Blog » Speaking The official blog of Mon, 01 Sep 2014 19:11:15 +0000 en-US hourly 1 RootsTech Presentations: Fine Tuning Search and Extracting Stories from Military Records Wed, 12 Feb 2014 00:04:24 +0000 Anne Gillespie Mitchell Read more]]> We had a great time hanging out with our members at RootsTech 2014 – talking to members, answering questions, doing demos in the booth and conference presentations.

In case you couldn’t be there to participate, I’d thought I’d share the slides from my two conference presentations:

Learning How to Tune Your Search
There is no one way to search. And varying your approach can lead to a break through or maybe just a cool new bit of information about your ancestors. See if you can’t find a new technique in here.

The second presentation I did on finding stories in Military records can be found here:

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Hear Experts from, Fold3, and more at the Federation of Genealogical Societies Wed, 21 Aug 2013 13:30:00 +0000 Kristie Wells Read more]]> Genealogists from around the world are converging on Fort Wayne (Indiana) for the Federation of Genealogical Societies Conference 2013 taking place on Wednesday, August 21st, through Saturday, August 24th – and that includes several members from the, Archives, Fold3 and AncestryDNA teams.

In addition to meeting our team in our booth located in the main exhibit hall, you can find our experts leading various sessions throughout the conference:


  • 9:30-10:30am: Finding and Keeping Volunteers with Amy Johnson Crow (Room W-103). Volunteers are the lifeblood of genealogical societies. Learn how to find these valuable people and how to keep them happy and active.
  • 2:00-3:00: Breaking Out of the Box – Creative Thinking for Your Society with with Amy Johnson Crow (Room W-114). Doing the same thing over and over isn’t just boring. It could strangle your society. Look at some ways to get the creative juices flowing and find solutions outside the box you’re stuck in.


  • 3:30-4:30pm: AncestryDNA – Making the DNA Connection with Kenny Freestone. (Room T-226). DNA testing is radically changing the technology we use to connect with our ancestors and discover new family relationships. New technologies enable people to connect with their personal histories
  • 3:30-4:30pm: Buckeye Beginnings – An Introducton to Ohio Research with Amy Johnson Crow (Room T-227). Many of our ancestors went through Ohio, the original gateway to the west. Discover records, resources and repositories vital to researching in the Buckeye State.


  • 8:00-9:00am: Getting the Most Out of Historical Newspapers with Peter Drinkwater (Room F-300). Historical newspapers hold treasures of facts, stories and insights for genealogists. We’ll talk about what you can find in newspapers and how to go about finding it.
  • 9:30-10:30am: Finding Ethnic Origins and Naturalizations in the Midwest with Loretto ‘Lou’ Szucs (Room F-313). This presentation will guide you through the maze of records in personal, local, county, state and federal collections, and policies that can lead you back to your ancestral homeland.
  • 9:30-10:30am: Getting to Know Fold3 with Gordon Atkinson (Room F-311). This is an introduction and overview of the Fold3 website, with examples and tips for basic searching, viewing and using other features of the site.
  • 5:00-6:00pm: Midwestern Archives and Libraries – Keeping Up With Changes with Loretto ‘Lou’ Szucs (Room F-351). This presentation outlines some of the richest sources for family history in midwestern archives and libraries and how recent changes impact on your research success rate.


  • 9:30-10:30am: Finding Catholic Church, Cemetery, School and Religious Order Records with Loretto ‘Lou’ Szucs (Room S-414). Catholic Church records are especially valuable because they pre-date and often replace vital records. Beyond baptisms and marriages, parishes, dioceses and religious orders kept records.
  • 2:00-3:00pm: Getting the Most Out of Family Tree Maker with Duff Wilson (Room S-430). A Family Tree Maker overview with concepts such as tree building, adding and organizing media, documenting source information and creating printed charts & reports.
  • 3:30-4:30pm: Finding Answers in the Census with Crista Cowan (S-439). Crista shows how to discover more about your ancestors using the census. Learn about family as you search for often overlooked answers in the census.

If you are attending the conference, please make sure you stop by the booth and say hello. If you are not able to make it this time, you can always follow the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #FGS2013. We hope to see you either online, or off!

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Using Big Data To Drive Story Telling – Our SxSW Session Needs Your VOTE Mon, 19 Aug 2013 19:10:14 +0000 Kristie Wells Read more]]> ACOM-GirlReadingWhen we think about Big Data we often envision charts, graphs and spreadsheets, but what if we could use that same data to produce detailed stories about interesting subjects or people?

Increased pressure to find meaning in mounds of data—in real-time and at scale—has given rise to technology that analyzes and turns individual data points into bite-sized prose and, in some cases, fascinating personal stories.

Take for example, the man who was responsible for spreading the Spanish Influenza that ultimately killed more than 20 million people worldwide.  Imagine instantly weaving together a history about this man’s life and his family’s journey to the U.S. through technology that mines historical data kept in records.

If selected to speak at SxSW Interactive, Executive Vice President of Product Eric Shoup, will discuss how using AI-based technology can bring depth and meaning to massive amounts of data and, in turn, the stories presented to end users.

Your vote matters! Please vote for Eric’s presentation to be selected via the SxSW PanelPicker:

PanelPicker voting will close on Friday, September 6 (11:59 PM CST).



About Eric Shoup:

Eric Shoup has over fifteen years of experience in high-tech development, product management, professional services and general business management, where he combines exceptional technical understanding and analytical ability with outstanding product marketing. He has served as’s Executive Vice President of Product since February 2012. He joined the Company in August 2008 as Vice President of Product. Prior to joining the family history giant, Eric was at eBay for more than five years, where he focused on growing the eBay Stores product and ProStores business unit and also assembled and led eBay’s global mobile product team. Prior to eBay, Eric was a Director of Product Management at Commerce One, a leading provider of B2B e-commerce solutions and worked at US Interactive, designing and managing consumer e-commerce and marketing Web sites for established companies such as Lexus and Wellcome Supermarkets (Hong Kong). Eric holds a B.A. from the University of California, Los Angeles.

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