PROVO, UT--(Marketwire -08/29/12)- Ancestry.com, the world's largest online family history resource, announced today that it will for the first time ever provide free access to its entire collection of more than 713 million U.S. Census records, spanning from 1790-1940. The free access period begins today and runs through the Labor Day holiday weekend, ending at midnight on September 3rd.
Census records are among the most valuable records for genealogists and amateur family historians alike. Early U.S. Census records from the 19th century include basic information such as names and ages of each household occupant and if they owned or rented their home. Later census takers began to ask more detailed questions, providing extraordinary insight into the daily lives of the Americans documented in these records.
The recently released 1940 U.S. Census is the most recent and one of the most relevant U.S. Census records for Americans today. It provides a tremendous amount of insight including income, education, prior military service, the ability to read or write and even whether those surveyed spoke English. As nearly 90 percent of Americans have family members in the 1940 Census or are in it themselves, these records in particular provide essential information for those who are uncovering their family history.
Since its release, the 1940 U.S. Census has been viewed 93 million times on Ancestry.com. Of these, there have been 60 million searches completed. These searches of the 1940 and other U.S. Census records have led to many compelling discoveries by Ancestry.com users. For example, Sarah Lyman of Jeffersonville, IN was able to piece together her family's fascinating story using what she already knew and key discoveries from census records. Sarah's discoveries include stories of robbery, divorce, child abandonment and a marriage between her 40 year old great grandmother and a 20 year old man. Other Ancestry.com users have found long lost friends, made new family connections and even discovered relatives they didn't know about while searching census records.
"We hope to inspire family history detectives to delve even deeper into their own history by providing this free access period to our collection of U.S. Census records," said Dan Jones, VP of Content Acquisition for Ancestry.com. "Beyond the free access, we are excited to bring our entire collection of U.S. Census records together in one place -- we think it will serve as an essential go-to resource for our two million users."
To promote interaction with the Census collection, Ancestry.com has introduced the Ancestry Time Machine experience, which allows users to virtually travel back to the 1940s with the click of a mouse. After answering a few multiple choice questions and uploading a photograph, the viewer will be presented with a video profile of their life as it would have been in the 1940s based on gender, location, profession and personal interests. The Time Machine is an experiential way to explore U.S. history, allowing the user to visualize living as their family members may have more than 70 years ago. Users can also share their Ancestry Time Machine experience with friends and family through their social networks.
Ancestry.com Inc. (ACOM) is the world's largest online family history resource, with approximately 2 million paying subscribers. More than 10 billion records have been added to the site in the past 15 years. Ancestry users have created more than 38 million family trees containing more than 4 billion profiles. In addition to its flagship site www.ancestry.com, Ancestry.com offers several localized Web sites designed to empower people to discover, preserve and share their family history.
Forward Looking Statements
This press release contains forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated by these forward-looking statements. Such risks and uncertainties include our ability to digitize content, to provide desired content to our subscribers, to make our services convenient to use and to otherwise satisfy customer expectations. Information concerning additional factors that could cause events or results to differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements is contained under the caption "Risk Factors" in our Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended June 30, 2012, and in discussions in other of our Securities and Exchange Commission filings. These forward-looking statements should not be relied upon as representing our views as of any subsequent date and we assume no obligation to publicly update or revise these forward-looking statements.
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John Paolo Canton