Tuesday, October 23, 2012

First Impressions: Using Family Tree on FamilySearch.org

I have started using the Family Tree feature developed by FamilySearch.org. As you may know, this has been available for use by LDS members for some time. Well, now it is out of beta testing and available to non-LDS members.

Development continues on Family Tree, which is termed an update that will eventaully replace FamilySearch.org, believe it or not. You can experience Family Tree for yourself by registering to use it at http://familysearch.org/invite/familytree_tab.

I was particularly interested in trying out Family Tree to research my parternal ancestry in Finland. I entered some preliminary information through my paternal great grandparents and Family Tree found and added several more generations--to the middle 16th century, in fact. I'm pretty comfortable with what it generated for my paternal grandmother's line, but my grandfather's line appears to me a bit shaky. The new information is based on family relationships researched by others and on the International Genealogical Index.

At the moment, there are few sources included in my FamilySearch Family Tree, but I am confident that I can find and add them as the parishes in central Finland kept good records. It's just a matter of checking each generation of ancestors back through the records, which are becoming available online.

A reference guide for using Family Search Family Tree is available at http://broadcast.lds.org/eLearning/fhd/Community/en/FamilySearch/FamilyTree/pdf/familyTreeUserGuide.pdf.

I will also be adding information on my mother's ancestry, which happens to go back to pre-colonial days in America. That also should be interesting.

Wow! I Knew Ancestry.com was Valuable, but ...

Ancestry.com has annouced that it has arranged a sale to take it private. The genealogical database provider has been listed on NASDAQ for several years (Nasdaq:ACOM), and now the major stockholders believe that they can enhance their holdings by taking it private.

Yesterday, Ancestry.com and Permira, a European private equity firm with global reach, announced that a company owned by the Permira funds plus co-investors have entered into a definitive merger agreement to acquire Ancestry.com for $32.00 per share in cash. The total value of the transaction: $1.6 billion.

The good news is (I think) that Tim Sullivan, Ancestry.com’s President and Chief Executive Officer, and Howard Hochhauser, Ancestry.com’s Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer, will maintain a majority of their equity stakes in the company as part of the transaction. Spectrum Equity will also remain an investor in the company.

The current thinking is that this move won't affect the way that subscribers are able to use what is claimed to be the world's largest provider of genealogical data online. We'll see.

If you would like to read the official annoucement, go to my other blog, NEOH Genealogy Blog at http://neohgen.blogspot.com/ to see the news release.

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