Welcome to the Patterson 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 Patterson 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 Patterson ancestry. Share this page on Twitter!
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The Patterson Family Tree
It is quite possible that someone else has already performed work on a Patterson family tree, so be sure to examine some of the sources listed below carefully. Have you struck a Patterson brick wall? Read "Genealogy's Most Popular Disbeliefs" for some helpful advice.
Best Tree Collections for Discovering Patterson 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 Patterson, it is possible that one of your English ancestors was given the patronym for being the "son of Pate." Please read "Patronymics and Other Naming Patterns" and "Patronymics: Help Not Hindrance," for further details.
Keep an open mind when searching through Patterson 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 Patterson research?, then read this frequently asked question.
Top Five Genealogy Databases to Search for Patterson
Historical newspapers give us the ability to discover ancestral history through eyewitness accounts. There are currently matching Patterson records at Ancestry.com! Start exploring this online Patterson family history resource today.
Origins of the Patterson 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 Patterson surname. Were you aware that Patterson 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.
Patterson DNA Projects
DNA testing for genealogy continues to improve. If you had some of your Patterson 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 Patterson research, read "Basics of DNA Family History Research".
Patterson Family History
There is more to exploring your Patterson ancestry than just gathering a bunch of names and dates. Understanding where your ancestors lived, how they were employed, and what they did for fun, may give you a better appreciation of your heritage. Whether you are a beginner or expert genealogists, knowing Where can I find a biography of my Patterson ancestor? is always useful.
Networking with Patterson 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 Patterson 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 Patterson ancestors.
Patterson Achievements & CelebritiesDid you know that Patterson was the 87th most popular surname in the 1990 census of the United States?
Web Sites & Blogs with Patterson Research
If you are having difficulty locating records for the last name of Patterson, 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 Patterson Family Reunions
Whenever possible, consider holding the family reunion in place where you have a strong Patterson 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 Patterson reunion.