The U.S. Census Bureau Created an Official Instagram Account

WASHINGTON, March 23, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ – The following tip sheet was released today by the U.S. Census Bureau:

Today the U.S. Census Bureau created an official Instagram account. The account will provide an outlet for the public to view the story behind the numbers, starting with the 2015 Census Test in the Savannah, Ga., area. Follow the Census Bureau on Instagram at @u.s.censusbureau.

Thanks to ResearchBuzz for the heads-up.

British Newspaper Archive Goes Live at Genes Reunited

The following News Release was receivd from Natasha White, Marketing & PR Executive for Genes Reunited:


. Previously hard-to-reach material now available
. Over 4 million fully-searchable pages of historical newspapers
. Archives feature over 65 million stories
. 8,000 pages added everyday

The British Newspaper Archive – recently launched to the public – has today been made available through leading family history website, transforming how people research the past. Members will be able to search for newspaper articles about their ancestors or the areas where they have lived, adding a whole new dimension to family history research.

The newspaper archive, first launched to the public on the 29th November 2011, currently hosts over 4 million pages from more than 200 regional newspaper titles (UK and Ireland), spanning the 18th and 19th centuries, and is fully searchable. 8,000 pages are added every day, making this an invaluable resource for family historians throughout the UK.

The newspapers illustrate the stories, issues, anxieties and obsessions of 19th century Britain and Ireland, also the parallels between the 19th century and present day. The archive includes phenomenally detailed and elaborately illustrated reports of the Great Exhibition of 1851, highlighting Victorian creativity and enterprise, as well as the complaints registered about strikes, delays and the effect on trade in the capital during the Exhibition’s run. Also included are stories on infamous murder trials, and men, women and children transported to the other side of the world for minor crimes; prominent illustrations and adverts, flagging the latest fashion to cure-alls for illnesses – all illuminating local history on an unprecedented level.

Rhoda Breakell, Head of, commented: “We are really excited to be able to host the British Newspaper Archive on following its huge success since launching earlier this year. Offering this service to our members means that the nation’s memories are not only kept alive online, but members can find stories about their ancestors or look up the area they lived in at the touch of a button. Material that was previously hard to reach because of where it was kept can now be in front of you within minutes. It’s a fantastic new resource for looking into the history of your family.

“Our members are undoubtedly going to unearth some special findings and we’re really interested in hearing about them via the community forum or message board. Whether it is an unusual discovery about their ancestors or area they lived in, or the most amusing and scandalous headlines, tell us about it!”

Genes Reunited Platinum members can add the British Newspaper Archive to their current subscription for £39.95.

About Genes Reunited
Genes Reunited is owned by online publishers brightsolid. brightsolid was chosen by the British Library as the partner for this project due to its track record on projects such as the digitisation of the 1911 census in partnership with The National Archives.

Genes Reunited was launched in 2003 as a sister-site to the Internet phenomenon Friends Reunited. Since then it has grown to become the UK’s largest genealogy website.

It marked a revolution in genealogy and ancestry by combining them with Internet social-networking. Members are able to build their family tree by posting it on the site and investigating which ancestors they share with other members. They can also search historical records such as census, birth, death, marriage and military records.

Genes Reunited has over 12 million members and over 780 million names listed. One new name is added to the site every single second.; A New, Free Website for Saving Those Precious Memories is about nostalgia. So many of us who lose loved ones only to realize you might not have known them as well as you thought. Have you said, “I didn’t ask those life questions when I should have, when I had the chance.” Site founder Helen Spencer experienced these feelings and made similar statements. When Helen’s mother passed she was inspired to help others avoid these disappointments. She put together

At no cost to the user, this new website provide the means for anyone to save living memories, as they occur, or as a collection of past events. SaveEveryStep encourages mixing stories with photographs. How often have you looked at an old photograph, even one with labels identifying the people, date and place? Have you ever wondered what they were doing and how they were feeling. What is the story behind the photo. SaveEveryStep helps you record both.

SaveEveryStep make the process interesting by letting you attach your stories and media to an interactive timeline. The timelines makes finding stories both easier and fun.

The site is secure and private. There are three privacy levels to choose from. You can create a lifeline for each family member with enough space for hundreds of pictures and stories per person. You can even share stories across lifelines. has made family story telling and recording as easy as possible. Best of all, its free.

Digital Storytelling gets a Boost from

I have long felt too many family historians overlook a precious piece of their family’s history, the living. When asked about why they got involved in family history, I have found most people respond, “because of the stories.” The problem is, we tend to get set in our ways and make excuses for never getting around to sharing and capturing the stories of our living relatives. When was the last time you asked a parent or grandparent to share a story? When did you last go through your family pictures and take notes on the who, when, where and why? How do we find the time to capture the stories of the living before they become a part of the forgotten past?

The guys over at Storytree have a solution. They take a simple approach to capturing stories. Using their website and optional iPod/iPhone app, they make both capturing and sharing stories with family and friends fun and easy. Using video, audio, photos and text, family members of all ages can easily tell their own stories as well as request stories and input from others. To get a quick idea of how easy and fun their service can be, watch this short video:


Storytree is hardly the first company to try and facilitate the sharing and gathering of family stories. Some have tried through social networking, some through memoir writing and others through story sharing, like Storytree. Most of these sites have failed or moved into other aspects of research. The guys at Storytree believe their concept will work because technology has finally gotten easy enough for family members of all generations to use without having to be media or computer experts.

At the very least, getting started with Storytree is as simple a process as one could ask for. Just head on over to their site at and click the “get started” button.  On the next screen you enter a name for your “storytree” and click “go”. If you are unsure of what to do next, they have simple FAQ and Tips pages to help you out.

Storytree gives you control of the security for each storytree you create. You decide who has access and who can share information. You can also download the contents of your tree. In addition, their new free iPod/iPhone app makes collecting and posting story items easy, even while on the go.

The Storytree site is new and will likely grow as new features are developed and added to the system. However, simple design and structure coupled with ease of use show a lot of foresight has already gone into development. Since getting started is free, no mention is given of future intent to charge for the service, what does it hurt to give this new service a try? Continues Growth

The following News Release is from

Geni, the collaborative family history community and home of the “World Family Tree,” today announced continued strong growth including the promotion and addition of key team members across the organization.

With a growing user base and more than 100 million family profiles added by the Geni community, 55 million of which are connected to the World Family Tree, the company promoted two essential employees to the executive team:

  • Justin Balthrop is now chief technology officer, responsible for the technology strategy of the company.
  • Michael Stangel takes over as vice president of engineering, overseeing the engineering and operations teams.

To further develop business initiatives and better serve its growing community, Geni also promoted and added the following employees:

  • Michael Berkovich is promoted to technical lead, platform, responsible for core technologies such as Geni’s API and mobile offerings. He will interact with API partners to ensure that the API and Geni platform promote innovation in genealogy.
  • Ian McDaniel is promoted to director of product development, overseeing design and front-end development.
  • Greg Drewganis, formerly of Playboy Enterprises, Inc. and Encyclopedia Britannica, joins as director of monetization. He will drive efforts to increase Geni’s subscriber base and will work to form strategic partnerships that add additional revenue streams.
  • Charles Edmonds, previously at MySpace, is now customer service manager, ensuring Geni community members continue to receive superior support and service.
  • Michelle Kempner, former director of the solutions architecture group at Schematic, joins as user experience designer. She will ensure that Geni appeals to both expert and casual users alike.
  • Alan Malloy, formerly of HubPages, joins as senior software engineer. He is the latest addition to the growing team of Clojure programmers working on Geni’s core technology.

“Public curiosity around family history and relationships to various historical figures and celebrities is at an all time high, and is driving millions of people to create and connect family trees,” said Noah Tutak, Geni CEO. “Collaboration is the future of genealogy, and Geni’s strong and growing team will help drive these efforts as well as our next phase of growth.”

Millions of Geni members, both casual and expert genealogists, are creating a single World Family Tree comprised of interconnected family trees from across the entire world. Visitors can sign up for free and easily add and find family members at

About Geni, Inc.
Geni is an online collaborative family history community that provides casual and expert genealogists with an easy and comprehensive way to document personal family trees and join the World Family Tree. Members can add and invite relatives to build their family tree, with no limit on the number of people, documents, photos or videos added, while personally connecting with history and finding out how they are related to others in the World Family Tree. Privately held and based in Los Angeles, Geni is financially supported by the Founders Fund and Charles River Ventures and was founded by David Sacks, the original Chief Operating Officer of PayPal and founder of Yammer, Inc.

Enter the Legacy Family Tree Facebook Contest

The following news release was received from Thomas MacEntee:

Win a Netbook or a Special Legacy Family Tree Software/Webinar Bundle

May 2, 2011 – Surprise, AZ. Legacy Family Tree from Millennia Corporation announces a contest at its new Facebook page where contestants could win one of five special Legacy Family Tree software/webinar bundles and even a new netbook computer!

Contest Rules
Between May 2 and May 6, 2011, simply visit the new Legacy Family Tree page on Facebook at and click the Like button. That’s it! And if you’ve already clicked the Like button, you’re already entered in the contest! By liking the Legacy Family Tree page, you’ll automatically be entered in the contest. Winners will be drawn on May 7, 2011 from all those Facebook visitors who have hit the Like button for the Legacy Family Tree page. Winners will be notified via email or Facebook on Monday, May 9, 2011 and must claim their prize no later than Friday, May 13, 2011. See the Legacy Family Tree blog for complete contest rules.

Legacy Family Tree Expands Its Social Media Presence
You can now get the latest news about Legacy Family Tree software as well as its cutting-edge series of genealogy webinars, by following the Legacy Family Tree Facebook page at In addition, check out the Legacy Family Tree blog at for additional news.

About Legacy Family Tree
“The most powerful and easy-to-use family tree software,” Legacy Family Tree helps you find your ancestors, organize your research, and publish beautiful charts, and more. Take a tour of Legacy Family Tree at

About Millennia Corporation
Founded in 1984, Millennia Corporation publishes the award-winning Legacy Family Tree genealogy software program, with headquarters in Surprise, Arizona. More information can be found at

“Family Village” to Officially Launch on Facebook Next Tuesday

Imagine working and living in the same cabin with your great-great-great-great grandparents.

With “Family Village,” a new Facebook game launching next week, that’s exactly what amateur genealogists will be able to do.

The new computer game, produced by Draper developer Funium, allows players to import their ancestors into a “Sims”-styled virtual world where they can build homes, go to work and share experiences just like in real life. The game has its official launch Tuesday.

This week, Funium announced that it received $1.2 million in new funding from both Utah entrepreneur Jim Sorenson and genealogy site FamilyLink, which was co-founded by investor Paul Allen.

“The vision of the game is to help people who play it to understand that we are all a part of one great world family,” said Funium chief executive Jeff Wells.

Wells came up with the idea for “Family Village” more than four years ago while working on his family genealogy one night.

“I stayed up all night and found it very engaging,” he said. “I thought it would be a very good game concept — finding historical documents about our ancestors and finding out about ancestors I didn’t know anything about.”

A team of about two dozen programmers began working on the game in May. About 8,000 players have been testing the game to hone its playability.

Read the full article in the April 12, 2011 edition of the Salt Lake Tribune.’s Family Tree Surpasses 50 Million People

The following excerpt is from an article printed in the January 4, 2011 edition of

Santa Monica, CA (PRWEB) January 4, 2011, a world leader in collaborative genealogy, today announced the addition of the 50 millionth person to its World Family Tree, also known as “The Big Tree” within the genealogy community. Among the cutting edge features that allowed this tremendous growth are:

  • A Wikipedia-style collaboration environment including more than 50 “Curators”, which are the equivalent of a Wikipedia Administrator
  • Advanced merging features that allow users with common ancestors to connect their family trees
  • An alpha version of the Geni Developer API, which allows automation of some common merging tasks

“We are very proud of this milestone that the Geni community has worked so tirelessly to reach,” says Noah Tutak, Geni’s President. “Collaboration is the only means by which Geni can reach its goal of creating a single family tree for the world, and the progress our users have made is incredible.”

Read the full article.

Thomas MacEntee Joins the 2010 Salt Lake Christmas Tour

Featured Speaker to Offer Technology Education for Genealogists October 13, 2010 – Bountiful, Utah: The 2010 Salt Lake Christmas Tour – an annual genealogy event in its 26th year and celebrating its 25th anniversary – is pleased to announce that noted genealogist and technology educator Thomas MacEntee will be joining in the holiday fun as its featured speaker. The Tour takes place beginning Sunday, December 5, 2010 and runs through Saturday, December 11, 2010 in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Over a five-day period, MacEntee will offer eight different presentations covering various aspects of genealogy and how technology and social media can be used to expand the genealogy experience. Topics include “Building a Research Toolbox,” “Facebook for Genealogists,” “Build a Genealogy Blog,” and “Twitter: It Isn’t Just ‘What I Had For Breakfast’ Anymore.”

The Salt Lake Christmas Tour ( ) is an annual event attracting genealogists and family historians and is renowned for the genealogy research success of its attendees, many of whom come back year after year. The Tour provides the highest ratio of professional researchers to attendees of any genealogy research tour utilizing the Family History Library located in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Throughout 2010, Thomas MacEntee has been covering the United States and Canada presenting technology education to genealogists and family historians in an easy-to-learn format. All presentations demonstrate applications such as Facebook and Twitter in real time and include cheat sheets and other handy reference materials.

Leland Meitzler, of Family Roots Publishing Company and owner/organizer of the Salt Lake Christmas Tour, says “we think that this year’s Tour not only offers an excellent research opportunity at the Family History Library but also provides a way to increase your technology knowledge especially as it pertains to genealogy. Thomas has a way of making technology approachable no matter what your computer skills.”

Register before October 31, 2010 to take advantage of special savings and to reserve your space on the Salt Lake Christmas Tour. Not only will you be amazed at the progress you can make in your genealogy research, but you’ll do so in good company and be able to witness the sights and sounds of Christmas in Salt Lake City.

About Thomas MacEntee
As a genealogist specializing in the use of technology and social media to improve genealogical research and to interact with others inThomas MacEntee the family history community, Thomas MacEntee relies upon his 25 years of experience in the information technology field. And as the creator of, he has organized and engaged a community of over 1,300 bloggers to document their own journeys in the search for ancestors.

Thomas shares his knowledge of technology and experience as a genealogist with others through various forms of social media and speaking engagements. Through his business High-Definition Genealogy, he provides consulting services in the genealogy industry covering such areas as market research, education, technology and more.
Thomas MacEntee is available nationwide for presentations and classes focusing on social media and technology as a way to assist genealogists and genealogical societies.

About the Salt Lake Christmas Tour
The Salt Lake Christmas Tour specializes in professionally assisted genealogy research at the world-famous Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah. Now in its 26th year and celebrating its 25th anniversary, the tour is renowned for the high success-rate of its attendees, due in part to the outstanding professional to attendee ratio. Hosted by Leland K. Meitzler, Patty Meitzler, Donna Potter Phillips, and Bill Balter, the 2010 tour promises to be one of the best ever! For more information and registration, see:

Geni Allows All Users Access to Revisions

geni-logo Revisions are a new way to track changes to your tree and discover new collaborators. Revisions are built on an entirely new technology that will enable some great features in the future, including the ability to undo changes to your tree and compare different versions of profiles. Today you can view a list of revisions for a tree or profile. Each revision is a record of activity, such as a merge or a profile update. Revisions are a great way to see recent changes and find other users working on the same parts of the tree.

Read the full blog about Revisions at the Geni blog.

2010 FamilySearch Software Award Recipients Announced

The following news release is from Paul Nauta, FamilySearch.

SALT LAKE CITY—Recipients of the 2010 FamilySearch Software Awards familysearch-logo-4-7-09were announced at the FamilySearch Developers Conference in Salt Lake City, Utah. The 14 recipients were recognized for their outstanding and innovative work in advancing products and technologies that integrate with FamilySearch’s emerging suite of products and services.

The annual FamilySearch Software Awards has been established to encourage and recognize software development that benefits the growing demands and needs of family history consumers. “The awards formally recognize the software achievements of those developers and companies that are making important contributions to the family history and genealogy industry,” said Gordon Clarke, FamilySearch developer services product manager.

The Best New Product awards were given to applicants in different platform categories. Products with specific features deemed important to the growth of the industry received the Best New Feature award. Community Player awards recognized individuals who have made exceptional contributions to the software developer community.

The following recipients were announced and awards presented at the FamilySearch Developers Conference:

Best New Product Awards

  • The MagiKey for the “Best New Windows” product
  • Arcalife for the “Best New Web site”
  • MobileTree for “Best New Mobile” product
  • FamilyInsight for “Best New Macintosh” product

Best New Feature Awards

  • OurFamilogy for “Best Research” feature
  • SharingTime for “Best Collaboration” feature
  • Genetree for “Best DNA” feature
  • Ancestral Hunt for the “Best Geo-Mapping” feature
  • FamilyPursuit for the “Best Groups” feature
  • Photoloom for the “Best Media” feature
  • FamilyChArtist for the “Best Print” feature
  • AppleTree for the “Best Celebrity Tree” feature

Community Player Awards

  • Gaylon Finlay, Incline Software, “Bug Hunter” award
  • Michael Booth and Bruce Buzbee, Roots Magic, “Trailblazer” award

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

The following news release was received from my friends at

arcalife announces full integration with This integration further deepens the features and capabilities between the two sites and offers members was established as an online community where members can preserve their family history, scrapbook their memories, and securely share rich life content all in one place. arcalife has developed a wide range of tailored tools and services to allow members to capture their ‘past’ and ‘present’ life content for ‘future’ generations.

The concept for was born from the most basic of human needs; to leave a lasting imprint of our lives and experiences. arcalife has developed a range of tools and services to enable members to research their family history, build a family tree, and securely share and collaborate with family members in building a ‘Digital Estate’ to pass to future generations. FamilySearch is the largest genealogy organization in the world. Millions of people use FamilySearch records, resources, and services to learn more about their family history. For over 100 years, FamilySearch has been actively gathering, preserving, and sharing genealogical records worldwide.

Aside from access to millions of free records, the integration will bring a host of new resources to arcalife members. Furthermore, FamilySearch members are now able to use to do more with their records, research, and family tree- including:

  • Add rich Media Content to Trees and Events – Photos, Videos, Records, Documents, and Timelines
  • Synchronize Trees and Events Between the Two Sites
  • Make Family History Scrapbooks, Biographies, and Printed albums from memories, experiences and events
  • Print large size color Family Trees with a few clicks, up to size 36.1 in × 51.1 in 100% Secure & Encrypted, Gated Site for Storing and Sharing Family History

“…We’re excited about this new integration as our members will now have access to a wider range of records, and FamilySearch members can do more with their existing research on our site” says Paul Taylor, CEO

British National Archives Backs Sale of Friends Reunited to Brightsolid – to Give Ancestry Some Competition

It seems that the staid British National Archives is coming forward in support of the sale of Friends Reunited to Brightsolid. The sale has been somewhat in doubt, as the “Competition Commission” has expressed reluctance to allowing the sale to go through. It’s looks like the principle reason for the support is that the Archives would like to make sure that has competition. Following is an excerpt from an article in the January 4, 2010 edition of the Financial Times.

Friends Reunited

The takeover of Friends Reunited, currently facing regulatory scrutiny, has found support from an unlikely quarter – the National Archives.

The government’s official archive rarely, if ever, intervenes in competition inquiries but it has backed the proposed sale of the social networking site operator – and its valuable genealogy subsidiary, Genes Reunited – to create a bigger rival to a larger American competitor. ITV has agreed to sell Friends Reunited to Brightsolid, a web company owned by DC Thomson, the Scottish publisher.

The National Archives said in a submission to the Competition Commission’s investigation into the deal that a combination of Genes Reunited with Brightsolid’s Find My Past site would create “more robust and serious competition” to, the US-based market leader.

If the merger were blocked, “there is unlikely to be a realistic alternative bid from any existing genealogy company”.

“The reduction in the number of players would weaken the competitive scene, leaving consumers with less choice of product and pricing,” it said.

The National Archives said blocking the merger would also result in consumers having less choice in family history data and documents, and the rate of market innovation would slow.

Read the full article. & Firebird Media Limited Announce Strategic Alliance

The following news release was received from my friend, Kia Rahmani, at arcalife:

(PRWEB) December 17, 2009arcalife and Firebird Media Limited have signed a deal bringing the two companies closer together in the personal and historical archiving space.

arcalife provides personal archiving solutions to its members, firebirdgiving them the opportunity to store and share their family history, memories, stories, photos, video and audio – to enjoy now and to record for future generations.

Firebird, through its website Memorybank offers its community a ‘peoples archive’, including sources of local historical information on which to base their research, as well as contribute to a wider cultural archive of local history from their own family memorabilia.

arcalife CEO Paul Taylor says, “This is a significant opportunity for both organizations. Many of our operational needs are similar and our services are complimentary, so it makes perfect sense.”. Memorybank users will have access to a wider range of services and products that arcalife users already have: the ability to make multimedia timelines and create time capsules as well as structured archives to store and share any family information from research.

The CEO of Firebird Media Limited is Dr. Nick Barratt, noted historian and consultant / presenter of the hit UK family history show “Who Do You Think You Are”. Barratt commented, “I think our members will be pleased with the additional functionality we’ll be delivering through Memorybank. The arcalife team brings significant technical skill to our group, and in return we’ll support them in their worthy mission to encourage us all to take a more active role in personally archiving our lives.”

The alliance will start by bringing historical project and archiving software to the UK education market. Dr Barratt has been working for some time to encourage more interest in personal and local history in the UK education sector and has succeeded in having it added to a large number of school curricula. The new software, which will be called PROJECTBOOK, has been designed to support teachers and schools wanting to run and manage local history and personal archiving projects, and will be released during 2010 after intensive testing.

Dr. Barratt says, “I am particularly excited about our plans to develop bespoke education products to encourage a new generation of historians in schools to explore the world around them, and develop the important research and interpretative skills that will stand them in good stead no matter what they eventually decide to do with their lives.”.

Company Profiles:

Firebird Media were established in 2005 to create Memorybank, the people’s archive, and provide educational products for teachers of history and related curriculum areas. is one place where you can preserve family history, scrapbook today’s memories and securely share rich family content online. Subs at $59.95 plus 2 free months Through CyberMonday

The following announcement was received from Claire LaBeaux, Public Relations Director,

CyberMonday -

Heads-up on on a CyberMonday deal for genealogy lovers! A subscription for is a perfect gift for someone who would love to explore other family trees and make new connections. A full-year subscription is normally $79.95. But now through CyberMonday (November 30), get a gift certificate for only $59.95, plus get two free additional months added to the subscription! That’s a total savings of $40. To order, visit hosts a gigantic, interconnected, growing family tree with more than 200 million names that have been submitted by genealogy enthusiasts in their own family trees. You can potentially uncover and connect information about multiple generations to your own tree. (All differences in data are preserved so you have the opportunity to verify conflicting information before you accept it.) Visit for this limited-time special offer.

PS – You can always send yourself a gift too…