Saturday, March 24, 2007

Family History and Genealogy Conference

Family History and Genealogy Conference
July 31-August 3, 2007
Theme: Strengthening Ties That Bind Families Together Forever

The 39th annual Brigham Young University Family History and Genealogy Conference will be held four days from July 31 through August 4, 2007, in the BYU Conference Center - Provo, Utah.

More than 100 classes will be offered throughout the conference, allowing participants to gain new skills and helpful information. Class topics include Beginning Family History, Family History Center Support, Computers and New Programs, Europe/Nordic Research, British Research, U.S. Research, Methodology, and Publishing Family Histories. We invite you to attend the conference to learn new techniques and to build and strengthen your family ties through genealogy and family history.

Yet More Progress - 'Search' begins to replace 'research' in family history, thanks to technology

March 24, 2007

By John L. Hart
Church News associate editor
PROVO, Utah — FamilySearch, the Church's massive family history database of searchable names, has been undergoing revision with the end goal of making it easier to find one's family forebears online.

Computer "search" is replacing the microfilm "research" part of family history.

Speakers from the Church's Family and Church History Department and others spoke at BYU's 10th annual Computerized Genealogy Conference, held on campus March 16-17, discussing ways that emerging technology is radically changing the traditional landscape of genealogical research.

In the forefront, several speakers noted that revision of FamilySearch's replacement for TempleReady is nearing completion of its beta testing and will begin to be implemented soon.

"While there are still numerous additions and new features to be included in the new family tree feature online that will replace TempleReady, the time has come to roll forward with what we have," said Jim Greene of the Family and Church History Department.

He said one of the main goals of the new Family Search revisions is to increase the number of those compiling family histories.

Instead of just one person in a family working on the family's history, "we need to get more more people involved," he said. "The problem is that there are a great number of people who just feel that it is too hard, so one of the objectives is to make it easier."

"You can capture what you already know. Can't type? Have a grandchild enter the data for you. You can do indexing from home. If you like the thrill of a mystery, searching the piles of genealogy data online is getting easier. There's something for everyone."

Another tool to make it easier will be a vastly improved capacity to post new indexes, linked to original images.

"Now, with the tools we have available through technology, through the Internet, through the ability to take the 1.2 billion names that the Church has already online, and consolidate them and show them to everybody at the same time — we now have the capability to do this.

In addition, within the next two years, the new FamilySearch will replace TempleReady and simplify the process of submitting names for temple work. This major effort will significantly reduce — and eventually eliminate — duplication of work and names, said Brother Greene.

He said that this charge was given to the department by President Gordon B. Hinckley, who said, "One of the most troublesome aspects of our temple activity is that as we get more and more temples scattered across the earth there is duplication of effort in proxy work. People in various nations simultaneously work on the same family lines and come up with the same names" (October 2005 general conference).

Another speaker, Rick Crume, a contributing editor for Family Tree magazine, in introducing online research, said, "Today you can accomplish in minutes (online) what used to take weeks or months, and make discoveries that would have eluded you entirely using previous methods."

He shared online sites of directories and databases (please see box on this page) and encouraged searchers to be involved in research coordination to avoid duplication of effort and to possibly obtain information already completed by others.

One of these databases for research coordination is Pedigree Resource File (PRF), a database introduced in 1999 that now has more than 150 million searchable names that can be viewed in a pedigree or family tree format. Users can easily add their own family histories to the free database at Information on how to do this is available online at the Share tab.

Bill Mangum, a project manager charged with developing improved search and data hosting capacities at, surveyed those in the audience and found many had been doing family history for decades. During these decades, these and other researchers had many problems, some that were discouraging and even heartbreaking.

His project group, he said, did all this research to "find out how people were doing, what they were doing, both inside the department and outside... where the breakdowns were, and how to fix them."

A project now underway that addresses many of the challenges of traditional research is the digitization of the Church's vast microfilm resources.

FamilySearch Scanning is a new technology that converts microfilm to digital images that can be searched online — think of it as a digital microfilm experience online. A second project now in place allows volunteers to index the digitized records online. Interested individuals can register now online at and begin indexing now. Some of the current and upcoming projects are also listed at the site. He also noted that there are now more than 5,000 published family histories in the library that have been digitized and are fully searchable online as well at

Searchable sites
March 24, 2007

Online genealogy resources continue to grow, said Rick Crume, Family Tree magazine contributing editor. Family history research begins with finding ancestors' life events, such as birth, marriages and deaths, recorded independently. Below are places to look for this information.

Census, 1790-1930 (subscription)
HeritageQuest Online

Directories and public records
U.S. Public Records Index

Genealogy megasites
American History and Genealogy Project (USGenNet)
HeritageQuest Online
National Archives
U.S.GenWeb Project
WorldGenWeb Project

How-to guides
How do I get started
Guidance research
Research helps
Roots Television

Internet directories
Cyndi's List
Online Genealogy Records and Resources
ProGenealogists: Links

Key Databases
BLM General Land Office Records
BYU Family History Archive
Ellis Island Records
Obituary Daily Times
Social Security Death Index

Library catalogues
Family History Library Catalog
Library of Congress

Pedigree databases
Ancestral File
Ancestry World Tree
Gencircles Global Tree
Pedigree Resource File
RootsWeb's World Connect Project

Scanning Your Family History

Scanning your family history
Bring the past into the present—and future

Converting your family memories into a digital format is an endeavor worth taking on. With your Windows XP computer and some additional tools you can collect, organize, reuse, and archive your memories for all generations, present and future, to enjoy.

A scanner is the key tool that you'll need to get you on your way.

Take your old family pictures, for example. Once you've got them on your computer, these photographs will no longer fade over time. They can be enhanced and fixed with photo editing software. You can quickly make copies, make new prints for framing, e-mail them around the world, and most importantly make archive copies of them that can be safely stored away in a fireproof safe or safety deposit box.

You can also create some fun projects with these photographic memories by creating themed scrapbooks, calendars, refrigerator magnets, or slideshows set to music for viewing on your DVD player.

But why limit yourself to photos? You can scan all sorts of things to immortalize precious family memories. A scanner can be used to preserve irreplaceable historical documents, such as birth certificates, marriage licenses, deeds, a child's drawings, newspaper articles, cherished letters, and sentimental keepsakes such as Grandma's favorite broach or Uncle Herb's pocket watch.

We've pulled together some useful tips to help you purchase the right scanner for the job and to get the most out of your scanning efforts.

Tips for choosing a scanner
Flatbed scanners are the most popular kind of scanner, and they're very easy to use. Before you start shopping for a scanner, consider what you plan to use it for. For most projects a scanner surface that's big enough to capture a standard sheet of paper (8.5 x 11 inches) is sufficient.

• For high-resolution scans, look for a scanner that can capture color images at a minimum of 1200 or 2400 dots per inch (dpi).

• If rich and vibrant color is a must, choose a scanner with 48-bit color depth.

• To scan 35mm negatives or old slides, look for a scanner that comes with a "transparency adapter."

• If you're in the market for additional office equipment and desk space is an issue, consider an "all-in-one" product that combines the functionality of a scanner, copier, fax machine, and a printer.

• If you plan to scan three-dimensional objects, such as a late relative's favorite necklace or other mementos, you may want to look for a scanner with a hinged lid that lets you fit bulky objects beneath it.

10 tips for successful scanning
The great thing about scanning pictures or family items is that you can experiment with your scan to ensure that you get the image you want. If you don't like what you've scanned, simply delete the file from your computer and start again.

Here are ten tips to keep in mind when you're scanning photos, documents, or objects.

1. Periodically clean the scanner glass-refer to your scanner documentation for recommendation on what materials to use. Also, be sure the underside of the lid is clear of dirt, lint, hair, or bits of paper.

2. When scanning a 3-D object, such as a watch or necklace, place a clear transparency on the glass to protect it from scratches.

3. If after scanning a 3-D object you have an image that's too dark, place a piece of white paper or a small white cloth on top of the object instead of closing the lid.

4. Never take scissors to your precious historical documents. If you only want to scan part of the document, then do the cropping, digitally, on the scanned image.

5. The .TIF (pronounced "tiff") file format is the format of choice for archiving scanned images because of its high quality and universal support. If you plan to send the scanned images by e-mail, however, you'll want to convert the files to .JPG (pronounced "jay peg") format, which is compressed to a much smaller and more manageable size.

6. Rename your scanned images to names you can easily find later. It will take you much less time to search your computer for a file called "grandma mary 1950.tif" than it will be to find a file named "CSX0001.tif."

7. For color items or photos, the higher the dpi resolution (for example, 2400), the better the quality of the scan. Set your scanner to 32-bit or 48-bit color for better quality over, say, 16-bit color. Be aware that higher dpi and color depth make for a larger file size on your hard drive.

8. Use the gray scale option in your scanning software to scan black and white documents or images.

9. Before you experiment with a scanned image, such as editing, cropping, rotating, or resizing it, be sure to make a backup of the original file in case you make a mistake. It's a good idea to keep the original scan in a separate folder on your hard drive or on a recordable CD or DVD.

10. Never force down the lid on bulky objects such as books or keepsakes as this could crack the scanner's glass. Instead, drape a black cloth on top of the object to block out light from above.

That's it! You now have ideas about what's needed to transform your family pictures, important documents, and treasured objects into beautiful, long-lasting digital images.

Friday, March 23, 2007

National Archives and Record Administration Original Documents online

National Archives and Footnote Launch Project to Digitize Historic Documents
Washington, DC and Lindon, UT…Archivist of the United States Allen Weinstein and Footnote, Inc. CEO Russell Wilding today announced an agreement to digitize selected records from the vast holdings of the National Archives. The 4.5 million pages that have been digitized so far are now available at

National Archives Documents Available on
The National Archives and are working as partners to bring unprecedented access to selections of the vast holdings of the National Archives. Learn More.

Visit our Research Rooms and Presidential libraries to access the documents free of charge.

Research Room Locations
Presidential Libraries Locations
Read Descriptions
This non-exclusive agreement, beginning with the sizeable collection of materials currently on microfilm,will enable researchers and the general public to access millions of newly-digitized images of the National Archives historic records on a subscription basis from the Footnote web site. By February 6, the digitized materials will also be available at no charge in National Archives research rooms in Washington D.C. and regional facilities across the country. After an interval of five years, all images digitized through this agreement will be available at no charge through the National Archives web site.

"This is an exciting step forward for the National Archives," said Professor Weinstein. "It will immediately allow much greater access to approximately 4.5 million pages of important documents that are currently available only in their original format or on microfilm. The digitization of documents will also enhance our efforts to preserve our original records."

“The partnership with the National Archives will expand significantly the content we are able to offer professional and amateur researchers,” said Footnote CEO Russell Wilding. “We will continue to add millions of original documents and images monthly. ”

The following represents a portion of the millions of historic documents that will be made available as part of the National Archives - Footnote Agreement.

Papers of the Continental Congress (1774-89).
The Papers of the Continental Congress include Journals of the Congress, reports of its committees, papers submitted by state Governments, and correspondence of its Presidents and other officers with diplomatic representatives of the United States abroad, officers in the Continental Army, State and local officials, and private persons. Among the Papers are copies of the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation, the Northwest Ordinance, the Constitution, and other documents instrumental in molding the new Government. Also included are drafts of treaties and commercial agreements, papers relating to expenditures and loans, reports of military progress during the Revolution, and papers relating to Indian treaties and tribes.

Mathew B. Brady Collection of Civil War Photographs.
One of the largest and most frequently researched bodies of Civil War photography anywhere, this series originated with some 6,000 glass plate negatives acquired by the War Department from Brady in 1874-1875. Encompassing images by the enterprising Brady and more than a dozen other photographers, including Alexander Gardner and Timothy O'Sullivan, directly or indirectly associated with him, the series ranges from Brady Gallery portraits of leading military and political personalities of the 1850's-1860's to views of units, battlefields, ruins, landscapes, camps, hospitals, prisons, fortifications, bridges, and railroads from Fredericksburg to Chickamauga to Atlanta.

Southern Claims Commission.
In the 1870s, some southerners claimed compensation from the U.S. government for items used by the Union Army, ranging from corn and horses, to trees and church buildings. The claim files contain a wealth of genealogical information and they consist of petitions, inventories of properties lost, testimony of family members and others, reports, and certificates submitted by claimants to the Southern Claims Commission as proof of loyalty to the Federal Government and value of property damaged or lost during the Civil War. The materials are arranged by state and thereunder by the name of the claimant.

Name Index to Civil War and Later Pension Files.
Pension applications for service in the U.S. Army between 1861 and 1900, grouped according to the units in which the veterans served. The name index to the Civil War and Later Pension Application Files contains over 3 million index entries documenting the applications of soldiers, sailors and their widows. The index is the entry point for one of the most significant bodies of Federal records documenting the lives of volunteers who served in the Civil War, the western Indian Wars, and the Spanish American War.

Investigative Case Files of the Bureau of Investigation, 1908-22.
The Bureau of Investigation investigated real and perceived threats to the nation and its citizens before it became the FBI. The materials compiled by the BOI from 1908 to 1922 consist of an index to the investigative case files, general investigative records, investigative records relating to German Aliens from 1915 through 1920, investigative records relating to Mexican Neutrality Violations from 1909 through 1921, and investigative records transferred from the Department of Justice from 1920 through 1921. The records are arranged alphabetically by the name of the person or organization investigated.

About the National Archives
The National Archives and Records Administration, an independent federal agency, is the nation's record keeper. Founded in 1934, its mission is unique —to serve American democracy by safeguarding and preserving the records of our Government, ensuring that the people can discover, use, and learn from this documentary heritage. The National Archives ensures continuing access to the essential documentation of the rights of American citizens and the actions of their government. It supports democracy, promotes civic education, and facilitates historical understanding of our national experience. The National Archives meets a wide range of information needs, among them helping people to trace their families' history, making it possible for veterans to prove their entitlement to medical and other benefits, and preserving original White House records. The National Archives carries out its mission through a nationwide network of archives, records centers, and Presidential Libraries, and on the Internet at

About Footnote, Inc.
Founded in 1997 as iArchives, Inc., Footnote is a subscription based web site that features searchable original documents that provide users with an unaltered view of the events , places and people that shaped the American nation and the world. At all are invited to come to share, discuss, and collaborate on their discoveries with friends, family, and colleagues. For more information, visit

# # #

For press information, contact National Archives Public Affairs staff at 202-357-5300, or Footnote, Inc. spokesman Justin Schroepfer at 801-494-6517

What can you do with Original Documents on Footnote?
1. View and enlarge documents to discover hidden clues.
2. Print documents to read later or add to your scrapbooks.
3. Save documents to your Footnote Gallery.
4. Share any document you find.
5. Add People, Places, Dates & Text within any document, which then become searchable.
6. Upload any image from your computer that you want to share with others.

Footnote and NARA have joined forces to bring you Original Documents and Photographs on line. Check it out - two levels of registered membership FREE & Paid under $10 month.

Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter: (+) Create Your Own Wiki

Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter: (+) Create Your Own Wiki
Create Your Own Wiki
One of the more satisfying things that you or your local genealogy society can create is a wiki. It is a great method of having multiple people collaborate on a project. That project might be listings of old tax records, transcriptions from census records or perhaps a written history of the town or county. A wiki is a great tool for almost any form of documentation that is created as a group effort.

According to, a wiki is defined as:

… a website that allows the visitors themselves to easily add, remove, and otherwise edit and change available content, typically without the need for registration. This ease of interaction and operation makes a wiki an effective tool for mass collaborative authoring. The term wiki also can refer to the collaborative software itself (wiki engine) that facilitates the operation of such a Web site, or to certain specific wiki sites, including the computer science site (the original wiki) WikiWikiWeb and on-line encyclopedias such as Wikipedia.

NOTE: The name "wiki" is derived from wiki-wiki, a Polynesian word that means to go quickly. The free shuttle buses at the Honolulu Airport are called the wiki-wiki. Likewise, wiki software is designed to be used quickly and easily to accomplish a task.

Monday, March 19, 2007 - Iowa State Census Collection, 1836-1925 - Iowa State Census Collection, 1836-1925
FREE until the end of March 2007
Iowa State Census Collection, 1836-1925 Original Images

Source Information: Iowa State Census Collection, 1836-1925 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2007. Original data: Microfilm of Iowa State Censuses, 1856, 1885, 1895, 1905, 1915, 1925 as well various special censuses from 1836-1897 obtained from the State Historical Society of Iowa via Heritage Quest.
About Iowa State Census Collection, 1836-1925
This database contains Iowa state censuses for the following years: 1856, 1885, 1895, 1905, 1915, and 1925. It also includes some head of household censuses and other special censuses from 1836-1897. Information available for an individual will vary according to the census year and the information requested on the census form. Some of the information contained in this database though includes: name, age, gender, race, birthplace, marital status, and place of enumeration.

This database contains state censuses for the following years: 1856 1885 1895 1905 1915 1925

It also includes some head of household only censuses and other special censuses from 1836-1897. See below for a list of years and counties covered in this database.

Information available for an individual will vary according to the census year and the information requested on the census form. Some of the information contained in this database though includes:
Marital Status
Place of enumeration

Additional information about an individual, such as their occupation, nativity of parents, citizenship status, or war service, may be available on the actual census record. Be sure to view the corresponding image in order to obtain all possible information about an individual.

Note: Some cenuses may be more than one page/image long. For example, the 1925 census is usually comprised of 3 pages. Use the "Next" button on the image viewer to see any continuing pages.

About Censuses in Iowa:

Although Iowa did indeed enumerate its population frequently both in special and regular censuses, not all counties complied each time. Some enumerations are only for specific cities. Also, many of the censuses that were actually completed no longer exist. Take into consideration that not all years include all counties, or all townships of a county, and that in fact some are very limited.

Taken from Carol L. Maki and Michael John Neill, "Iowa," Red Book, ed. Alice Eichholz (Provo, Utah: Ancestry, 2004).

Counties and Years:
Below is a list of all the counties and years included in this database.
1836: 1838: 1844:
Des Moines, Van Buren, Keokuk, Dubuque,

1846: 1847:
Louisa, Wapello, Clinton, Louisa, Scott, Wapello, Polk, Davis, Marion, Van Buren

Benton, Clinton, Louisa, Powesheik, Van Buren, Boone, Jackson, Madison, Scott, Washington

Van Buren

Cedar, Decatur, Iowa, Johnson, Mahaska, Pottawattamie, Washington, Clinton, Guthrie, Jackson, Madison, Page, Scott

Appanoose, Buchanan, Clayton, Fremont, Jasper, Lee, Mills, Poweshiek, Wapello, Benton, Butler, Clinton, Guthrie, Jefferson, Linn, Monroe, Scott, Warren, Black Hawk, Cass, Davis, Henry, Johnson, Louisa, Muscatine, Tama, Washington, Boone, Cedar, Des Moines, Iowa, Jones, Mahaska, Polk, Taylor, Bremer, Clarke, Fayette, Jackson, Keokuk, Marshall, Pottawattami, Van Buren

Warren (Allen, Greenfield, Lynn, and Richland townships)

Adair, Chickasaw, Decatur, Harrison, Jones, Mahaska, Page, Shelby, Washington,
Allamakee, Clarke, Des Moines, Henry, Keokuk, Marion, Polk, Story, Wayne,
Benton, Clayton, Dubuque, Jackson, Lee, Marshall, Pottawattamie, Tama, Webster,
Black Hawk, Clinton, Fayette, Jasper, Linn, Monona, Poweshiek, Taylor, Boone, Crawford, Fremont, Jefferson, Louisa, Montgomery, Ringgold, Union, Bremer, Dallas, Hardin, Johnson, Madison, Muscatine, Scott, Wapello

All counties that were organized at the time except Warren (80 total)

Black Hawk, Carrol, Palo Alto, Pocahontas, Scott, Washington, Buchanan, Montgomery, Plymouth, Sac, Union

Calhoun, Dickinson, Humboldt, Palo Alto, Webster, Carroll, Emmet, Iowa, Plymouth, Winnebago, Cerro Gordo, Fayette, Kossuth, Sac, Woodbury, Clay, Greene, Mitchell, Shelby, Worth, Crawford, Hancock, Monona, Van Buren, Wright

1870: 1881: 1885:
Van Buren, Cerro, Gordo (Mason City)
All counties (99 total)

1888: 1889: 1891:
Kossuth (Algona), Cherokee (Cherokee), Clay (Spencer), Polk (north Des Moines), Emmet (Emmetsburg), Montgomery (Villisca)

1892: 1893: 1895:
Carroll (Carroll), Davis (Bloomfield), Adams, Emmet (Estherville), Franklin (Hampton), Buchanan, Greene (Jefferson), Story (Ames and Nevada), Washington, Tama (Tama), Woodbury, Wright Green (Eagle Grove)

1896: 1897: 1905:
Fayette (Oelwein), Chickasaw (New Hampton), All counties (99 total)

1915: 1925:
All counties (99 total)

Another Side of the Removal From the Family History Centers

Yesterday I posted the announcement about the removal of “free” from the Family History Centers. I’ve now received a copy of communication written by The Generations Network CEO Tim Sullivan, to Ancestry employees. Keep in mind that there are two sides to every issue - so I think it’s fair to make this post.

Although I personally don’t profit in the slightest from the success of, I am big supporter of what they do for the genealogical community. I believe that although their product isn’t inexpensive, it’s a tremendous value for any genealogist. Their continual addition of new digital data (case in point - The Iowa State Censuses!) - as well as indexes makes a real difference to genealogists. That said, you can see that I’m probably a tiny bit prejudice. I know that sometimes coming to agreements that work for all parties is hard - if not impossible.

Mr. Sullivan’s letter follows:

From: Tim Sullivan
Sent: Thursday, March 15, 2007 4:38 PM
Subject: Update

As promised, it’s been an incredibly busy first two months of 2007, so I thought it would be a good time to take a quick pause and take note of an amazing list of stuff that we’ve gotten done so far this year. This list is by no means complete, but it’s a representative sample of traction on multiple fronts: successfully launched their WWI collection with an event at the Churchill Museum. The release of this content collection received fantastic national media coverage and drove material incremental traffic and new members.

Together with the New York Daily News, we broke the “Al Sharpton / Strom Thurmond” story on Feb. 25th, generating unprecedented media attention in the U.S. with:

587 AP stories across the nation - in print, online, broadcast, and radio
87 Top-tier / regional stories in such publications as the New York Times, the Washington Post, TIME Magazine, and
1,261 broadcast stories reaching more than 100 million people, including MSNBC, NBC Nightly News, the Tonight Show, Inside Edition, and Good Morning America (and even The Daily Show and Colbert Report last night)
1,800 blog postings
All of the press generated a huge spike in traffic on Ancestry. On Feb. 27th, Ancestry experienced a record-breaking day for both page views (20.7 million) and member trees created in one day (46,003). 2.0 has soft launched and is now promoted on the home page of and through advertising on and Rootsweb.

Business in Canada is ramping nicely and exceeding budget. Our Heritage Day promotion there was a tremendous success.

The launch of our enhanced hint / search engine capability represents a huge step forward for our core technology. With the launch of this improved technology, the number of tree hints accepted nearly doubled over night.

Our self-publishing platform for has been released in alpha mode, and we continue to be excited about the idea of giving users the ability to publish and share their family history.

Family Tree Maker started limited beta testing March 2 and is barreling towards a major summer release

And, finally, we welcome the Member Services team into the Riverwoods building. It is fantastic to have our customers that much closer to us….

This is a great start to the year. Congrats to all.

I also wanted to share a few thoughts with all of you on another topic. For the last seven years, our company has provided free access to inside the family history centers of the LDS Church. During this time, we’ve done this without any formal agreement or compensation. Several months ago, we informed the Church of our desire to craft a formal relationship that would allow us to continue providing this free access. This is similar to the way that we license to over 1400 public libraries in the U.S. and U.K. We do this for a license fee which lets patrons of these institutions use our service for free inside their facilities. As you can imagine, this is a very popular program among libraries.

Unfortunately, we were not able to come to agreement with the Church on the terms of this proposed relationship. We are disappointed by this, as we know that patrons of family history centers value, and we think our institutional licensing program is priced very fairly. We remain willing and eager to have available in family history centers, and we are even hopeful that at some point the Church will reconsider their position and decide to give patrons of their family history centers access to the world’s greatest online resource for family history research.

We will continue to provide access in family history centers to a small number of databases which are covered by other agreements, and none of our other many agreements with the Church are impacted by this change. We continue to have a number of mutually beneficial agreements and relationships with the Church, and as two large players in the family history space, we share a common goal of getting as many people as we can interested in their family history. Our relationship is a good one, and we are always looking for ways to cooperate with the Church in order to grow our business and ignite more interest in the category. I’m sharing all of this with all of you because I am sure that there will be some unhappy patrons of family history centers, and I wanted everyone to understand that this was not a one-way decision on our part.

Finally, I am constantly asked whether we think of the Church as a competitor. The answer to this really depends on the underlying assumptions of the question. Are we competing for dollars? No. Do we have exactly the same goals? No. Are we unfriendly? Absolutely not. Is TGN committed to making sure that remains the #1 resource for online family history? Absolutely. Is Ancestry going to continue to be the home of the world’s largest online family tree? Yup. Should we be able to innovate faster than anyone on the planet in this space? Of course. Are we two large players that each have done tremendous things to help people understand their family history? Yes. Can we continue to cooperate with the Church to get millions more people interested in family history? We can, and we will.

I think we have a pretty good game plan for continuing to grow a truly great company.



Discontinued Access to the Family History Centers

To: Family History Center Directors in English Language Areas
From: Worldwide Support
Date: March 16, 2007
Re: Discontinued Access to Databases

For many years, has provided free access to patrons of family history centers around the world. Ancestry has informed the Church that as of April 1, 2007, it will discontinue this free access to the full service.

Free access through to the following databases will continue:

1. Index and images for the 1880, 1900 and 1920 U.S. censuses
2. Full name indices for the British 1841-1891 censuses (England and Wales)
3. World War I draft cards indices as created and miscellaneous other databases

Free access is likely to be discontinued for the remainder of the databases including:

1. Index and images for the 1930 U.S. census
2. Index and images for the 1901 British census (England, Scotland, and Wales)

At this point, is not offering an option for family history centers to independently purchase commercial or library site licenses. Patrons, of course, may choose to subscribe directly to

Free access to online databases is important and we therefore intend to add many new databases to Much of the data preparation will be accomplished through the online indexing program available at We encourage you to visit the website to learn more.

Volunteers have already begun indexing the 1900 U.S. census and other projects. Other censuses and vital record collections will be indexed as soon as the 1900 U.S. census project is completed. The more volunteers that participate, the sooner access can be provided. Since access to databases on is free to all, we anticipate that this will be of great interest to individuals around the world. We are also exploring opportunities to provide broader access to additional databases from other online service providers.

Please inform patrons regarding our plans to provide access to records and invite them to help by participating in the FamilySearch Indexing projects. We will communicate as more information becomes available. Thank you for all that you do on behalf of our patrons.