Welcome to the Brian 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 Brian 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 Brian ancestry. Share this page on Twitter!
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The Brian Family Tree
It is important to remember that there is no single Brian 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 Brian ancestor? and you might be surprised at the answer.
Best Tree Collections for Discovering Brian Ancestors
Sometimes two people can look at the same handwritten record, and come up with different spellings of the name. Be creative when searching for your Brian ancestors -- we often search for misspellings intentionally to see if we missed any records. If you want to know Why can't I find Brian my ancestor in the SSDI?, then read this frequently asked question.
Top Five Genealogy Databases to Search for Brian
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 Brian records at Ancestry.com! Start exploring this online Brian family history resource today.
Origins of the Brian Surname
It is quite possible for two people with the Brian last name to have been given that surname for entirely different reasons. Discovering the country from which your Brian ancestors originated can often yield additional clues for the meaning of the surname. 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 79], the surname BRIAN is defined as The nobly descended, from Bri, dignity, honor, and an, diminutive of that to which it is annexed, belonging to it; Gaelic, gin or gen, begotten. Bri, Welsh, honor; briadd, honorary. Bailey derives Brian from Briant, French, clamorous. Brian, in the Gaeli
Brian 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 Brian family tree mysteries. DNA testing can be a useful tool, when applied properly to a given research issue. If you are seeking an answer to the question, How do I know which DNA test is right for Brian research?, then this FAQ may help.
Brian 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 Brian 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 "The Role Of History In Genealogical Research" may help you think of some different tactics to compiling your Brian family history.
Networking with Brian 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 "Looking for John Smith - Focusing a Query" provides some valuable tips for posting successful Brian 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 Brian ancestors.
Brian Achievements & CelebritiesDid you know that Brian was the 6239th most popular surname in the 1990 census of the United States?
Web Sites & Blogs with Brian Research
If you are having difficulty locating records for the last name of Brian, 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 Brian 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 Brian 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 Brian reunion.