30 September 2013

Ancestry.com and FamilySearch to Make a Billion Global Records Available Online

Just in case you missed this announcement here it is again..

Groundbreaking Agreement to Deliver Valuable Historical Content Over the Next Five Years

PROVO, Utah, September 5, 2013 – Ancestry.com and FamilySearch International (online at FamilySearch.org), the two largest providers of family history resources, announced today an agreement that is expected to make approximately 1 billion global historical records available online and more easily accessible to the public for the first time. With this long-term strategic agreement, the two services will work together with the archive community over the next five years to digitize, index and publish these records from the FamilySearch vault.

The access to the global collection of records marks a major investment in international content as Ancestry.com continues to invest in expanding family history interest in its current markets and worldwide. Ancestry.com expects to invest more than $60 million over the next five years in the project alongside thousands of hours of volunteer efforts facilitated by FamilySearch.

“This agreement sets a path for the future for Ancestry.com and FamilySearch to increasingly share international sets of records more collaboratively,” said Tim Sullivan, CEO of Ancestry.com. “A significant part of our vision for family history is helping provide a rich, engaging experience on a global scale. We are excited about the opportunities it will bring to help benefit the family history community and look forward to collaborating with FamilySearch to identify other opportunities to help people discover and share their family history.”

The organizations will also be looking at other ways to share content across the two organizations. Both organizations expect to add to the already digitized records shared across the two websites in addition to new record projects to be completed over the next five years.

"We are excited to work with Ancestry.com on a vision we both share," said Dennis Brimhall, President of FamilySearch. "Expanding online access to historical records through this type of collaboration can help millions more people discover and share their family's history."

This marks a groundbreaking agreement between the two services. But the two organizations aren’t strangers to working with each other; hundreds of millions of records have already been shared and are available on Ancestry.com and FamilySearch.org. The companies also announced in early 2013 an additional project where they plan to publish 140 million U.S. Wills & Probate images and indexes over the next three years—creating a national database of wills and other probate documents spanning 1800-1930 online for the very first time.

Ancestry.com LLC Acquires Find A Grave, Inc.

From our friends at Ancestry.com:

PROVO, Utah, September 30, 2013 – Ancestry.com LLC announced today it has acquired Find A Grave, Inc., the leading online cemetery database.

With over 100 million memorials and 75 million photos, Find A Grave has amassed an unparalleled collection of burial information. Over the past 18 years, it has grown to become an invaluable resource for genealogists, history buffs and cemetery preservationists. Find A Grave will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Ancestry.com, and will continue to be managed by its founder, Jim Tipton.

“Find A Grave is an amazing phenomenon supported by a passionate and engaged community of volunteers around the world,” said Tim Sullivan, CEO of Ancestry.com.  “We at Ancestry.com are so excited…honored really…to take on the responsibility of supporting this community.  We will maintain Find A Grave as a free website, will retain its existing policies and mode of operation, and look forward to working with Jim Tipton and the entire Find A Grave team to accelerate the development of tools designed to make it even easier for the Find A Grave community to fulfill its original mission to capture every tombstone on Earth.”

Ancestry.com plans to bolster the resources dedicated to Find A Grave to launch a new mobile app, improve customer support, introduce an enhanced edit system for submitting updates to memorials, foreign-language support, and other site improvements.

“Ancestry.com has been a long-time supporter of Find A Grave. They have been linking and driving traffic to the site for several years,” said Jim Tipton, founder of Find A Grave. “Burial information is a wonderful source for people researching their family history and I look forward to working with Ancestry.com to help continue our growth and accelerate the pace of improvements.”

The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

11 September 2013

Riverton Family History Library Seminar - GeneTech: Y-DNA Solutions to Common Genealogical Problems

DNA testing has become an accepted tool for identifying ancestors. Information stored in the Y-chromosome passes virtually unchanged from father to son for centuries. Analysis of this genetic information, found in living people, can help determine whether or not you share a common ancestor with another person alive today. Computer algorithms predict approximately how long ago the common ancestor lived. These results have many genealogical applications.

Nathan W. Murphy, MA, AG, works at FamilySearch in the Patron Services Division. He holds degrees in family and local history from Brigham Young University and the University of Leicester (the English university that recently discovered King Richard III’s remains). He has assisted more than 25 clients through DNA testing. His own Murphy Y-DNA originates near County Cork, Ireland.

Following this keynote presentation from 9:00 to10:00 a.m., two blocks of four classes each are offered that cover topics of interest for beginning, intermediate, and advanced family history enthusiasts.

10:15 to 11:15 a.m. Choose one of the following four classes:

“Introduction to the Church History Library for LDS Research” by Jay Burrup

“Writing Family Histories” by Mike Grimshaw

“Find Your Ancestors at Home Using Thousands of Free Sites” by Boyd Willden

“Dropbox and RecordSeek’s Tree Connect: Tools for Adding Sources to Family Tree” by Tom Stubben 

11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Choose one of the following four classes:

“Introduction to Research in LDS Branch, Ward, Stake, District, and Mission Records” by Jay Burrup

“Bite-size Pieces: Writing Your Personal History” by RoseAnn Fisher

“Questions, Clues, and Strategies for Genealogy Research” by Diana Toland

·         RootsMagic Features That Enhance the Software¾Paul Hyer

Registration is not required for this free seminar. The Riverton FamilySearch Library is located in the LDS Riverton Office Building at 3740 West Market Center Drive. The facility is near the intersection of Bangerter Highway and 13400 South, just east of The Home Depot.

Utah Valley Technology and Genealogy Group Meeting (UVTAGG) - Not a member -That's OK!

The next regular, second-Saturday-of-the-month meeting of the Utah Valley Technology and Genealogy Group - UVTAGG (Formerly the Utah Valley PAF Users Group - UVPAFUG) will be on Saturday, 14 Sep 2013, from 9 am to noon in the LDS "Red Chapel", 4050 North Timpview Drive (650 East), Provo.  
The main presentation this month will be by Bret Petersen on MAKING THE MOST OF YOUR MOBILE DEVICES.  Mobile devices are all around us with smartphones, tablets, and other devices.  We use them for communicating, playing games and maybe keeping our calendar up-to-date. However, many don't realize all of the ways that they can help in our genealogy research.  Come with us as we explore some of the many ways that one might make the most of the power behind these devices.  

After the main presentation the following classes are scheduled.  Check the meetings page at http://uvtagg.org/ for last minute changes or additions.   

  (1)  The Shady Side of the Family Tree: Prison, Criminal, Asylum and Other Records, by Bret Petersen;  
  (2)  A Comparison: Ancestral Quest, RootsMagic, and a Touch of Legacy, by Bud Wood;  
  (3)  Advanced Animap, by Marilyn Thomsen;  
  (4)  Video of last month's main presentation: Zap the Grandma Gap: 10 Best Ideas to Leap the Generation Gap, by Janet Hovorka;  
  (5)  Ask An Expert (Personal Help), by Don Engstrom and Finn Hansen;  
  (6)  MAC: Getting Started with Reunion and MAC Essentials, by Ron Snowden;  
  (7)  RootsMagic, by Sue Maxwell;  
  (8)  Ancestral Quest, by Merlin Kitchen; and  
  (9)  Legacy, by Dean Bennett.

All meetings of UVTAGG are open to the public whether members of the Group or not. The Group has the goal of helping individuals use technology to further their family history and there are usually about 100 attending the monthly meetings on the second Saturdays.  Many members don't live close enough to participate in the monthly meetings, but belong by paying $10 per year, so they can receive the monthly newsletter via email and purchase DVDs of the presentations and classes.  Gift memberships are wonderful presents for family history-minded relatives, friends, and Family History Consultants.