Monday, April 30, 2012

1940 U.S. Census Volunteer Indexing Project Surpasses All Expectations

30 April 2012

The 1940 U.S. census indexing project was launched this April as part of a broad online community effort. Images and indexing projects for all states and territories in the 1940 census are now online. Of all the different types of historic records available to index, volunteers love census records the most, and it shows in the record-breaking levels of activity we’ve seen in the past three weeks.

  • Over 85,000 volunteers have already completed 20 percent of the census project.
  • A record number of active indexers used the program in a single day—34,947 volunteers.
  • In one day more than 3.2 million records were indexed and 1.5 million were arbitrated.

Remember, this work is being accomplished by volunteers, and they keep coming: thousands are still signing up weekly. As a result, millions of people will soon be able to search every name that was recorded in the 1940 U.S. census. Follow this never before seen indexing progress at FamilySearch.org.

Current and Completed Projects

To view a list of currently available indexing projects, along with their record language and completion percentage, visit the FamilySearch indexing updates page. To learn more about individual projects, visit the FamilySearch projects page.

New Projects Recently Added

  • France, Diocèse de Coutances et Avranches—Registres Paroissiaux, 1796–1880 [3e partie]
  • Brasil, Rio de Janeiro—Cartões de Imigração, 1900–1965 [Parte 3A]
  • U.S., Hawaii—1940 Federal Census
  • U.S., Iowa—1940 Federal Census
  • U.S., Kentucky—1940 Federal Census
  • U.S., New Mexico—1940 Federal Census
  • U.S., South Carolina—1940 Federal Census
  • U.S., West Virginia—1940 Federal Census
  • U.S.—Index to Service Records of Soldiers in the War with Spain, 1898
  • U.S., Alaska—1940 Federal Census
  • U.S., Nevada—1940 Federal Census
  • U.S., New Jersey—1940 Federal Census
  • U.S., North Dakota—1940 Federal Census
  • U.S., Tennessee—1940 Federal Census
  • U.S., Vermont—1940 Federal Census
  • U.S., Connecticut—1940 Federal Census
  • U.S., District of Columbia—1940 Federal Census
  • U.S., Idaho—1940 Federal Census
  • U.S., Maine—1940 Federal Census
  • U.S., Michigan—1940 Federal Census
  • U.S., North Carolina—1940 Federal Census
  • U.S., Rhode Island—1940 Federal Census
  • U.S., Washington—1940 Federal Census
  • U.S., Wisconsin—1940 Federal Census
  • U.S., Wyoming—1940 Federal Census
  • U.S., Arizona—1940 Federal Census
  • U.S., Arkansas—1940 Federal Census
  • U.S., Georgia—1940 Federal Census
  • U.S., Missouri—1940 Federal Census
  • U.S., Missouri—1940 Federal Census [Part A]
  • U.S., Montana—1940 Federal Census
  • U.S., Ohio—1940 Federal Census
  • U.S., South Dakota—1940 Federal Census
  • U.S., Illinois—1940 Federal Census
  • U.S., Indiana—1940 Federal Census
  • U.S., Maryland—1940 Federal Census
  • U.S., Massachusetts—1940 Federal Census
  • U.S., Nebraska—1940 Federal Census
  • U.S., New York—1940 Federal Census
  • U.S., Texas—1940 Federal Census
  • U.S., Alabama—1940 Federal Census
  • U.S., California—1940 Federal Census
  • U.S., Minnesota—1940 Federal Census
  • U.S., Pennsylvania—1940 Federal Census
  • U.S., Florida—1940 Federal Census
  • U.S., Louisiana—1940 Federal Census
  • U.S., Mississippi—1940 Federal Census
  • U.S., Oklahoma—1940 Federal Census
  • U.S., Virginia—1940 Federal Census

View the FamilySearch Projects page to see the full list of available projects and to learn more about how to participate.

Recently Completed Projects

(Note: Recently completed projects have been removed from the available online indexing batches and will now go through a final completion check process. They will be published at familysearch.org in the near future.)

  • Belgique—Registres Civile, 1851–1900 [Partie C]
  • Canada, Prince Edward Island—Baptism Card Index, 1721–1885
  • Deutschland, Mecklenburg, Schwerin—1867 Volkszählung
  • Guatemala, Guatemala—Registros Civiles 1800–1900
  • Österreich—Wiener Meldezettel
  • Russland, Sankt Petersburg—Kirchenbuchduplikat 1833–1885
  • South Africa, Cape Province—Church Records 1660–1970
  • Sverige, Örebro—Kyrkoböcker, till 1860 [Del 5]
  • UK, England and Wales—1871 Census for London and Surrey [Part C]
  • UK, England and Wales—1871 Census for London and Surrey [Part D]
  • U.S., Alabama—County Marriages, 1809–1950 [Part C]
  • U.S., Colorado—1940 Federal Census
  • U.S., Delaware—1940 Federal Census
  • U.S., Indiana, Noble County Marriages—1811–1959
  • U.S., Kansas—1940 Federal Census
  • U.S., Michigan—Port of Detroit Manifests, 1906–1954
  • U.S., New Hampshire—1940 Federal Census
  • U.S., Oregon—1940 Federal Census
  • U.S., Oregon, Roseburg—National Homes for Disabled Soldiers, 1866–1938
  • U.S., Tennessee—County Marriages, 1790–1950 [Part F]
  • U.S., Texas—Deaths, 1890–1976 [Part A]
  • U.S., Utah—1940 Federal Census
  • U.S., Virginia—1940 Federal Census
  • U.S.—WWI Draft Registration Cards, 1917–1918 [Part 1A]

About FamilySearch

FamilySearch International is the largest genealogy organization in the world. FamilySearch is a nonprofit, volunteer-driven organization sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Millions of people use FamilySearch records, resources, and services to learn more about their family history. To help in this great pursuit, FamilySearch and its predecessors have been actively gathering, preserving, and sharing genealogical records worldwide for over 100 years. Patrons may access FamilySearch services and resources free online at FamilySearch.org or through over 4,600 family history centers in 132 countries, including the main Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah.

David L. Greene, PhD, FASG: “Becoming a Genealogist” New Release in Voices of Genealogy Video Series

ARLINGTON, VA, 30 APRIL 2012: In celebration of the 100th anniversary of the National Genealogical Society Quarterly, NGS has created for its members a historical archive of interviews with some of the most distinguished genealogists in the discipline. Among them are the editors of the major US genealogical journals.

The fourth release in the NGS video series Voices of Genealogy presents another editor of a leading genealogical journal: David L. Green, PhD, FASG, co-editor of The American Genealogist (TAG). The American Genealogist, founded by Donald Lines Jacobus, is the country’s oldest independent genealogical journal. In “Becoming a Genealogist” Green tells the story of how he discovered genealogy through his grandmother’s DAR papers and massive lineage charts that looked like “basketball playoffs” groupings. He describes ancestor hunting trips to the Historical Society of Pennsylvania during grad school as a respite from his dissertation and deciding to subscribe to TAG as a young man. Inspired to create “good genealogy” after reading journal articles, Greene relates his journey to becoming co-editor of The American Genealogist in 1984 by studying writers like Mary Lovering Holman and her careful explanations of how a conclusion was reached and Milton Rubicam, who he considers may be the best editor in the field of genealogy. Dr. Green has now continuously co-edited TAG for twenty-eight years.

In a future episode Dr. Greene will describe his own research, notably his studies of the personalities involved in the Salem witch trials. He recently retired as Professor of English and former Chair of the Division of Humanities at Piedmont College, Demorest, Georgia.

The video was produced by award winning filmmakers Kate Geis and Allen Moore from an interview by Melinde Lutz Byrne, CG, FASG, co-editor of the National Genealogical Society Quarterly. David L. Green, PhD, FASG, “Becoming a Genealogist,” is now playing for all NGS members at http://www.ngsgenealogy.org.

Video interviews represent just one of the many opportunities NGS offers its members for becoming successful genealogists. Members receive the society’s outstanding publications, The National Genealogical Society Quarterly and the NGS Magazine, and can also take advantage of free courses and significant discounts on publications, courses, and the NGS annual conference to be staged in Cincinnati 9–12 May 2012 and in Las Vegas 8–11 May 2013.

Founded in 1903, the National Genealogical Society is dedicated to genealogy education, high research standards, and the preservation of genealogical records. The Arlington, Virginia-based nonprofit is the premier national society for everyone, from the beginner to the most advanced family historian, seeking excellence in publications, educational offerings, research guidance, and opportunities to interact with other genealogists.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Jamboree Youth Scholarships Announced


SCGS has instituted a new Jamboree scholarship program for aspiring genealogists and family historians between the ages of 18 and 29 as of June 8, 2012. The scholarship will cover basic registration for the conference, which will be held June 8-10, 2012 in Burbank, California.

These young people will be admitted to Jamboree at a substantial discount. The special registration fee is $15 per day or $25 for all three days.

Tickets can also be purchased before May 28, 2012 for Thursday tours, pre-conference sessions, breakfasts, the Hollywood Gala on Friday evening and Hank Jones banquet on Saturday evening. These tickets are available at regular conference prices.

Scholarship recipients will receive a CD copy of the syllabus and may participate in class sessions, use of Tech Zone computers, Research Assistance provided by SCCAPG, scanning provided by Ancestry.com, and other activities reserved for paid attendees.

Regular-priced tickets can be purchased for Thursday pre-conference sessions, tours, breakfasts, the Hank Jones banquet on Saturday night, and the Hollywood GALA on Friday evening before May 28, 2012.

Online scholarship registration will be held pending receipt of a copy of the government-issued ID.  Photos of  IDs may be sent by email to Jamboree@scgsgenealogy.com (subject line SCHOLARSHIP ID) or US Postal mail to Jamboree Scholarship, SCGS, 417 Irving Drive, Burbank, CA 91504.  Proof of age must be received by SCGS no later than midnight May 28, 2012, or your Jamboree registration will be cancelled. 

A limited number of sponsorship slots are available. 

Scholarship funds were provided through the sale of raffle tickets for the 2011 Jamboree Quilt, which was created by members of GeneaQuilters, the Facebook group, and others in the genealogical community. We are very grateful for their support. 
 

Southern California Genealogy Jamboree
June 8-10, 2012

Root Cellar releases five publications in the Sacramento County Coroner’s Records Collection series, 1887-1969

Family history researchers with ties to Sacramento County California have more valuable resources for finding clues about their elusive ancestor. Root Cellar Sacramento Genealogical Society has just published five new volumes of the Sacramento County Coroner’s Records Collection 1887-1969.

Volume VI – Book 13: Coroner’s Register – Indexed with information from January 1935 through December 1940. Details: 2,714 names; 240 pages; 8½" x 11" soft cover; Price: $20.00 plus tax, shipping and handling.

Volume VII – Book 14: Coroner’s Inquiry Register with information from January 1941 through December 1947. Details: 4,438 names; 263 pages; 8½" x 11" soft cover; Price: $25.00 plus tax, shipping and handling.

Volume VIII – Book 15: Coroner's Register with information from January 1948 through December 1952. Details: 3,628 names; 242 pages; 8½" X 11" bound paper back; Price: $20.00 plus tax, shipping and handling.

Volume IX - Book 16: Coroner's Register with information from January 1953 through December 1956. Details: 3,525 names; 230 pages; 8½" x 11", bound paper back; Price: $20.00 plus tax, shipping and handling.

Volume X - Book 17: Coroner's Register with information from January 1957 through December 1960. Details: 3,468 names; 196 pages; 8 ½" x 11" bound paper back; Price: $20.00 plus tax, shipping and handling.

Each book includes the page number of the original record, surname, given name, date of death, place of death, sex, nativity, age, marital status, cause of death, inquest date (Volume VI, Book 13 only), and remarks (usually pertaining to cause of death). Each Volume includes an alphabetical index of all the names within the publication and a list of all of the Coroner’s Collection being extracted.

Root Cellar Sacramento Genealogical Society volunteers extracted and indexed these records from original books of the Coroner's Office of Sacramento County housed at the Center for Sacramento History and acquired through the efforts of the Sacramento Old City Cemetery Committee.

These publications and others are available for purchase in our website Store at www.rootcellar.org.

About Root Cellar Sacramento Genealogical Society

Root Cellar Sacramento Genealogical Society was formed in 1978 to help members with genealogical research through education, publication of information and preservation of records. Society activities include monthly membership meetings and workshops, an annual all-day seminar and Geni-Digs, monthly GeniGram newsletter, and The Preserves triennial periodical. The society also maintains a genealogical library housed at the California State Archives. Contact us at rootcellarsgs@gmail.com.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Clarification: Ancestry.com Terms and Conditions


Date: Thu, April 26, 2012 2:17 pm
To: Matthew Deighton Ancestry.com Public Relations
Good morning,
I have received a few emails about the recent change in Ancestry.com’s Terms and Conditions. I wanted to give you our official statement letting you know what our response it. Long story short, it was never meant to exclude professionals from using Ancestry.com, and it has been added back in. Let me know if you have any questions.


In a recent update, the Ancestry.com Terms and Conditions excluded “or professional” as part of the terms of service. This change was in no way intended to exclude professional genealogists from using Ancestry.com in a business or professional setting. Our legal team has reviewed the statement and has reinstated the original text to include “or professional” into Ancestry.com’s Terms and Conditions. We apologize for any misunderstanding. The statement is now updated and reads as follows:

“You may access the Website, use the graphics, information, data, editorial and other Content only for personal or professional family history research, and download Content only as search results relevant to that research.”     

GENEii Family History Writers Contest Winners Announced

Congratulations to the winners of the 2011 GENEii Family History Writers Contest, sponsored by the Southern California Genealogical Society. Judges reported that the entries were exceptional and the competition was very close.

Winners of the two categories will be recognized on Thursday, June 7, during the Family History Writers Conference luncheon in Burbank, California, which will be held in conjunction with the Southern California Genealogy Jamboree.

Category 1

Family history or local history articles of 1,000-2,000 words in length, published or unpublished.
Awards: 1st Place, $200; 2nd Place, $100; 3rd Place, $50.

1st Place - Douglas Fricke: Halfway Round the World
2nd Place - Emily Pritchard Cary: Crossing the Borders
3rd Place - Willie Wilburn Walker: The Blue Moon Cafe' & A Walk in the Southern Mountains
Finalist - Judy R. Cook: Aunt Pearl, "We Did It"
Finalist - Diane Altona: What Made Jacob Tick & Who is Elizabeth Douglas?
Honorable Mention - Lynda Wilson Barlow: Mrs. Butterfield's Canteloupe Patch
Honorable Mention - Nancy Walters Lauer: Ella's Letter

Category 2

Family history or local history articles of 1,000 words or less, published or unpublished.
Awards: 1st Place, $100; 2nd Place, $50; 3rd Place, $25.

First Place - Raymonde Motil: New Year's Day 1919 & The Funeral
Second Place - Pauline Abbott: The Parting of the Ways & Divine Interventions
Third Place - Denise Spurlock: The Watchmaker
Finalist - Tara McClellan McAndrew: Civil War Soldiers' Christmases
Honorable Mention - Mary E. Nelson: The Telephone

Congratulations to everyone who participated in the 13th Annual GENEii Family History Writers Contest.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Ancestry.com Inc. Reports Q1 2012 Financial Results

Ancestry.com Subscriber Growth of 16% Year-Over-Year
Q1 Total Revenue $108.5 Million, Up 19% Year-Over-Year
Announces New $100 Million Share Repurchase Authorization

PROVO, Utah, April 25, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Ancestry.com Inc. (Nasdaq:ACOM), the world's largest online family history resource, today reported financial results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2012.

"The first quarter marked a strong start to the year. Our key financial metrics, including revenue, adjusted EBITDA and subscribers, all came in above our expectations," said Tim Sullivan, Chief Executive Officer of Ancestry.com. "The April release of the 1940 US census records appears to have driven tremendous interest in family history. We began to benefit during the first quarter with our successful 1930 US census promotion, and we continue to see strong website traffic, underscoring our conviction in the mass market appeal of family history. As 2012 unfolds, we are moving forward on a number of exciting product initiatives, including improved features and tools like our new image viewer and hinting capabilities, and the build-out of our DNA offering."

In addition to the first quarter results announcement, the Company reported that its board of directors has approved a new $100 million common stock repurchase authorization. Also, in a separate press release issued today, Ancestry.com announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Archives.com, a leading family history website, for approximately $100 million in cash plus assumed liabilities, subject to customary closing conditions including HSR clearance.

Ancestry.com Web Sites Highlights

  • Subscribers totaled 1,870,000 as of March 31, 2012, a 16% increase over the first quarter of 2011 and a 10% increase from the end of the fourth quarter of 2011.
  • Gross subscriber additions were 390,000 in the first quarter of 2012, compared to 425,000 in the first quarter of 2011 and 220,000 in the fourth quarter of 2012.
  • Monthly churn1 was 3.6% in the first quarter of 2012, compared to 3.7% in the first quarter of 2011 and 3.8% in the fourth quarter of 2011.
  • Subscriber acquisition cost2 in the first quarter of 2012 was $88.11, compared to $69.56 in the first quarter of 2011 and $107.88 in the fourth quarter of 2011.
  • Average monthly revenue per subscriber3 in the first quarter of 2012 was $18.49, compared to $18.05 in the first quarter of 2011 and $18.38 in the fourth quarter of 2011.
  • First Quarter 2012 Financial Highlights
  • Total revenue for the first quarter of 2012 was $108.5 million, an increase of 19% over $91.0 million in the first quarter of 2011, driven by growth in the Company's core Ancestry.com Web sites revenues of 22%.
  • Operating income for the first quarter of 2012 was $20.1 million, compared to $14.2 million in the first quarter of 2011.
  • Adjusted EBITDA4 for the first quarter of 2012 was $31.7 million, compared to $25.6 million in the first quarter of 2011. Adjusted EBITDA margin for the first quarter of 2012 was 29.2%, compared to 28.1% in the first quarter of 2011.
  • Net income was $13.5 million, or $0.30 per fully diluted share, for the first quarter of 2012 compared to $9.0 million, or $0.18 per fully diluted share, in the first quarter of 2011.
  • Free cash flow5 totaled $14.7 million for the first quarter of 2012 compared to $18.7 million for the first quarter of 2011.
  • Cash and cash equivalents totaled $48.0 million as of March 31, 2012.
  • Recent Business Highlights
  • The third season of the Who Do You Think You Are? television series premiered on February 3, 2012.
  • The Company ended the quarter with more than 9 billion records; new collections included:
    -- Almost 9 million Massachusetts birth, marriage and death records
    -- Over 7 million records from the Historical Society of Pennsylvania Partnership
    -- 1911 England census indexes
    -- Approximately 139 million records from the London Electoral Registers that detail the names and addresses of registered voters
    -- Nearly 2.6 million Australian convict records from the New South Wales Convict Indents, 1788-1842 and New South Wales Colonial Secretary's Papers, 1788-1856
  • The Company launched a new interactive image viewer that includes "gridline technology," which highlights rows, columns and cells to feature specific ancestors on a record page, provides narrative pop up tips to tell more of the record's story, plus new dynamic viewing controls.
  • The Company upgraded the Ancestry.com Web sites "hinting" capability, which now enables more and better real-time hints, and created an "all-hints" page on the website where users can see and interact with all of their hints in one place.
  • The Company upgraded and made refinements to the Facebook app, including the ability to invite others to the Facebook app, see which of your Facebook friends are using the app, "like" the app and more.
  • The Company introduced upgraded capabilities for the iPhone/iPad and Android mobile apps.

Share Repurchase Program

Ancestry.com reported that its board of directors has authorized the repurchase of up to $100 million of its outstanding common stock. Shares may be repurchased from time to time through March 31, 2013 in the open market or in privately negotiated transactions. The Company expects to fund any repurchases using cash on hand or draws on a credit facility. The amount and timing of specific repurchases, if any, will depend on market conditions, stock price, and other factors. As of March 31, 2012, Ancestry.com had 42.6 million shares of common stock outstanding.

Business Outlook

The Company's financial and operating expectations for the second quarter and full year 2012 are as follows:

Second Quarter 2012

  • Revenue in the range of $115 to $117 million
  • Adjusted EBITDA excluding DNA investment6 of $43 to $45 million
  • DNA investment of $2 to $3 million
  • Adjusted EBITDA in the range of $40.5 to $42.5 million
  • Ending subscribers in the range of 1,965,000 to 1,980,000

Full Year 2012

  • Revenue in the range of $460 to $470 million
  • Adjusted EBITDA excluding DNA investment6 of $167.5 to $177.5 million
  • DNA investment of $10 to $15 million
  • Adjusted EBITDA in the range of $155 to $165 million
  • Ending subscribers of approximately 1,965,000 to 1,985,000

Conference Call & Webcast

Ancestry.com will host a conference call with analysts and investors today at 3:00 p.m. MT (5:00 p.m. ET). An accompanying slide presentation and a live webcast of the conference call will be available at the investor relations section of the Ancestry.com Web site, http://ir.ancestry.com/. Participants can also access the conference call by dialing 719-325-2212 approximately ten minutes prior to the start time.
A replay of the call will be available approximately two hours after the call has ended and will be available through Wednesday, May 4, 2012. To access the replay, dial 719-457-0820 and enter the replay passcode 9248042. The webcast replay will also be available for 12 months on the investor relations section of the Ancestry.com Web site, http://ir.ancestry.com/, under Events and Presentations.

Use of Non-GAAP Measures

The Company believes that adjusted EBITDA and free cash flow are useful measures of operating performance because they exclude items that the Company does not consider indicative of its core performance. In the case of adjusted EBITDA, net income is adjusted for such expenses as interest, income taxes, stock-based compensation and certain non-cash and non-recurring items. Free cash flow subtracts from adjusted EBITDA the capitalization of content databases, purchases of property and equipment and cash paid for income taxes and interest. However, these non-GAAP measures should be considered in addition to, not as a substitute for or superior to, net income and net cash provided by operating activities, or other financial measures prepared in accordance with GAAP. A reconciliation to the GAAP equivalents of these non-GAAP measures is contained in tabular form in the attached unaudited summary financial statements.

The Company uses adjusted EBITDA and free cash flow as measures of operating performance; for planning purposes, including the preparation of the annual operating budget; to allocate resources to enhance the financial performance of its business; to evaluate the effectiveness of its business strategies; to provide consistency and comparability with past financial performance; to facilitate a comparison of its results with those of other companies; and in communications with its board of directors concerning its financial performance. The Company also uses adjusted EBITDA and have used free cash flow as factors when determining the incentive compensation pool.

About Ancestry.com

Ancestry.com Inc. (Nasdaq:ACOM) is the world's largest online family history resource, with over 1.8 million paying subscribers. More than 9 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.

Ancestry.com Inc. to Acquire Archives.com

"Simple and Affordable" Fast-Growing Start-up Adds Complementary Offering to Ancestry.com

PROVO, Utah, April 25, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Ancestry.com Inc. (Nasdaq:ACOM) announced today it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Archives.com, a family history website, for approximately $100 million in cash and assumed liabilities.

This transaction will enable Ancestry.com to add a differentiated service targeted to a complementary segment of the growing family history category. In addition, Ancestry.com will welcome a team of talented engineers, digital marketers, and family history innovators into the Ancestry.com fold and also gain access to a proprietary technology platform that has supported Archives.com's rapid growth.

Archives.com is owned and operated by Inflection LLC, a Silicon Valley-based technology company. Since Archives.com's launch in January 2010, the site has rapidly grown to more than 380,000 paying subscribers who pay approximately $39.95 a year. Archives.com offers access to over 2.1 billion historical records, including birth records, obituaries, immigration and passenger lists, historical newspapers, and U.S. and U.K. Censuses.

"Archives.com has built a fantastic and fast-growing business that we think is highly complementary to Ancestry.com's online family history offering," said Tim Sullivan, President and Chief Executive Officer of Ancestry.com. "We love their focus on making family history simple and affordable, and we are excited to help the talented Archives.com team continue to grow alongside Ancestry.com, Fold3.com, and Family Tree Maker."

"Family history remains a dynamic and growing online category," added Sullivan. "Archives.com's focus is consistent with our mission to help everyone discover, preserve and share their family history, which will help continue our efforts in delivering amazing discoveries to an even broader audience."

Over the past two years, Archives.com has partnered with multiple well-known family history organizations that have helped build out Archives.com robust collection of family history records. Most recently, Archives.com partnered with the U.S. National Archives to provide free digital access to the recently released 1940 U.S. Federal Census.

"We are proud of the experience we've built with Archives.com and believe strongly in its future potential," said Matthew Monahan, CEO and Co-Founder of Inflection. "Combining with Ancestry.com positions Archives.com to best capitalize on that potential, pairing complementary visions of the marketplace and the opportunity. We've long admired Ancestry.com's content and technology and the innovations that the Ancestry.com team continues to bring to market. We're excited to see how this transaction expands the reach of family history to an even larger audience."

Upon completion of the transaction, which is subject to customary closing conditions, including expiration of the HSR waiting period, Ancestry.com will continue to operate Archives.com separately retaining its brand and website. Multiple Inflection employees, including key product and engineering executives are expected to join the Ancestry.com team.

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 9 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.

About Archives.com

Archives.com is a leading family history website that makes discovering family history simple and affordable. The company has assembled more than 2.1 billion historical records all in a single location. Archives also partners with other leading family history websites to provide a comprehensive resource for researching your family history. Archives.com is free to try for seven days, allowing anyone to explore the benefits of membership without risk or obligation. For more information and to start discovering your family history, please visit http://www.archives.com/.

About Inflection

Inflection is a Big Data and e-commerce startup headquartered in the heart of Silicon Valley. Leveraging its proprietary technology platform, the company has built innovative data services like Archives.com, PeopleSmart.com, and Identity.com. Inflection was founded in 2006 and is backed by tier-one venture capitalists Matrix Partners and Sutter Hill Ventures.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Promote your Genealogy Business on the Jamboree App

Jamboree's mobile app is returning for 2012. In addition to keeping the attendees informed, the Jamboree App also provides genealogy-related businesses and organizations an opportunity to reach an eager audience. Genealogists from around the globe are able to access information contained on the Jamboree app.

The 2011 edition of the app was very successful for our business partners, and we are inviting your participation for this year. Take advantage of the exposure to help publicize your business for a nominal fee.
  • Onsite exhibitors receive a free "green" listing (contact information, your logo, and downloadable marketing documents.)
    • Core-Apps will be in touch with you directly to obtain your logo and materials.
  • If you can't attend Jamboree in person, our "Virtual Exhibitor" program provides the purchase a green listing for a nominal fee.
    • Professional genealogists - post your resume, specialties, examples of your reports, or other marketing information online.
    • Authors - link to online purchase for your book 
    • Societies - post your application forms, catalog, documents for sale, or research team contact information. 
  • Other types of advertising are available for purchase, including banner ad / landing page; multimedia; and text alerts. All the details are online here
Deadlines:  
Print ads - April 30
App ads - June 1


The 43rd Annual Southern California Genealogy Jamboree will be held at the Los Angeles Marriott Burbank Airport Hotel on Friday through Sunday, June 8th to 10th, 2012. Separate events, the full-day Family History Writers Conference and Tech Track computer classes, will be held on Thursday. Jamboree is one of the most popular genealogical events in the United States. The conference features over 100 lecture classes, 70+ commercial vendors, societies and heritage groups and other organizations in the exhibit floor, and several special events and opportunities to socialize and relax. Free sessions will be held for beginning genealogists, librarians, and genealogical society leaders.

Jamboree is produced by the Southern California Genealogical Society, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that is managed entirely by volunteer members. The Society operates a 40,000 volume genealogical library at 417 Irving Drive in Burbank.

More information can be found at www.scgsgenealogy.com.

Jamboree: There's Another App for That!

Thanks to the support of the conference Diamond Sponsor, Ancestry.com, Jamboree will again offer a mobile app for the Southern California Genealogy Jamboree, which will be held June 8-10, 2012 in Burbank, California. Last year's App was a big hit among attendees, exhibitors and speakers.

"The 2011 Jamboree app introduced a completely new aspect to genealogy conferences. It provided advanced communication and scheduling capabilities and added to the overall experience," explained Leo Myers, Jamboree chair. "We were honored that other conferences followed Jamboree's lead and rolled out their own conference apps."

The App offers many useful features to the attendees
  • Interactive show schedule - review the schedule in advance and add the sessions to your calendar in just one click.
  • Exhibitor listings and product searches - Find out which exhibitors are there to help solve your research problems.
  • Exhibit hall floor map - use the map to plot your shopping strategy.
  • Speaker bios and information - search for your favorite speakers' sessions and then add them to your schedule
  • Show alerts - get instant updates of room changes, reminders of special events, unconference sessions, etc.
  • Twitter and Blog updates - Follow #scgs12 tweets and post yours from within the app.
  • Exhibitor e-brochures and product information available for download.
  • Syllabus articles will be available for download before Jamboree. View them in your iPad, print them, or move them onto your Kindle, Nook or other e-reader.
The App will be available for download soon from the www.scgsgenealogy.com. The app is available for iPhone / iPod Touch, Blackberry and Android users, and is available as a web-based application for all other smartphone users. Users do not need to be connected to the Internet to be able to use the schedules and other static information.

More information about the app can be found on the Jamboree website.

 About Jamboree and SCGS: The 43rd Annual Southern California Genealogy Jamboree will be held at the Los Angeles Marriott Burbank Airport Hotel on Friday through Sunday, June 8th to 10th, 2012. Separate events, the full-day Family History Writers Conference and Tech Track computer classes, will be held on Thursday. Jamboree is one of the most popular genealogical events in the United States. The conference features over 100 lecture classes, 70+ commercial vendors, societies and heritage groups and other organizations in the exhibit floor, and several special events and opportunities to socialize and relax. Free sessions will be held for beginning genealogists, librarians, and genealogical society leaders.

Jamboree is produced by the Southern California Genealogical Society, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that is managed entirely by volunteer members. The Society operates a 40,000 volume genealogical library at 417 Irving Drive in Burbank.

More information can be found at www.scgsgenealogy.com.

The National Genealogical Society Announces New Director: Robert Raymond

ARLINGTON, VA, 24 APRIL 2012: The National Genealogical Society (NGS) announces the appointment of Robert Raymond to the Board of Directors. Robert, a resident of Utah, was selected to serve as an NGS Director at Large by President Ann Christnacht Hilke. Ms. Hilke stated, “We are pleased that Robert Raymond has agreed to join the board of NGS as he adds to the breadth of excellent business, technology, and genealogical skills our organization has set as goals for our future board development.”

Robert Raymond is a deputy to FamilySearch Chief Genealogical Officer, David Rencher, helping to increase genealogical soundness of FamilySearch products and improving relationships with the genealogical community. Additionally, Robert helps set the record acquisition and publication strategy.

Robert is a popular speaker and writer. His blog (authored pseudonymously) has won many awards and recognitions and is consistently ranked among the top ten genealogical blogs. He is the author of an acclaimed family history website where he has published hundreds of digitized genealogical records and personal histories, written numerous articles, and created several maps. Before FamilySearch, Robert worked at Ancestry.com and before that he was vice president of an award-winning technology company.

Robert is a genealogy technologist with more than forty years experience in genealogy, and thirty years in technology. Robert holds over a dozen technology patents and earned a masters degree in electrical (computer) engineering from Brigham Young University where he was honored as a Kimball Scholar. He is a volunteer at a FamilySearch Family History Center where he can be found in the trenches every Wednesday night.

Founded in 1903, the National Genealogical Society is dedicated to genealogy education, high research standards, and the preservation of genealogical records. The Arlington, Virginia-based nonprofit is the premier national society for everyone, from the beginner to the most advanced family historian, seeking excellence in publications, educational offerings, research guidance, and opportunities to interact with other genealogists.

FHISO receives start-up grant from Megan Smolenyak

Gilbert, AZ USA—April 18, 2012—Family History Information Standards Organisation, Inc. (FHISO) today announced that it has received a grant from Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak’s Honoring Our Ancestors Genealogical Grants. The funding will be used to help with the expense of incorporation and start-up.

Megan Smolenyak is a genealogist, author and popular speaker. Her most recent book, Hey, America, Your Roots Are Showing was released in January of this year. She earlier wrote, Who Do You Think You Are?: The Essential Guide to Tracing Your Family History. Megan also conducts forensic research for the U.S. Army, coroners, NCIS and the FBI. To learn more about Megan, visit her website, http://www.honoringourancestors.com.

FHISO is a standards-setting organisation bringing the international family history and genealogical community together in a transparent, democratic forum for the purpose of developing information standards to solve today’s interoperability issues. To learn more about FHISO, visit our website, http://fhiso.org/.

Please join us in thanking Megan!

Monday, April 23, 2012

IL State Genealogy Society’s Fall Conference scheduled for Oct. 19, 20 in Rockford

Everyone from novice genealogists to hobbyists to people interested in becoming professional researchers will find something of value at the Illinois State Genealogical Society’s (ISGS) 2012 Fall Conference scheduled for Oct. 19 and 20 at the Best Western Clock Tower Resort & Conference Center in Rockford.

“There’s something for everyone,” says Stephanie Carbonetti, ISGS Fall Conference Co-Chair. “We want to provide a conference for all levels of interest, whether it’s someone who hasn’t started researching their ancestors yet and doesn’t know where to begin, to people just wanting to hone up on their research skills. There’s so much to choose from!”

This year’s conference, entitled “Family History in Profile,” is being co-hosted by the Winnebago & Boone Counties Genealogical Society and will feature nine nationally and regionally known genealogy research experts who will lead more than 15 workshops on such topics as “Breaking Through Brick Walls,” “Facebook for Genealogists,” “Our National Archives,” and “Discovering the Real Story of Your Immigrant Ancestors.”

Carbonetti says this year’s conference also will include a day-long workshop on Friday for young people interested in genealogy. First through fourth-graders will meet from 9:30 to 11 a.m. and fifth through twelfth-graders from 1 to 4 p.m.

“If we can spark an interest in a young person, then they will carry it all through their life,” she adds. “When young people do family research, they have the benefit of being able to talk with older members of their family who are still alive and who can provide them with valuable information.”

Scheduled presenters include John Philip Colletta, PhD, a Washington, D.C.-based genealogy lecturer who has worked at the Library of Congress, taught workshops at the National Archives, and is a faculty member of the Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research at Samford University; Thomas MacEntee, Chicago, organizer of the 2,000+ member GeneaBloggers, lecturer and teacher of online webinars; Dr. Daniel Hubbard, a former particle physicist who owns Personal Past, which focuses on American, Canadian and Swedish records; Jeanne Larzalere Bloom, trustee and treasurer of the Board for Certification of Genealogists, and a full-time professional researcher specializing in Chicago and Cook County records.

Other presenters are Dr. Gary K. Hargis, past president of the ISGS, president of the Fox Valley Genealogical Society in Naperville, and director of the Genealogical Institute of Mid-America; Oriene Springstroh, founder and first president of the Fox Valley Genealogical Society, and past editor of the ISGS “Quarterly” magazine; Larry Pepper, owner of PepperPhotograph.com and an expert on restoration of old photos; Dave McDonald, director of the National Genealogical Society and president of the Board for Certification of Genealogists whose research focuses on the Midwest and Plains states, New England, the UK and Germanic Europe; and Kathy Carey, a district director and past Illinois state registrar and organizing secretary for the Daughters of the American Revolution, and a volunteer genealogist.

Carbonetti says the ISGS holds these conferences annually at different locations around the state in part to provide information and generate an interest in the people who helped establish and develop Illinois, and to encourage people to seek, preserve and make Illinois family history data available.

Enrollment for the Youth Workshops is limited. Special early registration pricing for the conference is available. To register for the conference or the Youth Workshops, to download registration forms, or to get more information, visit the ISGS website at www.ilgensoc.org

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Popular Hollywood stars learn family secrets in second half of Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr.,

Series that explores race, culture and identity through genealogy and genetics, Sundays at 8 p.m.

Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr., the PBS series that explores race, culture and identity through the genealogy and genetics of some of America’s best-known personalities, amps up the star power in its five remaining episodes. In upcoming weeks, Professor Gates unveils surprising facts about The Avengers co-stars Robert Downey, Jr. and Samuel L. Jackson, Oscar nominee Maggie Gyllenhaal, Grammy-winning musician John Legend, comedian Margaret Cho, and actors Adrian Grenier and Michelle Rodriguez.

Finding Your Roots made headlines since it premiered on PBS last month. News that entertainer Harry Connick, Jr,’s privateer ancestor captained a ship called the Rattlesnake ("That’s badass," Connick exclaimed), that media icon Barbara Walters and education visionary Geoffrey Canada both had name changes in their families, and that award-winning actors and married couple Kyra Sedgwick and Kevin Bacon are also distant relatives fueled spirited national discussions about our shared history as Americans. Gates promises future reveals in the series that will keep viewers surprised and riveted.

In the following weeks, viewers will see the following:

  • April 22: Maggie Gyllenhaal and Robert Downey, Jr., discover surprising diversity in their backgrounds, including Swedish royalty, Revolutionary War soldiers and Eastern European Jewish immigrants.
  • April 29: Samuel L. Jackson, Condoleezza Rice and Ruth Simmons finally find out the truth about the white men hidden in their family trees.
  • May 6: For Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Margaret Cho and Martha Stewart, our research teams travel around the globe to unearth the long-lost stories their immigrant ancestors left behind.
  • May 13: John Legend, Wanda Sykes and Margarett Cooper learn about the extraordinary challenges faced by African American ancestors who became free before Emancipation – destinies that upset the status quo, with shocking consequences.
  • May 20: In the series finale, we reveal that Michelle Rodriguez, Adrian Grenier and Linda Chavez share tangled Spanish colonial roots among the Native American, African and European people – from conquistadors to crypto-Jews – who made the New World.

Filmed on location across the United States, the series airs nationally Sundays at 8 p.m. ET on PBS through May 20 (check local listings). Additional information about the series, Professor Gates and the entire production team is available at PBS PressRoom.

Clips and interviews about upcoming episodes are available on request.

Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr. is a production of Kunhardt McGee Productions, Inkwell Films and WNET in association with Ark Media. WNET is the parent company of THIRTEEN and WLIW21, New York’s public television stations and operator of NJTV. For nearly 50 years, WNET has been producing and broadcasting national and local documentaries and other programs for the New York community.

Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Stephen Segaller, Peter Kunhardt, and Dyllan McGee are executive producers of Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr. Rachel Dretzin is senior producer. Leslie Asako Gladsjo is senior story editor.

Corporate funding is provided by The Coca-Cola Company, Johnson & Johnson, McDonald’s and American Express. Additional funding is provided by the Carnegie Corporation of New York, The Atlantic Philanthropies, Ford Foundation and the Pew Charitable Trusts. Support is also provided by The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) and PBS.

###

About WNET
New York’s WNET is America’s flagship public media outlet, bringing quality arts, education and public affairs programming to over 5 million viewers each week. The parent company of public television stations THIRTEEN and WLIW21 and operator of NJTV, WNET produces and presents such acclaimed PBS series as Nature, Great Performances, American Masters, Need to Know, Charlie Rose and a range of documentaries, children’s programs, and local news and cultural offerings available on air and online. Pioneers in educational programming, WNET has created such groundbreaking series as Get the Math, Noah Comprende and Cyberchase and provides tools for educators that bring compelling content to life in the classroom and at home. WNET highlights the tri-state’s unique culture and diverse communities through NYC-ARTS, Reel 13, NJ Today and the new online newsmagazine MetroFocus.

About Kunhardt McGee Productions
For 24 years Kunhardt McGee Productions led by Peter Kunhardt and Dyllan McGee has been making documentary films about the people and ideas that have shaped our history. Most recently, the company co-produced Faces of America with Henry Louis Gates, Jr. (2010), Looking for Lincoln (2009), Oprah's Roots (2007) and African American Lives 1 and 2 (2006 & 2008) for PBS. For HBO, Kunhardt McGee Productions produced Gloria: In Her Own Words (2011) and Emmy award-winning Teddy: In His Own Words (2010). Other notable works include This Emotional Life, Looking for Lincoln, In Memoriam, PT Barnum, The American President, Bobby Kennedy: In His Own Words, and JFK: In His Own Words. More information can be found at: www.kunhardtmcgee.com 

About Inkwell Films 
Inkwell Films was founded by Henry Louis Gates, Jr. to produce sophisticated documentary films about the African and African-American experience for a broad audience. Currently in production, Finding Your Roots, a 10-hour series for PBS. Most recently Inkwell Films has co-produced Black in Latin America (2011), Faces of America (2010), Looking for Lincoln (2009),  African American Lives 2 (2008), Oprah’s Roots (2007), and African American Lives (2006), Inkwell Films is currently developing Many Rivers to Cross: The History of the African American People, a six-part series for PBS.

About Ark Media
Ark Media is a documentary film company founded in 1997 by the producing team of Barak Goodman and Rachel Dretzin. Ark's mission is to produce documentary films characterized by rigorous reporting, careful craft, and imaginative filmmaking. Ark partnered with Kunhardt-McGee Productions on the Henry Louis Gates Jr. series, Faces of America, (2010) and also with Kunhardt-McGee, produced Looking for Lincoln (2009) and the upcoming Makers project for PBS. For the last decade and a half, Ark has produced films primarily for the PBS series Frontline and American Experience, winning nearly every major broadcast award: the Emmy, DuPont-Columbia, Robert F. Kennedy, Writers Guild and Peabody Awards, as well as earning an Academy Award nomination and official selection to the Sundance Film Festival. Ark has also produced documentaries for the New York Times, American Movie Classics, ABC, and the History Channel. For more information, visit www.ark-media.net

Friday, April 20, 2012

Extensive data available in 210,000 records for Eltham Crematorium

  • All 210,000 records for one of London's biggest and busiest crematoria are now available on www.deceasedonline.com
  • As one of the Capital's largest cremation facilities, it services a large part of South East London including two London Borough areas, Bexley and Greenwich, together with the Dartford area in North West Kent
  • The records for Eltham comprise the most comprehensive range that Deceased Online has ever included for a crematorium
  • Digital scans of cremation registers typically include: name, address, marital status, cremation number, date of cremation, date of death, age, sex, denomination, occupation, applicant and death registration details
  • In addition, for the first time we have included the map locations of ashes, scattering and burial, in the Crematorium grounds (where available)
  • There are now nearly 1.5 million records for London on Deceased Online together with records for nearby Tunbridge Wells Cemetery and Kent & Sussex Crematorium


Don't forget the Cotswolds and Cheshire!

If you've not visited www.deceasedonline.com recently, you may not know that we recently added all records for Cotswold District Council as well as Cheshire West and Chester City.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

SoCal's Genealogy Jamboree Offers Society Benefits

Attention Organization and Society Leaders,

We Want You!  The Southern California Genealogy Jamboree offers many opportunities to participate in one of North America's largest genealogical conferences at little or no cost.

We can hear you asking, "Why would a genealogical society from [insert your location] be interested in having a presence at the Southern California Genealogy Jamboree?" Because in California, "everybody came from someplace else." That's not exactly true, of course, but native Californians proudly announce that they are "Nth generation Californian." You just don't hear that from people from Pennsylvania or Iowa. 

What does that mean for you? It means that California genealogists are searching elsewhere for their family. They're looking for answers that your society can provide.     

How can your Society participate in Jamboree in person?

  • Encourage your members to attend. Your members can return to your society meeting and share the valuable information they get during the informative sessions as well as networking with other attendees.  We would be very grateful if you would help promote Jamboree in your announcements, publications and Internet presence (website, blog or other).
  • Attend the JamboFREE - Society Leadership Workshop. Strengthen the leadership of your organization by learning techniques and skills. You don't need to be a society leader to attend these sessions. But don't miss this chance to breathe new energy into your society. Read more about it.
  • Organize a Group Trip to Jamboree -  Have you thought about putting together a bus trip or group activity for your organization's members?  We'll work with you to help organize the trip. If your society is at least 100 miles from Burbank, we'll give you one free basic registration for every 10 people in your group. The San Diego Genealogical Society has organized such an event for the past few years. They take the Coastliner train to and from San Diego and they have a great time. If you're interested in putting together a group, contact us at SCGSJamboree@gmail.com and we'll help. Put "Group Tour" in the subject line.
  • Staff a free exhibit table for one day. We are offering a one-day exhibit table to genealogical societies, historical societies, and other nonprofit organizations. Speak one-on-one with our ~1700 guests and spread your word. Free. If you're interested, send an email to leo.myers44@gmail.com and he'll help you out.

How can your Society participate in Jamboree from a distance?


  • Donate a one-year membership for a door prize.  Your society's name will be listed among our donors and people will learn about you.
  • Send your membership application, publication list or other material for FREE distribution.  We'll put it on our freebie table for our guests to find. Send them by June 1 to:  Jamboree Freebie Table, SCGS, 417 Irving Drive, Burbank, CA 91504.
  • Purchase an ad in the syllabus and/or mobile app. A business-card sized ad is just $25. You can purchase an electronic "green" listing on the Jamboree app for just $50. The "green" listing is your contact information, downloadable PDFs such as your membership application, and your logo.  If you order both print and digital ads, you'll save $5. You'll reach 1700 people onsite at Jamboree plus others who access the app online.
 Please join us at Jamboree!


Southern California Genealogy Jamboree
www.genealogyjamboree.com
jamboree@scgsgenealogy.com
Press line 818.574.8393

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

fold3 Announces New Collection - Sultana Disaster

The Sultana Disaster

When the boiler exploded aboard the steamer Sultana on April 27, 1865, more than 1,700 people lost their lives. Most of those aboard were recently released Union prisoners from Confederate prisons in Cahaba, Alabama, and Andersonville, Georgia. They were en route from Camp Fiske in Mississippi to Camp Chase, Ohio, but the explosion occurred only a few hours into the journey.

In addition to the faulty boiler, the ship was also grossly overburdened with 2,200 passengers on a vessel built to carry 376.

Records relating to the Sultana Disaster, April 1865, are now available on Fold3. They include lists of the former prisoners who survived the disaster, with military service information and brief comments on their injuries. There are also lists of those who perished, yet not of the civilian survivors or those who died.

The enormity of the disaster led quickly to investigations. By January 1866, a court-martial was convened to charge Captain Frederick Speed, the man who volunteered to coordinate the transfer of prisoners, with “neglect of duty to the prejudice of good order and military discipline.” There are 647 documents in the court-martial case with testimonies, witness accounts, and statements by the defense and prosecution. After "nearly six long weary months" the trial came to a close. Capt. Speed was the only person charged in the incident. He was found guilty, yet the charges were later dismissed by Judge Advocate General Joseph Holt.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The 1940 U.S. Census Image Upload and Indexing Presses On

FamilySearch, Archives.com, and Findmypast.com have continued publishing browsable images online from the 1940 U.S. Federal Census this week. Volunteer indexers are encouraged to help out at the1940census.com. FamilySearch also published new, free records online for the Czech Republic, Estonia, Germany, Portugal, Slovakia, and the United States. Volunteer to help index the 1940 U.S. census now, or search these diverse collections and 2.5 billion other records for free at FamilySearch.org.

Searchable historic records on FamilySearch.org are made available by thousands of volunteers from around the world who transcribe (index) information from digital copies of handwritten records to make them easily searchable online. More volunteers are needed (particularly those who can read foreign languages) to keep pace with the amount of digital images being published online at FamilySearch.org. Learn more about how to personally help provide free access to the world’s historic genealogical records as a volunteer indexer at FamilySearch.org.

FamilySearch International is the largest genealogy organization in the world. FamilySearch is a nonprofit, volunteer-driven organization sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Millions of people use FamilySearch records, resources, and services to learn more about their family history. To help in this great pursuit, FamilySearch and its predecessors have been actively gathering, preserving, and sharing genealogical records worldwide for over 100 years. Patrons may access FamilySearch services and resources free online at FamilySearch.org or through over 4,600 family history centers in 132 countries, including the main Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah.



Collection
Indexed Records
Digital Images
Comments
0
14,216
Added browsable images to existing collection.
0
3,547
Added browsable images to existing collection.
0
14,427
Added browsable images to existing collection.
0
21,599
Added browsable images to existing collection.
0
295,532
Added browsable images to existing collection.
33,836
0
Added indexed records to existing collection.
0
79,619
New browsable image collection.
0
476,505
New browsable image collection.
0
54,494
New browsable image collection.
0
928,494
New browsable image collection.
0
64,838
New browsable image collection.
0
60,104
New browsable image collection.
0
67,478
New browsable image collection.
0
279,042
New browsable image collection.

Archives.com Partners With the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America to Publish Millions of Church Records

First Time a Comprehensive Historical Database of Lutheran Congregants Will Be Available Online

REDWOOD CITY, Calif., April 17, 2012 - Archives.com, a website that makes family history research simple and affordable, is pleased to announce its partnership with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) to digitize and index 1,000 reels of microfilm containing millions of baptism, confirmation, marriage, and funeral records. Archives.com will make these records available online for the first time as part of its ongoing effort to expand its collection of over 2.1 billion historical records.

With the help of digitization and indexing partners, Archives.com will create digital indexes of these records. The documents cover Lutheran congregations throughout the U.S., and will be accompanied by images of the original parish register ledger books. Dating from 1793-1940, these new collections will help users uncover valuable information about their ancestors that isn't available anywhere else online.

Joel Thoreson, Archivist for Management and Reference Services at the Evangelical Lutheran Church Archives notes, "We're very excited to work with Archives.com in digitizing and indexing these records. Researchers have long sought the ability to do easy searches for individuals across multiple congregations. Currently, without knowing the exact congregation at which ancestors worshipped, finding those individuals is a slow and painstaking process."

Archives.com estimates that digital indexes and images resulting from the 1,000 microfilm reels will be available online later this year. Nearly all of the records were handwritten in Norwegian, German, Danish, and Slovakian, in addition to English, making this an especially unique and valuable record set.

Archives.com Senior Director of Product Joe Godfrey said, "Church records are rich with genealogical information, and we're excited to be partnering with the ELCA to make their impressive collection available online for the first time. Access to these records will allow our users with ties to the Lutheran church to discover more about their ancestors than ever before."

Archives.com makes over 2.1 billion records available to its users, including a comprehensive U.S. census collection and is continually adding new content. Please visit the Collections page to learn about the records available on Archives.com, and to receive regular updates about the website please visit the Archives.com blog.

About Archives.com

Archives.com is a leading family history website that makes discovering family history simple and affordable. The company has assembled more than 2.1 billion historical records all in a single location, and makes them available at a price that’s up to 80 percent less than the leading competitor. Archives also partners with other leading family history websites to provide a comprehensive resource for researching your family history. Archives.com is free to try for seven days, allowing anyone to explore the benefits of membership without risk or obligation. For more information and to start discovering your family history, please visit http://www.archives.com/.

About the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America Archives

The Archives of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America preserves and maintains the records of predecessor church bodies, inter-Lutheran organizations, as well as records of leaders, congregations, and synods of the church. Located outside of Chicago, the ELCA Archives hold genealogically rich collections of oral histories, microfilm, photographs, as well as other archival materials and exhibits. To learn more please visit http://www.elca.org/archives.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Dracula Was Irish Not Transylvanian!

Says Genealogist Who Last Traced Obama’s Irish Roots

First Obama, now Dracula … Like Obama and 40 million Americans, Dracula has Irish ancestry

Monday, April 16, 2012: Count Dracula, the Transylvanian nobleman and daddy of all vampires, was originally Irish rather than Transylvanian, according to new research by the genealogist who previously traced Barack Obama’s Irish roots.

Dracula is the title character of the 1897 Gothic horror novel by Bram Stoker, the Irish writer who died 100 years ago this week – on April 20, 1912.

But how did Stoker (1847-1912), a one-time Dublin civil servant, and chum of Oscar Wilde, come to imagine the gothic horrors of Dracula? The question has puzzled critics for over a century.

Now, new research into Stoker’s family tree by the genealogy website findmypast Ireland (www.findmypast.ie) provides the answer. It does so by uncovering previously unknown facts about Stoker’s family history, which also reclaim the story of Dracula as essentially Irish.

The new findings are the fruit of months of research by Fiona Fitzsimons, a director of www.findmypast.ie and the genealogist who last year identified Obama’s closest living Irish relatives, enabling the U.S. President – one of 40 million Americans with Irish ancestry – to meet them on his state visit to Ireland.

“I myself am of an old family…” Count Dracula informs Jonathan Harker, one of the novel’s narrators. Dracula tells Harker of his pride in his noble lineage, rooted in a lost age of feudal warriors, valor and heroism.

Bram Stoker, we now discover, also turns out to have been “of an old family” with a glorious history. His direct ancestor, Manus “the Magnificent” O’Donnell, once ruled much of Ireland and led a rebellion against Henry VIII.

“We have discovered that Bram Stoker could trace his own direct family line back almost 1,000 years”, says Fitzsimons. In short, his own lineage turns out to have been remarkably similar to Dracula’s. What’s more, Stoker himself knew of this ancestry, says Fitzsimons, but the wider world did not – until now.

“Stoker did not use overtly Irish references in Dracula, but his main theme is taken from Irish history – the history, we now learn, of his own family – recast in the writer’s imagination”, says Fitzsimons.

“The tale of a decayed aristocracy with a great warrior past, the survivors displaced by the passage of history and now living in the shadows, is the story of Dracula, as envisioned by this descendant of Manus O’Donnell.”

Although the Stoker family – Bram’s father’s side – were of humble stock, it was already known before now that Bram’s mother Charlotte was descended from the Blakes, a landed Irish family.

What Fitzsimons has now discovered, with the help of land records found on www.findmypast.ie, is that Charlotte was also descended from the O’Donnells, one of Ireland’s greatest families, with one of its oldest recorded lineages.

Through painstaking research, Fitzsimons has been able to document Bram Stoker’s direct descent in 12 generations from Manus “the Magnificent” O’Donnell, Irish clan leader and Lord of Tr Conaill, who died in 1563.

“We can then further trace this direct lineage back to the 11th Century, because the O’Donnell lords from whom Bram Stoker is descended, have one of the oldest recorded lineages in Ireland.”

Nor is that all. The story goes back farther than that, since, from 561 A.D. the O’Donnell lords were the hereditary keepers of the psalter [holy book] of St Columba, revered in Ireland as the patron saint of poets.

The psalter survives to this day, and the shrine that the O’Donnells commissioned to house it, is on display in the National Museum of Ireland.

These objects remained in the O’Donnell’s keeping until 1843, when the O’Donnells gave them to the Royal Irish Academy. Their donation received wide press coverage and was a cause célèbre.

“Our research has proven links between the writer’s family, the oldest surviving Irish manuscript in existence, and one of the greatest treasures held in the National Museum of Ireland.” The manuscript book and its reliquary [container] provide evidence that Stoker’s O’Donnell family could trace their direct lineage back more than 1,300 years to 561 A.D.”

A key inspiration for Dracula is reputed to have been Vlad the Impaler, the 15th century Transylvanian-born prince also known as Vlad III Dracula of Wallachia, with whom Count Dracula shares not just a name but also some characteristics.

But the true inspiration for Dracula, believes Fitzsimons, was not Vlad the Impaler at all. Instead, it was Manus the Magnificent, Stoker’s direct ancestor. This is not to say that Manus was either a vampire or a tyrant, since he was neither. But he was a feudal lord, with vast territories and the power of life and death over his subjects. In 1555, he was deposed by his own son, with a ruthlessness worthy of Vlad himself.

“Intriguingly, our research shows that Bram Stoker himself knew of these family connections, and was influenced by them when he wrote his best-known novel”, says Fitzsimons.

Bram Stoker’s mother knew that her own grandmother was Eliza O’Donnell of the illustrious O’Donnell family. She remained in contact with the family and cannot have failed to understand the significance of the rediscovery of the manuscript book and shrine in 1843.

“Bram himself wrote that his mother told him stories about his family history and ancestors”, says Fitzsimons. But even the few literary scholars who knew this, would not have understand its significance – until now.

Young Bram was a sickly child, bed-ridden until the age of seven. “He was at home, listening to all these tales from his mother”, says Fitzsimons. “These were tales not just about Irish history but of his own ancestry. They gave him a direct link to the very pulse of Irish history. Can you imagine the impact that they would have had on a young, sickly, imaginative child?”

Indeed, Stoker himself has written of this period, "I was naturally thoughtful, and the leisure of long illness gave opportunity for many thoughts which were fruitful according to their kind in later years".

About www.findmypast.ie

www.findmypast.ie is the world's most comprehensive Irish family history website, providing easy-to-search, online access to some of the most significant Irish records that have ever been made available. Launched in 2011, it is a joint venture between two experts in the field: findmypast.co.uk, one of the leading family history websites and part of the brightsolid family, while Eneclann is an award-winning Trinity College Campus Company specialising in genealogical and historical research and the publication of historical records.

Based in Dublin, findmypast.ie has a dedicated team committed to providing the best experience possible when researching Irish family history.

About Fiona Fitzsimons (… and Barack Obama)

Fiona Fitzsimons is a noted historian and genealogist. She is a Director of www.findmypast.ie and Research Director of Eneclann, an Irish history and heritage company, which she co-founded in 1998.

In 2008 Fiona researched President Obama’s Irish ancestry back from Falmouth Kearney, Obama’s 2nd great-grandfather to Obama’s 7th great-grandfather, Joseph Kearney born ca. 1698. Read more about the Kearney Family.

In May 2011, Eneclann’s researchers announced that they had identified President Obama’s closest living Irish relatives in Ballygurteen, Co. Tipperary – Dick Benn and Tom Donovan. The story of the discovery was broadcast on RTE 1′s Nationwide programme on 20th May – watch the Nationwide programme on the Benn Family now.

You can also find out more about the research, led by Fiona Fitzsimons and Helen Moss, in their account of the Benn Family History.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

FREE Family History Conference and Society Meeting

Teaching staff from the Los Angeles Family History Library will provide classroom instruction on genealogical research at both the beginning and intermediate levels. Classes are FREE, with a syllabus covering all classes offered for $10.00. For list of classes, see schedule at http://sites.google.com/site/vfhlibrary/just-in/untitledpost. Please sign up for classes you plan to attend by phoning the Ventura Family History Center at 805-643-5607. Other classes from the course leading to a certificate will be presented in a series each Thursday at 7pm, Ventura Family History Center by Bonnie Petrovich.

As part of the conference you are invited to attend the monthly meeting of the Ventura County Genealogical Society, beginning at 1:00 p.m.

The Main Speaker for the VCGS meeting will be Richard McBride, Director of the Los Angeles Family History Center. His topic will be "What Is New and What Is Coming on FamilySearch?"

WHEN: Saturday, April 28, 2012 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m.

WHERE: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 3501 Loma Vista Rd (at Mills Rd.) Ventura, California.

Ventura County Genealogical Society is a California-registered Non-Profit organization dedicated to the promotion of genealogy and public education. Their website is http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~cavcgs VCGS also maintains a reference library which is located within the Camarillo Library at 4101 Las Posas Road, Camarillo, California.

For more information call Fran Bumann at 805-389-4338.

Youth Program at the National Genealogical Society 2012 Family History Conference

The Ohio River: Gateway to the Western Frontier

(Arlington, VA)–The National Genealogical Society's thirty-fourth annual Family History Conference, The Ohio River: Gateway to the Western Frontier, will be held 9–12 May 2012 in Cincinnati, Ohio.

A highlight of the NGS 2012 Family History Conference will be the Genealogy Youth Kamp on Saturday, 12 May 2012, at the Duke Energy Convention Center from 8:30 a.m. until 12:00 p.m. The Kamp, designed to develop an understanding of family history, is intended for youth 8 to 16 years old. Scouts and 4-H groups are encouraged to participate in the event with their leaders. The morning will be composed of a variety of hands-on activities including a workshop focusing on genealogical merit badges. A special program is planned for interested parents, grandparents, and adults who are welcome to attend.

The Genealogy Youth Kamp is free, but registration is required. Space is limited. Go to http://www.ngsgenealogy.org/cs/attendee_registration to register. After registering, please prepare for the Kamp by following the directions on the NGS Genealogy Youth Kamp web page http://www.ngsgenealogy.org/cs/conferences_events/annual_conference/youth_kamp.

Founded in 1903, the National Genealogical Society is dedicated to genealogy education, high research standards, and the preservation of genealogical records. The Arlington, VA-based nonprofit is the premier national society for everyone, from the beginner to the most advanced family historian, seeking excellence in publications, educational offerings, research guidance, and opportunities to interact with other genealogists. Please visit the NGS Pressroom for further information.