“Facial hair has moved in and out of fashion over the years and the historical record is full of shaggy characters,” said D. Joshua Taylor, findmypast.com’s lead genealogist. “When doing our own family history research, taking a break from our pedigrees to discover details about everything from profession to facial hair brings color to our family trees and brings us closer to our ancestors.”

Survey also finds that North Americans prefer the mustache and believe that facial hair commands respect

Because the search for family history often yields bewhiskered ancestors, findmypast.com, an international leader in online family history, conducted a survey to determine North America’s hairy preferences and favorite facial hair icon.

The online survey found that fake facial hair is preferred, as the top three facial hair icons are known to have imitation facial hair:

Comedian Groucho Marx, known for his fake mustache

  1. The Lorax, the beloved mustachioed hero from the classic Dr. Seuss book
  2. Seneca Crane, gamekeeper from the recent Hunger Games movie, played by Wes Bently and whose real beard took two hours to create every day

Rounding out the top ten facial hair icons are:

  1. Filmmaker and actor John Waters, known for his pencil-thin mustache
  2. Ambrose Burnside, a Union Army general in the American Civil War whose facial hair style coined the word sideburns
  3. Artist Salvador Dali whose mustache is as surreal as his art
  4. Funnyman Zach Galifianakis
  5. Fictional anchorman Tom Tucker from Family Guy
  6. Brian “Fear the Beard” Wilson, closing pitcher for San Francisco Giants
  7. Clark Gable, the famed American actor

The survey also examined facial hair preferences. Overwhelmingly respondents most enjoy the mustache, which took 72.8 percent of the vote, followed by the beard (14.6%), sideburns (6.8%) and a dashing combination of them all (5.8%). More than 70 percent of respondents also asserted that facial hair is as respected today as throughout history.

“Facial hair has moved in and out of fashion over the years and the historical record is full of shaggy characters,” said D. Joshua Taylor, findmypast.com’s lead genealogist. “When doing our own family history research, taking a break from our pedigrees to discover details about everything from profession to facial hair brings color to our family trees and brings us closer to our ancestors.”

Findmypast.com’s expertise at digitizing historical records and uniting communities provides the tools to help people connect with their past, present and future.

To learn more about findmypast.com or to get started on your own family history search: