Ancestry’s Newsletter Morphs Into Blog

Look’s like Ancestry’s Yearly/Weekly/Daily NewsJournal/Newsletter thing has morphed into a blog.

The title, “24/7 Family History Circle!” refers to them spending 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, thinking up ways on how to get you to use I’m kidding, I jest, I have the “Super-Duper Membership” package, where my paycheck goes straight to Ancestry’s offices to cover my monthly bill. Again, just kidding.

To be honest, it’s interactive, that’s a good thing, and I like the look, it’s a lot cleaner than the old newsletter thingy, and easier to read.

As much as I kid them here and elsewhere, I do believe they have tried (and succeeded in many ways) to improve the look of their services, and the new blog is a reflection of that. When you are on dial-up, you want as little clutter as possible, and way too many genealogy services sites are way too busy, both from a loading perspective, and from a “where do I go from here” perspective, and Ancestry and their newsletter used to be that way.

A friend who is into useability-type stuff, both web and print, commented on the blog and their site and said they have got some good designers that paid attention to complaints about clutter and load times.

Why Was Writer’s Ancestor Burned At The Stake?

WCAX (Vermont) is running a story by the Associated Press, And why was writer’s ancestor burned at the stake?>, about an author’s genealogy research into why his six-times-great grandfather ended up being burned at the stake, a fate that he himself helped seal for another person (he was not killed during the Salem Witch Trials, however he testified against somebody else who was). It’s a unique article, and raises some interesting questions. I am descended (along with probably millions of other Americans) from somebody who was killed during the trials. I’ve read probably a dozen books on the matter, have watched probably 20+ hours worth of shows (around Halloween, the History Channel turns into the Salem Channel), and I’ve seen all kinds of explanations. The author of this article takes another look at how some things could have happened (as well as the irony in his own ancestor’s end).

Colonial Skeleton Stumps Archaeologists

Over at Sci-Tech Today, there is an interesting article from the Associated Press, Colonial Skeleton Stumps Archaeologists, about trying to identify remains from Colonial America in the 1600s. I’ve read another article in a magazine that mentioned some genealogy work that was done in England to find his sister (as you’ll see, they thought they had found her, and took DNA samples, however they turned out to be wrong.