Business News

FindMyPast Announces Major Partnership with The Wall Street Journal

The following announcement was written by FindMyPast:

London, UK. 31 October, 2014. Findmypast, the leading British family history company, has announced a major partnership with The Wall Street Journal’s WSJ+ membership programme. .

Under this new partnership, members of WSJ+ can claim a complimentary three month subscription to findmypast.com as part of their WSJ+ benefits.

Ancestry.com LLC Reports Third Quarter 2014 Financial Results

Ancestry.com LLC today reported financial results today for the third quarter ended September 30, 2014. It was obviously a good year for the company: Q3 Non-GAAP Revenues were $154.7 Million, Up 8.3% Year-Over-Year,

“Ancestry.com is executing well on our mission to help everyone discover, preserve and share their family history,” said Tim Sullivan, Chief Executive Officer of Ancestry.com. “We’re continuing to focus on our core customers – the enthusiasts who are passionate about their family history – by adding valuable new content and features to our site, while also aggressively pursuing growth priorities designed to expand our total addressable market. These priorities include our AncestryDNA product, where we’ve doubled our customer base during 2014, our mobile apps, which are generating increased engagement, and our efforts to broaden category awareness, including the creation of terrific family history TV programming. Overall our business is healthy and we believe we’re positioning the company to capture its long-term growth opportunities.”

You can read the full report at http://goo.gl/Wpo5Md.

23andMe and MyHeritage Announce Strategic Collaboration and Product Integration

The following announcement indicates a major partnership that will provide major enhancements to the services of both companies. 23andMe’s customers will be able to enjoy automated family history discoveries by using MyHeritage’s Smart Matching™ Record Matching services. MyHeritage customers will now be able to use matching DNA to explore their family tree connections.

You might want to watch the video below and then read the written announcement from MyHeritage (the sponsor of this newsletter) and 23andMe:

If your web browser does not display the video player above, you can also watch it at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c1MefhlGTA8.

The following was written by MyHeritage and 23andMe:

Dropbox Has Deleted a Bunch of User Files From the Cloud

If you are a Dropbox user, check your files. If you have been using an older version of Dropbox’s software, you need to know that the desktop app has deleted some user files from the cloud.

There is both good news and bad news. If you have regularly updated the Dropbox software every time the message appeared stating that a new version is available, you should have no problems. The problem exists only in older versions of the Dropbox software. In more good news, Dropbox says that it’s restoring files where it can and is updating the bug.

However, there is bad news for some Dropbox users: the company says it can’t restore all the lost files. The problem seems to have affected only those users who turned on Selective Sync, which limits cloud syncs to specified folders.

MyHeritage is Now Available at Subscribing Libraries and Educational Institutions Worldwide

More genealogy information is now available to everyone online, if your local library subscribes to a newly-announced service from MyHeritage. You can access the MyHeritage Library Edition™ either at your local library or in the comfort of your own home by using remote access. The following announcement was written by the folks at MyHeritage:

MyHeritage partners with EBSCO Information Services to bring MyHeritage to libraries and educational institutions worldwide

Leading family history network launches an institutional version of its service and unveils exclusive partnership to provide any educational facility with instant access to centuries of history in billions of historical documents from all over the world.

TEL AVIV, Israel & LEHI, Utah & IPSWICH, Mass – October 7, 2014: MyHeritage, the popular family history network, today announced a significant expansion into the institutional education market, with the launch of a dedicated, high-performance family history service for institutions and the signing of a strategic partnership with EBSCO Information Services (EBSCO) to distribute it exclusively.

As the leading provider of online research content for libraries and other institutions, EBSCO’s partnership with MyHeritage reaffirms its commitment to providing first-class content to libraries at affordable prices.

23andMe Expands Into Canada

23andMe, is now offering health and ancestry information based on analysis of DNA to Canadians. Founded in 2006, the company provides home-based saliva-testing kits, which customers send in for genetic analysis.

23andMe will charge Canadian clients CDN$199 plus shipping for its personal genome service through 23andMe.ca, which the company says will help them to better understand their health and ancestry and “to possibly discover new relatives.”

Canadians will have access to 108 health-related reports that includes information on genetic risk factors for various health conditions, potential drug responses, genetic traits and inherited conditions.

It sounds to me as if 23andMe is offering not only genealogy-related testing but also is offering the medical testing that was stopped in the U.S. by the Food and Drug Administration. Obviously, there is no prohibition (so far) about offering the same service in other countries. The Canadians will benefit from having access to medical testing that is prohibited for Americans unless they get a doctor to order similar, but very expensive, tests for a patient.

Flyleaf Press Acquired By Ancestor Network

The following announcement was written by the folks at Ancestor Network:

Flyleaf Press Acquired By Ancestor Network: A New Chapter in Irish Genealogy Publishing Begins
Announcements

19 September 2014

Dublin, Ireland, 19 September 2014. Ancestor Network Ltd., the leading Irish family history services company, announced today that it has acquired Flyleaf Press, the specialist Irish genealogy publisher.

Ancestor Network, the leading probate and genealogy services provider, has been at the forefront of the Irish family history market for over five years. It has provided genealogy advisory services for public visitors to the National Archives of Ireland, the National Library of Ireland, and the Kerry Genealogy Roadshow. It was the primary genealogy researcher for RTE’s ‘The Genealogy Roadshow’ and has successfully managed popular genealogy educational courses and events across Ireland such as the Brian Ború Millennium Festival in Clare, Tipperary, Galway and Dublin, and the Monaghan Genealogy ‘Home to the Little Hills’ Training courses.

Department of Veterans Affairs Proposes to Build a Genealogy Database of 10 Million NEW Individual Genealogies Per Year

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has issued a a combined synopsis/solicitation for commercial corporations to bid on building a huge genealogy database, starting first with persons with roots in Washington and Oregon. The goal is to create a Genealogy Medical Phenotype Resource Database.

The request is to create 10 million NEW individual genealogies per year in electronic format for persons with roots in Washington and Oregon. If successful, the project will be continued a second year to add 10 million more individual genealogies. The VA proposed the ultimate creation of a U.S. genealogy of 100-200 million individuals, linked to the entire VA system (25 million individuals). This service contract will last for three years, through the duration of the MERIT review grant.

Ancestry.com to Transfer the MyCanvas Service to a New Home

This past June, Ancestry.com announced that the company was retiring the MyCanvas website and service in September 2014. Details may be found in my earlier article at http://wp.me/p5Z3-lk. Now the company has made arrangements to transfer the MyCanvas content to another company. The following was written by Eric Shoup, Senior Vice President of Product at Ancestry.com:

We’ve heard from many people who love MyCanvas and hate the idea of it going away. Well, we have some good news for you: It’s not going away after all! We were successful in finding a new home for the service at Alexander’s.

AncestryMyCanvasBook
Founded 35 years ago, Alexander’s is a Utah-based printing production company that has been the long-term printer of MyCanvas products including its genealogy books, calendars, and other printed products. This makes the transition of MyCanvas to Alexander’s a natural fit.

WikiChicks Genealogy News Network Officially Launches

The following is an announcement from “the WikiChicks,” Eowyn Langholf, Tami Osmer Glatz and Gena Philibert-Ortega:

The WikiChicks Genealogy News Network (WikiChicks GNN), an engaging genealogical news service, has officially launched. “WikiChicks GNN is a new way for genealogists to stay informed of current industry news and relevant stories. By using social media tools we can provide information in a way that allows folks the ability to both read and share it easily with others” said Tami Osmer Glatz, co-founder of the group. “What I like about this concept is that it is a great example of how genealogists can come together, collaborate and make great things happen!” said Eowyn Langholf, co-founder. WikiChicks is different from existing community news services in that it is accessible through many platforms, and news is shared throughout the day, with evening digests of the day’s events created as a single blog posting.

WikiChicks’ goal is to share information of interest to genealogists daily via popular social media sources, including Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Flipboard, and Storify.

Ancestry.com LLC Reports Second Quarter 2014 Financial Results

The following press release was issued by Ancestry.com:

Q2 Non-GAAP Revenues $156.1 Million, Up 13% Year-Over-Year

PROVO, Utah, July 23, 2014 — Ancestry.com LLC, the world’s largest online family history resource, reported financial results today for the second quarter ended June 30, 2014.
“Despite softer performance in the second quarter, our core subscriber base retention remains solid and the business is healthy,” said Tim Sullivan, Chief Executive Officer of Ancestry.com. “We’re continuing to make strategic investments in content, product and technology as well as new product initiatives like our rapidly growing AncestryDNA business, all of which are designed to drive long-term growth, further strengthen our market leadership, and leverage the benefits of our attractive business model.”

Second Quarter 2014 Financial Highlights

The White Stone Project Seeks $50,000 to Create a New & Powerful Genealogy Search Engine, App, and a Family Heritage Social Network Site

I am not familiar with this project but the press release certainly looks interesting:

The White Stone Project comprises of a new & powerful Genealogy search engine, app, and a family heritage social network site.

Los Angeles, CA — 07/11/2014 — The White Stone Project is all about putting the power to find one’s true family heritage into the hands of millions of people who until now rely mostly upon the current inadequate genealogy software and technology available, combined with stories passed down, from generation to generation about their own family histories. It’s also about bridging the more difficult aspects of finding one’s true heritage, like those who may have fled from Europe to escape poverty and famine; it’s about slaves, and the plight of Native Americans.

The White Stone Project is much more than a project – it’s a personal way to bring people closer together by helping to open the gates of knowledge to their family histories; knowledge about who they really are, where they came from, and who they are connected to, based upon their family heritage.

Onward to Our Past® Announces ‘Czech, Please!’ a New Genealogy Crowdsoucing Effort to Document America’s First Czech/Bohemian Immigrants

The following was written by the folks at Onward To Our Past® Genealogy Services:

Crowdsourcing to be used to identify, research, document, and preserve the first Czech/Bohemian immigrants to cities and towns across America.

Onward To Our Past® Genealogy Services Company is pleased to announce the first-ever initiative to identify, research, document, record, and preserve the names of the first Czech/Bohemian immigrants to cities and towns all across America. From the largest to the smallest, “Czech, Please!” will be a unique project in the history of Czech and American history.

Ancestry.com LLC to Announce Second Quarter 2014 Financial Results

The following was written by the folks at Ancestry.com:

PROVO, Utah, July 9, 2014 — Ancestry.com LLC, the world’s largest online family history resource, will release financial results for its second quarter 2014 on Wednesday, July 23, 2014, after the market closes. Following the release, the Company will host a conference call at 3:00 p.m. MT (5:00 p.m. ET).

FindMyPast Buys Mocavo

Here is a major news announcement from two major players in the genealogy business. I have written often about both companies. FindMyPast is a fast-growing genealogy publishing firm that provides more than 1.8 billion records online. Its many online offerings include the British Newspaper Archive, Genes Reunited and Lives of the First World War. It also is involved with several other family history-related organizations, including the Imperial War Museum, the Allen County Public Library, FamilySearch, and a partnership with the British Library for a 10-year project to provide digital access to more than 40 million newspaper pages. The National Archives (of Great Britain) recently awarded FindMyPast the contract to put the 1939 Register for England and Wales online.

Mocavo is best-known for having the most effective genealogy search engine available today. It works in a similar fashion as other search engines (Google, Yahoo, Bing, and others) with the exception that Mocavo indexes only genealogy web sites and does so with extra software tools not available in the other search engines. As a result, it is very effective at finding historical information about people. Mocavo also has several other offerings besides the search engine.

The following was written by the folks at FindMyPast and at Mocavo:

A Conversation with the CEO of Mocavo

A few minutes after the release of the announcement of Mocavo’s acquisition by FindMyPast, I had an opportunity to speak with Cliff Shaw, the CEO of Mocavo. As you might expect, he was very enthusiastic about the acquisition. I wasn’t able to take notes fast enough to quote him word for word, but he essentially said that the new partnership allows him to do things with Mocavo that he had always wanted to do but never had the resources previously to accomplish his dreams.

In short, the plan is to integrate Mocavo’s search engine and other technologies into the FindMyPast web sites in a manner that brings more power, a better user experience, and new features to all the sites.

The High Cost of Searching for Your Ancestors

Are you willing to spend up to spend up to $18,000 a year to discover your roots? An “authoritative” report from Global Industry Analysts, Inc. claims that such expenses are not unusual.

The report, entitled Genealogy Products and Services: A Global Outlook, claims to contain “a collection of statistical anecdotes, marked briefs, and concise summaries of research findings. The report offers an overview of the global genealogy products and services market, identifies emerging trends and growth drivers, traces the history of genealogy, provides a list of the most popular genealogy websites, and refers to all recent activity in the industry.” The report sells for $1,450 US.

Insert my disclaimer here: I question the claim of “up to $18,000″ but cannot say for sure as I haven’t seen the report. Then again, I don’t think I’ll pay $1,450 in order to read it. I think I’ll keep the money in my own pocket.

FindMyPast.co.uk Buys Origins.Net

Here is some major business news, according to the following announcement from Findmypast.co.uk:

London, UK, June 17, 2014. Findmypast.co.uk, the leading British family history company, announced today that it has bought Origins.net, one of the early pioneers of online records.

The first company to set up a pay-as you-go model for online family history records, Origins.net specialises in unusual and often hard to find British and Irish records. Its many early records include rare marriage indexes, apprentices and poor law records. Another key strength is its National Wills Index, which, combined with collections currently on Findmypast and those in development, will provide the largest online resource for UK wills and probate material.

Update: Ancestry.com to Drop MyFamily, MyCanvas, Genealogy.com, Mundia and the Y-DNA and mtDNA Tests

I wrote last week (at http://wp.me/p5Z3-lk) about Ancestry.com’s decision to cancel a number of products and services. The article generated a lot of readers’ comments that can be seen at the end of the article. Today, Ken Chahine of Ancestry.com published a response that explains some of the reasons why the company decided to terminate the Y-DNA and mtDNA products.

You can read Ken Chahine’s article at http://goo.gl/CkGt6F.

Ancestry.com to Drop MyFamily, MyCanvas, Genealogy.com, Mundia and the Y-DNA and mtDNA Tests

Major industry news: MyFamily, MyCanvas, Mundia and the Y-DNA and mtDNA tests will be shut down. In addition, the Genealogy.com web site will undergo major changes but will remain as an available product.

Below is the announcement from Ancestry.com V.P. Eric Shoup as posted on the Ancestry.com Blog. For details concerning the changes to each service, click on the links at the end of Eric’s announcement:

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