Sunday, December 30, 2007

Family Tree Announcement from

Since 1999, our Online Family Tree system has helped almost 2 million people build family trees, upload GEDCOM files and add their trees to Ancestry World Tree. We’ve maintained this system for some time, but the it’s finally become outdated and will soon be replaced with the Ancestry Member Tree system introduced in July 2006. We realize this is a bitter disappointment for some of you who have worked in our Online Family Tree system for years. This is an important step for us that lets us focus all our ability on creating one great system for everyone to use. At nearly 8 years old, Online Family Tree is an ancient product (in internet years anyway), and we feel it is important to move everyone to the new system while this one is still running. If we prolonged this, it would be much more difficult to do this while the OFT system is on life-support.

What does this mean for you?

For those that have a file in the old Online Family Tree system, you’ll be able to access your tree in that system through about March 2008. Between now and then you can easily transition your family tree file to the Ancestry Member Tree system and get used to it before the Online Family Tree system expires.
We know how much time and energy you’ve put into your tree and we’ve done our best to make sure you don’t lose a bit of it as you change systems. There are basically two phases to this transition period for Online Family Tree:

Phase 1 — Trial and transition.

Between now and March 2008 you can move your family tree file to the Ancestry Member Tree system and get familiar with it. Your file in the old Online Family Tree system will remain intact so you can double-check everything. However, once you’ve transitioned your tree to the Ancestry Member Tree system, any new information added or edits made will not be reflected in your Online Family Tree file. Do nothing during this timeframe and nothing will change in your Online Family Tree file. If you make changes to your Online Family Tree file after you’ve transitioned to Ancestry Member Trees, you’ll have the option to send the updated file to the new system once again.

Phase 2 — Tree expiration.

At the end of March 2008 we’ll send you another reminder to transition your tree. At this point, your tree will no longer be accessible in the Online Family Tree system, but the file itself WILL remain on our servers and in the system for as long as we can maintain it. When you come to view your Online Family Tree file, you’ll see only a link to move your family tree file to the Ancestry Member Tree system.

After March 2008 we plan to remove the old feature set surrounding your file. This means that all Online Family Tree files previously submitted to Ancestry World Tree will remain there permanently, unless you take steps to remove it.

About Ancestry Member Trees

The Ancestry Member Tree system will give you most of the same features as the Online Family Tree system. That includes integrated record search, the ability to invite family members to edit and contribute, GEDCOM import and export and much more. The Ancestry Member Tree system will also offer many new and exciting features.

Below is a comparison chart to show which features from the Online Family Tree system are available in the Ancestry Member Trees system:

feature comparison

We believe you will find much to enjoy about Ancestry Member Trees, and we hope to continue to add features and make you excited about the product.

Already more than 3 million people have created trees using the Ancestry Member Tree system, and we’ve been amazed at the work that has been done:

  • 4.2 million family trees created

  • 378 million names added

  • 937,000 family members invited

  • 48 million Ancestry Hints™ accepted

  • 4 million photos uploaded

Monday, December 24, 2007

Spring 2008 Genealogy Classes Set at TCCC

Do you want to learn more about your family history? Are you digging for those family roots on the internet, but not finding much?

Then consider taking one of the genealogy classes at Tri County Community College, Peachtree, North Carolina, this Spring. These inexpensive classes are available for all genealogy skill levels and are taught by local genealogy newspaper columnist and lecturer, Larry Van Horn.

Van Horn is professional family historian/genealogist who has been actively researching his many ancestral families for the last 30 years. He is currently working over 130 ancestral surnames, and has documented/sourced over 23,000 family ancestors and descendants in compiling his extensive family history. He lectures on genealogy topics to groups throughout the Tri-State area and writes the popular weekly syndicated newspaper column - Finding Your Roots. He has taught genealogy classes at Tri County for the last ten years.

Genealogy is one of the largest and fastest growing hobbies in the country. Millions of people all across the United States, and indeed the world, are digging up clues into their past. Google currently reports over 91.6 million pages on the net that contain the word genealogy. The most popular genealogy website on the internet,, has more subscribers online than the Wall Street Journal.

Genealogy courses scheduled for Spring are:

Genealogy - Beginning/Intermediate
This course covers the usage of a variety of record sources in the pursuit of ancestor hunting. Sources such as vital records, census, church records, court, military, land property, and tax records will be discussed in detail. If you want to
learn how to find and use these records in genealogical research, this course is for you. This course is a requirement to take any of the advanced genealogy courses offered at TCCC. The class will be held Thursdays, January 10 * March 27, from 6:30 * 9:00 p.m. Cost is $50.

Researching an American Genealogy, Part 1
The first part of this course instructs the researcher in the timeless principles of
genealogical research. It incorporates the latest thinking on genealogy and computers, specifically the relationship between computer technology (the Internet and CD-ROM) and the timeless principles of good genealogical research. It also includes information on the evaluation of genealogical evidence and organization, analyzing the family pedigree, correspondence, research tools, reference materials, and cutting edge technology such using DNA in genealogy. Part 2 will be taught in the
spring of 2008. This is an advanced course and students must have completed the Beginner/Intermediate Genealogy and Part 1 of this course in order to register for this class. The class will be held Mondays, January 7 * April 7, from 9:30 * 11:00 a.m. Cost is $50.

Researching an American Genealogy, Part 2
For those who want to learn how to build pedigrees and reconstruct family groups, tying them from one generation to the next, this course is a must. This course also has value to other researchers. Historians, demographers, and sociologists studying people in the past will find that this course will provide important guidance in assessing which records will provide the facts needed. Part 2 of this popular advanced genealogy course will cover records and their uses. This course will look in-depth at vital records, census, probate and basic legal terminology, land records, court, church, and military records, and many more. The class will be held
Tuesdays, January 8 * March 25, from 6:30 * 9:00 p.m. Cost is $50.