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Because the genealogy world has turned its eyes to Salt Lake City
and FamilySearch’s RootsTech conference,
this edition of the Genealogy News Corral focuses on news from the conference.
Sharing and preserving stories and “opening the tent” to more people, particularly
youth, are big themes at this year’s conference. Many attendees found inspiration
in FamilySearch president Dennis Brimhall’s
keynote talk about documenting people’s lives, asking “What would our great-great-grandchildren
wish we would have done?” You can read
about the opening keynote talks by Brimhall, storyteller Syd Lieberman and findmypast
genealogist D. Joshua Taylor on the RootsTech blog. Watch
these talks on the RootsTech website—scroll down on the home page to the Daily
In his keynote talk this morning, Ancestry.com president
Tim Sullivan made several announcements:
Over the next five years, Ancestry.com will
commit at least $100 million to digitize and index new content.
Over the next three years, Ancestry.com and FamilySearch
will collaborate to digitize and index 140 million+ pages of US probate records spanning
1800 to 1930. He called this the organizations’ “most ambitious collaboration”
yet, and added the caveat that permission to put records online must be negotiated
with repositories holding these records.
Ancestry.com is about to release new version of its iPhone iPad app with enhanced
social media sharing, the ability to compare trees and other features. A third of
new Ancestry.com registrants are through the site’s mobile apps (there’s also one
for Android), and half of users over last 2 months come to Ancestry.com through a
The Ancestry DNA database contains 120,000 DNA samples and has delivered more than
2 million fourth cousin relationships. To increase the size of the database, the price
of the test will be lowered to $99, whether or not you’re a subscriber.
In addition to a new logo unveiled to RootsTech official bloggers, FamilySearch will
redesign its website with an emphasis on photos, as a way to engage more people. It’ll
also add a fan chart view to its online Family Tree program. Blogger Renee Zamora
has lots of details on the information presented
during the dinner.
According to the Ancestry Insider,
who attended Wednesday’s dinner for the bloggers, FamilySearch is experimenting with
broadcasting sessions to 16 satellite locations in seven countries (with translation
where necessary). If successful, next year the number will be expanded to 600 locations.
That increases to potential reach of the conference to 120,000 people.
FamilySearch should reach its 1 billionth indexed record very soon, and is planning
prizes to the indexer and arbitrator of that record.