World Families

Announcement: World Families is Retiring

Terry and Marilyn Barton sent this email out to project administrators this evening. Please join me in thanking them for their many years of service to the genetic genealogy community.

This is a message to all Administrators and Co-Administrators who have a WorldFamilies project site.

We are both excited and saddened to announce our retirement and the closing of the WorldFamilies Project Administration services after 14 years, effective May 23, 2018. We have developed close relationships with many of you, though we’ve never met, and we’ve had the privilege of meeting and getting to know a number of you at the various DNA conferences and meetings. It has been very special to work with many fine administrators and very wonderful individuals, learning from you, as we have worked to share our knowledge, and to provide administrative support.

We hope that you will forgive the short notice, but we have been in contact with FTDNA since late February, seeking a way to address our concerns of being sole administrator for more than 750 projects, while supporting a like number of projects with volunteer administrator(s), under the coming rigorous requirements of the European Union’s GDPR (new privacy law going to effect May 25, 2018). We have always protected the privacy of our project members, and will continue to do so on personal ancestral surname projects that we will continue to administer. However, the ambiguity and uncertainty of the bureaucratic requirements under this new law are just more than we care to deal with. (We were optimistic on several occasions that a resolution could be found, but it wasn’t to be – so our plan to “retire one of these days” now becomes reality.)

We will delete the project sections of the WorldFamilies site on May 23, 2018, so please copy any information that you wish to save. You may wish to make a copy of your Home, Results, Patriarch, Discussion or other project pages. We can provide an empty excel spread sheet with columns preset to copy/paste your results page on request. For the other pages, you may want to copy/paste your info into a Word document. (Note: we won’t be able to “rescue” you if you miss the deadline, so please don’t wait too long.)

We will also remove sign-in access at WorldFamilies on May 23 and disable the “Favorites” system. We will leave our Forums online for now, but no one will be able to post on them.

Our agreement with FTDNA was to provide Interim Project Administration for Surname Projects that did not have a volunteer admin. We chose to extend our service to “newbies” and then to experienced administrators without additional compensation as we realized that we could be of service. However, we ask that you respect our retirement and now obtain your support from FTDNA.

FTDNA has provided some comments which are listed below my signature in this email. If you have any questions about how to manage your project, please contact the kind folks in the FTDNA Group Administrators Support department, managed by Janine Cloud. Their email address is

We are looking forward to our retirement, as we have delayed work on our own ancestral research for many years. As we settle in to a new world where we don’t have stacks of emails, site issues, and other related work to do, we may look at a modest return to service, such as consulting, providing project sites, or even creating and updating project results pages for others. We’ll let you know if this happens.

We will continue to display our WorldFamilies information pages and will also use the WF site for a few of our own ancestral surname project sites.

Wishing you the Best!

Terry & Marilyn Barton

Comments from FTDNA

1.You might want to remind them that their project is still at FTDNA, and that they may need to make it available for public viewing on the Site Configuration tab, under Public Website. If they don’t enable this, either publicly or for project members only, their project is as good as entirely dead, because no one will be able to see it.
2.If they are not currently utilizing the FTDNA project page, they will need to group their members there. There is no automated grouping at FTDNA.
3.They can copy any information they have on the WFN project pages, such as Patriarchs, only the Background, News, or Results pages of the FTDNA site, available on the Public Website page, under Project Administration in the GAP. I sincerely hope they will do that. There isn’t enough time to do this programmatically between now and then.

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