January 2012 Genealogy Insider News

January 2012 Genealogy Insider News

The latest news from the world of genealogy.

Family Fiesta

Nearly 30 million Americans—about 10 percent of the US population—can trace their families a little further back in time with the addition of the 1930 Mexico National Census (El Quinto Censo General de Población y Vivienda 1930, México) to Ancestry.com and FamilySearch.org.

With nearly 13 million records, the 1930 census—Mexico’s only publicly available enumeration—counted an estimated 90 percent of the population. (The records don’t include citizens from the Federal District, of which Mexico City is part, due to undercounting and losses.) Besides name, age, gender, birthplace, address and marital status for residents, censustakers also recorded nationality, religion, whether marriages were civil or religious, occupation, real estate holdings, literacy and any physical or mental defects.

The two sites’ collections are a result of a partnership that had FamilySearch volunteers—more than 22,000 over four years—transcribing information from the census records.

Mergers and Acquisitions

Family network website MyHeritage.com has acquired BackupMyTree, the free backup service for family tree data that launched a year ago.

BackUpMyTree automatically finds family tree files on your computer and creates a remote backup. It’s compatible with major genealogy applications such as Family Tree Maker, Legacy Family Tree, Personal Ancestral File and RootsMagic.

So far, BackUpMyTree is storing more than 9 terabytes of genealogists’ data. MyHeritage.com will continue to support the backup service and keep it free.

It’s not MyHeritage’s first purchase from BackUpMyTree creator Cliff Shaw: In 2007, MyHeritage acquired Shaw’s SmartMatching technology and the Family Tree Legacies program and records site. Shaw will focus on genealogy search engine Mocavo.com.

Another Census Source

In what subscription genealogy site Archives.com CEO Matthew Monahan calls a “game-changer” for genealogists, the site is adding indexes and record images for the entire US federal census, 1790 to 1930.

Indexes for all the censuses and some images are available now, with more images still being added, says spokesperson Julie Hill. The addition brings Archives.com, which launched in July 2009, into more-direct competition with industry leader Ancestry.com. Until now, Ancestry.com was the only site providing access to all extant US census records and document images.

Archives.com also is introducing a new, Flash-based image viewer that lets users zoom in, adjust contrast, invert colors and more (a basic image viewer will be an option for computers without Flash).

As part of the effort, Archives.com reached an agreement with FamilySearch—the source of the census records—to dedicate a minimum of $5 million to digitizing genealogy records that aren’t currently online. Anne Roach, who chaired FamilySearch’s 2011 RootsTech conference, joined Archives.com to lead the census project.

Archives.com will keep its subscription price at $39.95 “for the time being,” Hill says. “That’s one-eighth the price of an Ancestry.com World membership. If you compare the subscriptions on a line-by-line basis, its remarkable how many high-value collections are available for one-eighth the price.”

150 Years Ago in Civil War America

Jan. 26, 1862: In General War Order No. 1, President Abraham Lincoln designates Feb. 22, 1862, “the day for a general movement of the Land and Naval forces of the United States against the insurgent forces.” Meant to spur Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan, commander of the federal armies, to formulate a plan of attack, the directive was ignored.

» Life in Civil War America by Michael O. Varhola


From the January 2012 issue of Family Tree Magazine

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