This Newsletter is Sponsored by MyHeritage


Findmypast Announces Strategic Investment in Twile

Twile won Third Place in the Judges Choice Award ($6,000 cash, $10,000 in-kind)at last week’s RootsTech conference. I have written before about Twile, a program that converts family trees into visual timelines. See for my earlier article.

Findmypast apparently also was very impressed with Twile, as shown in this announcement:

London: February 11, 2016 – Leading family history site, Findmypast, has announced a strategic investment in Twile, creators of the visual family history timeline and winner of two innovation awards at the recent RootsTech 2016, the world’s largest family history event.

The investment in Twile reflects Findmypast’s drive to put innovation at the centre of its development programme. It follows on the announcement of a raft of global partnerships with leading technology providers, such as RootsMagic and Puzzilla, which are designed to offer customers an easy and engaging family history experience.

Annelies van den Belt, CEO of Findmypast, said:

Ancestry to Launch Irish Catholic Registers Online

The following announcement was written by

  • Ireland Catholic Parish Registers to launch in March
  • 10 million records will help create the largest collection of Irish registers available online
  • Collection covers the period 1740 – 1900
  • Baptism, Marriage and Burial records available

ancestry-com-logoMore than 10 million Catholic Parish records from Ireland are to be published online by Ancestry, the world’s largest family history resource. The collection means that Ancestry will have over 44 million Irish records and will provide the largest collection of Irish Catholic parish records available online.

The collection is made up of Baptism, Marriage and Burial records from over 1,000 Catholic parishes across the whole of the island of Ireland – both in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. Baptism and Marriage records make up the majority of the collection and Burial records can be found primarily for parishes in the northern regions.

Hands On with Family Tree Builder version 8

Last week, MyHeritage announced the release of an updated version of Family Tree Builder for Windows. (A Macintosh version will be available within a few weeks.) I have now spent several hours with the new Windows version and thought I would describe my experiences with it. Earlier versions of Family Tree Builder for Windows and Macintosh from MyHeritage have always been surprisingly powerful and full featured genealogy programs that are available free of charge. I expected the same would be true of the new version 8.


Family Tree Builder is not an entry-level program that is restricted in any manner. There is no upgrade to a paid version; everything is available in the free version. Family Tree Builder is free forever and is used by millions of people worldwide. The program helps you research your family history, build your family tree, and add photos, historical records, and more.

Chris Noth to trace his Irish Roots on “Who Do You Think You Are?”

ChrisNothSex and the City Star Chris Noth headed to County Cavan last week to trace his Irish roots. Noth discovered that his great-grandfather was from Cavan, and left home for Canada around 1840. Grandpa’s surname was Maguire, and he was originally from Knockbride. Noth visited the Cavan Library to do some research.

Noth’s trip will appear later this year on the U.S. version of Who Do You Think You Are?

Check your Google Security, Receive an Additional 2 Gigabytes of Storage Space on Google Drive for FREE

Google-logoIf you use Google Docs, Gmail, and/or Google Search (and who doesn’t?), Google wants you to check your security settings on the service. If you do, you will receive an additional 2 gigabytes of storage space on Google Drive free of charge.

You can check your Google security settings at

Jewish Genealogical Society of Toronto Seeks a new Home for its Books

Writing in the Canadian Jewish News, Bill Gladstone describes a set of books looking for a new home. The Toronto-based Jewish library collection is up in the air as the Jewish Genealogical Society of Toronto (JGST) seeks a new home for its specialized collection of roughly 500 books and 45 periodicals.

The non-circulating collection has been housed since 1989 in the sixth-floor Canadiana room of the North York Central Library on Yonge Street, a branch of the Toronto Public Library system, where it has been accessible to patrons on an in-house, reference basis only. Although the Canadiana room has for decades been dedicated to genealogical research, the library recently announced it is “repurposing” the room, with renovation slated to begin in April or May.

You can read the full story in Bill Gladstone’s article at

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 Nancy Thaut 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.


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