Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Cornell University's Runaway Slave Project - Freedom on the Move

Dick Eastman's newsletter features an article about Cornell University's project to digitize ads about runaway slaves. This is a great service to those tracing African American ancestors. 

Please spread the word about Freedom on the Move.  These ads feature the person's physical descriptions, their skills, and where they might be headed. The owner posting the ad could also lead a researcher to find more ancestors.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Ancestry stumbles ... again

Those genealogical clubs and societies who host their websites on Rootsweb (now Ancestry controlled) probably share my frustration. The Rootsweb site has had a hardware failure that has taken it down for the past week and won't be up until sometime the middle of March. That means communication about upcoming meetings, conferences, emails to members, and random search requests is unavailable. Our sites are "404 Not Found." 

Ancestry's first stumble, in our humble opinion, was when they took over HeritageQuest. HeritageQuest had a unique search engine that helped us find ancestors when only a few pieces of information were known. That unique way of searching was eliminated as soon as Ancestry took over.

At the end of last year, many of our club members were put into a tailspin when Ancestry announced the demise of their Family Tree Maker software (then sold to another company). Our society quickly formed a technology group to discuss the best options. Unfortunately, a couple of our members had just purchased Family Tree Maker! 

I think we can all agree that Ancestry is a mega-site for genealogy research. I just wish they would concentrate less on how much money they can make and a little more on how to best serve their customers.