Why I Joined Ancestry.com, and Why You Might Want To As Well

Why I joined Ancestry.com

I’m just finishing up a free two week trial to Ancestry.com.

Why did I join? I hadn’t really thought much about my ancestors. My parents had shared what countries their families had come from, and had shared some interesting stories when I was a lot younger. Then, a few weeks ago my daughter asked a question that I didn’t see coming.

“What countries are we from?” I was able to give her a few of them…but I wasn’t able to be very specific. She’s in first grade, and she probably just asked the question without thinking much about it.

But my husband and I couldn’t stop thinking about it. The next day we went to Ancestry.com, and started playing around looking for family members. A few days later we started our free 2-week trial.

Now that I’ve had about two weeks to look up my family online, what did I learn?


I was able to confidently go back to find the names of some of my great-great-great grandparents, and see where they lived. I found the names of some 4th great-grandparents as well as 5th great-grandparents, but for those there wasn’t as much documentation, so I have to take the word of other people who made their trees public and have those family members on there.

I learned that it’s not so easy to figure out what countries you come from! What my ancestors put on their census forms once they were in the US saying what countries they came from (and what countries their parents came from) are very different than what those countries are today in my case. So many cities have changed hands so many times over even just the past 150 years that it seems for most of the countries they said they were from, it wasn’t that country today.

It was really cool to learn about.

I have to say one of the most helpful features in Ancestry is that you can see other people’s trees. There were quite a few other trees that helped me find many more family members. And in most cases, they had supporting documentation so that it proved it, and I wasn’t just taking someone’s word on it.

Ultimately, there was only one thing I couldn’t figure out that I had wanted to. One of my grandparents used to tell everyone the story of how when his parents came to the US before he was born, they had a different last name, and it was changed when they got here. Of course, that was the one set of great grandparents that I couldn’t go back any further than them. I couldn’t find anything overseas that was either their last name, or the name that they said it had been before they came over. I’ll keep looking though.

Coincidentally, the day before yesterday my daughter came home with some homework. It was to create a family tree! Of course on that tree we’ll only go up to her grandparents, but it made me laugh at the timing of it!

If you’re curious about your family, I strongly suggest checking out either Ancestry or one of the other similar sites. It was really fun and interesting to see all of the different cities my family lived in, as well as all of the different last names in my ancestry!

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