RootsTech 2015

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Friday, January 31, 2014

#RootsTech 2014 Pre-Conference Action from the Big Online Genealogy Companies

Every one of the big online genealogy companies seem to have shifted into high gear this past week, likely in anticipation of RootsTech 2014. The hub of the changes could possibly be the agreements that are still being clarified and executed between FamilySearch.org and the three other companies; Ancestry.com, MyHeritage.com and findmypast.com. Although the most recent spat of announcements do not all deal with FamilySearch.org directly, they are all about new records and new programming developments. Here is a synopsis of each:

Ancestry.com
Ancestry.com Expands Groundbreaking Collaboration With FamilySearchThis announcement was dated 29 January 2014, but it is possibly a repeat of an earlier announcement made by press release.
We are pleased to announce an extension of our collaborative efforts with FamilySearch International that will make more than one billion additional records from 67 countries available on Ancestry.com.

These already digitized records, provided by FamilySearch, are in addition to the agreement we announced a few months ago that will help digitize, index and publish an expected one billion global historical records never before published online from the FamilySearch vault over the next five years.

These additional records, which are already digitized collections, represent a significant expansion to Ancestry.com, which hosts the largest collection of global records available online. The records also add to the aggressive international digitization efforts already in place by Ancestry.com.

Countries with newly released records:
NORTH AMERICA: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Panama
CARIBBEAN: Bahamas, Barbados, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Jamaica
SOUTH AMERICA: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay
ASIA/PACIFIC: India, Philippines, Samoa

Countries coming soon:
Armenia, Estonia, Ghana, Haiti, Indonesia, Ivory Coast, Japan, Korea, Micronesia, Moldova, Nicaragua, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Venezuela, Zimbabwe

Ancestry.com has a long-term content strategy, which is committed to investing $100 million to digitize and index new content over the next five years. We are focused on providing access to a global collection of records and expand family history interest in its current markets and worldwide:

The additional collections include more than one billion digitized and indexed records and over 200 million images containing birth, marriage, death, census and church records from Europe, Latin America, South Africa, South America, Asia and more.

These additional records will start being added in January and fully published over the next few months. To learn more about these content collections, please visit our new International page on Ancestry.com.
findmypast.com
2.5 million new British in India records released
Findmypast has just published over 2.5 million records detailing the lives of the British in India from 1698 to 1947. The collection, released in partnership with the British Library, offers an unrivalled opportunity to explore family history on the subcontinent.

The newly-released records cast light on the careers and family lives of expats, the significance of the East India Company, the offices of power, infant mortality, Anglo Indian marriages, family relationships, and the lives of women in India. The details of expats’ lives and deaths are documented in a variety of records ranging from returns of baptisms, marriages and burials, civil and military pensions and wills.
  • The British in India collection includes:
  • British India Office birth and baptism records 1698-1947
  • British India Office deaths and burials 1749-1947
  • Indian Office wills and probate records 1749-1957
  • India Office East India Company and Civil Service pensions 1749-1947
  • East India Company cadet papers
  • Applications for the civil service
I just wrote about the British India Records a few weeks ago. This is really interesting, although it seems to have nothing to do with FamilySearch.org.

MyHeritage.com
Millions of Geni profiles now available on SuperSearch
Here is the explanation from MyHeritage:
We're happy to announce that as of this week, you can search 138 million Geni profiles on MyHeritage's SuperSearch.

Soon after acquiring Geni in November 2012, MyHeritage provided Geni's users with Record Matches and Smart Matches powered by MyHeritage. We added this to enable Geni users to benefit from historical records - something that hadn't been available on Geni before - and discover new relatives and ancestors through matches between their tree and the 25 million trees on MyHeritage.

This week we completed reciprocating this benefit for MyHeritage users, and now they are able to search Geni profiles on MyHeritage, and receive automatic matches between their family trees and Geni. It took us some time to add this, because we implemented a robust, real-time "bridge" that constantly updates MyHeritage SuperSearch as changes are made in the tree on Geni. The updates stream to MyHeritage every second but SuperSearch is updated in bulk once a day with all the changes. This prevents information on MyHeritage that originates from Geni from ever becoming out of date.

Now that the Geni profiles are available on SuperSearch, MyHeritage users will start receiving matches with Geni trees. This is a great benefit for users of either service, as both will now be able to expand their trees, find new information, discover new cousins and learn more from each other.
Meanwhile, FamilySearch.org just continues uploading millions of new digitized source records every week, week after week. As genealogists, we all benefit from these activities.

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