Business News

Ancestry Appoints Catherine Ball as Chief Scientific Officer

The following announcement was written by

Recognized Leader in Field of Genomics Will Help Company Scale DNA Offering to Millions More

catherineballLEHI, Utah, Sept. 08, 2016 — Ancestry, the global leader in family history and consumer genomics, today announced the appointment of Catherine Ball, Ph.D. as Chief Scientific Officer. In addition to overseeing the science team, Dr. Ball leads the Company’s initiatives to develop innovative new technologies and analyze genetic data at a rapidly-increasing scale.

Dr. Ball joined Ancestry in 2011 as Vice President of Genomics and Bioinformatics, helping to establish the Company’s approach to genetic genealogy leading to the launch of AncestryDNA. She has built Ancestry’s science team into a key innovation engine, driving new scientific discoveries and powering the Company’s growth to become the largest consumer genomics provider globally. Today, AncestryDNA has the world’s largest consumer genomics database and has helped more than two million customers learn more about their ethnic origins and genetic relationships.

Ancestry Appoints Carla S. Newell as Chief Legal Officer

The following announcement was written by Ancestry:

Tech industry veteran to help company continue rapid growth and global expansion

LEHI, Utah, Aug. 09, 2016 — Ancestry, the global leader in family history and consumer genomics, today announced that Carla S. Newell is joining its senior leadership team as Chief Legal Officer and General Counsel. Newell will lead the global legal team, supporting privacy, security, and risk management initiatives as the company continues to expand globally while accelerating the growth of its high-demand consumer genomics offering. Newell is succeeding William Stern, who is departing from Ancestry to pursue new business opportunities.

Prior to joining Ancestry, Newell spent more than a decade as Operating General Partner at Technology Crossover Ventures (TCV), a leading growth equity investor, where she led legal, investor relations and fundraising for the firm and its multi-billion dollar funds. Among TCV’s portfolio companies are many of the world’s most successful and recognizable consumer technology brands, including Expedia, Facebook, Fandango, Netflix, Spotify, and Zillow. Most recently she has served as an adviser and board member for a number of early stage technology companies and funds. LLC Reports Second Quarter 2016 Financial Results

The following is an excerpt from LLC’s Second Quarter 2016 Financial Results, as reported this afternoon:

Second Quarter Revenues of $211.4 million, Up 25% Year-Over-Year

AncestryDNA Database Now Includes More Than 2 Million Samples

LEHI, Utah, July 20, 2016 — LLC (the “Company”), the leader in family history and consumer genomics, reported financial results today for the second quarter ended June 30, 2016.

“Ancestry’s performance continued to accelerate in the second quarter,” said Tim Sullivan, Chief Executive Officer of Ancestry. “The combined value proposition of our market-leading family history and DNA offerings has helped deliver over $750 million in revenue in the last four quarters. We are excited about the opportunities ahead and remain focused on execution and investing in the long-term growth of the company.”

Second Quarter 2016 Financial Highlights

Jay Verkler Appointed Interim CEO At Findmypast

This is a major business news story: The former CEO of FamilySearch, Jay Verkler, will take over from Annelies van den Belt as interim CEO of Findmypast. The announcement states he has agreed to serve as interim CEO for six months. My assumption is that the board of directors of Findmypast will be using that time to find a permanent replacement.

The following announcement was written by the folks at Findmypast:

Jay Verkler

Jay Verkler

London, Tuesday, July 5th 2016

Jay Verkler, former CEO of FamilySearch, has been appointed as interim CEO of Findmypast. He takes over from Annelies van den Belt who has stepped down after three years.

In a decade as CEO of FamilySearch, Jay pioneered the digital transformation of the world’s largest genealogical organisation. He oversaw the shift from vast paper and microfilm record stores to accessible digital archives. He broadened the audience for family history by developing partnerships with genealogy and technology companies, societies and archives across the world. Since leaving FamilySearch, he has been a consultant on strategy, product and technology for many organisations.

Changes to Evernote’s Pricing Plans

evernote-logoI have written several times about the use of Evernote in genealogy research. Indeed, it is one of my favorite programs. I use Evernote more often than I use a genealogy program although I have to also add that I use Evernote for all sorts of things, not just for genealogy purposes. (See for a list of my past articles about Evernote.)

One entry in the Evernote Blog caught my eye today: Changes to Evernote’s Pricing Plans. A quick read resulted in a sigh of relief. Evernote Basic, which I believe is the version used by most genealogists, remains unchanged at free of charge. Whew! However, not everything is the same. The free Basic plan now limits you to two devices per account, like a computer and a phone, two computers, or a phone and a tablet. You’re also still limited to just 60 megabytes of uploads a month. Opens its New Headquarters in Lehi, Utah’s headquarters have been in Provo, Utah for the past thirty years. Yesterday, the company opened its new headquarters building in nearby Lehi, Utah. CEO Tim Sullivan says the new location in Lehi at the Point of the Mountain will help the company attract top talent from both Salt Lake and Utah Counties.


DPLA and FamilySearch Partner to Expand Access to Digitized Historic Books Online

I have written before about DPLA (the Digital Public Library of America). You can read my earlier article at Now FamilySearch has announced a new partnership with DPLA. The following announcement was written by the folks at FamilySearch:

DPLA-FamilySearchIn concert with the American Library Association national conference in Orlando, Florida, this week, the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) and FamilySearch International, the largest genealogy organization in the world, have signed an agreement that will expand access to’s growing free digital historical book collection to DPLA’s broad audience of users including genealogists, researchers, family historians, students, and more.

Family history/genealogy continues to be a popular and growing hobby. And FamilySearch is a leader in the use of technology to digitally preserve the world’s historic records and books of genealogical relevance for easy search and access online. With this new partnership, DPLA will incorporate metadata from’s online digital book collection that will make more than 200,000 family history books discoverable through DPLA’s search portal later this year. From DPLA, users will be able to access the free, fully viewable digital books on

Eneclann is Now Called the Irish Family History Centre

The Irish genealogy service always known as Eneclann is changing it’s name. It is being re-branded to the Irish Family History Centre. The company’s physical visitor centre is part of EPIC Ireland.

In an email message to me, Laura Carroll wrote, “…for those coming over to Ireland to research their Irish roots or for those who wont get a chance to come over to sign up to our new online experience, feel free to join yourself and give it a go.”

Then following is the official announcement from the Irish Family History Centre:


The Irish Family History Centre


We now have a new website for you to enjoy

Our new website has been created to give our existing and new customer the chance to be part of a vibrant genealogy community where they can store research, ask for expert advice, chat to other members of the community and so much more,

This brand new website is the go to place for Irish Genealogy online, it will allow you to sign up to a whole new customer experience and one which we hope will help you with your own journey.

You can join for free or why not become a pro member and unlock the following:

GIC, Silver Lake Close Strategic Investment in Ancestry, Valued at $2.6 Billion

This business transaction has been in progress for some time. See for my earlier articles about this. Now the transition is complete, according to published reports. Silver Lake Partners and GIC have completed their transaction to acquire substantial equity stakes in LLC at an enterprise value of approximately $2.6 billion.

The announcement states:

“Claiming to be the largest for-profit genealogy company worldwide, Ancestry LLC operates a network of historical record websites focused on the US and nine foreign countries, with Canada and Australia being major markets, alongside a presence in several European states.

Eneclann and Ancestor Network have been Awarded the Tender to Partner with the National Library of Ireland

The following announcement was written by Eneclann Ltd. and the Ancestor Network Ltd.:

ENECLANN-LOGO Ancestor_Network_logo

Eneclann and Ancestor Network have been awarded the tender to partner with the National Library of Ireland in providing their genealogy service 2016.

This is the 5th year they are partnering with the NLI to provide the popular genealogy service.

Visiting researchers to the NLI can avail of the advice of professional genealogists from Monday to Friday, 9:30am to 5:00pm. The professional genealogists advise and assist on sources available at the NLI and other repositories as well as online resources. They are also available to respond to enquiries via email, telephone or by letter. LLC Reports First Quarter 2016 Financial Results LLC reported financial results today for the first quarter ended March 31, 2016:

– First Quarter Revenues $196.5 million, Up 19.4% Year-Over-Year; Up 21.2% on Constant Currency Basis –

– First Quarter Adjusted EBITDA $70.1 million, Up 13.1% Year-Over-Year(1)

“We had a strong start to 2016, led by the continued momentum of AncestryDNA and accelerating revenue growth in our family history business,” said Tim Sullivan, Chief Executive Officer of “This is an exciting time for Ancestry. We’re seeing tremendous interest in our products and services, illustrated by steady subscriber gains and growth in our DNA database, which is quickly approaching two million DNA samples. We are focused on capitalizing on this momentum through sound execution of our strategy, targeted investments in initiatives to drive growth, diversified revenue streams and even better customer experiences across our portfolio of businesses.”

First Quarter 2016 Financial Highlights

Permira Triples Its Money on Sale

The news about’s new investors is becoming public bit-by-bit. This is an update to the articles I published Friday at and earlier today at

London-based Permira purchased Ancestry in 2012 and recently has offered the company for sale to the highest bidder. (See my earlier article at Apparently, Permira was successful. Even though the original announcement in Fortune stated, “Private equity firm Silver Lake and Singaporean sovereign wealth fund GIC have agreed to acquire equal minority stakes in…”, today’s article in the Wall Street Journal states that Permira “has sold most of its stake in online genealogy company LLC to Silver Lake and Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund GIC Private Ltd.”

Investors Pump $2.6 Billion into

This is a follow-up to my article published on Friday at, Silver Lake to Invest in A later announcement from Ancestry has revealed the amount of the new investment: $2.6 billion US.

The investments will give Silver Lake and GIC equal and “significant” minority ownership stakes in Majority ownership will remain with current investors — Permira, Spectrum Equity and two company managers.

Details are available in the Salt Lake Tribune at and in Fortune at

Silver Lake to Invest in

Private equity firm Silver Lake Partners has agreed to acquire a minority stake in in a deal that values the privately held genealogy website at $2.6 billion, including debt, people familiar with the matter said on Friday.

To repeat, this is a “minority stake” in the ownership of the company. Private equity firms Permira Advisers Ltd and Spectrum Equity Management LP, along with GIC, Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund, still own the majority of the company.

Details may be found in an article by Greg Roumeliotis and Liana B. Baker in the Reuters News Service at

Genetic Family History Test Now Available from AncestryDNA

The following announcement was written by the folks at AncestryDNA:

LONDON, March 10, 2016 — Revolutionary DNA test will help people discover where they come from and uncover unknown family members

AncestryDNA_logoAncestryDNA, the market-leading family history DNA testing service, is now available in over 30 countries, changing the way people can discover more about themselves and their family history and also helping them connect with relatives they didn’t know existed.

Users simply ‘spit in a tube’ and then send it off to the lab where advanced DNA technology is used to reveal a person’s genetic ethnicity and uncover new family connections with more than 1.5 million people who have taken the test.

Announcing the Register of Qualified Genealogists

The following announcement was written by the Register for Qualified Genealogists:

On the 31st of December 2015 the Register for Qualified Genealogists was incorporated at Companies House, London as a not-for-profit company limited by guarantee.

Yesterday, the 9th of February, the Register was launched by its website going live at That now enables qualified genealogists to apply for membership and potential clients to contact them.


This is an important, even historic, step in the evolution of genealogical and family history practice. It means that it will now be possible to create a Register of those in our local and international communities who have advanced qualifications relevant to the field. It will also provide recognition for those holders of qualifications irrespective of the specialist areas in which they practise, whether they be archivists, family tree developers, probate researchers, legal advisors, media commentators, authors, teachers, palaeographers, heraldic specialists or exponents in any other area where genealogical and family history expertise is needed. They will be identified by the post-nominal – QG. LLC Reports Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2015 Financial Results LLC reported financial results today for the fourth quarter and full year ended December 31, 2015.

“Ancestry delivered a milestone year in 2015, including outstanding financial performance and key strategic achievements across the company,” said Tim Sullivan, President and Chief Executive Officer of “Our performance was highlighted by strong, profitable growth throughout the year, featuring double-digit increases in revenue and adjusted EBITDA. On the strategic front, we delivered a greatly enhanced customer experience, launched major new content collections, grew AncestryDNA into the largest consumer genomic database and progressed on important growth initiatives internationally and in our emerging businesses. We’re off to a great start in 2016, a year in which we will be focused on continuing to diversify and expand the growth profile of the company, executing well in our core businesses and investing in our future.”

Amongst the highlights of today’s report:

Ancestor Network & Eneclann Appointed to Provide Genealogy Advisory Service in the National Library of Ireland

The following announcement was written by Ancestor Network and Eneclann:

Ancestor Network and Eneclann have been appointed by the National Library of Ireland to provide the highly popular genealogy advisory service for the period covering the 1916 Centenary Commemorations (from 15th February 2016 to 29th April 2016).

This is the 5th consecutive year this consortium of Ireland’s two leading family history companies returns to the National Library of Ireland to provide this popular service.

The two companies have a combined team of thirty full-time professional Irish genealogists to provide this world class service. One member of the genealogy advisory services team will be available along with staff of the National Library of Ireland from 15th February 2016 to 29th April 2016 Monday through Friday, 9:30am to 5:00pm. These expert genealogists advise and assist researchers with conducting genealogical research in the National Library and other repositories which are relevant to their research. They also assist users with online resources and printing. These records include for example the recently digitised Irish Roman Catholic parish records as well as many other popular genealogical websites. The expert genealogists also respond to email, telephone and letter enquiries for those physically unable to visit the National Library.
Fiona Fitzsimons of Eneclann said, “We’re cheered to return to the National Library in time for the Centenary Commemorations. Our genealogy team will be available to lend their skills and knowledge to all visitors. The National Library’s commitment to family history is a timely reminder that everyone’s story matters.”

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:

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.