Thank You from the Sr. Director of Ancestry World Archives Project

As those of us in the U.S. celebrate Memorial Day and  remember our loved ones this weekend let us also celebrate their lives, the hopes and dreams that many of our ancestors had and show gratitude to them for the characteristics and passions they passed onto us that make us who we are today.


My family usually spends the memorial weekend decorating graves and for years my mother has often told us stories about her life with these people.  As a child I didn’t appreciate these moments as much as I do now especially as my mother’s memories are a bit clouded.  Each story and memory is a treasure and I have often found myself aligning with individual ancestors that I wanted to emulate. 


As I read your comments on the blog, the message boards and have had the opportunity to talk to a few of you directly, I know your biggest desire is to give back to others & connect with your families.  I feel your unspoken and sometimes spoken expressions of gratitude for ancestors who have paved the way for you.


Over the last week we have over 2K new contributors who have caught the same vision and to you we extend a heartfelt WELCOME!  Come join a fabulous team of nearly 16,000 dedicated and energized contributors that expand to over 68 different countries.  In the last 11 months this group has keyed over 11M records which will be free to everyone. 


We have published to the site two of the collections (Wisconsin Mortality Records & Alabama State Census 1820-1866) with three more coming in the next couple of months.


As the Sr. Director for the World Archives Project I want to extend my enthusiasm and gratitude to each of you for the hours and dedication to helping connect families across distance and time!


Happy Memorial Day!


 “Each generation goes further than the generation preceding it because it stands on the shoulders of that generation.  You will have opportunities beyond anything we have ever known.”  — President Ronald Reagan

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Reader Comments

I am grateful to have the opportunity to help preserve historical records that will help many find evidence of their families in the past. Thanks again for allowing me to be a part of such an important project.

I am also grateful to you folks at and WAP who have allowed us to be a part of history. Every time I key a historical fact I remember the excitement I feel when I find another link to my past. This has been an uplifting experience for me and I thank you all so much for including me.

I would also like to thank you for letting me be a part of this wonderful project. I don’t know who had the idea to allow the public to contribute, but it was brilliant. One million records a month – That’s wonderful!

Thank you for recognizing the volunteers hard work and dedication to the project. Being able to participate in preserving the past has been a wonderful learning experience .
P.S. Thank you to all dedicated volunteers out there 11 million records!!! OUTSTANDING!!!

I just found out about this project and am very glad to be part of it. I spent several yrs hitting blank walls until I joined Ancestry’s website. I just hope I can give back as much as they have helped me again from their information.

It is exciting to be part of a project that help connect people to their family history. I am hopeful that at some future point, my Italian roots will be available through this or similar projects.

Thank you for allowing us to contribute in our small ways to this enormous undertaking. I know how essential these records are in the quest to find out roots and how frustrating it is when the records we know are out there are just not available.

I have just learned about this project and am excited to be a part of something so important. I am eager to start so that many more people can enjoy the prospect of connecting to their past.

Hi, Glad to “meet” you and thanks for recognizing the World Project Keyers and Arbitrators. My grandmother, now deceased, passed on her stories and the genealogy bug. She told me about their Decoration Day, walking several miles to the town’s cemetery while carrying picnic baskets and home-grown potted plants wrapped in saved butcher paper and tied with string. They spread blankets over the graves and settled in for some planting and eating. After lunch, the kids ran among the tombstones playing games while adults talked or slept–right atop the graves. Nearing sunset, they gathered all their belongings and kids and walked again the many miles to home. Quite different from today’s hour visit to install store-bought plants or plastic flowers and back in the car to elsewhere.

By the way, could you direct the programmers to fix the Arbitration tool? Mine loads all images at about “Fit Width” no matter how many times I switch it to 100%. It used to load all to 180% so “Fit Width” I guess is an improvement… but still a hassle.


I posted this on the International Board, but would like the Senior Director to see it. Many of us who key Andrews Cards feel the same way.

Andrews: Lamenting the Future

Ok, so I tend to think ahead. Indulge me. LOL

I’ve tried another Project here and there… but I always like Andrews the best.

I *hate* Projects where line after line after line of names must be entered. Or, line after line AND the image is 2 football-field lengths left to right. It just doesn’t tickle my fancy. I get lost easier. I get bored!!!!!

Andrews, to me, is far easier to key than keying 20 lines of a register. I LIKE figuring out WHO to key and what else I can key from Andrews and stay within the rules. I like working with puzzle pieces, turning the pieces, figuring out where they “fit” on the line.

Those Bio things with Duke and Duchess and the Earl of Canned Beef Stew and George of The-Faraway-Land just don’t interest me!

Census? Eh– take it or leave it. I leave it quicker than I stay.

So I think ahead to 2010. WHAT will I do without Andrews?

I pray (seriously!) that WAP gets it’s hands on another Project like Andrews. Geez, I’d even donate the 100s of bankers boxes full of newspaper clippings I have, just to have another Andrews-like Project. I know of a county with 200 + years of newspapers—could WAP please get access to those!?

So, I lament the future, when Andrews will be done, and I’ll be lost as to what to key and to arbitrate. Let the gods give WAP another project similar to Andrews—PLEASE!


I myself have just found out about this project and am glad to help. I am hoping while keying records that I myself will find information on my family that i have hit a brick wall knowing that the info is somewhere, but finding it has cause the halt of information.

What an honor it is to be able to contribute in some small way to the discoveries of future researchers. THANKS for letting us be a part of this project!