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Genealogy @ the Library

The historic records of Births over 100 years ago, Marriages over 75 years ago and Deaths over 50 years ago of the General Register Office (GRO), are available to view on

This is a re-posting of an article written by Jim Moses, taken from the Ionia Sentinel-Standard newspaper on February 11, 2016.

"I would like to give some new information on Family Tree Maker before I continue the short series on immigration that I started last time. I'm not sure if congratulations are in order, but thousands of us gave our opinions when Ancestry decided to discontinue FTM in December.
I read several comments on the Ancestry blog and not one was positive; everyone seemed unhappy about Ancestry's decision. Apparently they listened, so FTM will be continued. Not everything is set, as far as I can tell, but from two different sources I have learned that FTM is being acquired by a company called Software MacKiev, which is the software company that has been responsible for developing FTM for the Mac users out there for at least the last six years (so they have experience with FTM).
They now will be working with the Windows version of the program. For us, that means we will have updates and, when they are ready, new versions of our FTM software. Both sources I read also say that we will have continued access to Ancestry Hints, as well as Ancestry searches. We will also be able to save our trees on Ancestry, just as we do today (the sync feature). This is good news for everyone who wondered about the future use of Ancestry in respect to their own researched family trees.
In addition to this, another program, called RootsMagic, will have the same, or similar capabilities by the end of this year. Ancestry has read our comments, and they have acted in a way that appears to be a benefit to all of us. I'm happy about it and I am eagerly awaiting the result of the conversion over to Software MacKiev's version."

Ancestry made this announcement on their blog this morning:

"Ancestry is proud to have made a significant investment this year to bring valuable new content and records to the Ancestry site. In 2015, we’ve made 220 million searchable historical records from Mexico available, more than 170 million pages from the largest collection of U.S. will and probate records, among others. We’ve also introduced new features such as Ancestry Academy and major advancements for AncestryDNA.

We remain dedicated to helping people gain new levels of understanding about their lives, and who and what led to them, harnessing the information found in family trees, historical records and genetics. As a company, we’re also continually evaluating ways to focus our efforts to provide the most impact and best product experience for our users through our core offerings.

True to this focus, we’ve taken a hard look at the declining desktop software market and the impact this has on being able to continue to provide product enhancements and support that our users need.

With that, we’ve made the decision to stop selling Family Tree Maker as of December 31, 2015. Our subscription business and website, on the other hand, continue to grow and we are doubling down our efforts to make that experience even better for our Ancestry community.

Ancestry will continue to support current owners of Family Tree Maker at least through January 1, 2017. During this time, all features of the software, including TreeSync™, will continue to work, and Member Services will be available to assist with user questions. We will also address major software bugs that may occur, as well as compatibility updates. These changes are never easy, but by focusing our efforts, we can concentrate on continuing to build great products for our loyal Ancestry community." - See more at:

Here are links to two tutorials on the recently redesigned HeritageQuest database. Remember, all Michigan residents have access to this genealogy resource remotely when they use their library cards, driver's licenses or state issued I.D. cards.

HeritageQuest LibGuidesageQuest LibGuides

HeritageQuest; Beyond the Basics

I've been asked by several people to make our handouts available to those who were not able to come to the recent genealogy classes.  Here they are:

Introducing the Genealogy Databases

Basic Genealogy Research Using the Library Databases

I hope these will be of help!