Monday, December 5, 2016

Insider Ketchup for 5 December 2016

Insider KetchupEach December I try to take the month off. Ancestry.com and FamilySearch respond by doing lots of interesting things. Still, I’ll try to write as little as possible. Here are the topics I would have liked to write about this week.

Bullet Ancestry.comAncestry is offering free access to WWII records on Fold3 in December to commemorate the 75th anniversary of Pearl Harbor this Wednesday. “Go to fold3.com/pearlharbor to explore. Then build a memorial page for your ancestor for free, so that their memory may never be forgotten.”

BulletTreeMike Provard shared an interesting link about the 2020 census. Thanks, Mike.

FamilySearch tree bulletLooking for service opportunities this December? FamilySearch suggests that you consider indexing. See “Indexing Goal in December to #LIGHTtheWORLD” on the FamilySearch blog.

FamilySearch tree bulletSick of duplicate persons in FamilySearch Family Tree? They published a good article on their blog. See “Merging People in FamilySearch’s Family Tree.”

Bullet Ancestry.comExploring Your DNA Results Further” on the Ancestry blog describes two features of your DNA results you may missed.

FamilySearch tree bulletWatch online the celebration of the completion of the Freedmen’s Bureau project. It will be held at the National Museum of African American History and Culture on Tuesday, December 6, at 9:00 a.m. eastern standard time. The broadcast will be streamed live at DiscoverFreedmen.org.

FamilySearch Indexing numbersFamilySearch tree bulletFamilySearch is celebrating today the 10th anniversary of Internet-based, volunteer-driven indexing. FamilySearch (and the Family History Department of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) had previously used CD-ROM, paper, and microfilm based images in its (more properly named) extraction program. As a thank you of sorts, FamilySearch has provided “I HEART families” images that you can use as computer or phone wallpaper or Facebook profile images. See “Celebrating 10 Years of Indexing” on the FamilySearch blog.

Bullet Ancestry.comAncestry ProGenealogists is sponsoring scholarships to the major U.S. genealogical institutes. According to their website, “the AncestryProGenealogists Scholarship Program will provide four scholarships that will cover tuition, round-trip standard economy airfare (Ancestry may substitute appropriate ground transportation for awardees who live within 300 miles of the applicable institute), and hotel expenses for one individual each to attend one of the four institutes”

To enter, visit https://www.progenealogists.com/scholarship.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Christmas/Holiday Greetings #LIGHTtheWORLD

#LIGHTtheWORLD by serving as Jesus Christ served.I usually wait until later in the month to give my holiday greetings and wax a little religious. This year, I’m sending my well wishes out early so that you can participate in an invitation to serve others in 25 ways for 25 days in December. The invitation is open to everyone of any religion or philosophy, even though it is from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

If you’re Christian, watch a short, inspirational video, on YouTube or at http://www.mormon.org/christmas. likening our service to Jesus Christ’s.

See the list of 25 ways of giving service at https://www.mormon.org/christmas/in-25-ways-over-25-days. Substitute according to your belief system when called for. Here is a list with references to Christ removed, if that is more comfortable for you:

  1. Lift others’ burdens.
  2. Honor your parents.
  3. Help the blind.
  4. Worship.
  5. Serve the sick.
  6. Read scripture.
  7. Feed the hungry.
  8. Pray for others.
  9. Visit the lonely.
  10. Help the disabled.
  11. Serve children.
  12. Teach others.
  13. Show humility.
  14. Cloth the needy.
  15. Worship through music.
  16. Show compassion.
  17. Care for your mother.
  18. Honor holy days.
  19. “Calm the storm.”
  20. See potential in others.
  21. Forgive others.
  22. Show gratitude.
  23. Be a peacemaker.
  24. Care for your loved ones.
  25. Emulate those who serve the most.

The list at https://www.mormon.org/christmas/in-25-ways-over-25-days has links to pages with service suggestions. For example, December 20th is “See potential in others” and the suggestions are

  • Take a child to work with you, and let him or her do a small part of your job.
  • Be a mentor or tutor to someone.
  • Donate to a scholarship at your local high school.
  • Cheer someone on! Attend an athletic, cultural, or similar event to support someone you know.
  • Help a child learn to set goals.
  • Contribute your abilities to an adult education class in your area.
  • List some positive qualities in someone you don't get along with.

If you wish to share, use the hashtag #LIGHTtheWORLD.

If you are looking for organized service opportunities specific to your community, visit JustServe.org.

Merry Christmas from the Ancestry InsiderSo many of you serve this wonderful, genealogy community in so many ways. Thank you! Have a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!



Images copyright Intellectual Reserve, Inc. Used with permission.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

#RootsTech Contest Winner and Keynote Speaker Announcement

RootsTech 2017 is comingI’m pleased to be able to announce the winner of my RootsTech 2017 contest. Amy Floto related her experience with “the Haunted Treadmill and the Magic Box.” Look for her story after the first year. I received lots of great entries. I’ll share a few of the best ones with you after Amy’s.
Jonathan and Drew Scott will keynote RootsTech 2017In other news, RootsTech has announced more keynote presenters. The Property Brothers, Jonathan and Drew Scott, will present. These multi-talented identical twins have built an impressive entertainment empire by following their mutual passion for film, entertainment, and home renovation. Come to RootsTech and listen to the Scott Brothers talk about how it all began. From their first business at age seven, to purchasing and flipping their first fixer-upper for a profit of $50,000 at the age of 17, these two have a lot to share about entrepreneurial spirit, hard work, and the sweetness of success.

At the risk of having unknown family members come out of the woodwork, I wanted to share some news with you. I found out recently that FamilySearch employees can give family members a discount code for a $109 4-day RootsTech pass or $139 for a RootsTech+Innovator Summit pass. Contact your closest related RootsTech employee and get the discount code.

RootsTech 2017 will be held at the Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City, Utah, 8-11 February 2017.

President Russell M and Sister Wendy Nelson will address Family Discover Day 2017 at RootsTechFamily Discovery Day

Registration for Family Discovery Day 2017 is now open. It will be held 11 February 2017 at the Salt Palace Convention Center. The event is for members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I apologize for not getting this news out sooner, as the event “sells” out fast. I say “sells” because it is free. To register, click here and then click Register. To sweeten the pot, RootsTech has announced that the keynote speakers for Family Discovery Day will be President Russell M Nelson and his wife, Wendy. Wendy is an avid genealogist and did a great job speaking last year. President Nelson is the president of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles so it is quite an honor to have him at RootsTech.

According to FamilySearch:

Family Discover Day is the perfect place for individuals and families to discover helpful family history solutions, watch demonstrations, get one-on-one help, interact with innovative family history technologies, and mingle with hundreds of exhibitors from around the globe.

Select sessions are also available for those with Church callings and responsibilities related to family history and the temple. Individuals will be able to get their questions answered, discover new tools, and learn best practices.

Over 15,000 adults and children attended the free event in 2016. Tickets will be limited again in 2017 for this increasingly popular event. Interested individuals and families should register as quickly as possible online at RootsTech.org.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

AncestryDNA 30% Sale

AncestryDNA 30% holiday saleIf you’ve been waiting for another AncestryDNA mega-sale, wait no longer. Ancestry is selling its DNA kit for $69 from 25 November to 28 November 2016. From 29 November to 14 December 2016 they are offering it for $89. The $69 price is the lowest I see every year.

If you’re buying for a relative, don’t do what I did. I had the kit shipped direct to an elderly relative. I asked them to send me the code and let me activate it. He says he received the test, provided the sample and sent it in. He couldn’t find a code. Then he claimed he had activated it. However, he’s never shown up as a DNA match to any of his siblings. I’ve learned from others that they have the kits shipped to themselves, they activate it, and then they pay to have it shipped a second time, this to the relative. (Perhaps Ancestry can work out a way to email the code to the purchaser and allow shipping the kit direct to the relative.)

To obtain the sell price visit www.Ancestry.com/DNAgift. (The URL isn’t working as I write this. Presumably, it will start working on the 25th.)

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Follow Ancestry.com and FamilySearch via Social Media

Ancestry Facebook FamilySearch Twitter LogosLast week I quoted an anonymous commenter who had left RootsWeb mailing lists in favor of Facebook and Google+. I admitted not doing much with social media. Just in case social media is your thing, let me point you in the direction of Ancestry.com’s and FamilySearch’s social media channels.

Ancestry has a presence on several social media channels. Follow them at

FamilySearch also has a presence on several social media channels.

By contrast, I’m only on Facebook and Twitter. Like or follow me if that is how you wish to be informed of new blog posts. (Sorry about the double posts on Facebook last week. I was running an experiment. It should be fixed now.) And if you follow me via social media, there is a bonus! Once—sometimes twice!—a year I’ll post a comment on Facebook or Twitter that blog readers won’t receive!

I should warn you that to contact me it is still best to send me an email (ancestryinsider@gmail.com) or leave a comment on a blog post. I don’t check Facebook or Twitter messages, at least not very often. Sadly, even if you send me email, I’ll probably ignore it. Just kidding. I read every email and value your ideas, but I have time to respond to only a few. Thank you for your interest and support. I hope my humble efforts benefit a least a couple of you.