Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Ancestry Product Announcements

I enjoyed the presentation tonight to a room full of Ancestry members and genealogy observers. CEO Tim Sullivan led it off with brief comments, and then Eric Shoup, Senior Vice-President of Content, described the responsibilities of his Content function and then made three significant product announcements. They were:

1) The Search function was recently enhanced to permit browsing by collection and location, and to permit location and name filters, restrict searches to certain collections and extended wild card capability. New search forms, browsing by places (including specific counties within states), browsing by category, and listing of recent searches will be phased in over time. You can see the new search capabilities at

2) An Wiki is in beta development and is available now at - the first resources online are from the books The Source and RedBook that are excellent standard genealogy reference books. This will be a wiki that persons can contribute to and hopes to build a range of how-to pages. This will be FREE for everyone to use as an educational tool.

3) will release Family Tree Maker 2010 for the Macintosh before the end of 2010. It will have all of the functionality of the Windows version of FTM 2010 - including Web Search and GEDCOM upload/download to This was announced on the blog today in Family Tree Maker for the Mac! - see that post for more details. My initial thought was that this will be serious competition for Reunion genealogy software.

Some interesting facts today from Tim and Eric:

* The Tree-To-Go application on the iPhone has had over 175,000 downloads.

* Old Search is used 22% of the time and New Search is used 78% of the time. There was no indication that Old Search would be eliminated.

* Ancestry has about 700 total employees, of which 40 are in Product and 200 in Technology. The balance are in Content, Marketing and other functions (not broken down with numbers).


Anonymous said...

I am glad to see that FTM will be available for the mac. I recently switched to the mac and I don't care for Reunion. I have been continuing to use FTM on my PC lap top and Legacy. I didn't want to set up Bootcamp or Parallels.
I use Legacy for MRIN numbers because I organize using Karen Clifford system.
I just may go back to FTM when it becomes available.

Tamura Jones said...

One can only hope that FTM for MacOS is a full rewrite and that the embarrassingly poor Windows product will be replaced by something based on the new, better
code base. I shudder to think that the MacOS version could be based on a port of their current .NET code through Rotor or Mono.
It would be nice if FTM finally supported decade old standards like UTF-8, ahnnenlist and a correct GEDCOM header.
The announcement does hint at a cross-platform strategy (the usual attempt at Total World Domination) that may see introduce FTM for more platforms, such as iPhone OS or Linux.