Thursday, September 3, 2015

Federation of Genealogical Societies and Genealogy Gems Team Up To Bring New FGS Membership Benefit

FGS Members Will Gain Access to an Affordable Solution for Programming Directors: Genealogy Gems for Societies

September 3, 2015 — Austin, TX. The Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) and Genealogy Gems announced today their partnership which brings a convenient solution to society programming directors — Genealogy Gems for Societies — a national-level programming package that provides an even more affordable benefit to FGS Members.

This exciting new benefit provides a 25% discount on a complete 1-year package of Genealogy Gems for Societies subscription as well as a 10% discount on Lisa Louise Cooke’s best-selling book The Genealogist’s Google Toolbox, Second Edition. FGS Members can access this innovative benefit by logging in to the Members-only Area on FGS.org for their discount code.



"FGS is excited to be partnering with Genealogy Gems,” said D. Joshua Taylor, FGS President. “The opportunity to provide educational benefits for our member societies enriches the entire genealogical community as societies adapt and grow to meet the needs of today's members. This partnership offers FGS members access to a wide range of resources for their members and we look forward to working with Lisa Louise Cooke."

Providing societies a cost-effective way to deliver quality family history video presentations at regular meetings by internationally renowned speaker Lisa Louise Cooke takes the headache out of programming.

"Having served on the program committee of my local genealogy society in the past, I completely understand the challenges they face,” said Lisa Louise Cooke, founder and owner of Genealogy Gems. “There are a limited number of quality speakers in any given geographical area, and it can be expensive to bring in speakers from out of town. We created Genealogy Gems for Societies to help solve that challenge. We're excited to partner with FGS because they see the value in this service and we share the same commitment to supporting local societies. This is a new concept in genealogy programming, and we are here to help societies every step of the way."

Additionally, Lisa will be doing a live webinar as part of the 2015 FGS Webinar Series for societies later this month. The webinar Utilize the Power of Video for Your Society’s Programming and Marketing Efforts will be recorded and available afterwards to FGS Members only. Stay tuned to The Voice blog for further details on how to register for it. If your society is not a member, join FGS today to start accessing the suite of benefits an FGS Membership offers today’s society.

About the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS)

The Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) was founded in 1976 and represents the members of hundreds of genealogical societies. FGS links the genealogical community by helping genealogical societies and family history enthusiasts strengthen and grow through online resources, FGS FORUM magazine, and through its annual national conference which provides four days of excellent learning opportunities for both societies and family history enthusiasts. To learn more about FGS visit fgs.org. You can find FGS on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/FGSgenealogy, on Twitter @FGSgenealogy and on The Voice blog at http://voice.fgs.org.

About Genealogy Gems

Genealogy Gems is a genealogy and family history multi-media company founded in 2007 by Lisa Louise Cooke. Its flagship show, The Genealogy Gems Podcast, is the #1 genealogy podcast in iTunes, downloaded over 1.75 million times by listeners in 75 countries. Genealogy Gems delivers free quality genealogy content (podcasts, blog articles, weekly newsletter, and YouTube channel) to genealogy enthusiasts via the Genealogy Gems website and app (iOS, Android, Windows). Learn more about Genealogy Gems by visiting www.genealogygems.com, Facebook https://www.facebook.com/GenealogyGems, Twitter @LisaCooke, and Pinterest https://www.pinterest.com/lisalouisecooke.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

NEHGS Salutes Labor Day with FREE Access to Databases on AmericanAncestors.org

Family Historians May Commemorate Labor Day by Working FREE on Family History on AmericanAncestors.org September 2 through September 9


Family Historians May Commemorate Labor Day by Working FREE on Family History on AmericanAncestors.org September 2 through September 9

September 2, 2015—Boston, Massachusetts—To commemorate the Labor Day holiday, New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) is granting FREE Access to a large group of databases within its popular Census, Tax, and Voter List category on AmericanAncestors.org, its data-rich website.

The Census, Tax, and Voter Lists category is a collection of 40 separate databases containing a range of resources to provide information about the families who resided in the New England states between the 18th and 20th centuries. Other broader databases help to trace families as they moved to other areas of the United States. And a handful of European databases within the collection can assist researchers attempting to further document their family’s heritage.

Included within the collection are transcripts of the U.S. Federal Census, 1790—1880, and a variety of state and town tax records. Because these records often carry occupational information, researchers might uncover their ancestors diligently at work.

These databases from NEHGS will be open with FREE access to the public beginning Wednesday, September 2, through Wednesday, September 9. Registration is required at AmericanAncestors.org as a FREE Guest User to gain access to these valuable resources. Guest User accounts allow web visitors to use a limited suite of AmericanAncestors.org databases and access web content such as making purchases from the online store. Unlimited access to all 450+ million records and to other benefits is available through membership at NEHGS.

Family historians may start their Labor Day research at AmericanAncestors.org/laborday.

Ancestry Launches Largest Online Collection of Wills and Probate Records in United States


More than 170 million documents from 1668-2005 now available exclusively on Ancestry;
New collection provides a wealth of deeper stories about ancestors’ lives

(PROVO, Utah) – September 2, 2015 – More than 170 million pages from the largest collection of wills and probate records in the United States is now available online exclusively on Ancestry. With searchable records included from all 50 states spread over 337 years (1668-2005), this unprecedented collection launches a new category of records for family history research never before available online at this scale the United States.

Until now, these records have only been available offline. Ancestry spent more than two years bringing this collection online, working with hundreds of different archives from individual state and local courts across the country and making a $10M investment to license and digitize the records. The documents cover well over 100 million people, including the deceased as well as their family, friends and others involved in the probate process. Ancestry expects to continue to grow the collection, with additional records available over the next several years.

“Ancestry has worked hard over the past decade, to make available a variety of collections that can help the most seasoned family history expert and novices alike learn more about their ancestors,” said Todd Godfrey, Vice President of Global Content. “Ancestry’s vast collection of billions of unique historic records makes it the only place online that can give people such a comprehensive view into their family’s unique history.”

Today, state and federal census records are the most commonly searched collections in family history research, offering a variety of information that is important for building out your family tree. Wills however are one of the most desired types of records, as they can be a treasure trove of information that provides insight into your ancestors’ lives, loves, land, and possessions.

“Wills can offer an incredible view into the lives of your ancestors, going beyond names and dates, and providing insight into their personality, character, achievements, relationships, and more,” said Godfrey. “Reading these records you will find a deeper level of understanding about who your ancestors were, who they cared about, what they treasured, and how they lived.”

There is something for everyone in the new U.S. Wills and Probate collection on Ancestry, whether you are an experienced family historian or new to the pursuit. Some examples of what can be found in the collection include:

  • Rich Stories – A deeper level of understanding is possible when you learn about the more intricate details of your ancestors’ lives through their eyes; details that can tell new or more compelling stories of their everyday existence, and perhaps, shed light on their character and personality, as well as important subtext that can reflect the type of lifestyle, education, and status an ancestor may have had through language or possessions.
  • New Discoveries – Whether valuable heirlooms, sizable estates, or meager but treasured belongings to pass down, the riches of your ancestor’s lives can be found in a will. Family research can be fun when you “follow the money” and see who wound up with what or even, to which charities or organizations a person’s estate was entrusted.
  • Friends and Family Members – Many additional names can be found in a will in addition to the deceased. Wills can reveal new family members you didn't know about, and identify new connections, and tell more about the relationships between people mentioned in the will. Intriguing controversies can be seen as you read about those close to them who were included in the will, and those who were cut out.

With a collection that begins with wills from the mid 17th century running through the early 21st, last wishes and estates of notables citizens that helped shape the nation over the past three hundred years can be found in this new collection of Wills and Probates, including past Presidents, businessmen, entrepreneurs, sports legends, famous entertainers, artists and writers, scientists, and much, much more.

To celebrate the launch of the new U.S. Wills and Probates collection on Ancestry,, the collection along with all U.S. birth, marriage and death records, will be available to explore for FREE, September 2 (12pm MT) through September 7 (10pm MT).

About Ancestry

Ancestry is the world’s leading family history brand. Ancestry.com is the world's largest online family history resource with more than 2 million paying subscribers across all its websites. More than 16 billion records have been added, and users have created more than 70 million family trees on the core Ancestry websites, including the flagship site www.ancestry.com and its affiliated international websites. Ancestry offers a suite of online family history brands, including Archives.com, Fold3.com, Newspapers.com, as well as the AncestryDNA product, sold by its subsidiary, Ancestry.com DNA, LLC, all of which along with its core Ancestry websites, are designed to empower people to discover, preserve and share their family history.

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements involve a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated by these forward-looking statements. Such risks and uncertainties include a variety of factors, some of which are beyond the company’s control. In particular, such risks and uncertainties include the company's ability to add tools and features and provide value to satisfy customer demand. Information concerning additional factors that could cause events or results to differ materially is contained under the caption “Risk Factors” in the Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the company’s parent, Ancestry.com LLC, for the period ended June 30, 2015, which was filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on July 31, 2015, and in discussions in other of Ancestry.com LLC’s Securities and Exchange Commission filings. These forward-looking statements should not be relied upon as representing our views as of any subsequent date and we assume no obligation to publicly update or revise these forward-looking statements.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

American Ancestors and New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) Announce Annual Family History Day: a Day of Discovery and Learning about Family History on Saturday, October 3, in Boston, Massachusetts



“Share the Story of a Lifetime” is a One-Day Seminar Which Will Orient Beginners and Intermediates Alike to the Fundamentals of Researching Family History

September 1, 2015 – Boston, Massachusetts – American Ancestors and New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) are hosting a day of discovery and learning about family history on Saturday, October 3. From their headquarters in Boston, Massachusetts, the NEHGS staff of expert genealogists, historians, writers, and researchers will bring their knowledge and expertise to the Sheraton Boston Hotel in Boston, Massachusetts—where they invite the public to spend time learning about family history.

At Family History Day, themed “Share the Story of a Lifetime,” participants can learn the fundamentals of researching family history from some of the leading professionals in the field of genealogy. During this exclusive one-day seminar, NEHGS experts will demonstrate some of the best practices in genealogy and show patrons how to get the most from their prize-winning, data-rich website, AmericanAncestors.org. NEHGS staff will help all to explore new and essential resources, chat informally with participants, offer discounts on titles from the NEHGS bookstore, and share the latest happenings at NEHGS. A limited number of one-on-one consultations with NEHGS experts will be available throughout the day. At the day-long event, participants can connect with other family historians from all over Massachusetts and the New England and mid-Atlantic region.

With lectures and demonstrations, consultations, and exhibits—the NEHGS Family History Day program at the Sheraton Boston Hotel is packed with opportunities. NEHGS genealogists will present on a wide-variety of topics about “finding family stories”—in public and private records, military documents, and in the scientific analysis of DNA. Visit www.AmericanAncestors.org/fhd for a full schedule of the day’s activities.

The 2015 NEHGS Family History Day features the participation of findmypast, one of genealogy's largest family history online resources for researching and building your family tree. Findmypast representatives will be with NEHGS at the Sheraton Boston all day—where participants will have an opportunity to meet them, view exhibits, and explore how findmypast.com can help with uncovering a family’s past.

Registration for Family History Day is $50 per person. Students with a valid ID can register at the discounted rate of $40 per person. Groups of five or more are also eligible for the discounted registration of $40 per person. Group organizers may call 617-226-1226 for more information about group registration. Space is limited, so an early registration is encouraged!

For those participants who are new to NEHGS and American Ancestors and who register for Family History Day events, a free open house and reception is being held on Friday, October 2, at the NEHGS library and archives at 99-101 Newbury Street, Boston. Space is available for the first 200 registrants and consultations will be available.

One-on-one consultations with NEHGS genealogists on Friday and Saturday are offered at $30 per person (25 minutes), and a separate registration is required. A limited number of consultations are available and are expected to sell out quickly.

“Family stories connect us to loved ones, the past, and each other. Whether new to genealogy or researching for years, we encourage the public to take this opportunity to discover their family story with the family history experts,” stated Ginevra Morse, NEHGS Director of Education and Online Programs and coordinator of the event for the Society.

Registration for Family History Day is open at www.AmericanAncestors/fhd.