Tuesday, February 3, 2009

New Ancestry Content coming in February

"Content is King" was the mantra we heard from The Generations Network and Ancestry.com during the meetings in Provo in early January.

A recent email from Ancestry.com described the new content coming in February, courtesy of Gary Gibb, VP U.S. Content

1) Title: Civil War Service Records Update w/Soldier Photos
Names: over 4m
Images: est. 18k soldier and officer photos
Brief description: This is a major enhancement to this priceless database of Civil War soldiers and officers. Actual photos will be linked to the service records, along with many bios and even some signatures.

2) Title: Slave Manifests Filed at New Orleans, Louisiana, 1807-1860
Names: est. 30k
Images: est. 30k
Brief description: This collection includes manifests of slaves who were transported from one place to another within the U.S. The images are being released first while indexing commences through the World Archives Project.

3) Title: Confederate Pension Applications, GA
Names: est. 60k
Images: est. 567k
Brief description: These Georgia Confederate Pension Applications contain an extraordinary amount of genealogical and historical information on Civil War veterans and their widows. Applications for pensions are often multiple pages long and answer numerous questions about the individuals involved.

4) Title: Abraham Lincoln Letters
Names: est. 50k
Images: est. 60k
Brief Description: Letters written to and by Abraham Lincoln, from the Library of Congress, include correspondence, speech drafts, notes and other printed material. Most of the items are from the 1850s through 1865.

5) Title: Confederate Applications for Presidential Pardons (Amnesty Papers) 1865-1867
Names: est. 15k
Images: est. 73k
Brief description: After the Civil War, former Confederates not covered by general amnesty were required to request a pardon. This collection includes the letters of application along with other related records.

6) Title: National Homes for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers, 1866-1938
Names: est. 390k
Images: est. 280k
Brief description: The National Homes for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers was instituted following the Civil War. This database contains records from twelve National Homes. The majority of the records consist of historical registers, but other records included in this database are indexes to the historical registers, applications, admissions, deaths, burials, and hospital records.

7) Title: Update to U.S. State Census Collection
Names: est. 5m
Images: est. 1m
Brief description: New state censuses for Kansas and South Dakota, including updates to existing databases.

8) Title: Update to Historic Land Ownership and Reference Atlases, 1507-2000
Names: est. 1m
Images: est. 10k
Brief description: Adding over 10,000 maps. This collection contains many maps of townships showing land plots with the owners' names listed.

Keeping customers informed about site improvements and additions to Ancestry.com content is part of doing business. Eric Shoup, the VP Product, wrote this in the latest newsletter:

" As of 2009, Ancestry product managers are making a more concerted effort to reach out more to our customers via our bulletin boards and blog. We recognize how vital this dialogue is to both understanding our customer needs as well as communicating what is new or coming up on Ancestry.com. And frankly, this helps hold our Product Managers accountable to our customers for building the right features and communicating sufficiently. This is an example of a broader objective this year within the Product team to 'engage our customers in conversation'. We hope this will result in better products and a better informed customer base."

I greatly appreciate the new openness and the engagement of Ancestry with its customers. Regular postings on the Ancestry.com Blog by the Ancestry management about all of the products and services provides an opportunity for dialogue with the customers. The posts routinely have many comments, some of them not complimentary. Old habits die hard, I know!

1 comment:

Jennifer said...

I'm excited about the NOLA slave manifests.