Treemily Family Tree Builder Update: Best Features for Your Family Tree

Treemily forest

With every update, the Treemily Family Tree builder gets better and better. Our team is constantly working to make Treemily easier and more fun to use. We’re always excited to bring you new features that will enhance your experience with Treemily, and this time is no different.

Introduction

This release took a whole year to develop, but it’s totally worth it. It packs a whole roster of powerful and exciting enhancements that make the user experience even simpler and more intuitive. Here is a quick dive into some of the biggest changes: 

New Family Tree Maker Features

Traditional Photo Treemily

Traditional Treemily familt tree

You have always been able to add family members’ information to the tree. But you can now enrich it even more by personalizing your family tree with photos. The system now automatically uploads the images you have added to each member on the Family Chart. You can get the perfect photo tree with just a few clicks. 

Simplified Editing Process

Drag and drop image

We have upgraded it to enable you to easily import genealogical data from other systems in one seamless operation. All you have to do is drag and drop the .ged file onto the web page and begin the import.

We’ve also improved the way you upload images. You can simply drag and drop your image onto the web page and start the import.

Improved Lineage Illustration 

Lineage

New UI enhancements enable you to easily trace the lineage between an individual and their ancestors. The relationship is clearly mapped by highlighted links that visually trace the lineage back to a specific family member. A person with more than one link to a particular forebear has the option to view each relationship to that particular ancestor separately.

Member Editing Directly on the Treemily 

Edit treemily

We’ve brought even more flexibility and fun to the editing process. Make changes directly to the information portrayed on the tree without worrying about changing it elsewhere. You can get your tree looking exactly the way you want it before gifting it to someone, for example. Add a personal comment, a funny nickname, or somehow personalize the tree without affecting the original chart. 

Simple Treemily Generating Dashboard

Choose Treemily from chart

We are always working to reduce the number of steps you have to take to achieve what you want. Our new widgets enable you to do even more with your charts. The widgets are now conveniently located right below the family chart. This greatly reduces the amount of navigation you need to do during your workflow. Choose what type of tree you want to use without navigating to the home page. Simply click a widget to pick the type of tree, descendant, ancestor, or dynasty that you want to apply.

Download a Family Chart

Treemily chart download

We have also introduced a completely new download feature. This enables you to export your family charts as PDFs, SVGs, or PNGs. These are file types that you can use in other software packages, such as Adobe Illustrator, should you decide to make your own custom edits to your charts. 

Before downloading the charts, you can make customizations to the amount of information shown and how it is displayed. For example, you can choose the number of generations you want to show in a map or grid. There are further options to set up a custom grid with column indexes you can set.

Preview Your Treemily in the Real Interiors When Placing the Order

Preview your treemily

A brand new preview option enables you to see what your printed and framed tree will look like in a real setting. Depending on the size of your tree, useful guides will also advise you on whether it fits standard sizes so that you can choose what works best in your specific case. 

Once you have selected the appropriate size, you can preview your printed and framed tree in a virtual setting to see what it might look like on a wall in a living room for example.

Enhanced Search

People search

We have also implemented a handy search feature. You can see a list of all the family members in alphabetical order. Or, you simply type in the name you want to look for in the search box – a drop-down list of possible matches appears, then you can then select the name you want, and you will be directed to that person on the chart.

Merge Duplicates

merge

You can now clean up your tree by removing duplicates. If you somehow have instances where the same family members are repeated in your tree, Treemily can improve the integrity of your information by generating a list of duplicates that you can choose to merge.

Order a perfect holiday gift right now! 

Our team is constantly working to improve Treemily. With this new update, a year of hard work culminates in a huge update that makes Treemily an even better platform. The family tree builder has undergone a refresh to bring you new features that make it easier, among other things, to navigate between processes, make edits, perform searches, download family charts and use them in other programs, and rid your tree of unwanted duplicates. 

 

Common US Surnames and Their Origins

Family name

The Origin of Most American Surnames

The U.S Census states that there are at least 150,000 different last names across the US. Some are extremely rare, and some are overly common, but what unites all surnames is that they all have a unique history. Most last names in the United States originated in Europe; England, Scotland, Germany, and Ireland because European settlers were the first ones to step foot on North American soil and remained to start their lives in America. 

Popular surnames

How to Distinguish the Origin of the Most Popular Surnames 

You do not need any complex tools or research papers to understand the origins of last names or their meanings. There are generally four groups of last names; occupational, locative, patronymic, and status/nickname. 

Locative last names (although none of these make the most popular surname list in the US) describe a geographic feature or location, such as Hill, or Marsh. 

Occupational last names, two of which are highly popular in the states, are last names related to, unsurprisingly, the individual’s occupation. An example of such a last name would be Smith, Miller, Baker, Cook, Fisher, etc. 

Patronymic last names are quite straightforward –  they originate from the name of the father and have a meaning of “a son”, such as Johnson (John’s son), and Wilson (Will’s son). 

Status last names usually relate to the physical appearance or physical attributes such as Small (if the person is small), Brown (if they have brown hair or brown skin), or White (similarly, if they have white skin or white/blonde hair).

 Meanings of the Most Popular US Surnames 

Below are the most common last names in the United States, their meanings and origins:

 Smith

John Smith is currently the most common name in the US, with 44,935 people carrying it. Even without the first name, Smith is a highly common last name in the States. But this last name did not just emerge from nowhere – there is a long history behind it. 

A long time ago, blacksmithing was a common yet respectable career. Just as surnames were starting to become relevant due to the increasing population (around 1066), people began to call their peers by their first name and their profession i.e. Dave the Smith, or for short, Dave Smith. 

Blacksmithing is one of one the oldest jobs out there and it required a lot of skill. This surname is not only common in America, it is also highly popular in Ireland, Scotland, Germany, and Australia, although under different spellings (Smythe, Smyth, Schmidt). If you meet someone with the last name Smith, you can assume that someone in their bloodline worked as a Blacksmith. Additionally, the last name Smith has a biblical meaning – “the son of god”, and also “the favored” as per the Greek origin. As per our latest data, 2.5 million Americans have Smith as their last name.

The Smiths family

Johnson

Johnson is an English patronymic last name which is short for “son of John”, similar to Wilson (Will’s son), Benson (Ben’s son), and Thomson (Thomas’ son). The origins of this surname is akin to that of Smith; England, Scotland, and Wales. This is due to the Westerners being the first settlers in North America.

The current population count of people with the last name Johnson is 1.9 million people, slightly undercutting the last name Smith but still ranked the second most popular last name in the US.

Most popular surnames 

Williams

The origins of this last name are all rather exciting. Similarly, to Johnson, one of the patronymic meanings is “the son of William”, similarly to Johnson, but is also derived from the two elements ‘will’ i.e. desire or will, and ‘helm’ i.e., helmet or protection. 

The population count for Williams is around 1.6 million in 2021, making it the third most popular last name for Americans. Since the 1840s, most Williamses have been situated around New York, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. But as time went on, Williams families spread throughout the east and west. If the Williams name shows up somewhere in your family tree, check out the millions of historical documents available with the Williams name in them.

American surnames

Brown

The Brown last name was given to people based on their appearance and features such as their brown hair, skin, or the color of the clothes they wore most often. Brown is the last name that originated from England, Scotland, and Ireland and is also common in Europe today. There are currently around 1.4 million Browns in the US, making this surname the 4th most common in the USA. 

But if Brown is the last name attributed to personal features and items of clothing, then how come there are no “Reds” and “Blondes”? The last name White (closest to Blonde) is also relatively common, being the 20th most common surname. Unfortunately, Red is not a very common last name in the US, with only 1 in 800,000 carriers.

Miller

Similar to the surname Smith, Miller is the last name derived from an occupation, often referring to a person who worked in a grain mill. Miller is the 6th most popular last name in the US, with a population of 1.1 million.

Unlike all the other surnames mentioned above, the origin of the Miller last name came from Bavaria, Germany, and derived from the old Germanic “Molinari”. The origin of the last name Miller is closely tied with Milner, derived from the same foundation and referring to a profession.

Start your Research! 

All surnames have captivating histories, no matter their origin. If you are interested in learning more about your last name, the best place to start is a simple google search – you will be surprised by the amount of information already collected about your surname, it is also worth noting that if you have a foreign last name, you should search for its meaning in the local language, as you will find a lot more information about it. 

Understanding more about your surname will also open doors to new information about your relatives and ancestors, especially if you have missing pieces in your genealogy research. Maybe, finding out more about where your last name came from will be the key to understanding your whole family tree.

Harry Potter Characters’ Family Tree: From Pollux Black to Draco Malfoy

Malfoy family trees

In the wizarding world, bloodlines are held in extremely high regard. Purebloods – families composed entirely of individuals with magical abilities – consider themselves the elite. They look down upon muggles, muggle-born wizards, and witches like Hermione Granger, and squibs. In other words, those considered to have tainted blood.

For purebloods like the Black family, the only thing that could be worse is a blood-traitor – purebloods who accept those with tainted blood and associate with such. This partly explains the bad blood (forgive the pun) between the Malfoy and Weasley families. The Weasley family tree covers the other side of this sub-plot.

This social order is crucial to the entire Harry Potter storyline. And with the Black family playing such a central role, understanding the Black family tree (which also turns out to be part of the Draco Malfoy family tree), is essential to appreciating the whole plot.

Let’s dive in.

Pollux Black and Irma Crabbe

Pollux Black (1902 – 1990) was born to Cygnus Black II and Violetta Bulstrode. He married Irma Crabbe (1901 – 1989), another pure-blood witch and the first-born child of Joseph and Antoinette Crabbe.

Both Pollux and Irma attended Hogwarts from 1913 to 1920 and were members of House Slytherin. They courted while at Hogwarts, were married in 1922, and had their first child, Walburga, in 1925. They had two more children later in their marriage, Alphard and Cygnus, and seven grandchildren, among them the infamous Sirius Black and Bellatrix Lestrange.

Apart from being a respected member of Slytherin, Pollux was a member of Professor Horace Slughorn’s exclusive Slug Club. He went on to have a distinguished career, sitting on the Hogwarts Board of Governors, and rising to a high-ranking position in the Ministry of Magic.

Black family treeBlack Family Tree

Orion Black and Walburga Black + Sirius Black III 

Pollux and Irma’s first-born daughter, Walburga, was born in 1925. She attended Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry from 1936, and after graduating in 1943, married her second cousin Orion Black.

Orion himself attended Hogwarts from 1940 to 1947. Walburga, therefore, had to wait a few years to keep the family tradition of marrying only pure-bloods. However, their marriage only took place in 1958, a full 15 years after Walburga’s graduation. Orion is said to have been a reluctant groom. Stories suggest he agreed to the marriage only after threats from his father Arcturus, to marry him off to a nasty witch.

The couple had their first child, Sirius, in 1959. The child was named after his grandfather, Sirius II. Orion and Walburga had three more children, Regulus Black IV, Altair Black, and Aquila Black. Sirius would later be murdered by his cousin Bellatrix in the Second Wizarding War.

Orion and Walburga died in 1991 and 1994 respectively. They were both members of the family’s traditional house, Slytherin.

Alphard Black: Disowned Black

Alphard Black was the second child of Pollux and Irma Black, and Walburga’s younger brother. Alphard was born in 1929 and shared the unenviable distinction of being disowned from the family with his nephew Sirius. His elder sister personally blasted his name off the tapestry displaying the Black family tree. As Sirius recounted in Harry Potter and The Order of The Phoenix, this was because his uncle had left him some gold, in defiance of Sirius’ own disownment.

Alphard attended Hogwarts between 1940 and 1948. He was also a Slytherin, like his forebears. For most of his life, however, he struggled with hemophilia. The disease is said to have limited his development at Hogwarts. He died in 1977 at the age of 48.

Cygnus Black III and Druella Rosier 

Cygnus Black III was the third and final child of Pollux and Irma Black. He was born in 1938 and married Druella Rosier. Druella was a pure-blooded witch from the Rosier family, which was also one of the pure blood families that strongly believed in their superiority.

Cygnus Black III and Druella Rosier had three children, all girls. Bellatrix, born in 1951, Andromeda in 1952, and Narcissa Black, their youngest daughter, in 1955. The fact that Bellatrix was born when Cygnus was only 13 could be an error of calculation on Rowling’s part of a nod to the prevalence of teenage pregnancies in those years.

Bellatrix Lestrange (née Black) and Rodolphus Lestrange

Bellatrix Black, born in 1951 to Cygnus Black III and Druella Rosier, entered Hogwarts in 1963 and was duly sorted into Slytherin. She is notorious for her cruelty and zealous allegiance to Lord Voldemort. Upon leaving Hogwarts in 1970, Bellatrix joined the Death Eaters – ardent followers of Voldemort who operated outside of wizarding law.

She too married a pure-blood wizard, Rodolphus Lestrange. Rodolphus came from a wealthy family and it is said that Bellatrix married him in keeping with family tradition rather than any true affection. Bellatrix was an incredibly cruel witch. In Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, she happily offered to torture Ginny, the youngest of the Weasley children, while Harry and her older brother Ron Weasley watched.

Bellatrix and Rodolphus did not have any children.

Andromeda Tonks (née Black) and Ted Tonks

Andromeda Black, the second child of Cygnus and Druella Black, was born in 1952 and attended Hogwarts between 1964 and 1971. She was also sorted into Slytherin.

Upon graduation from Hogwarts, Andromeda, much to the fury of her family, married Ted Tonks, a muggle-born wizard. Andromeda was subsequently disowned by her family and was completely cut off from them.

Andromeda and Ted had one daughter, Nymphadora Tonks, born in 1973. Nymphadora later became an Auror – a law enforcement official investigating dark arts. This put her fatally at odds with her aunt Bellatrix. Ted was killed in 1998 while on the run by Snatchers, Voldemort’s bounty hunters.

Remus Lupin and Nymphadora Tonks, Teddy Lupin

Nymphadora was born to Ted and Andromeda Tonks (née Black) in 1973. Nymphadora was a member of the Order of the Phoenix, a secret group of vigilantes set up by Dumbledore as a countering force to Voldemort’s Death Eaters. Nymphadora was also an Auror – a special wizarding law enforcement official trained to investigate and handle dark arts.

Nymphadora married Remus Lupin, a Half-blood wizard and werewolf, in 1997. Remus attended Hogwarts from 1971 to 1978 and was a Gryffindor.  Nymphadora attended Hogwarts from 1984 to 1991 and was a Hufflepuff, further breaking away from the family tradition of being Slytherins. The two had a son, Edward Remus Lupin, or simply Teddy Lupin.

Teddy was a half-blood wizard who turned out to be, like his mother, a metamorphmagus – a wizard that can change their physical appearance at will.

Narcissa Malfoy (née Black) and Lucius Malfoy 

Cygnus and Druella Black’s third and final child, Narcissa Black, was born in 1955. She entered Hogwarts in 1966 and graduated in 1973. She was sorted into Slytherin, like the other Blacks, and was first a prefect and then, later on, the head girl.

Malfoy Family Tree

After graduating from Hogwarts, she married Lucius Abraxas Malfoy, in 1974. Narcissa and Lucius Malfoy had three children. Their first child, Livia Celeste, was born in 1976, but she died within a week of her birth. They had another child, Julius Cygnus, in 1978, but he was stillborn. Draco and the only one to survive, was predictably doted on by his mother.

Draco Malfoy and Astoria Greengrass, Scorpius Hyperion Malfoy

Draco Malfoy, born in 1980, was the last-born child of Lucius and Narcissa Malfoy (née Black). His elder siblings both died in their infancy, and as the only surviving child, his mother was excessively protective of him.

Draco entered Hogwarts in 1991 and graduated in 1998. He, like the long line of Blacks before him, was sorted into Slytherin House. He became a prefect of Slytherin and in his fifth year, a member of the Inquisitorial Squad set up by Professor Dolores Umbridge. He also became a death eater, like his aunt Bellatrix, at the age of 16.

Despite his parents’ objections, Draco married Astoria Greengrass, a pure blood witch two years his junior at Hogwarts. They eventually had a son they named Scorpius Hyperion Malfoy in 2006.

Astoria died in 2019, succumbing to a blood curse that had been placed on one of her ancestors. Astoria chose not to teach Scorpius to hate muggles, something that did not sit well with her in-laws.

Quiz: What Type of Genealogist Are You?

Start a Blog?



There are numerous types of genealogists, some are professionals who want to delve deeper into their research, some are hobbyists who like to do it for fun and write blog posts about their findings, and some just love finding their ancestors and relatives from centuries ago. We have created a quiz to help you find out what kind of genealogist you are, according to your unique personality traits and research styles.

Quiz

We have created a quiz with the top 6 types of genealogists most commonly found in ancestral research. Would you like to find out what type of genealogist you are? Take this short quiz to find out which group you belong to:

Below are the six different types of genealogists, ranging from hardcore professionals who like to get their head down and do research to family genealogists who love to find out more about their extended family, and even some who love to do other people’s research for them.

The Expert Genealogist

You are considered a professional genealogist if you live and breathe your research. It could even be that you have credible qualifications and awards that you’ve obtained throughout your genealogical journey. This individual will focus on accuracy above all else in their research and will try their best to submit articles to scholarly journals and biographical records. Pages and pages of editing and all the corrections from publishers do not intimidate professional genealogists but inspire them to do more research and be better. They will power through their article drafts, refining and making each draft more accurate than the last.

The Genealogy Blogger

The genealogy blogger will collect their research and describe it in the form of a blog, sharing it with other bloggers and genealogists online. This type of genealogist will add all the research they have found along the way in hopes that another distant relative is also looking for them online, fishing for extended family members in the form of a blog that everyone can access. This genealogist may be less academic than an expert but is equally passionate about sharing their findings and, say, showing other readers how to start a genealogy blog. The genealogy blogger will teach others what they have learned throughout their journey by giving tips and tricks to others along the way. This type of genealogist will come up with numerous ideas to share with their readers, like what to do once you have started a genealogy blog, and how to choose a great topic in a pool of hundreds of compelling ideas.

The Family Gatherer

This type of genealogist does not mind too much about the structure of their research but will still visit the national archives and do extensive online searches. This genealogist will find any clues and leads on their extended family members and their unique stories. Family gatherer genealogists have one main goal, to find an ancestor, and they will continue to dig through new research to find them.

The Hoarder

This type of genealogist conducts hours of research and manages to find a lot of new information regarding their ancestors but prefers to keep it to themselves. Whether it’s online or in their journals, these researchers will store their findings privately, with just their immediate family having the access to them, and will immerse themselves in ancestral research as individuals rather than seeking to communicate and expand their knowledge with other experts around.

The Junkyard Collector

This genealogist gets excited about online family trees/tree builders they find and merges them with their own. They never verify anything or properly check their facts, but they are passionate about collecting as much information as they can. They tend to have heaps of conflicting data and facts that do not make sense. They might even have female ancestors having children at the age of 100, and sometimes children being born before their parents. Nonetheless, this type of genealogist is still as curious about genealogy as the professional.

The Detective

This genealogist loves researching in general, even if it is not their ancestor. They will gladly help someone else with research about their ancestry purely for the enjoyment of the hunt. They are easily sidetracked from their findings by the exciting challenge of solving a stranger’s obstacles. This type of genealogist loves to work in a team to tackle complex challenges that they face when trying to find answers.

What unites these six types of genealogists is that they all look to complete their family trees and learn something new about their ancestors. No matter how detailed they choose their research to be, they work diligently to get one step closer to completing the pattern, regardless of whether they want to share it with anyone else or not.

Best Ideas for Genealogy Bloggers

ideas for genealogy bloggers

 

Starting a genealogy blog should be an exciting venture for any enthusiast out there. It’s safe to say that there are hundreds of interesting genealogy blog ideas to choose from, so if you are someone who tends to be interested in pretty much everything, picking the best ideas could be troublesome. That’s why we have put together a list of the top 10 best genealogy blog ideas that we think are best for beginner bloggers.

Align Ancestral Stories with Historical Events

If you have any stories about your ancestors migrating during political power struggles, or other important historical events, it could be quite an interesting genealogy blog idea as you can talk about what happened to them, why they chose to behave a certain way, and what they did. At the end of your story, link everything back to a given historical event and explain why and how it affected your ancestors.

Genealogy Mistakes

A lot of new bloggers like to write about genealogy best practices, but few tend to share the mistakes they’ve made in the past or are still making now, which is a shame because this info will be extremely beneficial to other beginners. So why don’t you become one of those chosen few, as you are noting down all the mishaps that occurred when doing your research, thus helping others avoid these mishaps and reach their goal a lot quicker? Not to mention, you get to learn from those mistakes as well.

Tips for Beginners

We’ve all been beginners at something, and one thing that all newbies agree on is that how-to guides are incredibly helpful when starting out family history research. Consider putting together a list of useful tips for beginner genealogists and explain how each tip will benefit those who are just starting out. Think about what you wish you knew when you got into genealogy blogging and share it with your readers.

List Your Best Sources

Is there a collection of websites that helped you with your genealogy journey? If, at the time, you have done enough digging to compile an extensive list of links that helped you conduct your research, consider sharing it with others to save their time and bring more readers to your blog. Aside from the very best sources that you have discovered, think about adding some red-list sources that are not so reliable or useful.

Interview with Your Oldest Relative

Our older folks have lots of stories to share, and these stories can become an interesting genealogy blog idea. For instance, you can record a “true story from the good old days” kind of interview, which would leave you with captivating blog content. Having the chance to watch a video of your relatives talking about their youth, first love, school life, and career will make your blog post fascinating for yourself and others.

Activity Guide for Teens

Try to get teens and youngsters interested in family research by busting the myth of genealogy being a hobby exclusively for the elderly. You can do this by presenting your younger readers with interesting activities that involve research and ancestral investigations, making them understand the importance and helping experience the fun of learning about their relatives.

Life-Changing Ancestors

Have you got a relative who did something absolutely extraordinary in the past and possibly even changed the course of history? This individual is probably worth noting, so talking about their journey and how your family came to be because of their efforts will be an interesting genealogy blog idea for yourself and others who visit your blog.

Similarities Between Ancestors

If you’ve ever wondered who you’ve inherited your personality traits from, then consider writing a blog post about your ancestor’s traits and how similar they are to yours. You can draw similarities between other ancestors, describe their personalities, and reflect on what you like and dislike about them. This genealogy blog idea will inspire other readers to delve deeper into genealogy research and give you something to look back on if you find other ancestors with similar personality traits.

Shout-out to the Best Ancestor 

Do you have an ancestor who makes you feel incredibly proud? It could be a great-grandfather with a cool profession or a brave great-great-uncle who fought in many wars – tell your readers everything about this special person that you’ve highlighted and tell everyone why you think they are the most impressive person of your kin.

Share Your Genealogy Goals

Share your goals for the upcoming year, outline what you want to achieve, predict the possible setbacks, and how you would overcome them. This will act as a captivating post and a timeline for you to follow if you need to get yourself back on track with your genealogy plans. Writing down your goals will also show you how far you have come with your research after completing it, making you feel a great sense of accomplishment.

 

 

Finding a genealogy blog idea isn’t as tough as it used to be, as there are thousands of bloggers who have searched high and low for the best topics to cover, giving you a lot to choose from. However, when choosing a specific genealogy blog idea, keep in mind that it should resonate with the type of writer you are, along with what you are truly passionate about. Remember to always write about what sparks your interest, as you are writing to expand your knowledge and enjoy yourself, as well as educating other readers.

Should I Start a Genealogy Blog?

I Start a Genealogy Blog?

Whether you just love documenting your family history, or you are a professional genealogist who wants to record findings, starting your own genealogy blog can be exciting and daunting at the same time. Not sure if you are up for it? Learn about the 7 benefits of genealogy blogging to help you decide.

 It’s Time to Start a Blog

Blogging has become one of the most favored ways of keeping track of one’s life and sharing important events with friends, relatives, or just followers. There are currently over 600 million blogs out on the internet, and the numbers are rising daily.

Starting a genealogy blog can be a little nerve-racking, maybe because you can’t find the right thing to say, or because you are shy about sharing your personal experience with the world. However, the benefits you can get from genealogy blogging should help you overcome the difficulties.

Personal Genealogy Blogs Benefits

Documenting what you know about your ancestors can be a great way of analyzing what you already know about them. When you take notes, as you look over them later, you may even find some gaps in your research or certain inconsistencies that stopped you from understanding important information about them. It may also help to spot insights you would have otherwise missed.

Another reason to do genealogy blogging can be to put information out there and wait for others who are searching for the same people to find you. This is very commonly known as “cousin bait” and may help attract other family members.

One more important benefit of having a genealogy blog is that it is a fantastic way to preserve your research and make it very easily accessible for others to read. You can also look back on your writing and one day you might even turn it into a book for memories. There are numerous reasons why starting a genealogy blog is a fantastic idea, below are the 7 most important benefits of starting your very own blog:

Share your Story

 

Blogging enables you to post small pieces of your family history without worrying too much about structure or formatting, there is no need to think too much about the intimidating process of putting everything into a book, which is usually what stops people from recording their genealogical findings.

If you truly believe that you have a story that other people should have access to, make sure that you take the time to write it in your blog. Starting a genealogy blog may be tough, the same way as starting your family tree was, but it will gradually become easier and will come as second nature.

Connect with your Family

 

Starting a genealogy blog will help you connect with your family, as content that is published on the internet is always indexed by search engines, so the words that you write are accessible by Google, which opens up new opportunities for people to find your unique story. What this means is that people can find your blog by searching up special phrases and keywords, like names, that relate to your blog.

Complete Your Research

 

You will most likely solve a few family mysteries or spot some interesting gaps in your research if you are using a blog to record your findings. Most of the time, things will jump out at you when you’re writing a new personal genealogy post, usually, things that you had previously missed, or your loyal audience may be able to help you fill in the gaps.

Socialize

 

Putting your family history research online in the form of a blog might help involve some younger family members in the process and then become a great topic for conversation during family get-togethers. Besides, the comments section of your blog is a great place to get feedback on your writing and research and meet other genealogy fans.

Learn New Things

 

A lot of genealogy bloggers post about different things, and that is the best aspect of starting a blog – you can write about anything and everything. As you work on a new post, look for inspiration in other blogs or reply to comments to your posts, you may end up learning about useful genealogy websites, ancestral research breakthroughs, and useful genealogy tips.

Feel A Sense of Purpose

 

Being part of a greater good makes a person feel a great sense of purpose and as though we are not alone in our quest. This is especially true for genealogy blogging, there are hundreds and thousands of people who have recently started a blog in hopes to find their relatives and ancestors, as well as to record their genealogy findings to be able to share them with their children or grandchildren in the future. Working on your blog will connect you to other new bloggers, enabling you to share your thoughts and findings with a big team, instead of keeping it all to yourself. Blogging may also help you keep up the motivation to complete your family tree and go on with the genealogy research.

Monetize Your Blog

 

After some time and exposure to other readers on the internet, you may be able to successfully monetize your genealogy blog. This can be done in a few ways – affiliate marketing, paid advertising, sponsored content, and donations. To begin with, sponsored content is a good way of monetizing your blog, all it requires is to post content from other bloggers or businesses onto your blog for a price. As your genealogy blog gains popularity, other ancestry and genealogy bloggers or even companies may approach you with collaboration offers.

Growing a genealogy blog takes a lot of patience, and a considerable amount of time and effort. Every genealogy blogger started out from nothing, and only the ones that persevered were able to succeed.

Stick at it as the visitors and views will come!! – Simon Last, Charnwood Genealogy

Genealogy blogging is a great way to connect with other genealogy enthusiasts and expand your own knowledge of ancestry research. It can enable you to learn a lot about your family. The best thing about blogging is that it is a great way to document and preserve your research so if you choose to take a break from genealogy, you can always come back and pick up exactly where you left off!

 

 

How to Start a Genealogy Blog

genealogy notes

Having a genealogy blog can be beneficial in a multitude of ways, but can sometimes seem like a big and daunting task. Read about the 8 simple steps to starting your first blog with ease! 

Some may think that starting a genealogy blog is too difficult, or even unnecessary, but people who truly care about genealogy and ancestral research will benefit from this. Recording your findings is a big benefit of genealogy blogging, no content will ever get lost, and it will be very easy to share information with other family members and even the rest of the world. 

Blogging opens up a lot of doors and enables users to make new connections with other genealogy bloggers who may even be looking for the same information.

Choose a Type of Online Genealogy Content

girl working on a laptop

Come up with a few dozen blog ideas before starting your blog. Try not to keep it general, like “A post about grandmother”, but make it as detailed as possible – the beauty is in the details, especially with genealogy content. Put together a mindmap of points that you would like to cover in each entry, and some of the unique features that your blog will have that other writers may not, as it will make your genealogy blog more unique and interesting to other readers. Choose your genealogical specialty, it may so happen that another professional or enthusiast will come along to read your blog and find exactly what they were looking for.

“I found it difficult to reach such a wide audience. So many people come from so many different backgrounds and so their interests are vast and wide. I realized I don’t need to try to reach everyone all the time. Even just one person is worth the trouble if I can inspire, help them with a genealogy road block or learn more about themselves.” – Christy Walton, The Modern Genealogist

Create a Content Plan

working on a blog

Before commencing your blog writing, you will need to make sure that you create a comprehensive content plan that will keep you on track for what to post and when to post it. It’s imperative that you decide what to share and when to share it, before it goes out. 

You might decide to have some seasonal posts that can only go live in the summertime, or Christmas. The posts will be queued for the respective seasons, and will make it a lot easier for you to plan for future posts. The frequency of posts is also important, as you need to try and target the peak times in your region. Understanding when more readers are online will guarantee an influx of traffic to your genealogy blog. 

The best way to write a list of topics is to jot down anything that is in your mind at the time, and anything that you are keen on finding out or writing about first. As your blog will be genealogy research-based, you will definitely have a lot to talk about most of the time. Remember to go into a lot of detail when you are writing about your findings, as details are the most interesting bits of genealogy.

Choose a Blogging Platform

working on a blog

Once you have decided what aspects of genealogy you want to write about and what you plan to achieve through blogging, it is time to get down to the technical side of blogging. The first step is to choose a blogging platform. You should have a pretty good idea about some of the available platforms that will fit with your blog style and necessary plugins. There is an abundance of free options such as Blogger, WordPress and Medium, as well as some paid ones. There are certain limitations to using free platforms, so customizations will be somewhat limited. Nonetheless, these platforms will offer you a good degree of freedom with making your blog unique, with special plugins that you can use to make it more interesting and user-friendly.

Customize Your Blog

working with a tablet

One of the most important things that your blog will need is a face. A successful design and layout are half the battle of having a great blog. The popularity and appearance of your website will heavily rely on the theme you choose. Your first-time readers will notice your blog’s appearance before they even look at your text content. Choose a theme that stands out and works for your specific needs.

Fill in Your Basic Information

information gathering

Remember to fill out your basic information before publishing your posts. Think of an original and descriptive bio to introduce yourself, tell visitors what the blog is about, who you are as the author and why you chose to have a blog about genealogy. Leave your contacts, links to social media if you would like readers to be able to reach out to you. This will also add credibility to your blog, and make it easy for people to contact you if they have any genealogical leads, ideas or questions. 

Depending on the blogging platform you choose, you might be able to create separate pages for About and Contacts with a contact form and maybe some others.

Write and Publish Blog Content

blog writing

It is now time to start blogging, and you need to start practicing writing your blog posts. It should ideally be something valuable that people will be keen to interact with, and hopefully come back for more. 

Once you have written your blog post, you need to remember to proofread it for any spelling mistakes or typos. Make sure to add photos to enhance user experience and increase customer, or reader retention in the future. Turn on commenting to get feedback on your content.

Get Your Family’s Opinion!

family support

Now that you posted your first blog article, it is time to let your blog into the world! Remember that sharing your ancestry findings with other professionals and fans is only possible if your blog is discovered by them, so you need to work on spreading the word about your genealogy research and attract other readers to it! 

Ask your family what they think of your new blog, they will be able to give advice on the findings that you’ve recorded, and give you a very honest opinion and feedback on your work. You can even get content inspiration from your family, as they will know a lot about the past, and are probably itching to share it with you. If you are a member of a genealogy society or a community on social media, you can tell them about your blog too and invite them to read and comment on it.

You are now ready to start your very own genealogy blog! You have chosen your blogging platform that suits your style and tech needs, created a theme that will look fantastic once your genealogy blog is up, and have created a thorough content plan to make sure that you are not scrambling for ideas later on. Writing your very first blog is an exciting time, and following these 8 simple steps will hopefully alleviate some stress and answer questions about how to do it correctly. 

How to Start Genealogy Research

genealogy research

Family history, or genealogy, is the unique process of looking through records to find information about your relatives and using those records to link individuals to other generations. The primary rule of genealogy is to work deductively- so from the known all the way to the unknown. This is usually done to avoid attaching the wrong person to your family tree, and the following steps explain the genealogical process in greater detail to help you conduct a successful genealogical search.

Identify What You Know

The first step to beginning genealogical research is to identify what is already evident to you. Take the important pieces of genealogical information such as relationships, names and dates of birth. The best way to do this is to speak to your relatives about what they remember from their past, as they will most likely know a lot of useful information that they would love to share with you. They will bring you a lot closer to putting together your family tree.

Write Down All the Information You Know

Commencing your research is as easy as buying a notebook and writing down everything you know. A lot of genealogy apps will generate forms in a few basic formats such as research logs, multi-generational charts and the sources that are already available.

Interview Your Relatives

Asking your relatives is the best way to understand your family tree, they will tell you interesting stories about the past that will decipher a lot of the questions that you probably already had in mind. The best way to ask questions is to make them open-ended, avoid asking yes/no questions as it will cut the conversation short, and that is not the goal of the interview. The goal is to talk about special memories, emotions, and people with whom your relatives shared their special times. 

Gather Additional Information

Hands together

There are a lot of sources and places to be visited when doing a genealogy search, and gathering additional information is very important if you want to put together a good family tree. Apart from speaking to your relatives and putting together research logs and charts, you can also conduct a thorough internet search to see if there is anything else that you can find. There are many websites and tips for genealogical research that have the largest collections of free genealogy records and free name-search databases. 

Exploring specific websites after searching for last names in your family will also help you put together your family tree. Visiting your local family history centers can give you a lot of new information about what you are looking for. In the US, there are over 4000 family history centers where anyone can access a large collection of genealogical information. Using the local centers, you can find microfilm records from all over the world.  

Decide What You Want to Learn

Evaluate what you have put together so far and figure out what information is still missing. Determine what family members or individuals intrigue you the most and put together a list of the missing pieces to narrow down your search and set an objective or question to research, to make sure that you do not get distracted by the abundance of information.

“When I started blogging I was extra prone to getting distracted by all the cool side stories I found while researching my main target. I had a lot of margin notes about people and places I wanted to explore!” – Andrea Blair, My Hearth Story

Keep in mind that you should be focusing on one question at a time as trying to answer too many questions when doing genealogy leads to a lot of confusion and careless errors, getting distracted is normal, genealogy is a very broad topic with a lot of interesting facts to cover, every the most experienced genealogists also get carried away.

Prepare the Research Questions 

people discussion

Finding the appropriate genealogy questions is the most important step in your genealogy research. What are you hoping to find out? Some people just want to prove their lineage to someone, or just find new names. Others want to gather ancestors methodically and make new discoveries and connections. No matter what the objective is, having a list of research questions will help to keep you on track of finding out what you need to know and narrow down your search. 

Identify Genealogy Resources for Getting Started

Before getting started, you must locate and identify your sources. This is easier than it sounds, as options for finding genealogical information exist on the web, in libraries, churches, courthouses, and within your own house and family. Usually, the internet and libraries provide an array of free and useful resources about family, however, not everything can be found on the internet or in a book. Some of the records that can be scanned for information are vital records created by governments, these include records of births, messages, and death by towns or states. It can also include places, and mother’s maiden names. 

Emigration and immigration records are also good resources to have when getting started. Records are generated when tracking individuals departing or arriving in a country. This includes passenger lists, border crossing records, and passport applications. 

Search the Records with Genealogical Information

records

Searching records with genealogical information can give you lots of insights into the information you are looking to find. There are lots of records that you can go through, such as naturalization and citizenship records, which are generated through an individual applying for and becoming a citizen of a country. 

Beginning in 1790, the United States naturalization process required two steps. After living in the US for at least 2 years a person could file a declaration of intent to become a citizen, the information that will be available for genealogical information is the nationality, name, and date of arrival of the subject, as well as some information regarding the place of birth and offspring. 

Visit Genealogy Websites

There are many genealogy research websites that can help with your genealogical search. They are a quick, mostly free and accessible way to get important information that will help you put together your family tree. There are numerous websites about specific ethnic heritage and parts of the country where your relatives may have lived. 

“Much of my research wouldn’t be possible without information I find online that has been scanned in by volunteers. I am so grateful to the folks who take their time to make history available to everyone, and I support them whenever I can!” – Andrea Blair, My Hearth Story

Join Genealogical Societies

Over the years, many catalogs have been preserved in hopes that one day a person will come by to ask for them. Joining a genealogical society will help you understand your relatives’ past, and even meet people who know about the relatives you are looking to find. Having a membership can help you get access to this collective knowledge. Societies may have publications, newsletters, and correspondence or members-only sections on their websites. You may even be able to request local records, copies, photographs, school records, and other important information. 

Take a DNA Test

DNA test

Your DNA can hold information that will help make new discoveries about your family’s past, your family roots, as well as confirm the information in your family tree. The genealogy microarray-based autosomal DNA testing surveys a person’s entire genome at over 700,000 locations with a simple saliva sample. Taking a DNA test will solidify any leads which you may have found regarding your long-distance relatives. 

Organize Your Records

Having a lot of data can often be overwhelming, so sorting out a filing system can be a good way to keep your files stored logically. The best approach is to sort as you go, instead of waiting till all the documents are collected because chances are, you will get confused and make mistakes when sorting files, so remember to document as you go. Data recording can also be done in a spreadsheet or any genealogy software online. 

Starting a genealogy research process is a lot easier than it seems. If you follow all the steps correctly and thoroughly, it will be rewarding to find the relatives that you have been looking for. From the very first step of identifying what you already know, up to taking a DNA test and organizing your records, you need to make sure to follow each step and gather all the information that you can find, from all the sources that have been presented to you. The search may be long, but with the help of your own family, websites, documents, and archives, you will be able to achieve exactly what you have set out to accomplish! 

What is Genealogy? Why Should You Start Genealogy Research?

genealogy

What is Genealogy?

Most of us have some knowledge about our immediate family members, far less about our remote ancestors. But if we seek a deeper understanding of our background, whether it’s due to health issues, legal matters, or simply out of curiosity, we inevitably turn to genealogy. 

What does genealogy mean?

The most common answer to the question “what is the meaning of genealogy?” is that it is a record of the ancestry and descent of a person, family, or group. It is also defined as the study of family origin and histories, or a group of individuals or species having a common ancestor. Within this article, we refer to the word “genealogy” in the context of pedigree research which normally starts with collecting names and most significant dates such as births, deaths, and other notable events. The process of gathering the information is quite exciting yet complex. You might have to turn to public records, censuses data, directories, mass media publications, and even do genetic testing depending on the purpose of your search. Therefore you need to set a goal, make a research plan, and define a list of available offline and online resources. Make sure to study the genealogy glossary before you start digging and analyzing.

What is Genetic Genealogy?

This field of study uses genetic material along with traditionally discovered information to identify if the individuals are related, find or and establish ancestry. The method has become quite popular and makes it possible to trace the ancestry even for those who aren’t able to use conventional sources of knowledge, e.g. orphans, adoptees, child migrants, etc.

What is the Difference Between Genealogy and Family History

Even though the terms genealogy and family history are often used as synonyms, most professionals conclude that the first one with its cold facts and dates is just the backbone for a more vivid and detailed narrative of the latter. When you put together all facts and stories behind them you get the opportunity to see previous generations in their historical and social context with all their joys and sorrows, triumphs and tragedies.

Why do Genealogy?

Naturally, there are some other significant reasons for exploring your heritage other than creating a beautiful family tree you can be proud of. Although the primary purpose of research used to be seen as establishing kinship and succession rights, nowadays more and more people study their family line to connect with their roots and gain a sense of belonging.

“I started My Hearth Story because I believe in preserving stories – of people, places, & things! Every place has a story, if you know where to look. I am passionate about connecting the present to the human experiences of the past”. – Andrea Blair, My Hearth Story

Find Living Relatives

How well do you know your extended family, for instance, your great-grandmother’s cousin? And if you are an adopted child or have a history of adoption in your family tree? With the same likelihood, you may have a biological relative you’ve never met or even known about right in your neighborhood or anywhere across the world. If you have no information to help you in your study, you can start with ancestry DNA testing. Genetic testing not only allows you to look into your origins up to a millennium back but also helps you reach out to people who have the same DNA segments as you and maybe even have a family reunion.

Medical History

medical history

Another practical side of taking up genealogy research is taking care of your health. Knowing about your family history can help you minimize the risks of developing serious problems such as heart diseases, diabetes, or cancer. Even though you cannot change your genetics, you can adjust your lifestyle and change your habits to prevent or reduce the chance of developing an unhealthy condition. It is useful to collect information from your relatives by asking questions and looking into documents like medical records and death certificates to understand what inherited diseases might run in your family. For more information, you can turn to genetic testing, especially when you lack information about your family members.

Validate Stories

Suppose you’ve heard some legends about one of your relatives but never saw any facts supporting the story behind it. What if the proof that something happened can bring you peace of mind or the real reason to be proud of who you are. And if the legends are not all that bright, maybe you just need a chance to forgive and accept or have an educational experience for your children. One way or another, these are the worthy reasons to look into your genealogy and try to find the answers.

Famous Ties

Some people start genealogy research hoping to find proof of relation to a historical figure or someone prominent. It’s exciting to know that you are related to a movie star, a famous musician, or maybe even one of the American presidents. 

Deeper Personal Identity

Learning about your family’s history can give you a deeper understanding of yourself. When you look at every individual, whose life preceded your appearance, in the context of time and place of their existence, you might be able to find answers to many questions and assess the circumstances of many important events from a different perspective.

Conclusion

So why study genealogy? The older we become, the more we realize how valuable the family is to us. The more we find out about family ties and relations, the deeper is the understanding of our roots and background. It helps us learn to accept, forgive and empathize. When we analyze the disappointments and hard times our ancestors had to make it through and still survive and even be happy, it makes us more resilient to challenges in our own lives. We receive useful clues to staying happier and healthier and increase the feeling of self-worth.

Our family history can become an invaluable source of knowledge and a precious gift not only to us but to the generations to come.

The Friends Reunion: Family Trees of the Series Characters

Friends reunion

The Friends Reunion: Are They Just Friends or a Family?

27 years ago the Friends TV series aired on NBC for the very first time. This year, the entire sitcom cast celebrated their anniversary with the new reunion episode. The special called “The One Where They Get Back Together” premiered on May 27, 2021. The Treemily team decided to remember all of our favorite characters and see whether they’ve become more than just friends.

The TV series history

The TV show tells us the life story of six friends living in New York. The first episode of the show aired on NBS on September 22, 1994. The main cast included Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry, and David Schwimmer. The show lasted for almost ten years with the final 236th episode premiering on May 6, 2004. More than 52 million Americans watched the series finale, thus ranking this episode the 5th most-watched series finale in TV history. 

Friends became one of the most popular and beloved TV series of all time. It is still rewatched by millions of people all over the world.

Geller-Green Family Bonds

Those who’ve watched the series are probably well familiar with Rachel Green and Monica Geller characters portrayed by Jennifer Aniston and Courteney Cox, respectively. The very first episode of the show tells us a story of a spoiled girl from a very wealthy family named Rachel who left her fiancé waiting at the altar on their wedding day. And where did she go? That’s right, she runs into the coffee shop that will become one of the centerpieces of the entire series looking for her childhood friend Monica. The same episode reveals that Monica’s older brother Ross, portrayed by David Schwimmer, has been in love with Rachel since high school. He still gets all shy and clumsy in her presence.

So how did these two families get connected in almost ten years of their friendship? Well, if you’ve watched the series you know that it got a bit complicated. But in the end, everyone is happy. Ross Geller and Rachel Green are back together and are raising a beautiful daughter named Emma. Monica marries her brother’s best friend Chandler Bing, portrayed by Matthew Perry, and the two adopt twins Erica and Jack. As you can see, four of the six friends have become a family.

Geller-Green Family Tree

Phoebe Buffay Family Tree

Phoebe Buffay portrayed by Lisa Kudrow is one of our favorite and the most extraordinary characters in the series. A self-taught musician, she writes and sings her songs and plays the guitar. We bet there is no such person who hasn’t heard “Smelly Cat” at least once. From the series, we learn that Phoebe had a tough childhood living on the streets of New York City. She also has an identical twin sister named Ursula with whom she doesn’t get along. As a TV character, Ursula appeared earlier on screen than her sister Phoebe in the sitcom Mad About You. 

Over the show, Phoebe had multiple relationships but none of them were serious. David, a scientist who left for Minsk on a research grant, was her biggest love. In season nine, Phoebe started dating Mike Hannigan who has recently divorced his wife and was not planning on getting married again. Phoebe had to break up with these two men for a reason, but they both return to her life during the final season. So, are you Team Mike or Team David? 

Phoebe Buffay Family Tree

Tribbiani Family Tree

Joseph Francis Tribbiani Jr., better known as Joey portrayed by Matt LeBlanc, is the only series character who got his own spin-off show called Joey aired on NBC from 2004 to 2006. If you’ve ever tried to remember the names of Joey Tribbiani’s sisters, you know how hard it can be. Our Tribbiani family tree can help you out. Joey has one older sister called Gina and six younger sisters Tina, Dina, Maty-Angela, Mary-Therese, Veronika, and Cookie. Do you remember which one kissed Joey’s friend Chandler? Tribbiani Family TreeFinal Thoughts

If you are looking for a special and personalized gift for your friends or family members, a family tree can become one. Try the Treemily family tree chart maker for free to create unique family tree visualizations tracing back your entire family history.  

Father’s Day: Best Activities to Try With Your Family

Father's Day

Every third Sunday of June people across the globe celebrate Father’s Day. It’s one of the most important celebrations of the year in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, and other countries when people honor their beloved fathers and share this special day.  The Treemily team came up with five activities you should try out with your family this year’s holiday. But first, let’s find out more about the history of the holiday and its origin.

Father’s Day Holiday Origins

To complement Mother’s Day, people started celebrating Father’s Day in the early 20th century. According to researchers, the holiday was founded by Sonora Smart Dodd, a daughter of an American Civil War veteran who believed that, just like motherhood, fatherhood needed strong recognition. The very first Father’s Day took place in Spokane, WA, and was celebrated on June 19, 1910. 

Sonora Smart Dodd has been promoting the holiday for the next decades and wanted the celebration to be recognized at the national level. The first bill proposing to declare Father’s Day a national holiday was introduced in 1913. However, Congress rejected the bill. The next attempts didn’t become successful either. 

By the time the nation had officially celebrated Mother’s Day for over 30 years, Maine Senator Margaret Chase Smith accused Congress of ignoring fathers while honoring mothers. The first presidential proclamation honoring fatherhood was issued by President Lyndon B. Johnson only in 1966. Finally, Father’s Day was declared a national holiday in the US by Richard Nixon in 1972.

Why Celebrate Father’s Day?

Father’s Day gives us a great chance to honor the men who raised us and thank them for everything they’ve done to turn us into people we’ve become. It doesn’t mean that we need to spend only one day honoring our beloved fathers, but you can always make this day the most significant and meaningful.

 

Father's day

Five Activities to Try With Your Family While Celebrating Father’s Day

Father’s Day is another great occasion to celebrate with your family and spend time with your loved ones. Here are some great activities you can enjoy with the entire family while celebrating this special day.

Rent Father’s Dream Car and Have a Mini-Vacation

If you’ve ever dreamed of going for a vacation with your family, Father’s Day is the best time to make it come true. Combine the trip with your father’s love of old-fashioned cars and give it a go! Rent your father’s favorite car and spend a weekend outside the city.

Have a Backyard Picnic

Instead of a traditional Father’s Day breakfast, plan a backyard picnic with the entire family. Get some snacks, make lemonade, bring outdoor games and have fun.

 

Backyard Picnic on Father's Day

Make a Family Tree

Keep a loving memory of your father’s family and try to make a family tree together. Add pictures of your relatives and print out a poster to hang in your house.

Enjoy a Family Game Day

Pick your dad’s favorite games, from charades and Monopoly to indoor bowling and hide-and-seek, and spend the entire day playing with your family. If the weather is nice, get outside to enjoy outdoor activities and spend some time in the fresh air.

Have a Camping Trip

Father’s Day is one of the busiest times of the year, so plan your family camping trip in advance. Pick a great sight, get your camping reservation, and prepare your camping equipment early. 

 

Camping Trip on Father's Day

 

Treemily hopes this Father’s Day will be very special for your beloved fathers and you’ll spend a great time together!

Memorial Day: The Holiday History and Its Connection to General John A. Logan

memorial day flags

Every year on the last Monday of May the U.S. citizens celebrate one of the most important holidays in their history. Memorial Day is celebrated to remember, honor, and mourn men and women who died while serving in the U.S. Armed Forces. To pay our tribute to every single person who gave their lives for the country, we’ve decided to tell you more about the history of this holiday and one man in particular who stood at its origins.

What Do We Know About the Holiday History?

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has discovered at least 25 different versions and places of the holiday origins. Many researchers claim that it all has started with the end of the Civil War. The American Civil War was one of the greatest shocks for the U.S. nation. In U.S. history, this war is known as one of the biggest conflicts that have taken more lives than any other battle. According to some records, the war officially ended on May 9th, 1865 leaving behind over 1 million people dead. The U.S. government had to establish numerous national cemeteries and, by the end of the 1860s, people across the country had begun decorating graves, thus paying tributes to the fallen soldiers.

memorial day flag

On May 5th, 1866, an American soldier, politician General John Alexander Logan called for the creation of a national public holiday called Decoration Day. Logan issued a proclamation that led to further holiday adoption across the country. 

Even though it’s still unclear where the holiday originated, Waterloo, a village in the state of New York, was declared as the official place of origin of Memorial Day by the U.S. federal government.

Memorial Day Traditions

Each year, numerous cities across the country celebrate Memorial Day and hold holiday parades. During that day, people visit memorials, cemeteries, and hold family gatherings to honor fallen military personnel. 

memorial day

To symbolize those who have fallen, some people wear or hold red field poppies. The idea of wearing red poppies was inspired by Moina Michael’s poem “In Flanders Fields”. Moina has even used to sell poppies to raise money and give them to the servicemen in need. 

General John A. Logan Family Tree

John Alexander Logan is known as one of the most important figures in the movement dedicated to recognizing Memorial Day as an official national holiday in the U.S. He was born to Dr. John Logan and his wife Elizabeth Logan (née Jenkins) on February 9th, 1826,  Illinois in the city that is now known as Murphysboro. Before going to Shiloh College, John studied at home with a private tutor and his father. He later served in the Mexican–American War.

John Logan attended the Law Department of the University of Louisville, from which he graduated in  1851. He also attended law practice at his uncle’s office. John’s uncle Alexander M. Jenkins, an American politician who served as Lieutenant Governor of Illinois from 1834 to 1836.

During the American Civil War, John Logan served as a general of the Union Army. After the end of the war, he served as commander-in-chief of the Civil War veterans organization called Grand Army of the Republic (GAR).

John Alexander Logan

John’s wife, Mary Simmerson Cunningham, was born to Captain John M. Cunningham and Miss Elizabeth Fontaine on August 15th, 1838, in the village of Sturgeon, MO. She was a writer and editor of American, Irish, and French descent. John and Mary married on November 27th, 1855. Their daughter Mary Elizabeth Logan was born on June 20th, 1858. She later became a political activist. John’s only son, Manning Alexander Logan, was born on July 24tah, 1865. He later changed his name to John Alexander Logan Jr. while serving as a U.S. Army officer. During the Philippine–American War, he was mortally wounded and at the age of 34 on November 11th, 1899. In 1866, General John A. Logan adopted a girl named Kate, the daughter of his relative, an actor Cornelius Ambrosius Logan who died in 1853. Take a look at John Logan’s family tree made with the Treemily family tree template with pictures

John Alexander Logan family tree

Memorial Day is the day when we honor people who put their lives into defending the U.S. nation. These people will never be forgotten and will always be remembered by their relatives, friends, and a great number of American citizens. 

The Sweetest Gift Ideas for Mother’s Day 2021

mother's day

This year Mother’s Day will be celebrated on May 9th, 2021. While many of us cannot visit our mothers due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, it’s important to find other ways to celebrate this special holiday and honor our beloved moms. We’ve come up with six brilliant gift ideas to give our mothers the recognition they deserve. 

The Holiday History

The history of Mother’s Day goes back to ancient times when people held various festivals to honor the mother figure itself. Most of these festivals were usually tied to honoring goddesses. For instance, the Greeks honored Hera, the goddess of family and marriage, and the wife of Zeus, who was also a divine representation of a mother. 

With time, the tradition has spread into other cultures. In the 16th century, the English were celebrating Mothering Sunday. During that day, those who served as domestic servants would be given a day off to reunite with their families and spend a special day with their mothers. 

In the US, the first modern Mother’s Day was celebrated in 1907. Anna Maria Jarvis who held a memorial service for her mother is now officially known as the founder of this holiday. Only in 1924, it was declared a national holiday in the US and is now held every year on the second Sunday in May. 

mother

Six Exceptional Gift Ideas for This Year Mother’s Day

We’ve come up with the six sweetest and very personal gift ideas for your moms to make this mother’s day even more special and memorable.

Homemade videos

Be creative and make your own video filled with memorable moments spent with your family members. Simply take all of the videos you’ve ever taken with your smartphone and put them together with the help of free editing tools and apps. If you have any recordings left from your childhood, add them as well to make a whole story about your family. 

Your mother’s favorite flowers or plants

Your mom’s favorite flowers and plants are always a great gift. If you are local, be the one to deliver a bunch of flowers to your mom’s door. If you don’t have a chance to visit your family in person, use one of the local flower shop delivery services. Mother’s Day is one of the busiest times of the year so make sure to order ahead of time.

flowers for mother

DIY family tree

Family tree gifts are the most special ones. You can spend time with your mom learning more about your family history and then create a stunning family tree visualization. Create your own traditional family tree in a matter of minutes and add pictures of your family members to make it even more special. 

A family presentation

Create a presentation with your childhood or your kids’ photos, and other pictures of happy moments spent with your mother. Use Canva, Prezi, or any other tool to create a unique presentation and remind your mom of how special she is. 

A long phone call

While it’s still not safe to visit your family during the COVID-19 pandemic, most people don’t get a chance to congratulate their mothers on this amazing holiday in person. A good idea will be to give your mom a phone call and spend hours chatting about everything in the world. These moments may become even more precious and special than any other gift. 

happy mothers day

A virtual talent show

Skype and Zoom calls have become a common thing over the past few years. If you live far away from your mom or simply don’t have a chance to visit her, you can always give her a video call and have some fun together. If you have kids, you can plan a talent show together and make a great performance for your mother. 

The Treemily team hopes this holiday will be very special both for you and your beloved moms. Happy Mother’s Day!

Prince Philip Royal Family Tree: Past and Future Generations

Prince Philip

April 9th, 2021, Buckingham Palace has announced the death of Prince Philip, the husband of Elizabeth II, Queen of the United Kingdom. He passed away peacefully at Windsor Castle at the age of 99. Prince Philip was the longest-serving consort in British history but there are many other things His Royal Highness will be remembered for. Today, the Treemily team wants to pay tribute to the Duke of Edinburgh and with the help of Family Tree Maker tell you more about his family’s past and future generations. 

Prince Philip History and Early Years

Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark was born on June 10th, 1921, in Mon Repos villa on the island of Corfu, Kingdom of Greece at that time. Philip was the youngest child and the only son of Princess Alice of Battenberg and Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark. The prince was born during the Greco-Turkish War and his very first years of childhood were not the calmest ones. His uncle Constantine I, the King of Greece at that time, was forced to abdicate when the war was over in 1922. Constantine I and Philip’s father were arrested, while Princess Alice and her entire family had to live under constant surveillance. 

In December 1922, Prince Andrew was banished from Greece for life by a revolutionary court, thus forcing his family to evacuate to France. It is known that Prince Philip was carried in a fruit box all the way from Greece to France to be kept safe. 

Philip began his education at The Elms school in Paris and was sent to his maternal grandmother, Victoria Mountbatten, to attend Cheam School in the UK at the age of 9. By the year 1933, Philip’s all of Philip’s sisters married German princes and moved to Germany while his mother was placed in an asylum due to schizophrenia. The same year he was sent to Germany to attend a boarding school but left for Scotland after two terms.

In 1939, Philip attended the Royal Naval College in the port of Dartmouth where he later met his wife, the future Queen of the United Kingdom. He served as a member of the British forces during the Second World War. It is a well-known fact that Philip’s sister Cecille and her husband were members of the Nazi Party before the war and that his two other brothers-in-law were German SS officers. At the age of 21, Prince Philip became the youngest first lieutenant of HMS Wallace, one of the Revenge-class super-dreadnought battleships. 

Ancestors

Parents

Philip’s father, Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark was born on February 2nd, 1882, in Athens and was the seventh child in the family. In 1902, he met his future wife Prince Alice while staying in London and the two got married only a year after. Princess Alice of Battenberg was born on February 25th, 1885, in Berkshire, UK. Besides Philip, the couple had four daughters Princess Margarita(1905-1981), Princess Theodora(1906–1969), Princess Cecilie (1911-1937), and Princess Sophie (1914-2001). Since 1939, Prince Andrew was estranged from his wife and saw neither of his kids. He died of heart failure at the age of 62 in Monte Carlo, Monaco. Since 1967, Princess Alice lived at Buckingham Palace in London where she died two years later. 

Grandparents

Paternal Line

Philip’s grandfather George I of Greece was born on December 24th, 1845 in Copenhagen, the Kingdom of Denmark. He was the King of Greece for 40 years from 1863 to 1913. Philip’s grandmother Olga Constantinovna of Russia was born on September 3rd, 1851 in Pavlovsk, Russian Empire and was a member of the Romanov dynasty. The two first met when Olga was only 12 years old and got married four years later. Together they had eight children: five sons and three daughters. On March 18th, 1913, George I of Greece was assassinated and Olga Constantinovna decided to return to Russia. After the Russian Revolution, Olga had to escape to Switzerland. She spent her final years with her youngest son, Prince Christopher, and died at the age of 74. 

Maternal Line

Prince Philip is related to Queen Victoria through his maternal line. His grandmother, Princess Victoria of Hesse and by Rhine was born to  Princess Alice, the daughter of Queen Victoria, and Louis IV, Grand Duke of Hesse and by Rhine on April 5th, 1863, at Windsor Castle in Berkshire.  Philip’s grandfather, Prince Louis of Battenberg was born on May 24th, 1854in Graz, Austria. Prince Louis and Princess Victoria got married in 1882. Including Princess Alice, the couple had four children. Prince Louis died of heart failure in 1921. 29 years later, his wife Princess Victoria died at the age of 87 in London. 

Descendants

Philip’s future wife Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Windsor was born on April 21st, 1926, to George VI, the future King of the United Kingdom, and his wife Elizabeth Angela Marguerite Bowes-Lyon, later known as Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother. Philip and Elizabeth’s engagement was announced on July 9th, 1947, and the couple got married the same year on November 20th. 

Together they had four children: Prince Charles (born 1948), Princess Anne (born 1950), Prince Andrew (born 1960), and Prince Edward (born 1964). Queen Elizabeth II was crowned in 1953.

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip have eight grandchildren and ten great-grandchildren. Prince Willam and Prince Harry, the sons of Prince Charles and his former wife Princess Diana, are probably the most famous living members of the British Royal Family. 

Prince Philip Descendant Tree

Find Out Whether You Are Related to the British Royal Family

Research your own family history to find out whether you have any connection with the British Royal Family. Create your own family visualizations with the Treemily Ancestry family tree maker to trace back your past generations. 

How to Plan Genealogy Trips: 6 Tips for a Perfect Genealogy Research Vacation

Family Traveling

We live in the information age which makes it convenient to conduct genealogy research without the need to leave your home. Most of the records and data are stored online and can be accessed whenever you need them. No matter how easy it may be to find information about your family, you are probably thinking about visiting your ancestors’ birthplaces once in a while. In this article, we will share some useful tips to help you plan your first genealogy research vacation. 

Genealogy Traveling

What Is Genealogy Travelling?

Before we get down to the tips that help you plan your next trip more efficiently, let’s figure out what genealogy traveling is and what types of genealogy vacations are there. Genealogy traveling usually refers to a trip you make to visit your ancestors’ homeland and conduct your family history research. There are two main types of such trips:

  • Genealogy tours

If you are planning to visit the land of your ancestors where you have never been before or don’t speak the local language, it might be better to book a genealogy tour organized by the locals. Such trips are usually focused on visiting local libraries, archives, and even cemeteries where you can find information about your ancestors. These types of tours can be group or individual ones.

  • Independent genealogy trips

If you are not a fan of working with tour operators, you can plan a trip of your own. You are free to visit any places you want without following a strict tour plan. However, it is still important to plan your trip in advance to make sure you have everything you need to feel comfortable during your vacation.

Tips for Planning Genealogy Research Trips

Even though genealogy vacations have a lot in common with regular trips, there are some things you should think through before you get on a plane. These tips will help you get started. 

  1. Plan your genealogy trip ahead of time

    All of the genealogy research trips should be planned in advance. There are so many things to think of: from getting proper travel documents to booking a place to stay. With the COVID-19 pandemic still affecting our lives, make sure to check whether you need to get a vaccine or be tested for infection before your trip according to the specific restrictions of the country you are planning to visit. You also need to decide what places you want to visit and what genealogical goals you pursue.  

    Family Traveling

  2. Conduct research before the trip

    Doing research while being in the place you’re visiting for the first time is not the best idea. We recommend learning as much as you can about your family before you go on a trip. For example, ask some of these family history questions to your family members to find out more about your ancestors’ past or any other information you can use during your trip. 

  3. Make copies of your family history documents

    Don’t take original documents related to your family histories such as records or family pictures. Make copies to take with you, especially if you want to show them to local researchers.

     

  4. Find a guide

    Get some help from local researchers and guides to show you around the area or drive you to the place you need. Guides can also help you with the translation, especially in small villages where people don’t speak a word of English. Try contacting genealogical societies in the area to find a local guide. 

  5. Pack your luggage wisely

    Besides clothes and toiletries, make sure you take all the necessary research materials such as a laptop, camera, maps, and a notebook to make notes along the way. Pack only stuff you will need and leave extra space in your luggage to bring back mementos. 

  6. Have fun

    Even though you are taking this trip to do research and learn more about your family’s past, you should still take it like a real vacation. Relax and be opened up to every opportunity this road trip can offer you.  

Once your trip is over, use all of the data discovered and pictures were taken to create a unique family tree with the Treemily builder. Share your findings with the entire family like if they were on vacation with you. 

The Shelbys: Family Tree and the Truth About the Peaky Blinders’ Leader

Peaky Blinders

The Peaky Blinders series will come back with its final season in 2021. The filming of the 6th season has already begun. Before we get to see the final story of the Shelbys, let’s take a look at every member of the family more closely. Don’t forget to sign up for our Family Tree Builder and try it for free to create your own family visualizations.

What Is the Show About? 

Peaky Blinders is a British crime drama series released in 2013. The show tells the story of the Shelby gangster family of Irish descent who lives in Birmingham, England. Their story begins in 1919 just after the First World War ends. The leader of the gang and the main character Thomas “Tommy” Shelby is portrayed by an Irish actor Cillian Murphy. Throughout the seasons, viewers watch how the family is working on expanding their business and influence not only in their hometown but also internationally.

Shelby Family Tree

The Shelbys family line begins with Mr. Shelby whose name is unknown and his wife Birdie Boswell. Birdie was a Gypsy Princess and a member of the largest and most powerful gypsy families in England at that time. Together with Mr. Shelby Birdie had two children, a son Arthur Shelby Sr. and a daughter Elizabeth “Polly” Gray (née Shelby). Take a look at the Shelby family tree created with the Treemily family tree chart maker

 

Shelby Family Tree

 

Polly Shelby is an accountant and company treasurer at Shelby Company Limited. She was married to Mr. Gray and together they had two kids, Anna and Michael Gray born in 1906. Both children were taken away by the parish authorities and separated right after their birth. Anna Gray was sent to Australia where she died of spring fever. 

Arthur Shelby Sr. was married to a woman from the Strong family. The couple had five children together, four sons and one daughter. Arthur abandoned his kids after their mother’s death. All of the children were raised by Arthur’s sister Polly. 

Arthur William Shelby Jr. is the eldest son of Arthur Shelby Sr. born in 1887 and is a Deputy Vice President at Shelby Company Limited. Arthur is married to Linda Shelby born in 1895. The couple has a son named Billy.

John Michael Shelby is the 3rd son of Arthur Shelby Sr. Also known as John Boy, he served as a soldier of the Warwickshire Yeomanry during the First World War alongside his brothers Arthur and Thomas. His first wife Martha Shelby died of unknown causes leaving John widowed with 4 kids to raise. His second wife Esme Martha Shelby (née Lee) is a member of the Lee gypsy family also from Birmingham. Together they have 3 kids. 

Ada Thorne (née Shelby) is the only daughter of Arthur Shelby Sr. and his wife born in 1897. She is the only member of the family who is not involved with Shelby’s family business. Her husband Freddie Thorne is a communist and a former best friend of Thomas Shelby. Ada and Freddie have a son Karl Thorne named after Karl Marx.  

Finn Shelby is the youngest of the Shelby brothers born in 1908. Even though Finn is involved with Peaky Blinders and their business, his brothers always try to keep him away from any dangerous and illegal actions.  

 

Shelby Family Tree

Thomas Shelby: The Irreplaceable Leader of Peaky Blinders and His Family

Thomas Michael Shelby was born in 1890 in Birmingham, England, and was a second child of Arthur Shelby Sr. He is the leader of the Peaky Blinder criminal gang, ahead of the Shelby family and Shelby Company Limited. During the First World War, Thomas received drastic experience while serving as a sapper and it has changed his life forever. As awful as it sounds, it was the war that gave rise to the Shelby family’s success and made Thomas a strong and fearless leader. His leadership qualities, as well as his strategic and commanding abilities, made him the head of the family instead of his elder brother Arthur who is too hot-headed and impulsive to make important decisions. 

Tommy’s wife Grace Helen Shelby (née Burgess) worked as an Irish barmaid when she met her future husband. Graсe was born in Galway, Ireland in 1894. Before marrying Thomas Shelby, she was married to an American banker Clive Macmillan. Grace and Tommy’s son Charles Shelby was born in 1922. Tommy Shelby also has a daughter named Ruby. Her mother, a former prostitute Lizzie Stark, was previously engaged to John Shelby but the engagement was called off.  

Discover other famous people’s family trees both real and fiction by checking out the rest of the Treemily blog articles.  Share them with your friends and family or order a printed version of a tree to make a great gift for your loved ones.