Has Ancestry.com Just Been Sold?

Ancestry.com quietly announced, via press release, a major investment of $2.6 billion dollars by Silver Lake and GIC - has Ancestry just been sold?

If I read this correctly, and I don’t believe it is an April Fool’s joke since a SEC 8-K filing was involved, a major stake in Ancestry.com has just been sold for $2.6 billion USD to Silver Lake and GIC who were already equity investors. See Ancestry.com’s press release Silver Lake and GIC Announce Strategic Investments in Ancestry by clicking here.

” Ancestry.com LLC, the leading provider of online family history data and personal DNA testing, today announced that Silver Lake and GIC, a current investor in Ancestry, have signed a definitive agreement to acquire substantial equity stakes in the company from existing equity holders at an enterprise value of approximately $2.6 billion. Following the transaction, Silver Lake and GIC will hold equal minority ownership positions in Ancestry, while other current investors – the Permira funds, Spectrum Equity and Ancestry management, including President and Chief Executive Officer Tim Sullivan and Chief Financial and Chief Operating Officer Howard Hochhauser – will remain as meaningful equity investors in the company and, along with GIC, will continue to own a majority of the company.”

Click here for access to the SEC 8-K filing.

So what does this all mean? I’m still trying to get confirmation from my contacts at Ancestry.com.  But it appears there is a deal that will close by the end of Q2 2016 with the election of board of director leadership:

“The transaction is subject to customary regulatory approvals and is expected to close in the second calendar quarter of 2016. Subsequent to closing, pre-transaction investors in Ancestry will own a majority of the voting capital stock of the company and will designate the majority of the company’s board of directors.”

©2016, copyright Thomas MacEntee.  All rights reserved.

Ancestry.com RootsWeb Data Loss: Future Proofing Your Genealogy Data

Ancestry.com just announced that it has lost data from the RootsWeb free pages - here is what you can do to future proof your genealogy data!

In case you haven’t heard, with the recent RootsWeb website outage a few weeks ago, Ancestry.com has just communicated to its RootsWeb users the following email about possible data loss:

As you may know, the RootsWeb site was recently unavailable as the result of a hardware failure in our datacenter. Our development and web operations teams worked diligently and carefully to address the issues, and as a result, the site is now available again.   

Regretfully, despite their best efforts, our teams were not able to retrieve all of the data associated with the site. Specifically, we were unable to retrieve content from FreePages added after the summer of 2015. We understand these pages are important to you and are very sorry that we are not able to recover the data that was lost as a result of the hardware failure. Going forward, we are adding additional technical resources to support the site and ensure such an issue does not occur again. 

If you have a backup of your own please upload it to the site so that you have the most current version of your pages.

If you have any concerns, please contact our Member Services through our support form.

What You Can Do Right Now

So, if you maintain a RootsWeb “free page” here is what you should do right now:

  • First, check and see if you have any data loss since the middle of 2015.
  • Second, if you do, see if you have any backup copy saved on your computer and then update your RootsWeb page.
  • Third, if you do not have a backup, consider using the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine (https://archive.org/web/) to view archived pages. Note: not all RootsWeb pages will be archived on the Wayback Machine.
  • Fourth, also consider using the Google Cache view of your page and copy and paste data from that version of your RootsWeb page.

How You Can Prevent Future Data Loss

Backing up your data is your responsibility and you should NEVER count on a website or vendor to always backup any data you upload to their site. In fact, this is likely spelled out in the Terms of Service at Ancestry.com and other sites.

I ALWAYS compose my content in an electronic document on my own computer (Microsoft Word, etc.) BEFORE I upload it as a blog post, or a web page.  This is a good habit to get into. And also, remember to create backup copies of the data on your computer.

©2016, copyright Thomas MacEntee. All rights reserved.

Family Tree Maker Back from the Dead!

BIG NEWS! Ancestry,com announces new Family Tree Maker options after recently pulling the plug on their popular genealogy software.

[Editor’s Note: Well could we really have a RootsTech week without a bombshell announcement from at least one genealogy vendor? We just received the following good news from Ancestry.com about it’s popular Family Tree Maker software.]

New Family Tree Maker Options

By: Kendall Hulet

Since our Family Tree Maker announcement last December, we have continued to actively explore ways to develop and support Family Tree Maker and ensure you have choices to preserve your work in ways that matter to you.

Today, I am pleased to announce two options for desktop software that will work with Ancestry.

Software MacKiev

Software MacKiev, with whom we have a long-standing relationship, is acquiring the Family Tree Maker software line as publisher for both Mac and Windows versions. Software MacKiev has been the developer of Family Tree Maker for Mac for more than six years and is thrilled at the opportunity to publish future versions of Family Tree Maker for Mac and Windows.

This new agreement means you will receive software updates and new versions from Software MacKiev, and have the ability to purchase new versions of Family Tree Maker from Software MacKiev as they are released.   You will have continued access to Ancestry Hints, Ancestry searches, and be able to save your tree on Ancestry with Family Tree Maker moving forward.


We have made an agreement with RootsMagic, a leading genealogy desktop software program publisher, to connect Ancestry with the RootsMagic software by the end of 2016. With this new relationship, RootsMagic can serve as your desktop family tree software, while having access to Ancestry hints, Ancestry searches, and the ability to save your tree on Ancestry.

We have heard your concerns and are working to provide the solutions you requested. These new agreements will make it possible to preserve your work on Ancestry and Family Tree Maker and enable future features and benefits to help you discover your family history. Be assured that Ancestry, in cooperation with Software MacKiev and RootsMagic, will continue to support you as you discover your family history.
We ask for your patience as we work diligently through all the details to make these solutions available. Be sure to check back on our blog as we share more information about Family Tree Maker in the next few months.

For more information on Software MacKiev and RootsMagic, click below:

©2016, copyright Thomas MacEntee. All rights reserved.