Friday, May 11, 2012

Ancestry.com Adds 10 Billionth Record to World's Largest Online Family History Resource

Leader in Online Family History Has More Than Doubled Its Collection of Family History Records in Last Three Years

PROVO, Utah, May 10, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Ancestry.com (Nasdaq:ACOM), the world's largest online family history resource, is celebrating the addition of its 10 billionth record to the website. Included in the extensive record collection are ship passenger lists, military draft cards, birth, marriage and death records and the most popular — U.S. Federal Census records.

Ancestry.com also offers unique and comprehensive collections that provide personal views into significant events in world history, such as the most comprehensive online collection of records relating to the passengers and crew aboard the RMS Titanic. Records such as these not only provide a glimpse into history, but also offer enlightening insights to people discovering their ancestors' names in a record collection for the first time.

"Big numbers and major milestones are impressive, but what we think really counts is our commitment to acquiring meaningful content to help our users illuminate their lives by linking them to stories of their families'," said Tim Sullivan, president and CEO of Ancestry.com. "The more records we collect, index and make searchable, the more widely impactful the user experience becomes, continuing our mission of helping everyone discover, preserve and share their family history."

The treasure trove of 10 billion-plus online records on Ancestry.com, which has grown 150 percent in the last three years, is larger than those of all other online family history sites combined. Although much of the increase in the record collections has been in recent years, the site overall has added an average of 55 million records a month since the website went online 15 years ago. Images of documents date back to wills executed in London in 1507 A.D., while indexes of records reach back more than seven centuries, to marriage licenses and probated wills in Dublin, Ireland, from 1270 A.D.

Ancestry.com helped pioneer the market for online family history research, changing an expensive and time-consuming pursuit for the few, into an easy-to-use, affordable and accessible online activity, both on its website and through mobile apps. The company has digitized and published records, and indexed them in a searchable format using proprietary big data analytics and put them online. Through the use of patent-pending technology, Ancestry.com can make semi-structured data fully searchable to help accelerate the pace of record availability to the user. The result of this powerful technology is a simple and enlightening way for consumers to explore their family history and make unexpected and informative discoveries about families, both past and present.

For example, to make the 10 billion-plus records easier to discover, the Ancestry.com Shaky Leaf™ feature associates and recommends certain records as personally relevant in the form of a "hint" displayed under individual ancestors' profiles. Shaky Leaf hints help users make often unexpected family discoveries by providing suggested record matches or a reference to a living relative's family tree. After a record is found users can easily attach new information or individuals to their family tree. Within the first quarter of 2012, Ancestry.com subscribers made 321 million discoveries, up 26% from the same period a year ago, many of which were found using the Shaky Leaf feature.

More than 1 billion of the records have been attached to users' trees on Ancestry.com. One Ancestry.com member, that has found great success in her family history research, is noted to have attached more than 600,000 records to her family tree. Donna Williamson has spent two hours every day for the past three years tracing her family history and making discoveries with each new record she uncovers.

"It's amazing. At first I just wanted to be a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution, but it has become so much more than that now," said Williamson. "Through records on Ancestry.com I found that I have such a rich heritage. I learned that my great grandfather was in a prisoner of war camp in the Civil War and also found that I am a descendant of a survivor of Jamestown, VA."

To help users get started, Ancestry.com offers a 14-day free trial to let interested family historians search the treasure trove of records and make discoveries of their own. For more details, visit www.ancestry.com.

About Ancestry.com

Ancestry.com Inc. (Nasdaq:ACOM) is the world's largest online family history resource, with more than 1.8 million paying subscribers. More than 10 billion records have been added to the site in the past 15 years. Ancestry users have created more than 34 million family trees containing approximately 4 billion profiles. In addition to its flagship site, Ancestry.com offers several localized Web sites designed to empower people to discover, preserve and share their family history.