Welcome to the Paterson 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 Paterson 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 Paterson ancestry. Share this page on Twitter!
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The Paterson Family Tree
It is quite possible that someone else has already performed work on a Paterson family tree, so be sure to examine some of the sources listed below carefully. Have you struck a Paterson brick wall? Read "Genealogy's Most Popular Disbeliefs" for some helpful advice.
Best Tree Collections for Discovering Paterson Ancestors
Patronymics is the practice of naming children using the given name of the father, grandfather, or other male ancestor followed by a suffix. In the case of Paterson, it is possible that one of your English ancestors was given the patronym for being the "son of Pater." Please read "Patronymics and Other Naming Patterns" and "Patronymics: Help Not Hindrance," for further details.
Keep an open mind when searching through Paterson 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 city directories be used to help my Paterson research?, then read this frequently asked question.
Top Five Genealogy Databases to Search for Paterson
Historical newspapers give us the ability to discover ancestral history through eyewitness accounts. There are currently matching Paterson records at Ancestry.com! Start exploring this online Paterson family history resource today.
Origins of the Paterson Surname
While some countries have limited historical records for last name assignments, you are most likely to only find general guidance on the origin and meaning of the Paterson surname. Keep in mind that it was not unusual for a last name to be altered as an ancestor entered a new country.
Paterson 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 Paterson 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 Paterson research, read "Utilizing DNA in Family History Research".
Paterson Family History
Every family has a different history, and every document you discover about your Paterson 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 Paterson family history.
Networking with Paterson Researchers
When digging deeper into your ancestor's occupation, a great way to connect with others of a similar interest -- many who might have detailed information, is by posting a message board query giving clear information as to your ancestor's name and the specific occupation or organization, in time and place. The article "Are Your Queries Getting Results?" provides some valuable tips for posting successful Paterson 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 Paterson ancestors.
Paterson Achievements & CelebritiesDid you know that Paterson was the 3597th most popular surname in the 1990 census of the United States?
Web Sites & Blogs with Paterson Research
If you are having difficulty locating records for the last name of Paterson, 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 Paterson Family Reunions
Whenever possible, consider holding the family reunion in place where you have a strong Paterson family history, which provides opportunities to share stories and visit cemeteries or old home sites; you may even want to consider as a one-day activity, having each family take on the task of gathering information from the local courthouse, school district, public library, etc. -- this, of course, requires advance planning and assignment, but could generate considerable interest and results. The article "Family Reunions Don't Always Turn Out as one has Pictured" may provide you with tips for hosting a successful Paterson reunion.