Ancestry to Build New Headquarters in Lehi, Utah


PROVO, Utah, Jan. 28, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Ancestry, the world's largest online family history resource, today announced its plans to build a new company headquarters at The Corporate Center at Traverse Mountain in Lehi, Utah.

Ancestry to Build New Headquarters in Lehi, Utah


"We're excited about our new Utah headquarters," said Tim Sullivan, Chief Executive Officer of Ancestry. "We're proud of everything our employees have accomplished in recent years, and we're looking forward to a new facility that is going to be an awesome place to work."

For the past three decades Ancestry has been headquartered in Provo, Utah, and has focused on making family history more accessible to millions of people around the world. Today, the company has grown to more than 1,400 employees globally, 1,000 of whom are based in Utah. The new location, located 25 minutes south of Salt Lake City, between Salt Lake City and Provo, will help the company broaden its footprint in attracting and retaining top talent throughout the Wasatch Front.

The new $35 million facility, located just a few miles off Interstate15, will sit on 10.5 acres with a sleek modern design that incorporates floor to ceiling windows to take in more light and phenomenal views of Mount Timpanogos and the surrounding valley.

Ancestry is represented by Frank Matheson and Jeff Rossi of Cushman & Wakefield | Commerce Real Estate Solutions. Ancestry is also continuing its long-standing relationship with Rapt Studio, an award-winning design studio, who also designed the Ancestry San Francisco office. Rapt will be developing the interior design to represent both the company's passion for family history and their collaborative culture. Employees will also benefit from a covered parking structure, an outdoor patio, and access to surrounding outdoor biking trails and Lehi's retail shops.

Pre-construction work started in January, and the campus is projected to be completed and ready for occupants mid-year 2016. Ancestry expects to initially occupy approximately 135,000 square feet on location, positioning the company for the decades of growth and success to come.

About Ancestry.com

Ancestry.com is the world's largest online family history resource with more than 2 million paying subscribers across all its websites. More than 15 billion records have been added to the Ancestry.com sites and users have created more than 60 million family trees containing more than 6 billion profiles. In addition to its flagship site www.ancestry.com, the company operates several global Ancestry international websites along with a suite of online family history brands, including Archives.com, Fold3.com, Newspapers.com, and offers the AncestryDNA product, sold by its subsidiary, Ancestry.com DNA, LLC, all of which are designed to empower people to discover, preserve and share their family history.

GRIP Announces Use of a New Registration Procedure


Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh (GRIP) is a very popular “summer camp for genealogists” that is held on the campus of La Roche College, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Last year 205 students from 40 states and 3 countries attended seven classes in Pittsburgh. Having fun while learning about genealogy in the company of friends and like-minded classmates is why students return year after year. Not to mention the course coordinators and instructors who are tops in the field! GRIP is happy to provide two separate weeks for learning opportunities this summer, each with its own opening registration date.

Registration for the first week of GRIP is coming quickly on Wednesday, February 4, at Noon Eastern. A countdown timer has been installed on the registration page which will go automatically at the “zero hour” to the registration page. There is no need to watch the clock, hit refresh, or otherwise fear that you will miss the “opening bell.” In fact doing any such action will interfere with the automatic transition and slow your computer down. All you have to do is pick out your course from the list below and read the Registration page completely to prepare your registration answers. Descriptions of the 18 lecture sessions for each course are detailed on the GRIP website. http://www.gripitt.org/?page_id=7

See you this summer in Pittsburgh!

These six courses to be held June 28 to July 3, 2015 in Pittsburgh have registration beginning February 4:
  • Writing Your Immigrant Families’ Stories: From Research to Publishing with John P. Colletta, Ph.D. and Michael Hait, CG
  • Determining Kinship Reliably with the Genealogical Proof Standard with Thomas W. Jones, PhD., CG, CGL and Karen Mauer Jones, CG, FGBS
  • Researching New York State with Karen Mauer Jones, CG , FGBS
  • Problem Solving with Church Records with Rev. Dr. David McDonald, CG
  • Advanced Research Tools: Land Records with Richard G. Sayre, CG, CGL and Pamela Boyer Sayre, CG, CGL, Angela McGhie, and Judy G. Russell, CG, CGL
  • Practical Genetic Genealogy with Debbie Parker Wayne, CG, CGL, CeCe Moore and Blaine Bettinger, Ph.D., J.D.
These six courses to be held July 19-24, 2015 in Pittsburgh have registration beginning February 18:
  • Intermediate Genealogy: Tools for Digging Deeper with Paula Stuart-Warren, CG, FMGS, FUGA, Joshua Taylor, MA, MLS, and Debra Mieszala, CG
  • Advanced Research Methods with Thomas W. Jones, PhD., CG, CGL, Judy G. Russell, CG, CGL, Rick Sayre, CG, CGL, and Pam Sayre, CG, CGL
  • Refresh, Rebuild and Recharge Your Genealogy Career with D. Joshua Taylor, MA, MLS, Paula Stuart-Warren, CG, FMGS, FUGA, Judy G. Russell, CG, CGL, and Debra Mieszala, CG
  • Pennsylvania: Research in the Keystone State with Sharon Cook MacInnes, Ph.D. and Michael D. Lacopo, D.V.M.
  • Practical Genetic Genealogy with Debbie Parker Wayne, CG, CGL, Patti Hobbs, CG, and Blaine Bettinger, Ph.D., J.D.
  • Law School for Genealogists with Judy G. Russell, J.D., CG, CGL and Richard G. “Rick” Sayre, CG, CGL, Marian L. Smith

NGS Awards Deadline Approaching: January 31



Arlington, VA, 26 JANUARY 2015: Each year, the National Genealogical Society recognizes excellence within the genealogy field through a number of awards. The deadline for several of these awards—January 31—is quickly approaching. NGS encourages its members, member societies, and other organizations to review the requirements and make submissions. Winners will be recognized at the NGS Family History Conference, to be held May 13-16, 2015 in St. Charles, Missouri.

The following NGS awards have a deadline of January 31:
  • Award of Honor: NGS recognizes an individual or organization for service in support of an NGS Family History Conference.
  • Award of Merit: NGS recognizes individuals or nonprofit organizations that have made significant contributions to the genealogy field over a period of five or more years.
  • Certificate of Appreciation: NGS recognizes an individual or organization for service during an NGS Family History Conference.
  • Distinguished Service Award: NGS recognizes an individual who has made exceptional contributions to the Society’s work.
  • National Genealogical Society Hall of Fame: NGS honors an individual of the past who has made significant contributions to genealogy and helped set the high standards by which genealogists work today. Nominations must be made by a genealogical society or other organization.
  • Fellow of the National Genealogical Society (FNGS): NGS recognizes an individual for service to the Society and outstanding work in the genealogy, history, biography, or heraldry fields.
  • Filby Award for Genealogical Librarianship: NGS recognizes a librarian whose primary focus is genealogy and local history. Sponsored by ProQuest, the recipient will receive a $1,000 prize.
More specific details about each competition can be found at www.ngsgenealogy.org/cs/competitions. Individuals and societies making nominations will receive an acknowledgement that their entry has been received. Questions about all awards and competitions may be directed to awards@ngsgenealogy.org.

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.

IoTree: Innovative Family Tree Combines Art & Technology


IoTree is internet-connected framed art that connects you and your family with your ancestors as it reminds you of their life events.

For most of us when it comes to our ancestors, out of sight is out of mind. Our lives are busy and we don’t often take time to remember our ancestors. With IoTree, you can remember important dates from the lives of 30 of your ancestors. A leaf in IoTree represents an ancestor from you FamilySearch Family Tree.

Each day IoTree checks to see if an important ancestor event occurred on that day and alerts you by lighting that ancestor’s leaf in the tree. You are also notified when an ancestor’s information changes in FamilySearch. When an alert occurs for an ancestor, you can see it in the mobile app as well as receive a text message. No smartphone required to receive SMS messages.

This is a great way to connect your kids to their ancestors.

IoTree is more than just a beautiful piece of framed art, it is an internet connected device with a micro-controller enclosed in its 26″ x 20″ x 1¼” frame. The Internet of Things (IoT) is an emerging technology where devices or “things” are connected to the internet. Think of a portable fitness tracker, smart thermostat or door that you can unlock with your phone.

IoTree is an IoT device made specifically for connecting families with their ancestors. It is the first IoT device that we are aware of designed for family history.

IoTree is the CHECK ANCESTOR light™ for your family history. Take a moment to discuss your ancestor with your family or someone else. With IoTree, you can receive about 100 ancestor reminders a year which means more thinking about them and more conversations with your family.

IoTree was implemented by Team ThinkGenealogy which includes: Mark Tucker, Eric Norby, Larry Standage, Marcus Johnson, and Blaine Cotter.

For more information, check out the IoTree website and watch the RootsTech Innovator Challenge submission video.



We need your feedback to make IoTree the best product that it can be. Want support for GEDCOM or another online tree, let us know. What features would you like to see? Please complete a short survey.

2015 FGS CONFERENCE EARLY REGISTRATION DISCOUNT EXTENDED

Federation of Genealogical Societies 2015 Conference

January 23, 2015 – Austin, TX. The early registration discount for the 2015 Federation of Genealogical Societies Conference has been extended to midnight (MST), Monday, January 26. This extension allows three more days to register at $159 for the full four days of the conference coming up February 11–14 in Salt Lake City, Utah in conjunction with RootsTech.

Wednesday, February 11 features sessions for society leaders and members designed to give you new ideas and inspiration for helping your favorite society grow and prosper. Sessions on Thursday, February 12 through Saturday, February 14 focus on genealogy and family history researchers. Learning about records, methods, and best practices will help you solve those tough research problems.

Visit the FGS 2015 Conference website for details about sessions, speakers, luncheons, special events, and more. If you have already registered, log in to your account at FGSconference.org to purchase luncheon tickets.

The online registration price increases to $189 after January 26. The cost to add-on RootsTech remains $39. Register now.

See you in Salt Lake City in February.

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 strengthen and grow through resources available online, FGS FORUM magazine (filled with articles for the family history community), and Society Strategy Series papers, covering topics about effectively operating a genealogical society. FGS also links the genealogical community through its annual conference — four days of excellent lectures, including one full day devoted to society management topics. To learn more visit http://www.fgs.org.

Follow us on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/FGSgenealogy), Twitter (http://www.facebook.com/FGSgenealogy) and on our blog at (http://voice.fgs.org).

First National Hellenic American Genealogy Conference - April 25, 2015


The Education and Culture Committee of the Hellenic American Chamber of Commerce, in association with HellenicGenealogyGeek.com is pleased to announce the First National Hellenic American Genealogy Conference to be held on Saturday, April 25, 2015 from 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. at the Holy Trinity Cathedral Ballroom, 337 East 74th Street, New York, New York 10021.

Speakers include Dr. Marietta Minotos of the General State Archives of Greece; George D. Tselos, Chief Archivist of Ellis Island; Georgia Stryker Keilman, founder of HellenicGenealogyGeek.com; Dr. Peter C. Moskos, Sociology Professor and author; and others.

Topics will address the records available and the research skills required to search Greek lineage, both in the U.S. and in Greece. Conference costs are covered by the event sponsors and there will be no charge; however, seating is limited and registration is required.

Information can be found at http://hellenicamerican.cc. To register, send an email to Stamatis A. Ghikas at hellenicchamber-nyc@att.net.

Findmypast makes Irish Poverty Relief Loan records available online for the first time to mark Irish Family History Day

With the addition of exciting new record sets, leading family history website Findmypast is now the best place to research your Irish ancestry

Dublin, Ireland. 23 January 2015. Findmypast has digitised and is publishing the Poverty Relief Loans records from The National Archives in London online for the first time. This release - together with the addition of a new, easier to search version of the Ireland Census 1911 - makes Findmypast home to the largest online collection of Irish family history records anywhere in the world.

New records: Poverty Relief Loans

The Irish Reproductive Loan Fund was a privately funded micro credit scheme set up in 1824 to provide small loans to the ‘industrious poor’ – those most affected by poverty and famine.

This collection of almost 700,000 records, which span the period of the Irish Potato Famine, provides unique insight into the lives of those living in Ireland during one of the darkest periods in its history. The handwritten ledgers and account books reveal the changing fortunes of Irish ancestors and their subsequent movements in Ireland and across the world. Now anyone can go online and research individuals and families to find out more about where they lived, their financial situation, their social status and more besides.

Brian Donovan, Head of Irish Data and Business Development for Findmypast, said “These incredibly important records provide an exceptional insight into the lives of the poor across the west of Ireland from Sligo down to Cork. The people recorded are precisely those who were most likely to suffer the worst of the Famine or be forced to emigrate. These remarkable records allow us to chart what happened to 690,000 people like this from the 1820s to the 1850s, giving a glimpse of their often heart breaking accounts of survival and destitution, misery and starvation. We are very lucky to be able to tell their stories.”

Caroline Kimbell, Head of Licensing at The National Archives in London said “This collection is one of very few about individual Irish families from 19th century held at Kew. We are grateful to Findmypast for bringing these remarkable testaments to light.”

These new records complement an expansive collection of Irish records - including Irish Petty Sessions, Irish Prison Registers, Irish newspapers and Irish Births 1864-1958, to name a few – that make Findmypast the best place to bring Irish family history to life.

Exclusive Irish records – digitised for the first time

As well as the Poverty Relief Loans, Findmypast has today added other new Irish record sets, including the Clare Electoral Registers, which reveal early women voters and is only available online at Findmypast, the Ireland Census 1911 and over 800,000 Irish marriages dating back to 1619.

The Ireland Census 1911 is an excellent starting point for anyone researching their Irish ancestors. Findmypast’s powerful search will for the first time allow family historians to search for more than one family member at the same time, helping to narrow down results, and by birth year and by spelling variations of a name – all making it easier than ever to trace Irish ancestors.

Irish Family History Day

This year, Findmypast’s Irish Family History Day – an annual celebration of Irish heritage – takes place on 23 January.

It will be marked by the launch of exciting new record sets, as well as webinars, guides and advice, information on the records and exclusive offers to access Findmypast’s extensive Irish record collection.

Webinar

As part of Irish Family History Day, Findmypast will be running an online webinar and Q&A session hosted by Irish family history expert, Brian Donovan. The webinar will cover getting started with Irish family history, as well as hints and tips on getting further with your research.

The webinar will be held at 5pm GMT on 23 January. Brian will be on hand to answer questions after the webinar. For more information, and to register interest, visit http://bit.ly/irishlive.

About Findmypast

Findmypast has been a leading family history website for more than 10 years. It’s a searchable online archive of over 2 billion family history records, from parish records and censuses to migration records, military collections, historical newspapers and lots more. For our members around the world, Findmypast is a crucial resource for building family trees and doing detailed historical research.

In April 2003 the company was the first to provide access to the complete birth, marriage, and death indexes for England & Wales, winning the Queen’s Award for Innovation. Since that time, Findmypast has digitized family history records from across the globe, including major collections from Britain, Ireland, Australia, and the United States. In partnership with the British Library, Findmypast is part of a project to safeguard the future of the world’s greatest newspaper archive – allowing digital access to more than 40 million newspaper pages. Recently, The National Archives awarded the company the exclusive rights to put the 1939 Register for England and Wales online.

For more information please contact press@dctfh.com

About The National Archives

For the record, for good…The National Archives is a government department and an executive agency of the Ministry of Justice (MoJ). As the official archive of the UK government and England and Wales, we look after and make available to the public a collection of historical records dating back over 1,000 years, including records as diverse as Domesday Book and MI5 files.

Our 21st-century role is to collect and secure the future of the record, both digital and physical, to preserve it for generations to come, and to make it as accessible as possible. We do this by devising technological solutions to ensure the long-term survival of public records and working to widen access to our collection. The National Archives also advises on information management across government, publishes all UK legislation, manages Crown copyright and leads the archive sector. We work to promote and improve access to public sector information and its re-use. www.nationalarchives.gov.uk www.legislation.gov.uk

Top 100 Genealogy Websites of 2015


GenealogyInTime Magazine, the most popular online genealogy magazine and one of the world’s largest free genealogy websites, announces the annual list of the top 100 most popular genealogy websites.

The annual GenealogyInTime Magazine Top 100 is the definitive list in genealogy. It profiles and ranks the best ancestral websites based on estimates of their internet traffic (as measured by Alexa, the internet traffic people). The result is a list that is objective and comprehensive.

This year represents our fourth annual survey on the state of genealogy. We look at the following:
  • Information and links to the Top 100 most popular genealogy websites from around the world.
  • A discussion on the largest ancestral websites and what they have to offer.
  • Pointers toward the most popular free genealogy websites to help you find your ancestors.
  • A list of rising genealogy stars that are worth checking out. These are websites that have seen the largest increase in popularity over the past year.
  • A discussion on the big three firms in genealogy and what they do.
  • Estimates as to how much genealogy has grown over the past year.
The link to the article is http://www.genealogyintime.com/articles/top-100-genealogy-websites-of-2015-page01.html

About GenealogyInTime Magazine GenealogyInTime Magazine is the most popular online genealogy magazine and one of the world’s largest free genealogy websites. We are more than just a magazine. In addition to providing many in-depth free articles, we also provide a variety of free tools and resources to help people discover their ancestors. For example, we maintain the most complete list available on the internet of the newest genealogy record sets from around the world. We also run the largest free Genealogy Search Engine.

GenealogyInTime Magazine is based in Ottawa, Canada. The website is www.genealogyintime.com. We can be reached by email at letusknow@genealogyintime.com

British Army Bond of Sacrifice, East London Marriages, Derby Railway Servant’s Orphanage Registers and over 2.5 million new newspaper articles now available to search at Findmypast


Every Friday, thousands of new records are released on our dedicated Findmypast Friday page to explore over the weekend. This week’s new additions include over 2,600 officer biographies from both volumes of the British Army Bond of Sacrifice, over 92,000 Parish marriages from London’s Docklands and East End, over 1,400 Derby Railway Servants Orphanage records and substantial new additions to our collection of historic British Newspapers.

British Army Bond of Sacrifice: Officers Died in the Great War 1914-1916, contains over 2,600 officer biographies from both volumes of the Bond of Sacrifice. The Bond of Sacrifice was designed to act as a biographical record of all British officers who fell in the Great War. Volume 1 covered the first four months of the war and closed in December 1914, while Volume 2 covered the first six months of 1915. The original intention was to create a volume for every six months of the war to include the names of all the officers, who died from causes directly related to active service. However, due in no small part to the huge number of officer casualties, and to the publishers running out of money, the series was never completed.

Names are listed in alphabetical order and most entries include a photo portrait and a short biography. The biographies usually consist of parents’ names, educational background, achievements and, when present, spouse’s name and children’s names. The entries also detail the officer’s military career and often include a description about how the officer lost his life. Many include comments from commanding officers about the bravery and gallantry of the officer under their command.

London, Docklands and East End Marriages, 1558-1859 contain over 92,000 records. Covering 8 East End Parishes, each record contains a transcript of the original Parish registers. The amount of information listed may vary but records can include the couple’s names, their marital status, the groom’s occupation, the date of the wedding and where it took place.

The East End of London has always been home to a variety of immigrant communities. In the 17th century Huguenot refugees settled in Spitalfields, followed by Irish weavers and other ethnic groups, many of whom came in search of work in the blossoming clothing industry there.

Derbyshire, Derby Railway Servants’ Orphanage registers 1875-1912 lists the details of children from Northern Britain whose father’s died while working on the Railways. The Derby Railway Servants’ Orphanage opened in 1875 in response to the hundreds of railway employees, who died each year in the course of their work. Children were admitted from railway companies all over Great Britain and Ireland and the Derby home catered for the north of Britain. Children were admitted between the ages of 6 and 12, had to leave at the age of 15 and would be classified as orphans even if their mother was still alive.

Each record contains a transcript of the original register. The amount of information varies but records can include details of the father’s occupation and death, mother’s address, any siblings, dates of arrival and departure and signatures. Many records also include additional notes such as comments on behaviour, employment prospects, health, religious denomination and funding.

Over 2.5 million new articles have been added to our collection of British Newspapers. 14 brand new publications have been added to the collection, while additions have been made to over 250 existing titles. New titles include ‘Bell’s Life in London and Sporting Chronicle’, ‘Bristol Times and Mirror’, ‘Dorset County Chronicle’, ‘Folkestone, Hythe, Sandgate & Cheriton Herald’, ‘Oxford Chronicle and Reading Gazette’ and the ‘Walsall Observer and South Staffordshire Chronicle’.

About Findmypast

Leading family history website Findmypast was the first company to make the complete birth, marriage and death indexes for England & Wales available online in April 2003, winning the Queen’s Award for Innovation. Findmypast has subsequently digitized many more family history records and now offers access to over 2 billion records dating as far back as 875 AD. This allows family historians to search for their ancestors among comprehensive collections of military, census, migration, parish, work and education records, newspapers as well as the original comprehensive birth, marriage and death records. The company runs the official 1911 census website for England & Wales in association with The National Archives and has digitized several other record sets from the national collection. Findmypast has also partnered with the British Library in a 10 year project to safeguard the future of the world's greatest local newspaper archive

2015 APG Awards to Arner, Rencher, Oiesen and O'Sullivan



Association of Professional Genealogists Recognizes Members Amy E. K. Arner and David Rencher, AG, CG, FIGRS, FUGA for Contributions to the Organization and to the Genealogy Profession

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, and WHEAT RIDGE, Colo., 8 January, 2015− The Association of Professional Genealogists (APG®) honored three of its members for their achievements and service to the field of genealogy today at its 2015 Professional Management Conference (PMC) in Salt Lake City. APG President Kimberly T. Powell presented the awards at today’s opening session of PMC. Award recipients included:

Amy E. K. Arner received the Grahame T. Smallwood, Jr., Award of Merit, which honors personal commitment and outstanding service to the APG. Arner was an APG board member from 2007—2012 and was reelected in 2014. She served for many years on the Publications Advisory Committee and is presently a proofreader for the Association of Professional Genealogists Quarterly. She is a past president of the APG Great Lakes Chapter

David E. Rencher, AG, CG, FIGRS, FUGA, received the APG Professional Achievement Award. The award, created in 2007, recognizes exceptional professional achievement and ethical behavior with contributions to the field of genealogy. A longtime APG member, Rencher was chosen for his leadership as Chief Genealogical Officer of FamilySearch, which he shepherded into the 21st century with innovation and unprecedented record access. He was also the director of the Family History Library, updating and computerizing the facility. His contributions to both the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy and the British Institute helped to propel them into world-class genealogical education forums. This award also recognizes his efforts with the Federation of Genealogical Societies to promote access to the War of 1812 pensions through crowd funding, and his efforts as the Chair of the Records Preservation and Access Committee (RPAC), a joint committee of the Federation of Genealogical Societies, the National Genealogical Society, and the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies. He is past president of the Federation of Genealogical Societies (1997-2001) and the Utah Genealogical Association.

Corey Oiesen received a Certificate of Appreciation for her service to APG.

“These award recipients represent the service, dedication, and imagination that have carried the genealogy field forward,” said APG President Kimberly T. Powell. “We thank them for their hard work in the field and for APG.”

APG also announced the 2015 winner of its Young Professional Scholarship, Bryna O’Sullivan. See the press release at http://www.apgen.org.

About the Association of Professional Genealogists

The Association of Professional Genealogists (www.apgen.org), established in 1979, represents more than 2,700 genealogists, librarians, writers, editors, historians, instructors, booksellers, publishers and others involved in genealogy-related businesses. APG encourages genealogical excellence, ethical practice, mentoring and education. The organization also supports the preservation and accessibility of records useful to the fields of genealogy and history. Its members represent all fifty states, Canada and thirty other countries. APG is active on LinkedIn, Twitter (www.twitter.com/apggenealogy), Facebook, and Google+.

2015 FGS CONFERENCE EARLY REGISTRATION DISCOUNT ENDS JANUARY 23

Federation of Genealogical Societies 2015 Conference

January 9, 2015 – Austin, TX. The early registration discount for the 2015 Federation of Genealogical Societies Conference ends January 23. Early registrants pay $159 for the full four days. The online registration price increases to $189 after January 23. The cost to add-on RootsTech remains $39. Register now to pay the lowest registration price.

The FGS 2015 conference will be held February 11–14, 2015 in Salt Lake City, Utah in conjunction with RootsTech. Visit www.FGSconference.org to learn how those two conferences will operate while sharing the Salt Palace Convention Center and to find out about sessions, speakers, luncheons, and special events. If you have already registered, log in to your account at FGSconference.org to purchase luncheon tickets.

Subscribe to the FGS Voice blog at www.voice.fgs.org and FGS social media channels (links available at www.FGSconference.org) to keep up with the latest news and announcements about the 2015 conference.

See you in Salt Lake City in February.


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 strengthen and grow through resources available online, FGS FORUM magazine (filled with articles for the family history community), and Society Strategy Series papers, covering topics about effectively operating a genealogical society. FGS also links the genealogical community through its annual conference — four days of excellent lectures, including one full day devoted to society management topics. To learn more visit http://www.fgs.org.

Follow us on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/FGSgenealogy), Twitter (http://www.facebook.com/FGSgenealogy) and on our blog at (http://voice.fgs.org).

FINDMYPAST ANNOUNCES APPOINTMENT OF BEN BENNETT AS NEW VICE PRESIDENT OF INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS


London, UK, and Salt Lake City, US 7 January 2014. Findmypast, a leading family history site, has announced the appointment of Ben Bennett as their Executive Vice President of International Business.

From January 2015, Ben will be responsible for the development of Findmypast’s North American market as well as other markets outside of the UK. Ben will become a member of Findmypast’s Senior Management team and will have an important role in building a global structure for Findmypast.

Ben has worked in the high tech and customer care industries for nearly 20 years. Prior to joining Findmypast, Ben was Vice President of Partner Services at FamilySearch International, and held various positions at Microsoft Corporation in Redmond, Washington as well as positions at Convergys Corporation in Salt Lake City, Utah.

"I couldn’t be more excited to join the Findmypast family” said Ben Bennett. “I firmly believe that Findmypast is uniquely qualified to create experiences that will enable everyone to ‘bring the past to life’ and share those exciting discoveries with both family and friends.”

'We are absolutely delighted to welcome Ben to our team” said Annelies Van Den Belt, CEO of Findmypast. “He brings a wealth of experience of developing family history and technology products, and we are looking forward to working with him to bring even more exciting family history experiences to our customers and partners across the world'.

About Findmypast

Findmypast has been a leading family history website for more than 10 years. It’s a searchable online archive of over 2 billion family history records, from parish records and censuses to migration records, military collections, historical newspapers and lots more. For our members around the world, Findmypast is a crucial resource for building family trees and doing detailed historical research.

In April 2003 the company was the first to provide access to the complete birth, marriage, and death indexes for England & Wales, winning the Queen’s Award for Innovation. Since that time, Findmypast has digitised family history records from across the globe, including major collections from Britain, Ireland, Australia, and the United States. In partnership with the British Library, Findmypast is part of a project to safeguard the future of the world’s greatest newspaper archive – allowing digital access to more than 40 million newspaper pages. Recently, The National Archives awarded the company the exclusive rights to put the 1939 Register for England and Wales online.

New Website Helps Researchers Locate Reconstruction-Era Records for African American Genealogy, History


Did you know that the majority of Freedmen's Bureau records are now digitized and available online for free? Did you know that there are also digitized images of the records of other institutions that served newly-freed African Americans during Reconstruction, such as the Freedman’s Savings and Trust?

Angela Walton-Raji and Toni Carrier have built a new website called "Mapping the Freedmen's Bureau - An Interactive Research Guide" (www.mappingthefreedmensbureau.com) to assist researchers in locating and accessing records of the Freedmen's Bureau, Freedmen's hospitals, contraband camps and Freedman's Bank branches.

Researchers can use the website's interactive map to learn which of these services were located near their area of research interest. If the records are online, the map provides a link to the records that tell the stories of newly-freed former slaves in the United States. The site also maps the locations where African Americans who served in the United States Colored Troops (USCT) fought in battle.

The goal of this mapping project is to provide researchers, from the professional to the novice, a useful tool to more effectively tell the family story, the local history and the greater story of the nation during Reconstruction.

The free website “Mapping the Freedmen’s Bureau – An Interactive Guide” is available at http://www.mappingthefreedmensbureau.com.

TINA SANSONE & SHERI MCNEIL SAVORY Partner on ResearchDNAWriters & “A Savory Spotlight”



January 3, 2015 – Tina Sansone and Sheri McNeil Savory announce their partnership in the genealogical/DNA business, ResearchDNAWriters and LA Talk Radio’s weekly show, “A Savory Spotlight”, which covers a variety of topics. More information can be found on their websites, www.researchdnawriters.com and http://latalkradio.com/Savory.php.

About Tina Sansone & Sheri McNeil Savory

Tina is from Tennessee. She is the genealogy editor for BellaOnline.com and is a board member for the Association of Professional Genealogist, and serves as President for their virtual Second Life–APG Chapter. She is the SE Editor for the International Society of Family History Writers & Editors and is the coordinator for their “Excellence in Writing” competition. She is a past board member of the Tennessee Genealogical Society. Tina is a member of the Council for the Advancement of Forensic Genealogy and a GeneaBlogger. Tina enjoys helping others break down their brick walls and is excited about teaming up with ResearchDNAWriters and LATalkRadio. She is a wife, mother of three and grandmother.

Sheri is a professional genealogist and author, was born in Detroit, Michigan. She has been a genealogist for over twenty-five years. She has published articles in the Gest-Guest Quarterly, genealogy blogs, works closely with FamilytreeDNA projects and is a professional speaker. The study of DNA and family bloodlines dominates her presentations as she inspires people through her tenacity and persistence while searching for clues to the past. She is a radio show host and author of the “A Face to My Name Collection". In addition to working with Genealogist.com and Stars Publishing, LLC Sheri McNeil Savory has teamed up with www.researchdnawriters.com as a specialist in DNA analysis. She is currently planning to take a group on a guided Tour to Nova Scotia 2015, http://www.researchdnawriters.com/nova-scotia-tour.html. Sheri is a single lady, dedicated entrepreneur and a proud mother to a TV commercial Producer and Cinematographer. She is a hands on grandmother of two smart and lovely girls with two granddogs named Peanut and Butter...

About ResearchDNAWriters & “A Savory Spotlight”

ResearchDNAWriters offers genealogical services and consults, as well as DNA analysis. Sheri will coordinate genealogical and historical tours. “A Savory Spotlight” is a weekly internet radio show on LAtalkradio.com that will cover a variety of topics, but will focus weekly on genealogy and/or DNA topics. Anyone wishing to be a guest or sponsor on the show, please email: savoryspotlight@researchdnawriters.com. Follow ResearchDNAWriters on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/groups/researchdnawriters), Twitter (https://twitter.com/DnaWriters) and on our blog (http://researchdnawriters.wordpress.com).

National Genealogical Society Issues Call for Papers for the 2016 Family History Conference in Fort Lauderdale, Florida


Arlington, VA, 2 January 2015: Beginning 1 January 2015, the National Genealogical Society (NGS) will begin accepting proposals for the 2016 Family History Conference, Exploring the Centuries: Footprints in Time. The conference will be held 4–7 May 2016 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Long before Plymouth Rock, the Boston Tea Party, and the Declaration of Independence, the story of America began on the beaches of Florida. Beginning with the Spanish discovery in 1513, many significant events have shaped Florida’s history—including the exploration by the French and Spanish, the colonization of Florida’s interior, the state’s involvement in military conflicts, and recent contributions to science, technology and entertainment. Follow the footprints of the American saga in the sands of Florida.

Among the topics being considered by NGS are lectures on Florida history (especially early settlement), records, repositories, ethnic and religious groups, neighboring areas (the Caribbean, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, North Carolina, and South Carolina), and migration to, from, and within Florida. The Society will also consider regional topics of interest, including land and military records, especially those pertaining to the Revolutionary War, Indian wars, Civil War and World War I. NGS is also soliciting proposals for broader genealogical categories, including federal records, the law as it relates to genealogy, methodology, genetic genealogy, analysis and problem solving, and technology.

Speakers who wish to submit lecture proposals, and organizations interested in sponsoring tracks or individual lectures should follow the published guidelines at the NGS website: http://conference.ngsgenealogy.org/program/call-for-papers/call-for-papers/. Speakers may submit up to eight proposals electronically via http://conference.ngsgenealogy.org/program/call-for-papers/submit-your-proposal/. Organizations wishing to sponsor a lecture or track of lectures may submit proposals via http://conference.ngsgenealogy.org/program/call-for-papers/ngs-2016-family-history-conference-sponsored-call-for-papers/.

All submissions are due by 11:59 p.m. EDT on 1 April 2015.

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.

GenSoftReviews Announces its Users Choice Awards for 2014

 GenSoftReviews Announces its Users Choice Awards for 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

January 2, 2015

The 6th annual Users Choice Awards have been announced at the GenSoftReviews website.

26 programs were eligible having a minimum of 10 reviews and at least one review in 2014. Of those, 16 programs achieved a user-assigned average score of at least 4.00 out of 5, and were awarded a 2014 GenSoftReviews Top Rated Genealogy Software award.

The Winners include:

  • 9 Windows programs: Ahnenblatt, Clooz, Family Historian, Ancestral Quest, Brother's Keeper, Family Tree Builder, Behold, RootsMagic and Genbox Family History,
  • 1 Mac program: Reunion
  • 5 Online programs: The Next Generation, Famberry, My Great Big Family, MyHeritage and Family Echo
  • 1 Handheld program: Heredis for iOS

The top program for 2014 was Ahnenblatt, a free full featured Windows program by Dirk Böttcher. Ahnenblatt ended the year with a user rating of 4.90 out of 5 based on 152 reviews. Ancestral Quest dropped from first in 2013 to seventh in 2014 but still retained an excellent score of 4.54 out of 5. The Next Generation, a program that manages and displays your family tree on your website, moved up from fourth in 2013 to second in 2014 with a score of 4.78 out of 5.

New to the list of winners for 2014 were My Heritage for their online Family Tree system, and Behold, a genealogy data viewer.

Programs that dropped off the list from 2013 include iFamily for Leopard and Heredis for Mac, both of which did not receive at least one rating in 2014, as well as Gramps that fell from a rating of 4.15 in 2013 to 3.41 in 2014.

A new rule added in 2014 is that unsupported programs no longer qualify for Users Choice Awards, but they are still listed at GenSoftReviews so they can be rated and reviewed. As a result, Personal Ancestral File was not awarded a Users Choice Award despite still being well liked with a score of 4.51 out of 5.

GenSoftReviews uses a time-weighted average score. The weight of every user rating goes down 50% every year, so newer opinions will be better reflected in the average score.

Congratulations go to all the 2014 winners. They are producing a product that their users like. GenSoftReviews hopes all genealogy software developers will use the feedback these reviews provide to improve their programs for their users.

For more information and a complete listing of current and past winners, see the Users Choice Awards page.