Thursday, May 10, 2012

Tidbits from Ancestry's event last night

For some reason Ol' Myrt here couldn't post via Twitter or TweetDeck on her iPhone, but as your dedicated, intrepid reporter, I managed to make these real-time postings to my Facebook page last night during the Ancestry gathering last night. Did I say it was last night?

Anything to get the word out to my DearREADERS.

Ancestry states PA church and town records 1708-1985 now online. [Almost immediately, this post received the following comments:]
  • Russ Worthington: Myrt, I have found my mother's Baptism record, and her Parents Wedding Record, from the Church I attended, and stopped by when I was taking 1940 House Pictures. I think I blogged about the Baptismal Record.
  • Pat O'Donnell Kuhn:  I have found a good number of records I needed from this collection.
  • Nick M. Gombash: I remember your post, Russ Worthington. I had found my great-grandfather's brother-in-law's baptism in Pittsburgh in this database. It actually listed the place of birth for his parents in Hungary. An amazing set of records!
Fielded city directories indexing is smarter than OCR. It takes into account the ditto marks where your search terms for first and last name are separated by say 15 lines:
Johnson, Adam
" Andrew
" Charles
" Mathew
" Neal
" Taylor
" William

Ancestry demoing the beta interactive census view. Love the highlights. Also the headers and locking rows only the latter available currently. Also like pop-ups that explain fields and are providing deductions about the field contents for researchers. [Great for training newbie researchers, and those new to this type of record.]

3 million downloads of Ancestry App. They are working in adding family view.

Ancestry added (1) hints, (2) individual doc purchase (for non subscribers ) and (3) working on mobile app family view.  [Almost immediately, received this feedback:]
  • Rick Koelz: Thanks, Pat for this information. Since I wasn't able to attend NGS this year, I was looking forward to picking up some of the news and wisdom from the Twitter stream. But most of the Twitter traffic coming out of NGS has been vendor promotions and logistical facts from attendees.
Notes to self:
  • Ancestry's London Tax collection... Must start using.
  • Wondering what the London electoral records are all about?
Ancestry has been ramping up hints and providing hints for the first time on people you DON'T yet have in your Ancestry Member Tree.
  • Almost immediately, Peter Reilly said: So that's why the hints have been so weird lately!

Ancestry isn't thinking of supporting sharing API for syncing trees to other software. Basically, Eric said he didn't think there would be enough interest in this to justify the effort to staff, etc..

Cannot help responding to that last item.

Ancestry might do well to recognize there are other worthwhile genealogy management programs out there. Why expect people to switch to Family Tree Maker to just to sync to their Ancestry Member Trees? Opening up the syncing API to all software vendors provides more "doors" for people get in "the house" known as Just saying...

Personally my Ancestry Member Tree has pointed Ol' Myrt here to several valuable collaborations with previously unknown cousins working the same lines many generations back in time. The shaky leaf also has pointed me to digital document collections I wouldn't have discovered without the suggestions.

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt     :)
Your friend in genealogy.

Twitter: @DearMYRTLE
G+: +Pat Richley-Erickson
Second Life: Clarise Beaumont