Researching My Family’s History {Plus a Free Trial to}

by Chrystal Johnson on August 18, 2014

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family-treeThis is sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of All opinions are my own. 

I have always had an interest in my family tree. I remember the first time I built a family tree. It was for my 3rd grade class assignment. It was really fun talking to my grandparents about my family’s past and hearing all of the immigration stories.

My family immigrated to the US from all over Europe at different times. One of my great, great grandfathers even stowed away on a boat from Poland!

Over the years, I have built an extensive family tree on It’s amazing the information you can find and how quickly you can discover your family’s history.

You get started by inputting the family members you know, and then provides you with hints. These hints could be census or military records for people in your tree, or they could be clues to help you build your tree out further.

By merging my family tree with information from other public trees, I have been able to trace my history back to Kings in various European countries. It’s quite interesting! I can really lose myself in the website if I’m not careful – it’s just so fascinating!

Through, I also was able to discover the meaning of my maiden name. Phipps is English in origin, and it is patronymic, which means a name derived from the name of a father or ancestor, from a reduced form of Philip. My married name is English and Scottish in origin, and is also patronymic.

By the time my girls are grown, I would love to have my family’s entire history mapped out on so our family’s history isn’t lost through time. I’d love to attach pictures from any of the relatives I have pictures for so that no one is forgotten, and post stories about everyone.

I have tons of old photos, like this one of my with my Great Grandfather:

great-grandpaAnd this one playing games with my Great Grandmother:


I would love to upload all of these photos I have to, where they can be kept safe my my children, and my children’s children. Of course, that will take a lot of time and dedication, but I think it would be a wonderful gift to pass down through the generations to come.

Are you a member of If not, I encourage you to explore the origins and meanings of your last name by signing up for a free trial with You never know what you might find!

Click here to get started with your free trial.


About Chrystal Johnson

Chrystal, publisher of Happy Mothering, is a mother of two sweet girls who believes in living a simple, natural lifestyle. A former marketing manager, Chrystal spends her time researching green and eco-friendly alternatives to improve her family's life. She enjoys sharing those discoveries with anyone who's willing to listen.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 amanda @attachedmoms August 18, 2014 at 11:58 pm

I actually was big into ancestry 15 years ago. I traced back pretty far. I have a few places more I want to visit in Europe and Russia to see “where” I came from.
amanda @attachedmoms recently posted..Who sponsors the cleanup? Dahi Handi Thane – The Aftermath


2 heather August 19, 2014 at 5:47 am

With the recent passing of my grandmother, my cousins, siblings and I have vowed to take over researching the family history. It’s amazing how much was lost when we all grew up in different parts of the country. I think that if we truly cherished the past, our futures would be so much brighter!
heather recently posted..Raw Blueberry Jam recipe


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