This past year has been very successful for our company, all thanks to our great Legacy Family Tree users - you! Our company (Millennia Corporation) celebrated our 25th year in business, and the 12th year since we first released Legacy.
We also traveled a lot this year (over 50,000 miles in fact) attending conferences, user groups, and seminars in Texas, Arizona, Utah, California, Alberta, Saskatchewan, North Carolina, Colorado, Wyoming, Arkansas, Washington, British Columbia, Greece, Spain, Italy, Croatia, and Turkey.
The year started off with the birth of the world's cutest new Legacy user. My daughter, Kaitlyn, was born in January. They sure grow up a lot in the first year. Her three older brothers are taking good care of her.
Also in January, Legacy Family Tree 7.0 was awarded with the ThinkGenealogy Innovator award for our implementation of the SourceWriter. Legacy was the first genealogy software program to incorporate Elizabeth Mills' guidelines from Evidence Explained, and with its 1,300+ templates, continues to be the most comprehensive tool for correctly citing sources.
In February we gave away our first netbook computer at the St. George Family History Expo, and have had fun at conferences all year long giving away great prizes, including copies of our Legacy software.
In April, FamilySearch announced that their 250 millionth name had been indexed by their volunteer indexing program. Later in the year they announced that they had surpassed 130 million names in 2009. Congratulations and thanks to all the volunteers. Those numbers make my 46,159 indexed names seem trivial, but every indexed name means a once-lost-ancestor might be more easily found for someone.
April was also an exciting month for researchers tracing their European ancestors when we announced the availability of the Centennia mapping software. Centennia shows the changing country boundaries in Europe and the Middle East from the beginning of the 11th century to the present. Centennia is available on CD or to download.
This summer, after releasing the new book, Social Networking for Genealogists, we expanded our communication networks by joining Twitter and creating a Legacy Family Tree Fans group at the new social networking site, GenealogyWise.com. Our fans group is one of the largest and active groups in their network.
Also this summer we tried something new which turned out better than we had ever hoped. Although we traveled over 50,000 miles this year to teach Legacy at seminars, we still cannot visit every place that we would like. Until now. The Hemet-San Jacinto Genealogical Society in California was kind enough to let us record our Legacy presentations at their seminar and make them available online for Legacy users around the world to view. Only a small number of students attended the classes live, but thanks to new technology, thousands and thousands of you have attended "virtually". You can watch the seminars online by clicking here.
In July we showed a preview of our FamilySearch integration software/tools to a standing-room only audience at BYU's annual summer conference. We announced there that the FamilySearch tools will be available in Legacy 7.5 as a free update to Legacy 7.0 by the end of the year. Since then, we've published several articles on preparing your Legacy data to work with the new FamilySearch. Click here for the latest. It's now almost the end of the year, and we're almost ready to finally publish some announcements. Stay tuned to Legacy News....
In August we celebrated the fourth birthday of our Legacy News blog. This article is now our 779th post to this blog. I thought by now I wouldn't have anything left to say....Our readership statistics continue to increase so I guess we're doing something right. We will continue to use this blog to bring you the latest tips and updates on using Legacy as well as news and information from the entire genealogy industry.
In September we quietly celebrated (I forgot to write about it until now...) one of our company's biggest achievements. Our software, Legacy Family Tree, entered retail stores. Stores such as Office Max, Fry's Electronics, Micro Center, and Office Depot now sell our software. It's not easy getting software into stores like this, but now Legacy's influence goes well beyond genealogy seminars and online shopping.
It goes without saying, but the highlight of 2009 was our 6th annual Legacy Genealogy Cruise. In addition to the Legacy and technology classes, we visited the sites in Spain, Italy, Croatia, Greece, and Turkey. Next year, thanks to your votes, our 7th annual Legacy Genealogy Cruise will depart Sydney, Australia and explore beautiful New Zealand. We're excited to meet many of our Legacy users from "down under" and hope that you will join us.
Our last "good move" of the year was the decision to re-sell the Crash Course in Family History book. When I first browsed through Paul Larsen's book, I knew this was something our Legacy users needed to have. It has been a very successful book in our online store, and I'm glad that so many of you have enjoyed it now.
As 2009 comes to a close, we are happy with the progress we are making as a company. We've had successes and learning moments, and have developed a great plan for 2010 and beyond. One more thanks to the entire genealogy community for all you do to help genealogy progress. Happy New Year to everyone!