Thursday, September 23, 2010

It's Not to Late to Register for the October Workshop

It's not too late to register for the October workshop with Thomas MacEntee! Please send in your registration form (which you can download here - it will open with Microsoft Word) with a check to EWGS, PO Box 1826, Spokane, WA 99210-1826 as soon as possible! I would like to be able to give our caterer, Apple Spice Junction, a head count for the box lunches on Monday, September 27th.

If you choose NOT to preregister, you may register at the door at 8:30 on Saturday morning; HOWEVER, please bring your own lunch or plan to go out to grab lunch during the lunch hour, as ONLY those who PREREGISTER will be getting a box lunch from Apple Spice Junction.

Some other things to keep in mind:
  • Bring your laptop, netbook, smartphone or whichever device with which you prefer to access the Internet. This is a workshop, and you may wish to follow Thomas' step-by-step directions in reading or building a blog, accessing Google Docs, or using Facebook for genealogy!
  • If you are an EWGS member, you can come to Friday evening's presentation, "Building a Research Toolbox," for free. This will be from 6:30 to 8:00 PM in the library meeting rooms on the first floor.
  • You will need to park in River Park Square or some other lot/parking garage instead of the library basement, because that lot will not be open the same hours as our workshop meetings.
I know that you will thoroughly enjoy Thomas, as he is an engaging and enthusiastic presenter and is very good at explaining technology in an easy-to-understand way. For those of you who would like to start a blog or have considered creating a genealogy website (a blog is a much-easier to create alternative to a website), you won't want to miss the two presentations on blogs. If you've ever felt intimidated by technology or thought, "How on earth would that relate to genealogy?", then this workshop is definitely for you!  I look forward to seeing you all there!

If you have any questions, please e-mail Miriam Robbins Midkiff. to Acquire iArchives

Press release from announcing plans to buy iArchives, which includes

Leading Brand for American Historical Content

PROVO, Utah, September 23, 2010 – Inc. (Nasdaq: ACOM) announced today it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire iArchives, Inc. and its branded Web site,, a leading American History Web site, for approximately $27 million in a mix of stock, cash and assumption of liabilities. This acquisition will provide the company with a complementary consumer brand, expanded content offerings, and enhanced digitization and image-viewing technologies.

iArchives digitizes and delivers high-quality images of American historical records of individuals involved in the Revolutionary War, Continental Congress, Civil War, and other US historical events to subscribers interested in early American roots. iArchives has digitized more than 65 million original source documents to date through its proprietary digitization process for paper, microfilm and microfiche collections.

“ is highly complementary to’s online family history offering,” said Tim Sullivan, President and Chief Executive Officer of “By promoting Footnote to our Ancestry audience, we hope to expand its reach among researchers who care about early American records. iArchives also brings outstanding image-viewing technology and content digitization capabilities that will improve our leadership position in bringing valuable historical records to the market. We welcome the iArchives team to the family.”

Upon completion of the transaction, iArchives will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of As part of the transaction, currently expects to issue approximately 1.0 million shares of common stock. The transaction is subject to various closing conditions and is expected to close early in the fourth quarter of 2010. also announced today that its Board of Directors has approved a share repurchase program of up to approximately $25 million of its common stock. Under the authorization, share repurchases may be made by the Company from time to time in the open market or through privately negotiated transactions depending on market conditions, share price and other factors and may include accelerated or forward or similar stock repurchases and/or Rule 10b5-1 plans. Part of the rationale for the repurchase is to offset dilution of equity resulting from the iArchives acquisition. No time limit was set for the completion of this program. The share repurchase program may be modified or discontinued at any time by the Board of Directors.

About Inc. (Nasdaq: ACOM) is the world's largest online family history resource, with approximately 1.3 million paying subscribers. More than 5 billion records have been added to the site in the past 13 years. Ancestry users have created more than 19 million family trees containing over 1.9 billion profiles. has local Web sites directed at nine countries, including its flagship Web site at

About iArchives
iArchives is a leading digitization service provider that also operates, a subscription Web site that features searchable original documents, providing over 35,000 paying subscribers with a view of the events, places and people that shaped the American nation and the world. At, all are invited to come share, discuss, and collaborate on their discoveries with friends, family, and colleagues. For more information, visit

Forward-looking Statements
This press release contains forward-looking statements. These statements relate to future events or to future financial performance and involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties, and other factors that may cause our actual results, levels of activity, performance, or achievements to be materially different from those anticipated in these forward-looking statements. In some cases, you can identify forward-looking statements by the use of words such as "appears," "may," "designed," "expect," "intend," "focus," "seek," "anticipate," "believe," "estimate," "predict," "potential," "should," "continue" or "work" or the negative of these terms or other comparable terminology. These statements include statements concerning among other things, the proposed transaction between and iArchives, Inc., including the consummation and anticipated timing of the transaction as well as the expected benefits of the proposed transaction, and the effects of the proposed transaction on, our subscriber base, our reach, our activities to enhance subscribers' experience, our business outlook, our leadership position and our opportunities and prospects for growth. These forward-looking statements are based on information available to us as of the date of this press release. Forward-looking statements involve a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated by these forward-looking statements. Such risks and uncertainties include a variety of factors, some of which are beyond our control. In particular, such risks and uncertainties include the risk that the transaction does not close when anticipated, or at all; difficulties encountered in integrating acquired businesses and retaining customers, and the additional difficulty of integration when continuing the acquired operation; the adverse impact of competitive product announcements; failure to achieve anticipated revenues and operating performance; changes in overall economic conditions; the loss of key employees; competitors’ actions; pricing and gross margin pressures; inability to control costs and expenses; and significant litigation.

Information concerning additional factors that could cause results to differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements is contained under the caption "Risk Factors" in our Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarterly period ended June 30, 2010, and in discussions in other of our SEC filings.

These forward-looking statements should not be relied upon as representing our views as of any subsequent date and we assume no obligation to publicly update or revise these forward-looking statements for any reason, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Spokane Area Legacy Users Group to Meet Wednesday, September 15th

If you are a Legacy Family Tree genealogy software user, or are simply curious about this genealogy software program, you may be interested in the Legacy Users Group (LUG), which will meet next Wednesday, September 15th, from 1:30 to 3:30 PM in the meeting room of the Shadle Park Branch of the Spokane Public Library at 2111 W. Wellesley. Regular attendees will take turns in the role of moderator for each meeting. If you have more questions, please contact Donna Potter Phillips here.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Why Should Genealogical Societies Have Facebook Pages?

If you read my earlier post, you'll know that Eastern Washington Genealogical Society recently added a Facebook page. You may be wondering, "Why should EWGS--or any society for that matter--have a Facebook page?"

Facebook is one of the fastest growing social media websites on the Internet. By social media, we mean a way that people connect with one another. It is a free way of getting EWGS publicized to our community and to the world. Suppose you lived in another part of the country and had ancestors that lived in Eastern Washington? By doing a search on Facebook, you could connect with EWGS and find out about our society. Others who are merely curious will find a Brief History of EWGS (written by Bette Topp) and our society objectives listed on the Facebook page. I'll bet that in the past, only EWGS members knew our history and objectives. Now everyone on Facebook can know and discover what an amazing society EWGS is! There are links to our site and to this blog as well, and soon we'll have photos up of our Walking with the Ancestors cemetery tour from July.

Since you now know about EWGS having a page on Facebook, you might discover a society Facebook page in one of your ancestral locations as well! I searched for "genealogical society" in Facebook's search engine and came up with 396 societies besides our own. I also searched for "genealogy society" and came up with 19 results. When I searched for "historical society," it yielded over 500 pages!

Many people are becoming interested in genealogy, especially with television shows such as PBS's "Faces of America," NBC's "Who Do You Think You Are?" and BYU-TV's "The Generations Project." We know that senior citizens are probably the age group with the most interest in genealogy (although younger age groups are also very interested!). Did you know that the senior citizens group is also the fastest-growing age group on Facebook? So--all those seniors, getting on Facebook to connect with their grandkids and old classmates and military buddies--they now can also connect with genealogy societies around the world through Facebook pages! It's a win-win situation!

Be sure to "Like" EWGS's Facebook page here or click on the link in the right-hand menu of this blog!

P.S. If you're not a Facebook user and/or you're wondering how else Facebook can be used for genealogy, you won't want to miss Thomas MacEntee's presentation, "Facebook for Genealogists," one of five presentations he's giving for our Annual October Workshop this coming October 1 and 2, 2010!

Written for the 4th Edition of the Carnival of Genealogical Societies: Genealogical Societies on Facebook.

EWGS Has a Facebook Page!

Check out EWGS's new Facebook page! Feel free to write on the wall or start a discussion. I'll be posting photos soon. You can also "Like" the new Facebook page right here on the blog by clicking on the word "Like" in EWGS's Facebook page logo in the right-hand menu.

ScotlandsPeople Has a Revamp as Part of New Contract Deal

Press release from ScotlandsPeople:


ScotlandsPeople has a revamp as part of new contract deal

Scotland's new-look genealogy website, has been officially launched today (Tuesday Sep 7) by the Scottish Government’s tourism minister Jim Mather.

The revamped ScotlandsPeople service is up and running and includes new search features designed to make it easier and quicker for people to discover their family roots.

This includes plotting search results on maps, helping those unfamiliar with Scottish geography - such as users overseas - understand more about Scotland and their ancestors.

Following the first revamp of the site since its launch in 2002, it now contains records dating back to when national records of births, deaths and marriages in Scotland first began in 1855. It also includes parish records, dating back as far as 1538, and other data, including wills and testaments and heraldry.  The new site offers advanced search functions, providing quicker results, as well as additional information from Catholic Parish Registers.

Chris van der Kuyl, chief executive of service provider brightsolid, said: "ScotlandsPeople now has nearly 80 million records and will continue to add new exciting data sets to what is, without doubt, a world-leading website.

“brightsolid is enormously proud of the fact that it has established a strong track record in publishing sites such as ScotlandsPeople, and has built a centre of excellence in this growing and popular genealogy market sector.

“We understand the community and we know how to innovate and develop online products for family history enthusiasts."

Mr Mather said: "Once again Scotland has proved that it can make available the key records for those who wish to trace their Scottish family history.  It is estimated that over 50 million people across the world claim Scottish ancestry, with ancestral tourism estimated to contribute £64 million annually to Scotland's economy.

“Following the success of the year of Homecoming, the improved ScotlandsPeople will help connect people to their ancestors and cement links between Scots overseas and their home country - encouraging them to come and walk in the footsteps of their ancestors and boost revenues in the Scottish economy."

Duncan Macniven, Registrar General for Scotland, said: "This is a great step forward in the ongoing improvement of the ScotlandsPeople website, which has over one million registered users. We are proud to have one of the most comprehensive sets of family history records. These changes will continue to make us one of the world leading websites for family history.  This creates a platform for the launch of the 1911 census in April 2011."

Monday, September 6, 2010

NGS Announces New Education Manager: Patricia Walls Stamm, CG, CGL

Press release from the National Genealogical Society:

The National Genealogical Society (NGS) announces the appointment of Patricia Walls Stamm, CG, CGL, of St. Louis, Missouri, as Education Manager. In her new position, Stamm will oversee the development of online education courses and will be responsible for keeping the current education courses updated as related to content and technology.

Stamm has an extensive background as an instructor at the St. Louis Community College, the St. Louis Genealogical Society, and the Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research in Birmingham, Alabama. She has served as conference program coordinator and education director for the St. Louis Genealogical Society. Stamm is a life member of the State Historical Society of Missouri and the St. Louis Genealogical Society. She received the St. Louis Genealogical Society President’s Award in May 2009 for work that led to an expanded educational program for the society.

Stamm holds a tested concentration of genealogical instruction from the Board for Certification of Genealogists and has lectured both locally and nationally. She is a published author with articles appearing in the NGS NewsMagazine, APG Quarterly, and Genealogical Computing. A member of the Association of Professional Genealogists and NGS, she currently chairs the NGS’ Rubincam Youth Award Committee.

Founded in 1903, the National Genealogical Society is dedicated to genealogy education, high research standards, and the preservation of genealogical records. The Arlington, Virginia-based nonprofit is the premier national society for everyone, from the beginner to the most advanced family historian, seeking excellence in publications, educational offerings, research guidance, and opportunities to interact with other genealogists. Please visit the NGS Pressroom for further information.

Family Tree DNA Questions Reporting about Hitler's Possible Jewish Origins

Press release from Family Tree DNA:

Houston, TX - September 1, 2010 - Family Tree DNA, the largest Y-chromosome testing organization for genealogy and ancestry purposes, announced today that the interpretation given by certain media outlets that Adolf Hitler's ancestry included possible Jewish relatives is highly questionable.  These reports were based on information released by Jean-Paul Mulders and historian Marc Vermeeren.  With a Y-chromosome database containing close to 200,000 samples from different populations, Family Tree DNA's Chief Y-DNA Scientist, Professor Michael Hammer said that "scientific studies as well as records from our own database make it clear that one cannot reach the kind of conclusion featured in the published articles.

Based on Family Tree DNA records, no more than 9% of the populations of Germany and Austria belong to the haplogroup E1b1b, and among those, the vast majority - about 80% -are not associated with Jewish ancestry.  "This data clearly show that just because one person belongs to the branch of the Y-chromosome referred to as haplogroup E1b1b, that does not mean the person is likely to be of Jewish ancestry," said Professor Hammer.

Mulders confirmed the misinterpretation of his account with the following statement to Family Tree DNA:  "I never wrote that Hitler was a Jew, or that he had a Jewish grandfather.  I only wrote that Hitler's haplogroup is E1b1b, being more common among Berbers, Somalian people and Jews than among overall Germans.  This, in order to convey that he was not exactly what during the Third Reich would have been called 'Aryan.'  All the rest are speculations of journalists who didn't even take the trouble to read my article, although I had it translated into English especially for this purpose."

Founded in April 2000, Family Tree DNA was the first company to develop the commercial application of DNA testing for genealogical purposes that had previously been available only for academic and scientific research. Today - with over 300,000 individual records in its Y-DNA and mtDNA databases - and a state-of-the-art Genomics Research Center in Houston, Texas, Family Tree is the prime source for anyone researching recent and distant family ties.

FGS Society Hall

Press release from the Federation of Genealogical Societies:

August 18, 2011
Knoxville, TN

The Federation of Genealogical Societies, a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation headquartered in Austin, Texas, announces the re-launch today of the popular Society Hall at its website at

Society Hall is an informational database accessible on the Internet that can be used to locate FGS member organizations in the U.S. and abroad. This includes genealogical societies, historical societies, family associations, libraries, archives, and genealogical vendors serving the genealogical community. Thousands of people searching for information about these organizations visit Society Hall each month.

Every FGS Member society has a Society Hall listing at that it can edit and maintain.  With the re-launching of the service, FGS has updated Society Hall listings with details from its member database. There are many fields that can be used to promote information about your organization. In addition to name, address, telephone and email, a link can be added to the organization’s website. Membership benefits and dues can be listed, as can periodicals and publications, a calendar of events, services, and pioneer/certification programs.

Member societies can access the site to edit their listing’s content using an ID and password. FGS will be sending these to all Member Societies in good standing via email immediately following the conclusion of its 2010 Conference being held this week in Knoxville, Tennessee. In addition, the ID and password will become the access key to the Members Only area of the FGS website and other content there. FGS has developed the single ID and password scheme in response to members’ requests. previously hosted Society Hall at its site. FGS has now taken over hosting responsibilities for Society Hall at its own website.

Boston Family History Day 2010

Press release from and the New England Historic Genealogical Society: and the New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) have once again collaborated to present Boston Family History Day 2010 -- Saturday, October 16, 2010, at the Seaport World Trade Center, in Boston, Massachusetts.

This full-day event will help you start or hone your genealogical skills:
  •  More than 12 family history classes designed to help you grow your tree and learn more about NEHGS and resources
  •  Chances to meet one-on-one with professional genealogists
  •  A beginner’s track where your family and friends can learn the basics to start their own research
  •  Opportunities to have photos and documents scanned on high-speed scanners
  •  NEHGS and experts on hand to answer your questions
  •  And much more!
Register today to attend Family History Day 2010 in Boston! The cost for attendance is only $38 for the full day. To learn more about Boston Family History Day 2010 – including class, scanning and consultation offerings, visit We hope to see you there!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Life Stories of Ellis Island Immigrants Now Available Online for the First Time at

More than 1,700 first-hand audio recordings now available for free online

PROVO, Utah, September 1, 2010— announced today it has launched a collection of more than 1,700 recorded oral histories from immigrants who arrived in the United States through Ellis Island. This is the first time this collection of poignant recordings has been available online. To celebrate the new addition, is making its entire U.S. Immigration Collection free through Labor Day.

“As immigrants created new lives in the U.S., the stories of their homelands and their remarkable journeys to America were often lost,” said Christopher Tracy, senior vice president of global content for “We are thrilled to offer people the opportunity to hear the voices of their ancestors sharing stories of their lives.”

Ellis Island was the gateway for millions of immigrants between 1892 and 1954. The oral histories were captured by the National Park Service starting in the 1970s, and contain uniquely inspiring first-hand accounts recalling the lives these immigrants left behind, their reasons for leaving and their incredible and often-trying journeys to America. These recordings are housed at the Ellis Island Immigration Museum and until now could be heard only by visitors to the Island itself. In addition to oral histories from immigrants, the collection also includes recordings from military personnel who were stationed on Ellis Island and former Ellis Island/Statue of Liberty workers.

“To our family it is important that we in the U.S. know the origin of the people who came to this country, settled here and made it what it is today. It makes us very proud to know that our mother was part of this,” said Yvonne Rumac, daughter of oral history participant Estelle Belford, who immigrated to the United States from Romania via Ellis Island in 1905.

Other Records Added to the U.S. Immigration Collection:
The Ellis Island Oral Histories are the latest addition to, which boasts the world’s largest online collection of U.S. immigration records. Comprised of more than 170 million records, the U.S. Immigration Collection includes lists of passengers who immigrated by ship to America between 1820 and 1960, including those who came through Ellis Island; more than 7 million citizenship and naturalization records; border crossings, passport applications and more to help reconstruct our ancestors’ journeys and early lives in America. has also added nearly 2 million new U.S. naturalization record indexes, thanks to the many individuals who are part of the World Archives Project –a community effort aimed at transcribing historical records. The indexes span 11 states (AK, CA, CT, HI, LA, ME, MT, NY, PA, TN, WA) and will provide Americans greater opportunity to learn more about their ancestors’ citizenship experience.

In addition, has added nearly 2 million records documenting crew members on ships who arrived in the port of Boston. The records were added to an existing collection of over 3.8 million records from Boston Passenger and Crew Lists, 1820-1943.

To honor our nation’s immigrant heritage, has opened up its entire U.S. Immigration Collection so that it can be searched free through Labor Day. The Ellis Island Oral History Collection will remain permanently free on

To begin exploring your family’s journey to America, visit

About Inc. Inc. (Nasdaq: ACOM) is the world's largest online family history resource, with more than one million paying subscribers. More than 5 billion records have been added to the site in the past 13 years. Ancestry users have created more than 18 million family trees containing over 1.8 billion profiles. has local Web sites directed at nine countries, including its flagship Web site at