Friday, July 31, 2015

New Records Available To Search This Findmypast Friday, July 31, 2015


This week’s Findmypast Friday marks the release of over 27,000 fascinating British Army Military School records from both England and Ireland. This week’s additions also include over 92,000 historic Irish Newspapers articles, substantial updates to the PERiodical Source Index (PERSI) and the ability to browse our collection of Norfolk parish registers.

British Army schoolchildren and schoolmasters 1803-1932

Containing over 27,000 records, British Army schoolchildren and schoolmasters 1803-1932 list the details of students and staff members at the Royal Military Asylum (RMA) in Chelsea and the Royal Hibernian Military School (RHMS) in Dublin. Both schools were founded by Royal Warrant during the Napoleonic wars to educate the orphans of British servicemen in the regular army. Upon reaching the age of 14, students, both male and female, were meant to leave the institution. Boys who chose not to enlist in the army and female students were placed in indentured apprenticeship programs. Not all apprenticeship appointments were local and several pupils were sent as far as Barbados and India.
The collection covers several individual record sets and each entry consists of a transcript of the original source material. RHMS records include information about students outside the normal admission details, such as whether they went on to enlist, what trade they were taught, and the name of their fathers’ regiments. A staff list from 1864 is also available to search. RMA records include apprentice ledgers covering 1803 to 1840 and enrolment ledgers of Army Schoolmasters covering 1847 to 1876. The RMA also kept ledgers of the offences and the corresponding punishments that were doled out to misbehaving students. Punishment Ledgers for 1847 are also available to search.

Royal Hibernian Military School admissions 1847-1932

Containing nearly 10,000 records, Royal Hibernian Military School admissions 1847-1932 is a subset of British Army schoolchildren and schoolmasters 1803-1932. The records pertain specifically to students enrolled at the Royal Hibernian Military School in Dublin, Ireland. The School was opened at the end of the Seven Years War in 1769 by the philanthropic Hibernian Society with 90 boys and 50 girls in attendance. It was established in order to educate the orphaned children of members of the British armed forces in Ireland. The RHMS merged with the Duke of York’s Royal Military School in 1924.

Many of the school’s records were stored in London and destroyed during the London blitz in 1940. Surviving admissions registers are now in The National Archives and have been transcribed by Peter Goble. Each record consists of a transcript of the original source material. Admissions Include information about students outside of normal admission details, such as whether they went on to enlist, what trade they were taught, and the name of their fathers’ regiments. There are also names of various pupils captured from the 1911 Irish census and a staff list taken in 1864.

Norfolk parish registers browse

The ability to browse through more than 300 years of parish registers has just been added to our collection of Norfolk parish records. Containing more than 5,300 pages of baptism, marriage, bans, and burial records from Church of England parishes, the Norfolk registers date back to 1538 and pre date civil registration.

Most of the records are handwritten so you may find incorrect spellings or find them hard to read. Some registers have suffered damage over the centuries so some pages may be water or heat damaged – or even nibbled by mice. The information recorded has varied over the years, but parish records can provide more information than simply confirmation of the event. Information also varies according to which event is being recorded.

Irish Newspaper Update

Over 92,000 new articles and two brand new titles have recently been added to our collection of historic Irish Newspapers. The new titles, the Missionary Herald of The Presbyterian Church in Ireland and the Tyrone Constitution, cover over 25 years of 19th century history in Ireland, dating as far back as 1844 and up to 1871. Substantial updates have also been made to existing titles, including over 6,000 additional articles from the Dublin Evening Mail.

PERSI Quarterly Index Update

Over 85,500 new article indexes have recently been added to the PERiodical Source Index (PERSI). The indexes added cover an impressive range of years, with some dating as far back as the 1500s and others right up to present day. PERSI is the world’s largest and most widely used subject index for U.S. genealogy and local history literature. Most of PERSI’s articles are from periodicals covering the United States and Canada, but you can also find thousands of genealogy and local history entries (in both English and French) from Britain, Ireland and Australia.


Remember to check our dedicated Findmypast Fridays page every week to keep up to date with the latest new additions.

About Findmypast

Findmypast (previously DC Thomson Family History) is a British-owned world leader in online genealogy. It has an unrivalled record of online innovation in the field of family history and 18 million registered users across its family of online brands, which includes Mocavo, Genes Reunited, The British Newspaper Archive amongst others.

Its lead brand, also called Findmypast, is a searchable online archive of over two billion family history records, from parish records and censuses to migration records, military collections, historical newspapers and lots more. For members around the world, the site is a crucial resource for building family trees and doing detailed historical research.

In April 2003 Findmypast 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, the company has digitised records from across the globe, including major collections from Britain, Ireland, Australia, and the United States.

Friday, July 24, 2015

New Records Available To Search This Findmypast Friday, July 24, 2015


This week’s Findmypast Friday marks the release of over 113,000 new Australian convict records covering Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland and the Island of St Helena. A 1714 list of over 3,000 British Army Officers who were receiving half has also been released as well as a census of the Irish Army taken during the Irish Civil War in 1922.

Australian Criminal Records

Containing over 2,000 records, the Victoria, Convict register 1842-1854 is made up of several lists relating to the administration of convicts in the Port Phillip District. The region was administered by the colony of New South Wales until, on 1 July 1851, it separated to become the Colony of Victoria. Although no convicts were transported directly to Port Phillip, many ended up in the region as servants or workers assigned to government projects. Others entered from New South Wales or Tasmania as ticket-of-leave holders seeking work. Each record includes an image of the original document and a transcript. The amount of information listed may vary but most will include the convicts name, year of transportation, the ship they arrived on, details of their sentence and details of either their assignment or ticket of leave.

The New South Wales, Convict Death Register 1828-1879 contains the details of nearly 7,000 convict deaths as reported to the Principal Superintendent of Convicts (until 1855), and subsequently the Inspector General of Police. Each record contains a transcript and black and white image of the original document. Records list the deceased Convicts name, age, date of burial, place of burial, the ship they arrived on and any additional remarks.

The Queensland Convict register index 1824-1839 contains the details of over 2,600 convicts held at the Moreton Bay convict settlement. Moreton Bay was established in 1823 as a place of secondary punishment for convicted prisoners who committed further crimes in the Port Jackson region. Around 2,400 men and 145 women lived in the Bay’s convict depots under the control of military commandants who were required to maintain registers for regular submission to the Colonial Secretary in Sydney. Each record is a transcript of the original source documents. Transcripts can include details of the prisoner’s offence and sentence, their prisoner number and physical description as well as biographical details such as their place of birth, year of birth and religion.

Containing over 10,000 records, the Queensland, St Helena Convict Index 1863-1936 lists the details of convicts held at the penal colony on the Island of St Helena. St Helena is located 2.5 miles east of the mouth of the Brisbane River in Moreton Bay and was named after an after an aboriginal named Napoleon was exiled there in 1826. It later became home to a quarantine station that became one of the most profitable prisons in the State’s history, housing prisoners under sentence of hard labour. Conditions were so harsh that it became known as “the hell hole of the Pacific” or “Queensland’s Inferno”. Each record is a transcript taken from original source documents. Transcripts can include the prisoner’s name, their prisoner number, the year their name was taken as well as page, ID and reference numbers for the original documents held by the Queensland State Archives.

Australia Convict Tickets of Leave 1824-1874 contains over 60,000 records. A ticket of Leave was a form of bail or licence that allowed prisoners to build a new life in Australia before the official end of their sentence. The system was introduced informally in 1801 to reward convicts who had performed a service or been of particularly good conduct and allowed them to work for themselves, marry, or to have their families join them. Tickets had to be renewed yearly and carried at all times. Ticket holders were also expected to regularly attend religious services, prohibited from leaving the colony and barred from carrying firearms. The records in this collection consist of three different types of document held by the Government of New South Wales: Registers of tickets of leave 1824-1833, Ticket of leave butts 1827-1875, and New South Wales, butts of convicts’ certificates of freedom 1827-1867. Each record contains a transcript and black and white image of the original document that can include the prisoners name, where they were born (convicts came from all over the British Empire), their offence, occupation, a physical description and where they were allowed to settle.

New South Wales, butts of convicts’ certificates of freedom 1827-1867 contain nearly 32,000 records. Certificates of Freedom were awarded to convicts after they completed a fixed term of sentence, allowing them to go free and choose whether to settle in Australia or return home to their country of their origin. Certificates were only available to prisoners serving a fixed term sentence, usually 4, 7 or 14 years, and not to those serving life sentences. Each record contains a transcript and a black and white image of the original document. Earlier certificates show the bare details of name, sentence and ship while later certificates give much greater detail including occupation or calling, native place and distinguishing physical marks. They may also note whether or not the convict previously held a ticket of leave, which would allow him limited freedom before the end of his sentence.

Irish Army Census 1922

Containing over 32,000 records, the Irish Army Census 1922 is comprised of ten volumes held by the Military Archives of Ireland. The census lists the names of all those serving with the army at midnight on 12/13 November 1922 and was imposed to help with administrative challenges faced by the new Army Pay Office. The National Army was established in 1922 following the signing of the Anglo-Irish treaty and the end of the Irish War of Independence. The first recruits were pro-Treaty supporters within the Irish Republican Army though records show that a number of later recruits were as young as 14 years old. The census will be an invaluable resource as it was taken shortly after the Four Courts fire had destroyed thousands of records. The census is also of historical significance as it was taken during the Irish Civil War (1922-1924). Each record includes a transcript of the details found in the original records and a link to the image on the Military Archives website. Each transcript includes a soldiers name, age, birth year, place and county. Images will reveal further details such as their division, rank, attestation details, home address and next of kin.

British Army, List of Half-pay Officers 1714

The British Army, List of Half-pay Officers 1714 contains the details of over 3,000 Officers from over 116 different regiments within the British Army. Half-pay referred to the pay or allowance an officer received when in retirement or not in actual service. Many of those listed would have served in the War of Spanish Succession (1701 to 1714). The Treaty of Utrecht, signed at the end of the War, reduced the size of the British Army by almost 50 regiments. This left a high number of officers displaced. Retirement for an officer was not available until 1871 so many went on half-pay, allowing them to retain their commissions and remain available for any future service. The index was created by Wienand Drenth. Each record includes a transcript of the original source material that lists the Officers name, rank, regiment and establishment (English or Irish).

Remember to check our dedicated Findmypast Fridays page every week to keep up to date with the latest new additions.

About Findmypast

Findmypast (previously DC Thomson Family History) is a British-owned world leader in online genealogy. It has an unrivalled record of online innovation in the field of family history and 18 million registered users across its family of online brands, which includes Mocavo, Genes Reunited, The British Newspaper Archive amongst others.

Its lead brand, also called Findmypast, is a searchable online archive of over two billion family history records, from parish records and censuses to migration records, military collections, historical newspapers and lots more. For members around the world, the site is a crucial resource for building family trees and doing detailed historical research.

In April 2003 Findmypast 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, the company has digitised records from across the globe, including major collections from Britain, Ireland, Australia, and the United States.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Ancestry.com LLC Reports Second Quarter 2015 Financial Results

- Second Quarter Revenues $169.4 million, Up 8.5% Year-Over-Year; Up 10.2% on Constant Currency Basis -
- Second Quarter Adjusted EBITDA $67.3 million, Up 16.1%Year-Over-Year1 -

PROVO, Utah, July 22, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Ancestry.com LLC (the "Company"), the world's largest online family history resource, reported financial results today for the second quarter ended June 30, 2015.

"Our business is performing well at nearly every level, highlighted in the second quarter by improving revenue growth and continued strong Adjusted EBITDA growth," said Tim Sullivan, Chief Executive Officer of the Company. "We are seeing continued momentum both in our Ancestry subscriber business and growth at AncestryDNA, which hit the one million DNA customer milestone earlier this month. This quarter Ancestry also released a major upgrade to its core website that transforms how customers view, arrange, and share the details of their ancestors' lives, helping them weave together a richer, more complete picture of the events, places, and eras that shaped the people who led to them. Product improvements and new content are important growth drivers for our business for new and existing subscribers alike, and the new features and experience on Ancestry, combined with exciting new content releases on tap, position us well for the future."

Second Quarter 2015 Financial Highlights
  • Total revenues for the second quarter 2015 were $169.4 million compared to $156.1 million in the second quarter of 2014, driven by growth in revenues from AncestryDNA and the core Ancestry websites. Second quarter 2015 total revenues were reduced by approximately one-and-one-half percentage points due to the foreign exchange impact of the strong U.S. dollar.
     
  • Net income for the second quarter of 2015 was $13.7 million compared to a net loss of $(7.6) million in the second quarter of 2014.
     
  • Adjusted EBITDA2 for the second quarter of 2015 was $67.3 million, compared to $55.4 million in the second quarter of 2014. Adjusted EBITDA for the three months ended June 30, 2014 included $2.6 million of professional service fees related to litigation.
     
  • Free cash flow3 totaled $20.4 million for the second quarter of 2015, compared to $10.2 million for the second quarter of 2014.
     
  • Cash and cash equivalents totaled $108.1 million as of June 30, 2015.
     
  • Obligations under long-term debt4 totaled $854.5 million as of June 30, 2015.
1 Adjusted EBITDA for the three months ended June 30, 2015 increased 21.5% year-over-year.Excluding the impact of one-time expenses of $2.6 million of professional service fees related to litigation for the three months ended June 30, 2014,adjusted EBITDA increased 16.1% in the second quarter of 2015.

2 Adjusted EBITDA is defined as net income (loss) plus interest expense, net; other (income) expense, net; income tax expense (benefit); and non-cash charges, including depreciation, amortization and stock-based compensation expense.

3 Free cash flow subtracts from adjusted EBITDA the capitalization of content databases, purchases of property and equipment and cash received (paid) for income taxes and interest. 

4 This amount does not include $390.2 million in senior unsecured PIK notes issued by our parent company, Ancestry.com Holdings LLC. While not required, Ancestry.com LLC has made and intends to pay future distributions or loans to its parent related to the PIK Notes.

Ancestry Business Updates
  • Subscribers - Subscribers of Ancestry websites totaled approximately 2,220,000 as of June 30, 2015, roughly flat with the 2015 first quarter and up 5% compared to June 30, 2014. 
  • Product - Ancestry completed beta testing its website enhancements and began rolling out the upgrade across its subscriber base. The new website features and capabilities reinvent the ways Ancestry members create and showcase their family story. The Company also released the first version of its new mobile search capability on its iOS app. 
  • Content - The Company added more than 260 million new records in the second quarter of 2015 and now has more than 16 billion total records. New collections added in the second quarter included:
    • More than 25 million Virginia birth, death, marriage and divorce records from 1864-2014, digitized in collaboration with the Virginia Department of Health
    • 5.2 million USA passenger and crew list records, further augmenting the world's largest online collection of such records
    • More than 19 million new international records including Swedish death records spanning 1878-1942, Brandenburg, Germany church and birth, marriage and death records, and Romanian vital records dating to 1607
    • UK World War I diaries, including daily accounts from the Gallipoli Campaign as well as accounts of missions in France, Belgium and Germany in 1919-1920
  • AncestryDNA -AncestryDNA now has a database with DNA samples from 1,000,000 people. 
    • AncestryDNA and Calico, a Google-funded research and development company focused on longevity research and therapeutics, announced a collaboration to analyze family history and genetics to investigate heredity of human lifespan and facilitate the development of cutting edge therapeutics.
  • AncestryHealth - On July 16th the Company announced the beta release of AncestryHealth, a new website aimed at providing consumers with important health insights to help promote wellness, prevent illness, and lead healthier lives. The AncestryHealth initiative is being led by the Company's newly appointed Chief Health Officer.
Conference Call & Webcast

Ancestry.com will host a conference call today at 3:00 p.m. MT (5:00 p.m. ET). Participants can access the conference call by dialing (844) 831-3026 (domestic toll-free) or (315) 625-6887 (international) approximately ten minutes prior to the start time.

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 (loss) is adjusted for interest expense, net; other (income) expense, net; income tax expense (benefit); and non-cash charges, including depreciation, amortization and stock-based compensation expense. Free cash flow subtracts from adjusted EBITDA the capitalization of content databases, purchases of property and equipment and cash received (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 (loss) and net cash provided by operating activities, or other financial measures prepared in accordance with GAAP. A reconciliation to net income (loss), the GAAP equivalent of these non-GAAP measures is contained in tabular form on 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; and in communications with its operating committee concerning its financial performance. The Company also uses adjusted EBITDA as a factor when determining the incentive compensation pool.

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 16 billion records have been added, and users have created more than 70 million family trees to the core Ancestry websites, including its flagship site www.ancestry.com and its affiliated international websites. Ancestry.com offers a suite of online family history brands, including Archives.com, Fold3.com, Newspapers.com, as well as the AncestryDNA product, sold by its subsidiary, Ancestry.com DNA, LLC, and the new AncestryHealth product, offered by its subsidiary AncestryHealth.com, LLC, all of which, along with its core Ancestry websites, are designed to empower people to discover, preserve and share their family history.

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements that relate to future events or to future financial performance and involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause the Company's actual results to be materially different from those anticipated in these forward-looking statements. In some cases, you can identify forward-looking statements by the use of words such as "appears," "may," "designed," "expect," "intend," "focus," "seek," "anticipate," "believe," "estimate," "predict," "potential," "should," "continue" or "work" or the negative of these terms or other comparable terminology. These statements include statements describing the Company's subscriber base, future earnings, financial and operating performance, its leadership position and its opportunities and prospects for growth, including growth in revenues, adjusted EBITDA and number of subscribers. Forward-looking statements involve a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated by these forward-looking statements. In particular, such risks and uncertainties include the Company's continued ability to attract and retain subscribers; continued service outages or a significant disruption in service on its websites; its continued ability to acquire content and make it available online; and its ability to add tools and features and provide value to satisfy customer demand. Information concerning these and additional factors that could cause events or results to differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements is contained under the caption "Risk Factors" in our Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the period ended March 31, 2015, which was filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on May 1, 2015, and in discussions in other of our Securities and Exchange Commission filings.

These forward-looking statements should not be relied upon as representing our views as of any subsequent date and we assume no obligation to publicly update or revise these forward-looking statements for any reason, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise.
ANCESTRY.COM LLC
CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS
(in thousands)
 
  June 30,
2015 
 December 31,
2014 
 (unaudited) 
ASSETS
Current assets:  
Cash and cash equivalents $ 108,087 $ 108,494
Restricted cash 3,518 49,086
Accounts receivable, net of allowances of $969 and $540 at June 30, 2015 and December 31, 2014, respectively 11,874 11,241
Current deferred income taxes 1,375 5,277
Prepaid expenses and other current assets 12,563 11,643
Total current assets 137,417 185,741
Property and equipment, net 39,842 37,106
Content databases, net 283,322 282,815
Intangible assets, net 214,127 269,054
Goodwill 948,283 948,283
Other assets 13,609 3,175
Total assets $ 1,636,600 $ 1,726,174
   
   
   
LIABILITIES AND MEMBER'S INTERESTS
Current liabilities:  
Accounts payable $ 18,597 $ 11,515
Accrued expenses 31,421 47,029
Acquisition-related liabilities 3,518 49,086
Deferred revenues 149,904 145,010
Current portion of long-term debt 29,033 46,537
Total current liabilities 232,473 299,177
Long-term debt, net 791,455 799,403
Deferred income taxes 90,026 115,461
Other long-term liabilities 26,321 16,406
Total liabilities 1,140,275 1,230,447
   
Commitments and contingencies  
Member's interests:  
Member's interests 650,972 666,830
Accumulated deficit (154,647) (171,103)
Total member's interests 496,325 495,727
Total liabilities and member's interests $ 1,636,600 $ 1,726,174
 
 ANCESTRY.COM LLC 
 CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF COMPREHENSIVE INCOME (LOSS) 
 (in thousands) 
 
 Three Months Ended
 June 30,
Six Months Ended
 June 30,
 201520142015 2014 
  (unaudited)  (unaudited) 
Revenues:    
Subscription revenues $ 145,408 $ 137,961 $ 287,125 $ 275,155
Product and other revenues 24,016 18,091 46,896 34,543
Total revenues 169,424 156,052 334,021 309,698
Costs of revenues:    
Cost of subscription revenues 25,584 23,895 51,279 47,263
Cost of product and other revenues 13,882 10,615 28,148 21,928
Total cost of revenues 39,466 34,510 79,427 69,191
Gross profit 129,958 121,542 254,594 240,507
Operating expenses:    
Technology and development 24,282 24,236 47,725 48,801
Marketing and advertising 41,203 40,986 84,380 86,191
General and administrative 12,427 15,341 23,882 29,555
Amortization of acquired intangible assets 27,464 37,001 54,927 74,052
Total operating expenses 105,376 117,564 210,914 238,599
Income from operations 24,582 3,978 43,680 1,908
Interest expense, net (16,622) (17,759) (33,830) (35,150)
Other income (expense), net 190 306 (73) 325
Income (loss) before income taxes 8,150 (13,475) 9,777 (32,917)
Income tax benefit 5,512 5,866 6,679 22,931
Net income (loss) $ 13,662 $ (7,609) $ 16,456 $ (9,986)
     
Comprehensive income (loss) $ 13,662 $ (7,609) $ 16,456 $ (9,986)
 
 ANCESTRY.COM LLC 
 (in thousands) 
 
 Three Months Ended
 June 30,
Six Months Ended
 June 30,
 20152014(1)20152014(1)
  (unaudited) 
Reconciliation of adjusted EBITDA and free cash flow to net income (loss):    
Net income (loss) $ 13,662 $ (7,609) $ 16,456 $ (9,986)
Interest expense, net 16,622 17,759 33,830 35,150
Other (income) expense, net (190) (306) 73 (325)
Income tax benefit (5,512) (5,866) (6,679) (22,931)
Depreciation 5,544 5,199 11,106 10,298
Amortization 35,298 44,201 70,404 88,338
Stock-based compensation expense 1,876 2,018 3,801 3,824
Adjusted EBITDA $ 67,300 $ 55,396 $ 128,991 $ 104,368
Capitalization of content databases (9,140) (11,533) (16,540) (19,519)
Purchases of property and equipment (2,292) (8,483) (6,444) (12,978)
Cash paid for interest (22,824) (23,424) (29,253) (30,346)
Cash received (paid) for income taxes (12,600) (1,711) (12,805) 886
Free cash flow(2) $ 20,444 $ 10,245 $ 63,949 $ 42,411
     
Footnotes:
(1) Net loss and therefore adjusted EBITDA and free cash flow for the three and six months ended June 30, 2014 include $2.6 million and $3.5 million, respectively, of professional service fees related to litigation and costs associated with the return of capital transaction declared in February 2014 by our Parent.
(2) Free cash flow for the three and six months ended June 30, 2015 does not include $18.7 million and $29.1 million, respectively, of payments to our parent company, Ancestry.com Holdings LLC, related to both accumulated interest on the PIK notes and a $10.0 million note receivable issued to our parent company related to the repurchase of a portion of the PIK Notes in March 2015. Free cash flow for the three and six months ended June 30, 2014 does not include an $18.4 million return-of-capital distribution paid to our parent company to pay accumulated interest on its PIK Notes.
 
 ANCESTRY.COM LLC 
 Total Subscribers and Net Subscriber Additions 
(in thousands)
 
 Three Months Ended
 June 30,
2015
March 31,
2015
June 30,
2014
 (unaudited)
Total subscribers 2,220 2,219 2,109
    
Net subscriber additions 1 104 (52)

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

American Ancestors Special Event: Explore your Essex ancestry




Tracing Your Essex Ancestors
with the Essex Record Office
Monday, August 3 9:30 am-4:30 pm
99-101 Newbury Street, Boston MA
Admission: $35

Since the 17th century, there have been strong connections between the county of Essex in England and the New World. But how do you research these ancestral connections? What records exist and how do you access them? Join Neil Wiffen and Allyson Lewis from the Essex Record Office to learn how to explore your English roots. This full-day workshop will include lectures, a demonstration of the website Essex Ancestors, and a special display of original records, including the parish register of Saffron Walden showing the baptisms and marriages of several Great Migration immigrants. View the agenda.

Register today!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

AncestryDNA and Calico to Research the Genetics of Human Lifespan


Collaboration Will Analyze Family History and Genetics to Facilitate Development of Cutting-Edge Therapeutics

PROVO, Utah and SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., July 21, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- AncestryDNA, an industry leader in consumer genetics, and Calico, a company focused on longevity research and therapeutics, today announced an effort to investigate human heredity of lifespan. Together, they will evaluate anonymized data from millions of public family trees and a growing database of over one million genetic samples. Financial terms have not been disclosed.

AncestryDNA and Calico will work together to analyze and investigate the role of genetics and its influences in families experiencing unusual longevity using Ancestry's proprietary databases, tools and algorithms. Calico will then focus its efforts to develop and commercialize any potential therapeutics that emerge from the analysis.

"On the heels of our AncestryHealth launch and our one million genotyped customers milestone for AncestryDNA, we're excited to announce this collaboration with Calico to research and develop life changing solutions," said Ken Chahine, Executive Vice President and Head of DNA and Health. "We have laid the groundwork for this effort through the combination of an unmatched family history database, one of the fastest growing genetic databases, and a strong and talented team of computer scientists and professional genealogists."

AncestryDNA can provide access to a unique combination of resources that will enable Calico to develop potentially groundbreaking therapeutic solutions. The extensive research period will identify common patterns in longevity and human heredity through pedigree data.

"Our common experience suggests that there may be hereditary factors underlying longevity, but finding the genes responsible using standard techniques has proven elusive," commented David Botstein, Calico's Chief Scientific Officer and member of the US National Academy of Sciences. "This is an extraordinary opportunity to address a fundamental unanswered question in longevity research using high quality human pedigrees."

To learn more about the AncestryDNA, visit www.ancestrydna.com. For more information on Calico, visit www.calicolabs.com.

About AncestryDNA

AncestryDNA is owned and operated by Ancestry.com DNA, LLC, a subsidiary of Ancestry.com, LLC. AncestryDNA uses a simple test to analyze an individual's DNA. AncestryDNA offers the potential of identifying new insights into people's ancient ancestry to help them collaborate with distant cousins and make even more discoveries in their family history. For more information visit www.ancestrydna.com.

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements involve a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated by these forward-looking statements. Such risks and uncertainties include a variety of factors, some of which are beyond the company's control. In particular, such risks and uncertainties include the company's ability to add tools and features, and provide value to satisfy customer demand. Information concerning additional factors that could cause events or results to differ materially is contained under the caption "Risk Factors" in the Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for Ancestry.com LLC for the period ended March 31, 2015, which was filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on May 1, 2015, and in discussions in other of the company's Securities and Exchange Commission filings. These forward-looking statements should not be relied upon as representing our views as of any subsequent date and we assume no obligation to publicly update or revise these forward-looking statements.

About Calico Life Sciences

Calico (Calico Life Sciences LLC) is a Google-funded research and development company whose mission is to harness advanced technologies to increase our understanding of the biology that controls lifespan. Calico will use that knowledge to devise interventions that enable people to lead longer and healthier lives. Visit www.calicolabs.com.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Jewish Synagogue Seatholder records go online

TheGenealogist has released online 99,500 records of London synagogue seat-holders spanning the years from 1920 to 1939.
  • Covering the records from 18 Synagogues around London with many connected guilds, societies and charities etc.
  • Additional information found in these records include names of gentlemen eligible for office, life member of the council, women who are seatholders in their own right and seatholders who are not eligible to vote.
  • Fully searchable by name, keyword, synagogue and address, the Jewish Synagogue Seatholders has been extracted from various years of: "Seatholders for Synagogues in London”
Those with Jewish ancestors from London will welcome this fascinating new release from TheGenealogist. Revealing details of positions held by forebears, researchers will be able to track ancestors who became wardens, council members, or served on committees of their synagogue, as well as seatholders in synagogues from around the capital city. These fully indexed records allow family historians to search by name, keyword, synagogue and address and with one click see an image taken from the pages of Seatholders for Synagogues in London.

The records include some synagogues that are no longer in existence; for example the Great Synagogue that once stood at Duke’s Place and which was destroyed in the Blitz.

Nigel Bayley, MD of TheGenealogist said: “These records will allow you to search for Jewish relatives amongst the London synagogue seatholders, it is now easier than ever to discover any official positions that your jewish ancestor held.”

An example follows below…

Lionel Nathan de Rothschild, OBE (25 January 1882 – 28 January 1942) can be found in these records. De Rothschild was an English banker and a Conservative politician who was well known as the creator of Exbury Gardens near the New Forest in Hampshire. He was the eldest of the three sons of Leopold de Rothschild (1845–1917) and Marie née Perugia (1862–1937) and a part of the illustrious Rothschild banking family of England.

On 25 January 1910 he was elected to the House of Commons for the constituency of Aylesbury in Buckinghamshire - his grandfather and namesake had been the first practicing Jew to be able to take up his seat in Parliament.


His father, Leopold, died in early 1917 and Lionel and brother Anthony became the managing partners of N M Rothschild & Sons bank. However, Lionel de Rothschild had developed an interest in horticulture at a very young age and is said to have planted his first garden at the age of five. In 1919, he purchased the Mitford estate at Exbury in Hampshire where he devoted a great deal of time and money to transform it into one of the finest gardens in all of England with more than one million plants building Exbury House around an existing structure in a neo-Georgian style. Although he continued to work at the family bank, he is quoted as describing himself as "a banker by hobby — a gardener by profession". Lionel Nathan de Rothschild died in London, aged sixty, in 1942 and was buried in the Willesden Jewish Cemetery.

Logging into TheGenealogist and selecting Jewish Synagogue Seatholders from the dropdown menu, we enter Lionel as a forename and De Rothschild as the surname. We can filter the results by date. This returns us several positions that De Rothschild held in three different synagogues in London, including the Warden of the Great Synagogue that once stood in Duke’s Place, north of Aldgate, until it was destroyed in the London Blitz. We can also see that he was the President of the United Synagogue in North Finchley. Selecting that record allows us to view the actual image of the page from the Seatholders for Synagogues in London 1920.





Saturday, July 18, 2015

BCG OFFERS FREE WEBINAR Tuesday, July 21: “Diamonds in the Rough: Finding and Using Manuscript Collections”

Manuscript collections can be a genealogist’s secret weapon. Learn to find and use them!

The Board for Certification of Genealogists (“BCG”) will present a webinar on this subject free to the public at 8:00 PM EDT 21 July 2015. Shellee A. Morehead, Ph.D., CG, will describe collections of unique unpublished materials that may be hiding in plain sight, and how to access them online and in person -- including maps, photographs, diaries, letters, scrapbooks, genealogists’ research notes, unpublished histories, business ledgers, journals, vertical files, and other one-of-a-kind documents and objects that may provide insight into our families’ lives and neighborhoods.

Seating is limited for this webinar. Please register early and sign in early to avoid disappointment.

The BCG is an independent certifying body and author of the 2014 Genealogy Standards.

Shellee Morehead, CG, has a Ph.D. in evolutionary ecology and she has extensive research, writing, and teaching experience. She researches, writes, and lectures on family history. Her most recent article is “Thomas Hamilton -- Progenitor of a Colonial American Family: His Ulster Origins Revealed using DNA” in the Ulster Historical Foundation’s annual Directory of Irish Family History Research. Her recent speaking events include The Genealogy Event in New York. Her specialties include Rhode Island, Italian, and French-Canadian research and genetic genealogy. Shellee is a member of the Rhode Island Genealogical Society, the American-French Genealogical Society, and the Association of Professional Genealogists (APG).

“We are pleased to offer this informative webinar,” said BCG president Jeanne Larzalere Bloom, CG. “The Board for Certification of Genealogists strives to foster public confidence in genealogy by promoting an attainable, uniform standard of competence and ethics. Educating all family historians is part of this mission.”

There is no charge, but space is limited. Please register for Shellee A. Morehead, “Diamonds in the Rough: Finding and Using Manuscript Collections” before 21 July 2015 at:

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/1093371223246598658.

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar. For more information contact: office@BCGcertification.org.

Please visit http://bcgcertification.org/blog/bcg-webinars to learn about BCG's previous webinars.

CG, Certified Genealogist, CGL, and Certified Genealogical Lecturer are service marks of the Board for Certification of Genealogists, used under license by board certificants after periodic evaluations. The board name is a trademark registered in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

College Student's Company, TSOLife, Will Make History- Literally

Stetson University student, David Sawyer, founded TSOLife, LLC with the vision that history would not just be for the famous or the infamous, but for everyone to leave something behind. David and seven of his friends, fueled with their entrepreneurial spirit, set out to bring life to this vision by creating a web application that allows users to leave behind a personalized legacy.

Daytona Beach, FL, July 14, 2015 (Newswire) - It is said that verbal history is forgotten within two generations. However, eight college students have set out to change this. Stetson University student, David Sawyer, founded TSOLife, LLC with the vision that history would not just be for the famous or the infamous, but for everyone to leave something behind. David and seven of his friends, fueled with their entrepreneurial spirit, set out to bring life to this vision by creating a web application that allows users to leave behind a personalized legacy. TSOLife.com allows anyone to document the story of their life and will be available later this fall. TSOLife launched a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign on July 13th with a $25,000 goal to put toward the finishing touches on the features.

The students raised $80,000 in funding. They are now searching to find more people to rally for their cause. Supporting the Kickstarter campaign is an opportunity to receive a TSOLife account at its most affordable rate. Additionally, Kickstarter participants will receive various limited edition perks and acknowledgement opportunities.

TSOLife is the perfect way for someone to leave behind the lasting legacy of a lost loved one. It is also a great chance for them to leave behind their own mark before it is too late. For an opportunity to support young entrepreneurs, memorialize a life, or explore innovative technology visit kickstarter.tsolife.com.




About TSOLife, LLC

The Story of Life, LLC is a Daytona-based web applications developer. Partnered with Stetson University ENACTUS, TSOLife has spent the past few months in a local retirement community, Cloisters of Deland, recording the life history of veterans on the TSOLife platform. Inspired by this work, a pilot study has been launched to study the effects of active listening on nursing home depression and is receiving $6,500 in grants.

Friday, July 17, 2015

One Week. 100,000 Online Volunteers. Time to “Fuel the Find!”

Millions of Family History Discoveries Likely from Worldwide Event



SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH, July 22, 2015—A record-setting 100,000 online volunteers are expected to participate in the second annual Worldwide Indexing Event, facilitating millions of discoveries for eager family history researchers. Scheduled for August 7–14, the event will show how anyone with a computer and Internet connection can help “Fuel the Find” by making information from historical documents easily searchable online.

What Does It Mean to “Fuel the Find”?

Indexed (transcribed) historical records are like the fuel that powers genealogical search engines such as FamilySearch.org, enabling people to find missing or unknown branches in their family trees. Beyond simple name searches, indexed records also allow FamilySearch.org to provide patrons with highly relevant and accurate hints, essentially bringing the records of their ancestors to them automatically. Every name that a volunteer indexes from a historical record adds another drop of precious fuel that can ultimately help someone easily and quickly find a missing ancestor.

International Language Emphasis

Already one of the largest and most successful volunteer transcription programs in history with more than 1.3 billion records indexed since 2007, FamilySearch indexing is looking toward this year’s event to launch an expanded push for indexed records in languages other than English. Currently FamilySearch.org offers 20 times more searchable records in English than in all other languages combined. To balance this ratio, people with fluency in other languages, especially French, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish, are being sought as indexing volunteers.

“Family history research in English-speaking countries is a dream compared to research in other parts of the world,” said Mike Judson, manager of FamilySearch’s indexing workforce development. “Our goal is to make research for our friends in other lands as joyful and productive as it is in the United States, Great Britain, and other English-speaking countries. To do this we need tens of thousands of volunteers with well-developed language skills to step forward and use those talents to bless others’ lives. We have the records—now we just need the hands.”

To help volunteers with language skills to get started, FamilySearch indexing has launched carefully chosen indexing projects in its four focus languages of French, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish. Special training guides are now available to help new and experienced English indexers with skills in these languages to quickly familiarize themselves with how to index these particular records.

New One-Week Record Anticipated

Last year’s Worldwide Indexing Event established a one-week record of 91,721 participants. This year, more than 100,000 participants are expected. To be counted, each volunteer must submit at least one indexing or arbitration batch sometime during the week. Volunteers and potential volunteers can visit FamilySearch.org/indexingevent2015 to learn more, including strategies for avoiding high demand periods that may tend to slow down the indexing system.


© 2015 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved. A service provided by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saint

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.

New Records Reveal Previously Unknown Mormon Pioneers


Salt Lake City, UT—In a collaboration between the Church History Library and FamilySearch, individuals can now discover and explore more of their pioneer heritage on the newly redesigned Mormon Pioneer Overland Travel website that also includes information about previously unknown pioneers. In addition to discovering your pioneer ancestors, new features enable people to read their ancestors’ personal journals, see available photos, and learn key details about major events in their ancestors’ lives.

Since the site was first launched, an influx of pioneer documentation has allowed historians to reconcile and expand their understanding of the trek west. The site now includes information about more than 57,000 individuals in 370 pioneer companies, with thousands of original trail excerpts that are authoritatively documented. “This is an extremely significant database,” said Keith Erekson, Church History Library Director. “It reveals so much about individual pioneers and their experiences, but it also offers fresh new insights about their collective experience.” Site updates include the ability to submit family photographs of pioneers and to link to digital copies of sources on the Internet. There are also new articles of interest, including humorous stories from the trail.

Individuals have two options for accessing the site. Through FamilySearch.org/pioneers, your personal FamilySearch family tree will be polled for matches in the updated pioneer database. Through history.lds.org/overlandtravels you can explore known pioneers and companies and lots of other interesting facts and documentation about this exciting period of Mormon and Western history.

Millions of people continue to be inspired by the courage, faith, and triumphs of the Mormon pioneers. Many of us are unknowingly modern pioneers, whose courage, personal achievements, and applied faith will be equally inspiring to future posterity and generations. This updated site will be featured in the international “I Am a Pioneer” social media campaign (#IAmAPioneer) that will encourage individuals today to see themselves as modern-day pioneers and recognize the need to readily capture their stories of triumph online for future generations. Learn more about this initiative at FamilySearch.org/iamapioneer.

Those without Utah pioneer ancestry may be interested in reading stories of pioneers worldwide by visiting the Church History Department’s website, history.lds.org/section/pioneers.

Bring your genealogical data to life by discovering the stories and photos of your ancestors or the ancestors of others. Visit the newly updated Mormon Pioneer Overland Travel website today.

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 130 countries, including the main Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Findmypast Friday: Highlights from the Crime & Punishment collection, and new Newspapers and Anglo-Boer War Records


This week’s Findmypast Friday includes even more illuminating Crime and Punishment-related collections, in addition to updates to our Anglo-Boer War update and Newspaper Collection. Our incredibly detailed new prison records can shed light on a convict’s life with details which go far beyond their identity and sentence. Pore over photograph albums and trial calendars, and delve into journals from governors, chaplains and surgeons…

Treasury Departmental Accounts Convict Hulks (TNA Ref: T 38/310-338)

Treasury Departmental Accounts Convict Hulks contains over 158,250 records from the accounts held by the Treasury Department for the various convict hulks around England.

They contain quarterly accounts covering the hulks Bellerophon, Justicia, Captivity, Laurel, Leviathan, Portland, Retribution, Prudentia, Stanislaus and Savage between 1804 and 1831 as well as departmental accounts from 1558 to 1937.

Home Office and Prison Commission: Prisons records (PCOM 2)

Containing over 632,000 records, PCOM 2 consists of a variety of documents concerning prisons and prisoners held by the Prison Commission and the Home Office. The records cover prisons all over England and Wales, including Pentonville, Chatham, Portsmouth, Millbank and Wormwood Scrubs prisons.

There are also records for Gibraltar prison, army prisoners held in the Savoy prison in Middlesex and a number hulks. The collection offers an incredibly detailed look at an individual convict’s life in prison, going far beyond the details of their conviction and prisoner number.

British Newspaper update

Our British Newspaper Collection has grown by over 800,000 new articles, and now stands at over 126.5 million fully searchable articles from 358 local, regional and national newspaper titles from around England, Scotland and Wales.19 new titles have been added, and 17 existing titles have been supplemented with additional articles.

Anglo-Boer War update

Almost 900 new records have just been added to our collection of Anglo-Boer War Records, 1899-1902. This unique database of more than 470 sources records the details of individual soldiers who served in the British Army during the Second Boer War.

The entire register now contains over 293,000 records, including a list of over 59,000 casualties. Each record includes a transcript of the original source material that can include information such as name, service number, rank, regiment and honours.

Remember to check our dedicated Findmypast Fridays page every week to keep up to date with the latest new additions.

About Findmypast

Findmypast (previously DC Thomson Family History) is a British-owned world leader in online genealogy. It has an unrivalled record of online innovation in the field of family history and 18 million registered users across its family of online brands, which includes Mocavo, Genes Reunited, The British Newspaper Archive amongst others.

Its lead brand, also called Findmypast, is a searchable online archive of over two billion family history records, from parish records and censuses to migration records, military collections, historical newspapers and lots more. For members around the world, the site is a crucial resource for building family trees and doing detailed historical research.

In April 2003 Findmypast 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, the company has digitised records from across the globe, including major collections from Britain, Ireland, Australia, and the United States.