“What’s New At Ancestry.com January 2016” YouTube Video; You Can View The Video In This Blog Post

Hi Everyone!

ancestry-logoI just did a quick look at YouTube and saw that there is now a January 2016 video posted from Ancestry.com that is titled “What’s New At Ancestry.com January 2016”.

The video is an approximate 29 minute production hosted by Crista Cowan of Ancestry.com who provides the viewers with updates on what new things users of Ancestry.com should be aware of.

Crista also mentions that in addition to the monthly YouTube video she creates describing “new” things at Ancestry.com for a particular month the reader should always check the blog from Ancestry.com that you can access at:

Ancestry.com Blog

Topics covered in this video by Crista are:

  • Upcoming Conferences –  National Genealogical Society Annual Conference, May 2016, at Ft. Lauderdale, FL; Southern California Jamboree, June, 2016, Burbank, CA; IAJGS Conference, August 2016, Seattle, WA; Federation of Genealogy Societies, August 2016, Springfield, IL.
  • Ancestry Blog Post – Navigational updates done to online family trees.
  • Ancestry Blog Post – Visual changes made to online family trees.  Not dramatic but done in response to customer feedback.
  • Additional Records to Existing DatabaseU.S. School Yearbooks, 1880-2012.  About 58,000 new school yearbooks have been added to the collection.  Crista recommends you select the database by itself before searching all the databases.  Then scroll down to browse the collection box.  Here you will be able to see what states have yearbooks, what towns within the states are in the database and finally what schools within the towns are in the database.  This is a way to determine if a school of interest for you is in the database.  You will also be able to see the total number of yearbooks in the collection for the school by year.  Crista also mentioned it is worth looking at the yearbook page by page.  There may be handwritten notes in the book that have not been included in any of the indexing.
  • New Databases – Many new Germany databases have been added to the collection.  These databases are based on specific geographic town locations.  It can be very difficult for you to meaningfully use these individually if you do not have a town location for your ancestors.  About 23 databases added.  Some have birth, marriage and death records in one file.  Some may just have births or marriages or deaths or combinations.  Looks to be about 60 million records.
  • New Databases – Indiana Marriages Index, 1993-2015.  Searchable but no images.  Web-based so you will leave Ancestry to access the data outside of the index.  About 1.9 million records.
  • New Databases – Victoria. Australia Outbound Passenger Lists. 1852-1915.  Contains about 1.8 million records.  Searchable database from data outside of Ancestry.  No images.  Index leads you to text record.  You can leave Ancestry and go to site where indexed record was obtained to see image of record.
  • New Databases – Alabama, Episcopal Church Registers, 1832-1972.  About 14,000 records.  Data is searchable and will lead you to text record.  You can leave Ancestry and go to site where indexed record was obtained to see image of record.
  • New Databases – Pennsylvania, Chester County, Poor School Children, 1810-1841.  About 63,000 records.  Data is searchable and will lead you to text record.  You can leave Ancestry and go to site where indexed record was obtained to see image of record.
  • Tip From Crista – A particular database may have no connection to your research but you may still benefit from knowing about it.  As an example, there may be an Australian Outbound Passenger List database.  You may not have an Australian connection, but discovering that Outbound passenger records exists may allow you to consider to see if such records exist for the country associated with your ancestor.
  • Research Reminders #1 – Read the complete database descriptions for the newly added material to know what is contained and what is NOT contained.  Don’t just search!
  • Research Reminder #2 – Understand the records you are looking at when you are searching a newly added database.  Knowing what is there will help you create better search terms for better results.  Just create a “test” input search to see the results.
  • Crista spent a good time on this video noting that it is important to consider “browsing” records rather than always searching indexed databases.  Browsing databases are those that have not yet been indexed.  You cannot search these but the data as images is available for you to look through.  The data is generally subdivided into manageable viewing components.  Think of it as viewing a microfilm online.  Look at an individual database via the “Card Catalog” and look to see if it has a “Browse Box” that allows you to look at the data but not be able yet to search it.  The “browse box” implies the data is not yet indexed for direct searching.

You can view this video directly here:

Crista does an excellent job of sharing what is new at Ancestry.com that can make your use of the product even more effective and beneficial with your family history research.  She shows you via her computer screen what to look for at the Ancestry.com site.

I also did a search on YouTube looking for similarly titled videos and did discover that there are many “What’s New At Ancestry.com” videos on YouTube going back at least until April of 2012.  These series of videos are a great tool to use to review going back in time so you keep current with all that is being offered and added to Ancestry.com.

Here is a simple link to my search in YouTube that will give you this nice list of these videos posted to YouTube that you can do some catching up on to know about all of the new things at Ancestry.com:

“What’s New At Ancestry.com” YouTube Videos

The host does a very good job verbally describing the new additions as well as showing you the new things at Ancestry via screencasting.  That allows you to see her computer screen as she points out the various “new” things you may see at Ancestry.com and where they are located.

Because so many of us use Ancestry.com, either via a personal subscription or by using the Ancestry product at our local libraries, these YouTube videos are quite informative to keep users up to date with new features that take root on Ancestry.com.  The host provides even more depth to the importance of the change and even why it was done.

I think you will enjoy the most recent video above as well as looking at the link above for even more of these videos.

Tony Kierna
Genealogy Coordinator
Schaumburg Township District Library

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