Innate in all people is a desire for connection—to a family, a culture, a country, a past.
Without those bridges to other people and places, individuals feel untethered, searching for something—anything—that will help them figure out who they really are.
Answering those questions requires a journey of personal discovery, and when people are ready to embark on that trip, many of them turn to us.
Our mission is simple: we empower journeys of personal discovery to enrich the lives of our customers. For over 30 years, Ancestry has been driven by a passion for family history. At the AncestryProGenealogists (“ProGen”) division of the company, we do the actual research for customers who, for whatever reason, don’t want to, or can’t, do the research for themselves.
ProGen’s professional family history researchers scour records online and in repositories around the globe, searching for documentary evidence to tie our clients to their ancestors. Ancestry has digitized over 20 billion records from over 80 countries, and our customers have built over 100 million family trees with over 11 billion connections. These connections are more than names, locations, and dates; they’re relatives, homes, hardships, and triumphs that are all part of the rich stories we share.
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With the world’s largest collection of birth, marriage, and death records, Ancestry can reveal many details that strengthen the foundation of our customers’ stories. With ProGen’s extended reach, we can keep them finding new categories of story discovery, like military and naturalization records. With science, we can help them to decipher how their DNA matches are related to them and their ancestors so they don’t have to hunt or guess. With technology, we can make it easy for customers to discover, connect, and track their matches without having to open up multiple spreadsheets or other systems. Within our community, we can help people fill in their trees with information from over 10 million people in our DNA network, spanning geographies and ethnicities.
And once our clients know about that family, they want to travel the globe to find them! ProGen professionals create genealogy-based itineraries and lead clients on tours of their ancestral homelands, introducing them to the cultures of their forebears: the sights, sounds, food, drink, and festivals.
As they make these discoveries, many of our clients feel that sense of connection they’ve been seeking throughout their lives. The stories of ancestors from the past and distant cousins from the present become the stories of their own families. They see themselves as part of a larger whole, and their perspective on the world around them begins to change.
The bridges are built. The connections are made. But the journey is just beginning.
Danamichele currently leads the ProGenealogists division of Ancestry.com in Salt Lake City, Utah. In addition to serving as the official research division of Ancestry.com, the ProGenealogists division provides professional family history research services to consumers, television shows, travel expeditions, and corporate clients. For every type of customer, professional genealogists provide unprecedented insight, credibility, and texture to the stories of their ancestors. As we explore our customers’ family history, we also help them discover their connections to the entire human family, providing understanding and building bridges between people and generations.