Posted by Ancestry Team on September 9, 2015 in Research

Queen Elizabeth II will become Britain’s longest reigning monarch today – having been on the throne for 63 years, seven months and two days, equalling the record held by her great-great grandmother, Queen Victoria.




 Top Five Queen Elizabeth II Facts


  • The Queen will have plenty of people to celebrate the milestone with; Our research reveals that 2 per cent of UK residents claim to have Royal ancestry in their family tree, the equivalent of more than 1.2 million people.[1]


  • A study of birth indexes has uncovered that the number of babies born with the name ‘Elizabeth’ increased by 6% the year after the monarch was born in 1926, the equivalent of 370 extra baby Elizabeths that year.


  • Analysis of historic marriage records reveals that following the union of Queen Elizabeth and The Duke of Edinburgh in 1947 there was a 35% increase in weddings that year.


  • The Queen may receive congratulations from some very famous relatives. Benedict Cumberbatch, Brad Pitt, Hugh Grant, Uma Thurman and Tom Hanks all have ancestral connections to British royalty.


  • Internationally Americans and Canadians are most fond of the Royals and would rather find a King or Queen in their family trees above any other kind of ancestor. Brits, Australians, Germans and Swedes most want to find an explorer or an adventurer.



Miriam Silverman, Senior Content Manager from Ancestry comments: “While no official celebrations are planned, today the Queen has made history and we wanted to mark the event with a few lesser-known facts and trends our researchers uncovered through the study of historic Royal records.”

“We know so much about the Queen but how much do we really know about our own notable ancestors? This record-breaking reign presents people with the perfect opportunity to get online and discover more about the life and times of their own ancestors – blue blooded or otherwise.”



Top Tips for Tracing Your Royal Ancestry


  • Explore surnames: Cross-reference surnames in your family tree with those found in Burke’s Commoners and Landed Gentry of Great Britain and Ireland


  • Seek out wealth: Look for evidence of wealthy ancestors. A high number of domestic staff listings on census records, property and businesses documented in wills and probate records and ancestors who were extensive travellers listed in immigration records travelling in First Class, are all signs people had money


  • Investigate titles: Explore the age and origins of any ancestors with titles, which are listed in the census


  • Look for places: If your family’s surname is also the name of a place – for example a town or a parish, it is possible they once owned significant property or had a title in the area


  • Find the Normans: Many early Normans had direct royal connections, so if you can trace back this far you may be able to find a link to William the Conqueror, or investigate the meaning of your surname and any potential Norman link.


[1] According to ONS, the current UK population is 64.6 million. 2% of 64.6 million = 1,292,000 people.


  1. Oh good grief, it’s back to social media. It’s taken years to smash down a half dozen of these supposed Royalty connections.

    Lets get real, about 90% of these connections are what some have self described as “fantasy trees,” and I’m not really here for roll play and fantasies.

  2. Jean

    It’s really cool when you find historical figures in your tree. One branch of mine has yielded surprising ancestors, none expected either way. Kings, writers, queens, Mayflower and on and on. My whole world-view has changed from the research. Can’t recommend it enough.

  3. Monika

    99% of your customers are probably not related to royalty (even though I have come across trees that have stolen pictures off my trees, “cropped” them and then claimed to be the original contributor of these pictures who also claimed to be descendants of Austrian royalty and their concubines…oh, PLEASE!)

  4. Monika

    99% of your customers are probably not related to royalty (even though I have come across trees that have stolen pictures off my trees, “cropped” them and then claimed to be the original contributor of these pictures who also claimed to be descendants of Austrian royalty and their concubines…oh, PLEASE!) Shows again that you are catering to social media and junkologists who need to feel that their heritage only has meaning if they can connect themselves to royalty. (Having said that, it was fun to discover that one of my husband’s second cousin was an Attorney General of the United States. But that discovery was made through every day research.)

  5. Monika

    The double message is due to the fact that your system took over and posted the first half of my message while I was still writing it. Fix these sort of things before you venture into New Ancestry and cater to junkologists ad the social media.

  6. George Browning, III

    My ancestors include Elizabeth (Betty) Washington Lewis and Col. George Armistead, Commander of Fort McHenry during War of 1812.

  7. sammiq

    It was a great surprise and quite heady to find one of my ancestors was married to Daniel Boone’s brother and another was Noah Webster of Webster-Merriam dictionary fame! why look for something like royalty which is a needle in a haystack? Let it come as you research. It is much more fun that way.

  8. helene russell

    I agree with Glen, There are a lot of what I call junk pedigrees out there, I try to do my own research or connect with pedigrees that have references and sources quoted and where to find them. I have discovered so called pedigrees when the father was dead by several years before the child was born and no IA in those days and another who died in New Zealand in the 1400’s, he wasn’t a Maori

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    If you do have an ancestor who had the right to bear arms, the best place to verify this is the College of Arms, but they are not cheap, but they do do a very thorough report, I found out that one of my ancestors just made his up.

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    She may be a constitutional monarch, but she does have power. Everything the nation does is in her name. She also has the right to to be consulted by and to warn her prime minister if he/she is doing something foolish.

    I the case of a minority government or “hung parliament” she has immense powers to determine who serves as prime minister.

    The Queen has the right to see each and every document produced by her government(s). She, theoretically, can refuse to sign legislation into law although she would never refuse unless she thought the legislation were unconstitutional.

    The Queen spends hours a day going through “her red boxes,” reading the documents and signing those that need her signature. She is more informed than the Prime Minister of Great Britain and, amazingly, has a great knowledge of what is going on in her other realms such as Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Many a prime minister of one of those countries can believe that she knows more of what is going on than they do!

    As I learned when had to do my microeconomics assignment on UK, this is not some lady who shirks her duty. The corgis and the horses are her relaxation, not her passion. Her passion is to serve and she has done so with remarkable grace.

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  12. Henry Weston

    It’s extremely cool when you find verifiable figures in your tree. One branch of mine has yielded amazing precursors, none expected in any case. Lords, Swot Analysis, rulers, Mayflower without any end in sight. My entire world-see has transformed from the exploration. Can’t prescribe it enough.

  13. I am surprised to see such information on this blog post, however great topic. I am spending more time to learn these days.
    Tips given for Tracing Your Royal Ancestry are very useful.

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