The Barefoot Genealogist

Hi Everyone!  Crista Cowan here.

You may know me as The Barefoot Genealogist.

I hate wearing shoes. But, invariably, as I travel around the country doing genealogy research, I find that librarians and archivists don't love me running around their facilities in my bare feet.  Also, it gets pretty painful trekking through a cemetery without good, sturdy shoes on my feet.  That's why it makes me so happy that every passing day brings more and more genealogy and family history resources online.  I can do family history research AND be barefoot as often as I want.  And, that doesn't just make me happy - it makes my feet happy, too!

I'm here to share all of my best family tree climbing tips and tricks with you.  So, kick off your shoes and join me as we dive into our family history together, with our happy feet.


I have been employed at Ancestry® since 2004 and have been their Corporate Genealogist since 2011.  However, all of the content and opinions on this site are my own.
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Speaker Bio:


Crista has been a professional genealogist since 2002 and employed by Ancestry since 2004. Her involvement in family history, however, reaches all the way back to childhood when she was parked under a microfilm reader at the Family History Library in her baby carrier. Since then, she has spent thousands of hours discovering, documenting and telling family stories. As the Corporate Genealogist at Ancestry, she teaches at genealogy conferences and events around the world. She has produced and starred in more than 400 episodes of “The Barefoot Genealogist” since 2012. Past episodes of her show can be found on the Ancestry YouTube channel.


Outside of her responsibilities at Ancestry, Crista was a founding member and the first president of the Utah Valley Chapter of the Association of Professional Genealogists, a board member of the Utah Genealogical Association, and she currently serves as a director on the board of the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies. Her research specialties are solving unknown parentage using AncestryDNA and Jewish Immigration to the United States. But, her biggest passion is educating beginners so they can make the same exciting discoveries in family history that she has.


    I am the Corporate Genealogist for Ancestry®.  However, this site is not hosted by, sponsored by, or endorsed by Ancestry® in any way.