Welcome to the Ray 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 Ray 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 Ray ancestry. Share this page on Twitter!
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The Ray Family Tree
It is quite possible that someone else has already performed work on a Ray family tree, so be sure to examine some of the sources listed below carefully. Have you struck a Ray brick wall? Read "Searching For A Needle In An Ancestral Haystack" for some helpful advice.
Best Tree Collections for Discovering Ray Ancestors
Keep an open mind when searching through Ray 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 Ray research?, then read this frequently asked question.
Top Five Genealogy Databases to Search for Ray
Historical newspapers give us the ability to discover ancestral history through eyewitness accounts. There are currently matching Ray records at Ancestry.com! Start exploring this online Ray family history resource today.
Origins of the Ray Surname
There are no clear, concise answers to why or how one of your Ray ancestors took on the surname. It may have been based on their occupation or a distinguising physical trait. Were you aware that Ray 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.
Ray DNA Projects
DNA testing for genealogy continues to improve. If you had some of your Ray 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 Ray research, read "Utilizing DNA in Family History Research".
Ray Family History
Every family has a different history, and every document you discover about your Ray 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 Ray family history on the Internet? is always useful.
Networking with Ray 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 "The Art of Posting Queries" provides some valuable tips for posting successful Ray 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 Ray ancestors.
Ray Achievements & CelebritiesDid you know that Ray was the 173rd most popular surname in the 1990 census of the United States?
Web Sites & Blogs with Ray Research
If you are having difficulty locating records for the last name of Ray, 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 Ray 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 Ray 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 "A Great Way to Unite a Newly-Found Family" may provide you with tips for hosting a successful Ray reunion.