This past year has been one of the most successful ever for our company (seems like I write that every year...) - all thanks go to the genealogy community and especially our great Legacy Family Tree users - you! Our company (Millennia Corporation) celebrated our 29th year in business, and the 16th year since we first released Legacy.
Once again this has been the year of the genealogy webinar. We have led the way of bringing quality genealogy education to the entire world. Our efforts were recognized in April as our Legacy Family Tree Webinar Series at www.FamilyTreeWebinars.com was awarded the "Best Genealogy Education or Learning Experience" as part of About.com's 2013 Genealogy Readers' Choice Awards.
In March we launched the availability of annual and monthly webinar memberships, providing members with unlimited access to the 136 hours of recordings. By the end of 2013, the archives has grown to include 208 hours of genealogy education presented by 41 of the industry's finest educators. It also now includes nearly 550 pages of instructors' supplemental syllabus materials. All for less than $5/month (for an annual membership).
June was a bitter sweet month as FamilySearch announced that their flagship software, Personal Ancestral File (PAF) was to be discontinued. PAF was with me in my earliest years of genealogy research. I reminisced about it here.
We began revealing the forthcoming Legacy Family Tree 8 in June with a series of articles which seemed to energize the entire genealogy community.
My newest book, Legacy Family Tree - Unlocked! was released in July and based on the brand new Legacy 8. Its "Watch Geoff Live" approach of teaching genealogy and Legacy through real life genealogy experiences has made the book the most popular education product we have ever sold. In fact, one of the most well-known and experienced book publishers in the genealogy industry said that my Digital Imaging Essentials book was the fastest-selling genealogy book he has ever sold. Legacy Family Tree - Unlocked! has far surpassed it. So thanks to everyone for reading it! I hope it continues to inspire your own genealogy research efforts.
In September nearly 300 of you joined us on our 10th annual Legacy Genealogy Cruise. In addition to the 25+ hours of genealogy and Legacy classes, we visited the sites in San Diego, Cabo San Lucas, Puerto Vallarta, Puerto Quetzal, Costa Rica, the Panama Canal, Panama, and Columbia. Next year our 11th annual Legacy Genealogy Cruise will depart from Tokyo (Yokohama), Japan and see the sites of Japan, China, Taiwan, Vietnam, Thailand, and Singapore.
Upon our return, I played with new technology - Windows 8.1 (which I am beginning to really enjoy now after a slow warming up to it) and my green screen. It was a blast to broadcast Webinar Wednesday virtually from my family's church in Denmark through the use of the green screen. It worked so well that I had dozens of emails from viewers who commented how great it was for me to be able to visit the country of my ancestors. Check out the pictures here.
It goes without saying, but the highlight of 2013 was the release of our long-awaited Legacy 8. We introduced many industry firsts including the origins and migration reports, source labels, citations on pedigree charts, and much more. Never before have so many of you chosen to use Legacy Family Tree and we thank you all so much for your support! We hope you continue to love Legacy!
Finally, we announced the upcoming 2014 webinar schedule where once again, we will bring you 52 of the highest quality genealogy classes available. I've loved your emails where you've written that you now reschedule your doctor's appointments to be with us during the live shows on Webinar Wednesdays! We will also launch our first-ever virtual Legacy User Group meetings in 2014. And brand new - you can now register for one or all webinars at once - no more signing up for each one individually. We are also happy to support the growing Legacy Virtual Users' Group Community over at Google+ (thanks Tessa and Carol for your great work!)
As 2013 comes to a close, we are happy with the progress we are making as a company. We've had successes, learning moments, and growing pains. We've also developed a great plan for 2014 and beyond. One more thanks to the entire genealogy community for all you do to help genealogy progress. Happy New Year to everyone!