This past year has been one of the most successful years ever for our company - all thanks go to the genealogy community and especially our great Legacy Family Tree users - you! Our company (Millennia Corporation) celebrated our 27th year in business, and the 14th year since we first released Legacy.
This was the year of the genealogy webinar, and with the help of industry experts we have pioneered this new medium for genealogy education. This year alone we offered 41 different webinars - that's over 60 hours of high-quality genealogy and technology instruction - all free to you, the viewer. They were presented by 24 of the industry's finest educators. We also presented private webinars to genealogy societies and Family History Centers (interested? send me an email).The "Watch Geoff Live" series became bigger than I ever imagined it would. Through these webinars our company's motto of "we are changing the world of genealogy" continues to be fulfilled. In fact, in one webinar alone, viewers from 71 different countries tuned in to the live episode.
The year started off with our announcement and release of Legacy 7.5 which added new FamilySearch integration tools (we're still waiting for FamilySearch to open accounts to the entire public, I hear they've begun though). Midway through the year we added mtDNA support for those engaged in DNA research. And throughout we added minor features and bug fixes in our free updates.
The most enjoyable genealogy conference ever took place in Salt Lake City in February. Sponsored by FamilySearch, RootsTech was attended by genealogists and technologists from around the world. I was honored to receive the Distinguished Presenter Award. I hope you'll join me either live or online at next year's RootsTech conference for my Genealogy Idol Competition class. Also in February, the Families app was released for Android phones and tablets. Now I can carry my entire genealogy - including all of my photos - with me on my smart phone.
This year we developed partnerships with several genealogy companies and publishers, allowing us to bring new products to you at good prices including Dan Lynch's new book, Google Your Family Tree; DNA kits from Genetree; James Tanner's new book, The Guide to FamilySearch Online; Legacy Charting Companion version 3, which added Descendant Fan Charts and embroidery capabilities; the newest version of Heritage Collector software; Maureen Taylor's Preserving Your Family Photographs book, and the most popular product of the year, the Flip-Pal Mobile Scanner. I shouldn't forget that we also published 33 webinar titles for our webinar-on-CD library. Finally, the release of my personal book, The Official Unofficial Guide to Using Legacy Family Tree, was more successful than I ever imagined - thanks everyone!
We also embraced the new social media technology by announcing our official Facebook page, Google+ site, and YouTube channel. We released our very first commercial - what do you think? We use these social media outlets to communicate with our Legacy users so I hope you'll like, circle, or follow us there.
In June I introduced my 10-year-old to the Family History Library. After finding the death certificate of one of his ancestors, my son looked at me - astonished - and said, "But I thought genealogy was boring...this is so...much...fun!" My year kept getting better and better. :)
In August we celebrated the 6th anniversary of this blog and its 1,000th article. Gladly, millions continue reading it so I'll continue writing.
Our 8th annual Legacy Genealogy Cruise took place in September - this time to New England and Eastern Canada. Thomas MacEntee joined us for one of the best cruises we've hosted. It was a bitter sweet experience for me - my dear grandmother passed away while at the same time I was hunting for (and finding) ancestors in Maine's cemeteries. We also announced next year's cruise to the British Isles and the Norwegian Fjords.
I think the highlight of my year was Marian Pierre-Louis' webinar, Brick Walls: Cracking the Case of Nathan Brown's Parents. While preparing for her webinar on Connecticut research, she cracked my brick wall on the Browns. We set up this follow-up webinar where she revealed Nathan's parents - live. It was a very happy day.
As 2011 comes to a close, we are happy with the progress we are making as a company. We have developed a great plan for 2012 and beyond. One more thanks to the entire genealogy community for all you do to help genealogy progress. Happy New Year to everyone!