Ancestry Announces Three New Appointments to its Leadership Team

LEHI, Utah and SAN FRANCISCO, Nov. 03, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Ancestry, the global leader in family history and consumer genomics, today announced three new appointments to its growing leadership team. As the world’s largest consumer genomics provider, having genotyped 2.5 million DNA samples, Ancestry is continuing to add to its roster of talent as it seeks to help millions of consumers better understand themselves and the world around them by unlocking the secrets hidden in their genes.

The three appointments announced today:

Amy Gershkoff, Ph.D., most recently the chief data officer at Zynga, is joining as Ancestry’s first chief data officer.
Sarah South, Ph.D., who previously served as vice president of Laboratory Operations at 23andme, has been appointed as vice president of Laboratory Sciences
Todd Davis, who has led global talent acquisition at both Amazon and Dropbox, is joining as vice president of Global Talent.

“Amy, Sarah and Todd are joining in three roles that will have immense impact for Ancestry as we’re focused on continuing to provide powerful insights to our community and they more than live up to the best of the best we strive for when bringing on new talent,” said Tim Sullivan, chief executive officer of Ancestry. “We are struck daily by how the insights we provide can powerfully reshape someone’s understanding of who they are and how they fit into the bigger puzzle of our species. We’re excited to have Amy, Sarah and Todd help us focus on bringing new insights, products and growth.”

Gershkoff, South and Davis bring incredible track records in their respective fields, and will help Ancestry continue to grow and innovate while providing consumers unmatched insights into their identities derived from the Company’s unique combination of genomic and genealogical data.

Amy Gershkoff was most recently the chief data officer at Zynga, a pioneer in social gaming. Previously, she built and led the Customer Analytics & Insights team and led the Global Data Science team at eBay. Before eBay, Gershkoff was the chief data scientist for WPP, Data Alliance, where she worked across WPP’s more than 350 operating companies worldwide to create integrated data and technology solutions. As the head of media planning at Obama for America for the 2012 campaign, she architected Obama’s advertising strategy and designed the campaign’s analytics systems. Her work has brought numerous accolades, including being featured in The Washington Post as one of the nation’s most prominent innovators and being named one of the “Top 50 Women to Watch in Tech” and one of San Francisco’s Most Influential Women in Business by the San Francisco Business TImes. She holds a Ph.D. from Princeton University.

Prior to joining Ancestry, Sarah South was the vice president of Laboratory Services at 23andme. She is certified in clinical cytogenetics by the American Board of Medical Genetics and Genomics (ABMGG). Previously, South was associate professor in the Department of Pathology at the University of Utah. She also served as a medical director at ARUP Laboratories and oversaw the Cytogenetic and Genomic Microarray Laboratories and directed the ABMGG clinical cytogenetics training program at the University of Utah. Sarah has also been the CLIA lab director for Lineagen. Her industry associations include, vice-chair of the American College of Medical Genetics Quality Assurance Committee; a member of the Clinical Laboratory Standards Institute Expert Panel for Molecular Methodologies and the ClinGen variant classification workgroup; a certified College of American Pathology Laboratory Inspector, and president of the American Cytogenetics Association. South also serves as an associate editor for the American Journal of Medical Genetics. She received her Ph.D. from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Human Genetics, and completed a postdoctoral research fellowship in prenatal genetics at the Johns Hopkins Hospital, and a clinical cytogenetics fellowship at the University of Utah.

Todd Davis joins Ancestry from Dropbox, where he led global talent acquisition. Prior to Dropbox, Davis spent four years leading Amazon’s global efforts to find and recruit across the company. Before joining Amazon in 2012, Davis was vice president, worldwide recruitment at Warner Bros. Entertainment, where he led efforts to improve global recruitment and talent acquisition resources by leveraging “best practices” in talent assessment and selection. He has also held senior positions at Centene Corporation, West Coast University and Volt Information Sciences. Davis is a board member of CASY and MSCCN and holds a Bachelor of Science from the University of New Hampshire.

About Ancestry
Ancestry, the global leader in family history and consumer genomics, harnesses the information found in family trees, historical records, and DNA to help people gain a new level of understanding about their lives. Ancestry has more than 2.4 million paying subscribers across its core Ancestry websites and more than 2.5 million DNA samples in the AncestryDNA database. Since 1996, more than 19 billion records have been added, and users have created more than 80 million family trees on the Ancestry flagship site and its affiliated international websites. Ancestry offers a suite of family history products and services including AncestryDNA, Archives, ProGenealogists, Newspapers.com and Fold3.

The 1658 Names of Scots Witches – Posted at Ancestry.com

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It has been estimated that somewhere between 3,000 & 5,000 women were accused of witchcraft in 16th and 17th Century Scotland. Now, Ancestry.com has published, and indexed a volume of the names of some of these woman from the year 1658.

See the Ancestry.com database.

See an interesting article about the book posted October 28, 2016 at the BBC website.

The Design of Ancestry’s New Home

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You’ll find a number of pictures of what the public, eating, and meeting spaces at the new Ancestry building look like at http://freshome.com/heritage-on-display-at-ancestry-headquarters/. Following is a teaser paragraph from the article.

Heritage is the focus behind the design at the new headquarters for Ancestry. Designed by Rapt Studio, the interiors feature comfortable lounging areas and high-tech meeting spaces, as well as communal eating tables. Since the purpose behind this Utah-based company is helping people find their personal history, they wanted their new headquarters to be an integral part of telling their own story.

Read the full article.

We’re Related – a new app from Ancestry.com

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A few days ago, I got a note from Matthew Deighton announcing that a new program from Ancestry.com was available. It’s called We’re Related – and shows how you might be related to “famous folks.” Not that most of us care, but this kind of thing is attractive to the crowd out there who currently may have no interest in family history at all. If you can show them how they are related to Lady Gaga, then genealogy might hold an interest that wasn’t there before. Ancestry uses their public databases to assemble the trees to show the connection. The FamilySearch Discovery Center uses this same concept, compiling from the millions of name in their linked database.

The following is from Matthew:

The new We’re Related app is aimed at getting the next generation involved. The App will help your family members to discover what friends or famous people they may be related to! With about 2000 celebrities in the database, you’ll quickly begin seeing what celebrities you’re connected to.

As family historians, sharing our discoveries with family can be difficult. Now as the next generation downloads the app, they will start connecting with famous people and the app will show you how you are connected. It’s at this time that you can share who these people are and what you’ve learned about them.

Main Points:
· Don’t need an Ancestry account to sign up
· You will use your Facebook account to sign up, thus allowing anyone to use the app
· It will use your Facebook relationships to find you in the Ancestry system and allow you to connect with celebrities and friends
· If you don’t have a tree, you can start one or ask a family member to get it started for you
· Use the “Nearby” tool to see who is related to you within 500 ft. They must have the functionality on as well
· Share your new connections through social media

This is not a standalone research tool, but a fun and light-hearted way to get your family engaged in your family history work.

Following are connections it put together for me:

  • Demi Lovato – 8th Cousin 2x Removed
  • Lady Gaga – 7th Cousin 3x Removed
  • Miley Cyrus – 6th Cousin
  • Britney Spears – 8th Cousin 2x Removed
  • Johnny Depp 8th Cousin 2x Removed
  • Marilyn Monroe – 9th Cousin

Interesting… I can click on the tree symbol, and see exactly how a tree is made up relating me to any of the listed celebrities. I’ll admit that it’s pretty interesting. Having a lot of colonial ancestry, I figure I’m related to tens of millions of Americans – I just don’t know how. But with the continual building of these massive family trees, maybe one day my grandchildren will have the capability of knowing how they’re related to EVERYBODY.

With $500K Gift, FGS Announces Completion of Fundraising for Preserve the Pensions

Wahoo! The following is from FGS:

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September 1, 2016: Springfield, IL – Today at its annual conference, the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) announced the receipt of a historic $500,000 anonymous contribution to the War of 1812 Preserve the Pensions fundraising project. The unprecedented donation, which came from outside of the genealogical community, will be matched by Ancestry.com, and in total provide $1 million to the project. Those funds, along with crowdsourced funds from the genealogical community have provided more than $3 million dollars to the project. With these donations, FGS officially has announced the completion of fundraising for “Preserve the Pensions,” the landmark community fundraising project.

The largest fundraising effort ever initiated for a single genealogical record set, Preserve the Pensions involved donations from more than 4,000 individuals and 115 genealogical and lineage societies. Each donation was generously matched by Ancestry.com.

“We are humbled and grateful for the generosity of the genealogical community and those outside of our community who are dedicated to the preservation of records, thank you!” noted D. Joshua Taylor, FGS President. “This historic gift, in-tandem with the thousands of contributions from individual genealogists and societies, illustrates the incredible power of the genealogical community – together we can make a difference.”

The War of 1812 pensions, among the most frequently requested set of materials within the holdings of the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), had never been microfilmed or digitized. Now, with fundraising complete for the project, and with ongoing cooperation from the project’s partners and major supporters, NARA, Ancestry, Fold3, and FamilySearch, these important documents will be made available free, forever to the general public. The project, set out to raise more than $3 million in 2010, an unprecedented amount for the genealogical community.

“It’s gratifying to see the fundraising portion of this project completed after five years, and now we look forward to ensuring these important records are preserved,” said Ancestry President and CEO Tim Sullivan. “This is a fantastic moment for FGS, the genealogical community, and future generations who will benefit from the perseveration of these rich pension records. We want to thank the more than 4,000 individuals who have contributed and are thrilled to play a matching role in this campaign.”

About the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS)
The Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) was founded in 1976 and represents genealogical, historical, and lineage organizations throughout the United States. The Federation empowers the genealogical community through its annual conference, publications (including FGS FORUM) and projects. The Federation was the driving force behind the Civil War Soldiers and Sailors project alongside the National Parks Service and since 2010 has been actively involved in Preserve the Pensions, an effort to raise more than $3 million to digitize and make freely available the pension files from the War of 1812. To learn more visit http://www.fgs.org.

Flash Sale – 20% off select Family Tree Books

The following books are all on sale at 20% off, through July 5 or while supplies last.

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The Family Tree Polish, Czech And Slovak Genealogy Guide, How to Trace Your Family Tree in Eastern Europe; by Lisa A Alzo

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Trace Your German Roots Online, A Complete Guide to German Genealogy Websites; by James M Beidler

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Unofficial Guide to Ancestry.com, How to Find Your Family History on the No. 1 Genealogy Website; by Nancy Hendrickson

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The Family Tree Historical Maps Book, A State-by-State Atlas of US History, 1790-1900; by Allison Dolan

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The Family Tree Historical Maps Book – Europe, A Country-by-Country Atlas of European History, 1700s-1900s; by Allison Dolan

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How to Archive Family Photos, A Step-by-Step Guide to Organize and Share Your Photos Digitally; by Denise May Levenick

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Unofficial Guide to FamilySearch.org, How to Find Your Family History on the Largest Free Genealogy Website; by Dana Mccullough

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The Family Tree Problem Solver: Tried and True Tactics for Tracing Elusive Ancestors; by Marsha Hoffman Rising

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The Genealogist’s U.S. History Pocket Reference: Quick Facts and Timelines of American History to Help Understand Your Ancestors; by Nancy Hendrickson

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The Family Tree German Genealogy Guide: How to Trace Your Germanic Ancestry in Europe; by James Beidler

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Family Tree Pocket Reference, 2nd Edition; by Diane Haddad

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From the Family Kitchen, Discover Your Food Heritage and Preserve Favorite Recipes; by Gena Philibert-Ortega

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The Family Tree Guidebook to Europe: Your Essential Guide to Trace Your Genealogy in Europe; by Allison Dolan

New Canadian Images Posted at Ancestry. Free Access to 269 M Canadian Records thru July 2

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Ancestry is providing free access to all of the site’s 269 million Canadian records – including the two new collections – from June 28 to July 2, 2016. Visit www.ancestry.ca to discover more.

The following news release is from PR Newswire:

New collections contain more than 82,000 images and 668,000 historical records that paint a picture of life in post-Confederation Canada

Historic photo albums and Homestead grant records span period of nearly sixty years, ranging from 1872-1930

Photos include scenes of early Prairie life and images of well-known Canadian landmarks taken more than 100 years ago

Ancestry is offering free access to entire collection of Canadian records from 28th June – 2nd July to celebrate Canada Day weekend

TORONTO, June 28, 2016 /CNW/ – A collection of more than 3,000 historic photographs of Canada, spanning 25 years from post-Confederation to the First World War, have been published online for the first time.

The photographs are part of two new historic Canadian collections made available today on Ancestry, the leader in family history and consumer genomics, to celebrate Canada Day. Canada, Photographic Albums of Settlement, 1892-1917 include thousands of photographs of villages, cities, vistas, landmarks, settlers and aboriginal Canadians from the Prairies to the Maritimes, capturing a glimpse of everyday life for Canadians during the earliest days of statehood.

The Canada, Homestead Grant Registers, 1872-1930 showcase Canada’s growth from small farms to towns and cities and detail demographic and biographic information of some of Canada’s earliest settlers. The collection includes historical records of homesteads in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta, established under the Dominion Lands Act. Under this Act, Canadians across the Prairies were provided with 160 acres of land to develop and improve upon, for an average fee of only $10.

With a combined 668,000 records and more than 82,000 images, these two collections provide fascinating insight into the true north as it was becoming a nation.

Canada Photographic Albums of Settlement 1892-1817 Collection

Compiled by the Department of the Interior, the Canada Photographic Albums of Settlement collection contains more than 3,300 photos from Library and Archives Canada.

Found in this collection are images illustrating the hard work and labour that went into nation building, from the early stages of railroad construction that connected communities from coast to coast, to photos that bring to life the back-breaking work of the logging process. While the photos capture the gruelling and often dangerous work of cutting and chopping lumber from the treetops, they also show moments of joy, such as the local population dancing on the fresh tree stumps in celebration.

The collection also captures expansive ranches, vintage farming and fishing procedures used in some of the earliest days of Canada and show the establishment of systems that would continue to feed and transport Canadians for generations to come.

Snapshots in Time

Some of Canada’s top landmarks from 100 years ago feature in the photo albums, including:

Niagara Falls – With more than 12 million visitors each year, Niagara Falls is one of Canada’s top destinations for visitors near and far. Surrounded by tourist attractions, the Niagara Falls we know today is in stark contrast to The Falls at the turn of the century. These black and white images show Niagara Falls before the illumination of the Falls began in 1925.

Canadian Rockies – Home to some of the most diverse wildlife and breathtaking views, the Canadian Rockies draw adventure seekers and nature lovers alike. This image shows some of the first Canadians enjoying Jasper National Park around the time the park was established, in 1907. Jasper Park is the largest national park in the Canadian Rockies, with 10,878 square kilometres of mountains.

Government Buildings – Built between 1907 and 1913, the Alberta Legislature Building is the meeting place of the Legislative Assembly and the Executive Council, and due to its Greek, Roman and Egyptian architectural influences, is a beautiful attraction for visitors. This image shows the drastic difference in city development compared to the city of Edmonton today.
Lesley Anderson, family historian and content specialist for Ancestry says: “This incredible collection of photographs is a real treasure trove that gives us insight into the hardships of everyday life and how simply people lived during those first years of our county’s existence. The images capture human experiences against the backdrop of the vast and – what was then – largely unknown landscape of Canada; the place that many of our ancestors called home

“As we approach our 150th anniversary as a country next year, it is wonderful to see how far we have come by comparing what we see in these photographs to the Canada we know today.”

Ancestry is providing free access to all of the site’s 269 million Canadian records – including the two new collections – from June 28 to July 2, 2016. Visit www.ancestry.ca to discover more.

ABOUT ANCESTRY.CA
Ancestry.ca was launched in January 2006 and is part of Ancestry, the leader in family history and consumer genomics. Ancestry harnesses the information found in family trees, historical records and DNA to help people gain a new level of understanding about their lives. Ancestry has more than 2.3 million paying subscribers across its core Ancestry websites and 2 million DNA samples in the AncestryDNA database. Since 1996, more than 17 billion records have been added, and users have created more than 80 million family trees on the Ancestry flagship site and its affiliated international websites.

Online database of Holocaust victims hits 1 million records

The following teaser is from an article posted on usatoday.com

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The Nazis aimed to erase the Jewish people. Now, 70 years later, contributors around the globe are etching victims’ names back into memory through an online memorial that’s just hit 1 million records.

World Memory Project, a collaboration between the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum and genealogy website Ancestry, is a free online database that lists information about millions of victims and survivors of the Holocaust.

Launched in May 2011, the project hit one million records this month, a major milestone made possible through over 3,500 volunteers from 18 different countries. The contributors spend hundreds of hours indexing archived documents from the Holocaust Museum into an online software provided by Ancestry.

Read the full article.
Thanks to ResearchBuzz for the heads-up.

Silver Lake to invest in Ancestry.com

The following teaser is from an article posted on reuters.com

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Private equity firm Silver Lake Partners has agreed to acquire a minority stake in Ancestry.com in a deal that values the privately held genealogy website at $2.6 billion, including debt, people familiar with the matter said on Friday.

The investment represents a bet that Ancestry’s fast-growing DNA business will continue to expand. Ancestry sold 1 million genomics kits last year, a 93 percent increase from the prior year, as people keen to discover their roots sent in saliva samples.

Read the full article.

TLC Announces Celebrity Contributors for the Spring Season of Who Do You Think You Are?

The following news release was received this morning. Click on the illustration to watch a video promoting the upcoming season.

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New season premieres Sunday, April 3 at 9/8c

The two-time Emmy nominated series WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE? returns this spring to follow more of today’s most beloved and iconic celebrities as they embark on personal journeys of self-discovery to trace their family trees. The series continues to deliver unbelievable stories from crucial moments in history, including a number of firsts for the series, such as a male witch hunt, and traveling to Portugal, Sweden and Ellis Island. Executive Produced by Lisa Kudrow and Dan Bucatinsky, the new season premieres Sunday, April 3 at 9/8c.

The contributors featured in the upcoming season include:

  • Scott Foley finds a relative who risked his life for one of America’s founding fathers, and an ancestor who suffered unspeakably during one of this nation’s darkest times.
  • Lea Michele nails down where her mysterious paternal ancestors came from, and learns of the dire economic circumstances they endured while trying to emigrate to the U.S.
  • Chris Noth learns his ancestors suffered during one of the greatest catastrophes in American history, and a relative who fought in one of the bloodiest battles of all time.
  • Molly Ringwald explores family lore of Swedish royalty which uncovers her ancestors’ harrowing lives and a brave woman who forever changed her family’s fate.
  • Katey Sagal is shocked to learn of her family’s Amish roots, and digs deeper as she realizes the level of dedication to their faith.
  • Aisha Tyler tracks down her 2x great-grandfather, whose story had been lost over generations, and uncovers an astonishing tale of a prominent ancestor whose struggle to keep his illegitimate son a secret made headlines.

Ancestry, the leading family history company, is teaming up again with TLC as a sponsor of the upcoming season. As part of the show sponsorship, Ancestry provides exhaustive family history research on each of the featured celebrities to help make discoveries possible and build out the story of each episode.

The series is produced for TLC by Shed Media and Is or Isn’t Entertainment, and is based on an original format created by Wall to Wall Media and Alex Graham. More information can be found at TLC.com/WDYTYA. ‘Like’ Who Do You Think You Are? on Facebook.com/WDYTYA and follow @WDYTYA on Twitter.

Family Tree Maker Will Continue to be Produced and Upgraded & RootsMagic Will Sync to Ancestry.com

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Kendall Hulet, at Ancestry.com, announced today that Family Tree Maker isn’t dead after all. He also commented to the media community that “contracts hadn’t been signed yet,” and that this is the reason that they earlier announced that they were “stopping Family Tree Maker,” while leaving no other options for users.

Ancestry isn’t run by a bunch of amateurs, and I find it hard to believe that they would do something so absolutely stupid as making that December announcement, while in negotiations with MacKiev and RootsMagic. But that’s what they did – angering thousands of users. Maybe the “end of year” 2015 and deadlines imposed thereby had something to do with it. No matter what Ancestry may have done earlier, I’m just thrilled with the changes that are now taking place!

Now – the good part!
MacKiev will continue to produce Family Tree Maker for Mac – and take on Family Tree Maker for Windows as well.

EVEN BETTER YET!
Bruce Buzbee, at RootsMagic, was able to cut a deal with Ancestry, allowing RootsMagic to have the same functionality as deals with Ancestry.com that Family Tree Maker has. They have announced that we will be able “to connect Ancestry with the RootsMagic software by the end of 2016. With this new relationship, RootsMagic can serve as your desktop family tree software, while having access to Ancestry hints, Ancestry searches, and the ability to save your tree on Ancestry.” Why so long? I’m guessing that an API has to be produced to allow Ancestry.com to sync their online data to RootsMagic. I’m absolutely thrilled that this is happening, for up until now, Ancestry hasn’t been willing to share the code with RootMagic that would allow them any interface whatsoever with the Ancestry.com Family Tree data.

So – this is a good day for both Family Tree Maker as well as RootsMagic users!

Following is the press release from Ancestry.com:

Since our Family Tree Maker announcement last December, we have continued to actively explore ways to develop and support Family Tree Maker and ensure you have choices to preserve your work in ways that matter to you.

Today, I am pleased to announce two options for desktop software that will work with Ancestry.

Software MacKiev
Software MacKiev, with whom we have a long-standing relationship, is acquiring the Family Tree Maker software line as publisher for both Mac and Windows versions. Software MacKiev has been the developer of Family Tree Maker for Mac for more than six years and is thrilled at the opportunity to publish future versions of Family Tree Maker for Mac and Windows.

This new agreement means you will receive software updates and new versions from Software MacKiev, and have the ability to purchase new versions of Family Tree Maker from Software MacKiev as they are released. You will have continued access to Ancestry Hints, Ancestry searches, and be able to save your tree on Ancestry with Family Tree Maker moving forward.

RootsMagic
We have made an agreement with RootsMagic, a leading genealogy desktop software program publisher, to connect Ancestry with the RootsMagic software by the end of 2016. With this new relationship, RootsMagic can serve as your desktop family tree software, while having access to Ancestry hints, Ancestry searches, and the ability to save your tree on Ancestry.

We have heard your concerns and are working to provide the solutions you requested. These new agreements will make it possible to preserve your work on Ancestry and Family Tree Maker and enable future features and benefits to help you discover your family history. Be assured that Ancestry, in cooperation with Software MacKiev and RootsMagic, will continue to support you as you discover your family history.

We ask for your patience as we work diligently through all the details to make these solutions available. Be sure to check back on our blog as we share more information about Family Tree Maker in the next few months.

For more information on Software MacKiev and RootsMagic, click below:

● Software MacKiev: http://www.mackiev.com/

● RootsMagic: http://www.rootsmagic.com/

Click on this link to check out Bruce’s extensive announcement from RootsMagic.

“Long Lost Family” to Debute on TLC March 6, at 10/9c

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Oh, good… Another genealogy show! And it looks like this one is also researched and sponsored by Ancestry.com.

The following excerpt is from a news items posted February 2, 2016 @ 11:39 am at thewrap.com:

Open a fresh box of Kleenex and flip over to TLC: The cable channel has ordered “Long Lost Family” to series.

The show features highly emotional and touching stories of people who have suffered a lifetime of separation and are yearning to be reunited with their birth parents and biological families. The reverse also applies on this reality show: Parents who wish to find children they had to place for adoption long ago.

Ancestry, the largest provider of family history and personal DNA testing, is teaming up with TLC as a sponsor of the upcoming season. As part of the show sponsorship, Ancestry provides family history research on each of the featured individuals to help make discoveries possible.

Read the full article.

Crime & Punishment: Historic Notices of Wanted British Criminals Go Online

The following news release is from Matthew Deighton, with Ancestry.com:

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CRIME AND PUNISHMENT: HISTORIC NOTICES OF WANTED CRIMINALS GO ONLINE
More than 90 years of Police Gazette records published online by Ancestry

♣ Police Gazettes reveal fascinating information on suspected wanted criminals, crimes committed and missing persons
♣ A suspect in the Whitechapel Murders and infamous Sheffield murderer Charles Peace appear in the records
♣ Entries reveal child murders committed by desperate single mothers who were ostracised from society

More than 100,000 records and images from Police Gazettes, revealing details of wanted suspected criminals, offenders in custody and missing persons have been published online by Ancestry, the world’s largest family history resource.

The UK, Police Gazettes, 1812-1902, 1921-1927 collection, sourced from Luminary Trading Limited and Lastchancetoread, contains copies of the “Police Gazette”, or “Hue and Cry”. The publication was used for communication between members of the police force across the United Kingdom – much like the National Crime Agency’s most wanted list today.

Searchable by name, age, type, date and location of crime, these records contain vital information and fascinating detail for anybody looking to find out more about either an historic offender or indeed a victim of crime in their family tree. The records can even give a glimpse at the faces of wanted suspected criminals through police sketches issued alongside requests from information.

Several interesting characters feature in the records, including:

♣ Charles Peace – Maimed in an industrial incident as a child, murderer Peace appears in the records in 1876 in an appeal for information about his location on several occasions. He’s described as ‘thin and slightly built’, with ‘grey (nearly white) hair, beard and long whiskers’. The record goes on to give details of his trade – a picture-frame maker, with a history of burglary. He murdered a policeman and a neighbour, but managed to stay on the run until he was arrested for burglary in London, and eventually faced the death penalty

♣ Michael Ostrog – Ostrog, one of the suspects in the Whitechapel Murders that made Jack the Ripper famous, was charged with larceny, but failed to report after he was released from Surrey County Lunatic Asylum in 1888. The record lists several of his aliases: Bertrand Ashley, Claude Clayton and Dr. Grant, and describes him as ‘’a dangerous man’, who had moles on his shoulder and neck, as well as ‘corporal punishment marks’. An accompanying sketch of a bearded Ostrog is an example the police tried to identify criminals on the run.

Ostrog was not the only man in the Police Gazettes to use aliases, with one in ten (9%) of all entries featuring a pseudonym, perhaps unsurprising given that most criminals attempt to shield their identity from the authorities.

The records also include a number of reports featuring murdered new-born babies, which illustrates the issues attached to illegitimate children in the 19th Century. The Bastardy Clause in the New Poor Law of 1834 made all illegitimate children solely the responsibility of their mother until the age of 16, which left mothers, often estranged from their families, with limited choices. In desperation, many mothers resorted to infanticide to protect themselves. Many of the mothers were never identified, with the police often seeking more information on the crime. Some examples from the records include:

♣ ‘Ann Yates’ – Murdered her daughter and threw the body into a well in Midsomer Norton, Somerset, in 1875 after being forced to live in the Shepton-Mallet Union Workhouse when she was unable to provide for her illegitimate offspring. The police believed the ‘good-looking’ 24-year old had fled to Cardiff to start a new life

♣ ‘Two women’ – In 1894, the body of a newly-born male child was found in the Leeds and Liverpool Canal at Hoghton, tied up in a white coarse apron. The police sought two women who were observed on the canal bank in Blackburn when a splash was heard, ‘caused by one of the women throwing something into the water’. The younger woman, who ‘appeared to be ill’, was leaning on the arm of an older woman who was ‘tall and stout’

Ancestry’s Senior Content Manager Miriam Silverman comments: “This collection provides rare insight into crime and punishment in the 19th Century as well as helping us to better understand how the British police force worked shortly after it was introduced.”

“Whether you’re locating the black sheep in your family tree, discovering more about an ancestor who was the victim of crime or even unearthing some infamous criminals, these records can help reveal the details.”

To search the UK, Police Gazettes, 1812-1902, 1921-1927 collection for free, and more than 16 billion other historical records worldwide, visit www.ancestry.co.uk.

ABOUT ANCESTRY

Ancestry 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.co.uk contains more than one billion records in collections including the most comprehensive online set of England, Wales and Scotland Censuses from 1841 to 1911, the fully searchable England and Wales Birth, Marriage and Death Indexes, the World War One British Army Service and Pension records, UK Parish Records and the British Phone Books.

Ancestry operates a suite of online family history brands, including Archives.com, Fold3.com, Newspapers.com, and offers the AncestryDNA product, sold by its subsidiary, Ancestry International DNA, LLC, all of which are designed to empower people to discover, preserve and share their family history.

Petition Circulating To Ask That Family Tree Maker Production be Continued

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David Smith has started a petition to Kendall Hulet with the hopes of getting Ancestry to change their mind about retiring Family Tree Maker.

He is hoping that is there is enough outcry, Ancestry will reconsider.

The link for the petition is at:

https://www.change.org/p/kendall-hulet-stop-ancestry-from-retiring-family-tree-maker-software

Ancestry to Stop Selling Family Tree Maker

Whew… Now this was a surprise to me. I’ve followed, although not always used, Family Tree Maker since version one. But it looks like it’s about to meet it’s demise.

The following is excerpted from the Ancestry blog:

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…we’ve made the decision to stop selling Family Tree Maker as of December 31, 2015. Our subscription business and website, on the other hand, continue to grow and we are doubling down our efforts to make that experience even better for our Ancestry community. Ancestry will continue to support current owners of Family Tree Maker at least through January 1, 2017. During this time, all features of the software, including TreeSync™, will continue to work, and Member Services will be available to assist with user questions. We will also address major software bugs that may occur, as well as compatibility updates.

Read the full blog.