Thursday, May 26, 2011

Jay Verkler, FamilySearch, and the Community

Jay Verkler addresses 2010 NGS Conference
Jay Verkler addresses 2010 NGS Conference
© 2010 IR1. All rights reserved.

I had a chance to grab a minute with Jay Verkler at the close of the 2011 National Genealogical Society (NGS) annual conference. Verkler is president and CEO of FamilySearch.

“We’re very excited to see how the genealogical category is moving forward,” he said. “To FamilySearch, the growth of the category has always been very important, which is why we support societies, archives, and other commercial companies. We don’t think about them as competitors; we think about them as partners trying to build the community.”

Verkler said this year is turning out to be a great one. He saw a lot of positive indicators at NGS,  spoke with representatives from several societies, including NEHGS, and was pleased to hear many are on growth paths.

Verkler is glad that is doing well. “Ancestry’s growth has just been fantastic. It’s been exciting.” Their success as a public company attracts more investors to the category who then put money into other genealogy companies. Verkler said we’re going to see other companies in the space, like BrightSolid in Europe, MyHeritage with its worldwide penetration,, and “some other companies that you can’t see yet that are coming your way soon, that are all gaining financial funding.”

“For us, it’s exciting to see that,” said Verkler. “All of these things make 2011 and 2012 look like great growth years.”


  1. Here's a question. If genealogy is a growing hobby (as it seems to be) then why are so many of the good reference and focused how-to books apparently out of print? I was fortunate enough to begin building my basic reference collection about 10 years ago when bookstores had a good collection of Betterway books and those of other publishers--but there's relatively little out there now. Here's a few examples:

    Locating Your Roots: Discover Your Ancestors Using Land Records--OP

    Walking with Your Ancestors on maps and geography -- OP

    Your Guide to the Federal Census--OP

    Your Guide to Cemetery Research--OP

  2. If by "Your Guide to the Federal Census-" you mean the Hinckley book then I'm pretty sure it's not out-of-print,

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  4. mccainkw, the books you listed are all available at, which has a marvelous listing of books relating to genealogy. It is my first place to go when I'm looking for a genealogy book, or any other one, for that matter. :)


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