Saturday, August 30, 2014

#FGS2014 Focus On Societies: Strong Business Strategy

The Ancestry Insider is an ambassador for the FGS 2014 annual conferenceWednesday was society day at the 2014 annual conference of the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) this week. Breaking a bit from the traditional format of opening keynote followed by breakout classes, this year the morning of Society Day followed a seminar format often used in business training. The seminar was titled “Strong Business Strategy = Sound Society Strategy” and was presented tag team by David Rencher and Ed Donakey. Rencher represented genealogy knowhow and Donakey represented business acumen. Rencher is chief genealogical officer at FamilySearch and is FGS secretary. Donakey is a former company CEO, works for Rencher at FamilySearch, and is this year’s FGS national conference chair. Each participant was given a seminar booklet with handouts, work samples, and workbook pages.

Attendees were first asked to think about the question: “Where do you want your society to be five years from now? Ten years? Twenty?” A mission statement and business plan can help you get where you want to be.

A business plan should have two dimensions. One is the written document. The other is in the heart, the way you feel. It is the commitment to the mission of the society. Your plan should include a mission statement. Make certain the mission statement is focused. It shouldn’t include a clause that would allow your society board to do pretty much anything they want. Have measurements from which you can judge the ongoing success of the society.

Write out your financial plan. Manage your sunk costs. A sunk cost is one that has already been incurred and can’t be recovered. Some of these may be office equipment, inventories of publications that are not on sale, maintenance fees for Dropbox, employees, and any regularly scheduled payments. Are they worth continuing?

Formalize how proposals are made to the society board and what information should be included in the proposal.

Utilize social media. Identify your goals. Pick which ones to use. Appoint personnel to administer each one. Establish a policy governing who posts and what they address. Advertise the sites in your publications.

In a later session, Donakey alerted attendees to discounts available to societies and genealogists in general.

  • FindMyPast (www.findmypast.com/articles/work-with-us/partnering-with-societies) – With the FindMyPast
    society membership program, society members can buy a 12-month world subscription on FindMyPast.com with a discount equal to the cost of society membership. FindMyPast also has a Society Data Initiative in which societies and FindMyPast partner to “preserve, digitize, and provide access to society publications.”
  • Dell (www.dell.com/mpp/fgs) – This website has opportunity to buy cameras, monitors, and computers. Any genealogist can buy from this website and get the discounts offered there. If certain amounts purchased, there is a possibility of a return in a small percentage coming back to FGS.
  • Lexmark (http://shop.lexmark.com/familysearch) – At this website anyone can buy a printer/scanner that is capable of logging into FamilySearch.org and scanning directly from the printer/scanner. This is the same technology available in the commercial sized printers in FamilySearch family history centers.

A member of the class pointed out that TechSoup.org is another great resource offering special deals for non-profit organizations.

So if you are an officer of a genealogical society, ask yourself,”Where do I want my society to be twenty years from now?”

Friday, August 29, 2014

#FGS2014 Conference: Riders on the Orphan Train

Riders on the Orphan TrainOver a quarter million orphans and unwanted children from the streets of New York were loaded up on trains and sent out all over the country to be given away. That’s right; you heard what I said. Stop after stop, perspective adopters inspected their teeth and squeezed their muscles to see how well they could work the fields.

This chapter in American history is largely untold and largely unknown.

The “Riders on the Orphan Train” FGS Conference keynote was created and presented by Phil Lancaster and Alison Moore to tell their stories. Lancaster is a singer-songwriter and Moore is an author and humanities scholar. To tell the stories, the two sang and played guitars while we viewed historical photographs and interviews of two survivors. Alison painted a word picture allowing us to see into the minds of the fearful children.

Phil Lancaster and Alison MoorePhil and Alison are the official outreach coordinators for the National Orphan Train Complex Museum and Research Center in Concordia, Kansas.You can read more about the presentation on their website.

Prior to the keynote address, Josh Taylor, FGS president, announced locations for upcoming conferences:

  • 2015 annual conference: I think most everyone knows this will be co-located with RootsTech, 11-14 February 2015 in Salt Lake City, Utah. (Josh Taylor says it will be the perfect Valentine’s Day date. Bring your significant other to run the copy machine.)
  • 2015 Alaskan cruise: If you can’t stand the thought of an August without an FGS conference, consider the 28 August 2015 FGS cruise. Speakers are Elizabeth Shown Mills, David Rencher, Judy Russell, and Josh Taylor. More information is available at https://www.fgsconference.org/cruise.
  • 2015 regional conference: In conjunction with the New York State Family History Conference, 17-19 September 2015, FGS is providing topics and events for genealogical society leaders.
  • 2016 annual conference: FGS is returning to Springfield, Illinois.
  • 2017 annual conference: the location of this conference is still to be announced.
  • 2018 annual conference: FGS is returning to Fort Wayne, Indiana.

And it’s not too late for you to join us for the weekend.

See you in San Antonio!

#FGS2014 Conference: Finding Female Ancestors

Anne Gillespie MitchellAt the 2014 annual conference of the Federation of Genealogical Societies, Anne Gillespie Mitchell presented the session “How to Use Ancestry.com Records to Reveal Your Female Ancestors’ Stories.” Mitchell is a senior product manager at Ancestry.com.

Mostly records were left by men about men, but there are places where you can find women. The key to understanding the lives of women is cluster research. Elizabeth Shown Mills calls it FAN research: Family, Associates, and Neighbors. It’s important to formulate a good research question and a research plan that will answer that question.

Start with basic information. Understand and map your female ancestor out in terms of time and place. Gather enough information about them to differentiate them from other people.

Mitchell walked us through a couple of case studies. In the first case she identified the parents of Georgia Eva Baxter Payne. She started with census and vital records. She created a time line. She consulted Google maps. Using known information, she estimated where and when particular events might have occurred and what records might exist. She relied upon a wide array of record types, including estate inventories, guardianship records, city directories, and obituaries. She found records for male siblings. She utilized ancillary information such as witnesses and informants. Using this information she was able to answer her research question. (For more information about this case study, see Mitchell’s web post, “…The Hunt for…Georgia Eva Baxter’s Parents,” at http://finding-forgotten-stories.com, posted 30 January 2014.)

Mitchell walked through the process of fleshing out the life of Sarah “Sudie” Hamrick. She looked at the records of Sarah’s husband and other family members. (For more information about this case study, on Mitchell’s blog, see “I Think My Great Grandmother was a Muse…Sarah Sudie Hamrick,” posted 29 January 2014.)

In closing, I have to say, this was one of the best Ancestry.com presentations I have ever attended. Her case-study format was extremely effective. We learned how to “…reveal [our] female ancestors’ stories.” We weren’t told Ancestry.com was extremely valuable in doing so, we saw it was so. I also appreciated that she mentioned searching microfilms. She demonstrated the genealogy proof standard without actually mentioning it. She presented a well crafted proof argument without calling it such. Thank you, Anne.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

#FGS2014 Conference For Free

If you’re within striking distance of San Antonio, Texas, now’s the time to think about taking advantage of the free offerings at the 2014 annual conference of the Federation of Genealogical Societies.

The Ancestry Insider is an ambassador for the FGS 2014 annual conference

The exhibit hall is the place to go for free offerings and is open to the general public. The conference is hosting many free presentations. I’ve published a list in a separate article. Vendors and expert genealogists host presentations in their own booths. I’ve published schedules for one or more of those. Look for them in separate articles.

Discounts are often offered by vendors at the conference. At the FamilySearch booth you can get a free subscription to FamilySearch.org. (Wink, wink.) FindMyPast is offering a free, one month subscription worth $19.95. Stop by their booth to get that offer. JSTOR is offering a free trial. You can get $10 off society memberships for several societies. You can buy AncestryDNA kits for a 10% discount.

Of course, if you can spend a little money, that opens up your possibilities even more. See “FGS Conference for $49 Saturday – #FGS2014.”

See you in San Antonio!

#FGS2014 #Genealogy Conference Free Presentations on Main Stage

The Texas State Genealogical Society, a co-host of this year’s Federation of Genealogical Societies conference, is hosting several free presentations at the conference. These are open to the general public in an exhibit hall of the San Antonio Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center. If you’re in the area, come on down.

Here is the schedule for the main presentations given on a stage at the rear of the exhibit hall:

EXHIBIT HALL STAGE, THURSDAY, AUGUST 28

  • 10:45-11:15, Michael J. Leclerc - Using Mocavo to Propel your Research
  • 11:30 – 12 PM, Lisa Louise Cooke - Evernote Extravaganza for Genealogists: Laying the Foundation
  • 1:15 – 1:45, Jen Baldwin - Top 10 things you need to know about “crossing the pond”
  • 2:00 – 2:30, Julia George, PhD - Top Ten Reasons to Join Your Local Genealogical Society
  • 2:45 – 3:15, Maureen A. Taylor - Eight Things to Know about the Civil War and Your Family Pictures
  • 3:30 – 4:00, Craig Roberts Scott, MA, CG - Pension Research: The Short Course
  • 4:15 – 4:45, Randy Whited - A Quick Guide to Going Paperless


EXHIBIT HALL STAGE, FRIDAY, AUGUST 29

  • 9:30 – 10:00, Mic Barnette - Free People of Color in Texas before the Civil War
  • 10:15 – 10:45,  Jen Baldwin - Exploring PERSI with Findmypast
  • 11:00 – 11:30, Order of Granaderos y Damas de Gálvez: San Antonio Chapter - Living History Presentation
  • 1:15 – 1:45, Michael J. Leclerc - Using Mocavo to Propel your Research
  • 2:00 – 2:30, Barbara Brixey Wylie - Habits that Breakdown Brick Walls
  • 2:45 – 3:15,  Thomas MacEntee - Google Books for Genealogists
  • 3:30 – 4:00,  Caroline Pointer - German-Texan Research Tips
  • 4:15 – 4:45, Los Bexareños Genealogical and Historical Society - Roadblocks and Wrong Turns in Researching Hispanic Families (English)


EXHIBIT HALL STAGE, SATURDAY, AUGUST 30

  • 9:30 – 10:00, Tony Hanson - No Scanner? Use Your Camera!
  • 10:15 – 10:45, Michael J. Leclerc - Using Mocavo to Propel your Research
  • 11:00 – 11:45, Los Bexareños Genealogical and Historical Society - Roadblocks and Wrong Turns in Researching Hispanic Families (Spanish)
  • 1:15 – 1:45, Jen Baldwin - Connecting to Ireland
  • 2:00 – 2:30, Sara Gredler, MS - Beginner Genealogy Strategies


For descriptions of these presentations, see “Exhibit Hall Presentations” on the FGS Conference Website.

Many vendors offer presentations as well, right in their booths. I’ve published the schedules for one or more of these in separate articles today.

See you in San Antonio!

The Ancestry Insider is an ambassador for the FGS 2014 annual conference

#FGS2014 #Ancestry.com Free Presentations

Ancestry.comI’ve seen people pay a couple dozen bucks to attend an “Ancestry Day” of sessions about Ancestry.com. If you’re in the San Antonio, Texas area this week, you may wish to come down to the convention center and attend their presentations for free. Ancestry.com is offering classes in its booth in the exhibit hall of the 2014 annual conference of the Federation of Genealogical Societies.

Here’s the Ancestry.com booth presentation schedule:

Thursday, August 28th

10:00am

Search Tips & Tricks

Anna Fechter

12:00pm

5 Ways to Jumpstart Your Research

Juliana Smith

12:30pm

Intro to AncestryDNA

Anna Swayne

1:00pm

Making the Most of Your AncestryDNA Matches

Anna Swayne

2:00-2:45pm

FGS Conference Demo: Getting the Most from Your Discoveries on Ancestry.com

Juliana Smith

2:30pm

Family Tree Maker

Kendall Lovett

4:00pm

Using the Ancestry Mobile App

Kendall Jefferson

Friday, August 29th

9:30am

Using Ancestry Trees

Anna Fechter

11:00-11:45am

FGS Conference Demo: AncestryDNA

Anna Swayne

11:30am

Using Family Tree Maker

Kendall Jefferson

12:00pm

Fixing Data Errors in Family Tree Maker

Kendall Jefferson

12:30pm

Discover Everything about the Soldiers in your Tree with Fold3 and Ancestry.com

Anne Mitchell

1:00pm

Putting Your Ancestors in Historical Perspective with Ancestry.com and Newspapers.com

Anne Mitchell

2:30pm

Overlooked Secrets in Census Records

Juliana Smith

4:00pm

Using AncestryDNA in your Research

Anna Swayne

Saturday, August 30th

9:30am

Charts and Reports in Family Tree Maker

Kendall Lovett

11:30am

Finding Your Ancestor’s Arrival on Ancestry.com

Juliana Smith

12:00pm

Search Tips & Tricks

Anna Fechter

12:00-12:45pm

FGS Conference Demo: Family Tree Maker

Kendall Jefferson

12:30pm

Getting the Most from AncestryDNA

Anna Swayne

1:00pm

How You Can Get Involved with Indexing and the World Archives Project

Anna Fechter

2:30pm

Using the Ancestry Mobile App

Kendall Jefferson

The Ancestry Insider is an ambassador for the FGS 2014 annual conference

See you in San Antonio!

#FGS2014 Free Outside the Box #Genealogy Presentations

If you’re near San Antonio this week, heads up. Four respected experts have teamed up to do some free presentations at the 2014 annual conference of the Federation of Genealogical Societies. You’ll find them in the exhibit hall in booth #218. That’s a pretty small space, so come early to get a seat:

OUTSIDE THE BOX, THURSDAY, AUGUST 28

  • 12:00 – 12:30, Maureen Taylor – 5 Things You Need to Know About Daguerreotypes, Ambrotypes & Tintypes
  • 12:35 – 1:05, Janet Hovorka – 10 Simple Ways to Zap the Grandma Gap and Engage Your Family
  • 2:25 – 2:55, Lisa Louise Cooke – Ultimate Google Search Strategies
  • 4:30 – 5:30, Lisa Louise Cooke - Become an iPad Power User (60 minute class)




OUTSIDE THE BOX, FRIDAY, AUGUST 29

  • 9:40 – 10:10, Maureen Taylor – Your Perfect P.O.P—Photo Organizing Practices
  • 11:30 – 12:00, Maureen Taylor – Preserve Your Family Photos on a Budget
  • 12:15 – 12:45, Lisa Louise Cooke – Evernote Tips and Tricks for Genealogists
  • 12:50 – 1:10, Janet Hovorka – Beautiful Charts to Show off Your Family History
  • 2:25 – 2:55, Janet Hovorka – Earn Prizes—Genealogy Game Show and Pedigree Challenge




OUTSIDE THE BOX, SATURDAY, AUGUST 30

  • 9:40 – 10:10, Diahan Southard – Understanding my DNA Results in 15 Minutes or Less
  • 11:30 – 12:00, Lisa Louise Cooke – Google Earth Time travel for Genealogists
  • 12:05 – 1:10, Maureen Taylor - Google Images and Beyond (60 minute class)
  • 1:15 – 2:15, Lisa Louise Cooke – Tech Tools for Newspapers (60 minute class)
  • 2:25 – 2:55, Diahan Southard – Three Critical Techniques for Understanding Your Autosomal Test Results

Other vendors also give scheduled or ad hoc presentations about their products. Come by and see what you can learn at the free exhibit hall.

The Ancestry Insider is an ambassador for the FGS 2014 annual conference

#FGS2014 #FamilySearch Free Presentations

FamilySearchThere are presentations at the 2014 annual conference of the Federation of Genealogical Societies that you don’t have to pay to see. If you are in San Antonio, visit the FamilySearch booth in the exhibit hall to see these:

THURSDAY, 28 AUGUST

 

Presenter

Topic

9:30

Robert Kehrer

FamilySearch Record Search

10:00

Bryce Roper

Family Tree and Mobile Sources

11:00

Mark Gowans

Family Tree Hinting

12:00

Lynn Turner

Historical Records

1:00

Mike Provard

Uploading, Tagging, and Attaching Photos

2:00

Bryce Roper

Family Tree and Mobile Sources

3:00

Mark Gowans

Family Tree Hinting

4:00

Robert Kehrer

FamilySearch Record Search

FRIDAY, 29 AUGUST

 

Presenter

Topic

9:00

Robert Kehrer

FamilySearch Record Search

10:00

Bryce Roper

Family Tree and Mobile Sources

11:00

Mark Gowans

Family Tree Hinting

12:00

Lynn Turner

Historical Records

1:00

Robert Kehrer

FamilySearch Record Search

2:00

Bryce Roper

Family Tree and Mobile Sources

3:00

Mark Gowans

Family Tree Hinting

4:00

Robert Kehrer

FamilySearch Record Search

SATURDAY, 30 AUGUST

 

Presenter

Topic

9:00

Robert Kehrer

FamilySearch Record Search

10:00

Bryce Roper

Family Tree and Mobile Sources

11:00

Robert Kehrer

FamilySearch Record Search

12:00

Danielle Batson

Wiki, Help

1:00

Mark Gowans

Family Tree Hinting

2:00

Robert Kehrer

FamilySearch Record Search

In my experience, don’t be surprised if these presentations start a little late.

Other vendors also give scheduled or ad hoc presentations about their products. Come by and see what you can learn at the free exhibit hall.

The Ancestry Insider is an ambassador for the FGS 2014 annual conference

See you in San Antonio!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

#FGS2014 Conference FamilySearch Media Dinner

David Rencher addresses bloggers at FamilySearch Media Dinner
David Rencher addressed bloggers at the
FamilySearch Media Dinner at FGS 2014.
(Thank you, Marian, for taking the picture for me. I
neglected to ask you if you wanted to be credited.)
 
Dan "Shrek" Call introduced RootsTech 2015
Dan Call gave us very little of his Shrek imitation.
Mostly he just talked about RootsTech 2015.
The 2014 annual conference of the Federation of Genealogical Societies kicked off, for me at least, with the usual FamilySearch media dinner. FamilySearch hosted 30 to 40 bloggers at the Rio Rio restaurant off the river walk in San Antonio, Texas. We ate Mexican food and talked FamilySearch. If I had to pick a theme, I’d say it was that FamilySearch Family Tree is growing and improving. We learned about mobile apps that bring The Tree to your pocket. We learned about tree views and three icons. And we learned about attaching hints (suggested records) to The Tree.

Bloggers wear multiple hats and many of those assembled are also society officers, speakers, and other community influencers. David Rencher, FamilySearch chief genealogical officer, thanked those assembled for all they do. “My hats off to you.” He told us that he monitors the quality of the information in the tree and it is increasing. One indicator he looks at is counting the number of people in the tree with too many parents. While it’s common and correct to have several sets of parents, once you get a dozen or more, you’ve got too many. That indicates a problem with the quality of the information in the tree. Rencher was happy to point out that he is seeing improvement.

Dan Call, fresh from a stint of playing Shrek onstage, next gave us a short plug for RootsTech 2015. (We thought they were teasing about him playing Shrek, but the Internet verifies he did. And the Internet doesn’t lie!) RootsTech (“I thought it was a bionic plant”) 2015 is coming on 12-14 February 2015. The theme is “Celebrating Families Across Generations.”

RootsTech will target eight audiences:

RootsTech 2015 will target eight audiences
(Sorry about the distortion of Call’s slide. I was sitting too close to the bottom right corner of the screen.)

RootsTech 2015 will be even larger than last year. Here’s a comparison of RootsTech 2014 and their goals for RootsTech 2015:

  2014 2015
Paid attendance 5,250 5,500
Family Discovery Day attendance 4,000 5,000
Youth (and families for 2015) attendance 4,000 5,000
Exhibitors 140 170
Viewers of streaming broadcasts 14,000+ 20,000+
Remote family history fairs 850+ 1,000+
Approximate fair attendees 150,000 200,000

Call also casually mentioned that some other conference—which one is it?—was going to be held side-by-side with RootsTech 2015. Wait. Wait. Oh, yes. FGS. Hello, Dan!

Parts of the two conferences will be distinct and parts will be combined. Classes will be separate. The expo hall will be combined. Luncheons will be separate. (You’ll have to use two different registration systems if you want to register for some RootsTech luncheons and some FGS luncheons.) General sessions and evening events will be combined. RootsTech will have computer labs (I know someone who is teaching one). FGS will have Librarians Day. The RootsTech website lists $39 as the price of an FGS add-on pass.

Registration opens 29 August for RootsTech 2015 and a $139 early-bird special price will be available for two weeks. The new RootsTech.org website is now live. Check it out!

(I’m running out of time to write, so I’m going to have to wrap up the last three presenters rather quickly.)

Bryce Roper, a FamilySearch Family Tree product manager, told us about the two FamilySearch mobile apps: Family Tree and Memories. “We’ve been behind the wave and we’re trying to get on top of that wave as quick as we can,” he said. The apps and the FamilySearch.org website are tied together. The information viewed or contributed on one is available on the other. The exception today is that audio recordings captured by the apps is not available online. “Hopefully, before the end of FGS we’ll have it released for the web as well,” Roper said. “It is really, really close.” The web feature will additionally be able to add existing audio files.

The Family Tree app is available for Apple and Android and allows you to

  • Connect with ancestors
  • Discover life details
  • Share family stories
  • Explore relationships
  • Add memories in context (in other words, to the associated persons)

The Memories app is available for Apple and allows you to

  • Capture and preserve user specific content
  • Specify who a memory is about
  • Share family stories
  • Add memories (photos, audio, and stories) in bulk
  • Attach memories in any order

The roadmap for Family Tree includes the ability to add persons to The Tree, and edit or change facts about them.

Mark Gowans, FamilySearch Family Tree designer

Mark Gowans mentioned that the three tree icons that we see in the descendancy view will soon be in the traditional pedigree and portrait pedigree views:

Additional icons will soon show up on the traditional pedigree view of Family Tree

The three icons are:

Gowans mentioned three Family Tree icons: record hints, research suggestions, and data problems

High contrast versions of the tree views will be available for those with visual challenges:

The pedigree view will have a high-contrast version

(It’s time to put both this article and this author to bed, so let me wrap up quickly.)

Gowan and the final presenter, FamilySearch product manager for Search, Robert Kehrer, both addressed hints. Hints are suggestions that FamilySearch gives concerning historical records that might apply to people in Family Tree. FamilySearch considers all the facts about a person in the tree and all of his “one hop” relatives: spouse, parents, and children. (I don’t recall if siblings were included.) It compares all these facts to persons in records to decide if there is a match. Kehrer believes that their hinting system is more than 98% accurate. He thinks that further improvement is possible; he believes they can increase the number of hints made without decreasing the accuracy. (That is to say, he can decrease the number of false negatives without increasing the number of false positives.)

Kehrer demonstrated how to take a hint and attach all the people mentioned in a record to all the corresponding people in the tree. The demonstration was followed by an awesome set of questions from attendees about user behavior and whether or not the idea of a single, shared tree will work. In the end, the group decided…

Gosh, look at the time… I’ve got to go to bed!

Stay tuned for more FGS reports from sunny San Antonio!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Retirement of MyCanvas is Cancelled

Alexander's is acquiring MyCanvasAncestry.com’s MyCanvas website was scheduled to go away on 30 September 2014. Events have changed and that will no longer happen. The company that did the actual printing of MyCanvas books and charts is acquiring the service and website.

Back on 4 June 2014 Ancestry.com announced that several of its websites and services were being retired on 5 September 2014 so they could focus on their central offerings. (See “Ancestry.com Announces Retirement of Several Websites.”) The retirement date was extended to 30 September 2014 after a denial of service attack prevented users from accessing those sites for several days. (See “Ancestry.com Attacked by Zombies,” “Ancestry.com Attacked by Zombies, Part 2,” and “Ancestry.com Delays Retirement.”)

Let me take an aside and address a common point of misunderstanding with that announcement. Ancestry.com is retiring its Y-DNA and mitochondrial DNA tests. It is not retiring its current, popular offering: autosomal DNA testing. As an aside to my aside, that test is on sale for $79 until 27 August. For that price, I bought three! For more information, visit http://dna.ancestry.com. But I digress…

Eric Shoup, executive vice-president of products at Ancestry.com announced last week that Alexander’s, a printing and marketing company, would be the new owner of MyCanvas. I remember when Alexander’s was nothing more than a local photocopy shop. It’s headquartered not far from Ancestry.com. It has been quite successful and grown into a modest sized custom print house of 60 employees. This acquisition will give them a ready-made website extending their offering to individuals worldwide.

“It’s our hope that this agreement will not change the experience for MyCanvas customers. In fact, Alexander’s plans to make some exciting improvements we think you’ll love,” said Shoup. “The transition of MyCanvas will take about six months. But in the meantime, all MyCanvas projects will remain accessible on Ancestry.com until it moves over to Alexander’s next year. We will continue to communicate details as the transition moves forward.”

See the complete text of Shoup’s statement on the Ancestry.com blog.