Welcome to the Anderson Family page at Surname Finder, a service of Genealogy Today. Our editors have compiled this checklist of genealogical resources, combining links to commercial databases along with user-contributed information and web sites for the Anderson surname. As additional sources for vital records, original documents, vintage photographs and surname-based DNA projects are discovered, this page is updated to offer the best list for researching Anderson ancestry. Share this page on Twitter!
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The Anderson Family Tree
It is important to remember that there is no single Anderson family tree, as last names were assigned to people for various reasons. We are often asked, How can I distinguish my Anderson ancestor from others of the same name? and you might be surprised at the answer.
Best Tree Collections for Discovering Anderson Ancestors
Patronymics is the practice of naming children using the given name (sometimes in a contracted form) of the father, grandfather, or other male ancestor followed by a suffix. In the case of Anderson, it is possible that one of your English ancestors was given the patronym for being the "son of Anders (or Andrew)." Please read "Patronymics and Other Naming Patterns" and "Patronymics: Help Not Hindrance," for further details.
Many things can go wrong when a record collection is indexed. If you're having diffculty finding Anderson ancestors in a particular database at one site, try finding it on another and compare the results. If you want to know What is the first census year to identify the informant in every Anderson household?, then read this frequently asked question.
Top Five Genealogy Databases to Search for Anderson
Vital records are essential for family history research because they were typically created at or near the time of the event, making the record more reliable. There are currently matching Anderson records at Ancestry.com! Start exploring this online Anderson family history resource today.
Origins of the Anderson Surname
There are no clear, concise answers to why or how one of your Anderson ancestors took on the surname. It may have been based on their occupation or a distinguising physical trait. Were you aware that Anderson is considered a very common surname, which offers its own set of challenges? The article "Researching Common Names" may be helpful for your research. Keep in mind that it was not unusual for a last name to be altered as an ancestor entered a new country.
According to An Etymological Dictionary of Family and Christian Names [page 52], the surname ANDERSON is defined as The son of Andrew.
Anderson DNA Projects
Don't believe the hype! When DNA testing was first made available for genealogical purposes, some companies boasted how it could solve all your Anderson family tree mysteries. DNA testing can be a useful tool, when applied properly to a given research issue. If you're not sure how DNA testing could aid your Anderson research, read "Utilizing DNA in Family History Research".
Anderson Family History
Every family has a different history, and every document you discover about your Anderson ancestors will help paint a picture that can be shared with your relatives. Our team of seasoned experts are here to help you learn about different aspects of genealogy. Reading "Using Social History To Fill In The Gaps In Family Histories" may help you think of some different tactics to compiling your Anderson family history.
Networking with Anderson Researchers
One of the best ways to solve a genealogy problem is by enlisting the help of others through a message board query that is open to the public, allowing you to cast a wide net that can be accessed by anyone, around the world and around the clock --- at the same time, because it is a public forum, you will want to exercise caution in posting personal information or information about living persons. The article "The Art of Posting Queries" provides some valuable tips for posting successful Anderson queries.
You may also want to consider posting a query to the Community Message Boards at Genealogy Today to get assistance from other researchers on your most elusive Anderson ancestors.
Anderson Achievements & CelebritiesDid you know that Anderson was the 11th most popular surname in the 1990 census of the United States?
Web Sites & Blogs with Anderson Research
If you are having difficulty locating records for the last name of Anderson, contact the folks at ProGenealogists for a free research estimate. You may also find it helpful to read, "When, Why and How to Hire a Professional Genealogist."
To recommend your web site/blog for inclusion on this page, please submit a link to the user-contributed directory at Genealogy Today. Your web page may appear once its content has been reviewed by our editors.
Recently Discovered ANDERSON Clippings and Mentions
Upcoming Anderson Family Reunions
Family reunions are an ideal time interview older relatives and other Anderson family members; you may want to consider a roundtable where you can gather different groups together at different times such as siblings to discuss their parents and childhood memories, cousins, aunts and uncles to discuss the grandparent generation, etc. - the collective memory and stimulus of shared experience can yield considerable information. The article "A Great Way to Unite a Newly-Found Family" may provide you with tips for hosting a successful Anderson reunion.