Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Top 10 Genealogy News Items for 2015 - My Take

There were hundreds of genealogy news announcements in 2015.  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)  Ancestry.com Announces Retirement of Family Tree Maker Software (posted 8 December 2015) -- This was a major surprise and caused a lot of heartburn with Family Tree Maker users.

2)  Ancestry.com Adds 170 Million Indexed U.S. Probate Record Images (posted 2 September 2015) -- This major database release was greeted by appreciation, but not all FamilySearch images are indexed yet, and they subsequently removed some probate records due to licensing problems.

3)  New Ancestry.com Database: U.S. Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007 (posted 23 July 2015) -- This new database provides more information for many Social Security applicants, including parents names and alternate names.

4)  Records from New York’s Largest Genealogical Organization Now Available to Search at Findmypast (posted 21 September 2015) -- The New York Genealogical and Biographical Record quarterly periodical is now online at Findmypast.

5)  MyHeritage Introduces Instant Discoveries to all Users (posted 20 April 2015) -- This feature adds more relatives to your MyHeritage tree based on other MyHeritage trees.  This is especially useful for new researchers.

6)  Mocavo Has FREE U.S. Census Images Available Forever (posted 22 May 2015) -- There is much to like about a free site with all of the U.S. census indexed and imaged!

7)  The "New Ancestry Experience" is Active for USA Users (posted 1 June 2015) -- This opened the "new" Ancestry LifeStory and look and feel of the website to all users.  There was lots of negative reaction to this!  I also posted All Ancestry.com Customers Forced to Have Only "New Ancestry" Experience (posted 14 December 2015) -- Ancestry closed out the "old" Ancestry screens and all users now have to use "new" Ancestry.

8)  HistoryLines Launched This Week - Post 1: First Look (posted 22 April 2015) -- I posted a series on this website that meshes your family history events with historical events.

9)  Ancestry Academy Launched Today (posted 16 April 2015) -- This education site has free and pay options for online genealogy and family history educational courses.

10)  FamilySearch Relative Finder - Finding Famous (?) Cousins (posted 15 May 2015) -- If you are in the FamilySearch Family Tree, you can find famous cousins on the Relative Finder website.

What other product or resource announcements were significant for you during 2015?  Tell me in Comments to this post.

Copyright (c) 2016, Randall J. Seaver

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dritchhart said...


Enjoyed reading your list. I agree to the most part; but would have ranked your #10 higher, perhaps 6 or 7. Interestingly, five of the ten items dealt with Ancestry.com.

Unknown said...

In reference to your #1: I was shocked also about Ancestry abandonning FTM, but I read yours and Cousin Russ's posts and remained calm!!! I have already received my copy of Rootsmagic at the bargain price with the book, created a Gedcom which I uploaded and from there am learning this new software at my own pace while continuing to work in FTM. I even found some features I already like in Rootsmagic, while I am still searching for some of the ones I really love in FTM. Thanks for keeping all our heads leveled. Annick H.