Welcome to the Beckley 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 Beckley 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 Beckley ancestry. Share this page on Twitter!
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The Beckley Family Tree
It is important to remember that there is no single Beckley family tree, as last names were assigned to people for various reasons. We are often asked, How can I find the second married name of a female Beckley ancestor? and you might be surprised at the answer.
Best Tree Collections for Discovering Beckley Ancestors
Keep an open mind when searching through Beckley records. Years ago many people were unable to read and write, thus a given ancestor's name could be spelled in a variety of ways depending on who recorded it. If you want to know How can I locate old newspapers for Beckley research?, then read this frequently asked question.
Top Five Genealogy Databases to Search for Beckley
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 Beckley records at Ancestry.com! Start exploring this online Beckley family history resource today.
Origins of the Beckley Surname
There are no clear, concise answers to why or how one of your Beckley ancestors took on the surname. It may have been based on their occupation or a distinguising physical trait. 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 67], the surname BECKLEY is defined as Local. The meadow or pasture by the brook, from beck, a brook, and ley, field or meadow.
Beckley DNA Projects
While DNA testing cannot conclusively tell you if two Beckley ancestors were related, it can easily prove if they weren't. Be sure you understand what types of research issues each different DNA test can address before you spend any money. If you're not sure how DNA testing could aid your Beckley research, read "Utilizing DNA in Family History Research".
Beckley Family History
For most people, just about every aspect of their life has been influenced in some way by their ancestors. Look beyond the names and dates to understand how and why your Beckley ancestors lived and strived to make a better life for their descendants. Our team of seasoned experts are here to help you learn about different aspects of genealogy. Reading "Looking at Our Ancestors" may help you think of some different tactics to compiling your Beckley family history.
Networking with Beckley Researchers
When you've come up against a brick wall in your genealogy research, posting a message board query can help; one of the biggest benefits is that message board queries are accessed through search engines, which means even someone not specifically engaged in genealogy but interested in your subject may find your query and bring valuable new information to the table -- it happens! The article "The Art of Posting Queries" provides some valuable tips for posting successful Beckley 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 Beckley ancestors.
Beckley Achievements & CelebritiesDid you know that Beckley was the 6825th most popular surname in the 1990 census of the United States?
Web Sites & Blogs with Beckley Research
If you are having difficulty locating records for the last name of Beckley, 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.
Upcoming Beckley Family Reunions
Notifying everyone in advance to bring old photos and documents can bring big rewards, making a special place at the reunion (maybe even a special Beckley booth) where people can come at their leisure to sit, look and chat; in addition to information and clues that might be written on the back of a photo, every photograph has a story and serves as an excellent stimulus to recall -- people might comment not only on the people in the photo, but also on what's in the background, or they might have information around where the photo was taken or the event -- just be sure to have someone there to capture new information. The article "A Great Way to Unite a Newly-Found Family" may provide you with tips for hosting a successful Beckley reunion.