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# Friday, March 22, 2013
Genealogy News Corral: RootsTech 2013 Edition
Posted by Diane

Because the genealogy world has turned its eyes to Salt Lake City and FamilySearch's RootsTech conference, this edition of the Genealogy News Corral focuses on news from the conference.
  • In his keynote talk this morning, Ancestry.com president Tim Sullivan made several announcements:
Over the next five years, Ancestry.com will commit at least $100 million to digitize and index new content.
 

Over the next three years, Ancestry.com and FamilySearch will collaborate to digitize and index 140 million+ pages of US probate records spanning 1800 to 1930. He called this the organizations' "most ambitious collaboration" yet, and added the caveat that permission to put records online must be negotiated with repositories holding these records.

Ancestry.com is about to release new version of its iPhone iPad app with enhanced social media sharing, the ability to compare trees and other features. A third of new Ancestry.com registrants are through the site's mobile apps (there's also one for Android), and half of users over last 2 months come to Ancestry.com through a mobile device.

The Ancestry DNA database contains 120,000 DNA samples and has delivered more than 2 million fourth cousin relationships. To increase the size of the database, the price of the test will be lowered to $99, whether or not you're a subscriber.

(Update: Sullivan didn't include this in his keynote, but Ancestry.com has announced that test-takers can now download their raw DNA data.)
  • In addition to a new logo unveiled to RootsTech official bloggers, FamilySearch will redesign its website with an emphasis on photos, as a way to engage more people. It'll also add a fan chart view to its online Family Tree program. Blogger Renee Zamora has lots of details on the information presented during the dinner.
  • According to the Ancestry Insider, who attended Wednesday's dinner for the bloggers, FamilySearch is experimenting with broadcasting sessions to 16 satellite locations in seven countries (with translation where necessary). If successful, next year the number will be expanded to 600 locations. That increases to potential reach of the conference to 120,000 people.


FamilySearch | Genealogy Events | RootsTech
Friday, March 22, 2013 1:43:20 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
# Friday, February 03, 2012
Mocavo Rolls Out New Content, Features
Posted by Diane

Genealogy search engine Mocavo announced searchable content additions and new capabilities in conjunction with the RootsTech conference.

Content additions include:

  • Allen County Public Library’s Internet Archive records
  • Social Security Death Index
  • Geni.com's World Family Tree.

The new features are:

  • Historical Record Storage & Sharing Platform: You can self-publish high-resolution documents to Mocavo.com for free. They're automatically digitized using Optical Character Recognition, and if you choose, your documents will be searchable by all Mocavo users.

  • Mocavo is releasing iPhone and Android applications (not yet available, but promised within the next 30 days) that let let you upload photos of documents and family pictures to the aforementioned document sharing platform. You also can use the app to search with Mocavo's Search engine.

  • The Mocavo Discovery Stream will deliver a constant source of new user-generated content—whether people are uploading family trees and documents or finding matches using the search engine—similar to the Facebook newsfeed or Pinterest.


We're joining in the RootsTech excitement with conference specials for everyone! You'll get 20 percent off select online genealogy titles at ShopFamilyTree.com.



Genealogy Web Sites | RootsTech
Friday, February 03, 2012 3:19:06 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [8]
GeneTree Introduces New Test, Consultation Service
Posted by Diane

Genetic genealogy company GeneTree.com has introduced a new consultation service and test for getting in-depth genealogical information from your DNA.

The Family Consultation Service (starting at $49.99) is an in-depth examination of your genealogical data and DNA test results. It's designed for avid genealogists using DNA testing to identify ancestors in specific family lines.

Similarly, the Y-19 test ($94.99) is intended for those who've already done some DNA testing and know their haplogroups. "These 19 [markers] are very fast-mutating markers," says GeneTree CEO Scott Woodward.

That makes them useful for identifying more-specific family relationships, especially when several members of a family group have been tested.

The test is best used in association with a consultation, says Woodward. "Many genealogists don't know how to get the most out of the interpretation. For instance, there is a lot you can learn by one single little mutation that two people share. There are a lot of people who need someone to look at their genealogical DNA data and tell them what it means."

If you're at RootsTech, GeneTree.com is offering free 10-minute genetic genealogy consultations.


We're joining in the RootsTech excitement with conference specials for everyone! You'll get 20 percent off select online genealogy titles at ShopFamilyTree.com.



Genetic Genealogy | RootsTech
Friday, February 03, 2012 2:55:00 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [11]
# Thursday, February 02, 2012
1940 Census Community Project Update
Posted by Diane

Here's an update on the 1940 Community Census Project, a partnership among FamilySearch, Archives.com and FindMyPast.com. It was the focus of a RootsTech bloggers dinner yesterday.

The 1940 census images will be hosted on Archives.gov, the National Archives website. Archives has been awarded the digitization contract for these images.

Indexing will begin as soon as the records are released online April 2. Each page will be indexed twice, with a third arbitrator to resolve difference in the two indexes.

FamilySearch is making upgrades and doing "test loading" to make sure its site can handle the extra traffic the indexing project will generate.

Chris Van Der Kuyl, CEO of brightsolid (the British parent company of FindMyPast.com), described the 1940 project as "one of the most exciting crowdsourced projects on the internet." A video commercial to be released on YouTube will bill it as a "national service project" and genealogical societies will receive incentives for galvanizing members to index.

Part of the funding provided by brightsolid and Archives.com will be dedicated to producing other free digital collections. The idea is that money that might otherwise be used to build competing census collections will now go to creating access to material that's not already online. It's "putting money into the community that would otherwise be duplicated," says John Spottiswood of Archives.com.

To volunteer for 1940 census indexing, sign up on the 1940 Community Census Project website.


We're joining in the RootsTech excitement with conference specials for everyone! You'll get 20 percent off select online genealogy titles at ShopFamilyTree.com.


Archives.com | census records | FamilySearch | RootsTech
Thursday, February 02, 2012 3:40:25 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [0]
Brightsolid to Launch 1st Pay-As-You-Go Census Records Site
Posted by Diane

Remember how British genealogy company brightsolid was poised to announce plans to launch a new product for the US market? Here it is:

Brightsolid just announced a new pay-as-you-go site for US census records, 1790 to 1930, plus 1940 when it's released later this year. It'll be called CensusRecords.com, and is already live as as an early beta version that invites user feedback.

This is the first site that will let you search for your ancestors in the cnesus, then purchase the record with their names—a model that'll potentially make census research more affordable and accessible to those who don't want to commit to a genealogy website subscription.

No doubt brightsolid hopes—I know I do, too—that the pay-as-you-go service will lure casual researchers to get more involved in family history research.

Censusrecords.com visitors will be able to search for free. To view documents and download them to their computer, they can subscribe or buy pay-as-you-go credits, which start at $7.95 for 1,000 credits (good for 60 days).

Pay-as-you-go costs could add up if you're not sure you've found your ancestor and have to check a bunch of records, but if you're sure you've found the right folks, this could be your most cost-effective approach.

With the confluence of several factors—a growing interest in family history, economic concerns, anticipation for the 1940 census, and "Who Do You Think You Are?" showing genealogy to the masses—Censusrecords.com is poised to be a big hit. What do you think? (Hit Comments below to share your thoughts.)


We're joining in the RootsTech excitement with conference specials for everyone! You'll get 20 percent off select online genealogy titles at ShopFamilyTree.com.


census records | Genealogy Industry | RootsTech | ShopFamilyTree.com Sales
Thursday, February 02, 2012 11:33:32 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [8]
Search Thousands More Family Histories on FamilySearch.org
Posted by Diane

FamilySearch has moved its online books collection from the Brigham Young Family History Archive site to a beta site at books.familysearch.org. (You also can go to FamilySearch.org and click the Books tab.)

Digital book operations manager Dennis Meldrum says approximately 17,700 books were moved, and a backlog of 13,300 books—which wouldn't fit onto the BYU site—were added.

That means you can now search upwards of 31,000 family history books at FamilySearch.org. Another 4,500 will be added this week, with 25,000 more to come during 2012.

You can keyword-search the entire text of the books and download an entire book (instead of one page at a time, as was the case on the BYU site). "We are working to improve the download experience over the coming weeks," Meldrum says.


We're joining in the RootsTech excitement with conference specials for everyone! You'll get 20 percent off select online genealogy titles at ShopFamilyTree.com.



FamilySearch | Free Databases | Genealogy books | RootsTech
Thursday, February 02, 2012 9:07:14 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [6]
# Tuesday, January 31, 2012
Enter to Win an iPad in RootsMagic Treasure Hunt
Posted by Diane

Genealogy software company RootsMagic is holding a treasure hunt contest in conjunction with FamilySearch's RootsTech conference Feb. 2-4 in Salt Lake City, but you can play from home, too—and maybe win an iPad.

The treasure hunt involves finding words hidden on the blogs of 15 genealogy bloggers who'll be reporting at the conference.

You'll find entry instructions on the RootsMagic website. Good luck!


We're joining in the RootsTech excitement with conference specials for everyone! You'll get 20 percent off select online genealogy titles at ShopFamilyTree.com.



Genealogy Events | Genealogy fun | RootsTech
Tuesday, January 31, 2012 1:39:57 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [5]
Ancestry.com to Live-Stream its RootsTech Presentations
Posted by Diane

We blogged last week that you can watch several RootsTech presentations live via the RootsTech home page.

Ancestry.com also will live-stream several presentations by its staff. See the list on Ancestry.com’s Facebook page.

My top picks:

  • The Inner-workings of the Ancestry.com Search Engine, Friday, Feb. 3, 3 pm MST

  • 5 New Things to Try at Ancestry.com, Friday, Feb. 3, 1:45 pm MST

  • Who Do You Think You Are? Live Q&A: How Do Our Experts Search?
    Saturday, Feb. 4, 2:30pm MST (This is the day after NBC's season 3 premiere of "Who Do You Think You Are?" so you may get some insider details on the Martin Sheen episode.)
You can watch the presentations on Ancestry.com's Facebook page or its Livestream channel.

The RootsTech conference, organized by FamilySearch, takes place this week, Feb. 2-4, in Salt Lake City.


We're joining in the RootsTech excitement with conference specials for everyone! You'll get 20 percent off select online genealogy titles at ShopFamilyTree.com.


Ancestry.com | FamilySearch | Genealogy Events | RootsTech
Tuesday, January 31, 2012 12:56:02 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [3]
# Wednesday, January 25, 2012
RootsTech: Sessions You Can Watch From Home + Mobile App
Posted by Diane

If you'll be sitting out next week’s RootsTech conference in Salt Lake City as attendees giddily blog, Facebook and Tweet about it:

You’ll be able to watch many of the classes online. RootsTech will live stream all the keynote lectures and other sessions taking place in classroom 155 of the convention center.

I checked over the RootsTech session schedule for each day (look in the left column for the room number and click each presentation title for details about it), and found great presentations going on all day in this room 155. My top picks are:

  • Effective Database Search Tactics by Kory Meyerink, Feb. 2, 1:45-2:45 p.m.

  • Twitter: It’s Not Just “What I Had For Breakfast” Anymore by Thomas MacEntee, Feb. 2, 3-4 p.m.

  • Genealogists “Go Mobile” by Sandra Crowley, Feb. 3, 1:45-2:45 p.m.

  • Genealogy Podcasts and Blogs 101 by Lisa Louise Cooke, Feb. 4 9:45-10:45 a.m.

  • Privacy in a Collaborative Environment by Noah Tutak, CEO of Geni.com, Feb. 4, 1:45-2:45 p.m.

Remember, all session times are in Mountain Time. Details about how to access the live-stream sessions are still to come—watch the RootsTech website and this blog.

Update: All you need to do to watch the live presentations is go to the RootsTech home page.

If you’re going to be at RootsTech (like our own Allison Dolan and Kerry Scott), you can make sure you check off your conference to-do and to-see lists with the RootsTech2012 app for iPad, iPhone and Android.

You can get them from the Apple App Store or the Android Marketplace and use them to keep track of your scedule, see venue maps, get conference news and more. Randy Seaver goes into detail about the app at his Genea-Musings blog.

RootsTech, organized by FamilySearch, takes place Feb. 2-4 in Salt Lake City.


FamilySearch | Genealogy Events | RootsTech
Wednesday, January 25, 2012 11:18:32 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [2]
# Tuesday, January 24, 2012
Britain's Brightsolid Has Plans for US Genealogists
Posted by Diane

Brightsolid, the British genealogy company with sites including Findmypast.co.uk and Findmypast.ie (for Irish records), has announced that it'll again sponsor the RootsTech conference this year—and that it'll use the conference as a platform to launch a new product for the US market.

Feb. 2, Brightsolid CEO Chris van der Kuyl will address a Brightsolid-sponsored RootsTech lunch with a talk on, “Why Everyone Deserves Their Own Episode of ‘Who Do You Think You Are?’ and How Brightsolid Will Help You Get There.”

Hmmm ...

Remember that Brightsolid also has joined the 1940 Census Community Project, along with FamilySearch and Archives.com, which turned some American genealogists' heads.

Of course, we'll let you know what the big news is when it's announced.

The RootsTech conference, organized by FamilySearch, focuses on technology in genealogy. It takes place Feb. 2-4 in Salt Lake City.


FamilySearch | Genealogy Events | Genealogy Industry | RootsTech
Tuesday, January 24, 2012 3:03:53 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [5]
# Thursday, January 19, 2012
Four Genealogists to Compete for Top Honors at RootsTech
Posted by Diane

Taking a cue from TV, software company Legacy Family Tree is sponsoring the first Genealogy Idol competition during the RootsTech conference in early February.

The four "Idol" finalists are Elizabeth Clark of Falls Village, Conn.; Elyse Doerflinger of Lomita, Calif.; Michael Hait of Harrington, Del.; and Marian Pierre-Louis of Millis, Mass.

The contestants (the first two live at the conference, and the latter two online from home) will compete in three rounds, sharing their favorite genealogy and technology tips, stories of genealogical serendipity, and genealogy/technology website or blog.

In the tradition of "American Idol," the competition will be broadcast to a live webinar audience, whose votes will decide the winner. That person will receive a Flip-Pal mobile scanner and the title of RootsTech Genealogy Idol 2012. Click here to register to watch the free hourlong live webinar (limited to 1,000 attendees), taking place Thursday, Feb. 2 at 3:45 p.m. ET.

If you'll be at the RootsTech conference, happening Feb. 2-4 in Salt Lake City, you can watch the competition at 1:45 p.m. in classroom 255B.


Genealogy Events | RootsTech
Thursday, January 19, 2012 9:20:39 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #  Comments [1]