Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Beware the Ides of March 2016 News Ketchup

Ancestry Insider Ketchup“Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears.”

Bullet Ancestry.comAncestry.com forecasted that RootsWeb would be back online about 15 March 2106 (today). I prognosticated it would take longer. Looks like I was mostly wrong as most of RootsWeb is back online. Since I write these articles on the weekend, I can’t give you the current status, but here’s what it was last Saturday:

Since Ancestry isn’t using the established RootsWeb status page (mirrored here), to check availability you must select each URL individually.

Bullet Ancestry.comAncestry DNA is on sale for $89 (a 10% savings), plus shipping and tax. The sale lasts through 17 March 2016. Visit http://dna.ancestry.com for more information.

FamilySearch tree bulletAccording to the US National Archives and Records Administration: “OUR COLLEAGUES AT FAMILYSEARCH.ORG HAVE RECENTLY FINISHED DIGITIZING AND putting online a new original series that will be of interest to genealogists and historians alike—the Massachusetts, Salem, and Beverly Crew Lists and Shipping Articles. This is the first time these records have been captured on microfilm or digitally. The series consists of three original collections from the National Archives at Boston:

FamilySearch combined these three collections as “Massachusetts, Salem and Beverly Crew Lists and Shipping Articles, 1797-1934.” Salem and Beverly were a large port in the early history of the country, so if you have New England roots, you might have relatives in the collection.

FamilySearch tree bulletFamilySearch is updating the FamilySearch Research Wiki this week. To avoid losing any contribution made during the update, editing is not this week. If you wish to contribute to the wiki—which I hope you do regularly—please come back after 9:00am, 21 March 2016. Concerning the update, FamilySearch has said:

  • “All information will be kept and put in the new upgraded version of the wiki.
  • Navigation will change from the right side of the screen to the left.
  • Country and State pages will be redesigned for better use.  This redesign will occur as close to the time of the new release as possible, but may not be completed when the upgrade takes place.
  • The URL for the Wiki on the FamilySearch.org website will be changed for better usability
  • The Rich Text editor will be replaced with Visual Editor.
  • The upgraded version of the Wiki will be editable in all browsers including Chrome.”

FamilySearch tree bulletFamilySearch is hoping to add a feature to Family Tree called Family Projects that will allow users to share living persons in the tree. This allows sharing of documents, pictures, and stories and makes it so families don’t have to reenter each other into Family Tree over and over. Currently, living persons are not shared as is most of the tree. Ron Tanner explains it in a short blurb (1:32) on YouTube.

BulletTreeThe Ancestry Insider is a member of the Official Social Media Press for the NGS 2016 Family History Conference.The National Genealogical Society has announced that it will live stream ten lectures from its 2016 Family History Conference, which will be held 4-7 May 2016, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. “Details of the live streaming program can be found on the NGS Conference website. NGS members and others across the United States and overseas, who are unable to attend the conference in person, are invited to sign up for these live streaming broadcasts.”

People can sign up for either or both of two tracks of five lectures. Lectures can be viewed for three months after the conference. I know some attendees at last year’s conference bought the streaming lectures for viewing after the conference. The broadcasted lecturers are among the best, so their classes fill quickly onsite. If you can view them after the conference, that frees you up to attend other conference sessions.

One other thing: Remember that the conference discounted Early Bird registration will close on 31 March 2016.

Bullet Ancestry.comAs Kendall Hulet indicated at RootsTech that it was coming, Ancestry has released a feature allowing users to choose a color scheme other than the much maligned funeral colors first released with New Ancestry. For more information, see “Ancestry Product Update: Tree Color Preferences” on the Ancestry Blog.

Bullet Ancestry.comAncestry recently posted their monthly “What’s New at Ancestry” video, March 2016 edition, on YouTube. Crista Cowan talks about conferences Ancestry will be attending this spring and summer, new site changes, product announcements, and new record collections released last month (28 million records). New product features include Continue Searching and LifeStory and Facts View tutorials. New product announcement concerns the availability of Ancestry DNA in 29 additional countries, new course offerings in Ancestry Academy. and desktop support for Family Tree Maker and RootsMagic. Some of the new collections mentioned are

  • “U.S., Definitive List of Slaves and Property, 1827-1828”
  • “Alberta, Canada Homestead Records, 1870-1930”
  • “California, Mortuary Records of Chinese Decedents”
  • “Sydney, Australia Cemetery Headstones, 1867-2002”
  • Two United Methodist Church collections
  • Ireland, Catholic Parish Registers, 1655-1915”
  • “U.S., Selected States Dutch Reformed Church Membership Records, 1701-1995”

That clears out much of my inbox. I hope it made sense, because “it was Greek to me.”


  1. I received a bunch of Message Board Mail List Digests just after 4 am this morning, March 15, 2016. Last time I received one was February 24, 2016.


    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. I still cannot FTP to free pages so their ftp server is still down.

  3. Right. FTP to homepages.rootsweb.ancestry.com is down. That means that financial supporters of the original RootsWeb cannot access their unique "homepages" websites to add, edit or remove information.

    1. FTP to homepages.rootsweb.ancestry.com is now functioning properly.

  4. Yup, mailing lists sent a bunch of *old* messages, possibly clearing out a cache.

  5. The homepages group wasn't mentioned in your list. I just checked my website at http://homepages.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~syafam/
    It has been down along with other Rootsweb sites. I just tested it and it worked.

  6. FTP to homepages.rootsweb.ancestry.com is still down.

  7. FreePages FTP Server is still down. CS will not say if this problem will ever be corrected. As a subscriber to Ancestry.com World Service, Fold3, Newspapers.com and as a purchaser to 6 Ancestry DNA tests, I am deeply disappointed in this situation.


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