Ancestry celebrates 25 years!
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image1.jpgAt the National Genealogical Society Conference in Kansas City a few weeks ago, Ancestry celebrated its 25th Anniversary!

Maybe you're thinking: Wait a minute the website hasn't been around that long!? You would be absolutely right. The company was actually incorporated as Ancestry, Inc., a genealogical book publishing company. Since 1983, Ancestry has published about 60 titles including The Source: A Guidebook to American Genealogy, Ancestry's Red Book, about 60 other book titles, and Ancestry Magazine. You can check out the books that Ancestry publishes in the store

The 25th Anniversary gala made me reflect a little on just how far we've come in the more than ten years that we have been adding online content.

Many of us remember the days of book and microfilm indexes, and the fruitless hours and days we spent scrolling through microfilm, page by page, until we were bleary-eyed. Ancestry played a revolutionary role in the way we research today. Online images and indexes forever changed they way most of us do research. Now, instead of heading to some remote location to use the census, passenger lists, military and a host of other records, I can do my work day or night in the comfort of my own home. And there's even more comfort in knowing that I'm saving a lot of money on gasoline for my car.

Since the site first launched in 1996, Ancestry has placed new content on the site on an almost-daily basis. You can always be up to date with the latest additions to and get a sneak peek at upcoming content sets, too, by looking at the What's New' page located here:

In 1999 when I started with the company we only had 240 million names. Today there are more than 7 billion. If you want to take a look at what the website looked like back then you can go to the Internet Archive site at and see the evolution of the site for yourself.

Thanks to a lot of hard work by a lot of great people I've been able to break down many a brick wall. As an added bonus, I've met lots of great friends and relatives using content and the community tools on

What content have you used to tear down any brick walls on' I'd love to hear about your breakthroughs!