“Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears.”
Ancestry.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:
- http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/ – Home page is up, including the message about the hardware failure.
- http://wc.rootsweb.ancestry.com/ – World Connect is up.
- http://helpdesk.rootsweb.com/FAQ/wcindex.html – Helpdesk pages are up.
- http://searches.rootsweb.ancestry.com/ – Most searches are up.
- http://bigfile.rootsweb.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/search – Search thingy is down.
- http://lists.rootsweb.ancestry.com/ – Mailing list website is down.
- Mailing list emails are ?? Anybody subscribed to a RootsWeb email list?
- http://boards.rootsweb.com/ – Message boards are up, but I don't think they use the RootsWeb servers so they probably never went down.
- http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/ – Freepages hosted websites are down. It has been long enough that Google has flushed these pages from its cache. You cannot use Google to find the URL of your websites in order to download them off the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine. However, Bing.com and Yahoo.com had not yet flushed their caches (as of Saturday). As a contingency plan in case Ancestry is not able to resurrect them, if you have a Freepages website and don’t already have a backup, I encourage you to use Bing or Yahoo quickly to get the URL for your website. You can then access it via the Internet Archives.
- http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~websites/ – Home pages hosted websites are up.
Ancestry 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.
According 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:
- Crew lists and returns of seamen for the Port of Salem and Beverly, compiled 1797–1818. National Archives Identifier 1600758
- Shipping articles for the Port of Salem and Beverly, 1810–1899. National Archives Identifier 1600870
- Crew lists for the Port of Salem and Beverly, 1787–1934. National Archives Identifier 1600759”
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 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 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.
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.
As 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.
Ancestry 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.”