Add Audio to Your Family Tree at Ancestry!

Audio Story Person page_222222.jpgI just checked out a very cool new addition to the family trees at They have added a beta version of a new audio storytelling service that allows you to add your own words, and the words of other family members, to your family tree site.
This opens up a lot of possibilities. Inviting family members to view the names and dates on your family tree could be a tough sell for some, but inviting them to hear family stories and memories just might be a little more enticing. Invite everyone to share their memories and make it a collaborative effort that will enhance your family history for everyone.
It’s very simple to use. Just go to your family tree site (or create one if you haven’t already—it’s free) by clicking on the My Ancestry tab at  Open your tree and select the person to whom you wish to attach the story.
Just below that person’s profile at the top of the page, you’ll see five links: Photos; Add a story; Audio; Historical Records; and Add a comment. Select Audio. A pop-up box will appear with two choices: Begin My Story and Invite Family.  (Click on the image to enlarge it and see a sample page.) Continue reading

Ancestry Launches FireFox Advanced Image Viewer

Yesterday (3/29/07), Ancestry released the FireFox Advanced Image Viewer.  The FireFox Advanced Image Viewer adds the same set of functionality as the Internet Explorer version such as:

  • Support for TIFF and JPEG 2000 images – giving our users a high-quality complete image with a single download of a compressed file.
  • Hit-highlighting on images (such as Newspapers, and Family and Local Histories).
  • Interactive zooming and panning
  • Thumbnails
  • Auto-Contrasting
  • Download progress indicator
  • Image magnification
  • Auto-sizing UI – using the maximum amount of the user’s browser window to view images

The Firefox Advanced Image Viewer works on FireFox 1.5 and FireFox 2.0 browsers running on Windows ME and higher Windows operating systems.

“If You Are Reading This…” Letters

love letters.jpgWell, I just had my good cry for the morning. I was reading the Chicago Tribune online and ran across an article about “If You Are Reading This…” letters. Most of the letters were written by soldiers who didn’t make it home to their families, but who took the time to write to their families how they felt, values they held dear, and in some, apologies.

The columnist, Eric Zorn asks the question, why aren’t we all writing these letters, and better yet, why wait until we’re dead to share them with family? Good question. As family historians, we put a lot of stock into preserving memories, but are we also taking the time to preserve those intangibles–the love we feel, the hopes for our children, the dreams we share? If not, maybe it’s time we did.

If you’re interested, the article is online at the Chicago Tribune website. It does require a free registration to view it, but it’s well worth a few minutes. Just make sure you have Kleenex. Partners With to Bring Online Nearly 300 Years of Early Canadian Historical Documents Effort to Digitize More Than 1.6 Million Pages of Canadian Family and Local History Documents From the 1600s to the 1900s

PROVO, Utah, March 29 /CNW/, the largest Canadian family history website, and, a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving access to early Canadian publications, today announced a partnership to digitize and bring online nearly 300 years of’s early historical records spanning from the 1600s to the 1900s.  The new collection includes more than 6,200 publication titles and 1.6 million pages of family histories, local histories, biographies, civil service records and other early historical documents.

As the steward of one of the greatest collections of local Canadian historical archives, worked closely with professional historians and genealogists to extract records of genealogical significance from its entire archive.  Through these efforts, has created a new collection, Genealogy and Local History Collection to 1900, which is digitizing and making available online along with its existing and highly complementary collections such as the fully indexed 1851, 1901, 1906 and 1911 Censuses of Canada.  The Genealogy and Local History Collection to 1900 is the largest family and local history collection of its kind in Canada. Continue reading

Ancestry Launches U.S.-Canadian Border Crossings Collection, 1895-1956

Canadian Spans. Thousand Islands International Bridge. Connecting Canada At Ivy Lea, Ontario And United States At Collins Landing, New York (from Ancestry Historical Postcard Collection)Superman Creator, Joseph Shuster, Among More Than 4 Million Names Added to Largest Online Collection of U.S. Immigration Records

PROVO, UTAH – March 28, 2007 –, the world’s largest online resource for family history, today announced the addition of the first and only online collection of more than 4 million names of individuals who crossed the U.S.-Canadian border between 1895 and 1956. These historical records are the latest addition to’s Immigration Records Collection, which also includes more than 100 million names from the largest online collection of U.S. passenger lists, spanning 1820 to 1960.

An often-overlooked, but major U.S. immigration channel, the U.S.-Canadian border typically offered easier entrance to the United States than sea ports such as Ellis Island. This new collection includes immigrants who first sailed to or settled in Canada before continuing to the United States as well as U.S. and Canadian citizens crossing the border. Continue reading Ad Campaign to Begin This Month

Ancestry leaf is launching its first ever fully-integrated external marketing campaign. This campaign will run throughout 2007 and will include television, print, radio, out-of-home, and online. The ads capture the emotional experience of connecting with your ancestors and the rewards that result from gaining an understanding of your family history. The campaign will run on national cable including A&E and Scripps network, nationally syndicated radio stations including Fox News Radio, Air America Radio, and CBS News, and weekly and monthly Time, Inc. publications. Click here to get a sneak peek at some of the ads.

Last Chance for Early-Bird Discount for Celtic Quest Trip to Ireland

celtic quest.bmpThose interested in signing up for the Celtic Quest Research Trip to Dublin in October have a few more days to save $50 with the early-bird discount. Experienced researchers will guide you through record facilities like the General Register Office, the National Archives of Ireland, the National Library of Ireland, the Registry of Deeds, Valuation Office of Ireland, and the Representative Church Body Library. Learn more at: