Episode 77 Transcript

Welcome to the Genealogy News from Geneatopia

I’m Patty Roy, also known as Dinah Larkham in Second Life.

Today is Saturday February 20, 2016 and this is Episode 77.

Findmypast had many big announcements at RootsTech. One of them was the release of 10 million records from Irish Roman Catholic parish registers. These will be indexes to the images that are online at the National Library of Ireland’s website. The images are free to access but there isn’t an index at the National Library of Ireland’s website.

You will need to be a Findmypast subscriber to use the index.

Now Ancestry has announced that they will have an index to the 10 million records of Irish Roman Catholic parish registers. This index will also be for the images at the National Library of Ireland’s website.

Both Findmypast and Ancestry should have their indexes ready next month.


There’s been some discussion about if the new Family Tree Maker will still sync with Ancestry trees next year. They mention using different technology to do this. Family Tree Maker will no longer use TreeSync after Jan. 1, 2017 but will use some new technology instead. TreeSync is the technology that’s been used over the years to sync Family Tree Maker to the tree at Ancestry.com. The AncestryInsider attended the Saturday luncheon at RootsTech titled “Things to Look Forward to on Ancestry in 2016.” In a blog post about the luncheon the Ancestry Insider wrote about what was mentioned at the luncheon. The speaker Kendall Hulet did say that Family Tree Maker and RootsMagic will be able to sync your desktop tree with your Ancestry tree.

Software MacKiev is the company that will continue to develop and support Family Tree Maker for Mac and Windows. They are the ones that developed the Mac version of Family Tree Maker.

Tamura Jones interviewed the president of Software MacKiev, Jack Minsky. A question was asked about the Mac version of the software, was it a true native Mac OS product and the answer was that it is. It doesn’t look like it is because Ancestry wanted it to look like the Windows version. The next update to the Mac version may see some Mac native elements so it will look like a Mac program.

Family Tree Maker will continue to be available in brick & mortar stores.

There wasn’t any information about what exactly will replace Tree Sync. Mr. Minsky mentioned that was up to Ancestry.

They are looking at a subscription model for Family Tree Maker so users will get new releases automatically every couple of months.

Mr. Minsky was asked if there would be a light version or a free version so people could try the program before they bought it. His reply was that it is not their main goal right now to develop another version. Their main focus is to produce a greatly improved product for existing users. After that they will explore creating a free trail for Family Tree Maker.

Anyone can signup to be a beta tester, submit feature requests, and submit bug reports from the feedback form found at www.mackiev.com/ftm.

The release date for Software MacKiev Family Tree Maker is March1st.

I’ll have a link in the show notes so you can read the entire interview.

Dick Eastman also wrote about what he found out when he talked to the representatives of Software MacKiev at their booth during RootsTech. They plan to concentrate on making Family Tree Maker more stable and faster. This will be their goal for both the Windows and Mac versions for the next year.

New features won’t be added until some time next year.


Ancestry reported on their fourth quarter 2015 financial results.

There were 2,243,000 subscribers of Ancestry websites when they reported their third quarter results. For the fourth quarter there are 2,264,000 subscribers as of December 31, 2015. That’s an increase of 20,000. And it makes for an increase of less than 1%. In the earnings call they compared to the same time last year where the increase was just over 6.5% with the addition of almost 150,000 for the past year.

The fourth quarter had 17% revenue growth.

AncestryDNA had a 200% increase in holiday sales as compared to 2014.

They talked a lot about their accomplishments for the year 2015.

The Company added over 1.7 billion new records during 2015. New collections added in the fourth quarter included:

• US Wills and Probate collection
• Mexico Civil Registration records
• US, School Yearbooks, 1880-2012
• US, City Directories, 1822-1989
• 4 million new international records from the U.K., Germany and Romania

They entered into a collaboration with Gannet to digitize over 80 of their newspaper titles last year.

Other portfolio or emerging businesses – newspapers.com and ProGenealogist research service, help to create the opportunity to promote the Ancestry brand

An example is the all access bundle that provides Ancestry subscribers access to nonAncestry brands – newspapers.com and Fold3. All access revenue nearly doubled in 2015.

The powered by newspapers.com initiative launched in 2015. This collaborates with publishers to digitize and make available a paper’s archived additions through the publisher’s website under a revenue share model.

AncestryDNA continues to be a high growth area. 2015 was a break through year for the DNA business. Consumer awareness for DNA is growing in the US and it’s starting to grow in the international markets.

AncestryDNA sold approximately one million kits in 2015 and now has a database with DNA samples from 1.5 million people making it the largest consumer genomics database.

5 to 7% of those in the US who purchase a DNA kit become an Ancestry subscriber. These new customers are showing higher engagement.

Ancestry is collaborating on the new TLC network show “Long Lost Family.” The show premieres in the United States on March 6.

Tim Sullivan, CEO of Ancestry said, “This new series leverages DNA testing to unite family members who have been separated throughout their lives. A great vehicle for DNA testing and the Ancestry brand.”

It was mentioned that by exiting the Family Tree Maker business will create a modest headwind to the revenue growth. This will make it so that 85% of service related revenue going forward will be attributable to the DNA business and it will give a cleaner look at the underlying trends in the DNA business.

During the Q&A portion of the earnings call, a question was asked about with Family Tree Maker going away, has there been a hit in retention – people were upset about that and how big is that in the amount of subscribers.

The response was Ancestry welcomes all the feedback from their users and that led them to look at other options. Which led to someone else to take over further development of Family Tree Maker and it will be integrated into RootsMagic. Tim Sullivan had trouble remembering the name of RootsMagic. He said there was no measurable or noticeable impact on subscribers.

Ancestry realized they have a responsibility to long term subscribers and they want to continue to evolve Family Tree Maker and make it relevant and accessible to people.

During his response to this question Tim Sullivan muttered a series of ahs and ums as he tired to think of how to answer the question.

Tim Sullivan, CEO of Ancestry, mentioned that 2015 was the best year in the company’s history. This year they plan to ramp up hiring to improve the process experience by adding to product and engineering areas.


This year at RootsTech Innovator Challenge Twile won 3rd place and the people’s choice award. Findmypast has entered in a partnership with Twile.

Twile is used to create timelines with photos and milestones. You can do this for your ancestors as well as yourself as you live your life.

The partnership will allow Twile customers to access Findmypast records. Twile will develop a tool so Findmypast customers can automatically display their family tree in a Twile timeline.


Findmypast has had a big update to PERSI. That’s the PERiodical Source Index where you can search by topic to find articles that have been published in journals and magazines. In some cases, you may actually be able to read the article. This recent update has added over 45,000 new images and articles mostly for Georgia, Maine, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and Utah. There are also some from The New Zealand Genealogist.

The British Newspapers collection has had a big update with over 6.4 million new articles and additional 26 new titles. Most of the new titles are from Wales.

Lots of records have been added for Devon, Plymouth, and West Devon. They’ve added parish chest records, apprentice records, directories and almanacs for the area.

Findmypast has added Ireland, Non-Conformist births & baptisms, marriages, and congregational records. No-conformists were Protestants and they were not members of the Church of Ireland.

Other non-conformist records have been added for Shropshire. These non-conformists were those you were not a member of the Church of England.

Records have been added for Britain, Merchant Seaman, 1918 – 1941.

Findmypast has added Britain, Business Indexes 1892 – 1987. This index was created from the Society of Genealogists books published in the 1890s. It’s an index of shopkeepers and other businesses and you can find a paragraph about each shop or company.

A small collection has been added for those students who sat for the Junior National Scholarship examination between December 1906 and January 1907 in New Zealand and another small collection of New Zealand registered teachers in 1906.

And two collections from Queensland – Reformatory School For Boys Admission Registers 1871-1906 and Toowoomba Girls Reformatory Admissions & Discharges 1881-1903 have been added.
The Irish Census Reports and the Ireland Statistical Surveys have been added. You won’t find your ancestor in these collections but you can learn about what your ancestor’s life was like during those times from 1851 to 1911.

FamilySearch has announced that Little Family Tree is now Read compatible and GenerationStory, Kindex, HP Scan, and StoryWorth are now Read and Update compatible with FamilySearch. This means that these applications have met standards set by FamilySearch to access and update data found at FamilySearch Family Tree.

Little Family Tree is designed for toddlers and pre-school children to get them interested in their family history by using photos, games, and activities designed for their level.

It’s an iOS app available for iPhone and iPad. It costs $3.99.

GenerationStory is a free iPhone app where you can tell the story of your family collections and treasures. With the app you can create a historical gallery of stories. The stories can be shared on Facebook or printed.

Kindex is website where you login with your FamilySearch account to transcribe, index, and tag items found at FamilySearch Memories. The product is currently in beta. During that time the site is free. Subscription accounts should be available in March and you will not be limited to items only found at FamilySearch Memories.

HP Scan allows you to scan and upload documents directly to FamilySearch Memories.

You may remember StoryWorth, it won the RootsTech 2015 People’s Choice Award and the First Place Judge’s Prize for the Innovator Challenge. Each week StoryWorth sends an email with a question about someone’s life. The answer is saved at StoryWorth and at the end of the year a book is created as a family keepsake.


There’s a new desktop software program to help you build your family tree. It’s called TreeView and its designed for those who live in the UK. It runs on both Windows and Mac.

TreeView costs £24.95 for the download edition and £39.95 for the premium edition. The premium edition contains some extra content and a 4 month subscription to TheGenealogist. There is also a free iOS and Android app. The data for the app is downloaded from a tree found at TreeView.co.uk or TheGenealogist. The desktop TreeView program syncs with these websites.

There is also a free 30-day trail of TreeView.

Tamura Jones has done a review of this software. I’ll have a link to the review in the show notes. His conclusion was this version should be considered a public beta release not as a commercial product. He found the program to be sluggish especially with large files, GEDCOM import and export are faulty, and the program requires a lot of memory.


The newspaper the Asbury Park Press is now online. All issues from 1905 can be found at app.newspaper.com. The newspapers give a perspective of what life was like on the Jersey shore.

You can search by date or keyword. However to view the page you will need a subscription to newspapers.com. Subscriptions are $7.99 per month or $59.95 per year for access to the Asbury Park Press. If you would like access all newspapers at newspapers.com, the cost is $139.90 per year.


The Digital Library of Georgia has announced the re-release of the enhanced Milledgeville Historic Newspapers Archive. It is now compatible with all current browsers and no plug-ins or additional software is needed to view the newspapers.

The collection ranges from 1808 to 1920 and contains many newspapers from the Milledgeville area. You can browse by date or search by keyword and access is free.


The Records Preservation and Access Committee (RPAC) has a new blog. It’s called the Records Advocate and it will be used by RPAC to communicate information about records access issues.

RPAC’s mission statement is

To advise the genealogical community on ensuring proper access to historical records of genealogical value in whatever media they are recorded, on means to affect legislation, and on supporting strong records preservation policies and practices.

In other words they want to keep public records open.

The blog will keep you up-to-date on all legislation being considered that could affect access to records that concern genealogists.


The Preserve the Pensions project is to digitize the War of 1812 pension records and place them online at Fold3 with free access. For every dollar they raise, Ancestry will match it.

The Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) is coordinating the fundraising effort.

They raised a tremendous amount of money during RootsTech. FGS wanted to raise $5,000 at the conference and if they did, FGS would match it. They raised over $5,000 so with FGS the amount becomes over $10,000, and then Ancestry matched that so the total is over $20,000.

If you’re not familiar with the Preserve the Pensions campaign, Amy Johnson Crow interviewed David Rencher at the RootsTech conference. He is the Federation of Genealogical Societies Secretary and Chief Genealogical Officer of FamilySearch.org.
She used Periscope to record it. You can find the interview at Katch. I’ll have direct link in the show notes to it.


The Library and Archives Canada continues to digitize the Canadian Expeditionary Force Personnel Files. The are doing this in alphabetical order and placing the files online at their web site. They are now up to the name of Hebert in box 4,224. There are a total of 10,686 boxes so it’s going to take a few years to get this entire collection online.

You can find the records that have been digitized in the Soldiers of the First World War: 1914 – 1918 collection at the Library and Archives Canada website.


The Public Record Office of Victoria, that would be in Australia, released thousands of new records on January 1st. This is the date when they can upload previously closed records because enough time has passed and the records can be made public. There are many different records collections that have been added to. I’ll have a link in the show notes to the list.

There are different privacy rules for different types of records. Records concerning adults are closed for 75 years, records concerning children are closed for 99 years, other records involving individuals may be closed for 30, 40, or 50 years as appropriate.


The National Library of Australia will be releasing Trove 7 on February 25th. Trove is a place to find online resources for Australia such as books, images, historic newspapers, maps, music, and archives.

The new version of Trove will be one of the largest updates in Trove history. Some of the new features will be:

A simplified newspaper interface with customizable viewer displays, and a new browse features
Some of the New South Wales gazette will begin to appear on Trove
Better experience on mobile devices

To get ready for the big release Trove will be unavailable starting on February 22 for three days.


Southern California Genealogical Society Jamboree is now accepting applications for the 2016 Student Grant and Jamboree Scholarship. Student genealogists between the ages of 18 and 23 and who are currently enrolled as a student either full-time or part-time are eligible to apply for the $500 cash award and full registration scholarship for the 2016 SCGS Jamboree to be held in Burbank, California June 3-5, 2016.

You will need two letters of recommendation and fill out a form where you tell about your genealogy experience and passion.

The application deadline is March 20, 2016 midnight Pacific Daylight Time.


Now for some webinars and online classes coming up. All of these can be watched for free during the live presentation. Many can be watched for free later. But the ones that are put on by societies are only available on demand later to their members.

Monday, February 22, 5PM Eastern
BYU Family History Library webinar
Update on Ancestry.com
presented by James Tanner

Tuesday, February 23, 1PM Eastern
Ancestry Live Event
AncestryDNA: How It Can Help With Genealogy Brick Walls
presented by Crista Cowen

Tuesday, February 23, 2PM Eastern
FamilySearch Webinar
French Records Indexing Workshop

Tuesday, February 23, 3PM Eastern
FamilySearch Webinar
British Resources on FamilySearch

Wednesday, February 24, 2PM Eastern
Legacy Webinar
A Guided Tour of Cyndi’s List 2.0
presented by Cyndi Ingle

Wednesday, February 24, 3PM Eastern
FamilySearch Webinar
British Resources on Ancestry

Wednesday, February 24, 4PM Eastern
BYU Family History Library webinar
Making Cense of the Census
presented by Burke Jackson

Wednesday, February 24, 5PM Eastern
FamilySearch Webinar
Using the Full Scope of Arkiv Digital for Swedish Genealogy

Thursday, February 25, 3PM Eastern
FamilySearch Webinar
British Resources on Findmypast

Thursday, February 25, 8PM Eastern
FamilySearch Webinar
Religious Migration and Research

Thursday, February 25, 9PM Eastern
Second Life National Genealogical Society Quarterly (NGSQ) Study Group
Leslie Elaine Anderson, “Tabitha (Bugg) George Smith of Mecklenburg County, Virginia,” National Genealogical Society Quarterly 103 (March 2015): 5-28.

Friday, February 26, 3PM Eastern
BYU Family History Library webinar
Digging Deep Into History – Finding Kerlin’s Well
presented by James Tanner

#genchat – Exploring Forensic Genealogy
Friday, February 26, 10PM Eastern

Tuesday, March 1, 1PM Eastern
Ancestry Live Event
What’s New at Ancestry: March 2016 Edition
presented by Crista Cowen

Wednesday, March 2, 2PM Eastern
Legacy Webinar
The War of 1812 Records – Preserving the Pensions
presented by Michael J. Hall

Wednesday, March 2, 8PM Eastern
Minnesota Genealogical Society
From Deeds to Dirt: Analyzing Research with Maps
presented by Cari A. Taplin

Thursday, March 3, 7PM Eastern
Ontario Genealogical Society Webinar
DNA Testing and Your Ethnic Origins
presented by Diahan Southard

Friday, March 4, 2016, 2PM Eastern
Legacy Webinar
Making YDNA and mtDNA Part of Your Family History
presented by Diahan Southard

Saturday, March 5, 1PM Eastern
Southern California Genealogical Society Webinar
Origins & Evolution of a OneName Study or Surname Research
presented by Julie Goucher

You can find all the webinars mentioned and more at the calendar at Geneatopia.com. I didn’t mention many of the Google Hangouts that go on each week and the meetings held in Second Life. You’ll find them in the calendar.

And that’s it for this episode.

You can send email to geneatopia@gmail.com

You can find links to things mentioned in this show in the show notes at Geneatopia.com as well as a transcript. The transcript can also be found in the Geneatopia Flipboard magazine.

This is episode 77.

Thanks for listening.

Listen to the episode.

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