Online Community Creates More Than 275 Million Profiles and 3 Million Family Trees In Last Year

Unrivaled Combination of Social Networking Tools and Digitized Historical

Documents Spark Surge

Aug 28, 2007, 01:00 ET from

    PROVO, Utah, Aug. 28 /PRNewswire/ --, the world's largest
 online family history resource, today announced that more than 275 million
 individual profiles and more than 3 million family trees have been created
 on the site since it debuted new tree-building and sharing tools in late
 July 2006. Users have also attached 30 million family history records and
 uploaded 2 million photographs.
     "The combination of family and social networking with the most
 comprehensive collection of digitized and indexed family history documents
 has been a powerful catalyst behind this user-generated surge," said Tim
 Sullivan, CEO of The Generations Network, parent company of
 "In the past year we've seen a remarkable networking effect as people use to make great discoveries and share their findings with family
     This tremendous user-contributed growth has been fueled by two major
 content releases -- the biggest online collection of African American
 historical documents and the Web's leading compilation of U.S. military
 records. Site traffic reached and remained at unprecedented levels in a
 prolific year that also included the announcement of a groundbreaking
 venture with Sorenson Genomics into the DNA genealogy field. The success
 was preceded by the 2006 launch of the only complete online U.S. Federal
 Census Collection and the largest Internet set of U.S. passenger lists.
     When Pamela Hicks Smith, who lives near St. Louis, began building her tree in 2006 she noticed another user researching her family.
 After a few emails they discovered they were, in fact, cousins and soon
 began planning a summer 2007 family reunion. Today her family tree boasts
 more than 1,500 profiles. "To me it's nothing short of a miracle," said
 Smith. "I didn't even know these people a year ago and now thanks to our family is closer than ever." users create profiles for each individual in their family
 tree, share memories, upload photos, record conversations and interviews --
 and invite family members to do the same. Users then search's
 extensive collection of more than 5 billion searchable names to find
 historical documents that capture their family story. Users can also
 connect on the site's message boards, some of the most active boards on the
     Since July 2006, more than 2.5 million people have built family trees
 on, some growing their trees to amazing heights. The largest
 tree includes almost 260,000 profiles. Another tree has almost 3,500
 photos. And one user has shared his tree with more than 180 people.
     Anita Gay of Massachusetts, a site member since May 2006, will never
 forget finding her grandfather's census record on "I felt him
 sitting next to me," said Gay, "and I could hear him say in his French
 accent, 'That's me!' Of course I answered him with, 'I know, Gramps.'"
     Louise Roskell, from North Yorkshire, Great Britain, a member since
 September 2006, invited 15 family members to view her tree.
 "[They] recalled stories about different members of the family and even
 began researching more themselves," said Roskell. "Before I knew it, I had
 a wealth of photographs and was in touch with several relatives I had never
 met before, through"
     In the first half of 2007, the company launched three new localized
 sites, increasing the number of Ancestry sites from four to seven. Today,
 sites in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, Italy,
 Germany and, most recently, France extend Ancestry's networking and
 tree-building tools to a worldwide audience.
     With 24,000 searchable databases and titles, is the No. 1
 online source for family history information. Since its launch in 1997, 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. The
 site is home to the only complete online U.S. Federal Census collection,
 1790-1930, as well as the world's largest online collection of U.S. ship
 passenger list records featuring more than 100 million names, 1820-1960. is part of The Generations Network, Inc., a leading network of
 family-focused interactive properties, including,, and Family Tree Maker. In total, The
 Generations Network properties receive 10.4 million unique visitors
 worldwide and over 450 million page views a month ((C) comScore Media
 Metrix, March 2007).