Friday, January 2, 2015

Top 10 Genealogy News Items From 2014 - My Take

There were hundreds of genealogy news announcements in 2014.  Some of them were outstanding - advanced technology, advanced genealogy research, added new record collections, etc.

The ones that I think are the most significant for my own research are (referring to my own blog posts):

1)  FindMyPast Acquires Mocavo, Mocavo Provides Free U.S. Census Indexes (23 June 2014).  This was a significant acquisition of Mocavo's databases and technologies by FindMyPast.  Subsequently, Mocavo stopped adding new databases, which is unfortunate.

2)  BIG News from - Announcing Retirement of Several Features and Websites (5 June 2014).  Mundia, Y-DNA and Mitochondrial DNA Test Data, MyCanvas, MyFamily, and products were retired.  MyCanvas found a new home later and is still usable.  

3)  Record Hints are Now Available on FamilySearch Family Tree (17 June 2014), and Information From FamilySearch about FamilySearch Family Tree Record Hints (20 June 2014).  FamilySearch added Record Hinting to the FamilySearch Family Tree.

4)  First Look at Improved AncestryDNA Matches and AncestryDNA Improvements Description - UPDATED (19 November 2014).  AncestryDNA claimed that the improved matches would be more reliable, and the new DNA Circles would be useful.  

5)  FindMyPast Introduces Hints in Family Trees - UPDATED (17 December 2014).  This brings FindMyPast to the same record hinting capability with Ancestry, MyHeritage, and FamilySearch.

6)  RootsMagic Adds MyHeritage Matching Technologies for Powerful Automatic Research Capabilities and RootsMagic 7 is Now Available - with WebHints (FamilySearch and MyHeritage) (25 November 2014).  I use RootsMagic 7, and this is helpful.  The WebHints seem to slow down the software though.

7)  MyHeritage Introduces Instant Discoveries Feature (10 December 2014).  This new capability may bring rank beginners into the genealogy world...I'm not sure that is good!

8)  Breaking News - Ancestry Expands Groundbreaking Collaboration with Family Search (21 January 2014).  Collaboration of FamilySearch with Ancestry, MyHeritage and FindMyPast spread FamilySearch legacy databases to the other providers, and useful technology and data sharing to FamilySearch.

9)  Middlesex County, Massachusetts Probate Records, 1648-1871, Now Available on (13 August 2014) and Mining the Essex County, Massachusetts Probate Records on (2 September 2014).  This was really important for me - these are two of my major ancestral counties in Massachusetts.

10) Has More Beautiful Multi-Generation Charts (4 April 2014); Find Relatives on the BYU-EDU Relative Finder Website (23 July 2014); Using Find-A-Record to Add Information to Your FamilySearch Family Tree (1 July 2014); Kinpoint Can Be Used To Find Research Opportunities (27 October 2014).  FamilySearch affiliates continue to invent new tools to search in and display information from the FamilySearch Family Tree.  

What other product or resource announcements were significant for you during 2014?  Tell me in Comments to this post.

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Copyright (c) 2015, Randall J. Seaver

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