It’s been a busy few weeks around here.
I spent Thursday, Friday and Saturday of last week at the RootsTech conference in Salt Lake City. Amazing things are happening in the genealogy industry. It’s exciting to be a part of it all. And, I love working in the Ancestry.com booth. With over 3,000 people in attendance I was bound to run into several of you over those three days. It’s always fun to put faces to names.
With all of that preparation for and attendance at the conference I failed to acknowledge some of the cool things happening in our community last week. So, here is a little week in review and then a sneak peek at what’s coming up this week.
First up, as part of our continued commemoration of Black History Month, we published Washington D.C. Ex-Slave Pension Correspondence and Case Files, 1892-1922. These are mostly letters written back and forth between ex-slaves and their representation to those in government with the power to provide pensions. It looks like this was pretty popular (albeit, small) project. There are a few review sets left. So, jump on that if you want to take a look at these records.
Last week we also released two completed collections live to the Ancestry.com sites for searching:
Documenting the marriage of an American citizen (or citizens) overseas fell to the U.S. consulates and embassies. In this fascinating collection you’ll find missionaries, soldiers, travelers, and other assorted American ex-pats. Maybe you’ll even find one of your own ancestors.
(Good news!) The images for this collection have been on the website for over a year. (Bad news!) They weren’t indexed. We all know how difficult it can be to find just what haystack your needle might be hiding in when you are browsing through stacks and stacks of images. So, (good news!) we opened these records up to you, our World Archives community, to index. Unfortunately, (bad news!) they were a little more difficult to key than many of the other records we undertake to index every day. At the rate we were going it was going to be 2152 before they were completed (I’m not kidding!).
That’s when Ancestry.com decided (good news!) that these records were important enough that we would pay our professional keyers to complete them. And, if you remember, as part of last summer’s World Record Challenge, we promised we would post a paid database for free if you keyed 8 million records (which, if you round up a little bit, you totally did).
So, even though the World Archives community only keyed a very small percentage of the records in this 3.9 million name database, all are now online and available to anyone to search for free! (Great news! And great job to all those who worked so diligently on these difficult records.)
Phew! That’s what happened last week. Here’s a sneak peek at what’s going on this week.
Tomorrow we will publish Poland, Jewish Prisoners of War in Lublin, 1939-1941. (I’ll update that with a link to the project page as soon as it is published.) This project is not very large so if you want to participate, watch carefully tomorrow for it to be published for keying. Also, like the project we published two weeks ago, contractual obligations with the content provider prohibit us from having continued access to the images. This means we are indexing more fields than usual.
Finally, I will be in Las Vegas this weekend doing a couple of free genealogy workshops. The first, Getting the Most Out of Your Ancestry.com Subscription, will be held at 10:00 am on Saturday at the Paseo Verde Library in Henderson. The second, Tips and Tricks To Research Online Like A Professional, will be at the Sahara West Library at 1:00 pm on Sunday. Click here for more details about each event. If you are in the area, feel free to stop by. I’d love to meet you!
There you have it – last week…this week…More to come next week!
Until next time – Happy Keying!