Thursday, July 2, 2015

Ancestry.com News Ketchup, 2 July 2015

Ancestry Insider KetchupI’m way behind on Ancestry.com articles. Time to ketchup…

Bullet Ancestry.comFollowing close on the heals of the announced availability of AncestryDNA in Australia and New Zealand came news that AncestryDNA is now available in Canada. (See “Now Connect to Your DNA Cousins in Canada and Australia” on the Ancestry Blog.) The AncestryDNA database has grown to more than 850,000 people. (Family Tree DNA boasts 737,664 records as I write this, while 23andMe recently announced it has over a million.)

Bullet Ancestry.comAccording to a story on Mirror.co.uk, AncestryDNA has done a study of birth rates and census data and calculated the average numbers of cousins Brits each have. A typical resident of Britain has five first cousins, 28 second cousins, 175 third, 1,570 fourth, 17,300 fifth, and 174,000 sixth cousins. That sums to an average of 193,000 living, close relatives. Ancestry’s Brad Argent points out that we probably come into contact with these relatives daily with no knowledge of it.

Only five first cousins? I have 30. I venture to say that trend continues up and down my family tree. How many living relatives do you think I have?

Bullet Ancestry.comIn a recent blog article, Ancestry explained a little more about Historical Insights. Historical Insights are items about historical events sprinkled throughout the LifeStory of a person in your Ancestry Member Tree. (See “Ancestry.com Releases Historical Insights.”) Historical Insights are like hints. They may be relevant, they may not. Click the Review button and select Keep or Ignore. Only two Insight hints appear on the timeline at once. You must keep or ignore them to see more.

Bullet Ancestry.comAndy Orin of the Lifehacker blog interviewed Crista Cowan to learn what it is like to be a professional genealogist. Some of my favorite quotes:

  • “As a genealogist, I spend the majority of my time researching, both online[,] and offline in libraries, archives and courthouses that hold documents yet to be digitized and placed online.”
  • “One misconception people often have about my job is that it is easy for anyone to get started in family history.”
  • “Family history is really a journey of discovery, not a sprint to see who has the most ancestors.”
  • “By attending a conference, it will quickly be apparent to you that you don’t know what you don’t know.”

Crista says that Ancestry has 16 billion historical records and is adding 2 million every day. Read a transcript of the interview, “Career Spotlight: What I Do as a Genealogist,” on the Lifehacker blog.

Bullet Ancestry.comHere’s an item that’s been sitting in my inbox since April, waiting for me to have time to write about it. Now, I only have time for a brief mention. Ancestry released an Apple Watch App. Doesn’t this look cool?

The Ancestry Apple Watch app

Okay, it doesn’t look all that practical to buy an Apple watch just to be notified about which ancestor was born today or to learn that someone just posted a photo of Uncle Harold. For a tiny bit more information, see “Family History on Your Wrist: Introducing Ancestry’s Apple Watch App” on the Ancestry Blog.

Bullet Ancestry.comI found something on the Ancestry website that made me smile. On your profile page you can specify your occupation, or at least your field. Given that most every professional genealogist in America has an Ancestry subscription, “Genealogist” and “Genealogy” may be the most prevalent occupation and field of all their subscribers.

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Well, I think I’m just about caught up!

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