Sunday, September 26, 2010 Inc. to Acquire iArchives Inc. to Acquire iArchives

8:00 AM ET 9/23/10 | GlobeNewswire Inc. (Nasdaq:ACOM) announced today it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire iArchives, Inc. and its branded Web site,, a leading American History Web site, for approximately $27 million in a mix of stock, cash and assumption of liabilities. This acquisition will provide the company with a complementary consumer brand, expanded content offerings, and enhanced digitization and image-viewing technologies.

iArchives digitizes and delivers high-quality images of American historical records of individuals involved in the Revolutionary War, Continental Congress, Civil War, and other U.S. historical events to subscribers interested in early American roots. iArchives has digitized more than 65 million original source documents to date through its proprietary digitization process for paper, microfilm and microfiche collections.

" is highly complementary to's online family history offering," said Tim Sullivan, President and Chief Executive Officer of "By promoting Footnote to our Ancestry audience, we hope to expand its reach among researchers who care about early American records. iArchives also brings outstanding image-viewing technology and content digitization capabilities that will improve our leadership position in bringing valuable historical records to the market. We welcome the iArchives team to the family."

Upon completion of the transaction, iArchives will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of As part of the transaction, currently expects to issue approximately 1.0 million shares of common stock. The transaction is subject to various closing conditions and is expected to close early in the fourth quarter of 2010. also announced today that its Board of Directors has approved a share repurchase program of up to approximately $25 million of its common stock. Under the authorization, share repurchases may be made by the Company from time to time in the open market or through privately negotiated transactions depending on market conditions, share price and other factors and may include accelerated or forward or similar stock repurchases and/or Rule 10b5-1 plans. Part of the rationale for the repurchase is to offset dilution of equity resulting from the iArchives acquisition. No time limit was set for the completion of this program. The share repurchase program may be modified or discontinued at any time by the Board of Directors.

About Inc. (Nasdaq:ACOM) is the world's largest online family history resource, with approximately 1.3 million paying subscribers. More than 5 billion records have been added to the site in the past 13 years. Ancestry users have created more than 19 million family trees containing over 1.9 billion profiles. has local Web sites directed at nine countries, including its flagship Web site at

About iArchives

iArchives is a leading digitization service provider that also operates, a subscription Web site that features searchable original documents, providing over 35,000 paying subscribers with a view of the events, places and people that shaped the American nation and the world. At, all are invited to come share, discuss, and collaborate on their discoveries with friends, family, and colleagues. For more information, visit

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Irish person's genetic code sequenced for the first time

Source: The Irish Times - Tuesday, September 7, 2010


SCIENTISTS HAVE sequenced the complete genetic code of an Irish person for the first time. The 3.1 billion sub-units of DNA that comprise the human genome were mapped by a team from the Conway Institute at University College Dublin, using advanced sequencing technology.

The landmark study, due to be published in the online journal Genome Biology, provides the first complete genetic picture of the Irish branch of the European ancestral tree.

Scientists are reading the genomes of many species to understand how life forms differ from each other, and why they become diseased. Unravelling the differences between the Irish genome and other population groups may yield vital clues as to why Irish people are more susceptible to certain diseases, such as cystic fibrosis.
The UCD team, led by professor of comparative genomics Brendan Loftus, used DNA from an anonymous Irish male with a confirmed Irish ancestry of three generations.
Prof Loftus said the choice of individual to sequence was also made on the basis of prior genetic work with this individual that “showed variation typical of the island”.

“We have a better chance of understanding disease biology and susceptibility if we can stratify different populations on the basis of their genes,” he said.

The study uncovered some three million genetic variants in the Irish genome compared to a reference genome. Though most of the variation has been seen in other population groups, some 13 per cent, corresponding to about 300,000 variations in genome steps, had not been recorded before.

The big question is how much of this variation is specific to the individual and how much is representative of an “Irish genetic signature”, said Prof Loftus.

His team has already made one important discovery, identifying a variation in the sequence that disrupts a gene associated with inflammatory bowel disease, which affects about 15,000 people in Ireland.

The first full sequence of human DNA was
published in the US in 2003, after some 13 years of research, costing $2.7 billion. The six-man UCD team took little over a year to sequence the first complete Irish human genome, at a cost of €30,000.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

A book review of 'Tracing your Mayo Ancestors'

Brian Smith, Tracing Your Mayo Ancestors, 2nd edition, 160 pages, Flyleaf Press, Dublin 2010, ISBN 978-0-9563624-3-8, retail price €13

A book review by John Hamrock, Ancestor Network Limited, 4 September 2010

As an avid family historian whose paternal grandfather hailed from County Mayo, and as a professional genealogist helping clients trace their Mayo roots, I highly recommend Brian Smith’s Tracing Your Mayo Ancestors. This compact and well organised guide serves as an indispensible tool for both new and experienced Mayo family history researchers.

The cover illustration appropriately depicts the poignant scene of an emigrant ship leaving the shores of Mayo for North America or Australia watched by silent onlookers. Mayo was a Connacht county badly impacted by the Great Famine of 1845-1847, its population devastated by starvation, disease and emigration. A new table introduced in this second edition shows the population decline of each barony by decade from 1841 through to 1891. In 1841 the total population of County Mayo stood at 388,887. By 1891 the population had fallen to 219,034.

Each chapter is dedicated to a particular area of research such as civil registrations, church records, census returns, wills and administrations, and land records. The introduction provides a concise, but excellent history of the county describing that Mayo families were a mixture of native peoples who arrived in the Neolithic period, Gaelic families, Cambro-Norman, English, and Scottish settlers. There is also a chapter devoted to the 1798 Rebellion in County Mayo.

The chapter on church records shows that in the 1861 Census of Ireland, 96.8% of the Mayo population was reported to be Roman Catholic and 2.6% belonging to the Church of Ireland. It provides detailed information on each parish’s extant baptism, marriage and burial records. There is also a chapter devoted to Mayo surnames, family names and histories. One useful map shows by barony the 20 most numerous surnames which occur in the Primary Valuation of Ireland, also known as Griffith’s Valuation (1855/1857).

Of particular help to less experienced researchers, this book contains numerous extracted reproductions from works such as Lewis’s Topographical Dictionary of Ireland, the ‘Ordnance Survey Field Name books’, the 1851 ‘Townland Index of Ireland’, maps showing the individual Baronies and Civil Parishes, birth and marriage registers, extracts from estate tenant rental ledgers, an extract from the Tithe Applotment Composition Book, evicted tenants notices, census returns, and other historical documents.

The author also provides detailed information about the available primary and secondary source material and where these source documents are located, whether online or in archives or libraries. The font size and line spacing layout makes it easy on the eyes and like the original edition, it contains a comprehensive index.

I highly recommend Tracing Your Mayo Ancestors for both amateur and professional genealogists. It is a meticulously researched and attractively presented book. The extracted document and manuscript illustrations presented throughout the book help the reader to envisage what they can expect to find through their own research. It is a reliable companion whether one is researching from home via the internet or in a library or archive. It is a must have for serious genealogists on the quest for Mayo ancestors.