We all strive to know where we came from. The feelings that make us whole, knowing were our roots were first planted. Discovering the history of our names can take up to five minutes, or we can search a lifetime.
Go over to- http://www.ancestry.com/learn/facts/default.aspx -. You'll need to type in your last name in the box available. After you click "Search Now" it should bring up the meaning and history of your last name. You can also type your first name in the box that comes up directly below the information detailing your last name. Click "Check meaning" which will give you more information that relates to your first name as well as your last name.
Below all this information about your name you will notice there are some "Family Facts" that relate to things such as "Civil War Service" and "Place of Origin". There plenty of other facts on this page that help us research our last names.
If you would like to continue to gather more information go to- http://genealogy.about.com/c/ec/1.htm -. This page offers a free online class called "Intro to Genealogy". The class helps give tips, techniques, and advice while you navigate your family tree.
If a class is not the answer go to- http://forums.about.com/n/pfx/forum.aspx?nav=messages&webtag=ab-genealogy -. This is an online genealogy forum that can help answer a lot of detailed questions about name origin.
If forums were never your thing call 1-800-262-3787. This is a toll free number provided by http://www.ancestry.com for beginners to ask questions and to get tips on name research.
If you still quest for more name knowledge there are other paid services such as- http://www.progenealogists.com -. Paid services can be good due to their experience researching surnames. The main con of a paid service is that they can sometimes be very expensive, especially if you need a lot of information.
If you would like to do the research yourself head down to your local library. Many public libraries have or can point you to a place where your town keeps records of their births, deaths, and marriages. These records can sometimes help uncover a lot of history.
While at the library take a look at their selection. You can usually find a lot of good genealogy books there that can point you in the right direction. There are usually a lot of books that span the entire spectrum all the way from beginner to advanced methods of uncovering the past.