Category Archives: Surnames

5 Critical Rules for Recording Names in Your Family Tree

How to Correctly Document Names for Genealogy Purposes

How to Record Names for Genealogy and in Family Trees

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The manner in which you record your ancestors’ information can make or break your family history research. In fact, if you don’t add names and surnames correctly to a family tree or genealogy chart, your family’s story can face inaccuracies. And this can be frustrating to others who are researching your family history! Just as there are certain genealogical standards when it comes to citing your sources correctly, there are some general rules you will want to keep in mind to ensure that your ancestors’ names are added to your family tree properly.

Of course, there are always exceptions to the following rules, so use these tips as guidelines for recording your genealogical data.

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8 Free Surname Databases for Discovering Your Ancestors

Find Genealogy Records by Searching These Free Surname Databases

Free Surname Databases for GenealogyOne of your primary focuses as a genealogist or family historian should undoubtedly be searching for surnames. Concentrating on surname searches is one of the most important ways of connecting our ancestral dots in order to identify relatives.

While the origins of surnames can help you uncover clues about your heritage and even where your ancient ancestors may have lived, researching surnames can also help you discover long-lost family members to add to empty branches on your family tree.

The following surname databases can aid you during the surname search process — and they’re free to use!

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5 Tips to Find the Origin of Your Last Name

Simple Ways to Discover the Origin of Your Surname

How to Find the Origin of Your Last Name - Surnames

Family surnames play an important role in your family’s history. This is especially true when it comes to discovering the origin of your last name. Knowing you surname origin can help you uncover more information about your ancient ancestors, including where they came from — which helps when you’re just starting your family history research journey.

Surnames have been in existence for many years — since the 13th century to be exact. These last names were given to distinguish two individuals with the same first name, and for tax purposes. But today, surnames offer many more benefits, especially to family history researchers. Knowing the origin of your family surname can help you identify where your ancestors lived, what they may have done for a living, their personalities and much more.  Of course, all of these factors are important in documenting your family’s story. So how do you find the origin of your surname?

The following tips will help you find the origin of your last name so you can add even more accurate family stories to your family tree.

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4 Tips to Trace Female Ancestors of Your Family Tree

Find Elusive Women in Your Family by Following These Smart Tactics

If you’ve been digging through tangled up roots to discover female ancestors to add to your family tree, you’re not alone. While every family historian runs into brick walls during their research from time to time, stories about women from our familial past can be some of the most difficult to find. But while it’s a challenge for us all for a number of reasons, there are certainly tried-and-true tactics that can help you discover clues that lead to these elusive women.

In honor of Women’s History Month, we’ve compiled a list of a few tips that can help you trace female ancestors to reveal stories and names of the women in your family.

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10 Most Popular African-American Surnames

These Are Some of the Most Common Surnames in America – Is Yours One of Them?

10 Most Popular African-American Surnames

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If you’ve been researching your African-American family history, you’ve likely noticed that it comes with some challenges — especially when trying to find surnames! But while it can be more difficult to find African-American surname records prior to the Civil War, you can still search the United States census for surnames of your ancestors. In fact, we did some digging into the U.S. census ourselves to discover the most popular African-American surnames in America.

In honor of African-American History Month, we’ve compiled a list of the 10 most common African-American last names, and meanings. And who knows? You may be able to utilize this list of popular African-American surnames to discover some of your own long-lost ancestors!

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Thanksgiving Genealogy: 5 Steps for Finding Pilgrim Ancestors

Are You a Mayflower Descendant? 5 Research Tips to Help You Find Out for Sure

Thanksgiving Genealogy - How to Find Pilgrim AncestorsIf you know your history, then you know the reason we stuff ourselves with turkey and pie each November is because of the Pilgrims; a group of brave souls who sailed to America on the Mayflower and celebrated the first Thanksgiving in 1621 in Plymouth, Massachusetts. But did you also know that there are millions of Mayflower descendants living today? It’s true! It’s been estimated that 25 million people from all over the globe can prove they have Pilgrims in their family tree — and you could very well be a descendant, too.

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Halloween Genealogy: Spooky Surname Meanings

The Meanings Behind These Halloween Surnames Are Sure to Give You a Startle

Halloween Genealogy - Spooky Surname MeaningsIf you’re like us, you’ve likely stumbled upon unique surnames in your genealogy research and thought, “That name can’t be real!” But whether you’re a genealogy veteran or new to the process, you’re apt to discover that these interesting surnames aren’t fictional, and can actually come with rather fascinating (and frightening!) stories to add to your family tree.

In addition to our Halloween-inspired research on truly frightening family stories and scary surnames, we’ve decided to delve a little deeper into the Crestleaf surname database in order to celebrate the spookiest time of year.

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5 Time-Saving Tips for Finding Ancestors’ Maiden Names

Discover Your Female Ancestors Using These Smart Research Tactics

5 Time-Saving Tips for Finding Ancestors' Maiden Names

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If you’re deep into your family history research and are still unable to find some of your female ancestors, you’re not alone. There are actually good reasons as to why you and many others can’t seem to locate these elusive ladies from your familial past.

For one, if you’re looking for journals, letters or important documents written by your female ancestors who lived as early American settlers, you could be wasting your time. This is due to the fact that most women were illiterate during that time period and written communications were mostly created by men.

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