03 March 2022
We take a look at some of the most exciting events on the genealogy calendar, with a round-up of news and product launches from RootsTech 2022.
Here, in no particular order, are the latest RootsTech releases and news, and stay tuned for more releases as we discover them...
1850 United States Census
With a release date from the Federal Bureau of 1 April 2022, family historians are looking forward to the imminent release of the 1850 US Census. This was the first census to be tabulated using a computer. It is also celebrating another first: being the first census to be transcribed using AI. Over the past few years the team from Ancestry have been working on programming to enable the 1850 US Census to be transcribed automatically. This is a joint project with FamilySearch will be encouraging volunteers globally to come and check the transcriptions and ensure the details are as they need to be. Volunteers will be able to select the areas they wish to check – meaning that people can elect to check those houses and streets of their ancestors own communities.
Vivid-Pix Memory Station
Vivid-Pix has just announced the Vivid-Pix® Memory Station one-click scanner/software bundle. This provides the easiest way to digitise, restore, and save print images at home, library, or community centres without sending them to a scanning service. Find out more in our special report here.
New features in the Ancestry app
Ancestry has announced an exclusive partnership with media preservation and archiving specialist company Photomyne. By integrating Photomyne’s Artificial Intelligence-based technology, Ancestry customers get an easier way for family historians to digitise old family photo albums, by scanning and uploading multiple photographs at once through the Ancestry mobile app.
Ancestry customers will now also be able to upload and share images of photo albums previously added to Ancestry and apply the same auto-cropping, rotation, and image enhancement.
My Ancestry story
Monday 28 February saw Ancestry launch the #MyAncestryStory on iOS to celebrate RootsTech week. To locate the MyAncestryStory tool, simply go to your Ancestry app, select ‘Discover’, then select the ‘green’ (Add story) plus near the top of the screen. From here you can write ancestor stories and easily share them digitally with family and across social media too. The stories will remain attached to the relevant person on your profile. The tool will take text and photos from those that you have added to your Ancestry tree about that person. However the beauty is that you can easily edit the wording to fine-tune a beautifully crafted ancestor story. Android functionality is coming week of 7th March 2022.
MyHeritage US census content hub
One of the first announcements on day one came from MyHeritage, with their US census content hub, covering census records, and particularly the 1950 US Census. On the dedicated hub, visitors can learn facts related to the 1950 census, prepare for its launch, and search the collection as soon as it goes live on 1 April.
QUICK LINK: CHECK OUT FAMILY TREE'S AMAZING ROOTSTECH SHOW OFFER HERE!
Taken in April 1950, the census encompassed a larger swath of American geography than any of the censuses that preceded it, and gives researchers information on the 150 million Americans living during this pivotal time.
Visit the hub page at MyHeritage.
Also new from MyHeritage is LiveStory, a new feature that allows you to create animated videos of your ancestors telling their life stories. The feature was developed using AI technology pioneered by D-ID, the company that helped MyHeritage bring its users Deep Nostalgia™ last year.
All you need is a photo and a short narrative written in the first person, then you can create a LiveStory in just minutes. You can then edit the narrative and add chapters and photos, customise the voice, and preview the result. Find out more at MyHeritage.
Get Involved with FamilySearch
The new development from FamilySearch has been designed to make it easier than ever to give and help. It's a way you can help, whenever you have a moment to spare, to index digitised documents and review the names in the records on FamilySearch to ensure that transcribed details are 100% correct.
- If you love solving old handwriting puzzles - this if for you.
- If you enjoy snatching moments of family history - this is for you.
- If you like giving back to the hobby you love - this is for you.
Simply choose whether you want to index (transcribing information from documents) or to review and correct names.
"Tell the story you've told a thousand times," enthuses Christian Napier - the brains behind Rakonto.io, a new video (and audio) personal story engine, encouraging people to tell their memorable stories.
Users of Rakonto.io can create video or audio recordings of their family stories, curating them into collections to share with loved ones. The interface has been designed with the family's story keeper (aka family historian) at it's heart: not only can you create your own recordings, you can also easily invite family members to share their stories with you. Just send them a video link, they record, and send it back to you. If you've been meaning to record family stories for a while, but perhaps your family members live far apart, this tool could be just what you need to make the plan a reality.
1GB storage is free, with a range of prices for greater storage capacity. Note that audio will require much less data obviously than video.
See your ancestors' lives set against a timeline with the new tool from MyHeritage; not only are timelines visually appealing, they also provide a useful way to assess your findings, to consider the likelihood of dates included, and to set your ancestors' lives in a historical context. For details, please see here.