Trace Acquires

The following announcement was written by Trace (formerly known as AncestorCloud):

AncestorCloud rebrands to Trace and announces the acquisition of

Trace adds additional genealogy expertise to its technology products and services.

July 7, 2017 (Provo, Utah) – Trace, a technology company making family history more accessible, announced the acquisition of, the world’s largest family history research firm. has developed a network of thousands of expert researchers worldwide who perform genealogical projects for the lowest price and highest quality. The addition of will increase Trace’s network of professional researchers to over 4,000, bringing unmatched expertise to Trace’s products and services.

Trace is the new brand for AncestorCloud, a company which started by offering cloud storage and sharing for genealogy documents and evolved into a marketplace to buy and sell genealogy services at an affordable price. The rebrand allows the company to expand into new businesses and have a company identity more in line with the value offered. The marketplace technology that exists on will be moved to to further scale the business.

Trace will continue to provide clients with custom research services while accelerating its technological capabilities and providing the business with expertise in marketing, sales, customer experience, and investor relations. “Trace will be the innovative catalyst needed to sustain phenomenal growth in the U.S. and overseas,” says James Heddell,’s founder.

Wesley Eames, Trace CEO, explains “With an ever-increasing global interest in family discovery, the demand for custom researching grows annually. We’re confident this acquisition will help us make family history an easy, affordable, and quality experience. Genealogists and non-genealogists alike are seeking this information.”

The acquisition was completed on April 7, 2017, growing the number of employees and contractors from six in February to seventeen today. James Heddell has been named Head of Research for Trace, and will continue to manage operations for team members will remain in their current locations across the United States and Canada. Trace will keep its headquarters in Provo, Utah.

About Trace
Started in 2014 by Wesley Eames, Trace (formerly AncestorCloud) is a technology company making family history more accessible. To date, Trace has developed a cloud storage and sharing solution for genealogy records, built a marketplace for finding affordable genealogy services, and created a packaged research product featuring a custom heirloom book. With this acquisition, Trace will bring new technological capabilities to the custom research market.

Started in 2012 by James Heddell, has created the world’s largest network of professional genealogists, including hundreds of DNA experts, forensic genealogists/scientists, private investigators, historians, religious scholars, clergy, and university professors. With researchers located onsite throughout the world, provides its clients with localized experience and unmatched access to records.


I applaud any organization furthering accessibility to records, however one line in the announcement shows a business acumen and not a genealogy acumen. They talk of “affordable, and quality experience.” and “lowest price and highest quality.” This is simply not true. Professional Genealogists and those subcontracted need to spend time and unless they live next door to the repository, need to expend funds traveling and parking. If the funding is insufficient because the company is competing with other companies, and bids low, then shortcuts are taken. This is a fact, and because of this the quality suffers and it leads to the wrong ancestors being identified. If looking for a specific record at a specific locality the local experts should be sufficient but if one is looking to find clues of where an ancestor migrated from, you would want someone who has experience in multiple locations that would allow the recognition of your ancestors migration. If you want that type of professional service, you will need to go outside these big companies and you will need to pay top dollar. However, you get what you pay for.


Thank you Jeff. You raise some great points. The statements “affordable and quality experience” and “lowest price and highest quality” ARE words we hear quite often from our clients. Here’s why. First, we are the world’s largest family history research firm with over 4,000 professional genealogists and other subject matter experts. As a result, we are able to achieve an unmatched economy of scale. We have eliminated almost entirely the need to travel to various locations in order to access the offline records as we are already working in those locations. This enables us to pass that savings onto the client. Second, thanks to our leading edge technology, we have successfully automated many of the research, marketing, and other processes in such a way that smaller firms and individuals simply cannot. Third, we have multiple means available for performing research, which means we do not need to bid low and cut corners in order to compete, which as you accurately point out could potentially result in sacrificing quality. Fourth, our size and the numerous types of specialists we have available enables us to offer the best of both worlds: a) local experts who know how to find the offline records and b) experts who have experience in performing research across multiple locations, who can for example recognize ancestral migration. We believe strongly in collaborative research. Thanks to Trace, it is not necessary to pay top dollar to achieve top quality research. With Trace and, you get much more than you pay for.


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