National Archives Virtual Genealogy Fair – October 28-30, 2014

Join the National Archives for the 2014 Virtual Genealogy Fair on October 28, 29, & 30, starting daily at 10 a.m. eastern time.

Set your alarms and get ready to LEARN – long distance and virtually, that is. Once again the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) is hosting a FREE online Virtual Genealogy Fair starting tomorrow, 28 October through Thursday, 30 October.

Starting at 10:00 am Eastern (9:00 am Central), you can visit YouTube via this link to watch the live streaming or return here to GeneaBloggers and watch the screen above.

Not sure which session to attend? Click here to access the entire schedule for the three-day fair and the FREE handouts.

For those of you on social media, the Twitter hashtag for this event is #genfair2014 and you should follow the National Archives on Twitter at @USNatArchives.

In the meantime, visit the Virtual Genealogy Fair page here for more information.

©2014, copyright Thomas MacEntee. All rights reserved.

BIG NEWS! MyHeritage Announces Major Collaboration with 23andMe

MyHeritage, the leading destination for discovering, sharing and preserving family history, announces a strategic collaboration with DNA testing site 23andme.

New collaboration combines family trees and DNA to empower individuals to discover and document their ancestry

MOUNTAIN VIEW, California & TEL AVIV, Israel – October 21, 2014: 23andMe, the leading personal genetics company, and MyHeritage, the leading destination for discovering, sharing and preserving family history, announced today a strategic collaboration that will provide an enhanced experience for individuals to discover their legacy based on genetic ancestry and documented family history.

23andMe pioneered autosomal DNA ancestry analysis for consumers, and has created the largest DNA ancestry service in the world. With a simple saliva sample 23andMe can reveal the geographic origins of distant ancestors and help people discover unknown relatives. MyHeritage helps millions of families worldwide find and treasure their unique history with easy-to-use family tree tools, a huge library of more than 5.5 billion historical records and innovative matching technologies for automating discoveries. Integrating the market leading solutions in ancestral DNA and family trees will provide an unparalleled experience for customers of both companies.

“We believe this collaboration with MyHeritage will offer our customers a vastly improved opportunity to build their family tree and discover new connections,” said Andy Page, President of 23andMe. “Given MyHeritage’s technology leadership in the ancestry space and vast global reach, we are excited about the value this relationship will bring to our customers around the world.”

“Combining genealogy with DNA-based ancestry is the next evolution in uncovering family history,” said Gilad Japhet, Founder and CEO of MyHeritage. “DNA testing can connect you to relatives you never knew existed, who descend from shared ancestors centuries ago, but family trees and historical records are critical to map and fully understand these connections. We have great respect for 23andMe’s technology and values, and its pioneering approach to genetics represents strong potential value for our users in the future.”

23andMe will offer its more than three quarters of a million customers around the globe access to MyHeritage’s family tree tools. This will allow 23andMe’s customers to enjoy automated family history discoveries. Smart Matching™ automatically finds connections between user-contributed family trees and Record Matching automatically locates historical records from the billions of records available on MyHeritage, pertaining to any person in the family tree. MyHeritage will utilize 23andMe’s API to provide the best experience for customers, by allowing any two people with matching DNA to explore their family tree connections. MyHeritage will also offer 23andMe’s Personal Genome Service® to its global community of more than 70 million registered users, in addition to the DNA tests it already offers.

The first phase of integration will be complete by early 2015. 

About 23andMe

23andMe, Inc. is the leading personal genetics company dedicated to helping people access, understand and benefit from the human genome. The company’s Personal Genome Service® enables individuals to gain deeper insights into their genetics and ancestry. The vision for 23andMe is to personalize healthcare by making and supporting meaningful discoveries through genetic research. 23andMe, Inc., was founded in 2006, and the company is advised by a group of renowned experts in the fields of human genetics, bioinformatics and computer science. More information is available at www.23andme.com. 23andMe’s health reports are not cleared by the FDA. US customers may purchase 23andMe’s ancestry-only product.

About MyHeritage

MyHeritage is the leading destination for discovering, sharing and preserving family history. As technology thought leaders and innovators in the space, MyHeritage is transforming family history into an activity that’s accessible and instantly rewarding. Trusted by millions of families, its global user community enjoys access to a massive library of historical records, the most internationally diverse collection of family trees and ground-breaking search and matching technologies.

MyHeritage empowers families with an easy way to share their story, past and present, and treasure it for generations to come. MyHeritage is available in 40 languages.  www.myheritage.com

Tuesday’s Tip – Is Your Genealogy In The Cloud?

Life in the cloud

As more and more genealogists and family historians leverage technology for research, many are using “The Cloud” whether they realize it or not. And then there are those who purposely store their data in a personal cloud (you can check out what we’re talking about here). Doing so allows them to access their research from anywhere in the world and on practically any type of computer or mobile device.

The Cloud: Not Just For Genealogy

The Cloud is being used in more and more ways that impact our daily lives. Here are some areas you may not have considered – see if you are using the cloud these ways:

  • Do you stream music/videos from the cloud? Streaming services can give you access to millions of files or you can host your own files to share home movies with family and friends!

  • How do you use the cloud to streamline your work and stay productive in and out of the office?

  • How do you use social media, email or instant messaging to stay in touch with friends and family?

  • How would your life be different if you didn’t have access to the cloud?

Here’s a neat infographic that outlines how many users are accessing The Cloud on a daily basis:

Life in the cloud

My Personal Cloud Experience

I use The Cloud in many different ways and each and every day. I couldn’t run my genealogy business without it especially since I travel to speaking engagements all the time. I don’t have time to copy data to a USB flash drive, remember to take it with me, and then hope I don’t leave it behind somewhere.

My music is on the cloud, my genealogy research is on the cloud, and more and more programs that I use – Evernote in particular – are cloud-based.

Staying Safe in The Cloud

Here are some tips on making sure that your data is safe when using The Cloud:

  • Use a reliable cloud platform – one that you’ve heard about or that other genealogists are using.
  • Look for a program that offers encryption of data.
  • Read the Terms of Services for any cloud program you select and understand what they can do with your data. Also, always have an “exit strategy” – meaning, an easy way to export your data and move it to another platform.
  • Make sure you have a strong password in place when accessing your data.
  • Consider not placing certain data – financial and health-related – on The Cloud.

©2014, copyright Thomas MacEntee. All rights reserved.