Welcome to the Nelson 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 Nelson 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 Nelson ancestry. Share this page on Twitter!
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The Nelson Family Tree
Everyone has different reasons for building a family tree; your personal motiviation will influence whether the Nelson family tree has more depth or breadth. Have you struck a Nelson brick wall? Read "The 12 Essential Skills for Family Genealogists" for some helpful advice.
Best Tree Collections for Discovering Nelson 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 Nelson, it is possible that one of your English ancestors was given the patronym for being the "son of Neal." Please read "Patronymics and Other Naming Patterns" and "Patronymics: Help Not Hindrance," for further details.
Keep an open mind when searching through Nelson 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 Nelson research?, then read this frequently asked question.
Top Five Genealogy Databases to Search for Nelson
Census records are among the most useful records available for family tree building. There are currently matching Nelson records at Ancestry.com! Start exploring this online Nelson family history resource today.
Origins of the Nelson Surname
It is quite possible for two people with the Nelson last name to have been given that surname for entirely different reasons. Discovering the country from which your Nelson ancestors originated can often yield additional clues for the meaning of the surname. Were you aware that Nelson 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.
Nelson DNA Projects
DNA testing for genealogy continues to improve. If you had some of your Nelson relatives tested several years ago, it may be worthwhile to have them retested. Likewise, as DNA testing companies have gathered more results and samples, you may be able to find more matches if you search again with your test results. If you are seeking an answer to the question, How do I know which DNA test is right for Nelson research?, then this FAQ may help.
Nelson 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 Nelson 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 "Learning About Women - The Invisible Ancestors" may help you think of some different tactics to compiling your Nelson family history.
Networking with Nelson Researchers
As genealogy researchers, we are eternally grateful to come upon information shared by others that enlightens our research; and we can reciprocate by paying it forward in responding to message board queries and sharing our own information that others in down the road or in future generations may benefit. The article "Looking for John Smith - Focusing a Query" provides some valuable tips for posting successful Nelson 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 Nelson ancestors.
Nelson Achievements & CelebritiesDid you know that Nelson was the 39th most popular surname in the 1990 census of the United States?
Web Sites & Blogs with Nelson Research
If you are having difficulty locating records for the last name of Nelson, 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 Nelson 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 Nelson 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 "Planning Details For A Family Reunion" may provide you with tips for hosting a successful Nelson reunion.