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.
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.
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!
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.
Learn how to find people online in a wide variety of databases - both public and private. Includes people search strategies and tips.
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 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.
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.
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.
These 10 top UK genealogy websites are a great starting point for researching British ancestry, packed with original records and genealogy databases.
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.
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!
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.
Discover your ancestors in these free online marriage databases and indexes.
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.
Uncover the meaning of your Italian last name with this free guide to Italian surname meanings and origins.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Give one of these 10 fun family history activities a try at your next family reunion to get people talking, sharing and having fun.
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Connect with seldom-seen family members, meet new ones and celebrate your heritage with these steps for organizing a memorable family reunion.
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.
Determine the state in which a Social Security number was issued using the following chart.
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 Polish last name with this free guide to Polish surnames meanings and origins. Includes links to related Polish genealogy resources.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 French last name with this free guide to French surname meanings and origins. Includes links to related genealogy resources for researching French ancestry.
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 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.
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.
Discover the meaning of your Irish last name, and find where in Ireland these Irish surnames are most commonly found.
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.
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.
A wide variety of genealogical scholarships and other prizes are awarded to genealogists each year. Find a writing competition or genealogical scholarship that meets your interests.
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.
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.
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.
Got stacks of slide carousels loaded up with old family photos? Save these memories for future generations by digitizing and burning them to DVDs.
Learn what it means to be a professional genealogist, how to become a certified genealogist, and if genealogy is the right profession for you.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Can't find the maiden name of your female ancestor? These ten records and resources are often good sources for maiden names.
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.
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.
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.
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 locate ancestors in the Canadian census, a valuable source for information on individuals who lived in Canada since 1666.
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.
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.
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.
Everything you want to know about the last name Williams, including its genealogy and family trees.
Learn the meaning and origin of the last name Jones, plus find genealogy and family trees for the Jones 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.
Browse this free listing for downloads of historical map overlays ready for you to import directly into Google Maps or Google Earth.
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.
If you have ancestors who came from Czechoslovakia or Bohemia--what is now the Czech Republic--then you won't want to miss these five online databases and resources for researching your Czech roots online.
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 Danish surnames, with information on population statistics, plus the meaning and origin for each common Danish last name.
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.
Lists of people accepted between 1898 and 1914 by the Dawes Commission as members of the Cherokee, Creek, Choctaw, Chickasaw and Seminole Indian tribes.
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.
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.
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!
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 how to use old photos, memorabilia, and memories to create a historical and visual scrapbook of your family history and heritage.
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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 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 the meaning and origin of the last name Johnson, plus find genealogy and family trees for the Johnson surname.
Step-by-step tools and ideas to get you started interviewing your relatives. You will probably be surprised at the stories they can tell.
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
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.
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.
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.
Research Polish ancestry online with this collection of Polish genealogy databases and indexes from Poland, the United States and other countries.
Stroll back through the romantic heritage of your ancestors with this timeline of love, marriage, and dating customs throughout history.
What exactly is a title search? Learn what a typical property title search entails and how to conduct a one yourself on a particular piece of property.
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 the meaning and origin of the last name Brown, plus find genealogy and family trees for the Brown surname.
The family tree of Barack Obama includes great great great grandparents with the following surnames - Dunham, Stroup, Kearney, Holloway, Armour, Clark, Overall, Payne, Black, Wolfley, Abbott, McCurry, Creekmore, Wright and Allred. Learn more from this Barack Obama family tree.
Whether you're searching for information about ancestors or relatives who disappeared or were killed during the Holocaust, or want to learn whether any relatives survived the Holocaust and may have living descendants there are a number of resources available to you.
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.
What causes photographs to deteriorate, tips for what to avoid and suggestions for proper photographic storage and handling
Flood or water damaged photos, papers and other family valuables can often be saved by following these few, simple steps.
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.
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...
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.
If you’re among the nearly 1.5 million Americans with Danish ancestry, this tutorial shows you how to discover your roots in Denmark.
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 how to research your Civil War ancestors, including the major and alternative sources for records of Union and Confederate soldiers.
Learn the meaning and origin of the last name Smith, plus find genealogy and family trees for the Smith surname.
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 Rodriguez, plus find genealogy and family trees for the Rodriguez surname.
Search for your family surname and make genealogy connections in these ten, free lineage-linked databases, together containing over 650 million surnames.
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.
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.
Explore the pioneer ancestors of Laura Elizabeth Ingalls and her husband, Almanzo James Wilder. Her large family tree follows the American frontier, from New York and New England west through Wisconsin, Illinois, Kansas, Minnesota and South Dakota.
Research your Australian ancestors with this guide on where to access records of birth, marriage and death in Australia.
The mandatory draft for World War II left behind records of the millions of American men who registered. From them you can learn
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.
Learn about the ancestry and southern roots of legendary singer James Brown. His family tree includes African American, Asian and Native American ancestry.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
Learn the meanings and interpretation of common tombstone symbols in this photo tour of a variety of tombstone engravings.
Welcome to the Introduction to Genealogy class in the Let's Learn Genealogy forum
Learn about many of the genealogical records available for the locations your ancestors lived with the Family History Library Catalog online.
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.
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.
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.
Learn the meaning and origin of the last name Patel, plus find genealogy and family trees for the Patel surname.
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.
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.
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 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 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.
Access digitized versions of historic land ownership maps and landowner atlases online.
The great great grandparents of Barack Obama include Jacob William Dunham, Mary Ann Kearney, Harry Ellington Armour, Gabriella Clark, Charles Payne, Della Wolfley, Thomas Creekmore McCurry and Margaret Belle Wright. Learn more about the family tree of U.S. Senator Barack Obama.
From historic spots and family camping to fun resorts and houseboat heaven, browse ideas, locations, and tips to help you choose the ideal site for your next family reunion.
Learn about the English, Scottish and French roots of Harry Potter author, J. K. Rowling, also known as Joanne Rowling. Surnames include Rowling, Rawlings, Hill, Westwood, Holmes, Bulgen, Warner, Card, Volant, Smith and Campbell.