
The mandatory draft for World War II left behind records of the millions of American men who registered. From them you can learn
Research Polish ancestry online with this collection of Polish genealogy databases and indexes from Poland, the United States and other countries.
Learn how and where to obtain birth, marriage, and death certificates and records in Pennsylvania, including the dates for which vital records are available, where they are located, and links to online vital records databases.
Learn how to locate ancestors on ship passenger lists and manifests with this guide to passenger lists around the world. Includes what types of information you can expect to learn, locations and time periods for passenger lists and indexes, and links to online passenger lists.
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.
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.
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.
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
Step-by-step tools and ideas to get you started interviewing your relatives. You will probably be surprised at the stories they can tell.
Research your Australian ancestors with this guide on where to access records of birth, marriage and death in Australia.
Explore these free online cemetery transcriptions and databases to find tombstone inscriptions and photos for your ancestors.
Hundreds of beginning and continuing education options for genealogists exist, but to get you started here are some of the most popular options, including a selection of genealogy conferences, institutes, workshops, home study courses and online degree and certificate programs.
Research and explore your New South Wales, Australia, genealogy and family history online with these online New South Wales genealogy databases, indexes and digitized records collections - many of them free!
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.
Lists of people accepted between 1898 and 1914 by the Dawes Commission as members of the Cherokee, Creek, Choctaw, Chickasaw and Seminole Indian tribes.
Irish genealogy isn't as hard as you may think. Learn how to trace your Irish heritage step by step with this genealogy guide to Ireland.
Burial customs and other social rituals surrounding death provide an interesting look at the beliefs, superstitions and traditions of our ancestors.
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.
Tips for choosing a genealogy software program, including genealogy software reviews and ratings of the most popular family tree software options.
Learn the meaning and origin of the last name Rodriguez, plus find genealogy and family trees for the Rodriguez surname.
Learn how to use old photos, memorabilia, and memories to create a historical and visual scrapbook of your family history and heritage.
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.
Yes, genealogists can make money for doing what they love. Learn how to start your own genealogy business with these simple steps.
Learn how to research your French family tree with this guide to genealogical records in France. Includes information on both online and offline records including birth, marriage, death, census and church records, plus a letter writing guide and tips on sending research requests to France.
Ten steps to finding your hispanic ancestors, including the basics of family tree research and country specific organizations, records and resources for Spain, Latin America, Mexico, Brazil, the Caribbean and other Spanish speaking countries.
A large number of online British databases document criminal records and court proceedings for men and women across the United Kingdom. From the Proceedings of the Old Bailey in London to criminal and convict registers, there are a wealth of British resources for researching criminal ancestors online.
Learn the meaning and origin of the last name White, plus find genealogy and family trees for the White surname.
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.
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.
Learn the meaning and origin of the last name Patel, plus find genealogy and family trees for the Patel surname.
Access digitized versions of historic land ownership maps and landowner atlases online.
Take charge of your genealogy clutter with one of these easy-to-maintain filing systems. Includes how-to steps for binders, folders, and computer disk storage, as well as options for organizing by surname, family, or event.
Adoptees often face a bit of indecision when faced with a family tree chart? Should it include the adopted family, the birth family, or both? Should the adoption be noted in any special way? Learn how to address an adoption in your family tree and download family tree charts which include special options for adopted families.
Locate your immigrant ancestors in this collection of immigration databases, passenger lists, naturalization records, and other online immigration and naturalization resources.
While assembling the pieces to your family tree puzzle, it is important to rememember that citing your genealogy sources correctly and completely is what gives your research credibility. Learn how to correctly site a variety of common genealogy sources in this guide to genealogy documentation.
More than 100 million Americans have family ties to at least one of the 43 U.S. presidents. Are you one of them? Learn how to research your presidential ancestry or find the clue that connects you to a president's family tree.
Handy list of abbreviations and their meanings, gathered from census forms and census taker instructions for the US, Canadian and British censuses.
No matter how experienced a genealogist is in the records of a particular locality, time period or ethnic group, when genealogy research takes us to a new locality we are all novices. Lose your novice status in a hurry with these tips for beginning genealogy research in a new locality and finding the records you need.
Learn the meaning and origin of the last name Garcia, plus find genealogy and family trees for the Garcia surname.
Research and explore your Pennsylvania genealogy and family history online with these online Pennsylvania genealogy databases, indexes and digitized records collections - many of them free!
Learn the meaning and origin of the last name Lee, plus find online genealogy and family tree resources for the surname.
Search online death indexes, burial records and other records from the UK to help verify your ancestor's death.
Every now and then a deadly natural disaster comes along and wipes out a large population within days. These ten deadliest U.S. disasters cost the lives of 100s and 1000s of people, wiped out many important historical and genealogical records, and changed many families forever.
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 Martin, plus find genealogy and family trees for the Martin surname.