Ancestry Blog » Company News The official blog of Ancestry Sat, 22 Nov 2014 19:40:28 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Acquires Find A Grave Mon, 30 Sep 2013 20:14:36 +0000 Read more]]> We are pleased to announce that LLC has acquired Find A Grave, Inc., the leading online cemetery database. 

With over 100 million memorials and 75 million photos, Find A Grave has amassed an unparalleled collection of burial information. Over the past 18 years, it has grown to become an invaluable resource for genealogists, history buffs and cemetery preservationists. Find A Grave will become a wholly owned subsidiary of, and will continue to be managed by its founder, Jim Tipton. plans to bolster the resources dedicated to Find A Grave to launch a new mobile app, improve customer support, introduce an enhanced edit system for submitting updates to memorials, foreign-language support, and other site improvements.


  • Tim Sullivan, CEO of Find A Grave is an amazing phenomenon supported by a passionate and engaged community of volunteers around the world. We at are so excited…honored really…to take on the responsibility of supporting this community.  We will maintain Find A Grave as a free website, will retain its existing policies and mode of operation, and look forward to working with Jim Tipton and the entire Find A Grave team to accelerate the development of tools designed to make it even easier for the Find A Grave community to fulfill its original mission to capture every tombstone on Earth.” 
  •  Jim Tipton, founder of Find A Grave: has been a long-time supporter of Find A Grave. They have been linking and driving traffic to the site for several years. Burial information is a wonderful source for people researching their family history and I look forward to working with to help continue our growth and accelerate the pace of improvements.”

The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.


]]> 141 and FamilySearch to Make a Billion Global Records Available Online Thu, 05 Sep 2013 19:15:37 +0000 Crista Cowan Read more]]> The following press release was issued this afternoon by and FamilySearch.

Groundbreaking Agreement to Deliver Valuable Historical Content Over the Next Five Years

PROVO, Utah, September 5, 2013 – and FamilySearch International (online at, the two largest providers of family history resources, announced today an agreement that is expected to make approximately 1 billion global historical records available online and more easily accessible to the public for the first time. With this long-term strategic agreement, the two services will work together with the archive community over the next five years to digitize, index and publish these records from the FamilySearch vault.

The access to the global collection of records marks a major investment in international content as continues to invest in expanding family history interest in its current markets and worldwide. expects to invest more than $60 million over the next five years in the project alongside thousands of hours of volunteer efforts facilitated by FamilySearch.

“This agreement sets a path for the future for and FamilySearch to increasingly share international sets of records more collaboratively,” said Tim Sullivan, CEO of “A significant part of our vision for family history is helping provide a rich, engaging experience on a global scale. We are excited about the opportunities it will bring to help benefit the family history community and look forward to collaborating with FamilySearch to identify other opportunities to help people discover and share their family history.”

The organizations will also be looking at other ways to share content across the two organizations. Both organizations expect to add to the already digitized records shared across the two websites in addition to new record projects to be completed over the next five years.

“We are excited to work with on a vision we both share,” said Dennis Brimhall, President of FamilySearch. “Expanding online access to historical records through this type of collaboration can help millions more people discover and share their family’s history.”

This marks a groundbreaking agreement between the two services. But the two organizations aren’t strangers to working with each other; hundreds of millions of records have already been shared and are available on and The companies also announced in early 2013 an additional project where they plan to publish 140 million U.S. Wills & Probate images and indexes over the next three years—creating a national database of wills and other probate documents spanning 1800-1930 online for the very first time.

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Kim Harrison Receives the Martha Washington Medal Tue, 16 Jul 2013 19:14:57 +0000 Pam Velazquez Read more]]> Our own Kim Harrison has been awarded the Martha Washington Medal by the National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution (SAR) at its 123rd annual Congress in Kansas City, MO.

Kim is the Senior Institutional Account Executive, based in our Provo (UT) headquarters. A native of Michigan, she is a past president of the Michigan Genealogical Council and was instrumental in securing a $180,000 three-year renewable grant to fund the SAR’s Operation Ancestor Search, a free program that teaches genealogical research to wounded warriors in military hospitals and medical centers across the country.

Our own Kim Harrison receives the Martha Washington Medal by the National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution. #ancestry #award

The SAR operates the program through its state societies and 535 local chapters across the nation. In addition to funding the OAS program’s administrative costs, also provides free subscriptions to its online databases, software and other related materials to the program participants.

The Martha Washington Medal is the highest honor that the SAR can bestow upon a woman who is not a Daughter of the American Revolution (DAR) and is in recognition of her outstanding service. The medal is gold in color and bears a portrait of Martha Washington on the front within the inscription “SAR Martha Washington Award.”

We are extremely proud of Kim for receiving this honor and thank her for all the work she does within and the communities we serve.

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AncestryDNA wins the Utah Innovation Award in consumer software and web services Wed, 15 May 2013 23:10:56 +0000 Stephen Baloglu Read more]]> AncestryDNA was honored as the winner of the Utah Innovation Awards under the consumer software and web services category. Eight other innovation winners were also recognized in various categories from biotechnology to mechanical systems manufacturing. Finalists in the consumer software and web services category include LumiBook by School Improvement Network and MyCurrent by Overstock – Olabs.


Why AncestryDNA?

What makes AncestryDNA so innovative is how it fuses DNA technology and family history in a way that’s never been done before. It works like this:

First, we look at over 700,000 genetic markers for each individual to create your unique personal genetic blend.

We analyze your DNA to find genetic signatures that connect you to the lands of your ancestors from hundreds, even thousands of years ago. The genetic signatures come from a set of well-established science as well as new DNA patterns that have been discovered by the AncestryDNA population geneticists.

Then, we compare your DNA to the over 120,000 other AncestryDNA customers to see who you might be related to. Here’s where things get even more interesting. When enough of your DNA matches someone else, that means you’re related. Systematically, your family tree is compared with your newfound relative’s family tree to surface shared ancestors, names and locations so you’ll not only know that you are related, but how you’re related.

All this innovative technology adds up to some pretty cool new ways to look back into your family’s story. And with more people taking the AncestryDNA test, new innovative features for discovering family history are made possible.

Some of the AncestryDNA team members

About the awards

The 11th annual Utah Innovation Awards program was presented by Stoel Rives LLP and the Utah Technology Council to recognize innovations and the Utah companies that created them.

A committee of approximately 60 professionals from private industry, government and higher education evaluated and voted on program finalists and winners. The more than 100 nominations were put through a rigorous evaluation process during which committee members evaluated each innovation against a wide range of criteria addressing elements such as novelty, market need, market disruption and potential/current economic impact.


Get an AncestryDNA test today for only $99.

]]> 1 Acquires 1000memories Wed, 03 Oct 2012 14:53:08 +0000 Heather Erickson Read more]]> We wanted to let you know that we have acquired 1000memories Inc.  They are a San Francisco-based startup that, since their launch in 2010, has been focused on helping people capture and share their memories.  They began as a memorials site and have, for the last year, been focused on helping people digitize and share the estimated 1.7 trillion paper photos stored in albums, attics, and shoeboxes.

We’ve admired these guys’ work from a distance for a while now and we’re really pleased to have them join the team.  We are looking to leverage the smarts of the team and their technology assets to bolster our members’ ability to share their family history with others.

One of the pieces of technology they bring to Ancestry is their popular ShoeBox mobile app.   Shoebox turns your mobile phone into a photo scanner, providing an easy way to digitize paper photos and share them online or on your mobile device.

Coincident with today’s announcement, 1000memories will launch a new version of ShoeBox for iOS, which will allow members to post photos directly to their Ancestry trees.  If you have an iPhone, I encourage you to go download the app and try it for yourself.

This is the first step in a broader plan to help Ancestry members more easily share their family’s history with their family, friends and internet-at-large.

For more details, see the official company announcement on our corporate website.

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Where Is Family Tree Maker 2013? Fri, 17 Aug 2012 17:08:12 +0000 Tana L. Pedersen Read more]]> We know many of you have been eagerly waiting to hear when Family Tree Maker 2013 will be released. Well, we’re doing things a little different this year. Instead of creating a new version of the software, the team has been putting all of its resources into improving Family Tree Maker 2012 so you get new bonus features throughout the year.

If you haven’t purchased or upgraded to Family Tree Maker 2012 yet, there’s never been a better time.

Since Family Tree Maker 2012 was released last fall, a number of updates have been sent out that include improvements and new features. Here’s a list of just some of these great changes:

  • Numerous enhancements to TreeSync so syncing your tree to is faster and more reliable
  • A new Family View Report that displays a person’s ancestors, spouse, and children together (similar to the Family View in the People workspace)
  • A new Undocumented Facts Report that lists people’s facts that have no source documentation
  • The ability to merge info from multiple versions of the same fact
  • New source templates for the 1940 U.S. census and improved support for city directories
  • Dozens of report enhancements including performance improvements and new options in the relationship chart, family group sheet, Individual Report, Notes Report, Data Errors Report, Outline Descendant Report, Media Item Report, photo albums, Media Usage Report, Documented Facts Report, and calendar

And there are more enhancements to come in the next bonus update—so stayed tuned.

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1940 Census Update – Six More States Now Searchable By Name Fri, 29 Jun 2012 15:59:06 +0000 Crista Cowan Read more]]> What do Colorado, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Vermont, and Virginia all have in common? Early this morning, fully indexed census records for each those six states were put online. All images for the 1940 census have been online and fully available to you since the first week of April. But, the completion of these indexes now allows you to search over 39 million records in ten states and the District of Columbia.

Which state are you searching first?

Colorado in the 1940s

Ohio 1940

Pennsylvania 1940

Tennessee 1940

Vermont 1940

Virginia 1940


Do you have relatives in any of these six states? If not, stay tuned, our next indexed states are coming soon!

Search the 1940 census now!

Until next time – Have fun climbing your family tree!

]]> 21 to Acquire Archives.com Wed, 25 Apr 2012 10:30:45 +0000 Heather Erickson Read more]]> If you haven’t already heard or seen the news, we wanted to let you know that we have entered into a definitive agreement to acquire

You may already know of – a fast-growing family history site that has clearly attracted new users to family history with a product that is easy to use and one that has proven to be a great way for people to get started with family history.

Over the past two years, has done a great job building strong relationships with a number of key family history organizations, including a partnership with the U.S. National Archives to provide free digital access to the recently released 1940 Census. These types of relationships, along with some creative content acquisition strategies, have helped build out robust collection of 2.1 billion family history records and expand the interest in family history.

So what does this all mean? It means that the acquisition will enable to add a differentiated service targeted to a complementary segment of the growing family history category. In addition, will welcome a team of talented engineers, digital marketers, and family history innovators into the fold and also gain access to a proprietary technology platform that has supported’s rapid growth.

We view this acquisition as a coming-of-age moment for the online family history category.  The success of companies like, and the innovation we see across our industry, in many ways validates the work done over many years to build category awareness. Additionally, it’s a way for us to accelerate our strategy of serving multiple customer segments with well differentiated offerings. Upon completion of the transaction, our plan is to keep as a distinct brand and site, to continue to nurture its existing partnerships, and to continue to invest in new content, product and technology.

There have never been more products and services available to genealogists than there are today, and we are excited to help the talented team continue to grow alongside and look forward to helping them achieve their vision for a great online family history service.

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Our Privacy Philosophy Thu, 23 Feb 2012 17:19:54 +0000 Heather Erickson Read more]]> We know that privacy is increasingly important to you – our users. We want you to know that we care about it too. Our newly published Privacy Philosophy lets you know we have a consistent approach to protecting your privacy and that it is at the core of the decisions we make and what we do.

You may have noticed that we now have a link entitled Privacy (rather than just Privacy Statement) at the bottom of our site. It now includes our new Privacy Philosophy, along with links to our official Privacy Statement (updated) and the comprehensive Privacy Center.

Note: The new Philosophy is not replacing our official Privacy Statement. We wanted to put everything about privacy in one place for you, in what we hope is in a digestible and transparent form.

This isn’t just about updating our privacy language to make it more comprehendible (though we are pretty sure it will help you have a better understanding of’s approach to privacy). Our purpose in adding our Privacy Philosophy and spending time to develop our Privacy Center, is to help you feel more comfortable with what’s available on the site and be rest assured that your content and information you share about yourself and your family on is protected.

The Privacy Center has a lot of helpful information around privacy related topics all in one place to make it easy for you to find answers to your questions.

For example, the explanations dive into how you can control what other people see about you. It’s also about continuing to educate you on the privacy options available on the site, so you can decide which levels you feel comfortable with.

If you haven’t had a chance, take some time to visit our updated Privacy Center.

Plus, help us continue to improve the page and how we communicate our privacy by letting us know what you think. Use the “Send us feedback” link on the right side of the Privacy Center to provide us with your thoughts.

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Family Tree Maker for Mac 2 Is Now Available! Thu, 15 Dec 2011 15:00:41 +0000 Tana L. Pedersen Read more]]> Today announced the release of Family Tree Maker for Mac 2, an updated and expanded version of the world’s No. 1-selling family history software, now with TreeSync™, a feature which lets you sync one desktop family tree and one online tree on With TreeSync now you can access and update your tree wherever you are whether it’s through Family Tree Maker,, or using the Ancestry iPhone or iPad apps. And sharing your tree is easier than ever. Simply email invitations to family and friends and they can view your online tree or collaborate with you.

Other improvements in Family Tree Maker for Mac 2 include:

  • New Mac-only features. Now you can capture photos using your iSight or built-in camera and import it directly into Family Tree Maker. And if you’re using OS X Lion, you can take advantage of the new full-screen capability—with one click fill your entire desktop with the Family Tree Maker workspace.
  • Easy-to-understand combined family view. The family group view has a new “blended families” option that lets you display all of a couple’s children in one location, including stepchildren and adoptees. An icon next to a child’s name lets you see at a glance whether he or she is the child of the father, the mother, or both parents.
  • More Ancestry integration. Find other Ancestry members who are searching for your ancestors by viewing Member Connect activity in the expanded Web Dashboard. You’ll also see links to message boards and notification of your new Ancestry messages.
  • Enhanced performance. Now you can choose the type of Internet connection you’re using, which allows Family Tree Maker to tailor how it downloads information from the Web. Uploading and downloading speeds have been improved, and there is an increased ability to upload large files to
  • New image collection. Create beautiful family trees and reports with a variety of new backgrounds and images.

To purchase Family Tree Maker for Mac 2, visit our store; the software is also available at select retailers such as, Fry’s, and MicroCenter.

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