About Juliana Smith

Juliana Szucs Smith has been working for Ancestry.com for more than 16 years. She began her family history journey trolling through microfilms with her mother at the age of 11. She has written many articles for online and print genealogical publications and wrote the "Computers and Technology" chapter of The Source: A Guidebook of American Genealogy. Juliana holds a certificate from Boston University's Online Genealogical Research Program, and is currently on the clock working towards certification from the Board for Certification of Genealogists.

Joining the Ancestry.com Blog

Since March 2006, I’ve been posting newsletter-related items and other tidbits here on the 24/7 Family History Circle blog. Similar to the Ancestry.com blog, my posts were created with the intent to provide readers with helpful information as their research their family history.  Since both blogs share the same goal, I am joining my colleagues on the Ancestry.com blog, where you will now see my blog posts moving forward. This move will make it easier for you, so that you won’t have to jump back and forth between the two blogs, and will provide a one-stop resource for those interested in learning more about their ancestors.

Since this will be the final post to the 24/7 Family History Circle blog, I look forward to staying in touch with you on the Ancestry.com blog in the future! Click here to read my first post on the Ancestry.com blog.

Free Webinar: Using MyCanvas to Make Descendant Family History Books and Posters

Session Start Time: Wednesday, 24 June 2009 08:00 PM Eastern
(New York)

Speakers: Stefanie Condie and Jennifer Curry

Make a lasting impression at this year’s family reunion with a descendant family tree poster or descendant-based family history book. In this hour-long webinar, you’ll learn how to create a book or poster that your relatives will be talking about long after the reunion’s over. Descendant books and posters also make great birthday and anniversary gifts. During the webinar, three randomly chosen participants will receive coupons for a free 36″x24″ poster (a $39.95 value).

Click here to register now.

Free Webinar: The Canadian Historical Censuses, 1851-1916

Session Start Time: Thursday, 18 June 2009 08:30 PM Eastern (Toronto / New York)

Come join our Ancestry.ca specialists, Lesley Anderson and Karen Peterson, and Canadian Genealogist, Glenn Wright, in this one hour online seminar as they walk through the history of the Canadian Census. They’ll tackle effective search techniques, and tips which will cover each census year – 1851, 1861, 1871, 1881, 1891, 1901, 1906, 1911 and 1916.

Click here to register now!

Ancestry.ca Announces World-First Online Launch of the Historical Canadian Censuses, 1851-1916

ancestry-ca_logo.gifAn estimated half of all Canadians will have an ancestor in the historical censuses / one in four Canadians cannot trace roots back beyond their grandparents

  • 32 million names and 1.3 million images of original records
  • Famous names with ancestors in the censuses include Conrad Black, Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Liberal Party Leader Michael Ignatieff, Pamela Anderson and Alanis Morissette – original images available

(Toronto, June 10, 2009) – Ancestry.ca, in partnership with Library and Archives Canada (LAC), today completed the world-first online launch of the Historical Canadian Censuses, 1851-1916. Never before have all of the nine available national censuses[i] been published online, fully indexed and including original document images.

Together, these censuses contain more than 32 million names – all searchable for the first time – of those living in Canada from the mid 19th century through to the early 20th century – a period of nationhood, new arrivals, great change and significant growth.

It is estimated that half of all living Canadians (16 million people)[ii] will be able to trace their ancestors in the censuses – Ancestry.ca has found those of Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Opposition Leader Michael Ignatieff, jailed businessman Conrad Black, singer Alanis Morissette and actress Pamela Anderson (original images available). Continue reading

Improved Site Navigation on Ancestry.com

Ancestry.com logo.bmpIf you’ve been to Ancestry.com this morning, you probably noticed the new navigation bar at the top of the page. Tabs now include a drop-down menu so that you can navigate to sections of the site that previously would have required several clicks with just one. In the Family Tree menu, you’ll find all of your trees listed, and in Search, you’ll find links to search individual collections, all collections, and the card catalog. The Collaborate tab includes direct links to Message Boards, the World Archives Project, Member Connections, the Member Directory, and your Public Profile. Through the Learning Center menu, you can now access a variety of tools to keep you current, including the Article Archives, where you’ll find online articles from Ancestry.com newsletters and magazines, as well as webinars, the Ancestry.com blog, and other helpful sections. You can learn more about the changes on the Ancestry.com blog here, or click here to go directly to Ancestry.com.

New Search Feature Brings Better Results

Ancestry.com logo.bmpIn response to your requests to limit search results to more relevant date ranges, Ancestry.com has added a new feature that automatically limits your search results to the years you specify for birth and death, helping you to locate your ancestors faster. 

It includes a “fudge factor” of five years before and two years after. If you only specify a birth year it will search for 100 years after that date; if you only enter a death year it will search for 100 years before that date. So, if you enter a birth year of 1901 and a death year of 1929, the search engine will return records between 1896 and 1931. If you put in a death year of 1920, but no birth year, the search engine will return records from between 1815 and 1922.

To learn more, read Anne Mitchell’s post on the Ancestry.com blog.

And There’s More
Soon, Ancestry.com will be launching new site navigation to help you get where you need with fewer clicks. Drop-down menus are being added to the familiar tab navigation bar, allowing you to go directly to one of your trees, search a specific collection, or visit message boards with just one click–from anywhere on the site. You’ll also be able access a list of your favorite Ancestry.com pages and your to-do list from a new “Favorites” link that can be accessed with one click anywhere on the site. Click here to learn more about the navigation improvements.

Loretto “Lou” Dennis Szucs Honored as UGA Silver Tray Recipient

Mom2.bmpThe following is from the Utah Genealogical Association. Congratulations Mom! 

It is with great pleasure that the Board of the Utah Genealogical Association announces the awarding of the UGA Silver Tray Award to Loretto “Lou” Dennis Szucs. Instituted in 1973, the award was initially given to an individual or organization for “Scholarly Contributions in the Field of Genealogy.” Since 1988 the award has focused on efforts in the field of publications.

Mrs. Szucs’ untiring efforts as an author, compiler and editor of superior quality genealogical publications such as The Source and They Became Americans: Finding Naturalization Records and Ethnic Origins uniquely qualify her for this recognition.  Her publications are considered “go to” resources for professional and amateur genealogists.

Loretto Dennis “Lou” Szucs, FUGA, holds a degree in history, and has been involved in genealogical research, teaching, lecturing, and publishing for more than thirty years.  Previously employed by the National Archives, she is currently executive editor and vice president of community relations for The Generations Network.  She has served on many archives and genealogical boards, and was founding secretary of the Federation of Genealogical Societies.  Currently, she serves as a director on the Board of the Federation of Genealogical Societies.

She has edited newsletters and quarterly journals for several genealogical societies, including the Federation of Genealogical Societies’ FORUM.  She authored They Became Americans: Finding Naturalization Records and Ethnic Origins; Chicago and Cook County Sources: A Genealogical and Historical Guide; Ellis Island: Tracing Your Family History Through America’s Gateway; The Archives: A Guide to the National Archives Filed Branches (with Sandra Luebking), and Finding Ancestors in U.S. Census Records (with Matthew Wright).
Since 1980, Lou has lectured at numerous genealogy workshops and national conferences.  She has presented at the American Library Association conference and has been interviewed for the Ancestor series, ABC News, CNN News, and most recently on the ABC show, The View.  In 1995, she was awarded the designation of fellow of the Utah Genealogical Association and has received numerous other awards. Continue reading

Workhouses, Wills, Churches & More – 400 Years of London History Launches Online[i] – World First

Ancestry____logo1.bmpOne in two Brits with ancestors in collection, including J.K. Rowling, David Beckham and Patsy Kensit

  • 77 million records when complete, including workhouse, parish, school
  • Famous names include Oliver Cromwell, Samuel Pepys and William Blake, as well as ancestors of contemporary celebrities JK Rowling, David Beckham, Patsy Kensit and Britney Spears
  • An estimated 165 million people around the world has an ancestor in the collection, including more than half of the British population[ii] 

The definitive collection of records detailing the rich history of London and its inhabitants over 400 years is available online for the first time today at leading social and family history website Ancestry.co.uk, in partnership with London Metropolitan Archives and Guildhall Library Manuscripts following a competitive tender by the City of London to digitise and exclusively host their collection online.

Starting with records from London’s infamous Victorian workhouses memorably depicted by Charles Dickens in Oliver Twist, the London Historical Records, 1500s-1900s will include more than 77 million records, providing an unprecedented insight into the colourful history of one of the world’s greatest cities.

Key record types include parish and workhouse records, electoral rolls, wills, land tax records and school reports. According to a recent family history survey, more than half of the current British population will have an ancestor in the London Historical Records, 1500s-1900s.

Furthermore, it is estimated that approximately 135 million people from the U.S., Canada and Australia will also be able to trace ancestors in the collection due to London’s status as the city at the centre of the British Empire for centuries.

Assembled over time direct from various London institutions, the collection includes the names of millions of ordinary Londoners alongside famous and infamous figures from the city’s past. Notable examples include Oliver Cromwell’s marriage record, the baptism record for poet Samuel Pepys and the burial register listing for writer and statesman John Milton. Continue reading

Irish Databases at Ancestry.com

St. Patrick ancesry.bmpIn honor of St. Patrick’s Day, I thought I’d browse around Ancestry.com and post a recap of some of the more popular Irish databases that are available through World Deluxe memberships. Here’s are some favorites I found:

Ireland, Index to Griffith’s Valuation, 1848-1864
This database, an index to one of Ireland’s premier genealogical resources, Griffith’s Valuation, references approximately one million individuals who occupied property in Ireland between 1848 and 1864. The Griffith’s Valuation, or Primary Valuation of Ireland, was executed under the direction of Sir Richard Griffith to determine the amount of tax each person should pay towards the support of the poor within their poor law union. This involved determining the value of all privately held lands and buildings in rural as well as urban areas to figure the rate at which each unit of property could be rented year after year. The resulting survey was arranged by barony and civil parish with an index to the townlands appearing in each volume. The original volumes of the survey are held in the National Archives, Dublin and Public Record Office, Belfast.

Ireland, Tithe Applotment Books, 1824-1837
The Tithe Applotment Books record the results of a unique land survey taken to determine the amount of tax payable by landholders to the Church of Ireland, the established church until 1869. They are known as the Tithe Applotment Books because the results of this land survey were originally compiled in nearly 2,000 hand-written books. This data set represents a virtual census for pre-Famine Ireland. Since it covers all of Ireland it is immensely important in terms of constructing, not just an image of a particular family line, but of wider social conditions in the country. Only the six counties that constitute present-day Northern Ireland – Antrim, Armagh, Derry, Down, Fermanagh, and Tyrone, covering 223 parishes, are included.

Irish Flax Grower’s List
In 1796 the Irish Linen Board published a list of almost 60,000 individuals who had received awards for planting a specified acreage of flax. Those who planted one acre were awarded 4 spinning-wheels, and those growing 5 acres were awarded a loom. The records include the name of the individual, county, and parish. The records cover most of Ireland.  The Flax Growers List is arranged by civil parish in each county except for Dublin and Wicklow, which were not included in the records.  The counties available are; Antrim, Armagh, Carlow, Cavan, Clare, Cork, Derry, Donegal, Down, Fermanagh, Galway, Kerry, Kildare, Kilkenny, Laois, Leitrim,  Limerick, Longford, Louth, Mayo, Meath, Monaghan, Offaly, Roscommon,  Sligo, Tipperary, Tyrone, Waterford, Westmeath,  Wexford.

The Royal Irish Constabulary 1816-1921
The Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC) was created in 1816, and initially staffed mainly by Irish-born men. However, toward the 1900s, and especially afterwards, the RIC recruited men from countries such as England, Scotland, Wales, and the United States. The records of the RIC were only indexed annually by the date of enlistment. Until this database was created, the only way to identify whether an ancestor joined the forces was an extremely time-consuming search. Some people joined for a few days or weeks, others stayed for years, and quite a few migrated. There are mentions in the index on whether a person emigrated, died, or married. Continue reading

TGN Expands Ancestry.com’s Technology Team

Ancestry____logo.bmpMike Wolfgramm Appointed to Chief Technology Officer, Jonathan Young Takes Vice President of Development Position

PROVO, UTAH – March 5, 2009 – The Generations Network (TGN), parent company of Ancestry.com, today announced that current Senior Vice President of Technology, Mike Wolfgramm, has been appointed the company’s Chief Technology Officer.  Additionally, Jonathan Young has joined The Generations Network as Ancestry.com’s Vice President of Development.

“For the last ten years, Mike has spearheaded efforts to stay ahead of the company’s continually increasing technology needs, making him a natural choice for this position,” said Tim Sullivan, CEO of The Generations Network. “This new role gives Mike strategic oversight in key areas of growth. He will continue to direct the overall management of and responsibility for all technologies driving our core Ancestry.com platform, in addition to playing an important role for technology matters pertaining to TGN’s international businesses and strategic corporate initiatives.”  

Mike Wolfgramm has been with TGN since 1999, serving in executive roles over global technology.  His responsibilities included overseeing Ancestry’s global network sites and MyFamily.com and most recently served as the company’s Senior Vice President of Technology. With more than fifteen years of experience in the area of technology and product development, Wolfgramm has served in senior development roles at a number of successful technology and web-based businesses, including Open Market, Inc, Reed Elsevier, Mead Data Central, and WordPerfect. Wolfgramm is a graduate of Brigham Young University, where he received a bachelor’s in computer science.

To support Wolfgramm’s new role as Chief Technology Officer, Jonathan Young has recently joined TGN, reporting to Wolfgramm as Vice President of Development. Young’s responsibilities include orchestrating the development and delivery of Ancestry’s global platform, currently incorporating nine international sites. Additionally, Young will partner with Eric Shoup, Vice President of Product, to drive Ancestry product strategy.

“We are pleased to have Jonathan Young join the Ancestry.com team,” said Sullivan. “With Jonathan’s breadth of experience, he’ll be able to advance the growing number of Ancestry.com’s development efforts. He’s a great addition to our team, and I’m confident that he’ll make a very significant contribution to the future success of our organization.”

Jonathan Young joins TGN from Earthlink, where he most recently served as Vice President of Development and was responsible for all development, testing, subscription and billing platforms across multiple sites. Prior to his two years at Earthlink, Young spent ten years at Turner Internet Technologies. While at Turner he served as the Vice President of Product Development, where he was responsible for product management and development functions for Turner’s internet properties. Young earned his Bachelors Degree in Astrophysics and Asian Studies from Williams College.