Archive for July, 2008

1890 British and Irish Passenger Records Now Online at WorldVitalRecords.com

Wednesday, July 30th, 2008

PROVO, UT, July 30, 2008 — As a result of a recent partnership with British Origins, abstracts of the 1890 British and Irish passenger lists are now online at WorldVitalRecords.com.

“We are very optimistic about our relationship with FamilyLink.com. Since we started our company we have wanted to get our name and products over to the North American market,” said Ian Galbraith, CEO, British Origins. “It was a no-brainer to partner with a U.S. firm and Paul Allen was a guy we wanted to do business with.”

“British Origin’s partnership with FamilyLink.com brings much needed records to a U.S., as well as a worldwide audience,” said Yvette Arts, Director, Content Partnerships, FamilyLink.com, Inc. “British Origins has been great to work with. We look forward to posting more of their records, such as the York Medieval Probate Index and the York Peculiars Probate Index in the next few months.”

These passenger lists
contain nearly 200,000 passenger names of people that left British and Irish ports with U.S. and Canadian destinations, as well as one voyage that continued to the West Indies. These records have added value because, in many instances, multiple individuals from the same family were included on these lists.

Each record contains the name of the passenger, nationality, occupation, age, and marital status, as well as the name of the ship, the departure port, and the destination port.

The nationalities of the passengers included in these records are, approximately, 57,000 from Ireland, 100,000 from England, 14,000 from Scotland, and 24,000 from other locations. Between 1890 and 1920 a large number of ships left from British and Irish ports with North America as the destination. Many of the passengers aboard these ships were emigrants from Great Britain and Ireland. However, many emigrants from other European countries traveled through the UK because the cost to sail from a UK port was cheaper than sailing from a continental port. Since the shipping companies required at least six weeks British residency, many individuals changed their names to avoid detection, rather than waiting for their residency to become valid.

The Passenger Lists were compiled by Peter Coldham, directly from the original lists located at The National Archives, London, and augmented by Canadian and U.S. data.

Media Contact
Whitney Ransom
Corporate Communications Director
FamilyLink.com, Inc.
http://www.worldvitalrecords.com
whitney@familylink.com

About British Origins
British Origins offers online access to some of the richest ancestral information available, and including the rich resources of the Society of Genealogists. Most material on British Origins has not been accessible anywhere else online. Collections currently include marriage registers, census records, burial records, wills, passenger lists, militia, court and apprentice records containing over 70 million names covering five centuries.

About FamilyLink.com, Inc.

FamilyLink.com, Inc. is a family of services that includes WorldVitalRecords.com, FamilyLink.com, WebTree.com, and the We’re Related and MyFamily applications on Facebook. The focus of the company is to provide innovative tools to connect families. FamilyLink.com, Inc. has more than 1.9 million unique global visitors each month and 17.5 million impressions per month. Founded in 2006 by Paul Allen and several key members of the original Ancestry.com team, WorldVitalRecords.com provides affordable access to genealogy databases and family history tools. More than 30,000 individuals have subscribed to WorldVitalRecords.com. With more than a billion records and thousands of databases-including birth, death, military, census, and parish records-WorldVitalRecords.com helps fill in missing information in your family tree. Some of its partners include Everton Publishers, Quintin Publications, Archive CD Books Australia, Gould Genealogy, Immigrant Ships Transcribers Guild, Archive CD Books Canada, The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, Inc., SmallTownPapers®, Accessible Archives, Genealogical Publishing Company, Find My Past, Godfrey Memorial Library, Find A Grave, and FamilySearch. Investors include vSpring Capital and several angel investors.

200,000 Passenger Names From British and Irish Ports Now Online at WorldVitalRecords.com

Tuesday, July 29th, 2008

This week’s Major Collection from British Origins features abstracts of the 1890 British and Irish passenger lists. These records, compiled by Peter Coldham directly from the original lists located at The National Archives, London, and augmented by Canadian and U.S. data, are now online at WorldVitalRecords.com (see press release for full description of data set).

Update on Militia Attestations Index, 1886-1910
Although the Militia Attestations Index, 1886-1910 was launched previously, this article contains additional information about the index.

Comprised of nearly 100,000 names, the Militia Attestations Index, 1886-1910 contains very valuable documents filled out by applicants to join the militia regiments in England, Ireland, and Scotland in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Militia Attestations can be an important resource for genealogists and family historians. They were filled out at the time of recruitment and include the birth place, regiment in which the applicant served, and reference material for finding the original record. The databases from British Origins include more than 86,000 recruits to militias in Cheshire, Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Essex, Hampshire, Kent, Lancashire, Lincolnshire, Middlesex, Norfolk, Suffolk, Surrey, and Yorkshire, and in south and central Scotland.

“Militia attestation records provide descriptions of the people. For example, you can discover their eye and hair color, and even their weight. Where else can you get this kind of rich information?,” said Ian Galbraith, CEO, British Origins. “When you are building up a picture of your family, you have to use a multiplicity of resources. We try to bring attention to records such as the militia attestations that will provide individuals with a little more about their ancestors.”

Copies of the original militia attestations documents can be ordered online from The Origins Network. FamilyLink.com, Inc. partnered with British Origins in February 2008. British Origins was founded in 1997.

Facebook.com: The Foundation for Genealogy Social Networking?

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2008

By Whitney Ransom, FamilyLink.com, Inc.

I was searching on Google for the words Facebook and Genealogy recently and came upon 843,000 entries, including an interesting blogpost from July of last year. The author of the blog said the following:

Facebook could definitely be the foundation for genealogy social networking – it’s been around long enough, it’s huge, you can already share photos and videos and calendar events and birthdays, and it has an application API that third-party developers can build on. And even though it is massive, it still has a clean, smooth feel to it, unlike many other sites.

At FamilyLink.com, we also believe that Facebook is a great place where genealogists can network and work on their family history. In fact, we currently have two applications on Facebook.

We’re Related: We’re Related allows people to create and share their family tree, connect with members of their living families, and find relatives on Facebook. It is currently the number one social application for families on Facebook.com. Currently more than 5.1 million people have downloaded the We’re Related application. We’re Related has users from 231 countries/territories and from all 50 states. We’re Related hosts more than 2 million family trees with 20 million names in these trees.

My Family application: My Family application has more than 1.5 million users across five social networks, including Facebook and MySpace. The My Family app lets social networking users creatively represent their family members and pets on their web pages with cute stick figure icons. My Family is currently the 26th most popular application on MySpace and it has nearly 8,000 fans on Facebook.

Many well-known genealogists and family history enthusiasts have Facebook accounts including people like Dick Eastman, DearMyrtle, Paul Allen, Tom Kemp, Alan Mann, Barbara Renick, Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak, Beau Sharbrough, and more.

Last year DearMyrtle also discussed her reasons for joining Facebook and also mentioned how a blog from Paul Allen triggered this event. Many genealogists are joining Facebook for networking, to reach new friends and potential genealogists, to communicate better with their family and friends, to share photos, etc. etc. If you haven’t joined the more than 80 million active users, consider signing up.

Simmons Historical Publishing Records From Kentucky, North Carolina, and Tennessee Now Online

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2008

Researchers of Kentucky, North Carolina, and Tennessee families should be pleased when they see the resulting 756 titles from the Simmons Historical Publishing Collection online at WorldVitalRecords.com. Originally announced in December 2007, the collection will be completely online next week.

Currently the collection contains holdings from the following counties in Kentucky, North Carolina, and Tennessee:

Kentucky: Calloway, Christian, Graves (large holdings), Marshall, McCracken, Montgomery, Todd, Trigg (large holdings), Warren, and Webster counties.

North Carolina: Beaufort, Bertie, Chatham, Craven, Mecklenburg, Northampton, Orange, Pasquotank, and Warren counties.

Tennessee: Benton, Claiborne, Davidson, Dickson, Hardeman, Henry, Hickman, Lincoln, Lyon, Maury, Montgomery, Obion, Rutherford, Smith, Stewart, and Weakley counties.

The collection varies as the counties vary. From early eighteenth century documents such as wills to funeral home records of the twentieth century, the collection grabs information from early times in these states along with records that date more pertinently to relatives where genealogy starts, at the present.

FamilyLink.com, Inc. Launches Beta of WebTree.com

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2008

8.4 million ancestors added to community in three weeks

PROVO, UT, July 21, 2008 — FamilyLink.com announced the beta launch of WebTree.com, an innovative and fun family tree building community that has added 8.4 million ancestor names in the past three weeks.

“WebTree.com adds a much needed family tree component to our ‘innovative tools to connect families’ strategy. By adding a user-uploaded family tree community, millions of additional names can now be searched online and more people can get connected to their families,” said Paul Allen, CEO, FamilyLink.com, Inc. CEO. “We’re really excited this community has taken off with thousands of users in the past few weeks.”

WebTree.com utilizes powerful Web 2.0 technologies to provide an exciting, free, and useful family history experience. The service will offer the ability to share family tree files with people throughout the world, create charts and reports, and provide the option to embed trees on any Web site or blog, and more.

Historically, high-quality charts often required expensive software. Using WebTree.com, individuals can use the Internet’s first live family tree charting engine to build and print heirloom-quality, full color charts, or export them to a file. WebTree.com will offer hundreds of, backgrounds, frames, box borders and more to help users customize their charts.

“Fifteen years ago, when I began gathering information on my wife’s family tree, I was impressed by how many photographs I could not identify, and how many people who knew the family history where no longer with us. I formed the impression that now is the time, maybe the last time, to assemble the family tree before so much of it would be lost forever,” said Drew Spencer, WebTree.com user. “Now, when I print reports of the family for relatives, and share the photos I have collected, I know that it was worth the effort.”
Individuals who upload trees can share their content with the world, potentially helping others find ancestors. However, WebTree.com respects the work of individuals who contribute to the WebTree.com community. Members can remove their content from the site at any time.

WebTree.com does not share information on living family members. Information in family trees regarding living persons will appear on the individual’s personal family tree, but will not be visible to individuals on the Internet unless they have been given permission.

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Media Contact

Whitney Ransom
Corporate Communications Director
FamilyLink.com, Inc.
http://www.worldvitalrecords.com
whitney@familylink.com

About FamilyLink.com, Inc.
FamilyLink.com, Inc. is a family of services that includes WorldVitalRecords.com, FamilyLink.com, WebTree.com, and the We’re Related and MyFamily applications on Facebook. The focus of the company is to provide innovative tools to connect families. FamilyLink.com, Inc. has more than 1.9 million unique global visitors each month and 17.5 million impressions per month. Founded in 2006 by Paul Allen and several key members of the original Ancestry.com team, WorldVitalRecords.com provides affordable access to genealogy databases and family history tools. More than 30,000 individuals have subscribed to WorldVitalRecords.com. With more than a billion records and thousands of databases–including birth, death, military, census, and parish records–WorldVitalRecords.com helps fill in missing information in your family tree. Some of its partners include Everton Publishers, Quintin Publications, Archive CD Books Australia, Gould Genealogy, Immigrant Ships Transcribers Guild, Archive CD Books Canada, The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, Inc., SmallTownPapers®, Accessible Archives, Genealogical Publishing Company, Find My Past, Godfrey Memorial Library, Find A Grave, and FamilySearch. Investors include vSpring Capital and several angel investors.

WorldVitalRecords.com Reaches 10,000 Databases

Tuesday, July 15th, 2008

Additional databases at WorldVitalRecords.com mean more family connections for users

PROVO, UT, July 14, 2008 — On October 4, 2006, WorldVitalRecords.com launched with 24 online databases. Now, less than two years later, WorldVitalRecords.com has more than 10,000 databases online that contain more than one billion names.

“Our original goal and promise to members, which we thought was very aggressive, was to release one new database each day on WorldVitalRecords.com,” said David Lifferth, FamilyLink.com, Inc. “Looking back, we have, in fact, averaged more than 21 databases each business day since our launch.”

Although WorldVitalRecords.com is a subscription-based site, more than 400 million names in 500 databases are in free databases available to anyone. All of the United States content launched at WorldVitalRecords.com is available free for the first ten days.

The 10,000 databases on WorldVitalRecords.com include content from more than 70 countries, and from more than 40 major content providers worldwide. Some of the major record collections include family histories, pedigree charts, newspapers, vital records, censuses, cemetery records, immigration and military records, and reference material..

“Reaching the 10,000-database milestone is an incredible step for WorldVitalRecords.com,” said Paul Allen, CEO, FamilyLink.com, Inc. “Our partners have been very supportive over the past two years, and we are looking forward to a continued strong focus on providing more databases to help users connect with their families.”

The top ten databases at Social Security Death Index, Find A Grave, Ellis Island Passenger Arrival Records (1892 – 1924), WWII Army Enlistment, Everton Pedigree Charts and Family Group Sheets, UK 1881 Census, Maine Marriage Records, and Everton’s Genealogical Helper.

With additional content being added every day at WorldVitalRecords.com, many individuals are having success finding their ancestors.

“I am very pleasantly impressed by what I have seen so far, and have signed up for the two-year subscription. What clinched it for me was doing a search for my Polish family name and being amazed to find a reference to my mid-nineteenth century great-great grandparents in an obscure digitized Polish book, which I would never, never have found any other way. Please keep up the good work, and continue to amaze me,” said Natalie Lamb, WorldVitalRecords.com member from Berkshire, England.

“I am very impressed with the progress that is being made on the amount of databases being put online for subscribers. I found a book titled History of Christian Gnaegi, which is one of my direct ancestors and I was very pleased to see that,” said Patsy Sutton, WorldVitalRecords.com member.

“I just wanted to let you folks know that you are doing a fantastic job getting so many records online. It is unbelievable the amount of records in so short a time that are online at WorldVitalRecords.com. I always look forward to seeing what new databases are going to be posted. Keep up the good work,” said Cheryl Moore, WorldVitalRecords.com member.

Media Contact
Whitney Ransom
Corporate Communications Director
FamilyLink.com, Inc.

http://www.worldvitalrecords.com

whitney@familylink.com

About FamilyLink.com, Inc.
FamilyLink.com, Inc. is a family of services that includes WorldVitalRecords.com, FamilyLink.com, and the We’re Related application on Facebook. The focus of the company is to provide innovative tools to connect families. FamilyLink.com, Inc. has more than 1.9 million unique global visitors each month and 17.5 million impressions per month. Founded in 2006 by Paul Allen and several key members of the original Ancestry.com team, WorldVitalRecords.com provides affordable access to genealogy databases and family history tools. More than 30,000 individuals have subscribed to WorldVitalRecords.com. With more than a billion records and thousands of databases-including birth, death, military, census, and parish records-WorldVitalRecords.com makes it easy to fill in missing information in your family tree. Some of its partners include Everton Publishers, Quintin Publications, Archive CD Books Australia, Gould Genealogy, Immigrant Ships Transcribers Guild, Archive CD Books Canada, The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, Inc., SmallTownPapers®, Accessible Archives, Genealogical Publishing Company, Find My Past, Godfrey Memorial Library, Find A Grave, and FamilySearch. Investors include vSpring Capital and several angel investors.

South Carolina Black Research Aided by New Addition to WorldVitalRecords.com

Monday, July 14th, 2008

Southern research is notorious for its difficulty, especially when there seems to be more burned counties than surviving. The records of Blacks Found in the Deeds of Laurens & Newberry Counties, South Carolina: 1785 – 1827, were abstracted by Margaret Peckham Motes in an effort to help ease this problem. These records come from “deeds of gift, deeds of sale, mortgages, born free, and freed,” sections of Laurens County, SC Deed Books A-L and Newberry County, SC Deed Books A-G. All of the records in this collection are free for ten days.

When researching backwards in time from the present, methods used to find black ancestors often stop at the 1850 census due to this census’s use for the first time of names of all members of the household. Customs of the first half of the nineteenth and prior centuries often relegated blacks to a societal status where they would often be recorded as property. This, in turn, makes deed books and other similar volumes highly useful when trying to find out what happened to particular families. Blacks often have to trace the families of slave holders to find out what happened to their own ancestors, making deed books also extremely timely.

This is part of the most recent addition to the WorldVitalRecords.com collection, volumes from Genealogical Publishing Company, including volumes from Virginia, Kentucky, Georgia, and dealing with other ethnicities such as Irish, German, and Swiss. New light on ancestors can be shed from these books for researchers to find their families, and in turn, to make connections to the past that otherwise may be unavailable.

FamilyLink.com, Inc. Mentioned in LDS Church Ensign Magazine

Friday, July 11th, 2008

Recently the LDS Church mentioned FamilyLink.com in the July edition of the Ensign magazine. The mentions discusses how FamilyLink.com, Inc. will enhance the FamilySearch Catalog.

The mention includes the following:

A partnership with FamilyLink.com will improve navigation on FamilySearch.org, reduce research time, and allow major search engines to comb the Church’s Family History Library Catalog. The new Web elements provided by FamilyLink.com will allow users to link directly to other sources, post comments, and make contributions such as adding missing information to a source. Some of the enhancements will be implemented in 2008.

To view the Ensign mention in pdf format, click here. The mention is on page 82.

To view the press release on the specific enhancements FamilyLink.com, Inc. will make to the Family History Library Catalog, click here.

Helpful Hints For Writing Exciting Family Histories

Thursday, July 10th, 2008


By Amanda Forson, FamilyLink.com, Inc.

Although the reasons for collecting family history information may differ, over time there is usually interest in publishing results in book form. Whether the publication is uploaded to the Internet, privately printed, or published through a company such as Genealogical Publishing Company, getting some aspects of the writing and research process right make for a better book.

Day One: Gather what you have found about the family lines that you want in the book. This step may be obvious, but without it, little can be accomplished.

Day Two: Consult with other living relatives to see who or what they would like to see in the book. If they do not know enough about the families being researched to give an opinion, then proceed with what you planned to publish. If they have definite opinions, listen to them and include what you can. When publishing a book it helps to produce something that others want to read, buy, and/or finance.

Day Three: While researching, and before writing, gather more information from historical sources than you think you will need. Often, genealogists are less-likely to allow their ancestor to “live” within his or her environment, stripping away the historical nature of documents in favor of simply proving a date or a place that it gives. Documents are bed-rock to prove ancestor’s lives, yes, but keeping the ancestor within the context of their time and space leads to faster results and happier researching. It is surprising how often histories of places are overlooked. Not simply town or county histories should be consulted, as those should be a natural part of researching for the particular ancestors, but also checking over books dealing with the social history and general events of the era help. Although not a primary source, per se, looking through secondary sources for a feel of the color and flavor of a period is a crucial step in preparation for writing a good, thorough history of any ancestor.

Recently-discovered town history information for an ancestor of mine has given credence to family stories that I otherwise did not necessarily doubt, but considered with hints of skepticism. The ancestor in particular supposedly ran off and joined the circus. Until I found out that a town nearby where he grew up was famous for circus-style acts, performers, etc., I listened patiently yet skeptically to the tales. Finding the town history that heavily mentioned circus acts and performers at the same time that my ancestor supposedly ran off to join and traveled with circus members gave a much more-anchored look into his life events than I was otherwise willing to believe. Consider the historical events and works aspects of a “second witness” in our trial of proof over error.

Day Four: Create an outline. When outlining, use day three’s research, and make sure to include how your ancestor was part of history. If there are any parts of the life history that are uncertain, do not make them up. Read more, and then write. Here is where the outlining and/or writing gets double-checked. Try creating a time-line for the ancestor in question, or use computer-generated models to see what is known.

There are certain aspects of the daily lives of my ancestors about which I may have little to no knowledge, such as what life was like when they were children. “Normal” research (i.e. censuses) may provide small clues, such as perhaps going to school (child’s “occupation”, etc.), but unless I try to find out what school was like in the 1840s, how far my ancestor went with school, what training the teachers had, and what they were teaching, I am uncertain about what to include for that portion of the ancestor’s life. In this particular example, going to school in 1840 vs. 1880 vs. 1920 vs. 1980 are very different things. I may have a bachelor’s degree, and this may be acceptable as an “ending point” in education for one time period, but my ancestor may have gone to a “normal school” for two years (equivalent to post-secondary, junior college) and considered this the highest education possible. In another case, eighth grade may have been the highest level of schooling for another ancestor.

This could easily be the case in any aspect of an ancestor’s life depending upon the research done up to the time of writing. This step is to help the writer take a step away and evaluate what they know about the ancestor, and what is documented knowledge of not just the ancestor’s life, but of the time in which the ancestor lived. Good questions to ask for the writer would be whether their ancestor was typical for time? By typical, did he or she work before the age of twelve? What kind of education did he or she have? Were there unusual family circumstances or family tragedies? Was there an epidemic in the area? Was his or her religion the dominant one of the area? Were any close friends killed by accident, as in farming, factory, or other work? Did he or she marry young or later? Were there first or second marriages? Were there divorces?

Consider these questions and write what is known for every case. As you are going through these questions, it is likely that others will come up. Write down the question first, and then the answer. As you are writing for more ancestors, having written down the questions that came to mind will greatly benefit future efforts to document life histories.

Day Five: Write with flair. This means finding interesting ways to tell the story, using descriptive words and active verbs. The better the writing, the more likely the audience will want to read beyond page one. If dealing with more than one ancestor, start each ancestor’s account as if it is page one, and use words and phrases that grab attention.

Day Six: Revise, revise, revise. As I write, I tend to edit at the same time. After writing, I send my copy to editors. Sometimes material gets changed; sometimes it stays as it is. When writing a book, or even a smaller pamphlet to pass among relatives, have both a trusted family member and a person who is not part of the family read over the material. One will (most likely) check for readability, while the other will check for detail. Have as many people as you want look over it, giving suggestions and feedback, but not so many that the work gets bogged down in waiting on readers.

Day Seven: As was mentioned in the introduction to the article, you can publish your “book” online, at a copy shop, or through a genealogical book publisher. When the manuscript is ready, look to relatives for help, and watch for future articles in this newsletter on getting research published!

Richard Black, Former Director of Godfrey Memorial Library, Joins FamilyLink.com, Inc.

Wednesday, July 9th, 2008

PROVO, UT, July 8, 2008 — Richard Black, former director of Godfrey Memorial Library, recently accepted a position in content partnerships at FamilyLink.com, Inc.

“Richard is a well-known and respected genealogy expert who brings with him a wealth of knowledge, specifically pertaining to content and databases from all around the world. His experience at Godfrey is invaluable, and we are excited to have him working with our team,” said David Lifferth, president of FamilyLink.com, Inc.

Richard has been involved in genealogical work for more than 50 years. At the age of 12 he was asked to serve on a junior genealogical committee. The committee sponsored a contest between the youth and adults regarding who could compile the most pedigree sheets. Richard’s team won, and he has been excited about genealogy ever since.

Richard’s new role at FamilyLink.com, Inc. will be to work primarily with content providers who have U.S. genealogical content. Individuals or organizations that would like more information about submitting U.S. content to WorldVitalRecords.com can contact Richard at rblack@familylink.com.

“Familylink.com has great potential for being one of the premier providers of genealogical information, which I think is really exciting,” Richard said. “I am looking forward to being a part of FamilyLink.com, Inc. and helping people find their ancestors through our services.”

Prior to joining FamilyLink.com, Inc., Richard served as director of the Godfrey Memorial Library in Connecticut for three years. He recently married his childhood sweetheart, Linda. He and his wife reside in Salt Lake City, UT.

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Media Contact
Whitney Ransom
Corporate Communications Director
FamilyLink.com, Inc.

http://www.worldvitalrecords.com

whitney@familylink.com

About FamilyLink.com, Inc.
FamilyLink.com, Inc. is a family of services that includes WorldVitalRecords.com, FamilyLink.com, and the We’re Related application on Facebook. The focus of the company is to provide innovative tools to connect families. FamilyLink.com, Inc. has more than 1.9 million unique global visitors each month and 17.5 million impressions per month. Founded in 2006 by Paul Allen and several key members of the original Ancestry.com team, WorldVitalRecords.com provides affordable access to genealogy databases and family history tools. More than 30,000 individuals have subscribed to WorldVitalRecords.com. With more than a billion records and thousands of databases – including birth, death, military, census, and parish records – WorldVitalRecords.com makes it easy to fill in missing information in your family tree. Some of its partners include Everton Publishers, Quintin Publications, Archive CD Books Australia, Gould Genealogy, Immigrant Ships Transcribers Guild, Archive CD Books Canada, The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, Inc., SmallTownPapers®, Accessible Archives, Genealogical Publishing Company, Find My Past, Godfrey Memorial Library, Find A Grave, and FamilySearch. Investors include vSpring Capital and several angel investors.