Chit ChatDiscovering My Surname Origin with #surnameproject

Discovering My Surname Origin with #surnameproject

Thank you for helping me learn about my family history.

I have always been fascinated with and the information that is available on the site. There are so many interesting things I had no idea my family did. I love finding old photos, military records and discovering where my family came from.

My grandparents are the ones that first got me started in genealogy. Since I can remember they have been collecting facts about the family and researching. I remember when I was little helping them type information, sort through paperwork to find something they needed and help create the family tree poster they always brought to family reunions. Through the years they’ve came across some really great things and now that I’m getting older I find that I have a lot more interest in researching my family history on both my side and my husbands.

I love seeing the little leaf pop up! That means that there’s more information that can be added to my tree!

On my mother’s side we’ve found out that we have originated from Ireland and we are on the search for some records that show their history in Ireland. We are kind of stuck on this point right now but more searching is needed so I’m sure we will find something.

Another interesting thing is how my ancestors spelled their name. For instance my grandmother last name was Whalin.. but many times in documents it would be spelled as Whallen, Whalen, Whallon, etc. All the other information would match up perfectly, it’s just the last name would be misspelled. After we would see the different spellings we would then search for that last name and some new clues (leafs) would pop up.

Cool Fact: My grandmother’s brother was in the military. I found out that his rank was as a Private in the 314th Infantry 79th Division and that he died in Nov 1944 and is buried in Saint-Avold, Lorraine, France. He also received a Purple Heart Medal. He is just one of many of my family members who were involved in the military and I love discovering things like that.. I had no idea!

Meet some of my family family from the late 1800’s to early 1900’s.

I also learned that my family owned a huge farm in the late 1800’s to early 1900’s. I can pick out a few of my great great grandparents when they were children just by some of the other pictures I saw when they were older.

Then on my father’s side I know someone has already done the research because we have some family information proving that we are related to Abraham Lincoln which is pretty cool. Since I have the paperwork on that my next step is to add that information to and see what other information I can find.  Our kids are learning about Abraham Lincoln in school right now so it will be a fun fact for them to share with their teacher when the time comes.

Do you know where your surname originated from? Are you working on your family tree?  Have you researched your family history and found something amazing? If you have, I would love to know! I love learning about those kinds of things.

Free Trial

Now it’s your turn! is offering a 14 day free trial to get you started with your family tree! All you have to do is click here to start discovering!

Tips For Using

  • Enter everything you know about your family. The more information and relatives you put in the tree the more search results and leafs you will get.
  • Use the Card Catalog which is located on the search drop down menu to find collections you want to search through.
  • Since last name spelling may change because people didn’t know how to spell it, try the wildcard when searching. You can do this by replacing a letter with a question mark or asterisk. For example a search using Sm?th might bring up results for Smith, Smyth, and other similar names.
  • Check out the census records. Many times I would come across someone in the census, from there I can verify or find out siblings, parents, occupations and more.


Ancestry is the world’s largest online resource for family history. Ancestry strives to fill the fundamental desire people have to understand who they are and where they came from. With a unique collection of billions of historical records, including handwritten historical documents and state and local government archives, Ancestry is the perfect place to learn fun and interesting facts about your family’s tree.


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