Spanish Influenza: The Life Story of Patient Zero

Posted by Kristie Wells on March 11, 2014 in Moments in Time

Today, 96 years ago, Private Albert Martin Gitchell, a company cook at Camp Funston in Kansas, reported to the sick bay with the first documented case of the Spanish Influenza. Following our Core Conversation on big data and the stories we can tell from it during the SxSW conference,  we looked into the family history of… Read more

SXSW Core Conversation: How Using Big Data Can Tell Personalized Stories

Posted by Kristie Wells on March 11, 2014 in Events

Thanks to the marketers, advertisers, creatives, entrepreneurs, and engineers, etc. that joined and participated in our SXSW Interactive Core Conversation on how big data can tell personalized stories. EVP of Product at, Eric Shoup, and Senior Director of Product at Tableau, Francois Ajenstat, led an engaging discussion centered on the presentation below and under that… Read more

What You Might Have Missed — March 10th Edition

Posted by Anne Gillespie Mitchell on March 10, 2014 in Ask Ancestry Anne

Blog Posts Find a Grave Mobile App for iOS Now Available by Michael Lawless Ask Ancestry Anne: Tracing Native American Ancestry Through DNA and Good Old Fashioned Research by Anne Gillespie Mitchell Understanding Patterns of Inheritance: Where Did My DNA Come From? (And Why It Matters) by Anna Swayne Got Five Minutes? Let Us Teach… Read more

A Fond Farewell to “Old Search”

Posted by Katharine Nester on March 10, 2014 in Site, Site Features

Last week we said a fond farewell to the “Old Search” functionality on the site. Over the years, we have been maintaining two separate search experiences – “Old Search” and “Primary Search.”  With offering two search experiences, it has limited the resources we could use to make improvements, and also increased the complexity of every… Read more

Ask Ancestry Anne Search Tip #3 : Spelling Didn’t Matter To Our Ancestors — Wild Cards to the Rescue

Posted by Anne Gillespie Mitchell on March 9, 2014 in Ask Ancestry Anne, Research

Our ancestors often used a variety of spellings for their first names and surnames. You can use wildcards with the Exact filter selected to find unusual spellings of names. There are two wildcard characters: ? (question mark) : matches one character which can be anything * (asterisk) : matches 0 to N characters So if you enter… Read more

Join Us at NGS 2014!

Posted by Pam Velazquez on March 9, 2014 in Site

Join in Richmond, Virginia, at the National Genealogy Society 2014 Family History Conference for four days of family history learning and networking! NGS 2014 Family History Conference Virginia: The First Frontier 7−10 May 2014 The Greater Richmond Convention Center and Richmond Marriott Richmond, Virginia Conference Sessions  Register today to attend four full days of more… Read more

Ask Ancestry Anne Search Tip #4 — Want to See Records Just from the US? The UK? Canada?

Posted by Anne Gillespie Mitchell on March 8, 2014 in Ask Ancestry Anne

We have records from many countries, but sometimes you just want one.  Here is a quick fix for that. Collection Priority At the bottom of the advanced search form, you will see a box labeled Collection Priority: Change “All Collections” to the country or record type you are after. Then check the “Show only records… Read more

The Winner of the February Branch Out Contest Is…

Posted by Pam Velazquez on March 7, 2014 in Site

With over 9,000 entries this past month, we’re excited to announce our third winner in the Branch Out contest!  The winner is… Cindy Hillman from Alabama!   Cindy will be working with the ProGenealogists team to try and discover more about her paternal line – the McKinleys. Check back soon to hear more about Cindy’s… Read more

Ask Ancestry Anne: Search Tip #2: A Rose By Any Other Name Might be Rosey — Name Filters Will Catch That

If you find you are getting too many results when you do a search, its time to try out name filters when you do a search. We have over 13 Billion records and making sure you narrow your search results down to a reasonable amount, is probably a good idea. First you will need to… Read more

Ask Ancestry Anne: Search Tip #1 : Controlling location in your searches

Posted by Anne Gillespie Mitchell on March 6, 2014 in Ask Ancestry Anne

It seems like now is a good time to update some of my favorite search tips. Let’s start with my favorite search filter. Sure it may never have occurred to you to have a favorite, but I find this one incredibly useful. When you are in search form and you start typing in a location,… Read more

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Here you will find informational, and sometimes fun, posts from the folks behind the scenes here at We hope you’ll notice just how passionate we are about family history and about the products we’re building to help connect families over distance and time.


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