Find My Ancestor Blog
18Nov/100

I Am Thankful For – 18 November, 2010

Today I would like to express my thanks for many people who have been involved in all the amazing technology we have today that helps us do our genealogy.

Even though I never did genealogy 20, 15 or even 10 years ago, I know some of the techniques and ways of doing genealogy back then. Even 10 years ago we did not have most of the databases, internet websites and software programs we have today.

One of the most important things these days to help you accomplish your genealogical research are good genealogy database programs for your computer. There are dozens of programs available today that enable you to create a family tree or database of your family. Each program has pros and cons, but the most important thing when determining a software program is to use what works for you. As long as you can thoroughly document, organize and know how to navigate through your research, any program can work well for you.

The following are some of the most popular database software programs:

Windows/PC


Mac


There are dozens of databases available today that we can access millions of records without leaving our house. These databases have changed the way we can do some of our research. Whereas before, now we can access some of the most common records such as census records, death records and newspapers directly from our home computer.

The following are some of the most popular internet databases:

23Sep/100

Ancestry.com to Acquire iArchives (Footnote.com)

The following is a press release by Ancestry.com's CEO Tim Sullivan:



PROVO, Utah, September 23, 2010 – Ancestry.com Inc. (Nasdaq: ACOM) announced today it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire iArchives, Inc. and its branded Web site, Footnote.com, a leading American History Web site, for approximately $27 million in a mix of Ancestry.com stock, cash and assumption of liabilities.  This acquisition will provide the company with a complementary consumer brand, expanded content offerings, and enhanced digitization and image-viewing technologies.

iArchives digitizes and delivers high-quality images of American historical records of individuals involved in the Revolutionary War, Continental Congress, Civil War, and other US historical events to Footnote.com subscribers interested in early American roots. iArchives has digitized more than 65 million original source documents to date through its proprietary digitization process for paper, microfilm and microfiche collections.

“Footnote.com is highly complementary to Ancestry.com’s online family history offering,” said Tim Sullivan, President and Chief Executive Officer of Ancestry.com. “By promoting Footnote to our Ancestry audience, we hope to expand its reach among researchers who care about early American records. iArchives also brings outstanding image-viewing technology and content digitization capabilities that will improve our leadership position in bringing valuable historical records to the market. We welcome the iArchives team to the Ancestry.com family.”

Upon completion of the transaction, iArchives will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Ancestry.com. As part of the transaction, Ancestry.com currently expects to issue approximately 1.0 million shares of common stock. The transaction is subject to various closing conditions and is expected to close early in the fourth quarter of 2010.

Ancestry.com also announced today that its Board of Directors has approved a share repurchase program of up to approximately $25 million of its common stock. Under the authorization, share repurchases may be made by the Company from time to time in the open market or through privately negotiated transactions depending on market conditions, share price and other factors and may include accelerated or forward or similar stock repurchases and/or Rule 10b5-1 plans. Part of the rationale for the repurchase is to offset dilution of equity resulting from the iArchives acquisition. No time limit was set for the completion of this program. The share repurchase program may be modified or discontinued at any time by the Board of Directors.
About Ancestry.com
Ancestry.com Inc. (Nasdaq: ACOM) is the world's largest online family history resource, with approximately 1.3 million paying subscribers. More than 5 billion records have been added to the site in the past 13 years. Ancestry users have created more than 19 million family trees containing over 1.9 billion profiles. Ancestry.com has local Web sites directed at nine countries, including its flagship Web site at www.ancestry.com.

About iArchives

iArchives is a leading digitization service provider that also operates Footnote.com, a subscription Web site that features searchable original documents, providing over 35,000 paying subscribers with a view of the events, places and people that shaped the American nation and the world. At Footnote.com, all are invited to come share, discuss, and collaborate on their discoveries with friends, family, and colleagues. For more information, visit www.footnote.com.

19Aug/101

In the Right Place at the Right Time

Isn't it funny how sometimes we are in the right place at the right time?

The other day during lunch I decided to head over to the local bookstore. I go there quite frequently on my lunch hour to see if they ever get any new genealogy books that would be good to read. Unfortunately this bookstore does not have a great selection of genealogy books. I am also ways asking them why they don't get a better selection. They don't even have Who Do You Think You Are?: The Essential Guide to Tracing Your Family History by Megan Smolenyak. I think that book needs to be in every library and bookstore for those who are just beginning their family history. To prove my point, they could have easily sold a copy of it to a genealogy newbie that day.

When I was there looking to see if they had any new books in their collection, which they didn't, I decided I would look just a few feet away on another shelf where some of the writing books are located. Along with many other bloggers, I would like to improve my writing skills and learn new techniques to improve my writing and make it more interesting. As I was standing just a few feet away from the genealogy section, a man walked up to one of the customer support desks and asked where the genealogy section was. The employee pointed this gentleman over to where the books were located. As the gentleman approached the books he started to look through the small collection and browsed through a couple of them. Still standing there just a few feet away from him I couldn't help but ask him if he was looking for something specific. I also wanted to become acquainted with another fellow genealogist.

We started talking and he said he was just starting his family research and that he was looking for resources on where to find his Italian ancestry. I hardly have any knowledge of Italian history or resources where to find Italian documents. I asked him if he has looked into any genealogy blogs about Italy. He looked a little surprised when I mentioned this. I told him there were hundreds of genealogy blogs out there and each one had its special niche. I recommended him going to the GeneaBloggers website to find some blogs that might help him find resources as well as others researching their Italian roots.

As we were talking about GeneaBloggers he mentioned he had just barely subscribed to Ancestry.com and looked around on there. He also mentioned how expensive Ancestry.com was I immediately remembered how the latest issue of Family Tree Magazine had an article 101 Best Free Websites for Tracing Your Roots. I took him over to the magazine section of the store, pulled it off the shelf and showed him the article. I told him about some of the more well-known websites like Cyndi's List, WorldGenWeb, and FamilySearch that could help with his Italian research.

It was really cool being able to meet this gentleman and the coincidence it was to be there in the genealogy section at the right time to be albe to meet him and help him get a head start on his genealogy research.

28Jul/100

Mac Genealogy – Genealogy Software for Mac

The following post continues the series Mac Genealogy. This series will help you learn of different applications, tricks, and lots of other great things that will help you with your genealogy research. As Macs become more and more popular, more genealogists are moving to Mac. This blog series will also help for those who are thinking of switching to Mac, but aren't quite sure - yet! If you haven't been following the series so far, be sure to catch up on previous posts.


As a genealogist, one of the first questions you are going to ask yourself about switching over to a Mac is what kind of genealogy database programs are available for Mac? Will the current software I have work on a Mac? These are very important questions to ask yourself because you of course want all of your hard work you have done on your PC to be able to work on your Mac.

Most genealogists today have some sort of database program to keep all their information about their ancestors. Depending on each individual software, these database programs can include features to records events in your ancestor’s lives like birth, marriage, death, etc. Some of the more complex programs will let you attach photos and videos directly to your ancestors and sometime the actual event in their life.

Now, programming is so different between Macs and PCs that most of the time one program that will work on one won’t work on the other. The software developers have to pretty much make two different programs of the same software. Each one has to have different code to be able to talk to the operating system. 

At the moment, there is no genealogy software that will work on both Mac and PC natively - at least not that I am aware of. There have been software developers in the past that have had both operating system platforms, but until the past few years it wasn’t worth it for developers to keep their Mac versions because they did not see the demand high enough. Over the last few years Macs have become more and more popular and so software developers have been making more apps for Mac and there has even been an announcement in the last few months by Ancestry.com that they are releasing a Mac version of their Family Tree Maker software. They say this will become available later this year. To learn more about Family Tree Maker for Mac visit their website.
To see more screenshots of FTM for Mac, click here.
I am assuming that integration between the PC and Mac version will be pretty smooth. Users who wish to go from one to the other will probably have a simple “transfer” process without errors or issues. We will have to see for ourselves when is come out.

Now, if you are completely new to genealogy or you are looking for a different genealogy software to use on your Mac, there are quite a few choices out there for you. There are a few programs that are the most popular and well known for Mac.



These are some more genealogy programs for Mac:


Next week I will post reviews of the first three softwares I mentioned above (Reunion, iFamily, and MacFamilyTree)