The National Genealogical Society’s annual family history conference is happening now through May 7 in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Here’s a quickupdate with news from the conference:
- Dr. Connie Lester, associate professor at the University of Central Florida, gave the opening presentation this morning. Her focus is on folks almost all of us have in our family trees: ordinary, everyday farmers. The Ancestry Insider has a good overview of her talk and project to preserve the stories of Central Florida farmers.
- Genealogy website Findmypast has published the next huge installment of its US marriage collection, containing more than 10 million records with an estimated 45 million names—nearly 4 million of which have never before been published and can be found only on Findmypast. This latest addition includes many records from Indiana, New York, Illinois, Pennsylvania and Maine.
When complete, the collection will contain at least 100 million records and more than 450 million names from 2,800 counties across the United States. (NGS members get Findmypast access with their membership.) Learn more about the collection on the Findmypast blog.
- AncestryDNA announced updated, improved matching that looks for longer segments of DNA shared between individuals. This means you might see some matches drop off your list or ranked lower in confidence. If you’ve starred or noted matches that no longer appear on your match list, you can download the info by following these instructions. Read more about the new matching on the Ancestry Blog.
- MyHeritage shared a touching story of how the site’s head of genealogy helped reunite brothers whose family was separated in the Holocaust. The international search involved concentration camp records, records at the Yad Vashem Holocaust remembrance center in Israel, genealogical resources in Canada and more. Read more details about the search on the MyHeritage blog. (Family Tree Magazine‘s December 2015 article on researching records of the Holocaust is available here.)
- Our friend Drew Smith received the Filby Award for Genealogical Librarianship during the NGS conference Library Day yesterday. Smith is a librarian at University of South Florida Tampa Library, cohost of the Genealogy Guys podcast, genealogy instructor, and author of several books (including Organize Your Genealogy, coming in June from Family Tree Books).