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.
Explore the German and Scottish ancestors of New York City entrepeneur, Donald Trump.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
Learn how to find people online in a wide variety of databases - both public and private. Includes people search strategies and tips.
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 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.
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.
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 the meaning of your German last name with this free guide to German surname meanings and origins. Includes links to related German genealogy resources.
Discover your ancestors in these free online marriage databases and indexes.
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.
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!
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.
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.
Give one of these 10 fun family history activities a try at your next family reunion to get people talking, sharing and having fun.
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.
Newspapers.com, a subscription site for searching and browsing historical newspapers, offers a slick user interface. But does it have the newspaper coverage you need? Does it provide enough bang for your buck?
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.
Connect with seldom-seen family members, meet new ones and celebrate your heritage with these steps for organizing a memorable family reunion.
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.
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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 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.
Deeds are an invaluable resource for genealogists and others interested in researching the history of the home, property, or family. Deeds are packed with potential clues to relationships, inheritance, financial status and family events, if you just know where to look.
Determine the state in which a Social Security number was issued using the following chart.
Enjoy the thrill of discovering a Revolutionary War ancestor in your family tree with this guide to the records and research of Revolutionary War ancestors.
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 French last name with this free guide to French surname meanings and origins. Includes links to related genealogy resources for researching French ancestry.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Discover the meaning of your Irish last name, and find where in Ireland these Irish surnames are most commonly found.
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.
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.
Got stacks of slide carousels loaded up with old family photos? Save these memories for future generations by digitizing and burning them to DVDs.
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!
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 how and where to find birth, marriage and death information and records for people who live or lived in Mexico. Civil registration records in Mexico date back to 1859. Page 2.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
From the early colonists, to the men and women currently serving in America's armed forces, most of us can claim at least one relative or ancestor who has served our country in the military. Learn how to get copies of their military records with this step-by-step guide.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Learn how to research your Civil War ancestors, including the major and alternative sources for records of Union and Confederate soldiers.
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.
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.
Learn what a lineage society is, how to apply plus links to some of the better known lineage societies and heritage organizations such as the Daughters of the Revolution, Mayflower Society, and Sons of Confederate Veterans.
Learn about the ancestry and southern roots of legendary singer James Brown. His family tree includes African American, Asian and Native American ancestry.
Everything you want to know about the last name Williams, including its genealogy and family trees.
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.
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 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.
Can't find the maiden name of your female ancestor? These ten records and resources are often good sources for maiden names.
Browse this free listing for downloads of historical map overlays ready for you to import directly into Google Maps or Google Earth.
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!
Learn the meaning and origin of the last name Jones, plus find genealogy and family trees for the Jones 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.
Learn how to locate ancestors in the Canadian census, a valuable source for information on individuals who lived in Canada since 1666.
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 old photos, memorabilia, and memories to create a historical and visual scrapbook of your family history and heritage.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Flood or water damaged photos, papers and other family valuables can often be saved by following these few, simple steps.
Learn what it means to be a professional genealogist, how to become a certified genealogist, and if genealogy is the right profession for you.
Learn how to Google as you've never Googled before with these tips for using Google for all aspects of your genealogy search.
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.
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.
Learn the meaning and origin of the last name Smith, plus find genealogy and family trees for the Smith surname.
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.
Create your own treasured heirloom ornament with these step-by-step instructions for using clear glass balls and photocopied photos to make beautiful Christmas ornaments.
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.
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 the meaning and origin of the last name Johnson, plus find genealogy and family trees for the Johnson surname.
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.
Find famous quotations related to genealogy and family history, including humorous quotes, inspirational quotes and others.
Lists of people accepted between 1898 and 1914 by the Dawes Commission as members of the Cherokee, Creek, Choctaw, Chickasaw and Seminole Indian tribes.
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
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.
Almost everyone tracing their family tree has made one or more of these common mistakes. Learn how to side-step these traps yourself, with this guide to the top ten genealogy mistakes to avoid.
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!
Dig out the details of your British soldier ancestors' military service, with this collection of sources for military service and pension records, war memorials, military cemeteries and other military records and resources for the British Army, Royal Navy, Royal Marines, Royal Air Force and Merchant Navy.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
Burial customs and other social rituals surrounding death provide an interesting look at the beliefs, superstitions and traditions of our ancestors.
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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.
The mandatory draft for World War II left behind records of the millions of American men who registered. From them you can learn
Step-by-step tools and ideas to get you started interviewing your relatives. You will probably be surprised at the stories they can tell.
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.
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.
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.
Stroll back through the romantic heritage of your ancestors with this timeline of love, marriage, and dating customs throughout history.
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 Brown, plus find genealogy and family trees for the Brown surname.
What causes photographs to deteriorate, tips for what to avoid and suggestions for proper photographic storage and handling
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...
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.
Utilize these five strategies to overcome poor handwriting, misspelled or changed names, and lack of information, to locate your immigrant ancestor's passenger arrival record.
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.
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.
This draped urn was popular in the late Victorian period. Learn more about tombstones decorated with this symbol in this photo gallery of common tombstone symbols and meanings. Page 12.
Research Polish ancestry online with this collection of Polish genealogy databases and indexes from Poland, the United States and other countries.
Explore the ancestors of Presidents George Bush and his father, George Herbert Walker Bush in this extensive family tree. Includes links to President Harrison Pierce and royalty.
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.
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.
Learn the meaning and origin of the last name Nguyen, plus find genealogy and family trees for the Nguyen surname.
Learn the meaning and origin of the last name Perez, plus find genealogy and family trees for the Perez surname.
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.
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.
Learn the meaning and origin of the last name Rodriguez, plus find genealogy and family trees for the Rodriguez surname.
Explore these free online cemetery transcriptions and databases to find tombstone inscriptions and photos for your ancestors.
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.
Search for your family surname and make genealogy connections in these ten, free lineage-linked databases, together containing over 650 million surnames.
Learn how to decipher the military abbreviations and jargon found on the grave markers and tombstones of men and women who served in the U.S. military. Most signify medals and awards, or the unit in which the individual served.
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.
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 the meaning of a hand with pointing finger as portrayed on a gravestone from this guide to tombstone symbols and icons. Includes a photo example.
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 how to do a tombstone rubbing effectively without causing damage to the precious headstone. Includes tips on alternative forms of documentation such as photography and casting.
Yes, genealogists can make money for doing what they love. Learn how to start your own genealogy business with these simple steps.
Learn the meanings and interpretation of common tombstone symbols in this photo tour of a variety of tombstone engravings.
The great grandparents of Gerald Ford include Obama and Nyaoke from Kenya, Africa, and Ralph Waldo Emerson Dunham, Ruth Lucille Armour, Rolla Charles Payne and Leona McCurry from Kansas. Learn more about the family tree of U.S. Senator Barack Obama.
Proper methods for recording names on pedigree charts and family group sheets
Online crowds of volunteers, from all walks of life, in seven languages, pore over millions of digital images of historic records around the clock to provide free online indexes for the world community. Become one of the thousands of new volunteers who continue to join the initiative each month.
Tips for choosing a genealogy software program, including genealogy software reviews and ratings of the most popular family tree software options.