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Old 05-24-2007, 11:46 PM   #1
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90 million war records

Ancestry.com has psted ~90 million new records that may be researched without charge until June 6. This might be helpful to any genealogy buffs. Here is the story:


For every generation in this country there has been a war. And with wars come millions of records that can shed light on family history, detailing everything from the color of soldiers' eyes to what their neighbors may have said about them.

On Thursday, Ancestry.com unveils more than 90 million U.S. war records from the first English settlement at Jamestown in 1607 through the Vietnam War's end in 1975. The site also has the names of 3.5 million U.S. soldiers killed in action, including 2,000 who died in Iraq.

"The history of our families is intertwined with the history of our country," Tim Sullivan, chief executive of Ancestry.com, said in a telephone interview. "Almost every family has a family member or a loved one that has served their country in the military."

The records, which can be accessed free until the anniversary of D-Day on June 6, came from the National Archives and Records Administration and include 37 million images, draft registration cards from both world wars, military yearbooks, prisoner-of-war records from four wars, unit rosters from the Marine Corps from 1893 through 1958, and Civil War pension records, among others.

The popularity of genealogy in the U.S. has increased steadily alongside the Internet's growth. Specialized search engines on sites like Ancestry.com, Genealogy.com and FamilySearch.com, along with general search portals like Yahoo Inc. (Nasdaq:YHOO - news) and Google Inc., have helped fuel interest.

"The Internet has created this massive democratization in the whole family history world," said Megan Smolenyak, chief family historian for Ancestry.com. "It's like a global game of tag."

Ancestry.com, which is owned by Generations Network, spent $3 million to digitize the military records. It took nearly a year, including some 1,500 handwriting specialists racking up 270,000 hours to review the oldest records.

The 10-year-old Provo, Utah-based company doesn't have every U.S. military record. Over the past four centuries, some have been lost or destroyed. Some records remain classified.

However, this is the first time a for-profit Web site is featuring this many military records as part of a $100 million investment in what Sullivan says is the largest genealogy Web site with 900,000 paying subscribers. He joined Ancestry.com 18 months ago after leaving the CEO post at online dating giant Match.com.

After June 6, users can pay $155.40 a year for unlimited access to thousands of U.S. record databases, Sullivan said.

Budget constraints and a long list of unfinished priorities have limited federal efforts to make roughly 9 billion public documents available online, said National Archives spokeswoman Susan Cooper.

"In a perfect world, we would do all this ourselves and it would up there for free," she said. "While we continue to work to make our materials accessible as widely as possible, we can't do everything."

Subscribers can set up their own family tree pages on the Ancestry.com site and combine personal information with public records from the site. If they want to restrict access to their pages, privacy controls are available. And information posted about people who were born after 1922, or people born earlier but who are still alive, is automatically blocked from public view.

As for public records that contain what family members might not want the rest of the world to see, there's little recourse involving records on the deceased. Privacy laws don't cover public records of the dead.

Most novice genealogists, however, seem to be more interested in finding out whether they're related to battlefield heroes than they are worried about embarrassing revelations.

Loren Whitney, 30, a software engineer at the company since 2002, has been tracking his family's military history for seven years and discovered a relative going back seven generations from the newest records.

Whitney, an Arkansas native, learned that his mother's third-great-grandfather Thomas Bingham served in the Mormon Battalion to help the U.S. Army in the Mexican War around 1846. That discovery led to Bingham's great-grandfather, Capt. David Perry, who had published chronicles of the French and Indian War in 1819.

"It's exhilarating to find these connections and to see how other people's lives have connected with yours in the way they put you in the situation and circumstances that you are in," Whitney said.

Professional historian Curt Witcher recommends that people have fun and maintain realistic expectations when it comes to genealogy.

A small percentage of amateurs "have this hope, this aspiration, this belief, they've arrived at Mecca and in a few minutes we'll bring the golden tablets out," Witcher said. Most of the time they find out relatives weren't historical celebrities.

Professional researchers, like Witcher, though praise Ancestry.com and other sites that have put vast collections of public data online.

"Bureaucracies generate paper and for researchers that is golden," said Witcher, manager of the historical genealogy department at the Allen County Public Library in Fort Wayne, Ind. He oversees the second-largest genealogical library in the world, and his library helps more than 82,000 people a year authenticate family trees.

As fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan continues, there seems to be a natural draw to tales of military ancestry, a desire to preserve history.

William Endicott, an 81-year-old veteran who served in the 33rd Infantry division of Illinois in World War II, researched his family tree for two decades and found out that his great-grandparents traveled across the Oregon Trail during the 1870s to settle in Eastern Oregon.

Endicott said he tells his veteran buddies all the time: "Our memories are dimming at the ages that we are. Get your history down."

(This version CORRECTS name of Ancestry.com's parent company to Generations Network.)
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Old 05-25-2007, 05:46 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mixmaster
Ancestry.com has psted ~90 million new records that may be researched without charge until June 6. This might be helpful to any genealogy buffs. Here is the story:


For every generation in this country there has been a war. And with wars come millions of records that can shed light on family history, detailing everything from the color of soldiers' eyes to what their neighbors may have said about them.

On Thursday, Ancestry.com unveils more than 90 million U.S. war records from the first English settlement at Jamestown in 1607 through the Vietnam War's end in 1975. The site also has the names of 3.5 million U.S. soldiers killed in action, including 2,000 who died in Iraq.

"The history of our families is intertwined with the history of our country," Tim Sullivan, chief executive of Ancestry.com, said in a telephone interview. "Almost every family has a family member or a loved one that has served their country in the military."

The records, which can be accessed free until the anniversary of D-Day on June 6, came from the National Archives and Records Administration and include 37 million images, draft registration cards from both world wars, military yearbooks, prisoner-of-war records from four wars, unit rosters from the Marine Corps from 1893 through 1958, and Civil War pension records, among others.

The popularity of genealogy in the U.S. has increased steadily alongside the Internet's growth. Specialized search engines on sites like Ancestry.com, Genealogy.com and FamilySearch.com, along with general search portals like Yahoo Inc. (Nasdaq:YHOO - news) and Google Inc., have helped fuel interest.

"The Internet has created this massive democratization in the whole family history world," said Megan Smolenyak, chief family historian for Ancestry.com. "It's like a global game of tag."

Ancestry.com, which is owned by Generations Network, spent $3 million to digitize the military records. It took nearly a year, including some 1,500 handwriting specialists racking up 270,000 hours to review the oldest records.

The 10-year-old Provo, Utah-based company doesn't have every U.S. military record. Over the past four centuries, some have been lost or destroyed. Some records remain classified.

However, this is the first time a for-profit Web site is featuring this many military records as part of a $100 million investment in what Sullivan says is the largest genealogy Web site with 900,000 paying subscribers. He joined Ancestry.com 18 months ago after leaving the CEO post at online dating giant Match.com.

After June 6, users can pay $155.40 a year for unlimited access to thousands of U.S. record databases, Sullivan said.

Budget constraints and a long list of unfinished priorities have limited federal efforts to make roughly 9 billion public documents available online, said National Archives spokeswoman Susan Cooper.

"In a perfect world, we would do all this ourselves and it would up there for free," she said. "While we continue to work to make our materials accessible as widely as possible, we can't do everything."

Subscribers can set up their own family tree pages on the Ancestry.com site and combine personal information with public records from the site. If they want to restrict access to their pages, privacy controls are available. And information posted about people who were born after 1922, or people born earlier but who are still alive, is automatically blocked from public view.

As for public records that contain what family members might not want the rest of the world to see, there's little recourse involving records on the deceased. Privacy laws don't cover public records of the dead.

Most novice genealogists, however, seem to be more interested in finding out whether they're related to battlefield heroes than they are worried about embarrassing revelations.

Loren Whitney, 30, a software engineer at the company since 2002, has been tracking his family's military history for seven years and discovered a relative going back seven generations from the newest records.

Whitney, an Arkansas native, learned that his mother's third-great-grandfather Thomas Bingham served in the Mormon Battalion to help the U.S. Army in the Mexican War around 1846. That discovery led to Bingham's great-grandfather, Capt. David Perry, who had published chronicles of the French and Indian War in 1819.

"It's exhilarating to find these connections and to see how other people's lives have connected with yours in the way they put you in the situation and circumstances that you are in," Whitney said.

Professional historian Curt Witcher recommends that people have fun and maintain realistic expectations when it comes to genealogy.

A small percentage of amateurs "have this hope, this aspiration, this belief, they've arrived at Mecca and in a few minutes we'll bring the golden tablets out," Witcher said. Most of the time they find out relatives weren't historical celebrities.

Professional researchers, like Witcher, though praise Ancestry.com and other sites that have put vast collections of public data online.

"Bureaucracies generate paper and for researchers that is golden," said Witcher, manager of the historical genealogy department at the Allen County Public Library in Fort Wayne, Ind. He oversees the second-largest genealogical library in the world, and his library helps more than 82,000 people a year authenticate family trees.

As fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan continues, there seems to be a natural draw to tales of military ancestry, a desire to preserve history.

William Endicott, an 81-year-old veteran who served in the 33rd Infantry division of Illinois in World War II, researched his family tree for two decades and found out that his great-grandparents traveled across the Oregon Trail during the 1870s to settle in Eastern Oregon.

Endicott said he tells his veteran buddies all the time: "Our memories are dimming at the ages that we are. Get your history down."

(This version CORRECTS name of Ancestry.com's parent company to Generations Network.)
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Old 05-25-2007, 04:52 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Government Spokeswoman
Budget constraints and a long list of unfinished priorities have limited federal efforts to make roughly 9 billion public documents available online, said National Archives spokeswoman Susan Cooper.

"In a perfect world, we would do all this ourselves and it would up there for free," she said. "While we continue to work to make our materials accessible as widely as possible, we can't do everything."
My vote is for Susan Cooper for President!! She seems honest and understands government and how it works, as well as the role of the private sector. I bet she gets fired soon.
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Old 05-25-2007, 05:19 PM   #4
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Knowing who your family is and where they came from is priority to me and should be for all people. This is a great chance to do just that. I have a family tree on my side going back to 1401 and on my wifes side even longer. I am of Scottish descent and she is of Welsh descent made for some mighty fine daughters I love linage search it is a never ending quest. Family Tree Maker is a great program and you can get it at Sam's. 17 disc and very easy to use.
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Mat 7:14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.
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Old 07-27-2007, 06:26 PM   #5
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Identity theives

Chris Hanson reported on Dateline that many identity theives cruise online sites to find information, in particular, mothers maiden name.
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Old 07-27-2007, 06:33 PM   #6
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>Knowing who your family is and where they came from is priority to me and should be for all people.

Why? Almost all of those people were long dead before you were even born.
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Old 07-27-2007, 06:48 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joepole
>Knowing who your family is and where they came from is priority to me and should be for all people.

Why? Almost all of those people were long dead before you were even born.
Joe,
before I get "into" this one.. is your objection due to the use of the word "priority" or is it simply the thought about caring where it is we come from ?

LOL

personally I find it all very interesting. Before my father passed away, he was able to compile all sorts of good information together back in the late 80's. He had real good information for all the family lines, his mother's line and my mother's grandparents' line.. but the line for his father was a bit tougher. this is the line I find most interesting however.. I suppose since it corresponds with my last name as well.

After he died, we continued the search.. managed to find a few land deeds signed by relatives around the mid 1800's and leading up to the civil war.

through online searches and meeting up with someone who's already done some of the same research we were looking for.. got us back to a direct link to a fellow who was living in Boston in 1775.. I thought that was pretty cool.. the link breaks sometime before that some 50+ years before that, about a story about two brothers coming over on a boat to the new world .. wish I could get back farther than that.
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Old 07-27-2007, 11:18 PM   #8
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I find it interesting, as well, but I'm kind of a history buff in general. I'm wondering why someone would think it's important or a priority.

What possible difference could the identity of your great-great-great-grandfather have on your life unless he left you some money?
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Old 07-27-2007, 11:46 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joepole
I find it interesting, as well, but I'm kind of a history buff in general. I'm wondering why someone would think it's important or a priority.
important, or a priority.. well that's a loaded question I think. For some, it is of importance or a priority to go to church on Sunday.

For some, work is a priority, for some, their marriage a priority. For me, it's important to find time to spend with friends and family.

And for some, it may feel important or imperative to discover about their family history, and origins.

Personally, I derive a good bit of enjoyment, discovering those links and learning the history of your great, great, great etc.. grandfather. Occasionally I feel a certain "drive" to try and learn more. It's been some time since I've looked into it however.







Quote:
Originally Posted by joepole
What possible difference could the identity of your great-great-great-grandfather have on your life unless he left you some money?
well.. ask someone that, who has no idea of who their mother or father are? For some, knowing their history, may help to define themselves in some way.

But for me to find out some link to a distant relative.. it ain't gonna make me rich. Not going to change my "standing" in society. But I would enjoy it.
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Old 07-28-2007, 01:43 AM   #10
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>For some, work is a priority, for some, their marriage a priority. For me, it's important to find time to spend with friends and family.

Isaac said that finding out about your ancestors should be a priority for everyone. I'm trying to figure out why he thinks that.
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Old 07-28-2007, 05:29 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joepole
>For some, work is a priority, for some, their marriage a priority. For me, it's important to find time to spend with friends and family.

Isaac said that finding out about your ancestors should be a priority for everyone. I'm trying to figure out why he thinks that.
It was priority for Jacob but not for Esau You birthright is important for many reasons. Each person should know about their ancestors and who it was that brought the seed forward to where you are today ? You have the choice to care or not it is up to you. Then you have many choices in life and they may not seem to matter now but they will one day. Who knows joepole you might be related to Brain
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Old 07-28-2007, 10:08 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joepole
>For some, work is a priority, for some, their marriage a priority. For me, it's important to find time to spend with friends and family.

Isaac said that finding out about your ancestors should be a priority for everyone. I'm trying to figure out why he thinks that.
For most of us our family trees have MANY branches and they are interesting and we enjoy knowing where we came from. Joe maybe your tree is missing a few limbs!
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Old 07-28-2007, 10:28 AM   #13
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well.. like I asked originally.. it seems Joe's problem is why it should be a priority for EVERYONE. Which obvisously it is not.

To each his own.

For me, it's a priority to watch the Saints games.

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Old 07-28-2007, 11:52 AM   #14
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Usually there is only one or two people in each family generation that enjoys this hobby but that is enough to keep the records straight for everyone. I wish I had more time for geneology research. It's fun!
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