21 August 2008

Ancestry / JewishGen partnership

The following press release, interesting in its own right, is also notable for being datelined CHICAGO. The Generations Network corporate website mentions no business office in that city, and most previous press releases are out of the corporate offices in Provo, Utah, or datelined in two locations including Provo. There is a Jewish genealogy conference underway in Chicago, but could the lack of mention of Provo, or Utah, be to distance the company from the Utah-based LDS Church which has had a rocky relationship with Jewish authorities?

CHICAGO – Aug. 19, 2008 – The Generations Network, Inc., parent company of Ancestry.com, and JewishGen, a non-profit organization dedicated to researching and promoting Jewish genealogy and an affiliate of the Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust, today announced a partnership designed to provide easier online access to millions of important Jewish historical documents. JewishGen’s collection of databases will be integrated and be made available for free on Ancestry.com, making these historical Jewish records and information more accessible than ever before. As part of the agreement, the JewishGen site will also be hosted in Ancestry.com’s data center.

For the first time ever, those interested in researching Jewish ancestry will be able to search JewishGen’s databases on Ancestry.com, taking advantage of Ancestry.com’s powerful search technologies, including tree hinting and the ability to search all JewishGen databases through one simple interface. The agreement will also give researchers the ability to make connections within family trees and to perform broader searches – searching JewishGen’s databases in combination with the other 7 billion names and 26,000 databases available on Ancestry.com. In addition, visitors will be able to network with millions of Ancestry.com members to connect with others interested in Jewish genealogy and discover distant relatives.

“We are thrilled to be collaborating with JewishGen, an elite and well-respected resource in the Jewish genealogy community,” said Tim Sullivan, president and CEO of The Generations Network. “Both organizations are committed to the preservation of important historical records. We look forward to working with JewishGen and to making these wonderful collections even more accessible for free on Ancestry.

Under the new agreement, some of the important JewishGen content that will be available on Ancestry.com includes databases from many different countries, the Holocaust Database, Yizkor Books (memorial books from Holocaust survivors), The Given Names Database and JewishGen ShtetlSeeker, among others. The JewishGen collections will be available on Ancestry.com by the end of the year.

“This important partnership between JewishGen and Ancestry.com demonstrates a commitment both to preserving Jewish heritage and providing the public with unprecedented access to these records,” said Warren Blatt, Managing Director of JewishGen. “The impact on the genealogy community will be significant; not only will genealogists now have the use of powerful search tools to make research easier, they will be able to find everything for their Jewish heritage research needs at one location.

David G. Marwell, Director, Museum of Jewish Heritage, said, "The continuity of Jewish heritage is central to the Museum's mission. We are pleased that this partnership will make it easier for users to discover their Jewish roots and connect or re-connect to their family's history.”

To learn more about this important agreement, or if you would like a sneak peek of the Jewish collections that will be available on Ancestry.com, visit www.ancestry.com/JewishHeritage.

About JewishGen

JewishGen, www.jewishgen.org, became an affiliate of the Museum on January 1, 2003. An Internet pioneer, JewishGen was founded in 1987 and has grown from a bulletin board with only 150 users to a major grass roots effort bringing together hundreds of thousands of individuals worldwide in a virtual community centered on discovering Jewish ancestral roots and history.

Researchers use JewishGen to share genealogical information, techniques, and case studies. With a growing database of more than 11 million records, the website is a forum for the exchange of information about Jewish life and family history, and has enabled thousands of families to connect and re-connect in a way never before possible.

About Ancestry.com

With 26,000 searchable databases and titles and nearly 3 million active users, Ancestry.com is the No. 1 online source for family history information. Since its launch in 1997, Ancestry.com has been the premier resource for family history, simplifying genealogical research for millions of people by providing them with many easy-to-use tools and resources to build their own unique family trees. Ancestry.com is part of The Generations Network, Inc., a leading network of family-focused interactive properties, including www.myfamily.com, www.rootsweb.com, www.genealogy.com and Family Tree Maker. In total, The Generations Network properties receive nearly 8.5 million unique visitors worldwide (© comScore Media Metrix, March 2008). To easily begin researching your family history, visit www.ancestry.com.

SOURCE: Ancestry.com, JewishGen

CONTACTS: Sara Black, +1-213-996-3812, sblack@painepr.com, for Ancestry.com, and Abby Spilka, +1-646-437-4333, aspilka@mjhnyc.org, for JewishGen and the Museum of Jewish Heritage


Anonymous said...

I believe the dateline of Chicago is because the announcement was made at the conference, which is a significant annual event. For those interested, more can be found at the JewishGen blog (http://jewishgen.blogspot.com/) and Schelly Dardashti's blog
Donna Dinberg
Jewish Genealogy Society of Ottawa

Anonymous said...

I believe the dateline of Chicago is simply because the announcement was made at the conference, which is a significant annual event. For those interested, more can be found at the JewishGen blog (http://jewishgen.blogspot.com/) and Schelly Dardashti's blog (http://tracingthetribe.blogspot.com/).
Donna Dinberg
Librarian, Jewish Genealogy Society of Ottawa