Saturday, June 21, 2014

Season Five of Who Do You Think You Are? begins July 23, 2014

Many of you have probably heard that Season Five of "Who Do You Think You Are? begins Wednesday, July 23, 2014, at 9 p.m. EDT on The Learning Channel (TLC). But in case you have not, here are the details.

There will be just six episodes for this season, the second season on TLC. The celebrities featured are: Cynthia Nixon (episode one), Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Rachel McAdams and her sister, Kayleen McAdams, Lauren Graham, Valerie Bertinelli, and Kelsey Grammer.

There is a very short preview of the Cynthia Nixon episode on the show's TLC website page.

In addtion, TLC has acquired 10 episodes from the show's previous seasons on NBC. The episodes feature Matthew Broderick, Lisa Kudrow, Rob Lowe, Reba McEntire, Tim McGraw, Gwyneth Paltrow, Sarah Jessica Parker, Brooke Shields, Vanessa Williams and Rita Wilson.

Everyone has different television delivery/provider systems. Use your television provider's schedule system to find the TLC channel number on your provider system and to learn when the show will be re-aired again.

Also, the episodes are usually available on the TLC website page sometime after they have aired. So if you don't have TLC you should be able to watch the show on your computer over the internet.

See you soon at the Mt. Clemens Public Library!


Thursday, June 19, 2014

It is not as simple as pushing a button or "Gibb's slapping" the Multiple Servers -- Works to Restore Access

Here's another update on's recovery from the DDoS attack on Monday of its websites. is accessible now though you may experience intermittent problems with search and the trees. Some people have noted problems with image loading. My advise: Be patient and if needed click the page reload button of your browser.

Remember the advise from was to clear your browser's cache and cookies and then log back into Ancestry. (You may need to restart your computer.)

The portal/access Family Tree Maker uses to sync our trees (if you have done so) has been disabled by to ease traffic on the website. (I believe I read that was the reason.) So is saying to change your sync from Auto to Manual and DO NOT TRY TO SYNC YOUR TREE. You should then be able to work in your program offline.  

Since is advising to work offline, I am guessing that this portal/access that syncing uses is the same portal/access that FTM uses to search the Ancestry website and add records/sources while in FTM. So if you can't log into Ancestry while in FTM that is probably why. appears to be up and running. needs more extensive work and is offline. Also, offline yet are and Rootsweb. 

From what I've found, Ancestry's blog page, which is on its website, is still offline. So its open Facebook page (viewable by non-Facebook members) is the only place updates from the company are accessible. My guess this is because subscribers would prefer to have access to the records rather than the blog, it keeps the blog's open comment section inaccessible to upset customers, and if the website goes down again some communication can still get out because if the website is down then the blog is down. (Remember, if their servers go down they also can not email subscribers.) updated its Facebook posts today and created a separate page with most to its statements (in one place) regarding the attack.

So in the spirit of those "British Royal" themed signs and t-shirts on various topics, here is one for genealogy: 

Keep Calm and Research On.

By the way, a "Gibb's Slap" is from the TV show, NCIS, and refers to the character Gibb's friendly slap to the back of the head (usually the character Tony's) as a "Snap Out of It" gesture among other things.

I have three posts drafted on upcoming genealogy-related television shows, hopefully, they will be the next posts you read.

See you soon at the Mt. Clemens Public Library!


Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Finding Your Roots Season Two Premieres September 23, 2014

Season Two of Finding Your Roots will premiere on Tuesday, September 23, 2014, on your local PBS station. This is the genealogy television show headed by Henry Louis Gates, Jr. The time of the show's airing has not been announced yet.

According to CeCe Moore's blog site, Your Genetic Genealogist, "The season will include interviews with Ben Affleck, Sally Field, Derek Jeter, Deepak Chopra, Tina Fey, Valerie Jarrett, Carole King, Tony Kushner, Ken Burns, Angela Bassett, Alan Dershowitz, Ming Tsai, Aaron Sanchez, Tom Colicchio, Rebecca Lobo, Nas Jones, Billie Jean King, Stephen King, Courtney Vance and several others."

Everyone has different television delivery/provider systems. So listed here are a few for your convenience. (Hopefully, none of the providers shifted their channels around since last September.) If yours is not listed below, use your television provider's schedule system or PBS Detroit's schedule system to find the PBS channel number on your provider system and to learn when the show will be re-aired again. (On PBS Detroit's schedule system you can customize the listing to your service provider by edit or change provider so the schedule generated reflects your television provider's channels and schedule.)

Digital Over-the-Air box: 
September 30, 9 p.m. on channel 56.1
October 1, 12 a.m. on channel 56.2
October 1, 2:30 a.m. on channel 56.1
October 1, 4 a.m. on channel 56.2
October 4, 8 a.m. on channel 56.2
October 4, 10 a.m. on channel 56.2

Comcast: St Clair Shores (the same channels are used in Macomb Twp.)
September 30, 9 p.m. on channel 6, channel 240 HD, channel 1006 HD
October 1, 12 a.m. on channel 287,
October 1, 2:30 a.m. on channel 6, channel 240 HD, channel 1006 HD
October 1, 4 a.m. on channel 287
October 4, 8 a.m. on channel 287
October 4, 10 a.m. on channel 287

Wide Open West: Detroit
September 30, 9 p.m. on channel 3, channel 205 HD
October 1, 2:30 a.m. on channel 3, channel 205 HD
October 5, 3:30 a.m. on channel 3, channel 205 HD

See You Soon at the Mt. Clemens Public Library!


Genealogy Road Show Season Two is Now Casting

The Genealogy Road Show is now casting for Season Two.

If you live in/near St. Louis, Missouri, (filming August 22-23); New Orleans, Louisiana, (filming September 5-6); or Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, (filming September 12-13); and you have a mystery you want experts to solve submit your story to the casting company.

Good luck everyone. For us here in Michigan, we'll be waiting for the season to begin.

See you soon at the Mt. Clemens Public Library!


Another Update on the status of's websites

Around 7:15 p.m. ET on Tuesday, June 17, 2014, posted another update on its Facebook page regarding the status of its websites. The message reads:

UPDATE (4:15pm PST): The Ancestry websites are coming back online. Please clear your cache and your cookies, then try logging in.

A couple items to note: (1) You may experience intermittent issues with Search and Trees. Please be patient, we are working to restore the website(s) fully and this will take time, (2) Images are loading slowly so we recommend you save them to your Shoebox for now, (3) If you are using Family Tree Maker, please switch to 'manual sync' so it does not try to sync your online tree for now. Give this a little time.

Thank you once again for your patience and support during this DDoS attack on Ancestry. 

The first few times I tried to go to after they announced the site was back up, the website did not load. But later this afternoon I was able to get the website to load and I was able to log onto the site. I didn't stay long, I just wanted to see if I could do so. Again, I advise patience while Ancestry continues to resolve the situation.

See you soon at the Mt. Clemens Public Library!


Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Further Update on Disrupted Services

Earlier this afternoon issued a statement on its Facebook page explaining the lack of service situation that began around 1:30 p.m. MT (3:30 p.m. ET) on Monday. Besides stating that there may still be intermittent service outages as they bring all the servers backup, the statement contained a link to their official statement on their blog page (which is on their website). 

About 2:30 p.m. EDT, released that blog post statement on its Facebook page after realizing if the website goes down their statement can not be accessed either.

For those who do not want to go to the Ancestry Facebook page, here is the company's statement: is back online. Please know you should now be able to access all Ancestry and Find A Grave websites, though you may experience issues intermittently as we continue to work through bringing the sites back up to full capacity.


Around 1:30 p.m. MT on Monday, June 16, 2014, attackers targeted Ancestry with a Distributed Denial of Service attack (DDoS). During the attack, Ancestry websites along with the Find A Grave website were clogged with massive amounts of bogus traffic that took the sites down.

We want to apologize for the inconvenience this has caused and also thank you for your amazing support, as this may have interrupted some of your family history research. We understand how frustrating this can be for our customers, and please know that it was just as frustrating for us too. We appreciate your patience and support as we dealt with this unfortunate incident against Ancestry.

We have since neutralized the DDoS attack and our services have been up since 11:00 a.m. MT today. You should now be able to access all Ancestry and Find A Grave websites, though you may experience issues intermittently as we continue to work through bringing the sites back up to full capacity.

Your data was not compromised by this attack. This attack overloaded our servers with massive amounts of traffic but did not impact or access the data within those servers. No data was impacted in any way.

I would like to thank the Ancestry Web Operations team for working really hard throughout the night to restore the Ancestry and Find A Grave services and build the defenses necessary to mitigate future attacks of this sort. Our Web Operations team is closely monitoring the situation in case the attacks resume and we’re doing everything in our power to protect our websites from situations like this in the future.

Thank you.

Scott Sorensen
Chief Technology Officer

At the time I wrote this post, Ancestry's website and its blog were down again. I advise patience as they work to completely resolve the situation.

See you soon at the Mt. Clemens Public Library!


Update on Outage as of June 17, 2014

As of today, June 17, 2014, is still experiencing outages on its various websites. It is likely at times today, you will find the websites operating and at other times not operating.

Another blogger, who knows some people inside, suspects that the problem is that there is a Denial of Service (DOS or DDOS) attack taking place on's servers. This has NOT been confirmed by itself as of this post.

Note: I've included a link to Wikipedia's explanation of a Denial of Service attack. Essentially, this is being done, for whatever reason, to make the service unavailable to it intended users.

Continue to check Ancestry's Facebook page for the website's status, or check on the site using Is it down right now. When the crisis is over I'll let you all know.

In the meantime, if you want to do genealogy (instead of using this opportunity to do some house or yard work) try another website or do one of those "not so fun" genealogy tasks we keep avoiding like organize our papers. Take this time to scan some pictures or documents (that are not digitized out there on the internet). Or, visit your local library.

See you soon at the Mt. Clemens Public Library!


Monday, June 16, 2014 and many of its websites went down sometime around 4 p.m., Monday, June 16, 2014

No, it is not your computer or your internet connection. Nor anything you clicked. and many of the websites it owns and operates have had a technical problem today and went down sometime before 4 p.m. EDST, Monday, June 16, 2014. is working on the problem but has not stated when the sites will be back up.

Keep an eye on the situation by checking's FaceBook page for the latest information. (No, you don't have to be a Facebook member to see this part of the main page and the comments.) You can also check the site at the  Is it down right now website.

When gets back up and running, I'll let you all know.


Tuesday, June 10, 2014

FamilyTree DNA announces its Father's Day Sale for 2014

On Monday, FamilyTree DNA announced a Father's Day Sale. The sale runs from Monday, June 9 through Tuesday, June 17, 2014.

No coupon code is need to save $20 off the FamilyFinder (Autosomal DNA) test. So instead of costing $99 the test is on sale for $79.

In addition, the "Big Y" DNA test has been reduced by $100. So instead of costing $695 the test is on sale for $595. The Big Y-DNA test is not listed on FamilyTree DNA's product listing page. It is apparently an advanced Y-DNA test that tests both known branch markers and unknown branch markers. The product is intended for expert users with an interest in advancing science. 

The vast majority of people wanting to test Y-DNA will use either the 37-, 67- or 111-marker Y-DNA tests rather than this "Big Y-DNA" test.

So if you have been thinking about taking an autosomal DNA test, now might be the time with FamilyTree DNA's FamilyFinder (autosomal) test.


Last Week Announced it is Immediately Retiring its Y-DNA and mtDNA Tests

Last week, announced some big changes.

In addition to retiring/closing down some of the other websites it operates (MyFamily, MyCanvas, Mundia-English) and changing another of its other websites (, announced it was immediately stopping the sales and processing of its Y-DNA and mtDNA tests.

It is continuing to sell and process AncestryDNA (autosomal) tests.

At the bottom of the post on the blog site (see link above), click on the links to learn how each website/product is affected.

According to the link for the LegacyDNA (aka Y-DNA and mtDNA tests), Ancestry is no longer selling and no longer processing these tests. There is a phone number to contact regarding this. (Hopefully is being a "good company" and refunding the money paid for these tests if they have not been processed yet regardless of when the Y-DNA or mtDNA test was purchased.)

Members/Users have until September 5, 2014 to download any results/work from these affected websites/products. After that the data will not be available.


Friday, June 6, 2014

Get Ready for Our Annual Summer Potluck Dinner and Silent Auction

Wednesday, June 11th at 5:00 p.m. is our Annual Summer Pot-luck Dinner and Silent Auction of Genealogy/History Materials at the Mount Clemens Public Library. It is a joint meeting of the Macomb County Genealogy Group Friday group and the Let's Talk...Genealogy Wednesday group.

Bring a dish (home-made or store-bought) to share and come have some fun. Bidding on auction materials opens at 5 p.m. and dinner begins at 6 p.m.

Please email Ann at the MCGG email (see our contact page) if you plan on attending so we know approximately how many tables to set up. But if you don't know until the last moment, come anyway.

Last but not least ... do not forget about our many Resource Development Sessions that take place over the Summer break. If you have a free hour or two at 1 p.m. on those particular Fridays, join us in contributing to the database resources available at the Mount Clemens Public Library.

See you soon at the Mt. Clemens Public Library!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Father's Day DNA Sales that We Know of ... So Far

Okay, here are the various Father's Day DNA Sales that we've learned about:
Ancestry is offering its AncestryDNA (autosomal) test on sale for $89 plus shipping and the offer is good until June 15, 2014, 11:59 p.m. ET. The test is regularly $99 so the savings is about 10 percent. Remember, autosomal tests are for males AND females -- it tests what you inherit from both biological parents.

In addition, RetailMeNot has a free DNA shipping coupon code listed for Ancestry. The code is FREESHIPDNA and the code is good until April 1, 2015. (Note: you do not have to go to the retailmenot website to get the code. It is as you see above, all caps with no spaces.) The success rate is about 90 percent and the most recent comments are that the code works with the Father's Day DNA Sale also.

So if you are going to order, don't forget the coupon code for more savings.

For Father's Day, Ancestry is also offering various discounts on its Family Tree Maker program and a gift membership. 

As far as the other two major DNA/genealogy companies, FamilyTree DNA and 23andME, we have seen no announcements regarding any sales. If we learn of any, we'll let you know.

See you soon at the Mount Clemens Public Library!