As I mentioned yesterday, I’m a titch behind. Time to ketchup again. So much to write about, so little time.
Ancestry.com posted a new database recently called, “U.S. Public Records Index, Volume 2.” The data source is Merlin Data Publishing, the same source of the original Public Records Index (PRI) before Ancestry.com emasculated it for their partnership with MyLife.com. A search for “Barack Obama” in the original PRI returned nine instances of the president. A search in the emasculated PRI returns no matches. A search in Volume 2 returns two matches, one of which didn’t appear in the original PRI. While we are all critical of the change, I applaud Ancestry.com for maintaining tree attachments to records in the original PRI. If they had broken all those links, people would have been madder than Johnny Depp.
Speaking of databases, Ancestry.com’s Chad Milliner announced earlier this month that Ancestry.com would begin updating the Social Security Death Index every week. Previously, they updated it once a month. A free alternative that also updates weekly is GenealogyBank.com.
FamilySearch is encouraging the growth of online genealogical communities. I noticed one community pop up as a result. On the FamilySearch Forums (beta), user GrammaJules from Florissant, Missouri reported that a handful of FamilySearch Indexing users have set up a Skype chat room to facilitate sharing a batch. The share batch feature of FamilySearch Indexing lets indexers share a view of a batch so a second person can help figure out hard-to-read writing.
Skype is free. If no one is in the chat room when you need help, you can leave a message with the share information. To participate, send a private message to GrammaJules with your name and email and she will invite you in to the chat room.
If you haven’t noticed, the Ancestry.com blog has received a new look. The new look matches the page design that Ancestry.com is gradually introducing throughout the Ancestry.com website.
The American Library Association has announced that 9-15 May 2010 will be its first Preservation Week. Check out their website for ideas on how you, your local library, family history organization, or family history center can participate. Check out their website for “easy-to-follow guidelines for protecting personal treasures, family heirlooms, and collectibles.” They also sale bookmarks and posters designed to inspire patrons to explore their ancestry.
If you’re wondering why I haven’t been blogging every day of late, blame Ancestry.com. At the St. George Family History Expo I took advantage of their free photograph and document scanning service. They filled a free flash drive with scans of my documents.
Now I’m going through the scans, squaring them up, cropping them, and uploading them to my family trees. Numerous relatives have already seen them and added copies to their own trees. (My goodness; I love the Internet!)
Lately they have been offering this free service at most major genealogy shows. As I’m writing this, you can still read the preparatory instructions for St. George. If you’re coming to NGS, prepare beforehand so you can take advantage of this wonderful opportunity.
Shoot! Out of time again. I guess you’ll be getting more ketchup next week. But before I go, one last item:
Don’t forget “Who Do You Think You Are?” tonight. Up tonight is football legend, Emmitt Smith.
Of tonight’s episode, Andrew Wait of Ancestry.com told me, “I grew up in the bay area, so I’m not a Dallas Cowboys fan. But Emmett Smith’s story… Wow. I would take a bullet for that man.” Tune in tonight to find out why.