My father, J. T. Powell, Jr., was a genuine rocket scientist, an award winner at that. So 40 years ago we were glued to the television, watching, as my father described it, test pilots trying to land a very large beer can on the moon. And they did it.
So much was unknown: What was the surface of the moon? Rock? Dust one mile thick? Something in between? Would the lightweight aluminum lander crumple, hold up, or be punctured by a wandering meteorite? Would the thrusters be enough to launch it back to the orbiting part of the craft? So many, many things could go wrong, and yet the mission went off perfectly. Skill, luck and courage all played a part.
The one thing I remember most clearly: going outside, looking at that waxing crescent moon and enjoying the fact that human beings were walking up there.
Following the first episode of the new series of ’Who Do You Think You Are?’, Tracesmart, leading providers of online people search tools, experienced a significant surge in visitors to their site. It would appear the programme has inspired viewers to research their family tree, in which Tracesmart can play an important role.
Over 10,000 people searches are conducted daily on the Tracesmart website, which helps people to find relatives and friends.The site provides people tracing and research tools, such as their address search tool, which are driven by a multitude of databases which cover recent history. Whilst users cannot research historical data such as census records, which are a useful resource for genealogists, they do provide a link to some of the most powerful resources for family tree research – living relatives.
Many people in the UK have lost touch with family members or have distant relatives who may hold the key to unlocking their family history, and Tracesmart has long been used to aid amateur genealogists in their quest for knowledge. Providing access to information such as current and historic Electoral Roll records and Birth, Death and Marriage Indexes, Tracesmart can be utilised to locate relatives that could provide vital links to the past.
The BBC’s ’Who Do you Think You Are?’ series has raised the profile of genealogy. The first episode of this new series aired on Wednesday 15th July at 9pm and featured Davina McCall, who traced her French and English roots. It was following this broadcast that the Tracesmart website received an influx of visitors. Owen Roberts, Communications Manager at Tracesmart, comments on the role the company has to play in family research,
“Living relatives can often provide gems of information about a family’s history but, unfortunately, family members can often lose touch with one another. It is at this point that the genealogist will turn to us to help them locate those relatives they have lost contact with.
In addition to our online search facilities, we also have an experienced team of researchers who can offer advice to those who have lost contact with a family member – my advice to anyone who is searching for a relative is get in touch with us”
One of the largest and most complete Rolls of Honor for the US Civil War has been released by Familyrelatives.com. It is the first time that all 27 volumes have been made available online.Familyrelatives.com continues with more data additions this month with over 276,000 Roll of Honor records for those soldiers who died in the defence of the Unionduring the American Civil War.
The “Names of the Soldiers Who Died in the Defence of the American Union – interred in the National Cemeteries” were recorded by the Quartermaster General’s Office in 1866. In each case the original place of interment, the soldiers’ name, rank, company, regiment, date of death, section of cemetery and the number of the grave are all detailed. In some instances the creed is provided together with a list simply referred to as “Unknowns”
Additional volumes refer to soldiers who died in prison pens – termed “Names of the Soldiers Who Died in the Defence of the American Union – Suffered martyrdom in the Prison Pens throughout the south”. Again the soldiers name, rank, company, regiment, date and cause of death are provided.
The Roll reminds us that the Civil War was a bitter conflict and one of the bloodiest and costliest in terms of the toll it took on both sides with an estimated 620,000 military deaths, two thirds of whom died by disease as well as an undetermined number of civilian casualties.
The Union Army consisted of a large number of immigrants including many ethnic groups. A million soldiers were native born Americans of British ancestry, half a million were of German ancestry. 210,000 African Americans of whom half were freed men living in the north the remainder were slaves or had escaped slavery. A similar number were of Irish descent. Canadian, English, French, Dutch, Scandinavian as well as Italian, Jewish, Mexican, Polish, Native Americans and other nationalities numbering 2.2 million fought for the Union.
The legacy of the war meant the ending of slavery, restoring the Unionand the role of federal government. The many social and political issues following the war shaped the reconstruction era which lasted many years. It was the defining event that shaped the future of the United Statesas we know it today.
The collection includes the Final Disposition,four additional volumes listing the original places of burial from which some of the bodies of Deceased Union Soldiers and Prisoners of War have been removed and the various National Cemeteries in which they were finally interred.
The collection together with 650 million historic records is available to search online to all members and visitors by way of an annual subscription of only US$50.00 or £30.00 at http://www.familyrelatives.com/
GeneaBloggers in partnership with GenealogyBank (http://www.genealogybank.com/) want to know who reads and creates genealogy blogs as well as how they are used in genealogy research. The survey questions are easy to answer and the data will help GeneaBloggers identify demographics, trends and habits among genealogy blog readers and authors. This information will be used to add new features at GeneaBloggers, to help us identify trends in the genealogy blogging community and to work with genealogy vendors to help improve their offerings.
GenealogyBank has donated the prize: a one year subscription to its exclusive newspaper archive for family history research which provides information on millions of American families from 1690–today. Over 3,800 newspapers provide first-hand accounts about your ancestors that simply can’t be found in other sources. You’ll be fascinated by the stories, names, dates, places and events that have played a role in your family’s history.
Foundation will Use Biomatrica’s SampleMatrix(R) Technology
SAN DIEGO, July 8 /PRNewswire/ — Biomatrica today announced that the Sorenson Molecular Genealogy Foundation (SMGF) will use Biomatrica’s SampleMatrix room temperature storage technology to archive its DNA samples.
SMGF will use the SampleMatrix technology in place of ultra-low-temperature freezers for the long-term storage of all newly collected samples. In addition, SMGF will move its collection of previously archived samples from freezers to room temperature storage.
“SMGF has an extremely valuable collection of DNAs, and we have been very concerned about the long-term storage and preservation of the collection,” said
Scott Woodward, executive director of the Sorenson Molecular Genealogy Foundation. “Biomatrica has developed a product that we feel addresses our concerns in a very practical, economical and secure way.”
SMGF is using pedigree information and DNA samples to develop a genetic family tree. To date, the foundation has collected more than 100,000 samples along with corresponding genealogy charts containing at least four generations from volunteers in more than 170 countries around the world. SMGF currently stores all of its archived DNA samples in quadruplicate: one sample at 4 degrees C, one sample at minus 20 degrees C and two samples at minus 80 degrees C. SMGF plans to eliminate minus 80 degree frozen storage entirely and replace it with room temperature storage using SampleMatrix technology.
“I am all too familiar with losing precious biological materials since my wife has lost an enormous number of samples in defective freezers, and I have seen decreased sample quality through repeated freeze/thaw cycles, even when stored at minus 80 degrees,” said
Rolf Muller, Ph.D., president and CSO of Biomatrica. “Companies with biobanks, such as SMGF, as well as research institutions and biotechnology companies, can help safeguard their biological assets against loss in emergency situations by transitioning to room temperature storage using Biomatrica’s SampleMatrix technology.”
SampleMatrix is based on extremophile biology in which organisms are able to survive long-term in a state of anhydrobiosis (life without water) and later be revived by rehydration. Extremophiles such as tardigrades, also known as water bears, and brine shrimp are able protect their DNA, RNA, proteins, membranes and cellular systems in a dried state for extended periods of time. Biomatrica’s technology mimics the natural molecular mechanisms used by these organisms. The technology works by forming a thermo-stable barrier during the drying process to protect samples from degradation during storage at room temperature.
About Biomatrica(R), Inc.
Biomatrica (www.biomatrica.com) is a biostability company that provides innovative technologies for stabilizing, processing, storing and shipping biological samples at room temperature. The core technology is designed for use in preserving complex biological samples and assays. The technology is based on the principles of anhydrobiosis (“life without water”), a natural mechanism that allows multicellular organisms to survive extreme environments. Biomatrica’s current products stabilize DNA, RNA, and PCR reactions with no sample degradation, thus labs can reduce their reliance on freezers and drastically reduce shipping costs. Biomatrica products are used in laboratories performing life science research, from pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies to academic research and forensics laboratories. Custom services to stabilize additional sample types such as proteins are also available. Biomatrica also offers SampleWare(R) software, an easy-to-use, customizable laboratory management database that provides scientists with the means to store and organize their sample data, and directly supports samples stabilized by Biomatrica technology. For more information about the SampleMatrix technology and the Biomatrica products utilizing this technology platform (DNAstable(R) for DNA, RNAstable(R) for RNA and CloneStable(R) for bacterial DNA, and PCRboost(R) for stable PCR), visit: www.biomatrica.com.
About Sorenson Molecular Genealogy Foundation
The Sorenson Molecular Genealogy Foundation (SMGF; www.smgf.org) is a non-profit research organization that has created the world’s largest repository of correlated genetic and genealogical information. The SMGF database currently contains information about more than seven million ancestors through linked DNA samples and pedigree charts from more than 170 countries, or approximately 90 percent of the nations of the world. The foundation’s purpose is to foster a greater sense of identity, connection and belonging among all people by showing how closely we are connected as members of a single human family. For more information about the foundation’s free, publicly available database, visit www.smgf.org.
Twelve new collections were added to the FamilySearch Record Search pilot this week. International collections were added for Argentina, Australia, Mexico, Netherlands, and Spain. New United States collections were added for Delaware, Massachusetts, New Mexico, Rhode Island, and Utah. Happy searching!
These collections can be searched for free at the FamilySearch.org Record Search pilot (click Search Records, and then click Record Search pilot).
Special thanks to the growing number of online volunteers who help make these collections freely available by donating their time and talents to the FamilySearch Indexing program.
Collection Name, Indexed Records, Digital Images, Comments
Argentina, Resistencia Diocese, Catholic Parish Records, 1882–1921
Australia, New South Wales, alphabetical index to newspaper cuttings 1841–1987
Mexico, Coahuila, Catholic Church Records, 1627–1978
Mexico, Colima, Catholic Church Records, 1707–1969
Mexico, Campeche, Catholic Church Records, 1638–1944
Netherlands, Limburg Parish Register Transcripts, 1600–1822
New. Additional images will be added later this year.
Spain, Gerona Diocese, Catholic Church Records, 1339–1930
New. Additional images will be added later this year.
U.S., Delaware State Birth Records, 1861–1908
New. Additional records will be added later this year.
U.S., Massachusetts, Death Records, 1841–1915
New. Additional records will be added later this year.
U.S., New Mexico Deaths, 1889–1945
U.S., Rhode Island State Census, 1915
New. Images will be added later.
U.S., Veterans with Federal Service Buried in Utah
The Generations Network, the world’s leading online family history resource, today announced that it is changing its name to Ancestry.com effective immediately.
“Our company has a long and fascinating history, and we’ve been through several name changes over the years. But we started with Ancestry.com, and it now feels completely natural to let our company once again share the Ancestry.com brand with our flagship product,” said
Tim Sullivan, CEO, Ancestry.com. “We’re proud that Ancestry.com has developed as the defining online brand associated with family history. Alongside Ancestry.com, we will continue to support our other brands, including Family Tree Maker, myfamily.com, MyCanvas, Rootsweb, Genealogy.com, Jiapu.com and of course, our international Ancestry sites.”Ancestry.com
Ancestry.com is the world’s leading online family history resource, with more than 4 billion records, proprietary search technologies and an engaged community of 950,000 subscribers and more than 3.5 million active members.
Ancestry.com boasts the only completely indexed online U.S. Federal Census Collection (1790-1930), the most comprehensive online compilation of U.S. ship passenger lists (1820-1960), the largest online collection of African American historical documents and the most comprehensive online collection of U.S. military records, among others.
Global Ancestry Sites
Beyond the United States, the Ancestry global network includes local country sites for the United Kingdom, Canada, Germany, Australia, Italy, France and Sweden.
In August 2008, Ancestry launched a dedicated Chinese family history Web site, jiapu.com.
Complementary Product Lines
Ancestry.com DNA now extends the Ancestry service into the field of genetic genealogy.
MyCanvas, a digital publishing platform integrated into Ancestry.com, now gives every family the ability to create completely unique, professionally printed family history books.
Family Tree Maker(R) 2009, the No. 1-selling family history software package, is now available online and in major retail stores throughout North America and Europe.
The redesigned myfamily.com site now has new features, providing families everywhere a safe, private, and free family home on the Web.
The Generations Network operates through two companies; Generations Holding, Inc., which is changing its name to Ancestry.com Inc. and The Generations Network, Inc., which is changing its name to Ancestry.com Operations Inc. The company will refer to itself as Ancestry.com.
For more information, or to build your family tree and discover your family history, visit www.ancestry.com.
Ancestry.com is the world’s leading resource for online family history and has digitized and put online over 4 billion records over the past twelve years. Ancestry users have created over ten million family trees containing over one billion profiles. Ancestry.com has local Web sites directed at nine countries, and more than 8 million unique visitors spent more than 4 million hours on an Ancestry Web site in April 2009 (comScore Media Metrix, Worldwide). For more information on Ancestry.com and its other family history resources, visit http://corporate.ancestry.com.
Leading Family History Web Site Spotlights Members Who Have Discovered Family Connections in Five National Television Ads
PROVO, Utah /PRNewswire/ — Ancestry.com, the world’s largest online resource for family history, will showcase the stories of five Americans who have made amazing family history discoveries through its Web site in My Story, a new advertising campaign launching today. Tapping into the powerful tradition of storytelling, the new campaign seeks to convey the possibilities of discovering yourself through family history and inspire Americans everywhere to dig deeper into their own heritage.
The new campaign will run for at least the next 12 months. The five 15, 30 and 60 second television ads will spotlight Ancestry.com members from across the country and their heartwarming family history connections, including a New Yorker who found answers about a father he wanted to better understand and a woman from Chicago who is opening up a restaurant with a cousin after exploring how far the cooking talent extended in her family tree. The TV spots will appear on popular cable networks and channels such as AMC, CNN, Fox News, History Channel, Lifetime Movie Network and Hallmark, among others.
Each member’s story and TV commercial will be available at Ancestry.com beginning today, and an online campaign featuring a variety of “Who Will You Discover?” banner ads will begin on June 29.
“What is truly amazing is that these miraculous discoveries are happening every day,” said Cheyenne Richards, vice president of marketing, Ancestry.com. “We literally went through thousands of incredible member-submitted stories before we chose these five. That’s the inspiration behind our new My Story campaign – to convey how life-changing a family history discovery can be.”
The new My Story campaign was designed to resonate with all adults, particularly those ages 45 and older. “One’s motivation to discover their heritage tends to grow over time, but curiosity about family history is a basic human desire,” continued Richards. “We expect these new ad spots will inspire people of all ages to learn more about their heritage. It’s very important to us to help people understand how easy it can be to have such a meaningful experience.”
My Story Television Spots
Ancestry.com Creative Director Shawn Perkins worked closely with Director Jeffrey DeChausse at Boxer Films (Los Angeles) to create the five spots. The new television spots feature the following stories:
* A New Yorker Finds Answers about His Father – Alton Woodman (White Plains, N.Y.) never knew much about his dad, who passed away when Alton was just 14 years old. Turning to Ancestry.com, Alton found his father in a 1920 census record as a 14-year-old himself, and discovered that he was attending an orphanage. To help connect the dots, Alton got in touch with a representative from the orphanage and received a package that offered a more complete picture of his father’s childhood.
* One Man Discovers His Great Grandfather was a War Hero – Cary Christopher (Pittsburgh and San Diego) always wondered about his German great grandfather, who disappeared after a short-lived marriage to Cary’s great grandmother ended in divorce. After 40 years of futile searching, Cary discovered his great grandfather in a World War I draft registration card on Ancestry.com. It turned out his great grandfather had immigrated to the United States before World War I, became a U.S. citizen and rose to the rank of Captain in the U.S. Merchant Marines, where he was killed by a torpedo fired by a German submarine during World War II.
* South Florida Man Connects Father to His Own Mother – Jim Lane’s (Key Biscayne, Fla.) father never knew his mother, who died when he was an infant. Through historical records and member connection services on Ancestry.com, Jim discovered relatives who sent him pictures of his grandmother, and for the first time, Jim’s father was able to see a photograph of his mother.
* Chicago Cook Meets Like-Minded Cousin – When caterer Peggy McDowell (Chicago) began researching the cooking talent in her family tree, she had no idea she would end up going into business with a long-lost cousin. Through searching records on Ancestry.com, she connected with her cousin, who also shares her passion for cooking. Together, they’re opening a soul food restaurant in Chicago’s Hyde Park.
* Washington Woman Confirms Father’s Passing – Cathryn Darling (Olympia, Wash.) had many unanswered questions about her father, who had disappeared when she was eight years old after her parent’s divorce. After searching obituary records on Ancestry.com, Cathryn learned her father died as a fisherman while at sea in Oregon in 1970, and she recently held a memorial service in his honor.
Ancestry.com recently announced that its members have added more than 1 billion people to more than 10 million user-generated family trees on the site since the tree-building and -sharing tools debuted in July 2006. For more information, or to build your family tree, visit www.ancestry.com.
About Ancestry.com and The Generations Network
The Generations Network, Inc., through its flagship Ancestry.com property, is the world’s leading resource for online family history. Ancestry.com has localized sites directed at nine countries. Since July 2006, Ancestry.com users have created 10 million family trees containing 1 billion profiles and 20 million photographs and stories. The Generations Network also includes myfamily.com, Genealogy.com, Rootsweb.ancestry.com, MyCanvas.com, dna.ancestry.com, Family Tree Maker and Ancestry Magazine. More than 8.7 million unique visitors spent over 4.2 million hours on a TGN website in April 2009 (comScore Media Metrix, Worldwide).
Dynamic Family History-Sharing Site Included in Popular Genealogy Magazine’s list of 101 Best Family History Web Sites for Second Year in a Row
Site Provides World’s Largest Correlated Genetic Genealogy Database to Enable Users to Uniquely Explore Genealogical Roots and Connect with Family Members
SALT LAKE CITY–(BUSINESS WIRE)–GeneTree has been named by Family Tree Magazine to its annual list of the 101 best family history Web sites for the second year in a row. This DNA-enabled family history-sharing site is listed among the 10 best Web sites for storing and sharing. GeneTree’s unique approach to family history provides users with access to the world’s largest correlated genetic genealogy database.
Family Tree Magazine is the largest-circulation genealogy magazine in the United States and is written for a growing consumer audience. Ancestry research is among the most popular online activities and much of it is taking place on an estimated 300,000 genealogy Web sites.
“It is exciting to be a part of this prestigious list for the second year in a row,” said Matt Cupal, GeneTree president and COO. “Since our launch, GeneTree has received a remarkably positive response as novice and avid genealogists use our tools to discover additional family lines and connect with family members from around the globe. As we continue to innovate new ways to share genealogy information, the possibilities the Web site provides to reach relatives—both past and present—are truly endless.”
GeneTree takes family history research to the next level by allowing users to have their DNA tested and then mapping those results with the Web site’s worldwide genetic genealogy collection. Through this technology, even novice genealogists can discover portions of their deep ancestral histories that predate written records. Those who elect to have genetic analysis done may choose from several types of DNA tests.
The GeneTree Web site also applies rich media technologies and collaboration tools to genetic genealogy, giving users innovative ways to map, assemble, record and share their family histories. Participants may work together to build new connections with previously unknown living relatives.
GeneTree (www.genetree.com) is mapping the world’s DNA using genetic genealogy. The Web site allows easy connection to genetic cousins, collaboration on family trees, and sharing of photos. By tapping into the world’s most extensive correlated genetic genealogy database, GeneTree allows members to integrate their DNA profiles into their family history research, creating a scientific looking glass to find living and deceased relatives for whom no paper records exist.