Thursday, February 11, 2016

RootsTech 2016 Highlights: What's Coming for

I attended the Saturday luncheon sponsored by at RootsTech 2016, which featured Kendall Hulet, Senior Vice-President of Product and Product Management.  His topic was "Things to Look Forward to on Ancestry in 2016."

The presentation included these topics and information:

1)  "New Ancestry":

*  A "Continue Searching" button will be added
*  Accessibility and customization options for the tree viewer and person pages - we will be able to change colors and themes
*  Simplify and improve accuracy of data entry
*  Drag and drop to add or upload media

2)  New Partnerships:

*  With Software MacKiev to integrate with new Ancestry API
*  With RootsMagic to integrate with new Ancestry API
*  "Sync" your FTM or RootsMagic software tree with Ancestry Member Tree
*  Search Ancestry databases and view Ancestry Hints from FTM and RootsMagic

3)  German Databases:

*  300 million German records published to date, about 400 million by end of 2016
*  State Archive of Berlin, 1874-1945 - 14 million names
*  State Archive of Hessen, 1874-1945 - 11.5 million names
*  German National Directories Project, 1910-1955 - about 500 million records
*  German Lutheran Church Records - over 100 million records

4)  U.S. Wills and Probate Database:

*  Indexes for all 50 states, over 170 million record images.
*  Users will be able to add new names to the index and specify relationships - this is for this specific database and will link the added names to the record images.

5)  Ancestry Mobile Applications

*  Unify the web and app experiences
*  Introducing mobile search
*  Improving media collection and use
*  Ability to take a photo, add audio, and add video

6)  Ancestry Hints

*  More intelligent hinting is necessary - increase precision and recall
*  Anticipate what you want to discover
*  Show what is new or different

7)  AncestryDNA

*  Find matches in more countries - now USA, Canada, UK, Australia
*  Increase ethnicity reference panel from 3,000 to 9,000 persons
*  Ethnicity estimates more accurate, add more ethnicity regions
*  Networks and clusters of matches

There are some very interesting items on the list above - I look forward to seeing them arrive on over the next year.

I really appreciate that provides information of this nature.

Readers can also determine some of the "coming soon" databases on the "Recently Added and Updated" page.  They currently list (on the right-hand margin):

*  U.S. Methodist Church Records (January-February 2016) -- We're adding additional Methodist Church records, with information on baptisms and marriages for New Jersey and Indiana.

*  UK Police Gazettes (January 2016) -- These were printed publications used for communication between members of the police force in the United Kingdom between 1812 and 1941 (with gaps in coverage). They include information on wanted criminals, crimes committed, criminals who had been apprehended, deserters, and missing persons.

*  German Vital Records (January-March 2016) -- Look for new collections to be added to the Ancestry collection of German births, marriages, and deaths for several locations. 

*  UK Parish Records (
April 2016) -- Our collection of UK parish registers continues to grow, with records coming in April.


Copyright (c) 2016, Randall J. Seaver

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T said...

"* Users will be able to add new names to the index and specify relationships"
USERS will be able to add to the index? THAT should be a great idea. NOT. Indexes without the image is useless. When I used to use ancestry I found the most far fetched indexes for my ancestors that you would ever hope to see. Two of them without any doubt at all came from my own experimental tree.

GeneaDiva said...

Thanks for sharing this valuable information.

Did they Provide specific details regarding, "Accessibility and customization options for the tree viewer and person pages"?

I miss the Family group sheet more than any other change; well that and the hover feature when I am in pedigree Horizontal view.

Kindest Regards

Randy Seaver said...

Geneadiva: There is more explanation in

He takes better notes than I do!

Randy Seaver said...


Re: "* Users will be able to add new names to the index and specify relationships"

This applies to the Wills and Probate collection, which has record images. The user will be able to find names of heirs, witnesses, etc. that are on the image and those can be added to the index for the collection. This is similar to what Fold3 users have been doing for years.

The added names in the index will lead to the record images in the collection.