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Renee
16 March 2007 @ 04:15 pm
New Press Release from FamilySearch.org

We would like to share the following press release with you:

Free Online Genealogy Database Hits 150 Million Names - also adds ability to view names in family tree format

SALT LAKE CITY - FamilySearch announced today that the Pedigree Resource File (PRF) database has reached over 150 million searchable names. Along with the milestone achievement, a new feature has been added that allows users to view genealogical and extended information for deceased individuals in a familiar pedigree (family tree) format. Users can search or contribute their personal genealogies to the free database at www.familysearch.org.

The PRF database is a popular destination for family historians seeking to find missing branches of their family tree and then preserve or share family histories online. People from around the world can submit their genealogies online at FamilySearch.org. Using a genealogy software program (such as the free Personal Ancestral File program found at FamilySearch.org), users can easily donate a copy of their personal family histories to the Pedigree Resource File. Details can be found online by clicking the Share tab on FamilySearch.org. Since its launch in 1999, the database has grown at a rate of about 19 million names a year. Today, it boasts over 150 million searchable names. To respect privacy, only information about deceased individuals is displayed online.

"Prior to this latest search improvement, users didn't always realize that there was additional information available for an ancestor found in the database. We also wanted to display search results for an individual in the more familiar context of a family tree," said Steve Anderson, Marketing Manager for FamilySearch. "This new feature allows them to do just that."

The Pedigree Resource File can be found on the advanced search page on FamilySearch.org:

www.familysearch.org/Eng/Search/frameset_search.asp

FamilySearch is the public channel of the Genealogical Society of Utah (GSU), a nonprofit organization sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. FamilySearch maintains the world's largest repository of genealogical resources accessed through FamilySearch.org, the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, and over 4,500 family history centers in 70 countries.
 
 
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Renee
The following email was sent today to Family History Center Directors from the Family History Support Center.

Discontinued Access to Ancestry.com Databases

For many years, Ancestry.com has provided free access to patrons of family history centers around the world. Ancestry has informed the [LDS] Church that as of April 1, 2007, it will discontinue this free access to the full Ancestry.com service.

Free access through Ancestry.com to the following databases will continue:

1. Index and images for the 1880, 1900 and 1920 U.S. censuses
2. Full name indices for the British 1841-1891 censuses (England and Wales)
3. World War I draft cards indices as created and miscellaneous other databases

Free access is likely to be discontinued for the remainder of the Ancestry.com databases including:

1. Index and images for the 1930 U.S. census
2. Index and images for the 1901 British census (England, Scotland, and Wales)

At this point, Ancestry.com is not offering an option for family history centers to independently purchase commercial or library site licenses. Patrons, of course, may choose to subscribe directly to Ancestry.com.

Free access to online databases is important and we therefore intend to add many new databases to FamilySearch.org. Much of the data preparation will be accomplished through the online indexing program available at FamilySearchIndexing.org. We encourage you to visit the website to learn more.

Volunteers have already begun indexing the 1900 U.S. census and other projects. Other censuses and vital record collections will be indexed as soon as the 1900 U.S. census project is completed. The more volunteers that participate, the sooner access can be provided. Since access to databases on FamilySearch.org is free to all, we anticipate that this will be of great interest to individuals around the world. We are also exploring opportunities to provide broader access to additional databases from other online service providers.

Please inform patrons regarding our plans to provide access to records and invite them to help by participating in the FamilySearch Indexing projects. We will communicate as more information becomes available. Thank you for all that you do on behalf of our patrons.

Family History Center Support

[Renee's Note: As sad as this information is don't forget many of you can access census records online through Heritage Quest. Check with you local public library to see if they offer this service and make it available to access in your home. Another good site to check is Free on Ancestry.
 
 
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