RootsTech 2015

Some people eat, sleep and chew gum, I do genealogy and write...

Monday, May 24, 2010

Who owns the genealogy companies? Part Four

In the past installments of this series, I have been examining the ownership of the larger genealogy oriented companies. In this post I examine GenealogyBank.com. Corporate offices of the GenealogyBank are in Naples, Florida and their "Operations and Production Facility" is located in Chester, Vermont. They characterize there business as follows:
GenealogyBank has the most comprehensive newspaper archive filled with family history information. Many of our historical newspapers are exclusive to GenealogyBank. Find billions of names and millions of American families across four centuries, from 1690 to today: obituaries, marriage notices, hometown news, military records, government documents, photographs and much more.
GenealogyBank is a subscription service with an annual membership of $69.95.

GenealogyBank is a part of NewsBank, Inc. According to Wikipedia, NewsBank currently has 350 newspapers online with 150 million articles. In turn, NewsBank characterizes itself as:
NewsBank, inc. has been one of the world’s premier information providers for more than 35 years. NewsBank’s comprehensive, Web-based research products satisfy the diverse needs of public libraries, colleges and universities, schools, government and military libraries, professionals and researchers, while NewsBank’s extensive media services enable its publishing partners to effectively leverage their content to generate additional revenue.
 Through partnerships with leading content providers worldwide, NewsBank provides a variety of libraries with Web-based access to current and archived content from more than 2,000 newspaper titles, as well as newswires, transcripts, business journals, periodicals, government documents and other publications. Through its databases, intuitive interfaces and powerful search technology, NewsBank enables users to easily explore tens of millions of articles, obituaries, notices, announcements and other news content in order to pinpoint information from primary sources at the local, state, regional, national and international levels.
 The list of available sources goes on and on.  What's the catch? NewsBank is available to libraries, universities and other institutions. Neither NewsBank nor GenealogyBank appear to have SEC filings. All that said, none of the web pages on either NewsBank or GenealogyBank refer directly to any ownership interest or other identifying information. The Florida Department of State, Division of Corporations lists NewsBank, Inc. with its principal office in Vermont. The corporation is registered in the name of Daniel S. Jones with Daniel S. Jones, John A. McDowell, Susan G. Jones and Michael G. Walker as officers and directors. That's about all the information the annual corporate report has in the 2010 filing. The same information is listed in the Vermont Secretary of State Office. In Vermont, NewsBank is listed as a foreign corporation (that means registered in another state, not a foreign country) with its principal place of business in Florida.

So, NewsBank and GenealogyBank are apparently very privately held corporations with no apparent outside investors. They certainly come from a completely different corporate culture than Ancestry.com/WorldVitalRecords group. The Utah Valley corporations seem much more interested in publicizing their resumes.

3 comments:

  1. I would be curious to know if NewsBank and genealogybank.com have the same a identical news articles.

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  2. I would be curious to know if NewsBank and genealogybank.com have the same identical news articles or if one has more than the other? Do you know?

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    Replies
    1. They are the same company, but NewsBank.com is not a program for individuals it is for libraries. I have never asked about the difference if there is any.

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