Welcome to the West 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 West 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 West ancestry. Share this page on Twitter!
Completed by on
The West Family Tree
It is quite possible that someone else has already performed work on a West family tree, so be sure to examine some of the sources listed below carefully. Have you struck a West brick wall? Read "Soundex Sorts Out Family Names" for some helpful advice.
Best Tree Collections for Discovering West Ancestors
Keep an open mind when searching through West 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 West research?, then read this frequently asked question.
Top Five Genealogy Databases to Search for West
Historical newspapers give us the ability to discover ancestral history through eyewitness accounts. There are currently matching West records at Ancestry.com! Start exploring this online West family history resource today.
Origins of the West 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 West surname. Were you aware that West 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.
West DNA Projects
DNA testing for genealogy continues to improve. If you had some of your West 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're not sure how DNA testing could aid your West research, read "Basics of DNA Family History Research".
West Family History
Every family has a different history, and every document you discover about your West ancestors will help paint a picture that can be shared with your relatives. Whether you are a beginner or expert genealogists, knowing How do I find my West family history on the Internet? is always useful.
Networking with West Researchers
In the course of genealogy research, collaboration is key -- we really cannot do it alone, and one of the great benefits of participating in community message boards is building relationships that not only enlightens our research but strengthens bonds across the miles. The article "Are Your Queries Getting Results?" provides some valuable tips for posting successful West 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 West ancestors.
West Achievements & CelebritiesDid you know that West was the 109th most popular surname in the 1990 census of the United States?
Web Sites & Blogs with West Research
If you are having difficulty locating records for the last name of West, 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 WEST Clippings and Mentions
Upcoming West Family Reunions
One key to a successful West reunion is preparation, and for the family researcher that means getting the word out in advance on what to bring (such as the family photo collection); arranging for the display of shared information; and planning activities conducive to sharing; and one of the best ways to get others to participate is in bringing something of your own to share such a picture pedigree, compiled family history or biographical sketch, or even a copies of a treasured photo as a gift for each family -- you may even want to consider putting together a reunion newsletter in advance to be distributed at the reunion, asking for help in solving one or more specific family mysteries: you never know who might have insight they are willing to share, one-on-one. The article "Reunions: Beyond Aunt Pat's Rhubarb Pie and Aunt Edna's Wet Kisses" may provide you with tips for hosting a successful West reunion.