Other major genealogy websites also are undertaking efforts to help searchers find obituaries. Findmypast.com has a treasure trove of British, Irish and Scottish papers, which include an estimated 3 to 6 million obituaries. Product manager Ian Tester says the company is working on projects to index them and to improve the recognition of names via OCR. “We’ll be introducing more search features shortly to enable filtering by articles that have been specifically identified as family notices,” he says.
Janet Duval Fortunato
5 Questions With Ross Allred
It’s a fun and growing industry. I enjoy working in a business that benefits people, rather than just selling goods and services. Hearing about people’s family discoveries is so rich and rewarding.
I see people who are very passionate about what they do. The number of volunteers in this world—whether they’re indexing or helping other family historians in their genealogy communities—is fascinating and wonderful to me. Helping genealogists make new discoveries directly or indirectly is very satisfying.
I think so, but there are still barriers. I see people showing interest in their 30s and 40s. But different seasons of life allow you to do different things. It’s still around retirement age that many people find the time and the means to do genealogy.
Yes. More and more sites have developed very strong niches. The overall competition is healthy, and as everyone gets better and better at what they’re doing, it will give genealogists the very best products possible.
I didn’t have it at first. Then we took a family trip to an ancestral hometown in Illinois. My wife and I realized our ancestors lived within a few blocks of each other and more than likely knew each other. As I was walking the land, it felt like my ancestors were there with me. There was a strong connection that I’ve never felt before. That’s why genealogy is growing at such a fast pace—other people are having these same kinds of experiences.