Ancestry.com Launches Sweepstakes to Boost Database

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To build its database and increase its Web site traffic, MyFamily.com Inc.'s genealogy site Ancestry.com yesterday launched a sweepstakes program that offers a $4,500 trip for two to the winner's homeland.


The "Win a Trip to Your Homeland" sweepstakes is designed to entice visitors to add their family tree to the Ancestry World Tree, a collection of user-uploaded genealogy charts.


"I think in base terms, the reason for this promotion is that we're very interested in growing the Ancestry World Tree database," said Roger Smith, director of Ancestry marketing at MyFamily.com Inc., Orem, UT.


Visitors can upload their family data at www.ancestry.com in many ways. The first is by using a standard file format for family history software. Users who have already uploaded their family tree on Ancestry.com can enter the sweepstakes by transferring an updated version through the genealogy site's proprietary Online Family Tree software.


While the winner gets a grand-prize junket, drawings slated for each week through the sweepstakes' May 31 deadline reward winners with preferred annual subscriptions worth $59.95 to Ancestry.com's online service.


So far, the Ancestry World Tree has more than 40 million names submitted by users worldwide. The sweepstakes is intended to increase that number. To allay privacy fears, Ancestry.com allows users to either update or remove their trees.


Ancestry.com allows users to search 2,000 databases for 550 million records of ancestors. Its sibling sites include MyFamily.com, a free service for family members to share photographs, news and chats, and FamilyHistory.com, which hosts over 100,000 free message boards for users to connect with others researching genealogical backgrounds.

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