A Sneak Peek into the MyHeritage DNA Lab


Today I received an email from MyHeritageDNA reporting that a test kit for a relative is being processed. Here is the text of the email (I have blocked the test subject’s name for privacy).

Hi Wallace,‎

__________’s DNA sample is currently being processed in our CLIA-certified DNA lab.

Status: DNA extraction in progress

We wanted to take this opportunity to let you know how the DNA gets processed at our lab.

Here is the process, step-by-step:

Our technicians inspect the sample and make sure it’s intact.

The DNA is extracted from the cells in the vial and amplified. In other words, we make copies of the DNA in order to make sure we have enough of it to analyze.

The DNA is placed on a custom-made DNA genotyping chip and heated to a high temperature so the DNA can attach itself to the chip (hybridization).

A computer reads the hybridized chips, producing the DNA data.

The DNA data goes through a rigorous review to ensure it meets our high quality standards.

The DNA data is uploaded to the MyHeritage website, where it is analyzed and matched, and the results are served to you!

Best regards,
The MyHeritage team

The email includes the URL for a video showing how MyHeritageDNA conducts its testing. Go here to see the sophisticated equipment and procedures used for MyHeritageDNA testing.

The subject of this test is a nephew of my late wife, M.J., and it will be interesting to see how his test results compare not only with hers but also those of an aunt, a first cousin, and a first cousin once removed, all on his father’s side.

What I am really hoping for is a match to a distant cousin who might be related to his four-great grandfather so that we might be able to figure out who the four-great grandfather’s parents were. The four-great grandfather’s birth year and birthplace have been widely reported (though not documented by primary sources), but no one has connected him to parents and earlier generations.

FYI, MyHeritageDNA is offering test kits for only $69, plus shipping. Click here if you want to order a test.

More About Fred Holzhauser


Today, my son Kurt and I traveled to Vermilion, Ohio, for the graveside ceremony for Frederick L. Holzhauser, Kurt’s step-grandfather. Fred passed away at age 98 on 5 Feb 2018. His cremains were interred next to the graves of his parents in Maple Grove Cemetery.

Kurt and I represented the family of Meta, Fred’s wife who passed away in 1999. Fred and Meta were married in 1973 and shared a wonderful life together for 26 years. Meta was Kurt’s maternal grandmother and my mother-in-law.

Fred’s family was well-represented by a brother and two sisters, as well as many nieces and nephews.

When I returned home, I was inspired to do some Internet research, and I’m glad I did. A Google search led me to a news item in the Sandusky Register dated 6 Sep 1950 which reported that Kent State University had conferred on Fred a masters degree in mathematics. It further reported that Fred had earned a bachelors degree from KSU in education.

I was aware of Fred’s education, but the fact that the Google Search led me to this newspaper account was a revelation to me. I have access to Newspapers.com through my Ancestry.com subscription. But I wasn’t aware that I could find items using Google.

The same Google search led me to another item: The University Communications and Marketing records collection at Kent State. Apparently, there is a file with clippings and information about Fred and his days as a student at the university. I found details at https://www.library.kent.edu/university-communications-and-marketing-records

So I guess I need to take a road trip to Kent in Portage County, Ohio, and the Special Collections Department at the University.

While I am there, I will make an effort to learn about my Grandma Grace’s study there, as well as more information about my mother’s student days there. They both earned teaching certificates.

For my earlier post about Fred Holzhauser with more details about his life and times, go here

RootsTech 2018 Is Over, But Presentations Are Available Online FREE


As this is written, RootsTech 2018 has concluded and thousands of genealogists have already headed home from the Salt Palace Convention Center, Salt Lake City, Utah. We don’t have attendance figures, but we can indicate the scope of this annual convention by pointing out that there are 182 exhibitors listed on the RootsTech 2018 website. You can see who was exhibiting by going to https://www.rootstech.org/expo-hall.RootsTech this year was expanded to four days, Wednesday through Saturday, February 28 through March 3.

We didn’t attend this event in person, but we have taken advantage of many of the presentations being made available via streaming video over the Internet.

The schedule of available presentations offered for viewing FREE from home or wherever you are with a computer or tablet — and at your convenience — is at https://www.rootstech.org/rootstech-2018-videos. Each presentation listing provides a link for easy online access.

The 2018 website suggests that you save the date for next year’s event: February 27–March 2, 2019.



In Memoriam: Frederick L. Holzhauser, 1920-2018


Frederick L. Holzhauser Jr passed away 5 Feb 2018 while residing in Admiral’s Pointe skilled nursing facility in Huron, Ohio. He was 97 years old.

Fred was the husband of Meta Scheppelmann, the step-father of Mary Jane Huskonen (born Van Court) and Sidney Van Court, step-grandfather of Karen Frame (born Huskonen) and Kurt Huskonen, and Eric Van Court and Natalie Heath (born Van Court).

Fred was born on 26 Dec 1920 to Frederick L. and Ethel G. (Paige [sic]) Holzhauser in Cleveland, Ohio.1

In the 1930 Census, he was enumerated in the family household at 61 South Main St. in Chagrin Falls, Ohio. In addition to his father and mother, other family members were siblings Joyce E, age 13; Dwight C, age 11; Ruth H, age 7; and Gladys M., age 5. At this time, Fred Sr. was working as an automobile salesman.2

Fred attended Memorial School in Chagrin Falls through the sixth grade.3

Later, his father worked for the City of Cleveland. When he lost that job, the family moved to Fowlers Mills in Geauga County. Fred attended 7th and 8th grades in a two-room school building in this community. He attended 9th grade in Chesterland in a school building on U.S. Route 322. His father was employed at a nursery during this time.3,4

Later, Fred’s father met a gentleman by the name of Bradner, who was involved in forming a dairy cooperative. He hired Mr. Holzhauser to manage the dairy in Leroy Township, Lake County, Ohio.3

The family moved to Painesville and Fred attended 10th and the first half of the 11th grade at Painesville Harvey High School. About Christmas time, Mr. Holzhauser lost his job and the family then moved to the Cleveland area where Fred attended school for about a month in the Cleveland school system.3

The family then removed to Garfield Heights and Fred attended the last half of his Junior and his Senior year at Garfield Heights High School. The family lived on Edgepark Dr.3

In the 1940 Census, the Holzhauser family lived at 1446 East 109th St in Cleveland. Fred, the father, was employed as a master mechanic for the city in road repair operations. Daughter Joyce, age 23, was employed as a stenographer for a machine products company and son Douglas [Dwight], age 21, was employed as a tractor driver for an excavating company. The other children listed in the household were Fred Jr, age 19; Ruth, age 17, Gladys, 15; Harold, 7, and Ethel G, age 5.4

At this time, Fred’s uncle, Fred C Page, worked for Goodyear as a standard practices engineer (per 1940 census5) and Fred spent the winter with him in Chagrin Falls so he could attend Kent State University. He traveled by bus to KSU for three years.3

Following are yearbook listings in the Kent State University Chestnut Burr yearbook: 1939 — Frederick Ludwig Holzhauser Jr. 4849 Edgepark Dr., Cleveland, Ohio; 1940 — 1446 E. 109 St, Cleveland, Ohio, recording secretary of Alpha Phi Beta Fraternity; and 1941 — Math, Biology, Alpha Phi Beta.

With the beginning of WWII, Fred got a job at Plumbrook Arsenal near Sandusky as a maintenance engineer/oiler. He stayed with an aunt in Milan, Ohio, while working in this job.3

In 1942, Fred received his draft notice, and on 17 Aug 1942, he was enlisted for the duration of WWII as a private in the U.S. Army.6 He spent a total of 38 months in military service. During his service, he carried a rifle for only one day. His service time included 28 months in India along with time needed for travel by steamship to and from India.3

The U.S. Army was maintaining a presence in what was called the China Burma India Theater under the command of General Joseph Stilwell because the Japanese occupied nearby Indochina. Fred was assigned to the Quartermaster Group, and on the voyage to India, this caused problems because there was no chain of command for his organization on a troopship with thousands of Army troops. Even reporting for meals was a challenge until this situation was finally straightened out. The voyage was on the SS American, a cruise ship converted to serve as a troop ship.3

The voyage took Fred to Bombay where he disembarked and traveled to Agra (near the Taj Mahal) in northern India for his assignment with the Engineers Group.3

Later, he was transferred to Garyot, near Calcutta, for similar duty.3

At the conclusion of the war, Fred began his voyage home from Calcutta. The ship stopped in Australia, but he and the other troops were not allowed to leave the ship. Fred disembarked in Los Angeles, and he traveled to Atterbury, Indiana, where he was discharged. Ironically, Joyce’s husband, Frank, arrived there as he was discharged.3

Fred noted that he couldn’t qualify for the U.S. Defense ribbon because he was only in the U.S. for 10 months of his service.

Following his discharge in 1945, Fred went back to college at Kent State, this time under the G. I. Bill. He lived in a rented room off campus.3

Following graduation, he taught math and physics for one year in Butler County, Ohio. He then taught one year at Eastern Illinois State University.3

He returned to Kent State to earn his master’s degree before beginning his teaching career at Shaker Heights High School in 1953. Fred stayed with his sister Joyce and her husband Frank Davis in Cleveland, Ohio.3

He learned about a teaching position at Shaker Heights High School by word of mouth, and he applied there and was hired, beginning in January 1953, teaching mathematics.3

Shaker Heights SunPress, 17 Jul 1958

Shaker Heights High School Gristmill 1961, p 165

In 1964, he purchased a house and farm in Richmond Center, Ohio, for his father and mother to live in. From 1964 through June 1976, he commuted from Richmond to Shaker Heights, a distance of 82 miles each way.3 Fred Sr passed away on 7 Apr 1970 7 and Ethel died on 10 Sep 1971.8

On 1 Jan 1973, he married Meta Elizabeth Van Court.9 It was his first marriage and Meta’s second, she being the widow of Clyde Van Court who passed away on 25 Aug 1969.

The couple lived in Richmond Center in the house Fred had purchased for his parents and across the street from the Van Court farm where Meta’s son, Sidney, lived.

On 01 Jan 1998, Fred and Meta celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary.9

Meta passed away on 17 Sep 1999 at the age of 86 at the Rolling Fields Nursing Home, Summerhill Twp, Crawford, Pennsylvania.10

Fred sold his farm and home in Richmond in 2001 and moved to The Commons of Providence, in Sandusky, Ohio, where he could be near his Holzhauser family members.3

While living at The Commons, Fred enjoyed visits by his step-grandchildren and siblings, nieces and nephews. Many visits were capped off with a trip to Toft’s Ice Cream Parlor in Sandusky for ice cream sundaes.

Fred with MJ Huskonen, Karen Frame, and grandkids Kaelyn, Matti, and Maegan Frame in 2009. Photo by author.

In 2017, Fred fell and suffered a broken leg. He moved into a skilled nursing facility for the rest of his days.

1. Frederick L Holzhauser entry, “Ohio Birth Index, 1908-1964” online database, State File Number 1920118827 [Note: Mother’s maiden name recorded as Paige, should be Page], retrieved 2012 12 30 from subscription database provider, Ancestry.com.
2. 1930 United States Federal Census, Ohio, Cuyahoga, Chagrin Falls Village, Sheet No. 1B, Lines 74-80, Fred Holshauser household, retrieved 2012 12 30 from subscription database provider, Ancestry.com
3. Interview with the subject by Wallace D. Huskonen in 2009.
4. 1940 United States Federal Census, Ohio, Cuyahoga, Cleveland, Sheet No. 9B, Lines 74-80 and Sheet No. 10A, Lines 1-2, Fred Holzhauser household. Retrieved 2012 12 30 from subscription database provider Ancestry.com. This census record indicates that the family lived in rural Geauga County in 1935.
5. 1940 United States Federal Census, Ohio, Summit, Cuyahoga Falls, Sheet 4B, Lines 71-77, Fred C Page household. Retrieved 2012 12 30 from subscription database provider Ancestry.com.
6. Frederick L Holzhauser entry, “U.S. World War II Army Enlistment Records, 1938-1946” online database. Retrieved 2012 12 30 from subscription database provider, Ancestry.com. The entry noted that Frederick had 3 years of college. The complete record is included at the end of this post.
7. Fred L Holzhauser Sr entry, Certificate 024366, “Ohio, Deaths, 1908-1932, 1938-2007” online database, retrieved 2012 12 30 from subscription database provider, Ancestry.com.
8. Ethel G Holzhauser entry, Certificate 063576, “Ohio, Deaths, 1908-1932, 1938-2007” online database, retrieved 2012 12 30 from subscription database provider, Ancestry.com.
9. Anniversary celebration announcement in possession of the author.
10. Meta E Holzhauser, Local Registrar’s Certification of Death No. 4283719, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Dept of Health Vital Records, issued 20 Sep 1999.

World War II Army Enlistment Record: Holzhauser, Frederick L
Retrieved 2013 04 17 from free online database maintained by the National Archives at

BRANCH: ALPHA DESIGNATION Branch Immaterial – Warrant Officers, USA
TERM OF ENLISTMENT Enlistment for the duration of the War or other emergencies, plus six months, subject to the discretion of the President or otherwise according to law
EDUCATION 3 years of college
CIVILIAN OCCUPATION Apprentices to other trades
MARITAL STATUS Single, without dependents
COMPONENT OF THE ARMY Selectees (Enlisted Men)

What’s New: Map Your Ancestors (on Your Smart Phone)


The headline is from a blog posting last month on the FamilySearch blog at  https://www.familysearch.org/blog/en/whats-map-ancestors/


What’s New: Map Your Ancestors

January 9, 2018 By Alison Ensign

You can map your ancestors on FamilySearch’s app.

I grew up hearing stories about my ancestors. As I learned the details of their lives, I wondered what it would be like to get a glimpse of their world. The Family Tree app recently added a feature that, in some cases, can help that become a reality by allowing you to map key events in your ancestors’ lives directly in the app.

Not too far from where I now live, I found my great-great-great-grandparents’ home using the addresses attached to their life events and memories on FamilySearch.org. I then searched Google Maps for the address to see if the home is still standing today, and I discovered that it is!

The following are pictures of the home. The top two were attached as memories to my family tree, the bottom left is the image I found on Google Maps, and the last photo is of my dad later visiting the home. While specific street addresses will not always be available, you never know what you’ll stumble on. Try mapping your ancestors with the Family Tree app to see what hidden treasures you can find!

Visit places your ancestors lived! Find places your ancestors lived!
How to visit your ancestor’s life events. Find and visit family history locations using the FamilySearch Tree app.

How It Works

Open the Family Tree app, tap More in the bottom right corner (iOS) or the top left corner (Android), and then tap “Map My Ancestors.” A map will then show you a 100-mile radius around your current location. Here’s what the icons on the map mean:

The blue pulsating dot (iOS) or the blue dot with a ring around it (Android) represents you.

People icons represent ancestors who lived in the area.

Blue icons with numbers represent multiple ancestors in the same location. Tap the icon to view the names of those ancestors. To exit the list, tap the x in the corner of the list.

Zoom in or out of the map to show fewer or more ancestors at a time. You can also tap the i icon to change the appearance of the map or to limit the number of ancestors you see by tapping “Show only direct line ancestors.”

View Specific People

To see the locations of events from a specific ancestor’s life on the map, tap that ancestor’s name or type their name in the search bar. Icons representing their life events will appear on the map along with a list of the events. Tap an event to learn more about it.

To open this same person-specific view from your ancestors’ page in Family Tree, tap one of their life events, and then tap the map that appears (iOS) or the map icon (Android).

Add Burial Locations

Add location information in Family Tree about your ancestors’ burial to view more events in the map and to ensure that the locations you see are accurate. If you know the name of the place where one of your ancestors was buried, open the tree, and select the ancestor in question. On the Details page, tap the burial event, and then tap Edit. Enter the name of the cemetery under Place. Finally, add an explanation for the change. Then tap Save.

Give It a Try

Explore the “Map My Ancestors” feature to discover places you can visit! Here are some instances where it might be particularly useful:

Find ancestors who lived near you. This map can make it easy to find nearby landmarks from your family history.

Plan a trip. Search the map by location to find some sentimental stops along the way. Trace your roots. Get a quick glance of where your ancestors came from around the world.

Download the app to try it out!

As I said, I downloaded the app to my iPhone 7 and was amazed at what is presented. Now I will have a map locating my ancestors with me wherever I go.


What Happens with DNA Test at MyHeritageDNA Explained


Concise explanations are good! MyHeritageDNA just sent me an email explaining what happens to a DNA sample in their lab. It is short and easy to understand, so I thought I would post it here:

A sneak peek into the MyHeritage DNA lab

Feb 3 (1 day ago)

Hi Wallace,‎

The DNA sample of [name of relative deleted by me for her privacy] is currently being processed in our CLIA-certified DNA lab.

Status: Sample received at the lab

We wanted to take this opportunity to let you know how the DNA gets processed at our lab.

Here is the process, step-by-step:

Our technicians inspect the sample and make sure it’s intact.

The DNA is extracted from the cells in the vial and amplified. In other words, we make copies of the DNA in order to make sure we have enough of it to analyze.

The DNA is placed on a custom-made DNA genotyping chip and heated to a high temperature so the DNA can attach itself to the chip (hybridization).

A computer reads the hybridized chips, producing the DNA data.

The DNA data goes through a rigorous review to ensure it meets our high quality standards.

The DNA data is uploaded to the MyHeritage website, where it is analyzed and matched, and the results are served to you!

Best regards,
The MyHeritage team

View a cool video showing the journey of a DNA sample through our lab.

This email was sent to facilitate your use of your family site on MyHeritage.

I’m looking forward to receiving the DNA test results in a few days and seeing if we can establish connections between my test subject and extended family members.

FinnFest USA Set for Tampere, Finland, in June


Have passport, will travel.

I have known since last fall that FinnFest 2018 would be held in Tampere, Finland. In fact, knowing this spurred me to acquire a USA passport.

Now, I have learned the dates: June 24-July 1.

The following note is posted on the FinnFest USA Facebook page:

It’s happening! FinnFest in Tampere June 24-July 1, 2018!
We are putting the final plans together with an exceptional program. There will be current and historical context, local tours and day trips, comfortable lodging, singing, dancing, pulla and sauna!
Registration will be up on the website with more information soon!

Photo courtesy of Visit Finland.

Tampere was selected to be the site of this event as it was the location of one of the key 1918 battles in the Civil War between the White Finns and Red Finns (Communists). Fortunately, the Whites won, thus avoiding Finland slipping into the sphere of influence of the emerging Soviet Union.

Wikipedia has a concise article on the Finnish Civil War.

As a side note, Tampere is about four hours drive from my paternal grandparents’ village of Vesanto. The town website is in Finnish, but since I use Google Chrome as my browser, it was automatically translated into English.

I have already been contacted by cousins in Finland wanting more details of when and where, etc.

“Love Never Dies” Leaves Cleveland


Yesterday was the last day of the Cleveland, Ohio, run for the Andrew Lloyd Weber musical, “Love Never Dies.”

I didn’t attend any of the performances. It would have been way too sad for me to enjoy. Here’s why: my late wife, MJ, loved the smash hit, “Phantom of the Opera.” We saw it twice, once in Toronto in 1991 at what was known then as the  Pantages Theater, and then again in 1997 in one the touring versions to visit Cleveland. We enjoyed both very, very much.

At the Cleveland performance, MJ purchased the book of piano solos and played them so often that the book became dog-eared.

I remember MJ playing on her Yamaha grand piano each of the nine pieces in the book:

Think of Me
Angel of Music
The Phantom of the Opera
The Music of the Night
Prima Donna
All I Ask of You
Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again
The Point of No Return

Over the years, we also saw two other Webber productions: “Cats” in a road-show version in Cleveland and the movie version of “Evita.”  MJ also saw his “Sunset Boulevard” on Broadway. We listened to the soundtracks of many of Webber’s other musical creations but concluded that nothing could compare with “Phantom.”

Our family requested that a recording of the piano version of “Think of Me” be played for family and friends who gathered for MJ’s Celebration of Life ceremony on 6 Jun 2017 in Brecksville. It was a poignant moment, to say the least.

Happy Australia Day Today!


Today is Australia Day. It is the 230th anniversary of the arrival of several British ships in what became the port of Sydney, Australia, loaded with convicts from Great Britain. These were the first white settlers in the continent of Australia.

I don’t have any direct genealogical connection to Australia, but it does remind me of the party I attended at the annual meeting of the International Iron and Steel Institute on the Sydney Wharf in early October in 1990 (which was springtime there). Wow, has it been that long ago?

The iron and steel industry of Australia really laid out the welcome matt for steelmaking leaders attending from around the world. A feature of the evening was a three-screen audio-visual show (remember them?) portraying the first arrival of what would become known as convict ships. As the show was ending, fireworks were set off over Sydney Harbor; then there was plenty of food and drink.

As a result of meeting people on this trip and in my other travels as a trade magazine journalist, I have concluded that the Aussies are the people most like Americans. Well, of course, Canadians are like Americans also.

Anyway, happy Australian Day.

If you want to read up on this bit of history, Wikipedia  has a concise article at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Australia_Day

What’s Up–Or Down–With Rootsweb?


Today, I checked — as I often do — for info on local genealogical group meetings on the Cleveland District Roundtable (CDRT) page on Rootsweb. I found as I have for several recent weeks that the CDRT page on Rootsweb was still “down.” What came up in its place was a “progress report” posted by Ancestry.com which hosts Rootsweb. Here is that report from The Rootsweb Team (note the latest update added a couple days ago):

We have been in the process of improving the site throughout 2017, and as a result of an issue we recently became aware of, we have taken the site offline while we work to resolve it. We take the security of our contributors and our viewers seriously. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause, but protecting our users’ personal information is our top priority.

Update: January 23, 2018

Great news on the progress of getting RootsWeb back online. Today, we are bringing WorldConnect, one of our most valued features, back online. As we make WorldConnect available, it will initially be in a read only state. You can now search for people and view information as you did in the past; but for now, we cannot accept new uploads or modifications to existing GEDCOM files. We expect to add this additional functionality in the coming weeks.

Also, here are answers to a few questions we’ve heard from the community:

Why is this taking so long? RootsWeb has many terabytes of data uploaded by users across its various features. The site also has hundreds of thousands of lines of code. We have been scanning the data using a variety of tools, and that takes time. We’ve also been examining the code and the underlying systems. Some code is being refurbished, and some will need to be more fully rewritten to add the layers of security needed in this day and age. We know it may be frustrating, but we are committed to returning data to you in a safe manner.

Have you found any other security problems? We haven’t found any other problems, but we want to thoroughly update systems to ensure the safety of your information.

Is Ancestry going to start charging for RootsWeb? Ancestry is not going to start charging for RootsWeb. When functionality returns to the site, you will still be able to view content for free.

I’ve heard not everything is coming back online, is that true? We will be returning WorldConnect and Mailing Lists back to their full functionality. Other features are still being evaluated. In cases where we are unable to bring back previous functionality or content, we will explore ways for people who uploaded data to retrieve it if we don’t feel we can put it back online safely.

Care to share your thoughts with us?

Update: January 9, 2018

We have spent the last few weeks reviewing the functionality on RootsWeb and have created a plan to bring many of your contributions back online over the next few months. As we stated before, our first priority is security, and ensuring that every part of RootsWeb meets our stringent security standards. Our next priority is getting you, the users of RootsWeb and its services, access to your content.

Right now, the best way for us to meet both goals is to begin bringing portions of RootsWeb back online in a read-only state. This means you will have access to content, but you will not be able to load new content in these sections. While this may not be ideal, it is the best way for us to protect RootsWeb users while also providing the ability to use the content you value. This is an interim step while we continue to evaluate the potential for bringing more of the RootsWeb services back online in a more complete manner.

Here’s our current plan:

Hosted Web Sites: Soon we will begin bringing Hosted Web Sites back online. We will start with a few hundred and then add more over time, giving us a chance to scan the content.

Family Trees/WorldConnect: Family Trees or WorldConnect allows you to upload a GEDCOM file and publish it for others to see. It is currently being reviewed by our software engineers and security team and we plan on having a read-only, searchable version up in the next few weeks. The ability to upload new GEDCOM files will be available in the coming months.

Mailing Lists: Mailing Lists have been functioning as normal, but the archives have been unavailable. We plan to make the archives available to you once we have WorldConnect available to you in a readable version.

We will be making decisions about other functionality over time.

We appreciate your patience as we bring the different pieces of RootsWeb back online in a secure manner. You, our contributors and viewers, are what has made RootsWeb the vibrant free genealogy community it is.

The RootsWeb Team

FYI, the above page came up at the following address: http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~ohcuyaho/Projects/index.html

Just to remind myself of the history of Rootsweb, I went to Wikipedia. Here is what the entry on Ancestry.com provided about Rootsweb:


RootsWeb was acquired by Ancestry in June 2000. RootsWeb is a free genealogy community that uses online forums, mailing lists, and other resources to help people research their family history. Founded in 1993 by Brian Leverich and Karen Isaacson as the Roots Surname List, it is the oldest free online community genealogy research site. Users can upload GEDCOM files of their information for others to search at the WorldConnect portion of the site. Trees uploaded to WorldConnect are searchable at both the RootsWeb and Ancestry websites. RootsWeb provides resources (such as webspace, mailing list, message boards) for the WorldGenWeb project.

On December 20, 2017, a file containing 300,000 RootsWeb user names, passwords, and email addresses was exposed to the internet. The 300,000 records were from RootsWeb surname list service with 55,000 of those records were also Ancestry.com login credentials.

Let’s hope that The Rootsweb Team can get the website back online sooner rather than later. I for one find it quite useful.