[Editor's Note: Ancestry.com has started to supply a series of updates on new features and collections to its press contacts. Here is the set of updates for September 2013.]
Feature Updates on the Site
Global Commenting on Photos, Stories and other media
As you discover your family history you realize that many other “cousins” share parts of your family story. Today, commenting happens on individual copies of photos which means most comment activity on shared photos is missed. We have made a new update on the site that will enable comment sharing across all copies of a shared photo so everyone can join the conversation. We’ll email users when new comment activity occurs, but also make sure the email volume isn’t overwhelming. In addition, we’re refreshing the media page so it’s simpler to update, share, and view your family photos and stories.
Interactive Image Viewer: Related Content Panel
The Interactive Image Viewer has been updated with the Related Content panel. This is currently the most requested feature for the image viewer. A fantastic way to discover new content is just another avenue to easily flesh out more relevant records, the Related Content panel not only includes Suggested Records but will also show Related Trees.
Real Name for all new signups
With more than 50 million family trees on Ancestry.com, connecting with other members can yield family history gold. We know it’s hard to make a personal connection with “TheRealCookieMonster53.” In an effort to promote collaboration and sharing, members profiles will use real names instead of usernames. Users can still change their setting at any time from their Member Profile page to show their preferred name. Although this change is only for new users, we encourage everyone to update their Member Profile to a more personal and transparent name (sorry Cookie Monster)
Search Results: Consolidated Attached Records and Smart Filtering
For the large percentage of users who start a search using an ancestor in their tree, we have cleaned up the results list to consolidate all the records already attached to the searched for ancestor at the top of the results list. Previously, already-attached records were interspersed amongst results, making it challenging to see what was already attached and what was a potentially new result. The new consolidated list is also sorted to help users see easily which records they have found and where they are missing records. The list can be collapsed as well to give more room to the search results list.
With the consolidated attached records we have also introduced smart filtering. Smart filtering removes results from collections that are likely to have only one record per person (like a census or a death record), when a user has already attached a record to the ancestor in their tree from the collection. This helps to surface results that are likely to be new discoveries and content. Users can turn smart filtering on and off on the results page, allowing them to see the filtered list or the full list easily.
New Record Collections
U.S., Cherokee Baker Roll and Records, 1924–1929
If you have ties to the Eastern Band of North Carolina Cherokee, the Baker Roll is a vital document. The Baker Roll was the final roll compiled for determining membership in the Eastern Band, but it is only the beginning of the documents included in this database. Along with the roll itself, you’ll find applications for tribal membership, correspondence regarding applications and other matters, transcripts of testimony, copies of decisions and findings by the Enrolling Commission, and indexes created for some of the document collections.
U.S., Military Registers, 1862–1970
This database contains registers of U.S. military personnel stationed in the United States.
Currently included in this database are registers for U.S. Navy, Marine Corp, and Reserve officers. Additional registers from the collection will be added at a future date. Once the database is complete, the majority of registers in the collection will be for U.S. Army or Navy personnel. Some Air Force lists will also be included, and some ROTC, Army Nurse Cadet Corps, and retired personnel will be found among the records as well. The database does not include all possible years for each publication listed.
New South Wales, Australia, Sydney Improvement Board, 1871–1896
Records: Image only
Less than a hundred years after the First Fleet’s arrival, Sydney was a fast-growing metropolis. Following gold rushes that began in the 1850s, Sydney’s population swelled to more than 200,000. With the rapid growth came the need for oversight of the city’s structures. The Board of Improvements, established in 1879, was tasked with assessing the condition of buildings and making recommendations.
This database is a collection of Improvement Board records, including individual appeals to the board to inspect properties and appeals by owners of properties under consideration. In addition to correspondence, there are minutes of meetings, photos of some buildings, and newspaper clippings. This collection is not searchable, but it can be browsed by record type and time frame.
- Grevesmühlen, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Germany, Births, 1876–1901
- Grevesmühlen, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Germany, Marriages, 1876–1920
- Grevesmühlen, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Germany, Deaths, 1876–1950
- Grevesmühlen, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Germany, Street List, c. 1910
Records: Image only
Cuyahoga County, Ohio, Tax Lists, 1819–1869
This database contains various tax lists from Cuyahoga County, Ohio.
Cuyahoga County was formed in 1808. The tax lists in this database begin in 1819, followed by a break in the records until 1823. The database includes records listing both individuals and corporate entities, such as real estate taxes levied in Cleveland and other municipalities; enumerations for assessment of both real and personal property; levies for improvements such as bridges, roads, and schools; delinquent tax lists; lists of physicians and lawyers subject to levies; fish surveys; and other items.
Birmingham, England, Calendar of Prisoners, 1880–1891 and 1906–1913
Located in the West Midlands area in England, the metropolis of Birmingham lies in the county of Warwickshire, with some neighborhoods in Staffordshire and Worcestershire. This collection is a calendar (list) of prisoners from Birmingham, England, as recorded from the Quarter Sessions and Assizes for the years 1880–1913 (although there is a gap in the records for the years 1891–1906).
Justices of the peace presided over Quarter Sessions, where criminal cases were tried. These cases included theft, counterfeiting, loitering, and drunkenness, as well as some civil matters like licensing. More serious matters were referred to the Court of Assize and were ruled on by judges.
Birmingham, England, Baptisms, Marriages and Burials, 1538–1812
Birmingham, England, Baptisms, 1813–1912
Harborne, Birmingham, England, Confirmations, 1915–1931
Birmingham, England, Marriages and Banns, 1754–1937
Birmingham, England, Burials, 1813–1964
Perth, Western Australia, Australia, Rate Books, 1880–1946
This collection includes images of rate books that record payments residents made for road maintenance. Records can include the property owner’s name occupant’s name occupation description of property, value, tax rate, and date and amount paid
Because these records place individuals at a particular address in a particular year, they are very helpful for tracing your Perth ancestors’ whereabouts. This collection includes rate books for the local councils amalgamated into Greater Perth in 1914, including Leederville, North Perth and Victoria Park.
U.S. Virgin Islands, Applications for Travel Identification Cards, 1918
The U.S. acquired the Virgin Islands at the onset of World War I in Europe, with the transfer being completed in March 1917. With travel restrictions in place during World War I, identification as U.S. citizen by right of birth in the Virgin Islands was necessary to travel to the United States. This collection includes applications for travel identification cards made during 1918.