A Belated Happy New Year
Welcome to the March 2023 edition of the quarterly ‘Ancestry Community Update’ blog post for Australia and New Zealand.
For anyone I am yet to meet, my name is Jason Reeve and I’m the Head of Content & Community for Ancestry in Australia and New Zealand. You’ll likely end up meeting me at a family history expo or through a genealogical society.
I hope everyone was able to spend some quality time with their loved ones over the holiday season and find a little time to rest & reboot, ready for the new year – which we’re now well and truly in to. I do have to apologise, ideally this update should have gone out much sooner, but I’ve been kept rather busy and late is better than never! At least the extra time in between has allowed for a few extra updates to be added, so that’s good news.
I’ll detail the updates below as per usual, so for now let me wish you a happy and safe 2023.
Head of Content & Community
Records Recap 2022
What a year 2022 was!
Globally we added roughly 4.5+ billion records.
The most exciting thing about that number is that it only represents the new ‘live’ collections, not what we’ve acquired and processing.
In 2022, AU & NZ had its largest acquisitions year in the history of the office – over 170+ million records were acquired for these two regions alone. What does that mean – it means that 2023, 2024 & 2025 are going to see a large number of new record releases for AU & NZ.
Does that mean it’s time for me to go on an extended holiday… absolutely not (although it does sound rather nice!). I’m eager to continue adding new collections to the Ancestry site so that we can all make those meaningful discoveries that fuel our family history passion.
How can you help? That’s easy, if you know of any great ‘family history relevant’ collections that are in desperate need of digitisation, or are already digital and would make a great addition to the Ancestry website, just let me know. I’ll reach out to the custodians of the collection(s) and explore whether those records could join the Ancestry database.
Another reminder that we have expanded access to AncestryClassroom™ to educators and students in Australia and New Zealand.
If you’re a teacher within an Australian or New Zealand school, get in touch with us to learn how to use AncestryClassroom™.
If you’re interested but based elsewhere, send me an email to find out how you can access Ancestry at your school for zero cost.
Ancestry® Grant Program
If you didn’t apply in 2022, but you are interested, then you might be pleased to know that the program will be back this year.
You can see the previous full post relating to the 2022 program. Details on the 2023 program will be shared in July 2023.
Geneanet Joins Ancestry®
At Ancestry, we are committed to growing our global community so that more people can easily discover, craft, and connect around their family story. That is why we are pleased to announce that Ancestry has acquired Geneanet, a leading French genealogy company, to enable family history discoveries and connections for even more people around the world.
See the full post for more information.
Upcoming Record Releases
Did you know? When new records are acquired by Ancestry, they can take anywhere from 6-18 months to be available on the website, due to the process and timings required for those records to be prepared correctly. They may need to be digitised, or indexed – or both.
Want to learn a little more about the process? Take a look at this recent video from our digitisation team.
Here’s a few recent launches from AU & NZ;
– 4 million NZ Birth, Death & Marriage records [visit]
– 17 million Australian Business Number public records [visit]
– 1 million additional AU & NZ marriage & obituary records [visit]
For those researching their UK roots, we’ve also launched;
– 4 million British Air Force Lists records from WW1 & WW2 [visit]
– 20 million East Sussex Electoral Registers (1705 – 1963) [visit]
– 8 million West Sussex Electoral Registers (1832 – 1963) [visit]
Back at home, we’re expecting to publish the following over the next couple of months;
– 100,000 Australian Applications to Enlist in the AIF during WW1
– Over 7 million additional AU & NZ marriage & obituary records
These numbers are just a fraction of what’s coming throughout 2023, so stay tuned.
An important part of these blog posts is sharing what’s happening in the community. This may cover partnerships or activities Ancestry is involved in, or simply shining a light on activities that we feel you’d be interested in.
(1) It’s RootsTech time!
RootsTech 2023 begins this week, have you registered yet?
Read more about the popular family history and genealogy conference in the dedicated blog post here.
(2) Vale Ellen aka. ‘The Queen’ – Aged 106
I often have the privilege of hearing powerful, emotional stories from our family history community.
Ancestry can help to unlock some incredible discoveries and although there’s no limit to the stories that could be shared, occasionally there is one that stands out.
Enter Ellen, or as she was also known as ‘The Queen’.
Read Ellen’s story here.
(3) GeniCert – NSW Birth, Death & Marriage Transcriptions
Researching your family tree? Need information from NSW Birth Death and Marriage Certificates?
Genicert provides transcriptions of information from NSW Birth Death and Marriage registers to family history researchers.
You can learn more here.
So what’s coming up next?
RootsTech [Virtual / In Person]
Dates: 2nd March – 4th March 2023
NSW & ACT Conference [TBC]
Dates: 8th Sep– 10th Sep 2023
Getting Help / Feedback
As family historians we often find ourselves hitting the dreaded brick wall. As an Ancestry user, you may also have questions about the website or your account.
There are numerous ways to get the support you need – and below you can see which option is most appropriate based on the type of question you have.
(1) Ancestry Support – The first place to go if you have an Ancestry website question or account issue is the support page.
(2) Ancestry Message Boards – If you have a website question, or one that leans more towards family history research, then why not try posting your question on the Ancestry message boards? Once logged in to your Ancestry account, you can find the message boards via the ‘Help’ link along the top navigation bar.
(3) Genealogical Societies & Libraries – If you’re after more ‘hands on’ support for genealogy more generally, or wish to take your learning to the next level, then a genealogical society or library-based family history group might be right for you. There are supportive and active groups all over Australia and New Zealand – just try googling your area, nearest major city or head into your local library.
(4) Facebook – Just like the above, there are some incredibly knowledgeable and supportive groups with a presence on Facebook. You can also use Facebook to engage with Genealogical Societies outside of your local area (for example, in an overseas area you may be researching).
(i) Family History & DNA – Talking Family History
(ii) DNA – Using DNA for Genealogy Australia & NZ
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