Friday, August 6, 2010 Acquires ProGenealogists, Inc.

I received an email announcement from today about their acquisition of ProGenealogists, Inc., as did many other bloggers. I see that Thomas MacEntee on Geneabloggers and Leland Meitzler on GenealogyBlog have posted it in full, so I won't waste the bandwidth. There may be others that I haven't seen yet.

What does it mean for customers, ProGenealogists customers, the ProGenealogists company and employees, and for the genealogy industry?

Leland commented that ProGenealogists have a fine reputation in genealogy circles for having excellent genealogists on staff, a fine website, efficient management, and for being a profitable company.

Some thoughts and questions of mine:

* How large a company is ProGenealogists, Inc.? I don't know, but their About Us web page lists 33 credentialed and professional genealogists, many of whom are very well-known and recognized in the profession. There may be other employees or contractors that work on a full-time or part-time basis.

* benefits by having more professional researchers that can perform quality research as required. Does want to have more professional research done in order to promote their products? Has been unable to find researchers for some geographic areas or research topic expertise in their group of ExpertConnect researchers?

* ProGenealogists, Inc. benefits from the acquisition by having a broader, more reliable and more consistent customer base. Perhaps will use ProGenealogists employees to help with ExpertConnect research requests. Perhaps they will use ProGenealogists employees at research consultant tables at conferences and seminars.

* Will the ProGenealogists management team be left intact? Or will it be replaced, or something in between? Will some of the senior employees at ProGenealogists be retiring?

* I don't think that this will impact individual genealogists, other than it may be an employment opportunity. The percentage of researchers that use professionals is relatively small, I think, but if this enhances the ExpertConnect feature on, it may induce more use of that service.

* Will this impact the current group of ExpertConnect researchers working with In many cases, having researchers in local areas is the only way to work some genealogy challenges.

Disclosure: I am not an employee, contractor or affiliate of either or ProGenealogists. I am an admirer of both companies, and have a fully paid US Deluxe subscription to


Anonymous said...

Tired of Ancestry taking over the industry? Yes I am

Kim said...

I couldn't get my linking to work, but wanted to pass on my view of the situation today with these announcements.

My blog is http://ancestorsiclaim,


Kerry Scott said...

I was surprised that so many people seemed shocked by this news. I assumed that Ancestry would buy them when I heard WDYTYA was renewed. Just in terms of producing the show, it would make more financial sense to have the research team in-house rather than hiring an outside group.

I will be mildly surprised if any of those ProGenealogists researchers end up doing ExpertConnect work; I think they'll have more lucrative projects in store for them. If it were me, I'd put together WDYTYA-like web episodes together (using their research). I'd feature regular people (or perhaps lesser-known celebrities). It would create more buzz for both the show and Ancestry, and it would be a nice way to hook in viewers of the show who come to Ancestry and are on the fence about buying a subscription to the site.

I'd also use them as brand embassadors, because their names/faces are going to become increasingly well-known as WDYTYA enters its second season.

Kerry Scott said...

Brand ambassadors, not brand embassadors.