This Newsletter is Sponsored by MyHeritage


The Highlight of RootsTech: MyHeritage Party

One of the highlights for many RootsTech attendees was the MyHeritage Party held Friday night at the the Marriott City Creek Grand Ballroom. It featured music, karaoke, appetizers, refreshments, fun games, and raffle prizes. (And let’s not forget about the special gift each guest took home!)

This was the best party I have attended at a genealogy conference!


The attendees included the MyHeritage team, their friends, partners, and most of the geneabloggers. It also included five readers of this newsletter thanks to the raffle I ran at You can view a slide show of the events at: Click on the triangle icon to view the slide show.

Check it out!

P.S. There is a rumor that MyHeritage has reserved the same ballroom for their party next year after RootsTech2017. Stay tuned!

Plus Edition Newsletter is Now Available

The latest EOGN Plus Edition newsletter is now available at Here are the articles in this week’s Plus Edition newsletter:

Day #1 of RootsTech2016

RootsTech2016 Days #2 and #3

A Report from the EOGN Dinner on Saturday Evening

TapGenes Wins First Place of 2016 Innovator Showdown

MyHeritage Mobile App adds Audio Recordings to your Family Tree

Introducing Family Tree Builder 8.0

Family Tree Maker to be Continued and With More Options Than Ever Before

RootsTech2016 Days #2 and #3

Note: My pictures from RootsTech2016 are available at:

RootsTech2016 continued on Friday and Saturday about as expected: very busy. Day #3 also was “Family Discovery Day” in which several thousand teenagers and pre-teens joined the crowds of attendees. In all, more than 26,000 people attended one or more days at RootsTech2016. Attendees included people from all 50 states. I am not sure how many foreign countries were represented although I know it was more than 25. That number even included attendees from Myanmar, formerly known as Burma.

Friday’s keynote session’s first featured speakers were Josh and Naomi Davis, two very successful bloggers who write often on their “Love Taza” blog at about family life with small children. The blog has millions of readers from around the world. Josh and Naomi encouraged everyone to write about their personal experiences and to share them with family members and especially with future generations. The format isn’t important; a blog or a diary or journal or any other method that can be preserved for years will help future generations understand your life and will thereby help them deal with the issues and challenges they face.

A Report from the EOGN Dinner on Saturday Evening

Every year, at the end of RootsTech and occasionally at other major genealogy conferences, I host a dinner for EOGN readers and their guests. The agenda is simple: there isn’t one. It is simply a place for everyone to relax and socialize after the end of the conference. This year’s dinner was held at the Radisson in Salt Lake City, only a few steps from the site of the RootsTech conference.

I would like to say that a great time was had by all. However, for verification, you need to ask any of the attendees. Actually, I think they enjoyed it as I saw a lot of smiles all evening long.


iPad winner and myself

Recent Updates to the Calendar of Genealogy Events

The following pages have recently been updated in the Calendar of Genealogy Events:

Genealogy Cruises, United Kingdom, Ontario, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Indiana, Maryland, New Jersey, Ohio, and Texas

Some of the above changes may have been deletions of past events.

All information in the Calendar of Events is contributed by YOU and by other genealogists. You can directly add information to the Calendar about your local genealogy event.

TapGenes Wins First Place of 2016 Innovator Showdown

The following announcement was written by the folks at RootsTech:

tapgenes rootstechSALT LAKE CITY, UT—Today at RootsTech, the world’s largest Family History technology conference, TapGenes, won the Innovator Showdown and walked away with $45,000 in cash and prizes. The Chicago, Illinois-based, firm helps families identify and benefit from key health traits that exist between generations.

In front of a crowd of close to 10,000 live and online viewers, the six RootsTech Innovator Showdown finalists battled for $100,000 in cash and prizes and bragging rights in the rapidly-growing, multi-billion dollar family history industry. TapGenes was awarded $20,000 in cash and $25,000 in-kind prizes.

Findmypast Announces a Raft of New Partnerships as Part of its U.S. Growth Strategy

As mentioned in my earlier article at, Findmypast has always been known primarily as a company that supplies genealogy information from the British Isles. However, the company announced some time ago that would expand into North American records. My earlier article contained one announcement from the company of a major expansion of U.S. records being offered at At today’s RootsTech2016 conference in Salt Lake City, the company made another announcement that shows Findmypast’s serious efforts to become a major genealogy information provider in the U.S.

The following announcement was written by Findmypast:

Leading family history site, Findmypast announced today at RootsTech a range of new global partnerships with leading technology providers. This will further strengthen its reach in the U. S. as well as U.K. markets.

The raft of new partnerships include deals with RootsMagic, Legacy Family Tree, FamilySearch, Family-Historian, Puzzilla, Billion Graves and RootsCity. Findmypast will make its vast record collection of more than 8 billion records available to customers via these partners. The rollout of these partnerships will begin in 2016, with exact dates to be detailed later.

Introducing Family Tree Builder 8.0

Family Tree Builder is one of the more popular genealogy programs in the world. I am always surprised when those in the U.S. are not aware of it as it seems to be very popular in most other countries. (Disclaimer, Family Tree Builder is produced by MyHeritage, the same company that sponsors this newsletter.)  I am also giving a presentation at RootsTech in a few minutes about Family Tree Builder. The program is available FREE of charge for both Windows and Macintosh.

Today, MyHeritage announced a major update to the Windows version of the program is available today while an update to the Macintosh version will be available in a few weeks. Here is an excerpt from today’s announcement:

We’re excited to announce the release of a new version of our popular free software, Family Tree Builder (FTB). New version 8.0 has all of the features that you know and love, with a totally rewritten internal infrastructure that adds support for very large family trees (up to 500,000 individuals), and delivers faster performance.


Findmypast Announces Launch of 10 Million Irish Parish Registers

The following announcement from Findmypast was made today at the RootsTech2016 conference:

Salt Lake City: 5 February 2016

Leading family history site, Findmypast, announced today at Rootstech that it will launch 10 million Irish Catholic Parish Registers, one of the most important Irish record collections, in March 2016.

Covering over 200 years from 1671-1900 and over 1,000 parishes, Findmypast has worked to transcribe the National Library of Ireland’s online image collection of 3,500 baptism and marriage registers. This is the first time that the collection has been indexed with the images linked online, making the search much easier and the records more accessible. As a result, family historians will now be able to make all important links between generations with the baptism records and between families with the marriage registers. These essential records cover the entire island of Ireland, both Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic.

Day #1 of RootsTech2016

rootstech-2016-logoThe first official day of RootsTech 2016 was held today. (I am ignoring the “Innovation Summit” which was a somewhat separate activity held yesterday. While sponsored by the same FamilySearch organization, the Innovation Summit was intended for a different audience. Today was the first day of the “official” RootsTech aimed at all genealogists.)

Today’s RootsTech was sponsored by MyHeritage. The day started with several keynote speakers:

SteveRoockwoodSteve Rockwood, managing director of the Family History Department of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, offered opening remarks and invited everyone to create memories and family stories and to share them with TODAY’S family members. He offered a number of suggestions of how to get family members interested, even those that today have not expressed an interest in family history.

Forever Launches PDF Document Functionality

The following announcement was made at RootsTech today:

Forever, Inc. announces that it now supports PDF documents at to help families save their memories for generations.

Forever_box(SALT LAKE CITY) February 4, 2016 – Forever, Inc., the complete memory-keeping solution where genealogists, moms and other family historians collect, curate, and celebrate their memories now and for generations, is pleased to announce that it has launched PDF document functionality across their entire platform of products and services. Forever made the announcement at RootsTech 2016, which is the largest family history conference in the world and is being held at the Salt Palace in Salt Lake City, Utah from Feb. 3-6, 2016.

Findmypast Announces Largest Online Collection of U.S. Marriages from 1650-2010

Findmypast has always been known primarily as a company that supplies genealogy information from the British Isles. However, the company announced some time ago that would expand into North American records. Since then, Findmypast has established offices in the United States, hired staff, and has begun acquiring records.

Today, Fndmypast announced at the RootsTech2016 conference the first of what will probably be many such offerings. The new database is huge at more than 450 million names. The majority of these records have never been digitized and made available online until today. I suspect this will create a lot of interest amongst American genealogists.

The following announcement was written by Findmypast:


Leading family history company, Findmypast , announced today at RootsTech that, in partnership with FamilySearch International, it will launch the single largest online collection of U.S. marriages in history.

Covering 360 years of marriages from 1650-2010, when complete this landmark collection will contain at least 100 million records and more than 450 million names from 2,800 counties across America. More than 60 per cent of these marriage records have never before been published online. When complete, this collection will only be found in its entirety exclusively on Findmypast.

The Innovator Summit was Held Today at RootsTech2016

rootstech-2016-logoRootsTech2016 kicked off today in cold and even frigid Salt Lake City. However, as cold as it was, the skies were bright and sunny. Sponsored by FamilySearch, this event usually is the largest genealogy gathering in the world and this year’s edition looks like it will be bigger than ever. This year the organizers report they are conservatively expecting 25,000 attendees in person. I am not sure why they stressed “conservatively” but I am sure they must be correct.

This year’s event includes attendees from all 50 states, many Canadian provinces, and I met people from England, Ireland, Scotland, Germany, France, Spain, Israel, Australia, and New Zealand. I am sure there must be others that I haven’t yet met.

In addition, many of the RootsTech sessions are being steamed live on the Internet and also will be rebroadcast later, primarily for audiences in other time zones. I don’t remember how many viewers are expected to watch via the Internet (the facts and figures were flying by faster than I could write them down) but I know the number was well in excess of 100,000 viewers around the world.

Is it big? I’d say so.

Book Review: Citing Genetic Sources for History Research, Evidence Style

The following book review was written by Bobbi King:

CitingGeneticSourcesCiting Genetic Sources for History Research, Evidence Style
By Elizabeth Shown Mills
Published by Genealogical Publishing Co., 2015. 4 pages.

This is one of a series of the QuickSheet guides: laminated, sized at 8.5 x 11 inches, reference sheets that offer condensed sections of key information on specific genealogical topics. This particular QuickSheet sets forth citation templates for genetic sources.

The Evidence Style notation notes that the templates and examples follow the styles in Elizabeth Mills’ Evidence Explained: Citing History Sources from Artifacts to Cyperspace. This QuickSheet would be supplementary to the magnum opus.

Family Tree Maker to be Continued and With More Options Than Ever Before

The above headline should be published in a very large font. Ancestry, Inc., the publisher of Family Tree Maker genealogy software, today announced that the program will not be “retired” after all. Instead, Ancestry, Inc. has sold the program to another company that plans to maintain it and develop it further. In addition, Ancestry, Inc. also plans to connect Ancestry with the RootsMagic software by the end of 2016. This should be a delightful announcement for the many users of RootsMagic.

The following was written by Kendall Hulet of Ancestry, Inc.:

New Family Tree Maker Options

FamilyTreeMakerLogoSince our Family Tree Maker announcement last December, we have continued to actively explore ways to develop and support Family Tree Maker and ensure you have choices to preserve your work in ways that matter to you.

Today, I am pleased to announce two options for desktop software that will work with Ancestry.

Who is the Software MacKiev Company?’s announcement today that the company is selling the Family Tree Maker software business to Software MacKiev has created a few questions. For instance, who is Software MacKiev? A quick Google search produces several answers.

NOTE: The second part of today’s announcement states that RootsMagic will also be able to synchronize data with’s online family trees by the end of the year. However, that apparently does not affect the sale of Family Tree Maker, both Windows and Macintosh versions, to Software MacKiev.

Software MacKiev has its headquarters in Boston, Massachusetts. Specifically, it has offices at 30 Union Wharf on Boston’s waterfront in the historic North End. However, Wikipedia notes that Software MacKiev has its main workshop in Kiev, Ukraine. The company is best known for developing software for Macintosh systems which apparently explains the letters “Mac” in the company name: Software MacKiev.

New African American Resource Portal Created by NEHGS

The following announcement was written by the folks at the New England Historic Genealogical Society:

NEHGS_Black_History_MonthNew England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) Creates a New Portal to Its Resources for Researching African American Ancestors at

During Black History Month, NEHGS Offers Free Access to Databases Featuring African American Content to Guest Users on

February 1, 2016—Boston, Massachusetts—To commemorate Black History Month in February, New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) has assembled a wealth of information in a single portal on its data rich website, offering important resources to the researcher of African American ancestry. The portal, located at, features a NEHGS webinar and study guide about African American genealogy, and hints concerning researching African American and other minorities in online databases, as well as beautifully illustrated articles on several important African American historical figures, culled from the vast manuscript collection at NEHGS.

Long Lost Family on TLC to be Sponsored by

The following announcement was written by the folks at


The eight-episode docuseries premieres Sunday, March 6, 2016

Los Angeles, CA – LONG LOST FAMILY features the highly emotional and touching stories of people who have suffered a lifetime of separation and are yearning to be reunited with their birthparents and biological families or find children they had to place for adoption long ago. Either because of circumstance or fate, they’ve barely – if ever – met. The TLC series premieres Sunday, March 6 at 10/9c.

DNA, Genealogy And The Search For Who We Are

I might suggest that an article by Alva Noë in the NPR web site should be required reading for all genealogists. He writes:

  • You share no DNA with the vast majority of your ancestors.
  • You have more ancestors — hundreds a few generations back, thousands in just a millennium — than you have sections of DNA.
  • You have 64 great-great-great-great-grandparents — but if you are a man, you share your Y-chromosome with only one of them.
  • The amount of DNA you pass on to your descendants roughly halves with each generation. It is a matter of chance which of your descendants actually carry any of your DNA.
  • It can be demonstrated that 5,000 years ago everybody alive was either the common ancestor of everyone alive today, or the common ancestor of no one. At this point in history we all share exactly the same set of ancestors.

In other words, everyone alive today is related to everyone else alive today. We are all distant cousins of each other.

Alberta, Canada, Homestead Records, 1870-1930 now Online

Alberta, Canada, Homestead Records, 1870-1930 is a valuable land record collection that includes the names of approximately 200,000 people who applied for homesteads in Alberta under the Dominion Lands Act – an 1872 law aimed to encourage the settlement of the Canadian Prairies.

Compiled during a time where the population was expanding to Western Canada, this collection is a valuable resource for those hoping to learn more about their ancestors who settled in The Princess Province. The collection is available on

Here’s a bit more insight on the collection:


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 10,822 other followers