Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Insider Ketchup for 23 August 2011

Ancestry Insider KetchupI’m way behind on Ancestry.com news stories. Time to ketchup.

Ancestry.com BulletAncestry.com has announced its plans for Footnote.com. As some surmised, it is being retargeted as a military history website. Ancestry.com is renaming it www.fold3.com. “The Fold3 name is derived from the third fold in a traditional military flag folding ceremony,” said Ancestry.com, “which ‘is made in honor and remembrance of the veteran departing our ranks who gave a portion of his or her life for the defense of our country to attain peace throughout the world.’”

Ancestry.com will retain Footnote’s current non-military content, according to spokesperson, Heather Erickson. “However we do currently have some 3rd party content on Footnote (mainly newspapers) that could be removed in the future at the content owner's discretion.”

If I understand Corporate-Speak correctly, that translates as, “Newspapers will go away when our contract expires unless the owner gives us a screamin good contract extension.”

Ancestry.com BulletAncestry.com announced last week that it will make the 1940 U.S. Federal Census available for free from the time they release it until the end of 2013. By that time FamilySearch will have it available for free.

If both Ancestry.com and FamilySearch are making the index available for free, I wonder if there is any chance they will combine their efforts. It’s a crying shame if they redo each others’ work. That’s especially true if you are an Ancestry.com subscribing, FamilySearch Indexing, tithe paying member of FamilySearch sponsor, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. You will pay for the 1940 census thrice: once with your subscription dollars, once with your tithing dollars, and once with your indexing hours.

Ancestry.com BulletDick Eastman pointed out Ancestry.com’s help wanted ad for “computational biologists.” It looks like Ancestry.com is trying to find a way to better leverage DNA data. I have friends in product development at Ancestry.com, so I was offended on their behalf that this new position will be “analyzing data and members of the product development team.”

Just how does a computational biologist analyze a product developer, I wonder.

Ancestry.com BulletOn the first of this month Michael Hait, a professional genealogist, created the Ancestry Errors Wiki where you can record errors you find on Ancestry.com and other genealogy websites. “I would like to invite all genealogists to visit the site and add any errors of which they are aware,” said Hait. “Only with all of our help will this site be a successful and useful resource.” Hait said the site is for errors other than indexing errors, since Ancestry.com already allows users to fix indexing errors. For more information, see “Introducing the ‘Ancestry Errors Wiki.”

Ancestry.com BulletIf it weren’t for an article by DearMYRTLE, I would have missed an announcement from Ancestry.com’s Tony Macklin: “With regard to the existing collections, we expect to be reviewing these [source information statements] as part of an ongoing content improvement project over the coming months, and will aim to adjust these source information statements at that time.”

What, exactly, will Ancestry.com do to improve their source statements? The only specific Macklin mentioned was the addition of “Reproduced by permission” to books they republish under license from HeritageQuest.

Ancestry.com BulletAncestry.com recently released a database titled, “USHMM: Munich, Germany, Displaced Jewish Children at the Ulm Children's Home, 1945-1948.” The prefix, USHMM, stands for United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, which collaborated with Ancestry.com in the production of the database. This is the second time Ancestry.com has used a prefix to set off a category of databases. The first was “Web” for Ancestry Web Search databases. (See “Ancestry.com launches Web Search.”) Speaking of which…

Ancestry.com BulletAncestry.com released eight new Ancestry Web Search databases on Friday, all with Netherlands records in Dutch. The eight doubled the number of Web Search databases. The 16 databases contain almost 24 million records.

These are the 16 databases:



Web: Rootsweb Obituary Index


Web: Netherlands, Genlias Death Index, 1796-1960 (in Dutch)


Web: Netherlands, Genlias Marriage Index, 1795-1944 (in Dutch)


Web: Marion County, Indiana Marriages since 1925


Web: Netherlands, Dutch East India Company Passenger Lists to India, 1699-1794 (in Dutch)


Web: RootsWeb Marriage Records Index


Web: Green-Wood Cemetery, Brooklyn, New York


Web: The Hague, Netherlands, Marriages 1811-1931 (in Dutch)


Web: Netherlands, Genlias Baptism Index, 1811-1902 (in Dutch)


Web: Kent County, Michigan School Census 1903-1925


Web: The Hague, Netherlands, Deaths 1811-1956 (in Dutch)


Web: Grand Traverse County, Michigan Marriages


Web: The Hague, Netherlands, Births, 1811-1906 (in Dutch)


Web: Allen County, Indiana Deaths 1870-1920


Web: The Hague, Netherlands, Divorces 1812-1931 (in Dutch)


Web: Alabama Coal Mine Fatalities 1898-1938


1 comment:

  1. When Ancestry said they would have the 1940 census available free, I assumed just the images. Do you suppose they anticipate that creating the index will take until the end of 2013 and by then they will be charging for it?


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